Gana: Army Wants Ortom To Pay The N50M Bounty Placed On Terwase Agwaza
The Nigerian Army is pushing for the payment of the N50 million bounty placed on wanted terrorist gang leader Terwase Agwaza (a.k.a Gana) by Benue Governor Samuel Ortom.
The request came barely 72 hours after Agwaza was killed by troops during an operation by Special Forces Command in Doma, Nasarawa State.
It also came on a day the governor resolved to push ahead with a planned amnesty programme designed by his administration for repentant criminals, despite Agwaza’s death.
A top source in the military, who spoke in confidence with The Nation, said the Army is waiting to see whether or not the governor will fulfill his promise.
The source said the fulfillment of the pledge will determine the extent of the backing from political authority for the military.
The source said: “Our Special Forces have eliminated a notorious criminal/terrorist gang leader, Terwase Agwaza, who has been terrorizing Benue State and environs for too long. He had been on the wanted list of security agencies.
“The Nigerian Army Special Forces Command in Doma Nasarawa State conducted a special operation that helped in destroying notorious camps of criminals and terrorists terrorizing Nigerians along Nasarawa and Kogi States recently.
“The fugitive criminal Gana has been on the wanted listed of security agencies for long. The Benue State governor in the year declared him wanted and placed a N10 million bounty on anyone who can lead to the arrest of Gana.
“Despite the ransom (bounty), Gana still remained elusive, forcing the state government to raise it to N50 million bounty for his arrest. Yet, he was elusive, not until he was gunned down by the Special Forces on 8 September, 2020.
“In the midst of this situation, the Nigerian Army deserves to be paid the N50 million ransom, having killed Gana. The assignment has been completed, the Army should be paid.
“It is not the cash that is important, but the need for political authority to set good precedent by giving backing to the military.
“It is a symbolic reward which the Nigerian Army is ready to take from the governor. It is time to walk the talk. We are already pushing for the bounty.”
Gana was declared wanted after he allegedly killed Ortom’s Special Assistant on Special Security Denen Igbana.
The governor had thrice announced different rewards for anyone with information on Gana, ranging from N5 million and N10 million in 2017 and N50 million in 2020
On July 15, Ortom said: “I want to reiterate that the N50m the government promised as reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the wanted man, Gana (Terwase Akwaza), still stands.” But, the governor said he would not be distracted by the Terwase’s killing on his way to surrender for amnesty programme. Ortom told reporters after the State Security meeting in Government House, Makurdi, that his administration decided to proceed with the amnesty programme, despite the temporary setback occasion by Akwaza’s death.
The governor said the State Security Council will today meet with stakeholders from Sankera to review the situation and the way forward.
He said the Council has resolved to continue with the amnesty programme to cover those who retreated, allaying the fears of the repentant youths who may be intending to be part of the programme.
According to Ortom, 42 youths from Logo have been successfully profiled and allowed to return home, pointing out that a committee, headed by his Security Adviser Col. Paul Hembah (rtd), was constituted to work out rehabilitation plans for the repentant youths.
He said his Special Advisers on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Jerome Torshimbe, and that of Special Duties, Joseph Odaudu, have also been drafted as members of the committee.
Other members are: chairmen of Katsina-Ala, Logo and Ukum local government areas. The committee has a mandate to identify skills of the repentant youths for necessary intervention.
The governor said security had been beefed up in Sankera to prevent breakdown of law and order.
He acknowledged the peaceful disposition of the people of Sankera and urged them to sustain it as everything was being done to guarantee the security of lives and property.
- The Nation
The call to action by amnesty international
Boko Haram has consistently and deliberately targeted civilians in and across Borno state. Boko Haram must end its campaign of vicious and unlawful killings of civilians.
Amnesty International’s findings show that, of the 43 farmers killed by Boko Haram yesterday, 16 were Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) resident at Farm Centre IDP Camp. While 10 women working in Kwashabe rice farm are still missing after the attack.
Boko Haram and other armed groups must renounce their unlawful and vicious campaign of violence against civilians.
It is the firm duty of the government to secure lives and properties within its territory. These killings are crimes under international law and there must be accountability. #EndImpunity #EndInsecurity
We are sorry Osinbajo Apologize
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has finally spoken on the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country and the rest of the world.
There have been calls for the vice-president, who is a professor of law, to speak up on the demand by the youth to end police brutality in Nigeria.
On Friday night, the vice-president apologised to Nigerians for the slow response of the federal government to the issues.
“Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry,” he wrote.Advertisement
“I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent and have simply not done enough. These feelings of frustration are justified.
“There are far too many people who have been brutalised at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable. We must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.
“Over the past week, we have been following the protests, and I have had a number of discussions with key people in the administration that you deserve to be informed about. Transparency, after all, is a key tenet of government.”Advertisement
He said he has held meetings with governors, the executives of the national assembly and other key stakeholders to ensure justice is served fast.
“We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing. I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast,” he added.
“The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.
“With Mr. President’s approval, SARS has been completely disestablished, and none of its former members will feature in any police tactical units.”Advertisement
More to follow
NEC TO GOVS:TAKE CHARGE OF POLICE TACTICAL UNITS
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
NEC TO GOVS:
TAKE CHARGE OF POLICE TACTICAL UNITS
*JUDICIAL PANELS OF INQUIRY FORMED TO INVESTIGATE POLICE BRUTALITY IN ALL STATES, FCT
*PANEL HAS 6 WEEKS TO COMPLETE ASSIGNMENT
- COUNCIL ALSO DIRECTS SPECIAL FUND IN ALL STATES TO COMPENSATE VICTIMS OF BRUTALITY
Rising from its monthly meeting the National Economic Council has directed the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry across the country to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra judicial killings with a view to delivering justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units.
The Council specifically resolved that State Governors and the FCT Minister should take charge of interface and contact with the protesters in their respective domains.
At a meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and attended by State Governors, the Judicial Panels which would be set up in all the States would include representatives of Youths, Students, Civil Society Organizations and would be chaired by a respected retired State High Court Judge.
The Council also directed that State Governors should immediately establish a State-based Special Security and Human Rights Committee to be chaired by the Governors in their States, to supervise the newly formed police tactical units and all other security agencies located in the State.
The idea of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee in all States of the Federation and the FCT is to ensure that police formations and other security agencies in the State consistently protect the Human Rights of citizens.
Members of the Special Committee would also include Representatives of Youths, and Civil Society. The head of Police tactical units in each of the State would also be a member of the Committee.
Regarding the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, each State Government is to set up the Panel, chaired by a retired High Court Judge, with other members selected by the State Governor as follows:
*Two representatives of Civil Society groups
*One Retired Police Officer of high repute
*One Youth Representative
*One Student Representative
- One Representative of the State Attorney-General Ministry and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission.
The terms of reference for the Judicial
Panel is to –
*receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra judicial killings;
*evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and
*recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.
The Panel’s assignment should be concluded within a maximum of six (6) months, unless it shows convincing reasons why the State Governor should allow an extension.
There would also be Human Rights Public Complaints Team of between 2 to 3 persons to receive complaints on an ongoing basis. That team would be established by the Special Committee on Security and Human Rights.
It was resolved that each State Government shall also set up such a Complaints Office to which members of the public can relate by telephone or social media channels.
It shall be the duty of the officers of the Complaints Office to liaise with the leadership of security agencies, attempt resolution of complaints or otherwise guide the complainants.
Also NEC directs all State Governors to immediately establish a Victims Fund to enable the payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF TODAY’S NEC MEETING
Council also received update on Nigeria’s COVID-19 response efforts from the Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.
According to the report, state performance in testing in the last month showed that state testing in September compared to August recorded decline in 18 States and improved testing in 19 others.
The NCDC DG also listed priority intervention areas as, strengthening States’ Health Security Architecture (Strong State Epidemiology team, Functional EOC, Functional Molecular Lab, Defined Treatment Centre, Response Vehicles, Communication equipment, Resources to deploy) and the establishment and sustenance of sample collection sites.
Other highlights of the meeting are as follows:
UPDATE ON ACCOUNT BALANCES
The Honourable Minister of State for Budget and National Planning reported to Council that the under listed accounts as at 14th October, 2020 are as follows:
Excess Crude Account -$72,409,346.76
b. Stabilization Account -N47,193,630,556.96
c. Development of Natural Resources Account -N154,330,148,020.34
PRESENTATION ON STRATEGY FOR GROWTH OF MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SMES) AND JOB CREATION BY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Council received a presentation from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment titled Strategy for Growth of Micro, small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and Job Creation.
· The objective of the presentation is to bring NEC up to speed on Ministry’s Term Goals and Projects and seek NEC’S support in the resolution of key challenges to achieving our goals.
· The presentation noted that part of the mandate of FMITI is to accelerate the growth of the industrial sector and enhance productivity and boost the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as engine of economic growth, etc.
Council was invited to:
Establish land banks in each state earmarked for investment in agriculture and agro –processing;
Ensure fair compensation for land, standardize and ensure clarity in compensation rates in each state;
Adapt the 2015 approved list of taxes and levies;
Set up and investment promotion agency/one stop shop for investment-related issues including facilitating investment linkages
MSME Council should be set up in each states. These Councils should build a database of the residents MSMES which can be used to facilitate the integration of local MSMEs into the supply chains of large resident corporate.
PRESENTATION ON THE 2021-2023 MEDIUM-TERM EXPENDITURE FRAMEWORK AND 2021 FGN BUDGET PROPOSAL BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BUDGET & NATIONAL PLANNING
According to the presentation, disruptions in the macroeconomic environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, necessitated Mr. President’s presentation of a revised 2020 budget on 28th May, 2020, which was signed into law on 10th July, 2020.
▪ The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the revised 2021-23 Medium Term Expenditure Framework & Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), as well as the 2021 FGN Budget, on the 30th of September, 2020.
▪ In response to the developments affecting the supply of foreign exchange to the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) adjusted the official exchange rate to N360/US$1, and more recently to N379/US$.
▪ The projected aggregate revenue inflow into the Federation Account (Main Pool) is N6.77 trillion, while N1.70 trillion is the projected inflow in the VAT Pool Account.
▪ Out of the Main Pool Account, FGN is projected to get N3.54 trillion while States and Local Governments are projected to get N1.80 trillion and N1.39 trillion, respectively.
▪ From the VAT Pool Account, FGN is projected to get N255.46 billion while States and Local Governments are projected to get N851.52 billion and N596.07 billion, respectively.
▪ Several measures are being instituted to improve government revenue and entrench a regime of prudence with emphasis on achieving value for money. The goal of fiscal interventions will be to keep the economy active through carefully calibrated regulatory/policy measures designed to boost domestic value-addition, de-risk the enterprise environment, attract external investment and sources of funding, etc.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
15th October, 2020