The federal government yesterday blamed the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is on trial for treason, for the murder of Chike Akunyili, the husband of the late Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Dora Akunyili.
The government also said it had established a link between Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and a Boko Haram sponsor, Surajo Muhammad, who was jailed in the United Arab Emirates on charges of financing terrorism.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), made these allegations yesterday while unveiling the findings of a Presidential Committee set up to investigate Kanu and Ighoho.
The 24-member committee, headed by Malami, had representatives from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Federal Ministry of Information, the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services, the National Intelligence Agency and the Defence Intelligence Agency.
The government further accused Kanu of being responsible for the murder of a former Presidential Aide, Ahmad Gulak, and over 177 others in the South-East.
The committee said consequent upon the instigating directives of Kanu, members of IPOB and the Eastern Security Network carried out massive attacks on democratic institutions, especially facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “with a view to hampering democratic process in Nigeria.”
It said the attacks that were carried out between October 2020 and June 2021 led to the killing of 175 security personnel.
The report reads in part: “Acting on the instigating directives of Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB members and #EndSARS protesters attacked and killed many security agents, destroyed several public and private properties, including police stations, public transport buses and other facilities across the country.
“That on October 21, 2020, Nnamdi Kanu through an online call-in radio programme (Radio Biafra), further instigated IPOB members to burn down all police stations and kill government security forces, which was carried out, and security personnel (especially police officers) were killed and public and private properties destroyed.
“That 175 security personnel were killed by IPOB/ESN, comprising 128 policemen, 37 military personnel and 10 other security operatives.
“Recently, there were gruesome killings of traditional leaders: Obi 1 of Okwudor autonomous community, Eze E. AnayochukwuDurueburuo and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebineowerre autonomous community, as well as the killings of Dr. Chike Akunyili and eight others, as well as the killing of Alhaji Ahmed Gulak on May 30, 2021.”
The committee found out that as a consequence of Nnamdi Kanu’s broadcasts, there were 19 attacks on INEC facilities that resulted in the destruction of offices and burning of 18 INEC logistical vehicles, several election materials, equipment and ICT gadgets in Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states.
The Presidential Committee stated that 164 police stations and formations, including police Headquarters, Owerri, Imo State were attacked by IPOB/ESN, leading to the death of 128 policemen while 144 were injured and 628 vehicles were destroyed.
It said 396 firearms and 17,738 ammunition were carted away during the IPOB/ESN attacks.
“That there were three IPOB/ESN attacks on Nigerian Correctional Service, including the Headquarters of NCoS, Owerri, Imo State where 1,841 inmates escaped; that the Headquarters of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Umuahia, Abia State was also attacked by IPOB/ESN leading to the death of one officer,” the report read.
Links Igboho to Boko Haram’s Sponsor
The Committee also claimed to have established a link between Igboho, and the convicted Boko Haram sponsor, Surajo Muhammad.
Government further alleged that between 2013 and 2020, Igboho received N127 million from several financiers, including a federal lawmaker. The government refused to reveal the identity of the lawmaker.
Malami said, “The report revealed that Sunday Igboho is a Director and signatory to Adesun International Concept Limited registered on April 23, 2010. Adesun International Concept Limited also has Oladele Oyetunji and Aderopo Adeyemo as directors. Sunday Igboho is linked to 43 bank accounts in nine banks.
“The major financier of the fugitive and separatists was found to be a federal lawmaker in the National Assembly. A total sum of N127,145,000 was received by Igboho from his financiers between October 22, 2013, and September 28, 2020, through Adesun International Concept Ltd accounts.
“A total sum of N273,198,200 transaction outflows was recorded from Sunday Igboho’s account between March 15, 2013, and March 11, 2021. Investigation reveals that Adesun International Concept Ltd (belonging to Igboho) transferred the sum of N12,750,000 to Abbal Bako & Sons.”
The AGF noted that Abbal Bako and Sons and its promoter Abdullahi Usman, “are suspects” in the on-going Joint Terrorist Financing Investigation.
“Abdullahi Usman is by way of financial transaction connected to Surajo Abubakar Muhammad (who was sentenced to life imprisonment in UAE on charges of financing terrorism (Boko Haram). This report shows the nexus between separatists’ agitation, terrorism financing and disruptions of peace in the country,” Malami said.
Malami stated that having received the reports, the federal government “remains solute” in its determination to have a peaceful Nigeria.
“The federal government will do the needful, within the context of the legal provisions, in ensuring that the matter is given the deserved attention and those found guilty will be made to face the wrath of the law,” he said.
Buhari: FG May Pardon Ken Saro-Wiwa, 8 Others
The killing of Ogoni activist and renowned playwright, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others (Ogoni 9) in November, 1995 during the Abacha administration reechoed yesterday as President Buhari disclosed that the federal government might consider granting pardon to the Ogoni 9 as part of moves to genuinely integrate the Ogoni people.
This is just as President Buhari urged Ogoni leaders to sensitise their people on why they must value protection of pipelines and national assets in their area.
The President spoke while playing host to Ogoni leaders, led by Gbenemene Tai and President of the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, His Majesty King Godwin N.K. Giniwa at the State House, Abuja.
President Buhari said: “We are committed to ensuring clemency and national integration as part of this Administration’s bid to lay the foundation for genuine reconciliation and bring closure to the issues of Ogoni Land.
“The unfortunate incidents of the early 1990s leading to the loss of lives of distinguished sons of Ogoni Land and the collateral judicial processes are indelible in our memories.
“Despite the grievous circumstances, the federal government will consider the request for the grant of pardon to finally close the Ogoni saga.”
Recall that Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others were accused of killing four fellow Ogonis, leading to their arrest and trial by a military tribunal which found them guilty and accordingly sentenced them to death by hanging.
Ken Saro-Wiwa along with eight others namely Saturday Dobee, NorduEawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, BariborBera, BarinemKiobel, and John Kpuine, were executed by hanging on November 10, 1995 and buried in Port Harcourt Cemetery in Rivers State capital.
He said the government would bring to a close all pending issues on sons of Ogoni Land.
“Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished representatives of the people of Ogoni Land, I note the need to ensure completion of segment of the East-West road traversing Ogoni Land, and steps will be taken to ensure delivery under the Infrastructure Development Fund as earlier conceived. We intend to complete this vital artery of Nigeria.”
The President noted that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had been granted license to operate OML11, which will stimulate economic activities and integration in the zone.
“Accordingly, NNPC is hereby directed to engage all host communities, particularly Ogoni people to ensure inclusive processing of oil and gas, anchored on optimum involvement of host communities. NPDC will lay a broad-based programme for the emergence of a new Ogoni Land for the benefit of the Ogoni people and Nigeria as a whole,” Buhari added.
Earlier in his remarks, King Godwin N.K. Giniwa, thanked President Buhari for various interventions in the area, particularly on clean-up of the environment.
The paramount ruler noted that the people believe in the unity of Nigeria and the future of every group could only be guaranteed in one nation.