Translational inhibition due to CHEAP RETIN-A the fact that the path of the excitation occurs Br neuron. recurrent inhibition     Carried intercalary brake cells (Renshaw). Axons of buy nolvadex online canada motor neurons often give collaterals (branches), ending with Renshaw cells. Renshaw cell axons terminate on the body or dendrites of the motor neuron, forming inhibitory synapses. Arousal that occurs in motor neurons travel in a straight path to the skeletal muscle, as well as collaterals to inhibitory neurons, which send impulses to motoneurons and inhibits them. The stronger the motor neuron excitation, the more excited Renshaw cells and the more intense they exert their inhibitory effect, which protects nerve cells from overstimulation. lateral inhibition    
 

 -Masterweb Reports
(Submission By Ifeatu Agbu)
 

It is bad enough that out of the N4.749 trillion budget estimate of the Federal Government, 72 per cent is going for recurrent expenditure, leaving only 28 per cent to finance development projects. The thought that there could be another bad news for the economy when it comes to implementing the budget is even more depressing. The budget estimates have set out the parameters for another cycle of economic activities that would hopefully drive the engine of growth and development. Unfortunately, the road to success is paved with corruption in high and low places. And that is just the right milieu for dubious contractors to ply their trade and throw spanners in the wheels of progress.
 
The Nigerian environment seems to be a fertile ground for briefcase contractors who see government contracts as their own share of the national cake. For them, the contractual obligation to deliver the jobs on schedule and according to specifications is hogwash. What these contractors, who are unfortunately many, do is tantamount to arresting the development of the country.
 
This is one challenge all development agencies in the country should tackle frontally. Indeed, in some cases, it calls for emergency measures. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is already taking steps to check the excesses of contractors who would like to eat their cake without contributing to its baking.
 
The NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh, has fired a warning shot to erring contractors engaged by the commission. He charged them to either perform or be prosecuted. To those that have achieved 70 per cent in project execution, he ordered: “deliver by the end of March 2012 or face the wroth of the law.” “Those who work, we shall pay, I want you to deliver between now and March, I’m ready to pay you if only you will deliver, you must also be prepared to sign undertaking because if you don’t deliver, the law will come after you” he declared.
 
The marching order from the NDDC boss, only amplifies an earlier Presidential directive. President Goodluck Jonathan had warned that his administration would order law enforcement agencies to apprehend contractors identified as having defaulted after receiving funds to execute NDDC projects. The president’s warning came after he received the reports of the NDDC Presidential Monitoring Committee late last year.
 
No doubt, the problem of non-performing contractors is a national malaise. However, its effect on the development of the Niger Delta region is more disturbing because if developmental projects in the region are sabotaged, it would have a direct consequence on the wealth of the nation, oil being the live-wire of the economy. Of course, we have to keep in mind that the Federal Government’s 2012 budget is based on 2.48 million barrel per day (MBPD) and this can only be realistic if the peace brought by the amnesty programme is sustained. To maintain and sustain the peace, the gains of the amnesty must be complemented with visible and concrete development of the region. This is where the NDDC comes in. As the most visible executing arm of the central government, it must be seen by all to be making the difference in the Niger Delta.
 
For government and its agencies to get value for money spent on projects, contractors must be held accountable by both the executive and the legislature. It is not a task for only one arm of government. The lawmakers should be interested in knowing how projects are executed to ensure that they meet the required specifications and that they are completed within the agreed time lines. The era of collecting money and abandoning projects should be over, if we have proper monitoring and oversight by the appropriate authorities.
 
The President of the Senate, Chief David Mark admitted that the National Assembly had not done enough in its oversight function with respect to the NDDC. He said after the Senate confirmation of a 13-member board for NDDC that the Senate Committee on Niger Delta should share the blame for the failure of the last board of the commission, noting that the committee failed in its oversight responsibilities. In many instances, there is a problem when politicians and government functionaries look the other way while contractors undermine the system. As it is the practice world-wide, governments and their agencies are expected to determine whether those they are giving jobs possess the requisite qualifications, manpower, equipment and monetary resources to successfully execute projects.
 
What happened in the past with respect to power and road contracts must serve as enduring lessons for those in government. Never again should we allow a situation where the country, according to the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole spent 16 billion dollars on the National Integrated Power Project, there was hardly anything to show for it. Never again should we be content with sulking and counting our losses after spending billions of naira for repairs and maintenance of the nation’s highways and bridges without tangible results.
 
Nigerians would not want a repeat of the disgusting stories told by the House of Representatives committee which looked into the activities of the Ministry of transport under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. The committee reported that between 1999 and 2009, the ministry, gave contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 11, 591km roads at a cost of N1.7 trillion – about N87 million per km – with only 24 per cent of the target met, while 64 per cent of the contract value had already been paid.
 
Today, we are reeling in the pains of high fuel prices in spite of the fact that contracts were awarded for the repair and maintenance of the nation’s refineries in 1998. The French oil giant; Total, was awarded a contract valued at $198 million to repair the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical plant, while another contract of $100 million was awarded to Chrome Oil Services, in conjunction with its Polish partners, to undertake similar work at the Port Harcourt refinery. After spending an amount that was enough to build a brand new refinery with a capacity of at least 100,000 barrels per day, the two refineries are today still producing at less than half of their installed capacities. How scandalous can it get?
 
Like many other Nigerians, who believe that there should be a stop to this rot, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the Governor of Edo State told President Jonathan to jail all those who got the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) contracts for the refineries. He said that all those who contributed to the present crisis in the oil sector by refusing to repair the refineries after collecting contract funds must be brought to justice.
 
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other anti-corruption agencies should live up to their duties and bite more than they bark. They should spread their dragnets to rope in not only corrupt politicians but also fraudulent contractors, who have by their actions frustrated the much-needed development in the country. The consequences are far-reaching. It is already taking its toll on all sectors of our national life. In education, for instance, the Nigerian Union of Teachers recently jolted Nigerians when it claimed that 25 per cent of pupils and students in primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions in Ghana are from Nigeria. As if to confirm this, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), lamented recently that there are 71, 000 Nigerian students in Ghana who are paying not less than 155 billion naira as tuition annually, compared with the annual budget of 121 billion naira for the entire Federal University education in Nigeria.
 
Isn’t it surprising that Nigeria is gradually losing grounds to less endowed African countries? It is certainly a worrisome development that needs to be redressed urgently.The new board of the NDDC led by its chairman, Dr Tarilah Tebepah, should, therefore, remain resolute in its efforts to whip contractors into line. The commission should strengthen its monitoring machinery to ensure that projects executed by its contractors meet international standards. Since this board has a short life-span, it can only leave a worthwhile legacy in the Niger Delta if it completes monumental projects that people will talk about so many years to come.
 
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

-Masterweb Reports
(Submission By: Intersociety)
 
With 215 Nigerians Killed Unlawfully In Two Weeks, In Addition To 54.000 Killed Since 1999: Nigeria Is Close To Rwandan Genocide & Somali Balkanization Except Doctrine Of Necessity Intervenes To Quench The Continued Killings & Bad Public Policies And Avert Unquenchable Bloodletting & Forced Balkanization Looming Dangerously In The Polity
 
(Onitsha Nigeria, 8th day of January, 2012)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law is, again, deeply worried over the failure of public governance in Nigeria, especially at the federal level. It is no longer an over-statement that things have fallen apart in the Nigeria’s public governance. The country’s public governance officials especially President Goodluck Jonathan, now govern with impunity and utter weakness. They are immune from listening to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians and can best be described as “deaf and dumb” public governance officials because the fundamental concerns of the 150million Nigerians especially their security and welfare are no longer their primary responsibilities.  Even when good and immortal pieces of advice are offered by socially saintly and creative  Nigerians, they turned their deaf ears against them and preferred pursuits of  parochial interests(criminal self enrichments) and anti public policies such as the so-called “fuel subsidy policy”  and operation of elitist economic policies.
 
It is rather shocking that out of the 18 top Nigerian public officials including President Jonathan, the IGP and other top security chiefs that received our two recent reports in December 2011, on “unlawful killings(how  over 54,000 Nigerians died outside the law since 1999) and police corruption in Nigeria(how corrupt NPF personnel illegally enriched the Force with over N53.48Billion or $336.5Million arising from roadblock extortion in three years-2009-2011)”, none of them took any steps to remedy the issues raised in the reports including acting on any of the far-reaching recommendations that accompanied the reports. Instead, the NPF, as expected, merely defended itself over its corruptive and homicidal activities, after which it rolled out its personnel back to their extortion points on Southeast and other roads across the country with utter alacrity. In-spite of wide publicity the two reports received in the local and international media, which included their adoption as editorial opinions by leading national and international dailies, the Jonathan’s government kept mute and refused to act. We even went as far as posting the two reports on President Goodluck Jonathan’s “facebook wall”, yet neither he nor his spokesman uttered any word not to talk of acting on any of the recommendations attached in the two reports, except his recent fire-brigade approach called “state of emergency”(disguised curfew imposed in 15 LGAs in four States), which has failed woefully to check, not to talk of taming the rapacious massacre of innocent Nigerians by politically and ethnically backed “Boko-Haram” violent group.
 
Today, the President Jonathan’s Government’s blatant refusal to speak or act on the said issues has, additionally, led to the unlawful killing of up to 215 innocent Nigerians including over 20 Igbo traders(massacred at once) between 22nd day of December 2011 and 7th day of January 2012, a period of two weeks.   The breakdown of these avoidable shilling killings, according to respected local and international media, shows that on 22nd day of December 2011; at least six people were killed in Damaturu, Yobe State, Northeast, Nigeria, by suspected Boko-Haram Sect. On 23rd day of December 2011, up to 68 people including soldiers and police personnel were killed in bomb attacks in Damaturu, Yobe State.  The deadly attacks were believed to have been launched by the violent Boko-Haram Sect. On the Christmas day of December 25, 2011, over 42 innocent people including 35 parishioners(mostly Igbo Christians) of St. Theresa‘s Catholic Church, Madalla, Suleja in Niger State, North-central Nigeria were bombed and massacred by suspected Boko-Haram Sect. Bombs were also detonated in churches in Jos, Plateau State, North-central Nigeria and Gadaka in Yobe State, Northeast Nigeria, killing at least seven people.  On 31st day of December 2011, up to 60 people including a senior officer of the Nigeria Police Force and commuters travelling through Enugu-Abakiliki road were ambushed and massacred on the pretext of prosecuting an inter-communal conflict between the Ezza and the Ezilo communities in Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria. The bloody conflict first erupted in 2008, resulting in over 300 casualties between 2008 and 2010. On Thursday, 5th day of January 2012, at least eight members of the Deeper Life Bible Church including the wife of the pastor, Mrs. Jauro were killed in Gombe, Gombe State, Northeast, Nigeria, by suspected Boko-Haram Sect. And on Friday, 6th day of January, 2012, over 20 Igbo traders(mostly from Adazi-nnukwu Community in Anaocha LGA of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria) were massacred during a town hall meeting in Mubi, Adamawa State, North-west Nigeria   by suspected Boko-Haram Sect. Four Igbo traders were earlier shot dead in the evening of Thursday, 5-01-2012 and when their colleagues gathered to discuss their funerals, the violent Islamist group emerged, shot indiscriminately and killed more 16 innocent Igbo traders. As if the massacre was not enough, at least eight more people were ambushed and killed by the militant Islamist Sect during a church service at the Christian Apostolic Church in Yola, capital of Adamawa State same day (06-01-2012), and on Saturday, 7th day of January, 2012, three more people were reported killed in the Larmurde area of Yola, capital of Adamawa State,  bringing the total number of people killed since 22nd day of December 2011 to 215, on average of fifteen people per day. The Associated Press account believes that the Boko-Haram violent attacks on innocent Nigerians, mostly Igbo Christians, in 2011 alone accounted for 510 unlawful deaths.  For us in the Intersociety, this amounts to ethnic cleansing!
 
Unfortunately and sadly too, the Nigerian public governance officials and policy makers have continued to manifest gross incompetence in securing the lives of Nigerians. The country’s labour leaders as well as selected civil society managers appeared to be cared more about “ anti fuel subsidy crusade” rather than combating government frontally against the continued rapacious massacre of tens of innocent Nigerians on daily basis. As bad as and as socially dangerous as  “ oil subsidy removal” is, the unlawful killing of an innocent Nigerian, no matter his or her tribe, is very abominable and more horrifying than “oil subsidy removal”.  The N921Billion proposed for “security” in the 2012 federal budget proposals clearly shows that the present Nigeria’s public governance operators especially at the federal level are “merchants of death”. By budgeting whopping N921Billion for the so-called “security”, the intents of the Nigeria’s federal leaders may most likely be geared towards criminal enrichment, by siphoning and misappropriation. Nigeria’s history tells us that her public governance leaders get their private pockets bloated in the periods of crisis by officially stealing state resources in the guise of “providing security”. Intelligence is the most sophisticated but cheapest means of providing security in the world, yet it erodes Nigeria till date. If the Nigerian Government could budget N921Billion for “Boko-Haram Security”, how much does it take the “Boko-Haram” violent group to plant and detonate bombs at will as well as kill whoever and wherever it pleases in Nigeria?     
 
Before, Nigeria’s history recorded Chief Ernest Shonekan’s ill-fated interim government as the weakest and most incompetent government in  Nigeria’s history, today, the Jonathan’s government has surpassed the former and in a verge of emerging as Nigeria’s “president without  being in-charge”. While we totally support the general strikes and peaceful protests by labour and civil society managers and members, we wish to add that the peaceful mass actions should be all embracing  and include firm demands for an immediate end by Nigeria’s governing authorities to the reigning culture of insecurity in Nigeria  and sacking of all the service chiefs including the IGP and all CPs that are 50years and above, or invocation of the doctrine of necessity to peacefully keep the Nigeria’s six geopolitical partners apart if the security of Nigerians continues to be beyond their leaders’ managerial competence. As we speak, most of the 371.000 members of the Nigeria Police Force are busy on Nigerian roads molesting, brutalizing and extorting Nigerians, particularly those returning to their base after Christmas holiday, yet bombs and live guns are causing havoc and casualties at the beck and call of the “Boko-Haram’ Sect and the violent criminal citizens in various Nigerian cities and towns. Latest reports coming to us from the Nigerian roads, particularly the Southeast roads, indicate that the Nigeria Police Force personnel have also “deregulated police extortion sums”. In other words, the Nigeria Police Force has removed police extortion subsidy. Extortion sum of N50.00 now goes for N100.00 and “incomplete vehicle papers” extortion that used to attract N1000.00 now attracts N2000.00, etc. Part of the labour and civil society leaders’ demands should be the total withdrawal of all police roadblocks country-wide and end of police roadblock extortion on Nigerian roads.
 
It is elementarily clear that with 215 innocent Nigerians killed in two weeks (22-12-2011 to 07-01-2012); in addition to 54,000 Nigerians massacred since 1999, Nigeria is close to Rwandan genocide and Somali balkanization. President Goodluck Jonathan may be the last president of the so-called “united Nigeria”, unless his government wakes up from its slumber and miraculously turns things around for better. We pray fervently that he does not end his presidential era like General Mohammed Siad Barre of Somalia, but like Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev of the former USSR if these ugly situations continued untamed.  In the partitioning of the would-be former Nigeria( if it becomes a last resort and a product of necessity) into six geopolitical entities of Southeast Nigeria, South-south Nigeria, South-west Nigeria, North-central Nigeria, North-east Nigeria and North-west Nigeria, the peoples peopling the six entities should be allowed to change to their favourite names via referendums afterwards.  The North-west States of Adamawa and Taraba should be returned to the North-central Nigeria and the North-central State of Niger allowed to vote via referendum to join North-west Nigeria or remain where it is, likewise Southern Kaduna, which is to be made to freely join the North-central Nigeria.  On the same note, the Igbo indigenes of Delta and Rivers States with the territories they occupy in the would-be South-south Nigeria should be allowed via a referendum to join their fellow indigenes in the would-be Southeast Nigeria. The North-east should be allowed to fuse with the North-west to form “Arewa Islamic Republic” if it so desires.
 
Our believe in  united and indivisible Nigeria was firm until recently when it dawned on every Tom, Dick and Harry that the Nigeria’s centre could no longer hold occasioned by senseless killings of  innocent Nigerians at no iota of  provocation. How could President Jonathan and the Nigeria’s Police IG explain the massacre, at a swoop, of 18 indigenes of Adazi-nnukwu Community in Anaocha LGA of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria in the Mubi bloodshed of Friday, 6th day of January 2012? Or the senseless massacre of four families from Awka-etiti Community in Idemmili South LGA of Anambra State in the Madalla butchery of December 25, 2011? One and indivisible Nigeria is unfashionable when her innocent citizens are roasted like fowls with government voted to protect and cater for them doing nothing. It is our warning that Nigeria is steadily drifting into anarchy and lawlessness of unquenchable proportions and unless her leaders act swiftly, otherwise, cannibalistic jungles, fiefdoms and warlord-ships akin to Somalia and Rwanda will replace what would remain as “former Nigerian territories”. That between 800,000 and 1million people including women, children and the elderly were massacred in 100 days during the Rwandan genocide of 1994 should be a lesson to all and sundry including Nigeria’ s political leaders. It is better to live apart in peace than to live as one entity in pieces with bloodletting as our cultural values.  A stitch in time, they say, saves nine!
 
Nigerians’ option of remaining in one indivisible Nigeria gets slimmer day in day out and their option of living apart peacefully gets brighter as days go by. Suffice it to say in parenthesis that President Goodluck Jonathan and his government can still turn things around miraculously for our collective good as a united and indivisible Nigeria by taking charge fully and proactively with patriotism, human face and human rights consciousness. But where it dawns on his conscience that peaceful partition is the only way to end these human slaughtering and intractable socio-economic backwardness in the midst of plentiful natural resources (over 33 solid mineral deposits), then he should convey an extra-ordinary meeting, as a matter of uttermost urgency, within the context of the doctrine of necessity, so as to discuss peaceful dismemberment of what remains as the “Federal Republic of Nigeria”. The great partition if collectively approved should be done along six geopolitical entities mentioned above. The special meetings should involve the Federal Executive Council, the National Security Council, and the National Population Commission, the National Planning Council, the National Council of States and the special sessions of the Nigeria’s Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the Speakers of the States’ Houses of Assembly. The collective intents would be to work out effective, acceptable and peaceful modalities for the giant project if it becomes inevitable.
 
Issued On Behalf Of:
 
The Leadership Of International Society For Civil Liberties & The Rule Of Law
                               By:
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board Of Trustees
+234(0)33601078, +234(0)8180103912
info@intersociety-ng.org, umeagbalasi@yahoo.com

-Masterweb Reports

On Tuesday in Lagos, an angry mob protesting high fuel prices manhandled a soldier, while police shot a young male protester. The fuel price protest is a show of growing anger of the people over government's unpopular removal of fuel subsidy that had kept the price of fuel affordable. The protest started Tuesday with protesters wielding signs, lighting bonfires along major roads and vandalizing petrol stations. The protester shot and wounded by police was reported running shouting: "The police shot me. Take me to hospital." Over 1,000 protesters in the main market area of central Lagos sang, chanted and waved placards reading "no to fuel price hikes" and "we demand living wages". Protesters formed body barriers on major roads, blocking the passage of vehicles and in some cases hijacked buses.

Fuel subsidy removal was announced by the government over the long Christmas and New Year holiday weekend. Transport fare immediately doubled and in other cases tripled, leading to many holiday travelers (especially Igbos that returned to their home states from other parts of the country) stranded. Protests organized by labour, trades unions, activists and civil society are reported in many cities across the country. Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency announced Sunday that effective immediately, it would stop paying the subsidy on fuel to petroleum importers. President Goodluck Jonathan announced Monday he had set up a committee to ensure the savings from the subsidy removal would be judiciously invested to improve the quality of life of Nigerians. He said his administration would use the projected $8 billion savings from the removal to make much-needed infrastructural development and maintenance. Union leader Oladipo Fashina disagrees with government describing the move as "immoral and politically suicidal" and urged Nigerians to resist it "with everything they have."

The subsidy removal more than doubled what people paid for fuel that is desperately needed to power generators that keep life and businesses running in Nigeria where electric power supply is almost non-existent. Protesters in Lagos went to fuel stations telling owners not to sell at the hiked price and shut down those that refused their order. Police successfully dispersed protesters with tear gas in Abuja. Most rallies for protest in Kano were aborted by police through the setup of roadblocks. The few protests that were organized in Kano were dispersed by police and in one encounter resulted in the death of a protester. Many fuel stations in the Abuja, and Lagos were shut on Monday while they adjusted their prices. Those open were jammed with queues and selling at prices of up to N150 ($1) a litre, up from the subsidized price of 60 naira before.

Previous attempts by past governments to remove fuel subsidy were met with nationwide protests that resulted in the reversal of such moves. Most Nigerians subsist on less than $2 a day. High fuel price is expected to sky rocket food prices, making life unbearable for the poor masses. Money collected by police at checkpoints will go a long way in the maintenance of Nigerian roads. Money collected by police at checkpoints from commercial drivers is passed on to passengers or the suffering masses through increased fare. Corrupt Nigeria police personnel illegally collected over N53.48b ($336.5 million) at checkpoints between 2009 and last year. This was disclosed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety on his report on "Police Corruption As Human Rights Abuse". Click here to read Umeagbalasi's report.

Nigerian police are not toll gate collectors. Money the police extort from the poor masses at checkpoints should be seen by government as money that would have been collected by her at toll gates for the maintenance of the nations' roads. Government should consider removal of police checkpoint extortion and weigh the impact on her purse, before considering fuel subsidy removal. She should also 'remove' government corruption, including theft in the oil industry both by oil companies, NNPC, government officials and bunkerers. We bet you that with all the proposed legitimate 'removals', fuel subsidy removal would be a back burner on the list of government fiscal policy. Why not Nigerian treasury looters be made to return money stolen from the people? Why must the suffering masses be pushed to the brink, while nobody is questioning the police and government looters? Why must government remove fuel subsidy?

There are conflicting reports on the value of income accruing to the nation that was stashed away in foreign banks by Nigerian leaders. President Obasanjo was quoted in 2002 as putting the total amount of money stolen by African leaders at $104 billion - ( Click here to read article ). In 2006, Dapo Olorunyomi, ex-Chief of Staff to the chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) put the amount looted by Nigerian leaders between 1960 and 2005 at $20 trillion - ( Click here to read article ). Ex-chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, in 2006 accused past Nigerian leaders of stealing $500 billion donors’ assistance from Western countries to Nigeria since independence - ( Click here to read article ). The same year, Ribadu was quoted by BBC as putting the loot by Nigerian leaders since independence at over $380 billion - ( Click here to read article ). It is not certain the value of Nigerian leaders' loot, but one thing that is obvious is that it is enormous.

Widespread poverty accounts for the bourgeoning rate of crime in the country, which is being exported overseas through Internet or mail scams, popularly known as 419. Desperate Nigerians are finding their way abroad where they are engaged in criminal or illegal activities such as prostitution, fraud, drug and human trafficking. The Mercury( a South African daily ) November 30, 2006 online issue, carried tears-causing article titled "Italian streets offer no joy, hope for Nigerian women". The article dealt on the sympathetic plight of Nigerian prostitutes in Italy, who face crushing debt, insults, rape, robbery, and battery. They are reportedly shivery and cold, soliciting customers under extremely cold temperatures and constitute over half the Italian prostitute population. The situation is worse today of the activities of desperate Nigerians abroad.

RELATED ARTICLES: Nigeria Has One Of The Most Dangerous Roads

-Masterweb Reports

Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, speaking through a spokesman who identified himself as Abul Qaqa gave Christians three-day ultimatum to leave the north following President Jonathan’s declaration of state of emergency in parts of four northern states. The affected states were Yobe, Plateau, Borno and Niger states. Abul Qaqa speaking in Hausa, said Boko Haram was giving southerners living in the north three days to leave. “We find it pertinent to state that soldiers will only kill innocent Muslims in the local government areas where the state of emergency was declared. We would confront them squarely to protect our brothers. We also wish to call on our fellow Muslims to come back to the north because we have evidence that they would be attacked. We are also giving a three-day ultimatum to the southerners living in the northern part of Nigeria to move away.” Qaqa told journalists in Hausa, in a telephone conference on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has begun sealing-off of international borders in parts of the states affected by the sate of emergency imposition. Security agencies are mapping out next moves in dealing with the dreaded Boko International borders are also to be closed in other hard-hit areas of the north. Nigerian northeastern border frontier with Cameroon is reported shut. A resident who crossed into a Cameroonian village to hawk petrol said he was not allowed to re-enter Nigeria at the Banki frontier. He said Nigerian army took over the border post. “They are heavily armed and have taken control of the border. They have stopped all cross-border movements. I tried crossing the border through the other two border posts, but the situation is the same. All the borders are sealed.” the resident told newsmen.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday declared state of emergency in parts of Yobe, Plateau and Niger states, all hit by Christmas Day bombings that left over 40 people dead. A state of emergency was also declared in parts of Borno State, a stronghold of the dreaded Boko Haram. The terrorist group claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day attacks. The group whose name in Hausa language means "western education is sinful" is modeled after Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It wants to impose sharia law across Nigeria through terror attacks in drawing attention to their demands.

RELATED ARTICLES:

State of Emergency Declared in Parts of Northern Nigeria Following Attacks

UN Staff Dies of Injuries From UN Abuja Building Suicide Attack

Drive-By Attackers Bomb Nigerian Arabic School

Bloody Xmas In Nigeria - Churches Bombed, Many Killed

-Masterweb Reports

President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday declared state of emergency in parts of Yobe, Plateau and Niger states, all hit by Christmas Day bombings that left over 40 people dead. Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attacks. The group whose name in Hausa language means "western education is sinful" is modeled after Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It wants to impose sharia law across Nigeria through terror attacks in drawing attention to their demands.

Jonathan also declared state of emergency in parts of Borno, a stronghold of the dreaded Boko Haram. This brings it to a total of four states under the imposed state of emergency. International borders near the affected areas were ordered closed with immediate effect. "What began as sectarian crises in the northeastern parts of the country has gradually evolved into terrorist activities in different parts of the country with attendant negative consequences on our national security, Terrorism is a war against all of us, I call on all Nigerians to join hands with government to fight these terrorists." Jonathan said in his statement. He said he has directed top security officials to set up a special counterterrorism unit to fight the growing threat by Boko Haram.

In another development, an explosion near a mosque in violence-torn Maiduguri on Friday killed four and injured many. The blast went off shortly after Friday prayers as Muslim faithfuls were leaving the mosque.

An eyewitness, Mohammed Bukar told reporters: "There was confusion following the blast. When the dust settled, I saw four dead people being loaded into a vehicle along with some wounded in the blast." Another witness said: "There was a loud blast near the mosque just after the Friday prayers as people were trooping out of the mosque, everybody scampered to safety, leading to a stampede."

Many have fled Maiduguri fearing attacks by Boko Haram, Christian counter attacks and repressive military raids, with soldiers killing innocent civilians and burning their homes after bomb blasts.

RELATED ARTICLES:

UN Staff Dies of Injuries From UN Abuja Building Suicide Attack

Drive-By Attackers Bomb Nigerian Arabic School

Bloody Xmas In Nigeria - Churches Bombed, Many Killed

 -Masterweb Reports
 
Franklin Ikechukwu Amobi, a 24-year-old Nigerian rapper popularly known as Frank Diggy was shot dead on Tuesday, December 27 shortly before  6.39 am near a bus stop in the White Oak neighborhood of Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland, U.S.  According to Montgomery County police, there was no immediate indication Amobi, a resident of 11200 block of Columbia Pike in Silver Spring was waiting for a bus. Amobi was apparently targeted in the attack, police said. "The early indication is this is not a random shooting," said Capt. Paul Starks.
 
Montgomery County Police received a call at 6:39 am of gunshots around Stewart Lane and April Lane, and shortly thereafter received a second call on a struck pedestrian  in the 11400 block of Stewart Lane. When police got to the scene and found the victim,  they realized he had not been hit by a car but shot dead. Amobi's mother told police he was on his way to work when he was murdered. Police have sealed off the area where Amobi's body was found and are examining the scene. They are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information about the incident to contact the Major Crimes Division at +1 240-773-5070.

 -Masterweb Reports
 
( Sunday, December 25, 2011 ) - Series of bombs were today detonated by suicide terrorists at churches in five Nigerian cities, resulting to many casualties. Churches in the cities of Madalla, Jos, Kano, and Damaturu and Gadaka were bombed by terrorists.
 
The first and deadliest bombing occurred during morning Christmas service at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla on the outskirts of Abuja, the capital city.  32 deaths have been confirmed in the Madalla attack. The death toll is expected to rise as seriously wounded victims may die in hospital receiving treatment.  Several blasts were reported hours after the Madalla bombing,  at Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church in Jos, Plateau State and at a church in Gadaka, Yobe State. Blasts were also reported in Damaturu in Yobe State, but this time a police station and a state security building were attacked in addition to churches. Miraculously, no one was killed in the Mountain of Fire attack. A police officer who got into gun battle with the attackers died of his wounds in hospital.  

 
Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The group whose name in Hausa language means "western education is sinful" is modeled after Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It wants to impose sharia law across Nigeria through terror attacks in drawing attention to their demands. Nigeria is split roughly equally between Christians and Moslems. In recent days, gun battle between security forces and Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria killed over 50  in two days of fighting. "There was a major encounter with the Boko Haram in Damaturu" Ihejirika, Nigeria Army Chief said Friday. "We lost three of our soldiers, seven were wounded. But we killed over 50 of their members." Ihejirika added. Boko Haram's targets include police stations, churches and buildings/structures associated with Western influence.
 
The Vatican condemned the church bomb attacks, describing them as senseless. Father Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman said "We are close to the suffering of the Nigerian church and the entire Nigerian people so tried by terrorist violence, even in these days that should be of joy and peace". Lombardi called the attack "another manifestation of blind and absurd violence which has no respect for human life and seeks to enflame more hate and confusion". 
 
U.S. condemned the Nigerian attacks which it called acts of terrorism.  "We condemn this senseless violence and tragic loss of life on Christmas Day. We have been in contact with Nigerian officials about what initially appear to be terrorist acts and pledge to assist them in bringing those responsible to justice." the White House said in a statement released from Hawaii, where President Obama is on vacation.
 
Today's bombings mark the second Christmas season that terrorists attacked churches in Nigeria. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for last year Christmas Eve attacks in Jos that killed 32 people. The group attacked five churches in the city while residents were celebrating Christmas Eve. The terror group claimed responsibility for two bombings in Abuja earlier this year, including suicide bombing of UN headquarters in August which killed at least 23 people.

-Masterweb Reports

Were they 'yoring yoring' when a Nigerian Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) died in a Lagos hotel room? Were they just discussing business matters when the DIG died? These are questions a female Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) will clarify in Abuja.

According to Masterweb Reports of November 17, 2007 Ganiyu Ali Dawodu, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of Investigation (D Department), Force CID, Abuja died Thursday, December 15 in a hotel room in Lagos he shared with a female police colleague. The female police companion from Port Harcourt was reportedly a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). The DSP was reported to have raised alarm when Dawodu was convulsing and struggling for breath. Dawodu gave up the ghost before help could arrive. Dawodu had one form of heart problem which according to sources he travelled to South Africa recently to receive treatment. The Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim in a press statement confirmed Dawodu's death in a Lagos hotel. He however said the late DIG died when he along with friends were visiting another friend in his hotel room. This contrasts press reports the late DIG died in a hotel room he shared with a female police officer.

The truth is now confirmed that Dawodu died in the company of the female police officer in a hotel room. The female DSP has been flown to Abuja for questioning on circumstances surrounding Dawodu's death. She was ordered flown to Abuja, by Ringim to help police detectives in investigations leading to the sudden death of Dawodu.

Was Dawodu naked or fully dressed when help arrived his hotel room? The truth may never be known, since we are dealing with a corrupt system and a corrupt force. This is Nigeria! May Dawodu's soul rest in peace - this is all we can say for now.

According to press reports, Dawodu, though a Muslim, will not be buried until after a post mortem exam to determine the cause of death is performed.

RELATED ARTICLE => Nigerian Police DIG Dies In Lagos Hotel Room

-Masterweb Reports
 
Celestine Ozuora, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Uratta Police station, Aba, Abia State was murdered by unidentified gunmen Monday night, December 5, 2011. 
He was shot dead while on night patrol with a police team under his command. Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident to reporters.
 
Rabiu Dayi, area commander of Aba Area Command of  the Nigeria police when contacted, said the case was still under investigation and could not ascertain whether the murder was committed by armed robbers or  hired assassins.
 
Ozuora’s murder comes barely two and half months after a Police Inspector attached to Squadron 55 of the Mobile Police Unit in Osisioma, Aba, was killed by unknown gunmen. The Inspector's  body was dumped by the roadside.
 
Ozuora has since been buried. Masterweb Reports will keep you informed of latest developments in the case as they become available.

In 2001, this writer who was the Anambra State Branch Chairman of the Nigeria’s Civil Liberties Organization (formed in 1987), introduced an advocacy against Police roadblocks and extortions in Anambra State. The reports on the subject matter featured prominently in his leadership activities until September 2007 when he relinquished his Chairmanship of the CLO to Comrade Aloysius Attah. In 2009, he re-introduced the advocacy in the Intersociety. Until recently when the survey was extended to the Southeast Nigeria, Anambra State had been used as a case study.

How Corrupt Nigeria Police Illegally Enriched The Force With Over N53.48b ($336.5m ) From Roadblock Extortion

By Intersociety, Nigeria

63rd Anniversary Of The World Human Rights Day - 2011 UDHR

Marked By:

International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Nigeria

With A Report (2) On:

Police Corruption As Human Rights Abuse: How Corrupt Nigeria Police Personnel Illegally Enriched The Force With Over N53.48Billion ($336.5 Million) Arising From Roadblock Extortion In Three Years 2009-2011

For Immediate Release: Onitsha-Nigeria, 11th December 2011

Background:

In 2001, this writer who was the Anambra State Branch Chairman of the Nigeria’s Civil Liberties Organization (formed in 1987), introduced an advocacy against Police roadblocks and extortions in Anambra State. The reports on the subject matter featured prominently in his leadership activities until September 2007 when he relinquished his Chairmanship of the CLO to Comrade Aloysius Attah. In 2009, he re-introduced the advocacy in the Intersociety. Until recently when the survey was extended to the Southeast Nigeria, Anambra State had been used as a case study.

In 2009, an internationally respected rights watchdog, the Human Rights Watch of USA (formerly Helsinki Watch formed in 1978) indicated interest in investigating “Police Corruption in Nigeria as a major factor sustaining the culture of criminal killings and impunity among the personnel of the Force”. The HRW Researcher for Nigeria, Mr. Eric Guttschuss made a trip to Nigeria and visited Anambra State, where he was aided in his investigation by Intersociety. In the HRW’s investigation, Anambra State particularly Onitsha was chosen as a case study as well as few other Nigerian cities. In May 2010, we commenced an investigation into the activities of Police personnel, especially the Mobile Police Personnel on the Southeast roads, including Anambra State.

In the course of our investigation, using traditional principles of investigation such as eye witnesses’ accounts, on-the-spot accounts, commonsense calculations, etc, we discovered, chillingly, that there were over 1,350 roadblocks on Southeast roads including those leading into and out of the zone. We also discovered that the major “business” of most, if not all the Police personnel manning the said roadblocks is sundry extortion of commercial and private vehicle, tricycle and motorcycle operators and owners as well as other road users, especially those carrying wares and personal belongings.

On 27th July 2010, we released a statement stating in details how Police personnel in the Southeast zone smiled to the banks illegally with N9.35 Billion (over $60 Million) arising from roadblock extortion in eighteen months (January 2009 to June 2010). On 18th August 2010, the leadership of Human Rights Watch, Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), Access to Justice and Intersociety addressed an International Press Conference in Lagos, coordinated by the Human Rights Watch, with a report, titled: “Everyone’s In On The Game”, Corruption and Human Rights by the Nigeria Police Force, authored by the HRW. It gladdens our heart to say that we provided statistics including pictures that coloured the report through our two public statements dated 18th August 2010 and 26th August 2010, which were titled: “In Solidarity With Human Rights Watch (USA)” and “Re-Corruption In The Nigeria Police Force: Putting The Records Straight”.

The findings arising from our investigations in Anambra State and the Southeast zone in addition to other social variables were used in estimating that in eighteen months, that is to say, January 2009 to June 2010, the Nigeria Police Force illegally raked in N20.5 Billion ($133.5Million) from roadblocks nationwide.

Re-visiting The Issue:

Today, a critical look at the number of roadblocks by the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and their patterns of extortion on Nigerian roads particularly in the Southeast zone shows that the situation is getting worse. These graft practices have become worst under Alhaji Hafiz Abubakar Ringim’s as Inspector General of Police (IGP), who was the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in-charge of the Southeast’s Zone 9 when the reports were issued in August 2010.

Our further checks since then show that other than September 2010, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has retained similar number of roadblocks in Anambra State and the States in the Southeast. September 2010 was probably the “roadblock and road extortion free period” for the people of the Southeast zone as a result of an order for “immediate dismantling of roadblocks” in the zone issued by the former IGP, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onovo, arising from public outcries from our reports of July/August 2010, which was greeted with several threats by those Police road blockers that the roads would be flooded with an army of “armed robbers”.

It is entirely correct to say that the best way to ascertain how serious or otherwise the Nigerian governing authorities are in anti-corruption crusade is it to look at the activities of the Nigeria Police personnel on the roads. Perhaps, the CSO to the President and ADCs to the former and present EFCC bosses have their “boys” on the roads, yet they said they are fighting corruption. Before our recent re-investigation of the menace of roadblocks on Nigerian roads, particularly Anambra and Southeast roads, the number of police roadblocks was still estimated at over 1,350 with Anambra State alone accounting for over 350 of them. But as of September, October and November 2011, when we went back to re-investigate the number of roadblocks and their patterns of extortion; the number had increased to over 400 in Anambra State and over 1.500 in the Southeast zone.

Roadblock Extortion As Part Of Blue-collar Criminality:

According to the Department of Criminology & Security Studies of the National Open University of Nigeria and the 2009 edition of the Black’s Law Dictionary, “blue-collar crime is regarded as any crime committed by any individual from a lower social class, as opposed to white-collar crime committed by an individual of higher social class. An example of a blue-collar criminal is a police officer that demands and collects bribes at a Police checkpoint or roadblock. On the other hand, it is bribery when one other than a public official corruptly takes the initiative and offers what he or she knows is not an authorized fee to a public official; and it is extortion when a public official corruptly makes an unlawful demand which is paid by one who does not realize it is not the fee authorized for the services rendered”.



The roadblock extortion is the easiest and most lucrative means of corrupt enrichment by the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force ranging from Police constables to Police Inspector General. This illegality has been so entrenched in the Force that it may be correct to say

that every senior Police officer from the rank of Deputy Superintendent (DSP) to IGP is linked to the “Nigerian roadblock extortion culture”. It is well patterned; it starts from a Police road blocker or a team of Police road blockers usually three to five in number, who directly extort commercial vehicle, motorcycle and tricycle operators and indirectly extort private vehicle, motorcycle and tricycle owners and other road users traveling with their wares and personal belongings by crookedly enquiring into their vehicular papers and proprieties of their wares and personal effects. These extortionists usually station some people in mufti who “offload” money collected usually in N20.00 and N50.00 notes for safe keeping till end of the graft exercise when it is shared accordingly.

In sharing the graft proceeds, the “boys on the road”, “unofficially” corner half of its total and present the remainder, which is shared according to the dictates of the “Police-return-culture”, which takes the following shapes: the road team leader returns to the general team leader, who returns to the Mobile Police Squadron Commander or the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in-charge of the Police Division or Station where they are attached. The DPO collects from all his or her field squads and returns to his or her Area Commander; the Area Commander collects from his other DPOs and his or her field squads and returns to the Commissioner of Police through ACP for Operations; the CP collects from his or her ACPs and other formations and returns to the Assistant Inspector General in-charge of his or her zone, who collects from his or her CPs and other extortionist formations and returns to his or her DIG, who finally returns to his or her IGP. The IGP, in turn, reaches out to his or her “boys” (within the Force) and “men” outside the Force usually those manning oversight agencies, in the form of “cut” for his or her “boys” and “kola” for his or her men. This is done routinely, in return for protection and security of office.

According to Wikipedia Internet Encyclopedia-2011, “there are 371,800 sworn Police officers in Nigeria”. As of 2008, according to the TELL Magazine of 30th August 2010, at page 48, other than the Force Headquarters in Abuja, “there were 12 Zonal Commands of the Nigeria Police Force headed by 12 AIGs, 37 State Commands and FCT, headed by 37 Commissioners of Police, 127 Area Commands headed by 127 ACPs, 1,129 Police Divisions headed by 1,129 DPOs, 1,579 Police Stations, 2,165 Police Posts and 1,591 Village Police Posts in Nigeria. There were also one IGP, six DIGs, 20 AIGs, 99 Commissioners of Police, 141 Deputy Commissioners, 355 Assistant Commissioners, 1,407 Chief Superintendents, 1,498 Superintendents, 3,875 Deputy Superintendents, 13,221 Assistant Superintendents, 28,175 Inspectors, 42,975 Sergeants, 41,795 Corporals and 178,107 Constables” in the Nigeria Police Force bringing the total to 311,675 police officers and 6,651 field police formations in Nigeria as of 2008. As of March 2011, according to the Policy & Legal Advocacy Centre‘s Laws & Facts Guiding Nigeria’s Election 2011, there were “one IGP, seven DIGs, 21 AIGs and over seventy CPs in the Nigeria Police Force”. Also, according to Retired DIG Parry Osayande, Chairman, Nigeria’s Police Service Commission, “there were 377,000 police personnel in the NPF as of January 2009”. These varying figures clearly depict absence of sound database and e-policing in the NPF.

There are 3,500 kilometers of railways in Nigeria manned by the Nigeria Police Force through its Railway Police, 8,600 kilometers of inland waterways manned by Marine Police or Nigerian Port Authority Police of the NPF; and 22 airports manned by Airport Police of the NPF. In these places, various forms of extortion are going on including at the border posts.

There are also four trans-national highways in Nigeria. It may be correct to say that most, if
not all Police officers in Nigeria particularly those in the command structure ranging from Assistant Superintendents of Police to Inspector General of Police are by far, living above their statutory earnings owing to bloody proceeds arising from graft practices. Out of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, Southeast is the most lucrative for graft Police jobs, followed by South-south, Southwest, North-central, Northwest and Northeast.

An average Police officer considers posting to any State in the North as “a curse” or “punishment” and posting to the Southeast zone as “a national merit award” because of its potentials to enrich him or her in a twinkle of an eye through graft practices. It appears that there exists a cabal in the NPF that ensures movement of Police officers to the Southeast zone under dubious circumstances. It is a routine for a Police officer to “work” for his or her transfer to the Southeast zone. It is even considered as a punishment culture in the NPF to post “erring” Police officers out of the Southeast zone usually to the North. The foregoing are some of the patterns that have sustained graft practices in the NPF till date.

Extortion & Its Proceeds:

There are various ways through which Nigeria Police officers engage in extortion. Various forms of extortion also abound, which include “wetin you carry”, illegal pre-detention and post detention bail fees, extortion at the point of arrest, extortion arising from mass arrest or “from where to where extortion”, extortion arising from crooked enquiries into vehicular papers, election-related bribes and extortion, and roadblock extortion. Among these, roadblock extortion is the most common and lucrative. As of 2004, N10.00 was used by the NPF as roadblock extortion benchmark in Nigeria especially in the Southeast part. By 2005, it increased to N20.00 and as at present, it has increased to N40.00/N50.00 on average per trip. The N40.00/N50.00 is basic because payment depends on the type of commercial vehicle and Police squad on the road. For instance, for the Federal Highway Police, it is N200.00 up to N5,000.00 depending on the “offence”. For the red-capped Anti-Terrorism Police squads, it is N50.00 upwards for every commercial bus, tricycle and motorcycle. For each commercial motorcycle carrying goods to motor parks, it is N50.00/N100.00 per roadblock. The general duty Police officers or those in black uniforms collect N20.00/ N40.00 toll and N1,000.00 and above from vehicle users accused of “incomplete papers”.

The Okada Law of 2009 passed by the Anambra State House of Assembly, limiting Okada (commercial motorcycle) operation to 7pm has been twisted by the State Police Command and the over 1,000 vigilante groups in the State, in the form of “curfew”. The private motorcycle and tricycle owners as well as pedestrians exempted by the Law are routinely targeted, arrested and extorted. For every private motorcycle impounded, it is N5, 000.00 and for every pedestrian arrested, it is also N5,000 while commercial motorcycles and tricycles owned by Soldiers, Police officers, Vigilante operatives and their friends are allowed to operate during the legally forbidden hours. Not even a single defaulter has been taken to Court for prosecution for violating the said law; instead, it has become an avenue for corrupt enrichment.

From January 2009 to June 2010, a period of 18 months, the number of the roadblocks on the Southeast roads was estimated at over 1,350, from which the police personnel in the zone illegally realized an estimated sum of N9.35 Billion from N20.00 roadblock extortion.

The sum of N3.3 Billion was reportedly realized in Anambra State from the graft practices between June 1999 and December 2008. As of June 2009, the reported number of roadblocks was put at over 150 in the State. They increased to 300 in December 2009 and 350 as of June 2010, yielding about N2.880 Billion in 18 months. In course of our field investigations, we counted 300 roadblocks on Anambra roads and 1000 on Southeast roads in April 2010, with Abia and Anambra States accounting for over 750 roadblocks, followed by Imo State with 250 roadblocks, Enugu State 200 road-blocks, and Ebonyi State 150 road-blocks, all amounting to over 1,350 roadblocks in the zone. Using the findings obtained in the Southeast zone, in addition to other social variables, we estimated that N20.5 Billion was illegally realized from the six geopolitical zones of Southeast – N9.35 Billion; South-south - N4 Billion, South-West - N4 Billion; North-Central – N1 Billion; North-West - N500 Million; and North-East - N500 Million.

We had in our research in 2010 established that different social variables abound in the five States of the Southeast as well as other geopolitical zones in terms of their potentials for roadblock extortions. For instance, Anambra and Abia States are core blue-collar societies that are very prone to roadblocks and extortions. Imo State, which borders them, is relatively blue-collar, but Enugu and Ebonyi States are relatively white-collar societies or “civil service” States. These have an impact on the number of roadblocks and patterns of extortion. Coupled with suppressive policies of the Southeast’s partners in the Nigerian project against the zone, arising from the 1967 -1970 Civil War, the Southeast has become a “Police zone” and “center of Police corruption in Nigeria”.

In 2010, from our work, we gathered that in Anambra, Abia and Imo States, an average of N20,000 is returned daily from each roadblock, while N10,000.00 is returned in Enugu and Ebonyi States because of their “civil service” status. A benchmark of N20.00 per ‘extortee’ was used in the five States. In some cases, as much as N60,000 is returned per roadblock, while in rare cases as low as N5,000 is returned. In this report, we have discarded the benchmark of N20.00 just as most of the extortionist Police officers have graduated to N40.00/N50.00 benchmark. It is often said that it is better to under-estimate than to over-estimate. We have adopted N40.00 for the Southern part of Nigeria including Southeast zone and N20.00 for the Northern part including North-central.

Accounts By Some Victims:

1. Mr. Chike Odoh is an Onitsha based commercial bus driver that engages in “town service”, plying Niger Bridge-head end of Onitsha - Enugu dual carriageway to the Old Toll Gate end of the road at Umunya, Anambra State that is about 12 kilometers. He told Intersociety that before now, he used to charge N40.00 per passenger for a trip with 10 passengers but because of increasing extortions at the Police road blocks, which are about six for less than 12 kilometers journey, he now carries 14 passengers and charges N70.00 for each trip. He makes N980.00 from a trip and spends N300.00 on Police extortion alone. He said he covers about 14 trips daily and spends N4,200 on Police extortion out of less than N14,000.00 and that each trip costs him five liters of fuel at N325.00. When money spent on fuel and Police extortion is deducted, in addition to “agboro fee”, Mr. Odoh says he is left with less than N5,000.00 per day.

2. Mr. Ozoemena Okoro is an Onitsha Okada rider, who ferries goods to Upper Iweka motor parks from Bridgehead market. He told Intersociety that before now he charged N200.00 for five cartons of engineering tools per trip, but because of four Police road-blocks on Port Harcourt Road, Fegge, Onitsha, who collect N50.00 per trip, he now charges N400.00 per trip. He said that on a good day, he records 15 trips worth N6,000.00 and spends N3,000.00 on Police extortion. Similar situations are obtained in other parts of Anambra State, which has over 200 markets and Abia State as well.

Translating The Findings Into Statistics:

Judging from the foregoing, the basic daily return of N20, 000 per roadblock may have been unarguably established. But because of the increases in the sundry extortion sums, this basic daily return of N20,000 has become unrealistic particularly in Anambra, Abia and Imo States. Our calculation is that if at N20.00 toll, an average police extortionist squad goes home with N20,000 per day, then at N40.00/N50.00 toll, which they now collect, the daily return will automatically change to N40,000 per day on average. Our arriving at N20,000/N40,000 daily return per roadblock was as a result of pieces of information we gathered from various police stations in the Southeast zone as well as police stations in Benin, Edo State, Okene in Kogi State and Abeokuta in Ogun State. They all chose not to be named. Our calculation was also authenticated by some roads users interviewed particularly the commercial vehicle drivers.

Therefore, the realistic basic daily return now is N40,000 for the three States, N20,000 for Enugu and Ebonyi States as well as N20,000 for South-south and South-west zones, and N5,000.00 for North-West, North-East and North-central zones. In the course of our research in the Northern part recently; we discovered that Police roadblocks and extortion are concentrated on Federal roads and few State and City roads. In the FCT (Abuja), for instance, roadblocks and extortion are almost absent in the towns of the FCT, but visible on Abuja - Suleja and Lokoja - Abuja federal roads. But in the Southern part, particularly the Southeast, which is also highly commercialized, urbanized and densely populated, the graft practices are found at every nook and cranny of the zone. In our calculations from July 2010 to December 2010, we retained N20.00/N20, 000 daily basic returns for Anambra, Abia and Imo States, and N20.00/N10, 000 for Enugu and Ebonyi States. But from January to December 2011, we used N40.00/N40, 000 for Anambra, Abia and Imo States and N40.00/N20, 000 for Enugu and Ebonyi States.

Presently, according to the information obtained from the official website of the Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission, “there are 34,120 km of Federal roads (17%), 34,300 km of State roads (17%) and 129,580km of LGA roads (66%) in Nigeria amounting to 198,000 km. There are also four Nigerian transnational highways”. For the purpose of roadblocks and extortion, Federal roads, which are mostly inter-State roads with high traffic density (FRSC 2011) and chunk of the State roads, are used as instruments of Police roadblocks and extortion particularly in the Southeast zone. From our further investigations, “there are 3,231km of Federal roads in the Southeast, 4,150km in the South-South, 4,161km in the Southwest, 6,363km in the Northwest, and 6,787km in the Northeast and 9,756km in the North-central including the FCT”(source: Research Dept. Occasion Paper of the Central Bank of Nigeria).

As at the first week of December 2011, the number of roadblocks in the Southeast zone was estimated at over 1,500 with Anambra and Abia States accounting for over 800 Police roadblocks followed by Imo State with 300; and Enugu and Ebonyi States with 400. We counted 1,200 of such roadblocks in November 2011 alone. Some of the Federal roads we visited are: Onitsha - Owerri dual carriage way (90.5km) - 62 roadblocks, Onitsha - Enugu dual carriage way - 55 roadblocks, Enugu - Port Harcourt dual carriage way - 104 roadblocks, Onitsha – Asaba - Benin dual carriage way - 20 road-blocks, Oturkpa – Nsukka – 9th Mile Federal road - 20 roadblocks, Onitsha - Enugu old road - 25 roadblocks, and Enugu - Abakiliki Federal road - 20 roadblocks. There are also Aba - Ikot-Ekpene, Owerri - Aba, Uturu – Okigwe - Abakiliki, Oba – Nnewi -Okigwe, Ekwuluobia – Oko - Ibinta, AbakilikI - Ogoja, Umuahia – Ariam - Ikot-Ekpene, Owerri – Elele - Port Harcourt, Umuahia – Obowo - Owerri, Umuahia -Bende, and Atani – Ogwuikpere - Ndoni roads, all federal roads with at least 10 road-blocks on each of them. There are over 6,000 kilometers of Federal and State roads in the Southeast zone and a number of LGA roads paved and asphalted particularly those in urban centers called “street-roads”. They are part of the places where Police roadblocks and extortions are carried out. And it may be correct to say that for every three kilometers of road in the Southeast, a police road-block/extortion point is found. In the South-south and Southwest zones, it is 10km per roadblock and in the Northern part; it is about 20 km per roadblock. These are on average.

In Onitsha and Nnewi areas, the story is the same, if not the worst. For instance, on Niger Street to the Onitsha Main Market’s Sokoto Road, which is less than 1km, there are five roadblocks. From Zik’s Avenue to Ochanja market roundabout in Onitsha, which is less than 1km, there are four roadblocks. Others are Port Harcourt road to Onitsha Upper Iweka particularly Miss Elems/Port Harcourt road junction, there are five roadblocks; Upper Iweka to Modebe Street - six road-blocks, Bida Road to Onitsha Main Market - four road-blocks, etc.

With 350 roadblocks per day from July to December 2010, multiplied by N20,000, it may be correct to say that the Anambra State Police Command illegally realized N7 Million per day, N210 Million per month and N1.26 Billion for the period. It may also be correct to say that with 400 roadblocks per day from January to December 2011, multiplied by N40,000, the Anambra State Police Command illegally realizes N16 Million per day, N480 Million per month and N5.76 Billion for 2011, all amounting to N7 Billion in the past 18 months.

In Abia State, it is same with Anambra State, which is N7 Billion in the past 18 months. In Imo State, with about 300 road-blocks from July to December 2010, multiplied by N20,000, it is N6 Million per day, N180 Million per month and N1,08 Billion for the six months, while with 300 road-blocks from January to December 2011, multiplied by N40,000, the Imo State Police Command is likely to illegally realize N12 Million per day, N360 Million per month and N4.32 Billion in 2011. In Enugu State, it may be correct to say that the State Police Command illegally realized in the last six months of 2010, the sum of N2 Million per day, N60 Million per month and N360 Million using N10,000 to multiply 200 road-blocks. In 2011, using 200 road-blocks to multiply new N20,000 basic daily return, Enugu State Police Command is likely to illegally realize N4 Million per day, N120 Million per month and N1,44 Billion in 2011.

In Ebonyi State, the Police Command using 150 road-blocks multiplied by N10,000 basic daily return in the last six months of 2010 might have illegally realized N1.5 Million per day, N45 Million per month and N270 Million in the six months. In 2011, using N20,000 new basic daily return multiplied by 200 roadblocks, the Ebonyi Sate Police Command is likely to illegally realize N4 Million per day, N120 Million per month and N1,44 Billion in 2011.

In all, the over 1,500 Police road-blocks estimated to be in the Southeast zone are likely to illegally enrich the NPF to the tune of N21.91 Billion in the past 18 months, that is to say July 2010 to December 2011, with Anambra and Abia States coming top with N7 Billion each, followed by Imo State with N5.4 Billion; Enugu N1.8 Billion and Ebonyi N1.71 Billion. When the said sum of N22.91 Billion is added to the sum of N9.35 Billion believed to have been illegally realized between January 2009 and June 2010, a period of 18 months, it may be correct to say that in the past three years (2009 - 2011), the

Police road-blocks in the Southeast zone are likely to illegally fetch the Police Force the sum of N32.26 Billion.

The above illegal sum only covers roadblock extortions, that is to say illegal toll collections and extortions associated with crooked enquiries into vehicular papers or documents. That September 2010 was relatively a roadblock and extortion free period did not have any significant impact on the said N32.26 Billion illegal proceeds.

In the South-south zone, which has 4,150 km of Federal roads, using 15km of road per road-block for July to December 2010 or about 400 road-blocks with old N20.00 /N10,000 daily basic return, it may be correct to say that the Police in the zone illegally realized N720 Million in the last six months of 2010, that is to say N4 Million per day and N120 Million per month. But from January to December 2011, using 10km of road per road-block or 500 road-blocks and new N40.00/N20,000 daily basic return, the Police in the zone are likely to illegally enrich themselves to the tune of N3.6 Billion, that is to say N10 Million per day and N300 Million per month. In the South-west with 4,161km of Federal roads, with 15km per road-block in July to December 2010 or 400 road-blocks and 10km per road-block or 500 road-blocks in 2011, the sum of N720 Million and N3.6 Billion might have been illegally realized respectively within the period under review, that is to say the zone share the same status with the South-south zone in terms of Police road-blocks and extortion. The Police roadblocks and extortions are mostly found on Lagos – Ibadan expressway, Lagos – Ore - Benin expressway, Ibadan-Ife road, Lagos-Badagry road and Ibadan - Ilorin road. It should be noted that while two major forms of roadblock extortions thrive in the Southeast zone, that is to say illegal toll collection and vehicular “incomplete papers” oriented extortion, illegal toll collection mostly thrives in the South-south and the Southwest zones.

Therefore, it may be correct to say that the extortionist Police personnel in the South-south zone had in the past three years, January 2009 to December 2011 illegally realized a total sum of N8.32 Billion from road-block extortions, that is to say N4 Billion from January 2009 to June 2010, N720 Million from July to December 2010 and N3.6 Billion from January to December 2011. A total of N8.32 Billion might also have been illegally realized within the same period in the Southwest zone because of the same number of roadblocks and same patterns of extortion.

From the two geopolitical zones, it may be correct to say that a grand total of N16.64 Billion might have been illegally realized in three years, 2009 to 2011.

In the Northwest zone, Police road-blocks and extortions are mostly found on its Federal roads and few other strategic areas in Kano and Kaduna States dominated by people from other parts of the country particularly those from the Southeast zone (i.e. Sabongari area in Kano). There are 6,363 km of Federal roads in the Northwest zone on average of 20km of road per roadblock or 300 roadblocks in the zone. Using a daily basic return of N20.00/N5,000, it may be correct to say that a total sum of N810 Million was illegally realized by the extortionist Police personnel in the zone in the past 18 months, that is to say July 2010 to December 2011. Added to the sum of N500 Million reported to have realized from January 2009 to June 2010, it may be correct to say that a total sum of N1.21 Billion had been illegally realized in the zone since 2009 or in the past three years. The said Police roadblocks and extortions in the zone are mostly found on Kano- Katsina Federal road (156km), Katsina - Funtua Federal road, Zamfara - Sokoto Federal road, Sokoto – Argungu - Kebi Federal road, Kano - Wudil Federal road, Lamba – Kudini- Kazuere Federal road, Kankia – Dutsimma – Safana – Batsari - Katsina Federal road and Malunfashi – Dabai – Dayi - Bakori Federal road.

In the Northeast zone with 6,787 km of Federal roads such as Bauchi – Gombe - Yola Federal road, Bauchi - Tafawa-Balewa - Langtang Federal road and Bauchi - Ningi Federal road, using the same yardsticks used in the Northwest, it may be correct to say that the 300 road-blocks in the zone had illegally fetched the NPF the total sum of N1.21 Billion in the past three years, 2009 to 2011. In the North-central zone, with 9,756 km of Federal roads including the FCT, up to 400 roadblocks may exist. The zone is relatively “busy” because it hosts the FCT and connects Southwest zone to the Northern part of the country. Using daily basic return of N20.00/N5,000 toll benchmark, it may be correct to say that the total sum of N2.16 Billion had been illegally realized in the past three years, that is to say N2 Million per day from N400 road-blocks, N60 Million per month and N720 Million per year. Road-blocks and extortions in the zone are mostly found on Abuja - Minna Federal road, Abuja -Keffi Federal road, Keffi – Gubi - Akwanga Federal road, Keffi - Nasarrawa Federal road, Akwanga - Makurdi Federal road (90km), Abuja - Jos Federal road, Abuja - Ilorin Federal road and Lokoja - Ilorin Federal highway.

In all, it may be correct to say that in the three Northern zones of North-west, North-east and North-central, a total sum of N4.58 Billion had been illegally realized in the past three years, 2009 to 2011, from road-block extortions by the Nigeria Police Force. In other words, with average of 20km of road per road-block in the three geopolitical zones of the North, including the FCT (Abuja), it may be correct to say that the 1,000 Police road-blocks in the three zones have illegally fetched the NPF a total sum of N4.580 Billion in the past three years. This clearly shows that the three zones with over 20,000 km of Federal roads are road-blocked with only 1,000 Police road-blocks, whereas the South-east zone with only 3,231 km of Federal roads is road-blocked with over 1,500 Police roadblocks mounted by the NPF. It is safe to conclude that the Southeast now is like a war zone, courtesy of the Federal Government and its NPF. It may also be safe to submit that three pillars of war exist in the South-east zone, that is to say economic war; psychological war and physical war and these wars are executed using both visible and invisible coercive government instruments, including the NPF.

Grand Summary:

Totally, it may be right to conclude that Police roadblock extortions on Nigerian roads had in the past three years (2009 - 2011) illegally fetched the NPF a total sum of N53.48 Billion. That is to say South-east with average of 3km of road per Police road-block or over 1,500 road-blocks fetched the NPF N32.26 Billion in the past three years; South-west with average of 10km of road per road-block or over 500 road-blocks - N8.32 Billion; South-south with average of 10km of road per road-block or over 500 road-blocks - N8.32 Billion; North-west with average of 20km of road per road-block or over 300 road-blocks - N1.21 Billion; North-east with average of 20km of road per road-block or over 300 road-blocks - N1.21 Billion, and North-central with average of 20km of road per road-block or over 400 road-blocks -N2.16 Billion, totaling N53.48 Billion in the past three years - 2009 to 2011.

Consequences Of Police Corruption:

The roadblock extortions by Nigeria Police Force have grossly eroded its competence and professionalism, particularly in the area of crime detention and prevention. Of all the departments in the Force, their anti-riot departments, Mobile Police Personnel (MPF) now are the most spoilt and stained. Three, if not four, out of every five riffles carried by the extortionist Mobile Police personnel on the roads are believed by many not to be efficiently operational due to lack of routine servicing.

Also, four out of every five MPF personnel on the roads are not physically fit and combat-ready owing to the total absence of routine physical exercises, which now are swallowed by early hour rush to road-blocks so as to “meet up with Oga’s daily return”. It is important to state that corruption kills conscience; it disfigures individual, and destroys competence and professionalism. For instance, when a corrupt professor talks, he talks like a moron. Some, if not many MPF personnel, especially those on the evening “duties” hardly return their riffles to their stations’ armories for routine checks and servicing. Instead, they hang them somewhere at the end of daily “duties” and retire to liquor joints and brothels, after which they recover them and head back to their roadblock scenes the next day without undergoing any physical fitness exercise and subjecting their riffles to servicing.

This explains why they detach their service uniforms and numbers and run like fowls when children throw fireworks or knockouts in a neighbourhood. But in the Army, till date, it is a routine or compulsory to engage in early morning physical exercise so as to engender agility. Days are gone when admirers called MPF personnel “agile MOPOLs”. Today, they can best be described as “shivering MOPOLs” and “toyish combatants”, no thanks to roadblock corruption.

Again, using the personnel of the Nigeria Mobile Police Force, originally trained for crowd or riot control, as major crime fighters is a disaster. Why? Experience has shown that many of them lack requisite knowledge in anti-crime tactics, including crime detection, crime control and crime prevention. Basic knowledge in Police psychology is even lacking in them. On the other hand, criminals and other social deviants have taken the positions traditionally meant for law-abiding citizens in the society. Police in Nigeria now treat criminals and other social deviants like angels and treat law-abiding citizens like common criminals.

There are “official” and “unofficial” men of underworld in Nigeria today, killing, maiming and extorting innocent Nigerians on daily basis on roads. It is correct to say that the Nigeria Police Force has turned its guns against the same citizens they are paid to protect, instead of turning them on criminals. Southeast zone, indeed, is under siege!

The present Government of Anambra State, for instance, had since 2006 till date provided over 200 patrol vans and other crime fighting gadgets, including monthly fuel and maintenance funds valued at over N4 Billion to the State Police Command and others to ensure effective patrol and surveillance throughout the State. The State Government has also set up a security trust fund with N250Million takeoff and an annual target of N1Billion to be attracted into it from donor agencies. More patrol vans have been purchased and are ready to be distributed to police and other security agencies in the State. Sadly, most of these vehicles now are used to convey the extortionist MPF personnel and the general duty Police personnel to their extortion points, described by the Anambra State Police Command sometime ago, as “nipping points”. Two out of every five roadblocks or extortion points in Anambra State are manned with an operational vehicle donated by the Government and People of Anambra State.

Recommendations:

* It is our recommendation that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the country’s armed forces should issue a detailed presidential directive to the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Hafiz Abubakar Ringim and the Chairman of the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Retired DIG Parry Osayande as well as the Police Affairs Minister to dismantle all the road-blocks on Nigerian roads, especially in the South-east zone and recall all the Police personnel engaging in such graft practices back to their stations for legitimate duties other than mounting road-blocks and extorting innocent Nigerians.

* If there must be security checkpoints on Nigerian roads, they must be fewer in number and strictly meant for “check and go”. To avoid being abused again, the Inspector General of Police should be directed to compile the list of special security checkpoints nationwide and present it to the Federal Executive Council through the Police Affairs Minister for approval. If approved, the list should be made public by the Minister of Information, which must also be advertised in print, audio, audio-visual and online media. The list should also be posted on NPF and the Ministry of Police Affairs’ websites, if any.

* Operational patrols, effective surveillance and intelligence gathering should be intensified nationwide and more patrol vans provided with their maintenance costs borne by relevant Federal and State governing authorities. The said special security checkpoints should be headed by Superintendents of Police (SPs), who must be present at all times at their duty posts. Effective Police patrol will deter criminal activities on our highways.

* Every Police officer at such special security checkpoints nationwide must be made to wear his or her service uniforms and numbers for easy identification by concerned Nigerians in the event of any homicidal and graft practices.

The un-announced or impromptu checks on vehicular papers by the Force should be discarded and the routine general checks re-adopted.

* The use of and over-reliance on anti-riot Police personnel as major crime fighters in Nigeria should be drastically reduced. They should be withdrawn from roadblocks or extortion points and put to good use by being re-trained in effective crime detection, prevention and control. More attention should be given to the criminal intelligence department of the Force by way of overhauling and peopling it with more intelligent hands and adorning it with modern security or policing intelligence technology.

* In view of the fact that the Nigeria Police Force is an agency of the Federal Government, which makes the Federal Government of Nigeria liable for its lawful and unlawful actions within the context of the principles of vicarious liability, it is our recommendation that the Federal Government should refund these stolen wealthy or sum of N53.48 Billion to the Governors’ Forum of the zones according to the total amount stolen. For instance, the South-east should be refunded N32.26 Billion, South-south - N8.32 Billion, South-west -N8.32 Billion, North-central - N2.16 Billion, North-west - N1.21 Billion and North-east - N1.21 Billion. The refunds should be tied to strategic road projects in the affected zones or States to be called “unity roads”.

* In the event of failure by relevant Police authorities led by IGP Ringim to enforce the presidential directive, if approved, the IGP and all his sub-commanders including all serving DIGs, AIGs and CPs who are 50 years and above should be purged or weeded out of the Force. The headship of the Police Service Commission should not be spared as well. Also, the National honours bestowed on them should be withdrawn. We believe that Mr. President is also worried about this serious embarrassment and hope that such presidential directive would go a long way in addressing the problem of Police corruption in Nigeria frontally now.

* The attention of the Government of Anambra State and the State House of Assembly is drawn to the graft activities of the Anambra State Police Command and the over 1,000 armed vigilante groups in the State by way of criminal conduct resulting from the misapplication of the Anambra State “Okada” Control Law of 2009, which now is translated into “a curfew Law”. It is our recommendation that efforts should be made to return the Law to its originally intended form and free the State residents from further agony in the hands of these graft infested security agents.

Prepared & Delivered At Media Forum In Onitsha, Nigeria, Today, 11th December 2011

By:

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, Board of Trustees
For:
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule Of Law
Mobile Phone Nos: +234(0) 8033601078, +234(0) 8180103912
Email: umeagbalasi@yahoo.com,info@intersociety-ng.org
Website: www.intersociety-ng.org

Attachments ( VIEW PHOTOS BELOW ) - Pictures Captured In November 2011 Showing Corrupt Personnel Of the NPF Mounting Roadblocks & Extorting N50.00 Note From Each Of The Nigerian Road Users With Guns Meant For the Security Of Nigerians.

CC:
Relevant Nigerian & International Public Institutions & Non Governmental Organizations

Dedicated To The Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu, The Peoples' General!

VIEW PHOTOS BELOW
CLICK FOR PHOTO of Police officer holding N50.00 note extorted from a motorist, November 30, 2011.
CLICK FOR PHOTO of Police officer collecting N20.00 note at a roadblock.
CLICK FOR PHOTO of Police officer extorting N50.00 from a motorist, November 30, 2011.

 
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