Police arrest man with 17 Human Skulls

The tiny border town of Kankon, Badagary local government area of Lagos State, was yesterday thrown into confusion after a police patrol team intercepted a commercial vehicle carrying 17 human skulls and other vital human body organs.

Other items discovered in the bus include dried human tongues, teeth, finger nails and human hairs. According to the Police, some of the items have already been dried, and were somehow difficult to identify.

A Superintendent of Police (SP) Iwoka Francis, attached to the Federal Highway patrol unit of the Force, told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND in an interview that, members of his patrol team intercepted the Lagos state commercial coloured, 14-seater bus at Kankon, while on routine patrol of the area at about 4.00am on Thursday.

He said that Police men had initially thought the driver and the only passenger in the vehicle and owner of the “consignment” where smugglers and that the big four “Ghana must go bags” cleverly concealed under the seats of the vehicle, contained used cloths or some other contrabands items. “But we were dead wrong and shocked to our bone’s marrow at our discovery.”

The Police officer said there was nothing else that suggests the contents of the bags, “and it was by the special grace of God that we caught the suspects.” He stated that both the driver of the bus and the passenger are partners in business.

He added that investigation has revealed that the duo suspects, Muyiwa Akintade and Samuel Olaniyan have been in the business of human parts trafficking for more than a decade now. “How he has been escaping police arrest has continued to beat my imagination. This road is one of the busiest in this area and has over 14 security check-points but this people said they have been plying this road while transacting this same business for over 10-year and nobody sees them,” the bewildered police officer said.

According to the senior cop, the suspects said they were on their way to Lome, Togo to sell the items. “They said they have their customers in both Ghana and Togo, and that the Ghanaian customer was settled with his consignment last week and that these particular ones were meant for one Cornell Sekoulama, a traditional medicine practitioner from Kenya but based in Lome togo.”

Police said, further investigation has revealed that the human skull could fetch the suspects about N350, 000.00. “They said that a single trip usually gives them cause to smile. Once we are able to make a single trip in a month that means close to N500 000.00 would be waiting to be spent. The suspects according to the Police chief confessed that sourcing the products was where the problem usually lies. They said that to get the human skull, they would have to be close to mortuary, cemetery attendants and sometime kidnappers and accident victims”

The Policeman said, villagers gathered the following morning to witness the spectacle. He stated further that, it took the intervention of his men and Policemen from Kankan Police post to save the two men from being lynched by angry youths from the village. LEADERSHIP WEEKEND was told that, the exhibits and suspects has already been moved to Federal Anti-robbery Squad (FEDSARS) in Adeniyi Adele, Lagos for further investigation and prosecution of the suspects.

No deal with IBB – Buhari

The presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said that he never entered into any political deal with former military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda (IBB), contrary to a media report.

Buhari, who spoke through his spokesman Mr. Yinka Odumakin, was reacting to a newspaper report that the duo had formed an alliance not only to capture the north’s votes but also make it difficult for President Goodluck Jonathan to get two-thirds of votes across the country, even if he gets the majority votes in the presidential election.

According to the report, Buhari had met with Babangida and got a commitment for the latter to work with him to get the block votes of the North. The plan, it was learnt, is for Buhari to get the majority votes in the north and thereby deny Jonathan victory at the first ballot.

The report further quoted Buhari as reckoning that Jonathan would not get outright victory in the polls if Babangida did not reconcile with him, thus necessitating a run-off that would favour him.

But speaking with LEADERSHIP SUNDAY last night, Buhari’s spokesman said his principal’s visit to IBB in Minna, during his campaign in the state, was a friendly one. According to Odumakin, “After our rally in Minna, we decided to pay a courtesy visit to General Babangida; it was purely a courtesy visit, nothing more.”

However, in a swift reaction, IBB’s spokesman Prince Kassim Afegbua said Mr. Odumakin should be happy to hear that there was a deal between IBB and Buhari. According to Afegbua, “As much as we would have loved to support General Buhari, characters like Odumakin and Pastor Tunde Bakare are bad products in that circle. They are wearing double cloak as pretentious politicians desperate for political power as well as masquerading as human rights activists, even though they have remained like political parasites and newspaper tigers; their political relevance is as insignificant as their humanity.”

He added that the only reason Buhari would not make any impact in the April polls is because of the “myopic and selfish interest” of people like Odumakin and Bakare. “IBB is a beautiful bride that cannot be ignored by any serious presidential candidate,” Afegbua stated.

 

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For God and Country!

Three Soldiers, Five Policemen Perished

Three soldiers and five policement were among Victims of the inferno that claimed over 40 lives in Lagos on Sunday, LEADERSHIP investigations revealed last night.

An official of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) at the dismantled Lagos/Ibadan tollgate, Mr. Vincent Obioma, confirmed to Leadership that three soldiers were among passengers at the tollgate bus stop soliciting free ride to their destination.

He added that a driver of one of the vehicles consumed in the fire blaze, who managed to escape from the disaster, said on his hospital bed that he gave three soldiers a lift on their way to Ibadan before the accident happened and that it was by sheer luck that God spared his life.

The FRSC official also stated,  “The driver only wanted to know if his fellow occupants of the vehicle were able to escape alongside with him. I think he felt for them. When he was told they could not make it, he screamed and went into unconsciousness.

“We are planning sending a report to the army formations in Lagos to alert them of the development and also check their personnel list, possibly carry out physical personnel identification to ascertain whether or not they lost any of their personnel to the inferno.”

The official also said  the tanker had a policeman in front with the driver and that he was burnt beyond recognition.

He added: “Then, some of the policemen that mounted illegal road-block that allegedly caused the incident also lost one of their men to the fire.”

It was also gathered from the FRSC operative that there were three other policemen in commercial vehicles in which the FRSC had chastised the driver for not using his seat belt and that it was not long after they had released the bus that the accident occurred.

“I am sure they also perished alongside other passengers in the bus because the bus is burnt beyond recognition,” he said.

Obioma blamed the police of feeding the public with wrong information about the number of casualty.

According to him, “They knew that it was their men that caused the accident, so they wanted to coverup the alarming figure of the deaths. It is unfortunate.”

It would be recalled that the police in Lagos had said that it was only three persons that died in the accident while over 12 vehicles were burnt, a claim that the FRSC operative described as “incorrect and selfish”.

It was also gathered that some of the injured in the hospital were responding to treatment, contrary to the police’s earlier information that there was no survivor.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, has indicated interest to pick the medical bills of the victims at the hospital. He also described the incident as unfortunate and prayed God to give  the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss.

Nigeria’s Ranking As 59th Most Corrupt Nation Unacceptable – Minister

The Minister of Finance, Dr Segun Aganga has said that one of the major concerns of the present administration is the rating of Nigeria as 121 out of the 180 most corrupt countries in the world.

The minister who disclosed in Lagos on Tuesday at the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) event tagged “Road Show” in the South West, however said that efforts are ongoing to reposition the country on the right path.

Aganga noted that Nigeria’s current ranking as 121 out of 180 in the global corruption perception index (CPI), was unacceptable and that as a people, Nigerians must be ready to battle corruption through the promotion of transparency, accountability and the establishment of checks and balances to strengthen the rule of law with a view to achieving significant improvement in Nigeria’s ranking in the corruption index in 2013.

The minister who was represented by Alh Madiu Haruna, Deputy Executive Director, Economy Research and Policy Management said that past efforts aimed  at combating corruption had not been efficacious.

Haruna said that an effective anti-corruption strategy must incorporate real effort to significantly reduce the reported causes of corruption, namely lack of social security, dearth of employment opportunities and wide spread  poverty.

” It gives me great pleasure to be part of you this morning on the occasion of the South-West zone road show and town hall meeting. I wish to seize this opportunity to congratulate NEITI for the success  recorded in the Owerri and Kaduna road shows.

“It is believed that this forum will work even beyond the set objective of promoting transparency in government finances by enacting and implementing stringent laws on financial reporting, disclosure requirements,” he said.

He said  it was also believed that if the anti-corruption agency effectively performed its functions,  Nigeria’s position could be shifted from  the current ranking of 121 to 60  by 2013.

He said that the ministry would ensure strong commitment to combat all forms of corruption at all levels.

“I will like to reiterate that it is my aspiration to see more of my ministry’s collaboration with NEITI and other relevant organizations so as to make significant positive impact on Nigerians.

“I identify with the cardinal principle of coordinated approach and collaboration with relevant organizations and agencies which l believe, would help in the achievement of the lofty goals now and in the near future,” he added.

The minister said that with the huge presence of the best brains to combat corruption, I have no doubt in my mind that the expectation of people would be met, while urging Nigerians to count on the cooperation of the finance ministry in combating corruption

 

Delta North PDP Stakeholders Oppose Uduaghan’s 2nd Term Bid

The Peoples Democratic Party  stakeholders in Delta North have opposed Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s second tenure.

This decision was taken after an enlarged meeting of Anioma  people after taking what was described as a ‘critical look’ at  events in the last few years in the state.

A communiqué made available to LEADERSHIP in Asaba, declared that “the people of Anioma ethnic nationality under the auspices of the PDP Delta North stakeholders forum, firmly support the appointment of Professor Attahiru Mohammed Jega as INEC chairman, in line with his strong desire to conduct credible free and fair elections in 2011.

“The forum remains committed to the Anioma ethnic nationality producing the governor in 2015.

“Anioma people shall no longer tolerate the abject poverty and neglect suffered in the hands of the current regime,” it added.

It stated that there were lack of basic infrastructure in the state capital, Asaba, and in other major towns, such as Ogwashi-Uku, Isele-Uku, Agbor, Kwale and Obiarukwu.

The communiqué signed by the leaders of the 10 districts in the area, further stated that Uduaghan’s government had nothing to show for the N650 billion it received from the federation account since  May 29,2007.

“Anioma people, in this regard, pass a vote of no confidence on the governor and disassociate ourselves from his illusionary and greedy second term bid.”

They resolved that Barrister Ovie Omo-Agege was their choice for the governorship election in 2011. They added that Anioma people would support President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2011 presidential election.

They also commended Chief Edwin Clark for his resilience and fight for an egalitarian society.

Leave Yarima Alone – Women Tell NAPTIP

Groups of women comprising the Association of Widows and Less Privileged Empowerment and the Hausa-Fulani Women Group of Nigeria yesterday picketed the offices of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) over what they termed the undue attempt to prosecute Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima, accused of marrying an underaged girl. The women said they are against the Child Rights Act because it is a bill that does not guarantee the future of the average Muslim girl. Rita Audu, the president of the widows association, said the reasons why girls in the North are being married out early is because of the fear of HIV/AIDS and other related diseases that these girls might contract if they are left on their own. She added that Yarima had been nice to the  widows right from when he was the governor of Zamfara State, and it is unfair that people are spoiling his name all over the country over his marriage to his 13-year-old wife. “There is nothing wrong with getting married at an early age. Most of us were married between the ages of 10-12, and nothing has happened to them. We didn’t contract VVF. What is being done is that your husband will not touch you until you are mature enough. Some girls are being kept in their parents houses until they reach the age of 17 or 18, which is the appropriate age for a husband to start having sex with his wife according to Islam. “We have been to Egypt to see the girl, and she is in good hands, under the custody of her parents, until she attains the right age before Yarima can touch her,” Audu said.

Addressing the women, NAPTIP’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Simon Chuzi Egede, e said the agency had received their grievances and would look in the matter. He said Nigeria is governed by rules and laws, made by the National Assembly and NAPTIP is only enforcing the laws, which child rights acts is among. “So, if there are any complains, they should be made to the National Assembly since they were the ones that made these laws.”

Don’t Honour Invitations, Muslim Group Tells Yarima

A Muslim group has urged Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima not to honour any invitation forthwith from any agency regarding the alleged marriage of a 13-year old Egyptian by the lawmaker.

The Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria(SCSN) Kaduna State chapter, stated this in a press conference yesterday in Kadua.

Addressing newsmen, its chairman, Malam Mohammed Sulaiman, argued that the recent attacks were not aimed at the senator but Islam in general, adding that it only portrays the negative impact of the Child Rights Act, which promotes western secular ideas of upbringing, contrary to the teachings of Islam. Islam encourages men to marry women of their choice irrespective of age, hence Muslims who have the intention to marry whoever they choose should go ahead without fear, he said.

“We wish to make it clear to all Muslims in this country that the essence of the Child Rights Act is promoting western secular ideas in the upbringing of children. We had a number of advertorials cautioning the Federal Government and the National Assembly not to dumbly accept to ratify this convention without consultation with Nigerian public, unfortunately the law was passed by the National Assembly in April 2003 and some states were immediately pressurized to pass such law.

“Sadly, the negative impact of the law is beginning to manifest and the focus of this is on Senator Mohammed Ahmed Sani’s alleged marriage of underaged child. The provision of the Child Rights Act section 21 contradicts the teaching of Islam. Islam encourages men to marry women of their choice as mentioned in Qur’an 4 verse 2 without any emphasis on age limit.”We wish to make it clear that any law that contradicts the essence of the teachings of Islam, our divine religion is unaccepted to the Muslims of this country.”

We are hereby calling on Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima not to answer any call of the so called NAPTIP again and any other relevant agencies because the supreme council of Sharia in Nigeria has taken the issue to court and the case will come up on June 3, 2010.

Finally, we are calling on all Muslims intending to marry any child or woman of their choice to go on because Islam allows that. Enough is enough.”

Niger Govt To Dualize Minna-Abuja Road

Arrangements have been concluded by the Niger State Government to dualize the Minna-Suleja-Abuja road.

The state deputy governor, Hon. Ahmed Ibeto, disclosed this in Minna  during a courtesy visit on him by the Nigeria Communications Commission.

Ibeto explained that the decision to dualise the road was to open up the state and further boost its economy.

He said the dualisation, which would be executed through public-private-partnership, was part of the vision of the Aliyu-led administration to make Niger one of the three best developed states in Nigeria by the year 2020.

According to him, the recent acquisition of state-of-the-art ambulances for distribution to accident flash points was aimed at reducing carnage on our roads.

The deputy governor said arrangement has been concluded to acquire more ambulances for distribution to the local government areas.

Ibeto reiterated the determination of the state government to partner with any organisation or individual that is ready to add value to the lives of the people.

He explained that this was why the request for a piece of land by the commission was promptly met by the state government.

The leader of the delegation, Engr. Daniel Gambo, had earlier informed the deputy governor that they were in the state to inspect the level of work done at the zonal office.

Gambo expressed dismay that despite the three hydro power stations situated in the state, people have continued to groan under darkness.

He also lamented the absence of any private electronic broadcasting station in the state.

Gambo decried the lack of maintenance culture among Nigerians and urged the government to ensure adequate security at the commission’s zonal office in state.

 

Yeriman Bakura Marries 13-year-old Egyptian Girl

Former Zamfara State governor, Ahmed Sani, Yeriman Bakura, has married a thirteen-year-old Egyptian girl. LEADERSHIP WEEKEND learnt that the marriage took place at the national mosque, Abuja, two weekends ago. The former governor, now a senator, paid a bride price of $100,000, the equivalent of roughly N15m. He also divorced one of his wives to facilitate the marriage. In Islam a man is only permitted to have four wives. Yeriman, who popularised the Shariah code of Islam in Nigeria, could not have the wedding in Egypt; the Egyptian authorities would not put up with such a marriage as their laws forbid that sort of union. Yariman Bakura is well into his 60s and the laws in Egypt consider his bride a minor.

The former helmsman of Zamfara State, however, in a deft move relocated the venue of the event to Nigeria, where he believes “anything goes”, said a source. The marriage was held in Abuja. The bride moved  30 members of her family over to Abuja where they were lodged in PROTEA Hotel in Asokoro.

An Islamic cleric who spoke to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND said that the whole thing goes counter-cause to Islam. He said that though there were no limits to how much can be paid as bride price, Islam still preaches moderation. According to him, the former governor flouted this caveat. Besides, said the cleric, Yeriman being a public office holder, should not have made such an ostentatious show of wealth.

Those who attended the wedding in Abuja include Sen. Kabiru Gaya, Maina Maaji Lawal, deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mukhtar Hanka, and the Emir of Bakura.