The Citizens Against Fake Activists (CAFA) has thrown its weight behind the move by the Federal Government to prosecute sponsors and promoters of violence during the EndSARS protests.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Executive Director, Bamidele Johnson urged relevant authorities to resist blackmail and intimidation attempts by fake activists.
The CAFA also said it is appalled by the furore raised by those whose bank accounts were frozen, especially knowing they were used for illicit activities.
According to the group, those “who financed the protests have shared responsibility for the hacking of government cites as part of the protests.”
It added that “the financiers are accessories to the murder of the dozens of policemen who were killed by the incited mobs”.
CAFA, however, urged the law to take its course.
While calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria to continue its investigation, the CAFA also urged the Inspector General of Police to identify those responsible for the violence.
It added that “Once identified, the Inspector General of Police should charge these persons for terrorism financing and any other crime they might have committed”.
Read the full statement below:
Gentlemen of the press, we will like to begin by stating that Citizens Against Fake Activists is appalled by the furore being raised by those whose bank accounts were frozen because they were used for illicit activities, to wit, acts of terrorism against the Nigerian state. We are similarly miffed that persons that instigated violence against. Nigeria is gripping about being barred from flying.
We will equally set out by making a fair disclosure that we support the demand for the reform of the Nigeria Police Force and the dismantling of any of its specialized unit found to have breached the rules of civil policing while offending officers should be tried as common criminals.
What we do not support, however, is the attempt by fake activists and their sponsors to overthrow a legitimate government using mob action as was witnessed in the aftermath of the Lekki Toll Gate incident when cities across Nigeria were gripped by criminals that looted and burnt properties during protests that were at that time no longer connected to the demands for reformed police.
But the lines must be drawn. There is a name for the use of intimidation, violence and threat of violence for coercing the state to agree to a set of demands. Those who made their bank accounts available for laundering the money that financed the violent protests need to be mindful of the implication of their action. For the avoidance of doubts, let us highlight some of the outcomes of those violent or provocative protests:
Those who obstructed the road denied other Nigerians of the right to use an infrastructure build with the commonwealth. Had the other citizens responded in similar measure there would have been widespread violence across the land. Those who instigated these blockades of public roads have cases to answer, especially when there were suggestions of mortality of persons who could not access lifesaving care at hospitals because of the resulting gridlocks.
Those who financed the protests have shared responsibility for the hacking of government cites as part of the protests. It is a cybercrime. It is terrorism.
The financiers are accessories to the murder of the dozens of policemen who were killed by the incited mobs. This is murder and the law forbids that, more so that those killed were policemen.
The torching of government buildings, websites, buses, vehicles and even private homes and businesses is arson. It is against the law. The protest sponsors and financiers have responsibility.
The looting of food banks, storehouses, food reserve and other times is theft accessioned by braking and entry. There are laws against this, and some people coordinated the attacks on these locations.
The looting of food reserves and privately held storages is an attempt at mass murder, the result which is ahead. By destroying the food storage Nigerians are at the risk of starvation in the coming months since there is nothing to bridge any shortfall in food supply having lost what was in reserve to the protesters. It is unlawful to assist someone escaping lawful correctional service’s custody; those who put down the money for staging the protests are responsible for the freeing of prisoners in several prisons in the country.
We appreciate that these people that financed the protests through their various bank accounts are enjoying the support of the public opinion, but things are not as simple as they sound. Public opinion, no matter how strident, cannot overrule the law. Those that are found culpable in the crimes listed earlier on will have to keep a date with the law and only pray that their crimes would be met with leniency that will give shorter sentences.
We are therefore demanding that the law takes it course. The Inspector-General of Police should identify more of those that were responsible for this mess while the Central Bank of Nigeria should continue investigating to unmask the enemies of Nigeria.
Once identified, the Inspector General of Police should charge these persons for terrorism financing and any other crime they might have committed. They must face charges for a treasonable felony which was their real motive. They then have the right to clear themselves in court if they can or they should willingly go in for what they have done.
Meanwhile, we appeal to news organization representatives, bloggers and genuine activists to take time to research the issue at hand to have the right perspective for objective reporting. The state has responsibility to prosecute any crime committed even if it is committed in the pursuit of a good cause.
Group Backs Call For EFCC, ICPC’s Probe Of Kogi Gov
A socio-political group in Kogi State under the auspices of Progressives Mandate Movement (PMM) has expressed support for the call by the Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), for the investigation of allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption against Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.
It would be recalled that a former Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, had earlier in the week on behalf of the ACN petitioned the EFCC, ICPC, Transparency International, US Ambassador to Nigeria and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria over “financial recklessness, corruption, money laundering and fraudulent application of Kogi State’s resources” by Governor Bello and his cronies.
The group, however, alleged that Governor Bello had received over of N300 billion from the Federation Account in the last five years without reasonable or tangible achievement to show for it.
In a statement issued by the PMM chairman, Comrade Musa Enejo Stephens, in Lokoja on Thursday, the group urged the EFCC to expedite action on the investigation into the alleged financial management in Kogi State government under Governor Bello administration even as he said Bello has committed financial crimes against the people of the State.
According to him, “Yahaya Bello’s government has blindfolded the people of the State with series of lies since all this while on the allocation accrued to the State from Federation Account and as well mismanaged the huge resources accrued to the State which is against the spirit of openness, fairness, justice and accountability promised the people by All Progressives Congress APC led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari government.
“Governor Bello has plunged Kogi State into debt regime which the State may not recover from, in the next 10 years and Mr. Governor failed to give tangible explanations on how funds from federation account like; State allocation, Local Government, Allocation, Paris Refund, Bailouts Funds and Internally Generated Revenue accrued to the State and other,” he added.
Stephens, therefore, charged the newly appointed EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to prove himself to Nigerians by commencing and expediting action by prosecuting those involved in the crimes detailed by the ACN petition.
He threatened that if the anti-graft agencies failed in their duty to act and do justice on behalf of Kogi people, the group will have no other option than to mobilise the people from the 21 local government areas of the State to the headquarters of the commission in Abuja and stage a protest.
He said Kogi State is now the new ATM for political jobbers of all sorts, saying all manner of characters troop to the state in number to declare support for governor Bello’s delusional ambition to become president in 2023.
He pointed out that presently, the state meagre resources were now being spent on Governor Bello’s presidential ambition on media advertorial including print media, electronics, outdoor billboards across the country even though it’s illegal to do such now as it contravenes the Electoral Act.
The PMM chairman commended the Minister of FCT Abuja and Kano State governor for ordering the removal of such billboards in their domains.
Group Berates Ayeni Over Calumny Campaign Against Okunbo
A group, National Youth Alliance of Nigeria (NYAN), has berated businessman, Dr. Olatunde Ayeni, over what it called his “campaign of calumny” against the chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo.
NYAN said Ayeni, a former director and shareholder of OMS, contacted the group for a hatchet job against the person and business interests of Capt. Okunbo, especially the OMS.
National President of NYAN, Lucky Igbamodi, told journalists at a press conference that the group was hired to launch scathing campaigns against Capt. Okunbo in order to malign him through fictitious petitions and peddling of outright falsehoods.
Igbamodi said NYAN subsequently carried out its own investigation and found out that all allegations against Capt. Okunbo and OMS were untrue as they were fabricated for sinister motives by Ayeni.
“Making our stand public becomes necessary now lest the unsuspecting members of the public be misled about the real issues. Dr. Olatunde Ayeni mistook our group for agents of destruction for hire and we listened to him and carried our own investigations to ascertain the truth.
“We found out several things which point to a documented fact and established truth – that Dr. Olatunde Ayeni has since 2018 left the Board of OMS and as well sold his shares to Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo but only returns to launch a campaign of calumny against the latter just because Capt. Okunbo has a health challenge.
“Nigerians and non-governmental organisations should be wary of Dr. Olatunde Ayeni’s antics, which are all in bad faith and unbecoming of a businessman he claims to be,” Igbamodi added.
While wishing Capt. Okunbo quick recovery, the group admonished the Board of OMS to continue to support Okunbo and always stand by the truth as it has demonstrated so far.
Apologise To Abia Gov Or Face Recall, Kogi West Youths Tell Adeyemi
A group called Concerned Kogi West Youths has called on the Senator representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, to immediately apologise to Abia State governor, Victor Ikpeazu, over his uncomplimentary comment on the latter or face recall from the Senate.
A statement issued by the group and signed Mr Michael Oluwaseun Bolorunduro on Monday said Senator Adeyemi must apologise to the Abia governor and the people of Abia State within seven days or be ready for the consequence.
The youths, however, apologised on behalf of the Kogi West people to Governor Ikpeazu for the “behaviour” of Senator Adeyemi on the floor of the Senate during a debate on the Safe School Initiative agaisnt the backdrop of incessant attacks on schools by bandits in the North last week.
“We the concerned Kogi West Youth are writing to apologise for the behaviour of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, recently on the floor of the Hallowed Chamber.
“It took us this long to react or respond to his ungentlemanly attitude because the character trait that he displayed is alien to our culture in Kogi West. We tried to know reasons for such reactions and alas, we couldn’t find any justifiable and sensible reason for such.
“We, too, were personally shocked and offended by his actions and utterances which were a direct contravention of the values of dignity and good mannerism that we teach in our locality.
“We all know that emotions can get heated, but it does not excuse the language and behavior of our representative,” the group said.
They added that they as “wise constituents” have decided “to right the wrong of the malady and public show of shame as displayed by Senator Smart Adeyemi” to apologise and as well demand apology from Adeyemi.
“It is on this note that we demand that Senator Smart Adeyemi within seven days apologise at the same Hallowed Chamber of the Senate for his uncontrollable utterances against the governor and people of Abia State or face recal,” Bolorunduro declared.
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