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11 Anambra LG Employee Union Members on Trial for Alleged Conspiracy and Forgery

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AWKA, Nigeria — Eleven members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, were arraigned on Thursday, July 20, 2023, in an Amawbia Chief Magistrates’ Court in Awka, on charges of conspiracy, impersonation, and forgery.

The defendants — Chidi Orakwue, Alagwu Odife, Kenechi Ezeibe, Chidi Nzekwe, Ifeanyi Nworah, Victormary Anuna, Ifeanyi Okam, Chukwunonso Okaka, Patrick Nwalutu, Ugochukwu Igbokwe, and Onyebuchi Nwankwo — stand accused of a six-count charge encompassing altering documents, forgery, impersonation, malicious damage of NULGE property, conspiracy, and instilling fear of physical injury and anxiety in the Union’s president.

Despite the charges, all the defendants pleaded not guilty.

According to the Police prosecutor, CSP Chuka Nwezi, the NULGE president in Anambra, Mr Chikwelu Anigwe, is under threat.

Nwezi claimed that the defendants continued issuing death threats to the president even while the case was under investigation.

He stated that these offenses contravene several sections of the Criminal Laws of Anambra, 1991, and Section 6(1) of Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law of the state, 2017.

Nwezi appealed to the court for an accelerated hearing and called for the remand of the defendants for peacekeeping.

However, the Defense Counsel, Mr Basil Aguigwo, pointed out that the charges were bailable offenses and that the court held jurisdiction to grant such bail.

Aguigwo assured the court that all defendants, being civil servants on grade levels 14 and 15, would honor court summons.

After considering the positions of both the prosecution and the defense, Chief Magistrate Nonyelum Anyaegbunam granted the defendants bail of N50,000 each, with two sureties.

She implored all parties to exhibit good behavior pending the resolution of the matter.

The case has been adjourned until September 12, 2023, for further hearing.

Mobile Police Force Withdrawn from Former President Buhari’s Relatives, Other VIPS

The Nigerian Federal Government has withdrawn the Police Mobile Force, PMF, personnel who were previously assigned to guard “very important persons”, VIPs, including ex-governors, former ministers, and lawmakers.

This move also affects Daura Buhari, the brother of former President Muhammadu Buhari, former First Lady Aisha Buhari’s sibling, and former secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha.

This decision follows a recent declaration by the Inspector General (IG) of Police, who vowed to withdraw PMF personnel from VIP escort and guard duties to focus on the country’s internal security architecture.

The IG announced plans to establish a Special Intervention Squad of 40,000 highly trained police officers, including selected officers from the PMF.

IG Egbetokun stated during a meeting with Squadron leaders and Tactical Commanders in Abuja on June 26, 2023, “We shall affect the withdrawal of PMF personnel from VIP escort/guard duties. We must realign our priorities to address the nation’s escalating security challenges.”

The new Special Intervention Squad, consisting of specially trained elite officers, will be formed from existing PMF personnel and tactical units nationwide.

These officers will undergo intensive pre-deployment training to make them combat-ready for operational duties in all states, particularly in areas plagued by unrest.

Egbetokun emphasized, “By pooling together the expertise and experience of our PMF personnel and other tactical units, we can establish a formidable force that is well-equipped to handle the evolving challenges we face.”

To ensure a smooth transition, the IG has set up a committee led by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Adeleke Bode, to assess and advise on implementing these new policies.

The government’s commitment to prioritizing national security over individual protection may significantly shift the country’s security paradigm.

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