..Zanna sues FG, JTF for N5bn
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, yesterday disclosed that the Police have placed ex- governor of Borno state and former senator, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, Senators Ali Ndume and Ahmed Zanna on their watch list of alleged sponsors of Boko Haram. Boko Haram , a violent Islamic sect has been waging an insurgency against the Nigerian state since 2009.
The three senators from Borno state have in recent times accused each other of laying the foundation for the emergence of the sect.
Speaking at a conference of sectional heads of zonal and state Criminal Investigation Departments (CIDs) of the Nigerian police in Abuja , Abubakar said the police would bring to book anyone who has been fingered to be a sponsor of the “terrorist” group.
He said the force was doing so much to put an end to the reign of terror in the country, but appealed to Nigerians with any shred of evidence to turn it over to the police.
“We are doing so much about it and looking for evidence”, he said. “Please, anyone who has evidence should give us because you cannot take anyone to court without evidence.
“There is no doubt that the investigation department is a very key department of any crime fighting outfit in the world. For the force to move forward, we must continue to train and retrain our men for better services.”
Earlier, Deputy Inspector General Police, “D” department (Investigations), Mr Peter Gana, challenged the detectives to be more dedicated to their calling and work towards resolving all criminal cases, past and present, no matter how puzzling they might appear.
“There is no doubt that the investigation department is a very key department of any crime fighting outfit in the world. For the force to move forward, we must continue to train and retrain our men for better services”, he declared.
Meanwhile, embattled Sen. Zanna, has instituted a N5 billion suit against the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Lieutenant Col. Sagir Musa, the spokesperson of the Joint Task Force (JTF) set up to combat the Bok Haram menace.
Zanna wants an Abuja High Court to order the defendants to pay him N5 billion as damages for defamation.
In a statement of claims that accompanied the Writ of Summons filed by his counsel, Gbenga Olagundoye, the senator said Lieutenant Col. Sagir Musa on October 19, 2012 “maliciously issued a written press statement” against him and that the defamatory statement was reported by both local and foreign print and the electronic media October 20 – 22, 2012.
The alleged defamatory statement which he said the defendants knew to be false reads “At about 11 am on Thursday, October 18, 201, a high profile Boko Haram Commander, one Shuaibu Mohammed Bama, who has been on the list of wanted terrorists operating between Bama and Maiduguri, was arrested by the task force troops in a serving Senator’s house along Damboa Road, GRA, Maiduguri. He is in custody of the JTF and assisting in the investigation and has since made startling revelations”.
According to Zanna, the statement in its natural and ordinary meaning can be understood to mean that the “plaintiff harboured a wanted Boko Haram terror suspect in his house and is therefore a supporter of the Boko Haram terrorist group”.
He averred that the publication complained of, falsely portrayed him as one of the persons who aid and support the Boko Haram in their terrorist activities, in the face of his consistent public condemnation of the destructive activities of the Boko Haram. “The publication complained of, was calculated to disparage the Plaintiff and to lower the estimation of the Plaintiff in the eyes of the general public and in fact, the Plaintiff’s reputation has been seriously damaged by the words complained of,” Zannah averred in a witness statement on oath that he personally deposed to.
According to him, he has suffered considerable distress, mental trauma, shock and embarrassment as a consequence of the defendants’ conduct and has suffered loss and damages.
Zanna said the conduct of the defendants has “seriously compromised” his ability to secure future gainful employment in and outside the country and that his ability to freely travel outside the country will be adversely affected because he will be considered a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism and “therefore any application for a visa or travel permit, I will likely be refused by the foreign missions in Nigeria.”
While pointing out that the defendants published the words he complained of in order to seriously damage his reputation, Zanna said no Boko Haram commander by the name Shuaibu Mohammed Bama or any other person was arrested in his house on Damboa Road, GRA Maiduguri.