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Boko Haram: Military Plans To Engage Maiduguri Residents In Dialogue

The Nigerian military said, Tuesday, that it has concluded plans to dialogue with the residents of Maiduguri,the Borno State capital, as it unfolded plans for a town meeting to be held in the troubled town.
The town meeting is however seen as a masterstroke to bring the inglorious reign of terror by the Boko Haram terrorists to an end through a peaceful method.
Spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno, Operation Restore Order, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, who disclosed this in a statement said the military is organising the town hall meeting in order to change the notion of the people of the state and to further seek their support towards ending the lingering crisis.
His words: “In the rekindled spirit to enhance/consolidate excellent civil military relations,a team of senior military officers from the department of civil military relations, defence headquarters, will visit the Joint Task Force Operation Restore Order, Maiduguri on a two-day working visit.
“The visit is aim to strengthen cordial civil military rlations and encourage conducive and peaceful working relationship between the JTF personnel and residents of Borno State in the collective efforts to contain terrorism in the Task Force’s area of operational responsibility.”
Musa disclosed that part of the activities lined up for the visit is a town hall meeting/ interactive session with traditional and religious leaders as well as youth/youth leaders on Thursday February 7, 2013 at the Government House multi purpose hall starting from 11:00 am.
The military, who had been lampooned by the residents of the town for its inhuman treatment of people of the town, may have decided to loosen out a little in response to the declaration of a ceasefire by the sect last week.
The new strategy could also be traced to the new approach for handling the Boko Haram issue which brought Vice President Namadi Sambo to Borno State on official visit where he was reported to have had a meeting with the stakeholders on the way out of the crisis.###

“In view of this, fair trial cannot be guaranteed the second defendant at this time.
“The judge even has a foreknowledge of the case, thus the court cannot guarantee independence and impartiality.”
But, the Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr Ade Ipaye, who appeared alongside the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, and seven other state counsel for the prosecution, opposed Dada’s application.
Ipaye, who is also the state Commissioner for Justice, urged the court to dismiss the application, adding that it was a statement of “mere opinion” and not facts.
He said, “I wish to observe, first, that what the applicant seeks is an order of the court to suspend indefinitely the arraignment and trial of the second defendant (Olisaeloka). I strongly oppose the application because the suspect cannot be tried at his own leisure.
“Fair hearing and reasonable time referred to in the constitution is not by the public or by the press, but by the court or tribunal established by law.
“The constitution seeks specifically for the independence and impartiality of the courts not that of the general public in respect of a criminal trial.”
Ipaye also urged the court to exercise its judicial discretion to refuse the applicant’s request for bail and proceed with the arraignment and speedy trail of all the defendants.
Justice Akinlade dismissed Dada’s application on the grounds of incompetence.
The judge also dismissed the application for Olisaeleka’s bail, adding that he did not show any “special evidence” that would require him to be freed on bail.
Akinlade said, “Emphasis (in the constitution) is fair hearing within a reasonable time. The matter must not be allowed to drag aimlessly to jeopardise the defendant’s fundamental rights. This application is incompetent and is hereby dismissed.”
She subsequently fixed the arraignment of the suspects, and possible trial, for February 8.

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