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Criminal Monies Have Taken Over Security And Governance Duties In Eastern Nigeria — Intersociety’s Special Report

Contents

In Three Years (July 2020-July 2023), Deployed Criminal Security Forces And Other Government Extortionist Agencies Seized N2.2 Trillion ($2.7B) From Easterners At Gunpoint As Against N600B ($800M) Collected At Gunpoint By Non State Criminal Entities Involving: Police/Military Roadblocks N670B, Police Custodial Extortions N200B, ‘Crime Proceeds’ Converted By Police N60B, Squandered Govs’ Security Votes N400B, Extortions By Militant Government Agencies N700B, Military/Police House Burnings/Lootings N150B, Police Security To VIPs/Institutions N30B, Non State Ransoms/Robberies N400B And Other Crime Proceeds From Criminal Entities N200B-Totaling N2.8Trillion ($3.5B)

…Grand Research Finding: Deployed Security Forces And Other Government Agencies More Criminal And Atrocious Than Non State Criminal Entities And Criminalities Constitutionally Mandated To The Former To Uproot And Contain

Intersociety Special Report

The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has carried out fresh field studies which found that estimated N2.8trillion or $3.5billion belonging to hardworking, self reliant and lawful citizens of Eastern Nigeria was lost at gunpoint in three years of July 2020 to July 2023. The amount had risen from ‘blue-collar’ corruption and other corrupt practices perpetrated by armed state actors and armed non state actors cutting across the eleven Eastern Nigerian States of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers a period covering July 2020 to July 2023.

The whopping N2.8trillion proceeds from state actor and non state actor criminal activities had come from police and military roadblocks N670b, Governors’ squandered security votes’ N400billion, extortions by militant Government agencies N700b, police security to VIPs/institutions N30b, military/police house burnings/lootings N150b, ransoms/robberies by armed non state criminal entities N400b and other crime proceeds from armed non state criminal entities N200B. Added to the estimated N660billion police/military roadblock extortions is estimated N200billion arising from ‘police custodial extortions (.i.e. ‘bail fees’ and ‘cash mobilization’ for arrests, investigations and court arraignments). Estimated sum of N60billion was also linked to gunpoint seizure and conversion of “crime proceeds” by various police crack squads across the eleven Eastern States (.i.e. gunpoint money transfers and cash seizure and conversion of the seized automobiles, motorcycles and other expensive personal belongings) especially those seized from the slain and the arrested citizens undergoing criminal investigations. The totality of the above is to say that criminal monies have taken over security and governance duties in Eastern Nigeria

Recap Of Our July 18, 2023 Mother Report

This Report of ours is a follow-up to main Report of Tuesday, July 18, 2023 which identified six major triggers of insecurity and other unsafe conditions threatening Nigeria with genocide or complex humanitarian catastrophes in the past eight years or since June 2015. Intersociety’s Report of 18th July 2023 had graphically traced the present insecurity and other unsafe conditions to former President Muhammad Buhari Government’s quest to plunge Nigeria into Afghan modeled “Islamic Caliphate”.

Other identified triggers of insecurity in the Report are the “Buhari’s C-in-C above the law license on Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen”, “the Buhari’s C-in-C operational death code to security chiefs against defenseless citizens of Eastern Nigeria”, “the over-bloating and squandering of the Govs’ security votes”, “the lack of political will and sincerity by former Government of Nigeria under Retired Major General Muhammad Buhari/the Governors/Governments of the South-East” and “the security sector corruption and operational crudities”.

It was also found that discriminatory and vindictive handling styles and incompetency of the Nigeria Government(s) have dangerously escalated insecurity and other unsafe conditions to the extent that several victim-populations have been pushed to the wall and forced to resort to violent self helps or reprisal radicalism leading to springing up of no fewer than 50 non state armed revenge and counter-revenge groups responsible for present “eco-politico-religious criminalities”, out of which over 30 of the 50 armed groups are linked to Islamic Jihadism across Nigeria and 20 others engaging in “politico-economic criminalities” ravaging Eastern Nigeria. The link to the Mother Report is here: https://intersociety-ng.org/special-reportalleged-quest-for-state-jihadism-by-former-government-of-muhammad-buhari-had-created-over-50-mostly-government-linked-armed-groups-since-2015-leading-to-the-issuance-of-the-alleged-c-i/

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Unanswered Research Question Thrown Up In Our Mother Report Of July 18, 2023

Our Report of July 18, 2023 also threw up a cardinal research question: Whether or not the deployed security forces at Eastern Roadblocks and other extortionist Government agencies are more criminal and atrocious than non state criminal entities and criminalities the former are constitutionally mandated to uproot and contain? The research question above was sufficiently answered by this Research Report through its findings below that: “the deployed security forces at Eastern Roadblocks and other extortionist Government agencies are more criminal and atrocious than criminal entities and criminalities they are constitutionally mandated to uproot and contain”.

Unmasked Criminal Monies Unknown To Budgetary Processes (Incomes And Expenditures)

The research and investigative classification of the N2.8 trillion Eastern citizens’ monies seized at gunpoint across the eleven States of the Region was done on account of the fact that the ‘stolen amount’ was never traced to, or reflected in legitimate Government budgetary processes of the eleven Eastern States. Such budgetary processes include legitimate incomes and expenditures standardized in international best practices.

Though the Governors’ monthly ‘security votes’ are part of the Government legitimately generated incomes but their expenditures are crooked and expressly amounted to executive or gubernatorial thievery as they are whimsically and capriciously spent without recourse to international accountability procedures or standardizations. The ‘Governors’ Security Votes’ also record maddening and sickening increases (over-bloating) at every ‘shout of insecurity’ which in most cases receive legislative rubber-stamping through behind-the-scene briberies. As a matter of fact, Governors’ ‘Security Votes’ in Nigeria have become a conduit pipe through which public funds are mindlessly and incurably siphoned with impunity.

Intersociety had in its ‘Mother Report’ of July 18, 2023 identified ‘Governors’ Security Votes’ as a major trigger of insecurity and other unsafe conditions in Nigeria particularly in the South-East and the South-South Regions. The Governors are found to have hidden under “insecurity” or creation of same to whimsically and capriciously over-bloat and siphon public funds. This is to the extent that “out of every N5billion received monthly as ‘State’s share of federal allocations’, at least N1billion is set aside and siphoned as “monthly security votes”.

Therefore, to the extent that the N2.8 trillion “Criminal Monies” are found to be incapable of passing through legitimate budgetary processes of incomes and expenditures at Sub-National or State Governance processes, they are “Criminal Monies” fueling and hightening security and governance sector corruption and other corrupt practices including criminal enrichment and insecurity and other unsafe conditions by deployed police and military ‘criminal forces’ and their barbarous activities mass murders, abductions, disappearances, acts of torture, criminal/false labeling; ethnic and religious profiling, enforced migrations and displacements arising from police and military property/ house lootings, burnings and destructions.

We Have Earned Respectability In Tracking Security Sector Corruption In Nigeria

The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law has earned a name and respectability in tracking, monitoring, documenting and exposing security sector and other Government agencies’ ‘blue-collar’ corruption in Nigeria since 2008. in August 2010, we were instrumental to the international compilation of a special report: “Everyone’s in on the Game: Corruption and Human Rights Abuses by the Nigeria Police Force” by the United States based Human Rights Watch and assisted by Intersociety and Access to Justice.

In Dec 2011, we issued a Special Report bordering on police roadblock extortions in Nigeria covering 2009-2011-with South-East as a case-study and the Report found that “N53billion was illicitly collected and pocketed by estimated 5000 roadblocks across the country including 1500 alone in the South-East at N20, 000 per day/police roadblock”. In January 2012, the Report formed part of the ‘new policy direction’ by the then newly appointed Inspector General of Police, MD Abubakar. IGP, MD Abubakar’s excitement over the Report led to drastic reduction in the number of police roadblocks, from estimated 5000 to 1000 ‘special police checkpoints’ across the country during which police extortions at roadblocks were effectively checkmated.

Intersociety had also since 2012 till date monitored, documented and exposed security sector blue-collar corruption and other corrupt practices including military involvement in roadblock extortions traced to the 2016/2017 deployment of military personnel at Eastern roads. Among our ‘recent years’ Reports’ on police/military roadblock extortions were those of Dec 2018 (‘Ember Months illicit roadblock extortions of N100b by police on South-East roads), the August 2015-Nov 2019 roadblock extortions on Eastern (South-East/South-South) roads estimated at N312B and the Dec 2019-June 2020 COVID-19 police/military road/border/boundary lockdown extortions across Nigeria estimated at N44B

Statistical Findings: (1)Police/Military Roadblocks

There are estimated 6000 police mounted roadblocks on Trunk A (federal roads), Trunk B (state/inter-state roads) and Trunk C (local government/community roads) motorized roads spreading across the eleven States of Eastern Nigeria (South-East and South-South). The above is on average of 550 police roadblocks per State mounted by over 40,000 police personnel in all on average of seven extortionist police personnel at each roadblock. At minimum of N60, 000 estimated to be illicitly collected daily by each of the estimated 6000 police roadblocks, N360m is illicitly pocketed daily, N10.8b monthly and N130b yearly; further translating to N390B-N400B, illicitly collected from motorists and other road users at Eastern roads between July 2020 and July 2023.

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There are also estimated 2500 military roadblocks involving 25,000 military personnel on State average of 250 military roadblocks-with estimated ten military personnel at each military roadblock. At estimated minimum of N100, 000 illicitly collected daily by each of the estimated 2500 military roadblocks, minimum of N250m is illicitly collected daily, N7.5b monthly and N90b yearly further translating to N270B from July 2020-July 2023; totaling N670billion from police and military roadblock extortions from eleven Eastern States’ roads in the past three years of July 2020 to July 2023. The Onitsha/Ogbaru Nigerian Naval checkpoint at Uga Junction/Atani Road Junction in Anambra State, for instance, illicitly collects and pockets not less than N400, 000 daily from sand excavators, Tipper Lorries/Haulage vehicles, commuter buses, tricycles, etc.

In 2017, Senator Isa Misau, a former police DSP, alleged that not less than N10B was being collected and illicitly pocketed by the office of IGP from VIPs and institutions in the form of “monies paid for their special police guards and security protection” and that the amount never reflected in Federal Government or Police annual budgets”. Also going by our recent checks, this amount has increased to estimated N20B annually, translating to N60B from July 2020-July 2023, out of which N10B came from the East; an indication that N30B had been collected from the Region and illicitly pocketed in the past three years. It must be noted that Eastern Nigeria is the most ‘blue-collar’ or transactional/cash carrying society’. The Region is also home to ‘street criminal entities’ in their hundreds engaging in sundry ‘street criminalities’ including: highway/roadway/street/bank robberies; kidnap-for-ransom, gun-point cybercrimes, non-gunpoint cybercrimes, stealing, roadside/motor-park touting, political thuggery, carjacking, illicit drug and illicit arms trafficking, premeditated murders/attempted murders including assault occasioning grievous body harms; domestic violence including wife battering and rape; violent land/property grabbing or encroachments, burglary/house-breaking, vandalism, oil/ other mineral thefts and other forms of crimes against persons and properties. Eastern Region is also troubled by politico-religious crimes including Jihadist Herdsmen attacks; violent self determination agitations and their counterfeits.

(2) ‘Criminal N260B’ Pocketed From Police Custodial Extortions In Three Years

Estimated to have been criminally collected at police custodies or stations across the eleven Eastern States in three years was N260billion; out of which estimated N100billion came from police criminal bail fees “in connection with Biafra terrorism matters” and others carrying ‘capital punishments’. Under this, citizens of Igbo South-East and South-South are majorly targeted for indiscriminate arrest and arbitrary detention; forcing them into falling victim to exorbitant extortions including selling their ‘criminal bail fees’ to the highest bidder. Among them are citizens involved in civil wrongdoings or offenses of traffic disobedience or misdemeanors and innocent others. In our field evaluation, it was estimated that 500,000 of such defenseless citizens had come in contact with police personnel at police stations across the eleven Eastern States in the past three years during which each of them was forced into regaining his or her freedom or falsely promised the same after being forced to pay minimum of N200, 000 to the arresting and investigating police officers. This amounted to total of N100billion in three years. There are those who paid as much as N1m-N5m each so as to be freed. Another shocking criminal sum of N100billion was linked to custodial/operational police officers’ demands for “cash mobilization for arrest or investigation or prosecution”; during which estimated 200,000 ‘rich complainants’ got involved; with each forcefully paying such police officers N500, 000; translating to N100billion in three years. Estimated sum of N60billion was also linked to gunpoint seizure and conversion of “crime proceeds” by various police crack squads across the eleven Eastern States (.i.e. gunpoint money transfers and cash seizure and conversion of the seized automobiles, motorcycles and other expensive personal belongings) especially those seized from the slain and the arrested citizens undergoing criminal investigations; totaling N260billion illicitly collected and pocketed from police custodial extortions in three years.

(3) N400B Govs Security Votes Squandered In Three Years:

The indiscriminate ‘criminalization of security and other safe conditions’ or ‘de-criminalization of insecurity and other unsafe conditions’ by way of creating insecurity or blowing the same out of proportion so as to over-bloat the security votes and have them wastefully spent or squandered without statutory accountability in line with international best practices has become a common place among the sitting Governors in the eleven Eastern States of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa. This is to the extent that the above has led to reckless increases in the amount of public funds magisterially set aside as “Govs’ monthly security votes”. These increases are also done by Govs outside standard codifications and effective legislative oversight monitoring. Their respective State Houses of Assembly are used to rubber-stamp the wasteful spending or siphoning of the Governors’ monthly security votes. Therefore, by our conservative estimations, average of N1B is squandered monthly by each of the Govs of the eleven Eastern States; translating to N36B annually and N396B-N400B in the whole in past three years of July 2020-July 2023.

(4) N700B Lost By 1m Eastern Millionaires To Extortionist Government Agencies In 3 Years

Through the use of social cluster and personality interviews, interactions, observations and general investigations in some South-East and South-South business communities, Intersociety has found that Government agencies attached to the eleven Eastern Governments and those manning federal facilities in the East have illicitly pocketed not less than N700B from at least 1m licit Eastern millionaires they came in contact with in the past three years of July 2020-July 2023. The category of the victim-businessmen and the victim-businesswomen affected are those with operating capital of N10m and above (licit millionaires). That is to say that each of the 1m licit Eastern millionaires had in the past three years lost not less than N700, 000 to extortionist Government agencies of the eleven Eastern States. The sundry extortions and other corrupt practices are unknown to standardized and codified financial rules and regulations including federal and state tax laws and the prescribed local government collectable revenues as well as Government incomes and expenditures. The N700B losses incurred in the hands of the extortionist Government Agencies in the past three years are “criminal monies” to the extent that they have never reflected in Government budgets and statutory incomes, but had ended up in private pockets. Such ‘criminal monies’ excluded briberies from crooked businessmen and businesswomen especially those in illicit arms/drug trafficking and trafficking in persons or transactional ritualists (illicit businessmen/businesswomen). The ‘criminal’ N700billion was collected and pocketed using “blue-collar illicit cash deliveries” and “white-collar” means such as illicit money transfers, etc.

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(5) N150B Lost To Military/Police Civilian House Burnings/Lootings In Three Years

Intersociety’s field investigations have traced the military and police atrocious acts of lootings and burning down or wanton destruction of civilian houses and other properties to Oct/Nov 2020 Nigerian Army massacre and abductions in Obigbo, Rivers State and the Oct 2020 ENDSARS Protests in the eleven States of Eastern Nigeria, etc. The civilian house lootings and burnings by the military and the police crack squads have continued uncontrollably into 2021 till date; forcing Intersociety to release an international documentary on military house lootings and burnings in Imo on 18th July 2022. The military and police lootings are usually perpetrated before setting civilian houses on fire or wantonly destroying them. All of the above is to the extent that in the past three years of July 2020-July 2023, not less than 3000 civilian houses were looted and burned down or wantonly destroyed by the drafted military personnel and police crack squads leading to loss of over N150billion. Each of the looted/burned down civilian houses particularly in Imo, Rivers, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River is conservatively valued at N50m including electronics, electrical wirings, beds, mattresses, kitchen utensils, economic trees, domestic animals, food items, automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles and tri-cycles and so on.

(6) 54,000 Abducted/Robbed Victims Lost N400B To Eastern Criminal Entities In 3 Years

Field Checks by Intersociety showed that not less than ‘N400billion was seized at gunpoint by criminal entities operating in Nigeria’s eleven Eastern States or the South-East and the South-South States of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia, Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers. The ransom payments and gunpoint robberies had taken place in three years or July 2020 to July 2023 involving estimated 54,000 rich Easterners as abducted and the robbed victims. Average of 50 rich Easterners were abducted or robbed daily and forced to pay minimum of N5m each to their abductors/robbers; translating to estimated N400B. The gunpoint payment of minimum N5m was done by forcing each of the victims to instantly pay cash or through gunpoint money transfers or off-the-scene money transfers using smart phones snatched at gunpoint. Added to the N400billion was N200billion arising from other crime proceeds lost to the armed non state criminal entities; all totaling N600b.

98% Of Retired And Serving Security Chiefs Live Far Above Their Statutory Remunerations

It has long become a history in Nigeria or any part thereof to find a retired or serving security chief in that lives within the ambit of his or her statutory remunerations (salaries and allowances). Most of them are strongly believed to be living over 90 times more than their statutory remunerations. Their chronically corrupted lifestyles are majorly oiled by ‘extortion-racketeering’ through “official armed robberies” while the rest comes from “white-collar criminalities” such as pen robberies. These “Criminal Monies” after being illicitly generated later end up being channeled into acquisition of movable and immovable choice properties that have sprung up from left, right and center of Nigeria and beyond its shores including “Four-Star/Five-Star” hotels, plazas, hostels, petrol and gas stations, manufacturing industries, real estate investments; and ‘moveable’ investments in banks, manufacturing industries, multinational companies, telecommunications and private mansions within and outside the country. Included also is stashing away of hard currencies in foreign bank accounts or money laundering using untracked channels. All of the above is to say that if credible probes are conducted, today, over 95% of Nigeria’s serving or retired security chiefs especially from 2015 will rot behind prison bars in Nigeria or in overseas.

Criminal Armed State Actors Stole Seven Times More Than Non State Criminal Entities

Intersociety has grandly found that armed State actors and militant Government extortionist Agencies had in the past three years of July 2020 to July 2023 stolen seven times more than non-State criminal entities. While the former stole total of N2.2trillion (about 78.5%), the latter who the former were created, equipped and paid to uproot and contain stole only N600billion (about 21.5%). Also the total criminal monies stolen from defenseless Easterners in three years by the drafted criminal security forces in the East was N1.5trillion as against N600billion stolen by the non State criminal entities which is approximately three times higher than that stolen by non State criminal entities. The criminal security forces have also been found to have looted and burned down or wantonly destroyed civilian houses in Eastern Nigeria five times more than non State criminal entities have done who also killed much lesser number of citizens outside the law than the number killed, maimed, abducted and disappeared by the drafted criminal and atrocious police and military personnel and their chiefs across the East since July 2020.

Compiled By:

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Criminologist-Researcher/Board Chair, Intersociety

Assisted By:

Barr Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy and Good Governance

Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law

Barr Ndidiamaka C. Bernard, Head, International Justice and Human Rights

Barr Chidinma Evangeline Udegbunam, Head, Campaign and Publicity

Ositadinma Agu, Head, International Contacts and Mobilization

Samuel Kamanyaoku, Head, Field Data Collection and Documentation

Intersociety Conntacts:

WhatsApp/Mobile: +2348174090052

Email: info@intersociety-ng.org

Website: https://intersociety-ng.org

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