Showing posts with label Prisons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prisons. Show all posts

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Security In The Country/Boko Haram Sect


Security In The Country/Boko Haram Sect

As mark of commitment and responsibility to our statutory duties, I find it very expedient to address the Press for the purpose of acquainting you and the nation at large with the recent happenings in Bauchi and Borno States

The Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Abubakar Ringim, NPM, mni wishes to inform the general public that the Police are fully aware of the current threat to security in some parts of the country.

The Police in collaboration with other security agencies are working tirelessly to restore peace and order in the affected areas and the IGP has vowed to bring to book the Islamic sect called Boko Haram and any other group of persons who are behind the current spate of bomb blasts in the country. Considering the previous activities of Boko Haram sect in the country, the sect is responsible for almost daily killings in remote northeastern Nigeria and is thought to be behind a bombing on Thursday 19/05/2011 that injured policemen and soldiers. The explosion followed an attack on a police station late on Wednesday by suspected members of Boko Haram, a group behind frequent attacks in the northeastern states of Borno and Bauchi.

On the 7th of September, 2010 at about 1845hrs during the Magrib prayer, (evening prayer) a group of about 200 suspected Boko Haram fanatics armed themselves with General Purpose Machine Guns and Locally made Bombs attacked Bauchi Federal Prisons and consequently set free 721 inmates. Among the forcefully released inmates were 105 members of Boko Haram sect who were previously remanded in the prison custody. 4 persons were reportedly killed during the incident, among them were, 1 Soldier, 1 Policeman and 2 civilians, while 4 persons were reportedly injured.

During this attack, the administrative Block, the Armoury and a van were set ablaze; the fire was later put-off by combined efforts of Fire Service and the Police. 171 empty shells and live ammunition of General Purpose Machine Gun were recovered at the scene. Also recovered are two provocative handbills where names of some clerics are written such as: Bishop A.T Moses, Mallam Abubakar and Pastor Sunday Peters among many others. Our investigation has revealed that most of the names and addresses are the people considered as critics and enemies.

Consequent upon this incident, Police has risen to the occasion and re-arrested 35 inmates. Also information has it that, some inmates have started returning to the prison on their own volition. We understand that lack of cooperation from the residents has hindered thorough operation in that area. According to the force spokesman in Borno, Boko Haram had killed 50 officers since its uprising.

Our investigation revealed that Boko Haram is linked with al-Qaeda and on 2 October 2010, an ‘Eid Address’ – also dated 2 October 2010 – from Sheikh Muhammed Abu Bakr bin Muhammed ash-Shakwa, named as the ‘Emir of the Sunni Group for the Islamic Call and Jihad in Some African Lands Known as Nigeria’ [aka the BokuHaram] was released onto jihadist forums. In it, ash-Shakwa makes a lengthy and very robust appeal for Muslims in Nigeria to wage jihad to defend Islam from its ‘enemies’. He says that the group is fully committed to carrying out the ‘programme of the Prophet’ and establishing Sharia law.

He also pays tribute to al-Qaeda, its regional affiliates and respective leaders in Iraq, Yemen and North Africa, as well as the Mujahidin Youth Movement [aka the Shabab] in Somalia, and ‘the mujahidin in Pakistan, Chechnya and Kashmir’. Ash-Shakwa’s address was released in a PDF format by al-Fajr Media and is sourced to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) media division, al-Andalus. It appears to be genuine. This is significant as in February 2010, an address from the head of AQIM, Abu Mus’ab Abdal-Wadoud, entitled ‘The Genocide of Muslims in Nigeria – A New Episode in the Ongoing Crusader War’ was released onto jihadist forums in which he offered to train and arm Nigerian Muslims to conduct attacks against Christians in Nigeria. Following the release of ash-Shakwa’s Eid address, several members on jihadist forums referred to the group as ‘al-Qaeda in Nigeria’.

On 24 April, 2011 the radical sect, Boko Haram, vowed to continue fighting until the Nigerian Constitution is set aside and Islamic government is established across the country.

However, the security agencies are in the process of identifying and arresting the perpetrators behind this mindless threats and mischief across the country and all persons are advised to be law abiding. The Boko Haram sect and its members are under surveillance and they will all be arrested and prosecuted in due course. Nigerians should discountenance their threats and go about their lawful duties”.


Links on Boko Haram in Nigeria:

About the Boko Haram Sect

Boko Haram: Who are they?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Honorable Fatima Raji-Rasaki the matter with Police is the lack of Psychological Connection and Clearance

Honorable Fatima Raji-Rasaki the matter with Police is the lack of Psychological Connection and Clearance

Madam, public service is all about attitude. Even when an individual is imbued with the best conditions of education, remuneration and lifestyle, if the individual’s mindset and outlook to his or her work and the community they serve, is representative of negativity and indifference, then the nation is in trouble. This is what you are dealing with in regards to the current brand of police workers and officers in your midst.

This is why a candidate for any national and state security-related job should to go through an extensive battery of intellectual, personality, visual-motor and ethical testing. Thereafter, routine and periodic psychological assessment should follow on serving officers in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) beginning with the lowest rank of constable to those at the commanding levels.

Also there are those who need to benefit from random testing and retraining depending on the test outcomes. Madam, take for example, the recent announcement of mass transfer of police personnel from the South-East to other geographical zones, following the kidnap debacle.

Of course, you can transfer the individual’s body but the same mindset remains active just like it has been, and with time that mindset is equally acted upon in any new environment. Such has been the case of the Nigerian security forces including the Police, Prisons, State Security Service, and others.

Madam, there is a reason why police psychological service within the police administration is important. For decades there is no independent or fully staffed doctoral level psychological testing and readiness unit in the Nigerian police force. None!

Madam and you wonder why, just last month in Abuja, why a police officer started shooting at a bus conductor after been asked for his 30 naira bus fare. Madam, that victim could have been my or your family member!

The formation, structure and functioning of attitude require special identification through the guidance of a licensed or certified Clinical and personality psychologist. Certainly, Police personality and competency testing must not be carried out by psychiatrists as they are by law and norm mainly involved in the medical model of verbally questioning, and mentally observing a client as well assessing their need for medication.

This understanding is important as the colonial mentality of sending troubled persons to psychiatrists mostly still persist in Nigeria. As a result there is little awareness of psychology in the institutional framework of the society. And by the way, these problems include the law making bodies like yours, where mental health course of actions are hardly raised or opined upon.

While there are some like you that see attitude change as indispensable in police work, the system remains closed minded to the methodological, clinical and ethical improvement that comes from the psychological measurement of a candidate preparing for a ‘life and death’ job.

Madam, we are talking about persons with the power of guns, sticks and badges, which could be misused by any ill-cultured persons attracted to security agencies like the Police Force, EFCC, SSS and others.

Madam not until you and your colleagues mandates Psychological systems in the Police force as expected in the 21st century, you are wasting your free time and space.

There are a few persons that see the clear need for psychology and have come to the realization for psychological clearance, and that person is Chairman Parry Osayande of the Police Service Commission. But the apparent loosely tight communication and relationship between the essential sub systems like the Ministry of Police Affairs and the NPF remain remains a strain on the entire system.

There are high level psychological experts (not the recent recruitment of persons with first degree in psychology, and calling them psychologist!) who are willing to exhibit patriotic, volunteer, and altruistic-related assistance. But they are ignored. Why, that is the way it is, in a system where strict rules of coordination, of ethics and shared understanding remain absent or lacking.

Madam, the work of policing certainly is demanding and risky, therefore one want officers who have the attitudinal power to relate with the people of the community. Since an attitude of good neighborliness makes fighting crime much easier. Madam, a monthly salary of at least 35,000 naira for a psychologically prepared constable would enhance the mindset of professionalism.

Madam, a systemic talk with the Chairman Parry Osayande will inform you that prior to an applicant being accepted into a police academy either as rank and file officer or as a cadet for inspector or superintendent position just taking an aptitude test, a physical exam, meeting the federal character or meeting entry qualifications like secondary school or others are not enough.

To be accepted into a junior or senior academy a battery of evaluations conducted by a doctoral and certified clinical psychologist is paramount. The number of test administered should cover personality, drug, lie-related test and other psychological related measurements deemed essential by the psychological examiner.

A detailed historical, personal, family and work background check is important. As a criminal background check is part of the pre-employment requirement, Madam you and others at the National Assembly, should provide the resources for the technology necessary for workable fingerprinting, and for data collection and banking of a citizen’s social history.

Madam, there is opportunity to advance the society towards peace and sanity, but it must start from your official end, and a cooperative relationship between the appropriate agencies will transform into the making of an officer with good attitude to security related services.

~ By John Oshodi

John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, DABPS, FABFE, is a practicing Forensic/Clinical Psychologist, and the Interim Associate Dean of Behavioral Science, Broward College, North Campus, Coconut Creek, Florida,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Bloodhound Cell Phone Detector Goes Behind Bars to Uncover Contraband Cell Phones

Bloodhound Cell Phone Detector from Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS). (PRNewsFoto/Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc.) METUCHEN, NJ UNITED STATES

16 Mar 2010 13:00 Africa/Lagos

The Bloodhound Cell Phone Detector Goes Behind Bars to Uncover Contraband Cell Phones in Correctional Facilities and Prisons

Berkeley Varitronics Systems to showcase the Bloodhound Cell Phone Detector at the CTIA Wireless Show March 23-25 in Las Vegas & at the GovSec/U.S. Law Conference March 23-24 in DC

METUCHEN, N.J., March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. (BVS), a leading provider of advanced wireless solutions and products to the domestic and international wireless telecommunications industry, today announced the company has successfully field-tested the Bloodhound cell phone detector at one of the top ten largest county correctional facilities in the nation. The Bloodhound is a hand-held, wireless cell phone detector that does not employ the sledgehammer approach of cell phone jamming, currently prohibited under U.S. federal law.

(Photo: )

BVS conducted the field-test at a national correctional facility that houses 1,300 inmates (both men and women) and employs more than 400 security officers as well as administration staff. Security officers and BVS discretely walked the halls of the correctional facility with the Bloodhound cell phone detector to pinpoint in real-time the exact location of contraband cell phones in use.

"The field-test was successful as we noted illegal cell phone activity rather quickly," said Scott Schober, President and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems. "Utilizing the cell phone detector's high-speed scanning receiver and Direction Finding Antenna, the Bloodhound detected cell phone activity in areas where it was strictly forbidden. Surprisingly there were even cell phones detected in the cafeteria, which is prohibited."

To combat the escalating number of contraband cell phones smuggled into prisons and correctional facilities, some prison officials have imposed fines of up to $5,000 and extended sentences up to five years when an inmate is caught using a contraband cell phone. Recently, Steve Largent, CEO of the CTIA, released a statement in support of the Cell Phone Contraband Act of 2009 (S. 1749), introduced by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), advocating the Senate to severely penalize prison inmates who use wireless services to conduct unlawful activities or harass and intimidate the public. According to Senator Feinstein, the bill would classify cell phones and wireless devices as contraband material, and anyone who provides, or attempts to provide, an inmate with a cell phone could face imprisonment of up to one year.

"BVS has sold a significant number of Bloodhound cell phone detectors to federal and state correctional facilities and numerous government agencies since its release on December 14, 2009. Of the hundreds of correctional facilities that have contacted BVS, the majority are frustrated with the number of cell phones that continually make their way behind bars and are desperate for a solution like BVS' cell phone detector," added Schober. "According to some correctional officers, cell phones are smuggled in through criminal defense lawyers, family members, food service staff, maintenance contractors and even corrupt security guards looking to make some extra cash."

Prior to the release of the Bloodhound cell phone detector, correctional facilities have had to battle the widespread use of contraband cell phones with specialized K-9 units that are trained to smell the batteries in cell phones. In the state of New Jersey, for example, the cost to purchase a trained dog is $5,000 plus the trainer's salary for a comprehensive ten-week course the dog and trainer are required to complete by the New Jersey Attorney General. Couple these costs with regular vet and food bills and the solution is costly. The inmates make the K-9 units' job even more challenging by hiding the cell phones in strong smelling foods such as peanut butter.

In addition, the FCC has been petitioned to allow cell phone jamming in prisons, currently prohibited under Section 333 of the Communications Act that specifically forbids any willful or malicious interference with licensed radio signals and prohibits the manufacture, importation or sale of any device intended to jam or disrupt wireless communications. Critics of cell phone jamming, including the CTIA, have expressed concern that cell phone jamming technology could interfere with emergency response and legitimate cell phone use near prisons.

As an alternative to cell phone jamming and K-9 units, The Bloodhound cell phone detector is a safe, legal, quick and cost-effective way to monitor and pinpoint unauthorized cell phones within correctional facilities 24 hours a day. The complete Bloodhound unit costs $1,800 and can also be utilized by government agencies that want to enforce a 'no wireless policy'.

BVS will be showcasing the Bloodhound cell phone detector at the International CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas March 23-25th at booth #2400, as well as at the GovSec/U.S. Law Conference in Washington DC March 23 - 24th at booth #609.

About Berkeley Varitronics Systems

Berkeley Varitronics Systems, located in Metuchen, New Jersey, has been providing advanced wireless solutions and products to the domestic and international wireless telecommunications industry for over 35 years. Since 1995, BVS has introduced over 50 unique wireless test devices for a variety of applications including the popular Cellular, iDEN, PCS, CDMA, RFID, LTE, Mobile WiMAX, FIXED WiMAX, 802.11b/a/n/g & Bluetooth specifications. For more information about BVS, visit

The Berkeley Varitronics Systems logo, names and logos and combinations thereof, are trademarks of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc. All other names are for informational purposes and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

PRN Photo Desk,
Source: Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc.

CONTACT: Scott Schober, President and CEO, Berkeley Varitronics Systems,
+1-732-548-3737,; or Kelly Gorychka, The Bernard
Group, Office: +1-512-617-6354 Cell: +1-512-922-8059,, for Berkeley Varitronics Systems

Web Site: