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NBM OF AFRICA vs. TORONTO POLICE

NBM OF AFRICA PRESS RELEASE

 

TORONTO POLICE PRESS CONFERENCE ON NBM OF AFRICA: ANOTHER POLICE FALLACY AND FABRICATION

 

The attention of the leadership of the NBM of AFRICA Worldwide (a/k/a NEO-BLACK MOVEMENT OF AFRICA) has been drawn to Toronto Police Press Conference of October 22, 2015, where the Police characterized the NBM as a “criminal organization”.

 

We wish to categorically state that the entire press conference with particular emphasis on Detective Trotters comments relating to NBM of AFRICA are nothing but baseless, without any proof or merit and we reject them outright. At best, the comments are clearly the result of ignorance or very poor and shoddy police investigation.

 

In the above-referenced Press Conference, the Toronto Police had wrongfully or erroneously characterized NBM of AFRICA as a “criminal organization”. It is obvious, from the Press Conference that Toronto Police relied so heavily on clearly inaccurate and misconceived information about NBM of AFRICA and its activities with the result that it has falsely accused and/or labelled NBM of AFRICA as engaging in nefarious and illegal activities.

 

Quite incredulously, throughout the Press Conference, the Police could not cite or reference a single criminal activity that the organization has been involved other than the fact that an individual who is a member of the organization acting in his personal capacity without the knowledge, collusion, direction, complicity or connivance of the organization was arrested and charged for fraud and money laundering.

 

For clarity and avoidance of doubt, the NEO-BLACK Movement is an international Non-governmental, not-for profit, non-partisan, non-religious and non-tribal Pan African socio-cultural organization whose objectives and mode of operation are based on the principles of democracy, equality and social justice. The principal objectives of the organization in Canada are to advance the interests, welfare and general well-being of the people of African background and heritage. The organization works in partnership or in conjunction with other corporate and non-corporate organizations that share its vision of helping to reduce poverty, illiteracy and disease around the world and most particularly among people of African background or descent.

 

The organization has been carrying out these objectives through various charitable means such as providing counseling, providing job-searching assistance to job seekers (including resume writing) and seeking out available job opportunities for new immigrants from Africa particularly those from Nigeria. The organization has provided scholarships and funding from Secondary school to the University level to the children of some of its deceased members and/or indigent members. As well, NBM has, in collaboration with other well-meaning organizations, sponsored and still sponsor less privileged children from Asia and other countries and has made various donations to the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto amongst others.

 

Regrettably, in the Press Conference referenced above, the two officers conflated NBM and the Black Axe Confraternity.  For the avoidance of doubt and for the record, the Neo Black Movement of Africa IS NOT the BLACK AXE CONFRATERNITY. Similarly, unlike the BLACK AXE CONFRATERNITY, the NBM is not a secret cult.

 

NBM has been in existence in Ontario since 2003 and was registered as a Not-for Profit Charitable Organization on August 20, 2012. Its members come from diverse professional and educational backgrounds. All of the organizations activities take place in the open either in a hotel or other public rented places. The organization is non-violent, non-criminal and non-clandestine in its activities. It is therefore unfortunate and highly regrettable that the organization has been portrayed as a criminal organization by no other than the Police Force- the Toronto Police without verifying the accuracy of its information and clarification from the leadership of the organization or other appropriate authorities particularly situated to better inform the Police.

 

The Toronto Police’s arrest of an individual, who coincidentally is a member of NBM, for allegedly committing a crime, does not make the NBM a criminal organization. Clearly, there is no question that some criminals who have been arrested, charged and convicted of one crime or the other by the Toronto Police may very well belong to one organization or another and the mere fact that a criminal belongs to one organization or the other does not in itself make their various organizations responsible for such individual’s criminal actions. It is therefore unfair and discriminatory to apply a different standard to NBM by labelling it a criminal organization because of the alleged criminal involvement of one of its member.  NBM is not a criminal organization and does not condone, encourage or engage in criminal activities.  As a matter of fact, any member of the organization who engages in any criminal activities is sanctioned with expulsion. While the organization does not have the necessary information to confirm or deny that the member arrested by the Toronto Police for allegedly committing fraud and money laundering was definitely engaged in the alleged activities (albeit criminal), the organization is emphatic that to the extent that the arrested member may have committed the alleged offences, he acted in his personal capacity and not under the mandate, approval or aegis of NBM of AFRICA and accordingly, he must, like every other suspected criminal, be held personally accountable for his actions and if found culpable, made to face the full wrath of the law on his own.

 

To further buttress and underscore the fallacy underlying the Toronto Police Press Release, The Police even stated that in Nigeria where the organization began, the NBM is an unlawful organization. It is perhaps very instructive and interesting to know as recently as November 16, 2015, a court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria – the Federal High Court of Nigeria, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria issued a judgment declaring that the NBM is in fact a lawful human rights and charitable organization whose members are free to go about their lawful activities. For the avoidance of any doubt, certified copy of the said judgment is attached to this press release. Based on the recent decision by the Federal High Court of Nigeria, it is obvious to anyone who has made even a cursory investigation into the activities of the NBM that contrary to Detective’s Trotters claims, even in Nigeria, NBM is a very lawful and law abiding group.

 

NBM of AFRICA is mindful of its responsibility as a responsible Corporate Charitable organization as well as the reasonable expectations of its members and public alike. NBM of AFRICA has nothing but the utmost admiration and respect for the laws of this land and any other land for that matter. NBM of AFRICA does not encourage any of its members to break the laws of this land or the laws of any other land. To be very clear, if any of our members is found to have committed any crime or crimes against the laws of any land, it is in fact to the organization’s best interests that such member or members be made to face the full wrath of the law. Simply put, NBM of AFRICA would prefer that such member or members be made to face the consequences of their individual actions without any need to attribute the criminal activity of such member or members to the entire group especially considering that most of the organization’s members are law abiding citizens/residents with lawful and gainful employments.

 

In essence therefore, NBM of AFRICA only demand is that it be allowed, like other legally incorporated not-for profit organizations to work or operate in an environment devoid of wrongful or erroneous characterization, false accusations, innuendos and intimidation.

 

Finally, NBM of AFRICA finds it extremely outrageous and offensive that it has been defamed by the Toronto Police Department in this reckless and disrespectful manner and we have advised the Police Department accordingly. However, while we sympathize with the Toronto Police for its ignorance, we consider it necessary to also make this public statement to set the records straight and publicly put the Toronto Police Department on notice that unless they immediately cease and desist from making further defamatory and offensive statements about NBM of AFRICA, the Organization will be left with no option but to pursue all relief, in law and equity, to which the organization is justly entitled. Hopefully all of this will not become necessary.

 

Thank you for you for your time and attention.