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22:42

In Kaduna: Police kill two bandits, rescue 20


Police say they killed two suspected kidnappers and rescued 20 victims in two separate operations in  Kaduna State.


Spokesman for the force in the state, DSP Yakubu Sabo, said in a  statement on Wednesday they carried out the operations in Mararaban Jos along the Kaduna-Zaria Highway and at Kidandan, Giwa Local Government Area of the state, where three  abducted Airtel Communications workers were rescued.

The statement read, “The Kaduna State Police Command succeeded in foiling a kidnapping incident, gunned down some suspected bandits and rescued 11 victims unhurt.”

Sabo said they  received a distress call through  the DPO in  Mararraban Joson Wednesady  that some bandits had blocked the Kaduna-Zaria  Highway and abducted eight people  from a  bus going  from Kano to Abuja.

 He named  the abductees as Aisha Umar, Samira Dakata,  Safiya Idris, Hauwa Aliyu, Aisha Yakubu, Ma’aru Adam, Safiya Audu and Yahaya Bello, all from Kano State

Sabo said, “On receipt of the information,  we  mobilised to the area to  engage the bandits. We   gunned down two of them and rescued the eight victims unhurt while many other bandits escaped with bullet wounds.”

According to the spokesman, they have launched a manhunt  for the fleeing hoodlums.

In the second operation, Sabo  said they  received a distress call from a member of the public  through the  DPO  of Kidandan in Giwa LGA  on Tuesday that some bandits  had invaded Maidaro village and kidnapped three Airtel Communications Company workers.

He said, “We quickly moved  to the scene and  engaged the hoodlums in a fierce gun duel and  rescued the three workers unhurt. They are  Henry Agim, Kamal Raman and Shegun Adejimoh.”

He added,  “Our men  also intercepted nine other captives who were passengers of  a Morcopolo  bus that were attacked along the  Kaduna-Zaria Highway  on January 14  alongside the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum at foundation village.

“The victims are Abdulhafiz Wakil, Abdul Wasiu Jimmoh, Mujittaba, Hajara Usman, Emmanuela Dimka, Dahiru Isa and three others who were debriefed by the Commissioner of Police and supported to be reunited with their respective families.” Punch
22:41

In Ogun: INEC trains 100 corpers for rerurn


The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday said  it had trained 100  National Youth Service Corps  members for Saturday’s House of Representatives rerun in Ogun State .


The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. Abdulganiu Raji, stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the election in Ijebu Ode.

The rerun would hold in 13 polling units in Ijebu Ode/Odogbolu/Ijebu North East Federal Constituency as a result of the Court of Appeal judgment nullifying the election in the affected areas.

The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Abeokuta had on September 9, 2019, nullified the election of Mr Kolapo Osunsanya of the All Progressives Congress representing Ijebu Central Federal Constituency.

Taiwo Shote of the Peoples Democratic Party had challenged the return of Osunsanya as duly elected, saying the election failed to comply substantially with the Electoral Act.

The Court of Appeal in Ibadan upheld the decision of the tribunal which had ordered a rerun and subsequently dismissed the appeal filed by Osunsanya.

Raji said INEC had trained the corps members extensively, adding that he was sure they would apply the training well on the election day.

He said, “For a peaceful election,  let’s cooperate with ourselves,  we are going to conduct a transparent,  free and fair election.

The Commissioner of Police and Chairman of ICCES, Kenneth Ebrimson, said the security agencies had mapped out new measures to curb voter inducement. Punch
22:39

Foreign countries protecting Diezani Allison – EFCC boss, Magu


Mr Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has alleged that some foreign countries were sabotaging the commission’s efforts at repatriating a former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke.


He stated this on Wednesday during an official visit to the Ibadan zonal office of the commission.

EFCC had in the last five years been on the trail of the former minister over alleged corrupt practices.

Magu said that he suspected sabotage on the part of some foreign countries over Allison-Madueke’s case

The EFCC boss wondered why the countries would keep her from the commission for no just reason.

The anti-graft agency had sometime in November dismissed claims that it has dropped all corruption charges against Diezani Alison-Madueke. Dailypost
22:38

Gov Obaseki’s aide escapes gunmen attack


A Senior Special Assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Anti-Human Trafficking Issues, Solomon Okoduwa, on Tuesday night escaped gunmen attack at his Benin residence.


 Addressing journalists in Benin on Wednesday, Okoduwa said some gunmen on Tuesday night trailed him to his residence in Benin City and opened fire at his direction but he was lucky to have narrowly escaped by a whisker.

Okoduwa said few hours after the failed attempt on his life; he received a call from an unidentified caller, who warned him.

 The government official said of late he had been trailed by strange men especially at night and had received phone calls from unanimous callers who had warned him to stop the arrest and campaign against traffickers in the state or he would be stopped.

 Okoduwa had been aiding security agencies in arresting and exposing the activities of trafficking cartel in the state.

 “Tuesday night after I managed to escape, I got a call from an unknown number telling me I should not talk about human trafficking again. The guy who did not tell me his name further threatened me that if I didn’t stop, they would stop me. The call has come now three times and it is strange.

 “I wonder why people would be angry for the selfless efforts I am putting in to save the future of our girl child. Why would they be threatening me to stop instead of them to be encouraging me or joining me to stop human trafficking in our state?” Okoduwa said.

He said though the matter had been reported at a police station in Benin, he however appealed to the state Commissioner of Police and other relevant security agencies  to come to his aid as he could no longer move freely for fear of gunmen attack.

Okoduwa expressed his determination to continue with his campaign against traffickers and their agents in the state. Punch
22:37

Ilorin High Court jails seven over money rituals


An Ilorin High Court, Wednesday, convicted seven persons for allegedly trafficking, selling, buying and poseessing human parts for money rituals.


Justice Durosiloun Kawu, who delivered the judgement, found them guilty of such offences as criminal conspiracy, trafficking and posession of 11 human skulls, 11 lower jaw bones, bunch of hair and 29 pieces of bones taken from various burial grounds in Ilorin.

The offences were reportedly committed in March 2017 in Ilorin.

Delivering judgement, Justice Kawu, described the activities of the convicts as despicable and shameful and sentenced the first convict, Azeez Yakubu, to 15 years imprisonment, with N100,000 fine each on three counts, which he said would run concurrently.

Other convicts, Aishat Yinusa, Lukman Saka, Abdulganiyu Bamdele, Ahmed Yahaya, Salihu Ayinde and Abdulrasak Babamale were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with N100,000 fine each on two counts that would run concurrently.

Justice Kawu also said that the prison terms would include period already spent in prison custody, adding that “they were free to appeal the judgement.”

Justice Kawu had earlier in his judgement overruled that the convicts were tortured by SARS operatives in Abuja to extract information contained in their written statements, describing the defence as unreasonable and inconsistent,while also affirming that the evidence found on the convicts were not part of animals, but those of human beings.

Dailypost reports that the head of Pathology Department, UNILORIN Teaching Hospital, Dr. Kazeem Ibrahim was invited to ascertain that the parts were human parts. Dailypost
12:09

Akwa Ibom: Police orders arrest of inspector for killing widow


One week after the alleged murder of a widow Deborah Nkpenie, Akwa Ibom State police commissioner Imohimi Edgal has ordered the immediate arrest of Bassey Peter Ikpe, an Inspector of police attached to the command.

The command spokesman Odiko Macdon in a statement said the command’s decision to take action on the alleged murder was informed by publications in some dailies and online media.

An eyewitness said the incident took place on Thursday, Jan 16, 2020, when the deceased was invited by the police.

Another eye witness, Mfonobong Peter, who claimed to be a sister to the deceased, said “the IPO went wild with the allegation that the deceased was lying about her state of health to escape being arraigned in court.

Peter said the deceased was rushed to the Police Clinic where the doctor confirmed her dead.

“On returning to the police headquarters, we were denied entry into the premises by the policemen manning the gate of the police headquarters.

Reacting to the unfolding scenario, a human rights lawyer, Clifford Thomas, who had picked interest in the case and had interacted with the DPC, said “the IPO was against the wise counsel of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the state command, considering the hypertensive state of the deceased at the time. Theguardianng
12:08

Gov Sanwo-Olu opens IDP camp for 300 victims of Lagos pipeline explosion


The Lagos State Government has opened a camp for 300 Internal Displaced Persons of the pipeline explosion that occurred at Ile-Epo, Abule Egba area of Lagos State.


A statement made available to The PUNCH by the Public Affairs Officer of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Nosa Okunbor, on Wednesday, confirmed that the IDPs would be kept at the Igando Relief Camp.

It will be recalled that a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was on Sunday ruptured by vandals, which led to an explosion.

The Lagos explosion, which occurred around 8.30pm, left five persons dead, while 11 buildings, 17 shops and 36 vehicles, including 33 trucks, were consumed by the accompanying inferno.

The statement read, “Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in view of the disaster resulting from the pipeline vandalisation of Sunday, January 19, 2020, has magnanimously granted the request of the Chairman Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, Dr Adeoye Arogundade, and has directed that the Igando Relief Camp of LASEMA be opened to the about 300 Internally Displaced Persons/victims with immediate effect.

“In the same development, Mr Bosun Ogunkolade has been appointed Head of Special Duties and Camp Commandant over LASEMA Relief Camps to oversee the affairs and welfare of the about 300 Internally Displaced Persons from the Abule Egba/Ile Epo pipeline explosion.

“He resumes duty with immediate effect.” Punch
12:08

In Kano: Lassa Fever kills pregnant woman, 2 Doctors


The Kano State government has confirmed the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state with three victims killed.


The State Commissioner for Health,  Aminu Tsanyawa, told journalists on Wednesday that the victims of the virus include a pregnant woman and two medical doctors, who diagnosed her at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.

Tsanyawa said a press briefing was necessary to keep the public abreast of the situation and give necessary information about the disease.

He added that the surveillance rate in Kano State since 2015 has improved and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led administration has swung into action to curtail the spread.

This disclosure comes hours after at least 16 people were reported dead in a fresh outbreak of Lassa Fever in Ondo State.

Ondo State Chief Epidemiologist,  while briefing Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, revealed that 84 cases have been reported in the state since January 1, 2020.

Earlier, Governor Akeredolu advised the local government chairmen in the state to deploy cleaners to markets and public places to prevent the outbreak of diseases. ChannelsTv
12:07

Maiduguri-Damaturu highway: Soldiers, many terrorists die in gun duel


Soldiers and mobile policemen have cleared out remnants of Boko Haram terrorising motorists on the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway.


Six soldiers were said to have been lost in the battle, with the insurgents recording a larger number of casualties, The PUNCH reports.

Security sources said the insurgents were engaged between Mainok and Benesheikh on the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway between 11am and 1pm on Tuesday.

The sources said the soldiers had engaged the insurgents in a shootout between 11am and 11.35am.

One of the sources said, “Two gun trucks were recovered, but six soldiers were lost in the gun duel, two corpses of Boko Haram were seen after the crossfire ceased but many corpses were taken away by the insurgents.”

He added, “Boko Haram equally suffered a high degree of injuries, many of them were seen leaping off in flight.”

The Commander of Rapid Response Squad in Borno State, Abioye Babalola, confirmed the incident but did not give details of the casualties from the military and security agencies. Punch
20:49

22 World Cup qualifiers: Nigeria’s opponents revealed


Nigeria has been drawn alongside Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia in the Group C of the second round of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers for Africa.


The draw was held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday where the forty remaining nations were divided into ten groups of four teams each.

The teams that top the groups will advance to the third and final round and 5 will represent Africa at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Here is the full Second Round World Cup Qualifiers for Africa:

Group A: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Djibouti

Group B: Tunisia, Zambia, Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea

Group C: Nigeria, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Liberia

Group D: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Malawi

Group E: Mali, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda

Group F: Egypt, Gabon, Libya, Angola

Group G: Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia

Group H: Senegal, Congo, Namibia, Togo

Dailypost
20:46

Plateau govt pays N126m counterpart fund for mosquito nets


The Plateau State Government says it has paid N126m as its counterpart contribution for the free distribution of 2.5 million treated mosquito nets.

The Executive Secretary, Plateau State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Livinus Miapkwap, said this at a   campaign rally in Jos on Tuesday.

 He said the distribution would “commence on February 22,2020 and end on February 26, 2020.”

 According to him, every household in the state will first be issued with a net card during registration between February 1 and 9, 2020.

 Miapkwap said, “In its efforts to eliminate malaria, the Plateau State Government with support from the United States Government through the US President’s Malaria Initiative plans to distribute 2,522,250 treated mosquito nets to the people of Plateau State through mass distribution campaign.” Punch
20:45

I no longer feel safe at NIJ - says assaulted student


A student of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos, Anjola Ogunyemi, has said she is not returning to the school after being allegedly sexually assaulted by one of her lecturers, Tene John, as she no longer feels safe.


Ogunyemi said she feared that she would be victimised by other lecturers of the school for allegedly causing John to lose his job.

Punch learnt that Ogunyemi was allegedly assaulted by John on December 13, 2019, in his office.

It was gathered that the victim petitioned the school management to demand an investigation into the incident.

Our correspondent learnt that upon the receipt of the petition, the management of the NIJ set up a panel to probe the allegation.

The school, in a statement by its Registrar, Dotun Adeniji, on Monday, announced John’s dismissal after the conclusion of the investigation.

The statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to a post on the social media by one of our students, Ms Anjola Ogunyemi, a National Diploma 1 student, alleging sexual harassment by one of our part-time lecturers, Mr Tene John.

The 22-year-old victim, who spoke with our correspondent on Tuesday, stated that going back to the school would be like walking into a trap.

Ogunyemi urged other students of the school, who had experienced sexual assault from lecturers, to speak up for the sake of their mental health, adding that she almost lost her mind when the incident happened. Punch
20:40

Boko Haram Beheaded CAN Chairman Lawan, Despite N50m Offer


Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika local government area of Adamawa state has been killed by Boko Haram fighters that abducted him.


The sect was said to have rejected  N50million ransom for the release of Rev. Andimi.

The CAN chairman was abducted by the insurgents early January when his village was attacked.

Barely few days after he was abducted by the insurgents, the cleric had in a video clip, urged the governor of the state, Ahmadu Finitri to facilitate his release.

“I have never been discouraged, because all conditions that one finds himself …is in the hand of God. God who made them to take care of me. So, the summary of my speech; I am appealing to my colleagues, reverends, particularly my president, Reverend Joel Billy who is a strong man, a man of compassion and man of love. He can do all his best to speak to our governor, Umaru Jibrilla (Fintiri) and other necessary agents for my release here,” he had said in the video.

The state CAN chairman, Bishop Dami Mamza, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Yola on Tuesday, saying the captive had been beheaded after negotiation broke down.

Mamza said the insurgents had demanded for £200million, rejecting the N50million ransom offer outrightly. He said the cleric’s captors threatened to kill him on Saturday but did not carry out the execution until Monday.

“Negations were still ongoing when they stopped calling. They were offered N50 million but they rejected it”, Mamza said.

“They called his wife last week, informing her that they will be beheading him on Saturday, but somehow, they waited till Monday. Informationng
20:39

21-year-old boy admits to defrauding American of $200


A 21-year-old Internet fraudster, Arowolo Ariremako, has admitted to defrauding an American of the sum of $200.

Ariremako, who appeared before a Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State, on Tuesday, pleaded guilty to the offences bordering on fraud preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The EFCC prosecutor, Oluwatoyin Owodunni, explained that Ariremako defrauded an American, identified simply as Gray.

The defendant was said to have obtained the sum of $200 from the American.

According to the prosecutor, the defendant opened a fake email account and posed as a woman to defraud his victim.

The counsel for the defendant, Abayomi Alawode, urged the court to be lenient with his client, saying Ariremako could still be useful to the nation.

Justice Peter Lifu found Ariremako guilty of fraud.

He, however, adjourned the matter to January 31, 2020, for sentencing. Punch
10:41

Nigerian Navy nabs 9 suspected kidnappers with military camouflage uniforms


The Nigerian Navy School of Armament Technology, Kaduna, said its operatives arrested no fewer than nine suspects involved in kidnapping, cattle-rustling and banditry in Kaduna State.


The school also said 28 kidnap victims were rescued in the operation.

The Commandant of the School, Rear Admiral Tanko Pani, who made the disclosure while handing over the suspects to the Department of State Services on Tuesday in Kachia, said military camouflage uniforms, motorbikes and ammunition were recovered from the suspects.

Pani said the arrest followed four months surveillance of suspected dangerous criminal syndicates operating in Kachia and other parts of the State.

According to Pani, some of them were caught in isolated forests where they were hibernating, while others were caught in hotels and in their houses.

He identified those arrested as Abubakar Duguri, alias Kure, Saleh Magaji, alias Bodari, Idris Iliyasu, Auwal Yahyah, and Monore Abu.

Others are Mohammed Wakili, Tanimu Ibrahim, alias Sambo, Abdullahi Adamu alias Yellow and Umar Alhassan.

He explained that victims who were unable to meet the demands of the suspects were either killed, maimed or injured, while some of the female victims were raped.

The commandant, who handed over the suspects to the DSS, assured that the Navy would continue to collaborate with other security agencies to protect lives and properties of citizens.

The Commandant stressed that criminals in the state would have no hiding place, saying “we shall locate them and flush them out.” (NAN)
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