Terrorists perceive security agencies as objects of mockery – Kukah

Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah, has joined numerous of Nigerians in condemning recent killings in Plateau, asserting that citizens of Nigeria are gradually losing hope in their government’s ability to protect them.

Bishop Kukah in a statement he signed personally and made available to newsmen in the state of Saturday evening said religious leaders; both Muslim and Christians, had continued to use moral authority to encourage their people not to take laws into their hands.

Kukah’s states came on the heels of the killing of over 150 persons in Plateau State on Christmas Eve by suspected terrorists.

According to the statement titled, ‘Blood and Crucifixion on the Plateau’, he said the invisible men came to the Plateau again, bearing their gifts of death and destruction.

He said, “They came from the deepest pit of hell, the habitat of the devils that they are. They are children of darkness, sons of Satan. They opted to extinguish and snatch the light of the joy of Christmas from thousands of people on the Plateau.

(Punch)

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Gunmen kill Kwara doctor, kidnap teenage daughter

Residents of Kambi community along Ilorin/Jebba Expressway in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State were on Thursday left in shock as some gunmen invaded the home of a medical practitioner, Dr David Adefikayo, killed him and kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter.

PUNCH Online gathered that the gunmen stormed the residence of the Medical Director of Dafikayo Clinic in Kambi around 8.30pm on Thursday, shooting sporadically and killed the doctor.

The motives behind the act remained unclear as of the time of filing this report.

A close family source who pleaded anonymity recounted the horrifying incident, expressing shock and grief.

She said, “The assailants, whose motives remain unclear, gained entry into Dr Adefikayo’s home around 8.30pm, and despite the doctor’s desperate pleas and offers of money or any other possessions they might wish to take, the gunmen remained resolute in their deadly intent, tragically executing their horrific mission in front of his horrified wife and children.

“Adding to the family’s anguish, the assailants abducted the youngest child of the deceased, a 16-year-old girl, before fleeing the scene.”

PUNCH Online gathered that the abducted girl was later released on Friday and has since been reunited with her family.

The spokesperson of the Kwara State Police Command, Ejire-Adeyemi Adetoun, confirmed the incident, noting that the investigation is ongoing.

Adetoun, who did not respond to calls made to her phone number on Friday, told a local newspaper in Ilorin that the command had launched a manhunt as the operatives led by the DPO of Kambi/Oloru Divisional Police Headquarters are currently combing the bush in Moro and Ifelodun Local Government Areas of the state.

(Punch)

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Police dismiss constables for demanding money from Abuja-bound Dutch tourist

The Oyo State Police Command, on Thursday, dismissed two Special Constabularies identified as Jimoh Lukman and Kareem Fatai, over alleged extortion.

They were consequently stripped of the Nigerian Police uniform to further confirm their exit from the constabulary service.

The PUNCH reports that the two officers were recently caught in a viral video demanding money from a Dutch tourist riding on a power bike from the Netherlands and heading to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The state Commissioner of Police, Adebola Hamzat, while dismissing the officers at the state Police Command in Eleyele, Ibadan, said their dismissal from police constabulary followed a recommendation of the orderly room investigation.

He said, “The Oyo State Police Command wishes to inform the residents of the state and by extension the general public that special constabularies Kareem Fatai and Jimoh Lukmon, who were captured in a viral video dated 29/10/2023 soliciting for money from a tourist from Netherland, one Ms Noraly Schoenmaker ’f’, have been dismissed in furtherance of the completion of their orderly room trials.

“The duo deliberately defied numerous orders and directives against professional misconduct extortion, incivilities towards members of the public and corruption.

“Consequent to the above, the command reaffirms its commitment towards fighting corruption and all cases of professional misconduct at all times by causing a deliberate increase in the layers of supervision of field officers to be handled by the command’s X-squad and monitoring unit this Yuletide season and beyond.

“Lastly, while this action is to serve as deterrence to other officers with a similar disposition, special constabularies Kareem Fatai and Jimoh Lukmon cease to be part of the noble policing profession from today (Thursday),” he stated.

(Punch)

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Rivers police kill wanted kidnapper, rescue four victims

The Rivers State Police Command said its men gunned down two notorious kidnappers, including a gang leader nicknamed ‘Occasion’ during a shootout in a forest in Emuoha Local Government Area of the state.

The command also said four persons blindfolded and found in the kidnappers den were rescued.

Spokesperson for the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Iringe-Koko said the kidnap victims were rescued after operatives subdued the hoodlums during an exchange of gun fire.

Meanwhile, one of the victims, a commercial driver, who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt on condition of anonymity, said he was on a trip back to Port Harcourt when he noticed an obstruction on the road caused by a huge tree trunk blocking the road.

He said while driving a Sienna, an Audi car was in front of him, and as he was contemplating reversing, some men came out from the bush and fired bullets at the tyres of his vehicle and that of the Audi.

He stated, “The men, numbering six, asked us  to lie on the ground and later grabbed us  and took us  through  bush paths as they noticed a police van approaching. The police shot several times, but we were taken too deep into the forest.”

He said  the kidnappers tortured them and extracted funds from them via their Automated Teller Machine cards and from their families.

The driver added, “They removed N800, 000 from one of the victims’ accounts and N1.9 million from another.

“Throughout our stay, the kidnappers only gave us tiny pieces of bread and sachet water.”

He added that the kidnappers blindfolded him and the three others all through their stay in captivity.

The police statement read,  “In the early hours of Wednesday, December 14, 2023, gunshots rang out as four blindfolded men scrambled in confusion.

“When the gunshots ceased, the four men were eased off their blindfolds and realised that they had been rescued by the police from an ordeal in which they had lost hope after spending 48 hours in the den of a notorious kidnap kingpin.

“The policemen, while searching for the victims, discovered the camp of the kidnappers on the third day.

“They proceeded to conduct prompt but thorough surveillance to eliminate the incidence of collateral damage before engaging the criminals.

“In the confrontation that ensued, two of the kidnappers were killed, including the leader of the gang, Sunday Amadi, aka ‘Occasion’, who had had a N2 million bounty on him by the Chairman of Emohua LGA.”

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, commended the men of the command for their professionalism and persistence in fighting crime and criminality.

Disu said the command under his watch would stop at nothing to rid the state of criminal elements.

(Punch)

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US anti-narcotics bureau, Nigeria police sign agreement on Special Intervention Squad

The United States Government’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigeria Police Force concerning the operationalisation of the Special Intervention Squad.

The PUNCH reports that the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, following his assumption of office in June 2023, declared the establishment of the SIS.

Formalising the agreement at the Force Headquarters on Monday, the IG noted that it was a joint initiative aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force to address emerging security challenges.

Egbetokun said, “We express our gratitude for the collaboration with the US Government. International partnerships, no doubt are important in addressing transnational crime and ensuring the overall safety and security of our dear country.”

Meanwhile, the NPF had earlier revealed that the deployment of 40,000 operatives of the Special Intervention Squad who are currently undergoing training, would begin with Katsina and nine other states.

The Force Headquarters also revealed that the proposed commanders that will be in charge of the squad will be trained in Mexico while noting that the deployment to the 10 carefully selected states is to pilot the activities of the SIS.

Egbetokun had earlier noted that the SIS would be a standby team of specially trained officers to quickly intervene in large insecurity occurrences, adding that it was part of the priority in his administration’s endeavour to combat the country’s threat of violent crime.

In June, The PUNCH reported that following the establishment of the 40,000-man Special Intervention Squad, IG Egbetokun announced plans to withdraw Police Mobile Force personnel from VIP escort/guard duties.

Egbetokun who spoke during a meeting with Squadron leaders and Tactical Commanders at the Force Headquarters, said the development was to allow the police to take back its place in the ‘internal security architecture’ of the country.

Meanwhile, while clarifying the misunderstanding in regards to the IG’s directive concerning the proposed withdrawal of the Police Mobile Force from specialised escort and services for VIPs, the spokesperson for the NPF, Olumuyiwa Adejobi noted that the NPF did not intend to strip VIPs (who are legally and statutorily entitled to police escorts) of their security details, noting that doing so would be unsafe and counterproductive.

He said, “Get the message right: We understand that there has been some misunderstanding regarding the directive of IG Olukayode Egbetokun about withdrawing members of the Police Mobile Force Unit from Specialised Escort and Services for VIPs. It’s crucial to provide clarifications to address this.

“First and foremost, let us be clear: at no point did the Force intend to strip VIPs (who are legally and statutorily entitled to Police escorts) of their security details. Doing so would be unsafe and counterproductive. Instead, the objective is to reassign the withdrawn PMF personnel to the recently established Special Intervention Squad.

“For those who genuinely require specialised police escorts, this vital service will continue to be provided by other units of the Force, such as the Special Protection Unit. However, individuals who do not fall within and enjoy the legal framework for such security details would strictly be screened and their applications thoroughly assessed for consideration, if necessary.

“To eliminate any misunderstandings, it’s crucial to clarify that the withdrawal of Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel does not equate to a blanket ban on all Police Officers from providing VIP escort services. This withdrawal pertains specifically to PMF personnel, who are just one unit within the broader Police Force.

“We encourage everyone to read the full contents of our press statements rather than giving headlines whimsical meanings and spreading distorted information. For a comprehensive understanding of this matter, we strongly recommend referring to our press releases dated June 29, 2023, July 10, 2023, and July 24, 2023. These statements provide a clear and accurate perspective on this directive.”

(Punch)

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Ibadan airport shut as FG begins probe into minister’s plane crash

The Federal Government has shut down flight activities at the Samuel Ladoke Akintola Airport in Ibadan, Oyo State, as investigations into the private jet accident that occurred on Friday commence.

It was gathered that the aircraft, which crash-landed close to the runway disrupted flight activities, as accident investigators were immediately deployed to the scene.

Unconfirmed sources at the airport revealed that the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, and some of his aides were onboard the flight.

This information, however, was not confirmed by the power minister’s aide, Bolaji Tunji, on Saturday when contacted, as he claimed not to be aware of any such incident involving his boss.

Meanwhile, officials of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau, on Saturday morning, confirmed the accident and promised to provide further details as they unfold.

 “Yes. Investigators are on the ground at Ibadan. Further details shall be given as they unfold,” the spokesperson, NSIB, Tunji Oketumbi said.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that a private jet reportedly skidded off the runway at the airport on Friday night.

The General Manager of the State Fire Service, Yemi Akinyinka, while confirming the incident to our correspondent on the phone said, “Yes, it is true. Our men are on their way but I don’t have details now. You will be updated,” he stated.

It was gathered that the HS25B aircraft with call sign 5NAMM, operated by FLINT AERO, which departed Abuja at 18.41hrs to Ibadan, crashed short of the runway at about 19.21hrs.

Although there was no fatality, sources said the aircraft sustained substantial damage, and that all 10 passengers and three crew members were safely evacuated.

Also in a statement on Saturday, the Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, James Odaudu, said the agency was notified.

He said, “The NSIB commenced investigation into the accident involving an HS 125 aircraft with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-AMM belonging to Flint Aero, which occurred at about 08:21 pm (Local Time) on November 3, 2023.

“The aircraft, with 10 passengers and three crew members onboard was enroute to Ibadan from Abuja. The aircraft, on final approach to landing on Runway 22, Ibadan Airport crashed short of the runway.

“There was no fatality, as all passengers and crew were safely evacuated. As the investigating agency, NSIB needs and hereby solicits your assistance.

“The public knows that we would be amenable to receiving any video clip, relevant evidence, or information any member of the public may have of the accident that can assist us with this investigation.

“The bureau will appreciate that the general public and press respect the privacy of the people involved and not assume the cause of the serious incident until the formal report is released. The Bureau will release the preliminary report as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, a source close to the Minister, on Saturday, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan that there is nothing to fear about his safety as he is in good spirit.

“The Minister feels the incident is not something to worry about. It was a minor thing, and that is how he has taken it.

”Everyone on board the aircraft when the incident happened actually alighted without any problem, and we have no cause to worry,” the source said.

(Punch)

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NLC, TUC declare strike Wednesday to protest attack on NLC president, Ajaero

The organised labour comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has declared a plan for a nationwide strike over the beating and abduction of their President, Joe Ajaero.

The strike scheduled to be held on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, was made known in a press briefing on Friday.

According to the leaders of the joint union, the Federal Government is given a six-point demand, including the immediate removal of the Commissioner of Police, Imo State, and Area Commander, among other officials, for their alleged complicity in the brutalisation and humiliation of Ajaero and other workers.

The PUNCH reports that Ajaero has been whisked away by the Police at a protest on non-payment of workers by the Imo State Government in the state’s capital.

Reacting to the arrest, NLC accused the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, of conspiring with the state’s Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Barde, to ‘abduct’ their President, Joe Ajaero, on Wednesday.

NLC said that the Imo State government has continued to use what it described as ‘the instrument of violence and intimidation’ against trade unions and their leadership in the state, adding that they had only asked the governor to pay the salaries owed to the state workers.

In a statement titled, ”The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero has been abducted by Hope Uzodimma and the Imo State Police Commissioner’ signed by the joint Unions’ Secretaries, Emmanuel Ugboaja (NLC) and Nuhu Toro (TUC) and made available to PUNCH Online on Wednesday, they frowned at the detention of Ajaero stressing the need for President Bola Tinubu’s intervention.

The statement partly read, “Just as Nigerian workers gathered earlier this morning led by the leadership of the two Labour centres to demonstrate our outrage over the serial and habitual abuse and violation of the rights of workers in the state, the government unleashed blood-curdling mayhem on the workers.

But state’s Police Command and the governor denied arresting Ajaero in separate statements.

The police claimed the NLC President was in Warri as part of the Congress’s plans to organise labourers for a massive protest demonstration in the state.

During the planning stages, there were reports of proposals to lock down some crucial facilities, mainly the airport in the state.

Meanwhile, the state’s commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, claimed that the governor has no hand in Ajaero’s arrest, adding, “Those accusing the government were perennial mischief makers always crying wolf where there is none.”

More details later…

(Punch)

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Rivers crisis gets messier as lawmakers sign impeachment notice on Gov. Fubara

The crisis rocking the Rivers State government got messier on Monday as the state Assembly reportedly signed an impeachment notice on Governor Siminalaye Fubara.

In a session that was presided over by the Speaker, Rt Hon Martins Amaewhule and attended by a good number of members, the Leader of the House, Hon Edison Ehie and those loyal to the governor were suspended.

It was gathered that the explosion that occurred in the Assembly on Sunday night was alleged to have been a ploy to stop the lawmakers from gaining access to the Assembly on Monday.

As early as 7 a.m., some lawmakers made their way into the House and immediately commenced plenary where they all signed the impeachment notice on the governor.

Meanwhile, the entire Moscow Road leading to the Rivers State House of Assembly has been barricaded by armed policemen.

(Vanguard)

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Kogi poll: Police identify flashpoints, deploy 40,000 personnel

No fewer than 40,000 security personnel will be mobilised to give coverage to November 11 governorship election in Kogi State, the Commissioner of Police, Bernard Onuoha, has said.

The CP told our correspondent in an exclusive interview in his office at the state command headquarters in Lokoja that although he would not be able to give the exact figure immediately, it would not be less than 40,000.

“Because the election is an off-season one, we will have enough officers available for mobilisation for effective coverage due to the volatile nature of Kogi State elections,” he said.

He expressed concern about the threat of violence, adding that the higher authority had been briefed and they were working tirelessly to make sure that the threats were not actualised.

“There has been ample evidence that the election will be volatile in some flash point areas already identified, particularly in Kogi East, such as Olamaboro, Dekina, Ejule and in the Central such as Adavi,Obehira, Obangede and others areas, we will take a close watch to ensure there is peaceful election.

On efforts being made so far, the CP said he had met with the Attah of Igala and had assured him that he would be talking to his subjects on the need to be civil before, during and after the election.

(Punch)

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Gunshot victims should be treated without police report — IGP

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun has ordered the compulsory treatment of gunshot victims without police report nationwide.

This directive was contained in an internal memo signed by the Principal Staff Officer, to the IGP,  Olatunji Disu, a Commissioner of Police on Wednesday.

The  Memo dated October 25th 2023 stated that the directive, was ” in line with the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.

The memo was copied to all Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, DIGs, all  Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, AIGs, all Commissioners of Police and the Commandants of  Police Colleges in Ikeja, Kaduna, Oji-River, Maiduguri and Enugu respectively.

The Memo directed that should make this  directive ” a subject of lecture and circulate widely for the members of the public to be aware of our compliance with the National Law.”

The memo reads, “I forward herewith a copy of letter HMSH&SW/IG/CTCV/ 10/2023 dated 3rd October 2023 received from Federal Ministry of Health & Social Welfare on the above-underlined subject, and write to convey the directive of the Inspector-General of Police that you comply with and enforce the provisions of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act 2017 without any hesitation.

“The Inspector-General of Police further directs that you make this a subject of lecture and circulate widely for the members of the public to be aware of our compliance with the National Law.”

In the attached letter from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Minister of State, Olatunji Alausa, had called the police boss’ attention to the law’s  “compliance with the provision of the law” which he attributed to poor awareness among policemen and sympathisers who may fear being implicated.

(Tribune)

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