Wife of Mr. Peter Gambo, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Taraba State, Mrs. Abigail Gambo, has been abducted.
Also kidnapped is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ‘Our Nation’s Bakery’ company, Mr. Emeka Okoronkwo.
Abigail and Okoronkwo were kidnapped yesterday in their houses at Magami area of Jalingo, about 1a.m. The police in the state have confirmed the abduction of both victims.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP David Misal, confirmed the incident.
He said: “We can confirm that two people were kidnapped and one injured by gunmen in the early hours of Thursday in Jalingo.”
The NLC Chairman, Peter, who also confirmed the incident, said it was a shock to him.
He said: “They whisked my wife away to an unknown destination after shooting sporadically in our compound.”
While explaining that he had made a written submission to the police on the incident, noted that the kidnappers were yet to contact him for ransom.
He also confirmed that Okoronkwo, owner of ‘Our Nation’s Bakery,’ who is his neighbour, was also kidnapped.
It was also learnt that Okoronkwo’s gateman was shot in the leg during the kidnap and presently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jalingo.
24 hours after killings, Shiites, police clash again in Abuja
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise called Shiites yesterday returned to the streets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and continued with their daily protest.
This came barely 24 hours after the bloody clash between Shiites and the police claimed several lives and destruction of public utilities. One of those killed was a deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Usman Umar. Also killed was a reporter with Channels Television, Precious Owolabi.
Shiites, who are protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, also claimed that 11 of their members were killed during the Monday protest. But yesterday, tension was heightened while commercial activities were paralysed as soon as the Shiites were sighted gathering around the Banex Shopping Plaza area within Wuse 2 District.
But police said they arrested 12 suspects yesterday. The IMN members’ usual procession was, however, cut short by riot police officers who immediately arrived the area to disperse them with tear gas and sporadic shooting.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Christian Ohaa, has assured residents of the FCT that government had emplaced measures to protect lives and property. Ohaa added that the unfortunate incident that claimed the lives of Umar and Owolabi would not be allowed to repeat itself.
The permanent secretary gave the assurance when he paid condolence visits to the families of Umar, Owolabi and the FCT Police Command. According to him, those who break the law will face the full weight of the law. He said: “This type of incident will not repeat itself.
As I speak to you now, all hands are on desk and the government will prevent this incident. Both the security agencies and other relevant agencies will work together to ensure the safety of the law-abiding citizens those who break the laws will face the full weight of the law.
“There is no more preaching but day in day out, our people will make sure that this does not repeat itself because the Federal Capital is housing Mr President, Senate, Chief Justice of the federation and all diplomatic individuals in FCT.” Ohaa said he and the management team were on the visits to condole with the bereaved families.
He said: “It is very tragic because he (Umar) died on duty; he died while trying to save lives of the ordinary citizens. He died to make sure that others go about their businesses peacefully. “We are saddened by this because he is one of the finest officers the police have produced in this country.
We believe that he is in paradise because of his good works. “You and your men should keep the flag flying, because without police Nigeria is in danger. Your men, rank and files should not be threatened that one of their strongest patriots is gone.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Adamu Ciroma, appreciated the visit. He said: “This is a visit of hope, I will take the hope to the officers and mess so that they will continue in the discharge of their duties. “We will always do our best to ensure that the relative peace we have been enjoying in FCT is attributed to the late DCP. We are going to up our game to protect FCT residents.
We will work harder that residents are safe and secured.” Similarly, Controller of Programmes, Channels TV, Mr. Ambrose Okoh, said “this is a sad moment for us, because he was a young man with lot of hopes and expectations but his hope was shattered”.
According to him, they have paid a visit to the police commissioner to know whose bullet hit the young man so that justice will be done. “Despite this, we will continue to do our work to inform Nigerians of the happenings in Nigeria and around the world,” he added.
Meanwhile, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Anjuguri Manzah, said 12 protesters were arrested yesterday. He said: “The suspects were arrested while on the rampage attacking innocent members of the public, blocking roads and disrupting activities around the Banex area. “The police personnel drafted to the scene acted professionally by using minimum force to bring the situation under control and restore normalcy in the area. “The 12 suspects arrested are currently being interrogated by the team of police detectives.”
Gunmen abduct 18 traders in Niger
Gunmen terrorising Niger, Kebbi and Katsina states have abducted at least 18 traders. The traders were travelling from Pandogari town in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State to Bassa village for the weekly market in the town before they were abducted. The incident occurred on Saturday.
The traders were in an 18-seater bus when they ran into a blockade by the gunmen who shot sporadically into the air and thereby creating fear among the traders.
A witness, who pleaded anonymity, said yesterday that the traders, who are mostly women and a few men, were rounded up, forced into a waiting bus and driven into the bush far away from where the incident occurred. The witness said it was not the first time that such incident had occurred in the area.
He said: “It has now become a regular business that no one is doing anything about.” It was learnt that the gunmen had collected all the mobile phones belonging to their victims and had been making contacts with their families, telling them the ransom to pay to secure their release. The kidnappers were said to be asking for between N200,000 and N500,000 from each trader, depending on their ‘personality’.
“They are asking the relations to pay the ransom at a location as far as Funtua town in Katsina State to avoid being tracked by the police. Some of the traders are already complying,” a source said..
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mohammad Abubakar, said he only heard of it. He said: “We have heard of such incident as you heard it but no official report has been made to us. “We are investigating the matter, we will get back to you when we get official report.”
Man, 65, falls to his death from 10th floor
Proceedings at Edo State High Court sitting in Benin were disrupted yesterday when a 65-yearold man, Moses Airhiagbonkpa, fell from the 10th floor of one of the highrising buildings on the court premises. The court is situated on Sapele Road.
The body of the deceased was discovered by one of the court workers, who saw blood dripping down the empty lift and his feet dangling. A source in the court said that the deceased came for a community case. It was learnt that the deceased was pressed and decided to go urinate.
Without asking for direction, he went through a door, which he thought was the toilet and fell straight to his death. The source added: “We have a lift that was faulty and this administration had been fixing it.
The company, carrying out the renovation work, removed the old lift and is still working on it. We were told the man came to Court 10 and wanted to ease himself. He went to where the lift was supposed to be and fell through.
The managing director of the firm said there was a ribbon indicating no passage. “I cannot say anything about it,” he added. A relative of the deceased, Johnson Obanor, said they came from Ugiekhue community for a case. Obanor added that they were inside the courtroom, waiting for their lawyer to get a new date since the court was not sitting when Airhiagbonkpa went out to ease himself. He said: “It was Moses that gave the lawyer money.
After we waited for him, we went down to our car and didn’t find him. We called his phone several times, but he didn’t pick. Later, we saw people moving somehow and we decided to follow them. They thought he was a construction worker, but we told them that he came with us.”
A nephew of the deceased, Osasu Isoken, said there was no sign indicating that the elevator was a danger zone. He said: “There is no sign that the place is bad finished; if not, my uncle would not have entered.” As at the time of filing in this report, efforts were being made by the police to convey the body to the mortuary.
Military kills 78 bandits, rescues 50 victims
Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday disclosed that between May and July 78 bandits were killed in the ongoing operations in the North-West. It also noted that within the period under review, 50 kidnap victims held at different locations, were rescued by troops of ‘Operation Hadarin Daji.’
The Acting Director of Defence Information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja. Nwachukwu said at least 25 suspected bandits were arrested during the operations.
According to him, the joint operation was ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari. He said: “The Defence Headquarters on 10 May 2019, reorganised ‘Operation Sharan Daji,’ which was launched to curtail banditry, kidnapping and other sundry crimes within Zamfara State and its environ. The new operation was reorganised and reinvigorated with the acquisition and injection of new platforms and additional manpower.
“It will suffice to mention that in the last two months, since the commencement of the joint operations, the gallant troops of Operation Hadaran Daji have, in series of successful encounters, rescued over 50 kidnapped victims and neutralised about 78 bandits from various fortified enclaves in Zamfara and contiguous states.
“Additionally, over 25 suspected bandits were arrested and 14 motorcycles recovered from them. The bandits are currently undergoing preliminary investigations, after which they will be handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies.”
Nwachukwu attributed the successes recorded to the reorganisation of the operations into a joint force by the Defence Headquarters. According to him, these operations were launched in compliance with the strategic directive by the Commanderin- Chief of the Armed Forces, President Buhari, to effectively tackle the spate of security challenges confronting some states in the North-West.
He noted that the DHQ, after careful evaluation of the security situation, reinvigorated its anti-banditry operations with the launch of Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD) and Joint Task Force Operation Thunder Strike (JTF OPTS). Nwachukwu, who said that the reorganisation was already yielding results, said that the joint troops of Operation Hadaran Daji had recorded several significant achievements in the theatre of operations.
He added: “On the realisation that bandits were generating financial resources through cattle rustling to fund their criminality, troops of OPHD also embarked on anti-cattle rustling operations, which led to the interception and stalling of cattle rustling activities.”
Another intruder held at Lagos airport
Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday apprehended a man who was sighted around the airfield of the Lagos airport.
This came four days after a Nigerien, Usman Adamu, beat security architecture to crawl out and climb an Azman aeroplane. A FAAN official, who pleaded anonymity, told New Telegraph that the man was apprehended by security operatives when he was seen walking into sensitive areas of the airport. The man was said to have been taken to ‘Tango city’, a ‘detention’ area of the airport until he was taken away by officials of Lagos State government.
The police were invited but later declined to arrest the man, which made the officials of Lagos State government to whisk him away. But spokeswoman for FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, described the intruder as a deportee. He said: “I just confirmed that it was a deportee that was caught hiding inside the new Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) terminal and not an intruder.”
Many people spoken with admitted that security around the airport is porous going by the vast expanse of bush around the airport. Many people had been caught in the past farming and hunting inside the area of the airport that are not visible to people and airport security officials. There are so many gaping holes on the airport wall around Shasha and Ejigbo, Lagos suburb where people pass through to sensitive areas of the airport.
There are also broken walls on the perimeter fence around former Punch Newspapers office at Mangoro, Ikeja, where intruders pass through into the airport.
Enugu: Eight workers trapped in septic tank, die
Eight people have lost their lives while attempting to evacuate water from a septic tank at a building located at Igogoro in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Six of the eight victims were reported to be indigenes of Amachalla community that shares boundary with Igogoro village. A witness of the Monday incident said the victims might have died of asphyxiation following inhalation of smoke from the water pumping machine used in evacuating the water.
“The water pumping machine was started and lowered into the pit, so the fume was all trapped inside the tank. The operator entered the well and collapsed, maybe as a result of the fume (carbon monoxide). Others entered to help in rescuing the first victims, but they also got trapped and died.
This is exactly how carbon monoxide operates,” the witness said. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ebere Amaraizu, said that a yet-to-be-identified worker in the site had in the process of trying to evacuate water from the flooded tank, got trapped inside the tank. He said: “After waiting a while for him to come up, others started going to help. But they were all trapped there and soon became unconscious.
They were later brought out by sympathisers and policemen, who raced to the scene. The victims were rushed to General Hospital, Ogurute in Igboeze North Local Government Area, where the doctor on duty con firmed them dead.”
The Commissioner of Police, Suleiman Balarabe, has expressed shock over the incident, which he described as unfortunate. Amaraizu said that Balarabe had directed a full scale investigation into the incident, just as the bodies had been deposited at the mortuary of General Hospital, Ogurute.
Ojikutu congratulates Jakande at 90, urges govt. to name LASU after him
The first elected female deputy governor in Nigeria, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, has congratulated the first democratically elected governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande for attaining the age of 90 today.
She also called on the Lagos State government to name the state-owned university, Lagos State University (LASU) after Alhaji Jakande, who founded the university as the governor during the Second Republic.
Ojikutu, a Third Republic Deputy Governor of Lagos State, in a congratulatory message made available to journalists, said Alhaji Lateef Jakande is regarded as one of the political icons who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and genuine commitment to the welfare of the people within and outside his immediate constituency.
The former Lagos deputy governor said despite having left office about 36 years ago, Alhaji Jakande’s housing and other projects are still everywhere, adding that she (Ojikutu) is proud to be part of the success team of Jakande’s most achieving administration along with many notable others like Chief R.B Fanimokun.
Kidnappers abduct 18 traders in Niger
Daniel Atori, Minna
At least 18 traders have been abducted by unknown gunmen said to be terrorising Niger, Kebbi and Katsina states.
New Telegraph learnt that the traders were traveling from Pandogari town in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State to Bassa village for the weekly market in the town before they were abducted.
The incident was said to have occurred on Saturday, but the news only filtered in now due to the distance from where the incidence took place.
It was learnt that the traders were said to be in an 18-seater bus when they ran into a blockade by the gunmen who shot sporadically into the air.
One of the eyewitnesses, who pleaded anonymity on Tuesday, told our Correspondent that the traders, who are mostly women and a few men, were rounded up, forced into a waiting bus and driven into the bush far away from where the incident occurred.
According to the eyewitness, it was not the first time that such an incident would occur adding that “it has now become a regular business and no one is doing anything about it.”
Man, 65, falls to his death from 10-storey building in Edo
From Cajetan Mmuta, BENIN
Proceedings were disrupted for several hours on Tuesday at the High Court sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital when a 65-year-old man fell from one of the tall buildings in the court premises and died instantly.
The man was later identified as Moses Airhiagbonkpa.
The sad incident had disrupted activities within the court complex even as staff abandoned their offices and duties to look at the gory scene.
The deceased, Airhiagbonkpa New Telegraph learnt, fell from the 10th floor of the High Court building, along Sapele Road in the town
Sadly, body of the man was discovered by staff who saw blood dripping in the empty lift and his feet dangling on the process.
A source close to the court, who pleaded anonymity, explained that the deceased was at the last floor of the Court 10 for a community case.
The witness disclosed that the victim had gone to ease himself and did not ask for directions but went through a door he thought was the toilet and fell to his death.
According to him: “We used to have a lift that has gone bad and this administration is fixing it. The company carrying out the renovation work removed the old lift and is still working on it. We were told the man came to Court 10 and wanted to ease himself. He went to where the lift is and fell through.
“The MD of the contractor said there was a ribbon indicating no passage but that I cannot say anything about.”
SHI’ITES’ BLOODY PROTEST: DCP, 11 civilians killed as Shi’ites’ protest turns bloody
- Channels reporter hit by stray bullet, dies
- Two NEMA emergency response vehicles burnt
A Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, DCP Usman Umar, was among those killed yesterday in Abuja during a violent protest by Shi’ites.
A journalist with the Channels Television, Precious Owolabi, who was shot during the protest was later confirmed dead at the hospital.
Eleven members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) otherwise called Shi’ites were reportedly killed while 30 others were wounded in the bloody encounter.
The Shi’ites were protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Umar was shot while trying to prevent the protesters from their mass action of destruction of property within the vicinity of the protest.
The DCP was immediately rushed to the hospital, but died moments later while receiving treatment.
Also, two Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
The fracas, which lasted for about two hours, witnessed sporadic shootings, forcing motorists to make quick detours and passers-by to scamper for safety. The incident paralysed business activities within the Federal Secretariat Complex as well as across the Three Arms Zone of the capital city.
In the ensuing melee, some vehicles stationed at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) emergency outpost overlooking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were set ablaze. There were also reports of sporadic gunshots around the Bolingo Hotel and Area 10 axis of the capital city.
The fracas occurred barely two weeks after a similar encounter left many policemen injured, after the adamant Shi’ites breached security barricades and invaded the National Assembly.
El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in “protective custody” since December 2015 despite court rulings ordering their release.
The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, condemned the protest and warned that the Force would no longer tolerate the activities of the group, declaring ‘enough is enough’.
Adamu, who commiserated with the family of the murdered police officer, warned that Nigeria would not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, disclosed in a statement that yesterday’s protest involved over 3,000 IMN members, who stormed the streets at about 12:30p.m.
The FPRO said the “heavily armed protesters defied all sense of decency and violently attacked” innocent citizens and police personnel on duty along the route.
He said: “In the process, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A. K. Umar, was shot and fatally injured by the protesters. The officer, who was immediately rushed to the hospital, died moments later while receiving treatment. Also, two Assistant Superintendents of Police and a journalist with the Channels Television sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
“The violent protesters also razed down a NEMA Response Post close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and two vehicles.”
Mba confirmed that the police had arrested 54 suspects in connection with the incidents, adding that the suspects were undergoing interrogation and would be arraigned as soon as possible.
Similarly, NEMA has accused IMN members of burning down two vehicles at its Emergency Response and Ambulance Bays (ERABs) in Abuja.
Head of Media and Public Relations of NEMA, Malam Sani Datti, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
He said: “This is to confirm that ERABs of the NEMA located on Ahmadu Bello Way beside the Federal Secretariat was attacked today (yesterday) with two vehicles burnt down.
“The attack was carried out by members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria commonly known as Shi’ites.”
Datti explained that the affected vehicles were the Mobile Intensive Care Unit, which was a life support ambulance, and a multi-purpose Response Intervention van.
He said the ERABs were situated at the location for timely response to emergencies and disasters to reduce loss of lives and property.
The NEMA Director-General (DG), Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, had while inspecting the damage, noted that the burnt equipment were very expensive and would cost taxpayers a lot of money to replace.
However, the spokesperson of the Shi’ites, Ibrahim Musa, who confirmed the clash in a phone interview with one of our correspondents, alleged that six of their members were killed by security operatives while a truckload of those injured were taken away by the police to an unknown destination.
But in a statement later, Musa said 11 IMN members were killed.
According to Musa, trouble started for his group while they were on their routine daily procession to demand the release of their leader and other detained members.
He said the procession, which commenced at the popular NICON Junction, Maitama District, Abuja was headed towards the Central Business District when security operatives confronted them at NITEL Junction, Wuse 2.
Musa also denied that their members attacked the police with arms and also burnt the NEMA facilities.
He, however, vowed that not even the killing of their members by security agencies would stop the protest and demand of the release of El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members who were still being held by the state.
He said: “The procession, attended by several thousands of persons, including very young children, the aged, women and the physically-challenged, met with an extreme rage indicative of deep seated animosity the Nigerian authorities bear for the movement.
“What actually happened was that the protesters started the procession from NITEL junction and on getting to Federal Secretariat, the police cordoned off the road and started firing at them.
“A lot of people have been shot but for now we can only confirm 11 deaths, but several are injured, the figure for now stood at 30. Though we are aware of the fact that the security agents have been going around taking off those they killed from the streets.
“Even some seriously injured persons that were taken to Abuja University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada; the police went there and took away about 11 people they shot during the protest.
“We strongly dispute the claim by the police that the protesters shot at them because throughout our processions we have not been carrying any arms right from 2015 to date.
“It was also the police who shot at the reporter of Channels TV, another indication that many innocent people were shot at by the police, including some of their own.
“In this era of social media, the brutality displayed by the police today has been captured with some pictures showing the police setting up the bonfires and there are videos that captured the police carting away their victims.”
Meanwhile, Channels Television announced the death of its reporter, Precious Owolabi, shot during the protest.
In its news bulletin, Tonight at 10, the station said Owolabi was hit by a stray bullet during the protest.
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