- Abduct ex-LG chairman’s daughter
- Family of four held along old Enugu-Anambra Road
Enugu State appears to be under the siege of kidnappers following the rampaging activities of gunmen, with other unpleasant reports emerging days after the rape and murder of 67-year-old Mrs Pat Ugwu on Wednesday. Daredevil kidnappers struck around the Obioma-Nsude axis of Old Enugu-Onitsha Road on Thursday night, abducting four persons at a time, with all being members of a family. The victims were said to be travelling in a Toyota Venza car when the kidnappers intercepted the vehicle and took all of them away around 8.30pm.
The abducted persons are Ernest Otugo, a businessman based in Nnewi, his wife, their son and a family friend who was identified simply as Reuben. The kidnappers reportedly released Otugo’s wife later to go and raise money to pay ransom for the release of other hostages. Another couple, whose identity is yet to be identified, was said to have been attacked and kidnapped along the same road on the same day.
These incidents are besides the abduction of the daughter of Chief Frank Anioma, a former council chairman in the state who also acted as Personal Assistant to governor Chimaroke Nnamani during his tenure. Raising the alarm on Thursday through a Facebook post, Anioma solicited information and help from the public over the disappearance of his daughter who was said to have gone to the market before she was abducted. In the Facebook post, the politician wrote: “Please friends and good Nigerians help me, my daughter Josisochukwu Anioma was kidnapped this morning, August 22, about 7am on her way to New Haven Market. Her phone… was ringing without response. Now it’s ringing busy. Please help repost this. Who knows (how) God will show mercy.”
When contacted yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the kidnap of travellers along Obioma-Nsude axis of old Enugu- Anambra Road, noting that police were on the case. The PPRO, however, explained that the case of the missing daughter of Chief Frank Anioma could not be said to be a kidnap incident as no one had contacted the family or anybody close to her yet to demand ransom.
“Yes, she has not been seen, so you may want to say okay, his daughter went out, but we are following it up. Sooner or later, it will become clearer; but I can assure you that it is not all about kidnapping and all that because one, calls for ransom have not been made and all that but we are working on it,” Amaraizu said.
Two Mmobile phone snatchers nabbed in Minna
Two specialists in mobile phones’ stealing from unsuspecting members of the public in Minna metropolis have been intercepted and arrested by the Niger State Police Command
The suspects, Yusuf Ibrahim, 32 of behind Central Mosques Minna, and Abbas Sabiu, 20 of Angwan Daji area, Minna were intercepted by a team of Policemen from the Command Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Minna while on survillance around Obasanjo shopping complex and Kasuwan Gwari.
Our Correspondent on Thursday learnt that the suspects had snatched two phones from one Zulkibulu of Kasuwan Gwari and Musa Badamasi of Dutsen-kura Hausa Minna.
Findings have it that the suspects earned their living by dispossessing innocent members of the public of their handsets and other valuables until they found themselves in police net.
Further checks revealed that the suspects used dangerous weapons when operating thereby, making life uncomfortable for their victims.
One of the suspects, Ibrahim told our Correspondent that: “Our victims hardly refused to surrender their phones on a lonely road knowing that nobody will come for their rescue. They always give us their phones without stress and quietly walk away from us.”
Alleged internet fraud: EFCC arrests 25 LAUTECH Students
Twenty-five students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Oyo State, have been arrested by operatives of the Advance Fee Fraud Unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abuja Headquarters, over their alleged involvement in various forms of cybercrimes.
Specifically, the students were arrested in connection with alleged romance scam, love scam, possession of forged documents and obtaining money by false pretence.
Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, who made the disclosure in a statement Thursday, said the suspects were apprehended upon receipt of an intelligence report of their alleged suspicious activities.
According to Uwujaren, the arrests followed a three-day raid operation at the students’ off-campus hostels.
“The students, who are aged between 18 and 29 years old, were arrested at their off-campus hostels, following a three-day raid carried out between September 16 and 19. Operatives acted on intelligence report, which was investigated using sophisticated equipment,” Uwujaren said.
He gave the names of the suspects as follows: Pelumi Adigun, 18; Umaru Frederick, 21; Damilola Emmanuel, 22; Tomiwa Oyewole, 29; Adeleke Owolabi, 24; Oladosu Abdullahi, 23; Abdulmusaq Ismail, 25; Isajimi Joshua, 23; Olaniyan Tunde, 22, and Ebosele Francis, 28.
Others, according to him, were: Oladejo Ibrahim, 26; Oluwadamilare Abimbola, 25; Orimoloye Joshua, 23; Alfred Samuel, 22; Bayewu Ishola, 23; Abiola Gbenga, 25; Alfred Daniel, 20; Agboola Solomon, 21; Arolewola Damilola, 25; Amoo Tunmise, 23; Akeem Taiwo, 25; Segun Ajibola, 25; Hassan Segun, 24; Onicha Joel, 23, and Tafa Bassit, 25.
He stated that: “In the course of executing the search, Ismail, who confessed to being involved in internet fraud, took operatives round hostels, leading to the arrest of many of the culprits. Some of the suspects who jumped over the fence to escape arrest, were nabbed in the process.
“Some of the items recovered from them, which are believed to be the proceeds of their illegal activities online, include, a 4matic Benz, a Toyota Camry, a Toyota Corolla, two Macbook computers, two iPads, two iPhones and many other documents, which will be subjected to forensic analysis.”
The anri-graft agency said the suspects, who are in its custody, will soon be charged to court.
ATM fraud: EFCC arrests prison officer, five others
…suspects move N2m from customer’s account in five days
Economic and Financial Crimes C o m m i s s i o n (EFCC) has arrested six suspects who specialised in defrauding Nigerians by using bank details obtained through sim swap and Automated Teller Machines (ATM). One of the suspects, according to EFCC, is a prison officer. Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, who made the disclosure in a statement yesterday, said the suspects were apprehended in separate operations by operatives of the Kaduna zonal office.
Uwujaren said the suspects’ arrest was “sequel to a petition by a customer of Access Bank, alleging that monies were illegally transferred from his account without his authorisation”. He said: “According to the petitioner, sometime in February, 2019, he opened an account with Diamond Bank (now Access Bank) which he funded to the tune of N5 million and instructed the bank to open a fixed deposit account, with the sum of N1 million from the earlier account, as opening balance.
“The complainant said he was receiving regular alerts until the end of March, 2019 when the alerts stopped coming, prompting him to demand his statement of account from the bank. Upon receipt of his bank statement, he discovered to his chagrin that the sum of N2,911,480 had fraudulently been transferred to several accounts between April 5 and 9, 2019 without his authorisation.” The EFCC spokesman listed the suspects as Urulo Ikenna Henry (an Inspector with the Enugu Command of Nigerian Correctional Service), Ugonna Nelson Owete, Ugonna Samuel Okafor Obinna, Chigbo Paschal Chidiebere, Oha Chukwujekwu Kingsley and Ahamefula Francis Izuchukwu.
He said: “Upon the receipt of the petition, the zonal office of the commission immediately swung into action and traced some of the funds to three of the suspects, Samuel Okafor Obinna – N1,500,000; Chigbo Paschal Chidiebere – N210,000 and Oha Chukwujekwu Kingsley – N300,000. All three were promptly arrested.
“Further investigation revealed that Ikenna Henry, Nelson Owete (a known criminal who was earlier arrested and paraded by the Enugu State Police Command for crimes bordering on conspiracy and armed robbery) and Ahamefula Francis Izuchukwu were equally complicit in the fraud.
“Upon arrest, items recovered from Urulo Ikenna Henry included a Toyota Camry, documents of two plots of land, two Nigeria Housing Fund Passbook (one belonging to him and the other bearing Ani Wilfred Ochechukwu), 17 ATM cards of different banks bearing different names, two Nigerian Correctional Service Identity Cards, two smart phones and two Nokia phones, one NHIS card, one voter card, 26 starter packs and 15 SIM cards of various networks.” Uwujaren said two sachets of cannabis sativa (Indian hemp), eight ATM cards bearing different names and banks, six starter packs, and 4 SIM cards of various networks, one empty ECOWAS passport, one NDA dependant ID card and a voter card were also recovered from Francis Izuchukwu.
Police lay siege to CDHR office, stop pro-Sowore protest
Policemen in 10 trucks yesterday surrounded the premises of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) at Adeniyi Jones in Ikeja, Lagos. It was learnt that the siege was to prevent a protest to demand the release of the candidate of the African Action Congress in the last presidential election, Omoyele Sowore, scheduled to hold at the venue yesterday. Sowore has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since August.
He was accused of threatening public peace with the #Revolution- Now protest, which he was championing. A CDHR official told TheCable that the security operatives invaded the premises about 7a.m. He said: “We didn’t invite them. This is just a peaceful protest and we don’t know why they are here in their numbers.” Also yesterday, policemen and soldiers blocked the entrance to the office of Sowore’s SaharaReporters, an online publication.
The armed men prevented journalists from gaining access to the building located at GRA in Ikeja. A member of staff of the organisation said the security agents had been there since 7a.m. By 10.30a.m., more armed policemen were deployed on the CDHR premises. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana, neither picked his calls nor responded to a text message by New Telegraph to respond to the siege.
Construction worker rapes ‘ewa agoyin’ seller in uncompleted building
An Ikeja Special Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Lagos, yesterday heard how a construction worker, Emmanuel John, allegedly raped a 39-year-old woman in an uncompleted building. A policeman, Sergeant Olakunle Orebe, told the court that John allegedly raped the woman, who was hawking beans and yam (popularly known as ‘ewa agoyin’), on June 20, 2017 at No 14, Akins Addo Road, Ajah. Orebe, attached to the Gender Unit at the Ikeja Police Command, said that the victim, a Togolese, was alleged raped by John and his friend, identified as Obinna (now at large), about 11.45a.m. on that fateful day.
The 34-year-old construction worker, who has been in prison custody since 2017, is standing trial for an offence of rape. However, Orebe, while led in evidence by the state prosecuting counsel, B. T. Boye, said that the defendant and the case file were transferred to him from Langbasa Police Station, Ajah on June 23, 2017. Orebe said he visited the crime scene and also interviewed the victim. He added: “The survivor (victim) told me that she was hawking her usual food items when one man (Obinna) came and called her, on the pretence of buying beans and yam.
“The victim narrated that the defendant asked her to come and sell to his friend (the defendant), who he claimed was already waiting at his house. “She said that she quickly followed behind him to the uncompleted building and met his friend.
But instead of requesting for food, they ordered her to remove her clothes. The defendant forcibly removed her clothes, held her hands while his friend had sexual intercourse with her. “The victim told me that the defendant thereafter took turn to rape her.”
Meanwhile, during cross examination by the defence counsel, Akinyemi Adetunyi, the policeman said that the defendant made a confessional statement at the station admitting that he had sexual intercourse with the victim. In his confessional statement, John said he had sexual intercourse with the woman on an agreement of paying her N500 for the sex. He said: “I met my friend having sex with her when I came back to the house. My friend told me not to shout but that I could also do mine if I wanted to. I agreed but the woman then insisted that I pay N500 for a round of sex. I agreed, although I had no money in my pocket.”
Outrage as Ondo demolishes ‘illegal structures’
For shop owners at Alagbaka GRA in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday was a day of agony as they woke up to realise that their businesses were gone. The people’s shops, which until yesterday served as their sources of livelihood, were demolished by the Ondo State government. The demolition, which was carried out by the state Ministry of Urban Planning and Physical Development, affected boutiques, salons, car wash, eateries, among other structures, because of “lack of building plan”.
It was learnt that the officials of the ministry, alongside security operatives, in the early hours of yesterday, stormed the area which is considered as the highbrow area of the state capital. One of the victims, Mr. Olawale Ebimotigha, who expressed sadness over the development, claimed that his shop was looted in the process. Ebimotigha said he embarked on the business to cater for his family and called for government’s intervention. Another shop owner, Mr. Akin Oriku, who presented a copy of a notice from the ministry dated September 12, 2019, said they had complied with the directive in the notice to renovate their premises. Others affected by the demolition appealed to government to come to their aid. Meanwhile, Ondo State government has justified the demolition.
The state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Rasheed Badmus, said that no law was violated during the demolition exercise Badmus said the ministry acted on a tip-off that the area harboured criminals who hid and perpetrated crimes in the state capital. The commissioner explained that the shop owners had been served quit notice but they refused to comply. He said government would not condone any act of lawlessness capable of putting the state in jeopardy. Badmus added that the exercise would also be carried out in areas suspected to be prone to danger.
Union Bank Chair, Odu, dies
Board of Directors of Union Bank has announced the death of its Chairman, Mr. Cyril Odu. Odu, according to a statement by the board, died on Tuesday, during after a brief illness. The statement described Odu as an outstanding leader who brought a wealth of experience and intellect to his role as chairman. “The entire Union Bank family mourns his loss. Our deepest sympathies go to the Odu family, his friends and colleagues. “Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family,” the statement reads.
Two killed in police, vigilantes’ clash in Anambra
Two vigilantes were reportedly shot dead yesterday during a clash with policemen at the Onitsha main market in Anambra State. The policemen were said to have gone to investigate something at ‘Our Lord Plaza’ located in the market. Witnesses said several other people sustained various degrees of injury during the clash. But the state Police Public Relations Office (PPRO), SP Harunn Mohammed, confirmed the clash in a statement. He, however, denied loss of lives. Mohammed said a vigilante was shot in the leg while two others sustained injuries.
He said the victims were taken to the hospital and were responding to treatment. The PPRO, however, said the situation was brought under control through the concerted efforts of the police led by the Area Commander, Onitsha and market leaders. He said: “Normalcy has been restored and people are going about their lawful businesses.” The PPRO said the state Commissioner of Police, John Abang, had ordered a discreet investigation to ascertain the circumstances that led to the incident after which the perpetrators would be brought to book.
Protest: Stop killing girls in Rivers –Women groups
Pro-women groups in Rivers State have staged a peaceful protest against the killing of girls in hotels in Port Harcourt. The protesters urged the authorities to arrest the culprits and bring them to justice. The protest, led by the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt, the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and 73 other women groups, started at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Port Harcourt before it moved to the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The protesters also went to the office of the Department of State Services (DSS) as well as the headquarters of the Rivers State Police Command. More than 10 young women had been strangled to death in hotels in parts of Port Harcourt, the state capital and Omoku, headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the state in the past two months.
The protesters, who carried several placards and banners with inscriptions such as “Protect the Women Life, Stop the killings,” “Respect the women, don’t kill them,” and “Women have right to life.” At the Government House, the protesters presented a petition to the Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), Dr. Tammy Danagogo, who promised to convey their message to Governor Nyesom Wike.
Presenting the petition, President of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt South, Rita- Marley Idonoh, urged security agencies in the state to step up their operations and arrest the perpetrators. She demanded a public apology from the Rivers State Police Command for referring to the young women killed by the serial killers in the state as prostitutes. Responding the SGG, Danagogo, apologised to women in the state over the statement credited to the police. Danagogo noted that government was on top of the matter and advised residents of the state, especially young ones, to be security conscious. He said: “We doubt if the Commissioner of Police or the Police PRO had said something like that but we sincerely apologise to Rivers women over such statement.
A lot of the victims might have been careless but it will be wrong to address them as prostitutes. “All of us must understand that the Nigeria of today where some of us grew in; we have to be very careful. That time you can stay anywhere and nothing happened.”
Lulu Briggs Foundation sponsors 100 for fibroids surgeries
About 100 patients of uterine fibroids will enjoy free surgeries during a medical mission targeted at promoting women’s health taking off in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Saturday. Sponsored by O.B. Lulu Briggs Foundation to commemorate its 18th anniversary, the programme is in collaboration with the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and the University of Port Harcourt.
Coordinator of programmes of the foundation, Mrs. Ineba Tongkam, who announced this in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the medical mission was a follow-up to an earlier one in Bakana community in which 22 females were detected to have fibroid during a general screening. Fibroid is a growth in the womb that causes bareness, miscarriage, excessive menstrual bleeding and severe bodily pains in women. Known medical treatment is by surgical removal of the womb or tumour.
But most patients shun surgeries due to fear that they could die or be unable to conceive. But, Tongkam urged both men and women in the state to attend the event, which she descried as a knowledge event aimed at breaking the myths about fibroids, a condition that affects eight out of every 10 women.
Former Chairman of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Rivers State chapter, Dr. Rosemary Ogu and a consultant gynaecologist at Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, lauded the foundation for its move to reduce the prevalence of the disease, which, she noted was at an epidemic level, with victims suffering silently and living in pain. She said the foundation’s intervention was particularly significant and commendable as many sufferers were too poor to afford the expensive cost of surgery which, she estimated at N300,000. Ogu said that with a population of 200 million people, amidst lean financial resources, there was no way government alone could take care of the health needs of the populace.
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