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Living with fear of kidnappers

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Living with fear  of kidnappers

…as killings frustrate vacation travel

 

 

Many Nigerians, especially in the South-West and South-East are groaning as the fear of bandits’ attacks has truncated any idea of taking children to villages for the long vacation.

A former Commissioner for Information, Abia State, Eze Chikamnayo, who recently had an encounter along one of the routes alleged to be infested with bandits, took to his Facebook wall to narrate his experience last week.

He said: “The time was around 5.30p.m., as I drove from Isuochi to Enugu, the unthinkable happened. This was just before UNTH after Awgu junction. Suddenly, this hooded person jumped out of the bush in front of me and started shooting at my car. Before I could make anything out of it, another three appeared a bit in front and bullets started flying everywhere. I have been hearing about Fulani herdsmen, but what I saw yesterday is better imagined than experienced.

“The stories I have read on how these guys operate and the ever-abiding presence of Jehovah all worked in those few minutes. I was determined not to stop. My staff, Prince, who was on the passenger seat, literally passed out. As the bullets rained on my car, I kept speeding away. About one kilometre from there, just before UNTH and NNPC Mega Station was a military checkpoint. I heaved a sigh of relief and slowed down. I told the Army guys what was going on just behind their post. He (one of the soldiers) casually told me that they were aware, that the driver in front of me just told them. I asked him why he was still standing there without making any move to save the vehicles behind, and he just looked at me blankly and waved me on.

“By now, my entire dashboard was full of red lights. The temperature of my car hit the highest point on the meter. I slowly drove down to the front of NNPC opposite UNTH and pulled the car out of the road. It was then it dawned on me what happened. There were over 20 bullet holes in my front fender. Most of these bullets hit directly at my radiator and other things in front of the engine. The tyres which they were after didn’t get a scratch. There were also two bullet holes on the passenger side of the car, and a few others around the booth.”

A concerned father, Ikechi, whose wife and children braved the roads, from Lagos State to Imo State, disclosed that when his family got to Owerri about 10p.m., everywhere was almost like a ghost town.

He said: “They couldn’t get a bus or cab to take them to my village. They had to start frantically calling me. I advised them to spend the night in a hotel and head to my village in the morning. I was made to understand that due to herdsmen killings and fear, transporters now close on time. I grew up in that state and I can tell you for free that before, as late as midnight one could see get buses to anywhere.”

Schools’ long vacations are what most parents and children usually look forward to. Many prefer to send their children to their villages to spend the holiday there. But today, the fear that their buses could possibly be attacked by bandits operating in bushes along South-West and South-East routes has made many to jettison such plans.

A mother, Mrs. Omolara, said that she wanted her son to go to her village, which is in Ondo State, but has since trashed the idea. According to her, she doesn’t want either her or her son to become victims of herdsmen attack.

Another parent, Mr. Ade, also from Ondo State, said that he received a phone call that his mother was ill. He was supposed to go and check on her, but he was worried about the bandits on the highways.

“I decided that it was better and safer for me and everyone to send her money for treatment, than for me to travel,” he added.

A pastor in Lagos, Mr. Poju, said that the seriousness of the situation was sharply brought home after the relative of a church member died and nobody wanted to follow the member to her village for the burial.

He said: “Our church member relative died. The usual thing in our church is to go with such a person to her village for the burial. She hired two coaster buses, but only two members volunteered to go with her. The woman started crying. But the truth is that everyone is afraid of the bandits, who have taken over our roads.”

It was also along these routes that Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, was killed. The 58-year-old woman was travelling from Akure to Ore when her vehicle was attacked by bandits.

The former Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, underscored the dangerous trend of the bandits’ operation and how people have become imprisoned by fear.

Speaking on his Facebook wall on June 7, Bamigbetan revealed the panic which has taken control of his friends over accounts of bandits abducting travellers along the Ibadan-Ife route. He noted that the news has also travelled to Nigerians in the Diaspora.

According to him, when he called a source at the Governor’s Lodge in Oshogbo, the source told him that the bandits’ attack was one that the Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, was determined to unravel.

Bamigbetan wrote: “I called palace sources in Ife. They confirmed that the Fulani kidnap on the Ibadan-Ife route has continued, particularly between 6a.m. and 8a.m. and 5a.m. and 8p.m. A source said five police checkpoints and two patrol units have been deployed by the government and were working.

“I called a top friend of mine to advise. His analysis was intelligent. The Fulani invaders were not the nomadic herdsmen. They were those who settled in these areas in the last 10 years by buying farmlands to crop from hungry local chiefs. This explains their familiarity with the terrain. When they invite their brothers to come and work on the farms and those ones arrive and realise that Yoruba youths have fled the farms, they also decline farm work and resort to criminal options. Police and by extension, FRSC’s arrest of the Fulani kidnappers is not feasible because the kidnappers engage in random ambush of unsuspecting travellers and in three minutes, return to the bush…So the conclusion: keep away from Ibadan to Ife road in those unholy hours to be safe.”

Although there are speculations that some herders have taken over the highways on the instructions of the government to challenge the bandits’ attacks, their presence and news of their presence, has not abated the fears in the hearts of Nigerians.

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Metro and Crime

Three Islamic clerics arrested for fraud, serial rape

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Three Islamic clerics arrested for fraud, serial rape

Three self-acclaimed Islamic clerics who specialized in defrauding unsuspecting members of the public have been arrested by the police in Ogun State.

The suspected fraudsters were also accused of having unlawful carnal knowledge of their female victims.

The suspects, identified as Aliu Abdulfatai, 50; Sule Adebayo, 36 and Lekan Olokodana, 31, were reportedly arrested following a report by one of their victims.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the incident on Tuesday, said a female victim (name withheld) reported at Adigbe Police Station that she was duped of N70,000 by the suspects and also raped by one of them.

Oyeyemi disclosed that investigation revealed that one of the suspects had used the proceeds of their fraudulent act to build a private school in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

The police spokesman stated that the suspects got in contact with the female victim, who is a marketer with real estate company, on the pretext that they wanted to purchase a large expanse of land.

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Metro and Crime

Mum sleeps as son,5, shoots 4-year-old brother dead

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Mum sleeps as son,5, shoots 4-year-old brother dead

A four-year-old boy was allegedly shot dead by his five-year-old brother after he found a gun in their home while their mum slept.

Truth Albright was fatally shot at his home in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday.

He was rushed to Cook Children’s Hospital, but died just under an hour later.

Forth Worth Police said they would not file charges against Truth’s parents “at this time.”

A police spokesman said: “It has been determined that there will be no charges filed at this time. It’s a very unfortunate situation that occurred.”

No one else was hurt in the incident and the type of gun has not yet been revealed, according to officers.

Police were called about 11:45am (5.45pm BST) on Sunday and Truth died at around 12.30pm (6.30pm BST) according to medical records.

Homicide detectives, as well as detectives from the crimes against children unit and the crime scene search unit are investigating the incident.

Witnesses say the two-storey home was surrounded by police and cordoned off shortly after the incident, ‘Fort Worth Star Telegram’ reports.

Neighbour Larry Davison, who lives several houses down said he had never spoken to the people that lived in the property but he said he often saw two boys playing outside.

He said the last time emergency vehicles were on the street was when a house caught fire five-years-ago.

Truth was one of three children who were shot on Sunday in Tarrant County, which has a population of 2 million people.

In Arlington a six-year-old boy was left in “very serious” condition after he was shot at home at around 5pm (11pm BST).

A three-year-old child at the residence also was grazed or hit by shrapnel but is expected to survive.

In another incident in Arlington, an eight-year-old girl was shot in the buttocks in what police believe to be an accidental shooting.

The girl was rushed to Cook Children’s Hospital at around 12pm (6pm BST) but her injuries are not expected to be life threatening, reports mirror.co.uk.

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Metro and Crime

Mum sleeps as son,5, shoots 4-year-old brother dead

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Mum sleeps as son,5, shoots 4-year-old brother dead

A four-year-old boy was allegedly shot dead by his five-year-old brother after he found a gun in their home while their mum slept.

Truth Albright was fatally shot at his home in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday.

He was rushed to Cook Children’s Hospital, but died just under an hour later.

Forth Worth Police said they would not file charges against Truth’s parents “at this time.”

A police spokesman said: “It has been determined that there will be no charges filed at this time. It’s a very unfortunate situation that occurred.”

No one else was hurt in the incident and the type of gun has not yet been revealed, according to officers.

Police were called about 11:45am (5.45pm BST) on Sunday and Truth died at around 12.30pm (6.30pm BST) according to medical records.

Homicide detectives, as well as detectives from the crimes against children unit and the crime scene search unit are investigating the incident.

Witnesses say the two-storey home was surrounded by police and cordoned off shortly after the incident, ‘Fort Worth Star Telegram’ reports.

Neighbour Larry Davison, who lives several houses down said he had never spoken to the people that lived in the property but he said he often saw two boys playing outside.

He said the last time emergency vehicles were on the street was when a house caught fire five-years-ago.

Truth was one of three children who were shot on Sunday in Tarrant County, which has a population of 2 million people.

In Arlington a six-year-old boy was left in “very serious” condition after he was shot at home at around 5pm (11pm BST).

A three-year-old child at the residence also was grazed or hit by shrapnel but is expected to survive.

In another incident in Arlington, an eight-year-old girl was shot in the buttocks in what police believe to be an accidental shooting.

The girl was rushed to Cook Children’s Hospital at around 12pm (6pm BST) but her injuries are not expected to be life threatening, reports mirror.co.uk.

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Metro and Crime

Mum sleeps as son,5, shoots 4-year-old brother dead

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Mum sleeps as son,5, shoots 4-year-old brother dead

A four-year-old boy was allegedly shot dead by his five-year-old brother after he found a gun in their home while their mum slept.

Truth Albright was fatally shot at his home in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday.

He was rushed to Cook Children’s Hospital, but died just under an hour later.

Forth Worth Police said they would not file charges against Truth’s parents “at this time.”

A police spokesman said: “It has been determined that there will be no charges filed at this time. It’s a very unfortunate situation that occurred.”

No one else was hurt in the incident and the type of gun has not yet been revealed, according to officers.

Police were called about 11:45am (5.45pm BST) on Sunday and Truth died at around 12.30pm (6.30pm BST) according to medical records.

Homicide detectives, as well as detectives from the crimes against children unit and the crime scene search unit are investigating the incident.

Witnesses say the two-storey home was surrounded by police and cordoned off shortly after the incident, ‘Fort Worth Star Telegram’ reports.

Neighbour Larry Davison, who lives several houses down said he had never spoken to the people that lived in the property but he said he often saw two boys playing outside.

He said the last time emergency vehicles were on the street was when a house caught fire five-years-ago.

Truth was one of three children who were shot on Sunday in Tarrant County, which has a population of 2 million people.

In Arlington a six-year-old boy was left in “very serious” condition after he was shot at home at around 5pm (11pm BST).

A three-year-old child at the residence also was grazed or hit by shrapnel but is expected to survive.

In another incident in Arlington, an eight-year-old girl was shot in the buttocks in what police believe to be an accidental shooting.

The girl was rushed to Cook Children’s Hospital at around 12pm (6pm BST) but her injuries are not expected to be life threatening, reports mirror.co.uk.

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Metro and Crime

Edo midnight fire destroys goods worth millions of naira

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Edo midnight fire destroys goods worth millions of naira

Goods believed to worth millions of naira were destroyed yesterday when fire gutted the popular Lagos Street Market in Benin, Edo State.

Fire broke out yesterday morning at the market which a few poles to the Oba Market in the heart of Benin.

The incident came barely one month after a midnight fire gutted over 90 shops at the Uwelu Spare Part Market.

But yesterday’s inferno razed down about 13 shops and goods.

Activities at the busy market located off Lagos Street were brought to a halt following the fire outbreak.

A warehouse housing chemicals, baby care centre, assorted drinks’ shop, food and beverages shop were among those affected.

Sadly, the owner of the chemicals warehouse popularly referred to as ‘Acting Big Man’ was said to have stocked his shop with goods worth over N9 million a few days ago.

When journalists got to the market, he was said to have been led home by sympathisers.

An old woman, Tawa Shittu, disclosed that two of the burnt shops belonging to two of her daughter-in-laws were consumed by the inferno.

The victims could not salvage anything from the two shops as all was lost before they rushed to the market.

“They called me in the midnight that there was fire here but I couldn’t come here till 5a.m. When we got here, we discovered that everything had been burnt to ashes. We were told the fire started from the back of the building.    

“I have been selling here for a very long time but recently, they said they needed to renovate the place, I just came to re-open my shop about a month ago,” one of the victims said.

Another trader, who gave her simply as Risi, said she was at home when she was called that there was fire in the market.

She said: “When we got here, we could not salvage anything; we could not recover a pin. We have a chemical seller whose warehouse is also here, there is a rubber shop, wheelbarrow shop and fairly used ‘zinks,’ a baby care shop worth millions of naira goods, two shops trade on cooked food, soft drinks, two deep freezers, and assorted drinks; all got burnt.

“In the other shop, there were two deep freezers, one standing giant fridge, pepper soup spices, micro-wave, take-away packs and the money the owner just collected to take to the market, including the yearly contribution which she just collected; she could not recover anything. The other one is baby shop running into millions of naira; nothing could be recovered, including the generator. This place was renovated about four months.”   

The fire, according to one of the security men, started about midnight from one of the shops as a result of high power voltage.

He said: “The fire started from Mama Sama’s shop about 12a.m., when light was restored accompanied by a spark on the electric pole. Not quite long, we were on routine patrol when we started to smelling burnt rubber. It was in the process of trying to trace the source that we discovered it was from one of the fridges in her shop.”

The guard said they immediately took steps to put out the fire but their efforts could save the situation.

He added that the security personnel within the area tried to help put out the fire but they couldn’t.

The guard also said they did not get any response from fire service in the area.

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Metro and Crime

Threat to life: Police arraign musician, Dammy Krane

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Threat to life: Police arraign musician, Dammy Krane

popular Nigerian singer and composer, Johnson Oyindamola aka Dammy Krane, was yesterday arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly threatening staff of a betting company, Merrybet Gold Limited.

The 27-year-old singer was arraigned on a three-count charge of conspiracy, threat to life, defamation, and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace, preferred against him by the police.

Dammy Krane alleged to have threatened the lives of the staff on July 29, 2019, and also posted an audio and video message on Cool FM 96.9

However, the police prosecutor, Inspector J. I. Enang, told the court that the singer posted on the internet, an audio and video recording accusing the company of owing him, after threatening them.

He said: “Oyindamola and others at large on July 29, 2019, at Cool FM in Lagos, conspired with others at large to commit felony to wit: conduct likely to cause breach of peace and threat to life.

“Oyindamola and others at large on the same date, time and place, threatened the lives of the staff of Merrybet Gold Limited.”

According to the prosecutor, the offences committed are punishable under Sections 301, 411 and 168 (d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

Oyindamola, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Meanwhile, the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Adebayo Oniyelu, urged the court to Oyindamola bail in liberal terms, as he was a first time offender.

Oniyelu assured the court that the singer would be produced whenever he was needed.

He said: “We humbly apply for the bail of the defendant. Section 35 (5) states that an accused person is still presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“He is a well-known and a popular musician. If granted bail, he would be made available. He has been in police custody since Friday 13, September.”

The Chief Magistrate, Afolashade Botoku, granted Dammy Krane bail in the sum of N50,000, with one surety in like sum and adjourned the case till October 11, for mention.

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Metro and Crime

Four held for woman, daughter, grandson’s murder

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Four held for woman, daughter, grandson’s murder

Police in Edo State have arrested four persons in connection with the murder of a woman, her daughter and grandson.

The victims were identified as Mrs. Alice Omorogbe (52), Mrs. Blessing Efe (25) and a six-month-old baby boy.

The victims were murdered on Thursday last week at their residence at Iguadolor community in Ovia North East Local Government Area.

Efe’s two-year-old daughter, Gift Efe, was spared. Gift was found in the apartment where the mutilated bodies three of victims were discovered.

Those arrested included Pa Iguma Amasowomwan, the Deputy Odionwere (assistant village head) of the community.

Sources said Amasowomwan was picked by operatives of Ogida Divisional Headquarters following allegations of complicity levelled against him by the victims’ family.

He was interrogated at the Anti-Cult Unit of the state Police Command Headquarters in Benin.

The eldest son of the Odionwere of Iguadolor community, Mr. Enaruna Omorogbe, said the victims were wife and children of his late brother.

Omorogbe said the Okaighele (youth leader) of Iguadolor Community, Perrick Egbon, recently threatened to kill his late brother’s wife for reporting him to some elders in the community because he used bulldozer to demolish her uncompleted building.

However, Egbon denied the allegations. He appealed to the police and relevant authorities to unravel and prosecute the killers.

Egbon said he travelled out of town and did not even know the victims.

He said: “All what they are saying are allegations. It is not true that I killed those people. The world will soon know the truth about the incident and I call on the police to investigate the matter.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached for comments.

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Metro and Crime

Gunmen kill Plateau traditional ruler

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Gunmen kill Plateau traditional ruler

Gunmen have killed the Head of Kadunu and Dakacin Langai, Langai District, Pyam Chiefdom, in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, HRH Alhaji Mamman Bayero.

A source said the traditional ruler was shot and killed in his residence on Sunday about 8p.m.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Tyopev Matthias Terna, confirmed the killing in a statement issued yesterday in Jos.

He said: “On September 15, 2019, about 7.45p.m., the Mangu Police Division, Plateau State Command, received a distress call to the effect that unknown gunmen attacked Mamman Bayaro (54) of Kadunu village in Mangu Local Government Area. As a result of the attack, the victim was shot on his chest.”

According to the PPRO, the traditional ruler was rushed to Allah Na Kowa Hospital, Mangu, for treatment where he was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.

Terna also disclosed that another man, Muhammadu Ibrahim, of the same address was shot on his left leg and was receiving treatment at the same hospital.

The PPRO said the police were making efforts to arrest the perpetrators of this dastardly act to face justice.

Residents of the community expressed sadness over the killing of their traditional ruler.

They called on security agencies to immediately arrest the killers.

The people also called on government to beef up security in the locality to forestall future occurrence.

According to them, they are now living in fear.

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Metro and Crime

Four in police net over alleged murder of woman, daughter in Edo

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Four in police net over alleged murder of woman, daughter in Edo

Police in Edo State have arrested four persons in connection with the murder of a woman, her daughter and grandson.
The dead victims were identified as Mrs. Alice Omorogbe, aged 52, Mrs. Blessing Efe, aged 25, and her six months old baby boy.
They murdered last week Thursday at their residence at Iguadolor Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state.
A two-year-old daughter of late Blessing, identified as Gift Efe, was spared as he was seen in the apartment where the three mutilated bodies of the victims were discovered.
Among those arrested is Pa Iguma Amasowomwan, the Deputy Odionwere (Assistant village head) of the community.
Sources in the community said Pa Iguma was picked by operatives of Ogida Divisional Headquarters following allegations of complicity leveled against him by the deceased’s family.

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Metro and Crime

Unknown gunmen kill traditional ruler in Plateau

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Unknown gunmen kill traditional ruler in Plateau

The Village Head of Kadunu and Dakacin Langai, Langai District, Pyam Chiefdom, of Mangu LGA of Plateau State, HRH. Alhaji Mamman Bayero has been killed by unknown gunmen.
New Telegraph learnt from a source that the paramount ruler was shot on Sunday around 8pm.
Police Public Relations Officer, Plateau State Command, DSP Tyopev Matthias Terna confirmed the killing of the Traditional Ruler in a Press Statement signed and issue on Monday in Jos, the state capital.
“On 15/09/2019 at about 1945hrs the Mangu Police Division, Plateau State Command received a distress call to the effect that unknown gunmen attacked one Mamman Bayaro ‘m’ 54yrs old of Kadunu Village in Mangu LGA. As a result of the attack, the victim was shot on his chest,” said the statement.
According to the police the traditional ruler was rushed to Allah Na Kowa Hospital, Mangu for treatment where he was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.

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