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Police arrest pastor, others over kidnap of dispatch rider



Police nab 3 suspected kidnappers of 126 Bethel Baptist School, Kaduna, students

…As Kogi Police arrests 28 suspected criminals, killers of businessman, Ofodile***

The police said they have arrested the General Overseer of New Life Church of God, Shagamu, over the kidnap of Mr Job Jonathan, a Despatch Rider with a logistics company.

The Force Public Relations Officer, (FPRO), Mr Frank MBA, disclosed this at a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the logistics company, which majored in the distribution of Forever Living Products, had detailed Jonathan to deliver the product following an order placed online.

“Jonathan, first of all, rode his motorcycle to Ikorodu, but directed to proceed to Sagamu without knowledge of the fact that he was going to be kidnapped.

“On arrival at the location which turned out to be a church, the product was not only collected, the despatch rider was immediately held on hostage,” he said.

He said the pastor, also the leader of the gang, had built a beautiful underground cabin within the church premises where Jonathan was held throughout his 10 days of captivity.

According to him, when Jonathan began to struggle to escape, the pastor, who clearly is not certified health personnel, forcefully administered anesthesia on Jonathan.

Also read:  INSECURITY: Benue Police confirm release of kidnapped CEO of Tito Group, arrest 5 suspects

He said Jonathan became unconscious after the injection but was rescued following complaints to the police by his company.

Mba said the pastor was arrested with three other members of the gang.

He said four suspects that specialised in kidnap operation around the South-Eastern part of the country has also been arrested.

The FPRO said the syndicate, led by a South Africa returnee, 27,  had three other members.

He said the leader of the gang started kidnapping in 2018 and had carried out over 10 kidnap operations successfully.

According to him, four citizens had been murdered by the syndicate with one, personally killed by the leader.

“When the police began a manhunt of the gang leader after an operation in 2019, he temporarily relocated to Togo but returned back to Nigeria early 2020 and continued the same criminal operation.

“This offered the police the opportunity to get the gang leader and his three other members arrested,” he added.

Mba said a syndicate that specialises in car theft had also been arrested with an anti-car tracking device recovered from the suspects.

“This is the second time we are recovering a jammer or anti-tracking device from established car theft syndicates.

“In this particular case where the anti-tracking device was recovered, we discovered that one of the suspects, currently at large, Alhaji Garba, is a citizen of Niger Republic.

“He procured the device for some Nigerians, provided them with the anti-tracking device and commission them to go on car stealing operations.

“After successful operations, the suspects take the cars to border post for onward delivery to Niger Republic through Garba,” he said.

Mba said 18 out of the 30 cars of different makes stolen by the syndicate had been recovered by the police.

The FPRO said that a total of 35 suspects clearly linked to offences of armed robbery, kidnapping, cattle rustling, car theft, unlawful possession of weapons, and other sundry offences were arrested.

He said four Ak47 riffles, 361 rounds of live Ak47 ammunition, and five other weapons of different makes were recovered from the suspects.

In another development, the Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Mr Ede Ayuba,on Wednesday presented to newsmen, 28 suspected criminals, including one of the suspected killers of late Nicholas Ofodile, businessman and owner of Chuks Supermarket, Lokoja.

Ayuba, while displaying the suspects at the command headquarters in Lokoja, said the command had adopted comprehensive crime prevention and control strategies in recent times to combat criminality in the state.

The strategy, according to him, include intensive patrol, raids of identified criminal hideouts, black spots and flashpoints, the conduct of stop-and-search which led to the arrest of the 28 suspects.

The commissioner, who attributed the recent upsurge in crime and criminal activities in the area to deployment lapses, said the command had readjusted its deployment strategies in line with the Inspector-General of Police instruction.

He said that the command had also adopted common problem-solving strategies for effective results on the Community Policing which had inspired public confidence in the Force, as people were now willingly providing valuable information.

He also said that the command had arrested one Vincent Omogor of Asaba,Delta, in connection with the killing of a popular businessman in Lokoja, Nicholas Ofodile, killed by assassins on June 10.

Ayuba said that the arrest was a follow-up on the attack and killing of the business tycoon and other kidnapping incidents along Lokoja-Abuja road, adding that the Intelligence was driven by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives in synergy with vigilance group in Orehi.

He said that a suspected car snatcher, Ayuba Dare, a dismissed soldier, allegedly specialised in robbing unsuspecting citizens of their vehicles, was apprehended and three Toyota Corolla cars and an NDA Identity Card recovered from them.

“Our operational style has provided a venue for effective collaboration with other critical stakeholders by giving them access to share information and intelligence that will assist in crime control and management,” he said.

To ensure a hitch-free celebration of the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir, the commissioner said the command had organised a conference with its Area Commanders.

He said that the command had mapped out operational order to ensure that lives and property were secured during and after the Sallah celebration, adding that the suspects would be prosecuted upon completion of investigation.

The alleged offences ranged from armed robbery to kidnapping, cattle rustling, unlawful possession of firearms, possession of human skull, impersonation, culpable homicide and car snatching.


Health and Safety

ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week



ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week

 The Defence Headquarters says troops have within the last week, eliminated no fewer than 227 terrorists, apprehended 529 and rescued 253 kidnapped victims, following ground and air operations across the country.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja on the operations of the Armed Forces.

Buba said the troops recovered 231 assorted weapons and 6,441 assorted ammunition, comprising 89 AK47 rifles, 40 locally fabricated guns, 59 Dane guns, 250kg bombs used by NATO and Eastern Bloc aircraft and one MRAP.

Others according to him are; 4,198 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 841 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 88 rounds of 5.56mm, 16 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm, 99 rounds of 7.62x51mm, 956 rounds of 7.62x54mm, 242 live cartridges, one PKM magazine, 24 magazines among others

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 83 terrorists, arrested 59 suspects and rescued 58 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a large cache of arms.

He said that 219 terrorists comprising 29 adult males, 65 adult females and 125 children surrendered to troops within the theatre of operations between May 8 and 14.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirle Stroke, neutralised 27 insurgents, arrested 154 violent extremists and rescued 42 kidnapped hostages.

In the North West, he said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, also neutralised 58 terrorists, arrested 125 terrorists and rescued 105 kidnapped hostages.

Buba said the air component had on May 8, bombarded a new terrorist enclave in Faskari area of Katsina State following an intelligence trail and confirmatory ISR on the migration of notorious terrorist elements to the deserted settlement.

According to him, battle damage assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralised and their structures as well as logistics destroyed

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Punch apprehended 68 illegal miners from an illegal mining site in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT Abuja during the week.

He said that the troops also neutralised 25 terrorists, arrested 97 suspects and rescued 32 kidnapped hostages.

He also said that in the South-South, troops of Operation Delta Safe recovered 1,442,700 litres of stolen crude oil and 154,650 litres of illegally refined AGO.

According to him, troops discovered and destroyed 18 dugout pits, 34 boats, five drums, four receivers, four reservoirs and 97 storage tanks.

”Other items recovered include 198 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, three pumping machines, two speedboats, one baofeng radio, one outboard engine and 57 illegal refining sites.

”Troops also neutralised three extremists and apprehended 16 suspected oil thieves and other violent extremists’’.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised 21 terrorists, arrested 45 violent extremists and rescued 12 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a cache of arms. 

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Health and Safety

Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking



Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking

The irresistible attraction for drug pushing is set to wane as the Senate on Thursday, prescribed the death sentence as the penalty for trafficking in hard drugs and other substances in Nigeria.

This followed the passage of the  National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Amendment Bill 2024.

It also prescribed not more than 15 years imprisonment without the option of fine, for conviction on consumption of hard drugs and substances.

This followed the adoption of the Senate Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Drugs and Narcotics report on the NDLEA Amendment Act at plenary.

The report was presented by the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (APC -Borno).

Monguno in his presentation said the amendment sought to strengthen the operations of the  NDLEA, empower its operations to establish laboratories for forensic review and update the list of dangerous drugs.

He said the amendment was also designed to review penalties and enhance the powers of the NDLEA to prosecute drug-related offences and issue subsidiary legislation.

He said the Senate had on Feb.28, deliberated on the bill, which was transmitted from the House of Representatives for the Senate’s concurrence.

He said it was important to make a general comment on the bill,  especially on the classification of the offences and penalty categorisations of drug-related offences.

He said the categorisations were peculiar and different from other laws because of the sentencing guideline used in determining drug-related offences.

“These guidelines in drug laws are designed to promote fairness, consistency and proportionality in the criminal justice system while considering the broader goals of rehabilitation and public safety.

“It is also important to note that several variables are used to determine the penalties imposed on a suspect.

“This includes type and quantity of controlled substance, defendant’s criminal history, intent behind drug-related activities, aggravating or mitigating circumstance such as organised crime, violence, use of offensive weapon.

“Others like  endangerment of minors can aggravate penalties,  conversely mitigating factors like cooperation with law enforcement or lack of prior criminal record may lessen the severity of punishment.”

Earlier, before the passage of the bill during clause-by-clause consideration, Sen.Ali Ndume (APC Borno), had moved a motion for amendment to clause 11 of the bill, which initially prescribed life imprisonment for drugs and substances trafficking in Nigeria.

Ndume had called for stiffer sanctions and moved a motion for a prescribing death sentence.

The motion was seconded by Sen.Onyekachi Nwaebonyi (APC-Ebonyi), who said that drugs and substance trafficking were doing great harm to the nation and hence,  stiffer penalties should be given to offenders.

When the voice vote for adoption of the motion on the death penalty was put to the vote, the “Yes” had their way as the Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jubrin (APC- Kano), who was presiding ruled in favour of the “Yes.”

However, the decision did not go well for Sen.Adams Oshiomhole (APC – Edo), who objected to the ruling, saying that he was responsible to his constituents for every law passed in the Senate.

He said issues of life and death should not be passed based on a “Yes or No” response, advocating for a voting by every senator.

Responding, Barau said the best approach for the Edo lawmaker was to have called for a division immediately after the clause on the death sentence was adopted.

Barau said the decision to rule in favour of the “yes” was not the presiding officer’s making but on the members’ voice vote.

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Health and Safety

Kaduna: Police Nab 280 Suspects, Rescue 158 Kidnapped Victims



Kaduna: Police Nab 280 Suspects, Rescue 158 Kidnapped Victims

Kidnappers hotbed, Kaduna state may finally be set for relative peace as the Police Command in Kaduna said Its operatives have arrested 280 suspected criminals and rescued 158 kidnapped victims from January to date.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP  Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this at a press briefing at the command on Thursday in Kaduna.

Adejobi said, ”I am pleased to highlight the significant achievements in our crime-fighting endeavours, with a particular focus on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway corridor, and communities in Kaduna State, spanning from January to date.

“Notably, I would like to draw attention to a strategic initiative implemented along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway, which has significantly contributed to our successes.”

According to him, under the directive of the Inspector-General of Police, a helicopter has been deployed to serve as an escort for trains using the route.

It provides aerial support for ground troops from the Armed Forces, Police, and other security agencies.

“It has been deployed along the corridor as a proactive measure to prevent attacks and act as a first responder in the event of any untoward incidents,” Adejobi said.

Arms and ammunition recovered by police operatives on Thursday in Kaduna.

 He said this proactive measure has proven instrumental in enhancing security along the corridor, ultimately safeguarding the lives and property of commuters and residents of the adjourning communities along the route.

The Police spokesperson said, ”During this period, our proactive measures and relentless pursuit of criminal elements have resulted in remarkable outcomes.

”This included the arrest of 81 armed robbery suspects, 40 kidnap suspects, 73 murder/homicide suspects, 36 rape suspects, 22 suspects involved in cult-related crimes, and 28 suspects engaged in other criminal activities.

 “We have successfully recovered 16 firearms of various types, along with 226 ammunition of diverse calibres.

”Additionally, our operations have led to the retrieval of 28 stolen vehicles, over 200 harmful weapons, and 600 bags of fertilizers.

“A total of N3.3 million, previously paid as ransom to kidnappers, has been successfully recovered, while our swift and coordinated efforts have resulted in the safe rescue of 158 kidnapped victims, all of whom have been reunited with their families unharmed.”

The Force PPRO  said the Nigeria Police Force, under the leadership of I-G Kayode  Egbetokun, remains steadfast in its resolve to uphold the rule of law, ensure the safety and security of all citizens, and combat criminal activities across the country.

He said these recent achievements along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway underscored the zeal of the Force in fulfilling its mandate of protecting lives and property.

“This special intervention and operation would be replicated in other major expressways and cities across the country by establishing the Special Intervention Squad (SIS) by the I-G.

 The Force Police Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, addressing the press on Thursday in Kaduna.

Adejobi  said, “We will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, employ innovative strategies, and harness the full force of the law to root out criminal elements and create a conducive environment for peaceful coexistence and socio-economic development.

“As we forge ahead, the Nigeria Police Force extends its gratitude to members of the public for their continued support and cooperation.

“Together, we will build safer communities, foster trust between the police and citizens, and strive towards a Nigeria where all individuals can live without fear of crime or violence.“

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