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Fresh Twists, Controversies Over Disappearance Journalist

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A new twist has emerged over the controversy surrounding the death of The News journalist in 1995, Bagauda Kaltho.

The journalist’s disappearance and suspected murder case was not concluded for 27 years.

However, a businessman, medical practitioner, and activist, Mahdi Shehu recounted an event that he claimed happened 27 years ago on Arise News Channel recently, that Kaltho was killed by a bomb parcel in the bookshop of Durbar Hotel, Kaduna, which he (Kaltho) was sent to detonate by American ex-envoy, Russell Hanks.

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According to him, Hanks offered him (Mahdi) N1 million at the time to bomb the Durbar Hotel which he refused, but as he was about to leave, he saw the late journalist, Bagauda Kaltho, at the entrance of Hanks’ room.

He went on: “We went to the door together, and he wanted to see me off. At the door was Bagauda Kaltho, the journalist that was said to have been killed by Abacha. Bagauda was right at the door there. I think he gave him an hour before me, but I keyed into Bagauda’s hour. Bagauda went into the room, and I left. What happened? Not long after that, two hours later, bomb! Where? Durbar Hotel. Where? At the bookshop.”

READ ALSO: Wife, Daughters, Group Demand Fresh Probe Into Journalist’s Death

Also, LEADERSHIP Newspaper reported that in an interview, an anonymous journalist, who claimed to be at the hotel for an assignment, said, “We were at Durbar Hotel for an assignment, and we left for the secretariat when we heard that there was a bomb blast, so the NUJ chairman at that time and some few others, including one other person who is now a member of House of Representatives, Rima Shawulu, representing Tukum/Donga/Ussa Federal Constituency (PDP), Taraba State, went to the hospital to see the body of Bagauda.”

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DAILY POST put a call through to Rima Shawulu, representing Tukum/Donga/Ussa Federal Constituency (PDP), Taraba State on Monday and the lawmaker told this reporter to send a text message.

Shawulu has not responded to the text sent to him, while his phone was switched off as of the time this medium put another call to his phone on Monday night.

However, the United State Embassy has also not responded to the accusation as of the time of filing this report.

Speaking with the late journalist’s wife, Martha Kaltho, she told DAILY POST that the family did not see her husband’s corpse.

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“The claim of him being killed in a bomb blast is not new to me but the allegations by Mhadi that my late husband planted the bomb is baffling. Why is it now that he is coming out to say this 27 years after? Where was he when the matter was before the Oputa panel. This is contrary to the claim that the bomb blast burnt the body beyond recognition.”

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On January 19, 2012, DAILY POST, in a piece co-author by Olukorede Yishau and Olukayode Thomas titled, “The Man Called Zakari Biu” stated some facts over the death of Kaltho. Biu is an embattled police officer who was promoted to Commissioner of Police (CP) after a recommendation from the then Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim.

Biu was linked to degrees of atrocity under the regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha; the embattled cop was terror personified. As head of the regime’s Presidential Task Force on Terrorism, he terrorised journalists and human rights activists, who he labeled terrorists.

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Journalists on the stables of The News, TSM and Tell were the worst hit.

The piece stated that “Biu, at a press conference after Abacha’s death, said Kaltho was the “unidentified” person who died while planting a bomb which went off at Durbar Hotel, Kaduna in January 1996. He then showed the media a video recording of the scene of the blast and two photographs – one of a charred body and another of the journalist. Biu said he “strongly suspects the management of ICNL of having connection with the Durbar Hotel bombing or else James Bagauda Kaltho.”

He later said Abacha’s Chief Security Officer, Major Hamza al-Mustapha, may have been responsible for Kaltho’s fate.

“I have never seen Kaltho in my life, either alive or dead and don’t know the whereabouts of Kaltho. Only the Chief Security Officer to the late Abacha, Maj. Hamza al-Mustapha, can explain what happened to Kaltho,” he said

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When Biu appeared before the panel, he refused to be put on oath with the Holy Quran, because “he is not pure.” He denied all the allegations against him.

A retired Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Tsav, who also appeared before the panel, debunked Biu’s claim.

He said: “Everything he is saying is not true. I mean the evidence he gave in respect of Bagauda Kaltho. He said he got photographs from the wife of Bagauda Kaltho. He also said he got reports from the SSS through the Inspector-General of Police, which said the person who was killed in the bomb blast at the Durbar Hotel was Bagauda Kaltho. And he said that he never met Bagauda anywhere in his life. Then how could he come to that conclusion that the man killed was Bagauda Kaltho? He merely saw his pictures …He (Biu) should be in prison. As far as I’m concerned, he is a prisoner on parole.”

READ ALSO: Two Gombe Journalists Arrested Over PDP Office Demolition

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James Danbaba, a colleague of Biu, said Kaltho was “summarily executed on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, because Kaltho was said to have seen IGP Ibrahim Coomasie suddenly collapse and was foaming in the mouth.”

Danbaba added: “ The journalist was ordered to be arrested and executed because of a disclosure that he (Coomasie) is suffering from epilepsy may jeopardize the IGP’s well preserved and seriously guarded position and ultimately lead to his untimely retirement from the police force.”

He added: “After the said journalist, Bagauda Kaltho’s summary execution, a learnedas attached to his corpse and detonated. I reliably learnt that this was directed at selling a story to the C-in-C that a NADECO journalist has died of a bomb explosion while attempting to plant a bomb, thereby finally covering their track of having killed Bagauda Kaltho and the reason for his murder.”

DAILY POST

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PAP: Again, Otuaro Meets Stakeholders, Re-emphasises Importance Of Collaboration

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The administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Dr. Dennis Otuaro, has re-emphasized the need for a collaborative approach in maintaining peace in the Niger Delta, even as he met with various stakeholders in the region.

Otuaro, who spoke when he met with various stakeholders, in Warri, Delta State, including ex-agitators, community leaders, and youth groups, emphasised the importance of involving more stakeholders from impacted communities in the PAP in order to achieve sustainable peace in Niger Delta.

The meetings, held in different locations on July 23rd, 2023, aimed to strengthen peace in the Niger Delta region.

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READ ALSO: Otuaro Visits Edo/Delta Liaison Office, Declares PAP Apolitical

He stressed the need in engaging more women, and providing refresher training to previously trained beneficiaries to qualify them into the labour market.

He urged stakeholders to take advantage of the PAP’s ongoing scholarship opportunities and register online accordingly.

Otuaro reiterated President Tinubu’s commitment to sustainable peace and rapid development in the Niger Delta, encouraging stakeholders to work together to achieve this goal.

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READ ALSO: PAP: IPDI Tackles Group Over Attack On Otuaro

A vote of confidence was passed on the PAP boss for his transformational leadership and revolutionary reforms, urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disregard opposition.

He concluded by thanking PAP beneficiaries and stakeholders for maintaining the existing peace in the Niger Delta, and commended them for their continued cooperation and support for president Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

The stakeholders, including HRH Godday Smith, the king of the forest, the Meinbotus communities and the Ijaw Youth Council, Western zone, commended Otuaro’s charismatic leadership and pledged their support.

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READ ALSO: PAP: IPDI Tackles Group Over Attack On Otuaro

In response, the stakeholders pointed out that Otuaro is the right man for the PAP job, admonishing the president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disregard the antics of the enemies.

They assured him of total support and good working relationship throughout his reign as administrator of PAP.

The stakeholders thanked Otuaro for coming down to hold further meetings with stakeholders after undergoing rigorous meetings with the stakeholders in the Niger Delta region in the penultimate months in Warri, Delta State.

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They expressed enthusiasm over his powerful reforms and good initiatives. They prayed for him for more opportunities, good health and more God’s direction.

 

 

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Four Suspected Cultists Arrested With Arms In Edo

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The Edo State Police Command says it has arrested four suspected cultists.

The suspects arrested were Isioma Unwogo, 21, Godstime Imareigbe, 32, Apeleokha Raymond, 28, and Mutar Igie, 30.

Police Public Relations Officer in Edo, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, said the suspects were arrested during a stop-and-search operation.

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He said the suspects were arrested in Ahor, a community along the Benin-Lagos bypass and on the Benin-Auchi Road, respectively.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Lagos Police Receive Test Results Of Teenager Allegedly Raped By Officer

The command’s spokesperson said Isioma was arrested with one cut-to-size gun and a live cartridge by operatives of the Ahor Police Station Division on patrol.

The other three suspects were arrested when police operatives intercepted a Toyota Camry with registration number ABC 265 RA, and upon a search, they recovered a pistol concealed inside the vehicle’s bonnet.

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SP Nwabuzor alleged that the suspects confessed to being members of a secret cult group in the state.

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Reps Ask NERC, DISCOs To Reverse Band A Tariff Hike

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the distribution companies, DISCOs, to reverse the tariff hike for Band A customers immediately.

This resolution was reached after the adoption of a report presented by the House Committee on Power.

Chairman of the Committee Victor Nwokolo who presented the report, stated that Nigerians cannot afford the new tariff.

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The Committee recommended a return to the status quo.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Shelve Planned Hardship Protest, Tinubu Appeals To Nigerians

The recommendations were adopted by the Committee of the Whole, after which it was passed.

Further investigation into the tariff hike is to be conducted by the House.

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The NERC in April announced a hike affecting Band A customers, who are to pay N225 per kilowatt.

According to the regulatory commission Band A subscribers would have at least 20 hours of power supply per day

It also explained that only electricity customers in Band A would be affected by the increase.

READ ASLO: JUST IN: Reps Increase 2024 Budget To N35.055 Trillion, Amend Finance Bill

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At the time, it said only 15 per cent of the electricity consumers were affected by the hike, however, the decision generated negative reactions since its announcement.

“We currently have 800 feeders that are categorised as Band A, but it will now be reduced to under 500. This means that 17 per cent now qualify as Band-A feeders. These feeders only service 15 per cent of total electricity customers connected to the feeders,” NERC Vice Chairman, Musliu Oseni said on April 3.

“The commission has issued an order which is titled April supplementary order and the commission allows a 235 kilowatt per hour.”

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