No fewer than 19 people were killed in the early hours of Friday when some gunmen suspected to be killer herdsmen invaded Tawari community in Kotonkarfe local government area of Kogi State.
The rampaging herdsmen also razed down buildings, including places of worship.
Administrator of the local government, Hon. Musa Tanko Mohammed who spoke on phone confirmed that 19 persons were killed.
Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Police Command, Mr Williams Anya, also confirmed the development in an interview in Lokoja on Friday.
Giving further update, the Police Command also disclosed that about 28 houses and vehicles were razed by the attackers in Tawari community among other destruction.
Anya said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ede Ayuba Ekpeji, had visited the community for on the spot assessment.
He also said that the Commissioner of Police had deployed Special Police Force and Police Tactical Squad, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, to immediately unravel those behind the heinous act with a view to bringing them to book.
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The king of Tawari, Chief Idris Yusuf, who also spoke on telephone, confirmed the incident, saying it was the first time the community was experiencing such attack.
“This is the first time we are witnessing such deadly attack in our community. Our community has been very peaceful.” Yusuf, who is the Aguma of Tawari, said that he would provide details on the development as he was busy attending to sympathisers”, he added.
A resident of Tawari community, Mrs Comfort Solomon, who survived the attack, said the gunmen, numbering about 100 invaded the community late on Thursday.
She said the gunmen came in their numbers on motorcycles and descended on the village, killing and burning buildings until the early hours of Friday.
Solomon said that many places of worship, including the palace of the Akuma of Tawari were burnt down by the invaders.
“The gunmen were up to 100 in number. They came into the community with motorcycles around 11:15 p.m. when villagers were sleeping. They entered selected houses, packed foodstuff and motorcycles and burnt selected houses, including homes of clerics. They killed more than 15 men. The attackers were communicating with each other in Hausa language,” Solomon stated, weeping profusely.
It was gathered that the attack is a reprisal attack by the herdsmen have been having running battles with the community.
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The killing of four suspected herdsmen, alleged to be kidnappers along Lokoja Abuja federal highway on December 30 by security agencies, following a tip off by vigilantes from Tawari community, was alleged to be what angered the militia to attack the community.
A source also said that one of the herdsmen was killed sometimes last year and his body mutilated by suspected ritualists, a crime for which the victim’s colleagues hold the Tawari community responsible and threatened a reprisal.
But following persistent persuasion by the community head, Alhaji Yahaya Tawari, against a reprisal, the herdsmen lived in the community with their hosts in peace until few days ago when they started moving out en masse.
While efforts were made to find out their reason for the mass movement, the herdsmen said their movement was a way of life, assuring that they had no ulterior motives.
Meanwhile, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has directed the security agencies in the state to fish out perpetrators of Tawari attack for justice.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Onogwu Muhammed, Bello said the security agencies should swing into action and ensure that those who carried out the dastardly act face the law.
The governor, who condemned the attack and warned that anyone nursing the ambition of causing crisis in the state would have himself or herself to blame, assured that his administration would do everything possible to protect life and property of the people of the state.
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He urged the people to be calm and law abiding, assuring them that his administration was determined to flush out bandits and criminals out of the state.
Police Declare Man Wanted Over Homos*xual Act
A 50-years old man, Edo Omusi, has been declared wanted by the police in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, for disappearing after being ‘caught’ in a same s*x act in Ogiso community.
A source close to the police in the state, told our correspondent that the suspect, and one of his male friends, whose name was not given, were sighted at an undisclosed location by some youths as they were comitting the act.
Under Nigerian Laws, any person caught in the gay act is liable to 14 years in prison and if found by the community could be killed.
The duo were said to have been deeply engrossed in the act when they were found but before the person who saw them in the , “sinful and abominable act”, went for back up, they had escaped the location.
The incident which occurred on 25/4/23 at Ogiso area of the town almost threw the community into a turmoil as irate youths welding sticks and cudgels rampaged the community in search of the duo to lynch them.
It was also learnt that worried by the trend the youths in the community had to set up a surveillance team to monitor his movements. It was on one of the surveillance trips that he was reportedly caught on the fateful day, with the unidentified male partner.
It was gathered since the community reported the incident to the police, the whereabouts of the suspect, Edo Omusi has since remained unknown by all and sundry.
Speaking on the development, a top Police official confirmed the matter and explained that the Crime Investigation Department of the command is working round the clock to arrest the suspect, having declared him a wanted person.
Man, 41, Sent To Prison For Groping Woman’s Breast
A Badagry Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, on Friday, ordered the remand of a 41-year-old man, Ibrahim Lemo, for groping the breast of a woman.
The court heard that Lemo beat up his victim, Zainab Babalola, when she demanded he stopped the unlawful act
Chief Magistrate Fadahunsi Adefioye remanded Lemo after he pleaded guilty to a two count bordering on assault.
Adefioye ordered that the defendant should be remanded in Awhajigoh Correctional Centre, Badagry.
He adjourned the case until April 14 for facts and sentencing.
Earlier, the prosecutor, ASP. Clément Okuoimose, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on April 6 at 2.30 p.m. at Badagry Roundabout shopping complex, Badagry, Lagos.
Okuoimose said Lemo without lawful excuse pressed the breast of the complainant, Zainab Babalola.
He said the defendant also hit the complainant on her left eye and caused her harm after she asked him not to touch her again.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 134 and 170 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Hushpuppi’s Associate, Woodberry, Pleads Guilty, Forfeits $8m, Assets
Olalekan Jacob Ponle, known as Mr Woodberry, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
He also agreed to forfeit $8 million in proceeds of wire fraud as well as luxury cars and watches to the foreign government.
Woodberry, a known associate of the now-imprisoned internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, recently in a plea declaration submitted at the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on April 6, pleaded guilty to count one of the indictments, the Peoples Gazette reports.
According to his plea agreement, he is required to pay back the sum of $8 million he fraudulently received from the seven companies that he scammed.
“Defendant understands that by pleading guilty, he will subject to forfeiture to the United States all right, title, and interest that he has in any property constituting or derived from proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of the offence,” stated the document containing Mr Ponle’s signed plea declaration.
Woodberry was also asked to waive his rights to the luxury cars, and designer watches he had stashed in Dubai.
The high-end automobiles include Rolls Royce Cullinan with vehicle no J9153, Lamborghini Urus (N4973) and Mercedes-Benz G-class (G68816).
Other items seized are four Rolex watches, one Patek Philippe watch, three Audemars Piguet watches, three gold and diamond-studded earrings, and six gold neck chains.
Last year, he forfeited 151.8 Bitcoin to the American government.
On June 10, 2020, Woodberry was arrested in Dubai alongside Ramon Hushpuppi Abbas, who is currently serving an 11-year sentence for a similar fraud charge.
Prior to his arrest, Woodberry was known for rocking and flaunting expensive designer wear and showing off his illicit wealth to his massive Instagram followers, the majority of whom had no idea his luxury lifestyle was funded by cybercrime.
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