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JUST IN: How Police, Soldiers Rescued Abuja Kidnap Victims In Kaduna Forest

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The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has revealed details of how the Al-Kadriyar sisters and other abducted victims were rescued from the bandits’ den in Kajuru forest in Kaduna State by a joint team of policemen and soldiers of the Nigerian Army on Saturday night.

About 23 persons were abducted on January 2, 2024, in the Zuma 1 area of Kawu, in the Bwari Area Council of Abuja.

The police on Sunday confirmed that all the victims, including five sisters whose abduction had raised nationwide concerns, were rescued at about 11 pm on Saturday, and had since been reunited with their families.

The bandits terrorising the FCT and neighbouring states of Kaduna, Nasarawa and Niger were camped in the Kajuru forest in the Southern Kaduna area of Kaduna State.

READ ALSO: How Bandits Terrorising Abuja Hide In Kaduna Forest Abandoned By Military

Highly placed security sources confided in one of our correspondents that the forest was being used by the military for training of its personnel, but had been abandoned, thus making it a haven for the terrorists.

One of the military sources told The PUNCH on Friday, “Kidnappers and other criminals terrorising the Federal Capital Territory are presently camped in the Kajuru forest. Kajuru is the headquarters of the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The forest has become a haven for bandits and kidnappers.”

Revealing details of the Saturday night rescue operation, in a statement on Sunday, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh, said the victims were rescued by the FCT anti-kidnapping squad in a concerted effort with troops of the Nigerian Army.

SP Adeh said, “Following the relentless advancement of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command Anti-Kidnapping squad in a concerted effort with troops of the Nigerian Army, on the heels of the kidnappers that struck the Zuma 1 area in the Bwari Area Council on January 2, 2024, the FCT police rescued the victims and reunited them with their families.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Police, Army Rescue Najeebah’s Sisters, Other Abuja Kidnap Victims

“The operatives successfully rescued the victims around Kajuru forest in Kaduna state at about 11:30 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2024.

“While appreciating the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, for the deployment of the newly commissioned Special Intervention Squad, which has given an uplift to the existing security architecture of the FCT and has brewed public confidence, the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Haruna Garba, wishes to reiterate the commands commitment to sustaining the robust security deployment made in the area and other parts of the Territory for the utmost maintenance of peace for all and sundry.

“The good people of FCT are hence encouraged to note the following emergency lines and promptly report suspicious activities; 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883.
PCB: 09022222352.”

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JUST IN: One Missing, 15 Rescued In Boat Accident 

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Not less than 15 people were rescued this evening from the scene of a boat accident in Lagos, where a passenger ferry collided with an unexpected shoreline concrete at a construction site near the power line corridor at the Lekki Ikoyi Link Bridge.

Although one person was still missing as of the time the report was filed.

In a statement by the management of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), one of the passengers was said to have sustained an injury, while another is yet to be accounted for.

In a statement signed by Wuraola Alake of the Public Relations Unit of LASWA, said officers from the Search and Rescue Unit of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, the Marine Unit of the Nigerian Police Force and other relevant agencies were still at the incident location carrying out further rescue Operations.

READ ALSO: Police Detain Beninois For Sexually Assaulting Septuagenarian In Osun

Part of the statement reads: “At about 6.50pm today Wednesday 21, 2024, an Ibeshe bound passenger ferry named Tee Ben having departed from Addax jetty, had a collusion with an unforeseen shoreline concrete at a construction site around the power line corridor at the Lekki Ikoyi Link Bridge.

“About 15 out of the 17 passengers said to be on board this boat have been rescued, with one casualty confirmed, while rescue efforts are still ongoing as at the time of writing this statement.

“Officers from the Search and Rescue Unit of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, the Marine Unit of the Nigerian Police Force and other relevant agencies were still at the incident location carrying out further rescue operations.”

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Pastor, Five Others To Die By Hanging For Robbery

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An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital has sentenced six persons to death over their involvement in bank robberies which took place in Akure and Idanre in 2011.

The convicts include a pastor, Adewale Adelu, and five others – Ikechuckwu Maduagwu, Fayemi Olubusuyi, Ropo Adeleye, Dele Otopka, and Bayo Omotosho.

They were found guilty of robbing two commercial banks in Akure and Idanre on November 19 and December 8, 2011 in Akure and Idanre respectively.

They were arrested by the men of the state police command and were charged to court.

READ ALSO: Court Remands Anambra Lawyer For Brutalising Maid

The court delivered the judgement on Tuesday.

When the trial began, the convicts were arraigned before the court on four-count charge bothering on conspiracy, armed robbery, and illegal possession of firearms and were later remanded in Olokuta Correctional Centre.

The prosecuting counsel, F.K Salami, told the court that the convicts and others were “armed with AK 47 guns, dynamite, and other weapons at Oyemekun Road, Akure, conspired to attack and robbed a branch of Diamond Bank Plc, after which they went away with a sum of N30million and different brand of phones, including other valuable property.

“The convicts on December 8, 2011, at 2 pm, were also alleged to have robbed First Bank Plc at Yaba Road, Idanre, where they carted away another sum of N4million.”

According to the prosecution, “the offences contravene Sections 6b, 1 2a, and b of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R11, Vol. 14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

READ ALSO: American Sues Lottery Firm Over $340m Win Declared As Mistake

There were arguments from both the prosecuting and defence counsel at various court proceedings on the matter while witnesses were also invited to the court to testify.

In the judgment of Justice Yemi Fasanmi, on Tuesday, the court held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The judge also said the defendants were unanimous in their confessions and the role each of them played in the robberies.

To this end, Justice Fasanmi “sentenced all the defendants to death by hanging in each of the counts.”

A Court in Akure had earlier sentenced a man, Gbenga Akintola, to 21 years imprisonment for involvement in robbery.

Akintola was apprehended by the Amotekun command and the police in Ondo town in 2021 for using dangerous weapons such as cutlasses to rob three individuals of their money and valuables.

He was later charged and brought before the court on five counts, including conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery.

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Court Remands Anambra Lawyer For Brutalising Maid

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The Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court sitting at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Awka, has remanded a lawyer, Adachukwu Okafor, at the State Criminal and Investigative Department custody in Awka, for allegedly inflicting physical injuries on the body of her 11-year-old housekeeper.

Okafor, who resides at Chris Igwilo Street Akapka GRA, 3-3 Onitsha of Anambra State, was arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court presided by Genevieve Osakwe, in Awka, on Wednesday on two counts.

Okafor allegedly used various objects like a broken bottle, knife, and electric iron to harm her house help in response to an incident involving her daughter.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: How Lion Attacked, Killed Top Nigerian Varsity’s Staff

The two-count borders mainly on willful infliction of physical injuries on the body of one Happiness Nwafor, an offence punishable under Section 4(1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition and Protection) Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 2017.

The charge was read and interpreted to the defendant to the court’s satisfaction; the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Okafor, who was reportedly said to be on the run, surrendered herself to the Anambra Police Command in Awka, after the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, had placed an N2m bounty on anyone who knew her whereabouts.

Meanwhile, a bail application was made by the defendant’s counsel, Chijioke Nwankwo, but the bail was denied by the court and the matter was adjourned till February 28, 2024, for ruling.

READ ALSO: Anambra-born Businessman Dies Watching Nigeria, South Africa Match In Ivory Coast

Speaking to journalists after the court’s session, the defendant’s counsel, Chijioke Nwankwo, when asked why it took his client time to report to the police, stated that he was unaware of any bounty placed on Okafor.

He explained that he was only contacted for the job and he immediately took the defendant to the police.

He, however, complained that the state Ministry of Women and Social Welfare is already doing trial by ordeal, which he noted is not in the best interest of the case.

The victim, an 11-year-old, had since been discharged from the hospital and made an appearance in court too.

READ ALSO: Anambra: Fire Guts Timber Market At Nnewi

Reacting to the development, the Anambra State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, stated that she trusts the court to do justice.

Obinabo also revealed that her ministry would soon embark on media sensitisation programme, during which Anambra residents would be educated and fully enlightened about the dangers and negative consequences of child abuse.

She said, “We advise members of the public to shun all forms of social vices in the society, especially, those vices that endanger the life of a child; and we called on everyone to be agents of positive social change.”

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