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Okomu Oil Boss Destroying Our Land, Maltreating Our People’, Ukomu Natives Cry For Help



…Accuse Him Of Land Grabbing

…Call On Edo, Federal Governments For Intervention

Ukomu and its adjoining communities have called on the Federal and Edo State governments to prevail on Dr. Graham Hefer, Managing Director, Okomu Oil Palm Company PLC, from destroying and seizure of their god-given land.

Hefer was also accused of environmental violation, maltreatment of host communities, encroaching and grabbing of the Ukomu National Park by his company.

This call and revelations were made recently during a combined visit by journalists and civil society organisations to the communities and the National Park located in the Ukomu forest reserve of Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State.

Speaking to journalists in Ukomu, an elder in the clan, Chief Augustine Yanky, chided Dr. Hefer for what he called attempts to further destroy the Ukomu communities.

Chief Yanky, who is founder of Ekerikete community under Ukomu clan, specifically accused Hefer of destroying the only bridge at the expense of his company’s plantation which leads to the heartbeat of the clan.

In his own part, Mr. Tony Okhale, Secretary of the Protection of Ukomu National Park and the Environment (PONPE), a civil society coalition, was also definite in his call to the Federal Ministry of Environment and the National Park Service to save the park from Dr. Hefer’s violation.

Also contributing, Mr. Olopele E. Olopele, a native of Nikorogha, lambasted the Okomu Oil boss for alleged destruction of the park, saying this is evidenced with the recent killing of a young rare elephant by workers of his company.

He joined Chief Yanky and others in calling on Edo State and Federal governments to immediately come to rescue the National Park and the local communities from the firm’s grip.

The accusations against Dr. Hefer was also confirmed at Makilolo, one of the communities under Ukomu clan by the traditional head of the village and his second-in-command, respectively.

Both men told journalists that the village and several others live without basic socio amenities and services, stressing that either government nor Okomu Oil has provided them any amenities.

They also alleged threats of environmental hazards, seizure of their ancestral land and threats of eviction from the land by Dr. Hefer and his company.

In corroborating the allegations, a fisherwoman (name withheld) who hails from the same Makilolo village, also alleged that the Okomu Oil, with Dr. Hefer as its present boss, had brought more hardship to her community than the past bosses of the plantation firm.

She accused Hefer of hostility to her village and the entire host forest communities, citing “unending harassment, demand for body pass, bodily search and flogging of the villagers by soldiers, on the order of Dr. Heifer”.



Bandits Abduct Newly-weds, Islamic Cleric, Others In Kaduna




Some bandits have raided the Dan-Honu community in the Millennium City, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State and kidnapped a new-wedded couple, Muslim leader and scores of others on Tuesday.

It was gathered that the hoodlums decked in dark dresses and wielding AK47 rifles in large numbers stormed the area around 9pm.

A source who is also a resident of the area told our correspondent that the bandits took away no fewer than eight residents of the community including the couple, the Imam and others.

However, the source added that the Imam and one other escaped while they were being led out of the community into the bush.

READ ALSO: Military Apprehends Bandits Commander’s Arms Suppliers In Zamfara

He said, “The bandits suspected to be kidnappers came on Tuesday night, attacked Dan-Honu II community in New Millennium City, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State and kidnappied eight persons.

“Among those abducted were a new couple who got married last Saturday, Imam of the community mosque, his wife and three children, including a 10-month-old baby.

“The bandits who stormed the community around 8:50pm numbering about 10, with AK47 rifles and other weapons, were in black, with one of them masked.

“We escaped being abducted. The bandits started by picking the Imam and his family who they met outside the community Juma’at Mosque before proceeding to other houses where they abducted the newly-wedded.

“I was inside my apartment when the bandits stormed our compound. At first, when they started banging the new couple’s door, because they went to their apartment straight, I thought they were security people who came to arrest my neighbour.”

READ ALSO: Gunmen Shoot Ogun Gov Office’s Finance Director Dead

He added, “They started banging his door and shouting ‘Dan Iska ba za ka fito ba?’, meaning ‘idiot, will you not come out? That was when I realiaed that they were kidnappers. So, when they could not force the door open, they broke his window and broke the burglary proof.

“On gaining entrance into the apartment, the bandits tried to open the door, they could not open it. So, they brought the couple out through the broken window. They injured the husband and blood was dripping from his body.

“They attempted to enter my apartment too. They broke the glass window, but as they were busy hitting the burglary proof to break into my apartment, one of the vigilantes in the community fired a shot into the air. On hearing the gunshot, the bandits became uncomfortable and left our compound.

“The new bride was also abandoned in the bush by the bandits when she could not cope with the pace of the movement. The Imam’s wife was freed when her baby’s cry almost exposed the bandits to vigilantes around Kakura area.

“The bandits were able to go with the new groom and two children of the Imam .They were yet to establish contact with the family.”

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Meanwhile, the Imam, who escaped from the bandits, while narrating his ordeal, told newsmen that two out of the seven bandits that attacked the community were armed with AK47 rifles with chains of bullets.

They beat the 10-month-old baby because he was crying. They even threatened to kill him because his cry was disturbing them. But I thank Almighty Allah my wife and the baby later escaped after I had escaped but the bandits went away with my two sons,” he said.

While confirming the incident, the Kaduna State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, told our correspondent on the telephone that operatives of the command repelled the bandits and rescued the victims.

What we know was that as they entered, police repelled the attackers and rescued those that were kidnapped,” he said.

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NSCDC Officers Shoot Abuja Students During Examination




The Nigeria Police, on Wednesday, arrested and detained three personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for shooting two students of Senior Secondary School, Life Camp, within the Jabi and Gwarinpa areas of the Federal Capital Territory.

The PUNCH reports that the two students shot by the NSCDC operatives are currently receiving treatment at the Gwarinpa Hospital.

Following the shooting, some irate high school students vandalised three patrol vehicles belonging to the NSCDC in protest against the attack on their injured colleagues.

READ ALSO: Mob Attack Kogi INEC Headquarters

It was gathered that the incident occurred around 11.20am on Wednesday.

The NSCDC personnel attached to the FCT Command of the NSCDC were at the school to provide security during an ongoing examination on the premises.

When contacted, the FCT Police spokesperson, SP Josephine Adeh, confirmed the incident, while noting that the police had restored peace in the affected area.

Adeh said, “The incident happened, but our operatives intervened in time to restore law and order, and the environment is now peaceful. Two injured students are currently receiving treatment, and the CP, Haruna Garba has ordered the commencement of an investigation into the incident.”

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Meanwhile, the FCT Command of the NSCDC has yet to comment on the development.

When contacted for comments, the spokesperson for the FCT NSCDC, Comfort Okomanyi, said she was indisposed, while noting that she would make inquiries from the command and revert.

I’m sorry, I’m currently indisposed. However, I’ll reach out to the command for an update on the matter, and I’ll get back to you,” Okomanyi noted.

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Gunmen Shoot Ogun Gov Office’s Finance Director Dead




Gunmen suspected to be armed robbers on Wednesday afternoon reportedly shot dead one Mr Taiwo Oyekanmi, a Director of Finance and Accounts attached to the Governor’s Office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Oyekanmi was said to have been gunned down on top of NNPC Bridge, while coming from a bank where he had gone to make withdrawals in preparation for Thursday’s budget presentation by the governor.

He was said to have been rushed to the State Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta where he was pronounced dead.

READ ALSO: Mob Attack Kogi INEC Headquarters

Contacted, the spokesperson for the Ogun State Police Command, SP Omolola Odutola, said she was yet to be briefed about the development.

Two top civil servants at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta who spoke to our correspondent, confirmed the incident saying that the secretariat is currently in a mourning mood.

Details later…

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