Police Helicopter Shot By Bandits In Kaduna
A police helicopter which was providing aerial and intelligence cover was shot at by bandits, while Special Operatives of Operation Puff Adder of the Nigeria Police backed by the Special Forces of the Police Airwing, was raining operational camps of terrorists and bandits in Kaduna on Wednesday.
Nation reports that the bandits shot at the helicopter with sophisticated anti-aircraft rifles and General purpose machine guns (GPMG).
Tragedy was however averted as the pilot and copilot, managed to land the aircraft at the Air Force base in Kaduna.
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The security agents were raiding the largest operational camps of the Ansaru Terror Group (also housing other bandits and kidnappers) located in Kuduru Forest, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State.
According to statement by Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, on Wednesday evening, the daring offensive operation successfully neutralized over 250 high-profile members of the Ansaru Terror Group.
Nation quoted Mba as saying, “The operation which commenced in the early hours of today, 5th February, 2020, was carried out by a combined team of operatives of Operation Puff Adder made up of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Forces, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS) and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The operation was necessitated by actionable intelligence linking terror and criminal elements in the super camp to series of terror-related violence, kidnappings, gun-running, cattle rustling and other heinous crimes across the country.
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”Unfortunately, during the operation, a Police Bell helicopter, which provided aerial and intelligence cover for the ground troops came under attack from the bandits using sophisticated anti-aircraft rifles and GPMG. Commendably, the pilot and the co-pilot who demonstrated uncommon courage and expertise, successfully landed the aircraft at the Air Force Base, Kaduna without further incident.
“They were thereafter evacuated for medical treatment. Both officers who sustained non-life threatening injuries are currently receiving treatment and are in stable condition.
The Police helicopter has since been flown out of the Kaduna Air Force Base by Police Pilots en-route to Abuja.
”Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police assures citizens of safety and sustained intelligence-led operations against bandits across the length and breadth of the nation. He has equally applauded the unparalleled bravery, commitment and dedication of the Police operatives currently conducting the special mission,” the statement read.
Evans Re-arraigned For Kidnapping, Attempted Murder
Convicted kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, has been re-arraigned over the alleged kidnapping and attempted murder before a Lagos State High Court sitting in the Tafawa Balewa Square area.
Evans’ re-arraignment on Thursday follows the transfer of the case file from Justice Adedayo Akintoye, who is the initial trial judge.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court in September 2022 sentenced Evans and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia.
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They were convicted of conspiring and kidnapping Hafia around 5:30 pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin, in Lagos and to have captured and detained Hafia and demanded a ransom of $2m.
However, the matter started afresh before Justice Ibironke Harrison, where Evans was again arraigned alongside Joseph Emeka, Victor Aduba and Okapara Linus.
The four are facing five counts bordering on conspiracy, kidnapping, and attempted murder, preferred against them by Lagos State.
Evans and his co-defendants were arraigned for allegedly kidnapping Chief James Uduji and collecting a ransom of $1.2m dollars.
They, and others at large, allegedly committed the offence on September 7, 2015 at 7th Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos.
The defendants were also accused of attempted murder by allegedly firing shots at Uduji and Donatus Nwoye which hit him on the hand and again shot one Mr Jereome Okezie on the hand and head.
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According to the prosecution, the offences committed contravened Sections 411, 271 (3) and 230 (A), of the criminal laws of Lagos State 2015.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Harrison subsequently adjourned that matter till May 3 and 4, 2023 for trial.
Prof Facing N1.4bn Fraud Case Gets N1m Bail
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned a Professor, Uche Edwin, before the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on charges of alleged N1.4 billion fraud.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the EFCC’s Spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren on Thursday.
Edwin was arraigned alongside his companies, Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited, NEMAD Associates Limited and Revamp Global Enterprise, on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention and conversion of funds to the tune of N1, 473,367,046.04 belonging to Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria.
He, however, pleaded “not guilty” to the 11-count charge.
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One of the counts reads: “ That you, Professor Uche Chigozie Edwin, Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited, Nemad Associates Limited and Revamp Global Enterprise, sometime in 2021 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Court , conspired amongst yourselves to use the sum of N1, 473,367,046.04, property of the Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: fraud; and you thereby committed an offence , contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
The prosecution counsel, C.C. Okezie, asked the court for a trial date and also asked that the defendant be remanded.
The defence counsel, Mobolaji Akintunde, in response, made an application for bail on behalf of his client.
He asked the court to admit his client to bail and also implored the court to allow his client to be remanded in EFCC custody pending when he would be able to meet the bail conditions the court might impose.
In a short ruling, the judge, Nicholas Oweibo, allowed bail to the defendant in the sum of N1 million and two sureties in like sum.
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The sureties, according to the court, must possess landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, show a tax clearance certificate of three months as well as their passport photographs.
The defendant was also ordered to deposit his passport with the court.
The judge adjourned the trial till 27 June for the commencement of the trial.
JUST IN: Court Jails Ex-Imo Commissioner
A former Commissioner for Transport in Imo State, Laz Anyanwu, was on Tuesday sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Anyanwu, who served during the administration of ex-governor Rochas Okorocha, was sentenced after he was found guilty of the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judge, K. A Lewanya, while sentencing the former commissioner said that the jail term would serve concurrently.
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The judge said that the convict was found guilty of fraud , looting of public funds and stealing.
The justice said that the former commissioner was found guilty of diverting N180 million of state funds into a private company account where he was a major shareholder and sole signatory when he superintended and doubled as commissioner for transport and the chairman interim committee of the Imo State transport company, ITC, which is against section 12 and 19 of the ICPC Act 2020.
The judge held that Anyanwu by that action had violated the Public Procurement Act, abused his office and used his office to gain undue advantage in his dealings during his tenure as the commissioner for transport and the chairman interim committee of the Imo state transport company, ITC.
The judge said that the EFCC lawyer, Micheal Ani, was able to proof beyond reasonable doubt that when Anyanwu was commissioner for transport between 2015 and 2019, he transferred the sum of N100 million from the ITC account to his private company named Oma Oil Industries Limited, which is against section 12 and 19 of the ICPC Act 2020 for a public servant.
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The judge also said that the ex-commissioner signed off another N80 million from government coffers directly to his private company account with the motive that he wanted to procure some vehicles for ITC without due process and recourse to the public procurement act.
The judge, while sentencing him to prison, said the former commissioner looted the sum of N180 million found in his account said to be for the state transport company.
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