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REVEALED: Why Kidnapping Is Thriving In Nigeria – Rtd General 

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As the nation grapples with kidnappings by terrorists, highlighted by the abductions of over 600 victims in eight days including school students, children and women in Borno, Kaduna and Sokoto states, a Retired General and Security Consultant, Major Gen Obidah Ethan (Rtd) has declared that there are “gaps in our entire security sector which has to be narrowed and filled”.

Recall that on the 4th of March, 2024, over 300 women and children were kidnapped from Baban Sansan, Zulum and Arabic IDP camps in Borno, on Friday 8 March, 287 students were kidnapped from a school in Kurliya, Kaduna state and another 15 students kidnapped in Sokoto state on Saturday.

Speaking on the topic, “Realism of Kidnapping in Nigeria”, at the 40th Anniversary of SSC Course (Short Service Combatant Course) 25 of the Nigeria Defence Academy on Saturday, Gen Ethan said, “Present realities on insecurity, kidnapping and other criminalities demand the participation, involvement of all Nigerians. It should no longer be the military and Police alone. It has to be all encompassing”

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“The country has to come up with a workable strategy. You have to be innovative and think outside the box. The recent talk about the establishment of state police is a welcome development but this is just an aspect. It should not be taken in isolation”.

READ ALSO: Again, Bandits Abduct 15 Students In Sokoto

Commenting on steps to be taken to put the military above new criminal scenarios being introduced by terrorists and bandits, Gen Ethan said, “There is no success in combat by accident. Training is the key. You succeed in warfare by training and you succeed by inculcating modern trends of domestic, kinetic and private security”.

In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion, Gen Paul Tarfa (Rtd), former Commandant, Nigeria Defence Academy and the Chairman, North East Development Commission disclosed that despite the challenges of insecurity plaguing the country, Nigerians should not give up hope but remain steadfast for a brighter future.

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“We should have hope. This country should have hope no matter what we are facing today. Even America at a time, they faced more difficulty than what we are facing today. But they are better for it now.”

To SSC Course 25 who were trained under him as NDA Commandant, Gen Tarfa said, “40 years ago, I was in my early 40’s and you were in your 20’s or thereabout. I thank God for the privilege that I contributed to your careers and progression in the military and service to the nation”

READ ALSO: How Bandits Attacked Edo Monarch, Kidnapped Wife – CSOs Tell IGP

“We have to thank God that we served in different capacities, lost our colleagues but today we are alive to celebrate 40 years anniversary”

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Continuing he said, “Let us (Military) know that we are the ones this country has and relies on to save it from security challenges. Nothing compares to the military. We have about 50 different languages among us but today we remain one and united in the goal of keeping this country safe.

“That is because we are readily trained to sacrifice for the nation irrespective of tribe, ethnicity and religion”.

Earlier, Chairman of the SSC Course 25, christened Friends Club 2584, Brigadier General John Abuka (Rtd) disclosed that FC2584 has come of age not only in terms of span of life but was still a baby with fragile clay feet.

“We all therefore must be committed morally and financially to nurture this club to greatness. I humbly call for a change of attitude from all of us especially those who have not really been playing the roles expected of all members.

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READ ALSO: Bandits Shoot Pupil, Abduct Dozens In Kaduna Primary School Invasion

“Fate did not make any mistakes when it brought us to together to begin the life of soldiering on that fateful 5th day of March, 1984. There’s strength in large numbers. Let’s exploit the advantages that number has to offer.

“In the course of our stewardship, we had the sad experience of losing a number of our members to the cold hands of death. They include Lt Col AY Edrah, Capt MIke Mkpang, Capt BC Garba, Capt ECN Obi, Maj Didioma and most recently, Lt Col AB Mohammed

“The Short Service Combatant Course 25, 40th anniversary of our entry into the service of the Nigerian Army is being modestly marked on account of the prevailing harsh economic climate and the fact that majority of us have still not seen the need to appropriately respond to our constitutionally enshrined financial obligations to our club.

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“Be that as it may, let us give all glory to God Almighty for His mercy over us over the years.”

A new executive was elected to pilot the affairs of Short Service Combatant Course 25 with Major Gen Sulaiman Aliyu taking over as President and Captain Karga (Rtd) taking over as Secretary of Friends Club 2584.
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Edo Man Petitions EFCC Over Fraudulent Withdrawal Of ₦4 Million In His Access Bank Account

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has received a formal petition from Osehobo Onojie Bernard, a resident of Ebo Quarters, Benin City, alleging fraudulent activities involving his bank account No. 1838861087 with Access Bank.

In the petition dated June 24, 2024, Osehobo highlighted the careless handling and fraudulent transactions associated with his account by the bank authorities.

He told the Commission that an unauthorized withdrawal of ₦4,201,000 (four million two hundred and one thousand naira) was made from his account on May 16, 17, and 18, 2024, facilitated by officials of Access Bank.

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READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct 2 Chinese, Kill 5 Nigerians In Lokoja

He explained that he opened the account in question in November 2023 when two identified Access Bank staff from their 39 Akpakpava Road, Benin City branch approached him to set up a High Interest Deposit Account (HIDA) with funds from his existing Access Bank account No. 0040251257, which he held at the Airport Road Benin City branch.

He said that subsequently, he was assigned a new HIDA account number, 1838861087.

Osehobo added that the Access Bank personnel opened the HIDA account number 1838861087 using the existing information from his other bank account, No. 0040251257, which he operated manually without an ATM card or mobile banking.

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READ ALSO: Lagos Taskforce Uuncovers 2 Illegal Petroleum Storage Facilities

He specified that withdrawals could only be made with a teller by verifying his signature, BVN, and NIN before approving transactions, especially for large sums.

In his detailed narrative, Osehobo recounted that by November 2023, the account had accumulated a significant balance, driven by interest yields.

However, discrepancies emerged in May 2024 when he did not receive a routine birthday wish from the bank. Instead, he received a message that included an OTP (One-Time Password), which raised his suspicions.

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Osehobo argued that, “My subsequent investigations revealed that the OTP was part of a scheme allegedly orchestrated by the bank officials to access my funds fraudulently.”

READ ALSO: Reps Ask NERC, DISCOs To Reverse Band A Tariff Hike

He said that the unauthorized withdrawal occurred over multiple transactions on May 16, 17, and 18, 2024, without his knowledge or consent, facilitated by the misuse of the OTP system.

He expressed his conviction that Access Bank officials were complicit in the fraudulent withdrawals, leveraging internal banking processes to circumvent security protocols.

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He conveyed his frustration and the significant impact of the lost funds, which he described as a considerable portion of his financial assets.

Osehobo called on the EFCC to investigate the matter thoroughly, hold the responsible parties accountable, and recover the misappropriated funds

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Lagos Taskforce Uuncovers 2 Illegal Petroleum Storage Facilities

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The Lagos State Taskforce has uncovered two illegal petroleum storage facilities where over 2,000 litres of diesel were recovered during multiple sting operations of blackspots in Ikoyi and environs.

Also, a total of 114 suspects were arrested and five were released unconditionally after properly identifying themselves.

The operation was led by the State Taskforce Chairman, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Adetayo Akerele, in a late night operation on Tuesday night.

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Akele explained that the operation was based on the feedback mantra of “see something, say something” put in place by the agency and the directive and support of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, major blackspots at Mosley Street, Glover Road and Lateef Jakande Avenue in Ikoyi were raided by the agency after concerned residents highlighted the clustering numbers of unidentifiable individuals at those selected locations and the conversions of residential areas to safe havens for suspected criminals and miscreants.

READ ALSO: President Tinubu Appoints New Head Of Civil Service

He said, “After having carefully analyzing the complaints received, a discreet investigation was carried out in the vicinity which confirmed the intelligence to be credible, and resulting in a late night raid.

“We have come out here to address issues of environmental and safety concerns in Ikoyi where residents have complained about the increasing numbers of miscreants who have converted these inner streets to restaurants, drinking spots, gambling spots, and boutiques to mention but a few.

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“It is an eyesore what we encountered here during our investigations and we will ensure that we restore sanity to these streets immediately.”

The Chairman further disclosed that an illegal petroleum storage facility was discovered during the operation where over 2000 litres of diesel was discovered in an unsafe location, posing a risk to both occupants of the uncompleted building and neighbours on the same street.

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He stated that the occupants of the building risked safety concerns regarding storage of petroleum products which if not properly managed could result in a fire disaster.

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“We have discovered over 2000 liters of diesel stylishly hidden in this abandoned building in an unsafe manner which could lead to a fire disaster.

“Diesel is highly flammable and also combustible if not properly stored. Therefore this miscreants are not just risking their lives through their ignorant actions but also the lives of their neighbors and passerby in the event of an explosion.”

Akerele also warned street traders who are still in the practice defacing the environment and disposing their waste into the gutters and drainage channels in any part of the state to move their trade to approved markets or risk being arrested.

He also warned miscreants who lay about and convert streets to religious grounds, social event centers and sports ground to desist forthwith or be prosecuted.

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READ ALSO: APC Destroyed Nigerian Economy, All Institutions Built For 16 Years – PDP Governors

Akerele stated that such selfish actions hinder on the right of residents to live in peace and serenity as prescribed in the THEMES PLUS agenda of the State Government.

“I urge every well meaning Lagosian to notify us of any environmental infraction by any individual or groups of individuals in any part of the Metropolis to prevent an environmental mishap.

“Its our duty and responsibility to ensure that such infractions are nipped in the bud to maintain sanity and habitability across board.

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“A total of 114 suspects were arrested and five were released unconditionally after properly identifying themselves and stating their business.

“The remaining suspects will be charged to court and all items confiscated will be forfeited to the state government through the court,” Akele affirmed.

 

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Abia Commissioner For Health Resigns

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The suspended Abia state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, has tendered her resignation from office, to Governor Alex Otti.

Otti, had on June 11, 2024, suspended the Commissioner for Health over alleged financial misconduct. The Governor also set up a committee to probe the allegations against her.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Ukoha Njoku, in a statement, disclosed that the Governor had accepted the resignation and thanked Okoronkwo for her services and modest achievement in repositioning the health sector of the state.

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READ ALSO: Tension In Abia As Female Truck Driver Blocks Highway To Protest Harassment By Touts

“The suspended Abia state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo has tendered her resignation letter to the Executive Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti, OFR.

“The Governor while accepting her resignation, thanked Dr. Okoronkwo for her services to our dear State and her modest achievements in repositioning the Health Sector for better service delivery in the last one year. He wished her well in her future endeavours.

“The Governor reiterated his commitment to the transformation of Abia State and reminded Abians that they gave him the mandate to assemble his team, and this includes hiring, suspending or sacking his appointees or rejigging and reshuffling his cabinet whenever the need arises for the sole purpose of delivering all his promises to the people,” the statement read.

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