The Rivers State Police Command said its men arrested 10 suspected kidnappers during a raid of a criminal hideout in Igwuruta, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
The command said the feat was achieved after the state Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, led operatives to comb bushes and destroy suspected kidnappers’ camp behind the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Igwurita, on the outskirt of Port Harcourt, believed to be a hideout for miscreants.
The CP was accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Adepoju Olugbenga; some area commanders, heads of tactical units, Divisional Police Officers and officers of the command.
Speaking with newsmen after the operation, Olugbenga said the command was worried about recent activities of suspected kidnappers terrorising the Obiri-Ikwerre-Airport Road axis, near the state capital.
He also disclosed that more than 12 make-shift tents in camps abandoned by the suspected kidnappers were destroyed.
Olugbenga said, “It is a routine exercise. We normally go on a show of strength once or twice weekly and we mostly patrol vulnerable points where we feel we are having issues with hoodlums trying to disturb the peace of the state.
“You would have observed that within these few days, there have been issues of hoodlums trying to waylay people going to the airport.
“We have deployed a lot of operatives in that axis and as part of our routine as directed by the Commissioner of Police to ensure that the state is free of crime and criminality we have to move in there. He (the Commissioner of Police) led the team to the place and distributed everyone to all angles of the bush.
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“You know behind the stadium there are lots of abandoned buildings, buildings that were being developed and abandoned, tarred roads.
“And it is a very good place for criminals to hide. We got information that some of them hibernate in that place. From intelligence gathering, they normally come and do what they like and go back.”
Continuing, he said, “So we combed the area with the Commissioner of Police early hours of this morning and we have arrested some people who are hibernating in that area, about 10 of them.
“We equally have some camps where they have shanties with people resting. Many of them have left the place.
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“We will continue to storm the area and other places as part of our routine to ensure that the good people of Rivers State sleep with their two eyes closed and to ensure that we don’t have any incident within the Airport axis.
“That place (Airport) is very important to us because of dignitaries and other citizens of the state, including foreigners, and we cannot afford anything untoward to happen there.
“So we have a special concentration in that area and other few places within the town. So that is the reason for this operation and it will continue.”
The DCP in charge of Operations called on law-abiding members of the public to assist the police with useful information that can lead to the identification and dislodging of criminal hideouts and the arrest of suspects.
JUST IN: One Missing, 15 Rescued In Boat Accident
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.
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.”
Pastor, Five Others To Die By Hanging For Robbery
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.
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.”
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.
Court Remands Anambra Lawyer For Brutalising Maid
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.
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.
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.
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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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