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Traditional Ruler, Two Others Killed In Bloody Benue Land Dispute

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A protracted land dispute between the people of Okete in Ohimini Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state and the neighbouring community of Otukpo-Nobi in Otukpo LGA over the ownership of

Amla-Icho community land has claimed the lives of a traditional ruler and two others in the feuding communities.

It was gathered that the age long dispute was triggered last week when the Chairman of Otukpo LGA, Alfred Omakwu allegedly sent a bulldozer to the disputed land to enable him commence work on the creation of a layout in the area.

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The presence of the earth moving equipment angered the people of Okete who moved to stop the destruction of the cultivated land.

In his account on the incident, the Chairman of Otukpo LGA said “the problem is that the Okete people lost it. It is a dispute between Amla in Otukpo and Okete in Ohimini LGA and a total of three people lost their lives in the crisis.

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“What happened was that they (the Okete people) used to go and farm in Amla land but sometimes last year when we wanted to develop a layout there, the Okete people went to report to the Och’Idoma that their farm produce were there and the Och’Idoma directed that no layout should be done until they harvest their products.

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“February this year, they harvested their produce and the Och’Idoma called them and informed them that by March this year, Otukpo would go ahead with their layout and that they should not farm there again.

“But when the bulldozers returned they said they had farmed there already and reported the matter to their Second Class Chief as well as their LGA Chairman who called me and I told them that the Och’Idoma asked them not to farm there again because of the layouts.

“So when the bulldozer went there on Friday, they came with their lawyer who called me and I told him everything and said if they want to go to court, it was their right.

“They demanded that the bulldozer stopped work but their lawyer advised that they should wait for him to get an injunction from the court but they said they could not wait.

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“They then went to the First class chief of Otukpo/Ohimini who called Och’Idoma and the Och’Idoma said they should not stop the people doing the layout because he asked them not to farm their again.

“At that point they went there and opened fire on the people; they killed one and shot two people and burnt all their motorbikes about 10 of them.

“Then Otukpo retaliated the next day; they also burnt some houses and killed one person and killed another person in Amla making two.

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“But we have maintained calm. The Police Commissioner summoned all of us for a peace meeting so we are restoring peace now among both parties. We have agreed that all the culprits will be arrested and brought to book.”

Countering his Otukpo counterpart, the Ohimini LG Chairman, Samson Okoh who also acknowledged that the dispute was over land said “there is a place called Amla, it’s close to Okete. The Otukpo Chairman took the bulldozers to the place where the Okete people used to farm for years and according to him he wanted to do a layout. So he went and destroyed their farm crops.

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“When the Okete people demanded an explanation, the Amla people said the land does not belong to the Okete people but to the Amla people.

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“According to what I was told, when the argument ensued somehow one of them from Otukpo pulled the trigger and shot but the bullet mistakenly hit a fellow Otukpo person.

“Then on Saturday night the Amla people went and reinforced and barricaded the Okete people, burnt houses, beat up ans killed one boy. And on Sunday around 10am when I went to take the boy they killed to the mortuary, the Alma people went to the place again and burnt 17 houses, burnt motorcycles, slaughtered a Clan Head Chief Sunday Okpe, and shot five other persons who we took to the Teaching Hospital in Otukpo for treatment.”

The Chairman who informed that the community had been deserted said the parties had been summoned by the Police Commissioner over the matter and that efforts were on to apprehend the masterminds of the crisis.

On whether the Paramount ruler of Idoma land, Och’Idoma Agaba-Idu John Odogbo asked his people not to farm on the said land again, the Chairman said, “I am not aware of that but the Otukpo Chairman claimed so. I was not told by the Och’Idoma to tell the people not to farm there.

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“Moreover, the Och’Idoma cannot tell the people to stop farming where they have been farming for several years without compensation or settlement and you just take the bulldozer to destroy their crops on the hectares of land they eke a living from.”

Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene who confirmed the development said the command received the report of one death though she was awaiting full details of the incident.

 

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Father Arrested For Selling Six Biological Children In Sokoto

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No fewer than 20 children rescued by the Nigerian Police Force, Sokoto State Command, have been handed over to the state orphanage home for proper care.

The state Commissioner of Police, Ali Kaigama, stated this while addressing newsmen at the command headquarters in the state capital on Thursday.

He said the command arrested 10 suspects relating to the incident.

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The suspects include one Bala Abubakar of the Tudun Wada area of Sokoto.

He was alleged to have given out a total of 28 children, including six of his biological children.

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He said the suspects gave out their victims to Kulu Dongoyaro and Elizabeth Ojah in exchange for between N150,000 and N250,000, claiming they were being taken to one Abuja-based NGO that is willing to shoulder the responsibilities of their welfare.

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Kaigama also disclosed the arrest of one Saifullah Hassan of Gunmi Local Government area of Zamfara State, who was alleged to have killed one Balikisu Garba of Gidan Dare behind Jummat Mosque at the Ifeoma Hotel.

He said, “On May 24, 2024, at about 0620 hrs, Mr John, the manager of the Ifeoma Hotel in the Phase 1 Old Airport area of Sokoto, reported that a woman identified as Balikisu Garba of Gidan Dare was found dead.

“On receipt of the report, police operatives from the Old Airport Division led by the DPO swung into action, and as a result, the suspect bag, which was abandoned after the act, containing some receipts of payment and some SIM cards, was recovered.

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“These recoveries led to the identification of the suspect as one Saifullah Hassan of Gunmi LGA of Zamfara State, which intensified the investigation, and the suspect was later traced and arrested in Funtua, Katsina State.”

The command also announced the successful rescue of Barrister Rukayat, who was kidnapped in the Bado area of the state recently.

He said, “The command, through Yabo Division, in conjunction with the Military and Vigilante Group, acted on credible information and went for a rescue operation.

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“The team went to the scene around the Binji axis, where they traced footprints towards a forest, where the suspected kidnappers were traced and routed, which resulted in the subsequent rescue of three victims.

“One suspect was neutralised and one fatally injured, while ten rounds of live ammunition, two solar panels, one Tecno mobile phone, and a blanket were recovered at the scene.”

The CP, while assuring the residents of the state that the command remains committed to upholding law and order, commends the state governor, Dr Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, for his support throughout the investigation process.

He called on the good people of the state to continue to cooperate with the command for a safer environment.

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PHOTOS: Many Trapped As Two-storey Building Collapses In Lagos Island

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Rescue operation is currently ongoing to save victims trapped in a two-storey building which collapsed at number 15, Iga Idungaran, close to Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu’s palace, Lagos Island.

According to eyewitness, the unfortunate incident occurred at about 11am, Thursday.

Men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, LASEMA, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Nigeria Police, among other emergency responders were on ground searching for survivors.

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Recall that the latest incident happened barely four days ago, precisely on Sunday, when a Mosque collapsed at Yusuf Street, Papa Ajao, Mushin area, killing at least three worshippers, including a 12 year-old boy in the process.

Details later…

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Terrorists Kill 12 In Kaduna Market Attack

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Terrorists, on Wednesday, reportedly attacked and killed 12 persons at Maro Junction, a weekly Market in Maro Ward, Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

A former chairman of the local government, Cafra Caino, who confirmed the development to The PUNCH, said the assailants invaded the market around 3pm on Wednesday and opened fire.

According to him, 12 bodies have been recovered while 20 others who sustained various degrees of injuries have been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

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He explained that it was the second time the weekly market had been attacked while business owners and customers transacting businesses.

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“The situation is critical and has thrown residents around the area into confusion while they scampered for safety in neighbouring villages.

“Security operatives drafted to the area have already left. We are appealing to the government to deploy security operatives to help restore normalcy,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, did not respond to calls and text messages sent to him by The PUNCH correspondent as of the time of filling this report.

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