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Troops Kill 73 ISWAP Terrorists, Capture 44 AK-47 Rifles, 14 Others

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Following a ferocious land and air operation in the North-East involving troops of the Nigerian Army, backed by airstrikes on one hand and naval clearance operations along the fringes of Lake Chad on another hand, the Nigerian military has killed a total of 73 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered 44 AK-47 rifles as well as seven anti-aircraft guns.

The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig-Gen Bernard Onyeuko, who made this known, yesterday, also disclosed that two PKT guns, seven gun trucks, several ammunition of different calibre as well as weapon cleaning materials, vehicles, generators, IED materials, religious scripts and other items were recovered in the process.

Onyeuko said that, “In another operation a total of 55 escapees from terrorists’ camps comprising 15 adult males, 12 adult females and 27 children surrendered to own troops at Darajemel in Borno State.

“During the operations, troops consistently struck BHT/ISWAP strongholds throughout the theatre of operation. Some of the feats were achieved at Bula Village in Yobe State and Banki Town in Borno State on June 27 and 28, 2021, when troops repelled terrorists’ attacks. Troops also conducted offensive deep penetration operations into villages of the Timbuktu Triangle.

“Similarly, troops conducted ambush operations as well as responded to distress calls, repelled BHT elements attacks on troops’ locations and dominated the theatre of operations. Equally, the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai conducted series of Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance and air interdiction missions to reveal and destroy terrorists’ enclaves as well as their logistic supplies and equipment.

“The Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, also in coordinated multiple airstrikes, destroyed some terrorists’ commander’s strongholds at the Lake Chad axis of Borno State. The air strikes were targeted at various terrorists’ camps in Sabon Tumbu, Jibularam and Kwalaram Towns in the state.

“During the air operations, the spiritual base and training camps of the terrorists in the North-East part of Borno State and the fringes of Lake Chad were destroyed by air bombardments. These came on the heels of credible intelligence report which revealed that, some top ISWAP/BHT commanders were holding a meeting at the said locations”.

In the South-West, Onyeuko said troops acting on intelligence report on ongoing illegal oil bunkering activity at Alimosho NNPC pipeline, arrested one Mr Oyeshola Saheed acting as the illegal bunkerers’ supervisor.

“Me Saheed, however, named one Mr Akanbi as the sponsor and financier of the illegal bunkering activities in the area. Both vehicles and equipment used for their operations were recovered and handed over to appropriate agency for necessary action”.

Operation Awatse operational activities also sustained routine patrols to forestall activities of vandals on NNPC pipelines at Gaun, Akute, Wawa 1 and 2 and Mabgero areas.

“Additionally, troops carried out standing patrols and raid operations at strategic areas in the Zone including Majidun area, during which one Mr Ibrahim Musa, an ISWAP member was arrested at No 31, Abartura Street in Sango-Ota, Ogun State. Intelligence report revealed that Ibrahim was on a mission to Lagos to acquire certain items for ISWAP’s operations in Maiduguri”.

On banditry, he said troops of operation Hadarin Daji and other security agencies conducted raid, ambush, cordon and search, rescue and clearance operations in North-West with several aerial patrol, Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance and air interdiction missions.

“Following credible intelligence report on criminals’ activities, operations were conducted on bandits and kidnappers’ hideouts as well as against drug peddlers at Gusau – Magami Road in Gusau LGA of Zamfara State; Makuku in Sakaba LGA of Kebbi State; as well as Batsari and Jibia LGAs in Katsina State.

“Other locations include Unguwar Kade village in Tsafe LGA and Bingi village in Bungudu LGA of Zamfara State. The operations led to the repelling and arrest of kidnappers and drug peddlers who confessed to supplying illicit drugs to miners as well as other criminal elements.

“The operations also led to the neutralization of some armed bandits; peaceful resolution of farmers/herders’ clashes; recovery of arms and ammunition as well as recovery of rustled livestock.

“The operations also resulted in the rescue of kidnap victims in various locations including a teacher and some students kidnapped at the Federal Government College in Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State as well as arrest and rescue of some trucks of rustled livestocks in different locations of the theatre.

“Some gunrunners and bandits logistics suppliers, including one Lawali Na Habu was also intercepted with trucks loaded with large quantities of AGO at Tangaza LGA of Sokoto State and one Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu, a wanted notorious bandit was also arrested.

“The Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji also conducted series of air operations, provided Close Air Support for ground troops and dominated the air space. Troops also conducted aggressive fighting and confidence building patrols to reassure citizens of the commitment of AFN to end all of form criminalities in the zone”.

Regarding Operation Delta Safe, Onyeuko said, “Troops sustained anti-crude oil theft, anti-illegal oil bunkering, anti-smuggling and anti-militancy operations.

“These operations led to the deactivation of illegal oil refining sites and disconnection of illegal oil pipelines. Troops also arrested several criminal elements, intercepted and confiscated large quantities of contraband vessels and items as well as recovered weapons and stolen items between June18 and 30.

“These operations were conducted at Sara Creek in Warri South West LGA and Ikpoba Community in Okha LGA of Delta State. Operations were also conducted on a compound at Lagos bus stop by Railway Station in Port Harcourt; Jokri, Opuadakiri and Jombosco areas; as well as Asapama Creek and Kaa Community Market in Khana LGA of Rivers State.

“During the operations, several illegal oil refining units with ovens, metal storage tanks, coffer dams and dugout pits were deactivated, while large quantities of illegally refined AGO and stolen crude oil were recovered.

“Troops also arrested kidnappers and other persons along with several trucks laden with large quantities of illegally refined oil products in tanks and nylon sacks. On the whole, troops remained on high alert to effectively respond to threats and deter any form of unpredictable criminal activities in the theatre of operation within the period”.

Onyeuko said, “Troops of Operation Safe Haven had contact and engaged criminal elements in some cases and subdued them with superior firepower in Plateau State.

“Operation Safe Haven also engaged in non-kinetic operations by holding peace and security meetings with various community and youth leaders as well as other stakeholders.

“These operations were executed against bandits and other criminal elements’ enclaves in communities at Jos South LGA and Gidan Daabat along Lafia – Shendam Road in Plateau State. Others were conducted at Kadunu Forest, Kasai and Naphan villages in Barkin Ladi LGA, as well as Barkin Kaya in Wase LGA of Plateau State.

“In the course of the operations, troops neutralized scores of armed bandits and armed herdsmen, arrested or apprehended bandits’ informants, gunrunners, political thugs and kidnappers. Troops also rescued kidnap victims as well as recovered hoards of livestock and assorted arms and ammunition within the period.

“Furthermore, troops held multiple security and peace meetings with youth/community leaders as well as stakeholders at Agwatyap Place in Zango Kataf LGA of Kaduna State; Wase Emir’s Palace in Wase LGA; Tenti Area Command in Bokkos LGA; Barkin Ladi LGA Headquarters as well as Jos South LGA in Plateau State.

“The meetings were to sensitize stakeholders on the need to embrace peace and pave way for peaceful coexistence amongst them. Issues discussed during the meetings were centred on measures required to curtail farm destruction, night and underage grazing, livestock rustling, farm encroachment as well as other security challenges.

“The meeting also discussed on how to proffer solutions to tackle the incessant isolated killings and kidnappings in the various areas.

“In the North Central, troops conducted clearance operations at some armed herdsmen, bandits’ enclaves and kidnappers’ hideouts at Egba Village in Agatu LGA, Tse Ndever in Mbayongo Council Ward and Gborgbor Village in Katsina Ala LGA.

“Other locations includes; Dyom Village and Saeyongo Village in Utange Council Ward; Katsina Ala and Donto Village in Otukpo LGA of Benue State.

“The operations resulted in the neutralization of scores of armed bandits, gang members and other criminal elements. It also resulted in the recovery of caches of arms and ammunition including several AK-47 and FN rifles, assorted rounds of different calibers of ammunition and rescue of large numbers of rustled livestock.

“In addition, troops successfully quelled crisis between the Ezza Tribe in Odoke Ulanyi Council Ward in Ado LGA of Benue State and Effium Tribe in Akparata in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State.”

“Troops of Operations Whirl Punch and Thunder Strike conducted the raid, rescue and ambush operations, land and aerial patrols as well response to distress calls. These were executed on the heels of credible intelligence reports on criminal activities in the area.

“These operations were conducted at Kankomi Village in Kachia LGA, along Jaka Da Rabi-Rugan Wakili Junction in Chikun LGA and Angwan Rukuba Mariri in Lere LGA of Kaduna State as well Kugiya Area of Bukuru in Jos South LGA of Plateau State.

“During the operations, scores of criminal elements including, Mr Rotji Yowel (aka Castro) and Mr Manji Yamani alongside their cohorts as well as some armed herdsmen were arrested. Relatedly, troops swiftly intervened and rescued kidnap victims on various occasions and in the course of the operations, caches of AK-47 rifles, Dane guns and ammunition were recovered and hoards of livestock rescued.

“Furthermore, troops of Operations Whirl Punch and Thunder Strike within the period in focus held security and peace meetings with Fulani Community leaders and Miyetti Allah Excos from Zango Urban in Zango Kataf LGA as well as other stakeholders at Kafanchan and Dangwa Village in Jama’a LGA in Kaduna State.

“The meetings were aimed at sensitizing the leaders on the need to take responsibility for security in their respective areas and build peace amongst them. Issues discussed were centred on the incessant farm encroachment and measures to curtail farm destruction, the proliferation of prohibited firearms and attacks on innocent people amongst others issues.”

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Minister, CSO Want Justice System Reviewed

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Stakeholders in the judicial system have called for a review of laws that punish the poor people far more often and more harshly than the wealthy, through pretrial detention and cash bail.
The stakeholders made the call at a national conference on justice system with the theme ‘Nigerian Criminal Justice System: The Criminalisation of Poverty in Nigeria’, in Abuja, last Thursday.
The conference was organised by a civil society organisation, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) to examine Nigeria’s dysfunctional criminal justice system, which they said unequally and disproportionately affected the poor and the most vulnerable in the society.
Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, said it was imperative to review the justice system to support people faced with economic obstacles, rather than incarcerating them.
Represented by an Assistant Legal Adviser in the ministry, Mrs Kenechi Umeh, Tallen frowned at laws that incarcerate people who are unable to pay debts, fines, bail bond, accentuate poverty rather than solve it.
“Criminalisation of petty offences such as prostitution, common nuisance, alms begging, street hawking, environmental offences and neighborhood disputes accentuate poverty among the poor and vulnerable.
“There is need to re-evaluate and improve awareness on the impact of the justice system as it relates to petty offences, including applying standards and principles of human rights in protecting the poor and promoting equality and fairness”, she said.
Tallen also advocated a well thought-out poverty alleviation programmes that entail technological skills acquisition, vocational training, micro-lending intervention solutions as panacea to poverty.
Also speaking at the conference, the Executive Director, RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, said that the event was put together with a view to putting an end to the criminalisation of petty offences in Nigeria.
He said this was necessary because the criminal justice system in the country disproportionately affects the poor.

Nwanguma noted that there were situations where people were sent to jail for stealing yam while ‘big men’ who steal huge amount of money get away with their crimes.

He said, “The notion of criminalisation of poverty manifests more in law enforcement than other sectors.

“Whether it is the police providing security cover for the demolition of settlements inhabited by the poor who are thereby rendered homeless while the settlements from which they have been displaced are apportioned to the rich or task forces enforcing bans on street hawking or Okada riding, or on the use of pedestrian bridges.

“While it may be justifiable to demolish certain settlements or enforce certain bans, as long as the legal procedures are followed, the poor are often the victims of law enforcement excesses in the course of the enforcement of these state or federal laws or rules and regulations.

“The poor constitute the majority of those who end up in prison for being unable to pay bribes for bail at police stations’’.

The RULAAC Director also noted that the poor constitute the majority of persons awaiting trial and who may never have the chance to appear in court again after the initial arraignment, as they may be forgotten by the system.

“Petty crimes committed by the poor attract more law enforcement action than big crimes committed by the rich.

“More often, the rich have the means and ways and can hire Senior Advocates or buy their ways through.

“So, criminal justice in Nigeria, just like human rights violation, has a social class bias targeting mainly the poor and the most vulnerable in Nigeria.

“We think that the criminal justice system that criminalises the people needs to be addressed”, he added.

Nwanguma, therefore, said it was imperative to reform the  judiciary system to become fair and just, while also ensuring speedy dispensation of justice and equal protection to both the poor and the rich, without discrimination.

The keynote speaker, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, who spoke on the topic ‘Criminalisation of Poverty in Nigeria, the Dimension, Effects and Solutions’, said that criminal law and its institutions provide the framework to which lawful society defends itself and its values.

Odinkalu stressed the need to train the judiciary, decriminalise the polity and empower citizens to create a more egalitarian society.

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Ondo Pastor In Police Net Over Kidnap Of 77 Persons

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A pastor in one of the Pentecostal churches in Ondo State, David Anifowoshe, and his assistant have been arrested for allegedly kidnapping 77 persons.
The victims include 54 adults and 23 kids.
Anifowoshe, who is the pastor of Whole Bible Deliverance Church, located in Valentino Area of Ondo West Local Government Area of the state, was arrested by the police when some people in the neighbourhood raised an alarm.
According to sources in the area, the victims were found in an underground apartment of the church last Friday evening.
The Tide learnt that the pastor and his assistant camped the victims in the church under the pretence that they were waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Parents of the children were said to have forcefully mobilised themselves to the church, inviting the police to arrest the pastor and his assistant.
Some of the children and their parents were also said to be attending the church prior to the incident.
According to sources, the police promptly stepped into the situation by arresting the culprit and other members of the church following a tip-off by parents who reported the case to the police in Ondo town.
The incident has also gone viral on social media. In a 40-second video, children were seen in a patrol vehicle of the police who rescued them.
“They have kidnapped children found in the underground cell of a church in the Valentino Area of Ondo. The pastor and some members of the church have been arrested and were also in the patrol van of the police”, a voice said in the video.
Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Funmilayo Odunlami, who confirmed the incident while briefing journalists in Akure, said the parents raised the alarm and the police sprang into action.
Odunlami urged the people to remain calm, assuring that the command had begun proper investigation into the matter “and the mystery behind the crime would be unraveled”.

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Sen Akwashiki Donates N10m To CAN

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Senator Godiya Akwashiki (APC-Nasarawa North) has donated N10 million to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nasarawa North Chapter.
This, he said, was to enable them purchase land and 18- seater bus for the association to offer special prayers for the nation and perform its work effectively.
Akwashiki, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity  made the donation at the end of a three-day CAN Summit in Akwanga on Sunday.
He said that the donation was part of his continued commitment to the development of the church and the society at large.
“I have heard your request on land for your permanent secretariat, a bus and office equipment to enable the association function effectively.
“I want to give you N5 million for the purchase of land and N5 million for the purchase of 18-seater bus, making N10 million.
“If you bought the land, I want you to start the foundation immediately as I will continue to support religious activities to succeed,” he said.
Akwashiki assured of his continued commitment to provide infrastructure across his senatorial district for improved standard of living.
“I will continue to provide roads, electricity, hospitals, schools, empowerment and employment, among others, in order to make you and other people happy at all times,” he said.
The lawmaker however advised the CAN leadership to carry all members of the association along while taking decisions concerning the association.
“I want to advise that you consult well if you want to take any decision concerning CAN,” he said.
The senator urged them to pray for him to succeed as well as to pray for unity and peace of the country.
Earlier, Rev. Ogbonna Akuma, the CAN Chairman, said that the summit was aimed at uniting and promoting peace amongst members of the association.
He restated their continued commitment to preach the message of unity, peace, progress and development to its members and other Nigerians at all times.
The chairman appreciated Akwashiki and other personalities for their positive contributions to the development of the church and the society at large.
He, however, identified their challenges to include land, bus and office equipment, among others.
The Tide source reports that the summit featured presentation of merit awards to Akwashiki; Sen. John Danboyi; Mr David Abuluya, President, Eggon Cultural and Development Association (ECDA); and Chief Adams Nangba, the District Head of Wakama, among others .

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