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Benue: Suspected bandits kill six villagers, injure three soldiers in fresh attack

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One of the locals said that  soldiers of Operation  Whirl Stroke (OPWS) stationed at Agagbe responded to a distress call and during the process, they had encountered armed invaders at Tse-Abwa, Mbapa council ward in Gwer West LGA.

At least six villagers have been killed by suspected bandits in Benue state.

Three soldiers were also left injured by the armed invaders in a fresh attack on Ikobi community of Apa Local Government Area (LGA) in Benue State, according to the military.

One of the locals said that soldiers of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) stationed at Agagbe responded to a distress call and during the process, they had encountered armed invaders at Tse-Abwa, Mbapa council ward in Gwer West LGA.

Another local explained that the soldiers had on Saturday responded to the distress call when Ikobi community in Apa LGA was under invasion, adding that the soldiers repelled the attackers but were later ambushed on their way back to Agagbe on Sunday at Mbapa council ward of Gwer West LGA.

“The incident occurred in the communities bordering both Apa and Gwer West LGAs,” he stated.

Similarly, a resident of Ikobi said six persons were killed by the armed invaders in the community at the weekend while a few others were still missing.

The resident added that four of the deceased were killed on Saturday while the other two were killed two days earlier.

”On the 2nd of February, armed invaders macheted a man called Usman Ochowechi in his farm close to his village of Oloke in Ikobi and they sent him a message that he should tell the Ikobi people that they are coming, which they did, attacking and killing two persons.

“Miss Eba Usman was still missing on the 3rd of February in Ikobi Ochekwu, Apa LGA. They came back again on 4th February and killed four persons in the same Ikobi. The deceased are Edeh Baba, Innocent Owoicho, Ochekpe Ajekpa and Abugbe.”

Corroborating the Ikobi killings, a lawmaker representing Apa constituency at the State House of Assembly, Abu Umoru, confirmed the killings to Channels Television’s correspondent on the telephone.

“It’s a confirmed story, suspected herders invaded the Ikobi community and so far, six lives have been lost within the past four days. They could be more. We had to put a call through to OPWS and the commander has mobilised soldiers to the community.

“People have fled their homes so we can’t even know the exact number of casualties for now,” Umoru said.

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Benue State, Catherine Anene, said she does not have the information.

But, OPWS Public Relations Officer, Flight Lieutenant Katty Audu, in a statement confirmed the attack on Ikobi community, saying three soldiers were wounded in the encounter with armed herders.

“Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke received information about an attack on Ikobi community on the 4th of February 2023 at about 5 pm and responded immediately. The gallant troops moved to the area and cleared the community. The rampaging armed herders fled towards Nasarawa State on sighting the troops.

“The situation though dicey has been stabilised. The operation continued the next day, 5th of February 2023 in adjoining communities. While the troops were moving towards Agagbe, they had contact with some bandits.

“The bandits fired at the troops and our troops engaged them with superior firepower that lasted for about 30 minutes. Three of our troops sustained various degrees of injury. The injured troops are currently receiving treatment,” Audu stated.

Local sources told journalists that a soldier was killed and two of his colleagues were seriously injured after an encounter with the gunmen who invaded the rural Ikobi community over the weekend during which six people were killed.

One of the locals who spoke to Channels Television said, “Two soldiers sustained serious injury and one was killed.”

Crime

8 nabbed for allegedly vandalising railway sleepers, petroleum pipeline in Bauchi

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Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (), Bauchi Command, has arrested eight suspects for allegedly vandalising railway slippers, petroleum pipelines in the state.

NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Ileboye Olajide, who disclosed this while parading the suspects on Thursday in Bauchi, said that the suspects were also arrested for allegedly being in possession of fake currency notes.

Olajide said that the suspects were of three categories of offenders apprehended in one week.

“We got information from our people on the field that some people were vandalising railway sleepers at Dangubi village, along Gombe road.

“We immediately moved to the area and caught them with the 33 already removed sleepers. The suspects involved were actually four; two were arrested while two are at large,” he said.

The NSCDC commandant said five of the suspects were involved in vandalism of a petroleum pipeline at Kangere village on Gombe road in Bauchi Local Government Area, saying that they were handed over to the command by the Nigerian Army artillery unit.

He listed the items recovered from them to include: four motorcycles, various 25-litre cans of petrol and about 10 empty cans.

Olajide said that the suspects were caught while siphoning petroleum products, adding that they had confessed to the act.

The commandant added that another suspect was arrested for being in possession of fake 2,000 dollars in his house.

“Information provided by a woman he previously gave fake 100 dollars led to his arrest,” he said.
According to him, all the suspects will be handed over to relevant agencies after the conclusion of investigation for possible prosecution.

Olajide, however, warned that those nursing the idea of vandalising national infrastructure in the state to think twice, as they would not go scot free under his watch.

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Five suspects remanded for armed robbery in Ibadan

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Five men were remanded in a detention facility by the Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan on Tuesday over allegations of armed robbery.

The suspects identified as Abiodun Solomon (24), Abdulahi Alejolowo (26), Emmanuel Ayobami (31), Kazeem Saka (37), and Taofeek Lawal (35), with undisclosed addresses, are accused of conspiracy and armed robbery.

According to the prosecutor, Insp Olalekan Adegbite, the defendants allegedly committed the offense around 2 a.m. on January 8 in the Olode neighborhood of Ibadan. Adegbite stated that the defendants assaulted individuals in the neighborhood using weapons and proceeded to rob them of their cell phones, jewelry, electrical gadgets, cash, and other valuables.

The prosecutor said that these actions contravened Sections 6(B) and 1(2) of Nigeria’s Robbery and Firearms Laws of 2004.

However, Magistrate Oluwabusayo Osho declined to accept the defendants’ plea due to jurisdictional limitations and instructed that the case file be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal guidance. The matter was adjourned until April 29 for mention.

This incident follows a similar case reported  last Friday, where the Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court remanded three men – Jiya Adams (44), Joseph Abidoye (39), and Femi Adetunji (40) – on allegations of kidnapping. The accused individuals, also without disclosed addresses, faced charges of conspiracy, armed robbery, and abduction.

Magistrate Olaolu Olanipekun adjoined the case till May 13 for further hearing after directing the prosecution to duplicate the case file and send it to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.

The prosecution counsel, ASP Anthony Igori, alleged that the defendants, along with others, attacked an expatriate and proprietor of Saco Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Mohammed Il-Saheed, stole his Samsung cell phone valued at N800,000, and abducted him, collecting a N35 million ransom before releasing him after six days in captivity.

These incidents underscore the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to address criminal activities in Ibadan and uphold the rule of law.

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Crime

Three internet fraudsters convicted, jailed in Ilorin

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Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, Monday, April 15, convicted and sentenced three individuals involved in internet fraud, following their arrest and arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The three convicts, Qudus Temitope Ismail, Kolade Adetola Toheeb, and Abdulmalik Timileyin Khalid pleaded guilty to charges related to online scams.

Toheeb, accused of impersonation, deceived a victim by posing as a football match forecaster named Throndsen Waylen. Using a fake Telegram account and the phone number +23481260084504, he tricked Jake Cooper into sending $200 via PayPal in July 2023. Consequently, Toheeb violated Section 321 of the Penal Code, leading to his conviction under Section 324.

After pleading guilty, the EFCC’s counsel, Mustapha Kaigama, presented the case facts and the defendants’ statements, along with recovered items from their possession at the time of arrest.

Justice Abdulgafar sentenced each defendant to six months’ suspended imprisonment and ordered the forfeiture of phones, laptops, €100, and $200USD recovered from Toheeb to the Federal Government.

The trio’s arrest and subsequent conviction underscore the EFCC’s commitment to combating cybercrime and upholding justice in Nigeria. With this verdict, the court sends a clear message on the consequences of engaging in fraudulent activities online.

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