Unknown gunmen have abducted 18 traders travelling from Pandogari to Bassa in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
The traders were said to be travelling to attend the village market, which holds fortnightly, on Saturday.
A trader, who narrowly escaped the abduction, narrated how the incident happened to news men in Minna on Tuesday.
The trader, who pleaded anonymity, said his colleagues were travelling in an 18-seater bus when they ran into a roadblock mounted by the hoodlums.
According to him, the gunmen shot randomly into the air to scare the driver and force him to stop.
As soon as the vehicle carrying the traders stopped, the occupants of the bus were forced at gunpoint to abandon the bus and join another bus which was driven into the bush.
The eyewitness claimed that the driver of the vehicle he was travelling in had to stop a short distance away from the scene from where he watched the incident unfold.
“This incident has now become a regular issue and no one is doing anything about it,” he added
It was gathered that the gunmen collected the mobile telephones of their victims and had been using the same to call the victims’ family members to demand ransom for the release of the captives.
The kidnappers were said to be demanding amounts ranging from N200,000 to N500,000 for the release of each of the traders.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Niger State Police X-squad, Mohammad Abubakar, said, “We have heard of the incident just as you heard about it, but we have yet to receive an official report. We are investigating the matter; we will get back to you when we get an official report.”
Two farmers jailed for assault, attempted extortion
An Area Court in Jos on Friday sentenced two farmers, Samaila Zanko, 24, and Umar Abubakar, 36, to three months imprisonment each for assault and extortion.
The judge, Mr Shawomi Bokkos, sentenced Zanko and Abubakar after they pleaded guilty to assault and attempted extortion.
Bokkos, however, gave each of them an option to pay a fine of N10,000.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Monday Dabit told the court that the case was reported on Sept. 11 at the office of the Police Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Jos, by the complainant, Malam Saudi Abdullahi.
The prosecutor said that the convicts beat up the complainant after invading his house.
He told the court that the convicts also demanded N3 million from the complainant as a “settlement fee”and threatened to beat him up if he refused to comply.
Dabit said that the offence contravened the provisions of the Plateau Penal Code.
Family of Gandu attack victim in Nasarawa begs Gov. Sule, others for assistance
The family of Isa Yusuf, a victim of a military shoot-out with suspected kidnappers in the Gandu area of the Lafia metropolis, Nasarawa State, has appealed for help.
Isa Yusuf was shot and left at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia after a rescue mission went awry.
According to Salihu Yusuf, the elder brother of the victim, Isa went to rescue a kidnapped relative in Gandu, only to be mistaken for fleeing kidnappers by military operatives. The encounter resulted in Isa being shot three times.
The family, expressing understanding of the military’s duty, is struggling with the escalating medical expenses.
Salihu Yusuf stated the family has already spent over ₦200,000 on tests and scanning, with indications that one of the shots affected Isa’s spinal cord, necessitating a referral to a hospital in Jos, Plateau State.
Isa, a painter and electrician, not only faces health challenges but also cares for four children left behind by a late brother.
The family, unable to bear the medical costs alone, is reaching out to well-meaning individuals, with a special plea to Governor Abdullahi Sule for assistance.
Student jailed for theft in Jos
An area court in Jos, Plateau State capital, on Friday, sentenced a 23-year-old student, David Longji, to three months imprisonment for stealing a solar panel.
The judge, Mr Shawomi Bokkos, sentenced Longji after he pleaded guilty to theft.
Bokkos, however, gave him the option to pay N20,000 as a fine.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Insp Ibrahim Gokwat, told the court that the case was reported on October 16 at the Anglo-Jos Police Station by one Livinus James, the complainant.
The prosecutor said the convict stole the solar panel from a company and was caught while trying to sell it.
Gokwat said the offence contravened the provisions of the Plateau Penal Code.
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