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Crime

Police arrest 3 wanted suspected armed robbers in Lagos

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The Police Command in Lagos State have arrested three wanted suspected armed robbers, who allegedly robbed a victim of his cash and valuables estimated at about N4 million in 2023.

The Command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.

Hundeyin said that the victim, name not mentioned, came to Ikorodu Police Division on Oct. 10, 2023, to report that he was robbed at Igbolomu area of Ikorodu at gun point, by a gang of armed robbers.

He said the complainant reported that the suspects collected his gold chain, pendant and hand chain, which was valued at N3.4 million.

The spokesperson said that the suspects also robbed the complainant of his Samsung Galaxy S12 mobile phone, valued at N280,000, two scalers valued at N24,000, a power bank and cash sum of $200 (about N300,000).

The image maker said that the police tracked and arrested two of the suspected armed robbers, ages 28 and 38, at Igbolomu area of Ikorodu in March.

“Based on their confessions, at about 1 a.m. on Monday, another suspect, 32, who claimed to be a photographer/ director of production of a newspaper organisation was also arrested.

“He confessed to have participated in the robbery attack on the complainant and that they sold the gold chain at the rate of N2.2 million and he got N400,000 as his share.

“The suspect also said that the gun used was presently in possession of one Alhaji, who he claimed was presently in prison custody over another offence,” he said.

Hundeyin said that all the suspects confessed to the crime and were presently helping the police in further investigations.

Crime

NSCDC busts major bunkering operation in Rivers, arrests three

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The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps said its operatives busted and dismantled a massive illegal refinery site and arrested three suspects in the Odagwa community, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The security outfit said the operation which lasted for several hours, led to a site in the forest where the illegal siphoning of crude oil was taking place after the criminals destroyed the manifold of a multinational oil company.

The NSCDC Commandant, Rivers State Command, Basil Igwebueze disclosed this while speaking to journalists at the scene in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Monday.

Igwebueze, who was represented by the corps’ spokesperson in the state, SP Olufemi Ayodele, said the operation was conducted by the Special Intelligence Squad codenamed ‘SIS’ of the NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar.

He said the CG emphasised the need to step up the operational and intelligence mechanism in the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure across the country.

He equally noted that Abubakar has an unwavering determination in waging continuous war against illegal dealings in petroleum products, oil theft, vandalism of oil pipelines, and all forms of economic sabotage, saying, “Within a very short period, the CG’s SIS has dismantled over 350 illegal bunkering sites in the Niger Delta area while hundreds of suspects have been arrested and prosecuted in the court of competent jurisdiction.”

He stated that “today, the Commandant-General’s Special Intelligence Squad swung into action and arrested three suspects while others took to their heels, manoeuvring the forest due to the terrain.”

He narrated how a large multinational’s manifold was invaded through a broken fence, and large industrial hoses were used to siphon crude oil and transmitted through numerous metal galvanised pipes to cooking pots and further stored in reservoirs for onward loading to would-be buyers. The massive illegal bunkering site was dismantled

“Having walked through this thick forest, you have practically seen how the manifold and oil wellhead was vandalised by unscrupulous elements.

“They tapped into the source and buried the hoses and pipes underground, waiting for the multinationals to pump the crude. Immediately the pumping starts, they commence their nefarious operations through illegal local refining of crude to derive Automotive Gas Oil, DPK, and other products,” the state commandant said.

While answering questions on the reason for the continuous rebuilding of some illegal bunkering sites after being dismantled by security agencies, he said that the fight against illegal bunkering is a strategic war that must be fought with a collective will and consciousness, especially with the fact that such acts cause environmental degradation, pollination, and health hazard.

“To eradicate black soot, the locals and all stakeholders must come to terms to say no to the operation of illegal local refineries and other activities which cause more harm to the people and the environment as well.

“On this note, I wish to reiterate the words of the NSCDC boss that the fight against oil theft, vandalism, and illegal dealings in petroleum products is non-negotiable as the NSCDC is fully committed to its statutory mandate of safeguarding all critical national assets and infrastructure.

“We will do this relentlessly and without compromise,” Igwebueze added.

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Crime

Marwa rallies support in fight against kidnappers, bandits propelled by hard drugs

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The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has urged Nigerians to support the agency in its current war against drug abuse and trafficking, saying drug has become a propellant to terrorists, kidnappers and bandits in the country.

Marwa made the call recently while speaking as the Chairman of the Annual Champion Newspapers’ Awards at the Convention Centre of the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

No fewer than 43 eminent Nigerians from all walks of life, institutions and distinguished guests converged for the Awards where some reputable citizens and institutions were honoured for their immense contributions to the socio-political and economic developments of the country.

Marwa presided over the well attended event while the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Mr. Peter Obi was honoured with Most Impactful Politician of the Fourth Republic.

The Governor of the Year on Infrastructure and Rural Development was received by the Anambra State Governor, Prof Charles Soludo who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim.

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno who was represented by the State Commissioner for Transport, Orman Ehin got the Face of Democracy Award.

Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, who was represented by his Deputy, Umar Usman Kadafur and got Visionary Leader/Pillar of Democracy Award while the Governor of the Year on Security and Infrastructure went to Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah.

The Group Managing Director of UBA Plc, Mr Oliver Alawuba got the Man of the Year Award, Banker of the Year was received by Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu while Fidelity Bank Plc received the Bank of the Year Award.

The Most Outstanding Energy Icon of the Year went to the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, Mallam Mele Kyari, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC ) Commission’s Chief Executive ,Engr Gbenga Komokafe as Regulator of the Year , Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority won the Most Outstanding Public Servant and the Nigerian Ports Authority as the Most Outstanding Government Agency.

Other individuals that received the 2023 Champion Newspapers’ Awards are: High Chief Kenneth Ifekudu, as Philanthropist of the Year; Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa of Polaris Bank Ltd, the Media Manager of the Year; Senator Osita Izunaso is the Senator of the Year and Hon. Noheem Babatunde Adams is the Most Outstanding State House of Assembly Member of the Year Awardee.

Also honoured are: Hon. (Dr) Abike Dabiri Erewa; High Chief Dr. Christopher Ndubuisi; Mr Eddie Efekoha; Rear Admiral Dr. Kasimu Bushi; Mr Blessing Agofure; Mrs Bina Jennifer Efidi Seifegha; Mrs Dr. Aisha Sulaiman Achimugu; Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc; Chief Chekwas Okorie ( Ojeozi Ndigbo); and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc (a giant construction company).

Others include Mrs Uju Catherine Ifejika; Lady Ada Chukwudozie; Barr. Mrs Ngozi Ekeoma; Chief (Dr.) Michael Onuoha; and First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. Awards were also given to His Royal Majesty Walford Ikem; Dr. Victor Ide Okoye among others.

Speaking at the occasion, Marwa said, “I am indeed very honoured and delighted to be in this gathering of eminent men and women at one of the best annual award ceremonies in Nigeria, the Champion Annual Award.

“This will be my third attendance in as many years of this memorable occasion. The last two years, 2022, 2023 where I attended, I was fortunate to be ‘Man of the Year’ for those two years. And today I am here in a different capacity and I thank Champion Newspapers for the honour. The Champion Newspapers we know very well is an excellent house, very credible media and has been in existence for over three decades.”

He added, “These awards don’t come easy, the process is very very meticulous and I know all the awardees deserved those awards, fair and square.”

While appreciating the awardees, the former military administrator of Lagos and Borno States noted, “The purpose of the awards such as this is to encourage the recipients to do even more in their areas of calling and also to let Nigerians and the world to know if you work hard enough, there is a reward for it.”

The Chairman used the opportunity to call on parents and every Nigerian to support the agency in its war against abuse of drugs, noting the right examples must be set for children.

“Each and everyone of you here knows we are in a dire strait as far as drug use is concerned- there is a drug scourge. We know for a fact that drugs have continued to destroy our youth, our families, our communities and on top of that, it is a propellant to terrorists, kidnappers, bandits all over the place. I would like to urge us all to support the war against drugs.

“80-90 percent of us here are parents, and as parents, we have responsibilities for our children, to bring our children up properly and to lay the correct examples. Any parent who loves drugs and sends the children to buy, already is laying his carpet for the child to follow his footsteps where the child tries what Papa or Mama is sending him to buy.

“We must begin by setting the right examples and we must pay much attention to our children like the old times. These days, parents are even afraid to go to bed at night until children have returned home and slept off, because they are afraid if they sleep before the children and the children come back they may slaughter them — this has happened.”

He therefore appealed to parents to pay more attention to their children, saying “We must all say no to drugs in our country. We need to recover Nigeria from the drug scourge.”

He advised Nigerians to make use of the NDLEA help line (080010203040) where there are responders who guide callers in English, Pidgin, Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa.

He added that the Agency has psychotherapists, psychologists, counselors and experts who are on standby 24/7 and are ready to provide guidance.

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Crime

Man cries out over brother’s safety

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53-year-old Dele Onabanjo has decried the injustice meted against his brother.

“I am fed up with the situation around me. The life of my younger brother who caters for me is in danger,” he said, as tears rolled down freely from his eyes.

Mr Onabanjo who has been sick and bedridden for over a year, raised the alarm at his Jinadu-Alogi residence in Obantoko, Abeokuta, Ogun state, as he said, cultists were after his younger brother, Olalekan Onabanjo and his family.

He made this known yesterday during a chat with Journalists at the Iwe Irohin, Okelewo Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ogun State branch.

Relating his ordeal in the last eight months, as he refused to be consoled, Mr Dele Onabanjo explained, “I have neither seen nor known where my brother, my breadwinner is, for over eight months and the situation  is taking its toll on my health because there is nobody to help me since his departure from his house.”

Dele who has been sick for over thirteen years was brought to the NUJ Secretariat in a wheelchair by one of his neighbours.

“I have reported the case at a Police station,” he said, noting that he believed that since he had reported the case with security operatives, justice would come the way of his brother, who, according to him had been living a life full of uncertainties.

Dele explained that members of a cult group, the Aiye confraternity had visited his brother’s house in America Junction area in Obantoko, Abeokuta more than five times since September last year, accusing him of aiding the escape of the leader of a rival cult group, the Eiye confraternity, “Biggy” who attacked and killed some of their members, late last year in Sagamu town of Ogun State.

He said he was particularly disturbed by the way the cultists threw decorum into the wind each time they came, searching for his brother and his family, describing the whole development as frightening and embarrassing .

“I learnt on good authority that the cultists were at my brother’s apartment again last week, with one of them shooting into the air sporadically, disturbing the serenity of the area and vowing he has to pay for his role in the escape of Biggy.

Mr Onabanjo added that before the last week’s visit to his brother’s residence he had also noticed the movements of some strange faces in his own area in Alogi noting, “I am scared as they may want to attack me, to atone the spurious and unfounded allegations they levelled against my brother, who is an easy going commercial vehicle driver of many years, plying Abeokuta and Sagamu.”

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