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Air force dismisses Boko Haram’s claim of downing missing fighter jet

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Two personnel on the missing Nigeria Air Force Alpha jet were feared dead following reports that the aircraft had crashed at the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State.

The NAF identified the two men as Flt Lts. John Abolarinwa and Ebiakpo Chapele.

The Air Force  dismissed claims by terror group, Boko Haram,  that it gunned down the missing Alpha jet, which disappeared from the radar on Wednesday

It said there was no  confirmation of the claims, noting that the clips posted online by the group might be that of a previous incident

Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft in a viral video on Friday.

The Abubakar Shekau-led faction of the Boko Haram sect released the  footage of a crashed jet with one of its fighters standing on the wreckage. A body was also seen in the wreckage of the aircraft.

The NAF spokesperson, Edward Gabkwet, said the aircraft which lost radar contact on Wednesday around 5pm was providing support for ground troops fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East region when it disappeared.

Gabkwet in a statement on Friday added, “Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with two crew members on board on March 31, 2021, might have crashed. The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the two pilots remain unknown.

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“The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele. Extensive search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on ground. At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident. It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued.”

Gabkwet in his reaction to Boko Haram’s claims insisted that the video was fraught with inconsistencies that established it as fake, adding that the lush vegetation in one of the videos suggested it was not in the North-East.

He said, “We have seen some videos but there is nothing that has proven that the aircraft in those clips belongs to us, or have you seen a Nigerian Air Force aircraft number or the body of Air Force pilot or have you seen any Air Force uniform? Until we get all these details, we are not going to go into speculation.

“That video could have been shot somewhere. I have seen four videos so far; one of them has lush vegetation in the background, and I wonder where they have such vegetation in the Northeast. Unless they did something and they are releasing the clips bit by bit, we are waiting.

“Except we have evidence, because like I said, these persons have families and  you cannot go to their wives, parents or wards, without concrete evidence. There must be something to show”.

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[BREAKING] Arms fund probe: Finally, Army chief appears before Reps

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, is currently appearing before the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Need to Review the Purchase, Use and Control of Arms, Ammunition and Related Hardware by Military, Paramilitary and Other Law Enforcement Agencies.

The committee had no less than two times invited Attahiru and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to answer questions on the procurement of arms and ammunition.
On Friday, the committee, after a long wait, postponed the investigative hearing till Monday.

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Earlier on March 22, 2021, the committee had, after the failure by the CBN governor and the COAS to appear before it, summoned them to appear before on April 7, 2021.

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crimewatch

Three Alledged Bandits killed in katsina State

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Three Alledged Bandits killed in katsina State

Three gunmen alleged to be bandits has been killed by the residents of Magamar Jibia border community, Katsina State on Sunday.

The Residents said the gunmen had entered the community on vehicles and motorcycles around 11pm on Sunday and invaded the house of one of the residents.

The house-owner reportedly raised alarm, which prompted the community residents, who were mainly youths, to mobilize and confront the bandits.

It was learnt that the youths overpowered the gunmen who then made a retreat to the nearby forest where they came from.

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The youths reportedly killed three of the bandits while the rest escaped to the forest.

One of the community leaders who pleaded for anonymity said, “The youths killed three of the bandits. In fact, they burnt two of the bandits to ashes while the corpse of the third bandit was removed by the police this morning (Monday).”

The Spokesman for the Katsina Police Command, SP Gambo Isah was yet to react to the incident by Monday afternoon, although another community leader in the area, Gide Dahiru had confirmed the incident.

Gide said, “Yes, the bandits came on Sunday night but the residents confronted them, leading to the death of three of the bandits. The rest of the bandits escaped back to the forest.”

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crimewatch

Kidnapped Imo Catholic Priest Regains Freedom

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The Kidnapped Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Izu Marcell Onyeocha, has been released on Monday morning.

The Imo State Police Command spokesman, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the priest’s release.

Rev. Fr. Izu Marcell Onyeocha, was kidnapped on Sunday, April 11, 2021 along the Ihube – Okigwe highway by gunmen, after his vehicle broke down on the busy expressway Sunday night.

Orlando had told journalists that one Bissong Isa Atugu who was in the same Nissan Exterra SUV, said Fulani herdsmen allegedly took the priest away after inflicting him with machete cuts.

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