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Armed Bandits Kill Policeman, Set Station Ablaze In Benue

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Armed bandits, in the early hours of Thursday, killed a Police officer and burnt several houses including a police station in Tse Harga community of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area in Benue State.

It was gathered that the bandits suspected to be loyalists of the slain criminal kingpin, Terwase Akwaza popularly known as ‘Gana’, stormed the rural area at about 4:00 am and started shooting sporadically even as they set ablaze several buildings and a police pick-up van.

It was also learnt that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), in collaboration with the Police, killed one of the suspected bandits in a swift counter-response to the attack during which they recovered over 200 rounds of ammunition.

A resident of the area told our correspondent by telephone that the armed bandits stormed the area in their numbers early in the morning and began to unleash terror on the people, adding however that the soldiers arrived at the scene on time to chase the bandits away.

The residents, who also confirmed that a police station and many houses were set ablaze, said he could not immediately ascertain the number of people killed.

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The Council Chairman of Katsina-Ala, Alfred Atera, told our correspondent by telephone that one policeman was killed in the attack while the police station, a police vehicle and several houses were burnt by the bandits.

Atera explained that, due to the security challenges in the local government areas, the youths in Tse Harga formed a vigilante group and have been doing well to contain insecurity in their domain.

“The armed bandits targetted the youth who formed themselves into a vigilante group.

“They stormed the area (Tse Harga), burn the police station, police pick-up van and killed a policeman there.

“They also burnt several houses which I cannot ascertain now. But as for the locals, nobody was killed,” he explained.

He added that the incident caused more people to flee the already deserted vicinity, leaving at home only brave men to withstand the challenges.

The council chairman, however, noted that the quick intervention of security agencies and soldiers of OPWS had restored calm to the community.

When contacted, Force Commander OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, simply said, “we are in operation around that axis but I can’t comment further on an ongoing operation.

“You may wish to contact the Directorate of Defence Information, Defence Headquarters in Abuja, thanks.”

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, DSP Catherine Anene, on her part, confirmed the killing of a policeman in the affected area.

Anene maintained at the time of sending this report that the details of the attack were still sketchy.

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crimewatch

Imo Police arrest 2 robbery suspectsf from Mbaise

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The Imo State Police Command has arrested two armed robbery suspects, Mr. Darlington Ogubike, aged 36  and Mr. Ihuoma Emeriole, aged 25  , both from Umuevu Onitsha in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state, for armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.

In a press release from the State Command, through the Command’s, Police Public Relations Officer, CSP. Mike Abattam, disclosed that  on “the 14th of July 2021 at about 17:30 hours based on credible information, a gang of armed robbers that have been terrorising Mbaise and its environs were sighted at Umuevu Onitsha Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA in Imo State. 

The command tactical teams mobilised and raided the criminal hideout where Darlington Ogubike  and Ihuoma Emeriole  both of Umuevu Onitsha Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA were arrested”.

He further stated that, two English made  authomatic Pump Action Guns, with seven rounds of live cartridges and two locally made Pistols were  recovered from them,  adding that, the suspects are presently undergoing interrogation and have made useful statements that will aid the police to arrest  other suspects. 

The Commissioner of Police,  Imo State Command, CP Abutu Yaro, however commended the officers and men for their proactiveness, and thanked residents and citizens of the state for their commendable synergy with the police, especially in the provision of credible information that has  enable smart policing and interception of criminal elements easier and warned that, all criminals should relocate from the state or face severe sanction.

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Again, gunmen raze Akwa Ibom police station, kill cop

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Gunmen again on Wednesday set ablaze a divisional police station in the Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and killed one officer.

The officer, one Police Constable, Edogi Bassey, was gunned down by the hoodlums during exchange of fire between policemen and the assailants.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the attack in a statement in Uyo, said the hoodlums drove into the station in two vehicles loaded with dangerous weapons including AK-47 rifles.

The statement titled, ‘Police repelled attack at police stations’ read in part “At about 6:30am today, armed men in their numbers, armed with AK 47 rifles and other dangerous weapons, in two vehicles attacked the rented building housing the Etim Ekpo Area Command and Division.

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“The undaunted and vigilant police officers on duty gallantly fought back, repelled them and averted the intended carnage.

“Unfortunately, a dedicated officer, one PC Edogi Bassey, paid the supreme price while a small portion of the building was torched.

“The gunmen who proceeded to Ika Division to perpetrate their nefarious activities were successfully again repelled leaving the station intact without loss of lives or arms.”

The statement added that the worrisome situation is being addressed by the police hierarchy and required the collaboration of all, adding that Commissioner of Police in the state, Andrew Amiengheme, had visited police formations and had called on law abiding citizens to volunteer timely information that will enable the police tackle the present security challenges in the state.

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$153 million, 80 houses recovered from Diezani —EFCC boss

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has disclosed that the commission has recovered $153 million from former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who has been living in Britain since leaving office.

He also said the anti-graft agency recovered no fewer than 80 choice property valued at $80m.

This was contained in the April edition of the EFCC magazine, EFCC Alert.

But the EFCC chief was quick to add that bringing the former minister to justice was still far from reality, given the fact that she was out of Nigeria’s jurisdiction, acknowledging the challenges associated with bringing her home to face justice.

The chairman said, “There are several cases surrounding Diezani’s case. I was part of that investigation, and we have done quite a lot. In one of the cases, we recovered $153 million; we have secured the final forfeiture of over 80 properties in Nigeria valued at about $80 million. We have done quite a bit on that.

“The other cases as it relates to the $115 million INEC bribery is also ongoing across the federation. We are looking forward to the time we will, maybe, have her in the country, and, of course, review things and see what will happen going forward. The case has certainly not been abandoned.’’

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But responding to a question as to how he would be dealing with powerful government officials in the discharge of his assignment as EFCC chair, Bawa said he would be ready to leave the job if anyone tried to make him do what was illegal.

“I am not going to pay allegiance to individuals in the government,” he added.

Bawa pointed out that though he was young, he had paid the price on the job, having been among the pioneer staff of EFCC, rising through the ranks to reach the top.

He stated, “I rose through the ranks. The only job I know after graduation is the EFCC, which I joined in 2004. I rose through the ranks from an ordinary team member, to the first EFCC team leader from the regular staff of the EFCC.

“ I became a sectional head, became the zonal head in Ibadan, zonal head in Port Harcourt, and zonal head in Lagos. Lagos is the biggest operational hub of the EFCC with over 600 personnel. Port Harcourt is next to it in terms of complexity and staff strength. I happen to be the first EFCC regular staff to head three different zones before my appointment as the chairman.”

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