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Bandits Attack: Niger Communities suffer, loses food stuff

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On  the early hours of Sunday morning, Armed bandits said to be numbering over 200 invaded some communities in Munya and Paikoro Local Government Areas of Niger State, killing two security operatives, a middle-aged man and injuring about 15 others in an operation which the villagers said was targeted only at foodstuff.

Over 15 women were abducted and forced to help the bandits carry the looted foodstuff, packed in bags from the communities.

The bandits, however, promised to release the women after helping them to evacuate the foodstuff to a particular location.

The communities invaded by the bandits include Beni, old and new Dalolo, Aboloso, Ishau and Amale, all in Paikoro Local Government, while Gwari Nyayi, Kabiri and Biri in Munya Local Government were also raided by the bandits.

Read Also: Bandits kill seven farmers and abduct 30 villagers in Katsina

Beni, Alhaji Jafaru Umar Sarki, the District Head, confirmed that the invasion started on Saturday evening when the armed men numbering about 200 and in over 50 motorcycles stormed the communities in three different groups.

The Saturday operation only lasted for one hour and the bandits went away with sacks loaded with foodstuff and other items looted from shops in the town.

He said on Sunday morning, the bandits returned and shared themselves into three groups, moving from one community to another targeting only foodstuff and provisions from various outlets , from 9’o clock in the morning and lasted for over three hours.

According to him, a helicopter owned by one of the security agencies was sighted hovering over their heads within and around the communities while the bandits were operating on the ground.

“We saw a helicopter moving around the communities for about six times when the bandits were operating but the helicopter did not attack the bandits.

“We did not know what the helicopter was doing in the air because bandits were operating freely on the ground

He pointed out that “Immediately the bandits finished the operation and left, we did not see the helicopter again, so we don’t know whether it was providing cover for the bandit or to attack the bandits”.

He disclosed that the communities became helpless when all calls made to relevant security agencies to come to their rescue failed, adding that “in fact, the Divisional Police Officer attached to the area said, that they had no fuel in the car”.

The District Head, a retired police officer, disclosed that only the local vigilantes were on ground to provide some help but their ammunitions got exhausted after over 30 minutes of gun exchange with the bandits.

They, however, lost two of their men, leaving the bandits with only gunshot injuries.

Francis Daniel, a middle-aged man, who operates a computer centre at Kafin Koro, was shot and killed from a far distance of hundred metres, when he attempted to escape into the bush on sighting the bandits.

This incident is happening again, barely one year and two weeks after the last attack where the bandits on 9th January 2020, invaded Beni and other communities, kidnaping over 32 villagers, including the son of the District Head of Beni.

The bandits also asked for a ransom of N49million for the release of the abducted, asking the District Head to pay N17million out of the amount before they would release his son.

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#EndSars: Unfreeze Accounts of Protesters-Court

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been ordered by a Federal High Court in Abuja to unfreeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS protesters who were alleged to be the influencers of the 2020 #EndSARS cum Anti-Police brutality and End bad governance Protests.

Ahmed Mohammed, Judge of the High Court on Wednesday, issued the order, unfreezing the accounts after the legal teams of both the CBN and the 20 defendants decided to end the case.

The 20 #EndSARS protesters targeted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after the 2020 anti-police brutality demonstrations were still being deprived access to their bank accounts despite the expiration of the court’s freezing order of November 4, 2020.

Read Also: Lekki TollGate: Nigerians Plans Fresh Protest

The CBN had on November 4, 2020 obtained an ex parte order of the Federal High Court in Abuja freezing the protesters’ accounts for 90 days. By this calculation, the freezing order expired on February 2.

One of the affected protesters, Bolatito Oduala, popularly known as Rinu, confirmed in a twitter  message on Saturday that the restriction placed on her accounts and those of her colleagues had not been lifted.

Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who is also their lawyer confirmed this.

Mr Falana said with the expiration of the order, his legal team “will file a motion to set the order aside.”

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Features and Highlights

Buhari seeks Senate confirmation of new Service Chiefs

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After persistent clamour by Nigerians, Buhari appointed new service chiefs to take over from the ex-service chiefs to be able to bring in their security expertise towards combating terrorism, especially in the North-East part of the nation.

This was done, without getting the constitutional endorsement of the National Assembly. However, human rights lawyers including Femi Falana had said the President lacked powers to appoint the new generals without the constitutional endorsement of the National Assembly.

Read Also: Buhari appoints new Service Chief – Femi Adesina

On Tuesday, the Senate received a request from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for the confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs.

“The appointees for confirmation are: Maj. Gen. Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea lrabor – Chief of Defence Staff; Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru – Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo – Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao – Chief of Air staff.

“They are to replace the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.”

Read Also: IGP: Tenure Extension, not paid for – NPF

The request which was contained in a letter dated 27th January, 2021, was read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary on Tuesday.

According to a statement by Lawan’s aide, Ezrel Tabiowo, the letter from the President, read in parts, “In compliance with the provisions of Section 18 (1) of the Armed Forces Act. Cap A20 Laws the Federation of Nigeria 2004, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the under listed officer as the Chief of Defence Staff and Services Chiefs of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Herdsmen attacks: Seyi Makinde seems to be paralysed by fear, says sports minister

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Following the various alleged attacks in various parts of the states in Nigeria wherein Oyo state is experiencing the same heat, Mr  Sunday Dare,  Minister of Youth and Sports Development, has advised Seyi Makinde the Governor of Oyo State, to be more proactive and decisive in tackling the security situation in the state.

In a statement on Monday, Dare implied that the governor is too scared to take a decision that would protect the indigenes of his state from attacks.

Read Also: Fulani Herdsmen Ultimatum: Sunday Ighoho responds to his arrest order by Presidency

There had been reports of alleged attacks, that some Fulani were kidnapping, killing, and raping residents in Ibarapa area of the state

Sunday Dare urged the governor to seek assistance from states and non-state actors and stop “responding out of fear that his political status is being damaged”.

Part of the statement termed, ‘Minister wants Makinde to be more decisive on security’, read, “For several months, citizens of Oyo state have watched with increasing concern as the security situation in our beloved state degenerated. Troubling accounts about killings, kidnappings, and herdsmen versus farmers conflicts abound.

Read Also: South West warning over Fulani Treatment by Coalition of Northern Groups

Like all the people of Oyo State, I expected the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde to act fast and prudently but with reasonable dispatch to quell the security situation before it got out of hand.

We all waited for proactive steps and responses from the state authority, but certainly in vain.

“Governor Makinde seems to be paralysed by fear regarding this important security situation. This is the first serious test of his leadership in the state.

“Instead of tackling it, he has retreated. His policy has not been proactive enough to resolve the issues so that the protection of lives will be guaranteed and our people spared the mourning over dead ones.

Instead, his policy has been to act as if nothing was happening in forlorn hope that all would simply go away as if it were a bad dream.”

“The worsening developments in the state in the area of security are a direct result of a temporizing fiddling leader.

The Governor has paid more lip service to the issue of security instead of offering solutions or taking proactive steps to stem the attacks and chart the path of resolution.

For this is a complex issue that requires political courage and vision to resolve.”

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