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RCCG declares prayers for abducted members as gunmen demand N50m ransom

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The Redeemed Christian Church of God has declared prayers for the release of eight members of the church kidnapped in Kaduna on Friday.

The RCCG Head of Media and Public Relations, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, told Sunday PUNCH that the ministry was also working with security agencies for the safe return of the victims.

Our correspondent had reported that eight members of the RCCG, Region 30, Trinity Sanctuary, Kaduna, were attacked near Doka along the Kachia-Kafanchan Road, on their way to a programme.

The hoodlums were said to have taken them in their operational vehicle and abandoned the church’s shuttle on the road.

The church’s spokesperson, Olubiyi, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent on Saturday, said the church was disturbed by the incident.

He said, “We feel completely disturbed by the development and as a church, the best we can do is to pray that God will intervene and these brethren will return home to their loved ones. As a church, we are praying now and asking God to take charge of the situation. A report has also been made to the police.”

The spokesperson maintained that the gunmen had yet to contact the church.

However, Channels TV, while quoting the Public Relations Officer of the church in the Kaduna province, Alao Joseph, stated that the kidnappers had demanded N50m ransom.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Jalige, said the abandoned church bus had been recovered.

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He said, “The divisional police officer in charge of the area reported to us in the early hours of today (Saturday) that a vehicle with the inscription, ‘Redeemed Christian Church of God’ was found by the roadside with no occupant.

“The vehicle was about to be taken into custody when we received a phone call that some people were on their way from Kaduna to the scene; they brought an extra key for the vehicle. So, instead of towing the vehicle, we just allowed the church to take it away. A serious search for the members has been launched by security agencies, including the police and the military.”

He said the police would ensure that the victims were rescued unhurt.

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crimewatch

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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Gunmen set NDLEA office ablaze in Abia

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Unidentified gunmen in the early hours of Tuesday attacked the Ohafia office of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, located at Amaekpu, in Ohafia LGAof Abia state, setting the building ablaze.

This is as the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission located in Amaekpu, Ohafia was attacked last Sunday.

Confirming the incident, the State Commander of NDLEA, Bamidele Akingbade, disclosed that the incident happened around 3 am Tuesday, stating that the office was “partially” razed.

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According to him, no suspects were affected as they had earlier been moved out because the location of the office is isolated, adding that no documents were torched as they were inside a fire-prove safe.

Meanwhile, Abia State Government has vowed to arrest the perpetrators.

The state Commissioner for Information, John Kalu, said, “We will get the perpetrators and we will bring them to justice.”

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