Road users along the Abuja-Kaduna express way have cried out to the government to intervene in what appears to be an increased rate of kidnapping in the axis.
Their complaint follows a recent kidnap of over 10 other persons by gunmen, barely two weeks after the release of a member of the House of Representatives from Kano State who was kidnapped along the same route.
Some of the victims told Channels TV that the kidnappers who disguised themselves in army uniforms on Wednesday, blocked the road and stopped the vehicles they were travelling in before whisking them away inside a bush at gun point.
One of the victims, Danjuma Seriki, narrating his plight said he had to pay a ransome to secure the release of his relation from the kidnappers on Wednesday.
He expressed regret that despite making a formal complaint to the Kaduna State Police Command about the incident, nothing was done to rescue the victims from their abductors.
Following the increase in the spate of attacks, the Inspector General of Police had earlier deployed Special Forces along the road to help curb the menace.
The Police is however, yet to be reached on this recent case.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni says contrary to popular opinion, there isn’t an upsurge in the spate of crime in Lagos state, rather he believes there has been a reduction.
He made this known in an interview with Channels TV, while responding to a recent attack in Ikorodu which has been attributed to a gang ‘Badoo’, among others.
“If I must speak of the incident in Ikorodu, the command has been putting all its strategies together to address this and it would be recalled that at one occasion, we went to Ikorodu to have a dialogue with the traditional leaders that it was high time we stopped the conspiracy of silence.
“These murder cases that are tagged and linked to what is called ‘Badoo’, started around November 2016 and we went to Ibeshe and dialogued with the traditional rulers there on the need for everyone in that community to join in our patrol.
“We’ve studied the pattern, done the mapping looked at the modules and nothing can be called that which is happening in Ikorodu, other than ritual killings and when we noticed that, we got those people in Ibeshe and for a very long time it stopped in that place until last month when we recorded one.”
The Police boss, in an attempt to allay the fears of citizens stated that the force however, is well equipped to tackle the menace.
“We have put all our resources together with a view to headlong tackle these things and get these fellows out of the waterways.”
The Delta State Police Command has arrested and arraigned over 100 people for various crimes ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, fraud, murder and other related crimes.
The Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, said one of the suspects, Saliu Tala, was a discharged soldier and is believed to be the kingpin of a syndicate that specialises in kidnapping women.
According to the police boss, the syndicate targets women who drive flashy cars and have been terrorising Asaba, the Delta State capital and its environs for months now.
Also paraded is one Chinedu Nwabuoke who allegedly defrauded his uncle of over N16m.
Nwabuoke, who works with a revenue consulting firm to Oshimilli South Local Government Area allegedly repeatedly collecting money from his uncle to finance a project that never existed.
Both suspects have confessed to the crime with regrets, according to the police.
“The most spectacular one is the syndicate that is responsible for the kidnapping of women here in Asaba,” the Police commissioner said.
“Recently we have had an upsurge of kidnapping of women especially those that drive flashy cars. We have had five or six of such cases and we have gotten the kingpin of that syndicate and we are also on the trail of the remaining members of that group.”
He said items recovered include cartridges, arms and ammunition, and explosives.
He thanked Nigerians who have provided credible information that aided the police in their work and called on more people to support the police.
The Nasarawa State Police Command has signed a new partnership with some stakeholders in the state, aimed at ridding the state of criminals.
The Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Bello, who disclosed this to Channels Television said a special operation launched by the Command has led to the arrest of 40 suspects apprehended for terrorising Mararraban Udege and Agwada areas in the state.
He noted that the rate of crime especially kidnapping, armed robbery and cattle rustling has been on the rise in the areas, with hoodlums using the hills there as hideouts.
Mr Bello added that the trend propelled their decision to form a special crack team comprising of members of vigilante and Miyetti Allah groups, with the aim of clamping down on criminals.
“We have now started collaborating with the vigilante and members of the Miyetti Allah association, in order to get to the roots or places where these kidnappers hide on top mountains around Udege, Mararraban Udege, Udege Mbeki, Agwada and others. We got an information that this is where the criminals stay, they periodically come down to commit crime.
“This time around, with this collaborative efforts, it paid us very well because we launched a special operation with a special team which took about two weeks and during that two weeks, we were able to storm those mountain areas and chase some of them out and recover about 500 rustled cows, and also we made arrests of some of the hoodlums, about 40 of them,” he said.
In spite of the success recorded, the Police Commissioner assured the people of Nasarawa State that the operation would be a continuous exercise, until the rate of crime was reduced to the barest minimum.
“We are going to be on their trail to make sure that we get them and I believe with this exercise that we have started, we are going to have relative peace in those areas,” he avowed.
During the operation, the Police recovered 500 cows, 13 motorcycles and one AK-47 rifle with live ammunition among others.
Officers and men of the Ondo State Police Command have been deployed to the Akure-Ilesa and the Owo- Ikare-Akoko Highways as well as some other roads across the state in order to combat criminal activities such as armed robbery and kidnapping.
Speaking to journalists during one of her visits to supervise operations on the highway, the State Commissioner of Police, Hilda Ibifuro- Harrison disclosed that the essence of the deployment is to ensure that the lives and property of people travelling on the road are safe and well secured.
The CP expressed sadness on the incident of armed robbery that took place on the highway in March, in which a former Managing Director of Daily Times, Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, lost his life.
She however thanked all stakeholders in the state including the government, traditional rulers, hunters, vigilanté groups and all security agencies for their support for the police in ensuring security.
Harrison also noted that the deployment of police on the Owo-Ikare roads in stop and search duties has actually helped in putting pressure on the abductors of a traditional ruler in the state, Oba Joel Sunday Daodu, the Oniyani of Iyani- Akoko, leading to his release by his captors.
The Police have paraded 18 suspects allegedly involved in kidnapping, armed robbery and other crimes in Kaduna State.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyole Abbeh, paraded the suspects on Monday at the Police Headquarters in the Kaduna State capital, north-west Nigeria.
Mr Abbeh, who said the arrests were made based on tip-off, noted that some of the suspects were actually arrested while committing the crime.
He said the Police recovered seven cars, one locally made pistol and three cutlasses from the suspects.
“We have arrested six suspected armed robbers, seven kidnappers and one fraudster as major criminals, apart from others like drug pushers who we have handed over to government agency.
“We recovered 24 number plate of cars, five Toyota and two Honda cars, as well as one locally made pistol and three cutlasses from the suspects,” the Police Commissioner disclosed.
He stressed the need to keep the state safe for business to thrive, pointing out that “we are saying that Kaduna must near crime free society”.
Abbeh said the rate of crime has considerably reduced in the state, and urged resident to provide information about criminal hideouts and their activities.
He said the Command has mapped out crime preventive measures to check crime rate in the state, adding that the menace in the city centre has drastically reduced.
“Our problem is information; once we have information, our response is within 20 minutes. In fact, we have responded within nine minutes to distress calls within the city centre,” the Commissioner said.
An Ondo State High Court has sentenced the seven persons accused of kidnapping a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Olu Falae, to life imprisonment.
Mr Falae was kidnapped on September 21, 2015, at his farm in Ilado, a rural agrarian settlement near Akure, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.
He was later released by his captors after spending four days with them.
Speaking to reporters, the prosecution counsel, Mrs Adesola Adeyemi-Tuki, said that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence.
“Part of the ransom were found inside his (the first defendant) vehicle at Minna where he was tracked to. Also, some of them made confessional statements and there were other evidences that corroborated their statements,” Adeyemi-Tuki said.
The lead counsel to the accused, Abdulrahman Yusuf, however noted that his team would study the judgement to know the next step to take.
“We were able to knock out armed robbery and conspiracy, so they were left with kidnapping and the judgement for kidnapping is life imprisonment. They were convicted for kidnapping and thereby sentenced to life imprisonment, each of them,” he said.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has urged participants at the First Commanding Officers Workshop holding in Maiduguri, to be professionally responsive and result oriented, while addressing the current security challenges facing the country.
The five-day workshop convened by the 2 Division Ibadan for Commanding Officers to interface and brainstorm on topical issues of security concern, confronting the nation under the theme “Empowering Unit Commanders to be professionally responsive.”
Buratai spoke through a representative, the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor.
He reminded participants of the five-day workshop at the Maimalari cantonment Maiduguri, that the country is currently facing security challenges ranging from Boko Haram, kidnapping, communal clashes, cattle rustling and pipeline vandalism.
He noted there is a need for the military to reposition itself in order to face the challenges squarely.
“I expect that the first commanding officers workshop will provide a veritable avenue for unit commanders in the affected divisions, to contribute meaningful and workable inputs towards my desire to reposition the Nigerian Army to be professionally responsive in the discharge of its constitutional roles.” Buratai stated.
He advised that emphasis be placed on mission accomplishment in the outlined critical scenarios to equip unit commanders with a vast knowledge in confidence building, that would create a positive climate to foster trust and mutual understanding in arriving at solutions.
The General Officer Commanding 2 Division, Major General Chukwunedum Abraham said the commanding officers must wake up to their responsibilities, as there is no bad soldier but bad officer.
General Abraham said: “The choice of the Northeast for the workshop is deliberate and timely, because of the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the region, we must continue to strive for excellence, so as to improve our operational effectiveness and productivity, which will invariably stimulate citizen’s support and appreciation”.
The GOC urged the participants to put into use the knowledge acquired during the workshop, as they are expected to acquire enough knowledge to tackle the numerous security challenges facing the country.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has reiterated the commitment of his administration towards ensuring a safe environment for living and for businesses to thrive.
This, he hopes to achieve by strengthening the existing law of the state against kidnapping and cultism, among other social vices.
He gave the assurance in Abeokuta, the state capital, while addressing members of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, during a walk against kidnapping, extra judicial killings, and corruption.
Also speaking against kidnapping, during a meeting with Assistant Inspector General of Police in January, Amosun stated that the menace is something all citizens must challenge.
“Kidnapping is so alien to us in this country, but all of a sudden, it raised its ugly head and I think we must frontally challenge it.
“We have the appropriate laws and we might have to review such laws. Let me use this opportunity and medium to send the right signals to all these criminals that Ogun state will not be comfort zone for them.”
Consequently, the governor has harped on the need for every resident of the state to be law abiding and give maximum support to the security agencies in the onerous task of ensuring adequate security of life and property.
He also gave an assurance that the perpetrators of any such crime, if caught, would be brought to book.
Deputy Director of Army Public Relations of 82 Division, Enugu, Colonel Sagir Musa and the Commandant of the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, Colonel Isa Abdullahi, have commenced inspection of activities at different check points of the ‘Exercise Python Dance’.
This is to further strengthen the commitment of the Nigerian Army to the mandate of the latest security operations in the five Southeast states.
It is also aimed at ensuring the various teams are operating within the premise of mandate, as well as ensuring that the exercise yields the desired results.
According to Mr Musa, the effect of the exercise was already manifesting, especially in the area of traffic congestion, as it had been minimized greatly at the Bridge Head axis as well as other border points where the check points of the exercise were planted.
At the boundary between Anambra and Enugu state at Amansea community on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, vehicular movement was equally said to be smooth and uninterrupted.
The check points were well manned by vigilant eyed soldiers who passed the vehicles as they came and at the same time maintained security in the area.
On the arrival of Mr Musa and Mr Abdullahi, to inspect the mode of operation at the point, they expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance of road users.
The mandate of the exercise included but was not limited to checkmating rising waves of crime usually prevalent during the yuletide period, traffic decongestion of major highways, patrol raids, cordon and search, planting of check point and road blocks, show of force and anti-kidnapping drills among other serious violent crimes including herdsmen-farmers clashes.
At the second boundary between Anambra and Enugu state, the soldiers, properly positioned, were seen passing vehicles calmly, while motorists complied with the new set up maximally.
Moving out of the area, the next port of call was the Bridge Head axis where initially complaints were laid over sudden traffic congestion occasioned by the new check points.
Reacting to that, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, maintained that the interest of the Nigerian Army was the peace and stability of the country, and in the present exercise, it would be to ensure that the targeted challenges were reduced to barest minimum.
Musa said, “the Nigerian Army has no other interest except one – to ensure peace, security and stability in all parts of Nigeria.
“Here like we have explained, issues of kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clashes, cultism, and even traffic gridlock are the issues and our interest here is to ensure that these security challenges are reduced to the barest minimum.
“You can see vehicles moving left and right, so there is no congestion. In any case, there is not much stop and search operation on the road.
“Soldiers are just by the side of the road watching in case of any need for them to act. They will act professionally and decisively,” he said.
While many commended the efforts of the Nigerian army in the area of security and maintenance of orderliness on the highways brought about by their presence, others still complained of traffic congestion.
In the words of some of the citizens, “police and army are doing well, there is no problem.”
Another commuter said, “it is a welcome development because when the military men are on the road, it makes people feel safe that no thieves will attack them.
“So for me, I think it is a welcome development but I will also want to advise them to be courteous of not causing hold up.”
Musa however noted the complaints and assured citizens of necessary intervention.