Gunmen Abduct 15 In Niger State – Police

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Gunmen have abducted 15 persons in Niger State.

The Niger State Command, Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed this in a statement on Sunday.

According to Abiodun, the criminals had stormed the remote community via Ibbi in Mashegu Local Government Area and also rustled a yet-to-be known number of cattle.

They were also said to have broken into a provision shop at Kawo Village.

The PPRO noted that a team of police/vigilante have been drafted to the area for search and rescue of the abducted victims.

Gunmen Kidnap Four Students Of Federal University Of Lafia

A file photo of three armed men.

 

Gunmen have kidnapped four students of the Federal University of Lafia (FULafia).

The management of the institution, confirmed this in a statement on Friday by the Head, Information and Public Relations Unit, Abubakar Ibrahim.

According to the statement, the gunmen attacked the university at about 11:30 p.m on Thursday.

“The unfortunate kidnap incident took place at a community, Mararraba, located close to the University,” the statement read in part.

“Consequently, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Shehu Abdul Rahman, on behalf of the management of the institution, expressed his profound outrage at the unfortunate development and condemned it in strong terms and demand for the immediate release of those kidnapped”.

The VC reaffirmed that the kidnapping of students constitutes one of the most serious threats to education in Nasarawa State, in particular, and Nigeria in general.

He, therefore, expressed his deep sympathy to the families of the abducted students, assuring them that serious efforts are being taken to ensure the quick rescue of the kidnapped students.

Also according to the Vice-Chancellor, additional measures have been put in place to guarantee adequate safety of lives and property within and outside the campuses of the university.

While students have been asked to remain calm and go about their normal activities at the campuses of the university, they’ve also been asked to pay more attention to security-related matters.

Gunmen Abduct Another Zamfara College Official In Gusau

A file photo of three armed men.

 

Gunmen have abducted Anas Bashiru, another staff of the Federal College of Education Technical (FCET), Gusau.

The victim was kidnapped at his residence in Kortorkorshi around 1:00 am and was taken to an unknown destination.

Channels Television gathered that Bashiru is one of the data processing officers of the college but resides outside the college campus.

Bashiru’s abduction comes barely 24 hours after a lecturer’s wife of the same institution and his two daughters regained their freedom.

A staff of the institution who pleaded for anonymity confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Wednesday.

“It is true that one of the staff of the college was abducted at his residence in Kortokoshi the outskirts of Gusau, the state capital,” he said.

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According to the Staff, the victim was abducted last Tuesday at his residence.

The abductors are yet to make any ransom demands.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Shehu Muhammad said he was unable to confirm the incident but said he would get back to Channels Television.

He has, however, yet to do so as of filing this report.

 

Two More Kidnapped Bethel School Students Regain Freedom

Bandits attacked the Bethel Baptist Secondary school on July 5, 2021.

 

Two additional kidnapped students of Bethel Baptist Secondary school in Kaduna State have regained their freedom.

Although the police authorities are yet to comment on the development, the chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Joseph Hayab said the two students were released on Dec. 28, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022, respectively.

Read Also: Air Force Kill Two Notorious Bandit Leaders, Several Others In Zamfara

On July 5, 2021, bandits invaded the Bethel Baptist Secondary school located at Maraban Damishi, in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State and kidnapped 121 students.

The students were later released in batches after their parents reportedly paid an unspecified amount of money as ransom while three others remained with the bandits.

The latest release now brings the total number of 120 students have regained their freedom so far while only one student is still in captivity.

Two Clerics Abducted In Ogun, Kidnappers Demand N15m Ransom

A file photo of a man holding a gun.

 

Two clerics have abducted two clerics in Ogun State, police authorities said on Monday.

The victims – Islamic clerics – were whisked away by a four-man gang at Ayetoro along Ayetoro-Abeokuta road in Yewa-North Local Government Area of the state.

The kidnappers were said to have stormed the residence of the clerics on Saturday night shortly after they arrived from a public lecture.

A family member of one of the victims, Hussein Ibrahim told Channels Television that the kidnappers took their time to carry out the operation as they ate before taking away their victims.

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“It happened around 10 pm when they were alighting from the Toyota Highlander which my brother had just bought two months’ ago,” Hussein said.

“The kidnappers were five and when they came, they had laid ambush somewhere in the dark and were able to capture them immediately.

“After they took them, they marched them inside, seized our phones, went to the kitchen, took the Eba and pot of soup, and ate the food and all the meats in the soup before taking the clerics away.”

He also said that the kidnappers were armed with dangerous weapons.

He, however, said the kidnappers had contacted the family and demanded N15 million as ransom.

The victim’s brother disclosed that at the time of filing this report that thepPolice were aware of the situation.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP, Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the incident.

He said that police and other security agencies including the local hunters have begun combing the bush in the area.

“Yes, we are aware. Our men have been there with others including local hunters combing the bush,” the police spokesman said.

“We will get them. We have got others in Ijebu-Ode and other areas in the state. We will get them and deal with them.”

Over 10 Killed, Houses Burnt In Fresh Attack On Plateau Village

 

No fewer than 10 persons including children have been killed while others have sustained injuries in an attack on Te’egbe village of Miango District in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Suspected herdsmen were said to have invaded the community in the early hours of Friday, setting houses ablaze, maiming and killing residents in the process of the attack.

The National Publicity Secretary of Irigwe Development Association, Davison Malison, confirmed this to Channels Television on Friday.

According to him, apart from the 10 bodies recovered so far, others are still missing.

Read Also: Gunmen Abduct Principal, Four Others In Ondo State

Meanwhile, Governor Simon Lalong has condemned the attack on the village, saying the criminals are bent on instilling fear, pain and sorrow on the people with a view to destabilising the state and making fortune from their criminality as well as rupturing the substantial peace attained.

According to a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Simon Makut, security agencies have been directed to deploy personnel and everything at their disposal to arrest those who carried out the attack no matter how long it takes.

One Killed, 30 Kidnapped As Bandits Attack Niger Community

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

One person has been killed while 30 others have been kidnapped as armed bandits invaded the Zazzaga community in Zazzaga Ward, Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Bala Kuryas, confirmed the attack to Channels Television in his office on Wednesday, saying it happened in the early hours of the day.

“Police are already on the trail of the attackers to rescue the kidnapped victims unhurt,” the Commissioner said.

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But contrary, to police report, the Secretary of Munya Local Government, Mr James Jagaba in another telephone interview said 68 persons were kidnapped including women and children, while one person was killed with three others injured.

“They came in large numbers when the victims were sleeping and took control of the community. One person was killed, three were shot while 68 persons were kidnapped,” he said.

Another source from the community who spoke in confidence via telephone said the armed bandits operated from one house to another.

The source said: “a hunter was shot dead during gun battle with the criminals. We don’t know the whereabouts of the kidnapped persons. Security personnel comprising the police, military and vigilantes have been deployed to the community.”

ICC Prosecutor Seeks Investigation Into Abduction Of Nigerian Schoolchildren

(File photo) ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda speaks during a press conference. AFP

 

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to seek authorisation from the Pre-Trial Chamber of the court to open an investigation into cases of abduction of schoolchildren in several parts of Northern Nigeria.

Also to be investigated are the closure of schools, and the “persistent failure of Nigerian authorities” at both the federal and state levels to end the abduction.

This is according to a statement on Sunday by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

According to the agency’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the ICC prosecutor’s decision followed a petition sent to the court by SERAP.

SERAP had in the petition dated 4 September 2021 urged the ICC prosecutor, Mr Karim A. A. Khan, QC, to “push for those suspected to be responsible and complicit in the commission of these serious crimes, to be invited and tried by the ICC.”

In the petition, SERAP argued that, “The severe and lifelong harms that result from depriving children the right to education satisfy the gravity of harm threshold under the Rome Statute.”

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Responding, the ICC prosecutor in a letter with reference number OTP-CR-363/21, and dated 22 October 2021 confirmed to SERAP that “the criteria for opening an investigation into a string of abductions and closure of schools in some parts of Nigeria have been met.”

The letter signed on the prosecutor’s behalf by Mark P. Dillon, Head of the Information and Evidence Unit, read in part: “On behalf of the Prosecutor, I thank you for your communication received on 13/09/2021, as well as any subsequent related information.”

“The preliminary examination of the petition is considered complete. Under Article 53 of the Rome Statute, the next step in the judicial process is for the Prosecutor’s Office to prepare and submit a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for authorisation to open an investigation on Nigeria.”

“Once submitted, the request will be made publicly available on the Court’s website: www.icccpi.int.”

“Your communication will be forwarded to the relevant team to be analysed, together with other related communications and other available information, in the context of any future investigations. We thank you for your interest in the ICC.”

SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare said: “By this decision, the ICC prosecutor has taken a significant step toward ensuring that those suspected to be responsible for grave crimes against Nigerian schoolchildren are exposed, and held to account.”

“The victims of these crimes deserve justice. Impartial justice and reparation will deal a decisive blow to impunity of perpetrators, and improve access of Nigerian children to education. SERAP will work closely with the ICC to achieve these important objectives.”

SERAP’s petition to the ICC prosecutor, read in part: “Senior government officials know well or ought to know that their failure to prevent these crimes will violate the children’s human rights and dignity.”

“The absence of any tangible and relevant investigation or prosecution in Nigeria suggests that the authorities are unwilling or unable to carry out genuine investigation or prosecution of those suspected to be responsible for and complicit in the abduction of students.”

“The consequences of persistent abductions of students, closure of schools, and the failure to provide safe and enabling learning environments despite federal and state authorities yearly budgeting some N241.2 billion of public funds as “security votes”, are similar to those of the offences in article 7(1).”

“More than 10,000 schools have been reportedly closed in at least seven northern states over the fear of attack and abduction of pupils and members of staff. The states are Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger and Yobe.”

“Among the string of abductions in Zamfara was the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in the town of Jangebe in February. The latest abduction comes after widespread reports of abduction of students and closure of schools in many states of Nigeria, including in north-central Niger State where some 91 schoolchildren were abducted.”

“An estimated 1.3 million Nigerian children have been affected by frequent raids on schools by suspected terrorists. Some 13 million Nigerian children are out of school nationwide. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), more than 1,000 students have been abducted from schools in northern Nigeria since December 2020.”

“Families and parents have reportedly resulted to paying the terrorists thousands of dollars as ransom to secure the release of their children. An estimated $18.34 million was reportedly paid in ransoms between June 2011 and the end of March 2020.”

“Nigerian authorities have also failed and/or neglected to satisfactorily address the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in 2014, which prompted the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. According to reports, more than 100 of those girls are still missing.”

Nigeria is a state party to the Rome Statute and deposited its instrument of ratification on 27 September 2001, thus giving the court jurisdiction over crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed on its territory or by its nationals.

The ICC prosecutor decided to seek an investigation after undertaking a preliminary examination of the cases of abduction of children in the country.

A three-member panel of ICC pre-trial judges will consider whether to grant the prosecutor’s request, once it is submitted, to let the ICC step in as a court of last resort.

Judges will rely on the materials submitted by the prosecution to determine whether there is a “reasonable basis” to proceed. Victims and their families may also make their views known to the pre-trial chamber.

If the investigation identifies suspected perpetrators of the crimes alleged in SERAP’s petition, prosecutors can ask judges to issue international arrest warrants, which can remain under seal to help authorities apprehend those charged.

As an international court of last resort, the ICC is mandated to bring to justice people suspected to be responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so.

Gunmen Kidnap Over 30 Passengers In Niger

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.
Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.

 

Gunmen have abducted 30 passengers at Garin Gabas in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

Channels Television gathered that the victims were kidnapped on Wednesday in three separate vehicles comprising an eighteen-seater bus and two other vehicles.

The bandits in their large number carrying dangerous weapons stormed Zungeru Garin Gabas highway shooting sporadically to scare villagers before kidnapping the passengers to an unknown destination.

A source from the community who spoke in Hausa through a phone conversation said that the bandits have now advanced to Kundu forest in Rafi local government council area to rustle some cattle.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun promised to get a call back to our reporters. He however was yet to do so as at the time of publishing this report.

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Heavily armed gangs known locally as bandits have terrorised the northwest and central Nigeria for years, raiding and looting villages; but attacks have become even more violent in recent months.

The gangs have been increasingly targeting schools, kidnapping students to squeeze ransom from authorities and parents.

Nigeria has increased military operations in the main regions targeted by the bandits, but officials and residents worry they are fleeing to other areas.

Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kaduna states have restricted telecommunications services in some areas amid other measures such as bans on the transport of cattle and firewood, suspension of some animal markets and caps on fuel sales.

Zamfara Residents Hold Prayer Over Lingering Insecurity

 

Residents of Zamfara State on Sunday gathered to pray for God’s intervention over the continuous bandit attacks and abductions in the state.

They have also urged the Federal Government to provide adequate equipment for security personnel fighting the war against banditry and other crimes in the state.

This is coming amidst series of attacks and abductions for ransoms with the most recent being the abduction of 73 students of the Government Day Secondary School in Kaya in Maradun Local Government Area.

Sources in the village told Channels Television that the assailants had invaded the school on September 1 in a large number and left with the students to an undisclosed location.

Read Also: Bandits Kill 26 In Deadly Attack On Zamfara State

The incident was the third attack on schools in Zamfara this year – coming after that of Jangebe and Bakura.

A total of 317 students were abducted from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe during an attack in February, six months before bandits kidnapped at least 20 persons comprising students and officials from the College of Agriculture and Animal Science, Bakura.

Since the recent incidents, the government has had to take more stringent measures such as the shutting down of telecoms services.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on September 3 directed telecommunications providers in the state to shut down their services.

“The pervading security situation in Zamfara has necessitated an immediate shutdown of all telecommunications services in the state from today, September 3, 2021. This is to enable relevant security agencies to carry out the required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the state,” a memo signed by the vice-chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, said.

Five More Bethel School Students Regain Freedom

Bandits attacked the school on July 5, 2021.

 

Five more abducted students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Kaduna State have been released by bandits.

Also released is the Matron of the school.

The victims regained their freedom on Friday, after spending about 95 days in the custody of their abductors.

They were kidnapped on July 5 when a group of armed men invaded the school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

Police authorities in Kaduna have yet to make any comment on the release of the students.

But the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Reverend Israel Akanji confirmed their release on Friday, adding that four remaining students were expected to be released soon.

A total of 121 students had been forcefully taken away from their hostels when the school came under attack by the assailants in July.

The bandits later released 28 of them on July 25, after a ransom was reportedly paid.

Thereafter, 15 additional students regained freedom from the captivity of their abductors on August 22.

Ten more students regained their freedom on September 18, and an additional 10 students on September 26.

READ ALSO: Ten More Kidnapped Bethel Baptist School Students Regain Freedom

The spate of kidnapping for ransom payment spiked recently in Kaduna, with schoolchildren as targets for bandits.

Although authorities in the state have insisted that they will neither negotiate nor pay any money to the criminals, those whose families are victims have had a contrary view.

For such people, they are ready to consider all options that can lead to the release of their loved ones, not ruling out the payment of ransom.

Kaduna is not the only state battling banditry. The criminals have also attacked schools in other parts of the North West and North Central, with Zamfara among the worst-hit states.

Kidnapped Daughter Of Ex-Katsina NBC Director Regains Freedom After 29 Days

 

Laila Ahmed, the 15-year-old daughter of a former Director of Public Affairs at the National Broadcasting Commission and former General Manager of the Katsina State Television, has regained her freedom after 29 days in the den of kidnappers.

A source who pleaded anonymity told Channels Television that Laila was released in the early hours of Wednesday (October 5).

Laila and her father, Ahmed Abdulkadir, had both been abducted on September 6, 2021, from their residence located in Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina State.

But Abdulkadir had been released since September 10.

Family sources told Channels Television on Wednesday that the kidnappers had earlier requested a N70 million ransom for the release of the victims.

It is, however, unclear whether the ransom was paid to secure the release.

When contacted, police authorities in the state said they were yet to receive an official report regarding the release of the victim as a result of the recent shutdown of telecommunications services in Bakori Local Government Council.