Police Confirm Militia Groups ‘Armed With AK-47’ In Benue

Police Confirm Militia Groups ‘Armed With AK-47’ In Benue
File photo: Jimoh Moshood

 

Police have confirmed the existence of armed militia groups in Benue State which they said investigations would reveal soon.

Speaking on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshood, countered claims by Governor Samuel Ortom that there was nothing of such.

“Yes, they were armed with AK-47 (riffles); we have records, we have footage and you can’t just start arming people,” he said when he appeared on Sunrise Daily.

READ ALSO: Six Persons Killed In Fresh Attacks In Benue LGs

“There are a lot of militia groups equally in Benue and we are looking at all those areas to ensure that the actual perpetrators of this mayhem are promptly arrested.

“People who are supposed to ensure that when they observe (you say you have a guard) and report back to the police that would probably do the appropriate thing; if such a guard is armed with AK-47 rifle, how do you control that, how do you prevent such AK-47 (riffle) from going into wrong hands?” Moshood questioned.

He also disputed claims that the ranch guards who were inaugurated by the state government were unarmed, insisting that the police have their evidence.

The Force spokesman noted that it was unlawful for any person to be in possession of arm without the consent of the Federal Government.

He added that the said ranch guards were meant to take note of any suspicious activity and report to the police, stressing that investigations had revealed that they were carrying prohibited weapons.

On Ortom’s claims, Moshood said: “Yes, I’m disputing that because we have evidence that they were armed with AK-47 rifles.”

“It is equally important for people to know that we are investigating that, we must know the source of these AK-47 rifles.

“Any organisation that you are setting up before you can carry firearms must be approved by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and it shouldn’t be a prohibited firearm.

“When you don’t draw the police into this and you arm people, you turn them into militias because you don’t control what they do with these firearms,” he added.

The Force spokesman, however, said the police have been supporting the Benue State government in terms of implementing the law on prohibition of open-grazing in the state.

According to him, the police have a responsibility to support any law made at all levels of government, as well as the ones made by the leadership of any community towards keeping the peace in the society.

Moshood said, “Even when you look at the international law, it’s like picking a cutlass and cutting a footpath and everybody is compelled to pass the footpath; so if that is the norms of the people, we should enforce it for them.”

Plateau: Police Arrest Suspected Herdsmen With Ammunition

Police-Herdsmen-PlateauPolice have apprehended seven suspected Fulani herdsmen along Riyom/Ganawuri road in Plateau State.

The arrest was made by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police Force during a stop and search operation on the highway.

The arrest was disclosed to reporters by the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Adekunle Oladunjoye, during a briefing on the command’s activities in Jos.

Mr Oladujoye said that 504 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, four locally constructed AK47 butts and other incriminating items were found on the suspects during the operation.

He hinted that the Police also nabbed a group of syndicate known as ‘Sarasuka’, who specialised in molesting residents around the new stadium within the Jos metropolis.

The Police Commissioner appealed to the public to help complement the efforts of the security agents in combating crimes and criminal activities in the north-central state.

He asked them to help provide useful information on activities of criminal elements and their probable hideouts within their communities, in order to ensure guaranteed security of lives and property in the state.

Federal Troops Repel Boko Haram In Gwoza

Boko HaramTroops of the Nigeria Army have repelled an attempt by the Boko Haram insurgents to recapture Gwoza town of Borno State.

The insurgents reportedly stormed the town in large numbers in the early hours of Friday and unleashed havoc but troops on ground responded with fire power and repelled them.

Anti-aircraft, AK-47 are among items recovered from the assailants in a battle that lasted till nearly 8AM.

Casualty figure from both sides still remain unspecified at the moment.

Gwoza town, bordering the notorious Sambisa forest was only liberated from the insurgents in March 2015.

Some residents have already abandoned the Gwoza makeshift camp in Maiduguri and since returned home.

 

Boko Haram
Images from Gwoza, Courtesy Nigerian Army

Kogi Police Parades 45 Criminal Suspects

policeThe Kogi State Police Command has paraded 45 suspected criminals, including a lady for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery and cattle rustling activities in the state.

Also paraded among the 45 suspects were 72-year-old Ahmed Andoke, a relative of former Minister of Justice, Mohammed Andoke, and an All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate in the last House of Assembly election for Okehi State Constituency, Idris Ozi Shuaibu, and a cripple alleged to be in custody of stolen items and financing some criminal gangs terrorizing the state.

Following the upsurge of activities of armed bandits, kidnappers, social miscreants and hoodlums in the state the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, deployed a special anti-crime task force to relocate to the state and quickly address the situation.

The State Governor, Idris Wada, has promised to give out the sum of 5 million naira to anybody with credible information that will lead to tracking down the kidnappers terrorizing the state.

On parading the suspects and their loot, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the force, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said the squad has in the last three weeks quickly design a template to contain the situation.

Items recovered from the suspects are: 3 faces prepaid meters, AK 47, double barrel guns, locally made Dane guns, cartridges, charms, pump action, cars, cutlasses, military camouflage uniform, ATM cards etc.

Two of the harden criminals popularly called cat and target, were said to be terrorizing people of the Okene axis and were alleged to have killed some Policemen on duty and went away with their guns, were called for questioning.

Though Journalists could not ask questions from the suspects, and this made some of the suspects protest by shouting out, while others claimed it was a  frame up.

The police said the suspects will be charged to court after the completion of their investigation, not until then, they will be under the custody of the Police.

Robbery Intercepted By Police In PH, One Killed

robberyMen of the Nigerian Police on Friday showed a glimpse of the gallantry and intelligence Nigerians expect of them as the agency with the responsibility of protecting lives and property.

Sounds of gunfire rented the air on Friday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, when men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, attached to Mile 3 police station engaged a gang of four armed robbers at the ever busy motor spare parts market in Ikoku axis of Dioup area.

Trouble started when the gang were sighted by witnesses robbing a middle aged man of the sum of 500,000 naira he just withdrew from a commercial bank in the area.

In response to a distress call, the policemen stormed the area and a gun battle ensued between them and the armed gang, sending residents to scamper for safety.

One of the robbers was killed in the process while others fled with various degrees of gunshot injuries.

Confirming the incident, the Police PPRO, DSP Ahmad Mohamad, in a press statement, said that the Police is currently on the trail of the wounded and expressed confidence that they would be found.

According to him, items recovered from the robbery gang include one AK-47, 4 magazine cartridge and one Lexus 300 SUV.

Ogun Police Kill 4, Arrest 2 Cross Border Bandits

Ogun PoliceThe Ogun State Police Command says it has arrested 2 members involved in cross border banditry, while 4 others were killed during a gun battle with the police as they tried to rob a Bureau de Change at Itoku market, located in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

Parading the suspects at the State Headquarters of the Ogun Anti robbery Squad in Abeokuta, the State Police Spokesman, Mr Muyiwa Adejobi, said the members of the bandits were from Niger, Benin, Ghana, Togo and other neighboring states.

Items recovered from the bandits includes  five cut to size locally made guns, one AK 47, 2 pump action guns, expended and unexpended cartridges and charms.

While assuring residents of adequate security of life and property, the police spokesman however, solicited quality information from members of the general public, in order to fight crime in the state.

Security Experts Insist Seized $9.3m Not Enough For Arms Purchase

security expertSecurity Expert, Capt. Umar Aliyu has said that the $9.3m that was supposed to be used to purchase equipment and infrastructure for the Nigerian Soldiers cannot purchase any weapon asides “cutlasses”.

He said the fact that the money was impounded in South Africa created the “suspicion that its for money laundering than the purpose of purchasing weapons because they are very expensive”.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Saturday Sunrise, Capt. Aliyu stated that one armored personnel carrier was more than the amount that was seized and could not that the amount could only buy the AK 47 which was already in used.

Giving a background, Capt. Aliyu explained that since 2009, about 11 billion Naira had been used in arms purchase. “That has gotten us no effect yet. Convert $9.3m to Naira which is less than two billion Naira, what exactly do u want to do with two billion that 11 billion did not do.

He insisted that the money is not enough to purchase arms.

A Security Expert, Dare Ogunlana, said that $9.3 that was impounded in South Africa did not have any document backing it. He said that it was only the second $5.7b that had document backing the purchase of equipment.

The security expert, also insisted that the money use for the procurement of these arms aren’t enough.

Edo Police Parade 50 Suspects, Read Riot Act To Criminals

Edo State Police Command have paraded 50 suspected criminals, including the kidnappers of Dr. Izebuwa who was murdered in Ekpoma by his abductors.

The State Commissioner of Police, Foluso Adebanjo, while addressing journalists, thanked the people of the state for their support in the fight against criminality, stating that 2014 will be very tough for criminals in the State.

The suspects were paraded alongside large cache of arms, which includes AK-47 rifles, locally made pistols, live cartridges and several other exhibits.

Also paraded was a 33 year old suspect who confessed to sodomising five boys between the ages of 7 to 13.

CP Adebanjo warned inter-state robbers to stay clear of the state, as the command is doing their best to make the state safe for its residents.

The Edo State Police Command paraded 384 suspects, recovered 95 vehicles, 117 arms and over 8,000 ammunitions and recorded a 7.4% cumulative decrease in crime in 2013 as against its 2012 record.

EDSTMA Unruly Behaviour

Meanwhile, Edo State residents have called on the State Ministry of Transport to check the unruly behaviour displayed by some officials of Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA).

Residents made the call after alleged  series of harassment and intimidation experienced from the EDSTMA officials while discharging their duties in the state.

A driver was said to have been stripped and beaten by same officials of EDSTMA sometime ago, prompting residents to call for proper training of these men.

However, the Head of Operations, EDSTMA, Amadin Owas, has blamed motorists who contravene traffic laws with impunity, for provoking the attitude displayed by some of his men.

Gunmen Attack Bama Barracks, Jonathan, Service Chiefs Meet

Gunmen have attacked a military barrack in Bama in Borno State, North Eastern Nigeria, prompting an emergency meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan, Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police.   

The gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram, entered through Banki town from a cell located across Nigeria’s border with Cameroon and attacked the barrack using rocket propelling guns.

There were unconfirmed reports that some civilians, including women and children were killed in the attack that occurred in the early hours of Friday.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, confirmed the incident but said that armed troops from the Nigerian Military repelled the attack.

He did not disclose if there were any casualties.

President Jonathan had been scheduled to preside over the decoration of 48 newly promoted Major-Generals in the Army, Navy and Air Force but went into a meeting with the Service Chiefs which was also attended by the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, at the Command Officers’ Mess, Asokoro Abuja.

“The nation is going through trying times and there is the need for all hands to be on deck to ensure the protection of lives and property in the country,” the president said.

He urged the newly promoted officers to go extra mile to justify their new positions and help save the reputation of the country.

Security Forces Kill 8 Terrorists In Borno

A renewed clash between members of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group and security forces claimed the lives of terrorists, military authority said in Maiduguri.

A statement by the spokesman of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri the Borno state capital, Colonel Mohammed Dole said that the clash which lasted for 2 hours occurred along Maiduguri-Bama-Gwoza road of the state.

The statement also disclosed that 3 vehicles and 3 AK-47 rifles were burnt in the process while scores of the insurgents fled with various degrees of injuries.

According to the statement, due to increased offensive operations by ground and air against the terrorists, the situation has forced the terrorists to embark on forceful recruitment of youths and abduction of women from vulnerable villages into their fold.

The statement also said that security forces are on their trail to ensure safe release of those forcefully recruited or captured into the terrorist group.

It was also revealed that air bombardment of the insurgents’ hideouts in Mainok and Mada general areas of Kaga and Konduga local government areas of the state by the Nigerian Air Force also claimed the lives of some Boko Haram terrorists.

The terrorists according to the statement were seen conducting funeral for their dead members around Mudube village.

Colonel Dole  appreciated the continuous support and cooperation given to the security forces by the public and called for its sustenance. He also assured that security forces will continue to launch attack on the terrorists wherever they are.

Boko Haram: Expert calls for increased border security

Combating the security threats in Nigeria will require not just a better patrol of the nation’s borders but a proactive approach from the law enforcement agencies.

This suggestion is coming from a security expert, Ona Ekhomu.

Mr Ekhomu was speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast program, Sunrise Daily.