Police Kill Bandit, Recover Arms In Kaduna LGA

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Police operatives in Kaduna have neutralized a bandit during an encounter with the criminal elements in the Giwa Local Government Area of the state.

The operatives also recovered an AK-49 rifle and a locally fabricated long-range revolver with 12 cartridges as well as a motorcycle used by the bandits for the nefarious activities.

According to the Spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command,  DSP Mohammed Jalige,  the tactical operation received a distress call in the early hours of Thursday that some armed bandits were sighted along Galadimawa Kidandan road in Giwa LGA.

READ ALSO: Abducted Zamfara Wedding Guests Regain Freedom

He said that the Command in a bid to truncate the heinous mission of the bandits immediately ordered for deployment of a strong nearby force to the location for a possible engagement and restoration of safety.

The operatives, he said, engaged the hoodlums with clinical precision and succeeded in countering their mission as they were compelled to retreat into the forest with some sustaining bullet injuries while one bandit was gunned down.

Also recovered from the bandits were an operational motorcycle and a locally fabricated long-range revolver with 12 polymer cased cartridges.

The command, however, assured residents of the state that efforts are geared towards restoring public confidence with rigorous patrol and surveillance of the area in order to prevent any further attack on communities or commuters.

This is even as the Commissioner of Police, Yekini Ayoku, tasked the operatives to sustain the recent gains since victory is near where criminality will be a thing of the past.

Amotekun Corps Arrest Persons In Connection With Owo Church Attack

A file photo of Amotukn corps during an operation in Ondo State recently.

 

The Amotekun Corps in Ondo State have arrested a number of persons in connection with the massacre of worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.

The Commander of the Corp, Adetunji Adeleye made this disclosure while addressing newsmen in Akure, the state capital.

Adeleye, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspects arrested, but the corps leader was optimistic that everyone who was involved in the Owo Attack would be brought to book.

When contacted for confirmations, the Ondo State Police Command through its spokesperson, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, said the force is not aware of such and arrest.

Nevertheless, it is expected that the Amotekun Corps would hand the suspects over to the police for further investigations and onward prosecution.


READ ALSO: Gunmen Behead Ex-Anambra Lawmaker After Payment Of N15m Ransom


This arrest is the latest development following the attack which left millions devastated across the country.

It comes barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari assured Nigerians that the attackers who he described as “cowards” behind recent assaults on churches in the country will be punished.

“As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice. Rest assured that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavor,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide Garba Shehu.

“For now, I urge all Nigerians to come together in prayer-whether Christian, Muslim, or any of our great faiths- let us hold the victims and their families in our hearts and minds.

“Let us show the cowards who seek to divide us along religious lines that we will not be divided. Let us show them that Nigerians will continue to cherish what we share while respecting each other’s differences. Let us show them that Nigerians will never be bullied by cowards, extremists, or terrorists.”

According to President Buhari, the country’s religious freedom and diversity are what makes Nigeria great.

‘Cowards’ Behind Attacks On Churches Will be Punished, Buhari Vows

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that those he described as “cowards” behind recent attacks on churches in the country will be punished.

The President said this on Wednesday following the recent spate of assaults on churches across the country.

“As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice. Rest assured that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavor,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide Garba Shehu.

“For now, I urge all Nigerians to come together in prayer-whether Christian, Muslim, or any of our great faiths- let us hold the victims and their families in our hearts and minds.

“Let us show the cowards who seek to divide us along religious lines that we will not be divided. Let us show them that Nigerians will continue to cherish what we share while respecting each other’s differences. Let us show them that Nigerians will never be bullied by cowards, extremists, or terrorists.”

READ ALSO: Gunmen Behead Ex-Anambra Lawmaker After Payment Of N15m Ransom

According to him, the country’s religious freedom and diversity are what make Nigeria great.

“It is this diversity that gives Nigeria its strength. That is why Nigeria’s enemies seek to destroy it, by pitting us against one another,” the President added.

“We will not let them. The nation will not be distracted or divided by these obviously planned and politically motivated criminal outrages.

“The perpetrators are cowards; weak and wicked men with guns murdering, in cold blood, unarmed women and children at their places of worship.”

He lauded Nigerians for their actions in the aftermath of the attack on the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.

The President said that “seeing the crowd of Nigerians voluntarily rushing to donate blood after the attack, thronging the local hospitals, even in the midst of mourning,” made him “proud of my country. I was filled with hope”.

Police Kill Bandit, Recover AK-47 Rifle In Zamfara

A photo combination of the map of Zamfara State and a gun recovered from criminals.

 

The Zamfara State Police Command on Monday said its operatives killed one bandit during a gun duel in Saran Gamawa and Unguwar Mata villages of Gummi Local Government Area of the state.

In a statement obtained by Channels Television, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mohammed Shehu, said other bandits fled to the forest.

He said Police Tactical Operatives deployed along Gummi/Bukkuyum axis received a distress call on Sunday that armed bandits on motorcycles invaded the villages with the intent to kill and abduct members of the communities.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack Kaduna Communities, Kidnap At Least 36 Persons

“The police in collaboration with the vigilante of the affected villages mobilised forces and engaged the bandits in an extensive gun battle that lasted for hours,” the statement partly read.

“As a result, one of the bandits was fatally injured, an AK-47 rifle belonging to the bandits was recovered at the scene, while  many others retreated to the forest with possible various degrees of gunshot wounds.”

In his reaction to the incident, the Commissioner of Police, Ayuba Elkanah, commended the resilience of the joint operatives.

He equally charged them not to relent in the Command’s effort to safeguard the lives and property of innocent people in the state.

The Police Commissioner also directed the Area Commander of Anka and the neighbouring Divisional Police Officers to “deploy reinforcement teams to complement the ongoing confidence-building patrol aimed to avert further attack on nearby communities and also to rescue the two kidnapped victims already abducted by the assailants before Police arrival”.

This is even as the Police Command reiterated its commitment to the protection of lives and property in the state, calling on members of the public to cooperate with security agencies in the ongoing effort to rid the state of bandits and other criminal elements.

Three Killed, Others Injured As Gunmen Attack Imo Community

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

At least three persons have been killed with several others injured in an attack on Orlu, Imo State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Micheal Abattam, confirmed the attack via a statement issued on Sunday in Owerri, the state capital.

He said the Command received a distress call that gunmen, who were operating in a red Toyota Sienna vehicle without a registration number, sped off to Umuebele Okporo community in Orlu.

READ ALSO: Three Worshippers Killed, Several Missing As Gunmen Attack Two Churches In Kaduna

“Following a report received on 16/6/2022 at about 0800 hours that armed bandits operating in a red Toyota Sienna vehicle without registration number attacked and shot five persons and drove off almost immediately to an unknown destination in Umuebele Okporo in Orlu, Imo State, the Commissioner of Police, Imo Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc (+), immediately dispatched the Command’s Tactical Teams to the area and on arrival,” he said in the statement.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that they were having a meeting in front of their compound when suddenly some yet-to-be-identified gunmen stormed the venue, shot at them several times, and zoomed off almost immediately to an unknown destination.

“Consequently, three persons died on the spot while two others sustained various degrees of bullet wounds and were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. The corpses were later recovered and deposited in the mortuary.”

While noting that the investigation is ongoing, the police spokesman said security has been beefed up within and around the community.

This is even as he said the Imo State Police Command is working with other security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.

On his part, the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, commended the Okporo community for their steadfastness and support.

He assured residents of the community of the Command’s commitment to ensuring that terrorism and other violent crimes are brought to their barest minimum in the state.

The police commissioner equally appealed to Imo residents to go about their lawful businesses without fear or molestation as calm has been restored in the community.

Bandits Attack Kaduna Communities, Kidnap At Least 36 Persons

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

At least 36 people were reported kidnapped during Sunday’s attack by bandits on four communities in the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This was disclosed by the residents of the communities during a meeting with security agencies on Monday.

The residents say the constant attacks have affected their means of livelihood, as they can no longer go to their farms to avoid being killed or kidnapped by the bandits. They appeal to the Federal Government to establish a military base in Kajuru as the only way the security situation could be addressed.

“When they came, they met some people in the church; they decided to go into the church, pack some of them, gathered them in a particular place, and went to another village,” an eyewitness and a resident of Kufana village, Bashir Bawo, explained.

According to him, the bandits came in bikes and had to steal more motorcycles from the villagers in order to take more people away. He said they killed some of the villagers who tried to repel the attack injured others.


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The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, Monday, led security chiefs to Kufana District to get first-hand information on the attack, and also interact with the locals on how best to tackle the security challenges in the general area.

Others present at the meeting include the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Yekini Ayoku, other heads of security agencies in the state, community leaders, and the chairman of Kajuru Local Government Area.

The bandits had on Sunday attacked four communities during which they killed three worshippers from two churches and also took away several other residents.

Security Operatives Foil Kidnap Attack Along Kaduna-Abuja Highway

A combination of file photos of the map of Kaduna State and a gun recovered from crime suspects.

 

Security operatives comprising a combined team of police officers and soldiers have foiled a kidnap attempt by bandits along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

One of the bandits was killed by the security operatives in the process, while an AK-47 Rifle and nine motorcycles were recovered from them.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Mohammed Jalige, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a phone conversation on Tuesday.

He said security operatives drawn from Police Operation Puff Adder and the Army’s Operation Thunder Strike intercepted the bandits who are on their nefarious mission at Sabon Sara, along the Abuja-Kaduna highway on Monday afternoon.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Train Attack: Eleven Released Victims Reunite With Their Families

According to him, the security operatives engaged the bandits in a gun duel,  during which one of the bandits was neutralized, while the rest of the criminal elements retreated into the forest due to the superior firepower of the security forces.

“Upon search of the general area, an AK-47 rifle and nine bandits operational motorcycles were recovered while the high spirited operatives are not resting on their oars in ensuring the safety of motorists and other legitimate road users,” he said.

Reacting, the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Yekini Ayoku, commended the exemplary commitment and gallantry exhibited by the security operatives and assured them that their sacrifices towards ensuring public safety will not go unrewarded.

The police commissioner also called on the public to report any person or group nursing gunshot wound to the nearest security formation, assuring them of prompt response at all times.

Banditry has been rife in Kaduna and other North-Western states, with many being killed and others kidnapped for ransom.

Despite the assurance of the Federal Government as well as various state governments, the bandits have continued to have a field day.

Just three days ago, they abducted no fewer than 50 wedding guests travelling along the Sokoto-Zamfara road.

They were returning to Gusau after attending a wedding of their colleague in Sokoto State when the incident happened between Tureta-Bakura road.

Kaduna Train Attack: Eleven Released Victims Reunite With Their Families

Photo of the damaged AK9 Abuja-Kaduna train

 

Eleven kidnapped passengers from the March 28 Kaduna train attack, who were released last weekend, have been reunited with their families.

The victims were released by their abductors on Friday, following a series of negotiations with the Federal Government after spending eleven weeks in captivity.

The eleven victims comprise six females and five males.

Upon their release, they were first taken to Abuja, the nation’s capital for debriefing, and were later brought back to Kaduna on Monday where they were handed over to their families by the military.

One of the victims, a middle-aged woman who sustained severe injury, could not stand on her own, as she is still looking pale and sick due to the trauma she had while in the custody of the terrorists inside the forest.

It is nevertheless a happy reunion for the Musawa family as they celebrate the release of their daughter, Amina, who was among the kidnapped passengers from the March 28 train attack in Kaduna state.

Although it is a breath of fresh air for Amina, her joy and that of her extended family seem not to be complete, as her husband, who was kidnapped along with her, could not make it in the first eleven. He and 50 others are still with their abductors in the forest.

Still gripped in shock by what they went through while in captivity, Amina, like the other freed passengers were unwilling to speak to us in camera.

But their relatives who obviously are happy with their return commend the Federal government for facilitating the release of the first batch of the victims

However, they are saddened that 50 other victims of the train attack are still left behind with their abductors. For their joy to be complete, they appealed to the Federal Government not to rest on its oars until all the abductees are freed.

While it might be freedom at last for these eleven passengers, their experience in the hands of their abductors will be a sad tale that they would not forest in a hurry, especially when the fate of fifty others is still uncertain.

Ondo Govt Cancels June 12 Celebrations Over Owo Attack

A map of Ondo, a state in southwest Nigeria.

 

The Ondo State Government has canceled this year’s June 12 celebrations in the state following an attack on the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo.  

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said this in a tweet on his official handle on Saturday.

“In honour of the victims of the terror attack at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, the Ondo State Government has canceled this year’s June 12 celebration,” the governor tweeted.

“The cancelation is to enable the people of Ondo State to mourn their loved ones who lost their lives in the horrific attack.”


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Earlier, the governor had faulted the Federal Government for blaming the attack on the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), saying the move was hasty.

A statement from the governor’s media aide Richard Olatunde quoted his principal as saying that the terrorist group could have taken responsibility for the attack if it was behind it.

“The statement is too hasty. I take their conclusion with a pinch of salt. ISWAP don’t hide their attacks,” the governor was quoted as saying during a virtual interaction with a Swiss-based Christian human rights Organisation, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) on Friday.

“If they have done it, they would have owned up. We are yet to know their identity and our security people are still on their trail.”

As far as the governor is concerned, the attack which left scores dead and many others injured further heightens the need for state police.

“A single police command can not guarantee safety in this country. We must have state police now,” he said during the meeting.

“We are doing our best with Amotekun. But Amotekun is suffering a lot of limitations in getting all the equipment needed to fight these criminals.”

PHOTOS: Soyinka Visits Akeredolu, Says Owo Attack A Message To South West

Soyinka during a visit to Governor Akeredolu on Friday, June 10th, 2022. [email protected]

 

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has described the attack on Owo as a message to the South West. 

Soyinka said this during his condolence visit to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Friday following the attack on the St. Francis Catholic Church on Sunday.

“He was targeted and there is no question about that. It was not an accident, and it is passing a message to the rest of us,” Soyinka said according to a statement issued by the governor’s media aide Richard Olatunde.

“That is why I’m here. I want the Governor to know that we have received the message. We understand it and we came to sympathize with him that he was selected as a medium for that message.

“So, the answer we must give to the message we all received is that we are not slaves. Here, on our own soil, having had the experience of a century of disdain, and contempt about us as black people.”


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Insecurity: Gunmen Kill Four Persons In Ondo

ISWAP Behind Owo Church Attack – National Security Council

Owo Attack: Death Toll Rises To 40, Hospitals Discharge 26

Owo Church Attack: Police Recover Three Unexploded IEDs


 

He said “some characters come along calling themselves whatever, ISWAP, Boko Haram. So, all those groups including those who are just opportunists – the herdsmen – are making a mistake. I want the Governor to realize they are making a mistake.

“I have been on this issue for quite some time. This invasion has been on and these herdsmen are all over the forests. At a time we thought it was Boko Haram, we didn’t know that Fulani herdsmen were capitalising on the fundamentalist insurgency and brutality.

“And that is why we see a nexus of operation between ISWAP, Boko Haram, and Fulani herdsmen. They work singularly, individually and they work collectively. I Know Ondo State has always been at the forefront of awareness.”

On his part, the governor thanked Soyinka for the visit, saying that the state will remain hugely indebted to him.

“It is a cause that he has dedicated his life to, and I thank God for his life. The state wants to appreciate you for finding time to come at this hour of grief.

“This is like a dagger drawn to our heart, and it is an assault on our psyche. The psyche of those of us in the South-West and Western Region,” he said.

“I think they think they can create some fears in us but they made a mistake because this will make us more fierce in our condemnation of their actions. And we are not hiding it.”

See more photos from the visit below:

[email protected]
Soyinka during a visit to Governor Akeredolu on Friday, June 10th, 2022. [email protected]

Owo Attack: FG’s Conclusion On ISWAP ‘Too Hasty’ – Akeredolu

File photo: Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu reacts to the Supreme Court verdict of July 28, 2021, at the Government House in Akure.

 

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says the Federal Government was “hasty” in blaming the Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP) for the Owo church attack. 

The governor said this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, on Friday.

“The statement is too hasty. I take their conclusion with a pinch of salt. ISWAP don’t hide their attacks,” the governor was quoted as saying during a virtual interaction with a Swiss-based Christian human rights Organisation, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) on Friday.

“If they have done it, they would have owned up. We are yet to know their identity and our security people are still on their trail.”


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Insecurity: Gunmen Kill Four Persons In Ondo

ISWAP Behind Owo Church Attack – National Security Council

Owo AttackDeath Toll Rises To 40, Hospitals Discharge 26

Owo Church Attack: Police Recover Three Unexploded IEDs


Akeredolu, who described the attack that led to scores of death and several injuries, said the incident is a crime against humanity.

He said the attack, though horrific, will not deter the indomitable spirit of the people of the state in their quest to fight insecurity. The governor, thus, re-echoed the calls for state police.

“A single police command can not guarantee safety in this country. We must have state police now,” he said during the meeting.

“We are doing our best with Amotekun. But Amotekun is suffering a lot of limitations in getting all the equipment needed to fight these criminals.”

While lauding the international community for their response so far following the incident, he reiterated his government’s resolve to help victims of the attack, especially those who lost loved ones and those still in the hospital.

ISWAP Behind Owo Church Attack – National Security Council 

 

The National security Council has blamed the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) for the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, that led to the death of about 38 persons on June 5.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said this on Thursday while briefing State House Correspondents after the National Security Council meeting in Abuja.

He disclosed that security agencies, particularly the police, have been directed to apprehend the perpetrators. The former governor said the attack has no ethnic-religious connection, affirming that the group’s activity has nothing to do with religion.

The council, according to him, is also concerned about killings in the name of blasphemy and has directed the security agencies to go after perpetrators of the incidents that occurred in Sokoto State and Abuja recently.

Scene of the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo where scores of worshippers were killed in Ondo State on June 5, 2022.

 

Toll Rises


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The governor had vowed to fish out the attackers.

 

Similarly, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba equally noted the imprints of the perpetrators of the Owo killings have been identified and although no arrests have been made, security agencies are now zeroing in on them.

The meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, was held less than a week after scores of persons were killed in the attack and several others wounded.

In a recent meeting, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said 40 persons died in the incident while 26 survivors have been discharged from hospitals in the area.

“The figure I have now shows that 127 persons were involved and that the number of death now is 40. On admission receiving treatment, we have 61. Twenty-six have been discharged,” he said on Wednesday when he hosted Catholic Bishops from the South-West led by Most Reverend Leke Abegunrin.

“Those are the figures we have now from the Commissioner for Health. So, the government is not hiding anything.”