‘It’s Fake,’ Police Condemn Report DPO Was Arrested For Kidnapping In Edo

In this file photo, the crest of the Nigeria Police Force is seen on the beret of a police officer. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Police authorities have condemned the claim that a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was arrested by security operatives for his alleged involvement in kidnapping and other criminal activities along the Benin-Ehor Road in Edo State.

In a statement on Sunday, the Police Public Relations Officer in Edo, Kontongs Bello, described the claim as mischievous, malicious, and misleading.

He noted a trending report captioned “DPO EHOR DIVISIONAL POLICE ARRESTED BY THE SPECIAL ANTI-KIDNAP TEAM FROM THE OFFICE OF THE IGP OF POLICE, ABUJA IN CONNECTION WITH KIDNAPPING AND OTHER CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES ALONG BENIN-EHOR ROAD”.

Bello stated that there was no such unit called the Special Anti-Kidnap Team in the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Abuja.

“The report which is already going viral on various social media handles and platforms is totally the work of mischief-makers aimed at tarnishing the image of the force and to incite the general public against the police, particularly Edo State Police Command.

“The Commissioner of Police, Edo State Police Command, CP Philip Aliyu Ogbadu Psc (+), therefore, calls on the good people of Edo State and its residents to disregard the report and go about their lawful business,” the statement said.

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According to the command’s spokesman, it is obvious that criminal elements have already noticed that Ehor is no more profitable for them and have decided to come out with the fake report to divert the attention of the police and the people assisting them with information about criminal activities.

He explained that the DPO in charge of Ehor Division, CSP Benjamin Benafa, reported at the division on July 2 and took over duties and responsibilities of the division the next day.

Rather than getting involved in criminal activities as alleged, Bello disclosed that Benafa was instrumental in the rescue of nine passengers kidnapped in the state.

The victims, he noted, were travelling from Auchi to Benin in an 18-seater bus owned by a private company on July 4.

“The officer is presently at his duty post in Ehor, not arrested as been mischievously circulated,” the command’s spokesman stated.

He added that the police commissioner has ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter with the aim of bringing those behind the fake report to book.

Police Rescue 11-Year-Old Boy From Kidnappers In Edo

A file photo of policemen.

 

The police in Edo State on Friday rescued an 11-year-old boy from kidnappers, authorities confirmed to Channels Television.

This followed a report received by the Ososo Divisional Headquarters that the victim was abducted at Ososo in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state on July 19.

Upon receiving the information, the Commissioner of Police, Philip Aliyu Ogbadu, immediately drafted operatives from the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber-crime unit of the command.

The operation, led by its Commander, SP Patrick Balogun involved pain-staking/high-tech tracking and intelligence-led techniques that uncovered the hoodlums’ hideout in the Uneme Erunu/Okpella area of Akoko Edo.

“Upon sighting the Operatives, the abductors engaged them in a gun duel but they were overwhelmed by the superior firepower from the police which caused them to abandon the victim unhurt,” the police spokesman, Kontongs Bello, said via a statement.

“An operational motorcycle without registration number and a Techno Android Phone was recovered after the abductors fled into the bush with various degrees of gun injuries.”

The police spokesman said efforts were ongoing to arrest the fleeing hoodlums with an investigation on course to unravel the true identity of the kidnappers.

Reacting to the success recorded, the police boss warned that Edo State can never be a safe haven for criminals and their activities.

While advising criminals to relocate from the state or face the full wrath of the law, he reiterated the Command’s commitment to its core mandate of protecting lives and property.

CP Ogbadu also asked all law-abiding citizens to go about their lawful business, noting that the public should use the police control room numbers on 08037646272, 08123827225, 08056776365, and 08077773721 to report in times of distress.

Nine Kidnap Victims Regain Freedom As Police, Kidnappers Exchange Fire

 

Nine kidnap victims regained their freedom on Sunday after police operatives and kidnappers exchanged fire in Edo State.

The rescue efforts followed credible intelligence from members of the public that a 14-Seater Toyota Hiace bus heading from Auchi to Benin was intercepted by a group of hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers at Igieduma village along Benin-Auchi Road.

Confirming the incident via a statement on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Kontongs Bello, said the kidnap victims comprising three males and six females were rescued unhurt with security operatives combing the bush for possible arrest of the suspected kidnappers.

Bello said on sighting the police and other team members, the hoodlums opened fire but were overwhelmed by the superior fire power from the security operatives which forced the kidnappers to abandon the victims and escaped with bullet wounds into the thick forest.

“On receipt of the information, the DPO Ehor Division, CSP Benafa Benjamin immediately swung into action, mobilized his team of police operatives from Ehor Division of Edo State police command, other sister agencies and vigilante group for immediate bush combing. They moved into Igieduma forest reserve,” the statement partly read.

As part of the measures to tackle the menace of kidnapping in Edo, the state Commissioner of Police CP Phillip Aliyu Ogbadu psc asked the general public, especially communities around Benin-Auchi road to continue to support the police.

The police boss noted that the Command will not relent in its effort in combating crime and criminality in Edo State.

Police Arrest 22-Year-Old Suspected Kidnapper In Edo

File photo of a Police patrol van.

 

A suspected kidnap kingpin, Yusuf Aliu, has been arrested in Edo State, police authorities confirmed to Channels Television on Friday.

The 22-year-old suspect, according to a statement issued by the police spokesman in the state, Kontongs Bello, was nabbed on Thursday by operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Unit.

He was said to be terrorising the Benin-Auchi Road and its environs and has been on the wanted list of the Edo State Police Command for armed robbery and kidnapping.

“The suspect is the leader of a gang of four kidnappers that kidnapped one Lucky Ojezele at Idumwengie Community along Benin-Auchi Road on 5/01/2021 and fled,” the police spokesman said.

He explained that the arrest at Old Road in Aduwawa, Benin City, followed Hi-tech tracking/intelligence, adding that the suspect confessed to the crime upon interrogation.

While noting that efforts were ongoing to nab the remaining two suspects, the police said one of the gang members; Philemon Timothy had earlier been arrested and has since been charged to court.

Reacting to the incident, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Philip Ogbadu asked Edo residents to go about their lawful businesses.

He also reiterated the commitment of the State Police Command to protecting lives and property.

Edo Govt Begins Digital Registration Of Workers

A file photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

 

The Edo State government has commenced the digital registration of all workers across the 18 local government areas of the state.

Governor Godwin Obaseki confirmed this on Saturday when he received members of Edo State Civil Service Commission led by the chairman, Mrs Ekiuwa Inneh, at the Government House in Benin City, the state capital.

“We have sent Information Communications Technology (ICT) experts to scan all your documents into a digital format.

“We have started the process of digitally registering every staff member in public and civil service in Edo,” he told his visitors.

The governor added, “With this, every civil servant will have a unique e-identity stored digitally for ease of identification. Beyond accountability to the people, we want to now account for productivity in their various workplaces.”

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According to him, he won the governorship election held in September 2020 because of the hope that the government would deliver services to the people.

Governor Obaseki, therefore, stressed that the priority of his administration was to deliver good services to the people.

“I don’t see any politician going back to campaign to the people of Esan in Edo without evidence to show that you have made provision for water to the people; we have no place anymore, the civil service just has to deliver good services to the public,” he said.

In her remarks, Mrs Inneh promised the governor that the civil service commission would contribute its quota in transforming the state’s public and civil service.

“I want to assure you that we will key into your transformation agenda for the civil service; you have recognised the fact that the civil service has to be empowered,” she said.

Police Warn Edo Vigilante Groups Against Detention Camps, Illegal Duty

Police-Policeeeee
A file photo of a police patrol van.

 

Any vigilante member who engages in illegal duty or other criminal activities will be arrested and prosecuted, the police have warned.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Isaac Akinmoyede, also cautioned vigilante groups against maintaining detention camps.

He stressed that all suspects arrested should be immediately handed over to the police for diligent investigation and possible prosecution.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the zone, Tijani Momoh, revealed in a statement on Friday that the AIG issued the warning on Tuesday at a meeting with the leaders and members of the Edo State Security Network (Vigilante), and top police officers in Edo.

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This followed an incident of murder, arson, and sporadic shooting at Ugonoba community in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the state.

On Sunday, the police received information that the house of the community leader was set ablaze by hoodlums as a result of the killing of a member of Ugonoba.

Thereafter, police operatives from Okhauhie Division were mobilised to the scene and while the Divisional Police Officer was addressing the aggrieved youths of the community, some vigilante officials were said to have arrived in three vehicles and started shooting sporadically.

This left the DPO and two other policemen, as well as an unspecified number of residents injured, leading to the directive of the AIG that the case be thoroughly investigated and all those involved in the shooting be brought to book.

He also called for strict supervision and regulation of the activities of vigilante groups operating in Edo and asked the Commissioner of Police in the state to profile all the vigilante officials to avoid a situation where criminals infiltrate their ranks.

Akinmoyede informed the meeting that soon, training would be organised for the vigilante members to enable them work hand in hand with the police, especially in the area of intelligence gathering and operational duties.

He, however, acknowledged the contributions of the vigilante members in aiding the police in the fight against crime and charged them to continue to carry out their duties professionally.

Obaseki Flags Off COVID-19 Second Dose Vaccination In Edo

A file photo showing a Nigerian taking the COVID-19 jab.

 

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday flagged off his state’s second dose vaccination exercise against coronavirus disease, urging those who took the first dose to make themselves available for the booster dose meant to provide full protection against the virus.

Governor Obaseki flagged off the exercise at the State Secretariat Complex, along Sapele Road, Benin City.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of our campaign to rid our state of the dreaded coronavirus. The virus has changed the way we live and interact with one another globally,” he said.

“It is heartwarming today that we continue with our gradual return to our normal lives with the commencement of the second dose coronavirus vaccination. With this, we hope for brighter days ahead as we collectively fight to defeat the virus.

“The second dose vaccination exercise commences today, June 1, and will last for 40 days, during which period we intend to get the vaccines to our people, including frontline workers who are 18 years and above across the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.”

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Obaseki said the second dose is a booster dose which will provide full protection against the coronavirus disease, adding: “The flag off is important to create awareness in the state and boost public confidence in the safety and efficiency of the vaccines.”

“I took the first dose. Despite all the fears expressed, nothing happened. I am here today to flag off the second dose vaccination. Unfortunately, I can’t take my second dose today because the time scheduled for me is not due. I will be due for the second dose on the 12th of June. However, some people have earlier dates. That is why the programme is launched today. I will take my second dose on the 12th of June and you will be invited to know the importance of the vaccination.”

Noting that the vaccines will be rolled out in phases, the governor said the first phase is being administered to frontline workers, strategic leaders and the elderly.

He explained that the second and third phases will follow and the rest of the eligible population will take turns to be vaccinated, adding that the goal of his administration is to vaccinate about 70 percent of the population.

Obaseki added, “For those who have not been vaccinated, it is important to take the vaccine because, by the end of June, it might be almost impossible to travel around the world without a vaccination certificate.

“Government alone can’t fix this pandemic. We must all play our part by adhering to COVID 19 protocol to enable us to protect our loved ones, even after taking the second dose of the vaccines.”

Governor Obaseki seized the opportunity to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and role played in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that different stakeholders, particularly development partners, worked in synergy with the Edo State Government in ridding the state of the virus.

He stated further, “We have vaccinated 38,500 people in the first phase of the first dose vaccination exercise. We are expecting that 38,500 people will come forward for their second dose. It is only then that you will have full immunization.”

Supreme Court Dismisses APC Forgery Suit Against Obaseki

A photo combination of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and a court gavel.

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) forgery suit against the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

The court dismissed the suit for lack of merit.

It was filed against Governor Obaseki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The apex court’s judgement comes two days after the Court of Appeal in Benin upheld the victory of Governor Obaseki of Edo at the 2020 governorship election.

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The judgement was delivered barely two months after the Elections Petitions Tribunal struck out the petition by the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate, Iboi Lucky.

ADP had challenged the outcome of the September 19, 2020, governorship election, which returned Mr Obaseki of the PDP as governor of Edo.

In its ruling, the appellate court held that Obaseki did not forge his certificates with which he contested the 2020 governorship election.

The court, therefore, dismissed the appeal filed by the ADP and its candidate.

Constitutional Amendment Must Reflect Edo People’s Interest – Obaseki

File photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki during a meeting at the Government House in Benin City on April 7, 2021.

 

Governor Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday called for an amendment of the 1999 Constitution that will reflect the interest of the Edo people.

He stated this during the Edo State Summit on the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committees on the 1999 Constitution Review, held at the Government House in Benin City.

Others present at the summit are Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie,  Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Marcus Onobun; community, religious and traditional leaders and heads of civil society groups, among others.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu noted that the Constitution review was an opportunity for the people to own the process of making a true Nigerian Constitution, rather than delegating it to a section of the people.

He said, “Edo’s position in the constitutional amendment is that it must represent Edo people; the Government represents the people and our contribution is needed.

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“I am appealing to the National Assembly to separate the clauses of all the deeds to be canvassed for if truly the amended constitution will be a product of Nigeria. This will enable us to have a choice when it’s brought back for adoption at the State House of Assembly so that our representatives will choose in line with our presentation today.”

The governor noted that “From today’s presentation, some are clamouring for a one-term of six years for a President and Governors, while others say a term of four years for Chairmen of Local Government Councils.

“Others say the bicameral legislature should be replaced by the unicameral legislature. The National Assembly should look at the issues as it comes and not join all these issues together. If the Constitution is to be amended, it should be done within the next three months.”

Police Kill Three Kidnappers, Rescue Seven Victims In Edo

Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.
Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.

 

 

The Edo State Police Command has confirmed the death of three kidnappers and the rescue of seven victims in Edo State.

According to the command, a combined tactical team from the Nigerian Police Force, Edo state command and vigilante rescued the victims who were kidnapped along the Benin bye-pass over the weekend and taken to the nearby forest.

The kidnappers are said to have demanded a ransom of 20 million naira from each of the victims but later reduced the sum to 5 million naira which they were unable to pay before they were rescued on Monday.

This is the second time within days that kidnapped passengers have been rescued from the forest as 13 others were rescued last Saturday.

The Edo State Police Command is again asking residents and anyone with information capable of aiding crime-fighting not to hesitate to come forward with such information.

Police Kill Three Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Seven Kidnap Victims

Some of the suspects rescued by the police.

 

The Edo State Police Command has killed three suspected kidnappers and rescued seven abducted victims in the state.

According to a statement issued on Monday by the police spokesman in the state, SP Kontongs Bello, the victims were rescued after security operatives combed the Ahor forest along Benin-Auchi Expressway, Benin City.

It was gathered that the rescued victims were travelling from different parts of the country to Benin City, Edo, Delta and Anambra States.

The victims were identified as Daniel Musa, Anslem Obaladike, John Rufus, Best Osarenrere, Okideli Uwachukwu, Unoma John and Festus Francis.

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The police spokesman said the victims have been taken to the police cottage hospital for check-up and treatment, adding that police operatives in collaboration with local vigilante have to comb the bush until every kidnapper operating within various forests within the state is forced to relocate.

“The combined team encountered the kidnappers at Ahor axis, engaged them in a fierce gun battle killing three of the kidnappers and rescued seven kidnapped victims,” he said.

While reiterating the commitment of the State Police Command to rid Edo of criminal elements, Bello warned kidnappers and other criminal elements to relocate from the state or risk being arrested.

Police Rescue Two Kidnapped Victims In Edo, Recover N200,000

A photo of a police truck

 

 

The Police have rescued two kidnapped victims and recovered N200,000 from the scene in Edo State.

The victims identified as Okeke Emmanuel (37) and Rilwan Adewale (36) both male were traveling in a Sienna Bus from Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Lagos before they were kidnapped by gunmen on April 25, 2021, along Ahor bypass and taken into the bush where they met other victims.

In a statement by the spokesman of the command, SP Kontongs Bello, the victims were rescued along Lagos Bypass by Ahor community, Benin City.

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“On receipt of the information, the Police operatives immediately swung into action and rescued two (2) of the victims after an exchange of gun battle with the hoodlums.

“In the process, one of the victims, Adewale Rilwan sustained injuries from the use of matchet by the hoodlums.

“He is presently receiving treatment in the hospital. Also, the sum of #200,000 was recovered from the scene.

“The victims’ investigation is in progress to clamp down on the fleeing kidnappers”, the statement added.

Read Full Statement Below:

POLICE PRESS STATEMENT

RESCUE OF KIDNAPPED  VICTIMS/RECOVERY OF
CASH SUM OF #200,000

Today being 28/04/2021 at about 1030hrs, Men of the Edo State Police Command rescued two (2) kidnapped victims identified as Okeke Emmanuel ‘m’ age 37 and Rilwan Adewale ‘m’ age 36.
They were rescued along Lagos Bypass by Ahor community, Benin City. On receipt of the information, the Police operatives immediately swung into action and rescued two (2) of the victims after an exchange of gun battle with the hoodlums. In the process, one of the victims, Adewale Rilwan sustained injuries from the use of matchet by the hoodlums. He is presently receiving treatment in the hospital. Also, the sum of #200,000 was recovered from the scene.

The victims were traveling in a Sienna Bus from Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Lagos before three (3) of them were kidnapped by gunmen on the 25th of April, 2021 at about 0300hrs along Ahor bypass and were taken into the bush where they also met other victims. The investigation is in progress to clamp down on the fleeing kidnappers.

The Commissioner of Police Edo State, CP Phillip Aliyu Ogbadu, psc (+) is calling on the good people of Edo State and the general public to avail the command with useful information that will expose criminal elements in the EDO state.

SP KONTONGS BELLO,
POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER,
FOR: COMMISSIONER OF POLICE,
EDO STATE COMMAND.