Ransom Refund Suit: Court Fixes July 13 For Evans To Open Defence

This file photo shows Evans after he was arrested in 2017.

 

A Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square has fixed July 13 for convicted kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike popularly known as Evans, to open his defence in the suit filed by one of his victims, Chief Donatus Dunu.

Chief Donatus Dunu, the CEO of Maydon Pharmaceutical Company had in 2018 filed the suit demanding the return of the sum of £223,000 he paid as ransom while in the custody of the kidnap kingpin.

The claimant is also demanding the sum of N50 million as damages.

When the case was called on Wednesday, a new counsel, Mr Maxwell Chukwuemeka, announced his appearance for the defendant, Evans.

The lawyer told the court that he had filed two applications – a motion for change of counsel and a motion for amendment of the defendant’s statement of defence.

The claimant’s counsel, Mr DO Obiora, in his response to the court noted that the defendant has been changing counsel. He, however, did not oppose the applications.

READ ALSOAgain, Lawyer Malcolm Omirhobo Appears In Lagos Court

The counsel also reminded the court of its ruling delivered on May 23, granting leave for the defendant to file his statement of defence.

He said that the defendant had not filed the defence but was seeking the leave of the court to amend his defence.

Justice Kayode Ogunjobi granted both applications but complained that the matter has suffered several adjournments.

“The delay is hurting everybody and putting the state at expenses,”, he said.

“We have been here since 2018 till 2022, at the instance of the defendant. I awarded a cost of N2.5 million because the delay was unwarranted.

“If there is a further delay, I will award another cost because I don’t see why you have an application to amend your statement of defence and you didn’t come with the amended statement to file it”.

The court subsequently adjourned the case until July 13 for the defendant to open his defence.

On Feb 25, 2022, another Lagos High court had convicted Evans and two of his associates for conspiracy and kidnap of the businessman, Donatus Dunu.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi sentenced the trio to life imprisonment.

But before the determination of thy case, Mr Dunu had on May 16, 2018, filed the suit for the refund of the sum he paid as ransom to Evans and his gang.

The claimant served the defendant through the Comptroller General of the Kirikiri maximum correctional centre, Lagos.

The defendant was initially represented by a lawyer in March 2019 and was accorded every opportunity to defend the suit but failed to do so.

However, when the claimant closed his case on March 3, 2022, the defendant came back seeking leave of court to defend himself.

According to Evans, he has been in prison custody since August 2017 and was not aware of the pendency of the action.

He stated that he became aware of the suit in 2019 when he was already out of time to file his defence.

He said immediately he became aware of the suit, he contracted a lawyer to defend him.

The defendant also added that sometime in March, he was informed that his former lawyer had ceased to represent him and had not filed a statement of defence.

False Kidnap Alarm: Court Sentences Ameerah To Psychiatric Care

A file photo combination of a court gavel and Ameerah Sufyan

 

A Magistrate Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja on Wednesday sentenced Ameerah Sufyan to psychiatric care after she was convicted of raising a false kidnap alarm.

Earlier in the month, Ameerah in a tweet claimed that she was abducted with 16 others, prompting the police to launch an investigation into the matter.

But following the investigation, the security agency found her claim untrue, noting that she had been receiving treatment for mental issues in a Lagos hospital and had raised the alarm from the facility.

READ ALSO: Again, Lawyer Malcolm Omirhobo Appears In Lagos Court

Ameerah was thus arraigned on a one-count charge of misleading the police which is an offence under Section 140 of the Penal Code. She pleaded guilty when the charge was read to her on Wednesday. After this, the prosecutor, James Idachaba, tendered a medical report which showed that the defendant was suffering from mental issues.

Idachaba called on the Magistrate court to convict the defendant after her guilty plea but give her a non-custodial sentence in line with the provisions of Section 44 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).

He also called on the court to keep her under the watch of the Police Counselling Unit so that her mental state will be regularly monitored.

The defence lawyer, Chinyere Moneme, concurred with the prosecutor after which Magistrate Chukwuemeka Nweke convicted the defendant and ordered that she be released conditionally to a female Police Probation Officer, Hauwa Ibrahim.

Gunmen Attack Abuja Community, Kidnap 22 Persons

 

At least 22 persons have been kidnapped in a community within Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), following an attack by gunmen yet to be identified. 

Confirming the assault, police authorities in the FCT said on Friday that the attack took place within Rafin Daji, a boundary community Between Niger State and the FCT.

Acting FCT police spokesman, Oduniyi Omotayo who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, said the gunmen attacked the community at the time farmers were cultivating their farm land.

“The farmers were on their farm land working when gunmen outnumbered and kidnapped them,” the spokesperson wrote in a brief WhatsApp message.

Omotayo, however, did not give much details regarding the attack and those who were abducted.


READ ALSO: Boko Haram Logistics Supplier Nabbed As Troops Neutralise Six Terrorists


Nonetheless, the police imagemaker said a combined team of security personnel have been deployed to the area and are combing it aggressively for traces of the abductors as to bring them to book and rescue the abductees.

Eyewitnesses say the gunmen shot sporadically when they invaded the community, fortunately, no lives were lost.

According to the witnesses, the assailants whisked away 22 farmers, burnt down two tractors belonging to the owner of a large farm in the area.

Thirteen members of a family were said to be among those abducted by the gunmen.

A relative of some of the victims, Engineer Ibrahim Barde said his immediate younger brothers and their families who were on their farms had barely finished their work when the gunmen attacked.

“They were 13 of them on the farm including seven children between the ages of 15 and 17, three women; one just got married last year and an aged woman, my brothers and the tractor driver,” the distressed engineer explained.

He gave the names of some of his relative kidnapped to include: “Ismaila Barde, Mustapha Barde, Nasiru Barde, Abdulkarim Barde, Sanusi Barde, Usman Barde, Nura Barde, Abdullahi Barde, Babawo Barde, Farida Ayuba, Hauwa Ayuba and Husai Abdullahi.

According to engineer Barde, the gunmen have contacted his family but were yet to make demands.

“They were asking us, how many of our families were abducted. We didn’t tell them because we suspected they trying to fish out a particular family. But they have not stated their demands yet,” he stressed.

When reached for comments regarding the attack, the district head of Gurdi Ward Alhaji Bala Mohammed also confirmed the incident, but said he was yet to get details of those abducted.

Alhaji Bala lamented that his people were constantly under the attack from bandits who have been coming into the FCT through Niger State.

He urged the authorities to deal decisively with the situation lest it totally degenerates.

Eleven Kidnapped Persons Escape From Terrorists’ Camp In Katsina

A file photo of a police officer displaying the crest of the Nigeria Police Force. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

No fewer than eleven victims of kidnap have escaped and one was rescued by the police from the hands of terrorists in Katsina metropolis.

Residents told Channels Television that the terrorists invaded the town at about 2:00 am on Wednesday and operated for almost two hours across Shagari Low-Cost and Sokoto Rima Quarters in the state capital.

According to the residents, the terrorists, roughly twenty, ransacked the communities before they eventually took their victims to Nasarawa-Bugaje village in the neighboring Jibia Local Government Area of the State.

Three of the escaped victims simply identified as Mas’udu Musa, Abubakar Aminu, and Abdulhadi Sa’adu, who are mainly local security personnel, told Channels Television that the terrorists invaded the communities barefooted. The attackers, armed with sophisticated weapons, also bore security personnel uniforms.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap, Behead Ex-Anambra Lawmaker Nelson Achukwu

They narrated that the hoodlums, upon their arrival, were looking for a lawmaker’s house which was not in existence in the area. The gunmen, however, insisted on being taken to the house.

In the beginning, the terrorists jointly tied the hands of eleven people randomly picked up from different locations and shepherd them to a house owned by a well-to-do individual, Abdullahi Esha, M, of Sokoto Rima Quarters, Katsina, where they kidnapped his newlywed 18-year-old wife, one Walida Abdul-Aziz Maigoro.

“Their target (terrorists) was to kidnap the wife of a rich man at Sokoto rima Quarters, Katsina,” one of the victims learned.

A community leader in Shagari Low-Cost, name withheld, said efforts are on top gear to enhance the security network in the area.

He said one of the residents, who is a medical doctor, had due to the attack evacuated his entire family to a safer place in Kano State this morning.

The Katsina State Police Command also confirmed the incident. The Police spokesman, SP Gambo Isah,  stated that the incident occurred when a team of terrorists, armed with AK-47 rifles, attacked the house of one Abdullahi Lawal Esha, M, of Sokoto Rima Quarters, Katsina, and kidnapped his wife.

According to him, the command’s police Anti-kidnapping Unit and patrol teams were immediately dispatched to the area and chased after the hoodlums.

“The teams had a fierce gun duel with the terrorists which made them flee and abandon their heinous mission.

“Subsequently, the team succeeded in rescuing the victim, one Walida Abdulaziz Maigoro, ‘F’, 18yrs, unhurt,” he added.

Police Rescues 14 Kidnapped Victims Along Kunchin Kalgo Forest In Zamfara

 

 Zamfara State Police Command has rescued fourteen (14) kidnapped victims during an intelligence led search and rescue operation at Kunchin Kalgo forest within Tsafe LGA of the state.

Police spokesperson, SP Mohammed Shehu while disclosing this on Thursday in a brief statement said those rescued include twelve adults and two babies.

The police imagemaker further disclosed that on the 21st June, 2022, tactical operatives deployed along Kunchin Kalgo axis in collaboration with some individuals who have resolved to partner with security agencies in restoring peace to the state, acted on credible intelligence and stormed a suspected bandit’s hideout.


READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap, Behead Ex-Anambra Lawmaker Nelson Achukwu


He further revealed in the course of debriefing, the victims rescued from the operation informed told the police that bandits invaded Nasarawa Wanke and Rijiya villages in Gusau LGA, there the gunmen abducted several persons.

According to the abductees, they spent about 42 days in captivity prior to the rescue mission.

The Commissioner of Police, CP Ayuba N. Elkanah while handing over the victims to their relations, appreciated the government and people of the state for their continuous support and collaboration with the police.

CP Elkanah assured the people of intensifying efforts to safely rescue kidnapped victims and reunite them with their families, while bringing their abductors to justice.

See photos below.

All Abducted Zamfara Residents Will Be Rescued, Matawalle Assures Families

File photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle

 

Four days after bandits kidnapped 50 wedding guests travelling along the Sokoto-Zamfara road in Gusau, Governor Bello Matawalle has assured that they will be released.

The Zamfara governor decried the rising cases of banditry in the north-western state where several people have been killed with many others abducted.

In a statement by his media aide, Zailani Bappa, the Zamfara leader said his administration has taken steps in arresting the security situation in the state.

Matawalle appealed to families of kidnap victims to have confidence in the state government’s ability to curb banditry in the bud.

READ ALSO: Bandits Abduct ’50 Wedding Guests’ Along Sokoto-Zamfara Highway

“This singular incident marks another sad moment in the fight against the security challenges we are facing in our dear state,” the governor was quoted as saying.

“I appeal to the families of all abducted persons to have confidence in our ability to do all that is needed to be done in rescuing their dear ones.

“I have directed all security agencies for the speedy location of the abducted persons and will, in sha Allah, be rescued.”

According to him, the state government will not tolerate any act of indiscipline from unscrupulous persons who want to manipulate the present situation to score cheap political goals.

He warned that his administration will no longer fold its arms and allow heartless people to go on manipulating the misfortune of innocent citizens for their selfish political ends.

“We are a responsible Government and we shall not relent in ensuring the safety of all our citizens at all times. We shall not condone calculated political sabotage or vagaries and indiscriminate abuse of privileges to jeopardize our fragile security situation in the state” Governor Matawalle warned.

“We have noted the rise of informants’ activities leading to many unfortunate banditry attacks on soft targets. We shall take more stringent steps in addressing the current situation, including possible communication shut down once again,” Governor Matawalle added.

Kidnapped Ebonyi Govt House Cameraman Regains Freedom

Ebonyi State Government House cameraman, Uchenna Nwube, has been abducted by gunmen.

 

The kidnapped cameraman attached to the Ebonyi State Government House Uchenna Nwube has regained freedom from his abductors.

A source, who confirmed the development to Channels Television on Saturday, said Nwude was freed after the abductors were given an unspecified sum of money. The source, however, explained that the amount was a shortfall from the N50m earlier demanded by the kidnappers.

READ ALSO: APC Must Unite Behind Tinubu – Buhari

The Ebonyi State Police Command is yet to confirm his release as of the time of publishing this report.

Mr Nwube is said to be in a police station in Enugu. The photographer was abducted along the Okigwe-Aba-Enugu road on Wednesday evening.

Gunmen Kidnap 38 Passengers On Minibuses In Haiti

Map of Haiti

 

Gang members in Haiti on Friday kidnapped 38 people as they were riding in minibuses out of the capital Port-au-Prince, bound for the south of the country, the head of a drivers’ association told AFP.

“Two buses had just been filled with passengers bound for Miragoane,” a town some 62 miles (100 kilometers) west of Port-au-Prince, “when the guys from Village de Dieu seized them,” said Mehu Changeux, president of the association of owners and drivers of Haiti, referring to one of the capital’s slums controlled by a powerful gang.

“Each bus had 18 people, in addition to the drivers,” Changeux said, without saying if ransoms had been demanded.

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The mass kidnapping came as Haiti find itself in the grip of armed gangs, whom police have failed to confront.

Since June 1, 2021, Haitian authorities have lost control of the only road connecting Port-au-Prince to the southern half of the country, with a section of some 1.5 miles (two kilometers) under the sway of armed gangs.

It was on this road, at the western exit of the Haitian capital, that the 38 people were abducted. Changeux insisted his organization “always asks drivers not to take this road until the state has restored security.”

But that caution is a luxury that the city’s poorest inhabitants cannot afford, since traveling by the only alternative route, which is not suitable for motor vehicles, costs much more, in particular, because of unofficial tolls.

“There continue to be some buses that take the risk because some passengers do not have the economic means to pay for transport by the mountain road,” said Changeux.

Last weekend, three young Turkish women were released after a month in captivity. They had been kidnapped by the criminal gang that controls the entire region east of Port-au-Prince, up to the border with the Dominican Republic.

This gang, which hijacked the bus in which they were traveling from Santo Domingo, still holds five other Turkish nationals.

In the month of May alone, at least 200 kidnappings were recorded by the UN, overwhelmingly in Port-au-Prince.

AFP

Cameroon Says Kidnapped Senator, Others Freed In Northwest

Senator Elizabeth Regine Mundi

 

 

 

Cameroon troops have freed a kidnapped senator from President Paul Biya’s ruling party and several other hostages, in a raid in a breakaway region that also killed a dozen “terrorists,” the army said Tuesday.

Senator Elizabeth Regine Mundi was kidnapped with her driver on April 30 in Bamenda in the Northwest Region, where anglophone separatists have mounted an armed campaign to separate from the majority French-speaking country.

Two wings of the self-described Ambazonian Defence Forces (ADF) had claimed responsibility for the abduction, a senior local official said.

In an army raid on a “terrorist refuge” in Ashong late on Monday “several hostages were freed, including the senator,” army spokesman Cyrille Atonfack Guemo said in a statement.

He did not provide the exact number of people liberated.

“A dozen terrorists were neutralised, several others wounded and fled. Three were captured,” he said.

Mundi, who hails from the Northwest Region, is a member of the politburo of Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC).

In 2017, separatists seeking self-rule in the Northwest and neighbouring Southwest Region declared an entity called the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.

Clashes between militants and security forces have claimed more than 6,000 lives and displaced around a million people, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).

The separatists have frequently carried out kidnappings, usually of civil servants, and some have been killed. Church leaders and politicians have also been aducted but mostly are later freed.

The country has been ruled with an iron fist for nearly 40 years by 89-year-old Biya, who refused demands for federalism and has cracked down on the rebellion.

Civilians have suffered abuses committed by both sides, according to international NGOs and the United Nations.

The presence of the anglophone regions derives from the colonial era.

The former German possession of Cameroon was partitioned after World War I between Britain and France.

In 1961, part of the British territory, the Southern Cameroons, joined Cameroon after it gained independence from France, becoming the Northwest and Southwest regions.

Anglophones have long chafed about perceived inequality, especially in education and law.

Two Women, Five Girls Abducted By Bandits Regain Freedom In Kaduna

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s northwest region.

 

Two women and five girls earlier kidnapped by bandits in Kaduna State have regained freedom, police authorities said on Wednesday.

The victims were rescued by operatives of the Kaduna State Police Command in the Kachia Local Government Area of the state.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mohammed Jalige, confirmed the release to Channels Television via a statement.

He said the victims were abducted by the bandits in Mai Goro Village in Kachia on Sunday and taken to an unknown destination.

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The command’s spokesman stated that the victims were found by police operatives during a routine patrol on Tuesday around the bush in Tsohon Gayan Village.

“The victims are identified as Godiya James, 30yrs; Beauty Mandela, 23yrs; Elizabeth Markus, 13yrs; Alheri Maichibi, 13yrs; Lydia Iliya, 6yrs; Bridget Obadiah, 4yrs; and Amama Hassan, 3yrs; all of Mai Goro Village, Kachia LGA,” he said.

They were said to have been immediately evacuated to the Toll Gate Divisional Police Headquarters, and when debriefed, they claimed to have escaped from captivity while the bandits guarding them were asleep.

Jalige said that all the rescued persons were stable but weak, adding that they have been profiled and taken to a medical facility for treatment with efforts ongoing to establish contact with their relations for proper handing over.

Gunmen Release Nasarawa LG Chairman, Police Arrest Three Suspects

Four abducted students of the Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State have regained their freedom,

 

Gunmen have released the Chairman of Keffi Local Government, Muhammed Baba Shehu, the police authorities said on Sunday.

Shehu and his aide regained their freedom in the early hours of Sunday, following sustained pressure from the combined team of security personnel.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Rahman Nansel, confirmed the release to Channels Television via a telephone conversation.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Local Government Chairman, Driver In Nasarawa

He said Shehu and his aide were released unhurt, adding that the police operatives arrested three suspects in connection with the incident.

The suspects were said to be on their way to collect ransom and are assisting the authorities in the ongoing investigation into the abduction.

This is coming two days after the victims were whisked away by the gunmen.

The perpetrators blocked the Akwanga/Keffi road on Friday night, shooting sporadically in the air, and in the process shot the Chairman’s orderly while carrying out the abduction.

Shehu and his entourage were on their way to Lafia from Keffi when the incident occurred.

Unfortunately, the security detail of the Chairman, Alhassan Habeeb, was killed in the attack and has since been buried Saturday according to Islamic rites.

Gunmen Kidnap Lawmaker Representing Soludo’s Community In Anambra

A file photo of a man carrying a gun.

 

Gunmen have kidnapped the lawmaker representing Aguata 2 Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okechukwu Okoye.

The lawmaker who represents Governor Charles Soludo’s hometown was whisked away by his abductors on Sunday in the Isuofia area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the attack to Channels Television on Monday via a phone conversation.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Lawmaker Representing Soludo’s Community In Anambra

He said the Anambra State Police Command had launched a manhunt for the kidnappers to rescue the lawmaker.

Although the details of the abduction are still sketchy, a viral video show the lawmaker’s vehicle stuck inside a drainage system in the area where the incident occurred.

The latest attack is coming a few days after the state governor, Professor Charles Soludo visited the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.

Soludo, who shared pictures of himself and Kanu via social media on Saturday night, said the  IPOB leader condemned the violence and senseless killings going on in the Southeast and wished he had the opportunity to a broadcast to address the situation.