Dickson Approves Death Penalty For Kidnappers In Bayelsa

The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson on Wednesday affirmed his position on the prescription of death sentence for kidnappers by signing into law the Bayelsa State kidnapping and Allied offences bill 2013.

Assenting to the bill passed by the legislative arm of government, the governor said that he would not hesitate to sign the death warrant of any person or group of persons caught in the act of kidnapping and other related offences.

Mr Dickson said, “I like to say this, if you are involved in any act of kidnapping, let me warn you today, don’t come near Bayelsa. We have put measures in place. I have just a short while ago commissioned 15 fast moving patrol boats for use by our security forces to ensure maritime security and safety.

“If you try that, whether it is in sea-piracy or kidnapping, we are going to get you. We will make it difficult for you to succeed and whoever you are and wherever you are operating from, we are going to get you.

“I am aware that the security forces have made several arrests and most of the young men and women who were involved in the recent kidnappings that took place are presently under custody. Any of them found guilty of the offence will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

“Today with this bill having been signed into law, we have entered a new phase in terms of the provision of the legal infrastructure that will support our fight against kidnapping and related offences.

“It is morally indefensible for young people for whatever reason to go under the cover of darkness, armed with illegal weapons, terrorize villages and old people in their homes and then forcefully abduct and rough handle old people and take them as an article of trade. That is morally indefensible.

“It cannot be justified under any circumstance at all. As a government, we are by this law sending out a strong message of condemnation and that we are prepared and determined to work with our able security agencies as a team together to flush out such criminals from within Bayelsa or wherever they are operating from.

“As I said earlier, and most people know that when I say something, I do it. I will not hesitate to sign a certificate,(warrant) of execution.
“Anybody who doesn’t listen and commits any of the offences prohibited by this law, and who is tried and convicted will face the penalty.”

Gunmen kidnap former Nnamdi Azikiwe University VC

Gunmen on Sunday abducted the former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and a two-time Attorney General of the old Anambra State, Prof. Ilochi Okafor (SAN).

Okafor was also an aspirant in the 2011 Anambra State governorship election.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu confirmed that the incident occurred at about 8am on Sunday, at the victim’s residence on Pioneer Avenue in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

Amaraizu said Okafor was about leaving for church when he was whisked away by the suspected kidnappers.

He said, “He just opened the gate and was about driving out when he was picked.”

The PPRO said the police have been talking with some members of the Okafor family.

He said, “The police would soon uncover the reasons behind his (Okafor) kidnap and those responsible.

“We are already working on information given to us by members of his family and we would soon make our findings known to the press, but we would not divulge the sensitive ones so as not to sabotage our investigations.”

Meanwhile, a statement from Okafor’s family read, “With regret and great sadness, we wish to announce that Prof. Ilochi A. Okafor (SAN) has been kidnapped this morning at his residence in Enugu”.

The family of the kidnapped university don also solicited for prayers from the public to ensure his safe return “Prof. Okafor was a two-time Attorney General of the old Anambra State as well as a former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka. Please join us in praying to Almighty God for his immediate and safe release from his captors. Thank you.”

Four foreign oil workers kidnapped off Nigeria freed

Four foreigners working for Netherlands-based Sea Trucks Group who were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Bonny Island, Port Harcourt, on August 4 have been released, the company and the navy said on Thursday.

The navy had previously said the gunmen abducted a Malaysian, an Iranian, a Thai and an Indonesian worker. The company declined to comment on their nationalities.

“At about 0755am on August 23, the four expatriates that were kidnapped during the attack on MV JASCON 33 belonging to Sea Truck on August 4 off the shores of Bonny were released by the pirates,” navy spokesman Kabir Aliyu confirmed.

Sea Trucks spokeswoman Corrie van Kessel also confirmed by email on Thursday that their staff had been released and were “OK”. She did not say if the company paid a ransom to the kidnappers.


Kidnapped journalist escapes kidnapper’s den through window

Prince Monday Whiskey, who was kidnapped in front of his Udu Local Government Area residence in Delta State on Monday, has escaped from his captors by climbing through a window, police and union officials said Wednesday.
The journalist, Warri-based freelancer Monday Whiskey, “escaped through the window of the house where he was kept,” the Nigerian Union of Journalists state chairman Norbert Chiazor said.
According to Mr. Chiazor, Whiskey escaped when the guard looking after him left the building, some 10 miles (16 kilometres) from Warri.
“Although he was chained in both legs, Whiskey managed to escape through the window,” he said, adding that no ransom was paid before the “miraculous escape of the journalist.”
The chairman said the kidnappers made contact with his family and demanded a ransom of 10 million naira ($63,000, 48,000 euros).
The police say no arrest has been made.
Earlier, The Warri chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in a press statement condemned the abduction of the journalist and decried the failing state of security in the nation.
“If a journalist can be kidnapped, it means nobody is safe,” the NUJ said in the statement signed by the Warri chapter chairman and secretary, Mr Michael Ikeogwu and Akpokona.
“We condemn the lackluster and lackadaisical attitude of security operatives towards securing lives and property. We, therefore urged, them to strengthen their intelligence gathering mechanism in order to be more proactive” the union added.

Police arrests robber/kidnap gang in Imo

The state commissioner of police Abubakar Jingiri said the suspects were apprehended when a team of mobile police attached to the Ogwuta division.
The Imo state police command has arrested a gang suspected to be kidnappers and armed robbers who allegedly have been carrying out series of kidnaps and armed robberies in parts of the state within the past three months.

Parading the suspects at the police headquarters in Owerri, the state commissioner of police Abubakar Jingiri said the suspects were apprehended when a team of mobile police attached to the Ogwuta division, in Ogwuta local government area of the state got information from members of the public that the suspects were at their native’s doctor’s residence where they have come to collect charms.

“I am happy to inform the members of the public that with good information from good Samaritans, we have succeeded in getting some suspects in the police net,” Mr Jingiri said.

He said that the suspects have been on the run for the period of three months and have been terrorising several communities in Ogwuta including the police force.

“Consequent on their activities, I lost three police men,” the commissioner said.

Mr Jingiri said police officers were able to recover “three Ak-47, grenade launchers, 9 missles (rocket head), and ten magazines.” He said the robbers were arrested while riding on a black Toyota jeep

The leader of the gang Chibueze Okoronta from Isiala Mbano was arrested along with other members of the gang including a native doctor.