2,403 Criminals Killed, 864 Kidnapped Victims Rescued Since March – Military

 

No fewer than two thousand criminals have been killed by troops between March and December across various parts of the country, the military has said.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, disclosed this on Thursday while addressing a press conference in Abuja.

He explained that a total of 2,403 criminals were neutralised in a bid to contain the excesses of insurgents, kidnappers and others whose activities threaten the peace and security of Nigeria.

General Enenche added that troops rescued a total of 864 kidnapped victims across the country and arrested 1,910 criminals with a large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment recovered during the period.

He stated that the military would continue to sustain the offensive against all criminal elements and not relent until peace was restored to every troubled zone in the country.

A file photo of a soldier sitting on a military truck. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

The military spokesman also reassured Nigerians that the military remained committed to its duty of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity.

He, however, called for the provision of timely and credible information that would aid the military in the fight against insurgency and emerging security challenges.

Read the full text of General Enenche’s briefing below:

PRESS BRIEFING

RECORD OF ARMED FORCES OF NIGERIA OPERATIONS FOR YEAR 2020 FROM 18 MARCH TO 30 DECEMBER

As you are aware, the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO) came into full operations from 18 March 2020.

Since its establishment, the DDMO have worked assiduously to meet its mandate; to manage military operations information from all theatres of operation across the Country.

All through, the Directorate provided a single, coordinated voice to disseminate timely and credible information on all Defence Headquarters-led operations.

We have achieved these through daily press releases, weekly press briefings, as well as quarterly updates and sometimes personal appearances on different media houses, and these would not have been possible without your cooperation and support, gentlemen of the press. We honestly appreciate you.

As we come to the end of the year, it is necessary for us to jog memories on the unrelenting and committed efforts of the Nigerian Military and other security agencies to resolve the security challenges across the country.

This would give a better perspective of the cumulative results of our operational activities and achievements. Against this backdrop, I will be giving a record on the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s operations from 18 March to 30 December 2020.

The efforts and sacrifices of the gallant officers and men of the Military as well as other security agencies that conduct these operations have been progressive.

Within the period under review, troops engaged in a series of land, maritime and air operations, involving both kinetic and non-kinetic activities across the country.

The land operations conducted among others across the various theatres of operation include; clearance, ambush, raid, picketing, cordon and search operations as well as artillery bombardments and aggressive patrols.

Others were maritime operations involving anti-piracy, anti-illegal bunkering, anti-crude oil theft and anti-pipeline vandalism operations as well as other duties such as anti-smuggling operations.

Furthermore, comprehensive air operations including air patrols, Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions, offensive air strikes, air interdictions, search and rescue operations as well as close air support and air cover for ground troops.

Although some of our troops paid the supreme prize in the course of the operations, our dogged troops have consistently exhibited gallantry and resilience in the various operations.

Within the timeframe in focus, troops neutralised scores of terrorists and bandits, while many others were incapacitated, and their camps destroyed.

Our operations also inhibited activities of economic saboteurs as well as exposed and obviated other criminal activities.

In addition, several other criminal elements, including high profile ones were either killed in action or arrested, sometimes together with their families as well as informants and gunrunners.

Besides, there are records of scores of criminals surrendering due to troops’ overwhelming superior firepower and intelligence activities.

Other feats recorded in the course of our operations were the rescue of kidnapped victims, prominent among which, is the recent rescue of 344 schoolboys of Government Science Secondary School Kankara, as well as the Islamiya children, all in Katsina State.

Others were repelling and forestallment of terrorists and bandits’ attacks on civilians and troops. Troops also recovered caches of arms and ammunition, equipment, vehicles and oodles of livestock within the period.

You may as well recall that, in the maritime environment, troops in major and subsidiary operations were able to disrupt smuggling activities, immobilise illegal refining sites, arrest perpetrators, seize foreign parboiled rice and recover tons of petroleum products.

In the North-West zone of the country, between 18 March and 31 December 2020, a cumulative total of 5,281 livestock, 6,951 rounds of ammunition and 120 assorted rifles were recovered from the armed bandits by the gallant troops in the Zone.

Furthermore, a total of 455 kidnapped victims were rescued and 473 armed bandits were killed in action.

In the same vein, a total of 461 arrests were made in the Zone including high profile armed bandits, gun runners and bandits’ collaborators, while total cash of N6,365,550 was recovered from armed bandits and their informants in the Zone.

Progressively, in the North-East zone of the Country within the period, 200 kidnapped victims were rescued by the gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

A total of 1,385 rounds of ammunition, 45 grenades as well as 95 assorted rifles were recovered from BHT/ISWAP fighters. In addition, several gun trucks were captured, while some others were destroyed during air strikes.

Equally, 1,805 insurgents/terrorists including commanders were killed by the troops aside scores killed by air raids/attacks. Additionally, within the period, a total of 79 arrests were made including high-value targets.

In the North-Central zone of the country, within the period, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and THUNDER STRIKE have achieved appreciable successes.

A total of 130 kidnapped victims were rescued and 105 assorted rifles as well as 513 rounds of ammunition and 1,055 rustled cattle, were recovered from armed bandits and other criminal elements in the Zone.

In the same vein, a total of 1,250 criminals including family members of the Darul Salam sect were arrested within the period. Furthermore, troops neutralised a total of 125 armed bandits including militia gang leaders.

In the South-South Zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies recorded remarkable results in their efforts against economic sabotage and other sundry crimes in the Zone.

Within the period under review, a cumulative total of 8,890,300 litres of stolen AGO and 33,516,00 litres of DPK were impounded by troops of Operation DELTA SAFE.

In the same vein, the gallant troops immobilised a total of 185 illegal refining sites, 85 dugout pits and 163 metal storage tanks within the period.

Additionally, troops impounded a cumulative total of 31,236.8 barrels of stolen crude oil as well as 12,272,652 litres of stolen PMS from oil thieves in the Zone. Also, a total of 47 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 72 vandals and criminals were arrested.

Furthermore, a total of 4,250 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled smuggled rice were impounded and 45 boats engaged in illegal activities were arrested.

Troops also arrested a total of 53 pirates and 25 trucks as well as recovered 23 rifles, 65,330 rounds of ammunition and destroyed 23 sea pirate camps.

Similarly, troops of Operation AWATSE in the South-West Zone between 18 March and 30 December 2020, impounded a total of 10,458,600 litres of PMS; 15,345 barrels of stolen crude oil and 345,000 litres of stolen AGO.

Additionally, troops recovered a total of 3,594 rounds of ammunition and 14 assorted rifles. Also, within the period, a total of 23 illegal refining sites were immobilised, while 15 boats and 23 trucks engaged in illegal activities were arrested.

In the same vein, within the period 35 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 48 arrests were made.

In addition to the kinetic operations, the Armed Forces of Nigeria carried out non-kinetic operations in form of Civil-Military Cooperation Activities (CIMIC).

A total of 92 boreholes were sunk for host communities and 16 schools and worship centres were renovated across the Country.

Additionally, 16 clinics and dispensaries were constructed and donated, including buses to host communities.

Moreover, the Armed Forces of Nigeria constructed roads installed transformers and solar power equipment in some host communities. The military also fostered several stakeholders and reconciliation meetings between hostile communities and carried out medical outreaches.

In summary, the Armed Forces of Nigeria from 18 March to 30 December 2020 neutralised 2,403 criminal elements across the Country. This is in addition to scores of other terrorists and armed bandits killed during air strikes.

Troops also rescued a total of 864 kidnapped victims across the Country. In addition, a total of 9,684,797 litres of stolen AGO and 33,516,000 litres of DPK were recovered.

Equally, 1,910 criminal elements were arrested, and a large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment were recovered during the period.

Furthermore, a total of 46,581.8 barrels of stolen crude oil and 22,881,257 litres of stolen PMS were recovered by the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Gleaning from the available information as I have just presented, there is no gainsaying that the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the Year 2020 yielded appreciable results.

Our operational performance for the year is a show of our commitment, synergy and determination to lay down our lives to protect our great Nation.

We will continue to sustain the offensive and will not relent until peace is restored to every troubled zone in Nigeria. The general public is also assured of our commitment to protect our economic assets anywhere.

The High Command of the Nigerian Military wishes to thank the general public for their support and further solicit their cooperation towards providing credible and timely information that will facilitate proactive engagements in our operations.

The Military High Command also commends all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their resilience, doggedness and commitment.

Troops are further encouraged to remain resolute and decisive in securing the country.

Once again, I thank members of the press for their understanding and support for our course.

JOHN ENENCHE

Major General

Coordinator

Defence Media Operations

Defence Headquarters

31 December, 2020

Police Arrest Nine Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Two Victims In Adamawa

Adamawa is a state in Nigeria's north-east region.
A map of Adamawa, a state in Nigeria’s north-east region.

 

The police authorities have arrested nine suspected kidnappers and rescued two victims in Adamawa State.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Yahaya Nguroge, said the suspects was in possession of locally-made guns and other dangerous weapons.

According to the police spokesman, the suspects were involved in the abduction of one Babawuro Damuwa and Yerima Musa of Song area of the state on December 18.

They include: Ndam Usai, Buba Adam, Buba Alim, Bodi Kulawal, Sale Musa, Babiri Gula, Abayel Ahmadu, Sani Muhd and Abdullah Hassan.

READ ALSO: 625 Deported Nigerians Returned Via Abuja Airport In 2020 – Immigration

The suspects, all residents of Dapchi in Yobe state and Song in Adamawa were said to have conspired, kidnapped and demanded the sum of ₦4 million as ransom from their victims.

On the successful arrest of the suspects, the PRO said the Commissioner of Police, Olugbenga  Adeyanju, swung into action by deploying combined operatives of police operatives, and hunters who eventually rescued the victims and apprehended the suspects.

He explained that based on findings, the first and the second suspects came all the way from Yobe State and recruited the third to ninth suspects and they eventually formed a syndicate to be carrying out kidnapping activities.

Upon the completion of the investigation, the suspects would be charged to court for the prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others.

Police Arrest Two Suspected Kidnappers Of US Citizen Rescued In Nigeria

A photo released by the Nigeria Police Force on December 10, 2020, shows two suspected members of a transnational kidnap syndicate who abducted a United States citizen in October.

 

Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested two members of a transnational kidnap syndicate involved in the kidnap of a United States citizen in October.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday, about six weeks after the victim was rescued by US military forces in Nigeria.

He noted that the victim, Philippe Walton, was kidnapped on October 28 at his farm in Masalata Village in the Republic of Niger.

Walton’s suspected kidnappers, Aliyu Abdullahi, 21, and Aliyu Umaru, 23, both from Sokoto State, were arrested on November 25.


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“The two suspects – members of a 15-man kidnap gang of Nigerian-Nigerien extraction, led by Barte Dan Alhaji and Dan Buda – were arrested following a special intelligence-led operation aimed at arresting the criminal gang, disrupting and halting other criminal activities by them,” Mba said in a statement.

He added, “Investigations by the Intelligence Response Team reveal that the gang was plotting other abductions to avenge the death of their cohorts – four Nigeriens and two Nigerians – who died during the rescue operations.

“The Force is collaborating with its Nigerien counterpart in the investigations to apprehend other members of the transnational syndicate currently at large.”

The police spokesman stated that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, was already working in concert with other members of the West African Police Chiefs Organisation (WAPCO), as part of efforts to tackle transnational crimes in the sub-region.

According to him, this is aimed at deepening intelligence sharing among security agencies in the ECOWAS sub-region and strengthening security along the international borders of member-states.

Mba said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as the police complete their investigations.

The rescue of the American by US forces on Nigerian soil had sparked criticism from some individuals and groups in the country.

While some argued that the operation was proof of the inefficiency of the Nigerian military, the government condemned the insinuations.

The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, who addressed reporters in Abuja on November 3, insisted that Nigeria was aware of the rescue operation conducted by the US forces.

Police Kill Two Suspected Kidnappers, Arrest Armed Robbers In Sokoto

File photo of a Police patrol van.

 

Two suspected kidnappers have been killed in Sanyinna area of Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto State during a gun battle with the police.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ibrahim Sani Ka’oje disclosed this on Saturday during a press conference at the command’s headquarters.

He explained that been an upsurge in kidnap for ransom and pockets of robbery in the state with one of the recent robbery cases leading to the death of one person.

“We have been trailing them. Last two weeks, there was a case in Sanyinna whereby the military and other security agencies went to that forest but they couldn’t penetrate because that place requires a tactical operation,” he said.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack Kasuwan Magani Town, Shoot Fulani Leader In Kaduna

According to the police boss, one of the suspects in the robbery that claimed the life of a victim two weeks ago in Tamaje area of the state have been arrested.

Four robbery suspects and eight other persons suspected to be kidnappers were also arrested and three AK-47 and a rifle with live ammunition were recovered.

Troops Rescue 22 Kidnap Victims, Arrest 3 Bandits And 2 Collaborators

 

The troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have rescued 22 victims of Kidnap from armed bandits in the Northwest Region.

The victims comprising 11 women, 2 young girls, 8 traders along with a canter truck driver were rescued in the recent operations conducted in various locations across Katsina and Zamfara states.

In the process of rescuing the victims, three suspected bandits along with two of their collaborators and informants were equally arrested.

In a statement released on Friday by the Acting Director of the Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko noted that 2 AK-47 rifles along with an empty AK-47 rifle magazine as well as 8 Motorcycles abandoned by some fleeing bandits were recovered.

He announced that the troops have from September 12th to 17th 2020 stepped up their quest relentlessly redoubled their efforts towards recording more successes against bandits, their collaborators, and other criminal elements across the Theatre.

He said “On 12 September 2020, troops deployed at Dandume while on patrol rescued 2 young girls kidnapped by bandits at Dandume LGA in Katsina State. The girls were rescued after a hot pursuit by the troops which forced the bandits to abandon their victims escaping troops’ wrath by the skin of their teeth. The victims who were reportedly kidnapped on 18 August 2020 have been reunited with their families.

“In another development, on 13 September 2020, following credible information, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Wuya recovered one AK-47 Rifle buried in a sugarcane farm at Yarsabiya village in Anka LGA of Zamfara State.

“This prompted a further search of the general area in anticipation of more similar recoveries. Relatedly, troops deployed at Moriki and Jangeru responded to a distress call and foiled a planned armed bandits attack on Mai-Zuma village in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State.

“The troops immediately mobilized and engaged the marauding bandits in a shoot out along Kayawa axis forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray and in the process abandoned 3 motorcycles which were recovered by the gallant troops.

“Similarly, on 16 September 2020, troops deployed at Magami acting on a tip-off arrested one Mr. Yaya Rabiu at Magami checkpoint. The suspect was identified by troops to be a member of a notorious bandit gang that recently attacked troops location at Ruwandawa-Kwankele village in Gusau LGA of Zamfara State.

“Additionally, troops at Dangulbi also acting on credible intelligence arrested a suspected bandit named Basharu in a green-tinted Golf III wagon car. The suspect has been on the wanted list of bandits terrorizing locals in the general area.

“Furthermore, on 16 September 2020, troops on routine patrol encountered armed bandits at Baga Buzu in Zamfara State. The cowardly criminals engaged the troops from afar, but the troops responded with superior firepower forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray into the nearby forest with gunshot injuries as traces of blood were seen on their escape route.

“Nevertheless, during exploitation, troops recovered one AK-47 Rifle, 2 motorcycles, and one empty AK 47 Rifle magazine abandoned by the escaping criminals. Similarly, troops on fighting patrol encountered and pursued the unconfirmed number of bandits on motorcycles at Kaiga Malamai. During the incident, the bandits abandoned 3 motorcycles and fled into the bushes.

“In another development, on 16 September 2020, troops deployed in Faskari arrested a suspected bandits informant named Isah Indo while spying on troops location. The suspect claimed to be a native of Sabon Layi village in Faskari LGA, but investigation revealed that his claims were false as the villagers denied knowing him. Similarly, following credible information, troops deployed at Yankara arrested a suspected bandits collaborator named Idris Isah from Yampa village in Faskari LGA of Katsina State, who is reported to be engaged in illicit activities with bandits.

“Additionally, on 17 September 2020, troops deployed in Faskari responding to a distress call rescued 8 kidnapped victims from suspected bandits at Fankama and Sabon Layi area. This was as a result of actionable information that bandits dressed in military camouflage uniforms were sighted with kidnapped victims, the troops responded quickly and made contact with the bandits forcing them to abandon the victims as they fled into the bushes. In the same vein, troops while on patrol at Chabas swiftly responded to a distress call and rescued a Canter truck driver, 11 women, and children who were on their way to Batsari Market but were blocked by suspected bandits along Shimfida – Gurbi road.

“Also on 17 September 2020 troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Dansadau arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Ibrahim on a motorcycle on his way to Dandalla village in Dansadau, Maru LGA of Zamfara state with one Pump Action rifle and 3 live cartridges carefully concealed in a bag.

“All arrested suspects are in custody understanding preliminary investigation and will soon be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authorities for further action.

“Consequently, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for their continuous successes and their commitment to duty. They are further urged not to rest on their oars until Northwest zone is rid of all criminal elements.

“While the good people of the Northwest are once again assured of troops’ commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone, they are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the conduct of their operations”. Onyeuko said.



Nigerian Army Will Be Ruthless With Bandits, Cattle Rustlers, Others – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-general Tukur Buratai addresses officers in Katsina State.

 

The Nigerian Army has extended its operation to curb the activities of bandits, cattle rustlers, gunrunners, and other criminals in the North-West with a promise to go tough on the outlaws.

Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Nigerian Army announced this on Saturday in Faskari, Katsina State while speaking to journalists from the state and neighbouring Zamfara.

“Be rest assured that the troops are determined to deal decisively with any criminal element not only in the Northwest but also across the country,” he said.

‘Operation Sahel Sanity’, launched amid an upsurge in crime particularly the activities of bandits, rustlers, kidnappers, and gunrunners, will now continue until December.

 

 

The army boss, however, believes determination on the part of the army alone will not be enough to stop the criminal activities which have resulted in the loss of scores of lives in the region and sparked outrage over time.

To him, it would take more support from the people of the region who he said had already provided tremendous support for the army – leading to the killing of hundreds of bandits and arrest of hundreds more including their allies.

“I already said it that these people don’t come from the skies they are within us and most of the arrests that have been made in the towns and villages, they have relations in those communities and they visit them,” he said.

“As soon as we stop shielding these criminals, the sooner we will get the insecurity resolved in all our societies. We have so far improved on our intelligence gathering.”

 

In order to expose such criminals, Buratai expects people to disregard their relationship with them “no matter how tight and close” the relationship may be.

“Otherwise these criminals will one day turn against them,” he warned.

 

Successes

 

Since the army launched Operation Sahel Sanity it has announced successes several times and the army boss is impressed with the progress made so far.

His visit to Katsina is to access the progress of the operation, especially in Katsina and Zamfara states where the Special Army Super Camp is located, from where the operation is coordinated.

“I am impressed with the brief I had this afternoon with the level of commitment, dedication, and loyalty of the troops,” he said.

Under the operation, the army boss added, “The troops have shown courage and determination to resolve the security challenge that has bedevilled the region.

“They tamed to the barest minimum, the issues of kidnapping, cattle Rustling, armed banditry, and gunrunning across the border among others.”

He, however, does not want the army to slow down and decided to extend the operation to ensure that “the desired result is achieved”.

Apart from acknowledging the troops and the people of the region for their support so far, Buratai praised members of the press in Katsina and Zamfara states.

“Their reportage, commentaries, and general assessment have been quite encouraging,” he said.

On Saturday, September 5, 2020, that army announced that troops of Operation Sahel Sanity had over two months killed 100 armed bandits, arrested 148 of them, and recovered about 4,000 cattle.

In addition to that, a total of 3,984 cows, 1,627 sheep/rams, and three camels were recovered while 148 suspected bandits were arrested along with 315 illegal armed miners.

Vigilante Group Ambushes Suspected Kidnappers, Kills Three In Yobe

Yobe is situated in North-East Nigeria
A map of Yobe, a state in north-east Nigeria.

 

Police authorities in Yobe State say they have received the bodies of three suspected kidnappers killed by vigilante groups during an ambush.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Yobe, Dungus Abdulkarim, who confirmed the incident told Channels Television that the suspects were killed on Sunday morning.

He stated that while information on the attack was unclear at the time of this report, the police command was making efforts to get full details.

Abdulkarim said, “It was this morning (Sunday) we received information about an attack on a community under Murfa Kalam village where three suspected kidnappers were killed following an ambush by a vigilante group.

“Presently, the corpses have been deposited at a morgue in the Specialist Hospital in Damaturu while investigations are ongoing.”

A photo taken on August 30, 2020, shows the slain suspected kidnappers and others arrested by a vigilante group in Yobe State.

 

According to local sources, a group of armed men believed to be kidnappers had stormed Dungurum community in Murfa Kalam village.

During the attack on the community in Damaturu Local Government Area of the state, the assailants reportedly kidnapped one person.

On getting the information, the vigilante group in the area laid an ambush on the attackers, killing three of them in the process while others escaped.

Another source told Channels Television that three other suspects were arrested and have been handed over to the Nigerian Army.

However, the military authorities have yet to make any comment on the matter.

Kaduna Attacks: Police Deploy 500 Operatives, Arrest 217 Suspected Bandits And Kidnappers

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

 

The Police in Kaduna State have arrested 217 suspected bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements that have been terrorising people in various parts of the state.

The command also says that despite the recent attacks by gunmen in Kaura and Zango Kataf Local Government Areas of Kaduna, the security situation in the state has been relatively stabilised.

The State Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, who stated this when he paraded the suspects before journalists at the state command headquarters on Wednesday, also disclosed that no fewer than 500 conventional and Mobile policemen have been deployed to Zango Kataf and Kaura Local Government Areas to tighten security in the areas and prevent any further attacks.

He also said that 43 Ak-47 rifles and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects, in addition to the recovery of stolen vehicles, motorcycles, and fake currencies.

Read Also: Southern Kaduna Killings More Complicated Than Many Are Ready To Admit – Presidency

On Tuesday, the presidency reacted to the killings in the state, saying that it is more complicated than many people are willing to admit.

In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that the problem in southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.

He added that the region enjoys comprehensive security deployments, including the army, special forces of both the army and the Air Force, surveillance aircraft by the Air Force and mobile police units that are on the ground on a 24-hour basis to forestall criminality and keep the peace.

“Unlike other parts of the country, the problem of Southern Kaduna is more complicated than many critics are ready to acknowledge and understand.

Read Also: 11 Persons Killed in Another Kaduna Attack

“From available security records, the problem in Southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.

“It is a situation in which one criminal group will kill a member of another criminal group out of ethnic and religious motivations which in turn leads to the eruption of revenge and counter-revenge, thereby making the job of the security personnel deployed to protect lives more difficult,” the statement read in part.

The presidency, therefore, warned residents against taking laws into their own hands, adding that it makes the job of security personnel more difficult.

At least 11 people were reported killed by gunmen in an attack in Gora Gan Village of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Monday evening

The attack came barely 24 hours after 21 people were killed by bandits at Kukum Daji village in neighbouring Kaura Local Government Area.

Senate Recommends Life Imprisonment For Kidnappers, Removes Time Limit On Rape Cases

Lawmakers during plenary at the Senate chamber in Abuja February 12, 2020. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Senate has amended the Criminal Code Act which recommends life imprisonment for kidnappers and deletes the statute of limitations on cases of rape.

Section 218 of the Criminal Code Act (amended) removing the statute of limitations implies that the defilement cases can remain open for as long as possible against the earlier limitation of two months.

The Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.02) was sponsored by Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central Senatorial District) on September 24, 2019.

READ ALSO: Senate Passes Criminal Code Bill, Seeks Protection Of Mentally Challenged Persons

The Senate on Tuesday also eliminated the gender restrictions in the offence of rape as Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act defines rape as an offence against women.

It acknowledged that the male gender can also be victims.

Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matter, Opeyemi Bamidele in his presentation, explained that the aim of criminal law and criminal justice system is not only for punishment but also for deterrence, retribution, restoration and rehabilitation of offenders.

“And where the law fails to achieve any of these objectives, it becomes inherently defective, hence the need for the amendment/review of such law(s) to bring them into conformity with best practices.

“This amendment is a response to these anomalies and is also within the legislative powers of the National Assembly, to make laws that are responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people and to also amend obsolete laws that will enhance effective justice system and ensure good governance.

“Therefore, the amendment to the Criminal Code Act that is being proposed, is a welcome development to our criminal justice system”.

Senator Bamidele further noted that the proposition to delete statute of limitation on the prosecution of offences under section 218 and 221 of the Criminal Code Act, is a welcome development as the statute of limitation, placed on defilement and rape, negates the principles of natural law, equity and good conscience.

“There is no gainsaying the fact anyone who has carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of thirteen (13) or a girl being of or above the age of thirteen (13) and under the age of sixteen (16) or attempts to commit same offences, may not be punished, as the prosecution of such offence is barred after the expiration of two (2) months from the commission of the offence by virtue of the statute of limitation.

“Finally, they submitted that the frequency of kidnapping across the Federation and the resultant trauma, not to mention the number of lives lost to the crime, makes it imperative to review our laws with a view to ensuring appropriate punishment for perpetrators as well as serve as deterrence to would-be perpetrators.

“Thus, the passage of this Bill would proffer a life sentence for persons found guilty of kidnapping as against the provisions of section 364 of the Act, which proffer the punishment of imprisonment for a term of ten (10) years, where the offence of kidnapping is established”.

He added that Nigerians at the public hearing expressed divergent views as regards the proposed amendments in the bill.

Read Details Of The Bill Below:

REPORT OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND LEGAL MATTERS ON A BILL FOR AN ACT TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE ACT CAP. C.38 LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, 2004 TO DELETE THE STATUTE OF LIMITATION ON DEFILEMENT, INCREASE PUNISHMENT FOR THE OFFENCE OF KIDNAPPING, REMOVE GENDER RESTRICTIONS IN THE OFFENCE OF RAPE; AND FOR RELATED MATTERS.

1.0 BACKGROUND

The Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.02) was sponsored by Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central Senatorial District). The Bill was read for the First Time on Tuesday, 24th September 2019. On Tuesday, 26th November 2019, the Senate deliberated on the general principles of the Bill. After extensive debates, it was read the Second Time and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, for further legislative action, (vide Order of Referral dated Tuesday 26th November, 2019), to report back with its recommendations.

2.0 METHOD OF WORK

After the referral, the Committee held a series of meetings and agreed on the following legislative framework:

(a) to consult widely and seek views of stakeholders on the justifications for the passage of the Bill; and
(b) to resort to any other matter incidental thereto, which would assist the Committee in the discharge of its assignment.

3.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE BILL

Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, the objectives of the Bill, among others, are: to delete the statute of limitation on defilement in Sections 218 and 221 of the Criminal Code Act Cap. C.38 LFN, 2004 and amend the definition of rape in Section 357, and provide stringent punishment for the offence of kidnapping in section 364 of the Criminal Code Act.

4.0 LEGISLATIVE ACTION

In furtherance of this assignment, the Committee relied on the legislative framework, earlier agreed upon as the way forward. Accordingly, in addition to the wide consultations that were made with relevant stakeholders in order to elicit their inputs on the proposed legislation, the Committee also considered divergent views expressed by Distinguished Senators on the merits of the Bill during the Second Reading stage.

Mr President, Distinguished Colleagues, I wish to state here for the avoidance of doubt that, from views expressed on the Bill, there were opposing arguments on the passage of the Bill by the National Assembly. It will interest Distinguished Senators to note that the Committee subjected all the views canvassed for and against the passage of the Bill, taking into account, extant Laws on the subject matter. Below, are the highlights of the views expressed by stakeholders on the proposed legislation.

4.1 Highlights of Views

Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, let me commend once again, the Sponsor of the Bill for this laudable piece of legislative proposal. It is apposite to state that an effective criminal justice system, is fundamental to the maintenance of law and order and since criminal justice addresses behavioural issues, it must be dynamic and proactive.

The aim of criminal law and the criminal justice system is not only for punishment but also for deterrence, retribution, restoration and rehabilitation of offenders. And where the law fails to achieve any of these objectives, it becomes inherently defective, hence the need for the amendment/review of such law(s) to bring them into conformity with best practices. This amendment is a response to these anomalies and is also within the legislative powers of the National Assembly, to make laws that are responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people and to also amend obsolete laws that will enhance effective justice system and ensure good governance. Therefore, the amendment to the Criminal Code Act that is being proposed, is a welcome development to our criminal justice system.

Firstly, it should be noted that the proposition to delete statute of limitation on the prosecution of offences under section 218 and 221 of the Criminal Code Act, is a welcome development as the statute of limitation, placed on defilement and rape, negates the principles of natural law, equity and good conscience. There is no gainsaying the fact anyone who has carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of thirteen (13) or a girl being of or above the age of thirteen (13) and under the age of sixteen (16) or attempts to commit same offences, may not be punished, as prosecution of such offence is barred after the expiration of two (2) months from the commission of the offence by virtue of statute of limitation.

Secondly, the stakeholders contended that the use of the words “idiot or imbecile” in Section 221 of the Act, has pejorative connotations, which have become derogatory and obsolete. As such, their usage should no longer exist in our laws, hence the need for this amendment. This is also a welcome development and a modern trend in legislative drafting and best practice world over.

Furthermore, section 357 of the Criminal Code Act, defines rape as an offence against women. However, in recent times, there are incidences of non-consensual sex, perpetrated against the male gender. Therefore, the passage of this Bill will ensure that our laws and jurisprudence evolve in tandem with the rest of the world.

Finally, they submitted that the frequency of kidnapping across the Federation and the resultant trauma, not to mention the number of lives lost to the crime, makes it imperative to review our laws with a view to ensuring appropriate punishment for perpetrators as well as serve as deterrence to would-be perpetrators. Thus, the passage of this Bill would proffer a life sentence for persons found guilty of kidnapping as against the provisions of section 364 of the Act, which proffer the punishment of imprisonment for a term of ten (10) years, where the offence of kidnapping is established.

Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, at this juncture, we wish to state that a cross-section of stakeholders opposed the passage of the Bill, based on the substantive and procedural laws on the subject matter, hence, they submitted as follows:

Firstly, they stated that the statute of limitation, regarding the prosecution of the offence of defilement that must commence within two (2) months from the date the offence was committed, which is the absurdity that this Bill seeks to address, has been cured by virtue of section 45 (1) and (2) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015, as such, the amendment should be discountenanced. For the avoidance of doubt, the section provides as follows:

“(1) Any offence committed or proceedings instituted before the commencement of this Act under the provisions of the –
(a) Criminal Code, Cap. LFN, 2004
(b) Penal Code, LFN, 2004
(c) Criminal Procedure Code, Cap. LFN, 2004
(d) Any other law or regulation relating to any act of violence defined by this Act shall as the case may require to be enforced or continue to be enforced by the provisions of this Act.
(2) Any provision of the Act shall supersede any other provision on similar offences in the Criminal Code, Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code”.

Secondly, it was contended that since the Violence Against Persons Act, 2015, has addressed the gender neutrality issue on rape or defilement, as there is no longer distinction regarding the classification of all acts of sexual penetration of persons, such as rape or defilement in this Act, it is needless to amend the Criminal Code Act in that regard. Thus, section 1 (1) (a) of the Act, states as follows:

“1. (1) A person commits the offence of rape if –
(a) he or she intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his or her body or anything else”

From the standpoint of this provision, they argued that it is clear, gender neutrality introduced in the definition of rape in this Bill, has already been addressed, as such, the Criminal Code Act should not be amended.

Thirdly, they argued that the passage of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, has, in no small measure, helped in the administration of justice generally in the Federal Capital Territory and Federal Courts, across the country, which is the uniform procedural law that applies in these Courts. Therefore, stakeholders unanimously emphasised the urgent need to comprehensively and holistically review all obsolete existing criminal laws, including the Criminal Code Act and the Penal Code Act to pave way for uniformity and suitability in our country instead of embarking on a piecemeal amendment, as is being sought by this Bill; and

Finally, it was posited that in as much as the National Assembly has the power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation, it does not have the constitutional competence to legislate on crimes that do not fall within the contemplation of the Exclusive Legislative List. Hence, the National Assembly cannot amend the Criminal Code and Penal Code for the States.

5.0 OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS

Flowing from the analysis of submissions made by the stakeholders on the Bill and based on our subsequent consideration of the Bill in our mark–up session, the Committee hereby makes the following observations and findings:

1. That the introduction of the Bill is laudable and commendable as its passage into law, will address the lingering issues of status of limitation in the prosecution of rape/defilement cases and the incessant kidnapping menace, which are on the rise, in recent times;

2. That even though the statute of limitation has been deliberately omitted from the VAPP Act, 2015, which is the prevailing law on the subject matter, intended to give room for the prosecution of offences of this nature, it is not of general application. As such, this proposed amendment is a welcome development;

3. That by virtue of Section 315 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, dealing with savings and transitional provision, the National Assembly has the legislative competence to amend the Criminal Code Act as an Act of the National Assembly by its virtue of being in existing law;

4. That the National Assembly can amend the Criminal Code Act in line with the aforesaid provision, which gives it power to take over all existing laws, made prior to its existence, and subject such laws to necessary modifications in order to bring them into conformity with the Constitution;

5. That contrary to views canvassed by those opposing the passage of the Bill by the National Assembly, on the ground that its passage will usurp the powers of the States to legislate on the subject matter, it should be stated for the avoidance of doubt, that the proposed Bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code Act of 1916 and not Criminal Code Law of the States; and

6. That the Bill, when enacted, will be applied by the Federal High Court, in the southern part of the country, where the Criminal Code Act, is applicable and operational.

6.0 RECOMMENDATION

The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to which this Bill, was referred, having considered same, recommends as follows:

“That the Senate does pass the Criminal Code Act Cap. C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2020”.

WE SO MOVE.

7.0 CONCLUSION

On behalf of members of the Committee, I wish to express our gratitude for this opportunity to serve you, our colleagues and our nation, Nigeria.

Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
Chairman

Gunmen Kidnap 5 Brothers, One Other Person In Kaduna

Chief Imam’s Son, Two Others Kidnapped In Ogun Community
File photo

 

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted six people including five boys of the same parents in Gonin Gora area of Chikun local government area of Kaduna state.

The boys who are between the ages of 8 and 18 Years were abducted while they were sleeping in their home in the late hours of yesterday.

Their father, Mr Bamidele Awelewa who narrated how the incident happened, says the kidnappers gained access into his compound by breaking the fence and later forced themselves into the main building.

Armed with dangerous weapons, he explained that the kidnappers started beating his children before the miscreants whisked them all away.

READ ALSO: Troops Kill Several Insurgents, Bandits As Officer Dies

Awelewa further explained that he and his wife were later released by the kidnappers who instructed them to look for money to pay the ransom for the release of their five children or else they will be killed.

His wife who is still in shock over the incident appealed to the government to assist them to secure the release of their children.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Commissioner for internal security as well the Commissioner of Police has visited the family of the victims to commiserate with the family and also to get first-hand information about how the incident happened.

The Police commissioner while assuring the residents that everything is being done to tackle the problem of banditry and kidnapping in Chikun local government, also urged them to always provide the security agencies with useful information that will lead to the arrest of criminal elements in the area.

Police Rescue Kidnapped Benue State Director, Arrest Suspects

Benue State Director of treasury, Mr Geoffrey Agada, flanked by sympathisers after being rescued by a police team.

 

The Benue State Director of Treasury, Mr Geoffrey Agada, who was kidnapped by a five-man syndicate from his home in Makurdi on Thursday has been rescued by the police.

The kidnappers had made a demand of N50 million as ransom before the victim would be released.

Presenting the victim to Governor Samuel Ortom at the government house on Sunday, the state commissioner of police, Mr Mohammed Mukadass said, Mr Agada was rescued after a gun battle with the kidnappers, leading to some arrest and the recovery of one AK47 rifle.

“About three days ago, Mr Agada was kidnapped by gunmen at around 5pm. We have been working round the clock to see how we can rescue him unhurt and alive; they made a demand of about N50 million but we played with time and worked on credible intelligence and we had an encounter with them and Mr Agada has been rescued.

“No ransom was paid, and we are still investigating and looking for more of the suspects,” he added.

READ ALSO: Buhari Replaces Security Officials Over Release Of 295 Smuggled Petroleum Tankers

Governor Ortom who spoke on the development thanked the police for the rescue operation without paying a ransom to the criminals.

“Agada is one of my most dedicated staff In the finance department of Benue state.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the commissioner of police for the wonderful work they are doing to stamp out criminality.”

He vowed to strengthen the state anti-kidnapping law and increase support to security agencies to support their operations.

NSCDC Arrests Four Suspected Kidnappers In Adamawa

 

Four suspected notorious kidnappers have been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in Adamawa State.

Parading the suspects before newsmen, Commandant of the NSCDC, Nurudeen Abdullahi, said they were arrested in Mubi by men of his Command following a tip-off.

According to him, the suspects were arrested in a sting operation by his personnel in collaboration with Pulako Tabitha, a Fulani vigilante outfit in Mubi, Adamawa State.

“After a tip-off, we were able to nab these people on Friday, January 17, 2020. The suspects are Ibrahim Usman, Musa Audu, and Saidu Dahiru.

“All the suspects confessed to have carried out several kidnapping activities. The suspects are now under our investigations department for further interrogation, after which their case will be forwarded to the office of the Director, Public prosecution for advice and legal action,” he added.

READ ALSO: Kidnappings: Security Operatives Kill Notorious Bandit In Katsina

 

 

According to sources, their leader who is alleged to be from Madagali local government is suspected to be behind kidnapping activities in the area.

One of the suspects who confirmed his involvement in a series of kidnappings around Mubi and its environs confessed that he was given N50,000 by their leader each time they kidnap their victims.

He further revealed that their leaders always retreat to Cameroon with their weapons after a successful operation.

“We have been carrying out kidnappings around Mubi. We are only invited to participate after which we are given N50,000 each for the operation.

“We don’t know how much they collect as ransom and they retrieve the weapons we use immediately after the operation and relocate to Cameroon.”

The NSCDC boss, however, appealed to the people to avail security agencies with vital information concerning strange activities in their neighbourhood.

“The NSCDC is calling the public to give us credible information about any suspected person and be security conscious,” he said.