Troops Kill ‘Kidnap Kingpin’ In Akwa Ibom, Recover Weapons

This photo, released by the Nigerian Army on May 19, 2022, shows the hideout of an alleged kidnap kingpin, Mr Otobong Moses alias Oto Abasi.
This photo, released by the Nigerian Army on May 19, 2022, shows the hideout of an alleged kidnap kingpin, Mr Otobong Moses alias Oto Abasi.

 

Troops have eliminated “a notorious kidnapper and gang leader” in Akwa Ibom state, Mr Otobong Moses alias Oto Abasi.

He was killed in a raid carried out by troops of 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army in conjunction with the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as other security agencies.

According to a statement signed by army spokesperson Akari Idereghi, the raid was carried out at Obong Ebot community in Etim Ekpo LGA of Akwa Ibom State “at the early hours of Wednesday 18 May 2022.”

“The raid operation was as a result of a sustained surveillance on the activities of the notorious kingpin and his syndicate,” the statement added.

READ ALSO: Police Parade Suspected Kidnappers Of Greenfield Students

“The first phase of the operations was conducted on 12 May 2022. During the operations, troops raided the criminals hideout but on sighting the troops the criminals abandoned their hideout and fled. The gallant troops rescued the kidnapped victims and arrested two collaborators of the criminal kingpin while the shrine, hideout and assorted charms were set ablaze by the troops.

“Further investigation revealed that the criminal gang is known for terrorising the locals, kidnapping, killing and burying their victims who do not do their biddings in shallow graves in the general area.

“Items recovered from the raid include; one Sub Machine Gun and magazine, 67 rounds of 9MM ammunition, two motorcycles, 16 mobile phones, one AK 47 rifle magazine with 30 rounds of 7.62MM Special ammunition, nine machetes, two military monkey jackets and one helmet strapped with military camouflage uniform. Others include; 2 pairs of military camouflage uniform, one military police beret, one police camouflage face cap, one military pull over, ATM card, two TV sets, a standing fan, decoder and four generator sets.

“The good people of Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun LGAs and indeed the entire Akwa Ibom State are enjoined to go about their lawful business. However, those who are bent on disturbing the peace enjoyed in the state are advised to desist or prepare to face the wrath of the law.”

Alleged Kidnapping: Court Dismisses Move By Evans’s Co-Defendant To Stop Trial

A file photo of a court gavel.
A court gavel.

 

A Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in the Ikeja area has dismissed a no-case submission by one Victor Aduba, arraigned alongside kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, for Kidnapping.

In her ruling delivered on Friday, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo held that the state government had established a prima facie case linking the defendant to the crime, which makes it necessary for him to open his defense.

Aduba, a dismissed soldier of the Nigerian Army and Evans, were arraigned by the Lagos State Government on allegations of kidnapping a businessman, Sylvanus Ahamonu and collecting a $420,000 ransom from his family.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In his no-case submission application, counsel to Aduba, Emmanuel Ochai, had argued that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendant. He asked the court to dismiss the charge against his client.

The prosecutor, Yusuf Sule, on his part asked the court to determine whether the evidence adduced by him had sufficiently linked the defendant to the alleged offences.

In her ruling on the application on Friday, Justice Taiwo held, “I have carefully considered the submissions of the prosecution and the defence.

“The court, at this stage, is not to review evidence of the prosecution but to see whether the prosecution has enough evidence before the court to warrant the defendant to defend himself.

“Evidence of the prosecution shows that it has sufficiently proven a prima facie case against the defendant and the defendant has a case to answer.

“I hereby dismiss the application of the defence, and order that the defendant should open his defence,” the judge held.

Background

In Dec 2021, Sylvanus and his wife, Chimebere Ahamonu, had testified virtually about how Evans and his gang kidnapped him on June 23, 2014, on Kara Road off Osolo Way, Ajao Estate, Lagos.

The couple narrated how they sold properties, borrowed money, and raised funds from family and well wishers to attempt to raise the initial $2 million ransom that was demanded by Evans.

Sylvanus, who said his hands and legs were chained throughout his two months in captivity, said he was only released when the family paid Evans the $420,000 ransom. He said by this time, he was at the point of death.

On Feb 4, 2022, Evans, who is the first defendant in the case, opened his defence and denied kidnapping Ahamonu and collecting $420,000 as ransom from the businessman’s family.

On Feb 25, 2022, Justice Hakeem Oshodi sentenced Evans and two others to life imprisonment for the kidnap of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, Donatus Dunu.

The court held that there was insufficient evidence to link the only woman in the group, Ogechi Uchechukwu, with the office and she and two other former soldiers of the Nigerian Army, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba, were acquitted and discharged on the offence.

Evans is, however, still facing four other kidnapping charges before other judges of the Lagos High Court

Niger Government Reiterates Commitment To End Banditry

Niger State is in northcentral Nigeria.

 

Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State has reiterated the determination of his administration to end insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other criminal vices in the state.

He made the declaration during a press briefing on Thursday at the government house in Minna, saying that the situation has remained a nightmare for the state government despite doing a lot.

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mary Noel-Berje, who spoke to journalists on behalf of the governor explained that the state in collaboration with the military and other security agencies are doing all it can in order to reverse the trend.

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Mary further noted that the governor has supported the entire security apparatus with logistics and other welfare packages to achieve effective operation.

The governor who expressed worry over the high rate of humanitarian needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), appealed to the Federal Government, corporate organisations, and donor agencies to join forces to ameliorate the plight of those affected.

Kidnappings: Oyo, Ogun Govs Establish Joint Security Committee, Patrol Team

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and his Ogun State counterpart, Dapo Abiodun during the joint security meeting.

 

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and his Ogun State counterpart, Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday held an inaugural joint security meeting and established a security committee and patrol team.

The governors also established a Joint Border Security Task Force with membership drawn from various security agencies in each state, to patrol boundary communities and ensure the security of lives and property for residents and commuters.

Governor Makinde in his speech at the security meeting held in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital said the establishment of the joint task force was necessary to end banditry and kidnapping in boundaries shared by the two states.

“We came here to initiate a collaborative effort between our two states because it is the right thing to do and absolutely important, we do it. In recent times, we have seen cases of kidnapping. So, if it is not a big concern to the leadership of the two states, then we won’t be here also with our service commanders because we have quite a bit to do.

“I am happy that this is not about partisan politics. My brother is from the APC and I am from PDP. We are having security issues along our common borders. Today, we have APC and PDP governors and we are here to collaborate, what we hope to achieve is a long-lasting solution that will benefit the good people of both states,” Makinde said.

The governors resolved that the members of the joint task force would be trained and oriented on the rule of engagement to prevent unwholesome practices, adding that collaboration on emergencies/distress calls on the highways in the two states, intelligence-gathering and sharing on security issues, and effective engagement and collaboration with all stakeholders including the Federal Government will also come with the joint security effort.

The Ogun State Governor, Abiodun, said the joint security meeting is deepened in history, common heritage, and cultural affinity, noting that the realisation of the need to put a stop to the recurring challenge of herders/farmers clashes, kidnapping, and other nefarious activities around boundary communities in the two states, led to the institution of the collaborative effort.

“This collaboration is peculiar not just because Oyo State is our neighbour, but the largest by the landmass of the six South-Western States and the political capital of the Zone. Thus, whatever happens in Oyo State could easily have ripple effects on the other five States.

“No doubt, each of our two states has its peculiar security challenges which the respective State Governments have been tackling through internal security architecture.

“We appreciate the fact that there is no way development in one of our two states will not have a spiral effect on the other state, especially through our border communities.

“With this partnership, between our two states, an enduring peace and security that will promote sustainable economic development that will engender individual prosperity of both our people in Ogun and Oyo States,” Abiodun said.

A communique issued at the end of the joint security meeting and signed by the duo of Makinde and Abiodun indicated that the joint security was at the instance of the two governors and that it was convened to discuss common issues affecting the safety of lives and properties in the neighbouring states.

The communique read in part: “Whilst noting and commending existing measures put in place by the two Governors to eradicate or at least minimise crimes and ensure peace and safety of lives and property in their respective states, the meeting, noted that the shared objective of ensuring peace and security is being undermined by the criminal activities in the communities along the common boundaries of Ogun and Oyo states.

“The meeting agreed to implement the following initiatives in the short term; threat assessment and analysis along the border corridors; deployment of CCTV on the interstate highways; harmonisation and mainstreaming of voluntary police and informal security outfits; timeous and diligent prosecution of criminals to signify the resolve of the governments of both states to clamp down on criminality.”

Troops Rescue Abducted Polytechnic Students At ‘Abandoned Poultry Farm’

The Military on January 13, 2022, said it had rescued three abducted students of the Plateau State Polytechnic.
The Military on January 13, 2022, said it had rescued three abducted students of the Plateau State Polytechnic.

 

Three Plateau State Polytechnic students abducted on Wednesday have been rescued unhurt by troops of Operation Safe Haven.

The students were kidnapped by gunmen at Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state.

But in a statement on Thursday signed by the military information officer of Operation Safe Haven, Major Ishaku Takwa, the troops deployed at Nding Sesut noticed an unusual movement of persons during patrols and immediately conducted cordon and search in the general area.

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The search, the military spokesman said, led to the rescue of the abducted students at an abandoned poultry farm.

The rescued students have since been reunited with their families while a manhunt is ongoing to apprehend the gunmen behind the kidnapping, the military said.

Channels Television had earlier reported that the students, two females and one male, were abducted from one of the private hostels known as the ‘Plateau Embassy’ in the polytechnic.

Deputy Speaker House Of Reps Accuses Police Of Releasing Arrested Bandits

Honourable Wase, the Deputy Speaker on Thursday clanged his gavel twice in favour of the nays, despite a resounding vote by the ayes in the House who were in support of transmuting electoral results electronically.
File photo: Honourable Idris Wase, the Deputy Speaker.

 

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase, has accused police officers of sabotaging the fight against bandits.

According to the lawmaker, these officers play the Judas by releasing arrested marauders.

Moving a motion on the floor of the House on Tuesday, Mr Wase said the killings in his constituency, have become outrageous as he claimed that the police have been conniving with suspected bandits carrying out the gruesome murders.

READ ALSOInsecurity: Buhari Has Done His Best, Expecting More From Him Is Like Kicking A Dead Horse – Obasanjo

The deputy speaker, who represents Wase Federal Constituency of Plateau State, cited a case of abduction of his driver’s wife, noting that the suspect was arrested, but released by the police.

“The security is not helping in this situation. I will give two or three instances; that is why I am concerned. Citizens are making efforts through vigilantes and other operations,” he asserted.

“The kidnap of my district head’s wife by kidnappers — when they took her, the vigilantes went up to Taraba to get those bandits. As I am talking to you, those bandits have been released by the police.

“Secondly, of recent, there was an arrest of somebody who was found to be conniving with bandits in my own locality. He made a confession which was on video and it went viral. As I am talking to you, that person has been released.

“There is a case — one of my nephews working in Kaduna that was taken by bandits to far away Birnin Gwari. The combined forces of the air force went there and rescued him. They were able to arrest them. Among the people that did that dastardly act was a member of his household. Mr Speaker, the police released all those people arrested.

“I took my time to visit Governor el-Rufai and mentioned the matter to him. He took it upon himself. The next thing was that the counsel to the state called my nephew that the matter has been spoiled by the police. Even the person investigating the case has been removed from the case.

“Mr Speaker, I think we are drifting. I saw a video yesterday of two police officers who were dismissed by the police because they came here (Nasarawa) to arrest armed robbers. They were offered N8 million to release the robbers.

“As I am talking to you, this morning, the army wanted to take them for profiling but the DPO who had released them is enjoying himself in Nasarawa.”

The deputy speaker, who sponsored a motion of urgent public importance on the need to halt “wanton killings and kidnappings”, said it is sad that lawmakers can only give directives, adding that it is disheartening for suspects to just paraded, without further proper prosecutions that will lead to a conviction.

30 Suspected Kidnappers Arrested, Imo Traditional Ruler Rescued

 

Some 30 suspected kidnappers and criminals have been arrested in Imo state, Channels Television can report.

The criminals were arrested during a Monday raid, by a joint security team, on camps in Orsu local government and Uli community in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state.

A traditional ruler who was kidnapped in Okigwe local government area on Sunday, Acho Ndukwe of Ihube autonomous community, was also released during the raid.

READ ALSO: Panic Grips Zamfara Communities As Gunmen Impose Over N1m Levy

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the other kidnapped traditional ruler of Ihitte Ihube autonomous community, Paul Ogbu, have not been made known.

The gunmen were said to have invaded the palaces at about 12am on Sunday, abducted both monarchs, and set their palaces ablaze.

The incident happened 48 hours after a traditional ruler in Atta autonomous community in Njaba local government area, also of Imo State, was abducted and murdered.

The traditional ruler of Mbutu community who was kidnapped last week was rescued by the police unhurt on Saturday.

Kidnapping is rife in parts of Imo State and the South-East.

Authorities have blamed the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN) members for much of the violent crimes in the region.

Uzodinma reacts

Reacting to Monday’s arrests, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma commended security agencies for their work.

According to Uzodinma, the arrests were a sign the new strategy for combating insecurity in the state was working.

“I want to commend the security agencies in Imo State, the DSS, the army, the navy, the police, the civil defense, all of them, for putting their heads together and making sure that, at least, Imo people come home to celebrate Christmas,” the Governor said.

“It has been been a great thing of worry, wondering how entire local governments like Orsu local government would be abandoned in the hands of criminals and cannibals.

“From what we have seen, you will agree with me that these are criminals and bandits who have no future, no plan, who are killing human beings and roasting human beings, eating human beings, cannibals. How else are we supposed to treat these kinds of idiots, if not to ensure that the law takes its course.

“Oftentimes we discuss our strategies and before they will be implemented, it is foiled by the group. Because of mutual suspicion, we have agreed to only discuss at the end of every operation.

“I don’t want to encourage security agencies to tell anybody how they intend to continue this fight. But I know the new strategy is working and my government will give them every support they need to ensure that there is peace in Imo State and then Imo people will be better off for it.”

Evans To Know Fate On February 25, Four Years After Arrest

'Provide A Counsel', Judge Tells Evans As Lawyer Fails To Appear
A combination of file photos of a court gavel and Evans.

 

The Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has fixed February 25, 2022, to deliver judgment in the case of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, also known as, Evans and five others charged with conspiracy and kidnapping.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi fixed the date after lawyers to Evans and his co-defendants argued and adopted their final written addresses on Friday. The suspect was arrested in June 2017.

The Lagos State government had arraigned Evans alongside Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, and Victor Aduba for allegedly kidnapping the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, Donatus Dunu February 14, 2017.

Evans is also facing similar charges before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo and Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the same court.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

READ ALSO: Evans Loses N200m Suit Against Police In Appeal Court

While arguing his final written address, Evans’ lawyer, Victor Opara, urged the court to discharge and acquit his client of the crimes.

Opara argued that there was no direct evidence linking Evans to the alleged crimes and that the alleged victim of the crime did not identify the defendant as the perpetrator of the crimes.

“The victim said he was blindfolded throughout his 88-day ordeal, he did not state to the court in his testimony that he could physically identify Evans,” he said. “There is also the fatality of the prosecution’s case that there was no identification parade to identify the first defendant (Evans).

“There was no evidence before your lordship to show that PW2 (Dunu) had a clear opportunity of identifying the first defendant.”

But the prosecutor, Adebayo Haroun, urged the court to convict the defendants as charged, saying “when a man has confessed to a crime, you do not need an identification parade”.

“There is direct evidence of PW2 (Dunu) testifying of how he was kidnapped, how he escaped, and the roles each of the defendants played,” he submitted.

“We have circumstantial evidence linking the first defendant (Evans) to the crime, and we also have confessional statements and video recordings of him. We urge your lordship to convict the defendants as charged.”

The prosecution had alleged that Dunu was kidnapped on Ilupeju Road in Lagos State and the defendants collected 223,000 euros as ransom from his family.

It closed its case against the defendants on January 10, 2020, after presenting four witnesses, including Dunu.

The defence, on the other hand, closed its case on August 3, 2020, after the six defendants testified.

Police Arrest 32 Suspects Over Kidnapping, Armed Robbery

The police on November 30, 2021, paraded 32 suspects for different crimes including kidnapping and armed robbery.
The police on November 30, 2021, paraded 32 suspects for different crimes including kidnapping and armed robbery.

 

The police on Tuesday said it has arrested a total of 32 notorious suspects for their complicity in the crimes of kidnapping, armed robbery, arms smuggling, illegal possession of weapons, trading in illicit drugs, trans-border car theft, rape, amongst others.

The Police team equally recovered 19 AK47 rifles, one GPMG, three revolver rifles, two G-3 rifles, one SMG, one berretta pistol, 453 rounds of live ammunition of different calibre, 12 magazines and 17 stolen cars from the criminals during the follow-up investigations, a statement signed by spokesman Frank Mba said.

“Notable amongst the cases is the arrest of six (6) notorious criminals involved in car theft in different parts of the country particularly Nasarawa, Port-Harcourt, FCT, Kebbi and Zamfara,” the statement said.

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“These suspects smuggle the stolen cars through our international borders and deliver same to a major criminal receiver called Alhaji Garuba (still at large) in Niger Republic. Investigations revealed that the modus operandi of the suspects include snatching the cars at gun point and sometimes removing the cars from where parked especially crowded car parks like the Cinema, Church and Mosque.

“These cars are sold in neighbouring countries at give-away prices and sometimes delivered to Alhaji Garuba in exchange for illicit weapons. The INTERPOL unit of the Nigeria Police is already working with their counterparts in Niger Republic to arrest the fleeing suspects in order to bring them to book.

“Secondly, is the arrest of one 27yrs-old Dayyabu Mohammed of Soba LGA of Kaduna State for illegal possession of five (5) AK47 rifles and 250 rounds of AK47 ammunition. The suspect was arrested during a crackdown on bandits at Saminaka Forest in kaduna State by operatives of STS. Investigation shows that Dayyabu Mohammed is an arms supplier to two (2) identified and wanted bandits in the North West and North Central parts of the country.

“The two bandit kingpins are Yellow and Budderi. Dayyabu Mohammed was intercepted while ferrying the weapons from Jos, Plateau State in a Golf-3 saloon car to the Bandit in their hideouts located in a forest at Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna State. Investigations by the Police team revealed that the Golf-3 saloon car was given to Dayyabu as his operational vehicle by one of the wanted bandits, with a promise that the full ownership of the vehicle will revert to him on completion of five successful arms delivery missions.

“Also, is the arrest of the perpetrators of a recent deadly attack on travellers in the Tafa axis of the Kaduna – Abuja highway where two (2) women and their husbands were abducted by the criminals into the forest. The operatives of the Special Tactical Squad deployed to that area were quickly mobilized and went after the suspects to rescue the victims. The Police operatives eventually identified the hideout of the criminals, launched a rescue mission and successfully rescued the hostages, including the women, unhurt.

“The operatives equally apprehended a gang of six; Mohammed lawali, Suleiman Ibrahim, Mohammed Rebo, Bashir Audu, Monsoru Abubakar and Abubakar Hamidu, in connection with the attack on a Mosque in Mazakuka area in Mashegu LGA in Niger State where eighteen (18) people were reportedly killed and more than thirty (30) abducted. Investigations by the Police team revealed that the gang leader, Mohammed lawali and some of the gang members are escapees from the Lokoja correctional centre. Bashir Audu was arrested for his criminal role of supplying hard drugs to the gang. Two (2) AK47 rifles, three (3) fully-loaded magazines and various parcels of hard drugs were recovered from them.

“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc while commending the team for the successful operations, assures the nation that the Force would continue to close-up on these criminal elements who pose threats to our national security. The IGP calls on members of the public who are victims of car theft to visit the STS office at Guzape, Abuja with proof of ownership to claim the vehicles bearing in mind that the colour, interior and vehicle number plate might have been tampered with.

“All the suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigations.”

Police Parade 48 Suspects For Various Crimes In FCT

Police display some of the weapons seized from various crime suspects in the FCT

 

Police in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have paraded 48 suspects for various crimes including kidnapping, armed robbery and burglary.

The Force Public Relations, CP Frank Mba, who paraded the suspects at the Intelligence Response Team office in Abuja on Tuesday, said a total of 28 assorted weapons including laptops and phones were recovered from the suspects.

The weapons include nine AK-49 rifles, three AK-47, 495 AK-47 live ammunition and 10 laptops.

The suspects paraded include a 36-year-old man, Abubakar Haliru, who was said to have kidnapped his cousin, one 48-year-old Binta Muhammed in Jigawa State.

According to CP Mba, Binta had given Haliru money to purchase four tricycles, but instead of buying the tricycles, he decided to connive with a gang of kidnappers to abduct her.

He said Binta was, however, rescued by men of the Intelligence Response Team.

Another gang of kidnappers said to be operating in the northwest and north-central states was also paraded.

According to the Force PRO, the gang is responsible for the kidnap of one Reverend Father Tony Bawa in Kushin Makaranta area of the state.

Banditry: Kaduna To Shut Down Telecoms Services In Some LGAs For Military Operations

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

 

The Kaduna State government has informed residents of the state of plans to shut down telecommunication services in some parts of the state due to insecurity. 

The state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai,  who made the announcement during a media chat with some local radio stations in the state, said the planned shutdown of telecommunication services is because of the plan by security agencies to launch a massive attack on bandits taking refuge in some parts of the state.

El-Rufai explained that the shutdown would not cover the entire state. He, however, did not mentions the LGAs that would be affected, saying it would only affect local government areas bordering the troubled Zamfara and Katsina states.

He said, “We have been advised by the military and other security agencies to shut down telecommunication services in certain LGAs but we are waiting for the security agencies to tell us which specific areas and when.

“But I want the people of Kaduna State to know that if they give us the go-ahead tomorrow, we will shut down tomorrow.

“There is no doubt that bandits and other criminals rely on telecommunication to communicate with their informants as well as with relatives of kidnapped victims so as to demand ransom.”

The governor said he had already written to the Federal Government on the shutdown which he said had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I will not mention the LGAs to be affected but the local governments that are constantly being tormented by bandits know themselves,” he said.

Kaduna, like most states in the North-West zone, has been affected by banditry and kidnapping, especially in  Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi, Kajuru, Kachia, and Zaria local government areas.

According to Governor El-Rufai, due to the shutdown of telecommunication services in Zamfara and Katsina states, some bandits crossed over to neighbouring local government areas in Kaduna to make phone calls and demand ransoms.

He also disclosed that Kaduna State Government has established a task force that will go round the hinterlands to monitor compliance with some of the security measures adopted by the state to tackle banditry and kidnappings. These measures include the closure of some fuel stations and markets to strangulate bandits in the forest.

While advising residents on the need to identify and report informants or accomplices of bandits, El-Rufai urged residents to report anyone who comes to buy between 20 to 100 loaves of bread to security agents.

12 Killed As Gunmen Attack Kaduna Community

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

 

No fewer than 12 people have been killed following an attack by gunmen on Peigyim village, near Kibori at Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the attack in a statement on Monday.

He explained that the gunmen invaded the community on Sunday night and opened fire on the residents, leading to the death of 12 locals.

While two other residents who were injured during the attack have been taken to a hospital for treatment, security operatives were reported to be combing the area with a view to arresting the perpetrators.

In his reaction, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the attack and condoled with the grieving families of the victims.

He also prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed and wished those injured a quick recovery.

The attack comes barely 24 hours after a pastor of the ECWA Church was murdered in the same community.

Kaduna is one of the states in the North-West and North-Central that have been caught up in violence from heavily armed criminal gangs who loot villages, steal cattle, and carry out mass kidnappings.

The violence has its roots in years-long tensions and tit-for-tat raids between farmers and nomadic herders over grazing land and water resources.

The criminal gangs, also known as bandits, often attack in large numbers and arrive on motorbikes.

Typically motivated by financial gain, they have been targeting schools and colleges, kidnapping students and pupils for ransom.

On their part, security forces have carried out operations and airstrikes on the camps of the criminals which are hidden deep in the forests that span Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, and Niger States.

This is, however, not enough to stop the violence from escalating.

While the Federal Government warned that paying ransoms would provoke more kidnappings, authorities in some states have tried to negotiate amnesty deals to stop the attacks.

But those accords have failed most of the time.