11 Burnt Beyond Recognition In Kogi Crash

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

Eleven persons have been burnt beyond recognition in a multiple crash along Ejule-Ochadamu by Olofu Bridge, Ochadamu area of Kogi State.

The Federal Road Safety Corps disclosed this in a statement on Thursday, saying, the unfortunate mishap involved 20 vehicles.

FRSC Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, described the crash as avoidable and unfortunate, calling on drivers to regularly maintain their vehicles.

“The crash investigation team revealed that the fatal crash involved a total of 18 people. Out of the number, a total of seven victims comprising three males and four females sustained various degrees of injuries, while the remaining 11 whose sexuality could not be ascertained at the time of carrying out the rescue were burnt beyond recognition,” the statement read.

“The investigation further revealed that the main causes of the crash and subsequent fire outbreak that claimed the innocent lives of the victims are road obstruction and break failure; a mechanical deficiency that impacted negatively on the functionality of the braking system of the vehicle.

“As at the time of this statement, the emergency rescue team of the Corps has concluded the rescue of the injured persons to the hospital while the burnt victims were also evacuated.”

He said the FRS acting Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu, has deployed personnel to ensure prompt clearing of obstructions and free flow of traffic on the affected part of the road.

While decrying the dangers and damages that come from poor vehicle maintenance, wanton neglect of signs and warnings about mechanical deficiencies in the vehicle and driving against the legal speed limit, the Acting Corps Marshal further directed Commanding Officers to intensify sensitization and routine inspection for all fleet operators nationwide.

He equally urged the public to always patronize the FRSC toll-free line 122 and the National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM which are always available for all road users to report emergencies at any given time.

Flooding: Kogi Government Seeks External Intervention

 

The Commissioner for Environment, Kogi State, Hon Victor Omofaye has pleaded with the Federal Government and other international bodies to come to the aid of the state amidst the flood crisis.

Omofaye made this appeal during Channels Television’s flagship programme Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

At least six people, including a toddler, were reported to have died in Kogi’s worst-hit Ibaji district, which the state Governor Yahaya Bello said was “100% underwater”.

The Commissioner lauded the proactive measures taken by the state government to halt the flood advances but insisted the fight can only be won with the support of foreign and individual stakeholders.

“You know that the state government alone cannot do it alone and that is why we are calling on the Federal Government and even international donors well spirited persons in the society to come to our aid in relocating thousands of people,” he said.

“The state government under the leadership of our able governor Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello has quickly set up a committee under the supervision of the deputy governor who has in the same way quickly put up a situation room and as we speak, all the data is being collected there.”

“Kogi government can’t do this alone and the governor explained while restoring the affected persons in the camps; he told them that we have efforts to move these people to a safer place and that is what we are currently doing that is why I told you we have a committee in place now; we are working round it to endure that this is done as soon as possible,” Omofaye explained

Speaking further on the government’s effort to prevent a future occurrence, Omolaye claimed early sensitization has been key to the low mortality rate with effective collaboration from federal agencies as well as NGOs.

“Flooding in Kogi State, we have 3 stages; we have before, during, and after.
The before aspect of it is when we carry out awareness, sensitization and what have you and so now we are faced with this flooding. Presently, the people who have sensitized earlier are being moved to higher ground and that is why we have not experienced the outcry of a high-level of death rate.

“The government is so proactive in ensuring that people living along the coastal area are being given earlier warnings, earlier sensitization to quickly move to higher ground the moment they experience this and with the cooperation of NEMA and SEMA, we have been working in conjunction with even non-governmental organizations to see that this menace is being tackled.”

Declare Kogi National Disaster Zone

Earlier, Yahaya Bello had asked President Muhammadu Buhari during the 62nd Independence anniversary to declare the state a national disaster zone following the flooding.

According to him, the declaration will help to unlock the nation’s capabilities to respond more aggressively with resources to this perennial disaster.

He stated that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had earlier predicted that the 2022 floods will be heavier than usual, lamenting that the flood has affected Lokoja, Kogi-Koto, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, Ibaji and Omala local government areas which lie along the Rivers Niger and Benue.

The 2022 floods, Bello added, have been confirmed as Nigeria’s worst flood disaster that has surpassed the 2012 and 2018, stressing that his administration implemented Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) with efforts ongoing to evacuate victims to safer habitats.

Fire Razes Kogi Assembly Complex

The razed portion of the Kogi State House of Assembly complex. 

 

Fire on Monday razed the Kogi State House of Assembly hallow chamber.

The cause of the inferno could, however, not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.

It took the intervention of the Dangote Group firefighters who battled the fire for two hours, thus preventing the fire from escalating to the entire House of Assembly.

Speaking to Channels Television, one of the security guards in the Assembly said that the fire started in the middle of the night, but it was noticeable around  7 a.m on Monday.

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Part of the Assembly mostly affected by the fire is the Hallow Chamber, press gallery, and some offices razed down completely.

The Speaker of the House, Prince Mathew Kolawole, and the State Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara, were among the top government officials who visited the scene.

Kolawole, who spoke to journalists in Lokoja, said that he suspects sabotage. He, however, said he does not know where the suspected sabotage might be from.

Asked whether it might have been linked with the recent happening between the Assembly and Dangote Group, the Speaker said that is left to the security agencies to determine from their investigation.

“We should leave security people to do their work and give us a report going forward,” the Speaker said.

Reacting to the incident, the Kogi State Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja, said the state government cannot determine the causes of the fire outbreak at the Assembly until the security agents complete their investigation.

Admitting that the Assembly suffered colossal damage as a result of the inferno, Onoja said the state government has directed a full investigation, assuring that very soon the remote cause will be unravelled.

He stressed that the fire incident that affected the Assembly is the first in the life of the current administration under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello.

According to the deputy governor, the state government will provide an avenue for the members of the Assembly to continue their legislative assignments as spelt out by law.

Onoja also assured that the Bello administration will continue to fight for the right of the citizens, saying the government will not relent in its effort to develop the state.

Mysterious Death Claims Nine Family Members In Kogi

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

For the second time within days, nine family members have died mysteriously in Kogi State.

The incident happened on Monday in Nagazi, under Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State

The latest incident is coming a few days when four family members died mysteriously in Mopa-Muro, Local Government Area of Kogi State at the weekend.

READ ALSO: Men Allegedly Inject Children For Begging, Arrested In Lagos

It was gathered on Monday evening that, the incident in Nagazi saw five family members dying at a spot before four were rushed to the hospital.

Sources told our correspondent that the remaining four later died at an undisclosed hospital in the area.

A family source who begged anonymity said the father of the deceased victims has been arrested while the mother is still receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

He said they are yet to know the actual cause of the deaths as they are suspecting food poisoning or a spiritual attack.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, William Ovye Aya confirmed the incident to our correspondent in Lokoja via telephone.

According to him, the State Police Command is working hard to unravel the cause of the death, saying an investigation is ongoing.

Flooding: Yahaya Bello Asks Buhari To Declare Kogi National Disaster Zone

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare Kogi a national disaster zone following the flooding that has rendered many households and communities homeless.

Bello made the appeal on Saturday during the 62nd independence anniversary with the state government’s special focus on the flood disaster that has ravaged nine local government areas of Kogi.

According to him, the declaration will help to unlock the nation’s capabilities to respond more aggressively with resources to this perennial disaster.

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He stated that the  Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) have earlier predicted that the 2022 floods will be heavier than usual, lamenting that the flood has affected Lokoja, Kogi-Koto, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, Ibaji and Omala local government areas which lie along the Rivers Niger and Benue.

The 2022 floods, Bello added, have been confirmed as Nigeria’s worst flood disaster that has surpassed the 2012 and 2018, stressing that his administration implemented Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) with efforts ongoing to evacuate victims to safer habitats.

In the short term, Bello explained that his administration is providing affected persons and communities with shelter at the various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps, as well as security, food, medicines, clothing and cash grants for necessities, maintaining that in the long term, the state government will need to gear efforts towards more sustainable solutions where possible.

He equally solicited assistance from the National Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Services, Disaster Management and Social Development to cushion the effect of the flood.

Speaking on the lasting solution to end the perennial flooding, the governor said there is a set of common sense and civil engineering solutions to the problem of flooding which could bring permanent solutions, noting that his administration has tried some of the solutions with varying degrees of success.

He added that despite all the efforts, the state continues to harvest an endless cycle of flood disasters every year, noting that the most common sense and humane option left now is to clear human habitations and businesses from the banks of the Rivers Niger and Benue where possible.

He assured that government will embark on clearing the lowlands along the entire floodplains in the flood-endemic local government areas, assuring that such effort will allow the rivers unimpeded flow during their annual flooding.

The Kogi governor pledged to widen the road shoulders along the banks of the River Niger from the NATACO area in Lokoja in order to establish a sufficient buffer zone between the city and the river.

He also assured that in the process of taking such lasting measures, affected communities will be relocated to higher grounds and structures which fall into the designated work areas will have to give way.

The governor promised that the government will ensure proper resettlement and rehabilitation of those who will be affected.

Police Confirm ‘Simultaneous’ Attack On Three Banks In Kogi

A file photo of a police van on patrol.

 

Police authorities in Kogi have confirmed the attack on three banks in Ankpa, a town and one of the local government areas of the state.

In a statement late Tuesday, Mr William Aya who is the Police Public Relations Officer in the state said the raid on UBA, First Bank, and Zenith Bank branches in Ankpa was carried out simultaneously.

“The Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command CP Edward Egbuka, psc immediately led a team of tactical operatives to the scenes for on-the-spot assessment and has equally ordered the deployment of additional operational assets consisting of operatives of the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, Quick Response Unit, State Intelligence Bureau in synergy with other security agencies to restore normalcy in the area,” he said.

The gunmen were said to have stormed Ankpa in large number on Tuesday afternoon, causing panic in the area as residents run for safety.

According to reports, the armed robbers raided the banks in an operation that lasted several hours with no interference from the security operatives.

While they reportedly moved from one bank to the other and left the town in bullet shells, a student of the Kogi State University was alleged to have been shot dead at the scene of withdrawing cash from one of the banks’ automated teller machine (ATM).

Although Aya did not state whether anyone was killed or injured during the raid, he gave a contrary account regarding the presence of the security operatives.

“The police personnel on duty both at the station and the banks quickly recovered from the sudden attack and gallantly repelled the attackers who were forced to flee – some into nearby bushes, others with their vehicles,” he said. “The hoodlums abandoned three vehicles used for the operation in their haste to escape, some of them with bullet wounds.

“The CP use this medium to call on the people of Ankpa and its adjoining communities to be on the lookout and report anybody seen with bullet wounds to the Police or any other security Forces nearest to them.”

The police commissioner, according to its Aya, is committed to working in synergy with other security agencies and patriotic stakeholders in the onslaught against crimes and criminality to make the state a safe and secure place for all and sundry.

He also tasked the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Investigation Department (SCID) to commence investigations into the remote and immediate cause of the incident, as well as trail the hoodlums with a view to apprehend and bring them to book.

Egbuka appealed to residents to go about their lawful businesses and continue to support the police and other security agencies with credible and timely information on the activities of criminal elements in their environs.

Two Kidnappers Killed, Others Escape With Bullet Wounds In Kogi

 

Two kidnappers on Tuesday lost their lives during a gun duel with security operatives in Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State, while two others escaped with different degrees of bullet wound.

Confirming the development, the Chairman Idah Local Government, Hon. Abuh Odoma disclosed that with support from the governor, the people have continued to secure victories over some of the miscreants terrorizing the council.

Odoma said he and constituents of his local government are committed to ensuring that as severally declared by the State governor, every nook and cranny of Kogi State is safe and secure.


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In his reaction, the State Security Adviser, Commodore Jerry Omodara stressed the need for continued vigilance by citizens particularly those within the rural communities.

Omodara added that the business of security was such that required collective responsibility by every stakeholders hence all hands must be on deck to ensure that the entire state was permanently rid of criminal elements and their sponsors

He concluded that the state government under the leadership of Governor Bello has consistently displayed competence and capacity in the area of security and was not resting on its oars until the end of his leadership in the state.

Gunmen Kidnap Three Children In Kogi, Demand N100m Ransom

 

Gunmen have kidnapped three underage children in Ajaokuta Local Government area of Kogi State. They are demanding a N100m ransom. 

The Police Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Command William Ayah confirmed the abduction on Friday.

In a statement, he said the Commissioner of Police in the state Edward Ebuka has deployed operatives of various police anti-kidnapping units in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to trail the kidnappers in order to rescue the children and bring the perpetrators to book.

The three children whose ages ranged from three, five, and ten years were on Wednesday evening around eight o’clock kidnapped at their resident, Kaduna Estate Ajaokuta Steel Township complex, by yet-to-be-identified gunmen

Eyewitness reports revealed that the kidnappers who were fully armed with guns shot sporadically to scare residents away before they abducted the children.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Shoot Driver, Abduct Traditional Head And Three Others In Ondo

A family member who wants anonymity disclosed that the gunmen on Thursday morning contacted the family and demanded N100m as ransom.

The incident is coming days after gunmen killed three policemen and five vigilantes at Jida-Bassa also in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State.

But, as part of measures to curb the incessant security challenges in Kogi State, the state governor Yahaya Bello ordered the closure of all brothels and banned the use of facemasks in public places for proper identification.

Ajaokuta Security Breach: Gov Bello Orders Immediate Suspension Of Traditional Ruler

A file photo of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has directed the suspension of the Ohi of Eganyi and Chairman, Ajaokuta Traditional Area Council, HRH Alhaji Musa Isah Achuja with immediate effect.

In a letter to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kogi State, the governor also directed that the Chairman of Ajaokuta Local Government Area, Hon Mustapha Aka’aba be queried over the breach and should reply within 24 hours.

The governor’s directive against the affected persons is in connection with the recent security breach in the area which led to the untimely deaths of some security personnel on their legitimate engagements of maintaining law and orders.

The governor strongly warned other traditional rulers across the state who may have connection in one way or the other with criminal elements in their domains to desist forthwith, saying that his administration will delt ruthlessly with anybody who romances with criminal elements no matter how highly placed they are.


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In the same vein, Governor Bello also directed that all unofficial movements of the local government council chairmen out of their territory and other journeys without due process are hereby restricted

The governor warned that no amount of connivance with criminals will deter him from his fundamental responsibility of protecting lives and property of the citizens and residents of the state.

The ambush

Some unidentified gunmen on Saturday afternoon ambushed security men at Jidda-Bassa community in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi state, killing three police officers and five vigilantes.

It was gathered from a reliable source who craved anonymity that some persons living in Jidda-Bassa community reported to the Divisional Police Officer that some unknown people had attacked their farms, carting away produce.

The source further stated that the DPO mobilised some of his men and the vigilantes to the scene, but before they could get to the farm, they were ambushed by some unknown gunmen.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Workers At Construction Site in Owo

During the attack three policemen and five vigilantes were killed, the source said.

The source added that the bodies of the victims have been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre’s mortuary.

Meanwhile, the Kogi state government has vowed to arrest those behind the killings.

Security Adviser to the Kogi state governor, Jerry Omodara made this known while confirming the attack on a telephone conversation with our correspondent in Lokoja.

He said the state government will take proactive steps to arrest the situation pointing out that all those involved in the killings will surely be apprehended.

Omodara added that the state government is doing its best to curb criminal elements in the state.

Pandemonium As Heavy Explosion Rocks Lokoja

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

An explosion on Tuesday rocked Lokoja the Kogi State capital causing palpable fears and panic among the people.

Channels Television gathered that the loud explosion occurred around 8:30 am and was heard on the premises of the State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The premises also housed the office of the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, State Ministry of Women Affairs, and Kogi Printing Press.

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Though there was no injury or loss of life, the loud explosion scared workers who were already in their offices preparing for the day’s job.

When contacted on phone, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Edward Egbuka, confirmed the explosion.

“We were informed of a package that looked like a bomb left on the premises by an unknown person and I immediately deployed the bomb disposal unit there to assess the object,” the CP stated.

“The object was immediately blown up; the explosion you heard was the handwork of our bomb disposing unit brought about by their efforts to blow up the object.”

The police commissioner said that investigation has also commenced ascertaining what the object was and who left it there.

Two Policemen Returning From Osun Missing After Shootout With Gunmen – Kogi CP

A photo taken on July 15, 2022, shows some of the policemen deployed on election duty in Osun State.

 

Two policemen have yet to be accounted for following an encounter with gunmen in Kogi State, north-central Nigeria.

The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Kogi State Command, Edward Egbuka, confirmed this to Channels Television on Wednesday in Lokoja, the state capital.

Narrating what transpired, he said the missing policemen were on transit and travelling in an 18-seater bus before the incident occurred at Obajana community.

Egbuka disclosed that the security operatives were among the 21,000 personnel deployed by the Inspector General of Police for the just-concluded governorship election in Osun State.

He explained that they were returning from Osun State and on their way to Nasarawa State while the bus conveying them entered Kogi State late in the night.

The police commissioner said the vehicle, while in Kogi, developed a mechanical fault along the New By-Pass Road, some few meters away from the Trailer Park at Obajana Cement Factory.

He recounted that the policemen were making concerted efforts to fix the vehicle before they came under an attack by a group of gunmen who came from the bush and started shooting in their direction.

According to Egbuka, the policemen initially scampered into the bush after a gunfight with the armed criminals, but they later returned to the scene of the attack.

He confirmed that two of the policemen have yet to return, adding that the command has since deployed search teams to the area to recover the missing security operatives.

Meanwhile, some online news platforms reported that the gunmen abducted at least 10 policemen serving in the Nasarawa State Police Command from the scene of the attack.

A police source told The Guardian that the incident occurred on Sunday morning, a day after the governorship election held in Osun.

“On July 17, at about 11:05 a.m., information received from Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Obajana, showed that gunshots were heard along New Bye-Pass Road, close to Trailer Park-PTI Obajana,” the source said.

“The DPO immediately mobilised patrol teams to the scene, where they met one white 18-seater passenger Bus with registration No. GWA 295 YR, driven by one Usman Abdullahi, ‘m’, with six occupants. The seven persons left identified themselves as police officers from Nasarawa State Police Command returning from just concluded Osun governorship election.”

Gunmen Kidnap Naval Officer, Demand N3m Ransom

Suspected terrorists abducted an unspecified number of traders travelling along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road
A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Gunmen have kidnapped an Abuja-based officer of the Naval Headquarters in Abuja, Musa Lawal.

The victim, with enlistment no. X12775 ABRP3, was whisked away by his abductors in Kogi State.

It was gathered that some heavily armed men numbering five invaded his residence located behind Post Flood Housing Estate, Lokoja on Monday night and whisked him away.

During the attack, his car was destroyed by the suspected kidnappers as they forcefully gained entrance into his residence.

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Before the unfortunate incident, the naval staff was to depart for his station on Tuesday morning before he was kidnapped.

According to the wife of the kidnapped naval officer, Mrs Juliana Musa, the kidnappers reached out to the family an hour after her husband was kidnap, demanding N3 million.

Mrs Musa narrated that her husband had one of his hands injured and was forcefully taken away while bleeding.

When contacted, the Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Williams Ayah, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Tuesday via a phone call.

Ayah stated that the police in collaboration with the navy are presently combing the bush to rescue the officer from the abductors.