Ebonyi Bullion Van Attack: Soldier, Dismissed Colleague, Five Others Arrested

A photo combination of the suspects arrested by the police over the attack on a bullion van in Ebonyi State.

 

The police have arrested seven suspects involved in the robbery attack on a bullion van and the killing of four policemen in Ebonyi State.

According to a report obtained by Channels Television on Tuesday, the arrests were made barely five days after the incident.

Among those apprehended for the attack were two soldiers – one in active service and the other dismissed.

Channels Television had reported that the bullion van was being escorted by policemen to one of the first-generation banks along Ogoja Road in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital on Wednesday last week before it came under attack.

Following the incident, the police launched a ‘serious manhunt’ of the assailants which led to their arrest in less than one week.

READ ALSO: Armed Robbers Attack Bullion Van, Kill Four Policemen In Ebonyi

The operation was carried out by police detectives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), with support from the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU).

While on the operation, the police team arrested one Alfred Robinson on Saturday last week in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

The 45-year-old suspect is said to be a native of Gelegele town in Ovia North Local Government Area of Edo State.

Upon his arrest, the police recovered a Toyota 4 Runner SUV said to have been snatched alongside others for the purpose of the attack.

Also recovered from Robinson included a GPMG rifle with 153 rounds of live ammunition, five AK 47 rifles with 1,402 rounds of live ammunition, a K2 rifle with loaded magazine, and 51 AK 47 magazines.

An intensive follow up operation by the police team also led to the arrest of six more suspected members of the robbery gang within 24 hours.

Those arrested include Sergeant Ayeni Samuel, 43, who is a serving soldier attached to the Command Day Secondary School at the Nigerian Army Cantonment in Ikeja, Lagos and Corporal Emeka Harrison, 33, a dismissed soldier who until his dismissal was attached to 7 Division Garrison in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Others are Sunday Soyemu, 46, and a native of Alegnene in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State; Emeka Illo, 37, and a native of Igwachi community in Orji River LGA of Enugu State; Abuchi Elijah, 27, and a native of Nsalangwa in Nsalangwa LGA of Abia State; and Ibanifiroi Ekiene, 38, and a native of Tombia community in Degema LGA of Rivers State.

A photo released by the police shows some ammunition recovered from the suspects involved in the attack on a bullion van in Ebonyi State on July 29, 2020.

According to the police, the six suspects arrested on Sunday came from various parts of the South-South and South-East.

They were said to be perfecting a planned intended bank robbery in Asaba this week before they were apprehended.

A Lexus 350 SUV containing various arms and ammunition were recovered from them.

The items include 136 rounds of K2 ammunition, five K2 magazines, 12 locally made bomb (unexploded), a KPT power tool 230MM angle grinder, and assorted charms, among others.

“All suspects, upon interrogation, confessed to the bullion van robbery in Ebonyi State where four policemen were killed, with many other armed robberies/kidnappings across the South-East and South-South.

“Suspects also confessed that four out of the rifles recovered belong to the policemen they killed during the bullion van robbery in Ebonyi State. Suspects are assisting police to arrest their remaining gang members,” the report said.

Soldier Kills Lieutenant In Borno

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.

 

A Lieutenant has been shot dead by a solider in Bama local government area of Borno State.

The Director Army Public Relations Colonel Sagir Musa, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday, noting that they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the Lieutenant.

Family members had taken to social media mourning the slain soldier identified as Lieutenant BS. Ngorgi, an Adjutant in his unit.

Lieutenant Ngorgi was due for a welfare pass today (Thursday 30th July) to go spend time with his family and young bride before the unfortunate incident happened.

Read Also: President Buhari Mourns Afenifere Leader, Pa Ayorinde Fasanmi

His killer is a trooper of the Nigerian Army serving in 202 Battalion of 21 Special Armoured Brigade Bama, Borno State.

He went beserk at about on July 29, 2020 and fired at the officer (a Subaltern) who eventually died.

“The incident happened when the soldier approached the officer who was standing in front of the Unit’s Headquarters making a phone call.

“The soldier has been arrested, is in custody undergoing investigation. General situation in the unit is calm,” Musa said.

Sources say the soldier had taken to marijuana consumption which he has been warned severally to desist from, but to no avail.

He was reportedly piqued by Ngorgi’s refusal to grant him a welfare pass earlier applied for, and took his vengeful decision after he had smoked marijuana.

The remains of the deceased officer have been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital.

Investigation into the case has now been instituted to determine the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident.

Sagir said the family of the deceased has already been contacted even as the army sympathizes and condoles with them.

Soldier Accused Of Killing Abia Resident Dismissed, Awaiting Justice – Govt

A file photo of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. The governor’s Chief of Staff says all arms bearers must learn their lessons.

 

 

The Abia State government has condemned the killing of one of its residents by a soldier in the Umuokereke Ngwa area of the state.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s Chief of Staff, Dr A. Agbazuere, confirmed the incident in a statement on Monday.

He noted that the soldier in question had been dismissed from the Nigerian Army and remanded at a correction facility.

Agbazuere stressed that the prosecution of the erring security operative would serve as a deterrent for other arms-carrying officials involved in such an act.

According to him, the state government is strongly against the unnecessary shooting of residents and the consequent loss of their lives.

The governor’s aide insisted that the recklessness of some security operatives in the state must be nipped in the bud.

He, however, commended the commitment of the heads of security agencies and other diligent security personnel in Abia for their efforts in ensuring the safety of residents and their properties.

Agbazuere assured the residents that anybody caught or arrested for taking the life of another person would be brought to justice.

Read the full statement below:

GOVERNMENT SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Abia State Government hereby condemns in very strong terms the unwarranted shooting of some Abians and the consequent loss of their lives.

While government appreciates the commitment and industry of heads of Security Agencies and some other Security Personnel in the State, the breeding recklessness of some Security Men in the State must be nipped in the bud forthwith.

Government hereby reassures all Abians that anybody who takes the life of an Abian must definitely face justice.

The soldier who killed an Abian at Umuokereke Ngwa has been dismissed from the army and is in prison awaiting final Justice for murder. All other arm bearers must learn their lessons.

A word should be enough for the wise.

Signed:

Dr. A.C.B. Agbazuere

Chief of Staff to the Governor.

Soldier ‘Kills’ Man Amid COVID-19 Lockdown In Delta

A file photo of soldiers on a military vehicle. Photo: Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

An unknown soldier has reportedly shot an unidentified young man dead in Delta State, south-south Nigeria, the police in the state have said.

The incident occurred on Thursday at Ugbuwangue community in Warri South Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, on the second day of the lockdown directive issued by the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Police authorities in the state confirmed the killing to Channels Television, saying they have commenced an investigation into the incident.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, however, noted that the details of the incident were unclear.

She said, “Yes, it is true. It just happened today, as I was told, and there is not much information yet.”

The Chairman of Warri South LGA, Mr Michel Tidi, also told Channels Television that he had reported the case to the appropriate authorities.

He explained that he attended a meeting held at the office of the Police Area Commander in Warri, over the incident.

According to Tidi, representatives of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, as well as the community head and the head of the victim’s family were present.

On what was discussed at the meeting, he said they demanded that the soldier be prosecuted while assurances were given that the security official would be brought to justice.

“They (army authorities) assured the family; they assured me as the council chairman that they are going into the matter swiftly to ensure that the perpetrator of this crime is brought to book and of courses, they also promised to keep the family members posted regularly on how they go about their investigation,” the local government chairman said.

He added, “Everywhere is calm now. The matter is still under investigation and don’t forget there is a ‘stay at home’ order.

“We are just calling on our people to remain calm. The compliance level thus far in the local government has been quite impressive if not for this reported incident.”

Thai City Holds Vigil For 30 Victims Of ‘Unprecedented’ Mass Shooting

People follow a soldier after being rescued by Thai commandos from Terminal 21 shopping mall, where a mass shooting took place, on February 9, 2020 in the Thai northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima. Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

 

Holding candles and writing condolences as monks chanted prayers, hundreds of Thais held an evening vigil Sunday for the 30 victims of an “unprecedented” mass shooting carried out by a soldier.

Sharpshooters killed the gunman on Sunday morning after a 17-hour ordeal, including a night of firefights and terrifying dashes for mall exits by shoppers trapped in the Terminal 21 mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Korat.

The provincial governor told reporters that the death toll stood at 30 with dozens injured.

The dead include civilians – one of them a 13-year-old boy – and security forces going after the rogue soldier, who was upset over a debt dispute, according to Thailand’s prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.

“It is unprecedented in Thailand, and I want this to be the last time this crisis happens,” he said earlier outside a hospital where victims — some in critical condition — were being treated.

Those who attended the somber vigil scrawled messages on white sheets of paper laid out on the ground, including “Remember Forever” and “I wish you a good afterlife”.

Prayut, a former army chief, blamed a “personal problem” over the sale of a house for the soldier’s rampage, which began on Saturday afternoon near an army barracks and was for several hours relayed by the gunman via Facebook posts.

The attacker, identified as Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma, used a stolen M60 machine gun and rifles from one of Thailand’s largest barracks as well as a military humvee to carry out the attack.

Prayut said the gunman overpowered security at the barracks’ arsenal and that “carelessness” was not a factor.

“We don’t leave the arsenal depot alone — we had people guarding it.”

Volleys of gunfire rang out as the siege ran into dawn, hours after Thai security services stormed the ground floor and freed scores of terrified shoppers.

They sent cascades of messages to friends and family on social media from storerooms, barricaded in toilets and hidden under tables as the gunman stalked the mall.

With the machine gun slung over his shoulder and in full combat gear, Jakrapanth swaggered through the emptied out floors in haunting footage captured by CCTV cameras.

Evacuees recounted how an ordinary Saturday at the busy shopping centre descended into horror as he entered.

“It was like a dream… I’m grateful I survived,” Sottiyanee Unchalee, 48, told AFP, explaining she hid in the toilet of a gym inside the mall as she heard the gunfire.

Filipino teacher Aldrin Baliquing said he was ushered into a storeroom by staff as the shooting began.

“We were there for six gruelling hours… I’m in shock,” he said.

Scores of people made a dash for it as police and soldiers in masks and wielding assault rifles took control of the ground floor following a gun battle and scoured the fleeing crowds for the assailant.

‘Like a Zombie Movie’

“It was total panic, it was like a zombie movie,” Chanatip Somsakul, 33, said of his escape with his wife and three-year-old daughter.

“People jumped on motorbikes and ran in all directions.”

Several hours later the gunman was shot dead. Photos showed smiling units of elite soldiers and police emerging from the mall.

The gunman relayed his shooting spree through Facebook posts which charted the attack from an army barracks to the city mall.

The bloodshed began Saturday afternoon when he shot three people — among them at least one soldier — at a senior officer’s house and then at the nearby army barracks, before driving a military vehicle to the town centre.

There the gunman used the stolen weapons to unleash carnage in the town centre.

Throughout the day he posted images of himself and wrote several posts on his Facebook page.

In one Facebook video – since deleted – the assailant, wearing an army helmet, filmed from an open-top jeep, saying, “I’m tired… I can’t pull my finger anymore” as he made a trigger symbol with his hand.

There were also photos of a man in a ski mask holding a pistol.

Thailand’s digital economy minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said he contacted regional executives at the social media giant to report the activity.

“I think this might be the first time that this happened in Thailand and it caused a lot of problems,” he told AFP.

A Facebook spokesperson said the gunman’s accounts were removed and it will “work around the clock to remove any violating content related to this attack as soon as we become aware of it.”

Thailand has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, and several shootings at courthouses last year renewed concern about gun violence.

Soldier Kills Many In Thai Shooting Rampage

 

A Thai soldier killed many people Saturday in a live-streamed mass shooting across several locations in a northeastern city, police said.

“The gunman used a machine gun and shot innocent victims resulting in many injured and dead,” a police spokesperson told AFP, with local media reporting as many as 12 fatalities.

“I cannot confirm the death toll right now, police sealed off the area.”

The gunman, identified by police as Sergeant Major Jakapanth Thomma, stole an army vehicle and also posted photos and video of himself in full tactical gear as the attack in Korat was carried out.

Video and photos circulating online showed panicked scenes, with people fleeing and what appeared to be the sound of automatic gunfire filling the air.

Police in the province said they have sealed off a Terminal 21 shopping mall but have yet to capture the gunman.

Thailand has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world but mass shootings by soldiers targeting civilians are rare.

Several shootings at courthouses late last year also renewed concern about gun violence in the Southeast Asia country.

In one high-profile case, two lawyers were shot dead by a clerk at a court in the east of the country during a hearing over a land dispute.

AFP

Israel Soldier Gets One-Month Jail Over Killing Of Gaza Teen

Israeli soldiers take cover as Palestinian protesters hurl stones during clashes following a weekly protest against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum near the Jewish settlement of Qadumim (Kedumim), in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on August 9, 2019. Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP

 

An Israeli military court has sentenced a soldier to one month in jail over the killing of a Palestinian teenager after he opened fire without authorisation, the army said Wednesday.

The unnamed soldier was convicted Monday for “acting without authorisation in a manner endangering to life and well-being”, it said in a statement.

Othman Rami Halles, 15, was shot dead during protests on the Israel-Gaza border on July 13, 2018, the Palestinian health ministry said at the time.

The army said a probe had found that “the soldier fired at a Palestinian rioter who was climbing on the security fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip”.

The soldier, identified in Israeli media as a sniper, had opened fire “not in accordance with the rules of engagement and not in accordance with the instructions he had received”, it said.

After a plea bargain, the court sentenced the soldier to 30 days in prison with military labour and a suspended term of another 60 days, and he was demoted.

The investigation had found no evidence of a “causal link between the soldier’s fire” and the teenager’s death, the army said.

At least 311 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since protests were launched along the border of the Israeli-blockaded enclave in March 2018, the majority during the demonstrations and clashes.

Eight Israelis have been killed in Gaza-related violence over the same period.

AFP

Court Tries Ex-Soldier Accused Of Killing 14 People After 47 Years

 

A former British soldier charged with murdering two civilians in the 1972 Bloody Sunday killings faces an initial court hearing on Wednesday.

The emblematic case is being heard in Londonderry, the city where the killings took place, and is highly divisive in a province haunted by the legacy of conflict.

British troops opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry on January 30, 1972 killing 13 people.

A 14th victim later died of his wounds.

The day has become one of the most symbolic in the grim history of the Troubles — the sectarian unrest which gripped the British province of Northern Ireland.

In addition to two murder charges, the ex-paratrooper, identified only as “Soldier F”, faces charges of the attempted murder of four others.

But he will not be present during the first day of proceedings in Londonderry, where security is likely to be high.

“Soldier F” was one of 17 British veterans who had faced investigation, plus two alleged Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitaries.

But he was the only one charged by Northern Ireland’s public prosecutor in March following decades of investigation hampered

The announcement infuriated supporters of Britain’s military intervention in Northern Ireland, prompting marches in support of the soldier in Belfast and London.

 ‘Truth and justice’ 

British military and political communities remain divided over the matter.

Some believe prosecutions for historic crimes betray former troops who acted in good faith, equating them with terrorists.

Others feel the military should be held to the highest standard and any amnesty would be a tacit admission of guilt among those who served with integrity.

Families of those killed in Bloody Sunday — who have campaigned for prosecutions for nearly 50 years — broadly welcomed the trial but do not believe it alone will fully settle the matter.

“It’s still an ongoing campaign,” John Kelly — whose 17-year-old brother Michael was killed on Bloody Sunday — told AFP last month.

“What people want is truth and justice.”

The British Parachute Regiment opening fire on a civil rights march in the majority Catholic area of the Bogside in Derry helped galvanise support for the Provisional IRA early in the Troubles.

A photograph of a Catholic priest waving a bloodstained handkerchief as he tried to help 17-year-old victim Jackie Duddy to safety became a defining image of the incident.

A 12-year public inquiry into Bloody Sunday — the largest investigation in UK legal history — concluded in 2010 that British paratroopers lost control and none of the casualties posed a threat of causing death or serious injury.

The probe prompted then-prime minister David Cameron to issue a formal state apology for the killings, calling them “unjustified and unjustifiable”.

The Northern Ireland Veterans Association, which held a memorial event to mark the 50th anniversary of British military intervention earlier this year, said its members were “concerned” about such prosecutions.

“We need to learn to deal with our past,” said NIVA spokesman Ian Simpson.

“We need to move forward together and have an understanding of what it meant.”

AFP

Truck Crushes Soldier To Death In Ogun

 

A soldier identified as R. A. Nata’Ala was crushed to death on Friday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

The incident was said to have occurred when a heavily loaded truck lost control around Iyana Mortuary area of the metropolis.

Channels Television gathered that the truck marked JJJ 833 XW and laden with stone granite, was coming from Idi-Aba end of Ajebo-Ijaiye Road, when the incident occurred around 10:30am.

It was learnt that the driver of the truck who lost control due to brake failure, veered off his lane and killed the soldier.

READ ALSO: Three Corps Members With Fake Certificates Arrested In Taraba

The security operative, who was said to be riding a motorcycle alongside other vehicles, had been stopped at the intersection by the traffic light when the truck hit him.

An eyewitness told Channels Television that a female who was on the motorcycle with the soldier escaped death as she jumped off the bike before the truck dragged the motorcycle towards a culvert where the victim was slammed.

The female passenger, who was said to also be a soldier, immediately called some of their colleagues from 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta, who hurriedly came to evacuate the remains of the deceased.

The driver of the truck was reported to have abandoned the truck and bolted from the scene for fear of being lynched by angry mob.

Another eyewitness who was at the scene of the accident said there was panic in the area as residents and motorists feared military officers may unleash terror in the area.

The spokesman for the Ogun Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the incident.

He also said the remains of the deceased have been taken to the morgue at State General Hospital, Ijaye.

Soldier Appears In Court Over Alleged Rape Of AAUA Student

Suspected Ritualists Kill 80-Year-Old Woman In Ondo

 

The Nigerian soldier who was alleged to have raped a student of the Ondo State-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, on Wednesday appeared before a family court in Akure, the state capital.

The suspect, Lance Corporal Sunday Adelola from the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, based in Akure, was said to have committed the crime on July 31, 2019.

On the said day, he was said to have ordered the victim out of a passenger vehicle at a military checkpoint while travelling from Akungba to Ikare – Akoko, and dragged her into a nearby cubicle where he allegedly raped her.

Following the incident, there had been series of petitions and protests by students and authorities of the university, condemning the act.

The Ondo State Government, as well as human right groups also intervened, calling for justice on the crime.

Subsequently, he was found guilty and dismissed from the service after the army authorities set up a panel of investigation on the matter.

He was thereafter, handed over to the police for prosecution.

Those present at the family court for the trial on Wednesday were students of the university, officials of the Ondo State Ministry of Justice and Women Affairs; and members of the state chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers.

The case was, however, adjourned till Friday, August 16, 2019, in order to allow the suspect file a response to the suit, and also get a legal representation.

Soldier Dies As Troops Kill 10 Insurgents In Baga

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

A soldier was killed on Monday when some members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) stormed a military location in Baga town in Borno State.

The Chief of Military Public Information with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Colonel Timothy Antigha, confirmed this in a statement.

He also said five other soldiers sustained varying injuries and have been evaluated for medical attention.

Colonel Antigha, however, noted that troops killed 10 of the insurgents, including four suicide bombers as they responded swiftly to the attack.

“What was meant to be a surprise dawn attack on Multinational Joint Task Force and national troops this morning became a nightmare for the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), as 10 of its terrorists met their waterloo in Baga,” he said.

He added, “Specifically, at about 5:30 am this morning, ISWAP terrorists numbering about 30 infested troops defensive locality.

“However, vigilant troops spotted their approach and promptly thwarted what could have been an audacious assault.”

[READ ALSO] Borno Funeral: Nigerian Govt Sends ‘Air Patrols’ After Attackers

According to Colonel Antigha, some insurgents escaped with gunshot wounds while blood-stained tracks were observed.

He added that troops recovered arms and ammunition from other terrorists who fled in disarray.

He stressed that the MNJTF in collaboration with national forces would continue to pursue courses of action necessary for the achievement of its mandate in the Lake Chad Basin.

Army Kills Seven Suspected Bandits, Lose Soldier In Zamfara

Army Kills Seven Suspected Bandits, Lose Soldier In Zamfara

 

Troops have killed seven suspected armed bandits in Aljumana Fulani and Ketere villages in Zamfara State.

A statement by the acting Information Officer of Operation Sharan Daji (OPSD), Major Clement Abiade, revealed that the success was recorded by own troops and those deployed in Operation Harbin Kunama III of the Nigerian Army.

Major Abiade added that the troops killed the criminals in a fierce encounter that ensued while on clearance operation in the area on Thursday.

READ ALSODon’t Lose Hope Of A Greater Nigeria, Says Buhari In Easter Message

He said the operation was successfully carried out in conjunction with the Nigerian Army Deep Blue Special Forces, the Nigerian Air Force Component, and local vigilantes.

He noted, however, that one soldier was killed while six others and a vigilante member sustained various degrees of injuries during the operation.

The OPSD spokesman disclosed that the bandits were armed with sophisticated automatic weapons but conquered by the superior firepower of the troops.

He noted that some of the bandits fled with gunshot wounds, abandoning their camp and logistics which were destroyed by the troops.

Major Abiade said troops also arrested three suspected informants who furtively provide information to armed bandits during a separate sting operation at Kara market in Shinkafi Local Government Area of the state.

They recovered 934 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition, one AK 47 rifle, one steel chain used by bandits to restrain kidnapped victims, and seven motorcycles.