The paramount ruler of Yandang Chiefdom, Haniel Banti, has escaped an attack by armed men in Taraba State.
In an interview with Channels Television, the monarch revealed that the incident happened at about 1:10am on Sunday.
According to him, this occurred a few hours after he hosted a peace meeting with the warring tribes of his chiefdom which has led to the displacement of hundreds of people.
Banti stressed that the incident made it the second time he would be attacked, noting that the first took place on September 2, 2019.
He described the attack as an invasion by “men of the underworld” who invaded his compound with heavy guns and started shooting, only to be repelled by his guards.
The traditional ruler insisted that it was a calculated attempt to thwart the plans of the state government in resolving the dispute among warring groups in Taraba.
He said he reported the previous incident to the police while necessary reports were taken in the course of an investigation, but they have yet to reveal the outcome.
Banti added that the recent incident has also been reported to the constituted authorities, although the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, David Misal, said the attack has yet to be reported to him.
Yandang is one of the newly established chiefdoms by the administration of Governor Darius Ishaku in Taraba.
While banning worship centres from conducting any programme till further notice, Manu explained that essential services like pharmacies, food stores and petrol service stations were exempted from the order.
According to him, the state government will study the implications of its directive by giving periodic updates on the situation so that it does not impact negatively on the people.
To the deputy governor, other precautionary measures taken by the government to contain the virus include stocking of drugs, protective gears and hand sanitisers as well as identifying and equipping designated isolation centres.
Speaking further, Manu commended medical personnel in the country for doing a great job in the fight against the scourge.
He believes that staying at home and self-isolation remains the best strategy to overcome COVID-19, stressing that the ban on gathering of more than 20 persons is still in force.
Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku has ordered the closure of public and private, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the state.
The shutdown is expected to commence from Tuesday, March 24.
Ishaku made this known during a statewide broadcast on Friday. He also said the gathering of persons should not be more than 20.
The measures according to the Governor are to ensure that the pandemic does not spread to Taraba.
”All the institutions are advised the few days notice to make necessary adjustments in their academic calendars to ensure compliance,” he said.
He encouraged residents of the state to ensure social distances by avoiding intimate etiquettes such as handshakes, hugs, and kissing.
”Fellow Tarabans, I have also ordered that there should be no longer any assembly, congregation or meetings of up to 20 persons at any particular time effective from today 20th March 2020, until the situation abates,” he said.
He advised the residents of the state to exercise caution while interacting at markets or any other institution.
The Governor also ordered that all social and recreational centres must close on or before 7 PM, as he enjoined owners of such places to observe basic hygiene practices in the conduct of their businesses.
He called on religious organizations to wholeheartedly support the measure with intensive prayers in their respective homes and not misconstrued the genuine intention of his administration.
” This measure should therefore not be seen as an affront on the freedom of worship but rather as a safeguard to protect the lives of worshippers in the state,” he said.
Ishaku encouraged law enforcement agencies to beef up security all over the state and to help ensure compliance with this executive order.
” These measures I must emphasize, stringent as they may appear, are been taken to control and contain the spread of coronavirus to Taraba state,” he said.
He encouraged royal fathers, opinion leaders, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations, to also complement the resolve of the state government by intensifying efforts at sensitizing residents of the state on the need to comply with the overall interest of the state.
Police in Taraba State has arrested a suspected major supplier of arms and ammunition, Mr Dayyabu Usman.
According to a statement on Thursday, the police say Mr Usman was arrested with two craftily made AK 47 rifles.
Parading the suspect alongside others, the police public relations officer in Taraba, David Misal, disclosed that investigations revealed that the gun runner has been in the business for more than 10 years as a major supplier.
Misal adds that the suspect is responsible for supplying sophisticated firearms to mischief-makers, particularly kidnappers and armed robbers in various parts of Taraba and other states of the country.
”It is also interesting to note that two fabricated firearms that are craftily made and well packaged to look like AK47 rifle, which has the capacity to be manipulated as such were recovered from him.
”Major features of the locally made rifle include a well-constructed magazine with the capacity of containing 30 rounds 9mm of live ammunition and it’s also automatic.”
The police spokesman also noted that a suspected accomplice – Ibrahim Bako, was also arrested with two 9mm live ammunition.
Giving an update on the suspected child trafficker Mary Yakubu who was arrested and paraded on March 2nd, 2020 for planning to traffick 23 children at a park in Bali LGA of Taraba, Mr Misal disclosed that 10 additional children have been rescued from the suspect who kept them in an isolated area.
According to him, the ten children comprises of six females and four males who were rescued in Mararaba Donga town, Donga LGA of Taraba state.
Misal noted that the suspect led a team of investigation police officers to where the children were kept, apparently in preparation to be transported to another part of the country in pursuance of her nefarious acts.
He said that the children have been handed over to the Taraba state ministry of women affairs and child development.
Similarly, the police also paraded 12 suspected militia group members and recovered a hand grenade and 19 rounds of 7.62M live ammunition.
Misal said ”Intelligence report at the disposal of the police indicated that some unscrupulous elements suspected to be militia with intention of to unleash mayhem were sighted, armed with dangerous weapons and dressed in military camouflage around Jauro Jagan and Alingora village of Ardo-Kola LGA.
”Detectives attached to CID were drafted to the area to trail the suspects, on sighting the police officers, the hoodlums hurriedly fled and abandoned one AK47 magazine with 19 live ammunition and hand grenade.”
Also paraded is a suspected murderer Musa Abdul who was contracted to kill one Mohammed Lawal a resident of Jauro Manu village in Gassol LGA of Taraba.
The police spokesman said an investigation revealed that Musa Abdul and nine others currently at large were hired by one Alhaji Ibrahim Manu who promised to pay them 2 million naira.
He also stressed that the mastermind of the crime provided two AK47 rifles to them and was returned after executing their plans.
Three suspected kidnappers were also arrested and paraded in connection with the kidnap of one Rabiu Haruna in Gassol LGA while rearing cows in a bush.
The suspects led a team of policemen to the scene where the victim was kept, rescued him and recovered one fabricated Barretta pistol, a double-barrel gun, 14 cutlasses, five rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one round of 9mm ammunition and charms.
The police in collaboration with the vigilante group also arrested and paraded two armed robbery syndicates, responsible for various armed robbery and other crimes along the Serti-Bali high way.
The police have arrested a suspected child trafficker, Mary Yakubu, with 23 children in Taraba State.
The children, who are between the ages of four and seven, comprise 14 boys and nine girls.
Mary was paraded along with other suspects on Monday at the State Police Command headquarters in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
The Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, told reporters that the suspect was intercepted with the kids at a park in Bali Local Government Area of the state while they were about to board a vehicle.
He revealed that the 23 children have been handed over to the Ministry of Social Welfare in the state.
Misal added that seven parents of some of the children have been arrested in connection with the crime while investigation was ongoing to apprehend others.
On her part, the suspect claimed that the children were given to her by their parents to help get those in need of children to take care of them.
“The parents of the children told me to come get them for people who would help cater to their educational needs because, in their villages, there are no schools.
“This is actually the first time I am doing this, and I did not collect any money from their parents,” Mary claimed.
She added, “I am a mother of seven, a teacher at Adamu Primary School in Bali LGA. I am 45 years and was arrested at the car park in Bali when I was about leaving with the children.”
The Police Public Relations Officer also paraded seven members of a kidnap syndicate terrorising residents in parts of the state.
He disclosed that the suspects engaged the police in a gun duel following the kidnap of one Tashi Abba who was abducted from his residence.
In the course of fire exchange, according to Misal, the police killed a notorious kidnapper identified as Isa Passion and recovered one single barrel gun.
He also paraded eight suspected armed robbers and a syndicate of car snatchers said to have stolen 30 vehicles in Jalingo.
All the suspects confessing to committing the crimes they were accused of.
The Commissioner of Police in Taraba, Mohammed Azare, has urged residents of the state to strengthen the concept of community policing in their respective areas through effective collaborations and partnerships.
According to a press statement by the Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr David Misal, he made the call at a closed-door meeting with House of Representatives members and government officials.
Others present included community leaders, vigilante groups, local hunters, and leadership of Fulani herdsmen from the 16 Local Government Areas of the state.
Azare explained that this was aimed at bringing under constant checks and ensure that all perpetrators of crimes, particularly kidnapping were reduced to the minimum.
He stressed that all hands must be on deck to check the menace of kidnapping and other violent crimes, noting that the work of security should not be left in the hands of security agencies alone.
The police commissioner assured Taraba residents of the command’s commitment to ensuring sustainable security and advised them to share information with the police for effective community policing.
At the end of the meeting, the stakeholders all pleaded to assist the police in all ramifications towards sustainable security, as well as support them in terms of logistics.
The Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in Taraba, Zainab Kashimu, was abducted by unknown gunmen at her residence in Jalingo on Friday.
Confirming the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview, Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, said her abductors came in droves and whisked her away to an unknown destination.
He disclosed that efforts are on to ensure her safe rescue from the kidnappers.
The Taraba State Police Command has arrested and paraded a 31-year-old man for killing his girlfriend.
A native of Donga Local Government Area, the suspect identified as Munda Bala allegedly conspired with two of his friends and killed his girlfriend.
Briefing journalist at the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, the Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, said the victim was burnt to ashes and her remains buried in a bush.
He noted that efforts were in top gear to arrest the other two fleeing suspects while the principal suspect would be charged to court.
The suspect who was paraded with some ashes and bones of his victim admitted to have committed the crime and blamed economic hardship and jealousy for his decision.
He said, “I fell in love with Imbajuri Ambisi. She became my girlfriend; I got her pregnant and she delivered a baby boy and killed him after seven months.
“This got me angry and I couldn’t tell anyone. My money got finished and she ran away to some wealthy guys who engage in the selling of rosewoods to foreigners.”
“This got me jealous and I met two of my friends who advised me that if I really want my heart to be at rest, I have to kill her, hence our decision to eliminate her,” Bala added.
More Suspects Paraded
The command’s spokesman also paraded five suspected ritualists whose supposed victim escaped with a deep cut after luring him to cut fingernails for their boss in a forest in Kona Garu, a suburb of Jalingo metropolis.
Investigations, according to the police, indicate that the suspects have been in such nefarious acts for a long time.
Misal noted that the suspects would also be charged to court for prosecution.
Also paraded were five suspected kidnappers and armed robbers who have been terrorising Mahanga Village along the Jalingo-Wukari Expressway.
The police said the suspects were responsible for the security threats along the axis as they stop commercial vehicles and abduct passengers to unknown destinations.
Other suspects were paraded by the police for criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, armed robbery, and purchase of stolen properties among others.
All the suspects admitted to have committed the crime they were accused of.