Sunday Olayinka Owoeye,
Head of Service;
State of Osun.
Sunday Olayinka Owoeye,
Head of Service;
State of Osun.
The State Government of Osun has raised an alarm on the unfortunate kidnap of three of its officials yesterday in Kogi State.
The kinapped officials include the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Adebimpe Ogunlumade; Director, State Audit, Mr. Tajudeen Badejoko, and the Driver, Mr. Oladapo Ajani Arogundade.
In a press release signed by Mr Sunday Owoeye, the Head of service of the state, and made available to OsunDefender, the state government said preliminary information available indicate that the gunmen accosted them between Obajana and Lokoja the Kogi State capital and forced them to stop before the three officials were violently whisked away.
The officials were said to be returning from Abuja where they had attended the briefing on the State and Local Government Reforms Project; a World Bank and European Union Programme.
The Government has alerted all necessary security agencies nationwide in general and Kogi State in particular towards safe release of the three abducted officials while also appealing to all Nigerians for information that could lead to their immediate release.
The Zone C chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, on Sunday expressed shock over the abduction of a Channels Television correspondent in Owerri, Imo State, Tope Kuteye.
The reporter, according to reports, was abducted on Sunday from his residence in Owerri around 3am.
A statement by the union’s vice president and secretary in charge of the zone, Christopher Isiguzo and Kenneth Ofoma respectively, condemned the act and urged the kidnappers to release the reporter immediately.
“We condemn the kidnap of this innocent citizen and journalist,” the statement said.
“Kuteye is neither a politician nor a money-bag business man. It therefore baffles the union as to why he should be the target of this dastardly act.
“We therefore appeal to the abductors of Mr. Kuteye to release him unconditionally without delay.
“We equally call on law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned to secure the release of Kuteye soonest should his abductors hedge.
“We regret that journalists, who are always at the forefront in the battle for social change, accountability, transparency in governance and social justice should be made the victim of the vices they stood against,” the union said.
The Nigerian Army has announced that Colonel Samaila Inusa, who was kidnapped on Sunday 27th March 2016, was found dead today, Tuesday, at about 6.00pm.
Army spokesman, Sani Usman, in a statement said preliminary investigation revealed that, most likely, the late senior officer was killed same day he was kidnapped by his abductors.
“This is because the body was found already decomposing around Ajyaita village off Eastern Bypass Kaduna, Kaduna State.
“Arrangements are in progress to move the body to 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna,” it said.
The Nigerian Army vowed “in unmistakeable terms that whoever is behind his abduction and murder would be fished out to face the full wrath of the law.”
Following the abduction of Colonel Samaila Inusa by unknown gunmen, the Nigeria Army on Monday promised a cash reward of N1m for anyone with useful information that could lead to his rescue.
The spokesman of the First Division of the Nigerian Army, Col Usman Abdul, disclosed the cash donation while speaking with newsmen on Monday.
Abdul on behalf of the army pledged adequate protection to anyone with useful information, adding that such tip-off would be treated with utmost confidentiality.
We recall that Col Inusa was on Saturday night abducted by unknown gunmen along Kaduna Refinery Road, in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State.
The Army which had earlier promised a N500,000 cash reward for anyone with useful information raised the reward to N1m on Monday.
An Army Colonel serving with Nigeria Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Kaduna State, has been reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Usman Abdul, confirmed the kidnap on Sunday in a statement issued in Kaduna.
He said the colonel was abducted around Kamazo near NNPC junction, Kaduna, at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“The abductors dropped off his wife and left with him in his car and headed towards Abuja. They drove in a Mercedes Benz GK black colour with registration number Abuja, KUJ 154 TZ,” he said.
Uncle and foster father to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Inegite Jonathan, says his abductors treated him well.
The Septuagenarian told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Bayelsa that his abductors gave him a preferential treatment before setting him free.
The victim was abducted by gunmen on February 17 and freed on March 23, after 35 days in captivity.
Jonathan’s foster father added that he was allowed to open his face while others were blind folded.
“I was properly taken care of by the kidnappers. I eat three square meals daily, my drugs was administered to me appropriately by the boys,” he said.
The chief said they even asked other kidnapped victims with him to start paying allegiance to him as the only person that was untouchable in the camp.
He said before they started treating him well, they argued between themselves from his house but on getting to the camp they resolved their issue.
However, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr Asinim Butswat, said details of the release were not available.
Former president Jonathan had told the Police that he would not succumb to the demand for ransom.
Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience, visited the chief shortly after his release.
The Speaker of Osun House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam, has said the assembly would soon review the state’s criminal law to provide for death penalty for kidnapping in the state.
Mr. Salaam made this known when the new Commandant of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state, Ayodele Olusola, visited him in his office in Osogbo on Tuesday.
He expressed hope that the review would discourage kidnapping and other associated vices in the state.
According to him, the assembly wants to be proactive in making laws that will protect lives and property in the state.
On upcoming House of Assembly bye-election in Ife Central, Mr. Salaam urged the NSCDC commandant to provide adequate security for the electorate before, during and after the election.
“I want to urge you to ensure violence-free election.
“We don’t want bloodshed before, during and after the election, and that is why I am pleading with you to mount surveillance around lfe,” he said.
The bye-election followed the death of Dejo Makinde, who was representing the constituency.
Mr. Makinde, who died in December, 2015 was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and minority leader of the house.
Earlier, Mr. Olusola said the NSCDC command in the state would do what is needed to protect lives and property before and during the election.
He added that the command would continue to execute its mandate of protecting government facilities at all times.
The six accused kidnappers, alleged to have kidnapped three girls of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary College in Ikorodu, Lagos, were on Friday remanded in Ikoyi Prisons by an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs O.I. Adelaja, who gave the order, said that the accused should be remanded in prison pending the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Adelaja then adjourned the case to April 25 for legal advice.
The accused, Emmanuel Arigidi, 37; Gift Pius, 30; Fred Omoni, 32; Geofrey Owei, 28; Seun Akanji, 33; and Segun James, 29; are facing a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, kidnap, armed with offensive weapons and robbery.
A Counsel from the Criminal Investigations Department, Panti, Lagos, Mr G.O. Osuyi, said the accused conspired with others at large on February 25, at Maya under bridge along Ikorodu-Imota Road, Ikorodu.
He said the accused conspired to kidnap three girls from Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary College, Ikorodu.
The school girls are Tofunmi Popo-Olaniyan, 15; Timilehin Olusa, 14; and Deborah Akintayo, 14.
Osuyi said that the accused whilst armed with AK 47 rifles also robbed the Principal of the college, Ven. Olaoluwa Adeyemi, of the sum of N5.6 million.
The counsel also alleged that the 1st accused, Emmanuel Arigidi, whilst armed with AK 47 rifles, on March 12, 2015 at Admiralty Way, Lekki, robbed one of the new generation banks and made away with N24.5 million.
Arigidi is alleged to be one of the robbers who unleashed terror in the Ikorodu area and robbed several banks in the previous year.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 269(1), 295 (2) and 409 and of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The Counsel to the accused, Mr Ola Ogunbiyi, did not oppose the remand application.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Section 295 (2) provides death penalty for the offenders.
Fresh facts emerged yesterday that the release of the three abducted girls from Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS), Ikorodu was made possible by shortage of food in the kidnappers’ den.
One of the abductors left the den to buy food and drinks when he was intercepted by a combined team of policemen from Lagos Police Command and Intelligence Response Unit from the Police Headquarters in Abuja.
A dummy sold to the kidnappers that their parents and relations had been arrested and might be killed made them to hasten the release of the girls.
It was also learnt that two of the abductors were from the same parents, signposting that they had turned kidnapping into a business in the family.
The police are on the trail of some of the fleeing abductors.
A top security source,who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “Despite the heavy security build-up and surveillance in and around Ikorodu, the breakthrough for the release of the girls came when one of the abductors sneaked into the town to buy food and water for the hostages and the kidnappers.
“With the tracking of all contact lines by the kidnappers, the food ration courier was intercepted and arrested by the police team.
“The suspect admitted that he was a member of the ring and he came to replenish the stock in the den. He wasted no time in disclosing the location of the girls at Igbokuta area of Lagos State and how to get there.
“But the police team was cautious in not invading the team based on the information from the arrested suspect.
The police located one of the fathers of the abductors who was used as a bait to ask them to release the girls unharmed.
“They were told that all their parents and relations had been arrested and might be killed if they don’t set the girls free.
“They were shocked to hear that their parents and relations had been arrested and they had no choice than to ‘drop off’ the teenage girls.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “The police team discovered that two of the abductors were from the same parents. We are probing whether or not they have been in kidnapping for long.
“We have rescued the girls but we have not closed investigation. We will make sure all those connected with the kidnapping and their sponsors are arrested.”
Three girls were yesterday abducted at a popular Lagos State secondary school in an operation that confounded security agents and the authorities.
The abductors smashed part of the fence at Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS), Ikorodu, stormed the classrooms area and snatched the girls.
The kidnapped girls – Timilehin Olisa, Tofunmi Popoolaniyan and Deborah Akinayo – are Senior Secondary two (SS2) pupils. They were preparing for a test when their abductors struck.
The Nation gathered that the unnamed boy identified one of the gunmen as a bricklayer working in the school.
It was gathered that the criminals entered the school from the rear after breaking the perimeter fence.
They were also said to have all pretended to be bricklayers to have access to the classrooms at that time of the night.
The students were having their “prep” at about 9:30pm when the armed men suddenly showed up, threatening to shoot anyone of them who moved.
They were said to have taken the girls from their class, shooting as they fled.
It was learnt that when the criminals got to the end of Holiness Road inside the school premises, they pulled off the girls’ clothes and left the fabrics there.
It could not be ascertained if they gave them a new set of clothing.
The Nation overheard a student telling her father that the armed men were about 10.
“They were about 10 in number and they were well armed. We were having prep when it happened. Ordinarily, the bricklayers should not have access to this part of the compound at night, but we really do not know what happened and also we did not see the Mobile policemen who are usually around here, she said, adding:
“Please, take me home with you, I have not heard so much gunshots before. It was very scary. They took three seniors with them and we also heard that they wanted to take a senior boy but he resisted and his friends fought back as well. He was the one who said he saw a bricklayer working for the school.
“The bricklayers have their quarters far from here. So, they should not have any business around here in the night.”
At the time The Nation visited the school, security agents from the police, the Army and the Navy were there.
The police have tightened security in Ikorodu, with patrol teams at all the bus stops leading to the school.
The school sent a message to parents, saying: “Dear beloved parents, the unfortunate incident reported is under control and the three parents have been contacted. Please continue to pray with and we assure you that all will be well. Kindly keep calm, your children are safe.”
Three Rapid Response Squad (RRS) helicopters have also been deployed to survey the creeks and neighbouring bushes for a possible location of the hoodlums and their hostages.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone Two, Mr. Bala Hassan, who was also at the school, assured the parents that the girls would be rescued.
Hassan, who said the Ogun State Police Command had been contacted and all routes into that state secured, disclosed that the security forces were closing in on the criminals.
“The police and other security agencies have not slept since this thing happened last night. The Lagos State Police Commissioner (Fatai Owoseni), his deputy and also the Commanders of sister agencies all slept here.
“We are here to assure the parents that security forces are doing everything possible to ensure the girls are rescued and returned unhurt. We are also assuring that the ongoing operation in this area shall continue.
“The CP has given the school authorities advice on how to beef up security around here. So far, we have gotten good information on the criminals and I can tell you that everything is on course.
“The deployments already made will not be changed and Ogun Police Command has also been alerted to properly secure all entries and exits. We are assuring the parents and school authorities that the girls will soon be back,” he said.
Second attack in two weeks
It was gathered that the attack was the second in the last two weeks.
The Nation learnt that the first one was carried out a day to the school’s Inter-house Sports Competition. Monday’s came a day to the sale of the school’s entrance form.
Most of the frightened parents who stormed the school, demanding to see their wards, said they heard of the incident from the news.
While some of the parents remained adamant on taking their children home, despite assurances from the police and school authorities; others said the attacks as acts of sabotage from people envious of the school.
A parent, Mrs Biola Ategbole, said she believed the school is Nigeria’s best, adding that she will not take her child away.
She insisted that the kidnap must be sabotage, adding that the school has urged them to pray for the safety of the abducted girls.
“We were not called. I heard and came like other parents. So, they asked us to see our children and spoke to us and told us to pray for the kidnapped girls. My son has been here for three years now, but I haven’t heard of anything like this before. I believe some people wanted to sabotage the school since it was to commence the sale of its entrance form today (Tuesday).”
Another parent, Tenuola Oyenuga, told reporters that she initially heard there was a fight in the school and on getting there she discovered it was kidnapping.