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Igbonla: Four kidnapped pupils return to school

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Lagos, Ogun waterways secure –AIG

Four of the six pupils of the Lagos State Senior and Junior Model Colleges, Igbonla, Epe, who were released in July by kidnappers after spending more than 63 days in captivity have resumed in the school for the 2017/18 academic session.

This came as the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Adamu Ibrahim, yesterday said adequate measures had been taken to secure waterways in both Lagos and Ogun states from vicious activities of kidnappers and militants.

The students, Agbaosi Judah, Yusuf Faruq, Peter Jonah and Ramon Isiaka, who was nicknamed General while in captivity, said there was no basis for them to nurse any fear again.

The students said the worst was over.

Agbaosi, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues during a tour of the facilities in the school by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, said they were fast adapting to the environment and commended the government for improving on the security facilities in the school.

He said: “There is really no reason for us to fear again. What have we not witnessed? We decided to resume here, even though we were offered other alternative schools, because we needed to make statement that evil cannot defeat righteousness. “Surprisingly, since we resumed at the weekend, we have seen the new developments as we can now walk round the school compound without any fear.

The watchtower has been put in place, we now have floodlight everywhere and light has been constant. So there is no need to fear.”

Meanwhile, an official of the school, who craved anonymity, said of the 249 pupils expected to resume into JSS1, only 20 had resumed. The source added that for the Junior Model College, more than 400 students were still being expected to resume out of about 700.

But in his response, Odeyemi said it was not unusual for students to resume late. According to him, even the remaining two of the six kidnapped students have pledged to resume during the week.

The six students were released on Friday, July 28, at Ajakpa community in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Meanwhile, the AIG, Ibrahim, spoke during his visit to the headquarters of Ogun State Police Command at Eleweran, Abeokuta. Ibrahim, who had earlier paid a courtesy visit to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, said the monitoring of waterways was in view of schools’ resumption.

The AIG charged officers and men of the command to fortify existing security measures to forestall abduction in the state.

He said: “The emerging crime we have is the militants on the waterways trying to cause some problem. I wish to call on the command to please put extra efforts now because the schools are resuming and some of these militants may want to embarrass by kidnapping either some school children or prominent citizens.

“So, I urge you to please improve on the security of all the schools that are very close to the waterways. I know we have enough security arrangements on ground. But please fortify the schools so that these people (criminals) will not attempt going to any school in the state.”

The AIG appealed to policemen not to treat any corruption-related issue with kid gloves. He said Ogun State had become the nation’s industrial hub and required more security presence. Briefing the AIG earlier on the activities of his command, the state Police Commissioner, Ahmed Iliyasu, said crime rate had reduced drastically in the state as a result of community policing and other strategies deployed by his command.

The commissioner noted that kidnappers and militants had also receded to the coastal areas and unable to launch vicious attacks on land. Iliyasu, however, expressed concern over what he described as “acute shortage of manpower” which had been posing challenges to operational capability.

He said: “Since my assumption of office, I am happy to tell you that there has not been any bank robbery. Statistics have shown that Ogun State is the most peaceful state in the South-West.

“We have fought kidnappers and militants and they have receded to the riverine areas. They are no longer operating on the land. That is a remarkable achievement. The cases of crossborder crime have also reduced drastically.”

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Metro and Crime

Gunmen abduct businessman, kill masquerade, two others

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Armed men have kidnapped the Chairman and Chief Executive of Always Petroleum and Gas, Alhaji Otinau Momohjimoh. The oil mogul, who is in his early 40s, was abducted about 8p.m. on Sunday opposite Okene Central Mosque, kogi State, where he often spend time with friends and business associates.

A witness said the gunmen, whose numbers could not be ascertained because it was dark, stormed the place and started shooting sporadically to scare people away. The witness, who identified himself as Usman Ishaq, added that as people were scampering into safety, two of the gunmen held Momohjimoh’s hands and dragged him into their Toyota Camry car and sped away. Ishaq said that the kidnappers were yet to contact the family of the oil magnate and that no ransom had been placed on him.

In a related development, two people and a masquerade were killed at Inoziomi quarters in Adavi Local Government Area during the Ebe festival. The incident, it was learnt, occurred on Saturday between 9p.m. and 10p.m. when gunmen ridding on a motorcycle suddenly opened fire and killed a masquerade and two people on the spot while several others were seriously wounded.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. William Aya, confirmed the killing of the masquerade, but said Momohjimoh’s abduction had not been reported to the command. Aya promised that the perpetrators of the heinous act would be apprehended to face the wrath of the law.

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Metro and Crime

Man impregnates, weds teenage sister in Anambra church

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Just like a fairy tale, a 25-year-old man, Mr. Chiadi Ezeibekwe, said he impregnated his 17-year-old younger sister. As if that was not enough, he wedded her at a church at their Agba village in Ekwulobia, Anambra State. Agba youths, who saw the marriage as “an abomination,” burnt down the church where the wedding was consummated.

It was learnt that the wedding was conducted by Chiadi’s elder brother, Mr. Chijioke Ezeibekwe, a Shepherd of Dwelling Fullness of God Church, Agba. Chiadi quoted Deuteronomy 36: 6, which, according to him, permits marriage between brothers and ssters of the same parents. However, a member of the church, who spoke on condition of anonymity, countered that. He referred the brothers to Leviticus 18:9, which clearly speaks against marriage between brother and sister.

A source noted that immediately their eldest brother, Mr. Emeka Ezeibekwe, heard of the “incestuous marriage,” he alerted the clan head, who summoned the family to an emergency meeting. When their father, popularly, known as “Luisco,” was contacted for comments, he said that his concern was a way out of the situation, since according to him, “what has happened, has happened’’.

Addressing the crowd which gathered on their premises, their mother claimed that his son’s action was biblical, saying Chiadi paid her the bride price. Further enquiries showed that Chiadi and some members of the family were baptised into the Adventist Church after leaving their former church in August 2016.

“Since they were baptised into the church, they have been engaged in weird and rebellious behaviour as well as false teachings,’’ said Mr. Onyeka, a member of the Adventist Church in Ekwulobia. “Because of their rebellious attitude and false teachings, the Seventh Day Adventist Church expelled them since May 2017.

Not long after that, Mr. Chijioke Ezeibekwe started his own church,” Onyeka added. It was also learnt that their grandmother passed away a few days after she found out about the marriage. The Igwe-in-Cabinet had since summoned the family for interrogation.

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Metro and Crime

Police probe ex-speaker’s brother’s killing

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Police yesterday commenced investigation into the murder of a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a ward rally in Nwofe Primary School, Agbaja, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The victim, Elias Nwankwegu popularly known as Okarika, who is younger brother of former Speaker of the state House of Assembly and Attorney-General, Chief Augustine Nwankwegu, was at the weekend shot dead by suspected thugs during a political gathering.

A man, Emmanuel Nwofe, has been arrested in connection with the killing. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed Nwofe’s arrest to our correspondent.

Elias’ body has been deposited at the mortuary of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA 2). Odah said the suspect, Emmanuel, in his statement, denied having a hand in Elias’ killing.

She said: “He is being accused of knowing the killers but he denied the allegation in his statement. He said he heard noises in the classroom and went there to find out what was happening. He said that some people there slapped him and kicked him to the ground and collected his phones.

“Then, shortly after that, he heard a gunshot and he took to his heels. He said he did not know his assailants as they were not from the area.” Odah said the command had also decided to invite other persons at the event for questioning in a bid to find out what actually happened.

She appealed to politicians in the state to always inform the police before carrying out any rally so that the police could deploy officers to the area to ensure safety of lives and property. “When we are not informed, we may not deploy our officers to such event and that is when such things may happen. We were not officially informed of the event,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru, has denied having a hand in Elias’ killing. He was reacting to allegations that the killers were some boys loyal to his faction of the PDP in the area.

The Speaker and former Speaker, Augustine Nwankwegu, have been having a running battle in the constituency since Nwifuru defeated Augustine in the party’s primaries in 2010. Spokesman for the speaker, Mr. Tony Nwizi, exonerated his boss from Elias’ death. Nwizi said that the gathering was a ward meeting not a rally in support of the speaker’s re-election bid as claimed in some quarters.

He said: “What happened is that the party was supposed to hold a ward meeting there. The ward is not even Mr Speaker’s ward but the current Attorney General Cletus Ofoke, who is from the ward called Mr Speaker and begged him to come attend.”

Nwizi said Nwifuru decided to make a brief stop at the meeting on his way to Ikwo Local Government Area for a burial before the incident occurred. Nwizi noted that the victim was Nwifuru’s staunch supporter so the speaker or any of his supporters had no reason to attack one of their allies in the ward.

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