Enugu CP warns personnel to shun extortion, incivility



The Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mr Sulaiman Balarabe, has warned police officers and men under his command to shun extortion and incivility in the discharge of their duties.

Balarabe gave the warning on Thursday at Oji River Police Area Command during his ongoing tour of police formations and divisions under Oji River Area Command.

He reminded officers and men of the command on the need to remain dedicated to duty and to exhibit high level of professionalism.

According to him, officers and men of the command must shun all forms of indiscipline while discharging their duties.

He also reminded them on the use of firearms as well as community partnership and community policing.

The commissioner noted that anyone found wanting on professionalism would be visited with disciplinary action.

He warned against raiding of suspected criminal hideouts to collect bail money but insisted that those raided must be screened and entries to that effect made.

“Those linked with any crime should be investigated and prosecuted; while those not linked to any crime should be immediately released without any condition.

“Raiding of suspected criminal hideouts should be intelligent-led under the principle of intelligent-led policing,’’ he said.


Abia CP confirms killing of fruit vendor in Umuahia



The Abia police command has confirmed the death of one Miss Kasarachi Okwuonu, a fruit vendor, who was reportedly hit by a “stray bullet” during a crossfire between the police and alleged armed bandits at Apumiri, the headquarters of Umuahia south council area.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ene Okon, told newsmen in Umuahia that he was briefed about the incident by the head of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) upon his return from Abuja.

He said that the incident happened on Wednesday night, when a team from SARS that responded to a distress call concerning a robbery reportedly engaged the suspects in a gun battle.

He said that the gunmen, numbering five and in army camouflage, were operating in the area, using a Toyota RAV4 .

“On sighting the SARS team, the gang opened fire and SARS operatives exchanged fire with the robbers.

“In the exchange of fire, a stray bullet hit the victim, who was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was later confirmed dead.”

Okon dismissed speculations that the deceased was either shot directly or killed by accidental discharge.

He said, “There was nothing like accidental discharge or direct firing at the victim.”

He said that the Toyota Sienna van used by the SARS operatives was riddled with bullets from the hoodlums.

However, an eyewitness account said that there was no case of robbery in the area as alleged by the police.

He said that the incident occurred around 10 pm, when SARS operatives were on their routine patrol of the area.

He alleged that the operatives were in the habit of harassing and arresting commercial motorcyclists in the area once it became late.

He further said that those arrested and detained were usually made to pay as much as between N30,000 and N50,000 for their bail.

The eyewitness said that it was during an encounter between the SARS men and motorcyclists that one of them pulled the trigger that shot and killed Kasarachi.

“There was no robbery in this place at all. We saw what happened and we can identify the policeman who pulled the trigger,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

It was further learnt that the decessed was hit by the bullet while returning from a filling station, where she had gone to pack her wares at the end of the day’s business.

The decessed was described as the breadwinner of her family.

Meanwhile, the police commissioner said that he had set up a panel from the State Criminal Investigation Department to investigate the circumstances that led to the death.

Nigeria News Agency reports that youths of Mgbarakuma Ubakala, where the deceased hailed from, took to the streets on Thursday to protest what they termed the “cold-blooded murder” of their sister.

(Edited by: Sam Oditah)

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Police arrest man with stolen car, master key in Benue



The Benue Police Command on Thursday said that the command arrested one suspect (name withheld) with a stolen car and a master key.

The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, told Nigeria News Agency in Makurdi that the suspect was also arrested with a plate number belonging to another stolen car.

Anene said the suspect, who was arrested on Dec. 6 in Makurdi was in possession of several items suspected to be stolen.

(The suspect) was arrested with a stolen Toyota Camry. We recovered a plate number of another car stolen in Abuja from him.

We also recovered a car master key from him that opens all kinds of cars. We recovered books from him that were stolen inside a man’s car at Modern Market, Makurdi sometime ago,” said.

The PPRO said that the suspect had, however,  claimed that the items were stolen by his late brother who was killed by the Force earlier.

Similarly, Anene disclosed that the Command has made special deployments of officers for the yuletide.

She said that the Command has banned the use of any explosive device (knockout) during the Christmas season, adding that anyone caught using it would be arrested.

There are special deployments of officers to Churches, Highways and all exist routes. With this development there would be less cheek points, but officers would be very visible all over the Highways.

“We have also deployed additional officers for intelligence gathering to be able to foil all plans of criminals,” she said,

Anene said that the Command was determined to ensure that Benue residents enjoyed a hitch free Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Edited by: Edith Bolokor/Ismail Abdulaziz

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MNJTF commander assures wounded soldiers of quality Medicare



The Force Commander, Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Yusuf, has visited wounded soldiers in hospital and assured them of quality healthcare.

The Chief of Military Public Information for MNJTF, Col. Timothy Antigha, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in N’Djamena, Chad and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

The soldiers, who are of Cameroonian, Chadian, Nigerien and Nigerian nationalities, were recuperating from injuries sustained in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the Lake Chad Area,

The force commander, while addressing the affected soldiers in a Specialist Hospital in N’Djamena, hailed them for fighting a good cause.

The MNJTF is very proud of your sacrifices and is committed to ensuring that you have the best medicare that will guarantee your full recovery”.

Yusuf thanked the hospital management for the expert care being given to the soldiers, adding that the MNJTF would continue to collaborate with the management for optimal healthcare delivery to the soldiers.

He also commended the MNJTF Medical Team for their efforts and professionalism in ensuring that the personnel remains healthy.

The soldiers expressed their willingness to quickly rejoin their colleagues in the various sectors of operation once they are fully recovered.

Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz

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FRSC debunks reported death of 30 passengers in Benin-Ore road crash



The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has debunked a media report that 30 people died in a road accident which occurred around 2.30 p.m. at Show Boy on Ore-Benin Expressway on Wednesday.

The Commander, FRSC, Ore Unit, Mr Olusegun Aladenika, told Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Ore that four passengers died in the accident, contrary to the report.

Aladenika said that the accident happened as a result of speeding by the vehicles involved.

The vehicles are a white Toyota Hiace bus marked ACA 606 XT belonging to GUO Transport Company, and a white Vagana bus, marked AKL 846 YY owned by Peace Mass Transport Company.

“We need to set the record straight that four people died in the accident as against 30 that was widely report by some media.

“Thirty passengers (16 male and 12 female adults as well as two female children) were involved in the accident.

“Twenty-six (10 male, 14 female and two female children) were seriously injured while the remaining four (two male and two female) died on the spot,” Aladenika said.

He said personnel from the unit swiftly rescued the 26 injured passengers and took them to General Hospital, Ore.

The unit commander said the remains of the deceased were deposited at Opeyemi Hospital also in Ore.

Edited by: Ejike Obeta/Chukwudi Ekezie

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Navy seeks community support to eradicate maritime crime



The Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy on Thursday called for continuous support from community leaders to eradicate maritime crimes in the Niger Delta waterways.

Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, Flag Officer, Commanding the Central Naval Command, made the call in Koluama 2, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the Navy offered free medical services to residents of the communities.

Garba, who was represented by Rear Admiral Solomon Agada, Chief Staff Officer, Central Naval Command said that a crime-free waterway would foster socio-economic development of the communities.

He said that the medical services was part of its end of year activities and a strategy of giving back to the host communities.

He said the exercise would further cement the cordial relationship that existed between the personnel and host communities.

”The Central Naval Command choose to bring the service to Koluama communities, the host of our Naval outpost due to its strategic importance to the Command’s operations.

”The exercise is also for security of water ways and to demonstrate the commitment of the Chief of the Naval Staff and the command’s effort at sustaining harmonious relationship with host communities of Koluama.

The exercise will provide an avenue to sensitise members of the communities on topical health issues as well as offer free medical consultation,’” he said.

The flag officer said that the treatment and other medical activities would have positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people.

The traditional ruler of the community, Amakoeo Osaisai, commended the Navy for the gesture, adding that the community has no functional health care center or hospital.

According to Osaisai, people travel to Yenagoa, which is a distance of about 3 hours on flying boat, to access medical services.

He called on other agencies, state and federal government to come to the aid of the community by providing functional hospital as well as doctors and nurses.

NAN reports that indigenes of Koluama 1 and 2 communities in Fishtown, came out in their numbers to receive the free medical services.

Edited by: Chinyere Bassey/Ismail Abdulaziz

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