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Police arrest 53 armed robbery suspects in Borno



The Police in Borno on Wednesday said 53 suspects of armed robbery and other crimes had been nabbed in the ongoing ‘Operation Puff Adder,’ in the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, made the disclosure at a news conference in Maiduguri.

Aliyu said that the suspects were arrested for crimes which included armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, cattle rustling, drug peddling, phone snatching and car theft.

He said that the suspects were apprehended at different times and locations within the past four weeks.

Aliyu said that the command recovered a number of AK47 rifles, ammunitions, large quantity of drugs and narcotic substances, knives, cutlasses, tricycles and cars from the suspects.

He said that the command arrested one Henry Haggai and four others, after they attacked and robbed one Dr Gambo Zira in Maiduguri on July 18.

Haggai accomplices, he said, were Abubakar Abba, Jesini Yakubu, Joseph Nathanial and Jeremiah Haggai.

“The suspects armed with Ak47 rifle attacked the victim’s resident and carted away his computer, cell phone and N19, 000. The rifle and other items were recovered from them,” he said.

Aliyu said that other robbery suspects arrested were Abba Ali, Ahmed Ali, Umar Mohammed and Mustapha Mohammed, adding that a tricycle and two cutlasses were recovered from the suspects.

He added that four suspects were also arrested for the theft of a car belonging to a former governor of the state, Alhaji Alsheikh Zarma.

“They transported the car to their accomplice in Kano, Ahmed Saidu, who sold it to one Sani Hamisu at the cost of N1.2 million.”

He disclosed that on July 12, the command arrested Sule Ya’u, Mukhtar Abubakar, Shuaibu Hamza and Konto Mustapha while in possession of a Toyota bus valued at N2.7 million, adding that the car was stolen from Kano.

Aliyu disclosed that two other suspects, Yusuf Mohammed, 22 and Umar Bukar, 19 were arrested over the abduction and rape of a lady at Moloi area of Maiduguri on July 15.

He added that one Dane gun, sticks, axe, knife and a cutlass were recovered from the suspects.

He said that seven other suspects, found with 45 animals suspected to have been stolen, were also apprehended by the command during the period.

According to him, the police have arrested a kidnap kingpin, Bello Dabiyo, with the help of members of his gang, adding that two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the gang.

Aliyu said the command equally arrested one Joseph Michael, Andrew Simon and Ismail Musa for illegally trading in large quantity drugs.

He said that preliminary investigation revealed that the drugs were not certified by National Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), adding that all the suspects would be arraigned after investigations.

The commissioner reiterated the commitment of the police to protect lives and property in the state, and called on the people to provide useful information on suspicious movement and activities in their communities.

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola and Olisa Ifeajika


Tens of thousands rally in France against racism and police violence




Tens of thousands of people rallied on Saturday in Paris and several other French cities to pay tribute to Georges Floyd, an African American who died from police brutality in the United States and the victims of police violence in France.

Despite the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in Paris due to coronavirus sanitary concerns, people turned out massively at Place de la concorde and the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower to show their solidarity with widespread demonstrations in the United States.

Many protesters, knee on the ground, chanting “I cannot breathe,” in homage to Floyd, 46, who died ten days ago after a white United States police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes until he stopped breathing.

In Lyon, Rennes, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lille and Rouen, people also defied the sanitary ban to join the rally against racism and police violence.

Around 23,300 people joined the rally across the country, including 5,500 in Paris, estimated the Ministry of Interior.

In the rally, demonstrators also chanted “justice for Adama Traore,” a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died four years ago in police custody in Paris.

France‘s state investigators had dismissed the charge of police brutality in the arrest of Traore, saying that the man died of heart failure due to pre-existing medical conditions.

A new probe, commissioned by Adama Traore’s family, said the young man died of asphyxiation due to the arrest technique police officers had used during the operation.

Last Tuesday, some 20,000 people had demonstrated in Paris calling for justice for Traore. “Each fault, each excess” of the police will be “the subject of an investigation, a decision, a penalty,” Minister of Interior Christophe Castaner told the parliament on Wednesday.


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Demonstrators gather in Prague to protest against police brutality in United States




Several hundred demonstrators on Saturday gathered in the old town square of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, to protest against police brutality and racism in the United States.

The demonstration was part of worldwide protests on Saturday in response to the killing of African American George Floyd in the United States city of Minneapolis. Floyd, 46, died on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he was handcuffed facing down on a street.

Some of the attendees and speakers at the event were foreigners, including American expatriates living in the Czech Republic.

Protesters held signs with slogans such as “Black Lives Matter,” “No justice, no peace” and “I can’t breathe.”

During the rally, demonstrators knelt on the ground and listened to the names of people killed by police brutality in the United States. A group of demonstrators also marched to the Embassy of the United States in Prague.


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Alleged Rape: Coalition commends Police over case against Fatoyinbo



The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) has commended the Nigerian Police for exhibiting high sense of intelligence in various investigation of rape allegations in the country.

Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi, Convener of COPA, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday.

Olajengbesi said the commendation became necessary following the conclusion of investigation on the allegation of rape levelled against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).

The allegation was instituted by Mrs Busola Dakolo, wife of Nigerian inspirational singer, Timi Dakolo.

It would be recalled that Mrs Dakolo dragged Fatoyinbo to court for allegedly raping her about 20 years ago before she turned 18, an allegation Fatoyinbo denied.

The Criminal Intelligence and Investigative Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja, had in a letter in March confirmed it had concluded investigation and had forwarded the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF).

Olajengbesi said credit should be given to the Police for the thorough investigation, given the time it took them to conclude the work and forward to DPPF for prosecution.

“Yes, we’ve received communication on the progress of the investigation and the transfer of the Police’s findings to the DPP.

“We are excited and hopeful by this development, even as we believe that justice delayed cannot be denied.

“The crime of rape is heinous and must never be tolerated as that will give impetus to the culprit to victimise others.

Mr Fatoyinbo will have to go through the test of the law and establish his innocence if possible.

“We now patiently await the ministry’s activation of the instrumentality of the law to prosecute Mr Fatoyinbo.

“Fatoyinbo’s conviction, if found guilty, will prove to the world, Nigeria’s stern and zero tolerance for criminality, regardless of who is involved.

“This is necessary in positioning our country as where the rule of law reigns supreme.

“The ball is now in the court of the ministry of justice through the DPP.

“We express the hope and faith that justice will finally be served in this matter,’’ Olajengbesi said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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‘Selma’ snubbed at 2015 Oscars after cast protested police violence, actor Oyelowo says



The civil rights movie “Selma” was made free for rental on Friday, a day after actor David Oyelowo said Oscar voters had deliberately snubbed the film in 2015.

Oyelowo, who played Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the movie, said members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences objected when “Selma” cast members protested the death of a black American.

“I remember at the premiere of ‘Selma’ us wearing ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts in protest,” said Oyelowo, referring to the death in New York of Eric Garner after being held in a police chokehold.

Garner died in July 2014; “Selma” premiered in December 2014.

Members of the Academy called in to the studio and our producers saying, ‘How dare they do that?

“Why are they stirring S-H-I-T?’ and ‘We are not going to vote for that film because we do not think it is their place to be doing that,’” he added.

Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay were overlooked in Oscar nominations in 2015, helping to spur the #OscarsSoWhite campaign demanding greater diversity in Hollywood.

“Selma” got just two nods and a win for best original song.

The actor, who is British, was speaking in a virtual round table hosted by Screen Daily on Thursday about racism in the United States that was prompted by the death in May, of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while pinned by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

“It’s part of why that film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite,” added Oyelowo.

“They used their privilege to deny a film on the basis of what they valued in the world.”

DuVernay re-tweeted the Screen Daily account, adding the comment “True story.”

The Academy replied on Twitter, “Ava & David, we hear you. Unacceptable. We’re committed to progress.”

Movie studio Paramount Pictures declined to comment on Oyelowo’s remarks.

On Friday it announced that “Selma” would be free for rental for the remainder of June, saying that had been planned earlier this week.

“We hope this small gesture will encourage people throughout the country to examine our nation’s history and reflect on the ways that racial injustice has infected our society,” Paramount said in a statement.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara (NAN)


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Kenyan police nab 3 terror suspects with explosive materials




Kenyan police said they are interrogating three terror suspects who were arrested on Friday while ferrying explosive materials along Nairobi-Namanga highway.

The security forces from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the three suspects were arrested near Maili Tisa trading center with bomb-making materials.

“Explosive materials including 17 rolls of detonating codes and one packet containing 100 pieces of supreme detonators have been recovered by a multi-agency team of officers,” DCI said in a statement on Friday evening.

The three include a foreign national aged 26 years.

The DCI said they have launched investigations into the incident. Namanga is near the Kenya-Tanzania border.

“The suspects are in lawful custody pending further police action. Further investigations on the matter are ongoing,” said the DCI.

The police hold that many al-Shabab returnees are holed in Kenya especially in northern and coastal regions.

The militants have since changed tactics and resorted to abductions and using improvised explosive devices to carry out attacks in parts of the two regions, according to police.


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Killings: Oyo police commissioner relocates to Moniya



The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr Nwachukwu Enwonwu, has relocated his office to Moniya in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state following the killing an 18-year-old, Barakat Bello, and a 29-year-old, Azeezat Somuyiwa, in the area.

The Deputy Commissioner(Operations) and  Deputy Commissioner (Criminal Investigation Department) among other top officers had also relocated to the area.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bello, a student of Department of Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) ,Federal College of Animal Health and Production, Ibadan, was on Monday raped and  killed.

NAN also reports that Somuyiwa, who was seven months pregnant, was killed on Friday in the axis.

A statement issued in Ibadan by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Olugbenga Fadeyi, announced the relocation to the area in response to the killings.

“The police are aware of the dastardly killing of one Baraka Bello ‘f’ 18-years-old of Oloro Area kraal, Akinyele LGA of Oyo State on 31st May, 2020 and one Azezat Somuyiwa ‘f’ aged 29 years of Ijefun Community, Moniya Akinyele LGA, on 5th June, 2020.

` It should be noted that immediately the Commissioner of Police got wind of the incident, he relocated his office to the area along with the DC Operations, DC Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Area Commander, Moniya, DPOs Moniya and Ojoo with all the police tactical teams in company with Special Assistant (SA) and Executive Assistant (EA) Security from Oyo State Government House.

“Furthermore, intensified efforts are on by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Iyaganku, Ibadan, to unravel the mystery behind the dastardly killings.

`The Commissioner of Police therefore wishes to use this medium to put the records straight that Azezat Somuyiwa ‘f’ aged 29 years of Ijefun Community, Moniya, that was killed in the early hours of 5th June, 2020 by some assailants was smashed with stone on her head.

“The deceased is not a post graduate student of the University of Ibadan as widely circulated on the social media. Her murder seems similar to that of a ritual killing,’’ Fadeyi said.

The police spokesman said the commissioner reiterated the resolve of the command to get to the root of the matter and advised members of the public to be wary of hoodlums in their midst.

Fadeyi quoted the commissioner as warning residents to be security conscious and embark on bush clearing.

The commissioner also reiterated the command’s resolve to continue to rejig the security architecture for maximum protection of lives and property in the state.

He urged residents to continue to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation, saying  adequate security measures had been put in place to respond promptly to any security threat.

Edited By: Mufutau Ojo (NAN)

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United States protests against police brutality met with excessive police force




#PoliceBrutality, #PoliceViolence and #PoliceBrutalityProtests, have, among others, become trending hastags on United States social media as protests triggered by the death of George Floyd in police custody witnessed more incidents of excessive police force.

Two police officers of Buffalo, New York, were suspended without pay on Thursday after a viral video showed them pushing an old man to the ground at a protest over Floyd’s death.

“When I saw the video from Buffalo, it made me sick to my stomach. Where was the threat? How can you walk by a person when there’s blood coming out of his head? It’s fundamentally inhumane & frightening,” tweeted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday.

The local police department first claimed the man tripped and fell, but the video told a different story. The 75-year-old man is in stable but serious condition in hospital, city leaders said.

In Atlanta, Georgia, six police officers have been fired with five of the facing charges of excessive force against two college students during a protest Saturday.

Body camera footage shows the two students, who were on their way home from picking up food when they got caught in traffic downtown caused by the protest, were hit with tasers by officers before being pulled out of their car.

A Philadelphia police commander has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly beating a student from Temple University with a baton during a protest Tuesday in Center City district, the city’s district attorney said Friday night.

The cop is seen in a cell phone video attacking the student, then jumping on the student and making an arrest.

A police officer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave after a viral video showed him knocking over a protester who was kneeling with her hands up.

The shaky footage shows the officer walked away from a crowd of demonstrators before shoving the protester who was kneeling behind him.

“Hi. You’re probably seeing this pinned tweet because cops are rioting nationwide and I’m trying to keep track,” wrote T. Greg Doucette, an attorney in North Carolina, who has compiled 323 clips of videotaped incidents by Friday evening at his Twitter account @greg_doucette.

“The use of force by police can’t pacify protests responding to the use of force by police,” commented David A. Graham in his story published in The Atlantic on May 31.

“The demonstrations around the country take as their starting point that police are brutalizing citizens of color. Law-enforcement officers and agencies have two ways to respond: They can affirm that complaint with aggressive policing and overwhelming force, or they can work to show they are on the same side, against brutality … but the aggressive strategy clearly doesn’t,” he said.


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Afghan fighting, roadside bomb kill 15 including 11 police in Badakhshan




At least 15 fighters including 11 local police personnel were confirmed dead as a clash erupted in Khash district of Afghanistan’s northern Badakhshan province on Saturday, provincial police spokesman Sanahullah Rohani said.

The clash flared up after Taliban militants launched massive offensives on several security checkpoints, triggering heavy fighting and both sides have suffered, the official added.

According to the official, a police van ran over a mine, leaving 11 officers dead while four militants including Mullah Hamid, the shadow governor of Taliban for Khash district were also killed.

Rohani said that a cleanup operation is underway in the area. The Taliban outfit has yet to make comment.


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New York state governor unveils police reform agenda in wake of George Floyd death




Governor of the United States state of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced a reform agenda to address police brutality, especially against minority communities, following the death of Minnesota man George Floyd.

The “Say Their Name” agenda will make prior disciplinary records of law enforcement officers transparent, ban chokeholds and make false race-based 911 reports a hate crime, said Cuomo at his daily briefing.

Meanwhile, the state’s attorney general will work as an independent prosecutor for deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement, he said.

“Mr. Floyd’s murder was the breaking point of a long list of deaths that were unnecessary and abusive, and people are saying ‘enough is enough,'” said Cuomo.

The governor pointed out that stopping police abuse vindicates the “99.9 percent of police who are there to do the right thing” and would also make the community-police relationship work better, he added.

Cuomo said New York should lead the charge and he would work with the state legislature to pass the agenda next week.

Confrontations — some times violent — between protesters and police have erupted during demonstrations nationwide during the past week. The governor said Thursday’s incident in Buffalo of upstate New York between two officers and a 75-year-old man was “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.”

In a video circulating online, two heavily-armed officer pushed the man, who approached them alone during a protest over George Floyd’s death, while asking him to move back.

The man tripped and fell backward with his head hitting the ground. Blood was seen coming from his head while no officer came to tend him immediately, as the video showed.

“Why? Why was that necessary? Where was the threat?” Cuomo questioned. “It’s just fundamentally offensive and frightening. How did we get to this place?”

The governor said he had spoken with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and they agreed that the officers involved should be immediately suspended, a decision that was announced late on Thursday.

Cuomo said he had also spoken on the phone with the old man, who was in serious condition but is “thankfully alive.”

“I believe the district attorney is looking into it from a possible criminal liability point of view, and I applaud the district attorney for moving quickly,” the governor added.


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