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DEFENCE

2023: Umahi Partners Security Operatives to Eliminate Bandits, Criminals in Ebonyi

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From Godwin Okeh, Abakaliki

As the 2023 general elections approach, Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has vowed to partner security operatives to flush out bandits criminals in the state.

The governor said that Simon Ekpa is a new bandit that terrorizes the South East region and vowed that such people must be flushed out.

Umahi made this known while addressing stakeholders and party members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), during the special party for elders and widows that hail from the 13 LGAs of the state which took place at Ecumenical Centre Abakaliki capital of Ebonyi state.

The governor said that Ebonyi state can’t be part of Biafra, and lamented on the continued killings and destruction of lives and properties in the South East region.

“When this agitation for Biafra started, I told them that this matter will go beyond Nnamdi Kanu. And today, it has gone beyond Nnamdi Kanu. Every criminal says he is a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Every criminal says he is Eastern Security Network (ESN).

“Now, we have another bandit they call Simon Ekpa. Is this the Biafra we desired? To be killing ourselves and displacing others. That’s why we said in the hit of that crisis that Ebonyi state can never be part of Biafra. We are not Biafra.

“If Biafra is to be killing ourselves, to go to the market and start shooting people, people that have done nothing. To be declaring Sit-at-home, in our home land and destroying the economy. For what reason? These things are strange to our culture.

“We have phones, and we call our people to call us on phone and tell us where this people are. The Police and Ebubeagu Security outfit are on ground. I warn the politicians who use these boys. They are the once that go to Court to sue Ebubeagu. They go to national television to condemn Ebubeagu.

“They have killed a lot of Ebubeagu people who are trying to protect our people. I ask all the local government people to give us information, because we are ready to enter into the forest to flush out these bandits before the general elections,” he stated.

DEFENCE

Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

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Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta), on Wednesday disclosed that he had secured the release of four family members involved in manufacturing arms at the Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory in Delta.

Nwoko representing Delta North Senatorial District, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen Abuja, said that the release of the four persons was through collaborative efforts.

NAN recalls that on March 12, troops of 63 Brigade, Asaba, uncovered an illegal arms manufacturing factory in Onicha-Olona, Delta North Senatorial District and arrested eight family members in connection with the crime.

Nwoko disclosed that efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“Following my recent visit to the headquarters of 63 Brigade, Asaba and productive discussions with the Brigade Commander, I am pleased to announce progress in addressing the situation regarding the illegal arms factory discovered in the Onicha-Olona community, Delta.

“Efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“I am pleased to reveal that through collaborative efforts, I have successfully secured the release of four family members implicated in the illegal activity.

“However, our commitment to upholding the law remains unwavering, and endeavors continue for fair judgment and potential pardon for the remaining four individuals,” he said.

The lawmaker stressed that the underlying issue highlighted by the discovery, however, remained of paramount importance.

“We must seize the opportunity to redirect the talents demonstrated by those involved towards lawful and productive endeavors.

“The young man in the family, known for his passion and ability to build drones, exemplifies this potential.

“His skills should be harnessed and put to good use,” he said.

Nwoko added that the Industrial Revolution served as a pertinent historical precedent where individual efforts catalysed transformative change and made possible by governments that created conducive environments.

“We can emulate this model here. We can provide support and opportunities for talented individuals like the young drone builder, and stimulate a new wave of innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.

“As previously stated, Nigeria’s economy faces significant challenges exacerbated by escalating imports, particularly in the realm of arms and weaponry.

“Therefore, it is imperative that we harness our indigenous talents for the greater good and bolster our local industries,” he said.

Nwoko further said that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology, have crucial roles to play in this regard.

According to him, by engaging with individuals possessing such skills, we can offer them legal avenues for their expertise to flourish.

“The aim is not only to prevent the proliferation of illegal arms or other weapons manufacturing but also to channel these talents towards legitimate industries for national development.

“I reiterate the need for the government to support and integrate such offenders with specialised skills and talents into the formal economy.

“This initiative should focus on recognising their capabilities and providing opportunities for them to contribute to the development of our local indigenous technology.

“As noted earlier, an individual capable of modifying an AK-47 magazine, originally designed to hold 30 rounds, to accommodate 60 rounds using rudimentary equipment, holds immense potential for greater achievements.

”Such individual can do more with proper legal support and access to adequate resources.”

He disclosed that he was committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skillful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavors.

“Personally, I am committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skillful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavors.

“They have the intelligence and insights of the potential beneficiaries of this “amnesty” drive towards creating a new cadre of indigenous technologists.

“This law would establish an agency dedicated to providing government support and resources to rehabilitate and engage these individuals in legal and productive activities.

“I tentatively suggest naming this proposed law the “National Talent Rehabilitation and Integration Act”.

“This legislation will not only focus on rehabilitation but also on harnessing the skills and talents of offenders for the benefit of society.

“By providing a structured environment and necessary support, this agency will facilitate the transition of individuals from illicit activities to lawful and productive ventures.

”And they will be contributing to both their personal rehabilitation and national development,” Nwoko added. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

Police Nab Suspected Armed Robbery kingpin,  4 others in Abuja

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The operatives of Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have arrested a suspected armed robbery kingpin and four others in Abuja.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the FCT,  SP Josephine Adeh, said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Adeh said the alleged kingpin was the leader of an armed robbery gang responsible for series of robberies and other heinous crimes in the FCT.

She said the kingpin was arrested,  following the apprehension of an alleged cultist and member of the armed robbery gang on Feb.

14.

She said the three other suspects, who were also members of the gang, were arrested following investigations by police operatives.

According to her, all the suspects have confessed to be involved in series of armed robberies and other heinous crimes in FCT.

She said they had also admitted to be members of a confraternity cult group, called Vikings.

Adeh said four locally fabricated AK47 rifles, three locally made rifles, using cartridges, an English pistol and one locally made pistol were recovered from the suspects.

The police spokesperson said a Dane gun, three AK47 ammunition and an empty cartridge were also, recovered from the suspects.

She said efforts were being intensified to recover other exhibits in possession of the suspects.

Adeh said the Commissioner of Police in charge of the FCT, Mr Benneth Igweh, had reiterated the commitment of the command to make FCT uncomfortable for criminals.

She said the CP had enjoined residents to be vigilant and take advantage of the police emergency lines to report suspicious activities through 08032003913, 08028940883, 08061581938 and 07057337653. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

Police Rescue Victims of Eke-Ebe Road Kidnap, Try Abductors

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The Police Command in Enugu State has rescued, unhurt, persons abducted along the Eke/Ebe Road in Udi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state after a fierce gun battle with the abductors.

The Command’s Spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, in a statement on Wednesday in Enugu, said that the gun battle and rescue happened at about 6:15 p.

m. on March 31, 2024.

According to Ndukwe, police operatives serving in Ezinze Police Division, complemented by the Neighbourhood Watch Group, rescued the victims allegedly kidnapped on the same date at about 4:55 p.

m., along Eke-Ebe Road.

He said that after a fierce gun battle with the abductors, they abandoned the victims and fled.

“The immediate rescue is due to the team’s swift response upon receipt of information alleging that the victims, who were plying the road in two Mercedes Benz 4Matic Jeeps, were abducted and taken into the forest.

“However, further operations to hunt down the abductors are ongoing,” he said.

He said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Kanayo Uzuegbu, had also condemned the viral video which allegedly showed that another police team responded to the incident, but without a clear knowledge of the location of the first responding team, and refused to go into the forest to rescue the same victims.

The Command’ Spokesman said: “This is even when the police operatives had only arrived at the scene and were awaiting necessary intelligence-guidance before proceeding into the forest, to avoid any form of collateral damage.

“The commissioner further described the allegations contained in the viral video as an unfortunate act of mischief that is obviously aimed at maligning and distracting the police from frontally tackling and purging Enugu State of die-hard criminals and their activities.

“The commissioner emphasizes that the video was without doubt a gimmick intended to misinform and mislead the public and the command will not waver in its quest to rid Enugu State of unrepentant criminals and their activities despite the mischievous distraction.” (NAN)

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