By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
A violent protest of 3,000 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(Shiites) in Abuja on Monday claimed the life of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman, a Channels TV Reporter, Mr Owolabi and eight others.
It was mayhem in the Central Business Business District as vehicular traffic was obstructed as gun shots rained the air in the violent clashes between the Shiite protesters and the Police.
Business activities were brought to a standstill for several hours as Civil Servants were holed into the Federal Secretariat Complex in the vicinity of the violent protests.
The Shiites have for over two years been protesting the continued detention of their leader despite Court orders for his release which have been obeyed in the breach by government authorities.
The Police on Monday confirmed the death of Mr Usman Umar, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, in the violent protest by members of the Shiitte movement in Abuja.Besides, two vehicles belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) were set ablaze by the demonstrators around the Central Business District of Abuja where the protests occurred.
Police Spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in Abuja, confirmed the development in Abuja in a statement that said the Channels TV Reporter and one other were injured.
However, it was confirmed last night that the Channels Reporter, a member of the National Youth Service Corps, died last night after he received a stray bullet on in his abdomen.
The police said 54 suspects were arrested in connection to the protest that involved no fewer than 3, 000 members of the group, protesting the continued detention of their leader, El-Zakzakky.
According to the police the protesters “armed protesters” defied all “sense of decency and violently attacked innocent citizens and police personnel on duty’’.
“In the process, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A.K Umar, was shot and fatally injured by the protesters.
“The officer who was immediately rushed to the hospital died moments later while receiving treatment.
“Two Assistant Superintendents of Police and a Staff of Channels Television sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment,” he said.
Mba also also confirmed in his statement that the violent protesters also razed down a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Response Post with two vehicles close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
He said the 54 suspects arrested in connection with the protest were undergoing interrogation and would be arraigned as soon as possible.
Mba said that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) had commiserated with the family of the late DCP and condemned the incident, warning that “Enough-is-Enough”.
He said that the IGP had warned that the Force and the nation would not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society.
It said the protest by the group had been brought under control and called on the public to remain calm.
In a statement issued by NEMA and signed by Sani Datti, Head Media and Public Relations, I Abuja, he said the two burnt vehicles were the Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU), which is a life support ambulance and a multi-purpose Response Intervention Van (Rescue Tender).
He said, “The ERABs was situated at the location for timely response to emergencies and disasters to reduce loss of lives and property.Director General of NEMA Engr Mustapha Maihaja has visited the response bay and inspected the damage”.
Additional Reports From(NAN)
Police Parade Suspected Killers of Former Benue Judge
By David Trough, Abuja
The Benue State Police Command has paraded four suspects in connection to the murder of Retired Justice Margaret Igbetar, who was murdered in August this year.
State Commissioner of Police, Bartholomew Onyeka who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Makurdi on Tuesday said the suspects have since confessed to the crime.
According to him, among those who were arrested was a nephew to the deceased, Aondohemba Joseph, adding that Joseph had alleged that Justice Igbetar was holding his father’s property which should have been bestowed on him, but she (Justice Igbetar) had refused to relinquish the said property.
Onyeka said, “You will recall that on 24th August 2023, a case of Culpable Homicide involving the late Justice Margaret Mary Igbetar (rtd) was reported and I had promised to ensure that Justice is served. One Aondohemba Joseph, a nephew of the deceased was arrested immediately.
“A more detailed and advanced investigation started when the case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and handed over to the Operation Zenda investigative team to continue.
The suspect who eventually confessed to having planned and recruited other people to help him in killing his Aunty (Justice Igbetar) led a team of detectives to Adikpo, in Kwande Local Government Area of the state where more suspects were arrested including, Igbazenda Gbidye, 63yrs old and Dzungwenen Ukor, 40yrs old.
“These suspects admitted that Aondohemba Joseph had reported to them that his father died and left so much property in the hands of his aunty (the deceased) and she has refused to hand the said property over to him. They agreed to join him in eliminating her so that he could have access to his property.
“One Akuhwa Barnabas, 32yrs old, a driver to the deceased who was also arrested, corroborated their statements by admitting that he was the one who allowed the gang access to the house and manned the gate for them until they finished the assassination process”, the State Commissioner of Police stated.
Onyeka said commended the people of the state for their patience and cooperation adding that the command would continue to do its best to rid the state of crime
Gunmen Kill Three As They Abduct Eight In Sokoto Village
Three persons have been killed while others sustained varying injuries as bandits invaded Soro community, Binji Local Government Area of the state on Monday.
The state police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ahmad Rufai, while confirming the attack, disclosed that some gunmen suspected to be bandits launched an attack on the Soro community but men of the command with the support of military operatives swiftly moved in and successfully repelled the attack.However, the police spokesman said the bandits out of frustration, set some houses on fire as a result of which three of the residents lost their lives while a few others sustained various degrees of injuries. The PUNCH learnt from sources in the affected village that the marauders regrettably successfully abducted several other persons.“ Eight people, who are mostly women were abducted and carried away on motorcycle by the bandits,” a local hunter disclosed .Some community members who spoke about the incident informed The PUNCH that some vigilante groups who carried out a reprisal attack on a Fulani community led to a situation that forced the police commissioner, Ali Kaigama, to intervene and initiate a dialogue among the residents of the affected areas.
Freed Journalist Narrates Ordeal in Kidnapper’s Den
By David Torough, Abuja
A journalist with The Pavilion Newspaper, Moses Ogaga , who was recently abducted described his experience in the hands of his abductors as horrible.
Ogaga was kidnapped along with 13 others on September 17, in Benue.
He, said, although an undisclosed amount of money was paid by family members before they were released, no man should take the glory except God as he said, only God’s grace and mercy kept them alive.
Narrating his ordeal to DAILY ASSET, Ogaga stated that their vehicle ran into the kidnappers numbering about 6, carrying sophisticated weapons, who shot sporadically in the air with their faces masked.
He said that the criminals broke some portions of the vehicle’s windscreens, held passengers on-board captive and guarded them into the forest, where they were severely tortured.
“The abductors who were suspected to be nomadic Fulanis communicated among themselves in Fulani language but speak the common broken-English to their captives; and have cattle mooing around in the nearby bushes and the cattle were always moved to a closer range to wherever we were moved to.”
“When we were asked to declare our tribal identity, we were so discretional; it was later gathered from our captors that if any was found to be a Tiv, Agatu or Igede person from Obi LG specifically, it would have been deadly.”
He stated that while in the forest, their abductors ensured that any communication to their family members or friends was not in any other dialect but the common broken-English and was restricted and targeted at payment of ransom only.
“ We were stripped of everything in our pockets and given no food or water for the first two nights and days and we were severally moved from one spot to another through the nights and days; ordering us to lie face down, drenched in the mud, beaten by pests and the heavy rains in spite the corporal punishment and we became so weak and tired and felt hell while on earth,’ he lamented.
He disclosed that ransom for the victims was not the same but dependent on the amount accepted by the kidnappers, using based on their judgment to rate victims differently and the power of bargain from the respective rescuers.
Ogaga further hinted that his case was bad because he was found with an NUJ identity card and was believed to be government functionary and instrumental to castigating their operations, adding that two of his SIM cards and a 3-sim Tecno touch-light phone were not returned to him by the kidnappers.
He faulted the security architecture in the country and lamented that the security officers on highway check-points have turned their priority on financial gains from commercial vehicle drivers instead of protection of lives and property.
“And except proactive and tactical security measures are deployed to nip this ugly trend to the bud, we are vulnerable and left at the mercy of the perpetrators of this heinous act,” he reinstated.
He maintained that while in captivity, there was no security intervention of any sort, “no police, no soldier or the villagers attempted in any way to rescue us.”
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