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Kogi Demands Apology from EFCC Over N20bn Bailout

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Kogi State Government on Friday, demanded apology from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged “embarrassment” of dragging it to court over N20 billion bailout fund.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Kingsley Fanwo, stated the government’s position at the presentation of awards to senior journalists who participated in the GYB Essay Competition for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Editors in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that EFCC had on Friday, told the court that it was no longer pursuing the case after the state government had given its commitment to return the money to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Fanwo said it was unfortunate that the commission ignored thorough explanations by the state government on the matter; but chose to heed allegations from “hired guns.”

He added that it was unfortunate that the commission chose to believe allegations that it fixed N19 billion out of the amount in a new generation bank.

The commissioner challenged the commission to exhibit professionalism in its affairs, noting, however, that the state government was yet to receive details of the judgement.

Fanwo declared that the state government would address the media after receiving the Certified True Copy of the judgment.

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The commission withdrew the suit seeking the forfeiture of N20 billion bail-out funds granted to the Kogi State Government by a new generation bank.

The money, which was meant for the payment of civil servants was alleged to have been domiciled in an interest-yielding account with the bank by officials of the state government.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the order of withdrawal on Friday sequel to a motion filed and argued by EFCC counsel, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN),  leading Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Pinheiro listed six grounds upon which the judge granted the prayer, adding that “the EFCC is a responsible body”.

One of the grounds was that questions resulting in the commencement of the suit had been clarified, and an intention had been shown to return the sum of N19.4 billion to the Central Bank of Nigeria. (NAN)

CRIME

Assailants Kill Buhari Supporter, Kenechukwu Okeke in Anambra

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Human rights activist and supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Kenechukwu Okeke has been killed in Anambra State.

Okeke was said to have been attacked by machete bearing men numbering seven.

In his life time, the controversial activist who had dragged many celebrities and media outfits, including CNN to court for defaming President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration was said to have been killed in Nkpor, near Onitsha, Anambra State, in the presence of his wife, Mrs. Blessing Odinakachi Okeke and his little daughter.

Mrs. Okeke told newsmen that her husband was killed by his tenant over rent issues.

” The Tenant, Chiadiobi, was living in our house, but when he packed out without our knowledge and asked to be given two months of his rent that he left, we told him he should have notified us that he was packing out.

“My husband was not around the controversial day he came but I told him he packed out of the house without our knowledge and should not be given back any money. He threatened to deal with us, saying he will teach my husband a lesson. I called my husband and told him what the boy said and that he should not come to confront him, since they say he is a bad boy.

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“My husband later reported the matter to the DSS and to the police, and he was made to write an undertaking, but he was still coming to terrorize us. Sometimes he will come to our house and break open the gate and come in and pick whatever he wants to pick.

“One day, he came to our house and my husband confronted him, without knowing that he had many boys with him downstairs, and before my husband could do anything, they macheted him, and the fuel we wanted to pour into our gen, they poured it on him and lit him up, and that was how my husband died.

“That day was Sunday and not everyone was around, and the few people around tried to quench the fire and also stop it from burning our house, and later we took him to hospital in Enugu, and that was how he died.”

According to her, since after the death of Okeke in October, the family has been left alone with the burden of catering for his burial, just as no mention or quest by any organization to take up his matter has been heard of.

She said what was more heart-rending was that her husband’s killer; Chiadiobi, is still in the neighbourhood, bragging about having dealt with Okeke, while also confronting her husband’s aged mum.

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“He even recently confronted my husband’s mother, warning her that he heard that she is taking the matter up, and was warning her to be careful. The boy is still free, going around and without remorse, and we are just left alone to do the arrangements of the burial.

“Up till now, he has not been arrested, even though we took him to police and DSS, and he was made to write an undertaking that he will not disturb us again, but he has finally killed him. I’m not even understanding the police on this matter. I’m confused. The boy is behaving like he is untouchable, and everyone is saying that he is a bad boy and we should be careful. We live in Nkpor, near Onitsha, Tarzan junction.”

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Cross River Community Cries Over Incessant Kidnapping of Residents

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Residents of Lemna community in Calabar Municipality in Cross River State have raised the alarm over armed robbery and incessant kidnapping of their members in recent times.

Lemna is a beach community that hosts the state water board water treatment plant as well as concentration of dump sites which stench poses terrible health threats.

Last month, at least six persons, including two women were reportedly kidnapped and taken out through the waterway in a speed boat. After alleged payments of ransom, three have been released by their abductors.

The residents have therefore called on the state government to establish heavy security presence, site a security post and marine police patrol along its waterways.

Some residents have expressed gratitude towards members of the community for taking up the responsibility of securing the area through vigilantes but suggested that more can be done to keep the community safe.

Speaking on behalf of other community stakeholders, a youth leader, Akpan Ephraim said “The waterways are porous and they come in regularly through such places. The beach of course is a busy place, suspected kidnappers lurk around and infiltrate our community which they claim rich people stay here.

“We call on the state government and security agencies to establish their presence here because our lives are at risk.

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“The gangs that kidnapped our other members last month have sent threats that they will still come back for more persons.

“We need marine police as well as the police to come the beach and the dump sites,” he said. (DAILY POST)

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CRIME

Masari’s Aide Calls for Collective Effort against Insecurity

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The Special Adviser on Security to the Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Katsina, has called for collective efforts to end insecurity in the state.

Katsina stated this during a town hall meeting organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) “Murna Foundation” in collaboration with “Community Initiative to Promote Peace (CIPP) Mercy Corps” in Katsina yesterday.

He noted that the spate of kidnapping, cattle rustling, robbery, rape and other security challenges bedeviling the state would soon come to an end when all hands were on deck.

According to him, the efforts to attain peace in the state must not be left in the hands of the armed forces, the police and other security agencies alone.

“The issue of fighting insecurity is not the sole responsibility of the government alone; it should be a collective effort.

“We must therefore come together and address the problem by ourselves,” he added.

Earlier, the Executive Director, Murna Foundation,  Hajiya Aisha Ahmed, said the aim of organising the meeting was to hear people’s views on how the insecurity situation in the state can be tackled.

“We want to be frank with ourselves, we want to call a spade a spade and fashion the way out.

“This is necessary because we are tired with the insecurity in our state,” she said.

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Alhaji Sani Suleiman, Deputy Chief of Party, CIPP, Mercy Corps, said that the organisation, funded by USAID helps in peace building to prevent violent conflicts in most at-risk-communities in the states of the North-west, North-east and central regions.

Suleiman said that the organisation had partnerships in 40 countries around the world in finding solutions to security problems.

“We strengthen and build more sustainable Early Warning Early Response (EWER) mechanism.

“We increase collaboration among conflicting and vulnerable communities with government, civil societies, local leaders to address the root causes of conflicts among others,” he said.

The Wife of Katsina State Governor, Hajiya Hadiza Masari, in her remarks, said that the root cause of insecurity and violent acts could be traced to taking of dangerous drugs.

She advised parents to put watchful eyes on their children in their interest and good of the society.

The participants at the meeting cut across security agencies, traditional institutions, youth organisations, women, government officials among others in the state. (NAN)

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