From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Hunters from Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State on Monday nabbed two kidnappers suspected to be terrorizing the area while security operatives recovered three guns from the arrested criminals.
The chairman of Okehi Local Government Area, Abdulraheem Ohiare Ozovehe who led the operation to the kidnapper’s hideout in Arima, Ijumu LGA said exhibits they recovered were two (2) guns from Murne Beji, a locally made medium barrelled Revolver using AK 47 bullets and a locally made long-barrelled gun.
He stated that the two other members of the kidnap gang who were at large before, Kadi Abdullahi and Rabiu Muhammadu (Rabe) were also arrested and a locally made pistol recovered from them.
The chairman indicated that the suspects have been remanded in custody and helping the Security Agencies with useful information that would asist in the arrest of others.
The Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Muhammed Onogwu while commenting on the issue said the state’s security architecture has continued to stand the test of time adding that it has recorded successes against several intricacies by criminal elements
He opined that the results they were recording were mainly due to the boost in the morale and support by the governor to security operatives.
Onogwu commended security agencies in the state for their effort in ensuring that there is peace in the state.
The chief press Secretary disclosed that the effort of the Kogi State Government to keep the momentum as the safest state in the country is yielding good results.
He noted that the Governor has at various fora made commitment to securing the lives and property of the citizens and make the state a no go zone for criminal elements
He reiterated that Government at all levels would continue to sustain the drive for a peaceful Kogi state by making every nooks and cranny of the state unsafe for criminal elements and their sponsors.
Kogi Demands Apology from EFCC Over N20bn Bailout
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.
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)
Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest, Lady in Umuahia
Gunmen wreaked havoc in Umuahia yesterday with the kidnap of two persons, a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Godfrey Chimezie, of St. Theresa Parish, Umuahia, and a lady.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victims were abducted in separate incidents in the early hours of the day.
NAN learnt that while the priest was abducted on the Enyiukwu Road in Ohokobe Afaraukwu, near the church, the lady was abducted at a petrol station on Aba Road, near Madonna Catholic Hospital, Umuahia.
Eyewitness account said the priest was returning to his parish after attending morning Mass at St.
“The kidnappers forced him out of his Toyota Corolla car and bundled him into their SUV jeep and escaped,” a resident of the area said on the condition of anonymity.
A senior priest in Umuahia Catholic Diocese confirmed the abduction of the priest to NAN also on the condition of anonymity.
He described Chimezie as a young priest, who was ordained early in the year.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Abia, SP Godfrey Ogbonna, said the command had yet to get a formal report on the incident from the church.
Ogbonna confirmed the kidnap of the lady, saying she was taken away after purchasing fuel from the service station.
According to him, the report has it that the woman was double-crossed as she was driving out of the filling station and driven away by the hoodlums.
He said it was not clear yet if the two incidents were carried out by the same gang.
Ogbonna said the command had begun investigation into the abduction of the female victim.
He, therefore, advised the church authorities to make a formal report on the kidnap of the priest at any police station around the scene of the incident.
“This is to enable the command to commence investigation with a view to rescuing the victim,” he said.
NAN reports that the two incidents sparked off panic among residents, who expressed fear that the trend might degenerate if not nipped in the bud.
A resident, Mr Kingsley Onyemuche, said: “We have never recorded such dastardly acts in one day in Umuahia.
“This place has been quiet and devoid of violent crime for some time now; but these two cases in one day have put so much fear in every resident.
“Abia Government and security agencies should take urgent steps to tackle this ugly development and threat to security of lives and property.”(NAN)
EFCC Recovers N1.6bn for AMCOM in Four Years
The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says it has received N1, 667, 582, 605.04 recovered funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) between 2017 and July 5, 2021.
This was contained in a letter presented to the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of All Recovered Loots at an investigative hearing on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The letter was signed by the Managing Director, Ahmed Lawan Kuru and Group Head, Enforcement, Joshua Ikioda.
The corporation said the amount represented loan repayments recovered, which were credited to its Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) account for the settlement of bond obligations.
Presenting a synopsis of the payment, AMCON indicated that remittances to the corporation in 2017 amounted to N1, 178, 764, 500 for the credit of nine debtors.
For recoveries made in 2019, the agency said it received N356, 318, 105.08 on 21st September 2020 on account of seven debtors.
AMCON said it received a letter dated December 17, 2019 from the EFCC forwarding promissory notes on account of four debtors to the tune of N1, 194, 778, 813.
The corporation, however, said that the notes were returned to the EFCC through a letter dated October 28, 2019 as they were made out by the Debt Management Office.
The letter pointed out that the schedule forwarded to the corporation by the House Committee indicated remittances by EFCC of the sum of N87, 495, 087.50 in 2020.
But the agency said it was yet to receive the quoted amount as it might be collections yet to be released to the corporation.
Also at the hearing, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it was working to recover debts from some banks for the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividend funds.
The committee, led by Hon Adeogun Adejoro, also directed that the NNPC should submit all its accounts by its next sitting next week Tuesday.
Adejoro said all debts owed the government must be vigorously pursued, as such monies were needed to fund the 2022 budget. (NAN)
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