Matawalle’s $2m Bribe Allegation: EFCC ‘ll Not Bandy Words with Suspect–Spokesman
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has said it would not exchange words Zamafara State Governor, Bello Muhammaed Matawalle, who is being investigated over a N70bn fraud allegation.
The Commission said in a statement in Abuja that “Matawalle’s recourse to mudslinging is symptomatic of a drowning man clutching at straws.”
“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been drawn to a trending interview granted to the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, by Bello Muhammed Matawalle, governor of Zamfara State, where he allegedly made wild bribery allegations against the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr.Abdulrasheed Bawa
“But despite the irritation of his phantom claims, the Commission will not be drawn into a mud fight with a suspect under its investigation for corruption and unconscionable pillage of the resources of his state. If Matawalle will be taken seriously, he should go beyond sabre-rattling by spilling the beans – provide concrete evidence as proof of his allegations.
“Again, the Commission wishes to alert the public about plans by some of the alleged corrupt politically exposed persons to flee the country ahead of May 29. The Commission is working in close collaboration with its international partners to frustrate these escape plans and bring those involved to justice” EFCC said in a statement by Wilson Uwujaren.
Gunmen Abduct 7-year-old Girl in Abuja
Armed men have abducted a seven-year-old girl in Yangoji village, Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mr Suleiman Musa, a resident of the village told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the hoodlums invaded the community in the early hours of Wednesday.
He said the hoodlums invaded the village firing several gunshots before breaking into some houses where they adducted the seven-year-old girl.
According to him, the quick intervention of a police team forced the gunmen to scramble out of the village.
NAN gathered that the Kwali Divisional Police Headquarters responded to the distress call on the attack at about 5 am on Wednesday.
A source said it was the swift response of police personnel, hunters and vigilance members led by the Kwali Divisional Police Officer (DPO) that saved the community from further harm from the gunmen.
He said that the hoodlums engaged the security team in gun battle before escaping with the abducted girl.
The source said that the security team is currently combing the area with a view to rescuing the girl and arresting the gunmen.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the FCT, SP Josephine Adeh, said she would get back to our reporter as soon as she gets details of the incident. (NAN)
Bloody Weekend as Gunmen Kill 40 in Sokoto, Zamfara Attacks
It was bloody weekend in the two northern states of Sokoto and Zamfara, as no fewer than 40 people had their lives violently terminated by blood sucking gunmen and bandits.
The Sokoto State Police Command, yesterday confirmed the death of 30 persons during an attack lunched by group of armed men in Tangaza Local Government Area of the state, while 10 others were killed in Zamfara on Friday.
A statement issued by ASP Ahmad Rufai, the Acting Spokesman of the command, revealed that the gunmen attacked Raka, Bilingawa, Raka Dutse, Jaba, Dabagi and Tsalewa villages of the LGA on Saturday.
According to Rufai, prior to the attack, some members of a vigilante group had gone to Azam village to warn the Fulani community there.
“However, the vigilante members over reacted and ended up beating some villagers who are predominantly Fulani tribe.
“Consequently the villagers called for assistance, and unfortunately the assistance came from armed men suspected to be bandits on board 20 motorcycles.
“On getting the information that assistance is coming the vigilante members withdrew to their various villages,” he said.
The spokesman added that the armed men immediately went after the vigilante members and killed eight people in Raka, seven in Bilingawa, six in Jaba, four in Dabagi, three in Raka Dutse and two in Tsalewa Villages.
He further said that the attackers set two vehicles ablaze and six huts, while one Bajaj motorcycle believed to be that of the armed men was recovered at the scene.
The spokesman also confirmed another attack on Saturday by suspected bandits on some villages in Gwadabawa LGA, eastern part of Sokoto state.
Similarly, bandits, on Saturday attacked Sakiddar Magaji and Janbako communities of the Maradun Local Government Area in Zamfara State, killing no fewer than 10 persons.
Sources from the Janbako community confirmed the tragic incident to Channels Television on Sunday, saying that several others sustained various injuries.
In reaction to the latest attack, the Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal condemned the attack on the two communities in the Maradun local government area of the state.
He described the attack as barbaric and unprovoked aggression against innocent people, adding that his administration will not fold its arms and allow criminal elements to unleash terror without repercussions.
“The unfortunate incident came at a time when his government is working hard toward strategizing on how to bring an end to the protracted security problem in the state,” Lawal said in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mustapha Jafaru.
“A directive has been issued to the Heads of security Agencies in the state to as a matter of urgency deploy more security personnel to the affected communities to forestall further destruction of lives and properties in the area.”
While condoling with the families of those that lost their loved ones, the governor sympathized with the people injured in the attack and prayed to God to grant rest to those who lost their lives.
Similarly, the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have killed five terrorists that perpetrated the attacks on the communities.
A top military source in the state told Channels Television that the troops deployed at Forward Operating Base Bakura while on Patrol received credible information of armed bandits’ attack on Rogoji village in Bakura Local Government Area and Sakiddar Magaji village of Janbako district in Maradun local government area of the state.
“On arrival at the village, bandits fled on sighting troops advance, consequently, troops went on pursuit after the bandits with a heavy volume of fire and in the process, five bandits were neutralised,” the source said.
Troops recovered two AK-47 rifles, ammunition, unconfirmed number rustled of Cattle, goats and donkeys.
Kidnap Catholic Priest in Anambra
Gunmen operating in Anambra State have kidnapped a priest of the Nnewi Catholic Diocese, Rev Fr Stanislaus Mbamara.
The young priest was kidnapped on Friday evening while driving from Awka, the state capital, to Nnewi, where he serves.
The Catholic Diocese of Nnewi disclosed the development in a statement where it called for prayers for the priest, expressing hope that he would come out safe.
The statement signed by the Chancellor, Fr. Raphael Ezeogu, said the priest was also a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, which meant he was probably returning to Nnewi after the week’s lecture.
“Our priest, Rev. Fr. Stanislaus Mbamara, a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, was kidnapped yesterday (Friday) evening, on his way from Awka to Nnewi.
“Let’s storm heaven with humble and insistent prayers for his quick release in sound health of mind and body. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Help of Christians, pray with and for us,” Ezeogu said.
No mention was made by the diocese of having been contacted by the kidnappers, nor were details of his abduction made known.
The Anambra State Police Command had yet to react to the kidnapping of the priest at the time of filing this report.
Attack Two Ebonyi Communities
The Police Command in Ebonyi State has confirmed an attack on two communities in the state by suspected gunmen on Friday night.
SP Onome Onovewakpoyeya, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the incident on Saturday in Abakaliki.
Onovwakpoyeya said the police had commenced an investigation to unravel those behind the attacks.
She said that the communities affected by the attack were Uburu and Okposi in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state.
“The command is aware of the attack and an investigation has commenced in order to arrest the suspects.
“A Sienna car and two other vehicles were burnt. A passer-by was shot in the shoulder and is receiving treatment at the hospital,” she explained. (NAN)
Security Operatives Kill One, Disperse Protesting Youths at Conoil offshore platform in Bayelsa
From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa
A supposedly peaceful protest by youths of Sangana community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa state turned sorrowful following the shooting at a boat conveying the protesters to an oilfield operated by Conoil in the area.
It was learnt that Ikiowori Benson, one youth, hit by the gunshot lost his life, while two persons in the team of community youths were still missing and others critically injured after the incident reportedly happened on Monday.
Armed security personnel attached to the offshore facility christened “Antie Julie”, within 0ML 59 operated by Conoil, opened fire on the youths when they approached the facility to demand the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Conoil and Sangana.
Reacting to the incident, Ambrose Timipre-Ayah, the youth leader of Sangana said that he and 10 other youths from the community approached the Conoil facility unarmed, with the sole aim of registering their displeasure with the company.
He said he was shocked when the armed security operatives opened fire on them, killing one person instantly. He said two persons were missing and two others receiving treatment at Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.
Also, Rueben Preboye, the Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairman of Sangana, noted that while Conoil has been operating in the community for about 25 years, the company has been delaying the implementation of the MoU.
According to him, the MoU lasts for three years subject to renewal, noting that the 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2022 MoUs have not been implemented and accumulated over 300million naira and 420-million-naira worth of projects.
The Sangana CDC chairman said he had the same issue with Conoil when he was the youth leader of the community in 2010.
However, when contacted, Mr. Richard Adebayo, the Community Relations Manager of Conoil declined to comment on the incident.
The spokesman of the joint military force deployed to protect facilities in the Niger Delta, Major Adenegan Ojo could not be reached by telephone and has yet to respond to sms requesting reaction.
It will be recalled that on Oct 31, 2021, a gas leak from a rig Adriatic-1 within the oilfield contaminated the environment in the community and attracted regulatory sanctions by the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency
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