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5 Jailed In Benue For Abduction, Attempted Sale Of 4-Year-Old Boy

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A Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State has sentenced five men to various terms imprisonment for the abduction and attempted sale of a four-year-old boy.

A statement by Nneka Aniagoh of the NAPTIP Press and Public Relations Unit, on Friday in Abuja, said the minor was trafficked from Otukpo to Umuahia, Abia State, where he was to be handed to be sold.

She said in the course of the trial which lasted between September 2016 and May 2018, the presiding Judge found the acts committed by the accused persons despicable, and, based on the pieces of evidence tendered by the prosecution, found them guilty and subsequently sentenced them accordingly.

She noted that in the case, FRN Vs Adejo Ogiri & 4 Others, the suspects: Adejo Ogiri, Michael Ezekiel Uzochukwu, Afonne Edward Nwokocha, Ndukwe Henry, and Obuito Joseph Onyema, were arrested by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) for the abduction and attempted sale of a four-year-old boy, and handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Aniagoh indicated that the first accused, Adejo Ogiri, abducted his neighbour’s four years old son from Otukpo and took him to Umuahia, Abia State, where he handed him over to the second accused, Michael Uzochukwu.

Mr Michael took the child to the third convict, Edward, who had a client, Augustina who is still at large, whom they intended to sell the child to.

According to the statement, while waiting for the client to pick up the child, they kept him with the fourth accused person, who is a relative of client’s. Edward was arrested by the DSS as he went to the bank to withdraw the money earlier sent by the client.

The DSS, thereafter, rescued the child, arrested and handed the suspects over to NAPTIP for further investigation and prosecution.

Under sections 13(2), 21, and 27 of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration (TIPPEA) Act, 2015, it is a crime to abduct, transport, receive, or harbour a victim of human trafficking.

The law also prohibits the purchase, sale, hiring, or taking possession of any person with intent, knowing it to be likely or having reasons to know that such a person will be subjected to exploitation, as well as any conspiracy to commit any offence under the Act.

Convicted under sections 13(2)(a), 21 and 27 of TIPPEA ACT, 2015, Adejo Ogiri was sentenced to two years and five years’ imprisonment respectively on each count.

The fourth and fifth accused persons were sentenced to five years imprisonment, each, while the second and third accused persons, who jumped bail in the course of the trial, will be sentenced when caught.

Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, reacting to the news of the conviction, lauded the collaborative efforts of the DSS in the arrests and course of the trial.

She emphasised the importance of partnership, which is one of the five-pronged approaches which NAPTIP employs in combating human trafficking, as she believes the fight against human trafficking will be more impactful when law enforcement agencies work together.

The NAPTIP boss condemned the abduction of children, as she could not imagine the pains that parents whose children were abducted could be going through.

She used the opportunity to caution Nigerians against illegal adoption, and advised anyone who wishes to adopt a child to go through the legal processes, in order to avoid falling foul of the law, or causing another parent severe elliptical and mental pain, by buying a child abducted from his or her parents.

Okah-Donli also cautioned Nigerians to be careful and mindful of their environment, especially as the year draws to an end, with its accompanying increase in criminal activities.

 

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Mentally-Challenged Man Axes 70-Year-Old Father To Death

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A 37-year-old man said to be mentally-challenged has used an axe to kill his father, aged 70 in Unuchiana Village, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Tribune Online learnt that the suspect allegedly axed his father to death in their compound.

Confirming the incident in a statement, the Anambra State police command’s public relations officer, SP Haruna Mohammed, said one Timothy Ezeofor reported that his elder brother, 70-year-old Godwin Ezeofor, was allegedly murdered by his son, Chigorom Ezeofor using an axe.

According to Mohammed, at about 9:45am on Friday, one Mr Timothy Ezeofor of Umuezegoro Kindred, Unuchiana Village, reported at Aguata Police Station that at about 8:00am of same day, his elder brother, Godwin Ezeofor of the same address was murdered by his son, one Chigorom Ezeofor, of the same address using an axe.

He said the complainant alleged that the suspect had been mentally ill for the past eight years.

The police spokesman said following the report, police operatives attached to Aguata Division led by the DPO, CSP Ayeni Oluwadare, mobilised to scene and rushed the victim to the hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical doctor and the corpse has been deposited at a hospital mortuary for autopsy.

He also said the suspect who “looks insane” had been arrested and taken to the station for investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.

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PDP Condemns Attack On Akwa Ibom House Of Assembly

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THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the violent invasion of the Akwa-Ibom state House of Assembly by those it said are security forces allegedly working for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to forcefully take over the control of the legislature and destabilize the state.

In a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, the party observed that it was a shocking scene at the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly on Tuesday, when the invading security forces shot sporadically and disrupted legislative activities in the attempt to assist the APC to forcefully overthrow the duly elected leadership of the state legislature.

The party also accused the former governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, of stirring the violent invasion in keeping with his threats that the APC will overrun Akwa-Ibom state the same way Adolf Hitler overran Poland during the Second World War.

The statement added: “Nigerians are all aware of how Senator Akpabio declared war on Akwa-Ibom and boasted that ‘War shall see Warsaw and Warsaw shall see war’ in the APC’s quest to take over the state; a mission that has apparently commenced with the violent invasion of the state legislative house.”

The PDP said it was also aware of the role being played by security operatives, particularly the Police, “in this ignoble scheme, which has the backing of the Buhari Presidency to destabilize the oil-rich state ahead of the 2019 general election.”

“Our party had earlier alerted of the ploy by the Buhari Presidency to trigger violence in Akwa-Ibom state, create an impression that the state has become ungovernable, with a view to opening the way for a declaration of a state of emergency, which will enable them to dismantle all democratic structures and forcefully take over control of the state,” it states.

The PDP cautioned Senator Akpabio, the APC and the Presidency “to note that their design is a recipe for national crisis, as the people of Akwa-Ibom state and indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians across board will never allow anybody to overrun the state or take over any arm of government by any means other than through the laid down process of free, fair and credible elections.”

“This reprehensible scheme, which failed in Benue state, cannot succeed in any part of our country, as Nigerians are now, more than ever before, willing, ready and able to protect our democracy with every means available within their rights as free citizens under the law,” the part declared.

Meanwhile, the PDP has dismissed what it said is a phoney post circulating on the social media, purported to be the PDP Presidential campaign timetable.

It pointed out that the fabricators of the post even went further to allocate venues and dates for zonal rallies, which they claimed to have emanated from the PDP Presidential campaign council.

According to the party, for the avoidance of doubt, the PDP said it wanted to clarify that it has not yet released any timetable or timelines for our Presidential campaigns.

Similarly, the party has not yet allotted any dates or venues for our campaigns.

The leadership of the PDP, therefore, urged all its members and supporters across the board to completely disregard the said timetable on the social media, as it did not emanate from the PDP.

The statement said the PDP Presidential Campaign Council led by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, will soon make public the authentic timetable for the party’s Presidential campaign and such information will have the full seal of the party and disseminated through PDP official handles.

 

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Boko Haram Attacks: Buhari Summons Urgent Meeting Of Service Chiefs

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President Buhari and the Service Chiefs in a meeting. (File photo)

Ostensibly alarmed by the latest killings of dozens of soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents, President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned an urgent meeting of Service Chiefs to find ways to stop the trend. 

He has also dispatched the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, to the neighbouring Republic of Chad for an urgent meeting with President Idris Deby and his defence counterpart. 

Knowledgeable sources said in Abuja on Friday that the president is worried by on the deterioration of security situation on the Nigeria – Chad Border that has led to the recently increased Boko Haram terrorism in the area.

The sources which did not want to be named in Abuja said: “Nigeria has a Chad  problem in the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) put together to secure the Lake Chad basin areas and repeal the Boko Haram terrorist attacks against all the countries neighbouring the Lake.”

The sources noted that Chad is believed to be having their own internal security challenges and this has reportedly led to their pulling away their own troops manning their own border around Lake Chad,  saying: “That lacuna is being exploited by the Boko Haram terrorists, who go in and out of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon to launch terrorist acts.  This is a clear illustration of the fact that terrorism is beyond national borders.”

When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed that the Defence Minister is going to Chad but said he is unaware of the purpose. 

Meanwhile, the military authorities are said to be in the process of identifying the families of the latest victims with a view to making contact with them. 

Credible sources revealed that it is the reason the president is yet to make any pronouncement on the matter. 

“The President has called an urgent meeting with the Service Chiefs, as well as the fact that families of the latest victims of the Boko Haram are being identified and contacts made before a government pronouncement on the tragic attacks. This, it is understood, is the reason for the silence of the government over the incident,” the source said. 

 

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By-Election: APC Victory Has Revived Kwara South Liberation Struggle ― ADC

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African Democratic Party (ADC) in Kwara State has said that emergence of Raheem Olawuyi of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the just concluded by-election for the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero federal constituency has rekindled liberation struggle of Kwara South people.

Speaking with journalists on the outcome of the just concluded by-election in Omu-Aran at the weekend, the ADC candidate for the federal constituency, Hon Kamardeen Kadiri, said that, although ADC did not participate in the just concluded by-election, the APC victory was a clear indication that the people of Kwara South are actually committed to the liberation struggle.

Kadiri, who congratulated Olawuyi on his victory, said that both the APC and the ADC share same principle and ideals, adding that they are committed toward restoring dignity of people of the Kwara South district.

He also sympathised with the party over the death of five of its members in a recent auto-accident along Omu-Aran-Oke-Onigbin highway.

He regretted that the people of the district had been marginalized for long in the area of provision of infrastructures and other social amenities needed to transform the living standard of the inhabitants.

He also said that the party remained the credible alternative and was more focused and determined in its bid to win the constituency slot in the coming general election in order to fast track its socio-economic development.

The ADC candidate urged Kwara South leaders, both religious and traditional rulers, not to relent in their responsibility of ensuring that the yearnings and aspirations of the various communities are actualized.

“Campaigns for 2019 general elections have started and it is our collective responsibility as legitimate citizens of the district to ensure its growth, progress and development, through active political participation.

“The low number of total vote cast of 40, 930 across the constituency consisting of four local government areas as against the total number of registered voters of 168, 707 needed to be critically examined and addressed.

“Over 40, 000 Permanent Voters Cards belonging to the district are still with INEC going by reports reaching us which is very unimpressive.

“There is need to jettison our ethnoreligious, tribal and political differences and increase our voting strength in future elections in order to have a sense of belonging in government policy and decision making.

“Our vote is our strength we should strive to contribute our quota genuinely and promptly especially as 2019 draws nearer and ADC would surely deliver on its promises,” he said.

 

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