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Ebonyi: Group demands probe, end to political killings in Edda community

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A group, Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has called on the Inspector General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) to intervene and quickly bring to an end cases of political violence and killings ongoing in Asaga Owutu Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi state.

The association also demanded that the state government should be made to “institute an independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry to probe the causes of the killings in Edda, if the government is sincere about finding a lasting solution to the problem.”

Recall that the Ebonyi State Police Command confirmed the arrest of the council chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area, Eni Uduma and the lawmaker representing Afikpo South East Constituency, Chidi Agemu, over alleged involvement in cult clashes recently.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday and signed by the Chairman of the Association and a political activist, Ambassador Pascal Oluchukwu, condemned what he described as “the acts of banditry, terrorism and killings which have been imposed on Edda clan since the current democratic/political dispensation in the state.”

Oluchukwu lamented that “the denigration of Edda politics to this level of outright and shameless political criminality dates back to sometime around the year 2007 when people of doubtful character entered into Edda/Ebonyi political horizon as political adventurers and merchants of death. Now, we can look back and note that their outing in the field of politics has destroyed Edda and relegated her into a state of mournful and regrettable degradation with their own political careers relapsing into shameful monumental tragedy.”

While giving background to what he called political terror in the Edda area, the association chairman said findings by his group revealed that there is a group in the area allegedly working with the current Chairman of Afikpo South Local Government “terrorising and specialising in torture of innocent citizens, beating of people with Koboko horse whips imported from foreign countries, among others.”

On the recent killings in the area, the association said: “On the 27th March, 2020, a 19- year old boy, Chidi Oji Arua was killed at Nguzu Edda. It was alleged that some officials of the Afikpo South Local Government COVID-19 Task Force went to Nguzu to enforce the Government policy banning burial of corpses as part of the COVID-19 lockdown. Some villagers resisted and the Personal Assistant to the Council Chairman, Keneth Agha Okoro (aka Mukoro) was rough-handled. He was said to have gone back to base to alert his group who went to Nguzu Edda to unleash mahem and Chidi was found lying dead after sporadic gunshots.

“From Sunday, 3rd May, 2020 to Wednesday, 6th May, 2020, three young men from Owutu Edda were murdered in cold blood. The first boy, Onu Chima Ukpai, was shot dead by an alleged member of a rival cult group. Then on Tuesday, 5th May, 2020, one of the boys, Chinedu Offor Ufere, who was wounded during the Sunday attack and was hospitalized, died. Then again, on Wednesday, 6th May, 2020, one Jarun, the elder brother of the boy who was killed on Sunday, went on a revenge mission and killed one Raphael Okereke.

“The recent killings in Edda reflect the brutal and crude political culture of violence and blood-bath which has been used as an instrument of political domination of the area. It is an extension of the regime of terror, thuggery, intimidation and gangsterism. It is aimed at conquering the people by instilling fear into them for political imposition and exclusion,” the association said.

The association noted that the immediate causes of the bloody confrontations can be traced to three recent events which heightened tension in the major flash-points of the LGA. The events are the sharing of political offices in the LGA in 2019, conduct of the 2020 Chairmanship and Councillorship primaries and the composition of the COVID-19 Implementation/Enforcement Task Force in the LGA.

The Ebonyi state indigenes, however said governor Dave Umahi’s statement recently blaming the Police and SSS for their inability to have predicted the killings and to have stopped it is neither here nor there.

“The Governor should immediately institute an independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry to probe the causes of the killings in Edda, if he is sincere about finding a lasting solution to the problem.

“We will also wish to call on the Federal Government and the Human Rights Organizations in Nigeria to wade into Ebonyi state and engage the government of Umahi to forestall further bloodshed in the area.”

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Zulum Cancels Project Commissioning in Honour of Slain General

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Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has postponed his scheduled commissioning of projects across local Government areas in southern Borno.

The postponement is to honour the Commander, 28 Task Force Brigade, Chibok, Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three soldiers who lost their lives last weekend during a battle with terrorists.

Brig. Gen. Zirkisu
Killed by bandits

The terrorists however failed in their attempt to capture a military base in Askira-Uba local government area.

The tour was scheduled to start on Tuesday (16th November 2021) with dozens of completed Government projects, mostly schools and healthcare centres, lined up for commissioning by the Governor.

Announcing the postponement, Zulum’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, said the Governor will embark on the commissioning tour after visiting the family of late General Zirkisu who lives outside Borno State.

Zulum’s trip is to convey the deepest sympathy of the Government and people of Borno State

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Missing Journalist, Tordue Salem, Found Dead in Abuja

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The missing Vanguard reporter, Mr Tordue Salem has been found dead in Abuja.

This was even as the Police reportedly arrested a man who posed as kidnapper in an attempt to extort money from the late journalist’s family.

Details of recovery of his remains haven’t been released as at Thursday evening.

The late Benue born journalist was covering the lower legislative Chamber of the National Assembly until he was last seen on Wednesday, 13th October, 2021.

After he closed from work, he was said to have left in a public cab for B.J’s garden with a female relative situated close to Total filling station, opposite Force headquarters.

From the garden, he reportedly flagged a cab for the lady who left before him, informing her that he was going to Area 8, Garki. But he was never seen until his remains were recovered on Thursday.

According to Vanguard, the Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT swung into action on 16th October after the matter was reported to it about the mysterious missing of the late Tordue.

It was reported that a suspect, who was identified as Prince Enyenihi, 25 was arrested in an attempt to extort the family and others who were not named immediately.

The suspect identified as Prince Enyenihi, 25, contacted Mrs Salem on October 26, 2021, via a text message with a concealed number, requesting for N100 million ransom, to be paid as ransom for her husband’s release. Part of the text message read: “if you don’t pay, Tordue will be killed in seven days. For more information, call this number.” The text message also contained an account number the money should be paid into.

This was followed by a call with a concealed number to Salem’s wife the next day,. Mrs Salem requested to speak with her husband, to ascertain he was alive before negotiation would begin. But the caller gave the phone to someone who tried to play along.

When she noticed that the voice did not sound like her husband’s, she asked the stranger to mention the name of their daughter and her birth date, a question that met dead silence at the other end.

Same evening, another call with a concealed number was received by Mrs Salem, requesting to know if her husband had been released. The confused woman was said to have requested why the caller had his number concealed.

On October 27, another text came on a bulk text message platform, ordering the family to pay the N100 million ransom before the next day, failure of which they would kill Salem.

The Police swung into action first, by de-encrypting the number that called and traced its owner to a lady in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

However, during interrogation, the lady who owns Joy Skin Care denied culpability, stating rather, that a particular number had been calling her line since October 26, 2021.

Security Operatives upon checks discovered that the number was same with that used to contact Mrs Salem, which Prince Enyenihi was finally arrested on 5th November, 2021.

Preliminary investigation by security operatives indicated that Prince Enyenihi was the next door neighbor to the beautician.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he got information of Vanguard reporter’s disappearance on a flyer that went viral on social media, which had the number of Mrs Salem as the contact person to report to if found.

The suspect further stated that he sent the text messages without the knowledge of his female neighbour, adding that he got his neighbour’s telephone number and account details from her Facebook page.

He said, “I knew the family wouldn’t pay the money. I used the owner of Joy beauty skin care ‘s account details in order to punish her for always talking to me anyhow.

(Additional details by Daily Post)

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POLICE OFFICERS IN EXTORTION VIDEO ARRESTED

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… AS KOGI COMMAND COMMENCES INVESTIGATIONS

The Kogi State Police Command has commenced investigations into a trending video where Police personnel attached to Adogo Division, while on patrol duty along Adogo-Okene road, reportedly extorted the sum of Twenty-Five Thousand Naira (N25,000) from a traveller while another was physically assaulted by one of the men in uniform.

The Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, CP Idrisu Dauda Dabban, psc (+), fdc, while condemning the incident, noted that the Police officers have been identified and detained at the State Criminal Investigations Department.

A statement by DSP William Ovye Aya, Police Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Police Command identified the officers as: ASP Isah Barnabas, Inspector Ifediegwu Godwin, Sgt Emmanuel Ochima and CPL Umameh Mathias who physically assaulted one of the travellers.

The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) has been issued an official query while the three (3) other junior officers are currently undergoing orderly room trial (Police internal disciplinary actions), the statement further said.

“The CP further noted that the Command is doing its best to establish contact with the victims. He enjoined the victims to reach out to the Command thorough 08107899269”.

“He assured that any of the officers found wanting in the investigations would be dealt with accordingly”.

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