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SARS disbandment hindering fight against crime-IGP Baba

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says Police have recovered over 5,000 weapons from bandits, secessionists

…Investigation suggests Ortom’s narration on his attack inaccurate 

By Abdullahi Mohammed, Abuja
The acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba said Thursday that over 5,000 weapons and ammunitions have been recovered by the police from secessionists and armed bandits across the country.


The IGP said this while briefing State House correspondents at a weekly briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team in Abuja.


He said most of the recoveries were made after the launch of Operation Restore Peace, a couple of weeks back.“For record purpose, I can briefly mention our recoveries and the successes. They go as follows: in terms of recovery after the lunching of this operation, we’ve been able to recover the following weapons and arms from secessionists and the armed insurgents: One general purpose machine gun, 10 AK47 rifles, nine locally made fabricated rifles, four locally fabricated pistols and 19 AK47 magazines.

 “We have recovered over 5,419 live ammunition with 10 improvised explosive devices. In terms of arrest, we have 398 armed robbery suspects in our custody, 258 cult related offenders, 222 murder suspects, 202 bandits related matters and 86 suspects involved in cases of kidnapping.

 “This statistic I’m giving you is from 7th of April to date. 434 firearms of various  descriptions were also recovered. So, these are some of the things we are doing,” he said.

He said the police have arrested secessionists and criminals in the southeast but could not be charged due to the ongoing strike by judiciary workers.


He said the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as a result of the #ENDSARS protest by Nigerian youth has created a vacuum in the fight against insecurity in the country.


He said the morale of the police remains dampened after the protest, especially with the recent attacks of personnel in the south-east.He said the regular policemen and women have not been able to immediately slot into the vacuum created by the SARS disbandment even though efforts are ongoing to train them for the new role.

According to him, the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) squad established in October 2020 to fill the gaps after the disbandment of SARS is yet to take off.

“The security situation of the country has been significantly stabilized from time to time. But you see, if it is stabilised for a week, then there are isolated disturbances coming from this zone in terms of either attack on police facilities or police personnel or even all law enforcement agencies including the military. “Therefore, we decided to one, rejig the morale of our personnel, which has been a little bit dampened since the EndSARS came and went away. With the proscription of SARS and the establishment of SWAT which has not been able to take off fully, we had a vacuum in tackling most of the violent crimes from a position of strength in terms of having a strike force that is dedicated for that, rather than having our conventional police doing the policing in conventional way. So, we try to marshal back this courage of our personnel who have been involved in violent crimes and then lecture them and posted them to the anti robbery sections, for anti robbery patrols and the investigation of violent related crimes which involved of course  robbery, kidnapping, banditry, cultism and so forth. 


“Secondly, we decided to launch an operation which is tagged Operation Restore Peace and we targeted the south east and south south for the first phase of our operation,” he said.


The IGP also disclosed that the suspects who allegedly attacked Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state at his farm on March 20, 2021, have been in custody for the past one month. He said the narration of attempt on the life of the governor was inaccurate.
“On the case of Governor Ortom attack, we’ve been able to uncover the assailants. And we’ve been able to establish what actually happened contrary to what he said.And we’ve been able to get these people and know where they came from, how they came but the case is still under investigation.

“There are some vital things that we have not been able to complete. But as for those who would pull the trigger and those who organise the crime, they are with us, they’ve been arrested,” he said.


On the perennial agitations for state police, the IGP said many states of the federation are already running independent police structures.He said besides the local police structures such as vigilante groups being supported by state governments, the police authorities have trained over 70,000 citizens and equipped them with crime prevention and fighting skills across the country.

“State policing is an issue. I remember, as far back as 1998, I think I had a project in one of our courses, writing on desirability of state policing and the issue has been reoccurring, but now I think it is more.

 “If you look at it technically, I doubt if there is any state that does not have state police even now. What do I mean? There are creations that are done by state governments to assist law enforcement agencies in trying to maintain law and order, or enforce regulations or laws that are created by state governments. We have vigilante everywhere in this country. We have various types of organisations that have been created by state governments to assist in policing. Some of them had even House of Assembly laws that guide their operations.


“The space is open to everybody, we even always say, policing is not a matter of the Nigerian police, or the Nigerian law enforcement agents, everybody can be involved on policing. But I want to know the shape that the advocates of state police want it to take and it is an issue that is left for lawmakers and government. We are ready to work with anybody, we are ready to collaborate and synergize with anybody to make sure that Nigerian citizens enjoy the best of protection.

“If you look at it, the community policing aspect, we have trained over 70,000 Nigerians from all states of the federation, to assist in crime prevention and control. In fact, we have even gone to the extent of using the Police Act to kit them with police uniform that will give them an identification.  That is to say all those who are trained are to go back and assist in policing within their own locality. Your policing capability and powers end within your community and it is the community that will suggest who and who will be involved in such a business and we are working with them. State governments or state governors are chief security officers of their states. As far as I’m concerned, they are and remain one and my commissioners of police are ready to take all local instructions from them.

“As for agitation, it is there but everybody is already involved in creating one agency or the other to compliment the efforts of the Nigerian security agencies. The National Assembly can look into the agitation which is their own responsibility,” he said.


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Shocker! Kidnappers detain pregnant woman till child birth, keep new baby, set mother free

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A pregnant woman, has allegedly been set free and her baby taking away by kidnappers, after detaining her till the birth of her child, introducing a shocking but gory dimension to what has now become a sort of epidemic in parts of Africa.

Reports coming from Ghana, said the woman, who was identified as Josephine Panyin Mensah, was seized and taken away from her home in Takoradi, when her pregnancy was already due at nine months, but that her abductors only allowed her to go, after she gave birth and her baby taken away.

According to the source, the kidnappers who were interested in the unborn baby bolted with the baby after she had been delivered, adding that family sources indicated that the distraught woman is currently receiving treatment at the Effiankwanta Teaching Hospital.

The victim, was said to have gone missing on Thursday, September 16, after she went for a dawn walk in Takoradi, and that the police immediately swung into action leading a search party for her after a report was made to the by her husband, Michael Simmons.


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Breaking: Davido’s photographer dies

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Davido’s official photographer Fortunate Umunname Peter aka Fortune is dead.

He died three months after the hit maker’s close friend and associate, Habeeb Ademola Uthman aka as Obama DMW passed on.

Davido had also lost his bodyguard of six years, Ogbeide Tijani Olamilekan (Teejay) in 2020.

In 2017, Davido lost two friends and team members, Tagbo and DJ Olu.

Fortune was born and bred in Bariga, Lagos but hailed from Owerri.

He has been working with Davido since 2019.

He was born on July 10, 1997 and started off as a graphics designer before he moved to photography after his aunt, Dr. Harriet, got him his first camera which forced him to move back to Lagos from Owerri.

The exceptional photographer has made portfolios for Davido, Pogba, Popcaan, Lilbaby, Cassanova, Mayorkun, Wizkid, Jidenna, Tiwa Savage, Burna boy, Patoranking, Akon, DMW and many others.

His last Instagram post was on July 10 where he made a birthday post with a caption “Rolling stone +1”


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Breaking: Ex-Kwara gov, Jega, Utomi, Duke, others form third Force ahead 2023 elections

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Ahead of the 2023 general elections, prominent Nigerians have established a third force, Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP), to give Nigerians alternative platform to the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Founders of RNP include former governor of Kwara state, Ahmed Abdulfatai, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former Governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke,

Senator Lee Maeba, Usman Bugaje, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Yomi Awoniyi, Dr. Rose Idi Danladi, Dr. Sadiq Gombe among others.

Delivering his keynote address, Abdulfatai lamented the state of the nation, noting that the high level of nepotism and lack of inclusiveness have given rise to agitations by different ethnic groups.

He recalled that in 2015, Nigerians embraced change, adding that today, “that change appears to be what we didn’t expect, as insecurity has taken over the nation.”

He said, “It is based on this that we decided to set up this Rescue Nigeria Project. We want to salvage this country and see how we can fix the mess. We want to set a template and key criteria leaders must have before they can attain any political position.

“Despite the great opportunities of the past, Nigeria has failed to live up to the dreams of its founding fathers and the hopes of successive generations of its citizens.

“Perhaps, at no other time have these failings become more apparent than in the past decade or so.

“In 2015, Nigerians overwhelmingly embraced the promise of change. These hopes have not only been dashed, but they have arguably turned out to be the worst political statements ever to be made in this country. Nigeria today appears set to fulfill all the prophesies of doom.”

He further noted that “Unprecedented nepotism and political exclusion have left the country more divided than ever as evident in the various separatists agitation that are threatening the corporate existence of the country itself.”

Also speaking, Adeniran noted that there is disaster at hand, hence the move to rescue the nation.

He said: “You only rescue when there is disaster and when you fail to rescue during disaster, it is more dangerous.

“We have a disaster in our hands and we need to rescue the country. We need to look back and see how we get here. We know where Nigeria was before now. We know the task is not going to be easy, but we have to determine how to rescue the nation.”

In his opening remarks, the RNP national coordinator, Usman Bugaje, explained that the Rescue Nigeria Project was founded on the premise that the challenges bedeviling the country were largely derived from poor leadership.


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