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Two ex-solders deny ‘kidnap kingpin’ Evans in court.

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The suspect, Mr Evans during one of his many media interrogations.

Two former soldiers of the Nigerian Army, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba, on Tuesday denied being accomplices to the crimes of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike alias Evans.

Newsmen report that Ifeanyi and Aduba made the denials during the resumption of their trial at an Ikeja High Court over two-counts of kidnapping and conspiracy.

The ex-soldiers, who had earlier been dismissed by the Nigerian Army, are facing trial alongside Evans, Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Ogechi Uchechukwu for the alleged kidnap of Mr Donatius Dunu, the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceuticals.

Ifeanyi, led in evidence by defence counsel, Mr A.A Uzoukwu, said he was acquainted with Aduba and had worked with him as a soldier.

He said one day, he was requested by another acquaintance, Mr Ikenna Chukwuma, to help him drive a car from a mechanic’s workshop at Ijesha, Lagos to Surulere, Lagos.

He told the court that when they got to the mechanic’s workshop, the car had not been repaired and Chukwuma had called a friend to pick them up from the workshop.

“When I entered the vehicle with Chukwuma, I saw Mr Victor Aduba (sixth defendant) in the vehicle and there was a weapon inside the vehicle.

“When I asked what the weapon was doing there, the driver told me to keep quiet and mind my business.

“I was asked if I know what is AP and I said no, then I was told to keep quiet and mind my business.

“My Lord, they did not carry anybody in that vehicle and they did not kidnap anybody. Reaching Cele Bus stop, I told them I was uncomfortable and asked to alight.

“I was dropped off at Cele Bus stop and they warned that if they heard anything from me, they would kill me and I went back home,” Ifeanyi said.

Responding to questions from Evans’ defence counsel, Mr Victor Okpara, Chilaka said he did not know Evans, and met him for the first time in police custody.

“I have never taken part in any kidnap activities in my life. I have never attempted to kidnap anyone before or conspired with Evans to kidnap the victim (Dunu),” he said.

Under cross-examination by the lead prosecutor, Mr Adebayo Haroun, Chilaka said it was a locally made weapon he saw in the vehicle and he did not know the reason why he was warned not to reveal what transpired.

The second ex-soldier, Aduba, denied partaking in kidnapping with Evans and the other co-defendants.

He alleged that he was tortured into admitting to the crimes by members of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigerian Police Force.

Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Emmanuel Ochai, Aduba said he was invited by an acquaintance, Mr Chukwuma Nwosu to a bar in Ago, Lagos but unknown to him, Nwosu was wanted by the police.

“As I reached the bar, he (Nwosu) was acting unusual and I kept asking what was wrong with him, and then I noticed five policemen who approached me and said I was under arrest.

“I resisted and they overpowered me and when I got to the police station, one Mr Philip their boss said I should cooperate with them and do whatever they say I should do.

“I told them they should allow me to go to my office where I worked as a soldier but they refused,” he said.

Aduba said that he was ordered by a member of IRT, Insp. Idowu Haruna, to sign a written statement admitting to the crime but he refused.

He alleged he was ordered to be taken to a “theatre” by Mr Phillip where he was beaten and was cut with a machete by Haruna.

Aduba showed his alleged machete injury to the court during his testimony.

He alleged that in the days he was in custody, three men; Felix Chinemeren, Paul Samyan and Chukwuma Nwosu, who were initially paraded to the media as kidnappers, were extra-judicially killed by the IRT team.

“I was still being told to sign some papers but I refused and I said if I refuse I will travel (slang for killed). At that point Idowu Haruna brought out his phone for me to look at some pictures.

“When I looked at it, I discovered it was the dead bodies of the three men with whom I was in custody. That was how I was forced to sign the papers,” he said.

To corroborate his claims, Ochai, Aduba’s counsel, tendered to the court, a record of court proceedings of a kidnap trial held on Nov. 5, 2018 before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo.

In the records of proceedings, Haruna had in his testimony, admitted that the three deceased had died in police custody.

Aduba in his evidence vehemently denied working with Evans.

“On Feb.14, 2017 (the day of Dunu’s kidnap), I was on a 24-hour duty at Abati Barracks gate. I even told Insp. Idowu Haruna to check out my alibi but he said it was none of his business.

“I have never conspired with anybody neither have I gone with anybody to kidnap anyone,” he said.

While being cross-examined by Haroun, Aduba said he was enlisted by the Nigerian Army on Aug.15, 2009 and had known Ifeanyi since 2010.

He described Ifeanyi’s evidence that he conveyed him in a vehicle with a locally made weapon as “a fabricated story”.

Aduba denied Haroun’s allegations that he was one of the soldiers who Evans had in a recorded confession, admitting to be members of his gang.

Haroun also noted that in the records of proceedings of Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, Haruna in his evidence never said he traveled (killed) anyone in his custody.

The prosecutor noted that Haruna had in his evidence said that the three men had died in the custody of the police at Ikorodu General Hospital.

Responding to questions from the prosecution, Aduba said he was never dismissed by the Nigerian Army over allegations of kidnapping.

“The charges against me by the military was that I was AWOL. I was never given the chance to challenge my dismissal by the army,” he said.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until Nov. 5 for adoption of final written addresses.

Source:(NAN)


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NSCDC dismisses viral video on ‘bandit personnel’

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has dismissed a viral video purporting that a member of the corps confessed to being a bandit.

The suspected bandit, Mr Abdullah Saidu, in the viral video called himself personnel of the Corps.

This is contained in a statement issued by the NSCDC Spokesperson, Mr Olusola Odumosu, in Abuja.

Newsmen report that Saidu was arrested in connection to a group of armed bandits terrorising some parts of Koton Karfe Local Government Area of Kogi.

The spokesperson said that the NSCDC has set up a team to investigate the available records to confirm the authenticity of Saidu’s claims that he was the corps personnel.

“The general public shall be adequately briefed on subsequent findings.“Based on the aforementioned, the purported video where the alleged suspect openly confessed to the crime did not in any way give credence to or affirm his membership to the Corps.

“Experience has shown that criminals are fond of impersonating security operatives in order to divert attention, subvert investigation or get away with the crime,” he said.

Odumosu further noted that the NSCDC was saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property amongst others.

“The Corps will not in any way condone any saboteur of national security or sponsorship of criminals.”He reiterated the Corps’ zeal to discharge its statutory mandates without compromise but with humility and integrity.

He said the NSCDC will continue to synergise with sister agencies to combat crimes in the country.

Source: (NAN)


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Federal government to incorporate NNPC board in six months

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari said on Sunday he had appointed a board for the NNPC and directed that it should be incorporated within six months, a move that could allow it to sell shares in the future.

The President signed the petroleum bill into law last month which has been in the works for nearly two decades, aiming to overhaul the sector and turn the state-owned oil company into a private firm.

The new oil law requires NNPC to be incorporated within six months, Buhari said in a statement, appointing Ifeanyi Ararume as NNPC chairman and its current Chief Executive Mele Kyari to lead the firm.

Kyari has said NNPC could consider an initial public offering (IPO) within three years. The incorporation could pave the way for NNPC to sell shares.

Buhari said last month that NNPC made its first profit in 44 years in 2020.

Source:(Global World News)


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Niger state becoming safe haven for fleeing Zamfara bandits

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Shiroro Local Government in Niger State has cried foul over the influx of bandits and terrorists fleeing Zamfara state.

The bandits/terrorists are identified by their masks and motorcycles, and their presence is causing fear and apprehension among the locals, spokesman of the local government, Salis M. Sabo disclosed in a statement.

Sabo said the bandits are believed to have flown from “Zamfara or other adjoining troubled states which the Niger State borders through Shiroro.

“The marauders have started showing their ugly faces in Galadiman Kogo, Zama, Magami, Maganda m, Paleli, Iburo, Chukuba, Dnasapa all in Shiroro Local Government.

“The military operation going on in Zamfara needs to be well coordinated and replicated in other States on Zamfara borders so as to save the vulnerable neighboours from bearing the brunt arising from the operation.

“The Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA) calls on the authorities concerned to swiftly intervene and listen to the cries of the people of Shiroro” Salis M Sabo said.


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