…Kill 20, injure many, raze houses in Kaduna, Delta attacks
…Herdsmen kidnap female farmer in Delta, She’s missing — Police
…Kidnap Taraba NLC chairman; 4 in FCT after 3-hour operation
…How our colleague was murdered in Imo —NBA
By Jimitota Onoyume, Chinonso Alozie, Ibrahim Haasan & Ochuko Akuopha
The high level of insecurity in the country festered weekend as no fewer than 20 persons were killed by bandits, while several others were kidnapped.
While 19 persons were killed in Birni-Gwari and Kajuru Local Government areas of Kaduna State, a mobile policeman was killed in Warri, Delta State, with his rifle taken away by his assailants.
Similarly, chairman of Taraba State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Peter Jediel, was abducted by gunmen from his Sunkani residence, in the headquarters of Ardo-Kola Local Government Area, just as four persons were also kidnapped in their residences in Federal Capital Territory, FCT, after a three-hour operation.
In the Kaduna attacks, 14 of the victims were killed by the outlaws at Kutemeshi village in Birnin-Gwari LGA on Saturday night, while five were killed in Kajuru LGA same day.
Several others who sustained gunshot wounds are currently receiving treatment in hospitals.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the attacks, listed those killed in Birnin Gwari LGA to include Malam Sani Barume, Yahaya Bello, Amadu Dan Korau, Samaila Niga, Jamilu Haruna, Lawal Majiya and Dan Malam Rabo.
Others were Dauda Kafinta, Hassan Mai Makani, Bashir Haruna, Lawal Ali, Mu’azu Haruna, Mai Unguwa Sa’adu and Harisu Bako
He said some shops were looted with valuable items carted away by the attackers during the operation.
Aruwan, who also noted that several houses and a church were burnt and warehouses stocked with building materials looted, listed Bulus Jatau, Hanatu Emmanuel, Bitrus Tuna, Yohanna Mika, and Monday Ayuba as those killed by the bandits at Kujeni village in Kajuru LGA, while two others were injured.
Aruwan further stated that some of the injured had been moved to a neighbouring state closer to Kutemeshi for urgent medical attention, while others were in transit to an orthopaedic hospital in Kaduna.
El-Rufai orders relief materials for affected communities
Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who had been monitoring the security situation at the various locations since Saturday, has expressed sadness over the attacks.
The governor, who condoled families that lost their loved ones, offered prayers for the repose of their souls and a speedy recovery for the injured.
He further directed the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency to urgently provide relief materials to the affected communities.
Policeman killed in Delta
In Warri, Delta State, gunmen weekend shot dead a policeman around NPA area and disappeared with his rifle.
Spokesman of Delta State police command, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, who confirmed the killing, said efforts are on to arrest those behind the killing.
Vanguard gathered that the gunmen got close to the mobile policeman who was on the road-side and opened fire on him.
They went straight for his rifle after he slumped and thereafter, sped off in a waiting vehicle.
The sad incident caused panic in the area as eye-witnesses scampered for safety at the sound of gunshots.
Herdsmen kidnap female farmer in Delta
Also in Obiaruku in Delta State, suspected herdsmen reportedly kidnapped a female farmer, Mrs. Joy Osamezu, in her farm at Ukwuani Local Government Area, Delta State.
Though the circumstances surrounding the kidnap were hazy at press time, sources said she was abducted on Saturday while working in the farmland across River Ethiope.
“The kidnappers are using the woman’s number to call one contact in Obiaruku, speaking Hausa, so they went for who to interpret for them,” a source who craved anonymity said.
Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Onome Onovwakpoye, said: “The person is missing. She went to farm on Saturday and she has not returned.”
Meanwhile, the BOT chairman of Ukwuani Community Youth Leaders, Comrade Marcus Enudi, has lamented what he described as the continued kidnapping of Ukwuani women on their farms at Obiaruku by suspected herdsmen.
He called on the state government to station a team of “Delta Hawk” in Ukwuani Local Government Area to check the criminal activities of the herdsmen in the area.
“The continuous cases of kidnapping is overwhelming and may lead to crises in the area, if not nipped in the bud.
“Our women cannot safely go to their farms again, even the men for fear of being kidnapped or killed. This will lead to food shortages and hunger very soon. We can’t keep quiet in this critical time.
“We can’t be afraid to go to farm in our own land because of criminals parading as herdsmen,” he said.
LG chairman kidnapped in Taraba
In Taraba State, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers weekend abducted the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, chairman of the Taraba State chapter, Peter Jediel.
He was abducted at his residence in Sunkani, the headquarters of Ardo-Kola Local Government Council.
Confirming the incident, younger brother of the NLC chairman, Boniface Stephen, revealed that the hoodlums shot sporadically into the air to scare residents before whisking Jediel away.
According to him, the kidnappers stormed his brother’s residence at about 12:00 am on Sunday, broke his gate and forced their way into his compound.
He said at present, no calls had come in from the abductors to know what their demands are.
Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer in the state declined comments, saying he could not confirm the incident.
Jediel’s abduction comes a year after the former NLC chairman in Taraba, Peter Gambo was also abducted in his house.
The 3-hour operation in FCT
In another attack, kidnappers abducted four persons in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, following an attack in Tungan Maje town in Gwagwalada.
An eyewitness said the kidnappers operated for three hours, from 12 am to 3am yesterday without confrontation from security agencies.
Among those abducted was Abdulahi Idris Rakieu, a retired assistant comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, who was taken alongside two members of his family.
Also kidnapped in the midnight attack was one Olusola Agun.
The attackers were said to have been dressed in military uniform and broke into the two houses through the fence and window.
The attack is the latest in a growing trend across the FCT in which residents are abducted in incessant attacks.
Three days ago, kidnappers struck in Kubwa area of Abuja, abducting three persons, including Okechukwu Nnodim, a journalist with Punch newspapers.
Twenty-four hours after the attack, the kidnappers contacted the journalist’s sister and asked for a ransom of N10 million. He was released by his abductors on Saturday night.
FCT Police spokesman could not be reached at press time last night as calls to his telephone were not answered but a source at the command who preferred anonymity, confirmed the attacks.
How our colleague was murdered —Owerri NBA
Meanwhile, Owerri branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, yesterday confirmed that their colleague, N.H. Nwankwo, was murdered in his office at 42, School Road in Owerri, after which his car and phones were taken away by the suspected assassins.
NBA Secretary, Chinedu Agu, in a statement, said the incident happened on February 6, 2021.
He added that the whereabouts of Nwankwo’s driver, said to be with him at the time of the incident, remained unknown.
Narrating how the tragedy occurred, Agu said: “At about 8.15am today (yesterday) on my way to Church for 8.30am mass, I received a call from the Chairman of the Bar, J.I Ogamba, detailing me to liaise with the former secretary of the Bar, Ishmael Nkwocha to take Police to N.H. Nwankwo & Co at 42, School Road Owerri, to ascertain the safety of N.H. Nwankwo, who left home for work yesterday Saturday, February 6, 2021, and was yet to return from work.
“However, before the call, Ishmael Nkwocha, who shares same office space with him had, in response to frantic calls from his family members over his whereabouts, gone to his office to meet same locked.
“On opening the entrance door, he met Nwankwo’s main office locked, with traces of blood on the door to his (Nwankwo’s) office.
“Not very sure of the situation, he went to the Homicide Section of the State CID, from where forensic experts from the Police Headquarters went with him to the office to have it properly opened by themselves in order not to contaminate evidential materials.
“When the forensic experts arrived at 9:56hrs with their gadgets, they opened the door only for us to find his bulky frame lying lifeless inside his office in a pool of his congealed blood.
“On closer inspection, Nwankwo appeared to have been savagely matchetted by his assailant(s), as a gaping cut was seen on his neck, a monstrous cut of not less than about 30cm with only about less than 50 percent of the flesh in his neck region holding the head.
“Blood splashes were seen on the roof, fans, printer, computers, table, files, seats, books, bookshelves inside his office, suggestive of a ferocious matcheting of his neck.
“Nwankwo was suspected to have been busy working as his printer, computer, standing fan were on, while a writing pad containing jottings unrelated to this incident and a pen were found on his desk.
“A bucket of water was seen in his office; the assailant must have washed his hands and matchete used in this act.
“A search of the office revealed a matchete abandoned inside the toilet of his office with which the assailant was suspected to have used to cut his neck.
“When his body which lay half prostrate was turned, matchete cuts were seen on his wrist also and the footprints captured by forensic experts suggested that the act was done by two persons as the two footprints were unidentical.
“As at the time of this provisional report, forensic experts are still gathering evidential materials for their use, accompanied by myself, L.C Ugorji, Uche Osuji, Ishmael Nkwocha, J.I Ogamba, D.O Nosike and a host of other lawyers.
“Meanwhile, his driver, who reportedly was the only person with him in the office on Saturday, is at the time of this report at large, with Nwankwo’s phones, and car no where to be found.
“Arrangements had just been concluded to take the lifeless body to the morgue. This is one death too many; one murder too savage.”