Military Rescues captives From Kidnappers, Destroys Hideout in Plateau

The Defence Headquarters says troops of operation Safe Heaven have destroyed kidnappers’ hideouts and rescued kidnapped victims in Plateau State.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

Enenche said that three bandits were killed during the operation while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

According to him, all the suspects have been handed over to authorities for further investigation and prosecution.

The statement reads “In continuation of intensive clearance operations under Operation ACCORD aimed at curbing the activities of bandits and other criminals in the North West and North Central region, troops under Operation SAFE HAVEN have neutralized 3 kidnappers hideouts during a commando operation at Qua’an Pan LGA of Plateau state.

“The raid was conducted on 19 June 2020 sequel to actionable technical and human intelligence on the activities of a notorious kidnap kingpin at Pialat hotel Kwa in Qua’an Pan LGA of Plateau state.

“ Troops overwhelmed the suspects who opened fire on them, with superior firepower, neutralizing 3 bandits while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

“Troops recovered one Barreta pistol, one single barrel gun, 2 fabricated pistols, 4 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 3 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 4 cartridges, one motorcycle and one techno phone.

“In a related development, still on 19 June 2020, troops in collaboration with local vigilante rescued a herder one Salisu Abdullahi who went missing while grazing around Bakin Rafi at Gidan Ado general area in Riyom LGA.

“The herder was duly evacuated to hospital for prompt medical attention.

“Furthermore, on same 19 June 2020, troops arrested a suspected kidnapper, one Alhaji Idris around Hawan-Kibo general area in Riyom LGA while 4 other suspected kidnappers were apprehended in connection with the kidnap of one Mr Abdullahi Abdullahi at Kwahas-Lahir area in Mangu LGA of Plateau state.

“All the suspects have been handed over to relevant civil authorities for further investigation and prosecution.”

Military Destroys Boko Haram Command Center, Neutralize Members In Borno

The Defence Headquarters says Air Task Force, ATF, of Operation Lafiya Dole has destroyed a Boko Haram terrorists’ tactical command centre and neutralised some of their fighters at Yuwe in the Sambisa Forest area of Borno.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, John Enenche, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Mr Enenche said the operation was in continuation of air interdiction missions being conducted under the subsidiary ‘Operation Long Reach’ to unhinge the leadership of the terrorists group in the North-East,

He added that the operation was executed on June 17 after series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, ISR, missions observed significant presence of the terrorists in the settlement.

According to him, the intelligence also established that a prominent compound with solar panel-mounted rooftop and a large tree in the middle with a nearby flag-mounted sentry post was being used by the BHTs to coordinate their operations in the area.

“Nigerian Air Force, NAF, fighter jets dispatched by the ATF to take out the Command Centre took turns in attacking the location scoring accurate hits,”he said.

This led to the destruction of the centre and surroundings as well as the neutralisation of several fighters.

“The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, commended the ATF for their dedication and professionalism.

“The Defence Headquarters equally urged them to intensify the air offensive against the terrorists and all other criminal elements in the country,” he said.

Katsina Protest: Police Release Shariff

The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has announced the release of its chairman of the Board of Trustees, Nastura Shariff, after a two-day police captivity.

Mr Shariff was arrested Tuesday afternoon and moved to Abuja shortly after a peaceful protest in Katsina against the killings of citizens by bandits.

“We acknowledge that Sharif’s freedom was made possible by the enormous pressure exerted by the CNG, the Northern Elders Forum, patriotic leaders and elders of the North, a decent section of the civil society, a multi-sectoral cooperation of regional groups and activists and the vigilance of the national and international press,” spokesman for CNG, Abdulaziz Sulaiman, said in a statement.

“We equally appreciate the support, cooperation and patience of the entire northern public throughout the period of Shariff’s detention. This is indeed reassuring.

“We assure the public that we shall never relent in our struggle for a decent, free, fair and just society no matter the odds.

“We urge authorities to endeavour to always place value on human liberty and people’s rights as basic corner stones for civilized democracy.”

Man Writes DSS, Demands N10 million Awarded Him By Court

Delta-based trader, Anthony Okolie, has written a letter to the Department of State Services demanding the payment of N10 million to him as ordered by a Federal High Court in Asaba last week.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba had last week ordered the DSS to pay Okolie N10m for illegally detaining him for 10 weeks after purchasing a SIM card previously owned by the President’s daughter, Hanan Buhari.

In a letter addressed to the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, the trader said a cheque of N10 million must be issued to him within 24 hours.

The letter, dated May 21, 2020, was signed by Okolie’s lawyer, Tope Akinyode.

In a copy of the letter, one Mafala acknowledged and received it on behalf of the DSS.

The letter read in part, “We have been instructed by our client to recover the said debt of N10, 000, 000 from you. You are therefore requested to forward your cheque to us forthwith in settlement of the judgment debt.

“Take notice that unless we receive our cheque in settlement within 24 hours after the receipt of this letter, we shall have no choice but to take all steps available under the law to recover the said sum.

“This will include but will not be limited to instituting contempt proceedings against you and going after assets of your establishment. We are certain that you will want to avoid the costs and embarrassment which our next course of action will entail and we hope that good counsel will prevail.”

CORONAVIRUS RIOT ROCKS KATSINA

Following a restriction order by the government of Katsina state, as a way of preventing the spread of corona virus, the Katsina State Police Command has arrested ninety rioters in the state.

This was contained in a press release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Gambo Isah.

The press release reads in part:
“Recall that Katsina state Government under the leadership of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Katsina state, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, CFR, fnim, issued a restriction orders Nos. SEC.2/T/3 and SEC.2/T/14 dated 25th and 27th March, 2020 respectively, directing for the total closure of its borders and suspension of large gatherings for the weekly Friday prayers and Sunday Church services while marriage ceremonies to be conducted in a low key across the state as part of measures taken to curtail the spread of the Corona virus pandemic.

“However, yesterday 27/03/2020 some disgruntled youths under the leadership of one Mallam Hassan tested the will of the state and conducted a Friday prayer in one of the Kusada jummaat mosques. Subsequently, he was arrested for questioning at Area Commander’s office, Malumfashi which did not go down well with some of his followers.”

The police further revealed that some groups attacked the police station by burning it down. Also, the DPO Quarters was attacked.

“Consequently, today 28/03/2020 at about 09:00hrs, this particular group organized themselves in such a tumultuous manner, rioting, attacked and over powered the policemen on duty at Kusada Division, set ablaze the police station and DPO’s Quarters. They also burnt down seven motor vehicles and ten motorcycles in custody of the police station.”

Reacting to this, the state Police Commissioner ordered the deployment of police officers in a joint operation, arresting ninety suspects.

“The Commissioner of Police, Katsina state Command, CP Sanusi Buba, psc ordered for the deployment of police patrol teams and a special joint security task force on the Enforcement of public gathering in the state led by DC Operations, to the area which have already restored normalcy.

“Ninety (90) suspected rioters have been arrested while one of the rioters lost his life as a result of the encounter. Investigation is ongoing.”

PRIVATE SECURITY WANTS LICENSE TO CARRY ARMS

The Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) has implored on the Federal Government to grant its members permission to carry arms in order to help solve the growing security challenges in the country.

ALPSPN has over 1000 licensed security companies with operations across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as members.

The National President of the association, Wilson Esangbedo, made the call when he led the executive members of the association to meet with the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola in Abuja.

Esangbedo, who sobbed the growing security challenges persisting in the country at this moment, claimed that: “Research has shown that countries where private guards carry arms appear to experience better security”, adding that “examples in Africa are Rwanda, Morocco and South Africa.”

Section 17 of Private Guard Decree, 1986 as amended in 2004 expressly forbids private security guards from carrying arms and ALPSPN’s president said this placed members of the association at a disadvantaged position whilst limiting their potentials to help reduce insecurity across the nation.

While calling for further amendment of the law to allow private security guards to carry arms, Esangbedo stressed that the move will free up about 216,000 policemen for core police duties.

The ALPSPN president also called on the Federal Government to recognize its members as part of the country’s national security architecture, insisting that: “We request for a seat in the National Security Council where we can proffer our ideas on how we can strengthen national security efforts and initiatives”.

The Minister of Interior, who commended the ALPSPN for its contribution to security of lives and property in the country, said the current government was carrying out a general overhauling of the private security guards structure.

There are over 100 registration requests unattended to and Aregbesola said: “Reasons for holding back registration of private security guard companies is to ensure that we don’t register just anybody under this government. We want to be sure of the integrity of people involved.”

“Secondly, we are working on regulation that will encourage efficiency. We are packaging regulation that will make you smart, efficient and effective.”

While promising to recommend reforms that will put the ALPSPN members on a strong footing to contribute to national security, the Minister charged the executives to enforce discipline amongst members.

He also called for more collaboration between the ALPSPN members and state security architecture for intelligence sharing.

Aregbesola, however, declined comment on the call by ALPSPN for the federal government to grant its members permission to carry arms, but advised the body to be discipline, loyal and dedicated to duty so as to curb the ongoing security crisis in the country.

TERRORISTS TOOK TROOPS BY SURPRISE

There were reports on Wednesday on Boko Haram killings in Damboa, Borno State.

While residents of the village claimed that an identified people, including security personnel, were killed, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said it was unaware of such attack.

Four policemen and two members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) were reportedly killed in the attack.

A vigilante member told our The Nation that the insurgents wrote to the villagers of their menacing strike which they carried out.

It was learnt that the terrorists made failed attempts until yesterday.

Some of the residents said the insurgents entered the village with about 30 mounted gun trucks and began to fire sporadically.

“When they started shooting, the people began to run into the bush. The hunters and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), along with the soldiers, engaged them. But it seemed they were well prepared for a long battle until the soldiers got air support. And then, the insurgents started to withdraw,” a resident, Adamu Yusuf, said.

A resident, Isa Adamu said the insurgents were expected on Tuesday night, but they did not show up until morning on Wednesday.

They were said to have entered the village from three directions, which almost threw the soldiers into confusion.

Another resident, Sanusi Ibrahim, said both the ground soldiers and the Air Force support helped the soldiers to overcome the attackers.

“We were lucky because of the Air Force jet. It would have been worse without them. The soldiers on the ground also did well,” he said.

Damboa is located between Alagarno and Sambisa Forest.

It has been one of the vulnerable villages to Boko Haram attacks because of its proximity to the famous forest.

The number of casualty could not be officially ascertained last night.

AFP reported that Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) launched an early morning attack on the military facility, which sparked intense fighting.

The terrorists, according to the agency, invaded the base in trucks fitted with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades.

They were said to have attempted to overrun the community but were forced out by troops after about two hours of intense fighting.

More than 50 residents were injured by shrapnel from grenades fired by the terrorists when some strayed into nearby homes, a local told AFP.

Boko Haram has resumed deadly attacks on friendly forces and unarmed civilians despite proposed amnesty plans for terrorists by the federal government.

RELATIVES NOW THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH KIDNAPPING

The Katsina State Police Command has reaffirmed that it is a crime to call or text a person with threat messages of kidnapping and paying of Ransom.

The Command said some unscrupulous members of the public have devised new tactics of calling or sending messages to some unsuspecting members of the public, (either friends, neighbours, or relatives or acquaintances etc) that they are bandits or kidnappers from the forest, asking them to pay ransom or themselves or any member of their families risked being kidnapped.

The Katsina State Police Command categorically warn that any person or persons arrested in connection with such offences will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the law.

“Members of the public should note that “Death by hanging” is the punishment for Kidnapping under Section 243 of the Katsina state Penal Code as amended.

Parents are hereby advised to monitor the activities of their wards as the law is no respecter of person and any person caught will be made to face the full wrath of the law.” SP Gambo Isa said

NIGERIA NOT MANNING LAND BOARDERS – MASARI

The Governor of Katsina State Aminu Bello Masari has lambasted security being provided at the Nigeria-Niger border operative adding that Nigeria cannot copiously protect the state’s land borders, particularly with the inflow of illegal drugs into the state

Masari who was speaking while playing host to the state Commander, Nigeria Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said Katsina state is among the highest states experiencing the inflow of drugs through the land borders which further aggravated to the rising spate of insecurity across the state.

He added that the wide nature of the land border made it difficult for security operative to adequately monitor the influx of drugs and other contrabands that are detrimental to the security of the country.

He said “Katsina state is among the states that has the highest in terms of influx of dangerous drugs partly due to the open border with Niger Republic. The land borders which cannot be easily monitored are so vast while the Immigration, Customs, the Police and the Army are in adequate to police the borders of Katsina not to talk of Zamfara, Sokoto, Jigawa among others”

The Governor called on the NDLEA in the state to intensify efforts in fighting drug abuse in the state sensitizing young people in senior secondary schools and tertiary institutions which according to him, will go a long way enlightening them to understand the danger of drugs to their lives.

He further maintained government’s support and commitment in assisting the Corp to enhance the campaign against drugs especially those in tick forest who complained to him that their children are now injecting themselves with drugs and no longer respect them.

Earlier, the NDLEA Commander, Sule Momodu, thanked the Governor for supporting the command in the fight, urging for continuing partnership to reduce the rate of drugs which mostly responsible for the crimes committed in the state.

POLICE NEED 1 TRILLION

The Nigeria Police Force it need almost N1tn to be efficient and effective in the fight against rising insecurity in the country.

The leading internal security outfit is proposing a total sum of N944,856,416,800 to carry out its operations across the country.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had on Tuesday said apart from more personnel, the Force needed not less than 1,000 Armoured Personnel Carriers, 250,000 assault rifles with corresponding ammunition, to effectively police Nigeria.

Muhammed also said the country needed 2,000,000 tear gas canisters and smoke grenades, 200,000 riot gunners and smoke pistols, 1,000 tracking devices, and 774 operational drones, among others.

Muhammed had made this known at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, themed ‘Repositioning the Nigeria Police for an Enhanced Service Delivery.’

The Inspector General, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Abdulmajid Ali, stated that an aggregation of reports by the various police reform committees under the current democratic dispensation indicated that there were major challenges inhibiting optimal police service delivery.

In the document presented to the committee, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, the police listed the challenges as including gross underfunding, which he said was occasioned by inadequate budgetary appropriation and non-release of the limited appropriated funds.

An analysis of the document on Saturday showed that the police plan to spend a total of about N944.9bn on helicopters, gunboats, patrol vehicles, fuel, and monitoring and inspection.

A breakdown of the proposed expenses showed that they were in five categories.

Deployment of helicopters to the six geopolitical zones “for aerial patrol against armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry, terrorism and sundry operations” will cost N3,056,140,000.

The marine section of the NPF plans to spend a total of N21,660,000,000 on Police Combat Patrol Launch and armoured gunboats.

The police will also acquire operational vehicles, including pick-up vans, APCs, cameras and water canon with N696,816,800,000.

Monitoring and evaluation of commands and training institutions by the Department of Research and Planning would cost N247,488,000.

A further breakdown of the N3,056,140,000 billed for the six aircraft showed that they would conduct aerial patrol for six hours per day, consuming 800 litres per hour, while the cost at N250 per litre would amount to N2,592,000. Repairs and servicing, lubricants and spare parts make up the total.

The N21,660,000,000 proposed for PCPL include the purchase of 15 units of armoured gunboats (12M) at N230m each, 15 units of 14M at N265,000,000 each and 10 units of M16 at N285,000,000 each. Other marine vehicles and devices make up the total amount.

With N696,816,800,000 for operational vehicles, the police plan to acquire 1,819 APCs at N150m each, 1,819 water cannons at N170m each, 1,915 patrol pick-up vans at N28.5m each, and vans with cameras at N29.750m each.

The cost of fuel – both diesel and petrol – for vehicles would be N194,451,100 per week, while the cost of maintaining them would be N1,838,400,000. The vehicles are to consume 1,127,780 litres of fuel per week.

These vehicles would be distributed across 267 area commands, 1,489 divisional headquarters, 37 state headquarters, 12 zonal headquarters and four force headquarters. Each of these formations would get one of each of the items. Out of the number, 10 APCs, 10 water cannons, 100 vans and 100 vans with cameras were to be reserved.

Meanwhile, the Police Service Commission has said 2,866 senior police officers from the ranks of Assistant Superintendent of Police to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police retired from service in 2019.

The PSC decried that “because of the serious insecurity situation in the country, the Police Force continues to lose personnel almost on a daily basis,” stating that “in view of the foregoing and some others un-highlighted, it is crystal clear that the current strength and funding of the Force is grossly inadequate to effectively secure our country and her citizenry.”

Chairman of the PSC, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired IGP, in his written presentation to the House, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, stated that the current strength of the NPF, put at about 350,000, “is grossly inadequate to police our country.”

The PSC boss said, “For a start, urgent attention should be given to the issue of increasing the strength of the Force to at least 500,000 within the next two years. This should cover enlistment of cadet ASPs, Cadet Inspectors – general duty and specialist – and constables.

“As it has been done in the past, intensive initial training for cadet officers can be shortened to nine months while that of recruit constables can run for six months.

“If approval is given to conduct many of these courses yearly, it will ensure regular increase in the strength of the Force even with the annual retirement of due officers.”

Smith had on Tuesday decried inadequate police personnel, many of whom he said had been deployed to protect public buildings and servants as well as Very Important Persons.

“It is from the indicated police strength that personnel are deployed to the Presidential Villa, National Assembly, Judiciary, top government officials at the centre (Federal Government) and all the states, prominent traditional rulers nationwide, foreign embassies, banks, key/vulnerable points and all levels of police formations throughout the country. No wonder, only skeletal police coverage is available in all police formations nationwide,” he said.

Meanwhile, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law has dismissed the policing system being operated by the NPF as archaic, noting that advanced countries are deploying information and communication technology to fight crime.

Chairman of Intersociety, Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, in a statement said there was no other way to describe the request presented to the House by the IGP other than “service mediocrity.”

He wondered when the Nigeria Police bosses and their military counterparts would “do away with archaic policing and soldiering.”

The statement read, “We also do not know why, when other police services or forces around the world are fully embracing ICT policing, the NPF is busy racing back to the yore and its concomitant archaic or anachronistic policing.

“The Force is notorious for policing incompetence and has been haunted by chronic data system collapse, including total collapse and malfunctioning of its central crime statistics and database. Till date, there are numerical contradictions with regard to the actual size of the NPF.

“While the newly introduced Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information under the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation puts the personnel size of the NPF to about 290,000 to 300,000 as of 2018, the authorities of the NPF have consistently maintained that Force is peopled by 370,000 personnel. In other words, the present IGP is not sure of the accurate size of the present NPF.”

The group also criticised the “near-total, if not total absence of a credible database for weapons in the armouries of the police and their movements, uses and safety. As a matter of fact, the data deficiencies in the NPF are inherently entrenched and chronic.”

“A competent, lettered and ICT compliant IGP should have provided the credible statistics of the number and type of weapons and personnel at the disposal of the Force and their functionality index, before demanding for additions or otherwise,” Intersociety said.

The statement further said, “The IGP should provide concrete answers to the following: how many rifles, APCs and related weapons and ammunitions, as well as personnel are there in the NPF? Where are they? Are the rifles and related weapons safely or porously managed? Are they being used for purposes they are legally meant for or illegally used for motley of ‘service crimes and atrocities’ such as being used in aiding ‘religious and economic terrorist activities’ and high profile street and roadway criminalities, i.e., kidnappings?

“Are the weapons and personnel truly used for securing generality of the citizens or for sundry roadway crimes such as extortion? Is it correct to say that many of these weapons and personnel are channelled into protection of the so-called VIPs and corporate establishments such as banks and multinational companies, all done in return for payment of billions of naira monthly, which never reflect in any police budget except in private pockets or coffers?

“At the non-state actor level, our questions are: are there credible statistics domiciled with the NPF showing the number, movement and use of illicit weapons such as small arms and light weapons in Nigeria or any part thereof? How secured by the NPF through police border and waterways or marine patrols are Nigeria’s four transnational borders and over 8,600km of waterways?

“Who are truly responsible for arming jihadist Fulani herdsmen or allowing them to openly source and bear rifles classified by the laws of the country as prohibited firearms? How possible is it to believe that the NPF is not complicit? Is it correct to say that the jihadist Fulani herdsmen are now recognised by the NPF as Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen Vigilante Group of Nigeria?”