Abductors of the people returning to Ondo State after attending a burial ceremony in Edo State, last weekend, have reportedly demanded N90 million ransom for their release.
A reliable family source told newsmen in Akure, the Ondo State capital, that 18 victims were abducted.
According to the source, ”the kidnappers have contacted families of the victims and are demanding between N3 million and N10 million to release the victims.
Meanwhile, one of the burial guests, who escaped on Saturday, told newsmen that “the kidnappers were about 10 in number. They jumped into the highway and forcefully stopped our driver.
They were holding AK-47 rifles and cutlasses. We thought they were armed robbers until they started marching some of the occupants into the bush.
“In our state of confusion, they were shouting where is money, where is money, they collected all the money and those whose money were inside the bus were allowed to go back and bring it.
“I told one of them that I left my bag in the bus and he asked me to go and bring it. I went back and stayed lying face down on the bus until they all left the highway. That was my saving grace.
“They asked all those in the bus to line up in two rows. They select randomly those to be marched into the bush and those to be freed.
Speaking on the abduction of the burial guests, the state Information Commissioner, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, confirmed the ransom demanded by the kidnappers, saying the state government was not involved in the ransom negotiation.
According to her, “the payment of ransom empowered kidnappers to do more harm.”
She said that “The victims went for burial at Ewatto town. They were returning in a 32-seater Coastal bus hired from Rufus Guwa Polytechnic, in Owo when they were attacked by the suspected kidnappers.
“The kidnappers shot into the air and took 18 of the passengers.
“Those remaining called the Amotekun Corps who got to the scene within 15 minutes. Among those in the bush, seven were found and two others
“Amotekun is working with the police, the DSS and the Nigerian Army to secure the release of the remaining victims.
“We commend the gallant of Amotekun Corps in getting to the scene. Ondo State will not be a haven for criminals.
The commissioner said that the kidnappers “find this spot convenient because it borders Edo State. They will strike and run back into Edo State.”
Police Arrest 50-Year-Old Man, Five Others For Raping 12-Year-Old Girl In Bauchi
The Bauchi State Police Command has arrested a 50-year-old man and five others for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl in Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State several times.
Among the suspects were 40-year-old and 37-year-old men.
The spokesman for the command, Ahmed Wakil, a Superintendent of Police, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in the state on Friday.
He said that the case was transferred to the police from a lower Shariah Court in Yayu town in Chinade District of Katagum LGA.
He added that the suspects often lure the minor with monetary gifts of either N100 or N200 to commit their crime.
He said, “The command has arrested a 50-year-old and five others for raping a 12-year girl.
“The case was referred from the Lower sharia court, Yayu town Chinade district Katagum LGA on January 18, 2023, for discreet investigation regarding a 12-year-old girl who was raped on different occasions.
“A discreet investigation was conducted by the Gender Unit attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department of Bauchi.
“The investigation pointed to the following suspects namely; Abubakar Bello (50), Idriss Yakubu (40), Nasiru Dalhatu (40), Idris Sarkin Ruwa (50), Abubakar Jallaba (37) and Mustapha Kawu, male (40), all males and residents of Yayu village, Katagum LGA.
“The suspects confessed to have on different occasions enticed the little girl with monetary gifts ranging from N100 to N200 to have carnal knowledge of her.
“During the interrogation, all the suspects confessed to having had carnal knowledge of the underage victim.”
Wakil said that rape is a ‘capital offence and also against humanity and good conscience’ pointing out that section 283 of the penal code and Section 1(2a-c) of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of Bauchi State prescribes the punishment for rape.
He said that during the investigation, the detectives of the command uncovered all facts and points to establish a prima-facie case against the accused persons respectively.
According to him, the Commissioner of Police, Aminu Alhassan, directed that the suspects be charged to court to face the full wrath of the law as justice will be served to the accused, the victim, and the society at large.
Arabic Teacher Sentenced To Life Imprisonment For Defiling Pupils
An Ikeja Sexual offences and Domestic Violence Court yesterday sentenced an Arabic teacher or Alfa, Adam Farouk, to eight life imprisonment terms for defiling eight pupils in his class.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the pupils were aged from six to 11 years as at the time of the offence.
The convict committed the offences from November 2018 to February 2019 on Balogun Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Justice Abiola Soladoye held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt, the ingredients of the eight-count charge bordering on sexual assault by penetration.
Soladoye described the cleric as morally bankrupt and an embarrassment to the Islamic faith.
The judge said that the court did not fall for his lies, noting that the pupils’ evidence was corroborated as they identified the cleric as their teacher who penetrated their vaginas with his index fingers.
Soladoye also held that evidence of the 10th prosecution witness, a midwife with Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Mrs Oluchi Nwoke-Okoi, revealed that the pupils had vaginal injuries.
The judge also held that the defendant asked the pupils to turn their backs while he defiled them one-by-one.
She said: “What an Islamic teacher, who took undue advantage of poor students in Islam and messed around with their purity and dignity.
“The defendant is hereby convicted of all the charges and sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the eight counts, but the sentences shall run concurrently,” Soladoye said.
The judge also ordered that the convict should have his name written in the Sexual Offenders Register of Lagos State.
Gunmen Behead Imo LGA Boss After Receiving N6m Ransom For His Release
Gunmen have beheaded the Sole Administrator of the Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, Christopher Ohizu.
His abductors carried out the act after allegedly receiving a N6millon ransom.
The gunmen, who called themselves separatists, reportedly tied his hands backward with a rope before he was slaughtered.
The council boss was kidnapped with two others on Friday after his country home at Imoko community in Arondizuogu area of the LGA was razed.
He was shot on the legs before he was whisked away by his abductors.
It was learnt that the sole administrator was beheaded on Sunday two days later in the forest.
Videos of his beheading surfaced online on Sunday evening.
A source said: ”They beheaded the Ideato North Sole Administrator on Sunday. They posted the video of his beheading with his phone on his own WhatsApp status. This was how people got to know that he has been beheaded.
“He was sliced after collecting a ransom of N6millon. He was killed in such an inhuman way. The videos are terrifying. May God heal our land.”
Also in the video the separatists said: “We are not ESN, we are not IPOB, we are fighting to gain our freedom and there will be no election in the Southeast.”
When contacted, Imo Police spokesman Henry Okoye, confirmed the incident to the Nation.He said: “Mr Christopher Ohizu was abducted and two others were abducted in the early hours of 20th Jan 2023. He was the Sole Administrator SOLAD of Ideator North.”