Gunmen Demand ₦550m Ransom For Passengers Abducted In Jos
Gunmen who kidnapped 11 passengers on Friday along the Nasarawa-Benue borders have reportedly demanded N50m ransom for each of the victims.
PUNCH Metro had reported that the passengers boarded a bus in Jos, Plateau State, and were heading for Onitsha, Anambra State, when they were attacked.
Our correspondent learnt that the kidnappers first contacted the transport company and demanded N50m ransom for each of the abducted passengers.
The hoodlums were said to have later called the families of the victims to demand the money.
Some of the families told our correspondent that they were struggling to raise the money after a series of negotiations with the kidnappers.
A man, whose mother was among the victims and spoke on condition of anonymity for security purposes, said it had been difficult living without her.
He said, “My mother was going for a burial when they were attacked and kidnapped. Even the vehicle carrying the corpse they were taking home was in front of their bus when the incident happened. After the ambulance passed the spot where the gunmen were hiding, the bus carrying my mother and the other passengers was stopped by the kidnappers.”
A father, who also asked not to be identified, said his son was returning to school when he was kidnapped.
“He was sick when ASUU called off its strike. He told me that he would manage to go back to school just to know the situation of things in the school. His kidnap has been traumatic for us,” he added.
The Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Alabo Alfred, referred our correspondent to the Benue State Police Command, saying the incident did not happen in his jurisdiction.
Lagos Cultists Hack Cobbler To Death In Quest For Revenge
A cobbler identified simply as Wale has been allegedly hacked to death by suspected cultists avenging the killing of a member of their group in the Bariga area of Lagos State.
It was reported that a group of cultists, while avenging the killing of one of their colleagues by a rival cult group on Thursday, March 16, hacked one Moses, aka Loworo, to death on Tapa Street, in the Bariga area of the state.
This was after some members of a cult group had killed a rival cult member identified simply as Ayo in a community in the Shomolu area of the state earlier that day.
In a bid to avenge Ayo’s death, his colleagues trailed his suspected killers to Bariga where they launched a reprisal on Moses.
Following Moses’ death, his colleagues again decided to go after a relative of his killers in the community.
It was in the process that they targeted Wale, who was said to be an elder brother to one of their rivals and inflicted machete cuts on him.
A source who did not want his name in print for security reasons, said, “A gang of five boys trailed Wale to his shop at Sungas Bus Stop but did not find him. They were later told that he went to purchase some items close to Idi-Aba Bus Stop.
“On getting there, they saw him and decided to attack him but he ran away. They later caught up with him while he was trying to navigate a corner close to Akinwale Bus Stop and started to cut him with a machete. He was later left for dead.”
It was gathered that the police visited the scene of the incident with the hope of rescuing him but could not find him at the spot.
The source said his brother and some members of his gang arrived at the spot before the police.
“He was still breathing and lying in a pool of blood when they got there. He was later rushed to the hospital where the doctors on duty tried to save him but he was pronounced dead around 2pm.
“The police also visited the hospital and by the time they got there, his corpse had already been taken away by his relatives for burial,” the source added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, when contacted, said, “No such incident was reported to the police.”
Herbalist Remanded For Murder In Lagos
A High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, on Wednesday, remanded a 37-year-old herbalist, Bamidele Mayowa, over the alleged murder and dismemberment of a mother of two, Mercy Ekienabor, 35.
Three others accomplices including a woman, Oluwakemi Azeez, 21, Oyedegun Adewale, 28, and Jejelaye Olusola, 23, were remanded to a correctional centre in the state.
They were remanded after being arraigned before Justice Modupe Nicol-Clay on three counts bordering on murder, misconduct with regard to corpse and accessory after the facts of the murder, preferred against them by the Lagos State Government.
During the arraignment of the defendants, the state prosecuting counsel, Titilayo Olanrewaju-Daud, told the court that they committed the offence on December 16, 2021.
She said the incident took place around 12pm at No 17, Ijedodo Road, in the Ijegun area of the state, adding that Mayowa allegedly killed Ekienabore by giving her a noxious substance and dismembering her corpse.
The prosecutor also said around 3pm on the same day and at the same address, the first defendant dismembered the deceased’s corpse.
According to Olanrewaju-Daud, the second to fourth defendants on December 18, 2021, allegedly buried the butchered remains of the late Ekienabor in a hole at the premises where she was killed,
She said the offences committed contravened Sections 222, 165, and 231 and were punishable under Sections 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge against them and were remanded in prison custody.
Mr I.O. Bashua announced his appearance for the first defendant, while Mr F.I. Dennis appeared for the second to fourth defendants.
Justice Nicol-Clay adjourned the case till June 27 and 28, 2023, for the commencement of trial.
NDLEA Nabs Two Sisters In Possession Of Marijuana
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency paraded two sisters and the spouse of one of them before newsmen in Katsina on Tuesday for being in possession of six kilograms of Indian hemp.
The narcotics agency’s commander in Katsina State, Mohammed Bashir, told newsmen that one of the women, Rabi Musa, 45, was arrested for being in possession of three kilograms of Indian hemp.
He said Rabi was assisting her husband, now at large, to sell the illicit drug in connivance with her sister, Zainab Musa and her husband.
He said Zainab and her husband were also arrested for being in possession of another three kilograms of Indian hemp.
Bashir said the arrest of Rabi led to the arrest of the two other suspects and assured that her fleeing husband would soon be arrested.
The three suspects already arrested would be prosecuted, he assured.
He blamed rampant divorce cases in Katsina State on drug abuse and called on parents to take drug integrity tests of their would-be sons-in-law seriously.
He also advocated that parents must demand drug-free certificates from would-be sons-in-law before giving out their daughters out in marriage rather than getting swayed by wealth.
Fielding questions from newsmen, 45-five-year-old Rabi confessed to committing the crime but explained that she was only carrying out her husband’s instructions in order to be seen as a loyal wife.
She pleaded for mercy and advised women and parents to be careful about suitors asking for their daughters’ hands in marriage.
Bashir also told newsmen that the NDLEA arrested four other suspects in a vehicle with expired ammunition.
They were later found to be car snatchers who robbed the owner of the car – a senior police officer – at gunpoint.
“A few days ago, three other suspects, artisans, were nabbed on the Kano-Katsina Highway with a car suspected to have been stolen in Jos,’’ Bashir said.