Gunmen Invade Mosque In Delta, Shoot 11 Worshippers
Gunmen, in the early hours of Friday, invaded a mosque in Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, abducting an imam and injuring 11 other worshippers.
The suspected kidnappers, said to be about five, arrived at the mosque in a Toyota Sienna bus when the worshippers were observing their morning prayer (subhi).
The abducted imam was identified as Malam Muhammadu Sani, a native of Katsina State. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bright Edafe, confirmed the incident, saying operatives were already after the gunmen to retrieve the abducted cleric.
Sources said the hoodlums shot sporadically into the air to scare residents around the mosque, which is located at Otovwievwiere Street in the Okorodafe axis of the Ughelli metropolis.
A resident identified simply as Larry said: “The attack happened this morning at about 6.00 a.m. We heard shootings at the mosque.
“Many people in my compound were frightened and we remained inside. We only peeped through our windows.
“As the shooting lasted, we heard loud cries from some of the worshippers inside the mosque.”
The secretary of the Arewa community in Ughelli North, Darlington Ahmed Garma, narrated what transpired to newsmen.
He said: “At about 6.15 a.m., unknown persons came in an ash-coloured Toyota Sienna and parked opposite the mosque.
“Two men entered the mosque. As they were taking the imam, Malam Muhammadu Sani, away, they told the remaining members that were performing their morning prayer to go outside.
“Before they got outside the mosque, 11 worshippers were shot and they are currently on admission at Ughelli Central Hospital.”
One of the injured victims, 63-year-old Muhammed Bagudu, who spoke from the hospital bed, disclosed that the masked gunmen entered the mosque and began to shoot at the worshippers.
“They shot me, my brother, one of the imams and went away with another imam, Muhammadu Sani, who is from Katsina State,” he said.
When newsmen visited the Ughelli Central Hospital, some of the 11 victims were being attended at the Accident and Emergency Unit.
In another development, some gunmen, on Thursday, stormed the palace of the Oloso of Oso-Ajowa in Akoko, Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, abducting the traditional ruler, Oba Clement Jimoh Olukotun.
The hoodlums struck at about 11.30 p.m. and whisked the traditional ruler away to an unknown location. A palace source disclosed that the gunmen destroyed the main door to the palace before gaining entrance into the main palace.
According to the source, the kidnappers knocked on the main entrance door repeatedly before deciding to shoot into the air and force the door open when the occupants refused to open it. He said the men went straight into the traditional ruler’s private room, dragged him out and took him away.
He said said the kidnappers had left before security operatives arrived at the scene.
The source said: “When they came, they surrounded the building and ordered the monarch and other occupants to open the door and surrender themselves.
“But when the occupants refused, they started shooting sporadically. They destroyed the main door and entered.
“They terrorised the Kabiyesi and his family members before dragging him out and taking him away.
“None of the family members has been contacted but we know the people were kidnappers.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Funmi Odunlami, confirmed the development but said detectives from the state command had been deployed to arrest the hoodlums.
She said: “It is true but the details of the incident are still not clear. However, men from the Divisional Police Headquarters at Oke-Agbe, headquarters of Akoko NorthWest Local Government Area of Ondo State, have been deployed in the town to launch investigation into the incident.”
She gave the assurance that the traditional ruler would be rescued from his abductors, saying the police are on their trail.
Police Arrest Visa Racketeer For Forging UN Invitation Letters
The Police Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos State, has arrested and arraigned one Abioye Abolaji, 53, on 11 counts bordering on alleged forgery, obtaining money by false pretence, false representation and stealing.
The unit spokesperson, SP Eyitayo Johnson, confirmed the arrest of the suspect in a statement on Thursday.
He said the arrest of the suspect was in furtherance to a petition from the Diplomatic Security Services Regional Security office at the United States Consulate General in Lagos.
Johnson said, “The arrest was in furtherance to a petition which requested discrete investigation into forged documents submitted by certain C-2 Visa applicants to the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit of USCG.
“C-2 Visa is a NIV category reserved for participants at United Nations Conference/Events.
“There were investigations by USCG and PSFU into 77 C-2 applications from 24 organisations in Nigeria to attend two separate conferences, namely, 67th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and UN 2023 Water Conference, scheduled to take place in New York between 22nd and 24th March, 2023.”
The spokesman added that most of the applicants were not qualified for the visa classification they applied for.
“It revealed that most of the applicants are not qualified for the visa classification they applied for because the applicants provided forged UN invitation letters.
“The applicants, who claimed to be employees of Osun & Sons Agricultural Venture, Ray D. Exclusive Electrical Contractor, or ACE Technoresources Integrated Services; planned to attend UN Water Conference as a representative or nominee of these organisations.
“But investigations revealed that none of the organisations is in consultative status with the UN and that the employment of most of the applicants had no bearing on either of the referenced UN conferences,” he said.
According to him, further information gathered during police interviews of the visa applicants led to the arrest of the suspect, who is the arrowhead of a notorious syndicate that specialises in visa fraud.
Johnson said the Commissioner of Police, PSFU, CP Adepoju Ilori, had advised prospective visa applicants to desist from patronising document vendors or visa racketeers for the processing of category B-1 and B-2 visas or any other travel documents.
He said the CP further encouraged applicants to research the procedure/requirements of visa for their intended country of destination or to approach the Diplomatic Section of PSFU for guidance in order not to fall victim to visa racketeers.
According to the spokesperson, the unit is currently on the trail of other members of the syndicate.
Pregnant Woman Beaten To Death By Husband In Oyo
A 40-year-old man, Niyi Adebanjo, has reportedly beaten his 35-year-old wife, Toyin, to death in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Our correspondent gathered that on Wednesday, that the late Toyin, a mother of two, with nine-month-old pregnancy, was beaten, on Monday night, February 20, 2023, by her husband over an unknown argument in their apartment at the Fodasis area, Ring road in Ibadan South West Local Government Area of the state.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the deceased has been subjected to domestic violence for a very long time without the knowledge of her family members.
The victim’s mother, Iyabo Akinbode, on Wednesday, alleged that her daughter was killed by her husband.
Akinbode said, “I never knew she was facing domestic violence! She never told anyone in the family that she was passing through all this nonsense. She called me two days before she died that she was having a headache. And I told her that something must be done to that her constant headache. She should try to see her doctor.
“So, she called me again the following day which was Monday that she was not okay. I went there and was told her husband beats her. She had nine-month-old pregnancy. On Tuesday, she phoned me that she wanted to drink pap and I went there. But when the condition was getting worse. I phoned her husband who told me to take her to a nearby chemist which I vehemently declined.
“I then took her to The Light hospital at Bolumole, Challenge. When we got there, I started calling her husband from the morning and he refused to pick up his calls until she gave up the ghost in the evening. The husband appeared when she died, so some of her friends who came to the hospital started harassing the husband the he killed her because she used to tell them what was going on in her matrimonial home.
“This is unfortunate because she was expected to give birth a newborn baby a few days before her demise. She was beaten to the level of bleeding internally. This is pathetic! As you are seeing me, I’ve not changed this attire since I lost her.”
Reacting to the allegation, the husband, Adebanjo confirmed that he had an issue with her late wife in 2018 over her infidelity which was resolved the same year after the intervention of his elder brothers from Lagos.
Adebanjo alleged that her infidelity continued unabated, saying, “Truly, my wife and I had an issue before quite alright. And that was in 2018, about five years ago. I beat her that time but since then, I never touched her again.
“I never beat her again. Someone I didn’t beat when I saw a nude photo sent to her by one of her concubines and her nude photo sent back to him. Someone I didn’t do anything to her at that time, so why will I beat her now to the point of death? Someone with nine-month-old pregnancy, they are just trying to rope me.
“All these allegations were framed to rope me. There is a doctor’s report if you want to see it. The doctor said she died of cardiac arrest and high blood pressure. The police even told them that they can exhume her corpse if they are not satisfied after the burial. So, why are they blackmailing me? He said.
It was further learnt that the case has been reported at Orita Police Station, while the victim had since been buried at a private cemetery, Oke Itunu in Ibadan North Local Government Area of the state.
As of press time, the Oyo Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, could not be reached for comment.
Terrorism: Federal Government Arraigns Negotiator, Tukur Mamu, On 10-Count Charge
The negotiator between the federal government and terrorists, Tukur Mamu, has been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Mamu pleaded not guilty to a 10-count charge bordering on terrorism financing, among others preferred against him by the federal government.
Mamu, who was arraigned by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, denied having allegiance to the terrorist.
Justice Nkeonye Maha of a sister court on Sept. 13, 2022, gave the Department of State Services (DSS) the go-ahead to detain the former terrorists’ negotiator for 60 days to enable it conclude its investigation on Mamu, who led the negotiation with the terrorists for the release of the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers kidnaped in March 2022.
In the charge, the federal government said the offence contravenes the provisions of the Section 21 (3) (a) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.
Mamu is accused of receiving ransom payments in the sum of 120,000.00 dollars on behalf of the Boko haram terrorist group from families of hostages (victims) of the Abuja/Kaduna train attack.