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Abduction of 11 passengers in Kogi raises concerns in Bayelsa

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The abduction of a driver and 11 passengers of a Bayelsa-Abuja bound bus by unknown gunmen operating in Kogi State has raised concerns among residents in Yenagoa.

The commercial vehicle belonging to De-Prize Transport Company, which is based in Yenagoa, was reportedly attacked by vicious gunmen, who blocked the highway on Wednesday evening.

It was learnt that two of the passengers were shot by the gunmen, one of them was said to have fortunately escaped from the assailants while others were led into a bush in Kogi.

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While the fates of the two shot passengers were unknown, it was learnt that the kidnappers contacted the transport company and demanded N50m to free the driver.

The marauders were reportedly calling family members of their victims to make different ransom demands.

Investigations revealed that the next-of-kins to the passengers were invited for meetings with the management of the company to deliberate on the issue but failed to show up.

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The incident was said to have disturbed the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Central Zone led by Kennedy Olorogun.

Olorogun said he was at the transport company to identify the passengers in the bus through the firm’s manifest.

He condemned the development and called on the kidnappers to release the victims unconditionally.

He lamented the increasing risks involved in road transport in the country and appealed to security agencies to intensify their efforts in securing the highways especially during the Yuletide.

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Olorogun said:

“It is disheartening that people no longer travel freely in this country especially along the Kogi-Abuja corridor. We are saddened by the development and we appeal to the kidnappers to release our people unconditionally.

“We are also calling on security agencies especially those in Kogi and other gateway states to Abuja to increase their efforts to ensure the roads at their domains are safe”.

 

Crime

Gunmen kidnap nine travellers in Ondo, demand N100million ransom

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No fewer than nine people have been reportedly abducted by some gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen at Isua Akoko, the headquarters of the Akoko South-East Local Government Area of Ondo on Friday evening.

The victims were said to be traveling in a Toyota Sienna bus from Abuja heading towards Lagos State before they were kidnapped.

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However, the details about their abduction were still sketchy as at the time of filing this report on Friday.

A source said the kidnappers have contacted the family of one of the victims and demanded a sum of N100m ransom.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Tee-Leo Ikoro, who confirmed the incident said one of the victims had been rescued.

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He said, ” Efforts are on to ensure the release of other victims. Our men are working with hunters, local vigilante, and other agencies to get then released unhurt.”

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Crime

Man, 41 allegedly defiles own three-year-old daughter in Ibadan

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A forty-one-year-old man, Effiom Etowa, who allegedly defiled his 3-year old daughter, was remanded in the custody of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, by an Ibadan Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Etowa, who lives in Tinuoye Estate, Ojoo, in Ibadan, is standing trial on a count charge of defilement.

Chief Magistrate Taiwo Oladiran, who did not take the plea of Etowa, ordered that he should be remanded in NSCDC custody in Ibadan.

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Oladiran said, “Etowa cannot be admitted at the Correctional Centre, Agodi, Ibadan, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Etowa is hereby remanded at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Headquarter, Ibadan, pending an advice from the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).”

Oladiran, however, adjourned the case until 16 July for hearing.

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Earlier, ASP Sunday Ogunremi, the Prosecution Counsel, told the court that Etowa committed the offence on 15 June at Ibadan.

According to Ogunremi, the offence contravened the provisions of Section 387 Criminal Law of Oyo State, 2000.

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Crime

Man, 28, allegedly rapes 11-year-old girl in Ile Ife

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An Ile-Ife Magistrates’ Court in Osun State on Thursday remanded in prison custody a 28-year-old man, Oyerinde Oyeniyi, for allegedly defiling an 11-year-old girl.

Oyeniyi is being tried for rape and assault.

The police prosecutor, ASP Joseph Adebayo, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on June 14 at 3p.m. at Mokuro area of Ile-Ife, Osun State.

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Adebayo said the offences contravened Section 31(1) (2) of the Child’s Right Law of Osun, 2007, and Section 360 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2002.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge.

The defence counsel, Mr Akin-wumi Babatunde, urged the court to grant his client bail in most liberal terms.

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Babatunde said his client would not jump bail but would provide reliable sureties.

The Magistrate, A. A. Adebayo granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 with one surety in like sum.

The magistrate said the surety must swear to an affidavit of means and reside within the court jurisdiction.

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He added that the address of the surety must be verified by the prosecutor.

The magistrate said the surety must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 8. He adjourned the case till July 28, for mention.

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