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JUST IN: Gunmen abduct two Chinese expatriates in Ebonyi

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Nasarawa CAN: Kidnappers demand N20m to free chairman

Two Chinese expatriates working at a mining site in Ebonyi State have been abducted by unknown gunmen.

The abducted Chinese nationals are employees at Greenfield Metals Nigeria Limited, which specialises in lead and zinc mining.

The incident, it was gathered, happened at Ihietutu, Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Wednesday at a mining pit close to the company’s offices.

Chairman of the company, Henry Ahanaotu said that the gunmen first shot sporadically into the air to scare away workers before proceeding to whisk away the expatriates.

According to him, the incident happened at the company’s mining pit at Ajirija mining site, 300 meters from the company’s Life Camp.

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Ahanaotu, who doubles as the Managing Director of the company said a formal report on the incident had been lodged with the police command in the state.

He said the company has not made contact with the kidnappers.

“The unidentified persons bearing sophisticated arms stormed our mining pit at Ajirija and shot severally before whisking their victims away.

“We are yet to establish the identity of the abductors or where they came from,” he said.

Police spokesman, Loveth Odah confirmed the incident.

Odah said the victims were abducted on Wednesday at the mining site adding that the Police has commenced an investigation into the incident.

We got the information yesterday.

“A detachment of our tactical team was dispatched to the area with a view to unraveling the true situation and also to rescue the victims.

“The team is yet to return to furnish us with relevant information about the incident.

“But I can confirm to you that we received a distress call from the area yesterday informing the police of alleged abduction of two Chinese working in a mining site at Ihietutu in Ishiagu community.

“We are waiting for information from our men before we can make informed comments on the motive behind the alleged abduction.

“For now, we cannot say if the abduction was for ransom purposes or not because the abductors are yet to establish contacts with the company,” she said.

Odah, however, urged non-Nigerian nationals working in any part of the state to ensure they move about with armed security guards to prevent attacks and molestations from criminals and possible kidnapping or abduction.

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This is the second kidnapping invoking the company this year.

In March, two Chinese expatriate staff were also abducted at the company’s Life Camp at Ugwuajirija.

They were later freed after the company allegedly paid an undisclosed amount of money as ransom.

Metro

Kaduna cleric continually rapes teenager for five years

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A Kaduna-based cleric, Joseph Alhassan, has been arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl for five years.

Alhassan was arrested at his residence on Abdulrahman Road, Shagari Low Cost, Barnawa Kaduna, by officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

He was arrested following a complaint filed by the Kaduna State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development.

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The victim, while interacting with Ms Brenda Bartholomew, the Social Welfare Officer in charge of the case, in Kaduna on Saturday, alleged that Alhassan had sexually abused her over the last five years.

Bartholomew said the victim, from Saminaka, Lere Local Government Area of the state, had been living with the accused since she was 11 years old as a maid, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

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She explained that the case was reported to the ministry by a non-governmental organisation, Bridge that Gap Initiative, after which the ministry intervened to investigate the issue.

“After receiving the information, we reported the case to the NSCDC, Kaduna South Local Government Area Division, Kakuri. The NSCDC thereafter arrested Alhassan and the matter is currently being investigated.

“We have taken her (victim) to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Kakuri, for medical examination while we wait for the NSCDC to conclude their investigation before we will proceed with the prosecution process,” she said.

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Woman dies after suffering severe burns while answering call close to cooking gas (graphic photos)

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Tragedy as a yet-to-be-identified woman has reportedly lost her life after suffering severe burns while receiving a phone call close to her cooking gas.

The tragic incident was made known by friends of the deceased who shared photos of her burns after the incident.

The deceased’s friends also took to Facebook to pray for their friend to survive the burns.

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Sadly, the prayers of the friends were not answered as the health of the woman took a negative turn, became worse and reportedly died from burns complications.

While mourning their friend on Facebook, they warned people to desist from answering phone calls near a cooking gas.

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See graphic photos below;

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Death toll now six in Lagos boat accident

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The death toll in  Friday night’s boat accident in Lagos has risen to six with nine persons still missing, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has said.

It said seven persons have rescued alive from the wreckage of the ill-fated boat on the Ebute Ero -Ikorodu waterway.

Transportation Commissioner  Frederic Oladeinde on a visit to the scene yesterday cautioned ferry operators against breaking laid down safety guidelines on waterways.

He said night travels are strictly forbidden.

The agency in an update last night on the accident said there were 22 persons on board, contrary to initial information.

Its capacity was  14 passengers and should not have sailed at night.

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According to the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor the deceased were all females while three men and four women were rescued.

He said rescuers suspended operation around 6:20 pm yesterday, adding that the search for the nine persons would continue today.

“So far, of the six dead adult females recovered at the Ipakodo ferry terminal and deposited in the Ikorodu General Hospital morgue, three are partly identified. One is Chidera, an undergraduate that studied International Relations awaiting her call-up letter, whose mother was amongst the survivors; Risi and Silifat.

“One of the survivors, Mrs. Ibikunle recounted her experience. They are all resident in Ikorodu. The boat captain and his assistant are among the missing persons. The deceased were deposited at Ikorodu General Hospital morgue.

“LASEMA Response Teams from Lekki and Agbowa, officers of the Nigeria Police Force Ipakodo division, LASAMBUS and LASWA officials were the responders present at the incident,” he said.

Commissioner reads riot act to ferry operators

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Transportation Commissioner  Frederic Oladeinde yesterday visited the scene of the accident and cautioned ferry operators against breaking laid down safety guidelines on waterways.

He said night travels are strictly forbidden.

“If the rule on  no night travelling on the waterways – from 6.00 p.m. – had been strictly adhered to by operators, the accident could have been averted,” the commissioner was quoted as saying by the  Head of Public Affairs of the ministry, Mrs.Bolanle Ogunlola

He added:

“the avoidable boat mishap occurred after a 20-passenger capacity commercial ferry with 21 passengers on board took off illegally from Èbúté ¸rÍ Jetty at past 8.00 p.m. heading toward Ikorodu.

“The ferry ran into an unforeseen object on the waterways, causing the boat to capsize.

“Rescue efforts deployed saved 16, five died, with one survivor in critical condition.”

The commissioner, who commiserated with the families of the dead passengers, gave the assurance that the violators would be prosecuted.

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