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Herdsmen: Ogun monarchs, residents accuse soldiers of assault

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Some monarchs and residents of Ketu-speaking villages in the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State have accused some soldiers from 35 Artillery Brigade Alamala, Abeokuta of flogging them for preventing herdsmen to from grazing in their communities.

They told The Nation that the soldiers, numbering about 10, humiliated them when they escorted the herders to graze in their villages.

One of the residents, identified simply as Mulero, was said to have been beaten mercilessly, leaving him with serious injuries, for insisting that the herdsmen would not be allowed to graze.

It was also gathered that traditional rulers were beaten after they were forced to convoke a meeting.

According to them, the herdsmen, who had departed the village after their continued presence was rejected suddenly resurfaced about 2pm on December 19, 2020 with the soldiers from the 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta.

The soldiers headed straight to the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, Chief Olaleye Adigun, calling out the villagers and warning them against preventing the evicted herdsmen from returning to the village.

It was in the middle of this strange encounter that the soldiers were told that the herders would not be allowed to remain in the community because of their brutal killing of residents and the destruction of their farmlands in recent times.

“Everyone was frightened by the action and utterances of the soldiers but I summoned courage to tell them how a Geography teacher Mr. Yomi Akinola, and two students of the Community High School, Ibeku, among others, were killed by the herdsmen while our women were raped and killed on their way to the farm,” a resident said

The resident also said, “Before I knew it, the herdsmen had motioned to the soldiers who immediately pulled me out of the audience and flogged me mercilessly with a wire whip. It was as if I stole something valuable.

“As I speak, my body still aches because of the wounds, even after I had been treated in a hospital.

“Numerous other villagers were subjected to the brutal act as the soldiers escorted the herdsmen from one village to another all in a bid to intimidate us into allowing them to graze on our farms.”

Indigenes of Iselu, Ibeku, Agbon-Ojodu, Asa and other villages were also assaulted by the soldiers at the instance of the herdsmen.

One of them, Gabriel, was said to be given deafening slaps after he was identified as one of those who resisted the herdsmen’s attempt to graze.

Narrating their ordeal in a petition, the traditional rulers said the herdsmen confirmed that they invited the soldiers to intimidate and beat them.

The traditional rulers are the Oniggua of Iggualand, Oba Micheal Dosumu; the Eselu of Iseluland, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi; and the Alademeso of Igan Alade, Oba Gabriel Olalowo.

The monarchs in a petition addressed to the Brigade Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army, Alamala, Abeokuta, titled, ‘Matter of urgency,’ dated January 7, 2020, said, “The Baale was asked to gather his subjects and people from nearby villages which he did.

“The soldiers told the people that the purpose of their visit was to inform them that the Fulani herders would be coming into their communities to graze cows.

“After their address, they asked if anyone had questions or comments to make in reaction to the information. Expectedly, one Mr Seye Mulero responded by calling the attention of the soldiers to the inherent challenges of allowing the herders in their communities based on the sad previous experiences in the community.

“That the said Seye Mulero further cited past killings, maiming and destruction of farms to buttress his point. Sadly, at this point, the soldiers seized him and mercilessly beat him up.

“In the same manner, the Fulani herders in company with the suspected soldiers left Ibeku for Asa, the adjoining village, to address the Baale of Asa and his subjects as they had earlier done at Ibeku, the people refused to respond, having heard what transpired at Ibeku.

“However, one of the Fulani herders sighted some people in the audience and picked on them as those that purportedly shouted on them at Ibeku while brutalising their victim (Seye Mulero). The herders asked the soldiers to also deal with them.”

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Sexual assault: Baba Ijesha granted N500,000 bail

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A Chief Magistrate, Oluwatoyin Oghre, on Monday granted a Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James aka Baba Ijesha, bail.
in the sum of N500,000.
His lawyer, Adesina Ogunlana, confirmed this on Monday, saying, “He has been granted bail about one hour ago. We are working to perfect the bail. He was granted bail on health grounds.
“He has not been released. He will be released after his bail conditions have been met.”
Baba Ijesha was arrested on April 22, for allegedly sexually molesting a minor and remained in police detention due to the ongoing strike embarked on by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria.
Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, had on May 4, noted that after due consideration of the case file forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecution by the police on April 30, 2021, a prima facie case was established against Baba Ijesha.
Onigbanjo stated that Baba Ijesha would be charged with sexual assault and defilement under the provisions of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The AG also hinted that the suspect would be charged under Section 135, with indecent treatment of a child punishable by seven years imprisonment; Section 137, defilement of a child, punishable by life imprisonment; Section 261, sexual assault by penetration punishable by life imprisonment; Section 262, attempted sexual assault by penetration, punishable by 14 years imprisonment and Section 263, sexual assault punishable by three years’ imprisonment.

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2 cops killed, Imo police station, vehicles burnt in fresh attack

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Gunmen have killed two policemen in Ubakala Divisional Police Station in Umuahia, Abia State, after setting the station ablaze.
The gunmen were said to have attacked the station with explosives in the early hours of Monday and two of the policemen drafted to quel the station were killed.
The attackers also set ablaze all the vehicles on the premises.

Spokesman for the Police Command in Abia, SP Godfrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident, adding that the hoodlums attacked the station just after midnight with explosives.
According to him, the operatives, who were deployed to reinforce security at the station, tried to repel the assailants.
“In the process, we lost two of our men,” he said, pointing out that the number of the attackers had yet to be ascertained.
The attack was said to have caused serious panic among residents of the community.
Gunmen have recently carried out attacks on police stations in Aba, Isialangwa, Uzuakoli and Nkporo.
They also attacked the offices of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Independent National Electoral Commission in Ohafia.

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Niger communities excited as soldiers return to Bassa, Allawa

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Excited villagers on Saturday welcomed the return of soldiers to Bassa and Allawa towns in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State after a month of their quitting the area due to invasion of their camps by bandits.
The armed soldiers came in about 100 camouflage vehicles to begin a special operation in the area.
The return of the soldiers followed a series of meetings between the new General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj-Gen. Danjuma Hamisu Ali-Keffi, the state government and other stakeholders in the state.
The military camps in Allawa and Bassa in the Shiroro Local Government of the state were shut down last month after bandits numbering about 100 invaded the Security Joint Taskforce camps in the two towns, killing 12 soldiers, burning the camps and some operational vehicles.
Another camp at Zagzaga in the Munya Local Government was also sacked a few days later during which one RSM was kidnapped and found dead three days after.
A senator representing Niger East Senatorial zone in the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Musa, said, “It is a welcome development and a great relief to the people it should be sustained.
“The return of soldiers is a great relief for my people, and I want to thank and commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the military for the return of the soldiers.
“I will equally want to appeal to them to hasten the return of soldiers to other communities to enable the people go back to their homes to continue their farming business.”

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