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SARS disbandment created vacuum in tackling criminality – IGP

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Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman, says the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has created a vacuum in the effort of the police to tackle criminality in the country.

He stated this at the Presidential Villa on Thursday during a briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team.

He also said that the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest dampened the morale of the personnel of the force.

According to the police boss, the regular policemen and women have not been able to immediately fill the vacuum created by the SARS disbandment even though efforts are ongoing to train them for the new role.

Usman said that the police had recorded successes against secessionists and criminals in the South-East but they could not be prosecuted and brought to justice because of the ongoing strike by judiciary workers.

On the plan to recruit 10,000 new police personnel, he said the process had reached 70 per cent, stressing that the exercise would stick to the federal character principle.

Speaking on the effort to check insecurity in zones, he said, “The security situation of the country has been significantly stabilised from time to time. But you see, if it is stabilised for a week, then there are isolated disturbances coming from this zone in terms of either attack on police facilities or police personnel or even all law enforcement agencies including the military.

“And therefore, we decided to one, ‘rejig’ the morale of our personnel, which has been a little bit dampened since the #EndSARS came and went away.

“With the proscription of SARS and the establishment of SWAT which has not been able to take off fully, we had a vacuum in tackling most of the violent crime from a position of strength in terms of having a strike force that is dedicated for that, rather than having our conventional police doing the policing in a conventional way.

“So, therefore, we try to marshal back this courage of our personnel who have been involved in violent crimes and they lecture them and posted them to the anti-robbery sections, for anti-robbery patrols and the investigation of violent-related crime which involved of course robbery, kidnapping, banditry, and cultism.

“Secondly, we decided to launch an operation which is tagged Operation Restore Peace and we targeted the South-East and South-South for the first phase of our operation.”

The acting IGP disclosed that the South-East and South-South zones had been reinforced with about 3,700 police personnel to tackle insecurity in the regions, which led to the recent launch of Operation Restore Peace.

He said, “We involved reinforcing these two zones with a total number of about 3,700 policemen drawn from our various units which include, police mobile force, the strike force, counterterrorism, the STS, IRT and these commands were imposed with this personnel with specific instructions, with an operation order that is targeted at stabilising the incessant attacks on police facilities, personnel, military and other violent crimes.

“The first operation in the South-East was done on the 18th of this month (May) in Enugu and we clearly stated our mission. We clearly stated our vision. And the six states in the South-East geopolitical zone came to Enugu.

“All the governors were represented by the deputy governors except one of Enugu, who personally participated. And we launched the operation.”

Usman disclosed that a total of 1,176 high profile criminals were arrested by the police from April 7, 2021 to date with a number of arms and ammunition recovered.

He said: “For record purpose, I can briefly mention our recoveries and the successes. They go as follows: in terms of recovery after the launching of this operation, we’ve been able to recover the following weapons and arms from secessionist and the armed insurgents.

“One general-purpose machine gun, 10 AK-47 rifles, nine locally-made fabricated rifles, four locally-fabricated pistols in 19 AK-47 magazines.

“We have recovered over 5,419 live ammunition with 10 improvised explosive devices.

“In terms of arrest, we have 398 armed robbery suspects in our custody, 258 cult-related offenders, 222 murder suspects, 202 bandits related matters and the 86 suspects involved in case of kidnapping.”

 

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Bandits releasing our children in batches torturing, say Kaduna Baptist students’ parents

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  • 21 students still in captivity after freeing 10 Saturday

Parents of kidnapped Kaduna Baptist school students say the strategy of releasing their children in batches by the bandits is torturing.

They stated this in reaction to the latest release of 10 of the abducted students on Saturday evening, leaving 21 others still with the abductors.

Chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Joseph Hayab, said the students were released on Saturday.

He said the released students had reunited with their parents, adding that 21 others are still with their captors.

He said, “The bandits have released 10 more of our students to us this evening, remaining 21. They were released this evening and parents were taking their children home.”

Hayab lamented that releasing the students in batches amounted a “torture” for the parents.

“What the bandits are doing is to torture us. We are celebrating the return of 10 students, but we are having the challenge of those parents who have been waiting and every time, their child is not among those released,” he said.

“It is very painful, but we thank God that 10 students are back.”

The bandits invaded Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Kaduna State, on July 5, 2021 and abducted 121 students.

The bandits had subsequently said the students would be released in batches when they freed the first set of 28 on July 25, 2021 — after they reportedly collected a ransom of N100m.

Following the release of the 28 students, the bandits were said to have demanded another N80m as ransom for the remaining students.

President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Israel Akanji, had earlier said that no ransom will be paid for the release of the students.

 

 

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10 dogs devour two-year-old in Anambra • Irate youths set them ablaze

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A two-year-old prospective school pupil has been devoured by 10 dogs belonging to a private school in Amokpo, Umuanunwa, Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State.

The child was said to have been taken to the school for enrollment by his parent when the incident occurred.

The school’s owner, a UK returnee identified as Chinedu Oka, reportedly reared dogs in the school premises despite the community’s warning against it.

A resident who preferred anonymity told The Nation that the child’s parent was perfecting the documentation and registration of the child when he strayed away to where he was devoured by the dogs.

He said: “The parent was busy with the child’s registration when he wandered off to where the dogs, 10 in number, rushed at him, dragged him into their pen and devoured him with nobody on sight to rescue him.

“It’s a taboo to rear dogs here and the owner was warned, but he didn’t heed the community’s instructions.”

The Nation further learnt angry youths in the community instantly invaded the school compound and shot all the dogs dead, while parents hurriedly withdrew their children and wards on hearing about the tragic incident.

Confirming the incident, the traditional ruler of Nteje, Igwe Rowland Odegbo, described the act as an abomination in the community, assuring that justice would be served appropriately.

He said: “The man knew that dogs were prohibited in Nteje, but he still went ahead to rear and surround himself with dogs despite warning from the community.

“To us, the young man committed murder and we have handed him over to the appropriate authorities. We will make sure that justice is served because we don’t condone evil.

“The youths have killed and burnt the dogs and we are in support of their action.”

The Nation

 

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Military invades Katsina forest, smokes out bandits, rescues kidnapped victims

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No fewer than 20 kidnapped victims have escaped from the deadly Rugu Forest in Nigeria Northwest after bandits who held them bound for over five months fled for dear lives on citing an air force fighter jet.

Among the victims are 18 females and 2 males abducted five months ago from Katoge village in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

One of the victims, Rabiu Mannir said they managed to escape from the hoodlums when a jet of the Nigerian Air Force caused a scare while flying over the bandits’ camp on Friday night. The development he said caused the criminals to scamper for safety, ignoring their captives.

Also, one of the female victims identified as Sahura Haruna was said to have delivered a baby girl at the kidnappers den recently as she was already pregnant before being abducted by the bandits.

“I put to bed five days ago. According to the Doctor, my baby and I are not very sound. The Doctor said our body system lacks adequate water,” Sahura said.

The Secretary to the Katsina State Government, SSG, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, said the rescued victims were brought back to Katsina by authorities in neighbouring Zamfara State and they have been medically examined and handed over to the authorities of Batsari LGA to reconcile them with their families once again.

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