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Police kills suspected IPOB/ESN member in Imo, recovers arms

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The Imo State Police Command on Thursday said men of the command shot dead one suspected member of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network IPOB/ ESN terror gang at Umuchoke in Ehime Mbano LGA of Imo State, during a gun battle.

A statement signed by CSP Michael Abattam, Police Public Relations Officer in Imo State, said the hoodlum had been in the command’s wanted list but on the run after participating in several killings of police officers and burning of police stations.

Among the items police said it recovered from the deceased were one locally made double barrel pistol with two expended cartridges, two live cartridges and the charms he tied around his waist to fortify himself against police bullet.

The command’s said its tactical team after diligent intelligence gathering, on the 6th of October, 2021 at about 1630 hours, mobilized and stormed the shop of the hoodlum, who was later identified as Uchenna Chukwu, aged 34 yrs ‘M’ of Umunakanu in Ehime Mbano LGA of Imo State.

“On sighting the police operatives, he raised the alarm alerting other members of his gang, picked a cutlass and rushed at one of the police operatives in an attempt to chop off his head but was overpowered, disarmed and the cutlass recovered from him.

“While this was on, the already alerted members came in their number and engaged the police operatives in a gun duel but were overwhelmed by the superior fire power of the police and in the process, one of them was neutralized while others escaped with bullet wounds into hiding.”

The suspect is presently undergoing interrogation and has made useful statement to the investigating team, revealing their hideouts and the abode of other members of his gang on the run.

The police said investigation was in progress and its operatives are working in synergy with other security agencies to arrest the other members of the terror group, especially those that escaped with bullet wounds.

The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, CP Rabiu Hussaini, while commending the officers and men for their gallantry, expressed his appreciation to the people of Imo State for their support.

The CP advised them to continue to assist the police with credible information and report to the nearest police station any person seen with bullet wounds.

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Updated: #EndSARS memorial protests rock Lagos, Abuja, two arrested at Lekki tollgate

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Youth group leaders, entertainers and activists on Wednesday staged protests in major cities of the countries including Lagos, Abuja and Enugu in memory of victims of last year’s #EndSARS protests against police brutality.

The police arrested at least two protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos during the EndSARS memorial protest.

The police had repeatedly warned against the EndSARS memorial protest and deployed armed security operatives to the tollgate. But the organisers of the protest said there was no going back and some persons on Wednesday morning converged around the tollgate where protesters were forcefully dispersed exactly one year ago.

The arrests on Wednesday, it was learnt, were made by the armed police who had stormed the area to enforce no protest order earlier issued by the security authorities.

One of those arrested claimed to be a journalist and the other was seen carrying a placard.

Protesters in Lagos used their vehicles to protest, shouting that they want a better Nigeria.

In Abuja and Enugu, protesters reportedly stormed major streets, carrying different placards and shouting #Endsars and police brutality in Nigeria. Some of the inscriptions on their placards are “We will never forget 20-10-20”, “Endsars” and “End Police Brutality”.

In Abuja, Omoyele Sowore, former presidential candidate of the Africa Action Congress, and founder of an online news agency Sahara Reporters, was seen campaigning against police brutality.

In Lagos, Charley Boy, popular singer and song writer, Folarin Falana aka Falz, rapper, songwriter and actor joined protesters in Lekki remembering those that allegedly died last year during EndSARS protests.

Falz wrote via Twitter, “365 days ago, Nigerian citizens were shot and killed at the toll gate by our own military men.

“Today, we honour them because they have sacrificed their very existence for a cause bigger than all of us. They live forever in our hearts.”

Debo Adebayo, a comedian popularly known as Mr Macaroni was also one of those that led the EndSARS vehicular procession at Lekki tollgate.

The organisers had announced the procession on their Instagram handles on Tuesday.

“In memory of those who died that day and those we have lost to police brutality, we will: drive through the toll gate from 8-10 am; blast our horns in unison as we drive through and wave our flags,” the information on the e-flier read in part.

Around 9am, the entertainers joined by some youths rode in a convoy, waving flags at journalists and security operatives at the tollgate.

They said the procession was in memory of the EndSARS protest which ended controversially on October 20, 2020.

Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had said his men would only allow any procession of vehicles around Lekki, or any form of protest and had deployed officers in the area.

The arrested journalist told newsmen that he works with LegitTV and that his phone, driver’s licence and other documents were taken away from him.

He spoke from a Lagos State Task Force van where he was kept by the police, identifying himself as Abisola.

A report by the Punch said about 30 police trucks and armed personnel were stationed at the tollgate.

It also reported a car procession in honour of those believed to have lost their lives at the tollgate when soldiers dispersed the EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.

The Lekki tollgate was where many youths gathered day and night to air their grievances against police brutality and bad governance.

The protest was later said to have been hijacked by hoodlums, leading to destruction of private and public properties in other parts of Lagos.

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Missing journalist: Group threatens showdown, gives seven-day ultimatum

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The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, an umbrella body of all the youth groups in the South-East zone has threaten to stage massive protest should the police fail to find missing Tordue Salem, a journalist with Vanguard newspaper within seven days. Salem covers the House of Representatives for Vanguard newspaper.

It gave the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, and other security agencies in the country a seven-day ultimatum to find the journalist.

The ultimatum is contained in a statement released on Tuesday by Goodluck Egwu Ibem, President General of the Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders.

The group said it received with “rude shock the news of the sudden disappearance of Tordue Salem since October 13, in Abuja.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari who is the Command­er-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, to activate all necessary machinery to ensure that everything is done to ensure the safe return of Tordue Salem.

Ibem said, “If we don’t see Tordue Salem after seven working days, we will stage a one-million-man protest until he returns safely to his family. The time has started counting,” Ibem posited.

“This kind of story is totally unacceptable to us and we demand that the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, and other security agencies “must” find Tordue Salem and hand him over to his family within the next seven working days.”

He also said, “These seven days ultimatum given by us to the IGP and other security agencies to find Salam is not negotiable.

“The IGP must prove his mettle by bringing back Salem to his family. No form of excuse will be entertained. The IGP and other security agen­cies must find Salem immediately.”

The coalition insisted that any form of attack on any journalist is an attack on the entire society.

“They are the backbone of our democracy and any attack on them is an attack against all Nigerians and non-Nigerians,” he said.

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Ota among Ogun communities in darkness after rainstorm havoc

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Scores of communities in Ogun State including Ota have been thrown into darkness after a heavy rainstorm wreaked havoc in the area.

The rainstorm, which occurred last weekend, destroyed many electricity poles and plunged the communities into darkness.

Some houses also had their roofs blown away by the storm just as many roads were flooded.

Residents of the affected areas are said to have been battling with a power outage since Saturday.

They said the power outage was making life more difficult for them and called on the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company to rescue the situation.

The power distribution company has apologised to the affected customers for the inconveniences caused by the power outage.

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