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Arms smuggling: Police Service Commission dismisses four officers

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The Police Service Commission has announced the dismissal of four senior police officers and demoted two others for alleged involvement in arms smuggling and other forms of misconduct.

Head of Press and Public Relations at the PSC, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

The statement said the commission would also reprimand four officers for various offences.

Ani said the decision was reached on Friday at the 10th plenary meeting of the commission, presided over by its Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a former Inspector General of Police (IGP).

He said a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) was dismissed for discreditable conduct, dishonesty and acts unbecoming of a public officer.

He said a Superintendent of Police (SP) was also dismissed for conspiring with four others to vandalise a transformer and stealing.

The PSC spokesman said the commission had directed that the officer be prosecuted.

Ani also said the two other officers dismissed were a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).

“The DSP was said to have led a team that intercepted three Mercedes Benz trucks conveying about 300,000 live cartridges believed to have been smuggled across the border from Benin Republic into Nigeria. They reportedly impounded the trucks at base for three days but made no entries or a situation report of the arrest.

“The DSP rather raised a fake letter purporting to escort the vehicles and suspects to Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos, with the dubious intention of ensuring their unlawful release,” he said.

He said luck ran out on the team when they were intercepted at a military checkpoint where soldiers on duty insisted on verifying the contents of the trucks.

Ani said the DSP and his team were said to have abandoned the trucks and fled.

He said the ASP was dismissed for misappropriation, action prejudicial to the security of the state, sabotage, dishonesty and acts unbecoming of a public officer.

He said the commission also approved the promotion of four Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIG) to the substantive rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) during the plenary meeting.

He said the new DIGs would represent their geo-political zones in the police management team.

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Ex-Minister escapes assassination as gunmen kill 2, abduct 4 in Cross River

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Gun-riddled vehicle of ex-Minister Usani Usani

For Usani Usani, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, it was a lucky escape on Saturday as gunmen suspected to be kidnappers rain bullets on his vehicle along the Calabar-Ikom highway of Cross River.

Usani, who is the governorship candidate of Peoples Redemption Party, PRP was reportedly to be on his way to his home town in Nko, Yakurr Local Government Area when he was attacked.

But while the ex-minister and his deputy who was with him were lucky, the gunmen killed two persons in another vehicle while three other persons were abducted.

The State Commissioner of Police, Sule Balarabe, who confirmed the news, said it occurred between the axis of Akamkpa and Biase Local Government Areas of the state at about 4pm on Friday.

He said it started when a white Ford with Registration number AAA 41 AQ was ambushed by the suspected kidnappers, killing the two yet-to-be identified victims.

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The Commissioner further said that three other persons were abducted in the process by the gunmen.

“The vehicle in which they killed two persons had seven occupants including two police officers, ASP Ibor Bassey and Insp. Ebro Ebri who escaped and called for reinforcement.

“A tactical Unit was immediately dispatched to the area and three persons have so far been rescued,” he stated.

Balarabe said that the rescued persons were members of the PRP who were traveling with the former Minister.

He solicited for support by way of useful information to the police from the communities along the Calabar-Ikom highway.

“We are appealing to all community leaders and traditional rulers to help security agencies by providing us with useful information through our dedicated lines.

“These criminals are not spirits, they are human beings who live amongst them, without useful and timely information, it will be very difficult to nip this nefarious activities in the bud,” he said.

Speaking on the attack, Media Aide to the former Minister, Mr David Agabi, said that they escaped by the whiskers.

According to him, “We were in a convoy, the gunmen started shooting at us around Betem in Biase, my principal’s driver sustained gunshot injuries while the vehicle was riddled with bullets.

NAN/PM
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Zulum threatens to revoke lands of banks hoarding new naira notes

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Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum

Following the alleged hoarding of the naira notes by the banks, the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has directed banks in the state to dispense the new notes via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and banking halls or risk losing their lands to the state government.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has also arrested bank officials in Dei Dei, Abuja, for hoarding cash.
Also, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced an investigation of Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, an actress and cosmetologist, for allegedly tampering with the redesigned naira notes, an offence contrary to Section 21 (5) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, 2007.

This is coming as the Chairman of the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has alleged that the scarcity of the naira could de-market the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming elections and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the issue before it snowballs into crisis.
Zulum gave the warning yesterday after visiting branches of banks in Maiduguri, the state capital, to assess problems being faced by residents trying to access new naira notes.

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 “Any bank in Borno State unwilling to ensure their ATMs are fully dispensing new naira notes cash to ease the suffering of our people, we will withdraw their land title immediately. We will only spare Banks with verifiable constraints,” Zulum said.
He added that he was unhappy seeing hundreds of people queuing at a bank branch, with only one out of 10 ATMs dispensing cash.
“As you can see here, only the less-privileged people are queued up. I didn’t see rich people here. Many people are said to be here since 3:00 am; some could not even eat anything. The new naira note and even the old ones are not available, which is adversely affecting commercial activities in the state, and people are suffering,” the governor said.

He said further: “We just released salaries of about N5 billion, and the banks don’t have money; some of the ATMs are not working. We don’t have any problem with the CBN policy or the withdrawal limit, they said individuals could only withdraw N20,000, but why can’t everyone have access to that N20,000?” he queried.
“Yesterday, I was in Gubio with over 70,000 people, but it was impossible to source N100,000 in the entire local government, neither of the new or old notes. A ram worth N100,000 is now being sold for N35,000 because people are desperate for cash, and some wicked rich people are going to rural areas to exploit poor people,” Zulum explained.
The governor urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure the availability of new notes at commercial banks for people to access their money.
“Right now in Borno State, I have visited more than 10 ATMs, and there’s no cash,” Zulum said.

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Naira scarcity: Oyo youths, police clash, three killed

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Barely 24 hours after protest rocked Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the scarcity of fuel and new naira notes, another group of youths, on Saturday staged a protest at Dogo community in Apata, Ido Local Government Area of the state, leading to the death of three persons.

It was gathered that the youths were assembling when security operatives arrived at the scene and asked them to disperse.

The directive by the security personnel led to an argument between them and the youths.

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A credible source told Sunday PUNCH that, “I cannot actually say what really happened. The youths assembled themselves and suddenly police and soldiers arrived in the area. Nobody knew what happened until one of them angrily shot into the air. People started scampering for safety.

“This action infuriated those youths, and they engaged security officers. The officers shot three people. One died immediately, the second guy died before getting to the hospital while the third person died at the hospital.”

Reacting to the unrest through a statement, the state Police Command said only one person was killed.

A statement authorised by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, said, “Today (Saturday) at about 1015hrs, while embarking on series of confidence building patrols around different black spots and flash points, the joint convoy patrol comprising of the police and other agencies ran into a band of hoodlums around Apata junction market, Apata Area, under Ido Local Government Area.”

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