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Hundreds Flee As Bandits Abduct 50, Take Over Kaduna Communities



Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba

Hundreds of villagers in Damari town under Kazage Ward in the eastern part of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State are fleeing their homes en masse after bandits dislodged members of the Ansaru terrorist group last week after a fierce fight.

A local union said at least 50 persons have been abducted by the bandits in the last three days.

The locals believed that Ansaru members were lesser evils compared to bandits abducting people for ransom,  looting property or killing those who show little resistance to their excesses. 

The villagers recently came under attacks by bandits that besieged the farming community on a “vengeance mission” over last week’s clash with Ansaru terrorists in the area.

The terrorists, who had been protecting the communities from the bandits, had relocated from the area days after a deadly clash with bandits, which resulted in casualties from both sides.

Sources said the Ansaru fighters had moved to communities in Danmusa in Katsina State and parts of Zamfara and Sokoto states.

“It’s not yet clear if they’ve finally relocated or they’d seek reinforcement and come back in the coming days,” a native of the area said yesterday. 


It was learnt that most of the relocating locals passed through Unguwar Gajere towards  Layin Dan’auta where the district head lives.

The source said, “For now, the bandits are in charge and are having a field day attacking our people.

“Our people see the Ansaru fighters as protectors because they don’t attack or steal our property.  They only preach their kind of religion and urge our people, especially the youths, to join them. They also lead prayers like during the eid and arbitrate over land, marriage and other issues.”

The Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union (BEPU), in a statement by its chairman, Ishaq Usman Kasai, expressed concern ý over the rate at which people were fleeing the area.

He said women and children were seen trekking for safety as of 11 am on Friday with about 20 vehicles seen conveying people out of the community. 

“The union had reported two days ago, the cruel activities of bandits, killing and abducting people in Damari and adjourning areas.

“On Thursday, July 28, 2022, the bandits passed through the same Damari town shooting in the air sporadically and came back to the town in the early hours of Friday which is a market day, snatched motorcycles, seized money from marketers, rustled cattle and kidnapped scores, including a grain businesses man,” he said.

Ishaq said there was no presence of security agents in the town, adding that it was against this disturbing situation that they were calling on the authorities to urgently mobilise security personnel to the community.

There was no official comment from the military, the police and the Kaduna State Government. 

A resident, who simply identified himself as Mohammad Kuyello, said: “It was really sad seeing our people abandon their farms. They’re also leaving their property. The bandits have taken over Damari as we speak because they’re going house to house carting away foodstuffs and people’s property as if there is no government.”

Another source said between Saturday and Sunday, over 100 vehicles were seen taking people to safety. 

“People with their animals are still leaving as there’s no military presence. An influential medical personality, who has a hospital, mobilised troops who helped him evacuate his equipment from Damari.  

“The implication is that people prefer terrorists to bandits and this is dangerous because, by the time the terrorists fully indoctrinate the people and change their perception, they would collectively turn against the state and the people who refuse to join them.

“Of course, there’s a military super camp at Mu’azu, but they’re yet to respond to the emergency… Maybe they’re waiting for something,” he said.


Lynched persons in Kaduna were terrorists from Sudan — Villagers



Birnin-Gwari villagers say the ‘herders’ lynched by a mob in Kaduna State on Sunday were terrorists from the Republic of Sudan.

Chairman of Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union, Ishaq Kasai, disclosed this in a statement, stressing that the alleged lynched persons were not genuine herdsmen but terrorists.

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai had condemned in strong words the killing of two herders by a mob in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state.

In a statement on Sunday, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the security agencies reported that the mob forceably seized the two herders from security personnel on unsubstantiated claims of being linked with banditry.

But BEPU said it was falsely reported that herders were lynched, asserting that those killed were “international criminal syndicates that had been terrorising the Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area.”

The union also attached an ID card allegedly belonging to one of the terrorists.

It stated, “BEPU findings revealed that the alleged lynching occurred after the suspects forcefully snatched a motorcycle from a farmer at the outskirts of Birnin-Gwari main town.

“Therefore, BEPU is concerned to observe that, the statement issued by Government on the issue did not equally capture the true story.

“More so, on the same day when the mob action occurred, one driver was killed and scores were kidnapped at Dogon Hawa and Tabanni areas. This is in addition to killings and kidnapping of the innocent citizens of Birnin-Gwari on the roads, in farms and their homes which have become a daily occurrence.

“BEPU once more, appreciates the effort of security agencies towards restoring peace in our area and urged government officials in showing concerns to any ugly situation to always be in a cautious mood in issuing any statement that is capable of undermining the peace-loving, helpless people that are under siege by the terrorists. This is with view to averting further escalation of the situation.

“Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union, BEPU, is saddened with the mob action by aggrieved youths in Birnin-Gwari on Sunday 2nd October, 2022 where two alleged “herdsmen” were killed in a cruel and gruesome manner.”

The union expressed appreciation to the security forces for their efforts and successes recorded in sanitising Birnin-Gwari.

It stated, “BEPU, a distinct and peaceful union is clearly against any form of mob action under any guise and is hereby drawing the attention of the citizens not to resort to taking laws in to their hands irrespective of frustration and provocation. Citizens are urged to always channel their grievances to appropriate authorities and above all continue to devote themselves to prayers for divine intervention in the current insecurity situation.

“The union once more appreciates the efforts and successes recorded by the resilient security forces in their efforts to sanitize Birnin-Gwari general area and call on them to step-up the operations into communities that surround Birnin-Gwari town where bandits are currently demanding and forcing communities to pay “protection fee” and crop harvesting levies, respectively.

“Clearly, while the lynching of suspected bandits is highly condemnable, the Union observes with deep concern the way the issue has been reported to selectively and deliberately portray Birnin Gwari in bad taste, and targeted to prove a false narrative on the issue to endanger the helpless innocent citizens of Birnin-Gwari Local Government.”

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Islamic Cleric Who Saved Christians, Airport Cleaner Among 437 National Honourees



Alhaji Abdulahi Abubakar

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has listed an 87-year-old Islamic cleric, Alhaji Abdulahi Abubakar; a cleaner, Joseph Agu; security guard, Rahim Mohammed and Misa Usman, among notable Nigerians to be given the national honours for acts of brotherliness, diligence and honesty.

Abubakar will be decorated with Member, Order of Niger (MON) for saving the lives of 262 fleeing Christians from Boko Haram at Yelwa Gindi Akwati village, Plateau State, at the event scheduled to hold in Abuja on October 11.

Joseph Agu, a cleaner at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. will be decorated for a rare display of honesty at his duty post.

In 2015, Agu, a staff of a cleaning company at the Lagos Airport, found and returned $12,200 forgotten inside the toilet by a passenger.


Agu, on discovering the money, returned it to the security officials at the airport to the surprise of many Nigerians.

Also, Ibrahim Mohammed Ogbanago, a security guard working for United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc, found an envelope containing $10,000 at the gate of the bank but returned it.

She was commended at the time by the National Assembly and the airport authorities. Likewise, Musa Isman, a security man attached to V. Venghese, an Indian national and director of the Jawa International Limited.

The gateman, as reliably informed, rejected the offer of a house but requested that a borehole be drilled in his community.

Usman hails from Glijimmi, a Fulani settlement in Birmiwa Local Government Area of Jigawa state. Among other honourees, President Muhammadu Buhari will also confer Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) on Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Zulum.

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US-Based Nigerian Bags Lengthy Jail Term Over $9.5m Fraud



Elvis Eghosa Ogiekpolor, a Nigerian living in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison by a district court for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering on Monday.

According to the information made available on the website of the US Department of Justice, Ogiekpolor and other members of his syndicate, fraudulently opened about 50 business bank accounts and used them to collect over $9.5 million, being proceeds of business email compromise scams (BECs) and romance fraud, realised from several unsuspecting victims between 2018 and 2020.

The bank accounts were said to have been opened in Georgia in the names of numerous fake companies.

“Multiple romance fraud victims, mainly women, testified at trial. The victims recounted how they met male strangers online and were soon convinced they were in a romantic relationship with the men, even though the victims were in communication with the individuals for months without meeting in person,” a statement released by the department on the matter reads in part.


“Often these men claimed they wanted to start a life with the victims and were eager to live with them as soon as some kind of issue was resolved. For example, one romance fraud victim was convinced to wire $32,000 to one of the accounts Ogiekpolor controlled because her “boyfriend” (one of the men online) claimed a part of his oil rig needed to be replaced but that his bank account was frozen.

“This victim borrowed against her retirement and savings to provide the funds, which ultimately required her to refinance her home to pay back the loan.

“Another victim testified that she was convinced to send nearly $70,000 because the man she met on eHarmony claimed to need money to promptly make payment on several invoices due to a frozen bank account.”

While delivering his judgment, William Ray II, the presiding judge, sentenced Ogiekpolor to 25 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

The Nigerian was also said to have used eight people as “money mules” while perpetrating the fraud.

Five other ladies, identified as Ogiekpolor’s co-conspirators are Vere Whyte, Kutina Crawford, Ebony Parks, Tiffany Gaines and Tamara Gaines. They all pleaded guilty to charges bothering around fraud at separate hearings between November 2021 and July 2022.

The court will schedule another hearing to determine the amount of restitution that Ogiekpolor owes at a later date.


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