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I’m disappointed with Buhari’s refusal to release Kanu –Ezeife

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An elder and former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife

An elder and former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has expressed disappointment over the position of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will not be released from detention.

Kanu was arrested last year in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria before he was charged with offences bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism.

President Buhari had told Igbo elders led by the First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Mbazulike Amaechi, who visited him at the State House, Abuja, that though their request for Kanu’s release was heavy, he (Buhari) would consider it.

The President was, however, categorical in an interview with Channels Television when he said he would not release Kanu and that the IPOB leader should defend himself in court.

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Speaking in an interview with Saturday PUNCH on Buhari’s latest stand on the matter, Ezeife said he and his friends were bound to be disappointed, saying the President, by his recent position, rubbished all that happened during the Igbo elders’ visit to the State House in Abuja.

The former governor said, “There is nothing we can do. After the meeting, the people who are familiar with him said he responded to us truthfully and that he took our case very seriously and that his answer gives hope.

“We went away with that, that there is hope. But for him now to, in public, rubbish all that happened, I am bound to be disappointed and so would be my friends who were there.”

On the way forward, he urged the President to work out an agreement with all groups involved in the current agitation for self-determination with a view to establishing a political arrangement that would satisfy Nigerians.

“One thing we can still do is this, Nnamdi is detained, Igboho was put in a crisis position, the South attacked and some people were killed, so many other complaints as well. The Ijaw people are complaining, the Middle Belt has declared their non-compliance anymore and South-South has been in that shape.

“I think what the President should do is to try to solve all these problems with one committee. If he can assemble maybe five people per zone and let them look at all the reports, including 2014, all the constitutions we have had, the 1963 Constitution and all that, and work out an agreement with all the groups for a Nigeria with political rearrangement that would satisfy other people.

“I don’t want to just say I am very disappointed because I am very much interested in Nigeria surviving. So, I suggest this caucus of knowledgeable people who can work out a new arrangement politically for Nigeria. The political solution is the only one that can solve the problem.

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Buhari’ll not renege on promise, says Amaechi

However, in a separate interview with Amaechi, the leader of the Igbo elders’ delegation to Aso Rock, he expressed optimism that the President would not renege on his promise to consider a political solution to Kanu’s matter.

Amaechi said, “Kanu’s situation can be solved either politically or even legally. It can be solved legally by the Attorney General. When I met the President, he told me he would consider my request on Nnamdi Kanu.

“There are many ways to kill a rat. So, I have no reason to doubt the President. People need to trust him because he is not the type of President who talks without knowing what he is saying. He is a highly principled man.

“I don’t think the President has reneged on what he told me. He has so far not. All I know is that discussions are going on. I can’t tell you more than that. We are in contact and I have trust in the President’s words.”

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Lagos corporal beats up senior officer over traffic

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Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin

There was a mild drama on Saturday at the Simbiat Abiola Way, Ikeja, Lagos State, as a police corporal assaulted his superior during an argument.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the yet-to-be-identified corporal had confronted the superior officer, who was identified as Supol Edgar, for allegedly causing traffic at the junction linking the Awolowo Way.

This led to an argument, as the corporal punched Edgar.

Our correspondent learnt that the policeman did not know Edgar was a police officer who resided in a barracks close to the scene.

During the confrontation, Edgar reportedly reached out to his colleagues in the barracks, who stormed out and bundled the policeman into their premises.

Our correspondent, who was at the scene of the incident, observed as the corporal was forcefully dragged into the police barracks.

An eyewitness, who identified himself only as Stanley for security reasons, said the problem was caused by a tricycle rider, who tried to navigate through some vehicles at the junction.

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He said, “The Supol tried to caution a tricycle rider who tried to make his way past some vehicles and that led to the traffic jam. But when the corporal saw what was happening, he angrily rushed out of his car to confront him for causing a delay. That was how the argument started between them and even when the senior officer was telling him that he was also a police officer, he did not hear him out, as he kept on slapping and punching him. That was when the Supol called someone in the barracks and they came to carry him.”

A traffic warden, who was at the spot and begged not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the officer did not reveal his identity on time before the matter escalated.

He said, “I was controlling traffic when I saw a man arguing with someone in the tricycle. I approached him to know what was happening but he refused to answer me. I left him to continue what I was doing. It was later that I saw that traffic had started building up and by the time I went back to check what caused it, I saw both of them dragging each other.”

Our correspondent also observed that before the corporal was taken into the barracks, he was stripped of his clothes and asked to kneel, while other senior officers in the barracks gathered around him.

Edgar threatened to lock him up at the Area F Police Command.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said he was not aware of the incident.

He promised to respond after making enquiries. He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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Just In: Bandits kill three, abduct scores in Taraba

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Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba

Bandits on Sunday night attacked and killed three persons while scores were reportedly abducted by the attackers in Bali town, the headquarters of Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.

Several sources in Bali told our correspondent on the phone that the attackers who rode on motorcycles attacked and killed personnel of Taraba Marshall at a checkpoint near General Hospital before proceeding to individual houses to kill and abduct people.

The Tiv central leader and Chief of Tiv in Bali, Zaki David Gbaa (Ter Tiv Bali II) told our correspondent that two of his subjects were killed and scores, mostly women, were abducted in the attack.

“The attackers invaded the town at about 11: pm. Two of my subjects were killed in the attack, and two others who were badly injured are receiving treatment in the hospital.

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“Many people, especially women, were abducted. It’s a terrible situation and I want to call on the government and security agencies to sit up and ensure the protection of the lives and property of citizens.

“For over four hours, the bandits held the town shooting sporadically and there was no response from security agencies. People are losing hope of the government’s ability to protect them and I think the bandits are no more than our security agencies,” he said.

This is even as the traditional ruler called on the government to support the injured who are receiving treatment in hospitals.

The attack came barely three days after bandits blocked the Mutum-Biyu- Garba Chede road killing a driver and abducting passengers in the neighbouring Gassol Local Government area of the state.

Efforts to get the Police to react to the attack failed as the Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Usman, did not pick up calls made to his line.

But a police officer in the Taraba State Police Command told our correspondent that the PPRO was attending a security briefing.

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NAF Fighter Jet Kills Banditry Kingpin, Followers In Katsina

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A notorious banditry kingpin, Abdulkareem Lawal alias Faca-faca, and many of his followers have been killed in airstrikes by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets on some bandits’ enclaves in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Our correspondent learnt that the raids were carried out in the evening.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Gambo Isah, confirmed on Sunday that eight suspected bandits including Faca-faca were killed during the raid.

 He also said the police Saturday night raided a terrorists’ hideout at Unguwar Dako, Tandama village in Danja Local Government Area of the state where they rescued six kidnapped victims. 

Isah gave the names of the rescued victims as Alhaji Garba DanMallam, 52; Rabiu Idris, 45; and Abba Samaila, 38, who are all residents of Unguwar Nuhu. 

Others are Yunusa Sani, 54; Ishaq Yakub, 40; and Danjuma Samaila, 45, all residents of Layin Sani village, Kafur. 

Meanwhile, bandits have killed two members of a local vigilante group and abducted a newlywed couple and other residents of Shola Quarters in the Katsina metropolis. 

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Residents said the bandits invaded the area around 1:25am and operated for over an hour. 

One of the sources said, “It was the vigilante members that even confronted the bandits but in the process, two of them were killed and two others wounded.” 

He explained that the vigilante members had to retreat for their safety when the bandits overpowered them. 

He said it was later that one body was retrieved while one of the injured persons rushed to the hospital died. 

Explaining how the newlywed couple was kidnapped, a relative, Usman Masanawa, said the husband, Yusuf Bishir, called to inform him of the attack but there was nothing he could do.

“We went there this morning; the bandits did not even enter the house through the entrance gate but they smashed the wall and got access into the house,” Masanawa said. 

He added that the number of residents abducted could not be ascertained but other residents said some houses were attacked and people abducted. 

When contacted, the PPRO who responded via WhatsApp message, said officers were on an operation (on the matter) and would communicate details later. 

In another attack, bandits abducted 13 people from Natsinta village, in Jibia Local Government Area, which is a few hundred metres from the army barracks in Katsina. 

A resident, whose uncle and two of his children were abducted, said the bandits had earlier abducted 26 people but when they got to where they parked their motorcycles, they took 13 with them and left the others.

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