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Tegina pupils: Our captors flogged us daily, made us sleep on bare ground

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The just released children of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, Niger State who were abducted by bandits for about three months, have said their captors mostly fed them with rice and kunnu and flogged daily.

One of the pupils, Furera Isah, who spoke about their experiences at the hands of their captors, said they enjoyed no comfort whatsoever throughout the period as they were made to sleep on bare ground and were ceaselessly beaten by rain.

She said, “The months we spent there were not comfortable at all. Our lives were not sweet. They beat us all the time. Every time, they call us at night to beat us.

“As for food, they gave us rice and kunnu. We usually ate three times a day. They did not starve us. But they beat us every time.

“They allowed us to pray. We slept in a shabby place. The rain usually beats us whenever it falls.”

Furera recalled that their captors made them to trek for four days after they were abducted, saying that none of them was carried on the bandits’ motorcycles.

“After they carried us from the school, we walked very far. We spent four days on the road. Even when we were tired, they beat us and forced us to walk.”

Another pupil said that none of them was assaulted or molested.

“They did not touch us; they only beat us. They flogged us every day,” he said.

Medical personnel confirmed that they discovered a lot of marks on the bodies of the children, which was evidence that they were beaten continuously.

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Ohanaeze, IPOB kick as court dismisses Kanu’s bail application

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu in court

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed a fresh application for bail by the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

This was just as the court refused to revoke a warrant of arrest issued against the IPOB leader on March 28, 2019 following his reported disappearance from Nigeria to unknown destination.

IPOB has, however, attributed the development to what it described as the body language of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who, it recalled, had ruled out bail option for its leader during his recent visit o Kigali, Rwanda.

The fresh bail application was filed pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge against him by the Federal Government.

Kanu, who is currently facing seven-count, had in the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), also challenged the revocation of the bail the court earlier granted to him.

He asked the court to set aside the order it made on March 28, 2019, which not only issued a bench warrant for his arrest, but also gave the Federal Government the nod to try him in absentia.

Dismissing the bail request on Tuesday, the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, said she was not satisfied with the reason the IPOB leader gave for his failure to appear in court for continuation of his trial.

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While delivering her ruling in a motion on notice asking for revocation of the arrest warrant upon his re-arrest, Justice Nyako held that the motion lacked merit because Kanu had not explained his whereabouts for over two years when he jumped bail.

The judge dismissed Kanu’s claims that he was denied fair hearing because the order for his arrest was issued in his absence.

Justice Nyako held that Kanu was adequately represented in court when the Federal Government applied for the warrant of arrest and that his surety, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, was also in court.

The court said Kanu who jumped bail granted him on health ground cannot turn around to make allegations of lack of fair hearing.

Justice Nyako while dismissing the motion upheld the arrest warrant against the self and IPOB leader.

IPOB reacts

In an interview with The PUNCH after the court ruling, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the group was not surprised, having seen outcome through the President’s body language and utterances.

He said Buhari’s comment on the matter in Kigali was aimed at intimidating the judge to dismiss the bail application.

He said, “Buhari’s recent statement in Kigali, Rwanda was a testament that he has lost focus because he said he won’t interfere in the judicial process on Nnamdi Kanu, but was talking with both sides of his mouth.

“IPOB understands the body language of Buhari and his Federal Government that they will influence Justice Binta Nyako to drop bail applications for Nnamdi Kanu’s freedom.

“But we are ready to wait for them. We want to use this medium to inform humanity, particularly Biafrans to stay calm and that victory must come to us.”

Ohanaeze kicks

The Secretary, South-East Zone of Ohanaeze, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, also attributed the court’s verdict to Buhari’s statement.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Okeke-Ogene said, “If you assess the President’s comments and utterances before today’s court sitting, you will understand that he was not interested in releasing the young man because he knows that doing so will bring happiness to the people of the South-East, who are longing for his release.

“Although, the court has adjourned the matter, but Buhari’s recent utterances in the build up to the court sitting greatly influenced the decision of the court and the President knows that keeping Kanu means that the insecurity in the South-East will continue because the people see him as their idol and they want him released.”

Also, the Coalition of South- East Youth Leaders has also expressed its displeasure over the court’s ruling.

The group’s President General, Goodluck Ibem, made its position known in a statement made available to The PUNCH.

The statement read in part, “The verdict of Justice Binta Njako is the same statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, June 23, 2022 during a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, at the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kagali, Rwanda.

“When did the statement of the President become the verdict or judgment of the court?  Are we running a democratic government or a unitary system of government were only one man determines the fate of millions of Nigerians even when it is unconstitutional, undemocratic and inhuman?”

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Insurgency: Starvation hits IDP camp in Katsina.

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An IDP camp in Nigeria

The Chairman of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Jibia Camp, Katsina State, North Western Nigeria, Malam Salisu Sa’adu, says the victims are suffering from hunger, starvation and deaths in the camp.

Salisu disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jibia Tuesday.

He said the IDPs, camped in Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) Jibia, were mainly from Kwari, Zango, shimfida,Tsauni, Far faru, tsanbe and Gurbin magarya villages of Jibia Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, food that is provided to the refugees is not enough; hence, they are suffering from starvation, hunger and deaths.

He said there was not enough food for them, stressing that there were only two policemen guarding the camp.

“Most of us (IDPs) are sleeping without mosquitos’ nets and blankets, but we thank a non-governmental organisation, Medicines San Frontier, Doctors without borders that supplied drugs to us always at the camp.

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” In fact, let me tell you, in view of the hardship we are passing through,15 of us died, while 35 women gave birth under forced labour.”

Salisu appealed to the state government to take steps to relocate them to their villages, to enable them to farm, and get what to feed their families before the end of the rainy season.

“We are now almost three months here, we can’t continue like this; we really want to go back to our villages and look for what to eat with our families.

“So we are appealing to the government to take cogent measures and relocate us to our places,” he said.

When contacted, the Chairman of Jibia Local Government, Alhaji Bashir Mai-tan, said that the government was trying its best in feeding the refugees in the camp.

Mai-tan said apart from that, the local government released N200,000 daily for some of their needs.

Maitan said he had been having sleepless nights to ensure peace and security in the area, as well as paying ransom to secure release of people from bandits.

He said that currently, over 1,500 of his people were still held as bandits hostage, advising that the government alone could not fight banditry.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), observed, during a visit to the camp, that some of the IDPs looked worried, hungry and were in tears.

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Sexagenarian dies as friend steals ATM card, withdraws N700,000

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The family of a 60-year-old man, Isak Wahab, has been thrown into mourning after he reportedly died from shock after an unauthorised withdrawal of N700,000 from his bank account.

His wife, Monsurat, accused his friend, identified only as Ola, of making the withdrawal, which she said led to the death of the sexagenarian.

Monsurat, while speaking to our correspondent during a visit to their residence in the Ikotun area of Lagos State, said Ola stole her husband’s ATM card.

She said, “Ola was a close friend to our family, particularly my husband. He had financial difficulties with his rent and he came to my husband to tell him that he wanted to sell his generator so that he could raise money to pay his rent. My husband told him not to do that and said he (Isak) was expecting payment from our tenants and he could help. My husband then gave him N10,000.

“Meanwhile, we did not know that Ola had taken my husband’s ATM card and he withdrew money from it amounting to N700,000. He withdrew the money in tranches of N200,000, N300,000 and another N200,000.”

The deceased’s son, Ajibola, alleged that Ola stole his father’s ATM card after he (Isak) became intoxicated while they drank alcohol together.

He said the case was reported at the Ikotun Police Station for investigation, adding that the suspect disappeared after he was accused of being responsible for the death.

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He said, “Last week Thursday, my dad was not alright, but I felt it was just ordinary malaria or a small illness. But later, I was told that it was serious and I had to call my siblings. We later learnt from our mother that our father was defrauded by Mr Ola.

“My father died on Friday and we buried him on Saturday. After his burial, we went to his friend’s house, confronted him and while arguing with him, we seized his phone. Since that day, we have not seen him.

“As I speak to you, I have his phone with me and we have reported the case at the Ikotun Police Station. He had issues and needed money and our father promised to help and gave him N10,000

“Now, Mr Ola took our father’s ATM card, went to a PoS operator, and transferred about N700,000 from his account to other accounts. When our father saw it, he was deeply sad and he died because he never expected that his best friend would do that to him.”

Our correspondent visited Ola’s house in the community, but he was nowhere to be found.

However, his younger brother, identified simply as Ifa Dollars, absolved the suspect of blame in the incident.

He said, “I heard what they said my brother did, but I don’t know anything about it. If my brother was involved in any way, they are the ones that know what they have been doing. But he has no hand in the death.”

Asked the whereabouts of Ola, he said, “I don’t know his whereabouts.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said nobody reported the incident to the police.

He said, “I have not heard anything about the case but as soon as we get information on the matter, I will contact you.”

He had yet to get back to our correspondent as of press time.

However, the deceased’s family insisted that the case was reported at the Ikotun Police Station on June 23, 2022.

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