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Police begin search for stolen AK47 rifles in Rivers

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The police have commenced a search for eight AK47 rifles stolen by gunmen that killed seven of their operatives in Rivers State at the weekend.

The eight rifles were reportedly snatched from victims of the attack, which occurred at two police checkpoints and two divisional police headquarters.

At the C4I checkpoint at Choba where the gunmen killed an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and an Inspector, two rifles were snatched with a patrol van set ablaze by the bandits.

At the checkpoint in front of the Rumuji Divisional Headquarters, where the armed men beheaded another ASP and an Inspector, the police lost two AK47 rifles.

A special constable was said to have escaped with a bullet that hit his chest at the Rumuji checkpoint.

The gunmen further stole four AK47 rifles when they attacked the Elimgbu Division where they killed two ASPs and an Inspector.

The Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, had deployed a special tactical team to locate the hideouts of the fleeing gunmen and retrieve the rifles.

The team was said to be combing the waterfront, bushes surrounding the state capital and the border communities for the gunmen.

Residents of the state raised concerns over the rising number of illegal arms in the hands of bandits.

Some of them recalled after the attack on security formations and killing of nine security operatives at Oyigbo Local Government Area, over 50 AK47 rifles were reported missing

“We are scared. We don’t know what will happen after this ongoing stockpiling of arms by unknown gunmen. Security agencies especially the police should activate their intelligence departments and conduct operations to retrieve these arms”, a resident, who identified himself, simply as Emmanuel said.

Investigations revealed that despite the ongoing attacks, policemen deployed to checkpoints were still not vigilant at their duty posts.

A commercial bus driver, who plies Port Harcourt to Lagos, said the police were still in the habit of losing concentrations at checkpoints and asking drivers for tips.

“They are still not ready to deal with these unknown gunmen. At each checkpoint, you will see policemen hang their guns while stretching their hands to collect money from motorists.

“Most times their hands are preoccupied with vehicle papers as they keep flipping the papers with no iota of vigilance. That is why they are always caught off guard by unknown gunmen,” the driver, who spoke in confidence, said.

An employee of one of the media outfits in Port Harcourt observed that policemen were still engaging in reckless acts that had made them easy targets for gunmen.

She said: “Truly painful and sad that policemen, who are husbands and fathers to others have their lives cut shot in these manner. It saddens my heart because most of these unfortunate and sorrowful acts leave many families helpless and more impoverished.

“However, it is most regrettable and very stunning to see policemen blatantly allowing N50 and N100 from motorists to make them lose focus and alertness both on streets in Port Harcourt, environs and on our highways.

“To say the least, it is shameful and regrettable that an agency that some wicked beings have chosen to be at war with for reasons best known to them is still daily seen being distracted over a token sum that actually and eventually make no difference in their lives at the end of the exploits.”

Rivers Police spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed Commissioner of Police has launched a serious manhunt for the perpetrators with a view to apprehending the culprits and bringing them to justice.

He said: “So far, the Command is relatively calm and the Commissioner of Police is currently in a security with his team, as security has been further strengthened in all the Police formations in the State, including other critical public and private infrastructure.

“The public is hereby enjoined to increase their security consciousness and report any person or persons with gun wounds to the nearest police station”.

It was furthered gathered Governor Nyesom Wike, was worried by the attack, which started at about 8.30pm before the 10pm curfew he imposed on the state.

Wike, who immediately convened a security meeting after the incident, ordered the security commanders to formulate additional measures to protect the state.

The Governor insisted that no amount of intimidation or cruel resort to barbaric attacks would make the state succumb to secessionist agenda.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court restrains FG from enforcing old naira deadline

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The Supreme Court has ordered the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to enforce the  February 10 deadline for the phasing out of the old naira notes.

A five-member panel of the court, led by Justice John Okoro gave the order on Wednesday that it was a matter of urgent national importance that the court should intervene.

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The ruling was on an ex-parte motion filed by the governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states

The order, according to Justice Okoro, who read the lead ruling, is to subsist pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the state for interlocutory injunctions.

The court adjourned till February 15 for the hearing of the motion on notice and the preliminary objection filed by the defendant – the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), challenging the court’s jurisdiction over the case.

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Fuel, currency scarcity: TUC gives FG seven days ultimatum

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TUC President, Festus Osifo

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), yesterday gave Federal Government seven days ultimatum to make fuel and currency available to Nigerians, failure which it would call out its members for a nationwide industrial action.

The TUC in a statement by the President, Festus Osifo and the Secretary General Nuhu Toro, said it has already puts its members on red alert.
“Congress is however, not going to wait in perpetuity for the political leadership to put on its thinking cap. Therefore, we demand that the Federal Government within seven days, beginning from Tuesday 7th February, 2023 provides a solution to the twin problems of currency unavailability and fuel shortages,” the statement read.
The labour centre said it shall be monitoring the situation closely and will give further directive should the situation not improve.
“All State Council executives are hereby put on red alert,” adding that Nigeria belongs to the people, not to the government or the birds of passage who hold power.
The TUC leadership said the centre would be willing to make the needed sacrifices, if necessary, to salvage the country.
It lamented that like the rest of the Nigerian populace, is bewildered that the country is being dragged through the twin crises of currency and fuel shortages.
According to the labour centre, never in the history of the country have Nigerians been subjected to so much pain, sorrow and anger which threatens to boil over into the streets, “Indeed, pockets of protests have broken out in some states.”

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It stated, “Nigerians have never been subjected to the nightmare of being unable to access their hard-earned money in the banks leading to business closures and inability to pay for food, transportation and medical bills amongst other necessities.
“Also, the situation where the populace is forced to buy Nigerian currency or part with a significant percentage of cash just to get access to their own money is disheartening and evil. It is unacceptable that a country of laws with a plethora of government and security services in place is unable to curb these crimes against the people and bring perpetrators to book.”
The Congress warned the politicians that it is not interested in the blame game going on in government and political circles, neither is it fascinated by the endless promises and assurances made by the federal government that the situation will soon be brought under control.
But rather it expressed that it is bothered that even the smaller denominations of N100 naira notes and N50 notes that were not affected by the Naira redesign, paradoxically are not in circulation anywhere in the country.
“President Muhammadu Buhari needs to give a marching order to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the commercial banks to make available the legal tender, unconditionally to Nigerians without further delay,” it charged.
The TUC leadership opined that all it demands is the immediate return to normalcy so that Nigerians who are already subjected to an unprecedented runaway inflation, can have access to their hard-earned money.
It added that the lengthy explanations on why there are long queues at fuel stations and prices of PMS being far above the official price can no longer be tolerated.
“All we demand is that petrol returns to fuel stations and is available at the official price across the country,” the Congress stated, warning that the time for government to act is now before the situation gets out of hand and the populace take matters into their own hands.

SUN

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Anti-June 12 elements behind naira shortage, court injunction – Ganduje 

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Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje yesterday raised the alarm that  ” anti-June 12 elements” were bent on scuttling the nation’s democracy.

He said the elements were “regrouping and dangerously masquerading” in the prevailing crisis generated by the new cash policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to achieve their goal.

Ganduje alleged that the elements consisted of “unknown political parties” working in consort with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor was reacting to an interim injunction by a Federal High Court in Abuja stopping the CBN from extending the 10-day deadline for swapping old naira notes for new ones. The extension ends on Friday.

Also yesterday, the Federal Government blamed its failure to end the impasse generated by the naira redesign on ”some opposition political parties.”

Ganduje had in a statement in Kano alleged that open support for the naira redesign by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, showed collaboration between the opposition and the CBN to weaken the masses through harsh policies and thwart democracy.

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The statement by Kano State Commissioner for Information   Muhammad Garba reads in part: “The group’s latest attempt is camouflaging in unknown political parties through the use of a legal instrument to further impose unfeasible cash policy that is taking its toll on the masses.

“The unknown political parties are also allegedly colluding with the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to execute this fiendish scheme.

“It is unfortunate that the CBN and its collaborators are insisting unnecessarily on the imposition of an unreasonable time frame for the old naira notes to cease to be legal tender, in total refutation of the obvious national dearth in the necessary technological infrastructure for the process.

“The rigid insistence on the implementation of these harsh, inhuman and insensitive cash policies to a point of neglecting their widespread rejection by the vast majority of Nigerians, including the National Assembly and all state governors, is an ominous agenda for the undermining of the nation and consequent scurrying of a smooth transition to a freely and fairly elected successive administration.”

In Abuja, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed also took a swipe at the opposition parties for rushing to court for the order that restrained   President Muhammadu Buhari and Emefiele from extending Friday’s deadline for the naira swap.

He accused the “unscrupulous” parties of playing a political game with the redesigning of the naira and working against efforts that could have reduced the pains being experienced by Nigerians.

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Mohammed, who spoke at the 23rd Buhari administration’s scorecard series in Abuja, however, assured Nigerians that the naira redesign brouhaha would end soon.

His words: “Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is mindful of the inconveniences currently being endured by citizens as a result of fuel supply disruptions and the recent redesigning of naira notes.

“The government is working assiduously to restore normalcy to these critical enablers of economic activity and to take added measures, where necessary, to alleviate the pains of Nigerians.

“Recall that after his meeting with progressives governors on Friday,  President Buhari urged citizens to give him a seven-day window to resolve the currency crunch that has emanated from the implementation of the Naira redesign policy.

“Unfortunately, on Monday (yesterday), some opposition political parties ran to the court to obtain an injunction restraining Mr President and the CBN from extending the February 10 deadline for Nigerians to exchange their old notes for new ones.

“The court action came after a number of opposition parties threatened to boycott the 2023 general election if the deadline was extended.”

The minister said the move by the parties amounted to legally hamstringing the President.

The Nation

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