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Self-defence: Ban on firearms still in force, CP warns Matawalle

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Zamfara State Commissioner of Police, Ayuba Elkana

The Zamfara State Commissioner of Police, Ayuba Elkana, has said the embargo on firearms licence is still in force, noting that the police have stopped issuing licence to citizens who wished to own guns.

The police boss stated this, on Sunday, in response to inquiries from The PUNCH about the directive by the state government that the police command should issue gun licence to those eligible to bear arms.

The Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, had in a statement on Sunday, disclosed that the government had directed residents of the state to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against bandits who have been terrorising the state.

The government, therefore, directed the state Commissioner of Police to issue licence to all those who qualify and are willing to obtain guns to defend themselves.

Dosara had said, “Government has, henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as the government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue a license to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers, to secure basic weapons for defending themselves. The government has already concluded an arrangement to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 emirates in the state for those willing to obtain guns to defend themselves.

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“People must apply to the Commissioner of Police to own guns and such other basic weapons to be used in defending themselves. A secretariat or centre will be established for the collection of intelligence on the activities of informants.”

But reacting to the directive, the state commissioner of police said he has yet to receive any directive to issue gun licences to the people.

Elkana, in a telephone interview with The PUNCH said, “I have not received any directives and also, there is a ban on firearms licence and we don’t give licence.

“I am yet to receive any directive. Let me see the directive first before I can comment. I have not seen the directive, so I cannot comment on compliance.”

Asked if the government’s decision was a vote of no confidence on the police, the CP replied, “There is nothing like vote of no confidence, please. This is farming season and you cannot get police or any security to be following everybody to the farm. They are attacking people on the farm; that is the problem. It is not as if we are not doing our best; we are doing our best. Of recent, we rescued many people (from bandits).”

The Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, declined comment on the matter when contacted.

 Ogun State differs

The Ogun State Government also says it is not planning to allow residents of the state to carry arms and defend themselves in the face of insecurity in the state.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Olusola Subar, said this while speaking with one of our correspondents in Abeokuta on Sunday.

“There is no plan in Ogun State here that I know of to direct the police or citizens to be giving licence to bear arms,” he said.

 Ekiti State

 The Special Adviser to Ekiti State Governor on Security, Brig. Gen. Ebenezar Ogundana (retd.), has said the situation of the state could not get to the extent of where everybody would be required to bear arms.

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Ogundana, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “We cannot get to that level, because when you say everybody should go and get arms to defend themselves, you are creating panic that the government is not in control and you are creating panic that the environment is not safe.”

 Abia State

Answering questions from The PUNCH in Umuahia on if the state will follow Zamfara State’s plans to liberalise gun purchase, the Abia State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Eze Chikamnayo said, “What successfully applies in one location may not necessarily be the solution in another location, but what is paramount in our mind as a government, is to ensure the security and welfare of our citizens.”

Experts foresee anarchy

Security experts have, however, warned against the implementation of the directive, describing it as an invitation to anarchy.

One of them, Timothy Avele, said the Zamfara state government should anticipate a high number of extrajudicial killings as a result of the directive.

“It’s a direct call for anarchy at the highest level. You can’t imagine the kind of extrajudicial killings that would result from this current governor’s statement.

“It simply shows the Federal Government, state governments, security agencies and the military have failed woefully,” he said.

Another security expert, Jackson Ojo, said the Zamfara State government directive was against the law of the land.

“What the Zamfara State Governor has just declared is like a mutiny. Under which law does the government of Zamfara State permit its indigenes to bear arms?” Ojo wondered.

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Motorists, commuters attack highway robbers on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway with stones, cutlasses

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Brave motorists and commuters on Wednesday fought with stones and cutlasses highways robbers who had come to rob them of their valuables in the early morning traffic on the Long Bridge of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Initially, there was apprehension on the bridge, inward Lagos State, opposite Mikano/Karameh City, around 5.55am when four gun-wielding men in black came, taking advantage of the traffic jam and started robbing motorists.
However, Vanguard reported that some passengers and motorists summoned courage to disrupt their operations by pelting them with stones.
Narrating his experience to Vanguard, a passenger said he was in a Mazda car that took off from Mowe, Ogun State.
According to Owokunle, seven passengers were on board the Mazda car, when the armed men were sighted in black cardigans, robbing unsuspecting road users.
He said: “The journey was very smooth from Mowe, but as we approached the Long Bridge, the driver was advised to be alert because of the perennial gridlock ahead.
“Shortly after, the driver sighted the suspects on the bridge stopping and robbing road users.
“People were scared and many drivers and passengers abandoned their vehicles and fled in different directions. “Fortunately, one of the road users shouted at the top of his voice, advising co-road users to stop running and to face the suspects.
“This was how the road users pelted the suspects with stones, while some drivers brought out cutlasses and rods to face the suspects.
“Sensing danger, the suspects descended the bridge and disappeared.”
Another road user, who simply gave his name as Gabriel, corroborated Owokunle, saying two car owners were robbed in his presence before the road users began a counter attack.
“This angered us and we faced the suspects with pebbles, cutlasses and rods,” he added.
Another road user, Aramide, said out of fear someone jumped from the bridge and this may lead to serious injuries.
“But nobody could wait to attend to him as people continued their journey after the nasty experience,” he said.
Spokesperson for Lagos State Police Command, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said that policemen had been detailed to some sensitive areas of the expressway to curtail suspicious activities.
He was reacting to an alarm by one Pastor Olaleye Gbenga of The Redeemed Christian Church, RCCG, claiming that some 20 persons were kidnapped on the Kara Bridge, along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.
Lately, many motorists and commuters have lamented being trapped in the traffic induced by the ongoing road construction on the expressway, particularly around the Otedola Bridge, Kara and Long Bridge.
Motorists and commuters, while lamenting over the situation, were heard complaining that the road had become narrow due to the construction, and had slowed down vehicular movements.
The situation, however, worsened as robbers take advantage of the traffic to rob.
Some road users told Vanguard there was urgent need for government to beef up security on the expressway.

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Ritual: Pastor, accomplice to die for beheading seven-year-old

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Pastor, Erinmole Adetokunbo, and his accomplice, Adedoyin Oyekanmi

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting at Ikeja, on Tuesday, sentenced a pastor, Erinmole Adetokunbo, and his accomplice, Adedoyin Oyekanmi, to death for killing a seven-year-old boy in the Ikorodu area of the state.

Justice Taiwo gave the verdict after the defendants changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty.

The men were arraigned on October 30, 2017, before the Lagos State High Court on two counts bordering on conspiracy and murder.

According to the charge sheet, Oyekanmi and Adetokunbo, on June 7, 2017, on Oke Oniburokun Street, Odokekere, Ikorodu, conspired to murder a seven-year-old boy, Kazeem Rafiu.

They were said to have beheaded Rafiu and buried the head around the church’s altar, while the body was kept in a canal.

Adetokunbo was later apprehended by residents. He was said to have confessed to the crime, naming Oyekanmi as his accomplice.

The duo led a team of policemen to the church, where the victim’s remains were recovered.

After four years of being remanded in prison, the state re-arraigned the convicts before the special offences court on September 21, 2021, as the trial commenced.

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At the resumption of trial for the prosecutor to present another witness to prove the allegations against the convicts, the court was informed by the state counsel, Mrs O. A. Bajulaiye, and the defence counsel, Ms Anthonia Otsokwa, that the men had decided to change their pleas.

Subsequently, the judge ordered their pleas to be taken.

The charges were read to them in Yoruba and they pleaded guilty to the two counts.

The state counsel, Mrs O. A. Bajulaiye, thereafter reviewed the facts of the case and urged the court to convict them accordingly.

While begging for mercy, the defence counsel, Ms Anthonia Otsokwa, told the court that the convicts had realised their offence and were remorseful for the death of the child.

In her judgement, Justice Taiwo noted that the case was a pathetic one as the defendants conspired and killed a child by cutting off his head for ritual purposes.

The judge said, “These defendants have committed a heinous crime and deserve no mercy. They have cruelly and intentionally killed a seven-year-old boy, depriving him and his family of a bright destiny.

“Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State imposes the death penalty for premeditated murder and I have no hesitation in imposing the said punishment.

“I hereby sentence Adedoyin Oyekanmi and Erinwole Adetokunbo to death for killing Kazeem Rafiu. May God have mercy on your souls.”

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Fake Ekiti doctor defrauds 25 PoS operators

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Ekiti State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, John Fayemi

Men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ekiti State, have arrested a 36-year-old man, Ayodeji Ademiluyi, for allegedly parading himself as a medical doctor and defrauding Point-of-Sale operators in the state capital.

The state Commandant of the agency, Mr John Fayemi, said the suspect defrauded the operators by sending fake alerts after collecting cash from them.

He said the suspect used an application on his phone, which also triggered a call from his fake hospital that a patient needed his attention.

“The PoS operator will then consider his status as a doctor and allow him to go. Later, the PoS operator will discover that he or she has been duped,” Fayemi added.

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The state NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Tolulope Afolabi, in a statement, said the commandant spoke in Ado Ekiti while parading Ademiluyi and another suspected fraudster, Innocent Ekpako, 26, who was arrested in Cross River State for allegedly defrauding his boss.

The commandant, who said Ademiluyi had been perpetrating the act within the Ado Ekiti metropolis, said, “The suspect had defrauded over 25 PoS operators before men of the Counter-Terrorism Unit launched a manhunt for him with their dragnet, which paid off when he was arrested yesterday (Monday). Preliminary investigation shows that he is not a doctor but an okada rider.”

Fayemi said Ekpako, who was arrested in Ikom, Cross River State, ran away with a huge sum of money belonging to his master in Ado Ekiti.

He said, “The suspect is a former employee of a store in Ado Ekiti where he worked as a sales representative before he was sent on an errand with some money which he did not return. He disappeared into thin air until he was tracked, traced and arrested in Cross River State. The two suspects have confessed to the crime.”

The commandant cautioned PoS operators and shop owners in the state to be careful of their workers and customers as the state command had been inundated with complaints bordering on PoS fraud and stealing.

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