Outrage as policeman kills Bayelsa varsity student

Residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, were thrown into mourning on Friday following the killing of a 20-year-old 300-level student of the Niger Delta University, Tariela Nikade, by a trigger-happy policeman.

The killing caused outrage in Yenagoa as residents and landlords in Akenfa marched the streets and demanded justice for Tariela.

The protesters besieged the Akenfa Police Station, insisting that the policeman must be identified and prosecuted for the crime.

Some of the residents decried the attitude of the police, saying it didn’t match the conduct of the withdrawn state security outfit, Operation Doo-Akpor.

Nikade, the last child in the family of Anderson Nikade, a broadcaster, was reportedly shot dead close to their house at Tinacious Road, Edepie, Yenagoa.

Our correspondent learnt that that following the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the deceased who was an engineering student decided to learn a trade and subsequently began training at a barber’s shop close to his house.

Narrating how his brother was killed, Anderson said, “He was at a barber’s shop when suddenly at about 7pm, a team of policemen stormed the area. They entered into the shop and asked people to raise up their hands. My brother and others complied but one of them shot my brother at the back of his neck.

“Immediately they noticed that they had shot him, they went into their van and zoomed off.”

Anderson added that his brother was immediately rushed to a private hospital in Yenagoa and was later moved to the Family Care Hospital where he was confirmed dead.

Reacting, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, identified the trigger-happy policeman as Sergeant Timadj Emmanuel.

He said, “The Bayelsa State Police Command condoles with the family and assures that justice will be done. The command regrets the unfortunate incident involving a police officer and a resident of Tenacious Road, Edepie, Yenagoa.’’

Dealers beat family members over missing hemp in Ondo

Some men suspected to be Indian hemp dealers at Ogbese in the Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State have allegedly beaten up a woman, identified as Mrs Martina Christopher, her father and brother to a pulp over the disappearance of bags of cannabis kept on the victims’ farmland.

It was gathered that the Indian hemp dealers, numbering about 40, had last Thursday invaded Martina’s farmland, located at Bolorunduro village in the council area, to search for some bags of the cannabis earlier kept on the farm. They were said to have met Martina’s brother, Isaac Akpan, working in the farm.

As the dealers could not find the bags of cannabis, it was gathered that they accused Isaac of stealing the product and thereafter tortured him before taking him away.

Having received the news of the incident, Martina and her father, Mr Joseph Akpan, were said to have traced the hoodlums to Ilu-Abo community in order to rescue Isaac, but they too were beaten up by the alleged hemp dealers.

Narrating her ordeal, Martina said, “I went to the farm very late on the fateful day to join my husband and brother on the farm, because we had left the farm unattended to for some days.

“I met these people, about 40 of them on 15 motorcycles, then I saw my brother, who had been beaten and injured, sandwiched between some of the hoodlums on one of the motorcycles; I had to turn back and later, I was told that he had been taken to Ilu-Abo.

“I then went to Ilu-Abo in company with our father, only to see my brother mercilessly beaten and injured; and immediately the hoodlums saw us, they descended on us and beat me and my father to a pulp, demanding to know the whereabouts of the bags of Indian hemp kept on our farm.

“My father fainted and as I tried to touch him, they gave me a machete cut, while some of them beat me with sticks and I also fainted, because I had lost a lot of blood.”

She explained that the hoodlums threatened to wipe out the entire family if they failed to produce the missing bags of Indian hemp, adding that the hoodlums bragged that no security operatives could arrest them.

The husband of the victim, Mr Augustine Christopher, said he had to report the case at the Area Command in Oba Ile, Akure, following the threat to wipe out his family.

He appealed to the state government and the security agents to save his family from the hoodlums.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident and said the command had made some arrests over the matter.

“The Commissioner of Police, Mr Gbenga Adeyanju, has ordered that the matter should be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department in Akure, while investigation is ongoing,” Joseph added.

Gang rapes 13-year-old virgin while unconscious

A 13-year-old rape victim is still suffering from the trauma she experienced after she was allegedly raped by a gang of four boys.

The victim was reportedly raped while being unconscious.

the victim, who works as an apprentice nurse after school hours, was approached by one of the gang members on her way to her workplace last week.

It was learnt that the suspect blew an unknown substance into the victim’s eyes, which made her lose consciousness after she resisted his advances.

It was gathered that the suspect carried the victim to an uncompleted building in the Baale area of Ajuwon, Ogun State, where his gang members were waiting for him.

The victim, who spoke with PUNCH Metro, said she regained consciousness after the boys had allegedly had their turns with her.

She said, “When I was coming from school on Friday, one of the boys in the community held my hand and I told him to leave me alone but instead, he dipped his hand inside his pocket, brought out a substance and blew it into my eyes; I immediately became unconscious.

“When I woke up, I saw myself in an uncompleted building and I asked him what I was doing there but he shouted me down. When I looked around, I saw four boys with different charms and an axe surrounding me.

“I asked again why he brought me to an uncompleted building and what he did to me, but I was shouted down again; when I tried to stand up, the boys brought out a knife and an axe and threatened that if I shouted, I would be killed.”

The victim added, “I started begging them not to kill me; when I checked my body, I saw blood coming out of my private parts; I was offered cotton to clean the blood but I rejected it and used a cloth that was with me to clean the blood.

“When they eventually allowed me to go, the boys told me that after what they had done to me, I would not be able to conceive and they threw me out through the window.”

She added that one of the suspects suggested that they should kill her so as to cover their tracks but another gang member opposed the suggestion and threatened to kill her with an axe if she mentioned to anybody what they did to her.

Our correspondent learnt that the matter was reported at the Ajuwon Police Station.

However, the mother of the victim told our correspondent that the Investigating Police Officer in charge of the case, who gave her name as Inspector Modupe Ogundipe, vowed not to have anything to do with the suspects on the grounds that they were notorious and that one of them had just returned from prison.

The mother of the victim added that she was insulted when she went to the police station to notify the officers that one of the boys had been caught.

She said, “When we were able to get hold of one of the boys on the day of the incident, we went to the Ajuwon Police Station but the officers there did not attend to us; they insulted us.

“The IPO said she couldn’t follow us because one of the boys was an ex-convict who just returned from the prison and she would not want to have anything to do with him. She said if she had known, she wouldn’t even have taken the victim’s statement.

“I cried that day but the officers did not budge; they said I should leave their station.

“After many pleas, they collected my daughter’s bloodstained pants and the test result from the hospital.

“The police refused to make any arrest; they told us not to disturb them. These boys are in the community, people said they were seeing them around; we went to tell the police that the boys were around but they said that there was nothing they could do about it.”

She added that she overheard the IPO complaining to another officer that she could not investigate a case in which she would not get money.

The victim’s mother stated, “When she was done taking my daughter’s statement, I asked her what we were going to do, she said we should go home but as we were talking, one of the boy’s father came into the station, saying that he just heard what happened.

“The IPO told another officer to lock the father up, that if he was locked up, his son would come out; but she later took the man to the DPO’s office without us and after a few minutes, they came out and I saw the man going out of the station. When I asked her what was going on, she said she had given the man 24 hours to produce his son.”

The mother, who said she wanted justice for her daughter, noted that the incident had traumatised the victim, adding that she could not sleep as a result of the experience.

She added that the victim was always in severe pains whenever water touched her private parts.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent, however, denied the allegation that the IPO refused to arrest the suspects.

He added that one of the suspects’ mother had been arrested for aiding the escape of her son.

Oyeyemi stated, “Since the case was reported, the police have been on the lookout for the boy that was identified among them and when he was seen, the mother of the boy shielded him and allowed him to escape.

“The mother is in custody at the Ajuwon Police Station and she will be charged to court for aiding the escape of the suspect, if she is not able to produce her son.”

The Executive Secretary, First Whizkidz Educational Foundation, Eugenia Irobiegbulam, who is handling the case, has called on the police to redeem their image to ensure that the suspects were apprehended.

She said, “We want justice for the victim because we know there are many victims like her. The girl-child is stigmatised and shamed for what she knows nothing about.

“The victim has not been able to go out since the day of the incident; according to the medical report, she was badly wounded and we are trying to get her healed medically, psychologically and emotionally.

“Why can’t the police arrest these suspect and bring them to justice? The police will make an arrest and bail out the suspect, while the girl-child is suffering.”

NSCDC nabs two for defiling nine-year-old girl in Nasarawa

Two men have been taken into custody by the Nasarawa State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for allegedly defiling a nine-year-old girl residing in Anguwan Gayam, Gidan Makera area of Lafia Local Government Area of the state.

Parading the suspects, Abubarkar Aliyu (45) and Myra Ahmed (48) in Lafia on Sunday, the state NSCDC Commandant, Mr Muhamadu Fari, said the men allegedly “forced themselves on the girl, damaging her sexual organs in the process.”

He added that the victim, who suffered urinary incontinence due to the forceful penetration of her private parts by the suspects, needed specialist attention.

“Unfortunately, the Police Clinic could not attend to her, so we had no option than to transfer her to a specialist hospital in Lafia, which saved her life,” Fari stated.

In a related development, a scavenger, Muhammed Musa, has been arrested for abducting a four-year-old girl, who he attempted to defile.

The victim’s mother, Linda Moses, narrated that she was taking her bath when she learnt that her daughter was missing.

She said, “I sent my sister to bring my daughter so that I would bathe her too. She went to look for her outside the house where she was playing but did not find her. She shouted my daughter’s name and heard her response from afar.

“My sister ran to tell me that my daughter was responding from the bush, so I ran out of the bathroom to the place. As I got there, I saw a man holding his manhood and then I shouted, but the man attacked me, overpowered and pushed me down and ran away. I continued shouting and passers-by came around and apprehended the suspect.”

Nigerian remanded in prison for raping 11-year-old Katsina girl.

A Nigerien national, Surajo Habibu, has been remanded in prison custody for allegedly raping an 11-year-old girl, who went to a bush to fetch firewood.

The girl sustained injuries in her private parts during the attack, which occurred at the Danchafa village in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The victim’s parents, Rabiu and Zarah Salisu, reported the incident to the police at Jibia.

The alleged culprit, Habibu, of Maradi, Niger Republic, was arraigned before a Katsina Senior Magistrates’ Court and charged with the offence of rape under Section 283 of the Penal Code.

The Police First Information Report on the incident read in court stated, “Habibu (22) met and forcefully had unlawful sexual intercourse with his victim as a result of which she sustained serious injuries in her private parts.”

The police prosecutor, Inspector Sani Ado, told the court that he was still awaiting legal advice from the Katsina State Ministry of Justice.

The presiding Senior Magistrate, Hajiya Fadile Dikko, adjourned the case till January 21, 2019, for mention and ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody.

Court orders police to pay widow N7.9m for killing her husband

A Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Monday ordered the police to pay a sum of N7.9m to a widow, Mrs Queen Akarewan, for killing her husband, Christopher Akarewan.

Christopher was shot dead by men of the Nigeria Police over his refusal to pay a N50 bribe at a checkpoint while on his way home on October 13, 2011 in Okitipupa, the headquarters of the Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State.

The deceased, a commercial motorcyclist, was reported to have offered N30 when he was stopped by the policemen at the checkpoint instead of N50, and this led to an argument between him and two policemen identified as John Aghaulor and Igodi Gbefamoghan.

Christopher was shot dead during the argument, but it was gathered that Aghaulor and Gbefamoghan had already been dismissed by the Nigeria Police Force.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Abdu Dogo, held that the victim’s life was unlawfully terminated contrary to the provision of Section 33 of the Nigerian Constitution.

“The section of the constitution allows anybody who has interest in the existence of a person whose life is taken unlawfully to seek redress in a court of competent jurisdiction,” the judge stated.

He said the perpetrators were under the service of the Nigeria Police when the crime was committed.

Dogo ordered the NPF and the Ondo State Commissioner of Police to pay the sum of N7.9m as damages to the plaintiff within 30 days from the date of the judgment.

Two human traffickers jailed 12 years for promoting prostitution

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced two human traffickers to 12 years imprisonment for promoting prostitution.

The female convicts, Terry Homuere-Smooth and Priscilla Effiong, were sentenced after the court found them guilty of the two counts preferred against them by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.

The prosecutor, Sebol Langyi, had told the court when the convicts were arraigned in November 2015 that they organised and promoted foreign prostitution, adding that they exported one Chisom, aka Gold, to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates for prostitution.

The offences, according to Langyi, are contrary to and punishable under sections 14 (b) and 18 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.

Chisom had during the trial told the court that the convicts, after taking her to Dubai, forced her into prostitution, took her nude pictures and asked her to swear to an oath that she would pay some amount to their agents in Dubai otherwise; they would post her nude pictures online.

She added that when she could not raise the money they asked for, the convicts posted her nude pictures online as they had threatened.

The victim stated that it was when the pictures went viral that the NAPTIP intervened and the two convicts were arrested.

Delivering her judgment on Tuesday, Justice Oguntoyinbo held that the prosecution had been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt against the defendants and she consequently pronounced them guilty.

Mrs James Ezeomakorie and Mrs Doyin Rhode-Vivours, counsel for Homuere-Smooth and Effiong, respectively, in their allocutus, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, adding that they were first time offenders, who had showed great remorse during their detention.

Sentencing the convicts, Justice Oguntoyinbo said, “I have listened to the allocutus made by the counsels for the defendants. However, the minimum punishment for count one is seven years imprisonment with a fine of N1m, while the minimum punishment for the second count is five years.

“In the light of the above, I hereby sentence the first and second defendants to seven years imprisonment on count one with N1m fine, and five years on count two.

“The terms of the sentence are to run concurrently and without an option of fine.”

The charges the convicts were arraigned on read in part, “That you, Terry Homuere-Smooth and Priscilla Bassey Effiong, one Bella (at large) and one Gloria (at large) on or about July 2015 at Ajah, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, organised and facilitated foreign travel, which promotes prostitution for Chisom (aka Gold) to Dubai, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015, and punishable under the same section of the Act.”

Police nab suspected killers of youth corper in Abia

Police operatives in Abia State have arrested three suspects for allegedly robbing, kidnapping and killing a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps identified as Nnadozie Ohanyerem in Umuahia.

The suspects are Uchenna Kalu, Augustine Ihekoronye and Eze Anthony.

It was gathered that the deceased was a serving corps member in Rivers State, who came to Abia to visit his friend at the Escoba Estate, Umuobia, Olokoro suburb of Umuahia.

Police investigation revealed that Ohanyerem was ambushed by the suspects on September 9, 2018, while driving into his friend’s residence in the estate.

It was learnt that the suspects robbed him of his cell phone and that of one Daniel Ayelabola, who came to open the gate for him.

The police added that the suspects allegedly abducted the deceased in his Toyota Avalon car with number plate KYA 383 E.

According to police findings, the suspects later shot the deceased, threw away his body along the Olokoro Road, while his car was taken to other gang members in Owerri, Imo State.

The police added that the deceased’s car was taken to one Martins Anthony, a car dealer and the alleged kingpin of the gang, through the help of a naval officer identified as Victor Oparacha.

Luck, however, ran out on the suspects when Anthony called the father of the deceased and told him to pay some money into his account for him to return the stolen car.

A police source said Anthony was placed under watch through his account number and he was arrested while trying to withdraw money from the account.

The source added that the arrest of the first suspect led to the nabbing of the two other members of the gang and that the police were still searching for other members of the gang currently at large.

Ihekoronye and Anthony, however, claimed that they were panel beaters, who were working on the deceased’s car.

They said the car was brought to their workshop by one Kalu and others now at large for repairs.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the arrest of the suspects.

He said they would be arraigned on a charge of murder, adding that the police would continue to search for the other suspects now at large.