Two members of the National Youth Service Corps, Jennifer Iorliam and Joseph Aondona, who were abducted last Tuesday on their way to the NYSC Orientation Camp in Kebbi State, have been released after their abductors collected a ransom of N9m.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the corps members and four others were freed on Tuesday, spending one week in the kidnappers’ den.
Our correspondent had reported that the victims boarded a bus from Benue State to Sokoto State before their vehicle was intercepted around the Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State. They were supposed to board another bus from Sokoto to their destination in Kebbi State.
The bus driver and some passengers were said to have escaped and reported the incident at police stations in Zamfara and Benue states.
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, had said his administration was working in collaboration with security agents to ensure the rescue of the victims.
Amid the telecommunications shutdown in many parts of Zamfara, the bandits reached out to the victims’ families, demanding N2m ransom for each of them.
Iorliam’s elder sister, Judith Benson, who spoke briefly to one of our correspondents on Wednesday, said the kidnappers released her sister and other victims after collecting N9m.
Benson stated that she and some family members were on their way to Benue from Zamfara where they had gone to pick up Iorliam, adding that her sister was weak.
She said, “She has been released. She was released yesterday (Tuesday) and we are on our way home. The bandits collected a lot of money. All of us that our people were kidnapped contributed the money. They collected N9m. They were six in number.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in Zamfara State, SP Muhammed Sheu, did not pick up our correspondent’s calls and had yet to reply to a text message sent to his line on the victims’ release.
Aside from the two corps members, others released are a student of the Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Sendo Kondo; two brothers, Muhamadu Saminu and Muhamadu Safiam and one Ruth Tsokar.
LSSTF’s Balogun Tours EPAIL Facility, Commends Management for Contributions to Security
The Executive Secretary/CEO of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Dr. Abdurrazaq Balogun, has paid a visit to the Equipment and Protective Applications International Limited (EPAIL) mega factory, with the Chairman/CEO of EPAIL expressing delight at the Fund’s visit while conducting his guest on a tour of the facility.
During the visit, the ES witnessed the production of security equipment such as armored hard body for vehicles, ballistic plates, helmets, vests, etc. from scratch using locally sourced materials. A test was also conducted on one of the locally made crowd dispersal water cannon and other crowd control equipment.
Speaking on the visit, Balogun said: “The security challenges in the state continue to increase as a result of the harsh economic situation in the country hence the visitation which was in furtherance of the Fund’s commitment to continue to source for and provide the required equipment and home grown state of the art security gadgets and technological solutions that meet international standards, fit for our terrain and useable by security agencies to combat crime in the State.”
The LSSTF CEO also commended EPAIL Nigeria for its outstanding work and contributions in the area of security, noting that “The importance of a strong and formidable security outfit cannot be overemphasized as it is one of the hallmarks of a thriving society. As we approach the 2023 general elections, it is critical that we strengthen our security agencies to enable them proactively combat crime and maintain law and order in the State, therefore we call on our donors to do more by way of contributions in cash or kind to the Fund towards improved security in the State in our collective self-interest”.
Subsequently, the Chairman of EPAIL thanked the Executive Secretary of the Fund for his visit and pledged his continuous support to the Fund.
Many Feared Killed As Explosion Rocks Kano
Many are feared dead after an explosion on Aba Road in the Sabon Gari area of Kano State.
While details of the blast are still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, visuals from the scene showed that many buildings, one of which is suspected to house a primary school, were affected.
One of the videos that surfaced online also showed injured schoolchildren being moved from the scene of the incident.
Parents were also searching for their children.
One of them was heard shouting “my children”.
Meanwhile, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, has clarified that gas and not a bomb exploded in the state on Tuesday morning. He made the clarification during his visit to the scene of the incident.
Dikko, who spoke in Hausa, also confirmed that four persons were dead.
News of Closure of Ogui, Trans-Ekulu Stations Fake – Enugu Police
The Enugu State Police Command has said that the news making the rounds in the closure of Ogui and Trans-Ekulu police stations is fake, urging the public the disregard the false publication.
A statement by the Command’s PPRO, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), quoted the Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Lawal as describing the story as not just unfounded, and a figment of the publisher’s imagination, but also a misinformation targeted at creating panic among peace loving citizens of Enugu State.
The statement also expressed the CP’s resolve to continue to “deliver the statutory mandates of the Nigeria Police Force in the State, including ensuring that Police Stations remain opened to members of the public and maintain robust crime detection/prevention patrols and visibility policing of their assigned areas of responsibilities.”
CP Lawal therefore, urged the “general public and residents of Enugu State in particular, to disregard such untrue publications and continue to promptly report security situations and criminal activities to Police Stations nearest to them, noting that Police Stations in the State remain open to the general public on a twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week (24/7) basis.”