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A policeman and about 11 others were shot dead while several others sustained gunshot injuries yesterday when armed robbers invaded Igarra town, the headquarters of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.

The robbers unleashed terror in the town as they attempted to rob two commercial banks – Unity Bank and Keystone Bank.

The evening attack sent hordes of residents scampering for safety. Also killed were two detained suspects at the Divisional Police Station, who were arrested yesterday morning for minor offences.

One of the dead detained suspects was said to have been arrested by the police for incomplete vehicle particulars. At press time, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said information about the attack was still sketchy, but promised to release more details later.

It was learnt that the gunmen swooped on the police station, which is about 1.2 kilometres from the banks, apparently to demobilise the policemen.

They also burnt the official vehicle of the newly posted Area Commander.

Three other persons near the police station were also killed.

At least four other persons were killed within the premises of the two banks.

It was learnt that the robbers could not gain access to the vaults of the banks.

An indigene of the community, Ofei Obende, said residents mobilised themselves and tried to resist the robbers, but they were overpowered by the invaders’ firepower.

He said that policemen attached to the banks had engaged the bandits in exchange of gunfire, which was responsible for the death of the three unidentified bodies.

Palace Secretary to the Otaru of Igarra, the paramount ruler of the community, Elder Folorunsho Dania, confirmed the incident yesterday on the phone. He said: “This is a serious case. Armed robbers have besieged Igarra. So many lives were lost; 10 bodies have been counted.

The police station was set ablaze, while the Area Commander’s new car was torched. Also, close to the police station, three people were killed. In the banks – Keystone Bank and Unity Bank – many persons were killed. In all, 10 lives have gone.

“They could not access the strong rooms of the banks. The people that were killed in the bank were outside the bank premises. Four persons were killed on the bank premises. A policeman was killed in the police station. Also, a stone throw from the police station, three persons were killed. Igarra is in a war scene; I am right at the police station.”

Six persons were killed in a similar raid in November 2015 when robbers invaded the community. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has arrested four suspected members of a notorious cult group, Debam, said to have been robbing sea travellers of their valuables.
Cdr. Ikenna Okoloagu, the Base Operation Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder (NNS), Port Harcourt, paraded the four suspected cultists to newsmen on yesterday. He said the suspects were arrested by a naval patrol team deployed to end killings and other criminal activities in its host community of Rumuolumeni.

“This decision to heighten our security patrol follows the recently reported spate of killings in Rumuolumeni community and other forms of criminality in the state.

“The patrol team was tasked with the responsibility to ensure a safe, secure and peaceful atmosphere within the state.

“So, in the course of the patrols, on August 8, about 0845 hours, the base patrol element arrested four suspected sea robbers and members of the dreaded Debam cult group,” he said.

The officer said that the suspects were apprehended at their hideout at Iwofe waterfront with a locally made pistol and four live cartridges found in their possession.

“Additionally, controlled and banned substances such as cannabis (Indian hemp) and tramadol were found in their possession.

“The suspects were immediately brought in for questioning and they later confessed to being members of the Debam cult group,” he said. Okoloagu said the hand over to the police was done in line with the Harmonised Standard Operating Procedures that spelt out roles for security agencies in combating illegalities in the oil and gas sector.

One of the suspects, who admitted to the crime and pleaded for leniency, said that he was recruited into Debam cult by a friend when he was 19 years old. “I joined the group when I was in my Senior Secondary Three level at Community Secondary School, Rumuolumeni, in 2015.

“Immediately I joined Debam, I started saving money and later bought the gun (locally made pistol) for N15,000 for my protection.

“The gun is mine, but I have not shot or killed anybody with it,” the 22-year-old said. Lekum claimed they worked for an unnamed chairman of the National Union of Iwofe who directed them to collect levies from those engaging in illegal oil bunkering in the area.
Also, a Daura Road Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kaduna, Kaduna State, on Thursday ordered the remand of three men for alleged armed robbery.

The defendants – Rabiu Abdullahi, Ibrahim Dahiru and Anas Mohammed – are standing trial on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and armed robbery. The prosecutor, Insp. Akinga Akila, had told the court that the matter was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for further investigation.

Akila said that on July 6, at 2 p.m., the defendants robbed some passengers of their property on Ishaku Road, Ungwan Rimi in Kaduna, when they boarded a tricycle.

The prosecutor said that the passengers were robbed of their phones and wallets, containing a school’s identity card and voter’s card, before the defendants were caught. He said that the defendants confessed to committing the crime during the police investigation, adding that the offences contravened Sections 59 and 283 of the Penal Code.

Magistrate Abdulkadir Musa declined to take the plea of the defendants because the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter. Musa ordered the police to forward the case file to the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice and adjourned the case until September 5.

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Islamic Dowry For Marriage Is Now N13,438 — Cleric Shuaib Agaka

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An Islamic cleric, Dr AbdulHameed Shuaib Agaka, has said that the current value of the dowry to be paid in lslamic marriage that was in consonance with Nigeria’s current economy is N13,438.

Speaking in his weekly Islamic radio programme monitored in Ilorin, Dr. Agaka said that the payment of dowry was the most important aspect of an Islamic marriage.

According to the cleric, a former Scholar with School for Arabic Studies and Bayero University Kano, the marriage would become invalid and illegal without the dowry being paid.

He said: “The dowry in Islam is paid by the man to his wife-to-be as an honour and respect given to her to show his sincerity and commitment to the marriage which also signifies sense of responsibility and obligation.”

According to him, the acceptable current dowry in any Islamic marriage in Nigeria’s local currency stands at N13,438, adding that it is however permissible for wealthy husbands to pay amounts higher than the official acceptable fee.

The former don said prospective husbands could use cows, parcels of land, gold and other valuables as payment of dowry for their intended wives.

He advised Muslims to always abide with the validities under the lslamic marriage to curb cases of unwanted children in the society.

Dr. Abdulhameed who is also the Chief Imam of Agaka in Ilorin Emirate of Kwara State, condemned what he described as ostentatious spending in Islamic marriages, saying that what was most significant in any Islamic marriage was payment of dowry to the bride and adequate care and protection after marriage.

“It is only the payment of dowry that guarantees legal access and full control of wife by the husband,” the cleric said. (PRNigeria)

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Ignore The Lies, We Didn’t Issue Any Certificate Of Return To Adeleke — INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it can issue a certificate of return to Sen Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) only if the embattled governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola fails to appeal the judgment of the tribunal that sacked him within 21 days.

Recalls that the Osun State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja had last week Friday nullified the election of Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared Adeleke winner of the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Justice Peter Obiora who delivered the majority judgment of the tribunal ordered INEC to immediately issue a fresh certificate of return to Adeleke as the lawful and validly elected governor of Osun State, after declaring the September 27, 2018 re-run election as illegal.

However, rumours went round the social media with pictures suggesting INEC issued a certificate of return to Adeleke.

Reacting, INEC National Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye debunked the rumours.

“The commission has not issued any new certificate in relation to Osun State.

“Section 143(1) of the Electoral Act gives a candidate whose election is set aside a period of 21days from the date of the decision to appeal against such a decision,” Okoye said while explaining why the commission can’t issue a certificate of return to Adeleke.

“The person is entitled to remain in office pending the determination of the appeal. The commission will only issue the certificate if appeal is not lodged within 21 days. The commission has not issued any new certificate in relation to Osun State,” Okoye told Leadership newspaper.

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32 Entities Stole Over N1.3Trillion Under Goodluck Jonathan — Magu

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Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says at least N1.3 trillion was stolen between 2011 and 2015.

Magu said the money stolen during those years — when former President Goodluck Jonathan was in power — was by 32 entities, including private individuals and organisations.

He said this during his keynote address at the 2019 first batch conversion graining programme to procurement cadre for federal parastatal and agencies organised by the Bureau of Public Procurement in Lagos on Monday.

In the address delivered by Ola Olukoyede, EFCC secretary, Magu lamented what the stolen funds could have been used to achieve in Nigeria.

He said: “One third of this money, using world bank rates and cost, could have comfortably been used to construct well over 500km of roads; build close to 200 schools; educate about 4000 children from primary to tertiary levels at N25million per child; build 20,000 units of two-bedroom houses across the country and do even more.

“The cost of this grand theft, therefore, is that these roads, schools and houses will never be built and these children will never have access to quality education because a few rapacious individuals had cornered for themselves what would have helped secure the lives of the future generations, thereby depriving them of quality education and healthcare, among others.”

He added that the poor state of procurement process in Nigeria was one of the major reasons why corruption has continued to thrive in government agencies and parastatals.

“I sincerely hope that at the end of this training, we will see a few cases of financial propriety in our procurement processes in government agencies and parastatal,” Magu said.

“Indeed, corruption could kill Nigeria, if we do not scale up our proficiency in contract and procurement management process.”

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