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Buhari Hints At Possible Changes In Military

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, hinted at possible changes in the nation’s security architecture with a view to reinvigorating and re-energizing it in the ongoing fight against terrorism and violent crimes in the country.

President Buhari gave the hint when he received traditional rulers from the South-West zone of the country, led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari told the rulers that already he had recently directed a reshuffle in the army where Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun was promoted and deployed as the army’s Chief of Policy and Plans.

According to him, the government will continue to effect more changes in the army, where necessary, so as to boost the morale of the nation’s troops engaged in various security assignments across the country.

“I believe you are aware that there is a reshuffle in the Army, including the promotion and deployment of Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun as the Nigerian Army’s Chief of Policy and Plans.

“This is done in order to reinvigorate and re-energize our troops to do more.

“There will be further reviews where necessary for maximum performance,” he said.

The president said, as the traditional authorities in their communities, government and the security agencies would be relying on them to monitor the several different communities and people coming in and out of their areas.

“Let me be very clear about our firm resolve to change the security architecture of Nigeria.

“It is one of the top priorities for this government but we won’t be able to achieve this goal without the support and input of you, our royal fathers.

“We hope that, for instance, traditional rulers will be able to observe new entrants into the community by requesting leaders of such ethnic groups to notify the traditional authorities of new intakes, thereby creating the opportunities for the gathering of actionable intelligence which tracks such movements in and out of communities thereby offering early warning signals,” he said.

The president also assured the traditional rulers and the entire nation that his administration would enforce the law, prosecute lawbreakers and secure an atmosphere of tranquility for all Nigerians where ever they choose to live and also protect communities from all forms of crimes.

“This is both in our interests as an administration and the interests of the people who voted us into office,” he said.

Buhari maintained that the government needed security to deliver on its many programmes to the people, saying, “there can be no prosperity if there is no security.

“This is not only a message of hope but a call to action to all of us as we seek ways to secure our country.”

He warned that the Federal Government, on its part, would deal decisively with anyone caught fomenting acts of criminal activities by every means necessary.

“We intend to deal severely with those evil Nigerians inciting violence for political ends,’’ he said.

The president also outlined some of his administration’s interventions to check the activities of terrorist groups, banditry and kidnappings in the country.

He said these interventions include an “expedited commencement of community policing, a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities.

“This in specific terms will include recruiting a lot more police officers and doing so right from their local government areas, where they will train and station them in the best practice of community policing.”

According to him, the government will equally continue to bring in the military when needed to complement the work of the police including possible deployment of troops on certain highways on a temporary basis.

He stated that the government would also encourage the use of the Air Force assets to bomb hideouts where criminals are located.

While admitting that these measures were inter-related and have to be well-coordinated, he stressed that “the speedy implementation of community policing will facilitate a more effective collection of intelligence.

“This is especially in the area of a more useful and effective intelligence-gathering process that traditional rulers will play some of the most critical roles,” he said.

Earlier, the Ooni of Ife, as well as other traditional rulers with him, had individually appraised the president with security challenges they were facing in their domains and called on him to support their efforts in addressing the issues.

(NAN)

BIG STORY

Magu Quizzed Over 380 Houses, 7 Crude Oil-Laden Ships, N37bn Assets

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The embattled Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, was on Wednesday confronted with more allegations.

The Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential panel asked him to account for 380 houses and seven vessels loaded with crude oil.

The probe panel also grilled on him on the disposal of assets worth N37 billion.

Magu is being grilled, following allegations raised against him by Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami(SAN).

The panel started quizzing Magu on Monday after his arrest by detectives in Abuja. On Tuesday, he was grilled on cash discrepancies said to be N539 billion realized from the sale of seized assets and N504 billion declared by the commission.

Both issues are part of the over 20 allegations leveled against the anti-graft agency chairman by the AGF.

It was also gathered, on Wednesday, that on the ground floor of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Area 10, Abuja, where the EFCC boss is being held, his family members are allowed to visit him.

A Presidency source had said, on Tuesday, that the probe was an affirmation that nobody under the present administration was above scrutiny.

The source had also explained that the interrogation of the anti-graft boss was being done to give him the opportunity to clear himself of the weighty allegations.

It was gathered that Magu was brought to the venue at about 11:14 am from the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, building where he had been held since Monday. He was also joined by his lawyer at the panel for interrogation.




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I Thank God The Police Arrested Us, My Gang Member Shot Me In The Leg For Condemning Killing Of Cops —- Leader Of Ondo Robbery Gang

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Nigeria Police on Thursday paraded seven members of a gang responsible for robbing three banks in Ondo and Ekiti States between 2019 and the early part of 2020, killing six policemen in the process.

Leader of the gang, 42-year old Ojo Tubonsun, who confessed to the crime, said he was grateful to God that they were arrested by the police.

Tubonsun was paraded alongside six other members of his gang at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad headquarters in Abuja.

Also paraded were suspects for other offenses including arms dealing, fraud, homicide, and kidnapping.

Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who paraded 32 suspects said items recovered from them included one AK-47 rifle, one AK-49 rifle; two pump action rifles, 19 locally made pistols, 129 live cartridges for the pump actions, 145 rounds of live ammunition and one Toyota Corolla salon car.

The arrests were made by operatives of the Special Tactical Squad (STS).

Mba said Tubonsun’s gang carried out the three robberies between 2019 and the early part of this year.

“Between 2019 and the early part of this year, three cases of bank robberies were recorded in Ondo and Ekiti States. Three banks located at Ile-Oluji in Ondo State, Idanre also in Ondo State, as well as Oye in Ekiti State, were at different times attacked and robbed by this same gang.

“Operatives from STS carried very extensive and intensive investigations into this case that lasted for months and today we are glad that we can present to you the outcome of these comprehensive investigations. Six policemen were killed as a result of those robberies. Four were killed during the robbery at Ile-Oluji in Ondo, while two were killed during the Oye in Ekiti State. A branch of WEMA Bank, a branch of UBA as well as a microfinance bank were attacked in those three operations,” the police spokesman said.

Other members of the gang arrested were Ismail Ojo, 25; Victor Owoyemi, 36; Adeniyi John, 42; Sola Oladimeji, 50; Olubadu Fatoye, 41; and Dele Ariyo, 44.

Mba said the gang’s operations were highly organized and clinically executed.

“They had a clear cut division of labour and each member of the group had an assigned role and they played it as effectively as they could. Fatoye and Ariyo were Okada riders who carried out surveillance operations while the robberies were going on. Their roles were to monitor the roles and monitor the advance of the police and other security agencies and keep the group informed of any external incursion into the areas the operations were taking place and they were paid handsomely for it. They all participated in the three operations and got different amounts for their roles.”

Confessing to the crime, the gang leader, Tubonsun, said, “We robbed UBA in Oye, Ekiti, I led them inside to go and pack the money, while others were outside. I did the same for the other two banks. At Ile-Oluji, I shared the money. My share was N1.1 million, some got N500, 000, some 350, 000, and so on. At Idanre we also shared the money. At Ile-Oluji, four policemen were killed, at Oye Ekiti, two policemen were killed.

“We thank God for God that the police got us arrested because it is the will of God. It was the will of God for the police to arrest us. If not the will of God, it would not be so. God has a purpose for us that is why. We know that we have already sinned. We have sinned against man and God. We have already begged, I personally have begged, for the forgiveness of the Almighty God. I also beg for forgiveness of human beings, and God will help us in Jesus name.”

Tubosi, who said he started robbing in 2018, said they carried out the operations using three pump actions, one AK and some locally made guns.

He said, “I did not support the killing of the policemen. I was inside. When I came outside and saw they killed two policemen, I blamed them. When I started to blame them, one of them fired my leg. I used hot water and ampiclox to treat the gunshot wounds,” he said.

The Police also paraded 33-year Usman Garba for arms dealing.

Mba said Garba was arrested while taking arms to bandits in Kaduna.

The FPRO said Garba, who moved from Dede in Abuja, was going to deliver 131 rounds of live ammunition to one Sani in Kaduna when he was arrested by the STS.

Also paraded were a car thief, Sunday Ekele, 37, and a gang that specialized in obtaining money from innocent members of the public under false pretense.

Mba said the gang engaged in blackmailing, threatening, and even kidnapping their victims.

The gang at various times fraudulently pretended to be old men, women, or children as part of their ploy to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.




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RCCG Sacks Pastor For Attempting To Sleep With Member’s Wife In Her Matrimonial Home

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The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, has sacked an Assistant Pastor of the church in Akure, Ondo State, Mr Gideon Bakare.

The church also relieved him of all ministerial duties in the mission.

Bakare was recently accused of attempting to sleep with a woman in her matrimonial home in Akure.

In a viral video, the pastor is seen naked as the church member sits beside him while her family films the event.

The woman, in the video, accuses Bakare of wanting to sleep with her, as the cleric begs for mercy.

She also threatens to call his wife to see what he has done.

The RCCG, in a statement by the Head, Media, and Public Relations, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, on Thursday, said the church dissociated itself from the immoral act.

He described it as “completely contrary to the core values, doctrines, beliefs and practices of the RCCG and the undiluted word of God.”

“The church, after reviewing the report of its investigation, noted that by his conduct, Bakare has not only tainted his personal reputation but has portrayed the Church in a bad light.

“Mr Bakare has therefore been directed to return all official items in his custody and stay off all associated connections with the mission with immediate effect,” the statement added.

Olubiyi told journalists that Bakare was a part-time pastor with the church, adding that his family was also devastated by the incident.

Our correspondent gathered that the cleric is a senior civil servant in the Ondo State Civil Service.

He had been allegedly pestering the woman for a relationship, as she decided to play along and set him up.

The government worker had removed his clothes while with the woman at her house when her family members came in.

Olubiyi said despite the church’s decision, Bakare could still attend any of the ministry’s parishes.

“The church is open to everybody. But the only thing is that he can no longer hold any position of responsibility in the church,” he added.

The RCCG spokesperson said Bakare could appeal the decision of the church if he was not satisfied.




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