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INSECURITY: Panic In Zamfara Communities As ‘Bandits Demand Over N60m As Peace Deal Levy’

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Bandits have reportedly imposed a “compensation levy” of varying amounts on some communities in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara.

Speaking with TheCable on Tuesday, Aliyu Buhari, a resident of Moriki, one of the communities in Zurmi LGA, said the bandits had, through released captives, demanded that they be paid the levy before residents will be allowed access to their farmlands.

Buhari said some communities have paid and agreed on a reconciliation deal with the bandits, adding that residents of Moriki are currently working on raising the levy.

“People living in Moriki ward in Zurmi LGA were asked to pay the sum of N20 million to be able to enjoy some level of peace,” he said.

“Recently, two people were kidnapped from the Dauran community in Zurmi LGA and a ransom was paid for their release, while in Kanwa, over 40 people who are mostly women were abducted during a house-to-house search by the terrorists.

“The bandits are yet to demand any ransom for the release of the abducted persons.

“The bandits had earlier imposed a compensation levy of N20 million on the Kanwa community. The levy is to serve as a peace deal between the terrorists and the community.

“Despite paying the levy, the residents are currently in tension as they believe that the recent mass abduction may lead to another levy.”

‘EACH HOUSEHOLD TO CONTRIBUTE N6,500’

“Currently, people of the Moriki community are processing how to contribute the compensation fee. The fee is to enable them to access their farmlands and live peacefully without any fear of attack,” Buhari continued.

“Many communities have already paid the compensation fee. Most of them yielded during the rainy season when farmers needed to work on their farmlands.

“In Moriki, during the rainy season, people were allowed to farm but they started to threaten our peace when it was time to harvest our farm produce.

“Each household in Moriki has been asked to contribute N6,500 to make up the N20 million levy.

“I understand that the deadline for the payment was last week Saturday, but the community is still working towards sourcing the money.

“Some communities that have been asked to pay compensation levy include Gidan Shaho, Kadamutsa, and Dada.”

‘ABOUT 10 COMMUNITIES LEVIED’

Suleiman Mahmud, a resident of Zurmi who also spoke on the development, said about 10 communities were asked to pay levies of different amounts.

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He added that some have paid, while others are yet to raise the money.

“In the Moriki community, they were asked to pay N20 million. The residents have resolved to pay, but I am not sure if it has been delivered to the terrorists,” he said.

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“They usually inform people of any community they attack about their demands. They either inform a freed captive or deliver the message whenever they attack communities.

“Ever since they agreed on paying a reconciliation levy in July, they have not attacked the people of Moriki and the people have been going about their affairs.

“Last week, two residents were kidnapped from their farmlands, while one person was killed around the Dauran area.

“Some of the communities that have agreed on a peace deal and have paid the compensation levy include Kwagwami, Boko, Jaya, Dunfawa, and Gidan Goga.

“The communities are about 10 in Zurmi LGA. Like Kanwa, they imposed N20 million; Jaya, N17 million; Moriki, N20 million, while Kwagwami, N6.5 million.”

Mahmud also said some residents of Kwagwami were kidnapped recently, adding that the abductees are still in captivity, except the district head who has been freed.

The latest development comes amid attacks on communities in parts of the country, including Zamfara.

Amid several attacks across the state, in July, 20 corpses were reportedly discovered near a stream after bandits invaded Yan-Kukoki and Danbanda communities in Gummi LGA in Zamfara.

In September, 15 worshippers at a mosque in Ruwan Jema in Bukkuyun LGA were said to have been killed by gunmen.

Meanwhile, in January, bandits were said to have imposed a levy of N24 million on nine communities in Bukkuyum LGA.

Efforts to reach Muhammad Shehu, Zamfara police spokesperson, for comments on the “compensation levy” development were unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls and messages.

Also, when contacted, Auwal Bawa, chairman of Zurmi LGA, said he will not “speak on security matters”.

 

Credit: TheCable

BIG STORY

UNN Suspends, Probes Lecturer For ‘Attempting To Sexually Assault’ Student

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A lecturer known as Mfonobong Udoudom has been suspended by the University of Nigeria (UNN) for what it called an “inappropriate affair” with a student.

Viral videos surfaced on Tuesday showing the senior lecturer of general studies pacing around his office in his pants, looking visibly alarmed.

Sources at the university said that the lecturer was “caught pants down attempting to have sex with a married female student of the school.”

According to the sources, Udoudom had a long-standing custom of “passing female students only after sleeping with them.”

He was accused of forcing a female student to understand that she would fail his course unless she agreed to have sex with him.

One of the sources, under anonymity, said the female student planned with her husband to entrap the lecturer while working with UNN security and other students.

The student source further said the security agents forcefully broke into his office and caught the lecturer “in action.”.

“It was planned out with her husband and security agents at the school. The female was made to approach the lecturer to offer him money in order to scale through his course. He refused and insisted he needed to have sexual intercourse with her in his office,” the source said.

“When the lady succumbed to his demands and asked him to undress, he was caught wearing only boxers.”

In the now-viral footage, a witness is heard saying, “We have been following this case from day one. We have all the chats, voice notes, video calls, and every conversation he had with the female student.”.

When contacted, UNN management told TheCable that Udoudom has now been suspended.

Okwun Omeaku, UNN’s acting media spokesperson, said the senior lecturer will be made to face the staff disciplinary panel.

“The indefinite suspension is with immediate effect pending the outcome of a disciplinary panel constituted by the university to investigate the incident,” he said.

“UNN has a zero tolerance for sexual misconduct involving our staff and students.

“We are committed to protecting our students from any form of abuse and exploitation. The university management will not hesitate to punish Mr. Mfonobong David Udoudom according to our rules if he is found guilty.”

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Yahaya Bello Took $720k From State Treasury To Pay His Child’s School Fees — EFCC Chairman Olukoyede

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Ola Olukoyede, claims that Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi, took out $720,000 to cover his child’s upfront school fees.

Olukoyede made this known in Abuja on Tuesday during an interactive session with media executives.

The head of EFCC claimed that the former governor of Kogi transferred funds to a bureau de change operator and utilised them to pay his child’s school fees ahead of time.

Olukoyede added that Bello made the payment in anticipation that his tenure was gradually coming to an end.

“A sitting governor, because he knew he was leaving office, moved money directly from the government to bureau de change and used it to pay his child’s school fee in advance,” the EFCC boss said.

“Over $720,000 in anticipation that he was going to leave the government house. In a poor state like Kogi, you want me to close my eyes under the guise of ‘I’m being used’. Used by who? At this stage of my life.”

Olukoyede said he inherited the case file of the former Kogi governor, noting that he did not initiate the investigation against Bello.

On April 17, EFCC operatives laid siege on Bello’s residence in Abuja to arrest him over alleged N80 billion fraud.

While the EFCC operatives were at Bello’s residence, Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi, came to visit his predecessor.

Shortly after Ododo departed from the residence, the EFCC operatives also left the house.

Bello was reportedly rescued by Ododo when he departed his residence located in the Wuse Zone 4 district of Abuja.

Subsequently, the anti-graft agency declared the former governor wanted.

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has also placed Bello on a watchlist.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Bello, alongside Alli Bello, chief of staff to Ododo; and one Daudu Suleiman, diverted about N80.2 billion belonging to the Kogi government.

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BIG STORY

I’ll Tender Resignation If Yahaya Bello Is Not Prosecuted — EFCC Chairman Olukoyede

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The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has threatened to resign if he does not bring Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State, to justice.

Olukoyede gave a speech in Abuja on Tuesday during an engaging conversation with media executives.

“If I do not personally oversee the completion of the investigation regarding Yahaya Bello, I will tender my resignation as the EFCC chair,” he said.

The EFCC boss also vowed that everyone involved in obstructing Bello’s arrest from his Abuja residence will face the full wrath of the law.

He also said he invited Bello to his office for a more respectful and dignified interrogation, but that the ex-governor wanted EFCC operatives to grill him in his village instead.

“I called Yahaya Bello, as a serving governor, to come to my office to clear himself. I shouldn’t have done that,” he said.

“But he said that because a certain senator has planted over 100 journalists in my office, he would not come.

“I told him that he would be allowed to use my private gate to give him a cover, but he said my men should come to his village to interrogate him.”

Olukoyede said the EFCC did not violate any law while trying to arrest the former governor from his residence.

“Rather, we have obeyed the law. I inherited the case and I didn’t create it. Why has he not submitted himself to the law?” he asked.

“I have arraigned two past governors who have been granted bail now—WWillie Obiano and Abdulfatah Ahmed.

“We would have gone after Bello since January but we waited for the court order.

“As early as 7 am, my gallant men were there. Over 50 of them. They mounted surveillance.

“We met over 30 armed policemen there. We would have exchanged fire and there would have been casualties.

“My men were about to move in when the governor of Kogi drove in and they later changed the narrative.”

He vowed that all those who have dipped their hands into the public till would be investigated and prosecuted.

“If I can do Obiano, Abdulfatah Ahmed and Chief Olu Agunloye, my kinsman, why not Yahaya Bello?” Olukoyede said.

The EFCC is prosecuting Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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