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We’ve Arrested Mastermind of Kogi Explosion – DSS

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By Eric Elezuo

The Department of State Services (DSS) has said that the mastermind of the Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) attack which occurred on 29th December, 2022, near the Palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland in Okene, Kogi State, has been arrested.

The attack which took place during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to commission some projects, was masterminded by Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru (aka Abu Mikdad) and one of his associates, Saidu Suleiman, who are now in custody, according to a statement signed by the Service’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Peter Afunanya.

The duo was arrested on January 3, 2023.

The statement further noted that Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape, and is currently receiving treatment at a health facility.

The statement reads in part:

“During investigations, it was ascertained that Otaru was a high commander of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and either coordinated or was involved in the following dastardly operations:
i. The 24th June, 2022 attack on Nigeria Police Area Command, Eika-Ohizenyi, Okehi LGA of Kogi State. A Police Inspector, Idris MUSA was killed and two (2) AK-47 rifles carted away in that attack;
ii. The 5th July, 2022 attack on Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje Area Council of the FCT; and
iii. 5th August, 2022 attack on West African Ceramics Ltd (WACL) in Ajaokuta LGA, Kogi in which three (3) Indian expatriates were kidnapped. It would be recalled that five (5) persons including one (1) Indian, two (2) Policemen and two (2) drivers of the company were also killed in the attack. The kidnapped expatriates were released on 31st August, 2022.

“OTARU operated terrorist cells in and around Kogi State. Similarly, he and his gang had staged several kidnap operations in Kogi and Ondo States. Meanwhile, the suspects are in custody and will be prosecuted accordingly.

“The Service reiterates its commitment to the safety of the nation. It assures to work assiduously with stakeholders including sister security agencies to tackle the menace of terrorism and other forms of criminality and threats to national security. It, therefore, calls on citizens to support it and other law enforcement organisations with relevant information and all the necessary cooperation required to achieve a peaceful country.”

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NDLEA Nabs Pregnant Woman, Housewife, Teacher for Drug Trafficking

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Operatives of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the NAHCO export shed of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos State, have arrested a pregnant woman, Mrs Sylvester Onome, after 800grams of skunk were allegedly discovered concealed in two small radio sets she was sending to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday, confirmed the incident, adding that the suspect was arrested on Monday, January 30.

“Another housewife, Mrs Okpara Chizoba, was arrested at her residence at 37, Obashola Street, Ijesha, Lagos, on Friday, January 27, following the seizure of 300g of skunk hidden in a bag of crayfish she was sending to Dubai, UAE, through a freight agent.

“In the same vein, operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the airport on Thursday, January 26, intercepted a sack of new clothes going to Sierra Leone.

“During a thorough search of the consignment, a parcel of white crystalline substance that tested positive to methamphetamine with a gross weight of 1kg, as well as 300g of skunk and 100g ecstasy were recovered. A freight agent, Mfonabasi Joseph, was already arrested in connection with the seizure,” Babafemi added.

He stated that a 40-year-old secondary school teacher, Sani Isah, was also arrested by operatives in the Jekadefari area of Gombe State on Thursday, January 2, for dealing in a new psychoactive substance, Akuskura.

Exactly 2,198 bottles of the substance concealed in six bags were recovered from him while he claimed to have started the illicit business in 2018.

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FBI, Police Hunt Killers of Nigerian Pastor’s Wife in US

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Jersey Police have embarked on a joint operation to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of a Republican Councilwoman, Eunice Dwumfour.

The New York Post reported that Dwumfour was shot dead in front of her home in New Jersey, United States of America, on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

She was said to be the wife of a Nigeria-based pastor, Eze Kings.

Dwumfour, 30, was reportedly hit by a yet-to-be-identified assailant while driving around her home.

The white Nissan SUV she drove crashed into two parked cars before coming to a stop.

A male witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said her car was hit with about 12 shots while travelling down Check Avenue toward Samuel Circle around 7.15pm.

The vehicle eventually came to a stop after crashing into two parked cars, including the witness’ black Lexus GS350.

Chilling Snapchat footage of the aftermath of the incident showed Dwumfour’s body in the car while first responders surrounded the scene.

The witness said, “It took a second before I realised there was a dead body behind the wheel.

“She was slumped over the wheel with a black hoodie with brown fur covering her head; her hands were down by her side. There was one bullet hole in the passenger door and a bunch of bullet holes in the driver’s door. Some other neighbours said they saw someone running away with a mask on.”

Meanwhile, CBS News reported that the FBI on Friday joined the police in search of those responsible for Dwumfour’s death.

Investigators from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office reportedly combed the woods behind the La Mur complex for clues.

NY Post also reported that 20 Sayreville police officers were spotted combing the sides of a Garden State Parkway exit ramp headed toward the Jon Bon Jovi Service area on Thursday afternoon.

Shortly after, investigators at the murder scene told reporters that Dwumfour was caught on video speaking to the shooter just moments before her death.

Dwumfour was a Certified Business Analyst and Scrum Professional for Fire Congress Fellowship Inc.

She also served as a Director of Churches for the Nigerian-based Champions Royal Assembly, according to her LinkedIn page, which touted her “bubbly personality, and strong work ethics.”

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Wike Not Sincere with Makinde, Ortom, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi – PDP PCC

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A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Daniel Bwala, has said that the Governor of Rivers State and leader of the aggrieved G-5 PDP governors, Nyesom Wike, was deceiving his four colleagues over the presidential candidate they would collectively support.

Bwala alleged that Wike was supporting the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but that he could not make it public because he had given his colleagues the impression that he was supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The four governors are Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. The governors had vowed not to support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, unless the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, stepped aside.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, Bwala described Wike as inconsequential, noting that he reneged on his promise to announce the G-5 and Integrity Group’s preferred candidate for fear of outright expulsion by the party. He said open support for another party’s candidate would be a proven anti-party activity against him.

He said, “He is dishonest and inconsequential. You recall that he promised to announce their preferred candidate in January. When a BBC correspondent reminded him of the pledge, he responded that January had not ended. Now that January is over, he said he never revealed to anyone the methodology of disclosure of their preferred candidate. He is now saying he has told his people who to vote for.

“He can’t announce his candidate because he knows the consequences. The party can expel him outright for gross misconduct and anti-party activities. He made them (his colleagues) believe that he was behind Peter Obi. So, he can’t openly come out now to declare support for the APC candidate because the other four governors do not want Tinubu.”

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