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Family Gets Police Approval To Bury Rivers FIrst-class Graduate

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The family of Rebekah Sekidika, a first-class graduate of Benson Idahosa University in Edo State, who died during a procedure at a private hospital in Port Harcourt, said they have received police approval to bury her corpse.

The father of the 24-year-old girl and a staff member of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, Sampson Sekidika, while speaking to The PUNCH, alleged that his daughter died due to the negligence and incompetence of the medical workers who carried out the procedure on her at the Paragon Clinics and Image Diagnosis in Port Harcourt on February 2, 2024.

While lamenting that the deceased had already gained admission to begin a MSc Programme in the United Kingdom and was billed to travel a few days away before the unfortunate development that claimed her life and demanded justice.

The distraught father stated, “The complaint was that she had not seen her period for a while. So she needed to why. When she had the clinical visit, they subjected her to some test, including pregnancy tests, which came out all negative.

“But they told her to see a specialist to be sure. On the day of the appointment, they took her into the theatre and gave her an anaesthetic for a simple procedure that didn’t require surgery where she developed complications and died.

“She (Rebekah) was supposed to travel to the United Kingdom for her Masters and PhD programmes. Everything was set, flight booked, tuition paid, all arrangements made.”

Sekidika, however, told our correspondent at the weekend that an autopsy had been performed on their late daughter’s corpse, saying while they await the result, they have received approval from the police to bury her remains.

He stated, “Autopsy has been performed on Thursday, and samples sent to two independent medical centres for the toxicology test. Full reports will be made available in not more than a month’s time when all the results are available.

“I applied to the Deputy Commissioner of Police at the State Criminal and Investigation Department for release of the corpse to us the family for burial. The police have granted me permission to bury.

“Burial has been slated for the 2nd of March, 2024, at the Vaults and Gardens Cemetery, Port Harcourt.”

Sekidika insisted that even after Rebekah’s body is interred, he will pursue the matter to ensure that those found culpable for her death are apprehended, punished, and other appropriate steps taken to get justice for her.

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“We can no longer feed, Our shops are under siege” – Aba Traders protest Military siege, call on Gov Otti to intervene

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Following the May 30th killing of five soldiers by unknown gunmen, which has led to the military siege in Aba, commercial city of Abia State, Traders from Ngwa Road market Aba, Tuesday, stormed Abia Government House Umuahia, in protest.

The traders who stormed the Abia government house Umuahia, to seek the intervention of Gov. Alex Otti for the reopening of their shops, carried placards with various inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read:” We are tired of staying at home”; “We have no access to our shops any more”,; “Our shops are under siege”.

Speaking to the press, President of the Traders’ Association, Chinedu Oforndu who spoke on behalf of the traders, lamented that they had not been able to open their shops since the incident.

According to him, the situation had been taking a toll on them and their families as they now find it difficult to feed.

”Our shops are under siege by the military since May 30. We don’t have access to our shops again. Hunger is dealing with us. Governor please come to our rescue”, he pleaded.

In his response, the Secretary of the traders, Mr Ikenna Ohanaba, said that the traders had been frustrated over the situation, and needed Government’s help.

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Abducted Kaduna Catholic priest regains freedom

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The kidnapped Kaduna Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Ukeh, of St Thomas Parish, Zaman Dabo in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State has been released barely 24 hours after his abduction.

Director of Communications, Rev. Fr. Okafor Tochukwu, disclosed this on Monday night in a statement  in Kaduna.

Ukeh was abducted in the early hours of Sunday at the Parish Rectory.

“With gratitude to God, we announce the safe release of our brother and priest, Rev Fr Gabriel Ukeh, who was abducted from the Rectory of St Thomas Parish, Zaman Dabo, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where he shepherds on Sunday 9th June 2024.

” Fr Gabriel was happily welcomed home to his parish community at about 9pm, Monday, 10th June 2024.

“We acknowledge and appreciate the kind and prayerful support of all and sundry who worked round the clock to make this a reality.” Rev. Fr. Okafor stated.

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Two soldiers wounded, hospitalised as bandits attack Niger military base

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Bandits operating in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, have shot and wounded two soldiers at a military base.

Rafi is one of the troubled LGAs in Niger State, suffering incessant attacks from bandits, who prevent farmers from going to their farms.

The attack on the military base was said to have occurred in the early hours of Monday.

It was learnt that one bandit was killed while two soldiers sustained gunshot injuries in the exchange of gunfire.

The Chairman of the Rafi Local Government Area, Ayuba Katako, who confirmed the incident, said, “It happened in my domain. The two soldiers have been taken to the IBB Specialist Hospital where they are responding to treatment.

“The military, police and vigilantes are trying their best to ensure peace and security of lives and property in the state and they deserve to be commended.”

Katako decried the continued attacks on the security operatives and called for patience, support and prayers to overcome the menace of insecurity bedeviling the state and Nigeria at large.

The Niger State military cantonment in Minna could not be reached for comments.

Attempt to speak to the Niger police spokesman, Wasiu Abiodun, was also not successful as calls placed to his mobile line did not connect.

Meanwhile, troops of Operation Whirl Punch and Operation Forest Sanity II continued their patrol of the Rijana general area of the Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Monday, as they killed two bandits during a clearance operation.

The development came less than 24 hours after the troops encountered some bandits at the Kachia-Kajuru general area, killing five and leaving many with gunshot wounds.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement on Monday disclosed that troops on clearance operation engaged some bandits in a gun duel in the Rijana area and killed two, while scores escaped with gunshot wounds.

The troops, according to him, recovered three AK-47 rifles, two motorcycles, two AK-47 magazines, 19 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, two mobile phones and two MP3 players.

He said, “According to operational feedback to the Kaduna State Government, the troops began their advance, clearing several locations, including Amale, Gidan Jatau, Gidan Danfulani and Gidan Duna with no resistance.

“As the forces progressed to Gidan Dutse, the troops made contact with bandits and, in the ensuing firefight, two of the criminals were neutralised while several escaped with gunshot wounds.

“The troops searched the area and recovered three AK-47 rifles, two motorcycles and two AK-47 magazines, 19 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, two mobile phones and two MP3 players.

“The Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, expressed satisfaction at the report and congratulated the troops for another sterling outing. The governor praised the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. T.A. Lagbaja, and the unflinching morale of the troops, in the ongoing operations.”

The commissioner enjoined the citizens to continue “to utilise the 24-hour Security Operations Room by volunteering actionable intelligence on the movement of bandits and their collaborators.

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