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Many Feared Killed As Rival Bandit Groups Clash In Zamfara

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Scores of bandits have been reportedly killed as a result of a heavy fight between two rival groups around Hayin Alhaji to Munhaye forest of the Tsafe Local Government Area in Zamfara State.

A local, Mohammed Sanda told The PUNCH on Sunday that the two bandit groups engaged in a supremacy fight last Saturday where scores lost their lives.

According to Sanda, a group of bandits from neighbouring Katsina State invaded some communities in Zamfara State intending to kidnap the residents.

But the powerful and notorious bandits’ kingpin Ado Alero who is an indigene of the area intervened and refused to allow the rival bandits group to kidnap the villagers.

Sanda maintained that the two rival groups engaged in a gun battle which resulted in the death of several bandits from both sides.

He stressed that the people of the area were currently trouping to the battleground to see the dead bodies of the neutralised bandits.

He also added that there were over 20 motorcycles abandoned by the bandits at the place where the fight took place

He said, “Some bandits who came from Katsina State invaded some communities between Tafkin Kazai and Munhaye village around five o’clock pm last Saturday evening trying to abduct the residents of the area”.

“While they were in the area, another group of bandits led by Ado Alero came to the place in a bid to protect the residents”.

“The two bandit groups exchanged hot words and finally began to shoot at each other, while the residents ran helter-skelter for their dear lives.

“As we were running, the bandits’ leader Ado Alero told us not to panic and asked us to remain where we were.

“The two groups fought for several hours where many of them were killed and when we returned to the area early morning of today Sunday, we saw many corpses and several motorcycles.

“As I am speaking to you at the moment, many people are trouping to this place to see the corpses and the abandoned motorcycles,” Sanda added.

Sanda also explained that the communities were looking into the possibility of giving a mass burial for the dead bodies of the bandits because of the absence of security personnel.

“We may dig a big grave and bury the dead bodies before they decompose.”

Contacted for comment, the spokesperson for the state police command ASP Yazid Abubakar said he was not aware of this development.

He said, “I am not aware of this, but it is a very important development. God is answering our prayers in the fight against banditry.”

PUNCH

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Police Officer Caught Collecting Bribe On Camera Demoted

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The Imo State Police Command says its officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, who was caught on camera collecting bribes from motorists along the Owerri-Onitsha express road, has been demoted.

This was disclosed in a statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Henry Okoye, shared on X on Monday.

The video which went viral on Monday, showed the officer collecting money from drivers plying the road. He could also be seen handing them change whenever the need arises.

According to the statement, Osudueh, who was attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit, Owerri, has been reduced in rank after facing disciplinary action. At the same time, the supervising officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.

The statement said, “The Imo State Police Command is issuing this statement in response to a viral video making the rounds on social media where a Police officer was seen extorting money from motorists along Owerri-Onitsha express road.

“The erring officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Owerri, has been recommended for a reduction in rank after the necessary orderly room proceedings, for exhibiting such a shameful and unprofessional act, while the supervisory officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.”

The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, had earlier condemned the officer’s actions as “bad and shameful” and confirmed his arrest and disciplinary action.

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Two Die, Others Arrested In okada Riders’ Attack On Lagos Police Station

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The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed that two individuals were fatally injured and some others arrested during an attack by motorcycle riders on its Ipaja Division on Monday.

Panic had earlier ensued in a section of Lagos State when more than 100 hoodlums stormed the Ipaja Police Station.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, revealed in a statement that the attack stemmed from the enforcement of the existing ban on motorcycles in the state.

He also revealed that over 200 motorcycles were impounded and one locally made firearm retrieved from the attackers.

He wrote, “Officers of Ipaja Police Division have successfully repelled an early morning attack on their division by motorcycle operators.

“The attack came after police officers commenced the day’s enforcement of the existing ban on motorcycles in Lagos State.

“The attackers, who came in their hundreds, stormed the station with dangerous weapons, shooting at the officers and attempting to overrun the station.”

Hundeyin further disclosed that officers at the division defended themselves until reinforcements from the Area Command and the Rapid Response Squad arrived.

He added, “While officers and men of the division held their ground, reinforcement came from the Area Command and the Rapid Response Squad. Two of the attackers were fatally injured during the attack.

“However, this did not deter the officers from accomplishing their mandate, as over two hundred motorcycles were impounded and some of the attackers arrested, with one locally made firearm retrieved.”

He also emphasised that the command “will not be cowed into abdicating its responsibilities of enforcement of all duly passed laws and maintenance of law and order within the society.”

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Gov Otti Abolishes ‘State Of Origin’ Dichotomy In Abia State

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has said there will be no division in Abia under his watch as indigenes and non indigenes resident in the state will be treated equally.

He said that his administration does not care where a resident of Abia comes from but was only interested in the competence and what the person can offer the state in service.

Otti said this at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Umuahia on Sunday during the thanksgiving service to mark his one year in office. “I think what is most important is also that this administration does not discriminate, we don’t even want to know what part of Abia you’re coming from.

“We don’t even want to know what part of Igboland you come from. Once you reside here (in Abia), you are a part of us.

“That is why today, we have for the first time a Permanent Secretary, who does not come from Abia State, who does not come from any state in the South East but comes from Edo state,” Governor Otti stated.

Otti, who said that his administration refused to throw a celebration party for his one year in office, announced that a multi-billion naira terminal project which would have all motor parks and a railway station in one place, would be flagged off by his administration in Umuahia on Tuesday. According to him, the city of Umuahia, which he described in the past as a glorified village, would witness a total infrastructural turnaround in the next one year with railway coming from Aba

He appealed for more prayers and support from Abia citizens, saying that his administration would continue to do the right thing no matter the criticism from the opposition. Preaching a sermon at the thanksgiving service, Rev Uma Onwunta of the Presbyterian Church, said God expects thanksgiving from his people.

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