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Traditional Ruler, Two Others Killed In Bloody Benue Land Dispute



A protracted land dispute between the people of Okete in Ohimini Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state and the neighbouring community of Otukpo-Nobi in Otukpo LGA over the ownership of

Amla-Icho community land has claimed the lives of a traditional ruler and two others in the feuding communities.

It was gathered that the age long dispute was triggered last week when the Chairman of Otukpo LGA, Alfred Omakwu allegedly sent a bulldozer to the disputed land to enable him commence work on the creation of a layout in the area.

The presence of the earth moving equipment angered the people of Okete who moved to stop the destruction of the cultivated land.

In his account on the incident, the Chairman of Otukpo LGA said “the problem is that the Okete people lost it. It is a dispute between Amla in Otukpo and Okete in Ohimini LGA and a total of three people lost their lives in the crisis.

“What happened was that they (the Okete people) used to go and farm in Amla land but sometimes last year when we wanted to develop a layout there, the Okete people went to report to the Och’Idoma that their farm produce were there and the Och’Idoma directed that no layout should be done until they harvest their products.

“February this year, they harvested their produce and the Och’Idoma called them and informed them that by March this year, Otukpo would go ahead with their layout and that they should not farm there again.

“But when the bulldozers returned they said they had farmed there already and reported the matter to their Second Class Chief as well as their LGA Chairman who called me and I told them that the Och’Idoma asked them not to farm there again because of the layouts.

“So when the bulldozer went there on Friday, they came with their lawyer who called me and I told him everything and said if they want to go to court, it was their right.

“They demanded that the bulldozer stopped work but their lawyer advised that they should wait for him to get an injunction from the court but they said they could not wait.

“They then went to the First class chief of Otukpo/Ohimini who called Och’Idoma and the Och’Idoma said they should not stop the people doing the layout because he asked them not to farm their again.

“At that point they went there and opened fire on the people; they killed one and shot two people and burnt all their motorbikes about 10 of them.

“Then Otukpo retaliated the next day; they also burnt some houses and killed one person and killed another person in Amla making two.

“But we have maintained calm. The Police Commissioner summoned all of us for a peace meeting so we are restoring peace now among both parties. We have agreed that all the culprits will be arrested and brought to book.”

Countering his Otukpo counterpart, the Ohimini LG Chairman, Samson Okoh who also acknowledged that the dispute was over land said “there is a place called Amla, it’s close to Okete. The Otukpo Chairman took the bulldozers to the place where the Okete people used to farm for years and according to him he wanted to do a layout. So he went and destroyed their farm crops.

“When the Okete people demanded an explanation, the Amla people said the land does not belong to the Okete people but to the Amla people.

“According to what I was told, when the argument ensued somehow one of them from Otukpo pulled the trigger and shot but the bullet mistakenly hit a fellow Otukpo person.

“Then on Saturday night the Amla people went and reinforced and barricaded the Okete people, burnt houses, beat up ans killed one boy. And on Sunday around 10am when I went to take the boy they killed to the mortuary, the Alma people went to the place again and burnt 17 houses, burnt motorcycles, slaughtered a Clan Head Chief Sunday Okpe, and shot five other persons who we took to the Teaching Hospital in Otukpo for treatment.”

The Chairman who informed that the community had been deserted said the parties had been summoned by the Police Commissioner over the matter and that efforts were on to apprehend the masterminds of the crisis.

On whether the Paramount ruler of Idoma land, Och’Idoma Agaba-Idu John Odogbo asked his people not to farm on the said land again, the Chairman said, “I am not aware of that but the Otukpo Chairman claimed so. I was not told by the Och’Idoma to tell the people not to farm there.

“Moreover, the Och’Idoma cannot tell the people to stop farming where they have been farming for several years without compensation or settlement and you just take the bulldozer to destroy their crops on the hectares of land they eke a living from.”

Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene who confirmed the development said the command received the report of one death though she was awaiting full details of the incident.

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Police Kill 2 Suspected Kidnappers In Kogi



The Kogi State Police Command has said that two suspected kidnappers terrorising people in Obajana communities in Lokoja LGA were killed on Monday in an encounter with its operatives.

The command’s spokesman, SP Williams Aya, who disclosed this to City & Crime on Tuesday, explained that following a tip off on May 27, at about 1130hrs that armed hoodlums were sighted inside the Ankumi Forest in Obajana, men of the police command swung into action which led to the killing of two of the hoodlums in a shootout.

He said, “Immediately the Divisional Police Officer of Obajana, CSP Oguche Richard, mobilised his patrol team, in collaboration with Fulani vigilantes, and moved to the area at about 1430hrs.

“On sighting the team, the hoodlums opened fire on them, and the patrol team responded heavily. Two of the hoodlums were fatally wounded (killed) while the others escaped with bullet wounds.

“Items recovered from the scene include one AK-47 rifle with two magazines and two rounds of live ammunition. Effort is ongoing to trail and apprehend the fleeing suspects.”

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FG Flags Off Distribution Of 1,000 Gas Cylinders To FCT Residents



The federal government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (Gas), and private sector players have partnered to donate 1,000 cooking gas cylinders to low-income households in the six area councils of the FCT.

Speaking at the Apo Resettlement in Abuja yesterday, the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, said the distribution marked the Inaugural LPG Penetration Programme and the LPG Bottle Distribution as part of the Clean Cooking Initiative of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The Minister said, ‘This event is an ideal fit for the president’s theme: ‘From Gas to Prosperity: Renewed Hope’. The administration’s determination to increase domestic gas use has been reaffirmed by our president on several occasions.

“We’re not only introducing a programme today; we’re on a mission to change millions of Nigerians’ lives in our six geographical zones. By 2030, we want to convert 250,000 houses a year to clean cooking gas, which is a lofty but attainable target.”

Ekpo noted that it was impossible to overestimate the negative consequences of utilising conventional fuels, adding that their contribution to deforestation, environmental degradation and harmful health impacts from indoor air pollution was substantial.

The  Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, thanked President Tinubu and Ekpo for the distribution initiative, saying women were the worst affected from the hazards  of the use of charcoal and firewood as cooking fuels.

Minister of Youths, Dr Jamila Bio Ibrahim, described the event as a ground-breaking initiative that would impact millions of Nigerians who used firewood, charcoal and kerosene.

She said there were lots of job creation opportunities along the LPG value chain, and expressed delight with the the Gas to Prosperity programme.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, Ambassador Nicholas Agbo Ella, noted that the challenges were enormous but surmountable.

He urged the beneficiaries to deploy the usage with safety in mind in order not to endanger their families.

The Coordinator of the Decade of Gas, Mr Ed Ubong, said, “We are targeting mainly women, and that informs our location of distribution.

“Cooking gas is cleaner, and we have an enormous gas resource. So, we are partnering with the private sector to deploy about 250,000 every year.

The CEO of Smart Gas, Dr Yinka Opeke, provided on-the-spot guidance on how to safely use the cylinder.

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Police Officer Caught Collecting Bribe On Camera Demoted



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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