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Police Parades three over Kaduna Baptist School Kidnap, Church Robbers

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The Nigeria Police Force has paraded three suspected kidnappers in connection with the abductions of 126 students of Bethel Baptist School, Kaduna.

The suspects, cladded in military uniform were paraded by police spokesman, CP Frank Mba Thursday in Abuja.

They are Isiaka Lawal, Muazu Abubakar, and Adamu Bello.

 The suspects who confessed to the crime, revealed that they were a 25-man gang that abducted the students.

According to Abubakar, 27, their desperate need for money  propelled them to commit the crime. 

According to Abubakar, “Twenty five of us carried out the operation. We kidnapped 126 students and I got N100,000 share from the money.”

The Police high command’s anti-crime outfit, Special Tactical Squad (STS) led by DCP Yusuf Kolo also arrested a Nasarawa state born, fake Army Captain, Monday Akawu who specialised in stealing musical instruments from churches in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Akawu, 39 is said to be a member of a criminal syndicate that robbed more than 16 churches within Nyanya and Karu axis of the FCT.

He was paraded alongside his accomplice and buyer of the stolen church equipment, Joseph Orazulike, 35, resident of EFAB Estate, Maraba, Karu.  

While parading the suspects, Mba  said, the suspects have committed a “sacrilegious act” and thereby urged church leaders to provide “more security around their churches.”

The suspects, Akawu confessed that, he has participated in the burglary of at least 16 churches located in Nasarawa and some parts of Abuja. He also said most of the churches he robbed include The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM).

He further stated that, he usually dressed in Army uniform to beat security checks after each robbery.

According to him, “I am here because I stole from the church. I have so far stolen from sixteen churches, which includes Mountain of Fire and Redeemed Christian Church of God.

“When I break into a church, my boss taught me to bring those instruments out while a vehicle comes with Nigeria Army uniforms; I change into the uniform in order to bypass security on the road.

“I usually sell each piano keyboard between 60,000 to 90,000 naira depending on how neat they are.”

Monday is said to be an ex-convict who was jailed at Kuja Prison over a rape case while Joseph was also arrested for receiving stolen items.

Briefing newsmen further on some of the recent operations and investigative breakthroughs by operatives of the special Tactical squad in Abuja, the Force Spokesman said, a total of 50 suspects comprising of 48 male and two females were arrested.

The suspects, he said have been indicted for different offences ranging from murder, kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery, car theft, illegal possessions of prohibited firearms, possession and distribution of illicit drugs among other offences established against them. 

According to Mba, items recovered from the arrested suspects include: 26 assorted firearms, made up 13 AK 47 rifles, four soft machine guns, four locally made pistols, four dane guns among others.

Also recovered are 2, 701 live ammunition of AK 47, 20 live GPMG ammunition, 12 Piano Keyboard and other electronic appliances stolen from churches.

Mba revealed that, investigations conducted showed how Monday Akawu, the principal suspect has had a long pathway with crime.

The suspect, he explained has come to the “end of the road as the force would do everything possible within the law to ensure that he spent the remaining years in jail.”

This is as he urged Churches in Abuja and across the country to ensure physical security in and around the churches as investigation with the suspects indicated clearly athat the suspects considered the churches vulnerable and weak targets because they believe that they are no guards or security of any sort provided.

“We encourage church operators and leaders not just to provide human guards but also install cameras in their churches and ensure sufficient lighting in and around your churches.

“In addition, we are also calling on all church leaders in and around Abuja that might have been affected in recent time to visit STS office with means of identification to recover their stolen items.

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Crime

Marwa raises alarm over women involvement in drugs, damage to family values

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***CRISA celebrates 30th anniversary at 31

The chairman/chief executive officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has raised alarm over findings that women are neck deep in substance abuse considering the ripple effect on the family value, society.

The NDLEA boss spoke at the 5th Biennial national symposium on Drugs and Drug Policy in Nigeria organised by the Center for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA) at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja

He said Findings from the National Drug Use Survey (2018) conducted by the UNODC painted a very dangerous picture on the family value system

He said more worrisome is the finding that among every four (4) drug users in Nigeria one (1) is a woman. 

“This statistic is dangerous when you say one in every four is a woman because first of all she can raise 10 or more users 

“This underscores the important role of women, so if that woman is taking cocaine and the children are watching what will happen? That bad example will already set them on the part of drug abuse so when we say 1 in 4 it is a very dangerous statistics.”

He indicated that findings from the National Drug Use Survey (2018) conducted by the UNODC also revealed that 14.4% or 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15 – 64 years had used a psychoactive substance in the past year for non-medical purposes.

‘Meaning that One in Seven persons has used some substances other than alcohol and tobacco. 

“Above findings of the survey by UNODC gave a troubling portrait of drug abuse in Nigeria and we can no longer live in denial that Nigeria has a thriving illicit drug culture.”

He said there is no doubt that Substance use impacts negatively on the individual, family and the society in general. 

“Substance abuse affects the physical, social and psychological levels of the user and family members. 

Hence he said Substance use and abuse around the world including Nigeria is on the increase in terms of the proportion of the world’s population. 

“The World including Nigeria is still grappling with the 2019 outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic which has brought major challenges to health care systems and public health policies globally as it requires novel treatment and prevention strategies.  

He pointed out that evidence has shown that COVID 19 infections are higher or more common with people diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders (SUD).

Hence addiction care must be reinforced in order to avoid complications of SUD and COVID-19   

“Reducing the demand for illicit drugs in the society depends to a large extent on the successful treatment of existing drug users.” According to him this fact accounts for the shift in global drug policy viz the treatment of drug problems as a public health issue. 

“Consequently, we have operationalised our Standard Practice and Policy Guidelines, a treatment and rehabilitation document developed in conjunction with UNODC. 

“The document, like a field manual, provides synergy among our counsellors and further boosts our capability at treatment and rehabilitation.

He commended CRISA, for the Organization’s commitment and contribution in the prevention of substance use through science and research, prevention, treatment and training of professionals. 

“CRISA has over the years, created a platform for public discussion on substance and alcohol abuse and this year’s International Conference could not have come at a better time than now. 

“This year’s theme “Substance Use: Addictive Behaviours and COVID 19 is apt and timely due to the increasing prevalence of substance use in our society coupled with the challenges posed by COVID 19.”

He expressed the hope that deliberations at the conference will proffer the way forward to rid our Nation of the drug menace.  

“I therefore, enjoin all critical stakeholders and individuals to join this war against this growing threat of substance use in our nation as the NDLEA cannot do it all alone. “Time has therefore come for all hands to be on deck. Together we can do it.”

Chairman House Committee on Judiciary Hon. Onofiok Akpan Luke,   said the immediate predictable response as it were, should be punishment for drug abuse but he said such response has not been effective these past decades.

“Research and very delicate studies have yielded interesting results, indicating that most drug users who were incarcerated, did not return from supposed correctional facilities better than they went in, whereas those who were committed to treatment facilities turned out with more positive outcomes; most were likely to kick the habit. 

“This has strengthened the conclusion that treatment provides the best alternative for minimizing and eventually stopping the drug abuse and criminal activity cycle.

“The above situation should impel government and policy makers to make available funding to establish treatment facilities and to support and expand existing ones like the Drop-in-centres, which were earlier initiated and supported by the European Union/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (EU/UNODC).

The executive director of the center Professor Isidor Obot said  the 2021 symposium is the fifth in a series of biennial events that was launched in 2013 in Uyo. 

“The national symposium is different from the international conference series that began in Jos in 1991 and also runs every two years. One focuses on relevant issues to drug policy in our country and the other attracts participants from across the world to a scientific forum on Drugs, Alcohol and Addictive Behaviours in Africa.”

He said the theme of the 2021 symposium is Substance Use, Addictive Behaviours and COVID-19. 

“It is not surprising that we decided to focus attention on the link between psychoactive substance use and a pandemic that has wreaked havoc and continues to inflict pain across the world, including in our country. 

“The use of illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin, and licit substances like alcohol is asscciated with COVID-19 in several ways. 

“In countries where data are available we have seen that the stress, anxiety and depression brought about by COVID have led to an increase in the abuse of stimulants, opioids, alcohol and benzodiazepines. 

“During the pandemic we have seen a spike in opioid overdose and related mortality; harmful use of alcohoi (in terms of frequency, quantity and type) has been reported in several countries; and people with substance use disorders are more likely than others to develop COVID-19 and experience worse outcomes. 

He said the pandemic has also had a clear impact on drug supply. 

“Because of disruptions in availability, drug users have resorted to high-risk behaviours to acquire drugs or use substances they are not familiar with, which have resulted in overdose deaths in some countries. 

“Services for people with drug use disorders have been affected by the pandemic”

He said they have scheduled almost 90 papers for presentation at the symposium on topics like epidemiology of drug use in Nigeria, treatment and prevention, harm reduction, drup policy, behavioural addictions, drug s and mental health and COVID-19 in Nigeria.

He said they use the event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of CRISA even though they are 31 this year.

According to him COVID-19 prevented the celebration last year

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KAICIID fellows urges gov’t to intensify fight against insecurity, terrorism

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King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) has urged Nigerian Government, parents and the general public to intensify their efforts in ensuring that insecurity becomes a thing of the past.

The Nigerian fellows of international dialogue Centre in a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, issued by Stephen Ojapa, decried the rising insecurity which has affected all and sundry, regardless of age, social or political class.

Ojapa explained that the act of kidnapping has become a thriving business, hence the urgent need for government, other state actors and stakeholders to do more.

The fellows in the statement also recommended that religious leaders should “instill the correct teachings of the scriptures,” and also “deradicalise religious fundamentalists and fanatics.”

The fellows recommended that government “Mobilizes the Citizenry on the dangers posed by kidnapping, violent extremism and banditry,”
They also recommended partnership with NGOs, CSOs, and other stakeholders/Donor Agencies to address these challenges.

The fellows urged the general public and parents to “go back to the communal life of raising godly children.”

Ojapa decried the spate of killings and maiming of human beings, recounting the increasing rate of kidnapping, displacement of both young and old, and those killed along the line.

The statement reads, “Religious, political and traditional leaders, women, girls and the aged are also being kidnapped at different places all for ransom or settling scores. “While some were fortunate to be rescued, most times with huge ransom paid, some are killed or die in the hands of their captors, while some have remained with their captors for years now.

“From the combination of unknown gun men, terrorism and banditry, religious and ethnic violence, Boko Haram, and killer herders ravaging almost all parts of the country; available statistics has it that in 2021, well over 6,000 people have been killed around the country.

“Several houses, businesses, government facilities and religious places of worship worth billions of naira have also been destroyed and 210,000 people have been internally displaced and over 70,000 fled to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

“According to these reports as we are all witnesses, there has been ‘harvest of abductions’, with over 1, 774 abductees within the period under review. With the most recent national security threat involving prison breaks, destruction of security posts and bombing of the rail lines in Kaduna State.”

The statement also recommended that “government should look into the welfare of these security agents and their families for motivation and compensation
Nigeria is blessed with so many valuable human and natural resources, if peace is restored, there will be development, friendship, community spirit and unity will be seen and the lost glory of our dear nation will be restored. We as KAICIID Fellows in Nigeria believe we can do that; and the time which waits for no one is now.

The President of Nigerian KAICIID fellows, Dr Auwal Farouk said that Nigeria bears the risk of Educational degradation if security is not improved upon.

He recommended that modern technology should be adopted by security agents to further combat insecurity.

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Crime

Police arrest 3 suspected kidnappers in Kogi, recover arms, POS machine –PPRO

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By Friday Idachaba

The Police in Kogi have arrested three suspects believed to belong to a gang of kidnappers terrorising motorists on Itobe-Anyigba highway.

They are Danlami Shauibu, Kabiru Amodu and Adejoh Tijani all of Adumu village in Ofu Local Government suspected to be responsible for series of kidnappings in the area.

A statement signed by DSP William Ovye Aya, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), on Saturday, in Lokoja, said that the suspects were arrested by Police operatives attached to Itobe Division in Ajaokuta Area Command.

Aya said that Danlami Shauibu and Kabiru Amodu were initially arrested on Oct. 16, by a Police team, following an intelligence-led operation.

He said the operation was conducted to curb criminal activities, especially high volume of kidnappings in Itobe and its environs particularly, the Itobe-Anyigba highway.

The PPRO revealed that during preliminary investigations, one of the suspects gave useful information that led to the arrest of the third suspect, Adejoh Tijani of the same address on Oct. 22, at about 8:30am.

The Kogi Command’s image maker said upon a search of their houses, the Police recovered one cut to size single barrel gun and a locally made pistol.

Other items recovered, according to him, were one POS Machine, one battle axe, a face mask, five live cartridges and assorted charms.

He said that efforts were being made to arrest other members of the gang, and that the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.

To this end, he said, the state Commissioner of Police Idrisu Dauda Dabban has commended the officers for their thoroughness and the breakthrough, while assuring members of the public of the Command’s determination, in synergy with other security agencies in the state, to ensure adequate security of lives and property.

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