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BREAKING: Bandits kidnap two Kaduna journalists, wives, others

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Some bandits on Saturday night invaded Dahjonu community in Millennium City of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State and abducted two journalists -The Nation’s Abdulgafar Alabelewe and Blueprint newspaper’s AbdulRaheem Abdu as well as their wives and children.Alabelewe is also the current chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kaduna State Council.

One of the victims’ family members, Taofeeq Olayemi, who confirmed the incident, said the bandits invaded the area around 10.30 pm and shot indiscriminately before carrying out their act.

Olayemi said the bandits kidnapped Alabelewe, his wife, and two of his children, while Aodu and his wife, who was also sick, were kidnapped, leaving behind their sick daughter.

He said, “Initially, they picked Abdulgafar, his wife, and three of his children and a girl staying with them before asking the girl to return with one of the children and left with Abdulgafar, his wife, and two children.

“They shattered their doors and windows and removed their burglary after scaling the fence.”

Olayemi, who is also a neighbour to the victims, added, “They came around 10:30 pm on Saturday and started shooting indiscriminately.

“They first forced Aodu’s door open and picked him and his wife and left their sick daughter behind.

“Then, they entered Abdulgafar’s house through the fence and jumped into his house.

“They went straight into his bedroom and picked him, his wife, and two of their kids and left immediately, after which the vigilantes arrived and started shooting into the air.

”As of the time of filing this report, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mansir Hassan, could not be reached for comments as his telephone line was not connecting.

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Kogi Security: Hunters Burst Kidnappers Hideout, Neutralized Many and Rescued Kidnapped Victims (Photos)

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The security architecture of the Kogi State Governor, Alh. Ahmed Usman Ododo has started to deliver as several bandits were neutralized as local hunters stormed Kidnappers hideout in Yagba West acting on credible intelligence to rescue Kidnapped victims.

Last week, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo distributed security kits to local hunters recruited by his administration, charging them to go after criminals and make Kogi safe.

The trained hunters were able to rescue all the three kidnapped victims at the camp and some of the bandits escaped with gun wounds.

Addressing newsmen at Odo Ere, the headquarters of Yagba West Local Government Area, the State Commissioner for Information and Communications said the resolve of the Governor to stamp out criminality from Kogi State is total. He thanked the hunters for their gallantry, assuring them of the State Government support.

The Transition Committee Chairman of Yagba West, Hon. Tosin Olokun said the hunters were able to achieve the feat with the help of credible intelligence.

He thanked the Governor for empowering and emboldening hunters across the state to combat crime, assuring the people of Yagba West of adequate security at all times.

The rescued victims also narrated their ordeals in the hands of the Kidnappers, thanking the Local Government Chairman and the Governor for prioritizing security.

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Court slams N10bn bail bond on Buhari’s ex-Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman

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Justice James Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja has slammed a N10bn bail bond on the former Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, in the N33bn money laundering offences brought against him by the federal government.

The bail bond must be endorsed by a reputable bank in Nigeria, while the ten billion naira would be forfeited to the federal government in case the defendant bolts away from trial.

The Judge issued the order on Friday while delivering a ruling in a bail application filed and argued by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Femi Ate on behalf of the former minister.

In the alternative, the defendant is to produce two sureties in the sum of N10B each who must have properties worth the minimum of N750M within Abuja.

The properties must have registered titles that would be verified by the registrar of the court, along with evidence of three years of tax payments.

Besides, the former minister and his two sureties are to deposit their international travelling passport with the court and shall not travel out of the country without the approval of the court.

Justice Omotosho ordered that the former minister be taken to Kuje prison pending the time he would perfect the bail conditions.

At the time of this report, the former minister, who was visibly ruffled by the bail conditions, was busy, along with his friends, seeking to meet up with the conditions to escape being taken to Kuje prison.

The EFCC, on behalf of the federal government, filed a 12-count money laundering charge against the Mamman and was arraigned on Thursday, July 11 but pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was alleged to have committed money laundering offences to the tune of N33 billion.

The former minister served under former President Buhari from 2019 to 2021.

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JUST IN: Reps Probe ₦1.5bn Allegedly Diverted By Women Affairs Ministry

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The House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development is probing the ₦1.5bn meant for the payment of contractors, but allegedly diverted by principal officers of the Ministry of Women Affairs.

The Director of Finance of the ministry, Aloy Ifeakandu, during an interactive session with the committee on Thursday, said he only complied with official directives from his superiors, saying the records were available.The session followed a petition by contractors of the ministry to the House of Representatives, over non-payment of contracts executed running into billions of naira.Speaking during the interactive session, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Kafilat Ogbara alluded that the ministry initiated new contracts not captured in the 2023 budget and diverted (₦1.5bn) funds for old contractors.She added that the ministry while owing contractors, awarded fresh contracts in 15 states of the federation, similarly not captured in the 2023 appropriation.

“Money for contractors has not been paid and money has been diverted, so how do you pay these contractors” She asked.She said there is an ongoing probe of the ministry by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on overhead release of November/December, 2023, to the tune of ₦1.5bn.The petitioners, according to Ogbara also alleged that the ministry purchased seven tricycles for a military Barack in Abuja, an allegation a procurement officer of the ministry denied.Continuing, the committee noted that the ministry signed a memorandum of understanding MoU with the American University of Nigeria, Yola for the payment of Chibok girls’ school fees for seven years.

Responding to some of the allegations, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda who exonerated himself, explained that in “2023 we had a total budget of ₦13.6bn. The total release was ₦3.4bn, translating to 25 per cent, budget utilisation ₦3.4bn, while unreleased balance stood at N10.2bn”.However, the DFA, said “I resumed at the ministry in September 2023, I wouldn’t know what happened before I came.“The individual contractors have their files, it can be traced, as at the time I took over, there was no balance in the vote” he said.Amidst the controversy, correspondence from the office of the Accountant General of the federation revealed that the said ₦1.5 bn has been released to the ministry.

“Since the minister came on board, no payment has been made, the permanent secretary said the minister ordered him not to pay any contractor” the petitioners said.Meanwhile, the committee has summoned the minister of women affairs and social development, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, to appear on Tuesday.“We are giving till Tuesday for the ministry to bring all documents to come and defend where the N1.5bn disappeared to”.The committee also ordered the ministry to stop all contract processes in 2024, “until we resolve this matter”.Additionally, the committee also sought to see the special account for the Chibok girls and the MoU.“We want to see the account and documents” Ogbara added

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