The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Thursday said troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation HADIN KAI in the North-east and HADARIN DAJI in the North-west neutralised 45 Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists.
The military high command also said troops rescued 119 kidnapped victims in different locations in the theatre of operation.
Director Defence Media Operations Major-General Musa Danmadami stated this in Abuja during the bi-weekly briefing on troop’s operational successes in the various theaters within the 6 geo-political zones of the country.
Also, Danmadami said troops arrested 34 terrorists and kidnappers in the last two weeks.
Similarly, he said a total of 1,506 terrorists and members of their families comprising 154 males, 514 females and 838 children surrendered to troops at different locations within the theatre of operation.
“On 12 March 2023, troops while on fighting patrol intercepted a vehicle and arrested 6 Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorist logistics suppliers at Kalari Abdul village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
“Troops recovered 1 vehicle, 8 mobile phones, the sum of N2, 226,450.00 only amongst other items,” he said.
The defence spokesperson further said on the 12th of March, 2023, troops arrested two suspected kidnappers while attempting to collect ransom for a kidnapped victim at Gegu-Beki village in Kogi local government area of Kogi state.
He said preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect was sent to collect the sum of N2, 000, 000.00.
According to him, “cumulatively, troops in the North-east zone recovered 16 AK47 rifles, 1 x 60mm mortar bomb, 10 dane guns, 12 dummy rifles, 1 pump action gun, 1 PKT gun, 280 rounds of 7.62mm special, 118 rounds of 7.62 x 50mm NATO and 13 rounds of 5.56mm ammo.
“Others include 10 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm NATO ammo, 1 round of 12.7mm NATO, 17 AK47 magazines, 1 firing pin, 1 mechanic tools box, 2 knives, 6 motorcycles, 24 mobile phones, 41 live stocks, assorted food items, 1 vehicle, 4 sim and other sundry items as well as the cash sum of N2,234,820.00 only.”
He said “all recovered items, rescued civilians, and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action while surrendered Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and members of their families are being profiled for further action.”
In a related development, the Kogi state House of Assembly Thursday suspended nine of its members for alleged gross misconduct bordering on terrorism.
The suspension also affected seven council chairmen and three vice chairmen on account of anti-party activities.
The suspension of the lawmakers was sequel to a correspondence from the state Governor, Yahaya Bello, to Speaker of the House, Prince Mathew Kolawole, while that of the council chairmen and vice chairmen was based on a correspondence from the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Bello.
Reading the two letters at plenary, Thursday, Kolawole said the official letter from the governor alleged that the lawmakers were involved in terrorist activities based on security report.
He, however, said the correspondence from the state APC chairman alleged that the chairmen and some vice chairmen carried out anti-party activities in the just concluded general elections.
Contributing to debate on the allegation levelled against them, Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon Alfa Rabiu Momoh Ankpa 11 state constituency, supported the suspension of the lawmakers, saying the state is bigger than any personal interest and that lawmakers should not be found contravening the law.
Also, Hon. Collins Musa representing Omala state constituency, aligned himself with Momoh’s submission, arguing that terrorism-related issue was too grievous to be swept under the carpet.
The House, therefore, placed the nine lawmakers on suspension until investigation is concluded.
The suspended lawmakers include, Daniya Rayin of Bassa constituency, Muktar Bajeh, the majority leader of the House from Okehi constituency, Kilani Olumo, Ijumu constituency, Moses Akande, Ogori-Magongo constituency, Lawi Ahmed, Okene 1 constituency, Atule Igbunu, Ibaji constituency, Suleiman Attajachi Musa, Idah constituency, Aderonke Aro, Yagba West constituency and Bello Hassan Abdullahi from Ajaokuta constituency.
Also, the suspended chairmen and their vice chairmen include, Ogori-magongo, Kabba-Bunu, and Bassa, while those whose chairmen alone were suspended include Yagba West, Adavi, Ajaokuta, and Ibaji.
In another development, the House also placed the Lokoja local government council Chairman, Hon Dansabe Muhammed, on suspension based on allegation of misappropriation of funds amounting to over N150 million.
The suspension followed a letter from the vice chairman and the councillors, accusing the council boss of reckless financial spending and misappropriation of funds without recourse to legal order.
A seven-man ad-hoc committee headed by deputy speaker with Bayero Jiya as secretary was set up by the House to investigate all those on suspension.
Niger police rescue 10 abducted children from Abuja orphanage
Abducted children rescued
Meanwhile, the Niger state Police Command has unraveled the mystery behind missing children in Suleja, and rescued 10 stolen children from an orphanage home in Lugbe area of Abuja.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, stated this in a statement issued Thursday in Minna.
He said three suspects namely Saviour Ebuka, 20yrs and Mary Peter, 25yrs, were arrested at Tunga-Maje via Gwagwalada area of FCT Abuja, while Chinwe Ugwu of Adorable Orphanage home was arrested in Lugbe area of Abuja.
Abiodun explained that “on 20/10/2022 at about 1125hrs, an incident of suspected abduction of two children was reported at ‘B’ Div. Suleja, that on 19/10/2022 at about 2100hrs, two children of age 5 years and 3 years both boy and girl of water board area of Suleja were missing and were suspected to have been taken away by a new tenant who just moved into the compound.
“In the course of painstaking investigation, the Anti-kidnapping unit of the Command trailed the suspects and arrested one Saviour Ebuka 20yrs and Mary Peter 25yrs at Tunga-Maje via Gwagwalada area of FCT Abuja on 20/01/2023 and 18/02/2023 respectively.”
He said during interrogation, Saviour confessed to having conspired with one Ifeoma and Patience, both presently at large, to perpetrate the act, because Ifeoma agreed to pay him and Patience N250, 000 each and that only Patience was paid, while he is yet to be paid.
According to the PPRO, the children were abducted and taken to Ifeoma at the same address where she had an illegal orphanage home called “Famous Kids home,” adding that Ifeoma later left for an unknown destination and transferred the children to another person, now identified as Chinwe Ugwu.
He said: “The Police operatives intensified efforts on the investigation and later identified one Chinwe Egwu 49yrs of Lugbe area Abuja as the illegal custodian of the children.”
DSP Abiodun said the police team proceeded to Lugbe, where the said Chinwe was arrested on 13/03/2023.
“She was found to be in charge of one Adorable Orphanage home, where seven children were rescued, including the two reportedly abducted children, Abdullahi Umar 5yr, and Rahamat Umar 3 years,” the Police further said.
He said five children among the seven rescued were immediately handed over to the Social Welfare Department of FCT, and that the three other children abducted from different locations in Suleja and Tafa were equally rescued from the said Chinwe on 14/03/2023 due to her confessions.
He said “effort is ongoing to arrest the said Ifeoma and Patience, as the case is under investigation, and suspects arrested so far will be prosecuted accordingly as soon as the investigation is concluded.”