According to ThisDay newspaper, the suspects, a 37-year-old woman identified as Ruth Okoronkwo and her brother, as well as one Emmanuel Kelechi, a taxi driver, were nabbed by soldiers of the 20 Model Battalion, Serti manning a check point at Sabin Gida along Jalingo-Wukari road.
Parading the suspects before journalists at the Police Headquarters in Jalingo before handing them over to the police, the Commanding Officer, 20 Model Battalion, Serti, Lt Col Musa Adamu, assured that the Army and other sister security agencies would continue to work together against criminality.
He said the suspects were in custody of two children when they were apprehended following a distress call from a family member of one of the victims who was kidnapped at Iware, a community also along Jalingo-Wukari road.
He said, “Officers of 20 Model Battalion, Serti arrested the kidnappers following a distress call from family members of one of the kidnapped victims taken from Iware under Ardo-Kola local government area of Taraba state.
“The suspected Kidnappers claimed the children belonged to them when they were intercepted at the checkpoint but when the family members who made the distress call came, they identified their kidnapped son, Ibrahim Ali who is only two years old.
“Interrogation of the criminals by the troops revealed that the other kidnapped victim, John Emmanuel, who is one year and four months old, as disclosed by one of the kidnap suspect, was picked in Yola, Adamawa state, whose parents are yet to be contacted.”
Speaking to Journalists, the 37 year old Ruth who claimed to be a business woman said she was recruited to kidnap infants for the sum of N50,000.
According to her “this is my first time of doing something like this. I was promised the sum of N50,000 if I could assist them to kidnap children.
“I have known him (Emmanuel Kelechi) for a long time as a taxi driver who used to assist me to carry my goods because I am a business woman. I am pleading for forgiveness and would never do it again.”
But Emmanuel Kelechi, who also spoke with Journalists said he’s been doing the business for over a month and admitted engaging Okoronkwo to help him kidnap children for someone who promised to pay him N200,000 for every infant delivered.
“I have been doing this for over a month now. Someone I met at Umuahia introduced me into this.
He told me if I can get an infant, he would pay me N200,000. As an ordinary driver, I was enticed by the offer. He said he was going to sell the children to couples looking for children.
“So when I took my younger brother to Yola, where he was to resume school, I met this woman whom I discussed with and both agreed to do the job together.”
Also speaking to newsmen, Mr Ali Ibrahim, father of rescued Ibrahim gave glory to God for rescuing his son and expressed appreciation to the Army for their efforts.
Pressure On Buhari To Sue South Africa For Xenophobic Attacks
The federal government says it will not rule out any option in its response to xenophobic attacks against Nigerians by South Africa, The Guardian reports.
It stated this following the advice by a former External Affairs Minister and Professor of Political Science, Bolaji Akinyemi, urging the Nigerian government to take South Africa to the International Criminal Court of Justice.
The violence against Nigerians and other Africans in parts of South Africa had erupted on September 1, forcing the Nigerian government to evacuate its citizens from the country. Akinyemi accused the South African government of failing to protect Nigerians and making statements unbecoming of a responsible country.
According to him, Nigeria must sue because the attacks were in violation of Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. He said they also violated Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers.
He further accused South African authorities of sponsoring or condoning the attacks, noting that the stance of the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor, amounted to Acrophobia.
He noted that statements by South African leaders such as Pandor, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and former Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi encouraged the latest attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals.
But former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku said it would not be wise for Nigeria to approach the ICC on the matter, stressing: “The two countries have large mutual interests to protect for themselves and for Africa.”
He said the statement of apology by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday at the funeral of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in Harare “should be welcomed and high-level diplomacy should now be employed by Nigeria to de-escalate the situation and make South Africa pay compensation”.
Anyaoku described the recurring aggression as provocative, given Nigeria’s role in ushering in non-racial democracy in South Africa and his (Anyaoku’s) seminal role as Commonwealth Secretary-General in the negotiations.
“It is very saddening,” he said, “to see the current xenophobic violence against Nigerians and other Africans legally residing and doing business in South Africa. But maturity and internal African solution must be brought to bear on the situation.”
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina and Special Adviser on Diaspora Abike Dabiri-Erewa said only the ministers of foreign affairs and information could comment on Akinyemi’s advice.“All matters relating to diplomatic moves or foreign affairs policies should be directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs,” Dabiri-Erewa said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama told The Guardian that Nigeria “cannot rule anything out for now” when asked if the country would sue South Africa. “We are still receiving reports from our High Commission and the Consulate General, evaluating them and weighing options,” Onyeama said.
Minister of Information Lai Mohammed had not replied to the inquiry sent to him at the time of filing this report.
Ramaphosa, meanwhile, has dispatched three special envoys to seven African countries to deliver messages of pan-African unity and solidarity following the attacks, said presidential spokesperson, Khusela Diko.
The envoys will reassure fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity. They will also reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law, Diko said.
The envoys, according to him, will visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.
They will brief governments in the countries about steps the South African government is taking to stop the attacks and hold the perpetrators to account.
Katsina: Bandits free 30 more captives after deal with govt
The victims were presented to Gov. Aminu Masari at the Government House on Sunday in Katsina.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victims were kidnapped by the bandits from Kankara and Shimfida, both in Jibia Local Government area of the state.
They were thereafter taken to their hideout in Damsadau forest, Zamfara State, where they spent some weeks.
Addressing the victims, Masari said that government would continue to persuade the bandits to release more kidnapped people until all of them were freed.
He directed that the released victims be taken to hospital for medical check up before reuniting them with their respective families.
One of the victims, Zinatu Sani from Kankara, while narrating her ordeal in the hands of the bandits, said that she was kidnapped from her matrimonial home, with two of her children.
She said that the bandits demanded for a N20 million ransom before they could release her and the children.
Sani explained that the ransom was later reduced to N6 million which, she said, her family could still not afford to pay.
She said that the suspected bandits used to give them rice to cook, with only water and salt.
“For 55 days, we slept in an open place without a roof, not minding the rainfall or heat,” she lamented.
Drunk policeman stabs nine at nightclub in Ondo
Trouble started at the nightclub, which is located in Alagbaka GRA area of Akure over the weekend, when the policeman attached to the Akure Area Commander’s office allegedly began to behave in an erratic manner.
According to eyewitnesses, the drunk policeman became unruly and started harassing the victims who had come to unwind at the club.
One of the eyewitnesses, who narrated the incident, stated that “It was so clear that he (Sergeant Orisadare) was so drunk and was already becoming something else at the club.
“He won’t just listen to those trying to tell him to take things easy. Things went awry as he started attacking everyone he could lay hands on.
“He stabbed nine people before he could be overpowered.”
Meanwhile, some of the victims, who were attacked by the police officer, are currently recuperating in various hospitals, while some are in critical condition.
The Police Public Relations Officers of the state command, Femi Joseph stated that both parties were engaged in a brawl.
“They were both fighting. The policeman did not stab anyone to death. Do you even know the condition of the policeman now?” He asked.
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