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Court Remands Benue Couple For kidnapping

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A Benue State Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Makurdi has remanded a businessman, Uttah Benjamin, and his wife, Ada, in a correctional facility for criminal conspiracy and kidnapping.

The presiding magistrate, Vincent Kor, who ordered the couple’s remand, adjourned the case till October 26, 2020, for mention.

The defendants live at the Federal Housing Estate, North Bank, a suburb of Makurdi, the state capital.

The police prosecutor, Hyacinth Gbakor, told the court that on August 12, 2020, one Isiana Amarachi of Oji River, Enugu State, reported at the ‘C’ Division Police Station, North Bank, Makurdi, that on August 1, 2020, she was kidnapped from Abuja by someone and taken to a couple, Uttah and Ada Benjamin, in Makurdi.

She said Ada told her that she would stay with her until she would be delivered of her baby.

She stated further that Ada told her that if she gave birth to a baby boy or girl, she would be paid N300,000.

According to the police, Amarachi refused and asked to be allowed to go back, but the couple threatened to kill her and take her baby.

The couple were subsequently arrested for the crime contrary to Section 97 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State, 2004, and Section 3(2)of the Abduction, Hostage-taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities(Prohibition) Law, 2017.

The suspects’ plea was not taken and their counsel, A. A. Andenira, made an oral application for the bail of his clients, but the trial magistrate turned down the application.

Ada was also arraigned for allegedly kidnapping a four-month-old baby at Kadarko, Nasarawa State.

According to the police, one Mbalamen Dogo was in her shop at the Kadarko Market, where she was selling palm oil, and her baby was crying.

She stated that a lady walked into her shop and asked to help carry her baby and she obliged.

The police prosecutor said when the woman returned to collect her baby after attending to customers, she discovered that the lady had disappeared with the child.

The prosecutor added that investigation revealed that the lady conspired with Ada to steal the baby.

Magistrate Kor ordered Ada to be remanded in the custody of a correctional facility and adjourned the case till October 26, 2020.

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Metro/Crime

Nigerian Army Will Not Clampdown on Protesters – Kuanum

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Human Rights Activists and field researcher of the Global Amnesty Watch, Terrance Kuanum has stated that the Launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army would not clamp down on peaceful protesters across the country.

He stated this during an interview with select news media on Sunday. Mr Terrance Kuanum believed that the Nigerian Army has evolved into a professional force with respect for human rights.

“The Nigerian Army of today is not what it used to be. This is what most Nigerians have not come to realize. I say this in my capacity as a field researcher that has traversed most parts of the country and where the Nigerian Army are in operation in North-East Nigeria, as well as other parts of the country. The conduct I must state has been exceptional.”

“This is not the first operation or exercise the Nigerian Army has conducted. Don’t forget that only recently, Operation Sahel Sanity was extended for a further three months and its scope expanded to include states in North Central. And I must add that they have conducted themselves most professionally that resulted in tremendous success.”

On the timing of the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile to coincide with the protest across the country, the Human Rights activists rubbished the claims that it was intended to clamp down on peaceful protesters demanding reforms for the Nigerian Police Force.

“I disagree with such a position. I am not sure the Chief of Army Staff would sanction such a move owing to his track record in ensuring that the operations of the Nigerian Army conform to human rights tenets. We must not also forget in a hurry that indeed the Nigerian Army has a Human rights desk across all its units and formations to investigate complaints from individuals, organizations and institution on rights violation involving Nigerian Army personnel.”

“If this has been the norm, why on earth would one imagine that the Nigerian Army would clampdown on peaceful protesters before the full glare of the whole world. If not for anything they should know that this is the digital age and almost all the protesters have smartphones with which they use to capture proceedings. It would be indeed foolhardy for such to happen. I think Nigerians must be circumspect in their assumptions at the risk of heating an already tensed polity.”

Mr Terrance Kuanum also stated that the bulk of the misinformation making the rounds concerning the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile might be the handiwork of those that intend to capitalize and hijack the peaceful protest to achieve their aim.
“As a field researcher, over the years, I have come to understand some of the dynamics inherent in the Nigerian society. We must realize that at every point in time, there are various interest struggling for relevance to the pursuit of their agenda. There are those whose stock in trade is to fan the embers of war so that their businesses can thrive. Some want to advance their political interest, and the only way they could get that done easily is to instigate conflict and spread mischief. Some are experts in causing distractions in the country so they can perpetuate their nefarious activities.”

“It is indeed a complicated chain we are dealing with, and I won’t be surprised that there are certain interests that have seen this peaceful protest by the youths as the perfect opportunity to discredit the government and the emphasis is to hijack it and cause mayhem of unquantifiable dimension. I think the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile indeed rattled them and they have elected to spread misinformation across the country. Was the mandate of Exercise Crocodile Smile not explicit?

“The Nigerian Army has said its upcoming Exercise Crocodile Smile will tackle cyber warfare and insurgency in the country, particularly in the North-East, where Boko Haram insurgents have caused massive destruction. If this is the operational mandate, how does one then link it with an attempt to clampdown on peaceful protesters?”

He added that Nigerians must understand that there is a grand plot been hatched to cause violence in the country by some individuals and organizations.

“Without mincing words, I believe those that are afraid of Crocodile Smile are those with ulterior motives. Not the peaceful protesters because so far they have conducted themselves in an appreciable manner devoid of confrontation or provocation. They are only demanding for an end to police brutality and a reform of the Nigerian Police Force. I do not see a crime in that, and I also do not see a justification for the Nigerian Army to clampdown on the protesters.”

“It would indeed be a great disservice if the Nigerian Army does clamp down on the protesters, and not on the heels of the numerous initiatives that have been introduced by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai towards the entrenchment of respect for the rule of law and tenets of human rights.”

“I believe the Nigerian Army under Lt. Gen TY Buratai has set a very high standard in terms of human rights and the citizens have no reason to fear the troops at any point. But those that are planning to foment trouble by hijacking the protest to their advantage should have every reason to be afraid. This is my candid opinion.”

On the effectiveness of such operations when there is widespread protest across the country, Mr Terrance Kuanum stated that the exercise is timely and would go a long way to identify and track down terrorist operating in the cyber world.

“We must admit that Nigeria has been experiencing cyber-attacks in recent times that is capable of undermining our territorial integrity. And it is to the credit of the Nigerian Army that such an operation is launched, which is an indication of advancement in the operations of the Nigerian Army. I believe if the Nigerian Army does not have such capacity, it will not launch an operation.”

“It is my considered opinion that the operation is timely and it behoves on well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the Nigerian Army by refusing to be misled by those vested interests that have ulterior motives occasioned by the misinformation passing the rounds. It must also be realized that the threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty transcends beyond the physical, and that is the orientation that must change. This is indeed a proactive step by the Nigerian Army.”

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Metro/Crime

Army To Launch Crocodile Smile V1 Exercise Nation Wide

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As the year gradually comes to an end, the Nigerian Army has concluded plans to start its annual Exercise , code named “CROCODILE SMILE” which is traditionally conducted in the last quarter of the year.

With this year’s Exercise scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

According to Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa the Exercise is deliberately intended to be all encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

He said this is the first ever Cyber warfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces.

Accordingly, the exercise will also include positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations especially in the Northeast, North Central and North Western parts of Nigeria.

” The Nigerian Army, once again, reassures all well meaning Nigerians of its commitment to the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria and urges members of the public for their support and understanding throughout the period of the exercise” he added.

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Metro/Crime

We Remain Committed to Defending the Country And Her democracy at All Cost – Army

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The Nigerian Army has reaffirmed its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Constitution of the country.

It therefore warned subversive elements and trouble makers against ever giving it a thought that they can do anything to capable of causing disturbance of the peace of the land as remains committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost.

It therefore directed its all its officers and men not to be distracted by anti democratic forces and agents of disunity fanning the embers of hatred and beating the drum of war in the country.

Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, made this warning in a statement he issued Wednesday.

THE STATEMENT:

NIGERIAN ARMY REMAINS RESOLUTE TO THE PEACE AND STABILITY OF THE NATION

  1. The Nigerian Army (NA) wishes to reassure law abiding citizens that it is highly committed to the sustenance of peace, security and defence of democracy in Nigeria. As a responsible and law abiding organisation, the NA reaffirms its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari and the Constitution of the Country.
  2. The NA hereby warns all subversive elements and trouble makers to desist from such acts as it remains highly committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost. The NA is ready to fully support the civil authority in whatever capacity to maintain law and order and deal with any situation decisively. All officers and men are directed never to be distracted by anti democratic forces and agents of disunity.

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SAGIR MUSA
Colonel
Acting Director Army Public Relations
14 October 2020

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