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Akwa Ibom State DSS Arrests Four Alleged Kidnappers

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The Department of State Services (DSS) in Akwa Ibom State has reported the arrest of four individuals suspected to be involved in kidnapping activities.

In a statement released on Monday, the secret police revealed that these individuals were responsible for abducting innocent victims, instilling fear in the state.

According to the statement, the suspects were notably involved in the abduction of Ayo Bambe, the manager of “Me Lounge” in Osongama Estate, Uyo, alongside two others on January 27, 2024. The arrested suspects have been identified as Idris Abdullahi, Abel Ekong, Itoro Effiong, and Nsisong Effiong, all of whom have reportedly confessed to their roles in the crime.

The DSS statement disclosed that these individuals are part of a notorious syndicate known for carrying out kidnappings and other criminal activities in the state. The investigative efforts of the command led to the arrest of Abdullahi, the syndicate’s driver in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, along with a Toyota Sienna vehicle used in the operation, on February 16, 2024. Ekong was apprehended at the Otua Sega community of Ogbia Local Government Area in Bayelsa State on February 26, 2024, while Itoro and Nsisong, identified as siblings, were arrested at their residence in Mbak Etoi, Uyo Local Government Area, on February 28, 2024.

During the interrogation, the four suspects allegedly confessed to their involvement in the kidnapping at Me Lounge and other criminal activities across the state, as quoted by Channels Television.

It has been learned that the suspects will be arraigned in court following ongoing investigations, while efforts to apprehend other fleeing members of the syndicate are still underway.

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Crime

EFCC Commences Probe into Eight Suspects for Alleged Illegal Oil Bunkering in Akwa Ibom

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced the initiation of an investigation into eight individuals suspected of engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities in Akwa Ibom State.

According to EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale, who issued a statement in Uyo on Tuesday, the suspects were apprehended for dealing in petroleum products without the appropriate licensing.

Though the identities of the suspects were not disclosed, Oyewale stated that they were arrested by the Nigeria Navy Ship, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka, on February 23 while aboard a wooden boat named MV Jasmine.

“The suspects were apprehended in possession of 30,000 litres of petroleum products suspected to be crude oil, stored in four plastic tanks,” he added.

Oyewale further mentioned that the suspects and the confiscated exhibits were handed over to the EFCC on April 3 by the Commanding Officer of FOB Ibaka, Capt. Uche Aneke.

Assuring a thorough investigation into the matter, the EFCC spokesperson reiterated the commission’s commitment to addressing illegal oil bunkering activities.

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Crime

Police Officers Injured in Cult Attack During Undercover Mission in Akwa Ibom State

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Two officers of the Nigeria Police Force, reportedly on an undercover mission, were severely injured by suspected cult members in Akwa Ibom State.

Reports revealed that the officers narrowly escaped being lynched but suffered multiple machete and projectile assaults by the criminals.

According to sources, the incident occurred when the officers, from the Abak local government area divisional headquarters, went to Ibong Ikot Akpan Abasi Village, Otoro Clan in Abak local government area to arrest a wanted criminal known as Udo. They succeeded in apprehending the suspect but encountered vehicle trouble on their way back to the station.

The criminals, led by Udo, raised an alarm claiming they were being kidnapped by unknown persons. This prompted youths from the community to mobilize and attack the officers with machetes and other weapons, despite their attempts to show their identity cards.

The severity of the attack left the officers with bruises all over their bodies, and they were later evacuated to a hospital for treatment after intervention from the paramount ruler of Abak. The police authorities have confirmed the incident and assured that the injured officers are receiving medical attention.

The state commissioner of police, Mr. Waheed Ayilara, has directed a specialized investigation team to work with other security agencies to apprehend the wanted criminal and his accomplices responsible for the assault.

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Akwa Ibom Community Celebrates as Court Sentences Local Terror to Death

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In a momentous ruling that resonated deeply with the people of Idung Ntuk Umah in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, the State High Court has delivered a verdict that has been widely celebrated by the local community.

Udobong Stephen Adiahaunwa, a 48-year-old father of two and brother to the late Village Head, was sentenced to death by hanging, marking a significant milestone in the community’s fight against crime and terror.

Presided over by Justice Gabriel Ette, the court found Udobong guilty on charges of conspiracy, armed robbery, and terrorism, bringing an end to a series of criminal activities that had plagued the village for years. The charges stem from incidents dating back to 2009, including armed robbery, abduction, and the forceful initiation of teenagers into cult groups, all of which left the community in a state of fear and turmoil.

Udobong’s criminal spree began on December 29, 2009, when he and his gang, disguised as SARS Police operatives, abducted Friday Jackson Joe, who remains missing. Subsequent years saw further atrocities, including the robbery of village treasurers and the forceful initiation of teenagers into cultism, culminating in widespread fear and the destabilization of community life.

Despite previous arrests and temporary releases, Udobong’s reign of terror continued until his rearrest in December 2020, followed by a trial that concluded with his sentencing. His attempts to evade justice, including filing a suit for breach of fundamental rights while in hiding, ultimately failed to deter the course of law.

The verdict, delivered after a thorough examination of evidence and testimonies, was met with overwhelming approval from the community members who packed the courtroom to its capacity. This sentencing not only signifies a triumph of justice but also marks a pivotal moment of relief and hopeful restoration for the people of Idung Ntuk Umah.

The community has lauded Justice Gabriel Ette for his decisive judgement, viewing it as a restoration of their faith in the judiciary’s ability to uphold justice and protect the innocent. Udobong’s condemnation is seen as a closure to a dark chapter in the village’s history, offering a glimmer of hope for a peaceful and more secure future for the residents of Idung Ntuk Umah.

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