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DSS Apprehends Four Suspected Kidnappers in Akwa Ibom State

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The Department of State Services (DSS), Akwa Ibom State Command, has announced the arrest of four individuals suspected of involvement in kidnapping activities in the state.

The apprehended suspects, identified as Idris Abdullahi, Abel Attah Ekong, Itoro Edet Effiong, and Nsisong Edet Effiong, were captured between February 16th and 28th, 2024.

According to a statement released by the State Command, the quartet is believed to be part of a notorious syndicate responsible for several kidnap incidents, including the abduction of Ayo Bambe, the manager of Me Lounge at Osongama Estate, Uyo, and two others on January 27, 2024.

The investigation conducted by the Command led to the arrest of Abdullahi, who was identified as the driver of the syndicate, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on February 16, 2024. Additionally, a Toyota Sienna vehicle used in the kidnapping operation was also seized during the operation.

Ekong was apprehended at Otua Sega Community of Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State on February 26, 2024, while Itoro and Nsisong were arrested at their residence in Mbak Etoi in Uyo LGA on February 28, 2024.

During interrogations, all four suspects confessed to their involvement in the kidnapping of the three victims at Me Lounge and other criminal activities across the state.

The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned before the Federal High Court Uyo on Friday, March 22, 2024. Meanwhile, the DSS continues its efforts to apprehend other members of the syndicate who are still at large.

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Crime

Akwa Ibom NMA Chairman and Vice Chairman Impeached Amid Allegations of Misconduct

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In a dramatic turn of events, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Akwa Ibom State chapter has impeached its Chairman, Prof. Emem Abraham, and Vice Chairman, Dr. Aniekan Utuk, following allegations of gross misconduct, high-handedness, and misappropriation of funds.

The impeachment took place during an Ordinary General Congress held on Wednesday at the NMA Secretariat, Kilometer 8, Nwaniba Road, Uyo.

The impeachment motion, supported by 71 members present at the Congress, marks the end of Prof. Abraham’s administration, which began on July 16, 2022, and was due to conclude on July 17, 2024. Following the impeachment, Dr. Usenobong Morgan Akpan, the Association’s Secretary, was elected as the Acting Chairman, with a vote of 61 in favor and 13 against.

During a press briefing at the Doctor’s Mess, Udo Udoma Avenue, Dr. Akpan outlined the reasons for the impeachment, citing financial mismanagement and procedural breaches. “The embattled Chairman and her vice were impeached for running the NMA Akwa Ibom State for five months without a budget while expending millions of naira, and presenting to the State Executive Council a financial statement for a free medical outreach accounting for only N6 million out of N34 million questioned,” Akpan explained.

Additional grounds for impeachment included breaches of the NMA National Constitution and Akwa Ibom State Bye-laws, unauthorized ejection of members from the association’s WhatsApp group, and high-handedness. Dr. Akpan called for the immediate withdrawal of privileges and recognitions previously accorded to the impeached officials.

“As the Secretary of the NMA, I was made the Acting Chairman by virtue of hierarchy; with the Chairman and Vice Chairman being impeached, I am next in line. We request that all forms of recognition and privileges accrued to the suspended persons be withdrawn,” Akpan stated.

In a counter-statement, Prof. Emem Abraham declared the impeachment null and void, insisting she remains the Chairman of the NMA Akwa Ibom State chapter. She accused Dr. Akpan of acting unilaterally and stated that the association’s ordinary general meeting (OGM) on June 2, 2024, was disrupted and recessed for security reasons, with no impeachment process initiated.

Prof. Abraham emphasized, “There was no impeachment process against me or any officer of the Association. The NMA AKS is intact, and I remain in charge as the Chairman.”

The Public Relations Officer of NMA, Dr. Unyime Ndoh, echoed this sentiment, urging members to disregard the impeachment claims and stating that the OGM would reconvene soon.

Further investigations revealed that the crisis in the NMA Akwa Ibom chapter intensified after the kidnapping of Dr. John Robbin Esu in Oron local government area on April 30, 2024. Following a 15-day ordeal, Prof. Abraham called for a strike to expedite Dr. Esu’s release, which led to internal conflict and the eventual impeachment.

The unfolding situation highlights deep divisions within the NMA Akwa Ibom chapter and raises questions about leadership and governance within the association.

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Crime

Ex-Convict in Military Uniform Arrested in Akwa Ibom

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The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested a 35-year-old ex-convict, Edidiong Matthew, who was found dressed in a military uniform.

The suspect, an indigene of Ikot Ekong in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, was apprehended following intelligence reports from the public.

In a statement issued on Thursday in Uyo, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, ASP Timfon John, detailed the arrest and the suspect’s criminal activities. “On June 5, 2024, at approximately 14:00 hours, police operatives on crime prevention patrol arrested Edidiong Anthony Matthew, a 35-year-old indigene of Ikot Ekong Village in Mkpat Enin LGA, dressed in partial military camouflage,” the statement read.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Matthew is an ex-convict who had been using his military attire to commit various crimes in the state. Items recovered from the suspect included a walkie-talkie, phones suspected to be stolen from his victims, a brown coverall, and an RCC ID card. The suspect will be charged to court upon the completion of the investigation.

The police command reiterated its commitment to ridding the state of criminal elements. “This follows the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, CP Waheed Ayilara’s affirmation of the command’s unwavering commitment and dedication to making Akwa Ibom inhabitable for criminals,” ASP John stated.

The command expressed its readiness to intensify efforts to apprehend other criminals on their wanted list, ensuring the safety and security of the residents of Akwa Ibom State.

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Nigerian Navy Intercepts Boat with Illegally Refined Petroleum Heading to Cameroon

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Troops from the Nigerian Navy’s Operation Delta Sanity, stationed at the Forward Operating Base in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State, intercepted a wooden boat loaded with drums of illegally refined petroleum products bound for Cameroon. The interception took place on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

The operation was detailed in a statement posted on the Nigerian Navy’s verified Facebook page on Sunday. The statement highlighted the successful interception and the subsequent actions taken by the naval forces.

According to the statement: “Operation Delta Sanity: On Saturday, 18 May 2024, Forward Operating Base Ibaka intercepted a wooden boat laden with drums of illegally refined PMS carefully concealed among some building materials and household items bound for the Republic of Cameroon.”

During the interception, two suspects were apprehended and are currently detained. The Nigerian Navy plans to hand them over to the relevant agency in Akwa Ibom State for further investigation and prosecution.

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