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Army determined to defeat terrorists, bandits – COAS

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has reassured Nigerians that the service personnel are determined to eradicate terrorists, bandits, and other threats.

The Army Chief added that he was determined to bring peace to the country.

Nigeria is battling security challenges ranging from terrorism, banditry, to kidnapping.

In his Easter message on Sunday, the Army Chief noted that the service had recorded a lot of successes in the ongoing operations against terrorism and banditry among others.

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Lagbaja said, “The Nigerian Army remains committed, determined, and focused on ensuring the total defeat of insurgents, marauding bandits, and all other forms of external and internal aggressions disturbing the peace of the country.

“Accordingly, under my leadership, the Nigerian Army has continued to record tremendous successes in various operations at home and abroad. You all can attest to our achievements so far, especially in the ongoing Operation Hadin Kai in the North-East and other internal security operations nationwide.

“While urging all officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to use the season to pray for our continued successes, I wish our Christian faithful and, indeed, all Nigerian Army personnel and their families a wonderful and Happy Easter Celebration.”

Lagbaja stated that he had provided the needed training and resources for his men to tackle the insecurity ravaging the country.

He said, “In line with my Command Philosophy, ‘To transform the Nigerian Army into a Well-trained, Equipped and Highly Motivated Force Towards Achieving our Constitutional Responsibilities,’ I have ensured the implementation of quality training and equipping toward combating the myriads of security threats confronting the nation.”

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He assured his men that he would prioritise their welfare and training.

Lagbaja said, “As we continue to push towards the final onslaught on the adversaries troubling our nation, I assure you that the welfare of officers and soldiers, including training and provision of the needed equipment, will always be prioritised to enable us to discharge our constitutional responsibilities effectively.”

Lagbaja, however, charged personnel of the service to use the Easter celebration to offer prayers against all forms of negative forces militating against the peace and progress of Nigeria.

He said, “I, therefore, charge you all to use this Easter Celebration to offer prayers against all forms of negative forces militating against the peace and progress of our dear nation. It is also my sincere hope that the spiritual exercise of the Lenten Season and the lessons learnt will imbue us with greater zeal and dedication to our constitutional duties.”

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Crime

Man, 30, defiles landlady’s 13-year-old daughter in Rivers

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The operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested a 30-year-old man identified as Jeffrey for allegedly defiling the teenage daughter of his landlady in an estate in Abuloma, Port Harcourt Local government Area of the State.

It was learnt that the suspect, who has a tailoring shop at the estate, lured the 13-year-old girl to his business place one evening under the guise of showing her clothes.

But Jeffrey ended up locking the shop, overpowered the girl, and allegedly had his way with the girl.

The suspect was, however, arrested by men of the Trans-Amadi Police Division last Friday when the teenage girl opened up to her mother about what transpired.

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A source who does not want his name in print said, “Already a medical examination conducted on the minor indicated she was defiled.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

“She stated, “Yes, I can confirm the arrest of the suspect. The matter has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt, for discreet investigation.”

Iringe-Koko further said the command will ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to deter others.

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Crime

Lagos police arrest suspected cable vandal

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Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command, have arrested a suspected electricity cable vandal.

The suspect, simply identified as Abu Ali, aged 35, was said to have been arrested by policemen from the Pen Cinema Division at about 1 am when motorists alerted the state police command of the suspect’s activity.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a statement on his X handle, @BenHundeyin, on Tuesday morning.

He noted that the suspect had been arrested and will be prosecuted.

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The statement read, “At about 1 am, officers from Pen Cinema Division responded to calls from motorists that somebody was sighted cutting cables.

“Abu Ali, aged 35 was arrested at Ode Aran bus stop, Ogba, with vandalized cables.

“Prosecution follows.”

Recall that in February 2024, the Lagos State Police Command arrested one Chris Abu and Paul Philip for allegedly vandalising electricity cables belonging to the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

Theheute gathered that the incident occurred on February 18, 2024, at about 2:30 pm.

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A police source told our correspondent that a distress call was received from the Lagos State Electricity Board in Ikeja about the activities of vandals who specialise in vandalising electricity and armoured cables.

The source added that police officers went to the scene immediately and two males were arrested.

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Kebbi Customs intercept foreign rice, others worth over N126m

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The Nigerian Customs Service, Kebbi State Area Command, has intercepted goods, including 212 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, worth over N126m.

The goods according to the Customs Area Comptroller, Iheanacho Ojike, included 10,025 litres of petrol worth over N2m.

Iheanacho said, “Barely two months since I took over, the command has intensified the fight against smuggling to curb its menace by engaging in intense patrols throughout the nooks and crannies of Kebbi. We make use of intelligence to enhance our operations, and we also engage in sensitising the host communities to the dangers of smuggling.”

He said smuggling was injurious to the economy as well as the well-being of the citizens, adding that measures taken to address the problem led to the seizure of the items.

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He said the items also included “28 bags weighing 25kg each, 200 bales of second-hand clothing (jumbo size) and 50 bales of normal size and 10,025 litres of premium motor spirit”.

Others were “39 lumps of Indian hemp (cannabis sativa), 78 rolls of Diclofenac Sodium, 300 wraps of diazepam tablets 5mg each, 57 packs of sex enhancement drug (black diamond), 150 expired powdered milk, 50 pieces of used tyres and 20 pieces of rims, 20 cartons of foreign spaghetti, 20 bags of foreign sugar and 10 jerry cans of vegetable oils”.

“The combined duty paid value of the seized items is N126,278,959.60. The PMS value is not included in the DPV because it is given in our revenue generation section as receipts from auction sales. This remarkable achievement was a result of the resilience and courageous effort of our Operations teams, Intelligence Unit, Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) and collaboration with sister agencies,” he said.

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Ojike said the Indian hemp would be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

Speaking on revenue generation in the command, the comptroller said it was stalled in recent times due to the border closure between Nigeria, Benin Republic and Niger Republic.

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“Even with this challenge, the command managed to generate N7,215,500 in the two months under review, which is a 125 per cent increase compared to the two previous months,” he added.

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