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Gunmen abduct Niger monarch, lawmaker’s family members in Katsina

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PHOTO: AFP

Declare schools invasion crime against humanity, SERAP tells ICC
Over 30 armed men, at the weekend, stormed Wawa District in Borgu Local Council of Niger State and kidnapped the monarch, Dr. Mahmud Ahmed, from his palace.

The Guardian gathered that the bandits, who carried sophisticated weapons, invaded the palace about 9.15p.m. and forced the Dodo of Wawa out from his apartment.

For hitch-free escape, they shot sporadically while taking the monarch away, forcing residents to scamper to safety.

A resident told The Guardian the bandits rode on 15 unmarked motorcycles.

Though, the bandits have not established contact with the palace at the time of filing this report, it was learnt that some local vigilantes in the community were already in the forests searching for their traditional ruler.

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The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Wasiu Abiodun, who confirmed the report, stated that the Special Tactical Squad (STS) and the locals had been deployed to the area to rescue the monarch and arrest the bandits.

In a related development, 15 persons have been confirmed killed by bandits in Magami village of Shiroro Local Council of the state.

Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Yusuf Kokki, who confirmed the development, explained that the incident took place on Thursday and that local vigilantes and hunters engaged the bandits.

ALSO, gunmen abducted the wife and two children of Katsina State House of Assembly member, Dr. Ibrahim Kurami, on Saturday night at his village of Kurami in Bakori Local Council.

This is even as Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, confirmed abduction of his 78-year-old brother, Kabir, by bandits.

Whereabouts of the abducted victims was yet to be ascertained as of the time of this report.

Spokesperson for the police command in the state, Gambo Isah, was yet to respond to inquiry on the issue as of the time of this report, and the lawmaker could not be reached.

Meanwhile, Inuwa’s spokesperson, Abdullahi Yar’Adua, who confirmed the abduction, said the elder Inuwa was abducted from his home in Danmusa Local Council.

MEANWHILE, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr. Karim Khan (QC), to investigate the growing cases of abduction of students in Northern Nigeria, closure of schools, and the persistent failure of Nigerian authorities to end the abduction, which it said amounted to crimes against humanity.

The body also urged him to push for those suspected to be responsible to be invited and tried by the ICC.

In the petition signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation noted: “Depriving children their right to education has severe consequences for their ability to access their fundamental rights. The severe and life-long harms that result from depriving children the right to education satisfy the gravity of harm threshold under the Rome Statute.”

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