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Gunmen kidnap Kogi Chief Judge’s driver, niece


A parent of one of the six kidnapped Igbonla students during their recent protest to the governor’s office.

• Six Igbonla pupils spend day 54 in captivity as colleagues graduate
• Lagos deposes traditional ruler who ‘faked’ own kidnap

Driver of Justice Nasiru Ajanah, the chief judge of Kogi State, Mallam Hassan Haruna, and his niece who is also a legal practitioner in state, Rabi Ozavize Ovosi, have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

Their abduction is coming days after an Osun State Permanent Secretary in the Bureau of General Services, Mrs. Olufunke Oluwakemi Kolawole, was kidnapped and murdered on her way to Abuja along Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road in the state.

Ovosi was kidnapped at the weekend on her way to Okene from Lokoja at Itape junction in Okehi local council of Kogi State. The gunmen forced the vehicle to stop as they ordered the woman and the driver to alight from the car after which they were whisked into the nearby forest in the mountain.

A cousin of the victim, Abdullateef Ovosi, yesterday said the kidnappers called the family at the wee hours of Sunday demanding for ransom. “As we speak, their lines are no more reachable for us to know what amount they are demanding,” he said.

In another development, the Lagos State government has deposed Yusuf Ogundare, the Baale of Shangisha, for faking his own abduction. The traditional ruler’s deposition was announced yesterday.

Ogundare’s staged abduction reportedly took place on July 5 along the Center for Management Development (CMD) road in Ikosi-Isheri local council development area of the state.

Lagos State governor, Akinwumi Ambode, had on Thursday directed that he be suspended, in a memo addressed to the sole administrator of Ikosi-Isheri by Teslim Folami, Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs.

“I am directed to convey the approval of his excellency of the suspension of Chief Yusuf Ogundare, Baale of Shangisha with immediate effect in accordance with Section 38 subsection 1 of the Obas and chiefs laws of Lagos state which states that ‘the governor may suspend or depose any Oba or chief whether appointed or after commencement of this law, if he is satisfied that such suspension of disposition is required according to customary law or is necessary in the interest of peace and good government’,” the memo had read.

Meanwhile, whereabouts of the six abducted students of Igbonla Model College, Epe area of Lagos State have remain unknown 54 days after they were kidnapped from their school.

The boys – Peter Jonah, Isiaq Rahmon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Philips and Farouq Yusuf, were abducted on May 24, 2017 and although the kidnappers initially communicated with their parents, that has since stopped despite the fact that they have already been paid N10million out of the N50million ransom they asked for.

The boys’ case was brought to the front burner as their classmates rounded off the school session and graduated to another class last Thursday.

However, to forestall another kidnap, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has put in place measures to fortify the marine department of the force to protect and secure the inland waterways.

The Force Marine Officer (FMO), Chinedu Iwuozo, a Superintendent of Police, (SP) who made the disclosure, said the move is part of the IGP’s drive to reposition the section and ensure the maritime domain is protected in line with best practices and international standard.

Iwuozo, who spoke at the send-off ceremony organized for the immediate past Force Marine Officer, Isa Igbleba, said the measures on ground would keep them a step ahead of the criminals. “The police is doing a lot in that regard and we have operational strategies that are ongoing. Already we have operational bases in the creeks.”

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