Gunmen Kidnap Lebanese Worker, Kill One In Kano

Gunmen have abducted a Lebanese worker in Kano, the police authorities said on Tuesday.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abdullahi Haruna, the kidnapped worker, Sagir Ahmed, was working with Triactor Construction Company when he was kidnapped at Dangi by Zoo road roundabout.

Mr. Haruna explained that two people who were with the victim at the time of the incident were shot by the gunmen.

“One of the victims has died in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital while the other one is currently receiving treatment from a bullet wound,” he said, adding that the command’s search and rescue team has already commenced an investigation into the kidnap.

 

Kidnapping has been on the rise in the North in recent years, particularly in rural areas with inadequate security provision.

In April last year, gunmen kidnapped a German construction engineer in Kano after killing his police escort in an attack the police blamed on a gang of armed robbers.

Abductees are often released within days if the ransom is paid but residents say they can be killed if no money is forthcoming

NAF Jet Strike Kills Boko Haram Fighters In Borno

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says one of its fighter jets has attacked a gathering of Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists in the Tumbun Sale and Tumbun Allura areas of Lake Chad in Borno State, killing ‘scores’ of the insurgents.

NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said on Monday that the operation was carried out by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.

 

Ibikunle noted that the operation took place on Friday on the heels of intelligence reports indicating the presence of ISWAP fighters along with “some vehicles and logistics support items well camouflaged under the dense vegetation within the settlements”.

He said a NAF Alpha Jet, supported by an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, was dispatched to raid the terrorists’ hideouts in successive strikes resulting in damage to several structures as well as the destruction of one of the terrorists’ vehicles, which was seen in flames.

“The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the Northeast,” he assured.

Police Confirm Killing Of Party Supporter In Enugu

The police command in Enugu State has confirmed the killing of one person they identified as Osondu Odoh at Igboeze North Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

In a statement by the police command’s spokesperson, Ebere Amarizu, the police debunked reports in some quarters that the victim was an election observer.

 

“The Enugu State command of the Nigeria Police Force, through its operatives have commenced a full-scale investigation into the alleged shooting and death of one Osondu Odoh, aged about 30 years believed to be at Ayogu Eze’s residence,” the police stated.

Senator Eze is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

His participation in the election was confirmed by the court just days to Saturday’s election.

According to the police, “The victim is not an observer but a supporter to the candidate”, adding that the deceased’s body had been deposited in the mortuary.

It was reported that the killing was as a result of “accidental discharge” following an argument between some APC supporters and the police near the home of Senator Eze.

Source channels

NAF Arrests 10 Bandits In Kaduna

The Nigerian Air Force says officers of its 453 Base Service Group in Kaduna, on Tuesday, said it arrested 10 suspected thugs and bandits and recovered 57 livestock.

Air Comdr Idi Sani, the commander of the Base Service Group, made the disclosure at a press briefing in Kaduna.

He said the Defence Headquarters directed the Armed Forces to carry out Operation “Safe Conduct” to ensure peaceful and conducive atmosphere during the 2019 elections.

“In line with this, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar charged the Air Training Command (ATC) NAF Kaduna with the responsibility of securing the area manned by its personnel to assist the Nigerian Police in maintaining law and order,” he said.

Sani said that on February 16, a patrol team from base service group intercepted seven suspected thugs and bandits armed with dangerous weapons around the Hajj Camp, Mondo.

He identified the seven suspects as Abdullahi Adamu, Halilu Rilwan, Lawal Hassan, Idris Yusuf, Kabir Muhammad, Badamasi Alhassan and Idris Abubakar.
He disclosed that the suspects, who claimed to be members of a vigilante group were on their way to Buruku village in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State when they were apprehended.

The NAF spokesman also noted that on the same day, around NECO Junction in Mando area of Kaduna, another suspect, Abdulrauf Yusuf AKA Gorilla Fighter was arrested in the company of one Muhammad Bello in a Volkswagen Golf 3 car with registration Number EG181ABS Abuja.

“Also Shehu Yahaya was arrested on February 15 at Amana Kasuwa,” he said.

He added that the items recovered from the 10 suspects include, Volkswagen golf 3 car registration Number EG181ABS Abuja, a Volkswagen Golf car without a number plate, eight Dane guns, five machetes, a Knife and three cutlasses.

The Commander said on February 2, a NAF Special Operations Team tasked with dealing with kidnapping, cattle rustling and armed banditry intercepted a group of cattle rustlers at Riyawa forest.

“In the face of superior firepower from the NAF team, the cattle rustlers fled the scene abandoning 44 cows and 13 rams; the animals will be handed over to the Kaduna State Government for action.

He said all the suspects will be handed over today to the police.

Bomb Attacks Kill Four Policemen In Northern Iraq

At least four policemen were killed and 11 wounded by two roadside bombs that targeted police convoys in separate attacks in northern Iraq on Sunday, the service and medical sources said.

Two died and eight were wounded when a bomb hit a bus carrying police on their way to work near the town of Shirqat, its police chief colonel Majeed Ghatran said.

Another bomb struck a second group of officers that was heading to the location of the first explosion, killing two and wounding three, he said.

No organization claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Islamic State militants have carried out guerrilla-style attacks in the area since their military defeat in Iraq in December 2017

 

AFP

massive fire broke out at an illegal pipeline tap in central Mexico on Friday, killing at least 21 people and injuring 71 more, just as the government wages a major crack-down on fuel theft

Scores of locals with jerry cans and buckets had been collecting gasoline that was gushing from a leaking pipeline when an explosion occurred, according to witnesses.

Video taken in the aftermath showed desperate people fleeing the scene, screaming for help, as the enormous fire lit up the night sky in Tlahuelilpan, in Hidalgo state, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Mexico City.

“I went just to see what was happening, and then the explosion happened. I rushed to help people,” said Fernando Garcia, 47. “I had to claw through pieces of people who had already been burned to bits,” he told AFP.

The tragedy comes as the federal government is waging a highly publicized war on fuel theft, a problem that cost Mexico an estimated $3 billion in 2017.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador traveled to the scene in the early hours of Saturday.

“I am deeply saddened by the suffering in Tlahuelilpan caused by the explosion of a pipeline,” the leftist leader earlier wrote on Twitter.

“I call on the whole government to assist people there.”

Federal and state firefighters and ambulances run by state oil company Pemex rushed to help victims with burns and take the wounded to hospitals.

The flood of patients overflowed local clinics and hospitals, said AFP correspondents at the scene.

Security Minister Alfonso said around midnight that the fire had been brought under control.

Pemex said it was also responding to another fire at a botched pipeline tap in the central state of Queretaro, though in that case there were no victims.

Mexico is regularly rocked by deadly explosions at illegal pipeline taps, a dangerous but lucrative business whose players include powerful drug cartels and corrupt Pemex insiders.

Rampant fuel theft

The tragedy comes as anti-corruption crusader Lopez Obrador presses implementation of a controversial fuel theft prevention plan.

The government has shut off key pipelines until they can be fully secured and deployed the army to guard Pemex production facilities.

But the strategy to fight the problem led to severe gasoline and diesel shortages across much of the country, including Mexico City, forcing people to queue for hours — sometimes days — to fill up their vehicles.

The president, who took office on December 1, has vowed to keep up the fight and asked Mexicans to be patient.

At the scene, some locals blamed the shortages for the tragedy.

“A lot of people arrived with their jerry cans, because of the gasoline shortages we’ve had,” said Martin Trejo, 55, who was desperately searching for his son, one of those who had gone to collect the leaking fuel.

Under Lopez Obrador’s crackdown, authorities have opened 1,700 individual investigations for fuel theft and related money laundering.

Tanker trucks are being used to deliver fuel, but experts say there are not nearly enough of them.

Mexico City residents faced a second week of fuel shortages this week, though lines at service stations were shorter than the previous week.

Mexican bank Citibanamex estimated Wednesday that the shortages would cost Latin America’s second-largest economy around $2 billion, “if conditions return to normal in the coming days.”

The roots of the fuel theft problem run deep in Mexico, where the practice — known locally as “huachicoleo,” or moonshining — is big business for some communities.

Lopez Obrador so far retains broad support: 89 percent of Mexicans back his crackdown, and his approval rating has even ticked up slightly, to 76 percent, according to a poll published Monday by newspaper El Financiero.

Below are some more photos from the incident.

President Muhammadu Buhari has decorated Mr Mohammed Adamu as the new Inspector General of Police

President Buhari decorated Adamu on Tuesday at the State House in Abuja.

The outgoing Police boss, Ibrahim Idris, was also present to witness the decoration of the new IGP.

After his appointment, Adamu thanked President Buhari for appointing him and promised to restrategise to effectively tackle kidnapping and other security challenges in the country.

See photos of the decoration of the new IGP below…

Source channels

The death toll in a coal mine roof collapse in northern China has risen to 21 after rescuers found two more miners dead on Sunday, state media reported

A total of 87 people were working underground in the Shaanxi province mine at the time of the accident on Saturday afternoon, according to official news agency Xinhua, citing local authorities.

Rescuers had been searching for two remaining trapped miners but found them dead Sunday morning, Xinhua reported. Another 66 miners were safely evacuated from the mine.

The cause of the accident at the site, run by privately owned Baiji Mining, is still under investigation.

Private coal mines in China typically take fewer safety precautions than larger state-owned mines.

Information about the accident cannot be disclosed, a driver at the company said who answered Baiji’s registered phone number.

The mine is a small scale operation, he said, declining to give his name.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record despite efforts to improve coal production conditions and crack down on illegal mines.

In December last year, seven miners were killed and three others injured in an accident at a coal mine in China’s southwest.

In October, 21 miners died in eastern Shandong province after pressure inside a mine caused rocks to fracture and break, blocking the tunnel and trapping workers. Only one miner was rescued alive.

According to China’s National Coal Mine Safety Administration, the country saw 375 coal mining related deaths in 2017, down 28.7 percent year-on-year.

But despite improvements, “the situation of coal mine safety production is still grim,” the bureau said in a statement following a coal mine safety conference last January.

AFP

How We Spent Funds For Military Operations’, Buratai Replies SERAP, EiE, BudgIT

Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has responded to the joint Freedom of Information request by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT requesting him to use his “good offices and leadership position to provide information on spending on military operations across the country, particularly in the Northeast.

This development was disclosed today in a statement on behalf of the civil society groups by SERAP senior legal adviser Bamisope Adeyanju.

According to her, “the bulky photographic and textual documentation with a cover letter dated 24 December 2018 was delivered to SERAP’s office last Friday by a military officer at around 11:40am.”

The letter with reference number AHQDCMA/G4/100/4 and signed on Mr Buratai’s behalf by Brigadier-General S.B. Kumapayi read in part: “The Nigerian Army (NA) has in recent time come under unrelenting public scrutiny by both private individuals and Non-governmental organizations over issues of appropriation of funds. The most recent being a call from your organization for the Nigerian Army to explain how funds appropriated for the NA under the administration of the Chief of Army Staff were utilized.”

“In view of the above, I am directed to forward the above-mentioned document to your office for your perusal and retention. Please accept the esteemed regards and assurance of the Chief of Army Staff.”

Bamisope Adeyanju, on behalf of the civil society groups, said: “This is a joint FOI request involving EiE and BudgIT and not just SERAP. Therefore, our groups will carefully study the letter and documentation by Mr Buratai to see if details of the information provided meet the requirements of our request and then promptly respond to him, as appropriate.”

“While we ascertain the level of compliance of the information provided, we welcome Mr Buratai’s demonstrated commitment to the Freedom of Information Act by responding to our request, especially at a time when high-ranking government officials including the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh and Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola continue to exhibit blatant disregard for FOI requests by refusing to even acknowledge several of such requests.”

“The National Assembly, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), ministries, agencies and departments should also learn from the good example shown by Mr Buratai by at least honouring and responding to FOI requests from Nigerians, NGOs and others if they are ever to contribute to the efforts to achieve greater level of transparency and accountability in Nigeria.”

According to SERAP, “a quick look at the documentation shows a list of several projects reportedly implemented by the Nigerian Army. Among those listed and displayed, which appeared to show certain projects the Nigerian Army said it carried out with budgeted funds, include: places where operations were carried out; renovation of barracks and military hospitals, spending to honour late soldiers; trainings and workshops; repairs of some old military equipment; and completion of offices and housing projects. Others are feeding of soldiers; building of new barracks and schools; acquisition of arms and ammunition and vehicles for military operations; as well as provision of welfare for soldiers.”

It would be recalled that SERAP, EiE and BudgIT had in a joint FOI request asked Mr Buratai to use his good offices and leadership position to “urgently provide information on the 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, including the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations the Army carried out.”

The groups also urged Mr Buratai to furnish them with “the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for: Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Safe Haven, Operation Python Dance, Operation Ruwan Wuta, Operation Delta Safe, Operation Mesa, Operation Harbin Kunama, Operation Awatse, Operation Tsera Teku and Operation Crocodile Smile.”

The FOI request sent December 2018 and signed by Bamisope Adeyanju of SERAP, Seun Akinyemi of EiE and Atiku Samuel of BudgIT, read in part: “Transparency of the budget process and its implementation is an essential condition to achieve good governance. The reports, if provided and published, will shed light on military spending and put to rest once and for all the perceived lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of military budgets, which has been a subject of intense public debate and concern.”

“If the requested information is not provided within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, our organizations shall take all appropriate legal action under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.”

“Several billions of naira allocated to the military to defend the country and protect its people have neither contributed to improving the ability of Nigerian soldiers to fight Boko Haram and other armed groups nor provided the much-needed security especially for Nigerians in the North-east of the country.”

“The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act. The information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, would serve the national interest, public welfare, public interest and peace, human rights, good governance, transparency and accountability.”

“By virtue of Section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, we are entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, and the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations listed, which have yielded no tangible result.”

“Also, by virtue of Section 4(a) of the FOI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or agency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received

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There are fears that many people have lost their lives after a petroleum tanker burst into flames at the Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River state

Channels Television gathered that some of the residents were scooping fuel from a fallen petroleum tanker when the explosion occurred.

The tanker laden with PMS was reportedly heading outside the state capital when it suddenly lost balance towards the Federal Housing Estate along the Odukpani axis of the highway and fell off.

Dozens were said to have rushed down to scoop the spilled product which later resulted in an explosion leaving many burnt beyond recognition.

Majority of the victims are said to have sustained third-degree injuries and are currently at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.

As of the time of filing this report, the number of casualties recorded could not be ascertained.

Attempts are being made to reach relevant authorities to get a clearer insight into the unfortunate incident.

Below are some more photos from the scene, some pictures have been purposely left out because of their graphic nature.

More details later coming up with the update soon by ((Lagmen Net News))

Source channels.