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Bandits kill FIRS boss, abduct 3 others in Niger attack



The Coordinator, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in charge of Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states, Alhaji Muhammad Kudu Adamu, was reportedly killed by bandits on Sunday night at Saminaka community, along Lapai-Lambata Road in Niger State.

A friend of the deceased, Dr Zubairu Ibrahim, told newsmen that he was returning from Lafiagi, his hometown in Kwara State, where he had gone to greet his relations who just returned from the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

He said Adamu and three other occupants in the vehicle ran into the bandits who shot indiscriminately in their direction.

Two tankers loaded with Premium Motor Spirit and parked by the roadside were also hit by bullets and engulfed in fire.

Saminaka is a busy community along Lambata-Bida Road where dozens of tankers and heavy articulated drivers and other travellers park to rest.

When contacted, the Niger State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the attack and said three persons were kidnapped while two tankers caught fire.

He said the attack occurred around 10:30pm on Sunday.

Abiodun said the bandits invaded a restaurant in Saminaka and abducted its owner, Zainab Usman, and two others.

The Chief Imam of Saminaka, Alhaji Umaru Mohammed, told newsmen on the telephone that the bandits chased a woman into the Mosque during Quranic teaching and abducted her alongside the deputy chief imam.

He said, “When they wanted to shoot her in the Mosque, the deputy chief imam started pleading with them and one of them said he should also be taken along. Luckily, they (bandits) entered a shop opposite the Mosque where they sell mobile phones and started packing phones. It was in that process that the deputy chief imam escaped but they went away with the restaurant owner and two of her workers.”

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Mohammed said the restaurant had been attacked twice in two years, adding that a boy, Mohammad, was also hit by a bullet in his shoulder and was taken to a hospital.

He told our correspondent that the vehicle in which the FIRS official was travelling was also hit by a stray bullet but the driver of the vehicle was able to escape.

A community leader, who pleaded anonymity, lamented that the area which extends from Old Gawu to Yaba in Abaji Area Council had been very dangerous due to mountains and a thick forest that served as shelters for criminals.

“Sometimes, they do send their informants to communities to work as labourers who study the environment and get back to them before they attack. The Abaji Area Council has posed a serious threat to our communities.

“They have kidnapped many people in our area. A few weeks ago, they invaded Rafin-Daji village and kidnapped 15 farmers including four women on their farms. One of the tractor drivers was killed and one of the two tractors with which they were working was set ablaze. They were released after collecting N3 million for each person as ransom.

“We also spent N400, 000 in buying bags of rice, wraps of Indian hemp, cartons of noodles, packs of cigarettes and other hard drugs that they demanded. The victims spent about two months before they were released.

“Also recently, six people were kidnapped in a village very close to us. They were released after the payment of ransom. The village head that was among the victims had his legs and hands broken before they released them,” the leader added.

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Residents in the area decried the absence of security operatives even in the face of continuous attacks and kidnapping.

One of the residents who spoke in confidence said, “There are no armed security personnel in our area. There are policemen but you won’t see them with guns. The attacks were beyond the strength of our vigilantes.”

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Supreme Court to deliver judgement on Kogi APC guber primary Oct 23



• Usman Ododo and Smart Adeyemi
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, adjourned an appeal filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi against the judgments of the lower courts, on the Kogi APC Governorship primary election, to October 23, 2023, for judgment.

Adeyemi had filed a suit at the Federal High Court seeking to nullify the primary election of the All Progressive Congress, which produced Usman Ododo as the party’s flagbearer for the state’s governorship election slated for November 11.The case was dismissed by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal for lacking in merit.

The apex court, while hearing his appeal, on Thursday, told his lawyer, Musibau Adetumbi, SAN, that his client was appealing against concurrent findings of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which stated that primary elections were held in Kogi State but that he had failed to challenge these concurrent findings.

However, the appellant’s counsel said he would go ahead to argue the appeal.

The Supreme Court therefore adjourned the appeal to October 23, 2023, for judgment.The representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress and Usman Ododo include Chief Anthony Adeniyi (SAN) Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN) and M.Y. Abdullahi, SAN; respectively.

The Court of Appeal had, on August 18, 2023, held that the appeal argued by Adekunle Otitoju on behalf of Adeyemi was completely bereft of merit.

In a unanimous judgment of a 3-man panel of Justices of the Court, Adeyemi was said to have failed to establish all grievous criminal allegations made against the conduct of the primary election by APC and its leaders.

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50 poisoned at wedding party



No fewer than 50 people were poisoned at a wedding in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk due to spoiled food, local media reported.

According to the report, the incident occurred in the town of Hawija, west of Kirkuk, the capital city of the cognominal province.

The provincial health chief, Ziyad Khalaf, said some of the cases were mild while some were serious.

He added that all the patients have received the necessary medical treatment in the hospital.

The incident came a day after a deadly fire ripped through a wedding hall in a predominantly Christian town in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, killing 114 people and injuring more than 200. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Make a difference in Niger Delta, Ogbuku charges new directors



The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has enjoined the newly promoted Directors of the Commission to make a difference in the discharge of their duties and take the Commission to greater heights.

Ogbuku, who gave the charge at the closing session of a two-week course on Leadership and Performance Management for directing staff of the NDDC in Abuja, said that the provision of quality services to the people of the Niger Delta was a collective responsibility and should be given priority.

According to him, the reason for sending the new Directors for training was to ensure they took the administrative knowledge acquired back to the Commission in order to make a difference for the overall benefit of the region.

He said: “We are supposed to be training and retraining our staff. This is just the beginning. I want the directors to take back the knowledge they have gained to others in the NDDC to better appreciate their roles and understand the expectations from them.

“We want to do things differently. We want to improve on our services. We want to take up challenges. We want to start with the staff first to ensure that all the staff are properly trained and they understand their roles.”

Ogbuku urged the directors to ensure they utilised the experiences gathered from the training to improve the administrative processes in NDDC to ensure that things were done differently.

He said further: “As new directors, you need to understand your roles and understand your boundaries. You also need to understand your strengths and understand when to use them and when not to.

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“You need to understand that you are public servants and not civil servants. So, these are some of the things we thought you ought to be equipped with.”

“Over the years we have seen a situation where the staff of the NDDC seem to act as politicians, but as directors who have been inducted into Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), I believe that you are not only going to be ambassadors of NDDC, you are also going to be worthy ambassadors of ASCON,” he said.

He stressed that his expectation was to work with directors who understood that they were career civil servants, and aspiring to get to their peak as professionals, not those who want to be nepotic or tribalistic.

Ogbuku noted that directors should be wary of their actions, adding that some of their actions could mislead their subordinates who are looking up to them as role models.

In her address, the Director General of ASCON, Mrs. Cecilia Gayya noted that training was essentially an activity that was designed to make an employee more efficient and productive in the performance of their functions.

She said that the focus of training was to ensure efficient and effective application of knowledge, skills and attitude for improved performance, noting: “The programme was carefully designed and implemented to provide the needed knowledge, skills and capacity to adequately and promptly discharge their responsibilities and thus, make meaningful contributions towards the attainment of the mission and vision of the NDDC.

“The conscientiousness with which you participated in this programme for the past two weeks is a testimony to your preparedness for the challenges ahead and thus gives us hope that this training will impact positively on your performance, especially as you rise higher in the strategic realm of the management of the Commission.

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