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Gunmen kidnap another Catholic priest in Anambra

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Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Anambra State based Catholic priest, Reverend Father Christian Ike, has been abducted by assailants.

The clergyman was reportedly taken away by the assailants on Sunday, along Amagu junction, Ndiokpaleke, in Ajali community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

An eyewitness in the area, who narrated the incident our correspondents, said the priest was returning alongside two other persons from an early morning Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church when the assailants double-crossed his vehicle.

The source said unknown gunmen kidnapped the priest and took some personal belongings in the vehicle, but the reason for the incident has yet to be ascertained.

The eyewitness said, “The priest and two other persons were returning from St. Micheal Catholic Church, where they attended morning service.

“On getting to Amagu Junction, their vehicle was double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two other persons escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle.”

Confirming the incident, the Anambra State police spokesman, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the command had deployed its intelligence and operational assets for the priest’s possible rescue unhurt.

He added that further development will be communicated as it unfolds.

Ikenga said, “Anambra State Police Command received the information of the abduction of Rev Father Christian Ike and has deployed its intelligence and operational assets of the Command for possible rescue unhurt.

“Eyewitness account revealed by 10:30 am on 16/6/2024, the priest and two others were returning from St. Micheal Catholic Church Ndiokpaleke where they attended morning service, along Amagu Junction, they were double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle.

“To this end, the Command has activated its intelligence and operational assets for possible arrest of the assailants and rescue unhurt of the priest.”

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Nigerians paid N721bn in cash bribes to govt officials in 2023 – NBS

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Nigerians paid a staggering N721 billion in cash bribes to public officials in 2023.

The survey, titled “Corruption in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” released on Thursday, July 11, revealed that over 95 percent of these bribes were in monetary form.

According to the report, there has been a decline in Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption efforts during the period under review.

The report stated, “Overall, it is estimated that a total of roughly N721 billion ($1.26 billion) was paid in cash bribes to public officials in Nigeria in 2023, corresponding to 0.35 percent of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.”

The report further revealed that bribes paid in a public official’s office and on the street accounted for approximately 35 percent and 36 percent of all bribes respectively while, 11 percent of bribes were paid in respondents’ own homes, while 7 percent occurred in public buildings such as restaurants, malls, or stations.

The report highlighted that healthcare professionals and public utility officers were the most frequent recipients of bribes, accounting for 30 percent and 24 percent of encounters respectively. Police officers followed closely with a contact rate of 20 percent

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Nigerian Army arrests fleeing IPOB members in Anambra

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Last Updated on July 11, 2024 by Fellow Press

Troops of the Nigerian Army have arrested two Indigenous People of Biafra members identified as Ifeanyi Godwin and Uche Onuoha in Anambra State.

The two suspects were intercepted inside an SUV near Umunze, Orumba South Local Government Area with two pump-action rifles and 41 cartridges, among others.

Onuoha and Godwin, according to a post by the Nigerian Army on Wednesday on X.com, had been on the wanted list of the Nigeria Police since 2023.

The Army said, “In Anambra State, troops on patrol successfully intercepted and arrested two suspected IPOB/ESN members identified as Ifeanyi Godwin and Uche Onuoha, in a Toyota Highlander SUV, near Umunze, Orumba South LGA.

“The suspects were found in possession of two pump-action rifles, 41 cartridges, a hand-held communication radio, and fetish objects. Further investigations revealed their involvement in criminal activities and they have been on the Nigeria Police Wanted list since 2023.

“Preliminary investigations further revealed that Ifeanyi Godwin allegedly owns a hotel from proceeds of kidnapping used as an IPOB/ESN operations base.”

The Army said troops also raided the residence of a kidnap kingpin, Bello Chinjdawoje, in Ibadan and recovered two AK-47 riffles.

“Similarly, in Oyo State, troops acting on credible intelligence raided the residence of a suspected kidnap kingpin identified as Bello Chikidawoje, in the Bodija area, Ibadan North LGA. The operation led to the recovery of two AK-47 rifles, magazines loaded with ammunition, and additional rounds buried inside an animal’s cage. Efforts are underway to apprehend Bello Chikidawoje and dismantle his criminal network,” the post added.

In another operation conducted in Katsina, the Army said troops engaged terrorists who blocked the road in Ruma, Yargamji and Batsari in a gun duel, causing them to flee.

It said three empty AK-47 magazines were recovered from the operation.

“In Kankara LGA, Katsina State, troops acted on intelligence about terrorists planning an attack on commuters returning from the village market. Troops confronted the terrorists, leading to the neutralisation of one terrorist and the recovery of an AK-47 rifle and ammunition. The decisive actions of the troops prevented a potential attack and disrupted the terrorists’ plans,” it said.

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