The Nigerian army says pro-Biafra gunmen terrorising residents of the South-east were mainly condemned criminals that escaped from Owerri Prison Facility during the infamous jail break in Imo State.
The spokesperson of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Jonah Unuakhalu, in a statement, said the army made the discovery when troops of Operation Udo Ka II, conducted a clearance operation in the state on Friday.
Udo Ka II is a military operation in the South-east.
Mr Unuakhalu, a lieutenant colonel, said the operation was conducted on Friday along Ihioma – Ihittenansa in Orsu Local Government Area in Imo State and in Okigwe – Umulolo in Okigwe Local Government Area of the state.
The army spokesperson said the operation was conducted a day after a similar operation in the area, which was a follow up to efforts to track down some suspected members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militant wing, Eastern Security Network.
“These terrorists, mostly the condemned criminals that escaped from Owerri jail break, are low lives that are being used by a criminal abroad to unleash mayhem on all of us,” Mr Unuakhalu said.
Armed persons, on 5 April 2021, attacked the Owerri Correctional Centre and freed a total of 1,844 prisoners, authorities had said.
There had been suspicion among residents of the South-east that some of the inmates who escaped from the Owerri facility might be responsible for the growing attacks in the region.
Mr Unuakhalu, in the statement, said two suspected IPOB members were arrested during the clearance operations in Imo State.
The spokesperson said the operations were “aimed at identifying and destroying” the camps of suspected IPOB members who allegedly kill, maim and extort innocent residents of the region under the guise of being Biafra agitators.
“During the simultaneous clearance operations at Umulolo, one of the troops’ vehicles was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). However, no causality was recorded.
“Troops also came in contact with the terrorists who fled into the nearby bushes with gunshot wounds due to superior fire power. Two suspects were arrested,” he said.
Two locally made guns, ammunition, one PKT machine gun barrel, one big locally made rocket propelled launcher and IED-making materials were among the items recovered from the suspects, according to the army.
Others include, three CCTV cameras, two laptops and a charger, eight mobile phones, three boots, camouflage shorts, two motorcycles and a beret.
“Three shrines used by the terrorists for fortification were destroyed,” he said.
Mr Unuakhalu said the troops, despite encountering the IEDs, further engaged some IPOB terrorists in Eke Ututu, Orsu Local Government Area of the state “where they cleared the hoodlums.”
The spokesperson said the terrorists, during the military operation, fled with gunshot wounds into forests of Lilu in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State and Mother Valley in Orsumoghu in Nnewi South Local Government Area of the state.
He urged residents of the South-east region to support the military and other security agencies with “timely, credible and reliable Information” to end security challenges in the region.
Knocks as Lagos church invites Portable, Pasuma to praise night
A branch of the Celestial Church of Christ in Lagos is facing criticism following the announcement of its praise night event featuring Pasuma, a Fuji singer, and the controversial musician, Portable.
The event flyer, shared on the church’s Facebook page on November 29, 2023, prompted an outcry from numerous users.
Scheduled for December 15, the event drew shock from multiple Facebook users who condemned the church for inviting secular artistes to a praise night.
The church’s post reads: “JOIN US ON 15th OF DEC, 2023”
“As We Celebrate our 7th-year Anniversary on Our ANKARA / PRAISE NIGHT.
“Performing: ALHAJI WASIU ALABI PASUMA a.k.a Oganla,’ ‘HABEEB OLALOMI a.k.a Portable,’ ‘MAY-SHUA,’ ‘EVANG. SUNDAY GP a.k.a De Governor.”
Expressing disappointment, Bolanle Bamidele Adewuyi commented, “This is disheartening… Is this what you turn the Church of God to? It’s hilarious.”
Edafe Oghenebrume labeled the move as sacrilegious, expressing dismay and questioning the spiritual direction of the church leaders and congregation.
“This is a sacrilege in the Celestial Church of Christ. It is disheartening, pathetic, shameful and disgraceful. I wonder about the spiritual orientation of your Shepherd-In-Charge and the congregation.”
Festus Olanrewaji Ojo criticized the decision, emphasizing, “This is a shame! Shame and a very big shame.”
Becky Wunmi Hassan Ayoade expressed concern about the direction of the church, stating, “There is nothing they will not turn celestial church to”.
Ayo Ife humorously remarked, “The artists are not complete yet. Una for kuku add Naira Marley So that the soul winning can complete! Eku ishe oluwa sir.”
However, amidst the criticism, some users expressed eagerness to attend.
Abike Ade affirmed, “I’ll definitely be there.”
Meanwhile, Abike Garment commented, “I must be there make I come dance away my sorrow.”
Kogi guber poll: I won’t challenge election result at tribunal — Dino Melaye
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the just concluded Kogi State Governorship election, Senator Dino Melaye has announced his decision not to seek legal redress following his electoral loss.
Melaye, who made his decision known at a media briefing in Abuja, on Wednesday, said his decision was hinged on the fact that the judiciary has allegedly become an arm of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
According to him, it is now public knowledge that the judiciary under the current administration has become the “lost hope” instead of the “last hope” of the common man.
Melaye noted that it was a shame that the judiciary watched helplessly as members of the ruling party boasted of their control over the judiciary during campaigns.
Family dissociates Adedoyin from Osun govt, chief justice face-off
The family of Rahman Adedoyin has, for the umpteenth time, dissociated their patriarch, Rahman Adedoyin from the ongoing face-off between the government , Osun judiciary workers and Chief Justice, Justice Oyebola Adepele-Ojo.
In statement titled, “RE: OSUN CJ REMOVAL: DO NOT USE DR. RAHMAN ADEDOYIN’S CASE AS AN EXCUSE OR DEFENCE AGAINST CORRUPT ALLEGATIONS,” signed by the Director, Media & Publicity of Adedoyin Conglomerate,
Dr Kunle Awojoodu on behalf of the family, condemns what it called as attempt to drag Adedoyin into lingering face-off between the state government and chief judge, Hon Justice O.A. Ojo.
The statement reads: “Attention of the family of Dr Rahman Adedoyin has been drawn to various write ups in various media: social and print by some faceless people trying to drag Dr Adedoyin into the face-off between the Chief Judge of Osun, Hon Justice O.A. Ojo , and the Osun State Government as well as the Osun Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria.
“It is highly disheartening that some elements within the society could, simply, for selfish and face saving reasons, descend so low to the abyss of pedestrianism alleging that it is because of Dr Adedoyin’s case that Governor Adeleke of Osun State is pitched against the CJ and, at the same time, being called to account by the Osun State law makers, when the allegations laid against the CJ before the Osun State House of Assembly contain nothing as such.
“It indubitably smacks of unwarranted malice and sheer hypocrisy that anyone could level this type of mischievous allegation against Dr Adedoyin, (a renowned educationist, a business mogul and one of the major employers of labour in Osun State) who has never been a politician, has no nexus with politics or sought any political contract whatsoever, in their attempt to curry undue public advantage/sympathy or circumvent unavertable responsibilities.
“We, as the family, believe in the rule of law and due process of the law and has never, at any point in time, approached any individual, group of persons, traditional rulers, politicians or anyone at all to subvert the cause of justice. We strongly believe that the impartial court would eventually do justice in the case.
“Unfortunately, our hope was dashed when our patriarch, Dr Ramon Adedoyin was convicted and hurriedly condemned in spite of absence or non existent of an iota of evidence linking him either to the hurriedly and belatedly added charge of murder or any of the earlier charges whatsoever.
“As law abiding citizens, we decided to choose the path of legality and constitutionality by seeking true justice at the appellate Court.
” It is therefore illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional for anyone to link the current imbroglio vis a vis the State Government, the protesting staff of the State Judiciary and the embattled CJ, Hon Justice Ojo Adepele to a case that is still pending at appeal, in order to score cheap political points or personal propaganda.’
The family said Dr Adedoyin does not know and has never met the Governor of Osun State.
It stated further, “Nevertheless, for our family decorum and maturity, we reserve our comments on the demands of one Aliyu and a Yoruba Monarch about Justice Adepele Ojo’s circumstantial evidence by which she hurriedly pronounced the guilt of Dr.Adedoyin without required pieces of evidence.
“Without mincing words, the family strongly dissociates itself from unfounded rumours being peddled and negatively marketed, as usual, to this horrible effect.”
Adedoyin’s family, however, vehemently advised those who take delight in stoking fire in the crisis in the State, especially within the media, to leave Dr Adedoyin and his family alone and “rather explore possibility of a defence via due process of the law. It must be sounded as a point of warning that resorting to cheap blackmail or any pretentious linkage with our family or any member thereof will amount to an ill wind that will legally blow them no good,” the statement said.
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