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Cross River: Army accused of atrocity in Nko over Colonel, soldiers’ shooting



The Nigerian Army raid on two communities in two Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Cross River State has come under severe criticism.

The recurring communal crisis has claimed scores of lives, wounded and displaced many, with properties destroyed.

Last weekend, some people were killed in Nko town after soldiers allegedly opened fire on residents.

The troops were drafted from Edor Barracks in Ikom to curtail the conflict between the people of Nko (Yakurr LGA) and Onyadama (Abi LGA) over a land dispute.

On Saturday, Nko youths went on rampage, maintaining that the Army has not been neutral in their face-off with Onyadama.

After mobilization, they confronted and shot six soldiers and a Colonel who led the team. The latter and his contingent are receiving treatment.

The military authority got furious over the attack and ordered a major operation to fish out the culprits.

On Sunday, troops stormed the community in vehicles after dawn and launched an offensive. It is unclear if there was an exchange of fire.

Circulating figures suggest at least five deaths; some people, including women, the elderly and children, are missing.

The military now faces a backlash. Okoi Obono-Obla, a former President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide, told Army chief, Yahaya Frauk, to call his men to order.

Obono-Obla accused soldiers deployed of engaging in retaliation against innocent residents in an extreme manner.

“The reprisal attack against Nko community leaves a sour taste in the mouth. These reprisal attacks by law enforcement agencies on innocent villagers are wicked.”

He demanded that the perpetrators of the “senseless and mindless violence” be arrested and brought to justice immediately.

On Tuesday, a Twitter user (Soyi Hadassah) wrote: “Dear Nigerians, They’re still shooting sporadically in my village (Nko, Yakurr area).

“It’s enough that they burnt our house with my father in it and my poor mother is still in the bush hiding for her life.

“We can’t even travel, which makes it more horrible. Help me, help my father, Help the homeless and poor people in Nko.”

A reply by @Christiine_U reads: “A family friend just told me about this. Her mum is stuck at home and she can’t walk, the people taking care of her and feeding her have fled to the bush leaving her to her faith.

“The woman is scared and hungry alone at home. My friend is scared here in Lagos. Send help to Uko.”

In another reaction, @thatgirlsteh wrote: “My colleague had to leave work early cuz she got a call that they burnt her family house and her mom’s shop, and that her dad is missing.”

Also, @EduEle5 tweeted: “Nigeria has happened to one of our own again. These soldiers burnt the home of @Soyi_Hadassah with her father inside.

“I was on the phone with mum today when she was telling me about the refugees that are looking for where to lay their heads in our town.

“The soldiers staged a raid, razing down buildings and firing live bullets at villagers, alleging that their personnel was killed by Nko youths.

“After the raiding by the army last night, normalcy returned but suddenly between 6 a.m. this today, they appeared again and started shooting everything on sight.

“Soldiers sent to keep peace within these two communities are the same people killing and rendering people homeless by burning houses, shops etc. Why?”

Army Director of Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu did not take calls to his line on Wednesday.

However, the yet-to-be named wounded Colonel is still under care, battling for his life.

The officer was flown by helicopter to Abakaliki, the Ebonyi capital for medical attention, DAILY POST correspondent learnt.

Retired service personnel from the restive community have condemned the targeting of the soldiers.

“The Colonel is in a critical condition in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Abakaliki.

“Six other soldiers were shot. Other senior retired military officers in the area have blamed the people for daring the soldiers.

“They shot and mocked them by parading half-naked and shaking their bum. That’s why the soldiers responded and invaded the community”, one said.

Another source disclosed that troops conducting house to house searches “discovered and retrieved arms”.

The palace of the village head of Nko, Obol Ofem Ayomobi was raided and set ablaze allegedly by soldiers, who said arms were stored there.

The Obol Lopon of Ugep, HRM Obol Ofem Ubana confirmed the presence of the soldiers but said his home wasn’t searched.

“It is not true that soldiers invaded my palace and uncovered arms”, the paramount ruler of Yakurr LGA explained.

“As a result of the violence, there is a huge population of refugees from Nko in my palace in Ugep who arrived for safety”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Cross River government has ordered the Nko community to produce the shooters of the soldiers.

Governor Ben Ayade spokesman, Linus Obogo issued a statement on Tuesday after a state security council meeting attended by service chiefs.

The government directed the Army to sustain its operation in Nko until those behind the firing of the military personnel are apprehended.

Also, an order was issued for dethronement of the Obol Etim Ayomobi (Yakurr) and the Clan Head of Oyadama, Ovarr Vincent Erena (Obubra LGA).

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Sanwo-Olu Approves 20 Percent Increase In Salaries For Civil Servants




Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved a 20 per cent increase in salaries for civil servants in the state.

In a circular seen by IfakoIjaiyeNews, signed by  Hakeem Muri Okunola, Head of Service and dated March 20, the increase took effect from January 1, 2023.

In the circular, the state government said the arrears from January till date will be paid along with the March salary.


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Lagos Auto Dealer Arraigned For Killing Wife




A popular Lagos auto dealer, Ikechukwu Ogbonna, alias (IVD) was on Monday arraigned before an Ikeja High Court for the alleged involuntary manslaughter of his wife,  Abimbola.

Lagos State Government arraigned IVD on one count of involuntary manslaughter.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The State Counsel, Mrs Adeshola Bello had informed the court that the defendant was for arraignment, adding that there was a mixed up in the date the alleged offence was committed.

The offence, she said, contravened Section 222 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

“We have on record Oct.10, 2022, but the actual date of the incident was Oct.12

“We pray for the indulgence of the court to make amendment on the date,” she said.

The defence counsel, Mr Victor Ogunde, SAN, sought bail for the defendant, following his arraignment.

Ogunde added that the suit against the defendant was with a different number.

Justice Modupe Nicole-Clay questioned the defence for bringing a bail application despite the defendant being on bail since March 1.

Nicole-Clay thereafter adjourned until March 30 for the commencement of trial.

Abimbola was said to have died as a result of the fire incident that occurred in the couple’s home on  Oct.12, 2022.

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Truck Crushes Okada Rider, Passenger To Death



A commercial motorcyclist and his passenger, on Wednesday, lost their lives after colliding with a truck at Bible College area on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Sector Commander in Ogun, Mr Ahmed Umar, confirmed the accident on Wednesday in Ota, Ogun.

Umar said that the accident, which happened at about 9.10 a.m., involved four people, a vehicle and a Bajaj motorcycle.

He said that the motorcycle, with no registration number, drove against traffic and collided with a Daf truck, marked: KTG 941 YG, leading to the death of the Okada rider and the passenger, while two others were unhurt.

“The corpses of the dead had been deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital, Ifo,” he said.

The sector commander blamed the accident on excessive speeding and route violation.

He advised motorists and okada riders to desist from excessive speeding to avoid unnecessary loss of life.

Umar also cautioned them to refrain from driving against traffic to prevent mishaps on the highway.

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