The remaining 15 of the 66 abducted worshipers of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kakau Daji in Kaduna State have regained freedom from their abductors.
Recall that, suspected bandits had kidnapped 66 worshippers at the church in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state during church hours on October 31, 2021. The bandits had killed members of the church before taking others into captivity.
Rev Dr Israel Adelani Akanji, the President of Nigerian Baptist Convention, who announced the release of the students on his verified Facebook page on Tuesday, did not say whether ransom was paid or not.
Bandits demand N99m ransom for 61 Emmanuel Baptist worshippers in Kaduna
“Glory be to God. I rejoice to inform you that the remaining 15 members of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kakau Daji, Kaduna, regained their freedom in the evening yesterday, December 13, 2021,” he wrote.
“They were kidnapped on Sunday, October 31, 2021. I wish to most sincerely appreciate your prayers, words of encouragement and financial support.”
He further urged Christians to continue to pray for the remaining students of Bethel Baptist School who were kidnapped.
“We are still awaiting the release of the remaining three students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, who were kidnapped on July 5, 2021. God bless you IJN,” he concluded.
John Abebe’s forgery trial adjourned
The trial of John Warimeme Abebe before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has been adjourned till April 13, 2022 for the adoption of written addresses.
Justice Mojisola Dada gave the new date at the continuation of trial on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, with the defence closing its case.
Abebe, ex- President Obasanjo’s in-law was first arraigned on July 26, 2018 on a four-count charge bordering on forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice by the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged BP Exploration Nigeria Limited’s letter dated 30th November, 1995 to Inducon (Nigeria) Limited by inserting in page 2 of the said letter the following words: “Also note that the ‘Buy-Out Option’ only applies to the pre-production stage of the NPIA. The $4m buy-out is thus irrelevant from production of oil in any of our fields” and purported same to have been issued by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited and committed an offence contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
Another count reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly used a fabricated evidence in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited, before the Federal High Court, which evidence was admitted and marked exhibit BB in the said suit and committed an offence contrary to Section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
Abebe pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
Led in evidence by his counsel, E.D. Onyeke, the defendant had taken to the dock to defend himself.
He was also cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who confronted him with several documents.
At today’s sitting, Onyeke told the Court that the defence was closing its case.
“We will be asking the Court for a date to file our written address,” he said.
Thereafter, Justice Dada adjourned till April 13, 2022 for “definitive adoption of written addresses”.
Bandits killed 300 persons, kidnapped 200 in Niger January attacks – Gov
In the first two weeks of this month, Niger State communities were attacked by bandits at least 50 times, with over 300 persons killed and 200 kidnapped, including security personnel.
Governor Abubakar Bello disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday after he met with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to brief him on the development.
The governor, who enumerated the series of attacks and their consequences on lives, blamed the low response time to the attacks on the lack of access roads to the affected communities.
He, however, expressed optimism that with the new measures being put in place, the security situation in the state would improve soon, adding that contiguous states must work together to stop terrorists from moving from one region to another.
Bello stated, “This afternoon, I came to visit Mr President to give him an update on the security situation in Niger State concerning banditry activities, kidnapping and cattle rustling, among others. We were able to review some of the invasions in the state. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you all.
“In the last few days, there have been a lot of activities in Niger State. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we will see some relief with regard to banditry. I also gave a highlight on some of the challenges. Of course, our size is a disadvantage, almost nine million hectares. We lost some forests.
“In January this year alone, we suffered not less than 50 reported attacks and loss of lives between January 1 and 17. Within the same period, no fewer than 300 communities were invaded by bandits. The number of people kidnapped is 200, including three Chinese nationals.”