Owo massacre: Ondo Amotekun nabs killers of worshippers, goes after sponsors - AfrobadooTV
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Owo massacre: Ondo Amotekun nabs killers of worshippers, goes after sponsors



Commander of South-West security outfit, codenamed Amotekun, in Ondo State, Chief Àdetunji Adeleye, yesterday, boosted the campaign for state police, when he narrated how the outfit arrested some suspected killers of worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.

The Amotekun commander, who did not give details and identities of the suspects for security reasons, said the security outfit has been on the trail of sponsors of the killers.

Adeleye also did not give the number of the suspects arrested and did not parade them to the public.

It will be recalled that over 40 worshippers were gruesomely murdered during a morning mass on June 5, 2022, while over 100 others were injured during the attack.

Days after the attack, the Federal Government had blamed the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, for the attack, with the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, saying it was orchestrated by international criminals.

Aregbesola also said security agencies had been directed to go after the perpetrators of the act and bring them to book, as security agents were zeroing in on them.

He noted that the attack had no ethnic or religious connection even as he affirmed that the group’s activity had nothing to do with real religion.

But Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, and governor Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu had faulted the Federal Government’s claim, saying it was speculative.

Both Fayemi and Akeredolu insisted the Federal Government’s pronouncement was too hasty.

Suspected killers not ISWAP members—Amotekun source

But an Amotekun official, who spoke in confidence, said those arrested were not members of ISWAP.

A second source, who was privy to the arrest, also told Vanguard in confidence that those arrested were “definitely not ISWAP members. That’s all I can confide in you.

“For security reasons, the outfit would want to keep some vital information secret for now.

“We’re still on the trail of other suspects and their sponsors and if details are divulged now, we may not be able to arrest others involved in the massacre.’’

How we arrested suspects— motekun commander

Speaking on how the suspects were trailed and arrested by Amotekun personnel, Mr Adeleye said: “As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests and we have also recovered some vital things, which we are working on.

“On that day, we pursued them to the point where we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them.

“We will get to the root; I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book. They came on motorcycles and hijacked a Golf vehicle.’’

71 other criminals nabbed in 1 month

Speaking on the 71 other suspected criminals paraded, the commander said: “In the last few weeks, we have been under serious attack. Men of Ondo State Security Network Agency have equally gone after these criminals; we arrested 71 suspects.

“The suspects were arrested within the last one month for various offences, ranging from armed robbery, cattle rustling, suspected kidnaps, rape, fraud to human trafficking.

“The 71 suspects were picked while committing crime and others were tracked to their hideouts in the forests.

“We have been able to get a cartel that specialises in stealing and dismantling motor bikes, which we all know as okada. Also, we were able to recover over 50 bikes during the operation from the suspects.

“We also got reports from some herdsmen that their cattle were stolen. We went after them and brought the cows back to the Fulani herdsmen, who own them.

“We have a group of armed teenagers that turned themselves into a cartel of criminals in a particular local government in Ondo State. They belong to a cult group called ‘Agbado’. We were able to arrest 12 of the 17 members.

“We have about three to four suspected kidnappers and we intend to take most of these suspects, especially the ones we have concluded their investigations to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, DPP, for onward prosecution in court.

“We want to assure the good people of Ondo State that we will not rest on our oars until we rid the state of criminal elements.

“There is no hiding place for them. They turned the heat on us and we have also turned the heat on them.

“Recently, the number of these sad occurrences in the northern senatorial part of the state had been on the increase. We are intensifying all efforts to get to root of the mischievous and barbaric acts of these criminal elements.

“We will continue with our Operation Clean-Up until these criminals are driven out of the forests.

“Amotekun operatives are working on the waters and land. What we don’t have for now and what we are pleading for is speed and gunboats to confront pirates on the seas.”

‘We’re not aware of any arrest’

Reacting to the arrest of the suspects by Amotekun yesterday, spokesperson of the Police Command, Funmi Odunlami said: “The Police is not aware of any arrest. Our investigation is ongoing. We don’t have information on any arrest.”

However, an official of the command, who preferred anonymity, said the command wanted the suspects handed over, if they had been arrested.

Catholic Church, CAN, Olowo keep mum

When contacted, the Catholic Church declined to react to the arrest of the suspected killers.

In an interview, its Director of Communications, Rev Augustine Ikwu, said the church would not react now until it had full information on the suspected killers’ arrest.

Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Ondo State, speaking through its Public Relations Officer, Daisi Ajayi, pleaded for time to get the full details of the arrest.

Similarly, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, said he was yet to be briefed of any arrest.

Oba Ogunoye said: “I have not heard from the security outfit. Until I am briefed, I cannot comment.”

Suspects should be paraded before the public —Victim’s brother

But, a brother to one of the victims, Ngozi Okechukwu, said: “If the report is correct, then it’s good news.

“If Amotekun truly arrested the killers, they should not only tell us the number of those arrested, but parade them to the whole world to see. Until they do this, their story cannot be believed hundred per cent.”

It’s time for State Police —Afenifere

Reacting to the development, National Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, Mr Jare Ajayi, said if news of the arrests was confirmed, “then it is worthy of commendation and celebration.”

Ajayi said: “We in Afenifere, as is the case with the Yoruba and other well-meaning people, have not recovered from the shock we suffered in the wake of the massacre that took place at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.

“This was why we kept praying for the apprehension of the perpetrators of the evil act. So, having them arrested and ultimately prosecuted accordingly would be seen as one of our prayers being answered.”

While commending the efforts of Amotekun, he restated the call for state police.

“The valiant efforts being put up by Amotekun in the states where it has been established, particularly that of Ondo State, justify the need to have willing states to have their police force.

“The heroic performances of those Amotekun corps would be more if they have the full power of the police. We, therefore, seize this opportunity to, once again, call for an urgent approval of state police.

“We commend Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and pray that he, along with his colleagues in other states, overcome those enemies of peace in our midst.”

Oyo govt to register commercial motorcycle operators

Meanwhile, Oyo State Government, yesterday, announced its readiness to issue identification numbers and registration jackets to commercial motorcyclists, popularly called okada riders, in the state.

The government said the registration would help in planning properly for the security architecture of the state, in the long-run.

The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Professor Musibau Babatunde made this announcement during a stakeholders’ meeting with over 100 commercial riders’ association leaders in Ibadan. Babatunde said: “States across the south-west have been banning operations of commercial motorcyclists, but we know that will have its own socio-economic challenges.

“So rather than banning them, we felt it is pertinent to know the number of bike-riders in the state and use that for our security architecture.”

The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun, also said the registration would help regulate the influx of commercial motorcyclists into the state.

Olatubosun said: “We will set up a task force, consisting of both the union and other relevant agencies that will make sure unregistered riders don’t operate within the state.”

Responding on behalf of the commercial riders, Mr Yusuf Muritala, said motorcyclists in the state are ready to cooperate with the government to register its members in the state’s database.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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12 killed in Afghanistan-Pakistan earthquake




At least 12 people were killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan by a strong earthquake felt across thousands of kilometres, but the region appeared Wednesday to have dodged the mass casualties usually associated with a tremor of such scale.

The United States Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.5 quake was centred near Jurm in northeastern Afghanistan, but the depth of 187 kilometres (116 miles) mitigated extensive damage.

The quake, which struck around 09:30 pm Kabul time on Tuesday and lasted more than 30 seconds, was felt from central Asia to New Delhi in India — more than 2,000 km away.

“It was a powerful earthquake and we feared maximum damage due to the intensity — that’s why we issued an alert,” Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Pakistan’s emergency Rescue 1122 service in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told AFP.

“But fortunately our fears proved wrong. Residents panicked due to the magnitude of the earthquake, but the damage was minimal.”

The region is frequently hit by quakes — especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

– ‘Stayed awake’ all night –

In Jurm district, near the epicentre, a resident of one village reported no casualties despite the location.

“We are about 2,000 to 3,000 people in our village and we all spent the night outside under the sky,” said Inamullah, reached by phone.

“We were all scared and stayed awake the entire night.”

Panicked residents of cities and towns in Afghanistan and Pakistan also fled their homes to seek safety away from buildings — with many too scared to return.

“We stayed the night in our courtyard… it was cold outside, but we preferred to stay out rather than go back,” 24-year-old student Neda Raihan told AFP in Kabul.

Khudadad Heights, a vast multi-storey residential block in the Pakistan capital, was evacuated after huge cracks appeared in the building.

Over 55,000 people were killed by an earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey and parts of Syria last month, heightening fears across the region.

“The children started shouting that there is an earthquake. We all ran out. The horrors of the earthquake in Turkey and neighbouring countries had a strong effect on our nerves,” said Ikhlaq Kazmi, a retired professor in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.

Officials in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, north of the Pakistan capital, said nine people had been killed in the quake, including two women and two children.

– High alert –

In Afghanistan, officials reported three dead and 44 injured — but phone and internet links to remote parts of the country had been severed and communication patchy.

Government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said health centres across the country had been put on high alert.

In the Afghan capital Kabul, shopkeeper Noor Mohammad Hanifi set up tents in the street for his family to spend the night in.

“Nobody dares to go inside their homes,” Hanifi told AFP as his family, cloaked in blankets, took shelter.

In Afghanistan, many families were out of their homes celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, when the quake struck.

“I heard people screaming and yelling as they came out in the streets,” said Masieh, who was outside with his family when the tremor hit.

“It’s possible that there could be another tremor so I’m still waiting outside.”

Those indoors also quickly left their houses and apartments.

“They just fled without wearing shoes, just carrying their children in their hands,” an AFP correspondent said.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered the National Disaster Management Authority to be ready to deal with any emergency.

Last June more than 1,000 people were killed and tens of thousands made homeless after a 5.9-magnitude quake — the deadliest in Afghanistan in nearly a quarter of a century — struck the impoverished province of Paktika.

Afghanistan is in the grips of a humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021.

International development funding on which the South Asian country relied dried up after the takeover and assets held abroad were frozen.


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Tragedy as grandmother sets son, wife, 2 grandchildren ablaze in Ondo




A grandmother, identified as lforiti, has allegedly set her son, wife and two grandchildren ablaze in Apomu community, Akure, the Ondo state capital.

Sources said that the grandmother, who resides with his son in the same house, sets ablaze and complained that they starved her of food.

She reportedly set the house ablaze while the family members were asleep, killing three of them including her son, Victor; wife Racheal and one of the grandchildren while the other child is in critical condition at the Federal Medical Centre FMC, Owo.

Narrating the sad incident to newsmen, in Akure, an eyewitness, Korede Michael, said “we saw the house on fire around 2:00 am at the weekend and had to break the window to rescue everyone in the house.

“The woman, her son, Victor Oloro; wife, Rachael; and children, Toluwani and Blessing, were all in the house when the woman set it on fire. She got some dry palm fronds and the little petrol her son kept in a gallon (for generator), spread it around the house and then put fire to it.”

“I was the first person to notice the fire and jumped into the house before other members of the community joined me in rescuing them.

“We got a vehicle immediately to transport them to the government hospital in Akure.

“When we got to Akure (UNIMED annex), the doctors and nurses rejected the patients, saying they cannot take care of them due to the degree of the burn and advised that we take them to the Federal Medical Center in Owo.

“Unfortunately, we lost the last grandchild, who was just two and a half years old, immediately we got to Owo.

“The son and his wife, also, gave up the ghost while the only grandchild left is in a critical condition.”

Korede said that the suspect was not in any way affected by the fire.

” The children could not send the woman out of the house when she started behaving strangely because it was built by her late husband”.

Police sources said that the suspect confessed that she burnt her son and his family because they were starving her of food.



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72-year-old woman dies after losing genitals to domestic worker




A septuagenarian, Mrs Charity Okoli, whose genitals were cut by her domestic worker, Onyebuchi Ezeh, alongside two other fleeing suspects, has died.

PUNCH Metro reports the deceased, last week, had her breasts, finger, tongue and private part cut off by the three suspects allegedly for ritual purposes after they had allegedly raped her at her home, in Umunze, in the Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

She was later rescued by her neighbours and rushed to the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku Awka, where she was said to be recuperating until her death.

The prime suspect hails from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.


Following the development, some women from the community on Tuesday, protested the death of the 72-year-old woman as they paralysed commercial and economic activities in the area while demanding the exit of all Abakaliki indigenes from their community.

The protesters wielding placards with various inscriptions and green leaves marched towards the Umunze Area Police Command headquarters, the palace of the community’s traditional ruler, Igwe Promise Eze, and the local government area as well as other relevant bodies.

Speaking to journalists, the spokesperson of the protesters, Mrs Enekwechi Bridget, said, “The entire Umunze community resolved to come together today for a peaceful protest because Abakaliki people resident in our community raped one of us in Ubaha village and cut off her tongue, one of her fingers, two nipples of her breasts and her private part.

“So, that is why we are here to complain to the transition committee chairman of the local government area so he can take our report to Awka, the state capital, for necessary action.

“We are demanding justice and that the suspects should face the full weight of the law because women are not supposed to face such torture and suffering in the hands of heartless criminal elements.”

The President-General of the Umunze Progressives Union, Chief Hippolite Olua, who also addressed the women, commended them for their peaceful conduct and urged them to go about their protest peacefully as their complaints would be given prompt attention by the police and other relevant authorities.

The traditional ruler of the Umunze community, Eze, in his reaction, lamented that his subjects have suffered so much at the hands of non-indigenes.

The monarch, however, urged the people of the community to remain calm as police and leaders of the community are working round the clock to ensure that justice is done at the end of the day.

“I have told the police command that the suspect must be charged to court for murder and they have assured me that the matter would not be swept under the carpet. I have instructed the youth to exercise restraint while awaiting the outcome of the case,” he added.

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