Community vigilante detained in Ughelli for the murder of 18-year-old boy

A community vigilante member (name withheld) has been detained at the Nigeria Police, “A” Division, Ughelli for the murder of 18-year-old Kelvin Oghenenyole Jonathan Obeghwara, who was shot last Sunday.

Kelvin and a friend were returning home from an outing at about 10pm when he met his untimely death from the gun of one of the community vigilante members for being on the road at that time of the night.

Kelvin, a tilling specialist and the only son of his mother, just returned from the day’s job with some cartons of tiles for the next day’s job when his friend (Gods Time) came to where he was sitting in front of his mother’s apartment and took him out to eat.

According to sources, Kelvin reluctantly followed his friend out on a motorbike driven by the friend and on their way back home, the vigilante men around Okorodafe accosted them and directed the duo into a waiting van belonging to the vigilante but they took to their heels. In an attempt to pursue them, a vigilante shot at them, killing Kelvin immediately.

Demanding justice, Kelvin’s sister, Mrs. Rita Olubodun maintained that their brother was very hard working and the breadwinner of the house, who never associated with criminals. She urged the police not to cover up the matter.Reacting, the DPO in charge of “A” Division Ughelli, Mr. Acha Jonathan (CSP) confirmed the arrest and the incident, saying that investigation was ongoing.


Source: The Guardian

Police nab two vigilante for alleged kidnapping in Enugu

The Police Command in Enugu State has arrested two members of vigilance group in Nimbo, Uzouwani Local Government of Enugu State, for alleged kidnap of Enechi Ejiofor on Dec. 13, 2016

The command’s spokesperson, Ebere Amaraizu, made this known to journalists in Enugu on Thursday.

Mr. Amaraizu said the suspects abducted Mr. Ejiofor, a Special Assistant on Security Matters to Uzo Uwani Local Government Area Chairman, in December on his way to an official assignment at Ugwuiyi Ekoro.

The victim is still in the custody of the kidnappers.

He said that the kidnappers demanded N10 million ransom on December14, 2016 from the family but later reduced it to two million which one of the suspects collected.

The police spokesperson said that the two suspects were helping the operatives in their investigations.

He said that the first suspects revealed that they allegedly collaborated with the community vigilance group to kidnap the victim.

Mr. Amaraizu said that the first suspect, who claimed to be a Nollywood actor, said that he played a big role in monitoring the victim’s movement because he “knows him very well.”

The police spokesperson said that the suspects claimed not to know the whereabouts of the victim, saying that some vigilante members known as Ratty, Miri and Earthquake, whom he did not know their real names, knew better.

The second suspect also said that it was the first suspect, his friend, that lured him into the group.

Amaraizu said that first suspect accepted being involved in the kidnap as a full member of the vigilante while the second suspect just joined the group.

Vigilante Kills 17 Boko Haram Militants In Borno, Mostly Teenagers

Seventeen members of the Boko Haram terrorist group were killed on Wednesday evening by youth vigilance group in Lahou village, Borno state.

Speaking from the attacked village, near Ngulde in Askira-Uba local government area, about 70 Kilometres to Biu, the biggest town in the southern part of Borno state, the leader of the youth vigilance group in the area, Apagu Bitrus said the terrorists attacked Lahou at about 4pm on Wednesday but met their Waterloo “as our men were able to overpower them.”

Apagu bustling with enthusiasm said, “We slew 17 militants on Wednesday evening as they invaded Lahou village and equally seized two vehicles from them.”

?He revealed that the attackers were all between the ages of 12 and 17 years.


“Allahu Akbar!” Vs “Allahu Akbar!”: Vigilantes Still Fighting Boko Haram

“Allahu Akbar!” local Nigerian militiamen known as vigilantes shout as they go into battle against the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

They chant partly to bewilder the insurgents and partly because they too believe in the Islamic faith and that they have God on their side in a war in northern Nigeria that is pitting Muslim civilians against militants trying to set up an Islamic State-style caliphate.

“They become confused about who is saying the slogan, we lie down and hide, and as they approach we then open fire on them,” Tasiu Musa, a 40-year-old father of four in Maiduguri, the capital of the northeastern state of Borno, said in an interview last month.

“Our town is ruined by insurgency, our people are being killed on a daily basis,” said Haruna Ibrahim, another Maiduguri resident.

“They relate themselves to Islam and Muslims, but they are killing everyone: Muslims or Christians,” he said. “This will tell you that they are not fighting for Islam — they are on a rampage to acquire wealth and their ideology is not Islamic.”

The Muslim militiamen are acting out of desperation. As Boko Haram expands its attacks on northeastern Nigeria in its five-year-old campaign to establish Shariah, or Islamic law, in Africa’s largest economy, leaders in the mainly Muslim region have urged residents to fight the militants.

Credit: Business Week


Sanusi Backs Vigilantes, Doubts Military in Boko Haram Fight

Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,  has voiced support for vigilantes fighting Boko Haram, urging others to form civilian militias and questioning the competence of the military.

He said, “people should be sensitised on the importance of being on the alert. And they should prepare, they should acquire what they will defend themselves with,” Sanusi said during Friday prayers at the central mosque in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north”, adding that, “those that are endowed as hunters and vigilantes should apply this endowment given to them by Allah as an avenue of earning divine reward in defending their nation.”

He further said, “We should not wait for soldiers to come, before they come the carnage will have been done…,”Some of them drop their guns and flee.”

While Sanusi’s comments were similar to those made by President Goodluck Jonathan’s critics, they may feed added resentment towards the government because the emir of Kano is expected to stay above the political fray.

Credit: Yahoo News/ AFP

Vigilante Efforts in Fights Againt Boko Haram in Chibok

Leading elder Pogu Bitrus told AFP that Chibok was recaptured in a joint operation with local vigilantes known as the Civilian Joint Task Force, who back up the military in several parts of the northeast where Boko Haram is active.

He said the vigilantes fought inside Chibok while army soldiers “stayed outside the town to mop up the insurgents trying to escape”.

Boko Haram fighters had captured the town on Thursday after a battle lasting several hours that local officials said left many victims among both the insurgents and the local militias.

Several residents said the army had fled the assault, leaving the vigilantes to fight on their own against Boko Haram.

There was no immediate information about any casualties from Saturday’s battle for the town, which witnesses say is virtually empty of residents.

Credit: AFP

Boko Haram invades Hong & Gombi in Adamawa

Scores of Boko Haram fighters on Thursday invaded two towns in northeast Nigeria’s Adamawa state after hunters and civilian vigilantes reportedly ousted them from a key town, residents told AFP.

The Islamists raided Hong and Gombi, some 100 kilometres (62.5 miles) from the state capital, Yola, after they were pushed out of the commercial hub of Mubi, which they seized two weeks ago.

Boko Haram is thought to have captured more than two dozen towns in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states in recent months, as part of its quest to establish a hardline caliphate in the region.

But despite apparently losing control of Mubi, which the Islamists renamed Madinatul Islam or “City of Islam” in Arabic the invasion of Hong and Gombi saw them move closer to Yola.

Thousands of residents have been taking refuge in the city from the violence.

The vigilantes had reportedly reclaimed the town of Maiha on Wednesday after a fierce battle in which scores of the ins?urgents were said to have been killed, although there was no official confirmation.

In Gombi, resident Haruna Awwalu said Boko Haram were patrolling the streets, firing heavy weaponry, while another local, Rabi Tanimu, said people were cowering indoors and many had fled into the bush.

“They have burnt down the police station, the local government secretariat and the market? after overpowering the police, ” Awwalu said.

In Hong, 20 kilometres away, the police station was also razed and the militants raised their black flag outside the home of a retired military general.

Chibado Bobi, chief of staff in Adamawa state governor’s office in Mubi confirmed that civilian vigilantes and hunters had recaptured the town.

“It is true Mubi has fallen back into the hands of Nigerian soldiers with the help of local vigilantes and hunters,” he said.

“It is however too early for residents who fled to move back to Mubi because the security and vigilantes need to mop up all remnants of the group that may be lurking in nearby areas.”

One resident, who asked not to be named, said about 200 vigilantes and hunters armed with den (home-made) guns, spears, clubs, bows and arrows, and machetes were involved in the recapture.

“I saw the Boko Haram fighters fleeing in droves in their vehicles when the hunters and vigilantes entered the town”, he added.

“Their emir? (leader) was captured by the hunters and made to sit outside the military barracks that he and his men turned into their base.

“He had his hands tied from the back and we swarmed to have a look but we were later dispersed by the hunters.”

Credit: AFP

Execution, Beheading, Amputation Claims in Boko Haram Fight

Nigerian troops have been accused of killing 16 Boko Haram suspects, raising fresh concerns about the conduct of the military and the civilians supporting the battle against the militant group.

Earlier, vigilantes claimed to have beheaded dozens of Islamist fighters in the country’s far northeast.

Boko Haram, meanwhile, is reported to have begun enforcing strict Islamic law by amputating the hands of thieves and razing churches in a captured town it renamed as part of its self-styled caliphate.

On Wednesday, 21 civilians were killed after Boko Haram fighters clashed with troops in the restive northeast of Nigeria, a local lawmaker said.

The incidents have undermined repeated government claims of a ceasefire and peace talks.

In Potiskum, 16 men who were arrested after morning prayers on Wednesday were found dead in a morgue with bullet wounds just hours later, community leaders and hospital staff told AFP.

Locals in the Dogo Tebo area of the city believed the men were picked up and killed because all of them were from the Kanuri ethnic group that forms the bulk of Boko Haram’s membership.

“All the bodies have gunshot wounds on them,” said a nurse at the Potiskum General Hospital, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The bodies had been brought in by soldiers and were formally identified by community leaders, he told AFP.

On Monday, at least 15 people were killed and some 50 others were injured in a suicide bombing targeting a major Shia Muslim festival in Potiskum, which is Yobe state’s commercial capital.

A number of others were killed when troops deployed to the scene opened fire, the head of the Shia community, Mustapha Lawan Nasidi, said at the time.

The latest deaths were described by another community leader as “cold-blooded murder” while residents expressed concern about the fate of a Muslim cleric and three others who were also detained.

Neither the military in Yobe or the capital, Abuja, responded to AFP when asked for comment and there was no word either on claims from Biu in neighbouring Borno state about the beheadings.

A member of the civilian vigilante group, Umar Hassan, said they and troops ambushed Boko Haram fighters last Friday as they prepared a raid on Sabon Gari village in the south of the state.

“We killed 41 of them and decapitated them and brought the heads to Biu, which we displayed to people to demystify Boko Haram,” he said.

Two Biu residents said the vigilantes put the heads on wooden spikes and drove around the town, telling people the Islamists did not have magical powers.

“It was like hunters displaying their game after a hunting expedition,” said, one, Silas Buba.

The incidents will add to concerns of human rights groups about the response of the military and the vigilantes, both of whom have been accused of atrocities in the past.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) said they were aware of the reports and were investigating the authenticity of the claims.

“This is the latest in a string of abuses in which pro-government vigilante groups have been implicated,” said HRW’s Nigeria researcher Mausi Segun.

Boko Haram took over the town of Mubi in Adamawa state last week and residents who fled the town in recent days said they had now renamed it Maidanatul Islam, or “City of Islam” in Arabic.

In Mubi, Boko Haram chopped off the hands of 10 men accused of theft last Friday and burnt down churches, said Ahmad Maishanu, who fled Mubi on Wednesday.

In a video released on October 2, Boko Haram showed the stoning to death of a man accused of adultery, a man having his right hand cut off for theft and a young man and woman given 100 lashes each for sex outside marriage.

The group, which wants to create a hardline Islamic state in Nigeria’s northeast, is now thought to control at least two dozen towns in the region.

The Nigerian government and military made a surprise announcement on October 17 that it had secured a ceasefire deal with the militants and peace talks were being held.

But there has been no let-up in the violence since then and last Friday the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, dismissed claims of an end to hostilities as “a lie”.

Credit: Yahoo News/ AFP/ Aminu Abubakar