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Gun-Wielding ‘Officers’ Abducted Me Naked – Akwa Ibom Lady




It was a Saturday and there was a power outage in Ikpa community, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, where Prisca Ofonze, a 30-year-old hair vendor, lives with her brother, Henry.

Soft gospel music played in the background, as a pot of stew simmered on the gas cooker, with the aroma filling the air.

The sound of a generator blasted from outside Prisca’s room.

The Imo State indigene had just stepped out of the bathroom with a white towel wrapped around her chest.

According to Prisca, the last thing she expected at such an ungodly hour of the night were hard raps on her door.

The knocks were accompanied by voices hollering at her to open the door before they break it.

Prisca said she had barely creamed her legs when the noise started.

The knocks continued, this time, louder, swallowing up every sound in the environment.

She said she reduced the volume of her music and beckoned on her younger brother, Henry, who was in the living room, to check who was at the door.

“I thought it was my neighbours coming to collect their phones that were charging in my house, as I was the only one in the compound whose generating set was on,” she told our correspondent.

Before 27-year-old Henry could get to the door to see who was there, the gun-wielding men had broken into the apartment.

Prisca said they ordered her and Henry to surrender their phones for ‘thorough searching’.

According to the hair vendor, her towel fell off her chest in shock as she saw the four huge men, clad in police uniforms, rush into her room. It was past 10pm.

As she tried to adjust herself to cover her bare chest, she said the men insisted that she give them her phone, tagging her and her brother ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ (Internet fraudsters).

As she hesitated, she said one of the armed men hit her forehead with his gun, causing her to stagger and fall to the ground.

As she fell, she noted that the gunmen collected her phone and that of her brother who, according to her, was also being ‘brutalised’.

“These men didn’t even care if I was on the floor. I was scared. I had nothing on. I felt dehumanised and humiliated. I asked them for their identities and one said they were from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Another said they were from the Department of State Services. It became obvious that they were just policemen who ‘lost their way’ into my house, tagging me what I am not.

“One said we ran a cartel in my house. I told them clearly that I was a hair vendor. There were mannequins everywhere. Hair strands were scattered everywhere. My sewing machine, with which I made my wigs, was also clearly there, but the men did not even listen to me. They were bent on searching our phones,” she said.

She added that the officers ordered they follow them to their ‘station’ for further investigation, but when she asked for the location, she was hit on the nose and she bled.

She also claimed to have been shouting for help, but somehow, her neighbours did not respond.

After she managed to put on some clothes and turned off what she had on the fire, she stated that she followed the officers outside to a parked, unmarked yellow minibus.

“I was scared. I kept shouting but I think my neighbours were scared. No one came to our aid.

“From where I stood, I saw one of them looking from outside his window. Even though I am not sure he knew what was happening, I am sure he could see the men taking me and my brother away.

“The men ordered me and my brother to enter the bus, threatening to ‘teach us a lesson for resisting arrest’.

“Although we struggled with them, they overpowered us and ‘tumbled’ us into the bus and zoomed off,” she said.

Five minutes into the ride, Prisca said the men asked her how she got the money to run her generator if she was not into Internet fraud.

According to her, the policemen said she had something to hide on her phone, ordering her to tell them before they would get to the station.

“I kept telling them that I was self-employed and needed the power to keep my business running, but they didn’t believe me. After minutes of searching and hollering, one of the men said they should let me go. They said they did not want me anymore. It was my brother they needed. They said he looked like a criminal,” she added.

Prisca said all her pleas to let them go fell on deaf ears, as the cops looked for a place around the road to park and pushed her out of the minibus, zooming off with her brother.

It was almost 11pm now and Prisca was in the middle of the road.

She screamed but it seemed like the darkness drowned her voice.

Her phone and that of her brother were with the men and they were taking her brother to a ‘station’ they did not mention.

Fear, anxiety

Prisca ran barefoot as fast as her legs could carry her.

She knew she needed to do something but she did not know what. Her phone and that of her brother were in the car with the men.

As she got home, the entire street was outside as they welcomed her with a barrage of questions on the circumstances behind the incident.

Without a reply and with blood trickling down her nose from the blow and a swollen head, she rushed into the room of one of her neighbours and asked for a phone to make a call.

Prisca said she called the two lines with the officers, and her brother answered, claiming to still be with them.

He said the men were taking him away but stopped and parked somewhere, searching vigorously for ‘evidence’ in both phones.

“My brother said they searched the phones and when they could not see anything, they parked and told him to reach out to me. It was at the time I was also trying to reach out to him.

“After much humiliation, they pushed him out of the bus to a lonely street with the phones. I had to use a tricycle that night with all the pain I felt to go and pick. This was almost past midnight,” she added.

Henry told Sunday PUNCH that he had never had any issue with policemen in his life, adding that the experience left him traumatised.

“I thought I was going to die. Those men were threatening me. They kept saying I and my sister were into Internet fraud. No proof! No evidence! Nothing!

“They said it was because we were running our generator when the cost of fuel in the city was at an all-time high. How is running a generating set when there is no power supply a crime in Nigeria?” he queried.

Asked why they let him go, Henry said it was when he reminded the officers that he was a final-year student of the University of Uyo that one of them spoke about him being a ‘bad market’ and telling others to ‘dump’ him on the road.

“One of them threatened to shoot me if I said anything to anyone about what I saw. They had AK-47 rifles, so I knew they would do whatever they said. But the truth is that I saw nothing. Everything happened fast, although they didn’t cover their faces,” he added.

No help

Prisca had always been an independent woman.

At 22, as an undergraduate, she sold bags in her school hostel.

With parents from a humble background in Isiato Town in Imo State, she knew she needed to show some enterprise.

Settling in Uyo, for Prisca, was a decision she took with many ‘spoons of salt’.

“I had only been in Uyo for a few years and it was for school. But, I saw a town that needed some business presence, and with virtually nothing, I decided to stay,” she added.

She noted that she started her wig business in Delta State, where she had completed the compulsory national service.

She said she saw the need to start up an online wig store because of the need of corps members, who needed ‘cheap but quality hair’.

“I decided that I would start up something. I used part of my monthly allowance, added some capital from my bag business and started the wig store. My target market was just corps members. It was from there that it grew to this level where I have to run a generator to make sure I am able to work at night to meet my teeming demands,” she added.

Trauma, injury

After the encounter with the suspected policemen, Prisca said her business had been affected due to the injuries she sustained on her forehead and nose.

“My forehead is badly swollen. I just pray it is not worse than I thought. I went to a clinic and the doctor said I should be thankful. A harder impact and I would have been booked for cranial surgery. I wonder why those men could be this heartless. I did nothing. They just stormed an innocent woman’s home and inflicted her with injuries and left when they found nothing,” she noted.

Prisca, who runs a class where she also trains young girls in the art of wig making, said she had not been able to deliver in the past days following the incident.

She also said she had not been able to meet up with her orders as she had to take the entire weekend off to tend to the injuries.

On why she did not report to the police, she said, “Report to the police? Who came to my home with AK-47 rifles? The police. Who hit my head with a gun? The police. Who injured my nose? The police. Who broke in on me when I was naked and whisked me out of the safety of my home to danger? The police. Why then will I go to them to report?

“How am I sure I would make it back alive? I am scared of them, to be honest. I have not been able to sleep well since then. If I close my eyes, it is like I am relieving the experience over and over again. It is a terrible one, I must say. All I need is justice.”

Alleged extortion

A young boy who lived in the next compound after Prisca’s and refused to give his name for fear of further victimisation, said that same night, the officers came to his compound as well.

He claimed that the men barged in around 9pm that Saturday and ‘harassed’ him.

“They carried me and my guy to Ikot Akpan Abia that same night, saying we were Yahoo boys. They dumped us in one room and only came back around 12am or 1am the next day to tell us to bail ourselves if we did not want our case to be ‘transferred to their oga (boss).

“I paid N30,000. The other guy paid N30,000. I even had to call my dad who transferred the money to an account number they gave us and they released us that night,” the source said.

When our correspondent probed deeper to get further details of the transaction, containing the account number and name, the source refused to speak further.

“Bros, I don’t want problem. I don’t have strength for police wahala. I will leave this compound for them. In my life, I never go police station before. That day na my first time. Abeg, I no want wahala,” the source added in Pidgin English.

On whether he saw the name tags of the people who allegedly extorted money from him and his friend, he said, “They were four. They carried guns. I no too see their face but the one wey talk to us black like this and e wicked well well.”

Police react

When our correspondent contacted the state Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Ogbeche-Macdon, on Monday, he said the men who attacked Prica, Henry and extorted money from the two other boys might not be policemen.

He said, “I don’t have such a report. If she has reported the matter to any division, she should let us know. When you talk about Ikot Akpan Abia, that is the state headquarters of the police force in the state. There are many units and departments there.

“I wish she can come to our office. It is hard as they cannot get the officers’ names or identities; we would have been able to find out something substantial. We can then start to trace.

“I am happy that in Prisca’s case, she was not extorted. If this is true – I am not saying it didn’t happen – we will investigate. All these are allegations. The people they are talking about, we have not seen them. They have not come forward.”

He urged the victims to visit the office of the Commissioner of Police or PPRO for proper debriefing.

“As it stands now, we are not aware of this matter, and we don’t know if it is a frame-up or something that is true, although I am not saying that there is no possibility of these things happening,” he added.

I need Justice – Victim

Prisca promised to discuss the matter with a lawyer and decide whether to honour the police invitation or not.

“I want justice in this matter. I have been unjustly branded an Internet fraudster. Everyone in the compound, although they know I am innocent, now looks at me in some kind of way.

“My life and well-being have been impacted. I will never be the same again. I feel defiled. These men saw me naked. I cannot let it slide. It is sexual harassment of the highest order. I want justice in his matter,” she stated.

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Akwa Ibom Lawmaker Cautions Students Against Cultism



The Senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial district at the National Assembly, Senator Ekong Sampson, has advised secondary school students in the state to shun the practice of cultism as it can destroy their future careers.

He advised them to face their studies seriously, adding that great leaders of today never made it through cultism, but through a dint of hard work in educational pursuits.

Sampson, who is the Vice chairman of, the Senate Committee on Education, gave the admonition while celebrating his 57th birthday with the students at Saint Francis Secondary School, in the Eket Local government area of the state at the weekend.

Giving reasons why he chose to celebrate his birthday in the classroom, the senator said he is a product of education, adding that he became what he is because he took his education pursuit seriously.

While noting that education remains the key to a sustainable and successful life, the senator prayed that he would want to see them excel in their chosen careers, becoming medical doctors, engineers, pilots and so forth.

He said ” I’m here as a product of education, I have worked hard to promote education because without education I wouldn’t have been where I am today.

‘”Today, I am the Vice chairman Senate Committee on Education, I thank the Senate President, senator Godswill Akpabio, and my colleagues who allowed me to be involved in education in the Senate. The more we promote education, the more we tackle social vices that confront us such as insecurity and the rest.

“So, we must not leave education in the hands of government alone; every stakeholder should be involved in education. During my birthday, I go to school to teach. I have taught in  Mkpat-Enin school, last year, I was at Mbo, and today is the turn of Eket.

“We are thanking God that Akwa Ibom State is taking centre stage through a young man called John Obot, who has broken the Guinness World Record in marathon reading aloud. John Obot has become a national and international Icon.

“Don’t allow yourself to be involved in cultism because cultists cannot get to where I am today. Governor Udom Emmanuel is not a cultist, Senator Godswill Akpabio is not a cultist, President Bola Tinubu, from what I have heard is not a cultist; they all made it through education.

He promised to build a befitting staff quarter for the school and transform in the entire school.

The senator started the celebration with a lecture he delivered titled ” Imagination in Essay Composition: Unity in tenses at the end of which he donated a token to a few students who excelled in the spelling competition.

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Lagos Govt. Postpones Introduction Of HPV Vaccine



The Lagos State government has postponed the introduction of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPVV) campaign earlier scheduled for Monday, Sept. 25, for logistics reasons as informed by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).

A new date for the introduction of the HPVV campaign would be announced later.

This was announced by the commissioner for health in Lagos, Akin Abayomi, a statement by Filade Olumide, deputy director, public affairs, LSPHCB, said on Friday.

“The State Government regrets any inconveniences that may occur as a result of the postponement. As soon as a new date is communicated to Lagos, members of the public will be informed accordingly,” the statement quoted Abayomi.

The Human Papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases such as skin and vaginal warts.

About 19 per cent of women initiate sexual intercourse by age 15 thereby increasing the risk of HPV infection, the NDHS report 2018 says.

“Nigeria’s HPV vaccine introduction for girls of the targeted age nine to 14 years will potentially prevent 71,000 deaths annually.

“HPV vaccination at an early age is highly important as it provides the best protection. The objective of the HPV vaccination is to give all eligible girls injectable HPV vaccine into the arm, for protection against cervical cancer.

“Schools, churches, mosques, primary health centres, hospitals, outreach posts, markets, gated estates and other designated posts within the community have been earmarked as vaccination centres.

“In view of this, we solicit with all parents, guardians’ community leaders, pastors, and imams to ensure that all eligible girls are vaccinated during the campaign.

“Please note that routine immunisation services will also be available at the Primary Healthcare Centres all over the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the State during the HPV vaccination campaign.

“The HPV vaccine is free, safe, highly effective and a lifesaver,” the statement said.

For enquiries, residents of Lagos state are to contact the Primary Health Care Department of their local government/local council development area or any primary health centre close to one.

“Please avail yourself of this information and share it with others,” the statement said.


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Kebbi Bans Mining, Shuts Down Sites



Kebbi State Government has announced a ban on all mining activities in the state.

Speaking to journalists in the state capital Birnin Kebbi on Friday, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Yakubu Tafida, said the government took the action because of insecurity.

Tafida said the need to protect mining workers, and host communities and put in measures for revenue generation was another reason why the decision was taken.

He said the state government was not unmindful of the fact that mining is under Exclusive Legislative List, but took action after a thorough assessment of the current security situation.

He explained that the state government believes that it is important to prioritize the protection and security of its citizens and also prevent mining fields from being converted to breeding criminals by unauthorized foreigners.

This is because it has happened in other neighbouring states which they want to avoid.

Speaking further the SSG said the government had decided to address the concerns through comprehensive evaluation and enforcement of strict regulations that will promote responsible mining, safeguard the environment, enhance revenue generation and above all, secure lives.

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