A forty-three (43)-year-old man who claimed to be a lawyer has been ordered to be remanded in Minna Federal Correctional Custody on the orders of Chief Magistrate Number 3 Halima Balaraba for alleged self-kidnapping and impersonation.
Samuel Idu, an indigene of Benue State, was arraigned by operatives of the Special Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (SIIB) of the Niger State Police Command on four counts of charges that bordered on criminal breach of trust, cheating, arrangements for self-kidnapping, and false representation for a kidnapped person.
According to the police prosecutor, ASP Emmanuel Bassa, the four counts of charges contravened sections 312, 323, 324, and 309 of the penal code law and sections 6 (1) and (2) of the Niger State Anti-Kdnapping and Cattle Rustling Act 2018, as amended.
In the Police First Information Report, marked Mn/Cr/95/23, it is stated that on October 19, 2023, Deborah Omeiza of Brighter Group of Companies in Minna reported via referral from Chief Magistrate Court Three that on July 30, 2023, Samuel Idu of Sun City Estate in Abuja (FCT) presented himself to her as a Barrister and also an American citizen, knowing fully that it was a false claim and lured her into a marriage relationship by inducing her into believing that he was a responsible person.
"That while dating her, you deliberately lied to her that you travelled to the United States of America (USA) and United Arab Emirate (UAE) Dubai, and on different occasions, you deceitfully obtained monies from her up to the sum of N5,400,000 through your First Bank account number, 3068701165, to solve some pressing problems under the pretence of paying back when you return to Nigeria.
"And in furtherance, you claimed you had arrived at International Airport Abuja and falsely represented yourself as being kidnapped and needed N10,000,000," the charge sheet explained.
The prosecutor further told the court that the defendant said he had about N6,900,000 and demanded the sum of N3,100,000 from the plaintiff to complete the payment of the ransom, and when she could not get the money, she sent him N100,000 through his bank account "which you dishonestly converted to your personal use".
Police operatives swung into action through intelligence and arrested him in Senate Hotels in Kaduna State, and during the police investigation, he confessed to having faked his kidnapping and deceitfully collected the said amount of money from the complainant under false pretence in order to enrich himself wrongfully."
When the charge was read to the defendant by the presiding Chief Magistrate, Halima Balaraba, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecutor, Asp. Emmanuel Bassa, then requested a new date for further mention of the case, and he prayed to the court to remand him in correctional custody.
While granting the prayer of the prosecutor, she then remanded him and adjourned the case until November 9.
Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, has advocated for 13 percent derivation benefits for all federally conducted economic activities in the state.
He requested N1 trillion as compensation for the state in the next three months and revealed that if the demand has not been met, the state government has no option but to drag the federal government to court and enforce its rights.
The governor made the demand when officials of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRNIDP) paid him a working visit at Government House, Minna.
He said 75 percent of the land and resources of the state were under the full exploitation of the federal government and called for a special benefit for the people of the state, who suffer daily from the consequences of such exploitation.
He said the state and its people have been pushed to the wall and may act if the federal government refuses to address the grievances and glaring suffering the state has been contending with over the years.
The governor said, "Our people are ravaged and displaced year in and year out because of the flow of water from Niger to the Delta, and that's why it's called the Niger Delta, where the oil comes. We have four hydroelectric dams, and we don't have a derivation for power; instead, we've been ransacked and displaced.
"So we have two options; the first is to sit on a round table and discuss. The second option is to cut off power. We must be compensated. Our people have sacrificed enough for Nigeria, and we need to be compensated".
The governor said 75 percent of the federal capital territory was 'carted" away from the state and yet no one was compensated, describing the situation as 'absolutely absurd ', reiterating the need for special federal attention to assuage the feeling of years of neglect and abandonment.
"This is not acceptable. For the past four years, a 100-kilometre road linking Minna to Abuja has been under construction by the federal government. We have three million truck movements every month, traversing from north to south. The only inland water port in the north, the Baro port in Niger State, has been neglected. How can we continue this way?
"The federal government is going to pay N1 trillion for hydrocarbon exchange. They must do that in the next three months. The only thing we will do if they cannot pay us is to shut down the hydroelectric dams. We are going to take the federal government to court if 13 percent of the derivation from our land, water,air, grass, and everything else is not paid", the governor thundered.
He thanked his guests for the visit and assured them of his administration's commitment to match every intervention the commission made in the state.
The Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons, Tijani Aliyu Ahmed, said they were in the state to distribute relief materials to IDPs in the state.
He said 700 households from the various IDP camps in the state will benefit from the items provided. He further disclosed that the 2024 budget contained special funds for state interventions.
The federal commissioner said, based on the commission's findings, there are not less than 64,000 IDPs at various camps in the state.
Items distributed were 572 bags of rice, 572 cartons of spaghetti, 572 bags of semovita, 144 bags of garri, 96 cartons of vegetable oil, 91 cartons of seasoning, 58 bags of Salt Lake City, and 1 solar-powered borehole.