The year 2017 was one year with a lot of criminal cases around the world. Nigeria is no different. Several criminal cases Nigeria witnessed were reported in the newspapers throughout the year. Though no statistics have been given for the year, the numbers for the previous year is alarming.
According to the National Bureau of statistics, in the year 2016, a total of 125,790 cases were reported to the police. The offences against property have the highest number of cases reported with 65,397.
Offence against persons recorded 45,554 cases reported while offence against lawful authority and local acts recorded the least with 12,144 and 2,695 cases recorded respectively.
Lagos State had the highest percentage share of total cases reported with 36.08% and 45,385 cases recorded. FCT Abuja and Delta State followed with 10.48% and 13,181 and 6.25% and 7,867 cases recorded respectively. Katsina State had the lowest percentage share of total cases reported with 0.10% and 120 cases recorded. Abia and Zamfara States followed with 0.29% and 364 and 0.38% and 483 cases recorded respectively.
As we await the official statistics for 2017, here are 10 criminal cases Nigeria saw this year that really shook the country.
1. Evans the kidnapper
In May 2017, the Police announced that it has placed a bounty of N30 million on a kidnapping kingpin. Evans, real name, Chukwudubem Onwuamadike was arrested. The 36-year-old, who dropped out of school at Junior Secondary School 2, confessed to various crimes including collecting $1m ransom from the family of one of his victims. There was jubilation among the police when he was arrested. Evans and his accomplices are currently detained and are undergoing criminal trial.
2. Imo Zenith bank Robbery Wetheral road
A video clip of a robbery of a branch of Zenith Bank along Wetheral Road, Owerri, Imo State, hit the Internet on Thursday, June 8, 2017, three months after the attack. It was like a Hollywood movie. It was later found out that the incident happened on February 22, 2017.
Two policemen eventually died as a result of injuries sustained in the gun battle with the robbers in the video while one of the robbers was killed. The others were later arrested by the police.
3. Ozobulu Church killing
It was as if Satan himself visited the St Philip Catholic Church Ozubulu, Anambra State on Sunday, August 6, 2017, when a gunman killed eight worshippers and injured 18 others in an early morning attack on the Church located in Ekwusigo Local Government Area. It was later revealed that the brutal killing is connected to some drug-related gang wars that started from South Africa. it was also gathered that the gunmen may have been looking for the philanthropist who built the church as he is believed to be connected with the gangs in South Africa. No arrests have been reported on the case.
4. Killing of Jumia deliveryman
In March, news broke that a delivery man with an online marketing store, Jumia, Mr Chukwuma Eleje, has been killed in a house on Ada George Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Eleje was said to be delivering two iPhones to some customers, who had ordered for them through the Internet when he was attacked and killed. His assailants – Sodienye Mbatumukeke, Excel Naabe, and Joy Eluwa – who confessed to the crime after they were arrested dumped his remains in a septic tank in a desperate attempt to cover up the crime.
On Monday, April 11, 2017, Sodienye Mbatumukeke and Excel Naabe were arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The presiding magistrate, Amadi-Nna had said that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter as a result of the gravity of the offence. The case was adjourned indefinitely and nothing has been heard about it in the news ever since.
5. Badoo the evasive killers
Starting in the last months of 2016, there were reports about gruesome killings of entire families in the Ikorodu axis of Lagos. In the early months of 2017, it was already established that there was a bloodthirsty cult group in the area called Badoo and that the vicious murders were carried out by members of the group. It was later concluded that the Badoo cult members were killing people for ritual purposes. Among the victims were a 62-year-old widow identified only as Mrs. Ogunleye, and her two children, Seun and Funlola; a couple, Mr. Lucky Ebhodaghe and Mrs. Margaret Ebhodaghe, and their son, Jonathan; a pregnant woman, Rukayat Olusanya, her husband Israel Olusanya, Wale Olusanya and six-year-old Semilore Olusanya; a woman, Beatrice Alaba, and her son, David, at Temu village, in the Agbowa area of the state. among others.
About six people were later arrested in connection with the killing of some of the victims while a few people, including a comedian, were wrongfully lynched to death in connection with the Badoo killings. The police say investigations are still going on on the killings.
6. Turkish school Kidnapping
On January 13, some gunmen invaded the Nigerian Turkish International School (NTIS), Isheri Ogun State, abducting five students and three teachers. The kidnappers demanded a N100 million as ransom to secure the release of the victims. However, after days of investigation, the students and teachers were released.
For people — Philip Kakadu, aka General Kakadu; Romeo Council, aka Raw; Bekewei Agbojule, aka “Prince Yellow” and Totki Okoda were eventually arrested in connection with the kidnapping. A sum of N1.2 million, believed to be part of the ransom they collected was also recovered from the suspected kidnappers.
7. Cross River food poisoning
Residents of Aragbang-Oboso Roundabout in Oboso community in Ogoja LGA, Cross River State were mystified in on Sunday, March 26, after two people died and about 44 people were hospitalised due to food poisoning in the area. the two dead were the owners of a restaurant and a palm wine drinking joint where someone had poisoned the whole food to be served.
The Police Command in the state arrested a 35-year-old man, Paul Nchui as the culprit behind the poisoning. No information about prosecution has been heard thereafter.
8. Igbonla School kidnapping
For 64 days, beginning from May 25, 2017, six students of Igbonla Model School, Epe, Lagos, where held hostage by kidnappers who demanded millions of Naira as ransom. After the payment of N37 million ransom, the six were released in Ajakpa community of Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State on July 28, 2017.
Several months later, on November 28, the militants who kidnapped the were reported to be among some youths who surrendered their arms to embrace the amnesty programme of the Ondo State Government.
9. The Imo State Vampire
In March, the remains of a notorious armed robber/serial killer who is blamed for killing more than 200 people since he began operation and was declared wanted in year 2013 was paraded. The 200 victims of Henry Chibueze, also known as Vampire include his girlfriend and eight of her family members.
The police claimed he also confessed to the killing of a Malaysian expatriate and a member of the Imo State House of Assembly at Orji in 2015, including the kidnap and murdered of a traditional rulers’ wife from Mbaise whose corpse has not been found till date.
10. One million boys of Ibadan
In December 2016, more than 300 hooligans known as ‘One million boys’ stormed the Kudeti community of Ibadan, Oyo State with weapons, including guns. They shot at youths in the area. They also attacked them with knives and cutlasses. A victim, Sikiru Muftau, also known as Alase, had the lower part of one of his hands severed completely and they made away with the part.
But the terror reign of the One million Boys was cut short early in January when many of the gang members including one Moshood Oladokun, aka Ekugbemi, believed to be the gang leader was arrested. He has paraded along with 166 other suspects by the Oyo State Police Command in February.