17-year-old Nigerian girl caught with gun in secondary school

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A 17-year-old girl has been arrested for taking a locally-made gun to her school in Cross River State, Nigeria’s South-south.

The girl, who hid the gun inside her school bag, was paraded on Friday by the police in Calabar.

Her photo has been trending on Facebook and Twitter.

“I got the gun in my room, so I took it to school. The principal called the police to come and arrest me in the school,” the girl told reporters.

She said the gun belonged to her boyfriend. “It’s only him that always comes to my room,” she said.

The boyfriend, Okon Effiong, who was also paraded by the police, admitted to reporters that the gun was his.

Mr Effiong said he did not know that the girl took the gun to the school and that he did not also know what her intention was.

Sikiru Akande, the commissioner of police in Cross River, said the girl did not take the “weapon” to school to harass a teacher as rumoured on social media.

“From our investigation after picking up the girl, we realised that that weapon was given to her to take to a blacksmith for repairs.

“So for the past 24 hours what we have been doing is to identify who gave her the weapon, and we have been able to get the person who gave her the weapon. And we are working on that person to get to the root of other persons who could be connected with the possession of that weapon,” Mr Akande said.

Cross River State, like several other Nigerian states, has been battling with an increase in crime rate, especially kidnapping, cult-related violence, and robbery.

An assistant commissioner of police was killed in Calabar in December.

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The slain officer, Egbe Edum, served in the northern part of Nigeria and was on his way to visit his family when he was attacked by yet-to-be identified assailants.

“He got here at about 1a.m., the vehicle he was in got spoiled on the road, so he called his wife to pick him up. He was walking on legs when some hoodlums came out from nowhere and macheted him,” a police spokesperson in the state, Irene Ugbo had told PREMIUM TIMES.

A security outfit, Operation Akpakwu, set up by the Cross River State Government, has been demolishing buildings, including hotels, linked to crimes and suspected criminals in the state, as a way of combating crime in the state.

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