Monday, 19 June 2017 07:10

OSINBAJO READS RIOT ACT TO BIAFRA, AREWA AGITATORS, OTHERS

in News
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has warned that Biafra agitators and the northern youth groups that issued quit notice to Igbo risked jail terms as they violated Nigeria’s laws.
 
Osinbajo gave the warning at a consultative meeting with traditional rulers from the South-East at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Abuja, on Sunday.
 
He said that the manner of the agitations, methods and objectives were wrong, unlawful and clearly violated the nation’s Constitution.
 
“I want to repeat that both the agitations for secession and the ultimatum to leave the northern states are wrong and a violation of our Constitution.
 
“Our Constitution says in Section 2 that Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name 'The Federal Republic of Nigeria’.
 
“That is the law of our country. Let us not be in any doubt that the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that our country remains united.
 
“And, anyone who violates the law in the manner such as we are seeing all over the place will be met with the full force of the law.
 
“The reason why it is so is because for Nigeria’s unity, enough blood has been spilled and many hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost.’’
 
The acting president recalled that many Nigerians had paid the supreme price to keep the country united, saying that “it will be wrong for men and women of goodwill in this generation to toy with those sacrifices that had been made’’.
 
He, therefore, maintained that men of goodwill must not tolerate any tendency that would drag the nation in the direction of yet another civil conflict.
 
He, however, said that the government and people “must be sensitive to the reasons why there are agitations by the various young men across the various zones of this country.
 
“Many have to do with perceived marginalization; some have argued that safety in the different zones has been compromised.
 
“But I want to say the only way to make things right is to do things right. And, it will be wrong of us to approach even our grievances by threatening to disobey the laws or by threatening the integrity of our nation,’’ he added.
 
Osinbajo reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to listening to “all the reasons, the various suggestions and the various agitations and the reasons for those agitations and to ensure that we do justice to all persons regardless of where you are from in this country.
 
“That is the commitment of Federal Government which I am able to make to you today.
 
“Our greatness lies in our being together and I believe very strongly that as our royal fathers you will ensure the message is clear to all."
 
He added that the greatness of any people lay in their ability to work together in spite of their differences and the types of offence that had been caused between each other.
 
The acting president expressed the hope that royal fathers would continue to offer useful suggestions and the right advice to ensure that the country remained united.
 
Osinbajo will meet with traditional rulers from the northern part of the country on Monday (today).
 
NAN
Read more...
Monday, 19 June 2017 07:08

NORTHERN YOUTHS PAID TO ISSUE QUIT NOTICE - PRESIDENCY

in News
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu said the northern youths, who gave the October 1 quit notice to Igbo resident in the region were paid by some elite.
 
Ojudu said this in Abuja at the weekend at a meeting with regional youth leaders, organised by Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Affairs.
 
Ojudu, who represented Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said: “Only God knows how much some elites, who hid behind the curtains, paid those who made that declaration in Kaduna.”
 
“It will be worst for us if we allow some selfish people to push us to unnecessary war. Nigeria holds a lot of promises for all of us. I know and we all know that a lot of you have been excluded from the good things of this country and of course we can trace that to poor and bad governance over the years.
 
“But again, what we should be clamouring for is good governance, not separatism, not secession. This is all about elite competition. The youth are only being used as tools to promote socio-political disorder.
 
“Okay, if I don’t want to be importing things from Singapore, I can use this idea of Biafra to make money and some people are making huge money from it. Those, who were agitating and calling for Biafra before, are now singing another tune after building their palaces,’’ he said.
 
Ojudu enjoined the youth to voice out against hate speeches, saying no nation could develop under an atmosphere of social discontent.
 
In his remarks, Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan said the current situation where youths from different parts of Nigeria were making hate speeches was unhelpful to the nation.
 
“You need to come together and you will find us as good, useful partners. I want to promise that we will not be found wanting in the discharge of our responsibilities. Once your requests are brought to us for legislation we will not hesitate to support them so as to make you better citizens,’’ Lawan said.
 
Daily Trust
Read more...
Monday, 19 June 2017 07:06

SOUTHERN LEADERS DEMAND WITHDRAWAL OF IGBO QUIT NOTICE

in News
Some leaders of the South-West, South-East and South-South met in Lagos on Sunday over the ultimatum issued by a coalition of northern youth groups to the Igbo to vacate the 19 northern states on or before October 1, 2017.
 
The southern leaders demanded the immediate withdrawal of the ultimatum just as they berated the Federal Government for not employing the country’s constitution in addressing the inciting position of the northern groups.
 
The southern leaders said the failure of the Federal Government to move against the Arewa groups suggested that the youths were not acting alone but had the backing of the northern leadership.
 
The meeting held behind closed door at the Lekki home of the Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo.
 
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, which was endorsed by Adebanjo (South-West), retired Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (South-East) and Chief Albert Horsfall (South-South), was later read to newsmen by the spokesperson for the Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin.
 
The southern leaders said they viewed the ultimatum as a product of the country’s unresolved nationality problem and expressed displeasure at what they described as the attempt by the Federal Government to narrow the issue down to a problem between the North and the South with the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, holding meetings with the leaders from the two regions.
 
They argued that unless the problem of the country’s federalism was addressed, there were bound to be increased sectional agitations.
 
The southern leaders said, “We reject the attempt to reduce the current crisis in Nigeria flowing from the unresolved nationality question to an Igbo and North affair with the patterns of the meetings being held by the acting President to resolve the matter. Any further discussions on this crisis should be between the entire South and the North of Nigeria and the South-East is advised not to consider any further meeting where the South-South and the South-West are not involved because the issues involved affect all of us.
 
"We also demand that the Arewa youths and their sponsors must withdraw the quit notice given to the people of South-East as failure to do so will be taken as an ultimatum to the entire South to quit their region and any attack on any section of the South will be considered as an attack against the entire southern Nigeria.
 
"We, therefore, advise the Federal Government to take it seriously and live up to the primary responsibility of any government which is to protect the live and property of every citizen of Nigeria wherever he or she may reside.”
 
The southern leaders also gave the Federal Government the ultimatum to revisit the report of the 2014 National Conference before October 1, 2017.
 
“We reaffirm our resolve in the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference aimed at a complete transformation and restructuring of our country and to build and consolidate Nigeria’s unity through national solidarity, peaceful and harmonious coexistence, progress and genuine developments.
 
“We, the people of southern Nigeria, will want to see concrete steps taken on the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference before the 1st of October, 2017.
 
“We note that the cry for self-determination will continue unabated and much more strident unless the Federal Government sincerely addresses the issue of restructuring of Nigeria.”
 
Punch
Read more...
Monday, 19 June 2017 07:04

NIGERIAN HACKERS STEAL $3 BILLION WORLDWIDE -REPORTS

in News
Nigerian hackers and cyber criminals are being accused of masterminding a grand theft of information and money running into billions of dollars, worldwide.
 
According to experts, the Nigerians are able to carry out the heist by sending phishing emails to commercial organizations and industrial enterprises, which they later steal dry.
 
FBI estimates that these phishing attacks have cost companies over $3 billion. The number of affected companies exceeds 22,143.
 
Kaspersky Labs, an internet security company, said it had found over 500 companies that are under attack in at least 50 countries.
 
Those under attack are mostly industrial enterprises and large transportation and logistics corporations, based in Germany, UAE, Russia and India.
 
In a blog post, Kaspersky said the cyber-criminals managed to steal technical drawings, floor plans and diagrams showing the structure of electrical and information networks.
 
Researchers said that all indications are that these were business email compromise (BEC) attacks that have come to be associated with Nigerian cyber-criminals.
 
Emails received by victims looked authentic enough to fool people. Some had attachments with names such as “Energy & Industrial Solutions W.L.L_pdf”, “Woodeck Specifications best Prices Quote.uue” and “Saudi Aramco Quotation Request for October 2016”.
 
These are well crafted emails that look legitimate and are crafted to make the victim open the malicious attachment.
 
The emails ask the recipients to check information as soon as possible, clarify product pricing or receive goods specified in the delivery note attached. The malicious attachments contain RTF files with an exploit for the CVE-2015-1641 vulnerability.
 
They may also contain archives of different formats containing malicious executable files or macros and OLE objects designed to download malicious executable files.
 
Kaspersky discovered that the malicious files are intended to steal confidential data and install stealthy remote administration tools on infected systems.
 
Using Whois services, Kaspersky found that the domains used to host the malware were registered to residents of Nigeria. Once in, the hackers compromise a legitimate email and change the banking account details.
 
The malware used in these attacks belonged to families that are popular among cyber-criminals, such as ZeuS, Pony/FareIT, LokiBot, Luminosity RAT, NetWire RAT, HawkEye, ISR Stealer and iSpy keylogger.
 
”The phishers selected a toolset that included the functionality they needed, choosing from malware available on cyber-criminal forums. At the same time, the malware was packed using VB and .NET packers – a distinct feature of this campaign. 
 
"To evade detection by security tools, the malicious files were regularly repacked using new modifications of the same packers,” said the researchers.
 
At least eight different Trojan-Spy and Backdoor families were used in the attacks.
 
Further research found that the domain names of some of the malware command-and-control servers used by the attackers mimicked domain names used by industrial companies – “more proof that the attacks were primarily targeting industrial companies,” said researchers.
 
They added that most domains used for malware C&C servers were registered to residents of Nigeria.
 
Researchers warned that it would be very dangerous if, because of an infection, cyber-criminals were able to gain access to computers that are part of an industrial control system (ICS). 
 
"In such cases, they can gain remote access to the ICS and unauthorised control over industrial processes,” said researchers.
 
Owen Connolly, vice president services (EMEA) at IOActive, told SC Media UK that this attack is not actually targeting industrial control systems or operational technology.
 
“It’s just targeting users that work for large companies. The fact that those companies may also have OT systems could just be coincidence, not correlation,” he said.
 
Mark James, security specialist at ESET, told SC Media UK that scammers are opportunistic. They understand they need to adapt and will change their tactics to get the best result.
 
“With the 419 scams being so synonymous with the public, the scope for business users being victims is massive. We also need to consider the scope for larger, single successful attacks reaping the benefits much quicker than the smaller, and often much harder, sells through the public,” he said.
 
Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault, told SC that organisations dealing with industrial control systems may not be as savvy to scams as financial services, so it could be that the success rate of targeted emails is higher.
 
“Allowing criminals to make quick money. On the other hand, it could allow criminals to implant malware on industrial control systems, or at least on systems that support the ICS. This can then be allowed for further nefarious purposes such as deploying ransomware – or selling on the access to other criminals or ever nation states,” he said.
 
NAN
Read more...
Monday, 19 June 2017 07:01

EVANS LEADS POLICE TO 2 DETENTION CAMPS IN LAGOS

in News
Notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Onwuamadike, aka Evans, on Sunday led the police to two of the three camps where he kept his victims on Jakande Estate, Ejigbo, and New Igando, both in Lagos State.
 
The other one, which could not be visited on Sunday, was reportedly located on Gowon Estate, in the Egbeda area of the state.
 
While the Ejigbo detention camp is located on Green Street, Jakande Estate, the other is at 21 Prophet Asaye Close, New Igando.
 
Evans was apprehended in one of his two mansions on Magodo Estate, Lagos, on Saturday, June 10.
 
Six of his gang members – Nwosu Chukwuma, aka Sudo, 42; Suoyo Paul aka Nwana, 42; Felix Chinemerem, 36; Chukwuemeka Bosah, 28; Uchechukwu Amadi and Ogechi Amadi – were also arrested.
 
In continuation of the revelation of his seven years of kidnapping, he told operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team that the Jakande Estate detention camp was rented in 2010.
 
He said, “I have just three camps in Lagos where I kept some of the victims I kidnapped.
 
“One of them is this house on Jakande Estate; the others are in the New Igando and on Gowon Estate. I paid N750,000 per annum for this flat (Jakande)then.
 
“I don’t come to the camps, I have my boys on the ground and they give me information on a daily basis.
 
“One of the victims I kept here (Jakande) is one Udoji, who I collected $1m from. Another one, Emesbos, paid me $300,000, while another one, whose name I can’t remember, paid $250,000.
 
“Whenever the pressure from the police is much, I usually move my victims to another camp.”
 
The house in New Igando has two different flats, which Evans said he rented for N1m per annum.
 
He said two victims – Chief Umeh the phamarcist, and Chief Donatus Duru – were held in the house before his arrest.
 
“We demanded €1m from Duru’s family, but they paid N100m and promised to bring the rest.
 
“When I collected the money, I told my boys to release the man; but they flouted my order. By then, policemen were after me,” he added.
 
The kingpin denied owning a car called Fathom, as being reported.
 
“The vehicles I owned were a Toyota Hilux and a Nissan pickup that I bought for N7m; Lexus GS460, which I bought for N22m; 2016 Range Rover, which cost me N55m, and Lexus GL4.7 that was bought for N9m,” he said.
 
He added that he did not enjoy the money made from kidnapping because he was always on the move to avoid arrest by policemen.
 
Evans said he was not harassed by inmates in the police cell.
 
“Even the IRT policemen are friendly. I can’t blame them if they are not friendly because I am the cause of my problem,” he added.
 
Attempts to get the comment of the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Moshood Jimoh, proved abortive, as calls to his mobile phone rang out.
 
Punch
Read more...
Monday, 19 June 2017 06:59

VEHICLES HITS PEOPLE NEAR LONDON MOSQUE, CAUSING CASUALTIES

in Foreign
A vehicle struck pedestrians near a mosque in north London early Monday morning, causing several casualties, police said.
 
One person has been arrested. London Ambulance Service says the injured are being taken to hospitals. 
 
Eyewitnesses reported seeing police give emergency medical treatment to at least one of the injured.
 
The Muslim Council tweeted that worshippers were struck by a van as they were leaving prayers near the Finsbury Park mosque. It said its prayers are with the victims.
 
The neighborhood has two mosques, and several hundred worshippers would have been in the area after attending prayers as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
 
The Finsbury Park mosque was associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States but was shut down and reorganized. It has not been associated with radical views for more than a decade.
 
London police have declared the crash a major incident and closed the area to normal traffic. A helicopter circled above the area as a large cordon was established to keep motorists and pedestrians away.
 
Metropolitan Police said officers were called to the scene on Seven Sisters Road at 12:20 a.m. Monday. Many police cars and ambulances responded to the incident.
 
No other details were immediately available.
Britain's terrorist alert has been set at "severe" meaning an attack is highly likely.
 
Earlier this month, a van veered into pedestrians on London Bridge, setting off vehicle and knife attacks that killed eight people and wounded many others on the bridge and in the nearby Borough Market area. Three Muslim extremists who carried out the attack were killed by police.
 
Manchester was also hit by a severe attack when a bomber killed more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert.
 
AP
Read more...
Monday, 19 June 2017 06:57

FRANCE POLLS: MACRON'S PARTY WINS CLEAR PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY

in Foreign
French President Emmanuel Macron's party has won a clear parliamentary majority, results show, weeks after his own presidential victory.
 
With nearly all votes counted, his La République en Marche, alongside its MoDem allies, won more than 300 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly.
 
The winning margin is lower than some expected, with turnout down from 2012.
 
The party was formed just over a year ago, and half of its candidates have little or no political experience.
 
The result has swept aside all of the mainstream parties and gives the 39-year-old president a strong mandate in parliament to pursue his pro-EU, business-friendly reform plans.
 
The second round of the parliamentary election was marked by weak voter turnout, estimated to be a record low of about 42%, down sharply on five years ago.
 
Correspondents say opponents of Mr Macron may simply have not bothered to turn out.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe acknowledged the low turnout, promising his party would act for France as a whole. 
 
What do the results show?
The comfortable majority of La République en Marche (Republic on the Move or LREM) and MoDem - surpassing the 289-seat threshold required to control the National Assembly - will be a big blow to traditional parties on both the left and right.
 
The conservative Republicans and their allies could form a large opposition block, with 125-131 seats. But this figure is down from 200 seats in the last parliament.
 
The Socialists, who were in power for the past five years, alongside their partners, looked set to get only 41-49 seats - their lowest tally ever.
 
Socialist leader Jean-Claude Cambadélis announced his retirement from post, and urged the left "to change everything, its form and its substance, its ideas and its organisation". 
 
The far-right National Front (FN) party won eight seats, but it had set its sights on 15. 
 
FN leader Marine Le Pen, 48, has won a seat in parliament for the first time, representing Henin-Beaumont, a depressed former mining town in the north. But two of her top aides, including her deputy leader, were eliminated. 
 
Ms Le Pen said President Macron may have got a large parliamentary majority, but "he must know that his ideas are not of the majority in the country and that the French will not support a project that weakens our nation".
 
Where does France go from here? 
It has all happened so quickly that the country feels slightly dazed.
 
People are looking at their new leader, and many more than voted for him are honestly impressed by his calibre. But many are also wondering: where do we go from here?
 
There is an unknown aspect to the coming mandate that sets it apart from all that went before.
 
President Macron's party didn't exist until he dreamed it up, and half of the new parliamentarians will need lessons (literally) in how to do their jobs.
 
And never before - at least not since Charles de Gaulle in 1958 - has a head of state had such a powerful majority, made up of men and women who depend on him so personally for their new careers.
 
Macron's conquest is complete - what now?
What happened in some of the key races?
Based on provisional results:
■   National Front MP Gilbert Collard narrowly beat ex-bullfighter LREM candidate Marie Sara, with just 50.16% of the vote
■   FN deputy leader Florian Philippot lost his seat in the 6th district of Moselle to LREM's Christophe Arend
■   Ex-Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was turfed out of her Rhône seat by Bruno Bonnell from LREM
■   Far-left ex-presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon announced his victory in Marseille over LREM first-timer, Corinne Versini
■   Manuel Valls, the unpopular Socialist ex-prime minister rejected as a candidate by both LREM and the Socialists, won a tight race for his Essonne seat, but his far-left opponent Farida Amrani is contesting the results
■   Leading centre-right figure Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet conceded to LREM novice Gilles Le Gendre 
 
What are President Macron's reforms?
The new French president needed a majority to push through the changes that he promised in his campaign, which include:
■   Budget savings of €60bn (£51bn; $65bn) in the next five years
■   Cutting the number of public servants by 120,000
■   Reforming the labour market and generous state pension schemes, bringing them into line with private schemes
The interim LREM leader, Catherine Barbaroux, said the party could now start work towards changing France: 
 
"Far from postures, our members of parliament, through their multiple experiences, will vote for laws to unlock our economy, free up our energies, create new solidarities and protect the French," she said.
 
The LREM win is big enough to give the new president a good chance of weathering the inexperience and diversity of his new political army, and to push forward with bold and controversial labour reforms, says the BBC's Lucy Williamson in Paris.
 
Macron's economic plans
Who are the LREM candidates?
At least half of LREM candidates are unknown, drawn from a range of backgrounds. They include a retired bullfighter, a Rwandan refugee and a mathematician. 
Mr Macron sought gender equality in candidate selection, which resulted in a 50:50 male to female ratio.  
 
BBC
Read more...
Sunday, 18 June 2017 07:57

BUHARI BLOCKS MINISTERS WITH FILES FOR APPROVALS, BOUNCES THEM BACK TO OSINBAJO

in News
From his recuperation room in London, President Muhammadu Buhari, has reportedly been resisting attempts by some government officials, including ministers to undermine Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
 
He has refused to see such officials who sneak to the United Kingdom with files for his signature, it was gathered yesterday.
 
Buhari, authoritative government sources said, rejected the files and asked the affected government functionaries to take all documents and issues to Acting President Osinbajo.
 
He has also refused to grant audience to ministers and some presidential aides who indicated interest to see him.
 
But the President met with First Lady Aisha during her recent trip to London, contrary to social media reports.
 
Sources said the President insisted that his administration runs one Presidency and since there is an Acting President in place, any attempt to create a division by anyone will not be tolerated.
 
It was gathered that one of the delegations that went on a futile trip to see Buhari returned to Abuja on Wednesday a few hours to the signing of the 2017 Budget by the Acting President.
 
It was learnt that during the failed trips, some files and documents were taken to the President ostensibly for his perusal and approval, but he refused to act on them.
 
In line with his belief in due process, the President directed that all files and documents be made available to the Acting President.
 
A top source said: “Despite that he is fast recuperating, the President has tried as much as possible to stick to one presidency.
 
“He has refused to see some government officials who went to London to see him instead of being at their desks to work. He also returned all files and documents to those who brought them to London.
 
“The President gave stern instructions that all files, documents and issues needing decisions should be taken to the Acting President. He does not want a divided government. Buhari is living up to his Spartan discipline.
 
“He has restricted audience to two or three personal aides with him in London. This is why there are no leaks associated with his first medical trip this time around.”
 
The source added: “Those involved in taking files and documents to London had their ego deflated. Since their return from the various shuttles, they have been trying to curry the favour of the Acting President or cooperate with him. They did not know that intelligence report had exposed their antics.
 
“And the truth is that the President has been speaking with the Acting President.”
 
On the controversy surrounding the visit of the First Lady to London, the source said: “As a matter of fact, the First Lady, met with the President without any encumbrances.
 
“Any story to the contrary is false. There is enough evidence to prove that she met with her husband. No one prevented her.
 
“Some people came out with the rumour because the President has limited contact with them this time around because of leaks during his last trip.
 
“Some of those who visited the President during the initial shuttle for medical care turned out to feed Nigerians with false information on his health.
 
“It became necessary to restrict access to two of three aides. Not everyone with the President in London is allowed to see or meet with him. Ministers and government officials have been shut out too.
 
“The declaration of the First Lady that the President was pleased with the conduct and performance of the Acting President was at the prompting of her husband to checkmate those who indulge in flying to London for unnecessary consultations and approvals.”
 
Director of Information to the Wife of the President, Suleiman Haruna yesterday insisted that “Hajiya Aisha met and spent some time with the President. I even issued a statement on this.”
 
Haruna’s statement had read in part: “Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari returned from the UK, where she went to visit her husband, who is on medical leave.
 
“Mrs. Buhari, on arrival, conveyed the appreciation of the President to Nigerians over their constant prayers and said he will soon be with them as he is recuperating fast.
 
“Mrs. Buhari called on Nigerians to continue to be strong in the face of challenges and to support the Federal Government in implementing the agenda for which they were elected.”
 
‘Mr. President thanked the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for his loyalty and called on Nigerians to continue to support the acting President in his effort to actualize the mandate of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC),’ she said.
 
The Nation
Read more...
Sunday, 18 June 2017 07:54

FG GOES ON APPEAL AGAINST SARAKI'S ACQUITTAL

in News
Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, said on Saturday that the Federal Government had finalised its decision to appeal last Wednesday’s ruling of Code of Conduct Tribunal discharging and acquitting Senate President, Bukola Saraki, of charges of false asset declaration.
 
Obono-Obla, who vowed that no one would be allowed to get away with any act of corruption, said in a telephone interview with our correspondent that the government would file a notice of appeal against Saraki’s acquittal by Wednesday.
 
The presidential aide, who works in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, argued that the two-man panel of the CCT led by Danladi Umar, misapplied the law by adopting the wrong standard of proof in exonerating Saraki.
 
He said, “Definitely we are going to appeal against the ruling in Saraki’s case. One of our grounds of appeal is that the tribunal misapplied the law. For instance, the standard of proof that the tribunal used is not applicable to charges of false declaration of asset.
 
“It (charge of false asset declaration) is a strict liability offence, so you cannot apply the standard of proof that is applied in the regular criminal proceedings.
 
“Surely, we will file the appeal next (this) week Wednesday.”
 
Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on Wednesday discharged and acquitted Saraki of all the 18 charges of false asset declaration and other related offences preferred against him.
 
The two-man panel of the CCT led by its Chairman, Umar, unanimously upheld the no-case submission which Saraki filed after the prosecution closed its case with the fourth and the last prosecution witness testifying on May 4, 2017.
 
There were 48 documentary exhibits said to have been tendered in the course of the trial.
 
Punch
Read more...
Sunday, 18 June 2017 07:51

OUTRAGE AS #FREEEVANS CAMPAIGN GOES VIRAL

in News
An online campaign with the hashtag #FreeEvans, calling for the release of a kidnap mastermind, Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike, aka Evans, which went viral on Saturday, has sparked outrage on the Internet, particularly on Twitter.
 
The suspected criminal was arrested on June 10 at one of his houses on Magodo Estate, Lagos State.
 
Following his arrest and confessions, a Twitter user with the handle @Diranaire (Diran) had on June 12 posted a tweet, "#FreeEvans #JusticeForEvans. Igbos are being victimised. That’s how deeply some Nigerians are brainwashed.”
 
Three days after that tweet, another Twitter handle, @TAJUDEEOLAJID, posted, “For me, I don’t see any difference between Saraki and Evans … they’re both hustling for dollars, please #freeEvans. If saraki can be freed I think we should start trending #freeEvans the kidnapper.”
 
Similarly, on June 16, another Twitter handle, @justemdee, said, “Now that @BukolaSaraki is discharged and declared ‘innocent.’ We should expect Evans, the kidnapper, to be discharged too. Please #FREEEvans.”
 
Expressing shock over the Twitter campaign to free Evans, a Twitter user with the handle @Omodayo2 wrote, “I woke up to a #FreeEvans campaign. Lord Jesus, when are you coming back? There are more mad humans roaming the earth now, save us.”
 
Another user, @lordtannertalks, said, “Are you people asking for #freeEvans mad? Free what? All you people pushing this #freeEvans matter, may God punish you all for a long time.”
 
A tweet by @sheysheykushey said, “I sincerely pray that the loved ones of those behind the #FreeEvans campaign fall victim to other kidnappers out there. This I solemnly pray.”
 
In the same vein, @cicceroUNO said, “The thunder that will fire the advocates of #FreeEvans will come like a doctor’s prescription: 2 morning, 1 afternoon and 2 in the night.”
 
Showing similar indignation @PrimeBaba stated, “All the exponents of #FreeEvans are human beings who have chosen to function by animal code simply. No gainsaying they are all deranged!”
 
“Those who are behind the #FreeEvans stuff; may kidnappers locate and kidnap you; bunch of inhumane beings!” a Twitter user with the handle @geotaha stated.
 
Then on Saturday, another Twitter user with the handle, @CarxSan, said in a series of tweets that drew the ire of other users, “So if you all can look the other way when the politicians get cleared of wrongdoings and get mad at the #FreeEvans tag, then we should do more. Insults were enormous and my mentions were a storm but you are all missing something important. #FreeEvans.
 
“Some of you went as far as mentioning the police handles and asking for my head. Lol #FreeEvans. First attempt at making you all mad and it worked.”
 
Meanwhile, there are indications that the police will extend their investigation into the criminal activities of the notorious kidnap kingpin beyond the shores of the country.
 
Competent sources revealed that the police was exploring Interpol to unravel Evans’ activities in Ghana and South Africa.
 
Our correspondent also gathered that the suspect would be charged with kidnapping, murder, armed robbery, and drug trafficking.
 
Two houses owned by the 36-year-old in Accra, Ghana were discovered as he also confessed to trafficking drugs during his stay in South Africa in 2007.
 
Evans, who was arrested in his mansion on Magodo Estate, Lagos, on June 10, had also told journalists how he had linked up with different gangs to hijack three bullion vans in Abia and Enugu states, carting away N200m in one of the operations.
 
Six of his gang members, Nwosu Chukwuma, aka Sudo, 42; Suoyo Paul aka Nwana, 42; Felix Chinemerem, 36; Chukwuemeka Bosah, 28; Uchechukwu Amadi; and Ogechi Amadi, were also paraded.
 
A senior police officer hinted to our correspondent on Saturday that investigators would soon visit South Africa and Ghana to conduct further investigations into the case.
 
The source said, “There are some investigations that will be done in Ghana concerning his criminal activities. The police have also contacted South Africa to assist in tracing his property, and detectives are going there soon for further investigations. We are working with Interpol.”
 
When asked if the police was looking at the possibility of Evans working for some more powerful criminals, a top security source said, “The suspect is a criminal empire. Evans is the chairman. He does not have any sponsor and nobody is giving him any backup. This is a man who does not interact with people.”
 
Attempts to get the comments of the Force Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, on the case were unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls made to his mobile phone. He also had yet to reply to a text message sent to him as of press time.
 
Punch
Read more...
Page 1 of 9