Category Archives: Crimes Story

Nigerian government grant 2,600 inmates bail.


The Nigerian Federal Government has granted amnesty to no fewer than 2,600 prison inmates as part of measures to de-congest prison facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


President Buhari grants pardon


Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, announced this at a press conference which held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja today, April 9.

According to the Minister, those eligible for the pardon include inmates that are 60 years and above; those suffering from ill-health likely to result in death; convicts serving three years and above and have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and inmates with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000.


President Buhari grants pardon


Aregbesola said that out of the said number, 70 inmates will be released today from Kuje maximum custodial centre.

“In a symbolic gesture of the amnesty given to the 2,600 inmates across Nigeria, 41 Federal inmates and 29 FCT inmates making a total of 70 inmates who met the above criteria will be released today from the Kuje Custodial Centre in Abuja. This amnesty will not apply to inmates sentenced for violent extreme offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and so on.

The Governors of the 36 states under whose jurisdiction most of the inmates were incarcerated will complete the exercise in line with the federal principle.” he said


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria – Awala boys attack Lagos community, kill 3.


Amid lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, residents of Aiyetoro community in Ajegunle, in the Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State are living in fear of hoodlums popularly known as Awala Boys.

The thugs who belong to different factional groups have reportedly been terrorising residents and passersby since 2018, dispossessing them of phones, cash and other valuables.


Their operations recently led to the death of three persons – a photographer and secretary of a security committee in Aiyetoro, Peter Edogbei, one Daniel aka Warrior and Moshood aka Alegba – while many others, including a traditional ruler (otherwise known as baale), were injured.

Punch learnt that the traditional ruler, Baale of Oke-Ira (also in Ajegunle), Taiwo Olayeni, Edogbeji and other community leaders, were returning from a meeting held at Ajeromi Plaza on Tuesday, March 24, when they ran into the hoodlums on Okoya Bridge, Aiyetoro, around 7pm.


A fight reportedly ensued between two factions of the Awala Boys that day over which group should operate at certain locations in the community.

During the clash, they robbed passersby and attacked them with cutlasses. Edogbeji, 43, died at a hospital the next day from injuries he sustained.


The fight resumed last Sunday when a faction of Awala Boys stormed Tuncarino Street to operate but were resisted. Warrior and Alegba were reportedly killed in the mayhem.

It was gathered that the Awala Boys belong to different groups, Eye and Aiye confraternities, which worsen their rivalry.


Chairman, Aiyetoro Community Development Association, Mr Lukman Akande, told punch correspondent who visited the neighbourhhood on Tuesday that the thugs had become a huge burden to the community.

He said the activities of the gangs festered because the police were initially indifferent to complaints lodged by residents.


He stated, “The major challenge we are facing in Aiyetoro and Ajegunle at large are the hoodlums called Awalas. Before now, when we went to police stations to report them, some policemen would say they were not thieves. That was in 2018. They later graduated to notorious thieves. At times, when they were operating and we reported to the police, they would promise to come but we would not see them until the operation ended.


“On occasions when some of them were arrested, police would insist residents must write statement as witnesses but people were afraid to do so. Eventually, they would be freed and returned to the community.

“They usually operate in groups. They will waylay people on the road around 7pm and collect their phones and other valuables. If they ask for your phone and you don’t give them on time, they will attack you with cutlasses. Some of them carry guns.

“When they enter a street, everyone will start running helter-skelter. Immediately, they collect phones, they will check SIM cards for account numbers of the owners and hack into the accounts.”


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria: 4 killed in Lagos hoodlums clash. {Photos}


No fewer than four persons have allegedly been killed in the ongoing supremacy battle between hoodlums from the Akosile area and the Network Base in Gasikiya, Amusun area of the Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.

Some of the residents, who said on Monday, identified the deceased simply as Mai-Rago, Agbo, Tuwo and Akeem, aka Sample, adding that the clashes had extended to the Gangari, Adeyemi, Oju Ina, Arewa and Amusun, among other areas in Apapa Iganmu.


During the clashes, scores of residents and business owners are usually thrown into panic and run helter-skelter for safety.

It was learnt that the hoodlums reportedly took advantage of the tension in the affected areas to burgle shops, loot property and destroy vehicles parked on the streets.


A resident, who identified himself simply as Gbadegeshin, said the hoodlums shot three of the victims’ dead and butchered Mai Rago on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

Tuwo

He said, “Hoodlums from the Network Base contributed to the unrest in Amusun and its environs in the Apapa-Igamu LCDA. This fight has been going on for five days and four persons, Mai-Rago, Akeem, Agbo and Tuwo, have been killed. The hoodlums used cutlasses to butcher Mai-Rago on Saturday around Sango, while Akeem was shot in the chest on Sunday. The other two victims had been shot dead about two weeks ago.

“The clashes usually start around 6am and the hoodlums dispossess residents of their valuables and loot property from shops in the process. The fight is between hoodlums from the Network Base in Gasikiya and those from the Akosile area, but the clashes have spread to adjoining areas like Gangari, Oju-Ina, Adeyemi and Arewa, among others. The hoodlums also destroyed about 15 vehicles that were parked on the streets.


“The hoodlums mostly fight for supremacy and residents of the affected areas are affected. Also, business transactions are usually affected, because everywhere is always tensed whenever they clash. We need more police presence in the community.”

Naira plunges further, dollar sells for N412
NobleReporters learnt that to restore normalcy in the affected areas, an armoured personnel carrier was stationed in the community and policemen from the Area ‘B’, Ijora-Badia, Pako and Ajegunle divisions had been patrolling the various streets to restore confidence in the community.


Another resident, Afeez Aladesanmi, however, said the restriction of movement imposed by the Federal Government in Lagos State and other parts of the country had made the clashes to subside, adding that the clashes also involved cultists in the community

He stated, “The fight is two ways, one involves cultists and these cultists have killed a lot of their rivals. The fight by the cultists usually happens when they extend their clashes from the school to the neighbourhood. The other clash involves hoodlums from various areas in Apapa-Iganmu. The police have parked their APC in the area and policemen have been patrolling the area to prevent reprisal.

“But before their intervention and the restriction of movement in Lagos, we used to live in fear, because these hoodlums and cultists can strike at any moment. And when they strike, they use weapons to perpetrate all sorts of crime in the community. At the moment, the restriction of movement and public gatherings have calmed the situation because everywhere has been shut down.”

Footage of a clash in the affected areas, which was recorded by a resident and made available to media showed two factions of armed hoodlums numbering about 50 hurling bottles and using cutlasses to attack each other.


The 23-second footage showed that the clash occurred in the night as the scene was powered by street light. Houses and shops were locked and the hoodlums took to the street to fight themselves.

Tuwo’s corpse was also seen in the back seat of a tricycle, while Akeem’s remains were laid on a bamboo-made carrier and were covered by a clothe.


Pictures of damaged tricycles, commercial buses and private cars were also sighted.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said the crisis was caused by members of the Aiye and Eiye confraternities, adding that 15 suspects had been arrested in connection with the clashes.


Elkana stated, “We have arrested 15 suspects in connection with the incident. It was a clash between two rival cults, the Eiye and Aiye confraternities. We deployed our resources massively there and still have our personnel stationed in strategic areas of the community.

“From our record, I can confirm that only one person was killed, because once you heard a rumour that somebody was killed and you cannot trace to retrieve the corpse, then it can’t be confirmed. When these cultists injure themselves, the members try to take the injured away quickly so that they won’t be traced or identified. So, I can’t speak on the ones we don’t have on record.

“The cultists mobilised their members from the neighbouring communities and some were arrested by tracing them to the communities where they come from. Now, the situation is calm with our armoured vehicle stationed there and our task force personnel have been patrolling the area and are on the lookout for the cultists.”


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Police draw attention of Nigerians to cybercrime’s new method.


The Nigeria Police Force has warned Nigerians on the new method fraudsters have devised to defraud people during this Coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released, the police spokesperson, Frank Mba, said intelligence at the disposal of the Force indicates that fraud and cybercrime are expected to rise at this time owing to the lockdown emplaced by Government at all levels to contain the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.


Mba said intelligence obtained from the INTERPOL Headquarters shows that scammers in Nigeria and other parts of the globe have begun to create and set up fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, fake social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver (covid-19) medical products.

He noted that in some cases, the fraudsters use the names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of these items. Victims are then asked to pay via bank transfer.


According to Mbah, the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu, has enjoined all Nigerians to strictly adhere to the following security tips:

i. Avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments;


ii. Ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely;

iii. Use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles;


iv. Keep your software updated, including antivirus software;

v. Manage your social media settings and review your privacy and security settings;


vi. You are advised to be wary of scammers who use names of prominent companies to create fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver medical products;

vii. You are advised to ignore and report calls purportedly emanating from a caller who pretends to be a relative currently being treated at hospital asking you to pay for the cost of the medical treatment by transferring money or by paying cash to fake public health representatives;


viii. Do not open letters or emails related to the pandemic from unknown persons who claim to be health authorities. Often times criminals access sensitive information,steal personal information and steal funds of victims by tricking them into connecting to a specific webpage and logging-in with their credentials;

ix. Be mindful of fake news, deliberate misinformation/disinformation and avoid circulating untrusted and unverified messages on your social media handles;


x. Educate your family, especially your children, about how to stay safe online and offline;

xi. If you become a victim, ensure prompt report to the police.


The statement added that the IGP has placed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), Abuja – Nigeria on red alert.

”The NCB which houses the cybercrime unit of the Force shall in the coming days and beyond work closely with other Interpol member states across the globe particularly to carry out intense monitoring of the internet highway in the most legitimate and ethical manner. This is to engender concerted efforts in cracking down on any individual or all forms of organized criminal gangs that may want to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to perpetrate crimes.

The Force also enjoins commercial bank operators to strengthen their online banking security systems and report promptly any suspected case of fraud and other cybercrime related activities in their banks.

While reaffirming the determination of the Nigeria Police Force in providing support services to relevant agencies saddled with the task of curtailing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGP assures the public that the Force is unrelenting in clamping down on criminals who may want to take advantage of the situation to perpetrate criminal acts” the statement read


#Newsworthy…

Shocker: 2 Chinese expatriates missing in Nigeria.


Two Chinese expatriates working in Ebonyi State have been kidnapped.

The incident, it was learnt, happened in Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area of the state.

The two men reportedly work for a mining company in the area.


The town has the largest deposit of solid minerals in the state.

The identity and motive of the kidnappers is yet to be ascertained.

The Ebonyi State police commissioner, Awosola Awotinde, confirmed the incident.

He said the police are on the trail of the kidnappers.

Details later…


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria: CP, Mr. Ene Okon confirm arrest of 3 kidnap suspects in Obingwa, Abia State.


The Police Commissioner in Abia, Mr Ene Okon, on Saturday confirmed the arrest of three persons suspected to be kidnappers at Obikabia community in Obingwa Local Government of the state.

Okon said that the arrest was one in many of such arrests. NobleReporters learnt.


“We arrest suspected kidnappers almost on daily basis.

“They have informed me of the arrest of three kidnappers by a Police team at Obikabia in Obingwa.


“At the moment, we are investigating them and if they are found culpable, we will take them to court to face prosecution,” he said.

A police source had earlier said that on March 23, at about 8.00 a.m., a man named Ezechi Omenihu reported that his sister-in-law had been kidnapped by a group of gunmen. N.Rs


He said that the suspected kidnappers took her to their hideout in an unknown destination in the area.

He said that immediately men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Aba got the information, they stormed an uncompleted building at Obikabia community in Obingwa.


The source said that the team, using tactical initiatives, launched an operation against the gang in their hideout and rescued one Miss Kelechi Solomon of MCC road, Aba.

He said that the operation was led by the SARS Commander in Aba, Mr Johnbull Obioguru.

The source said that the trio had confessed to the alleged crime of kidnapping the girl found in their possession.


#Newsworthy…

Borno: Soldiers kills more Boko Haram, seize gun trucks.


The Defence Media Operations, said military operations in the ongoing counter insurgency war has killed scores of terrorists and recovered several weapons including gun trucks at Gorigi in the Allagarno Forest area of Borno State.

The soldiers sent the terrorists to their graves during a clearance operation conducted along the Allagarno Forest axis, as part of the ongoing subsidiary Operation, ‘Operation AYISO TAMONUMA’.


Acting Director Defence Media Operations Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko made this known in a statement.

“Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have dealt another crippling blow on Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) in the North East part of the Country. This was achieved at Gorigi in the Allagarno Forest general area of Borno State on 23 March 2020.


“The routing occurred when the Land Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducting clearance operations along the Allagarno Forest axis, as part of the ongoing subsidiary Operation, ‘Operation AYISO TAMONUMA’, came into contact with mounted BHTs. Accordingly, air assets, including an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform and fighter jets, were immediately scrambled to provide Close Air Support to the troops.

While the ISR platform provided situational awareness to the troops, the fighter jets engaged the BHTs, immobilizing a gun truck and neutralizing some of the terrorists. Some others, who attempted to beat a hasty retreat, were mopped up by the jets in follow-on attacks.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, in furtherance of the objective of restoring peace and security in the Northeast, will continue to sustain the offensive against the enemies of our Nation”.


#Newsworthy…

Zamfara govt. confirms abduction of district head, 2 more in Nigeria.


Zamfara Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran, has confirmed the kidnap of the District Head of Wuya in Anka Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking in Gusau on Saturday, NobleReporters learnt that Dauran said, “it is lamentable that these unrepentant bandits can still come into communities to carry out criminal activities in the state.


“It is true the district head, of Wuya, Mr Umar was kidnapped today (Saturday), and immediately on receipt of the unfortunate incident, we mobilised security personnel comprising the army and the police to the bushes in the area.

“Currently they are on trail of the criminals, I can assure you that we will catch them,” he said.


He stated that the security personnel was also supported by some repentant bandits who had earlier embraced peace.

N.Rs quotes an eye witness, Muhammadu Biyu as saying that the monarch, his son, Mannir Umar, and the Imam, Liman Murtala were kidnapped at gunpoint in a mosque during the day’s afternoon prayer by a group of bandits who entered the town on motorcycles.

He said on their arrival, the bandits went straight into the mosque while the people were observing the afternoon congregational prayers and whisked away from the victims.

The commissioner reassured the people of the state that the state government would not relent until a lasting peace was achieved in the state.


#Newsworthy..

UNIABUJA suspend 24 students arrested during cult initiation. (Photo)


The University of Abuja on Friday announced the indefinite suspension of 24 students of the institution arrested during cult initiation in Gwako village along Gwagwalada Road in the Federal Capital Territory.

The students, including seven final year students, were arrested by the police on March 15 after the villagers raised the alarm of a crowd of cultists hiding in a bush.


The suspected cultists arrested with the effort of the community vigilantes had subsequently been taken into police custody.

According to an eyewitness, a total of 46 persons suspected to be students were arrested but about 24 are from the University of Abuja. It was not clear yet where the other suspects school. They were stripped and beaten by the villagers before they were moved away by the police in two vans.


The university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, on Friday approved the indefinite suspension of the 24 students of the university.

In a release by UNIABUJA’s Head of Information and University Relations, Dr Habib Yakoob, the university said suspicious activities must be promptly reported to the police and other authorities.


Yakoob said, “The vice-chancellor has approved the indefinite suspension of 24 students of the university for alleged involvement in cultism. This is the first batch of the arrested students to be suspended by the university management.

“Out of the 24 suspended students, who cut across various faculties including Science, Arts and Social Science, seven were in 400 level; 10 in 300 level; six in 200 level and one spill-over student.

“The affected students have been directed by the university authorities to hand over all the (school’s) property in their possession and vacate the hostels immediately. The vice-chancellor also directed that the students be made to appear before the Students’ Disciplinary Committee for further investigation.”

The university management maintained that it has zero tolerance for cultism and other related misconduct.


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria: 35 Govs, 15 Mins, Others buys Dubai property with suspected public funds.


A report published by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has revealed how Nigerian public officials and their proxies steal public funds and invest it in luxurious properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

According to the report, Politically Exposed Persons under scrutiny by anti-graft agencies are seeking new ways to hide their ill-gotten wealth by purchasing expensive properties in Dubai.

The 800 Dubai properties linked to Nigerian PEPs are estimated to be worth well over N146bn ($400 million).

This equals roughly two-thirds of the Nigerian Army’s annual budget and over three times the annual budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Quoting Sandcastles data, the report said 158 suspected PEP proxies bought 226 houses, 13 known Nigerian law enforcement suspects bought 216 houses, 50 PEP-linked businessperson bought 91 houses, 14 security sector leader bought 71 houses, 35 governors bought 69 houses, 16 legislators bought 45 houses, 16 heads of department and agencies bought 25 houses, 15 ministers bought 24 houses, 11 NNPC officials bought 19 houses, five Presidency staff bought 13 houses and one judge bought one house.

Some of the officials listed in the report include Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Bagudu, who is regarded as Abacha’s money man and godfather of Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami.

Bagudu is affiliated with eight properties worth over $4.8m in total on the 12th floor of Dubai’s Capital Bay Towers, according to the report.

Mohammed Alabi Lawal, a former governor of Kwara State between 1999–2003, is reputed to own the most property on the list.

He owns six properties with a total purchase price of over $2m. At least one of those properties, a villa, was bought in January 2003 while Lawal was still in office.

Lawal died in 2006 but the properties haven’t been recovered.

Sandcastle data also showed that four political associates of former Delta State governor, James Ibori, have ties to properties in Dubai.

Ibori, a well-known financial offender in Nigeria, was arrested in 2010 under an Interpol warrant and was subsequently extradited to the United Kingdom.

In 2012, he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fraud and money laundering involving at least $66.

In 2017, Ibori returned to Nigeria after serving six years in prison and remains a major political figure in Delta State.

One of his friends purchased four Dubai properties with a total value of $3.8m.

Another is affiliated with a two-bedroom flat on the 21st floor of the DAMAC Residenze, which, according to the developer, “comes with all the trappings of an indulgent lifestyle” as well as “uninterrupted panoramic views of the ocean”.

The official reportedly purchased the apartment for over $1.5m and also bought a flat in another development for $500,000.

A third Ibori ally is linked to a two-bedroom flat on the 23rd floor of the DAMAC Residenze that he purchased for over $1.3m.

Yet another is tied to four luxury flats in Dubai purchased for over $2m.

Ahmadu Ali, a former chairman of the board at the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (2009–2011) facilitated a $6.8bn fuel subsidy fraud scheme.

Ali, his wife and son are linked to 11 properties in Dubai.

His wife, Marian, unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2007 and is now a member of the All Progressives Congress.

Seven of Ali’s properties are together worth at least $4m; the other four are worth an estimated $2m.

Ali also owns two high-end London properties – a $10m house near Hampstead Heath and a $1.3m flat in Marylebone.

Ali did not respond when confronted with being connected to the properties in Dubai.

A former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete is also linked to a parcel of land in Emirate Hills worth over $920,000.

He also owns a $500,000 apartment in the Palm Jumeirah’s Marina Residences.

Etete used an informal money changer to bring $21.5m into Dubai and this cash formed part of the $1.1bn that two international oil companies paid his company – Malabu Oil and Gas – for the license to an oil block that he awarded to himself while minister.

One such currency exchange operator, Mohammed Saminu Ibrahim Khalil, is linked to over $3m in Dubai property, according to the Sandcastles data.

In 2013, his business named Dan Kawu was accused of facilitating a N2.05bn bank fraud (worth $12.8m at the time).

Khalil was able to buy a three-bedroom luxury apartment in the DAMAC Residenze and a similar flat in Flamingo Cove, even listing his Dan Kawu email address on the purchase records.

When given an opportunity to comment on these allegations or his possible connection to property in Dubai, Khalil did not respond.

Shehu Badamasi, a businessman involved in the technology and petroleum sectors, created a Dubai property empire worth over $120m, according to the Sandcastles data.

He accomplished this despite being well-known to Nigerian law enforcement agencies.

Badamasi asserts that he and his companies do not as at February 2020 own any Dubai property.

When asked to clarify—he did not deny owning it.

At least one former NNPC Group Managing Director has ties to a Dubai property.

Shehu Ladan – a career government official, who briefly served as NNPC MD from April to May 2010, was linked to a flat in Dubai Marina.

He however, died suddenly in Dubai in October 2011.

Another NNPC alumni linked to Dubai property is Samuel Chuba Okeke, who served as Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company – NNPC’s corruption-prone downstream subsidiary – from April 2010 to February 2011.

According to the Sandcastles data, Okeke is affiliated with a villa in Jumeirah Park worth roughly $1.1m and a property in the high-end Jumeirah Beach Residences where the average apartment sells for $614,000.

Two former chairmen of the Military Pensions Board—including retired Rear Admiral Bala Mohammed Mshelia (2011–2013)—are linked to three properties.

One purchased a flat in the Lago Vista complex for $670,000, while Mshelia is linked to two flats in Dubai Marina worth up to a total of $1m.

Mshelia did not respond when given the opportunity to comment on these unproven allegations.

Two of Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate Presidents, Ibrahim Mantu (1999–2007) and Ike Ekweremadu (2007–2019), are separately linked to multiple luxury properties in Dubai

According to the report, Ekweremadu is connected to eight Dubai properties with an estimated total value in excess of $7m.

These include a luxury flat in Park Towers bought for $2.2m and one in Burj Dubai purchased for $1.4m.

According to the United Kingdom’s public records, Ekweremadu is also linked to at least two properties in the country purchased between 2008 and 2011 for a total of $6.5m.

One of these properties, an upscale flat in central London, is registered in the name of Ekweremadu’s charitable foundation.

The second, a detached house in a North London suburb, is owned by a shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Through his spokesman, Ekweremadu has denied owning “purported ‘hidden properties’” and has stated “unequivocally that he declared all his assets with the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by law.”

The reports found out that many Nigerian elites use proxies to hide their ownership of property but just as many buy with impunity.

The vast majority of people mentioned in the report have been investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes with no known conviction.


#Newsworthy…

Former presidential aide, Obono-Obla arrested.


Five months after he was declared wanted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the suspended chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, was on Friday arrested in Abuja by the anti-graft agency.

Mr Obono-Obla, who was declared wanted by ICPC for allegedly refusing to honour its investigation, was picked up in an undisclosed location in the Federal Capital Territory.


NobleReporters learnt that the former special assistant to the president on prosecution was undergoing medicals at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in the capital city.

Confirming the development, ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedah Okodowa, said Mr Obono-Obla was arrested Friday afternoon.


She said; “Yes, he is in our custody. Mr Obono-Obla was arrested a few hours ago in Abuja. Details will be communicated to the public.”

The spokeswoman, however, declined comment on whether Mr Obono-Obla was undergoing medicals, saying the agency has its own procedures for taking suspects into its custody.”


Removed by Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2019, suspended Mr Obono-Obla from office with an instruction that the suspension order took immediate effect.

In a letter dated, August 14, 2019, and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Mr Obono-Obla was accused of “falsification of records and financial impropriety.”


The letter read in part; “I write to convey the directive of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for your suspension from office as Chairman, Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property with immediate effect.

“This suspension shall subsist until the conclusion of the ICPC investigations into cases of alleged falsification of records and financial impropriety against your person.


“You are required by this instruction to strictly observe and comply with the provisions of PSR 030405 (a-c) of the Public Service Rules. For the avoidance of doubt, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, shall be the authority to whom you shall report.”

How ICPC’s hunting for Obono-Obla started
The agency had, through its twitter handle, in October 2019, declared Mr Obono-Obla wanted, urging the public to notify it whenever and wherever he was sighted.


ICPC had launched investigations into the allegations against the former presidential aide over falsification of his senior school certificate examination results allegedly obtained from the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC).

The allegation stated that the results used by Mr Obono-Obla to secure admission to study Law at the University of Jos in the ‘80s was falsified.


He was also indicted by a committee of the House of Representatives in 2018 that investigated his panel for the certificate forgery. The representatives then asked Mr Buhari to remove him from office.

I’m facing persecution –Obono-Obla
However, Mr Obono-Obla has consistently refuted the allegations, accusing some highly-placed Nigerians of orchestrating his removal from office.


“I have suffered so much persecution and witch-hunting because of the fact that I have carried out my assignment with patriotism, dedication, commitment, and conviction. I don’t deserve this persecution and witch-hunt because of my refusal to be disloyal to Mr. President and allow the office of the Vice President to use the Panel to serve the vested interest,” he said.

“The ICPC which is now being used against me is under the protege of the Vice President, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye. Professor Bolaji Owasanoye was part and parcel of the conspirators against me!


“I was also persecuted by the National Assembly! The whole issue of my purported certificate forgery was masterminded by the House of Representatives to get back at me because I had the guts to initiate an investigation against some powerful Senators.

Mr. Obono-Obla, also in a letter addressed to the presidency and recently published, said he was never given an opportunity of being heard concerning the allegation levelled against him.

“If I have done anything wrong, I should be removed from office but I should not be humiliated and reduced to nothing.”


#Newsworthy…

Former Rivers governorship aspirant killed by suspected herdsmen.


A former governorship aspirant in Rivers State, Soala West, was killed by suspected herdsmen in the Aluu community, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.

Soala, who hailed from the Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, was said to be inspecting his poultry farm in Aluu on March 12, 2020, when he was abducted and taken away to an unknown destination.


His corpse was found dead on Wednesday around 6pm.

The deceased’s elder brother, Emmanuel, expressed shock over the death of the politician in the hands of the suspected herdsmen.


According to him, Soala had gone to inspect his poultry farm in Aluu when he was whisked away by the herdsmen, who brandished AK-47 rifles.

It was learnt that Soala’s captors had earlier demanded N30m as ransom from his relatives, but later reduced it to N2.5 million.


Though it could not be ascertained if the ransom was paid, Soala’s captors killed the former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party barely a week after he was taken away.

“This is shocking to us. We don’t know why they should kill our brother this way. Our entire family has been thrown into mourning. We just hope that the police will arrest all those involved in the killing of our brother,” Emmanuel said.

Several calls to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, were not answered, while a text message sent to his mobile phone for confirmation of the incident had not been replied to as of the time of filing this report.


#Newsworthy…

EFCC investigate Ex Governor Odili’s N100bn fraud case.


Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, is currently under probe for allegedly diverting N100 billion for personal use.

Odili, who was governor between 1999 and 2007, was alleged to have moved about N4 billion in cash to a bank between 2004 and 2006, in favour of his Aide-De-Camp, Isaac Onyesom, and Emmanuel Nkata who worked in the Rivers State liaison office in Abuja.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a fact sheet on the probe also alleged that N1.5 billion out of the amount was used by the ex-governor to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA.

It alleged that about N100 million was doled out to a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party on November 28, 2005.


But while still under probe, the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike was alleged to have transferred suspicious N2billion (public funds) to some firms belonging to Odili between 2016 and 2018.

There were indications that Odili might be put on trial by the EFCC.


But Odili in a suit FHC/ PHC/C3/26/2020 dated March 12, 2020, asked a Federal High Court to restrain the EFCC from investigating him.

He said the EFCC was bound by the 2007 judgments of the Federal High Court on the perpetual injunction against his arrest and prosecution.


He said the EFCC had been threatening to arrest, detain and prosecute him.

According to document on the status of investigation on Odili, the EFCC claimed that the ex-governor allegedly laundered the N100billion under the guise of pursuing a Power Project in Rivers State.


The document reads in part: “The Commission wishes to once again explain the case being investigated for which some restraining orders were obtained by both the representative of Rivers State Government and Dr. Peter Odili and also the new intelligence that were got against the third party which had link with some group of companies belonging to Odili.

“For the purpose of clarity, the commission wishes to put more light on the ongoing investigation in 2006 before it was aborted by some high court, based on a suit instituted by the former Governor of River State and some officials of the State govt.


“The petitioner had alleged that Dr. Peter Odili, then a governor of Rivers State had conspired with officials of his government and the chairman, Rocksons Engineering Group of Companies to divert over N100billion from the account of Rivers State, alleging that he used same for Power Project in Rivers.

“The petitioner also went further to say that part of the state fund was moved to the Government House account, from where it was distributed to the then governor and his relatives and investigation commence.


“The said account of the Government House was immediately obtained and details of the account revealed that about N4 billion between 2004 and 2006 was moved in cash in favour Odili’s ADC, Isaac Onyesom and one Emmanuel Nkata of the Rivers State liaison office, Abuja.

“These funds were withdrawn in cash for the former governor of Rivers State. Emmanuel Nkatah was arrested and he confirmed that the funds were withdrawn for the former governor through his ADC.


“ Investigation was on when the ADC, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), suddenly retired from the Police and disappeared into thin air.

“ Among those who also benefited from the funds from Rivers State was a former National Chairman of PDP who received a manager’s cheque of N100 million from the same account on November 28, 2005.
Read Also: We will reopen Odili’s investigation, says EFCC


“ Between 2005 and 2006, the former governor Odili paid about N1.5billion which was used to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA and so many others.

“ From the same account, he moved N3 billion to an oil company for shares, N1.4 billion to a bottle water company, and about N1.8billion to a communication company which as of 2006, had no share as it was not a quoted company.


“ When the investigation commenced, he quickly involved the State Govt to take over the shares but the State Govt was not comfortable and requested that the companies return their money.

The EFCC said despite being under investigation, about N10billion questionable deposits were found in some accounts traced to Odili and a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police.


It said N2billion out of the suspicious N10billion was lodged in some companies belonging to Odili by the Rivers State Government between 2016 and 2017.

The document added: “Sometimes in 2018, information was received that some Companies belonging to a retired ASP: NUMAC Project Company Ltd and NUMAC Global Resources Ltd, had between 2004 and 2018 received over N5 billion into the account and the funds came in tranches of N500, N300 millions etc, which is suspicious.


”These Companies and their accounts were thoroughly investigated. It was discovered that the inflow into these accounts are mostly cash.

“ On few occasions, about N2billion came in from Rivers State Government account between 2016 and 2017.


“These funds were traced to the following Companies: Pamo Group of companies Ltd, Pamo Clinic and Hospital and Pamo Educational Foundation. The above companies were found to have belonged to Dr. Peter Odili and his family.

“Based on the above, and in view that the above companies were not part of restraining order of the Federal High Court, the EFCC commenced further investigation.


“ It was further established that the funds were moved from the banks in Abuja contrary to the claims that the money formed part of the security .

“The ADC, the principal suspect in the alleged fraud has been in hiding, he has refused to honour the invitation of the Commission. The commission reliably gathered that it was because of the case that he prematurely retired from the police voluntarily.”

The former governor is however fighting back by approaching a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt seeking a fresh injunction against EFCC.


#Newsworthy…

Update: Mompha in more trouble as witness spill out some secrets in Court.


The trial of Ismaila Mustapha aka Mompha continued on Wednesday today, before Justice A. Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, as a prosecution witness told the court that Mompha did not remit tax to the Nigerian Government for a period of seven months while his company was already in existence.

Mompha is standing trial alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investments Limited, on an amended 22-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N33bn brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.


The defendant, who is fingered as a major figure in an organised transnational cyber fraud network, allegedly used his company to launder the funds, part of which he used in acquiring properties in Dubai.

At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, the prosecution called four witnesses, three of which are Bureau De Change operators and an investigator with the EFCC.


Led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo, prosecution counsel, Kaina Garba, an investigator with the EFCC, narrated to the court how Mompha ran an unlicensed BDC and lied about the date operations commenced in his company leading to his evasion of tax for a period of seven months.

Kaina narrated to the court that sometime in 2019, the EFCC received intelligence on Mompha’s activities.


The intelligence was analysed and found to be credible.

“Investigation commenced and the defendant was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way from Dubai where he stays.


“A bank verification was ran on his Fidelity Bank account and it was revealed that he is associated with some accounts one of which is Ismalob Global Ventures Limited.

“Letter of enquiry was sent to the Corporate Affairs Commission and it revealed that he is a director at the company and the sole signatory to the account.


“Letter of enquiry was sent to the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering and the Central Bank of Nigeria to ascertain if the company was registered and licensed to carry out BDC activities and the responses showed that Ismalob was not a licensed BDC neither was it registered with SCUML,” he said.

Kaina also revealed to the court that a letter was written to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the response showed that there was a suppression of seven months on the date when transactions commenced at Ismalob and for those months, there were no payment of taxes by the company.

He further said that the analysis of the Statement of Account on the Fidelity Bank account of Ismalob revealed a total turnover of over N8bn between December 2015 and September 2019.

Justice Liman adjourned further hearing in the matter to Thursday.


#Newsworthy…

Breaking: Man arrested for digging up Kobe Bryant’s grave.


A man has been arrested for digging up a gravesite reported to belong to Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant.

NobleReporters reports that the gravesite in Newport Beach is where Kobe and Gigi were laid to rest.

However, last Friday, a man was arrested and placed in handcuffs after he allegedly tried to dig up the gravesite.

N.Rs learnt that “the man snuck onto the private gravesite with tools and began digging. Police say that the man peeled back the grass and began digging – and he dug fairly deep into the ground. ”

The publication has now released “exclusive images” showing police putting the man in handcuffs and taking photos of the crime scene.

The unidentified man had been seen wearing knee pads, and carrying equipment that he used to dig through the area where he believed Kobe and Gianna had been laid to rest.

“He appeared to focus his efforts on one particular corner of the area and what appeared to be rectangular cutting marks could be seen through the grass,” the publication adds.


#Newsworthy…

Gunmen demand N100m ransom after abducting Adesina’s daughters.


The Oyo State Police Command has confirmed the abduction of two daughters of the former Director of Sports in the defunct old Western Region, and Proprietor of the Subuola Memorial Nursery/Primary School, Ibadan, the late Chief Emiola Adesina.

The two sisters, Pastor Omobola Adepoju and Mrs Abiola Olukotun, were abducted from a farm in Ibadan on Monday.

The news of their abduction was made known in a short message to one of our correspondents on Tuesday by a retired permanent secretary and professor/directing member of staff of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State, Tunji Olaopa.

According to the police, the community, where the victims were kidnapped, had been cordoned off by security agents in an effort to rescue them and arrest the abductors.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the command, Olugbenga Fadeyi, told one of our correspondents, “The women were kidnapped yesterday (Monday) on a farm in the Badeku area of Ibadan. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Shina Okukolu, has given an order to his men to bust the crime.

“As we speak, personnel of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, the Special Tactical Team, the Police Tactical Team, the Operation Puff Adder, the IGP Tactical Team and the Federal SARS have all been deployed in the area.

“They have cordoned off the area and are carrying out a massive manhunt for the kidnappers in order to secure the release of the victims. I spoke with the officer in charge of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad and he said policemen were combing the bush and the adjoining communities in an effort to secure the release of the victims.”

A close family source said on Tuesday that the funeral of Adesina held a week ago.

“Omobola came in from Atlanta, United States, and was with her sister on her farm at a location on the Ife Road in Ibadan when they were both kidnapped on Monday. The kidnappers have called the family to demand N100m,” the source stated.

When contacted, Abiola’s husband, Mr Kitolu Olukotun, said the abductors were six in number and alleged that three of them were Fulani herders, while the others were Yoruba.

He stated, “My wife and sister-in-law went to the farm in the afternoon on Monday. Suddenly, the kidnappers emerged from the bush. According to one of my boys on the farm, they were six in number.

“Three of them are Fulani, while the remaining three are Yoruba. One of them was carrying an AK-47 rifle, which he fired in the air. They shot at the tyre of a vehicle and also fired a shot at the driver of our customers.

“They ransacked the vehicle. After that, they marched my wife and sister-in-law through the bush path. When they called me, they demanded N100m. But, I told them that I didn’t have such money. I told them to accept N1m, which they rejected. They then refused to speak with me again. They have been threatening my wife. They insisted that they would not take anything less than N20m.”


#Newsworthy…

Witness worsen Mama Boko Haram’s case in court – secret leaked.


A prosecution witness, Olaleye Isma’il, on March 16, 2020 told a Borno State High Court sitting in Maiduguri, the capital, and presided over by Justice Aisha Kumaliya, that Aisha Alkali Wakil (aka Mama Boko Haram) connived with two others to divert N111,650,000 contract funds.

Wakil, the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Complete Care and Aid Foundation, alongside Programme Manager and Country Director, Dahiru Saidu Daura, and Prince Lawal Shoyade are standing trial for a five-count amended charge.

Isma’il, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, while being led in evidence by Benjamin Manji, told the court that as part of investigations into the fraud, a forensic examination became necessary to analyse the Samsung mobile devices of the three defendants.

He said, “They consented and voluntarily submitted their devices for forensic examination in a written statement.

“They further signed an attestation form and later we wrote a letter to Forensic Department, EFCC Abuja, and submitted along with the five devices.

“On January 30, 2020, we received a response from the Forensic Section and the following were obtained: a forensic report, compact disk, and all the five Samsung mobile devices belonging to the three defendants.

“We have discovered that there are folders containing appendixes which contains extracts on Whatsapp data extracted from the phones of the defendants.”

Testifying as the seventh prosecution witness, he further gave evidence as to the findings of the investigating team.

He added, “On the three contracts investigated as alleged by Nyeuro International Limited, the first one bordered on a purported contract to pay the sum of N45m into one Saidu Mukhtar Hospital Equipment account as directed by the defendant.

“The second purported contract was that Nyeuro was directed to pay into Tahiru Saidu Daura’s account the sum of N1.650m for the supply of a machine. Investigation revealed that, there was no such contract.

“Also, Nyeuro International Limited was directed to supply white beans worth N66m, which was supplied to Complete Care and Aid Foundation’s store to which the defendants acknowledged.”

The investigation, he said, further revealed that the amounts paid by contractors in the account of Mukhtar’s account domiciled with UBA, were used in paying other contractors that the foundation was indebted to.

He told the court that in the course of interrogation, the second defendant admitted in his statements that such a method of payment was termed “recycling”.

According to him, though Wakil and Shoyade had denied knowledge of the said contracts, the forensic analysis showed that they were actually communicating in this regard on Whatsapp and they all agree on the “recycling”.

Earlier in the course of proceedings, Geoffrey Okomorah, a digital examiner and Head of Digital Forensics at the Department of Forensics and Crimes Laboratory Science, EFCC, testified as the sixth prosecution witness.

Giving his evidence-in-chief, he noted that the profile account of Wakil was used to communicate with all defendants via Whatsapp.

He said, “On November 22, 2019 a letter of request for forensic examination of five Samsung digital devices were sent to the laboratory via letter of request from Counter Terrorism and General Investigation, CTGI Unit, Maiduguri Zonal office.

“It’s a case of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and obtaining money by false pretence reported to the EFCC against the defendants.

“The request was to extract Whatsapp chats among the defendants.

“The three Samsung Galaxy Phones and two Galaxy tabs belonging to the defendants were physically examined and documented on the case file.

“The SIMs were removed from the phones by using the universal Forensic Extraction Device into one terabyte Toshiba hard drive.

“At the end of the process, the data extracted into the Toshiba hard drive was inserted into the HP 74 computer System using the physical analyser.

“The data in the hard drive was processed into readable data; an examination of the data was done, and there was no Whatsapp messages recovered from the phones.

“In view of that, the Whatsapp messages were accessed manually with the aid of Universal Extraction Device and Camera which was snapped shot and the five devices were captured from the device and saved into the Toshiba hard device.”

The witness further explained that the Whatsapp messages recovered were grouped in appendixes to form the report.

The request sent by the Department of Forensics and Crimes Laboratory Science to CTGI were afterward admitted by the court as exhibit R and the two tablets as exhibits S1 and S2, while the phones were marked exhibits T1-T3, with the DVD and the digital forensic reports admitted as exhibits V and U, respectively.

The prosecution thereafter closed its case against the defendants.


#Newsworthy…

Man who jump into Lagos Lagoon allegedly kills girlfriend for dumping him.


The Lagos State Police Command has revealed that the Uber passenger, who was rescued after he jumped into the lagoon, did so to escape justice after allegedly killing his girlfriend.

Recall with NobleReporters that Princewill David, 28, who lives on Tajudeen Balogun Street, Igando, Lagos, ordered an Uber from his residence to Lekki on February 27, 2020. However, when the driver got to Third Mainland Bridge around 12am, David asked him to stop so he could ease himself.

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My girlfriend broke my heart – Man who jump into 3rd mainland lagoon speak out


The driver, who had heard of a man jumping off the bridge into the lagoon below days earlier, became suspicious. He drove to where some personnel of the Rapid Response Squad were stationed on the bridge and alerted them of what was going on.

Before they could get to David, he had jumped. However, he landed on some floating logs of wood on the surface of the water and was later rescued by the RRS personnel, the Marine Police Unit and some local divers.


When asked why he tried to commit suicide, he said he had been dumped by his girlfriend.

His motive for wanting to take his life has now been revealed.

While parading some suspected criminals at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters in Ikeja, the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said that David had an altercation with his girlfriend and allegedly killed her in the process.

Odumosu said: “He had an altercation with his girlfriend and killed her in a hotel and went to jump into the lagoon to escape justice for the crime he committed.”


#Newsworthy…

Man who raped a she-goat to death in Ado-Ekiti appear in court.


One Sunday Ogaji, who allegedly raped a she-goat, on Friday, appeared before the Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court.

The police charged Ogaji, with ”unnatural offence”.


The prosecution counsel, Sgt.Olubu Apata, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 4 at about 2. 30 p.m at Basiri area in Ado-Ekiti.

Apata said that the 22-year-old man, raped the she-goat and it died on the spot.


The prosecutor asked the court for adjournment to enable him present his witnesses.

The defendant pleaded not guilty.


His counsel, Mr Timi Omotosho, prayed the court to admit his client in the most liberal terms.

Magistrate Kehinde Awosika admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N50,000 with one surety in like sum.

Awosika. adjourned the case until March 31 for hearing.


#Newsworthy…

Be prepared to defend yourself – Court tells Evans the kidnapper.


Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Courton Friday told suspected billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans to be prepared to defend himself.

Justice Oshodi expressed dismay that Evans again and for the third time, failed to have legal representation.


“It is either you get the service of a lawyer or be prepared defend yourself”, the judge warned Evans Friday.

Evans however told the court that his people are still making efforts to secure the service of a new lawyer for him.


Evans is being prosecuted along with Uche Amadi, Okechukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Victor Chukwunonso Aduba and Ogechi Uchechukwu on two count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.

The prosecution also accused Evans and others of kidnapping Mr. Sylvanus Ahamonu and holding him hostage for at least nine weeks and collecting a ransom to the tune of USD 420,000 from his family.


He is also facing trial before two other courts for similar kidnapping charges.

When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, Evans had no legal representation.


Lawyers who announced their appearances for other defendants include Chris Obiaka for the 2nd and 3rd defendants, Mr. O. Aja, for 4th defendant while A.A Uzouku and Emmanuel Ochai appeared for 5th and 6th defendants respectively.

Justice Oshodi who was disturbed by the development warned Evans, who had changed counsel on three occasions that he will be compelled to enter defence for himself if he is not represented during the next hearing.


“It is on record that the first defendant has changed counsel three times

“If by the next hearing, the first defendant is not represented, he will be allowed to conduct proceedings on his own, this is a warning,” the judge ruled.

Justice Oshodi adjourned the case to April 3, 2020 for ruling on the no-case submission filed by other defendants.


#Newsworthy. …

Secondary school student stabs mate in Calabar.


A secondary school student suspected to be a cultist allegedly stabbed his fellow student in Calabar, Cross River State

The incident occurred at Government Secondary School, State Housing, Calabar, during school hours.


It was gathered that the student who brought an axe to school, hit the other student who is also a suspected cultist, in the head, before attempting to flee.

He was caught and handed over to the men of the Anti-cultism Unit of the State Police Command in Calabar.

The Special Adviser on Education to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Mr. Castro Ezama, who visited the school, ordered that the suspect and others involved in the act be handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.

Ezama insisted that the administration of governor Ben Ayade will not tolerate any form of cultism and anti-social behaviours in the State’s school system.


#Newsworthy…