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We’re Deploying Technology to Tackle Security Threats, Buhari Tells S/West Monarchs

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja assured traditional rulers from the South West geopolitical zone that his administration was doing everything possible to tackle security challenges in the country. 

Responding to an address by the Obas led by the Ooni of Ife , Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi during a courtesy visit to the State House, the President said:

“Working with the State governments we intend to beef up the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate the work of the security agencies.

”  

The President disclosed that he “will be issuing directives to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for States requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts,” adding that, “We also intend to install CCTVs on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some of those hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable review.

He spoke further: 

“This administration will continue to do everything necessary to protect the lives of all Nigerians and ensure that every Nigerian in every state is safe, and that our people can live in peace and harmony, regardless of ethnicity, religion or region. As a government, we remain committed to the ideals of our democracy, particularly entrenching the rule of law and the sanctity of life.”

He also assured the royal fathers “and the entire nation that we will enforce the law, prosecute law breakers and secure an atmosphere of tranquility for all Nigerians whereever they choose to live and also protect our communities from all forms of crimes. This is both in our interests as an administration and the interests of the people who voted us into office. 

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“We need security to deliver on our many programmes to the people. There can be no prosperity if there is no security.

“This is not only a message of hope but a call to action to all of us as we seek ways to secure our country.

“On our part, as the Federal Government, we are ready to deal decisively with anyone that is fomenting this spate of criminal activities by every means necessary. We intend to deal severely with those evil Nigerians inciting violence for political ends.”

While acknowledging the presence of significant security challenges in the South West and other parts of the country, President Buhari said  such  understanding informed the ongoing consultations embarked by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo with some traditional rulers “so that together we can proffer solutions to the lingering security problems in the South-West and other parts of the country.”

According to the President, “These consultations are important because traditional rulers form a critical part of governance structures, especially in their respective communities, where they feel the pulse of the people being the closest to the populace at the grassroots level.

“As a government, at all times, we need your active collaboration as we continue to deal with crimes of kidnapping, banditry and other forms of unlawful and criminal attacks resulting in needless deaths and causing fear among our people.”

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“There are some who might want to cause instability and difficulties, but we are very confident that God willing and working together as a nation, we will be able to overcome such difficulties and all our problems, and set our country on the path of peace and prosperity,” he stated.

Drawing attention to the fact that “the dynamics for safeguarding security keep changing,” President Buhari noted that “we must adapt our strategies to these challenges as well as adopt modern, technological and people-centred methods in achieving these goals.”

According to the President, “When Nigerians voted massively for us in 2015, we focused on three areas – security, economy and fighting corruption. We have not relented on this promise and we will not.”

Going forward, he declared: “Let me be very clear about our firm resolve to change the security architecture of Nigeria. It is one of the top priorities for this government but we won’t be able to achieve this goal without the support and input of you, our royal fathers.

“As the traditional authorities in your communities, government and the security agencies will be relying on you to monitor the several different communities and people coming in and out of your areas.

“We hope that, for instance, traditional rulers would be able to observe new entrants into the community by requesting leaders of such ethnic groups to notify the traditional authorities of new intakes, thereby creating the opportunities for the gathering of actionable intelligence which tracks such movements in and out of communities thereby offering early warning signals.”

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Outlining some of these interventions, President Buhari said they “include an expedited commencement of community policing, a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities. This in specific terms will include recruiting a lot more police officers and doing so right from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best practice of community policing.” 

According to him, “We will equally continue to bring in our military when needed to complement the work of the police including possible deployment of troops on certain highways on a temporary basis, and the use of the Air Force assets to bomb hideouts where criminals are located.” 

Admitting that these measures are inter-related and have to be well coordinated, he stressed that, “The speedy implementation of community policing will facilitate a more effective collection of intelligence. This is especially in the area of a more useful and effective intelligence gathering process that traditional rulers will play some of the most critical roles.”

Earlier, the Ooni, as well as other traditional rulers with him,  had individually apprised the President with security challenges they were facing in their domain and called on the President to support their efforts in addressing the issues.

CRIME

4, 770 Terrorists, Families surrender to Nigerian Troops, 11 arrested – DHQ

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By Gom Mirian, Abuja 

The Defence Headquarters said a total of 4, 770 Boko-Haram terrorists and members of their families have so far surrendered to troops in the North-east.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this while giving an update on the military operations across the country on Thursday in Abuja.

 

Gen. Onyeuko, said the terrorists who surrendered to its own troops at various locations in the theatre between June 1 to June 15, comprised of 864 adult males, 1,415 women and 2,490 children.

He said the troops of Operation ‘Hadin Kai’ had sustained aggressive posture with vigour in the North-east, which had yielded significant results in the last two weeks.

He added that the series of land and air operations conducted in different locations across the North-east theatre had reduced the operational capabilities of the insurgents with 11 of their fighters being neutralised while 11 were arrested alongside their informants and logistics suppliers.

According to Onyeuko, items recovered from the terrorists include: two AK47 rifles, three bicycles, two locally made guns, 90 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one golf 2 car and fourteen (14) rustled cattle. 

“The troops carried out several operational activities in Buduwa, Bama-Pulka road, Tuwe Village, Konduga-Kawuri road, Brema in Damboa Motor Park, Tashangoto, Benishek and Kukaneta all in Borno State. 

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“These operations led to the rescue of abducted persons, neutralization of terrorists, arrest of terrorists members, recovery of arms and ammunition and other security related items.

“On 17 and 18 June 2022 troops of 152 Battalion at Buduwa in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State encountered fleeing Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State West Africa Province fighters and engaged the terrorists and in the encounter 7 of the terrorists were neutralized and 14 rustled cattle and 3 bicycles were recovered.

“On 21 June 2022 troops arrested some terrorist collaborators and logistics suppliers. Mallam Abacha Usman was arrested at Benshek, Mallam Ibrahim Gira along Damboa – Biu Road and Mallam Ibrahim Gira a notorious terrorist petroleum supplier.

” All surrendered Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State West Africa Province members and families were profiled and documented while all arrested and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authority for further actions”, he disclosed. 

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CRIME

Troops arrest 10 Robbers, rescue 3 Victims in Kaduna 

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By Gom Mirian, Abuja 

The military high command, yesterday said its troops deployed on internal operations in Kaduna state has arrested ten armed robbery suspects at Kafanchan town in Jema’a local government area of the state. 

A statement issued by the Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko stated the names of the arrested suspects as: Messrs Manga Ismail, a 22 – year-old, Idris Haruna (Ban Sambo), 20- year-old, Sani Bali, 19- year-old.

 

Others are Shamsudeen Ladan, 25 – year-old, Abdulmajid Yau (Sele), 22 – year – old , Abubakar Hassan, 23 – year-old, Abbas Aliyu, 15 – year-old, Mohammed Umar (Jazuli), 17 – year – old, Jonathan Vincent (Bamai), 19 – year-old and Stephen Joseph, 25 – year-old.

According to him, items recovered from the criminals include: TV, DVD, gas cookers, Mattresses, woofer, phones, scissors, among others.

 

Gen. Onyeuko also said on the same day, troops acting on intelligence reports, conducted a cordon search operation at Fanock Village, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State and found a Toyota Corolla car with registration number ABUJA KUJ 452 AZ with no occupant. 

Onyeuko explained that Troops conducted search operations in the surrounding bush and rescued 3 kidnaped civilians comprising two females and a male. 

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Speaking further, he said :”Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN in a sustained effort to eliminate criminals elements in their Area of operation on 28 June 2022 based credible intelligence conducted clearance operation in conjunction with vigilantes at Kan Duniya Village, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Plateau State, neutralized notorious bandit and kidnapper.

“Similarly, on the same day, troops on fighting patrol sighted 2 x suspected kidnappers around Sara High Ground Mangu Local Government Area Plateau State on a motor cycle, suspects abandoned their motor cycle on sighting troops and fled.

” Troop exploited area and recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 101 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 magazines, 1 motor cycle, 1 iron digger and 2 black jackets amongst others”, he said. 

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CRIME

Court Jails Fraudster 235 Years  for N525m Fraud

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By Gom Mirian, Abuja

Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo has convicted and sentenced a notorious international fraudster, Scales Olatunji, to 235years imprisonment for internet fraud and money laundering.


Olatunji was arraigned on July 2, 2019 on 45-count charges bordering on identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy.


He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, thus setting the stage for his trial.  
One of the counts reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola “M”, Meraiyebu Charles “M”(at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga “M”(at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele “M”(at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin “M”(at large), between January 2017 to October 2018, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court conspired among yourselves to convert the total sum of N525,172,580.
00  (Five Hundred and Twenty Five Million, One Hundred and Seventy-two Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Naira) only, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of  unlawful activities to wit: fraud (Business E-mail Compromise and Identity Theft), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”


Another count reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola “M” on or about the 15th day of May 2018, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did send electronic messages (email) using emailoffice01@aol.com to one Monica Goulmoen of the Charity Association for providing girls and boys in Kobane with a football pitch, while impersonating a certain Per Ravn Omdal, a former Norwegian Football Association President, demanding the sum of €64,000.00 (Sixty-Four Thousand Euros) to be transferred to you via IBAN GB74HBUK40062132722119 which was paid and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (3)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act”.
 EFCC counsel,  Nwandu  Ukoha opened the  case on November 7, 2019 and subsequently tendered 35 exhibits through four prosecution witnesses,   which were all admitted in evidence against the defendant.  

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Delivering judgment on Monday, June 27, 2022, Justice Okeke convicted  Olatunji on all the 45- counts preferred against him by the EFCC. He sentenced Olatunji to seven years imprisonment on counts one to five,   and five  years imprisonment on counts six to 45. The sentence, shall, however, run concurrently with effect from the date of arrest. 
 The court also ordered that the money in the convict’s account be forfeited to Norwegian citizens through the EFCC. Also, his properties: House No. 6, located on Road 2 West-end Estate, Ikota,  Lekki, Lagos State and  House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate, Lagos State are to be sold by the EFCC and the proceeds restituted to the Norwegian victims.


The convict’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when operatives of the EFCC arrested him on March 20, 2019at his Ikota ,  Lekki’s residence based on a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway, requesting  the assistance of the EFCC in investigating a network of Nigerians that had defrauded Norwegian citizens for years.
Investigations revealed that the convict belonged to a syndicate of internet fraudsters who specialized in Business Email Compromise-BEC.

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