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9,272 Schools Closed In Nigeria, Nine Others Because Of Terrorism, Violence -UNICEF

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 3:56am


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), says in an urgent appeal for aid 9,272 schools have remained closed in Nigeria and nine other countries across West and Central Africa between 2017 and June 2019.

The children’s agency said if funding was not provided, 25 percent of the world’s out-of-school children in Nigeria and other violence infested African states, will be left stranded.

It estimated the number of children who cannot attend classes in the affected countries to be 1.9 million.

While there is no breakdown of how many schools have been closed down in Nigeria in the report, the international organisation said roughly 1,000 schools have been locked up in Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria, where Boko Haram is actively pursuing a campaign of terror.

The agency warned that deliberate targeting of schools is sweeping across the region, denying children their right to learn, and leaving them – and their communities – in fear for their lives and futures.

“Deliberate attacks and unabating threats against education – the very foundation of peace and prosperity have cast a dark shadow on children, families, and communities across the region,” Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director said. In the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon – Northwest, and Southwest, over 4,400 schools have been shut down since 2016.

Many of the women and children in these areas have taken respite in Nigeria and no report has so far been carried out on the extent of school attendance by these children.

“I visited a displacement camp in Mopti, central Mali, where I met young children at a UNICEF-supported safe learning space. It was evident to me how vital education is for them and for their families,” Gornitzka said.

The agency reported that more than 2,000 schools have been closed in the country, with over 900 more locked up in neighbouring Burkina Faso thanks to a spillover.

“In the central Sahel, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have witnessed a six-fold increase in school closures due to attacks and threats of violence in just over two years, from about 500 in April 2017 to 3,000 in June 2019,” the report said.

Fanta is one of the victims devastated by the Boko Haram terror in Northern Cameroon.

“I lived with anxiety every day. They would come three, four times a day looking for my father. They killed my father and my older brother. They took my sister away. I haven’t seen her since,” she told UNICEF.

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692 Million Barrels Of Crude Oil Produced By Nigeria In 2017 – NEITI Report

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 3:54am



The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says
that 692 million barrels of crude oil were produced in the country in
2017.

NEITI disclosed this in its report, 'Pilot study on commodity trading
for 2017' and released in Abuja.

“The total crude oil production for 2017 was 692 million barrels. Out
of this volume, the share that went to the federation was 240.9
million barrels representing 35 percent of the total crude oil
production for the year 2017.

“A trend analysis for the year under review shows that the 2017
federation share was four percent higher than the 231.6 million
barrels in the same category for 2016 but was 19 percent lower than
the 297.8 million barrels for 2015.’’

According to the report, it shows a slight improvement on the figure
for 2016, a year characterized by vandalism and sabotage of oil
facilities.

It noted that crude production for 2017 was about a fifth less than
the 2015 level.

The report further showed that out of 240.9 million barrels federation
share for 2017, Domestic Crude Allocation (DCA) had 105. 9 million
barrels or 44 percent while FIRS Liftings got 57.3 million barrels or
24 percent of the share.

Also, Federation Export got 50. 2 million barrels or 21 percent of
federation share.

Third-Party financing, 17.6 million or 7 percent of federation share
and DPR liftings was 9.9 million barrels or four percent of federation
share.

On the 105.9 million barrels DCA crude assigned for local supply of
refined products, Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) got 72. 8 million
barrels or 69 percent.

Refineries got 26. 5 million barrels or 25 percent, Product Exchange
received 4.7 million barrels or four percent while Export (an
unutilized portion of DCA) got 1.9 million barrels or two percent, the
report said.

“The total revenue from the sale of the federation share of oil and
gas for 2017 was 14.5 billion dollars—13.18 billion dollars or 90.8
percent from crude oil and 1.32 billion dollars or 9.1 percent from
gas.

“NNPC deducted N297 billion from earnings from the Domestic Crude
Allocation as costs and losses,’’ it added.

A breakdown of the deduction indicated that N141.6 billion was for
under-recovery on petroleum products, N25 billion for crude and
product losses and N130.4 billion for pipeline repairs and
maintenance.

“The Sum of N77.92 billion was under-remitted by NNPC to the
Federation Account from Domestic Crude Allocation in 2017.

“NNPC acknowledges the under-remittance and states that there is an
on-going reconciliation to net off the N77.92 billion from the
established Federation indebtedness to the Corporation of N797bn
arising  from KPMG Forensic audit of the Corporation at the instance
of the Federation,” it noted

On crude destination in 2017, the reports showed that the federation
crude went to 29 destinations.

It noted that the top-five destinations were India with 41.3 million
barrels (17.12 per cent}, the U.S.,  30.6 million (12.72 percent),
local refineries, 26.5 million barrels (10.98 percent),  Netherlands,
22.9 million barrels (9.5 percent)  and Spain, 21 million barrels
(8.83 percent).

It added that 60 individuals and consortiums were buyers of
federation’s crude in 2017 with the top five buyers as Duke Oil
Company, the trading arm of NNPC, which lifted 29.3 million barrels
(12.16 per cent}.

TOTSA/Total oil Trading, lifted 18.4m barrels (7.67 percent), Port
Harcourt Refinery lifted 18 million barrels  (7.49 percent),
SIR/Sahara Energy Resources lifted 15.2 million barrels  (6.32
percent) while  LITASCO SA/MRS Oil and Gas lifted 10.5 million barrels
(4.38 percent).

NEITI said the report did not cover other revenue streams from the
sector, such as Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), royalties, signature
bonuses, dividends, penalties and fees, statutory payments, among
others.

Commenting on the report, NEITI Executive Secretary Waziri Ado, said
other details on production and processes would be in the 2017 NEITI
oil and gas industry report to be released soon.

He said that the pilot study which was conducted by BDO, an
international auditing and advisory firm, covered four government
agencies and 73 companies, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

“The 73 companies were six bilateral companies, 13 international
trading companies, four trading arms of international oil companies,
25 Nigerian trading companies, two NNPC trading companies, nine
refineries, and 14 DSDP contractors,’’ Adio added.

 

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Anyaoku To Buhari, Other African Leaders: Democracy Is Not An Event

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 3:49am


 

Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth has
called on African leaders to focus on the building of infrastructure
to consolidate on democracy, security, and respect for rule of law.

Anyaoku made the call on Thursday in Abuja at the 2019 Investment in
Africa World Summit and Expo, a bilateral investment forum.

Anyaoku said the call became necessary in view of the fact that no
nation could achieve a stable development without security, rule of
law and respect for human rights.

According to him, having achieved independence on the basis of belief
in democracy, the challenge Africa faces today is to consolidate on
democracy and make democracy real in their individual countries.

“Democracy is not an event, it is a process, it goes slowly along to
consolidate and entrench democratic ideals.

“Africa is still struggling to develop its social-economic potential
because colonialism in the continent was based on the principle of
extracting raw materials by the colonial masters.

“Infrastructure was neglected; power was neglected, education and
health facilities were inadequate and roads and railways were focused
only to enable the transfer of raw materials from their sources to the
seaports.

“The challenge of Africa today is the development of its social
economic potential, consolidation on its democracy and internal
security because unless a society is secure, it cannot develop
meaningfully,” he said.

Anyaoku called on African leaders to build unity within the continent
in a practical, integrated and collaborative manner.

He said failure to build the unity would continue to hinder the
countries from building structures that enable the continent to tap
its social economic potential.

He said the formation of sub-regional organizations would help to
build the infrastructure needed to develop the regions.

According to him, the cooperation that Africa needs to boost
intra-African trade is the expansion of possibilities of trade within
the continent, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

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Money Laundering: Isabella Oshodin Handed N250 Million Bail By Court For Alleged N2.9 Billion Fraud

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 3:00am



Isabella Mimie Oshodin, who was arraigned by the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a N2.9 billion fraud, has been
granted bail in the sum of N250 million.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, sitting at the Federal High Court in Abuja,
granted Oshodin bail following the hearing of her bail application.

Oshodin was arraigned alongside her company, Bob Oshodin Organisation
Limited on Monday, August 19, 2019, on a 25-count charge bordering on
money laundering and conspiracy.

The commission alleged that she monies from Sambo Dasuki, through the
office of the National Security Agency (NSA).

Ruling on the application, Justice Taiwo granted her bail in the sum
of N250 million with two sureties in like sum.

He said one of the sureties must own a property worth N500 million in
Asokoro or Maitama areas of Abuja and must submit the documents to the
chief registrar of the court.

The court also ordered her to deposit her passport and should not
travel outside of the country.

She was also ordered to report once a month at the EFCC until the
final determination of the suit.

Pending fulfilment of the bail conditions, the trial judge ordered
that she should be remanded in EFCC's custody “who shall attend to her
health conditions, and if need be, take her to the National Medical
Centre if the medical facility of the EFCC is inadequate to treat
her”.

The case has been adjourned to October 15, 16, 17 and 22, 2019 for the commencement of trial.

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Buhari's Government, Recalcitrant -Senior Staff Of Nigeria Universities

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 2:54am


The Nation

 

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) has slammed the Nigerian government over its refusal to obey a court order.

SSANU and its sister organisation, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), have been on a five-day warning strike which started on Monday.

The unions are demanding the implementation of the renegotiated 2009 agreements.

Speaking with SaharaReporters in an interview, Wale Akinremi, the Chairman of SSANU in the University of Ibadan, said the federal government had taken the union to court on the agreement and the court granted judgment in favour of the union.

He added that the government had, however, refused to act as directed by the court.

"The federal government took us to court, and we got a judgment in December 2016, that is about three years now. In a democratic setting, it is unthinkable that this will be happening. That a democratically elected government will not implement the pronouncement of the court of competent jurisdiction.


"The staff school teachers that were erroneously sacked, we did not
take the federal government to court, they took us to court and we got
a judgment. If they had believed in court and what they argued and
have confidence in their interpretation of the agreement but
unfortunately for them, we got a judgment in our favour.

"Those teachers are alive and living in penury till date. Why will
they do that and we are talking about primary school teachers. if we
are not building our foundation today, what will happen to the
structure we are building on it?

"So, we are not fighting about give us money, we are fighting for the
structure of this nation. Not only that, but we also have in our
agreement that we should meet every year and for about three or four
times now, they have refused to meet with us.

"We have been writing to them, we have been staging protests, we have
been doing all sort of things to make sure they listen to us and they
have been recalcitrant about it, and that is how we got to this
stage."

He restated that after the warning strike, the unions would not
hesitate to go on an indefinite strike if the government refused to
listen to their complaints.

He added, "After the five-day warning strike if they want us to go
full-blown, we shall be ready for them. It is unfortunate that we have
to get to this state. If they call for more, we will give them."

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No Investors Will Invest In Unsafe Nigeria -Shareholders Association

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 2:49am


 

The Coordinator of the Progressive Shareholders Association of
Nigeria, Boniface Okezie, says investors will not put their money in
Nigeria because of insecurity.

Okezie, therefore, urged the new cabinet to embrace friendly-oriented policies.

Okezie said the newly-inaugurated ministers should make Nigeria an
investment destination by addressing insecurity, kidnapping and
herdsmen clashes.

“Investors cannot come and invest in a place that is not safe for them
to do their businesses whether foreigners or Nigerians,” he said.

Meanwhile, capital market operators on Thursday told News Agency of
Nigeria that there was the need for the new ministers to commence work
without delay to revive the nation’s economy to avoid another round of
recession.

Sola Oni, a chartered stockbroker and Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix
Investment and Communications, said the ministers needed to commence
work without wasting time to revitalize the economy.

“We run an economy where about 65 percent of our income is devoted to
servicing debt which hovers at 70 billion dollars.

“This is a killer situation and the state of infrastructure is still a
journey to be accomplished,” Oni said.

He noted that the attractive rate of fixed income securities was fast
crowding out investment in equities.

“Once investors continue to be apprehensive of macroeconomic
stability, the issue of medium and long term investment horizon
becomes unpopular.

“This is one of the major factors accounting for the continuous slide
in prices of shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” Oni said.

He said the ministers of Finance and Trade and Investment, the Senate
and House of Representatives Capital Market Committees and the Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needed to collaborate with capital market
stakeholders.

Oni said they should engage the capital market stakeholders to agree
on specific policy issues that would ensure economic recovery so as to
revive the capital market on the basis of short, medium and long-term.

“Morning shows the day. The engagement should not take a whole quarter
in preparation,” he said.

Malam Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities, and Funds
Ltd, called for more robust economic policies that would boost
investor confidence in the capital market.

Kurfi said that there was a need for fiscal policy that would support
monetary policy aimed at stabilizing the foreign exchange and lowering
inflation rate.

He also called for the privatization of GENCOs and DISCOs by the
Federal Government to make both companies more viable.

According to him, the government should embrace the capital market as
a source for infrastructure development.

Mr Moses Igbrude, Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders
Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said all the ministers should start
work immediately because things were in bad shape.

“Those saddled with the management of the economy should work closely
with the private sector to formulate policies that will help
businesses in order to create jobs and wealth for Nigerians.

“Government must and should harness the potential of the capital
market for economic growth and development.

“A private sector-driven economy is the best approach to a sustainable
and prosperous economy anywhere in the world,” Igbrude said.

He that the new Federal Executive Council (FEC) should also pursue
policies targeted at Ease of Doing Business, multiple foreign exchange
market, and multiple taxations.

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Enugu Community Blames Fulani Herdsmen For Alleged Raping, Killing Of 67-Year-Old Woman

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 2:42am


Armed Fulani herdsmen

Armed Fulani herdsmen


A 67 years old woman, Mrs. Regina Mba, has been allegedly raped and
killed at Nchatacha-Nike in Enugu East local government in Enugu state
resulting in a protest by residents of the area who claimed she was
attacked by a herdsmen

In protest, they brought her corpse along Enugu-Abakaliki, blocked the
highway, burnt tyres and prevented vehicles from passing.

The President General of Nchatancha-Nike community, Kingsley Anike,
told Vanguard: “She (the deceased) went to farm yesterday (Wednesday)
within the hours of 2 pm and 6 in the evening, she was attacked.

"Later in the evening when we expected her home, she didn’t come back.
We started searching for her throughout the night and this morning
(Thursday), there was an expanded search team. It wasn’t really a
distant farm, it is a nearby farm because people are not leaving far
from the location, so we saw her corpse and on getting there we saw
her undies were torn apart, lying by the side, she sustained stabbing
on her hands and at the back of her neck and she is dead already.

"We called the police who have visited the scene and took photographs
of the whole situation. The body has been deposited in the mortuary.”

Speaking about her likely killer, he stated: "Isn’t that obvious? The
Fulani. There was this Fulani group with their cattle within that area
that we know and when this thing happened, they moved out, they
relocated. It couldn’t have been any other person; indigenes couldn’t
just have attacked fellow indigenes and an old woman for that matter
in her late 60s.

“She is an old woman and it couldn’t have been any other person that
can perpetuate that type of action from the same community. So we are
sure it’s the Fulani and that’s the obvious fact there. If the police
want, let them do their investigation and state the fact. We know what
the country is and we pray that justice will take its course.”

 

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Rain Destroys Shelters For Displaced Nigerians

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 2:27am


 

Torrential rain has destroyed makeshift tents and caused severe
flooding to temporary displacement camps in northeast Nigeria, leaving
vulnerable families homeless.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said it was worried about the
situation and thus appealed for "urgent financial assistance" to
address the colossal humanitarian needs and to prevent the spread of
deadly cholera.

“Displaced people are suffering due to relentless rains and wind
battering their homes the last few days. Large numbers of families,
who fled from conflict months ago, are left homeless while others are
forced to share overcrowded tents with neighbours or relatives,” said
Eric Batonon, Country Director for NRC in Nigeria.

According to NRC's assessments, over 6,800 people living in
displacement camps in Maiduguri have been impacted by floods in recent
weeks. In Dikwa, 500 people have been rendered homeless due to
flooding and have set up home in disused registration centres.

“They are essentially displaced within a displacement camp,” Batonon added.

“My home is completely destroyed. My floor has turned to mud and water
is everywhere. The rain keeps coming and we do not have any choice but
to wait for it to stop or share with others,” said displaced
mother-of-four Fatima Mohammed (30).

The Adamawa State government, the organization said, had officially
declared an outbreak of cholera in three local government areas during
the rainy season.

The total number of cases reported as of August 16 stands at 633.

Four people have so far lost their lives to the disease. Due to recent
heavy rain and flooding, more cases could be confirmed over the coming
weeks, the NRC pointed out.

“Displaced people are living in sub-human conditions across the
region. There are no sanitation or drainage facilities in most camps.
People are going to the toilet in open spaces because there are no
facilities for them to use and now that the camps are filled with
stagnant floodwater, water-borne diseases like cholera quickly
spread,” Batonon added.

Meanwhile, the United Nations and partners have appealed for $848
million to address the needs in northeast Nigeria this year. About
eight months into the year, less than 40 per cent has been received.

“Additional financial support is urgently needed to reach the 6.2
million people targeted for humanitarian aid in 2019. People will die
if they don´t receive urgent assistance now,” Batonon said.

Furthermore, heavy rain periods present opportunities by armed groups
to infiltrate and target displacement camps.

On Tuesday night (August 20) in Dikwa, a female suicide bomber
detonated a bomb, killing herself and injuring four civilians.

This was the first attack of its kind in the area since December 2018.

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Inside Details Of How US Government Indicted 77 Nigerians For Money Laundering

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 2:17am


The United States of America has unsealed a 252-count federal grand
jury indictment against 77 Nigerians.

In the 145-page indictment released by the US Department of Justice,
the defendants are accused of participating in massive online frauds
to defraud victims and money laundering.

The indictment was unsealed after law enforcement authorities arrested
14 defendants across the US.

Valentine Iro, 31,  and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, were
arrested for alleged involvement in schemes resulting in the
fraudulent transfer of at least $6 million in fraudulently obtained
funds, and the overall conspiracy was responsible for the attempted
theft of at least an additional $40 million.

Speaking for the justice department, US attorney Nick Hanna, said:
“The indictment alleges that the 80 defendants and others used various
online fraud schemes – including business email compromise (BEC)
frauds, romance scams, and schemes targeting the elderly – to defraud
victims out of millions of dollars. According to a criminal complaint
also unsealed today, co-conspirators based in Nigeria, the United
States and other countries contacted the lead defendants in the
indictment – Valentine Iro, 31, of Carson, and Chukwudi Christogunus
Igbokwe, 38, of Gardena, both Nigerian citizens – for bank and
money-service accounts that could receive funds fraudulently obtained
from victims.

"Once members of the conspiracy convinced victims to send money under
false pretenses, Iro and Igbokwe coordinated the receipt of funds and
oversaw an extensive money-laundering network, according to the
145-page indictment. See Also Corruption Full List Of Nigerians Indicted By US Government 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“The indictment and criminal complaint allege that Iro and Igbokwe,
who were among those arrested this morning, were involved in schemes
resulting in the fraudulent transfer of at least $6 million in
fraudulently-obtained funds – and the overall conspiracy was
responsible for the attempted theft of at least an additional $40
million.

“The fraudsters targeted victims in the United States and across the
globe, including individuals, small and large businesses, and law
firms. Some of the victims of the conspiracy lost hundreds of
thousands of dollars to fraud schemes, and many were elderly. This
case is part of our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from
fraudulent online schemes and to bring to justice those who prey upon
American citizens and businesses."

Hanna added, "We have taken a major step to disrupt criminal networks
that use BEC schemes, romance scams and other frauds to fleece
victims. This indictment sends a message that we will identify
perpetrators – no matter where they reside – and we will cut off the
flow of ill-gotten gains.”

Similarly, the assistant director in charge, Paul Delacourt of the
FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, noted: "(The) announcement highlights
the extensive efforts that organized criminal groups will engage in to
perpetrate BEC schemes that target American citizens and their
hard-earned assets.

“Billions of dollars are lost annually, and we urge citizens to be
aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves
or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims. The FBI is
committed to working with our partner agencies worldwide to continue
to identify these cybercriminals and to dismantle their networks.

“Iro and Igbokwe essentially were brokers of fraudulent bank accounts.
According to the indictment, Iro and Igbokwe collected bank accounts,
fielded requests for bank account information, provided that
information to co-conspirators around the world, and laundered the
money obtained from victims – all of this in exchange for a cut of the
money stolen from victims of the various fraud schemes."

Delacourt pointed out further, “If a bank account with a specific
business name was required to trick a business-victim into making a
payment, Iro and Igbokwe often coordinated with “money mules” to open
accounts that could receive funds obtained, according to court
documents. In addition to making the fake business name mirror the
name of a legitimate company, members of the conspiracy routinely
filed fictitious business name statements with the Los Angeles County
Registrar/Recorder’s Office that were presented to banks when the
fraudulent accounts were opened.

“Once a victim deposited funds into a bank account or a money services
account, Iro and Igbokwe allegedly coordinated with others to further
launder the funds. Members of the conspiracy sometimes wired funds to
other bank accounts under their control; in other cases, they simply
withdrew funds as cash or negotiable instruments such as cashier’s
checks.

 “When stolen funds were withdrawn as cash, the defendants frequently
used illicit money exchangers to move funds overseas, generally
avoiding transferring the funds directly through banking institutions,
the indictment alleges. To do this, Iro and Igbokwe coordinated the
transfer of a victim’s funds from a fraudulent bank account they
controlled to U.S. bank accounts belonging to illicit money
exchangers. Those money exchangers, in turn, used a Nigerian banking
application to transfer other funds in naira (₦), the currency of
Nigeria, from Nigerian bank accounts they controlled to the Nigerian
bank accounts specified by Iro and Igbokwe."

This method, he said, was used to transfer millions of dollars to
their Nigerian co-conspirators without directly transferring funds
overseas.

The indictment alleged that Jerry Ikogho, 50, of Carson (who was taken
into custody on Sunday), and Adegoke Moses Ogungbe, 34, of Fontana,
were among those who served as illicit money exchangers for the
conspiracy.

Each of the defendants named in the indictment was charged with
conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and
aggravated identity theft.

A number of the defendants also face substantive fraud and money
laundering charges.

Additionally, Iro, Igbokwe, Ikogho, Ogungbe, and three other
defendants –Izuchukwu Kingsley Umejesi, 30, of Los Angeles, Tityaye
Marina Mansbangura, 33, of Palmdale, and Obi Madekwe, 31, of Nigeria –
were charged with operating illegal money transmitting businesses.
Ogungbe and Mansbangura were also among those arrested, and Umejesi
considered a fugitive is currently being sought by authorities.

Delacourt continued: “Iro, Igbokwe and Chuks Eroha, 39, face
additional charges for attempting to destroy their phones when the FBI
executed a search warrant in July 2017. Iro also is charged with lying
to the FBI in an interview conducted during the search. The complaint
alleges that, when the FBI arrived to conduct the court-authorized
search at Iro’s apartment in Carson, Iro broke his phone in half,
while Igbokwe and Eroha threw phones from a bedroom window of the
apartment.

"While Iro claimed he previously had broken the phone during an
argument with his wife, the complaint details how the FBI was able to
determine that the phone was operational until seconds after the FBI
knocked on Iro’s apartment door to execute the search warrant. Eroha
is believed to have fled to Nigeria shortly after the FBI executed the
warrant.

“The charges contained in the criminal complaint and indictment are
merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless
and until proven guilty in a court. This investigation is being led by
the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Los Angeles County District
Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and
the United States Department of State provided substantial assistance
during the investigation.

Documents obtained by SaharaReporters showed that several agencies
provided support during the takedown or during the investigation,
including the United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security
Investigations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S.
Customs and Border Protection, the Ventura County District Attorney’s
Office and the California Franchise Tax Board.

Many of the FBI’s legal attachés provided assistance throughout the
investigation, including the Criminal Division’s Office of
International Affairs, and foreign authorities around the world.

"In particular," said Delacourt, "the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office
thank the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom and the Public
Prosecutor’s Office of Osnabrück, Germany for their contributions.

“This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys
Anil J. Antony and Joseph B. Woodring of the Cyber and Intellectual
Property Crimes Section.

“The FBI in 2017 issued a report on the rise of BEC schemes and
published a recap of 2018’s Operation WireWire, which was an
international effort to disrupt international BEC scams. An FBI public
service announcement that warns of the dangers of BEC schemes
encourages businesses to 'trust but verify'.”

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More Than 2,000 Nigerians On Death Row -Coalition For Abolition Of Death Penalty

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 1:42am


Amnesty International

 

At least there are more than 2,000 Nigerians condemned to death in Nigeria, says a coalition of international organizations.

This was disclosed during a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday after visiting different prisons across Nigeria, including Ikoyi, Kirikiri, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

The coalition included the World Coalition for the Abolition of Death Penalty; Community of Sant’Egidio and Life Wire International Foundation.

The Vice-President, World Coalition for the Abolition of Death Penalty, Ms. Annemarie Pieters, said they welcomed the fact that the new law provided the possibility to change capital punishment to life
imprisonment after 10 years.

“The death penalty is not carried out frequently, only seven in the last decade, resulting in a kind of ‘de facto moratorium’ on execution.

“We express concern for the fact that Nigeria continues to have many death sentences, despite the proven fact that this is not a deterrent factor for new crimes to be committed.

“By the end of 2018, there are over 2,000 people on death row in Nigeria, including at least 46 people that have been sentenced to death that year, which is the highest number of people on death row in the region by the end of 2018,” said Pieters.

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Full List Of Nigerians Indicted By US Government

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 12:16am


 

1. VALENTINE IRO

2. CHUKWUDI CHRI STOGUNUS IGBOKWE

3. JERRY ELO IKOGHO

4. IZUCHUKWU KINGSLEY UMEJESI

5. ADEGOKE MOSES OGUNGBE

6. ALBERT LEWIS CATHEY

7. TITYAYE MARINA MANSBANGURA

8. CHUKWUDI COLLINS AJAEZE

9. EKENE AUGUSTINE EKECHUKWU

10. CHUKS EROHA

11. COLLINS NNAEMEKA OJIMBA

12. FNU LNU

13. UCHENNA OCHIAGHA

14. NNAMDI THEOJOSEPH DURU

15. ERICSON UCHE OFORKA

16. MARK IFEANYI CHUKWUOCHA

17. AUGUSTINE NNAMDI

18. CHIEMEZIE CHRISTOPHER CHILAKA

19. CHARLES OHAJIMKPO

20. STANLEY UGOCHUKWU UCHE

21. CHIKA AUGUSTINE ODIONYENMA

22. PASCHAL CHIMA OGBONNA

23. SAMUEL NNAMDI ONWUASOANYA,

24. MACWILLIAM CHINONSO CHUKWUOCHA

25. EMMANUEL ONYEKA UZOKA

26. JOSHUA ANIEFIOK AWAK

27. GEORGE UGOCHUKWU EGWUMBA

28. UCHECHUKWU SOLOMON EZIRIM

29. AUGUSTINE IFEANYI OKAFOR

30. FNU LNU

31. OGOCHUKWU INNOCENT IKEWESI

32. EMMANUEL UZOMA OGANDU

33. AMARACHUKWU HARLEY ANYANWU

34. BRIGHT IFEANYI AZUBUIKE

35. EMEKA MOSES NWACHUKWU

36. CHINWENDU KENNETH OSUJI

37. EUSEBIUS UGOCHUKWU ONYEKA

38. CHIDI ANUNOBI

39. ANTHONY NWABUNWANNE OKOLO

40. OBINNA CHRISTIAN ONUWA

41. CHIJIOKE CHUKWUMA ISAMADE

42. LINUS NNAMDI MADUFOR

43. CHRYSAUGONUS NNEBEDUM

44. UGOCHUKWU OKEREKE

45. FIDEL LEON ODIMARA

46. KINGSLEY CHINEDU ONUDOROGU

47. DESSI NZENWAH

48. CHIMAROKE OBASI

49. JAMES CHIGOZIE AGUBE

50. CHIMAOBI UZOZIE OKORIE

51. OGOCHUKWU OHIRI

52. KENNEDY CHIBUEZE UGWU

53. IFEANYICHUKWU OLUWADAMILARE AGWUEGBO

54. VICTOR IFEANYI CHUKWU

55. CHIDI EMMANUEL MEGWA

56. PRINCEWILL ARINZE DURU

57. DESMOND IWU

58. ONYEKA VINCENT CHIKA

59. IFEANYI KINGSLEY MEZIENWA

60. VICTOR UCHENNA AGUH

61. KEVIN AMARACHI ESHIMBU

62. VITALIS KELECHI ANOZIE

63. WILLIAMS OBIORA AGUNWA

64. GEORGE CHIMEZIE DIKE

65. MUNACHISO KYRIAN UKACHUKWU

66. NWANNEBUIKE OSMUND

67. CHIDIEBERE FRANKLIN NWANGWU

68. DAMIAN UCHECHUKWU AJAH

69. EMEKA P. EJIOFOR

70. LAWRENCE CHUKWUMA UBASINEKE

71. CHINEDU BRIGHT IBETO

72. VALENTINE AMARACHI NWANEGWO

73. EMMANUEL CHIDIEBERE DIKE

74. JEREMIAH UTIEYIN EKI

75. CHIMA DARLINGTON DURU

76. IKENNA CHRISTIAN IHEJIUREME

77. OBI ONYEDIKA MADEKWE

 

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17 Dies In Kwara Road Accident

Sahara Reporters - 23 August 2019 - 12:05am


File photo

 

At least 17 persons lost their lives on Thursday at Bacita junction on Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa Expressway in Kwara when an 18-seater bus and an articulated DAF truck carrying container collided.

Eyewitnesses said that the accident was due to speeding and dangerous driving as the two vehicles had head-on collision at a bend along the highway.

The source said that while 17 passengers in the bus were killed, two occupants of the articulated vehicle suffered various degrees of injuries.

Head of Operations of the Federal Road Safety Corps Kwara command, Mr Udeme Eshiet, confirmed the incident.

He explained that the DAF truck was going towards Jebba, in the Kwara North District, while the bus was coming to Ilorin, the state capital, from the Northern region of the country when the crash occurred.

Eshiet called on motorists to be more careful while driving on the nation’s highways during rainy season to check avoidable accidents.

 

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Oyo PDP Tackles Governor For Appointment Of 27-year-old As Commissioner

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 3:37pm


The Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State has expressed unhappiness at the appointment of a 27-year-old man, Seun Fakorede, as commissioner by governor of the state, Seyi Makinde.

Leaders of the party spoke their minds on Thursday during the screening of commissioner nominees at the state’s House of Assembly, according to a report by PUNCH.

The Oyo PDP described Fakorede’s nomination as “unguarded”, describing the young man as a member of the opposition All Progressives Congress.

Leaders of the party in Ibarapa North Local Government Area led by Samuel Olawuwo, led the protest on Thursday.

Olawuwo said, “During the campaign period, the governor promised us that anytime he wanted to pick either the commissioner or any other office, he would consult us.

“But he didn’t do that when he wanted to pick Seun Fakorede.

“This man, whose son is now picked, is a staunch member of APC. We totally reject his nomination.”

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NAF Destroys Insurgents’ Logistics Base In Borno

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:56pm


File Photo

File Photo

The Nigerian Air Force says its Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole has destroyed a Boko Haram logistics base at Bula Bello on the fringes of Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

The service said the ATF under Operation Green Sweep III also destroyed the insurgents’ assembly area at Bula Bello.

Operation Green Sweep III is targeted at terrorists’ positions in Borno.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Speaking further, Daramola revealed that the operation was executed after Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions revealed that the settlement was being used by the insurgents as a staging area to launch attacks against troops.

He said, “Consequently, the ATF dispatched two Alpha jets and a MI-35M helicopter to attack the identified buildings within the settlement.

“Overhead the target area, several Boko Haram fighters were seen within the settlement.

“The two Alpha jets therefore took turns attacking the target area, scoring direct hits on the desired points of impact.

“The structures were damaged by the strikes while several of the terrorists were neutralised.

“The few surviving fighters were taken out in follow-on strikes by the MI-35M attack helicopter.”

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Calls For Separation Threatening Nigeria's Unity, Says Malami

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:54pm


Mallam Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice

Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has said that calls for separation and dismemberment of Nigeria is threating the unity of the country. 

Malami said this on Thursday during the unveiling of plans for his second term as Minister of Justice.

He said, “The law must work, it must speak its firm language of justice at all times, no matter who is involved.

“It’s the secret that binds societies together, so I am determined as ever to use the law as a means to shape society, regulate people’s behaviour and balance the competing interests in the Nigerian society.

“This is because the defence of the corporate interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the rights of her citizens are my primary goal as the Chief Law Officer.

“We should do more especially at this critical time in the annals of our country when the soul of Nigeria is currently being threatened by the emerging class of mutinous element.

“Nigeria is today bedevilled with an existential crisis of nationhood that is threatening to tear the country apart with the needless calls for separation, dismemberment and ill-motivated restructuring.

“This has consequently created a very vulnerable political environment and the failure is evident in so many areas.

“These include lack of compliance with the laws, low capacity by institutions to enforce laws, lack of patriotism, delayed justice with attendant undue congestion in our prisons and widespread corruption.

“As we enter the second and final term in office, we have to build on the gains already made through our usual and consistent pursuit of the policy thrusts of the administration.”

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How We Repelled Boko Haram Insurgents In Borno –Nigerian Army

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:53pm


The Nigerian Army on Thursday said that its troops succeeded in frustrating Boko Haram terrorists’ bid to overrun its bases in Gubio and Magumeri communities in Borno State by killing many of the insurgents during the encounter.

A statement by Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Col. Ado Isa, shed more light into how the army crushed the terrorists.

The statement read, “To avoid further misinformation that could create unnecessary tension, the Theatre Command wishes to state that the attack was targeted at Nigerian Army troops deployed in the areas to enable the terrorists gain access to the market in the towns to loot food items and other logistics. The attack was however repelled by the troops. 

“Consequently, due to fierce exchange of fire, the terrorists were forced to withdraw in disarray from the town resulting to damages on buildings and property along their route of withdrawal. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Boko Haram: Terrorists Raid Borno, Wreak Havoc On Residents 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“There were no casualty on the security force (troops) and no loss or damage to own equipment as wrongly insinuated on the social media. 

“However, a vigilante sadly lost his life in a cross fire. Also, some civilians in the area reportedly sustained various degrees of injuries.

“Peace has so far been restored in the communities with residents going about their lawful businesses.

“The Nigerian Army once again call on all well-meaning members of the public to collaborate with the military and other security agencies in the area of sharing information and suspicious movement of criminals in their communities to proactively deal with criminal activities.”

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US Arrests Two Nigerians Over Multi-million Dollar Internet Fraud

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:51pm


Two Nigerian men were arrested on Thursday as United States authorities clamped down on fraudsters trying to scam unsuspecting victims of $40m.

The group of fraudsters, numbering 80, have been implicated in several Internet frauds until their arrest.

The indictment alleges that at least $6m in fraudulently obtained funds were transferred through a money-laundering network run by two Nigerians – Valentine Iro, 33, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, who have both been arrested together with 78 others.

Federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17 people were arrested and taken into custody in Los Angeles, California and elsewhere in the United States.

The suspects allegedly targeted the lovelorn, the elderly, and small and large businesses, using a variety of scams to persuade their victims to send money over the Internet, according to a report by the AFP.

“Some of the victims of the conspiracy lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fraud schemes, and many were elderly.

“Billions of dollars are lost annually and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims,” said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office.

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Nigerians Need Immediate Jobs, Rewane Tells Buhari

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:49pm


Economist and financial analyst, Bismarck Rewane, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to create immediate jobs for Nigerians.

Rewane said this on Thursday during a programme on Channels Television.

President Muhammadu Buhari had said that he would lift at least 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the course of the next 10 years. 

Reacting to that declaration, Rewane said the 10-year plan is a long term goal, adding that Nigerians cannot even wait 10 more months to lay their hands on jobs. 

He said, “How are they going to achieve this? The President has laid out his vision but the thing is that 10 years is a long time.  See Also Economy Buhari: We'll Lift 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“Nigerians can’t wait for 10 years, they can’t even wait for 10 months, they want results now.

“Mr President, yes we like this (10-year plan) but we want some immediate deliverables.

“To get the immediate deliverables, first and foremost there has to be fiscal and monetary coordination to be able to unlock and deliver results.

“We have to manage our expectations and go back to total factor productivity or labour productivity.”

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NASU, SSANU Threaten Indefinite Strike

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:59pm


 

The Non-Academic Staff Union and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities have jointly said that they would embark on an indefinite strike if the Nigerian Government fails to heed to their demands.

National Vice President of SSANU for the north, Solomon Alfa, said this during a briefing with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

The workers are currently on a five-day warning strike, which commenced on Monday.

Sahara Reporters reported the shutdown of non-academic activities within the University of Ibadan. Chairman of SSANU in UI, Wale Akinremi, also told Sahara Reporters that the unions are committed about going on an indefinite strike except the government meets their demands.

He said, “We have been consistent with our demands from the Federal Government.

“We are talking to them in terms of the issues we have with our allowances for about 10 years now.”

The unions are demanding the implementation of the renegotiated 2009 agreements.

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Investigation Into Rape Allegation Against Fatoyinbo Inconclusive –PFN

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:53pm


 

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has said its investigation into an allegation of rape levelled against founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Biodun Fatoyinbo, by Busola, wife of musician Timi Dakolo, is inconclusive.

National Publicity Secretary of the PFN, Bishop Emma Isong, made the disclosure on Thursday at a briefing with journalists.

According to Isong, this was caused by the inability of the committee set up to undertake the investigation to meet with the accused despite several attempts.

He said, “Unfortunately, several attempts to meet Pastor Fatoyinbo who is one of the important parties in the matter, have failed despite efforts by the panel to get his attention or appearance.  See Also Christianity COZA Rape Scandal: Inspector General Of Police Trying To Scuttle Investigation Of Pastor Fatoyinbo, Coalition Of Lawyers Allege 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

“Arising from this, the PFN unfortunately wishes to announce our inability to come into conclusion on this matter.”

Busola had accused Fatoyinbo of raping her twice when she was 17, a claim the popular pastor denies.

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