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COVID-19: I Give You 21 Days To Handover To Me, Ondo Deputy Governor Tells Akeredolu

5 July 2020 - 1:14am

Following Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu's COVID-19 status, his deputy, Agboola Ajayi has advised him to hand over the governance of the state to him in acting capacity since he was now incapacitated.

Akeredolu had on June 30 confirmed testing positive to COVID-19 and immediately begun self isolation and promised to start working and attending to files from home. 

Ajayi, who spoke on Saturday in a statement by his Media Adviser, Allen Sowore, said the refusal by Akeredolu to handover the governance of the state was a flagrant disregard for the country's constitution. 

He disclosed that the governor, who is also a lawyer should know better and hand over to him instead of halting the smooth running of governance in the state because of his COVID-19 status. 

He gave the governor a 21-day ultimatum to hand over and allow him carry out government activities for the benefit of the state. 

Ajayi said, "Section 190 (2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is apposite in the prevailing constitutional abberation in Ondo State. 

"However, it should be noted that Mr Governor is at liberty to handover or not within 21 days after which the constitution becomes operational. 

"Ostensibly, the refusal and failure of Mr Governor to handover the running of government to his deputy while he is temporarily incapacitated in self- isolation underscores his absolute disregard for our nation's supreme document, 1999 constitution (as amended) as well as the tenets of rule of law. 

"The governor's position is a spite on Ondo State people and a direct assault on the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.

"Governor Akeredolu's deliberate mounting of obstacles to smooth running of government machinery while he's in self isolation as a result of the fact that he has been tested positive for COVID-19 privileges the hypocratical  nature of Ondo State Government's war against the ravaging pandemic."

Akeredolu had on Friday described his deputy as a threat to governance in the state.

He also explained that Ajayi was no longer a member of APC, noting that the idea of handing over governance to him was a non-issue.

But the deputy governor in his reply described the claims of Akeredolu as an illusion and a diversion from the real issue of him handing over governance.  

He advised the governor to resolve the lingering crisis in the state's health sector mostly doctors strike instead of decapitating energy at pulling him and his office down.

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Flood Takes Over Abeokuta After Heavy Rainfall Downpour

5 July 2020 - 1:10am

Many parts of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, were on Saturday submerged in flood following heavy rainfall, which lasted for several hours in the city.

The downpour left many houses submerged while vehicles were prevented from moving around except for articulated ones during the period.

Areas affected by the flood include Igbore, Ijeja, Isale-Igbehin, Amolaso, Kuto, Abiola Way, Kuto, Lefenwa, Oke-Mosan amongst others.

At Abiola Way, just before the NNPC junction, the dual carriage road was completely submerged while part of the building within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library was not spared.

Amolaso area and the communities beside and behind the Oke-Igbehin Government House were among the worst hit places as houses and shops were completely taken over by the flood.

The Ijeja Bridge linking the area with Omida on one side and Ogbe and Itoku on the other side were destroyed with the asphalt on the road washed away that vehicles couldn't pass through the area.

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Yobe School Where Pupils Attend Classes With Prayer Mats

5 July 2020 - 1:04am

Yobe Education Awareness Group has appealled to the state government to rehabilitate Government Day Secondary School, Gashua, as buildings of the school remain dilapidated. 

The group also lamented that with the rain season already in and the possible reopening of schools soon, leaky roofs will discourage students from attending classes. 

Students attend the school with prayer mats because there are no desks and chairs in classes for them to learn with. 

“We are not challenging but pleading. The only government senior secondary school that children of masses do attend in the whole Gashua is GDSS but if you go there you may shed tears,” said Ali M. Kachallah, leader of the group.

“We are calling on the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, to also intervene to rescue this school in his home town,” he added. 

Yobe State had been at the bottom of WAEC/NECO performance annually since 2005. 

The state has 7.23 per cent literacy level, the lowest in the country.

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Woman Inflicts Injuries On 10-year-old Home Help With Hot Iron For Allowing Sleeping Baby Fall To Ground

5 July 2020 - 12:27am

A 24-year-old woman named Ifeoma Ozuogu has been arrested alongside her husband by the police for allegedly inflicting injuries on her 10-year-old home help, Nneoma Nnadi, over the fall of her baby to the ground.

Ozuogu used hot iron, knife, nail and hammer to inflict injuries on the little girl.

The incident happened on Wednesday at Aku in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Nnadi was said to have carried her madam's little baby with the view to pampering her to sleep around 12am when the baby mistakenly fell to the ground.

Though there was no physical or internal injury on the baby, Ozuogu descended heavily on the girl over the incident by burning her skin with hot iron and also using nail to puncture her head.

The next day, Ozuogu inserted pepper into the little girl's vagina and locked her up in the toilet for refusing to wash the plates.

It took the intervention of neighbours, who heard the girl's cry, to rescue and rush her to hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, the police have been accused of trying to compromise and  cover up the matter after the accused offered them bribe.

When SaharaReporters reached out to the brother of the victim, Samson Nnadi, on Saturday, he confirmed that the  Commissioner of Police in the state had taken up the matter and vowed to charge the couple to court on Monday.

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Boko Haram Terrorists Attack UN Helicopter, Kill Five-year-old Child, Others

5 July 2020 - 12:22am

Boko Haram insurgents have attacked a United Nations aid helicopter in Nigeria's North-East region.

The terrorists, according to the UN, launched the attack on Thursday in Damasak, Borno State, killing two civilians including a five-year-old child in the process.

Edward Kallon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, on Saturday said both fatalities and several others injured in the attack were on the ground.

“A UN Humanitarian Air Service helicopter was hit by bullets during the attack. No aid workers were on board at the time and crew members are all safe,” Kallon said in a statement.

A UN communication said the aircraft was shot as it approached Damasak and the pilots managed to fly back to Maiduguri, AFP reports. 


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BREAKING: Appeal Court Dismisses Petition By PDP, Others, Affirms Yahaya Bello As Kogi Governor

4 July 2020 - 11:28am

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on Saturday affirmed the election of Yahaya Bello as governor of Kogi State after dismissing four appeals challenging his victory at the November 16, 2019 poll.

In separate judgments all of which were unanimous, the five-man panel of the court led by Justice Adamu Jauro dismissed the appeals filed by four political parties challenging the governor’s reelection in the November 2019 governorship poll.

Those, who filed the appeals were the Peoples Democratic Party, Social Democratic Party, Action Peoples Party and Democratic Peoples Party.

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WATCH LIVE: Rape: Forensic Insights Into Gathering Evidence, Justice And Healing

4 July 2020 - 9:08am
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Pantami Confirms Owning Houses In Abuja, Denies Buying Any Property Since Becoming Minister

4 July 2020 - 8:51am

Nigeria's Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has confirmed that two of the three houses published by SaharaReporters belongs to him.

He however, said he had never bought any house for his wives after he assumed office as minister

Pantami claimed that he had occupied one of the apartments since January 2017 before he was appointed minister while the other one was a house he rented since December 17, 2019. 

The minister disclosed this in a statement by his spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, in Abuja while reacting to publication.

The statement reads, "For the purpose of setting the records straight, the honourable minister has not purchased a single property anywhere in the world in the period he has been in office as a minister. One of the apartments in the images published is one which the honourable minister has occupied since January 2017, more than two years before becoming a minister, while the other one is a house he rented since 17th December 2019. Two of the images are not even known to him." 

However, the minister's defence appears to have caused more damage as Nigerians on various social media platforms continue to condemn his double standard of pretending to be a saint when he is not one.

PHOTONEWS: @MBuhari’s Minister Of Communications, @DrIsaPantami Living Large In Abuja, Purchases Three Houses In Wuse For His Three Wives | Sahara Reporters


— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) July 3, 2020

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Minister Isa Pantami Abuja Houses And The Lies Used To Cover Mores Lies By Mashood Musbau

4 July 2020 - 8:49am

Dear Beloveth Uwa, 

In response to your unprofessional and not so well researched response to your bosses corrupt behavior. I will make it easy for you by putting clear and concise questions for you to respond to with facts, not every nigerian is gullible like the followers of your boss on social media. So respond to SR with the following since you called them liars:

- You boss moved two is wives location to be disclosed from Kado and Lifecamp to the two location excluding Maitama, so when did he move to the house you claimed it was 2017?

- Who did he pay the rent and when, you can forge the documents but you will only be stating the obvious about that contractor?

- He spends a year and half or less in the University in Saudi, how much was his salary? 

- You claimed he was a business man, state the business he was doing, did he sell dates from Saudi Arabia or what?

Please Nigerians will not be fooled by your lack of professionalism, Dr Malam Sheikh Pantami can do justice to himself by finding someone else to respond with better convincing facts. Your response only implicated him more and it would have been better if your kept quite. 

Long live Nigeria and every soul will taste death. Today where is Baru or Kyari and many (May their shortcomings be forgiven). So the minister cannot continue to use the religion for worldly gains and try to use the northern Muslims and trolls he pays via some northern journalist to quite down the truth. 

Mashood Musbau 
(Just a concerned youth that wants a good Nigeria)

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Group Attacks Nigeria's Attorney-General, Malami, For ‘Shielding’ Military Officers Involved In Killing Of Three Policemen

4 July 2020 - 7:13am

The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre has accused the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, of shielding the soldiers involved in the release of Bala Hamisu, suspected kidnap kingpin better known as Wadume.

On August 6, 2019, some soldiers attached to 93 battalion Ibbi-Takum Road, led by Tijjani Balarabe, a captain with the Nigerian Army, attacked some policemen, who arrested Wadume.

Three policemen and two civilians were killed during the incident, while Wadume was set free.

After his rearrest, Wadume had confessed that some officers of the Nigerian Army assisted him to escape when he was initially arrested.

The office of the AGF later took over the case from the police but the soldiers were not brought to the court for trial.

RULAC in a statement by its Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, said that nearly one year after the incident, Malami was still talking about allowing the army to court-marshal the culprits and conclude its internal process.

The statement reads, “On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, Abubakar Malami, Nigeria's Attorney-General of the Federation, when confronted by state house correspondents after a federal executive council meeting at the presidential villa, over his reason for withdrawing from the charge sheet, names of army officers indicted for the murder of 3 IRT operatives and 2 civilians in Taraba on August 6, 2019, said it was not true that his office is shielding the indicted army officers. See Also Legal Nigeria’s Attorney General, Malami, Takes Over Prosecution Of Kidnapper, Wadume 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

“He said the authorities were only giving time to allow the established processes to be consummated. He said he withdrew the charges against the soldiers to allow the army to court-marshall them and conclude its internal process. He attempted some further clarifications to his defence which the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre considers woolly and absurd. 

“The AGF's attempt to rationalise his action amounts to sheer sophistry; an unconvincing afterthought which fails to exculpate him from his scandalous attempt to shield murder suspects from justice, for whatsoever reason.

“Today, nearly one year after this tragic and scandalous incident, someone is still talking about 'allow(ing) the army to court-marshall them and conclude its internal process'. How long does a court martial or other so-called internal processes take?  The truth is that the AGF found himself in an inescapable corner and had to willy nilly offer some excuse. Ab initio, he never appeared inclined- from his speech and body language- to allow the indicted army officers face trial. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Police Arraign Wadume, 18 Others For Terrorism Eight Months After Arrest 0 Comments 3 Months Ago

“Why didn't the AGF offer this same lame excuse weeks before now in response to the public outrage and questions regarding his decision to remove the names of the indicted army officers from the charge sheet which the police filed before his office decided to take over prosecution? Why has the Chief of Army Staff not responded to the IGP's request on him, several months ago, to release the indicted army officers for trial? 

“The only thing that will convince Nigerians that the AGF and the Chief of Army Staff are not in cahoots in a scheme to shield the indicted army officers from justice is for the Chief of Army Staff to recall the army officers from the various locations he posted them after the crime and release them for trial while the AGF immediately restores their names to the charge sheet and immediately arraign them, alongside their alies in crimes, for trial.”

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Indonesian Immigration Officials Allegedly Torture, Kill Nigerians Over Expired Visas

4 July 2020 - 7:00am

Facts on how Nigerians living in Indonesia were allegedly tortured and killed by the country’s immigration officials over expired visas and documents have come to light.

SaharaReporters gathered that the officials barged into victims’’ houses to effect arrest, forcing them to pay ₦450,000 before they are released.

The exercise was said to be carried out daily targeting mainly Nigerians with the aim of extorting money from them.

It was gathered that those, who could not cough out the money, were tortured with many dying in the process.

Those unable to raise the money are compelled to call their family members for them to find a means of sourcing the funds.

SaharaReporters gathered that a Nigerian identified as Chukwueze was tortured to death while in the custody of Indonesian immigration officials because he could not raise the money demanded as a bribe.

A source, who spoke with SaharaReporters said, "We are passing through hell here in Indonesia. The immigration officials are killing us because of expired visa. They come into our houses to arrest us and force us to pay N450, 000.

"If you don't pay the money, they will ask you to call your relatives to raise the money.

"Last Monday, one Nigerian died in their custody because he had no money to pay. He died due to the torture he was subjected to by immigration officers."

Recall that some Nigerians recently staged a protest at the Nigeria Embassy in Jakarta over alleged discrimination and targeted raids by Indonesian immigration officers.

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Activist Accuses Delta Police Of Complicity In Alleged Illegal Child Adoption By Government Officials

4 July 2020 - 6:59am

A right activist, Ighorhiohwunu Aghogho, has called on the Delta State Police Command to account for all exploited children transferred to the officials of the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs from 1991 till date.

He said the call was aimed at saving the lives of children, who are now regular victims of trafficking through illegal adoption by government officials in the ministry in connivance with the judiciary.

Aghogho condemned the police for involving in unethical and unprofessional conduct in the transfer of exploited children including suspected orphans from police stations within and across the state to some government officials in Delta.

The activist made the call in a statement on Friday over the incessant cases of illegal adoption by a group of people in government without following laid down procedures.

He maintained that the Delta State Child's Right Law prohibited the collection of money or reward for child adoption except with the sanction of the court.

The statement reads, “It would be recalled that the Area Command Office, Warri, Delta State Police Command had unethically and unprofessionally issued a document dated 2/8/16 reference number AR: 3000/DTS/ARC/WARRI/VOL 39/85 transferring twelve exploited  children from the Area Command Office, Warri, to the Social Welfare Officer, Effurun, and same were allegedly  trafficked."

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Delta State Police Command, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, while reacting to SaharaReporters’ enquiry on the matter and whereabouts of the children transferred by police to various orphanage homes, said it was not the duty of police to do follow up on adopted children once they had been transferred.

SaharaReporters had reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Benin Zonal Office, was currently investigating one Emmanuel Zimi Dolor and the Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Umukoro, including officials of the Delta State Ministry of Women Affairs and judiciary on the alleged child trafficking.

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Armed Bandits Kill Two Persons, Abduct Four Others In Fresh Katsina Attack

4 July 2020 - 6:47am

Gunmen on Thursday attacked some villages in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, killing two persons and kidnapping four others in the process.

SaharaReporters gathered that the bandits attacked Kandawa Village where they killed one Nuru Lawal before rustling an undisclosed number of cattle.

They also abducted four villagers – Basiru Lawal, Rukayya basiru, Yau Isah and Nana Bello – but Lawal escaped when the bandits were operating at Shekawa Village.

Another man named Aminu Mai Unguwa was killed during an attack on Dan Alhaji Village.

Katsina State had in recent months been grappling with security challenges posed by kidnappers, bandits and rustlers.

In June, bandits attacked communities in the state, killing at least 100 persons. See Also Sahara Reporters Bandits Kill Policeman, Five Others In Fresh Attacks On Katsina Communities 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

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Ondo 2020: PDP Disqualifies Two Aspirants, Clears Others Ahead Of Governorship Primary

4 July 2020 - 5:44am

Nine Ondo Governorship PDP aspirants screened by the party's National leaders

The Peoples Democratic Party on Friday disqualified two out of the nine aspirants jostling for the party's ticket ahead of the Ondo State governorship election on October 10.

The party however, cleared the remaining seven aspirants after checking their credentials in fulfilment of its rule.

Nine Ondo Governorship PDP aspirants screened by the party's National leaders

The two aspirants disqualified by the party are Mr Bamidele Akingboye and Mr Godday Erewa.

Those cleared include Eyitayo Jegede, Agboola Ajayi, Banji Okunomo, Bode Ayorinde, Boluwaji Kunlere, Olusola Ebiseni and Eddy Olafeso.

The PDP has fixed July 22 for its governorship primary election in the state.

Yakubu Dogora, Chairman of the screening panel and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, disclosed the names of those screened at the end of the exercise.

He stated that the disqualified aspirants could approach the appeal committee, which will commence sitting on Monday.

SaharaReporters gathered that the two disqualified aspirants were screened out over conflicting names on their certificates.

A source close to one of the aspirants told our correspondent that they were ready to approach the appeal panel over their disqualification.

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Central Bank Of Nigeria Devalues Naira By 5.3 Per Cent At Currency Auction, Confirms SaharaReporters’ Story

4 July 2020 - 5:43am


The Central Bank of Nigeria devalued the naira at one of its currency auctions, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said in its latest report.

The weakening comes after Governor Godwin Emefiele announced last month that the bank plans to unify its multiple exchange rates to improve the transparency of its currency-management system.

At an auction for importers on Friday, the CBN asked that bids for foreign exchange be made at N380 per United States dollar compared with N360 previously, the people said.

Isaac Okorafor, spokesperson for the CBN, didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone or reply to messages seeking comment.

The bank previously devalued the currency in March when it adjusted the official peg against the dollar to N360 from N307.

There’s another rate for investors and exporters known as the nafex window, which acts as a spot-rate for the naira.

The nafex -- which has been relatively stable around N388 per dollar since mid-May following a recovery in oil prices -- was introduced in 2017 as a way of wooing back foreign investors spooked by an economic crisis, without formally devaluing the currency.

The naira also trades widely in the black market, which Emefiele has said is illegal and is sold by the regulator to companies and individuals at varying rates.

Investors and the International Monetary Fund have long called for Nigeria to merge its multiple exchange rates, saying the absence of a single rate creates confusion and deters foreign investment.

On Thursday, SaharaReporters had exposed how the CBN deliberately prevents naira from appreciating against the United States dollar. See Also Exclusive EXPOSED: How Central Bank Of Nigeria Deliberately Prevents Naira From Appreciating Against United States Dollar 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

According to documents seen by SaharaReporters, the apex bank, which has refused to disclose the exact foreign remittances it has received from 2016 to 2018, deliberately stocks the US dollars it receives on behalf of Nigerians to trade them off through crooked means.

The CBN, it was gathered, was warehousing the dollar component of remittances in foreign banks, thereby making it impossible for the naira to appreciate against the dollar in the foreign exchange market.

“The CBN wants to continue to sabotage the national economy through dubious regulations and that was why it banned banks and other foreign exchange dealers from paying foreign currencies to recipients of foreign remittances.

“Thus, by warehousing the dollar component of remittances in foreign banks, the CBN has made it impossible for the naira to appreciate against the dollar in the foreign exchange market,” a financial expert with deep knowledge of the fraud going on in the apex revealed.

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Abia Governor, Ikpeazu, Recovers From COVID-19

4 July 2020 - 5:23am

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has recovered from COVID-19 after receiving treatment for three weeks.

The governor had announced that he tested positive for the disease on June 8.

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

SaharaReporters gathered that Ikpeazu made attempts to be flown abroad but the restriction on international flights ban in many countries around the world and his positive status of the virus put paid to that move.

But in a statement on Saturday, John Kalu, the state’s Commissioner for Information, said the governor’s samples submitted on Thursday returned negative on Friday.

The statement reads, “To the glory of God, repeat COVID-19 test conducted by Nigeria Center for Disease Control on samples submitted by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Thursday, 2nd July, 2020, returned negative result on Friday, 3rd July, 2020.

“Governor Ikpeazu is therefore deemed free of the virus according to the extant guidelines of NCDC and the World Health Organisation.”


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AAC Condemns INEC For Excluding Party From Edo Governorship Election

4 July 2020 - 4:39am

The African Action Congress has slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission for removing its name among political parties to contest the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State.

The party had successfully conducted its primary election and produced Edith Isokpan as its candidate for the governorship election.

Officials of INEC witnessed the exercise, which was orderly and peaceful.

However, while releasing the list of parties approved to contest the election last week, INEC omitted AAC from the log without any concrete explanation despite its officials being on the ground to monitor the party’s selection process.

Condemning the situation in a statement, Ameen Abdul, Chairman of AAC, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Saturday said the party will challenge its omission by INEC from the Edo election through every means available to it.

The statement reads, “The trust and hope reposed in the party was demonstrated in the massive turnout of voters in the primary election that produced the party's flag-bearer, Ms Edith Isokpan who in turn is billed to not only win the forthcoming election but to liberate the good people of Edo State from the grip of intentional high-ranking criminals that have solely and collective raped, maimed, stolen and destroyed Edo's commonwealth, to a path of recovery, growth, development and sustainability. See Also Sahara Reporters Fourteen Parties Cleared By INEC To Participate In Edo Election 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“Banking on the credibility of the National Chairman, Mr Stephen Omoyele Sowore, and the trajectory of Ms Edith Isokpan, the good people of Edo State have resolved to vote in a visionary leader in person to liberate and transform the state from the current comatose, quagmire, underdevelopment, poor electricity, dilapidated infrastructures, bad roads and political jingoism to a state of pride, development, economic progression and systemic end to corruption.

“But to obstruct this mental projection and dampen the spirit of well-meaning citizens, INEC shows up with a provisional list that houses the problem of the state and concomitantly leaving out the antidote AAC from her list.

“It should be clear to Nigerians that INEC in conjunction with the enemies of the people is trying so hard to keep the people of Edo State in a political circle of ineptitude, incompetence and gross unproductivity by means of exclusion of the answer to this menace from the ballot. A move that will meet stiff, social, legal and political resistance.

“The primary election was monitored by INEC officials and televised across social and mainstream media, the commission has no grounds of excluding the AAC from the ballot except for the aforementioned reason, one of which we'll resist with every means known to law.

“We call on the INEC boss, Prof Mahmoud to as a matter of urgency do the needful and return back the AAC on the ballot.

“We've resolved to take back not only Edo but Nigeria.”

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Ebonyi Governor, Umahi, Aides Test Positive For COVID-19

4 July 2020 - 4:37am

Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, has tested positive for Coronavirus.

The governor broke the news in a statement he personally signed on Saturday.

He said the result of the test conducted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control came back positive.

Umahi, who said some of his aides also tested positive for the virus, noted that they remained asymptomatic but have since self-isolated in compliance with the NCDC protocols.

The governor further directed Kelechi Igwe, his deputy, to take over the frontline coordination of the state’s fight against the pandemic.


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How FBI Nailed Nigerian Internet Fraudster, Hushpuppi, Why He May Spend Maximum Sentence In United States Federal Prison

4 July 2020 - 3:55am

Inside details of how the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation unearthed the fraudulent activities of Abbas Ramon Olorunwa widely known as Hushpuppi emerged in an affidavit attested to by Andrew John Innocenti, a Special Agent of the agency, on June 25, 2020, in Los Angeles, California before U.S Magistrate Judge, Rozella A. Oliver.

The document seen by SaharaReporters on Friday revealed how the 38-year-old Nigerian conspired with several others across various parts of the world to execute huge financial scams by defrauding individuals and redirecting hefty payments meant for organisations into private bank accounts in countries like Romania, Bulgaria and United Arab Emirates.

Specialised in business email comprise, Hushpuppi and his allies targeted several companies across the world especially in the United States and United Kingdom and used proceeds of their fraudulent scheme to finance their lavish lifestyles.

Relying on data carefully analysed from several iPhones belonging to Hushpuppi, the FBI was able to discover loads of communications between the suspect and his collaborators leading up to the execution of several high profile fraud mostly involving illegal wire transfers and diversion of funds meant for others to bank accounts of their choices.

“Beginning no later than October 15, 2019 and continuing through at least October 17, 2019 in the county of Los Angeles in the Central District of California and elsewhere, the defendant conspired to launder proceeds fraudulently obtained from a law firm in violation of Code Section Offense Description 18 U.S.C. § 1956,” Special Agent Innocenti began in his testimony.

“iPhone of co-conspirator 1 (reviewed pursuant to a federal search warrant issued in this District) reflect that Abbas, co-conspirator 1 and co-conspirator 2 with others committed a BEC scheme that defrauded a victim in the United States of approximately $922,857.76 including approximately $396,050 that Abbas, co-conspirator 1 and co-conspirator 2 laundered while co-conspirator 2 was in Los Angeles, California.

“Second, Abbas and co-conspirator 1 conspired to launder funds intended to be stolen through fraudulent wire transfers from a foreign financial institution (the “Foreign Financial Institution”), in which fraudulent wire transfers, totalling approximately €13 million (approximately USD $14.7 million), were sent to bank accounts around the world in February 2019.

“Abbas, specifically provided co-conspirator 1 with two bank accounts in Europe that Abbas anticipated would each receive €5m of the fraudulently obtained funds including a fraudulent scheme to steal £100m from an English Premier League football club.” See Also Internet Hushpuppi Conspired To Defraud Premier League Club Of £100m, Says FBI 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Speaking further, the FBI Special Agent disclosed in the affidavit how analysis of mobile communication gadgets including email correspondences between Hushpuppi revealed how they deployed various tactics to carry out their operations.

“The email account also contained emails with attachments relating to wire transfers in large dollar values, including wire transfers in February 2018 in the amounts of $250,000 and $2,397,000.

“Based on the context of the emails, as well as other information gathered during the FBI investigation about one of the sender email accounts, it appears that these emails were related to fraudulent transactions.

“In or around October 2019, Abbas had conspired with co-conspirator 1 and co-conspirator 2 to commit a fraudulent wire transfer and money-laundering scheme in which a U.S. victim (the “Victim Law 15 Firm”) lost approximately $922,857.76. The messages reflected that part of the scheme, including acts in furtherance of the conspiracy, occurred while co-conspirator 2 was physically present in the Central District of California.

“Records obtained from JPMorgan Chase Bank (“Chase”) for a bank account held in the U.S. (the “Chase Account”) reflect that the Chase Account received a wire transfer on October 15, 2019 for approximately $922,857.76 from the Victim Law Firm. On October 17, 2019, there was a wire transfer from the Chase Account to an account at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”), in Toronto, Ontario, for approximately $396,050. Bank records reflect that the specific account at CIBC ended in 1716 (the “CIBC Account”), consistent with what is discussed below in paragraphs 21, 24, and 25. The remaining funds in the Chase Account were transferred to other accounts. See Also International Hushpuppi, Woodberry Extradited To United States After Arrest In Dubai 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“On February 12, 2019, the Foreign Financial Institution suffered a computer intrusion and cyber-heist in which approximately €13 million (approximately $14.7 million) was fraudulently wired from the Foreign Financial Institution to bank accounts in multiple countries.

“In a message on January 16, 2019, co-conspirator 1 contacted Abbas asking for two European bank accounts that could receive €5m, which he said would be from the country in which the Foreign Financial Institution is located. Co-conspirator 1 stated several times that the “hit” would occur on February 12.

“After some discussion, Abbas sent co-conspirator 1 the account information for a Romanian bank account, which he said could be used for “large amounts”.

“Abbas further said he could provide another account and co-conspirator 1 said that it would be a payment of €5m million to each account.

“On February 10, 2019, co-conspirator 1 told Abbas, “Brother, tonight is my deadline to submit anything more,” and then asked, “Do u want add one more or just stick to that one u gave me ?” The next day, Abbas responded and provided account information for another bank account in Bulgaria.

“In addition to participating in those fraudulent schemes, Abbas and co-conspirator 1 discussed additional BEC frauds and or other fraudulent schemes in 2019. These included schemes where Abbas and co-conspirator 1 sought to fraudulently obtain millions and at times hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars and UK pounds sterling.

“On March 10, 2019, co-conspirator 1 requested a bank account in the U.A.E. from Abbas into which approximately $5m could be deposited from a victim in the United States. Co-conspirator 1 told Abbas that the “job” would be “Monday am USA time,” and after some discussion, wrote, “Brother, I need it now or we will lose our chance pls”.

“Abbas responded by providing bank account information for an account at Commercial Bank International in Dubai, U.A.E.

“On April 30, 2019, co-conspirator 1 told Abbas, “Brother, I have 4 companies in the UK ready to switch bank accounts on file but the account has to be open beneficiary”.

“After some discussion, co-conspirator 1 further stated, “I have a room working for me, we have leads and company contracts. My guy are changing accounts on file for 100m contracts and there payment are once or twice a week 1-5m. I have four ready to switch up,” it was disclosed.

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Nigerian slangs used to code things

Even though Hushpuppi and his allies were running an international fraud network, they constantly deployed some Nigerian street language to code their activities in order to keep it away from prying eyes.

Explaining some of these terms in his affidavit to the US magistrate, Innocenti said, “I know based on my training and experience and from other FBI agents who have experience with these matters that Nigerian-origin subjects sometimes use the words “aza” (sometimes “azar,” “azza,” or “azah”) or “house” to refer to a bank account used to receive proceeds of a fraudulent scheme.

“The word “house” is also sometimes used to refer to a bank itself. I observed that, in other messages with Abbas, co-conspirator 1 used the term “azza,” in addition to using the term “house”. While co-conspirator 1 is not Nigerian, he is known to have communicated with multiple Nigerian-origin co-conspirators.”

Hushpuppi purchased passport of another country to escape justice

The FBI investigation further revealed how Hushpuppi used his ill-gotten wealth to acquire various travel documents for himself including two Nigerian passports and one of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The country’s passport is very well regarded and has excellent reputation and can be issued to persons, who make substantial financial investment in the Caribbean nation.

By acquiring the passport of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hushpuppi was able to travel to various parts of the world to enjoy his ill-gotten wealth without law enforcement agents in these places turning the radar on him.

“On February 24, 2020, received a scan of a Saint Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis passport of Abbas with the passport number ending in 4154. The passport was issued in St. Kitts in February 2020 and also listed Abbas’ birthday as October 11, 1982.

“On February 23, 2020, sent an email containing a photograph of a different Federal Republic of Nigeria passport of Abbas with a passport number ending in 5915, as well as a U.A.E. visa with the same resident ID number ending in 9431.

“The email account also contained photographs or scans of foreign identification documents of approximately 13 persons other than Abbas of different nationalities (including Nigeria, U.K., Kenya, U.A.E., U.S.A., and Pakistan),” the affidavit said.

How Instagram show off gave away Hushpuppi

While indeed what led to his eventual arrest in June was a culmination of months and maybe years of investigation by the FBI and its partners around the world, it is Hushpuppi’s regular show offs on social networking platform, Instagram that gave him away the most as a con artist and a person, who needed to be watched more closely.

Boasting of over two million followers on the popular photo-sharing platform, the 38-year-old Nigerian constantly serenaded his viewers with images of his luxury lifestyle in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he lives at the expensive Palazzo Versace reserved for the super rich.

“In or around December 2019, April 2020, and June 2020, I reviewed the publicly viewable Instagram account of “Hushpuppi” at Based on information available on the profile page, the user of that account made more than 500 posts and had 2.3 million followers as of June 2020.

“This Instagram account included numerous publicly viewable images of a man who appeared to be Abbas, based on comparisons to photographs of Abbas in passports and other identification documents referenced below in paragraphs 16.c to 16.c.iv. Hundreds of these images on the Instagram account showed Abbas in designer clothing and shoes, posing on or in luxury vehicles, wearing high-end watches, or possessing other luxury items, indicating substantial wealth.

“For example, on June 6, 2020, Abbas posted a photograph of a white Rolls Royce Cullinan that included the hashtag “#AllMine”. On February 27, 2019, Abbas posted a photograph of himself in front of two vehicles, one of which he described as his new Rolls Royce Wraith. Based on review of publicly available pricing information, the starting price for each of these vehicles is approximately $330,000. See Also Corruption Why We Arrested Hushpuppi —Dubai Police 0 Comments 3 Weeks Ago

“More than two dozen images showed Abbas in front of, on top of, or inside other luxury vehicles, including multiple models of Bentley, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Rolls Royce.

“On numerous occasions, Abbas posted photos of himself wearing items and/or holding shopping bags from luxury stores such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Channel, Versace, Fendi, and more.

“On multiple dates, including April 17, 2020, June 19, 2019, and July 1, 2019, Abbas posted images of himself inside or in front of private jets. Multiple photographs also appeared to show Abbas posing in locations around the world (such as Dubai and Paris).

“Based on records from Instagram received in June 2020, the Instagram account was subscribed with the name “RAY,” the email address, and the verified phone number +971502818689 (“Phone Number 2”). The Instagram account was created on October 10, 2012,

“The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime, and that he is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Abbas participated in these fraudulent schemes and money laundering in coordination with multiple co-conspirators,” Special Agent, Innocenti, added.

As a result of these crimes, Hushpuppi now faces a maximum jail term of 20 years in US federal prisons if convicted.

According to legal experts, who have weighed in on the matter, it could be tough for the 38-year-old Nigerian to escape maximum punishment especially going by the plethora of evidence against him by the FBI and other partner organisations that investigated his activities.

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EXCLUSIVE: Three Nigerian Soldiers, Seven Boko Haram Fighters Killed During Attack On Borno Community

4 July 2020 - 1:47am

Boko Haram

Three Nigerian soldiers were killed following a gun battle with Boko Haram insurgents in the Damasak area of Borno State on Thursday, sources have told SaharaReporters.

The insurgents were said to have moved into the town in about 13 gun trucks and attempted an attack on the military base. 

The sources said seven Boko Haram fighters were killed during the attack that lasted for two hours.

Also killed was a five-year-old boy, who was hit by a stray bullet.

SaharaReporters gathered that the Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, was in  Damasak on Wednesday to distribute relief materials to displaced persons in the town.

The Boko Haram insurgency has caused over 35,000 deaths since 2009. 

The terror group wants an Islamic caliphate in Northern Nigeria. 

Its activities have, however, been restricted to three North-Eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe due to the efforts of security agencies.

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