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End of the road for gang of suspected kidnappers in Kogi

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End of the road for gang of suspected kidnappers in Kogi

It was and end of the road for a gang of four kidnappers who specializes in use of military uniform to decieve people and abduct them as they

were arrested and paraded today by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Kogi.

The Federal Government in collaboration with Kogi State Government had upped the ante in strategies to end incessant kidnapping of high profile individuals including politicians, judges and ordinary citizens in recent weeks.

There is the presence of special millitary force deployed by the Chief of Army Staff, special police strike force deployed by the Inspector-General of policealong with Helicopter for aeriel surveillance which have summed up to bring about some level of sanity.
State Director of the Service, Mr Joseph I. Okpo, who paraded the suspects in Lokoja, disclosed that his men operating on intelligence tip off closed in on the deadly gang along Lokoja-KotonKarfe-Abuja road last week.

The paraded suspects include Haruna Saleh, Kabiru Shu’aibu, Abdulmumuni Adamu and Tukur Shu’aibu.

Okpo explained further that the suspects were coming from Kaduna State and were to link up with some other gangs members at Obajana from where they planned to launch their dastadly acts in the state.

He said the suspects who were dressed in full military combatant uniforms, confessed to be part of a six-man gang that have coordinated several kidnapping and robbery operations in different parts of Kogi, Niger, Kaduna and Plateau states.

According, “The geographical location of Kogi plus the fact that it is bordered by about a dozen States has made it a hotbed for such criminal activities.

“In recent times Kidnap gang have been operating in uniforms; military and police uniforms. We arrested a gand of four though they are supposed to be six two went somewhere in furtherance of their evil intention to join thwm later.”

“They confessed that between the time of ramadan and the day they were arrested they had engaged in six different operations which include, one at Minna Kotonkarfe road Niger State, Mararaba Jos Road in Kaduna State, two different operations at different times along Malunfashi road zaria Kaduna State and two operations arounf Jaji Zaria road all in full military uniforms.”

He said his men were still investigating to ascertain the location and size of their catche of weapons we are investigating that aspect and they are cooperating fully.

 “They were arrested with small weapons which they carry on their body because actually they were coming from Kaduna axis to link up with some people in Obajana from where they would now plan operations in Kogi State.”
He indicated that from both human and signal intelligence they have discovered that the disproportionate percentage of kidnappers operating in Kogi State come from outside.

He added that the kidnappers exploit the physical geography and land forms as well as the route structure in Kogi State.

“We already know is the only State that borders wirh Nine other States and FCT, Kogi State leads you to everywhere in this country. 

“The route structure is such that it is considerably difficult to police, they take advantage of this. However this command will continue to cooperate and liase with oother security agencies and we will deploy our core competence which are both intelligence and technology to address these security challenges in Kogi State.”

He called on the State Government to support and partner with security agencies in that regard.
The DSS boss pointed out that prior to their arrest, other two members of the criminal gang had alighted at Gwagwalada to pick up some of their weapons for their operations, adding his men are still on their trail and would soon close in on them.
“They (suspects) are cooperating with investigation and they have given very good lead as for their source of uniforms of which we are already liaising with our colleagues from the appropriate security agency to get to the source of their procurement of the uniforms”, he said.
He said amongst the items recovered from the suspects include some fire arms, cartridges, 14 handsets, locally made pistol, knives and touch lights, adding that efforts are on to recover the main cache of weapons used for their operations.
The DSS boss promissed that the Service will continue to deploy both intelligence and technology to get rid of kidnappers and other criminal elements out of the state.
He said over 10 suspected kidnappers arrested by the service in the last six weeks in the State have since been charged to court addong that the current suspected would soon join the fray.
The gang leader, Abdulmumini Adamu told journalists they have been involved in several criminal operations and appealed for mercy, adding that they got the military uniforms from one bike rider in Kaduna

He confessed to having been behind many kidnapping escapades in Kaduna, Zaria,Niger.

The gang members who gave their state of origin to be Kaduna said the terrain was a very familiar one as a member told the Guardian he had lived in Obajana for six years before now.

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Senate panel unravels N443bn subsidy scam by NNPC

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Senate panel unravels N443bn subsidy scam by NNPC

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday uncovered a scam involving N443B by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which allegedly lavished the money on oil subsidy in 2016 without budgetary provision.

The panel, therefore, summoned the leadership of the nations oil firm to brief it on the expenditure.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, issued the summon yesterday when the panel considered a 2016 report by the Auditor-General for the Federation.

“During the examination of subsidy records provided by Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), it was observed that total subsidy paid during the year 2016 was N443,940,559,974.80,” the audit report.

The breakdown of the fund showed that N403.3 billion was paid to oil marketers, while interest & foreign exchange differential gulped N40.6 billion, totalling N443.9 billion.

The fund, according to the report, was spent in 2016 without budgetary provision and was deducted at source.

“This reflects continuing weaknesses in the budgeting process adopted by the Federal Government,” it added.

Responding to the audit report, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, told the committee that the NNPC would be in better position to explain the extra-budgetary spending.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide summoned the NNPC Group Managing Director, Melee Kyari to give explanation on the expenditure.

In a related development, the committee also summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria over alleged disappearance of $9.5 million interest from Investment Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude.

The invitation of the Apex Bank in the country was sequel to the 2016 Auditor General Report which accused the Central Bank of Nigeria failing to present documents supporting the investment for verification.

The Senate observed no letter supporting the investment of the fund and the actual amount invested were not made known.

The Query reads, “During the examination of transfers to Forefinger Excess PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Accounts it was observed that during the year 2016, amount totalling $6 million and $3.5 million were credited to the Foreign PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account as interest on Funds investments.

“The authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests totaling $9.5 in deposit account, the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest were no made available for audit verification.

“This observation had also been a subject of my reprts since 2017 without any positive response from Central Bank of Nigeria

“Records made available for audit further revealed that the balance in the foreign PPT/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude a accounts as at 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD, 251,826 respectively

“This suggest the foreign PPT/Royalthy was depleted before the year end.

“The Accountant General has been requested to provide the authority for the funds invested, tenor of the investment, rate unrest payable, certficate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide however asked the Accountant General of the Federation, to respond to issue raised in the Auditor General Report.

The Accountant General was unable to present any document on the issue raised by the Committee.

He further told the lawmakers that the Office of Accountant General has sent a letter to the Central Bank of Nigeria for clarification on the issue raised.

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

By Aminci Audu

The minister of communications and Digital Economy Isah Ali Pantami has declared that Nigeria is ready for 5th Generation Network (5G) as long as the major challenges are taken care of.

Pantami spoke yesterday, at a one day investigative hearing on the present status of 5G network organised by the joint Senate committee on communication, sScience and Technology, ICT and Cybercrime and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.

The minister in his presentation allayed the fear among Nigerians over the planned deployment of the network saying the Federal Government has taken all necessary precautions by investigating through research and trial on all issues raised.

He said “The position is that we are almost at the final stage. So now, Nigeria is ready for 5G as long as we address the major challenges.”

“We have not gotten there, wether we will deploy 5G but we are on track conducting research, investigations, engaging stakeholders and definitely if all issues are addressed, the executive will support the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.”

He noted that so far no negative impacts has been established from the research and trial carried both locally and at the international level. 

On the speculation that the 5G network escalated the COVID-19 he said there is no link between 5G and COVID-19.
“And there is no relationship between 5G and any desease. The only issue being raised usually is about radiation.  But people don’t realise that the radiation of 4G is more harmful than that of 5G. 
“The radiation of microwave oven at home is more harmful than that of the 5G. The radiation of even the smart phone itself is even more harmful that that of 5G

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

The South-south Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has faulted allegations of wrong doing leveled against the Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva over the choice of Saipem, an Italian firm to handle the Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract.

SELF in a statement argued that the deal also endorsed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Board Engr. Simbi Wabote was in the best interest of the country.

SELF position was in response to an online publication which accused the duo of bribe taking running into millions of naira in the deal.

SELF warned the publisher of the medium , Mr Jackson Ude, to desist from blackmailing leaders of the South-south extraction in a bid to score political goals.

Urging the Publisher of the online medium to show proof his allegation, SELF noted: “We strongly condemn the allegation leveled by Pointblanknews.com and its sponsors, this is highly condemnable and viewed as a sponsored plot to instigate hate against the Minister and derail his concentrations.

“This is ridiculous and belittling of Jackson Ude, the face behind this blackmail for being petty to the ground level for publishing tissues of lies about the persons of Timipre Sylva and Simbi Wabote.

“Nigerians should not believe this and throw it into the dust bin. It’s incumbent on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the positive drive of Minister and collaborate with him, towards the actualization of the onerous task at stake.

“Although Jackson Ude and his medium Pointblanknews.com are criminally known for thriving in the business of blackmail, especially against the officeholders from the Niger Delta region. But this forum will henceforth resist this criminality by deploying all known instrumental of law to fight the faces behind these tissues of lies.

“This Forum is using this medium to warn the likes of Jackson Ude to stay away from Nigeria and the South-south most especially if they are not ready to turn a new leaf because the business of blackmail has long become outdated and unpopular.”

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