Dr Stella Immanuel has been exposed as a fraud after claiming that the discredited hydroxychloroquine drug is a tested cure for COVID-19.
Immanuel and a group of Trump frontline doctors went to Washington D.C. where Immanuel gave an impassioned speech testifying that the drug is efficacious.
She claimed she had treated 350 patients in her clinic also called all doubters scientific fraud.
But that is what she is being called, as a torrent of reactions followed her testimony.
One commenter wondered how she became a COVID-19 doctor when she is licensed to be a pediatrician.
In one of the reactions to her video statement, she was linked to a fraudulent multi-level marketing VoIP phone scam 5 linx. She claimed then to be a millionaire in her promotion of the scam. The owners of 5 linx were indicted and sent to prison.
Meanwhile, Facebook has blocked her account and Youtube has also blocked the video as it violates its rules.
Facebook blocked her for conveying misleading information about COVID-19 cure. In response, Immanuel said:
Stella Immanuel speaks in Washington D.C.
Tuesday, 28 July 2020 18:41
Written by PM News
Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Kemebradikumo Pondei will no longer appear before the House of Representatives panel probing him the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Monday.
Speaking after Prof Pondei was taken to a hospital after he fainted at the probe venue, Gbajabiamila directed the panel to use documents he already tendered to the panel to reach its conclusion.
Prof Pondei, who is the managing director of the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), collapsed while he was being grilled by the panel over allegations bordering on the mismanagement of funds.
Wishing Pondei a quick recovery, the Speaker apologised over the poor condition of the hearing room which was stuffy.
He said: “We wish him well. I have been here barely five minutes and I am already sweating profusely. So, I do understand and apologise to everybody here for the poorly conducive atmosphere. I want to say at this point and make it clear, that it is not an adversarial hearing. It is not even inquisitorial.
“It is a fact-finding mission for the people of Nigeria. Just to make things better and we should handle this as such. No one is under inquisition. The fact must come out and that is why the committee is doing what it is doing.
“Because of these conditions in this hall, we don’t need to hear further from the acting MD because he has already submitted his written report. I think you can use the documents to do the work that needs to be done.
Tuesday, 21 July 2020 21:55
Written by The Nation
Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Saturday reacted to report that the Federal Government and the West African Examination Council, WAEC, have resolved to shift the date of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE.
The Federal Government had refused to partially reopened schools to allow SS 3 students write WASSCE.
But on Friday, the government said it had resolved with WAEC to shift the date of the examination due to rampaging Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Reacting to the development, Atiku said he was elated by the move by the FG and WAEC to shift the date of the examination to September 5, 2020.
He added that he was happy that the government was in consultations with school owners in preparation for reopening of schools.
“I am elated at reports that the Nigerian government and WAEC have resolved to shift the date of examinations to September 5, 2020.
“Equally heartwarming is news that government is in consultation with school owners aimed at reaching specific guidelines by July 29, preparatory to the opening of schools in the country,” Atiku said.
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, had on Friday said the FG and WAEC agreed to move the date of the examination.
He said this was the outcome of a meeting between the Federal Government and officials of WAEC in Nigeria on Monday and that both parties had agreed to further consult with four other countries on new examination date.
The Minister also the government had given school owners in the country up to 29th July 2020 to meet specific guidelines towards the reopening of schools at a date to be announced in due course.
He said the Ministry, having consulted widely, had in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control,(NCDC), the Education in Emergencies Working Group, developed and circulated guidelines for the reopening of schools.
Director, Information, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Ben Bem Goong, in a statement quoted the minister as saying that the school owners were to prepare and comply with the guidelines.
Nwajuiba urged the schools to undertake self-assessment and send feedback to State Ministries of Education, not later than 29th July 2020.
“Thereafter, consultations with relevant stakeholders will be held to review the situation and decide on a specific date for reopening or otherwise,” he said.
Saturday, 18 July 2020 14:00
Written by PM News
The day after his 29th birthday in May, Olalekan Jacob Ponle posted a picture on his Instagram standing next to a bright yellow Lamborghini in Dubai.
"Stop letting people make you feel guilty for the wealth you've acquired," he admonished, wearing designer jewellery and Gucci clothes from head to toe.
A month later, the Nigerian, who goes by the name "mrwoodbery" on Instagram, was arrested by Dubai Police for alleged money laundering and cyber fraud.
The most famous of the dozen Africans nabbed in the dramatic operation was 37-year-old Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, "hushpuppi" or just "hush" as he was known by his 2.4 million Instagram followers.
Police in the emirate say they recovered $40m (£32m) in cash, 13 luxury cars worth $6.8m, 21 computers, 47 smartphones and the addresses of nearly two million alleged victims.
Mr Abbas and Mr Ponle were both extradited to the US and charged in a Chicago court with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and laundering hundreds of millions of dollars obtained from cybercrimes.
The two have not yet been asked to plead and are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
"I think there's probably a certain arrogance when they believe they've been careful about maintaining anonymity in their online identities, but they live high on the hog and get careless on social media," said Glen Donath, a former senior prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office in Washington, DC.
It is a spectacular crash for the two Nigerian men who extensively documented their high-flying lifestyle on social media, raising questions about the sources of their wealth.
They unwittingly provided crucial information about their identities and activities for American detectives with their Instagram and Snapchat posts.
They are accused of impersonating legitimate employees of various US companies in "business email compromise" (BEC) schemes and tricking the recipients into wiring millions of dollars into their own accounts.
On Instagram, hushpuppi said he was a real estate developer and had a category of videos called "Flexing" - social media lingo for showing off. But the "houses" were actually a codeword for bank accounts "used to receive proceeds of a fraudulent scheme", investigators allege.
"Our value system in Nigeria needs to be checked, especially the emphasis we place on wealth, no matter how you got it," the economist Ebuka Emebinah told the BBC from New York.
"It's a culture where people believe that results speak for you. We don't place as much emphasis on the process and this has built up over time."
English Premier League team targeted
In April, hushpuppi renewed his lease for another year at the exclusive Palazzo Versace apartments in Dubai under his real name and phone number.
"Thank you, Lord, for the many blessings in my life. Continue to shame those waiting for me to be shamed," he captioned an Instagram picture of a Rolls-Royce just a fortnight before he was arrested.
"Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime, and 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," the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) said in an affidavit.
In one case, a foreign financial institution allegedly lost $14.7m in a cyber-heist where the money ended up in hushpuppi's bank accounts in multiple countries.
The affidavit also alleged that he was involved in a scheme to steal $124m from an unnamed English Premier League team.
The FBI obtained records from his Google, Apple iCloud, Instagram and Snapchat accounts which allegedly contained banking information, passports, communication with conspirators and records of wire transfers.
About 90% of business email compromise scams originate in West Africa, research from American email security firm Agari shows.
The complaint against Mr Abbas and Mr Ponle describe tactics that resemble what the company calls Vendor Email Compromise tactics, where scammers compromise an email account and study communication between a customer and a vendor.
"The scammer would gather contextual details, as they watched the legitimate email flow," explains Crane Hassold, Agari's senior director of threat research.
"The bad actor would redirect emails to the bad actor's email account, craft emails to the customer that looked like they are coming from the vendor, indicate that the 'vendor' had a new bank account, provide 'updated' bank account information and the money would be gone, at that point."
Mr Ponle, known online as "mrwoodberry", used Mark Kain in emails, according to the FBI.
He is accused of defrauding a Chicago-based company into sending wire transfers of $15.2m. Companies in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York, and California are also said to have fallen victim.
The cash trail allegedly disappeared after his accomplices, called money mules, converted the money into the cryptocurrency bitcoin.
Email scams have become so prevalent globally, and so deeply linked to Nigeria, that the fraudsters have a name in the country: "Yahoo boys".
They try to convince a recipient to wire money to the other side of the world or they go "phishing", stealing a user's identity and personal information for fraud.
The FBI warns against the Nigerian letter or "419" fraud - emails promising large sums of money, called advance fee scams. The "Nigerian prince" trope has become shorthand for deception.
How a 419 and romance scam works
An individual may contact you via e-mail, explaining he needs help to transfer money
Will tell you that political turmoil or a natural disaster makes it difficult for him to make the transfer
Will ask you to give him your financial details so that he can transfer the money into your account
This allows him to access and steal from your account
Be careful what you post on social media and dating sites as scammers use the details to better understand you and target you
A Washington, DC-based attorney, Moe Odele, finds it frustrating as a Nigerian because it ignores the "systemic failures that have led to brilliant Nigerian youths engaging in these scams", in the country and abroad.
"They see it as an easy way out in a country that offers them limited options and, in many cases, no options at all," she says.
"But there are also many brilliant Nigerians are represented in world stages from education to pop culture."
The Buhari Presidency said the ongoing interrogation of the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, is to clear him of weighty allegations levelled against him.
A presidency source, who preferred not to be named, told State House correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday that the probe of the anti-graft boss was an affirmation that nobody under “the present administration is above scrutiny’’.
The source, who could neither confirm nor deny the suspension of Magu as reported by traditional and social media outfits, maintained that the investigation of the EFCC boss was to reinforce the Buhari administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
He affirmed that the holder of an elevated office such as the chairman of the EFCC must be above suspicion.
According to the source, the Buhari administration would not prejudge anyone, but it can be counted on to uphold justice and fairness.
The source said: “The panel investigating allegations against the Acting EFCC Chairman had been sitting for some weeks now.
“In consonance with the principle of fairness and justice, it was needful that the Acting Chairman be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations, which are weighty in nature.
“Under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, nobody is above scrutiny. The investigation is to reinforce transparency and accountability, rather than to vitiate it.
“Accountability for our actions or inactions is an inalienable part of democracy. In such an elevated position as that of EFCC Chairman, the holder of the position must be above suspicion.
“There’s no prejudgment — absolutely none. The Buhari administration can be counted on to uphold fairness and justice at all times.”
A presidency source had earlier confirmed that Magu was on Tuesday afternoon suspended from office following the ongoing investigation by the presidential panel, headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami.
Wednesday, 08 July 2020 02:54
Written by PM News
‘Ray Hushpuppi’ is alleged to have laundered hundreds of millions of dollars
A Nigerian social media star, known for flaunting a luxurious lifestyle to millions of his followers on Instagram, has appeared in court in the US charged with running a global fraud operation, including targeting a Premier League football club, a bank and a US law firm.
Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a 37-year-old known as “Ray Hushpuppi” who claims to run a real estate business, is alleged to have conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said.
A months-long investigation by the FBI led to his arrest last month by authorities in the United Arab Emirates, where Abbas was a resident.
In a video published online by Dubai police, officers working in “Operation Fox Hunt 2” stormed into Hushpuppi’s home as he slept and arrested him, in one of a series of coordinated raids against him and other co-conspirators.
FBI special agents obtained custody of Abbas and took him to Chicago, where he appeared in court on Friday morning, the DoJ said.
In hundreds of Instagram posts in recent years, the popular Nigerian national has showcased an opulent lifestyle to more than 2.4 million followers, posing in designer clothes and watches, luxury cars and chartered jets. Investigators were able to track his movements by following his posts, the DoJ said.
“The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime,” the agency said.
Cyber-fraud has been increasingly targeted by Nigerian authorities in recent years yet remains a major challenge.
Abbas is prominent among a cohort of famous social media stars celebrated in Nigerian popular culture despite being long suspected of links to fraud networks.
The networks, like many criminal fraud groups around the world, have prolifically used business email compromise or BEC schemes, deceiving companies into making money transfers.
Abbas and others “conspired to launder £100m (approximately $124m) from an English Premier League soccer club,” the Department of Justice said. The club was not named by the agency.
Abbas is also accused of laundering $14.7m stolen in a cyber-heist from an unnamed bank in February 2019, sending the money to bank accounts around the world.
If convicted Abbas could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Following his arrest in Dubai, Nigeria’s anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said Abbas was its “most wanted hacker” and was under investigation in Nigeria.
The National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said that Victor Giadom, the pretender to the chairmanship is not competent to summon the APC NEC meeting.
Mr. Hilliard Etta, National Vice-Chairman (South south) of APC who is standing in for acting National Chairman Senator Abiola Ajimobi said Giadom, lacks the legal and the constitutional backing to call a NEC meeting of the party.
He added that the membership of Chief Giadom has been suspended by a competent court of jurisdiction in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and as such, he is no longer of the APC NWC.
But Etta also condemned reference to Ajimobi-led NWC as a faction of the NWC. “It is not right to refer to 17 members, with 15 of them physically present and two who met with us virtually as a faction. This is the National Working Committee of the APC.
“When you call him (Giadom) factional acting Chairman, we wonder why,” Eta said
Further dismissing attempt by Giadom to convene a NEC meeting of the party, Etta noted that Article 25B(i and ii) of the APC Constitution (2014 as amended) gives the conditions precedent to summoning a NEC meeting.
He cited the articles as:
“The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-thirds of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than fourteen days’ notice is given for the meeting to be summoned.
“Without prejudice to Article 25(B)(i) of this Constitution, the National Working Committee may summon an emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven days’ notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend”.
Giadom had before the press conference addressed by Etta on Tuesday issued a notice of NEC meeting for Wednesday at 12pm at an unnamed venue.
He claimed that he has the support of President Buhari for the meeting which will be held online and and at the presidential villa.
The notice by Giadom reads: “I Chief Victor Giadom, having been duly authorised by Court Order to Act as national chairman of our great party and to preside over all meetings of the NWC and NEC hereby and with the consent of the President Muhammadu Buhari, (who is the leader of our Party) reconvene the NEC meeting that was earlier billed to hold on the 17th of March, 2020, but was postponed.
“The reconvened meeting shall hold on Thursday, June 25th, 2020.
“In keeping strictly to the COVID-19 Guidelines, the postponed NEC shall hold by virtual means.
“The codes would be sent by text to the phone numbers of all NEC members”.
Wednesday, 24 June 2020 12:07
Written by PM News
The Nigeria Police has arrested a 54-year old man, Chukwudi Odo, for allegedly luring a 40-year old Filipino woman, Irene Panas, to Nigeria through Facebook and keeping her incommunicado for months.
She was allegedly sexually molested and money extorted from her while she was held.
Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who paraded Odo alongside other suspects at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters in Abuja on Monday, said the woman who flew all the way from Manila in the Philippines to Abuja, came in an apparent unsuccessful search for love.
He said the woman, who was held in Enugu State, was successfully rescued by operatives of the State Police Command at Neke-Uno Village, Enugu East local government area, following a tip off.
“The Philippino was rescued six (6) months after she arrived Nigeria from the Philippines in an apparent but unsuccessful search for love.
“Irene Torento Panas, an Accountant by profession and a native of Manila in the Philippines arrived Nigeria in November 22, 2019 on a visit to one Chukwudi Odo ‘m’ 54yrs of Enugu Ezike in Igbo-Eze North LGA of Enugu State whom she met on Facebook on 8th March, 2017.
“The visit which was originally intended to be for 10-days however turned out to be a full case of abduction following Chukwudi Odo’s refusal to allow her return to her country against her will. She was held incommunicado by the suspect, Chukwudi Odo.
“The victim who was critically ill at the time of rescue was successfully rescued by police operatives attached to the Unity Police Division, Ibegwa Nike, Enugu State led by the DPO, SP Siga Malgwi, following a tip-off from some members of the public in the area. She was immediately taken to the hospital for medical attention where she was admitted from 5th June to 16th June.
“Preliminary investigations reveal that the suspect, Chukwudi Odo deliberately lured the victim into the country with the aim of confining her, sexually abusing, and extorting money from her.”
The IGP, while enjoining members of the public to tread cautiously in their use of the social media, warns against any abuse of the cyberspace noting that such criminal acts will not go undetected and unpunished by the Force.
Meanwhile, the Force is already in contact with the Embassy of the Philippines in Nigeria so as to reunite the victim with members of her family,” Mba said.
Odo confirmed that he met the woman on Facebook in 2017 and they became friends and were keeping in touch on the social media platform until he invited her to Nigeria last year.
Odo said he was planning to marry the woman.
He said he has been married before but was separated from his wife.
He said he doesn’t have children.
“I met Irene on Facebook on March 8, 2017. I added her and sent her a message and she responded and we became friends on Facebook. Then we became familiar with each other and was in touch with each other. From 2017 to 2019. In 2017 we had agreed to marry each other. And she was working in Dubai at that time. And then she told me to have patience with her until 2019. Then she would come and live with me in Nigeria or I have an option of coming to live with her in Philippines.
“I told her for now I would not leave to another country and then I told her I was financially handicapped and being that we are in touch with one another despite the distance that we should try and save some to sustain,” he said
According to PM News:
Filipina, Irene Torento Panas, who arrived Nigeria on 22 November 2019 to meet her Facebook lover, ended up a victim of abduction for for more than six months.
Irene’s lover Chukwudi Odo turned out to be a monster.
He turned her into a sex slave, squeezed her for money and locked her up in his home in Neke-Uno Village, Enugu East LGA, making her incommunicado.
A romantic journey that was to last 10 days, became more than a six-month nightmare for the Filipino.
Her ordeal ended 5 June, when the police rescued her and arrested her abductor and tormentor.
She was critically ill, the police said today.
“She was immediately taken to the hospital for medical attention where she was admitted from 5th June to 16th June”.
In a statement today, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, cautioned users of the social media, using 40 year-old Irene’s case as a lesson.
Here is Irene’s story as told by the police:
“Irene Torento Panas, an accountant by profession and a native of Manila in the Philippines arrived Nigeria in November 22, 2019 on a visit to one Chukwudi Odo ‘m’ 54years of Enugu Ezike in Igbo-Eze North LGA of Enugu State whom she met on Facebook on 8th March, 2017.
“The visit which was originally intended to be for 10-days however turned out to be a full case of abduction following Chukwudi Odo’s refusal to allow her return to her country against her will.
“She was held incommunicado by the suspect, Chukwudi Odo.
“The victim who was critically ill at the time of rescue.
“She was successfully rescued by police operatives attached to the Unity Police Division, Ibegwa Nike, Enugu State led by the DPO, SP Siga Malgwi, following a tip-off from some members of the public in the area.
“She was immediately taken to the hospital for medical attention where she was admitted from 5th June to 16th June.
“Preliminary investigations reveal that the suspect, Chukwudi Odo deliberately lured the victim into the country with the aim of confining her, sexually abusing, and extorting money from her.
“The IGP, while enjoining members of the public to tread cautiously in their use of the social media, warns against any abuse of the cyberspace noting that such criminal acts will not go undetected and unpunished by the Force.
“Meanwhile, the Force is already in contact with the Embassy of the Philippines in Nigeria so as to reunite the victim with members of her family”.