Thursday, 24 September 2020
News & Stories

News & Stories (1924)

SAN FRANCISCO — TikTok, the short-form viral video app, asked for a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration on Wednesday, a legal maneuver aimed at protecting the company’s service in the United States against a potential ban.

The request, filed in the District Court for the District of Columbia, is in response to Commerce Department rules that Apple and Google remove the TikTok app from their respective app stores by Sunday for American users, and cease to provide further software updates to people who have downloaded the app in the United States.

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese internet company ByteDance, has lately been working to complete a deal that would keep it operating in the United States. In August, President Trump signed executive orders effectively mandating that ByteDance sell TikTok’s U.S. operations or risk halting its transactions in the country. The White House has positioned TikTok’s American presence as a national security threat.

ByteDance and government officials have worked to find a resolution for months. On Saturday, Mr. Trump said he had “blessed” a proposed deal between TikTok, Oracle and Walmart, under which the two American companies would get a 20 percent stake in a new entity called TikTok Global.

But Mr. Trump on Monday said he would not approve any deal where ByteDance continued to own a stake in the app. TikTok has said that ByteDance would hold an 80 percent stake in the new TikTok Global until the app goes public in about a year. Oracle has said that ByteDance would not own any of the app outright; instead, its investors would receive shares in TikTok and hold a direct stake in the app.

It remains to be seen whether the Chinese government will take steps to block any deal. Last month, Beijing announced new export restrictions that appeared to forbid the sale of TikTok’s valuable algorithm without a license, making an outright acquisition of the app by an American company less viable.

On Wednesday, China Daily, the official English language newspaper of the Chinese government, called the TikTok deal “dirty and unfair and based on bullying and extortion.”

In its filing on Wednesday, TikTok requested that an expedited hearing for a preliminary injunction occur before the Sunday deadline. The company said it had “made extraordinary efforts to try to satisfy the government’s ever-shifting demands and purported national security concerns.”

“There is simply no genuine emergency here that would justify the government’s precipitous actions,” TikTok said in its filing. “And there is no plausible reason to insist the prohibitions be enforced immediately.”

The Justice Department declined to comment.

TikTok said that a ban of its service would do irreparable damage to the company if allowed to proceed. TikTok said that it was adding more than 400,000 new users a day before July 1, when rumors of a potential ban began to circulate, and that its growth would be stymied if people were cut off from the service.

David McCabe contributed reporting from Washington and Raymond Zhong from Taipei, Taiwan.

Posted On Thursday, 24 September 2020 01:29 Written by

By Kazeem Ugbodaga/ PM NEWS

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday splashed 51 Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs, and eight houses on judges of the State High Court.

The governor, after handing over the vehicles, said efforts to build a strong and formidable judiciary in Lagos State was on course in Lagos.

He said no arm of government in the State would be deprived of requisite tools to perform its statutory duties, reiterating his administration’s continued support to the judiciary and raise the bar of legal practice in line with global standards.

It would be second time in a year Gov Sanwo-Olu would be giving out official vehicles to members of the State’s judiciary. Last October, the Governor gave out 50 official cars to magistrates to aid their duties.

At the event which held at the Ikeja High Court, the governor said there would be no good governance and development without a formidable judiciary, re-assuring members of the judicial arm that the executive arm under his leadership would be a dependable partner.

“In handing over these 51 vehicles to our judges and eight houses to the newly appointed judges of the state High Court, we are ensuring that our judiciary has all it takes to seamlessly perform its duties as the bastion of the common man. We cherish the work you do; we thank you for justifying the confidence reposed in you; we appreciate you for being independent umpires even when the stakes are high.

READ ALSO Lagos backs down on Okada, tricycle menace

“The judiciary is the bedrock of our society, and our judges need all the support they can get to effectively perform their duties. In line with this, we have devised a thorough process to overhaul our judiciary in such a way that justice is dispensed without fear or favour.

“There will be no dividends of democracy for the people if there is no active, independent, impartial and incorruptible judiciary. We will continue to provide the necessary training and infrastructure required to ensure that the integrity of the judiciary is not eroded,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu, who toured the Ikeja and Igbosere High Courts last Saturday for facility inspection, disclosed that he had already approved a complete renovation on decrepit court rooms in the two courts.

He said his government would not evade its responsibility to create conducive ambience for the judicial staff to engage their duties.

READ ALSO Sanwo-Olu signs 2020 budget of N1.168trn into law

Sanwo-Olu said the support being extended towards the judiciary must be reciprocated, charging the judicial officers to deepen the rule of law and accelerate justice administration without compromising its independence.

“I urge members of the judiciary to co-operate with the executive arm by and show highest form of dedication to your statutory duties. We must not forget the important role the judiciary has to play in the building a just and unified society. Our success as a government is highly dependent on our ability to entrench the rule of law through continuous collaboration with the judiciary.

Sanwo-Olu in one of the vehicles

“In maintaining your independence, our judges must not forget that their contribution is pertinent to the achievement of our administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda. I am confident that under the Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba-led judiciary, our people are assured of innovative judicial reforms in our state,” he added.

The Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, described the event as “double grace” for members of the judicial arm in the State, noting that the magnanimity of the Sanwo-Olu-led executive was unprecedented in the annals of Lagos’ judiciary.

READ ALSO FG, LASG ban barge operations along Marina Coastline

He said: “The kind of support which the judiciary has received from the Government of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is unprecedented and today’s event is historic because it is a double grace for our members. It is the first time a Governor will be giving out vehicles to judges and accompanying the gesture with gift of houses.

“It takes a man with a large heart to be committed to satisfying the needs of an arm of Government he is not leading. Since inception of his administration, Mr. Governor has been swift in responding to our requests and this gesture shows he is committed to improving administration of justice in Lagos.”

The highpoint was the handing over of the title documents and keys to the houses to the beneficiary justices. The Governor also cut ribbon to officially deliver the 51 SUVs to the beneficiary judges.

Posted On Wednesday, 23 September 2020 17:53 Written by

The Police in Ogun state have arrested a traditional ruler, Rasheed Sholabi for defiling his 15 -year- old daughter, for four years.

Sholabi, who is the head of Oose Agbedu Ajibawo in Owode-Yewa area, was arrested after the daughter reported him at the Owode Egbado Police station.

The daughter stunned the police when she disclosed the man had been having sex with her since she was 11 years-old.

She added that the frequent sexual assault has affected her private part, making it difficult to control her urine.

The girl also told the police she lost her mother when she was two years old.

Ogun Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy superintendent Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the Divisional Police Officer for Owode-Egbado, Olabisi Elebute, led detectives to the traditional ruler’s Palace and arrested him.

The Baale, who initially denied the allegation, fainted later when confronted by the victim and one of his ex-wives, who corroborated the victim’s ordeal.

His ex-wife informed the police she caught him while in the act, explaining it was why she walked out of the union.

The victim has been taken to the Stella Obasanjo Motherless Babies Home, Abeokuta, for safety.

Commissioner of Police Edward Ajogun has ordered the transfer of the suspect to anti-human trafficking and child labour unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) for further investigation and diligent prosecution.—The Nation

Posted On Friday, 07 August 2020 16:14 Written by

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Tuesday, alleged that the suspended management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), misappropriated N48 billion.

Ngige made the allegation at an investigative hearing at the House of Representatives on the alleged illegal suspension of the management of the agency.

The minister claimed that the management withdrew the amount through fake contracts, proceeds of which were recycled into private pockets.

According to him, there were also irregular payments of salaries and allowances of N10 million not in line with the condition of service of the organisation or any reference to the Office of the Minister.

He also claimed that the suspended management went on leave abroad in first class with their spouses and paid themselves N9.8 million each without the approval of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Ngige further accused them of engaging the services of legal practitioners at the sum of N180 million without the approval of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

He added that they also spent N146 million on vehicles, and on May 31, 2020, awarded 30 contracts worth N332 billion, splinted into smaller components of N49 million.

According to the minister, the splitting of the contracts was to enable the transactions fall within the threshold allowed by law for the management to award.

Ngige stated that the suspended NSITF management spent N570 million on health insurance outside the National Health Insurance Scheme.

He added that since 2012, the NSITF had not submitted records of its audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, in line with the extant laws.

The minister noted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had since dragged the NSITF management to court on corruption charges.

On the alleged illegal suspension of the NSITF management, Ngige said that their suspension was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, following his recommendation.

However, when asked to tender documentary evidence of the presidential approval, the minister only showed a letter to the lawmakers, but refused to tender it as evidence.

Ngige told the lawmakers that he would consult with the President before tendering the letter approving the suspension.

Posted On Tuesday, 21 July 2020 23:08 Written by

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt/ PM NEWS

Nkechi Mercy Ikogwe, a Port Harcourt lady, squandered on sports betting N139.7 million of the money she fraudulently collected from some Nigerians and then she paid N1 million as tithe to her church.

Her fraud is now the subject of a court action filed by the EFCC against her at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.

Ikogwe was on Monday arraigned before Justice E.A. Obile for a total fraud of N179 million.

She was charged with two companies, used as vehicles for the fraud, Elites Finance Investment Limited and Efinc Global Investment Limited,

The EFCC arraigned them on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

The woman was said to have used the sum of N139,704,097 of the N179 million to play sports betting and also paid a tithe of N1 million to a church in Port Harcourt.

One of the counts against the defendants read: “That you Nkechi Mercy Ikogwe, Elites Finance Investment Limited and Efinc Global Investment Limited sometime in 2019 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N179,326,386.62 by inducing unsuspecting members of the public to invest with your companies:

Elites Finance Investment Limited and Efinc Global Investment Limited, assuring them under a false pretence of making 15% interest on all investment made, a representation you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”

Justice Obile ordered that the 1st defendant, Ikogwe, be remanded in prosecution’s custody and adjourned the matter till October 19 for determination of the bail application.

Mercy ran into trouble when the commission received a report about the defendant and two others, accusing them of inducing their victims into participating in a fraudulent investment scheme with a fake promise of 15 per cent return on investment.

Posted On Tuesday, 21 July 2020 21:48 Written by

An explosion rocks a village in Katsina, Northwest Nigeria on Saturday with seven people reportedly killed.

The affected area is Yardagi village in Zango Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The Improvised Explosive Device was said to have been planted on a farmland near the community.

According to The Punch, the victims died on the spot.

It was reported that the victims went to get grasses for their animals at the farm when they reportedly stepped on the device.

Five other people were said to have sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

The incident was confirmed by Spokesman for Katsina State Police Command, SP Gambo Isah.

He said the command would issue a statement on the incident later.

Posted On Saturday, 18 July 2020 15:27 Written by

By Tony Akowe/Jide Orintunsin, Abuja/Mike Odiegwu, Rose Nwisi, Port Harcourt/Bassey Anthony, Uyo/ THE NATION

  • Akpabio wanted me to award contract for things available in store’
  • Court restrains police, others from arresting ex-Acting MD
  • Rivers CP tells Wike to release her to police
  • Scholarship budget diverted into private pockets – Witness
  • Reps summon Akpabio, Acting MD Pondei

The immediate past Acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joy Nuniel, told on Friday of how pressure was mounted on her to give out Christmas palliatives last year to the tune of N10 billion.

Had she yielded, each of the states under the operations of the commission would have collected a minimum of N1 billion.

Her refusal to play ball, she told the House of Representatives on Niger Delta, was one of the ‘sins’ that cost her the appointment.

The committee is investigating financial dealings of the commission.

For the umpteenth time, Nunieh accused Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio of upsetting a lot of things at the commission.

The House Committee summoned the minister to appear before it on Monday to come and respond to the allegations against him.

Akpabio himself threatened to sue Nunieh for defamation after the former NDDC boss alleged that the minister made sexual overtures to her which she rejected.

Akpabio said: “There is no scintilla of truth in all the allegations peddled around by Ms. Nunieh. They are simply false!”

Ruling on Friday on an ex parte application filed by Nunieh, a Rivers State High Court granted an interim injunction restraining the police from inviting or arresting her, pending the determination of the substantive case before the court.

The ruling came a few hours after the police in the state said that the deployment of policemen to Nunieh’s Port Harcourt residence on Thursday was official and was known to the Inspector General .

They asked Governor Nyesom Wike who ‘rescued’ her from the police on the day to release her ostensibly for interrogation.

Testifying before the House of Reps on the Zoom platform on Friday, Nunieh said all the talk about forensic audit in the NDDC was false as no such audit has started despite alleged huge payments made for the purpose.

She said: “Two days after our inauguration, at the same Le Meridien Hotel (Port Harcourt), that was his first meeting with the IMC (Interim Management Committee), namely Dr. Cairo Ojougboh; the late EDFA, which I will not be talking about much, let me respect his soul, and the only other staff of the NDDC that was there, one Mr. Etiebet, who later became the head of the procurement unit.

“At that meeting, he (Akpabio) reminded me about the dollars. Secondly, he told me that he wanted me to send some staff away; that they were the ones that spoilt Mrs Akwagaga (Enyia) who refused to sign and make certain payments and that he did not want them to spoil me.

“He said the first thing I would do was to write a letter to him – he gave me the draft; that I should put it on my letterhead. In that letter, I was supposed to write that Senator (Peter) Nwaboshi owned the 98 companies. I never ever told the world that Senator Nwaboshi was the senator that was collecting the N1 billion.

“The issue of the N1 billion was different. I said how can an individual be collecting N1 billion every month? The case of Senator Nwaboshi is the case of the 98 companies which I was supposed to write about.

“The other thing was for employment. Of course, he had collected CVs from all gangs of godfathers. I also said I’m from the Niger Delta, and before I came, there was the issue of employment. The Federal Character Commission was giving NDDC the approval for employment, but that was stopped because of the scandal. I want to tell the world that I never did any employment. I never gave out a single contract from NDDC.”

On allegations of corruption against her, she said: “I am not corrupt. No contractor can sit anywhere and say they gave me N10. And I can say before the world that I’m the most unpopular MD ever that came to NDDC.

“The money of the people of Niger Delta is blood money; I refused to touch it. Even when my friends were contractors, even when they claimed that they were owed monies, my instruction was that everybody should go and finish their jobs.

“Everybody saw contractors go back to sites when I was MD. I was privileged to see all the videos. For one job, five people would send me videos of completion – the same job, the same video – and I would just laugh.”

The former NDDC boss blamed the problems in the NDDC on three groups.

Her words: “One group is the management, which is the IMC, and everybody is against the IMC. The second group is the staff of NDDC. And the third group, which I will start with, is the people of Niger Delta.

“This story that we are all calling embarrassing stories cannot be complete without saying that the people of the Niger Delta region are responsible for what has happened – the frauds and corruption that have taken place in the NDDC. I’m speaking from personal experience.

“As soon as an MD is appointed, people begin to rejoice and celebrate, not because they want you to do the right thing; not because they are interested in the development of the Niger Delta; but because they believe that it is now their turn to eat of the national cake.

“They are not interested in anything. All they want is like palliatives. That is why for those who did not harden their heart like me, they fell for this palliative matter and they started giving out.

“But because I was strong; because I always remembered the case of Gani Fawehinmi. Fawehinmi fought for the masses of this country. When he said he wanted to contest an election, they were not there. I remember that I needed to stand properly.

“The second class is the staff. The staff of NDDC are from the Niger Delta region. The contracts that have been awarded are for their communities.

“When I was appointed, I went from office to office; I sat in their offices and I told them, ‘You people are responsible for what has gone wrong in the zone.’

“All the staff have in their wards or local government areas projects. If every staff of NDDC takes up a project in their local government area and ensures that they are well done, we will not have these issues.

“Thirdly, the IMC. For the first time in the history of NDDC, no palliatives were given. I did not give out Christmas palliatives. I was under pressure to bring N10bn – N1bn per state – but I refused. The youths were complaining that things were difficult and I said ‘the day I give you this money, you know I have started collecting your money.’

“I never gave any Christmas bonus or palliative during my time. For the first time in the history of NDDC, NDDC worked throughout December. There was no break except on public holidays.”

When asked to speak on the forensic audit by the Chairman of the Committee, for which the IMC was constituted, Nunieh said: “What I met was not exactly what is going on. Akpabio insisted that he would supervise the forensic audit.

“I reminded and showed him the letter that the President had written, and told him that there was no way we could spend the money that was in our budget.

“In his memo to the President, he requested that the money for the funding of the forensic audit be gotten from the Service Wide Vote. Mr. President, in his wisdom, refused that request and in writing said that it should be from NDDC’s appropriation, making NDDC the producing entity.

“When I was there, I was the one who prepared all the documents for the forensic audit and sent in the applications.

“The first thing was for us to go through the procurement of the lead consultant. Many people have clearly misunderstood the procurement of the lead consultant.

“But because I did not want any illegality and the forensic audit to be discredited, I, with the help of big consultants, came up with the terms of reference for these auditors. The lead consultant that everyone is talking about is not the forensic auditor.

“When all the forensic auditors have gotten all the data and reports from fields, they will put them together and give to the lead consultant who will put them together in a report. That is just his role. He is not the one to carry out any forensic audit.”

She claimed that none of the nine companies touted as having been saddled with carrying out the forensic audit has any such experience.

She said what should have been done was to write to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to furnish the commission with a list of registered and reputable auditing firms that have carried out forensic audit in the country before.

She said that the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs misled Nigerians when he said that the National Assembly prompted her to move the forensic audit.

She denied reports that N642 million was paid by the IMC for media support for the forensic audit, saying while there as the MD, the only payment she made was directly to the media houses.

She claimed that she never paid any money for forensic audit since there was none going on and since the auditors had not been appointed because the appropriation for the audit had not been passed.

She also alleged that Senator Akpabio wanted her to award contracts for the supply of medical equipment which the commission already had in its store but she refused to oblige him, rather requesting him to pass on the instruction in writing.

On the way forward, she asked that the NDDC be taken away from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and put under the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Scholarship budget diverted into private accounts of NDDC officials – Witness

Also testifying before the committee yesterday, the Head of Research at the Act for Positive Transformation Initiative (APTI), Johnson Kolawole, alleged that some NDDC officials diverted monies meant for students under scholarship into their personal accounts.

”They (students) kept crying that their dues are not being paid and they are being locked out by their schools,” Kolawole said.

He claimed that while the students were complaining of the non-payment of the scholarship monies, “the NDDC team were busy paying themselves monies meant for students.”

He said some of the affected students had reached out to him to complain about their plight.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the students “as fast as possible, even if it means bending the rules.”

He also said that the IMC had expended over N80 billion between January 2020 and May 2020 as against the N22 billion repeatedly portrayed by the IMC.

He said that the 2019 Appropriation Act as passed by the National Assembly provided for some emergency projects across the state in the region with an additional N800 million as emergency contingency sum.

According to him, the IMC has spent N20 billion on emergency road repairs; there are fraudulent cases of contract inflation and non-implementation.

“How would they explain the payment of N13.6 million for consultancy on the construction of ‘infant Jesus’?

He said: “On May 19, 2020, the IMC paid a firm N39.375 million as consultancy fee for rebuttal. What a waste!

“The company had earlier received 34 million naira into its account for ‘consultancy on reputation management for NDDC’.

“Same day, when businesses and countries were closing their doors, the same company was paid N34 million for ‘Niger Delta Development Forum in Washington DC, USA’ and another N32.9 million for ‘Summit on NDDC and Investment Opportunities in Dorchester, London’, same day.

“There was no evidence of implementation of above contracts. Money paid went to private individuals; this ad hoc committee can call for the account statements of the firm to verify this.

“Same company received into same account a sum of 536 Million Naira for “campaign to save lives” in the Niger Delta on April 23, 2020.

“The payment was broken into 16 units to divert attention. Again, the money went into private pockets. Some staffs of the commission were beneficiaries.

“May 22nd, another N641 million was paid to same company for media support for forensic audit as though forensic audit was meant to be a media affair.”

The Committee summoned the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs to appear before it by 11am on Monday to respond to the issues raised by Nunieh.

It also directed the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC to also appear unfailingly with the Minister.

Notice of the summons is to be made through the electronic media or any other medium.

Akpabio denies Nunieh allegations, threatens to sue for defamation

Akpabio, in a statement on Friday through his Special Assistant on Media, Anietie Ekong, said he had instructed his lawyers to seek redress in court over alleged defamatory statements made by the former NDDC boss.

Ms Nunieh had accused the minister of making sexual overtures to her.

In the statement, Ekong described Nunieh’s allegations as “cornucopia of false, malicious and libelous.”

He said: “The Honourable Minister’s initial attitude was to allow his lawyers and the judicial system vindicate him of the false allegations against him, but he is compelled to react to some of the wayward allegations leveled against his person by Ms. Nunieh, especially the one bordering on sexual harassment.

“To start with, let it be known that there is no scintilla of truth in all the allegations peddled around by Ms. Nunieh. They are simply false!

“The Honourable Minister did not at any time, place or circumstance make any form of sexual advances to Ms. Nunieh, not even to put himself in a position or posture suggestive of sexual advances towards Ms. Nunieh, or any female staff of his Ministry or the NDDC.

“For the records, the Honourable Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON is happily married and contented with his wife. Together they are blessed with children, four of whom are young women.

“The Honourable Minister is an avid believer of the Affirmative Action and that was visible in the appointments he made as a two (2) term Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015. Under his watch, he appointed several women into various high level positions as chairpersons of Local Government Councils, Magistrates, Judges, Heads of Parastatals, Directors, Permanent Secretaries, and Commissioners.

“The Honourable Minister has never hidden his admiration and respect for his wife, Mrs. Ekaete Akpabio, children and sisters. He therefore felt compelled to react to the malicious attack on his person by Ms. Nunieh bordering on allegations of sexual harassment.

“The Honourable Minister therefore finds the said allegation nauseating and a very cheap blackmail, for Ms. Nunieh to suggest or insinuate that he sexually harassed her while she was the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC.

“The Honourable Minister has taken steps to instruct his lawyers to seek necessary redress in a court of competent jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Ms. Nunieh.

“On a final note, while encouraging all Nigerians to hold their leaders to account, he urges them to take their time to sift between the chaff and the substance before embarking on far reaching allegations, opinions and views.”

Court restrains Police, NDDC, others from arresting Joi Nunieh

A River State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday granted Nunieh an order of injunction restraining the police from inviting or arresting her pending the determination of the substantive case before the court.

The order came moments after the State Commissioner of Police (CP), Joseph Mukan, asked Governor Nyesom Wike to hand Nunieh over to the police for questioning and protection.

Mukan made the call following a failed attempt by officers of the Inspector General of Police (IG) Monitoring Unit to arrest the former MD at her Port Harcourt residence on Thursday morning.

Wike had said he rescued Nunieh from the police and took her to the Government House where she is being shielded from “abduction” by the police.

The governor described the police siege on Nunieh’s residence as illegal since they could not produce a warrant for her arrest.

He also claimed that the police commissioner appeared not to know anything about the operation.

He called on the IGP to investigate the operation properly to ascertain that the officers are really men of the Nigerian Police Force.

But the CP on Friday confirmed that the operation was legal.

Mukan said: “Nobody says Governor Wike should not protect his citizens, but everything should be done within the confines of the law.

“The IGP Monitoring Unit of the command yesterday (Thursday) came in with their investigation activities which we endorsed.

“It was never an illegal duty; it was a legitimate duty of the unit. We were aware of their presence there.

“I am the chief law enforcement officer of the command. If you rescue your citizen, we expect you to turn her over to the police, who are in a better position to protect her.”

The CP expressed the hope that Governor Wike would do the needful by turning Ms Nunieh over, insisting that the IGP’s visit to her residence was simply to arrest her and not for abduction, and it was a legitimate exercise.

He added: “I have personally got in touch with him (Wike) and have advised him to turn her over to the police because the exercise was legitimate and within the confines of the law.”

On claims that the said arresting officers had no arrest warrant, he said arrests could be made with or without warrant, but that the important thing is that warrant must be prepared after the arrest.

“What people need to understand is that it is not in every situation that warrant of arrest must be produced before arrest is made. There are situations where arrests can be made before warrant of arrest is produced.

Posted On Saturday, 18 July 2020 14:36 Written by

By Ebele Boniface/ THE NATION

A 29-year-old man has paid the supreme price for telling his friend about a heavy sum his South Africa based elder brother sent to him for the completion of his (elder brother’s) housing project back home in Nigeria.

Abuchi Wisdom Nwachukwu, was allegedly murdered by Moses, his friend and colleague, after informing the latter that his elder brother had sent him the sum of N13 million to complete his housing project.

Nwachukwu, a native of Isiala-Mbano, Imo State, was allegedly hacked to death by Moses on January 7, 2020, during a night shift at the table water company where they worked in Auchi, Edo State, after which he took possession of Nwachukwu’s phone and ATM card.

Moses also went on to behead Nwachukwu’s lifeless body so that it would be recognized, dumping the headless body in a bush close to the company.

After getting rid of Nwachukwu, Moses took the latter’s phone and ATM card to some internet fraudsters in Auchi who helped him to withdraw the sum of N2.2 million from Nwachukwu’s account.

Thereafter, Moses approached various POS points in the city to withdraw various sums of money.

The police were puzzled when they Nwachukwu’s headless body but could not identify him. They took the body to the mortuary while Nwachukwu’s relatives in Imo State as well as his brother in South Africa worried about his sudden disappearance and their inability to reach him on the phone.

His South Africa based brother was said to have written a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, months after he could not locate his brother or hear from him. Operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), headed by Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, swung into action to unravel the mystery behind Nwachukwu’s disappearance.

It was gathered that weeks into their investigation IRT operatives were able to trace the POS transactions Moses did with Nwachukwu’s ATM cards to Benin, Ore and Auchi parts of Edo State.

They later arrested him in a hotel in Auchi where he was hiding.

Upon interrogation, Moses admitted killing Nwachukwu. He also led IRT operatives to arrest suspected internet fraudsters—Yusuf Sagiru, Tony Bright and Terence Okochukwu—as well as businessman Jahswill Ogbonnaya, who were said to have helped Moses to pull out the sum of N6 million from the account.

Upon interrogation, Moses a 27-year-old native of Auchi, said his friend’s ghost had been hunting him since the day he killed him.

The Auchi Polytechnic graduate of Mechanical Engineering said: “I work in a table water company in Abely area of Auchi, and I have been working in that company in the last four years.

“When Nwachukwu got a job in the factory, I was the person who taught him how to operate the machine, so we became very close friends.

“While we were working, Nwachukwu told me about his brother who lives in South Africa and how he has been sending money to build his house for him.

“He showed me the alert for the N13 million his brother had just sent to him, saying that he would be travelling to his village to carry out the project. I felt jealous and I decided to steal the money.

“Since we were friends, I tricked him and collected his phone password. I went through it and found the PIN for his ATM card.

“Few days before the day he would be travelling, we worked on the same shift. I lured him outside the company, stabbed him with a knife and killed him.

“I dragged his body into the bush, and because I don’t want people to recognise him easily, I cut off his neck and buried it. Then I took his ATM card to some fraudsters. I gave it to one Yusuf and told him that I needed to hack the account.

“We withdrew N2.2 million from the account. I had trouble with Yusuf because he and the people he brought in wanted to cheat me.

“I killed him on January 8, 2020 and travelled to Ore and Benin City. I stayed in several hotels and was carrying different women, but Nwachukwu’s spirit started disturbing me.

“Whenever I want to sleep, the boy’s spirit will appear to me and will be crying. The girls that were with me would run away, saying that I want to use them for money ritual.

“I regret my actions now.”

Posted On Saturday, 18 July 2020 14:27 Written by
A Labrador cross is believed to have attacked the girls after becoming jealous (Image: FocusOn News)
Posted On Friday, 03 July 2020 15:36 Written by

Almost all the U.S. tech firms, from Google to Amazon, Twitter and Facebook have condemned the latest visa ban announced by President Donald Trump.

They said the freeze would make the US less competitive.

Trump on Monday banned new H-1B visas, used by major companies to bring over highly-skilled engineers from abroad.

Around 18,000 H1-B visas were given to Google and Apple last year.

Trump said he did it to create jobs for Americans hurting economically due to the pandemic.

However, the tech companies said the policy was a bad one.

Amazon said the measures ‘put America’s global competitiveness at risk’.

The CEO of file-sharing firm Box dubbed it ‘unbelievably bad policy’.

A Facebook spokesperson said it will be even more difficult’ for the US to recover after coronavirus because of the measures.

An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider: ‘Preventing high skilled professionals from entering the country and contributing to America’s economic recovery puts America’s global competitiveness at risk.’

CEO of Alphabet – Google’s parent company – Sundar Pichai tweeted: ‘Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today.

“Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.”

Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie wrote that Trump’s measures are ‘unbelievably bad policy on every level. It will only mean more jobs move outside the US, and in no way makes America better or more competitive.’

Reports said that the country most hit by the ban is India.

Indians take up nearly 70% of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued every year. And the ban is expected to hurt Indian technology companies and workers.

The visa is useful for Indian tech giants like Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as it allows them to send workers from India to manage important projects.

It also helps US tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter hire talent from India.

The ban announced by Mr Trump will only affect individuals who are planning to apply for the visa – which means those who have already got it and are working in the US will not be affected.

However, H-1B visa holders who travelled to their home countries due to the pandemic will not be allowed to re-enter the US until the end of the year.

Posted On Tuesday, 23 June 2020 11:36 Written by
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