Banditry: 330 attacks, 1,460 deaths recorded in 7 months – FG



Banditry: 330 attacks,  1,460 deaths recorded in 7 months – FG

The Federal Government on Thursday said that about 330 attacks by bandits and 1,460 deaths were recorded  within the last seven months in the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr Amina Shamaki, made this known at the opening of Federal and States Security Administrators’ meeting in Birnin Kebbi.

The permanent secretary however said that the attacks have been on the decline.

She noted that the North West which was one of the most peaceful zones of the country, had in the last few years, witnessed attacks by bandits.

Shamaki said the security situation in the zone remained a source of concern to the security agencies and the general populace.

“From January to July, 2019, about 330 attacks were recorded, resulting to the death of about 1,460 civilians.

“However, between June and July, 2019, the number of incidents declined, especially in Zamfara State, that had been the epicentre of armed banditry, ” she said.

Shamaki also attributed the decline to the combination of both kinetic and non kinetic measures put in place by the government.

“The dialogue initiated by the current Zamfara state governor,Alhaji Bello Matawalle, in particular and the other governors in the zone is worthy of commendation and should be adopted by states with similar security challenges.

“Application of the carrot and stick approach is an effective strategy that enables criminals wiling to embrace peace to do so while repentant ones are identified and isolated for appropriate actions by the security agencies,” she said.

According to her , while bandits’ attacks have reduced in Zamfara, the incidents have risen in the contiguous States.

Shamaki, therefore, stressed the need for vigilance and close monitoring of the repentant bandits by the security agencies to prevent them from going back to the trenches.

“Another security concern is the porosity of our borders; the borders aided smuggling of Small Arms and Light Weapons from war-torn zones, including Libya and Central Africa Republic, terrorism, cross- border crimes, human trafficking, irregular migration and smuggling of migrants, among others.

” The Federal Government is doing a lot to improve border security with a view to addressing some of these challenges.”

The permanent secretary appealed to States that share borders with the country’s neighbours to support the government ‘s efforts by enlightening their subjects on the implication of harbouring irregular migrants and other aliens in their midst.

In his remarks, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, thanked the security agencies and judiciary in the state for contributing to make the state peaceful and model for other states.

“It doesn’t matter if one state is peaceful while others are not, we should collapse the Silos that divide us, embrace and understand each other in order to help ourselves in the provision of security in this country,” he urged.

The governor wished all participants fruitful deliberations and memorable stay in the peaceful state.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed


Fight against corruption: NSC emphasises importance of technology 




/Philomina Attah

Abuja, Dec. 9, 2019 Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, has emphasised the importance of technology in the country’s fight against corruption.

Bello spoke during a walk/summit to mark the UN International Anti-Corruption Day on Monday in Abuja.

The summit was organised by the NSC in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other agencies of the Ministry of Transportation.

The theme of the summit was: “Zero Tolerance for Corruption’’.

One of the things to do to get rid of corruption is deployment of appropriate technology.

The moment you have that technology, then it will be transparent, it will be faster, with no delays, no human interface, so that is what we are trying to do.

The next focus is technology to drive away corruption in our system,’’ Bello said.

He said the event was to support the Federal Government’s effort in the fight against corruption, especially in transportation and maritime sector of the economy.

According to Bello, the sector is key to the growth and development of the nation and ought to be free from corruption.

He urged the various agencies to employ conscious efforts to ensure corruption was eradicated in the sector and the country.

Bello reiterated efforts by the Ministry of Transportation to audit the various agencies as a way of eliminating corrupt practices in the sector.

He said:“the Minister of Transportation has already started an audit, we are auditing our processes, procedures and even our staffing and that is how it is supposed to be; we have to be accountable.

Lack of accountability is why we have corruption. We think, if we unburden transport from corruption, other sectors will follow suit.

We are partnering with all anti-corruption agencies, ICPC, EFCC and the like, so that we can have a kind of enforcement and standard operating procedure.

“We are saying each agency must have a standard operating procedure and the shippers council will enforce that.’’

The Acting Chairman, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said the commission was focusing on the maritime sector to completely eradicate all forms of corrupt practices.

We are not looking at just the maritime sector but all sectors; we are looking at corruption in itself.

But the emphasis today is the transportation and maritime sector, we are moving to other areas too as there is a change of heart in fighting corruption.

There is a lot of corruption in the maritime sector and so we need to address it.

Corruption has become systematic, anaemic, and so we need a holistic approach in the fight against corruption in the maritime industry.

The most important thing is to encourage people to report corrupt practices to the appropriate authorities,’’ Magu said.

In his remark, Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said the event was to awaken the attention of citizens to the negative impact of corruption to development.

According to him, Nigeria depends largely on import and export for survival and by extension, growth.

He said: “If that sector is riddled by corruption, it affects the cost of goods and services and there is always an opportunity cost for corruption.

“Corruption normally benefits a narrow few and makes lots of us suffer. That is why we are making efforts to raise awareness on its negative impact, especially in the maritime sector,’’ Peterside said.

Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare/Ismail Abdulaziz

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We’ll fight corruption with full powers of law -ICPC



The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Monday said it would fight corruption according to the full dictates of the law.

The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, state this in Kaduna after a walk to mark the 2019 International Anti-corruption Day.

Represented by the ICPC Commissioner in Kaduna Office, Malam Shehu Yahaya, he said the commission would ensure that the anti-corruption crusade positively affect governance and well-being of Nigerians.

The days of impunity is over and the warning must be given loud and clear, that the corrupt will be dealt with firmly with the degree of ruthlessness that the law permits.

The battle against corruption is currently raging and it is our belief that it is not the sole responsibility of the ICPC or government, but a collective responsibility.

As we explore the option of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office,” he said.

The ICPC boss explained that the objective of the walk was to raise awareness among the public on the ills of corruption and mobilise public support in the fight.

He added that the commemoration of the day provided a platform for exchange of ideas that would aid the fight against corruption for the development of the country.

Similarly, Yahaya said that the commission had received several petitions from January to date in Kaduna state.

Yahaya added that 24 cases were currently before the courts and urged members of the public to desist from all forms of corrupt practices in the country.

Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz

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EFCC receives 580 petitions, convicts 27 in Kaduna zone -Official



The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Kaduna Zonal Office, has received over 580 petitions and convicted 27 from January to date.

The Zonal Head, Mailafiya Yakubu disclosed this after a walk from the EFCC Office as part of activity to mark the 2019 International Anti-corruption Day.

Yakubu also said that the office currently has about 100 cases ongoing in courts, adding that more would be convicted before the end of the year.

He said that close to N300 million had been recovered and returned to people that have been defrauded within the period.

Not only that, we have gotten interim forfeiture of 15 houses acquired through illicit means and currently working towards getting final forfeiture.

That we have been able to receive over 580 petitions in 11 months is an indication of public confidence in  EFCC.

So far so good. We have gotten reasonable conviction and still counting and we will continue to arrest and prosecute, even on Christmas day,” he said.

He explained that the objective of the walk was to enlighten the public on the ills of corruption and its negative effect on the society.

We want the people to know that corruption is evil, dangerous and disastrous and the public must join the fight against all forms of corruption.

“I am happy that we have gotten the public on our side. This is a good achievement in the fight against corruption in the country,” Yakubu added.

Edited by: Joseph Edeh/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Maritime security: Nigerian Navy procures landing ship tank



The Nigerian Navy (NN) has acquired a Landing Ship Tank (LST) 100 to enhance Nigeria’s maritime environment.

Speaking on Monday at the keel-laying ceremony for the LST at Messrs DAMEN Shipyard Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, said the LST would play crucial roles in Nigeria’s maritime security.

LST are naval ships specially designed to transport and deploy troops, vehicles, and supplies onto foreign shores for the conduct of offensive military operations.

They were designed during World War II to disembark military forces without the use of dock facilities or the various cranes and lifts necessary to unload merchant ships.

Today’s ceremony is a significant step toward actualising the dream of restoring NN’s sea-lift capability, after the Service decommissioned two similar LSTs more than 10 years ago.

I recall that the Nigerian Government acquired two Type 502 amphibious vessels NNS AMBE and NNS OFIOM, built by HDW German builders in 1978.

These vessels served the Navy meritoriously in the 1980s-90s, playing significant roles during the ECOMOG intervention Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as other peace support operations in Lebanon.

The NN’s acquisition of this LST 100 will certainly go a long way in filling the operational gap created by the decommissioning of the two NN ships.

The CNS noted that the bid for the project was highly competitive, as several other shipbuilding companies tendered for her construction.

Specifically, the ship will be engaged in the protection of maritime resources and the preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to promotion of global maritime commerce and maritime power projection in Nigerian Maritime environment and the Gulf of Guinea at large.

It is therefore my fervent belief that this Shipyard will complete the construction of the LST with all the attention and due diligence that it deserves, to rekindle our historic relationship and pave way for other areas of collaboration in the future,” he said.

Ibas said that the selection of DAMEN Shipyards to execute the project was based on its track record, engineering as well as a belief in the company’s ability to adhere to the timeline for delivery.

The Nigerian Navy is confident that you will not only build this Ship in line with the specifications and configuration to the highest standards, but also deliver the project on schedule. Timely delivery is not negotiable,” he said.

The naval chief thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his untiring support for the rejuvenation of the Nigerian Navy fleet since assumption of office.

Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz

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Gov. Zulum drums support for anti-corruption campaign



Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has called for greater community participation in the fight against corruption to promote good governance.

Zulum made the call at a rally to mark the 2019 International Anti-Corruption Day on Monday in Maiduguri.

Represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, the governor reiterated his commitment to fight corruption through community mobilisation and implementation of proactive measures to encourage accountability and transparency in public service.

May I use this opportunity to put on record our total commitment in the fight against corruption by calling on good citizens of Borno to join government in the war against corruption.

”This is by reporting, after thorough investigation any case against individual or organisation involved in corruption for prosecution.

While presenting the 2020 budget; I emphasised the need for instilling the values of due process, accountability and probity in the public expenditure,” he said.

Zulum added that he had also directed for the transfer of the Monitoring and Evaluation Department to his office, to check linkages and waste in governance.

He noted that the fight against corruption was a collective responsibility which needed contribution from all to achieve the set developmental goals and move the state forward.

While commanding the EFCC over the feat achieved, Zulum further called for synergy between various arms of government and stressed need for the judiciary to ensure speedy trial of corruption cases.

In his remarks, Mr Lawrence Iwodi, the Zonal Coordinator of the EFCC, disclosed that the commission had secured 23 convictions and recovered over N244 million this year in Borno and Yobe.

Iwodi said that the commission had also secured an interim forfeiture order of five properties while the process of obtaining similar order involving five other properties and three vehicles would be completed before the end of the year.

He called on the people to cooperate and provide credible information to the commission to enable it to track corrupt persons in the two states.

“We are passionate about the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the vulnerable within our jurisdiction.

In this regard; we are interested in the information that will assist us tract down persons involved in the diversion of relief materials.

We are also interested in people who take advantage of the security situation in the state to defraud unsuspecting members of the public in the name of running humanitarian organisations,” Iwodi said.

The coordinator added that the commission would continue with its campaign to track diversion and misappropriation of public fund as well as prosecute erring public office holders.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was attended by government functionaries, EFCC officials and representatives of about 170 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Police dismantle kidnappers’ camps, arrest suspect in FCT



The Police Command in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday said it has dismantled kidnappers camps and arrested a suspect along Kwali-Kwaita axis of the territory.

The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer in the FCT, ASP Mariam Yusuf disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

She said the camps were dismantled during Counter-Kidnapping Operations in furtherance to the command’s efforts to wipe out kidnappers from the FCT, particularly along Kwali-Kwaita axis.

Yusuf said the operation, using overt/covert means dismantled the camps and dislodged the kidnappers bases prompting them to seek refuge.

The fleeing kidnappers while scampering for safety entered the highway shot at an oncoming vehicle and killed four persons along that axis.

The swift intervention of Police Operatives led to the immediate arrest of one of the suspected kidnappers while efforts are on top gear to apprehend his cohorts,” she said.

She said the command commiserate with the families of the deceased and pledged to provide maximum security in the territory to ensure hitch-free Yuletide.

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EFCC recovers N3.6bn, 10 houses from suspected looters in Ilorin



The Ilorin Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it has recovered N3.6 billion and 10 houses from suspected looters.

EFCC Zonal head, Mr Isyaka Sharu, spoke on Monday in Ilorin during the annual International Anti-corruption Day rally.

The Commission has recovered N3.6 billion from suspected looters. Two out of the recovered properties are in Ikoyi.

One is in Lekki and the recent recovered property worth over N1 billion is in Ilorin,” Sharu said.

He said that at the eve of the last handing over, EFCC saved the state of an attempt to loot over N4 billion of its tax refund.

Currently, the ongoing investigation into Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWRS) led to the recovery of about N50 million.

Effort is being made to recover the balance of about N2 billion from some notable individuals in the alleged fraud in KWRS,” Sharu said.

The State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazak said that the match against corruption was for everybody, noting that “if we do not kill corruption, it will kill all of us’’.

AbdulRazak said that corruption was detrimental to the economy and social development because it reduces the capacity to work.

It is important to work together and fight against corruption. It is killing the people gradually, the hospitals, schools and social infrastructures,” he said.

The governor commended the anti-graft body for its efforts and support in the recovery of money, saying “when we came into power, there would have been nothing for us to work with.”

The past administration left a huge amount of debt, and if EFCC had not saved the attempt to loot N4.8 billion, there would not have been anything to work with,” he said.

AbdulRazak said the N4.8 billion was still intact in the government cash reserve, and it would be used to work for the state economy and balance the budget for next year.

”I also thank EFCC for the recovery of N111 million from fraud cases,” he said.

NAN reports that the rally was to further create awareness for the world to unite against corruption, money laundering and terrorism.

The rally also addressed issues on international cooperation, repatriation of stolen items, deportation, criminal proceedings, transfer of sentenced persons, transfer of criminal proceedings, mutual legal assistant treaty and confiscation.

Edited by: Chinyere Bassey/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Corruption: EFCC recovers N217.2m in Benin Zonal office



The Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered about N217,268,236 million between January and December.

Mr Mukhtar Bello, Head, Benin Zonal Office disclosed this on the occasion of the World Anti-Corruption Day held in Benin on Monday.

Bello also said that the zonal office also secured 84 convictions and forfeiture of various properties including houses and vessels.

He stressed that the zonal office was determined to win the fight against corruption through its preventive measures, diligent investigation and prosecution.

Bello explained that as part of its preventive measures, the office took sensitisation campaign to members of the NYSC, secondary schools and higher institutions in the zone.

The EFCC recognises the fact that it could not win the fight against corruption alone, we need the support of all stakeholders to make meaningful progress in restoring transparency, accountability and due process in public governance.

Therefore, I urge you as members and leaders of various interest groups, trade union, civil society organisations and professional bodies to facilitate mass education, mobilisation and active participation.

The 2019 celebration theme “United Against Corruption and the sub theme “Zero Tolerance for Corruption’’, underscores the need for all to come together and raise awareness on the ills of corruption,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Rev. Phil Arojie, who represented Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Edo chapter, said there was the need to drum support for the fight against corruption.

Arojie said that the anti-corruption war was one that must be continued to defeat corruption as the scourge had become endemic in the country.

Similarly, Sheik Abdulfatai Enabulele, Chief Imam of Benin Central Mosque, said that the need to come together and fight corruption and insecurity could not be overemphasized.

He stressed the need for citizens to be honest, sincere and collaborate with the EFCC to fight and win the war against corruption.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the Head of the zone earlier led stakeholders including members of the DSS, Police, FRSC, NSCDC, Civil Society Organisation, NYSC, Religious Organisation on a road walk round major roads and streets in Benin.

Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ismail Abdulaziz

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EFCC seizes over N643.9m, $706.8m in Kano



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday says that the Kano Zonal office has seized over N643,942 million in 2019.

The Executive Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, disclosed this on Monday, during the commemoration of the 2019 International Anti Corruption Day in Kano with the theme ‘Zero Tolerance to Corruption’.

Magu, who was represented by the Kano Zonal Head of the EFCC, Akaninyene Eziman, said that the commission has also recovered $706,800 dollar, 2,800 amount in Yen and also 294,950 in Saudi currency.

According to him, the Kano zonal office had also during the year received 495 petitions out of which 325 were signed and 100 cases in court while the commission also secured the conviction of 21 persons.

In the Kano office of the commission, from January to date, we have filed over 100 criminal cases in various courts across the Northwest geopolitical zone of the country and beyond out of which 22 convictions were successfully secured.

”In the area of Cybercrime, the commission has actively been on trails of all suspected internet fraudsters, with almost daily arrest and prosecution”, he said.

The EFCC boss further reiterated the need for Nigerians to support the commission to break the chain of corruption in the country, urging them to come on board the fast-moving train of the war against corruption.

Magu added that, “the fight against corruption is a collective responsibility to take Nigeria out of the woods, therefore, we must resolve like never before to expose any unpatriotic deed that can further drag Nigeria in to disrepute”.

In his remarks, the Executive Chairman, Kano State Public Complain and Anti Corruption Commission, Alhaji Muhyi Magaji, said that corruption has contributed immensely to the present criminal activities in the country.

According to him, if corruption can be eliminated, the issues of banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities can be reduced to the barest level.

In his remarks, Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Kano, Mr Kabir Ado-Minjibir commended the EFCC for its efforts in fighting corruption in Nigeria.

Ado-Minjibir reiterated the NLC’s commitment to support the EFCC and other anti corruption bodies in the state and the country in general.

He commended the Kano Zonal Office for their commitment, and also commended President Muhammad Buhari over his focus on the fight against the menace.

He said, “if the efforts in fighting corruption in Nigeria can be achieved, the issue of unemployment in the country will become a thing of the past.

”This is because corruption is the major contributor of the present unemployment in Nigeria, therefore, stakeholders must put hands together to end it,” he said.

Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Maureen Atuonwu


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