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Insecurity: Utomi, Nwosu, others call for national dialogue



Professor Pat Utomi, a renowned economist and former presidential candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC), has called for national dialogue on the political future of the country and its security challenges.

Utomi made the call in Abuja at a one-day strategic citizens’ conversation on the state of the nation, organised by Nigeria Patriots Renaissance Forum.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the conversation was aimed at rigorously dealing with how Nigeria’s political structure has contributed to under-developing it.

The programme was also organised to fashion a way forward for a robust transformative process for national development and resurgence.

Utomi, while explaining the rationale behind his call for a national conversation, said the time had come for all hands to be on deck to make concerted efforts to fix the numerous problems confronting the country.

“As I go around Nigeria, I have found out that most Nigerians are in despair; they have even given up on their country and that is a very dangerous thing to happen to any people.

“The question, therefore, is: why are Nigerians so distrust; why are they so unhappy; why are our leaders trading abuses and insults everyday on one another.

“It seems to me that it is because we are not having national public conversation which should focus on the common good of all.

“Some think the Nigerian state is hijacked and privatised; there is a sense in which people think elections are meaningless in Nigeria and there is a sense in which there is a level of distrust.

“We need to engage all critical stakeholders’ and groups, but we are starting from the group I like to refer to as complacent middle,” Utomi said.

According to him, the engagement will ensure that Nigerians think and work positively to move the country forward.

Also speaking, Chief Ralph Nwosu, National Chairman of ADC, urged political parties in the country to evolve new ways of engaging and giving back to the society.

This, he said, would rekindle hope in many Nigerian citizens who saw political parties and politicians as dirty.

“There has been this concern that the voices of the citizens are not being heard again.

“So, we came together to ask ourselves: what do we need to do? We need to start engaging the citizens so that their voices will start to matter.”

Prof. Peter Nwangwu, a scientist and former presidential candidate, said that the country needed to be restructured to ensure full transformation.

“We need a Nigeria where there will be total mindset reengineering. There is the need to clean up the rubbish from bottom to top, to have a society that is equitable because there are good people in Nigeria.

“There are intelligent Nigerians; if we run this country right, it will be one of the best places on earth to live.

“People will come to this country because God has blessed it so much, but we have made an incredible mess of it.”

Others speakers at the meeting also spoke on the leadership challenge, national security, economy, corruption index, political development and credible elections, as well as citizens’ participation in politics.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Emmanuel Afonne: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


Police arrest three suspects posing as scavengers to rob victims



The Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) says it has arrested three suspects who pose as scavengers to rob victims of their phones and other valuables in Abuja.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the FCT, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.


He said the suspects were arrested on Saturday during raid of their hideout around Gimbiya Street, Area 11, in Abuja by operatives from Garki Division of the Command.

According to him, exhibits recovered from the suspects are 12 mobile phones, one cutlass, five jack knives, one  pair of scissors and one belt puncher.

Other exhibit are two army camouflage hats, one POS machine, packets of cigarette and cash sum of N29,255.

He said the arrest of the suspects was in line with the commitment of the command to provide adequate security for FCT residents during the covid-19 lockdown period.

“The FCT Police Command wishes to assure residents that, while the COVID-19 lockdown is still in place, adequate security measures have been deployed to protect lives and property,” he said.

Manzah enjoined residents to support the command in its efforts to curb crimes by being security conscious and reporting suspicious activities.

He urged residents to call the command through its hotlines on (Phone/Email) , (Phone/Email) , (Phone/Email) and (Phone/Email) .

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Donald Ugwu

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EFCC cautions Nigerians against fraudulent COVID-19 antics



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has cautioned Nigerians against emerging online fraudulent tactics being adopted by Internet fraudsters in the wake of donations arising from COVID-19.

In a statement issued by Acting Spokesperson of the Commission, Mr Tony Orilade, in Abuja on Monday, the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, said that the caution had become imperative now that people are more vulnerable.

Magu explained that there is no online testing for COVID-19.

He added that such online link requesting for personal information to test for the coronavirus, or provide a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) method, was part of fraudulent methods aimed at defrauding Nigerians.

Magu said there had been increasing number of complaints received by the Commission from innocent Nigerians falling prey to the antics of Internet fraudsters who were taking advantage of the pandemic to defraud unsuspecting targets.

“In the last couple of days, home-bond  Internet users have complained of  receiving several e-mails, sms, Whatsapp messages offering free services.

“These services included ‘Do-It-Yourself’ COVID-19 tests;  subscription to either Netflix, hulu, DSTV, Government Intervention/Grant of N30,000; and other tricky offers.

“Some of the fraudulent schemes are coming in the form of links that offer free data or request for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and account details of their victims.

“They often assure victims that they will be credited with money, as part of the federal government’s palliatives to cushion the effects of the Stay At Home order, ” he said.

According to Magu, many of the fraudulent online messages require recipients to click and fill out an online survey and forward same to ten (10) Whatsapp users.

He pointed out that the messages are embedded with malwares and other malicious codes, which when clicked, trigger a programme that steals and compromises mails, banking logins passwords, credit- related information and other critical data contained on the recipient’s devices.

“ Magu said the victim stand the risk of losing both confidential information and monies; since unauthorised access may have been granted to cybercriminals.

“Victims are also in danger of being infected with a ransomwarewhich will automatically lock their electronics device,” he said.

Magu further advised the general public to immediately take some steps in protecting their data from theft.

The steps include not opening unsolicited e-mails and clicking only on those that are from known and trusted sources, while taking a closer look at URLs for spelling errors before clicking.

“In case of online financial transactions, you must cross-verify with the recipient before making the payment.

“Install and update Anti-virus on your devices.

“”Do not divulge to anyone via telephone, e-mail, any personal information such as Passwords, PIN numbers, ATM Cards numbers etc, ” he said

The EFCC boss also cautioned against   offers of bitcoin and any offer to advertise a business and get paid.

“Be wary of suspicious recommendations from friends on Facebook and Whatsapp claiming to offer investment opportunities they have benefited from,” he said.

Magu also advised members of the public to report any such fraudulent activity to the EFCC via its verified handle – @OfficialEFCC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or call the hotline: +234 (Phone/Email) .

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi


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FG declares Friday, Monday as public holidays to mark Easter celebration



The Federal Government has declared Friday, April 10 and Monday 13, as public holidays to mark the 2020 Easter Celebration.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government,  through a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, on Monday in Abuja.

Aregbesola urged Christians in the country to emulate the outstanding characteristics of Jesus Christ amongst which were tolerance, love, peace and compassion.

Aregbesola called on Christians to use the occasion of this year’s Easter celebration to pray for Nigeria and the entire world at this time of the global emergency of COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Minister appealed to all Nigerians to continue to support the efforts of Government towards fighting the Coronavirus Disease.

He reminded Nigerians of the need to adhere strictly to the measures put in place by relevant authorities towards preventing the spread of the virus in the country.

The minister  added. particularly, through the observance of social distancing, in addition to regular personal hygiene and sanitary practices.

Aregbesola wished Christians a peaceful Easter celebration.

He assured that the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration would continue to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the lives of Nigerians, ” especially with the palliative measures already put in place.”

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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Lockdown: Police caution officers against extortion, abuse in Ondo



The Police Command in Ondo have cautioned its officers against extortion and abuse of power during the lockdown order by the state government to contain spread of Coronavirus disease.

CSP Theo Lee-Ikoro, the spokesman of the Command, made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Okitipupa.

He said that the Command would deal decisively with any officer caught in the web of collecting bribe or caught in abuse of power on residents who flout the order.

He urged residents of the state to report to the Command’s headquarters in Akure any officer involved in such offence.

“The Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie have warned our officers not to indulge in extortion or abuse of power on residents.

“I am sure you are aware of what happened to those police officers caught in Lagos, so any officer caught in the web of such act, will be dealt with accordingly.

“The public should please report any officer caught in such act to the Command’s headquarters immediately and prompt action will be taken,” Lee-Ikoro said.

He, however, urged residents in the state to be law abiding and ensure total compliance to the state government order that was for their safety and well-being.

NAN reports that the Ondo State government last week ordered the closure of all its land borders to neighbouring states of Edo, Ekiti and Ogun and also ordered the stay at home for residents to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Lockdown violation: ‘Jennifa’, hubby to pay fine, do community service



Funke Akindele-Bello and her husband, AbdulRasheed Bello, are to pay a fine of N100,000 each for violation of the restriction order.

The couple were also sentenced to 14 days community service for non compliance with the Lagos State restriction order.

DSP Bala Elkana, Police Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Command on Monday, said that the community service would be held three hours per day, excluding Saturday and Sunday.

He said that each defender shall visit 10 important public places within Lagos State to educate the public on the consequences of non-compliance with the restriction order.

The Police spokesman said that the couple were arraigned in a Chief Magistrate Court in Ogba on one count charge.

“They were brought to court by detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of investigation, DCP Yetunde Longe.

“The prosecuting team was led by the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN. The charge was read to the defendants by the court and they pleaded guilty.

“The court found them guilty as charged and sentenced as follows and ordered them to submit the names and phone numbers of every person who attended the party,” he said.

Elkana said that all those who attended the party shall be placed on isolation by the State Government to determine their COVID-19 status.

Failure to abide by the above directives shall attract more severe punishments.

“The two accused persons held a party on Saturday at their residents with over twenty persons in attendance contrary to the social distancing directives made in pursuant of the Lagos State Infectious Disease Regulations 2020.

“They therefore committed an offence under Section 58 of the Public Health Law Cap P16 Vol. 9, Laws of Lagos State 2015.

“The suspects were arrested following a viral video showing a large number of persons mainly in the entertainment industry in an Estate, along Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki axis, Lagos celebrating a birthday party organised by the Bello’s,” he said.

Elkana said that Azeez Fashola a.k.a “Naira Marley” is now in police custody and would also be charged to court for violating the restriction orders.

He said that the command had also launched a manhunt for the remaining persons who attended the party.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu expressed his profound gratitude to Lagosians and other well meaning Nigerians that spoke up against the violations.

“Together we can stop the spread of COVID-19,” Elkana said.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Ismail Abdulaziz

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NAF graduates 30 helicopter gunners in Kaduna



The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), says it has graduated 30 Helicopter Backdoor Gunners (HBDG) to enhance counter insurgency operation in the country.

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal, Sadique Abubakar, made the disclosure at the graduation ceremony of the backdoor gunners on Monday in Kaduna.

Abubakar, who was represented by NAF Chief of Training and Operations, AVM James Gawni, disclosed that the 30 graduates comprised 18 personnel of the Air Force and 12 others of the Nigerian Army .

He said that the five-week training stemmed from the fluid nature of the contemporary security challenges bedeviling the country.

Abubakar said: “The use of rotary platforms has become imperative for close air support, because experience over time, has shown that rotary platforms are best suited in the battle space against insurgents and terrorists as well as in the conduct of Close Air Support missions”.

The CAS noted that the training was to transform the service into to a highly professional and disciplined force through effective, efficient and timely deployment of air power.

Abubakar said that the 30 graduates were part of the over 4, 000 personnel earmarked for both overseas and local training in order to build adequate capacity in response to national security challenges.

“In the spirit of brotherhood and ensuring synergy with sister services, the NAF during this course trained 12 Nigerian Army personnel as Back Door Gunners.

“Your commitments and determination during your training has distinguished and made you all to earn your place and become part of the elite team in your respective service.

“I, therefore, urge you to imbibe the attributes and core values of the Nigerian Air Force, which include excellence; honour, honesty, courage, humility, perseverance and adaptability during operations and in your various fields of specialisations to ensure success in your endeavours,” he said.

Abubakar expressed NAF gratitude to President  Muhammadu Buhari, for the priority  given to the training, operational and other requirements of the service.

While assuring unalloyed loyalty to the president, Abubakar reiterated commitment to support the Federal Government in its policy thrust of providing security and improved economy in the country.

Also speaking, the Air Officer Commanding, Grand Training Command, AVM Idi Amin said the course was aimed at tutoring the students on tactics, techniques and procedures for providing insertion and reinforcement capabilities as well as Close Air Support to ground troops during battle.

Amin said the combined training of Army and Air Force personnel would enhance synergy between them and other security agencies in the fight against insurgency.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Rabiu Sani Ali





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COVID-19: Abia Police command arrest Inspector for alleged murder



Abia Police Command on Monday confirmed the arrest of Inspector Stanley Azuh attached to Ohuru-Ishimiri Police Division at Ogbor-Hill, Aba, for allegedly killing Mr Chibuisi  Godwin.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the incident happened in Ogbor-Hill, along New Umuahia road in Aba on Sunday evening.

A police source, who did not want his name in print, said that Godwin was shot while Azuh was enforcing Abia Government’s ‘Stay at Home’ directive, meant to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

He said that Azuh, who was attempting to stop a vehicle that violated the lockdown order, had mistakenly touched his riffle’s trigger, releasing the bullet that hit Godwin, who later died in the hospital.

Abia Police Commissioner, Ene Okon, while confirming the arrest of the officer said that the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) has taken over the matter.

Okon said that the police as an institution does not take such careless attitude to human life lightly.

“That police Inspector was arrested immediately and detained, as I am talking to you, SCID has taken over the matter and they are investigating the police inspector for murder.

“We have our rules of engagement, we have our standards of operation and procedures and we have our own Force Order 237 as reviewed.

“That order has to do with when a police officer has to use his firearm and it will be justified. It’s not an excuse for you to say accidental discharge.

“A trained officer on such assignment should put his riffle on safety mode; the riffle has a safety mode and once you put it there, it will not just release anyhow.

“So, it is not an excuse that he mistakenly touched the trigger. That’s why we detained him and are seriously investigating the whole matter”, Okon said.

NAN gathered that the late Godwin was a staff of Greenmac Energy Ltd, a Petroleum Company that deals on fuel and Kerosene in Ogbor-Hill, Aba.

The deceased was believed to have come out for work as usual, as his line of business was among those classified as essential services, and not restricted by the lockdown order, when he met his death.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo and Isaac Ukpoju


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COVID-19: Navy intensifies patrol to check influx of migrants



The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka, Mbo Local Government has intensified patrols along the borders of Akwa Ibom and neighbouring countries to check the influx of migrants.

Commanding Officer of FOB, Capt. Peter Yilme, made this known in a statement in Uyo.

The Nigeria News Agency reports  that the state government had called on the Navy to intensify patrol along the Atlantic shorelines to contain the COVID-19 challenge in the area.

Yilme said that the daily patrols of Navy gunboats from the jetty to checkmate all forms of illegallities around its area of operations had yielded results.

“The patrols will continue to check and prevent all forms of illegalities and also stop illegal immigrants from the Cameroon and neighbouring countries from gaining entry into the state until the COVID-19 threat is over.

“It is pertinent to state that so far, FOB Ibaka patrol effort is yielding necessary results as travel restrictions within the water ways has reduced influx of migrants into Akwa Ibom, particularly within FOB Ibaka area of operations, ” he said.

According to him, the call is one of the measures to check the influx of foreigners and reduce the chances of Coronavirus infection in the state.

The FOB boss noted that with intensified patrol efforts of the Navy, rice smuggling into the state had been stopped, adding that the efforts would be concentrated and sustained.

He commended the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ette Ibas and the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral David Adeniran for supporting and providing logistics required to ensure patrols and other assigned tasks of the base were sustained.

“In compliance with directives from Naval Headquarters received through headquarters, Eastern Naval Command and to maintain restrictions on movement on the water ways, our gunboats cast off from own jetty daily for patrol.

”This will help to checkmate all forms of illegallities around our area of operations, as well as to show presence,” Yelme said.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Sadiya Hamza

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Police arrest assault, rape suspect in Enugu



The Police Command in Enugu has  arrested a suspect, who hailed from Jalingo, Taraba state for alleged assault and rape.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, disclosed this to Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Monday.

Ndukwe said that the suspect was arrested at about 6; 20 p.m. on April 4, within Umulungbe community in Udi Local Government Area of the state.

He said that the suspect had allegedly assaulted two women who were picking cashew nuts in the community and raped one.

Ndukwe explained that the suspect was almost mobbed by youth in the community before he was rescued by Police operatives of the 9th Mile Corner Police Division.

“It was gathered that the suspect accosted two women picking cashew nuts in Umulungbe community and he started assaulting two of them.

“It was not long before one of the women escaped and alerted the community  and youths of the community came in their large numbers and mobbed as well as beat him mercilessly.

“So, it was on the intervention of police operatives of the 9th Mile Corner Police Division that he was rescued from being murdered.

“Before the community youths could come, it was also alleged that the suspect had beaten and raped the other woman, who is about 68 years old, still with him,’’ he said.

The police spokesman said that the Command had begun investigation into the matter.

“The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmad Abdurrahman, has directed a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the matter and assured that justice will be served,’’ he added.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and Isaac Ukpoju


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