Image

Elon Musk Is Now 3 Times Richer Than Warren Buffett, Worth More Than The GDP Of South Africa, His Home Country |RN

Bloomberg estimated Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s net worth at $335 billion after Tesla’s stock rose again.
Tesla’s stock has risen 65.6% this year, including an 8.5% gain on Monday.

Elon Musk

Just days after Elon Musk became the first person to hit $300 billion in wealth, the Tesla CEO is now worth three times as much as the investing wizard Warren Buffett.

That’s according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which on Monday estimated the tech mogul’s fortune at $335 billion after a $24 billion single-day gain. In comparison, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO Buffett was worth an estimated $104 billion.

Musk’s wealth on the index is higher than the gross domestic product of his home country, South Africa, which totaled $301.9 billion last year, per data from the World Bank.

As tracked by Bloomberg, Musk’s net worth has soared by $165 billion this year. His gains Monday were driven by an 8.5% rise in Tesla’s share price, Bloomberg first reported. The multibillionaire owned about 22.4% of the company at the start of the year.

Last week, a 13% leap in Tesla’s stock price netted Musk $36 billion – the largest single-day surge Bloomberg had ever recorded – after news emerged that the car-rental firm Hertz ordered 100,000 Teslas.

Musk, 50, now sits at a comfortable $142 billion above the world’s second-richest man – Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, whose net worth Bloomberg puts at $193 billion.

Tesla’s stock is up 65.6% this year, despite dips in March and May.

On Sunday, Musk tweeted that he was open to selling shares in the electric-car maker worth $6 billion to alleviate world hunger based on a plea from the director of the UN’s World Food Programme. (Business Insider)

Continue reading
Image

JUST IN: We’ve In Custody Those Who Raided Residence Of Justice Mary Odili —IGP Alkali Usman |The Republican News

IGP, Baba Alkali Usman

The Inspector General of Police (IG) Alkali Usman has said operatives who raided the residence of Supreme Court judge, Justice Mary Odili have been arrested.

He disclosed this during an interview at a two-day capacity building workshop for security operatives in Lagos and Ogun organised by the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone Two, held at Victoria Island, Lagos.


Justice Odili’s residence was on Friday night invaded by armed security operatives for reasons yet to be ascertained.


The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubarkar Malami (SAN), Department of State Services (DSS) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) all denied any involvement in the invasion which attracted widespread condemnation.

Following public outcry, the IG on Monday disclosed that an investigation into the incident had commenced and assured the perpetrators would be fished out and brought to justice.


Giving updates on the case, Usman said: “I have taken my time not to speak quickly on this issue to ensure that when I speak, I am able to give Nigerians information on what transpired or what has been done. To the best of my knowledge, we have been able to arrest the perpetrators and we are investigating the circumstances surrounding the invasion or siege on the judge’s residence.”

On the wee-hour attack at University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), Usman said the police and other security agencies were working to ensure the safe rescue of the six persons kidnapped.


“We have information that bandits attacked the University of Abuja and six persons were kidnapped. The police and other security agencies including the military are working to ensure the safe rescue of the victims,” he said.

The IG also dismissed reports that suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari has been recalled as he assured of adequate security in the forthcoming governorship elections in Anambra State.

Continue reading
Image

Igboho’s Talkative Nature Gave Us Clue When To Invade His Residence —Leaked Audio Reveals |The Republican News

The supposed security agent’s voice, believed to be on the phone, also said the arrogance and ignorance that Igboho allegedly displayed were used against him.

An audio tape of an unidentified officer of the Department of State Services (DSS) has disclosed that secessionist leader, Sunday Igboho’s house was raided at midnight in July because he had given the hint while speaking carelessly.

The supposed security agent’s voice, believed to be on the phone, also said the arrogance and ignorance that Igboho allegedly displayed were used against him.

This is contained in an audio tape obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday.

According to the tape, a close and trusted ally of Igboho who knew his shortcomings was the informant used by the DSS operatives who raided his house in Ibadan.

The DSS operatives invaded and raided Igboho’s house in Soka, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital in July, killing two people and arresting some others.

Igboho became a target for President Muhammadu Buhari’s government when he gave Fulani herdsmen an ultimatum to leave Igangan area in Oyo State, and later in the South West generally.

According to him, the herdsmen were responsible for the killings, kidnappings and rape cases happening in the region.

He stepped up his campaign by agitating for a Yoruba Nation to break away from Nigeria.

After his house was raided by the DSS and he was declared wanted, Igboho and his wife, Ropo were arrested by Beninese security agents at a Cotonou airport, Benin Republic while trying to travel to Germany. He has since been detained in a Beninese prison.

However, in the viral audio tape, the male voice said Igboho’s unguarded talks got from his close ally helped the DSS to attack his residence.

The tape was recorded in Yoruba language with some use of English language.

“If you used to follow the things he said, he asked us to come at midnight. He didn’t know that God has also empowered the government.

“He boasted that if we came to his house with 1,000 personnel, hardly would we see 100 that would return. But, he said we shouldn’t come at midnight, and that was why we decided to invade at midnight.

“You know, God likes Igboho, his weakness is that he talks too much. And it is through words that powerful people are caught and ensnared.

“A Yoruba adage says ‘a talkative talks but with no sense’. The man called Igboho talks too much. He has a good plan and ambition, but he talks carelessly. And, his careless talk has ruined his ambition. That was why he fell victim,” the voice said.

He further said, “Another thing is that his ignorance and arrogance ruined him.”. (Sahara Reporters)

Continue reading
Image

Igbo Clerics, Monarchs Ask Buhari Government To Release Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB Members For Peace To Return To South-East |RN

IPOB leader, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu

He is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him at the court in response to years of campaign for the independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.

Traditional and religious leaders in the South-East have called for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The leaders, under the auspices of the South East Council of Traditional Rulers and the Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops, said the release of the IPOB leader would de-escalate the rising tension in the zone.

The Muhammadu Buhari-led government had in June announced Kanu’s arrest and extradition from Kenya to continue to face trial in Nigeria.

He is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him at the court in response to years of campaign for the independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.

In a joint statement signed by the chairmen of the traditional rulers’ council in all the South Eastern States and Christian leaders, they urged the Nigerian government to take immediate steps to de-proscribe IPOB and release all its members being held in various detention facilities.

They also called on IPOB to cancel all scheduled sit-at-home orders and shun any action that would disrupt the November 6 Governorship Election in Anambra State.

“Flowing from similar initiatives taken to bring peace to other troubled parts of the country, we urge the Federal Government and other stakeholders to explore dialogue and negotiation in resolving critical issues that threaten national unity, cohesion, and development.

“We are of the firm belief that this act of courage and statesmanship is not only imperative but will speedily de-escalate the heightened state of insecurity and dislocation in the South East Zone.

“We call on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to demilitarize the South East Zone, more so as it has become apparent that a continued military siege on the region can only lead to heightened tension, skirmishes and endless bloodletting between the security agencies and our youths,” the statement said.

They also urged the youth to de-escalate the tension and remain law-abiding to enable their leaders to engage the federal government in finding a lasting solution to the crises.

The statement was signed by Igwe Charles Mkpuma (Ebonyi); Eze Joseph N. Nwabeke (Abia); Obi Nnaemeka Achebe (Anambra); Igwe Amb L. O. C. Agubuzu (Enugu) and Eze Dr. E. C. Okeke (Imo).

Others are Dr Anthony J. V. Obinna (Catholic Archbishop of Owerri); Dr Emmanuel O. Chukwuma, (Anglican Archbishop of Enugu); Dr Chibuzo R. Opoko (Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia); Dr Valerian M. Okeke (Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha); Dr Uma A. Onwunta (Past Principal Clerk Presbyterian Church Nigeria); Bishop Obi Onubogu (Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria) and Dr Abraham Nwali (Chairman, CAN, South East Zone). (Sahara Reporters)

Continue reading
Image

Hushpuppi Saga: Malami, Others Pressuring Police To Clear Embattled Officer, Abba Kyari |The Republican News

Credit: SaharaReporters

“Not only some influential Nigerians, even Malami (AGF) also wants to clear Abba Kyari,” another top source said.

The Nigerian police authorities have come under immense pressure from top government officials, monarchs and ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains to clear suspended commander of the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abba Kyari after an investigation into alleged infractions committed by the disgraced police officer.

On August 26, Usman Baba, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) received the report of the panel set up to probe the bribery allegations against Kyari, over his relationship with Hushpuppi, the self-confessed international fraudster.

An FBI agent, Andrew Innocenti, had in a document titled, ‘Criminal Complaint By Telephone Or Other Reliable Electronic Means’ filed before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleged that a suspected fraudster, Abass Ramon, aka Hushpuppi, contracted Kyari to detain a co-conspirator, Chibuzo Vincent, for threatening to expose the alleged $1.1 million fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.

The agency said Hushpuppi paid $20,600 into a bank account provided by Kyari.

The Police Service Commission (PSC) had suspended Kyari from office as a Deputy Commissioner of Police and head of the IRT based on the recommendation of the IGP.

It was gathered that the DIG Joseph Egbunike-led panel, which submitted its report in August, established that there were infractions on the part of Kyari in his communications with Hushpuppi but sources told SaharaReporters that the police authorities are being pressured to clear him of wrongdoings.

“Police authorities are being pressured to clear Kyari; those campaigning for him claim he is the only one who can find a solution to the insecurity in South-East,” a police source told SaharaReporters.

SaharaReporters learnt that one of the influential Nigerians working behind the scenes to ensure Kyari is off the hook is the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

“Not only some influential Nigerians, even Malami (AGF) also wants to clear Abba Kyari,” another top source said.

It was also learnt that a massive publicity campaign had been launched to call for his reinstatement and get him off the hook.

Such campaigners have seen social media as a veritable tool to deploy to sway the mind of the police authorities and the public.

For instance, a political pressure group, Concerned Advocates For Good Governance (CAGC), recently said it had consulted US-based law firms to defend Kyari.

“We have diligently consulted with about three notable law firms in the United States to give us their legal opinions on what can be done to formidably defend Abba Kyari,” Olusegun Bamgbose, the President-General of CAGC had said.

“One of the leading firms has replied to us and gone ahead to send us the indictment against Abba Kyari and other details which is about 26 pages.

“The reputable law firm, well-grounded on extradition issues, has assured us of their readiness to represent Kyari’s interest before and after his possible extradition to the US.”

Similarly, a chieftain of the ruling APC and Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe recently alleged that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), its security wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) and bandits have been capitalising on Kyari absence to wreak havoc in the country, particularly in the South-East.

He posted on Facebook, “FEDERAL GOVERNMENT biko, WE WANT ABBA KYARI BACK IN THE SOUTH EAST. IT LOOKS AS IF IPOB & EASTERN SECURITY NETWORK, BANDITS ARE CELEBRATING HIS EXIT. WE NEED HIM BACK BY ALL MEANS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.”

Another Facebook user wrote, “Please @⁨BisongOnonye⁩, can Abba Kyari be restored to the Nigeria Police? The mayhem and heinous crimes being committed with impunity down the South East is alarming and needs his attention.

“The current Man in charge in my humble opinion is finding Abba’s shoes too big to fill. The South East is currently nosediving into a ‘failed region’. May God Save My Home Land.”

On Instagram, Chinedum Agwaramgbo said, “Pls ABBA KYARI should be re-instated! I don’t really care now about the allegations against him…which are only basically that – unproven allegations! South East is in danger of imploding! BRING ABBA KYARI BACK!”

And in response to Agwaramgbo, one Bond Chris Ohuche said, “So no other police officer is capable? Alright, why not ask for the disbandment of the entire police force since it can’t perform without one man?”

Meanwhile, the probe panel set up to investigate Kyari has since August submitted a compromised report.

SaharaReporters had reported that the panel found Kyari guilty of some infractions after its investigation but recommended that Kyari should be demoted and not dismissed.

Top sources in the Nigeria Police Force had told SaharaReporters that the plot by the police authorities to hand Kyari a demotion was to frustrate his much anticipated extradition to the United States.

SaharaReporters had also reported that the probe panel set up by the IGP after three weeks of dilly-dallying turned in its report on the alleged indictment of Kyari by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Competent sources however revealed that what the panel recommended to the IGP was a demotion – the report which would form the basis of what the Police Service Commission would act upon.

“The police report on Abba Kyari only recommends demotion to a lower rank. They figured that he could be extradited if dismissed. Kyari’s real enemies are at the police service commission and what they want is an outright dismissal.

“But they have to defer to the IGP. The IGP is no doubt Kyari’s godfather. So we are waiting to see what he would approve,” a top source had revealed. (Sahara Reporters)

Continue reading
Image

If Buhari Declares Bandits Terrorists, Nothing Will Remain In Nigeria —Islamic Cleric, Gumi |The Republican News


He wrote on Facebook: “Declaring Bandits as Terrorists: will come with a prize!

Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi says if the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari declares bandits as terrorists, it will mark the end of Nigeria as a sovereign and united entity.

Gumi, despite his pro-bandit advocacy, admitted that the bandits have over the years unleashed terror on the people, but officially labelling them as such will invite additional consequences that will consume the entire country.

According to him, once bandits are designated as terrorists, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will come into force and give “criminality a spiritual cover and remove the stigma of discrediting them with such crimes since now they are fighting a ‘Jihad’ as they will claim. In such a situation, does the larger society -as it is- have the moral high ground to fight back?”

He further justified his claims by stating that with Boko Haram terrorists having taken control over the North-East, separatist agitators in the South-East and South-West, bandits will easily capitalise on the lawlessness sweeping the northern regions.

He wrote on Facebook: “Declaring Bandits as Terrorists: will come with a prize!

“Nobody doubts that sentimentalism today overrides sensibility in our polity. For the sake of posterity, some people will have to speak out.

“The acts the Bandits are committing now in NW have gradually over time become tantamount to terrorism because wherever innocent people are fatal victims it’s pure terrorism. Yet, innocence these days is relative.

“We agreed if their children and women are also killed, they are guilty by association or collateral damage, so also the bandits may think the same way. It’s right for vigilantes to lynch Fulani herdsmen or anyone that looks like them by profiling but wrong for the herdsmen to ransack villages in retribution. They are pushed to believe it is an existential war and in war, ethics are thrown to the winds.

“Yet again, the only helpful part that is against Bandits is that no other than them (sic) are attracted to join them in the NW because of its ethnic tinge and colouration. However, the moment they are termed Terrorist – Islamic for that matter, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force.

“And many teaming unemployed youths may find it palatable and attractive. Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ plus AK47 against a ‘secular’ immoral society where impunity reigns are the magnet for extremists and downtrodden – the majority of our youth.

“Already these deadly terrorist groups are fighting for the soul of these bandits. This will give criminality a spiritual cover and remove the stigma of discrediting them with such crimes since now they are fighting a ‘Jihad’ as they will claim.

“In such a situation, does the larger society -as it is- has (sic) the moral high ground to fight back? This is the most probable consequence, the price of which is not worth it. Nothing stops the kinetic actions from going on without the controversy of semantics.

“NE is already and is still devastated by this madness for over 12 years. If we allow terror to set in into these raw naïve unexposed bandits, NW will be in ruins sooner than later. Already IPOB is destroying SE, and Igboho has set the ball of confusion rolling in SW. For those who want to destroy the NW, it’s a good recipe. Turn bandits into religious zealots. Tell me, what then remains of Nigeria?

“I have started to get these raw bandits out of their misadventure but unfortunately, I have few helpers and a mountain of antagonists. The psychology in fighting natives is to induce a motive for their struggle if they don’t have one already, a motive that is manageable, and it is so managed. Unfortunately, reactions to threats in our nation are always slow and incoherent.

“I hope another Igbo clergy goes into the IPOB militants likewise and talk sense into them, and another Pastor of Oduduwa land talks against the Igboho secessionist tribal movement by way of sensitizing people to the values of a cohesive nationalism that will guaranty freedom, equality, and justice for all. Religious forces can permeate hardened hearts where secular forces cannot.

“Regrettably, people just sit down in the comfort of their rooms or parlours and make useless passing comments that only add fuel to the inferno of ethnic jingoism and bigotry. In the 21st century, Nigeria is hijacked by semi-illiterates and half-baked tribal heroes that have nothing to offer besides promoting tribal xenophobia.

“Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groupings, it’s not possible to divide such a nation into tribal enclaves. Nigeria is multi-religious, even with one same religion or sect there is no harmony and understanding that can build a prosperous unified nation where tranquillity and development will flourish. We are tired of these bogus destructive fruitless slogans!

“Nigerians are in a daydream so long they act by Nerval impulses not by the dictates of their cerebral cortex. May Allah protect us all. Amin.” (Sahara Reporters)

Continue reading
Image

FBI, South Africa Police Arrest Eight Nigerian Black Axe Cult Members For Internet Fraud, Money Laundering |The Republican News

Seven leaders of the Cape Town zone of the Neo Black Movement of Africa, also known as “Black Axe,” and an eighth man who conspired with a Black Axe leader, were charged with multiple federal crimes relating to Internet scams they perpetrated from South Africa, Acting U.S. Attorney, Rachael A. Honig, has announced.

Seven leaders of the Cape Town zone of the Neo Black Movement of Africa, also known as “Black Axe,” and an eighth man who conspired with a Black Axe leader, were charged with multiple federal crimes relating to Internet scams they perpetrated from South Africa, Acting U.S. Attorney, Rachael A. Honig, has announced.

According to the US Department of Justice, Perry Osagiede, aka “Lord Sutan Abubakar de 1st,” aka “Rob Nicolella,” aka “Alan Salomon,” 52; Enorense Izevbigie, aka “Richy Izevbigie,” aka “Lord Samuel S Nujoma,” 45; Franklyn Edosa Osagiede, aka, “Lord Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,” aka, “Edosa Franklyn Osagiede,” aka “Dave Hewitt,” aka, “Bruce Dupont,” 37; Osariemen Eric Clement, aka, “Lord Adekunle Ajasi,” aka, “Aiden Wilson,” 35; Collins Owhofasa Otughwor, aka, “Lord Jesse Makoko,” aka, “Philip Coughlan,” 37; and Musa Mudashiru, aka “Lord Oba Akenzua,” 33; all originally from Nigeria, are charged by superseding indictment with wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, spanning 2011 to 2021. One defendant remains at large.

The intercept
Perry Osagiede, Franklyn Osagiede, Clement, and Izevbigie were also charged with wire fraud. Perry Osagiede, Franklyn Osagiede, and Otughwor were charged with aggravated identity theft.

Toritseju Gabriel Otubu, aka “Andy Richards,” aka “Ann Petersen,” 41, also originally from Nigeria, is charged by separate indictment with wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering conspiracy, spanning 2016 to 2021.

“Americans are too often victimized by criminal organizations located abroad who use the Internet to deceive those victims, defraud them of money, and, many times, persuade the victims to wittingly or unwittingly assist in perpetuating the fraudulent schemes,” Acting U.S. Attorney Honig said.

“The public should be on guard against schemes like these. And, more importantly, anyone thinking of engaging in this kind of criminal conduct should understand that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners will find them and bring them to justice, no matter where they are.”

Secret Service Office of Investigations, Assistant Director Jeremy Sheridan, added, “Transnational organized criminal networks continue to victimize U.S. citizens and threaten the financial infrastructure of the United States.

“The Secret Service, alongside our partner agencies, work tirelessly in its global investigative mission to dismantle these groups and arrest those who lead them. We are proud to be a part of the international law enforcement mission to combat all forms of financial crimes and thank all those involved in this investigation. The U.S. Secret Service extends its gratitude to the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service for its assistance.

“Foreign nationals who think they can hide in another country or cyberspace while preying on our citizens need to know one thing.

“The FBI has a global footprint and will use every resource available to protect the American people. The strong working relationship among our federal and international law enforcement partners allows us to reach across geographical boundaries. In other words, anyone who thinks they can avoid American justice simply by operating outside the United States should rethink their strategy.”

According to documents filed in these cases: Perry Osagiede, Izevbigie, Franklyn Osagiede, Clement, Otughwor, and Mudashiru (the “Black Axe defendants”) were all leaders of the Neo Black Movement of Africa, also known as “Black Axe,” an organization headquartered in Benin City, Nigeria that operates in various countries.

The Black Axe is organized into regional chapters known as “zones,” and the defendants were all leaders within the Cape Town, South Africa, Zone. Perry Osagiede founded the Cape Town Zone of Black Axe and worked as its zonal head, along with Izevbigie. The Black Axe defendants and other members of Black Axe took part in, and openly discussed, fraud schemes amongst their membership. 

From at least 2011 through 2021, the Black Axe defendants and other conspirators worked together from Cape Town to engage in widespread internet fraud involving romance scams and advance-fee schemes. Many of these fraudulent narratives involved claims that an individual was traveling to South Africa for work and needed money or other items of value following a series of unfortunate and unforeseen events, often involving a construction site or problems with a crane.

The conspirators used social media websites, online dating websites, and voice-over-internet protocol phone numbers to find and talk with victims in the United States while using many aliases. 

The conspirators’ romance scam victims believed they were in romantic relationships with the person using the alias and when requested, the victims sent money and items of value overseas, including to South Africa. Sometimes, when victims expressed hesitation in sending money, the conspirators used manipulative tactics to coerce the payments, including by threatening to distribute personally sensitive photographs of the victim.

The conspirators used the bank accounts of victims and individuals with U.S.-based financial accounts to transfer the money to South Africa. On certain occasions, the conspirators convinced victims to open financial accounts in the United States that the conspirators would then be permitted to use themselves. In addition to laundering money derived from romance scams and advance-fee schemes, the conspirators also worked to launder money from business email compromise schemes. In addition to their aliases, the conspirators used business entities to conceal and disguise the illegal nature of the funds.

Otubu also engaged in romance scams and used the victims of those scams to obtain money and to launder the proceeds of business email compromises back to South Africa. Otubu conspired with an individual identified in the criminal complaint as Co-conspirator 1, who was a founding member and leader of the Cape Town Zone of Black Axe. 

The wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud charges each carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The money laundering conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greatest. The aggravated identity theft charges carry a mandatory term of two years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment imposed on a defendant.       

Seven defendants were arrested in South Africa yesterday by the South African Police Service. Those defendants had their initial appearances in South Africa and are awaiting extradition to the United States on these charges. Both cases are before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court. (Sahara Reporters)

Continue reading
Image

Nigerian Air Force Pays Fulani Bandits N20m To Stop Them Shooting Down Buhari’s Presidential Jet —WSJ |The Republican News

The gun truck with 12.7 caliber anti-aircraft fire was reportedly disassembled and transported back to the military on motorbikes after the deal was concluded.

By OYINDAMOLA OLUBAJO

The Nigerian Air Force coordinated ransom payments to armed bandits in exchange for an anti-aircraft gun seized from the Nigerian Army, The Wall Street Journal said, in a desperate deal that was brokered as President Muhammadu Buhari was planning a trip to Katsina.

The U.S. outlet said N20 million was delivered to the bandits in Rugu Forest by a Nigerian Air Force official, who leaked details of the operation under anonymity, because the military realised that it would be too risky to leave the weapon in the hands of violent criminals operating in an area the presidential jet would fly over.

The rugged, lawless jungle that covers parts of Kaduna, Zamfara and the president’s home state of Katsina has served as a vast haven for bandits terrorising Nigeria’s northwestern communities. A large portion of kidnapping plots emanates or terminates in or around the forest, security agencies have previously warned.

“The mission to buy back the antiaircraft gun began with a handoff from a high-ranking air force intelligence officer in the capital Abuja: a black zip-up bag he said was full of 20 million Nigerian naira,” the paper reported, after stating that such military hardware in the hands of bandits “posed a threat to President Muhammadu Buhari, who had been planning to fly to his hometown about 80 miles away.”

The Journal did not specify when the deal was brokered or the presidential trip that was planned. The president has been in his hometown at least twice this year that his office disclosed to the public. The first trip was in late January and another in July.

Although the Nigerian government claimed combat victories against armed bandits, several military bases have been sacked by the violent criminals dreaded largely for their abduction of schoolchildren and prominent personalities, including politicians and emirs.

Last month, a forward operating base crucial to the military campaign against banditry was raided in Zamfara, leaving at least 12 officers killed. The bandits also seized military equipment when they captured the base in Dansadau, about 80 kilometres south of the capital Gusau, in the September 11 operation.

Less than two weeks later on September 24, bandits again struck a joint base of security forces in the neighbouring Sokoto State, killing several soldiers, Civil Defence officers and civilians.

The Nigerian Air Force also confirmed on July 19 that bandits had shot down one of its fighter jets, but the pilot was able to eject and there were no casualties. The incident came as Mr Buhari was visiting his hometown for this year’s Sallah.

It was not immediately clear why service chiefs opted for a ransom payment in the operation described by The Journal. Military weapons that fell into the hands of Boko Haram insurgents and bandits were usually destroyed by airstrikes.

Whereas Mr Buhari has promised to be tough on the bandits and publicly railed against governors negotiating with them, his government has been known to pay ransom to terrorists and other violent criminals.

The government paid millions of dollars to free some of the Chibok girls seized in 2014 under President Goodluck Jonathan. It also facilitated hundreds of millions of naira in ransom to bandits who seized schoolchildren in Niger State earlier this year.

The Gazette has yet to hear back from the Nigerian Air Force about the reported N20 million ransom to bandits. (People’s Gazette)

Continue reading
Image

Nigeria Customs To Impound 29 Private Jets Owned By Wealthy Persons, Organisations |The Republican News

On May 31, Customs announced its plan to verify import documents of privately-owned airplanes in the country.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to impound 29 private jets over nonpayment of statutory import duties.

This was contained in the report on the verification of privately-owned airplanes in the country released by NCS on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Customs’ spokesman, Mr Joseph Attah, during a news conference noted that the 29 airplanes would be impounded if the owners did not show up at the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given.

On May 31, Customs announced its plan to verify import documents of privately-owned airplanes in the country.

The exercise took place between June 7 and August 6 at the Tariff and Trade Department of the Service.

Customs Service in June read the riot act to private aircraft owners, warning those who have yet to bring their documents for verification to do so before the expiration of the grace period on July 6, or risk having their private jets impounded.

Within the stipulated period, 86 private jet or airplane operators showed up for the exercise and presented relevant documents for verification, according to Attah

He explained that 57 of them were verified as commercial charter operators and duly cleared for operations, PM News reports.

According to him, the 29 private jet/airplane owners and/or their representatives were issued with demand notices on October 11 and given 14 days to make payments to designated Nigerian government accounts.

Attah stressed that Aircraft Clearance Certificates will be issued after payment.

“Owners of private aircraft for which no presentations were made for verification, and whose status remains uncertain are requested to immediately furnish Customs Service with documents for verification and clearance.

“To this effect, all 57 commercial charter jets or aircraft operators who presented their documents for verification are requested to come to the Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters, Abuja, to collect their clearance certificates.

“All 29 private jets/aircraft owners and or their representatives who have been issued with demand notices have 14 days from October 11 to collect and make payments to the designated Federal Government accounts.

“They will be issued with Aircraft Clearance Certificates after payment.

“I implore all concerned to avail themselves of this opportunity, as Customs would not hesitate to activate enforcement procedures on identified defaulters.

“The Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria had been put on notice to ensure that only privately-owned airplanes cleared by Customs were allowed to operate within the country’s airspace,” Attah said. (Sahara Reporters)

Continue reading
Image

Judge Orders Navy Not To Release Body Of Ex-Imo, Lagos Military Governor, Kanu To Family |The Republican News

Balogun had on October 7 given an Order that the Nigerian Navy should not release the body

  
Justice Christopher Balogun of an Ikeja High Court in Lagos State on Monday gave reasons for giving an order that the corpse of Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd) should not be released to his family for burial.

The deceased is the former Military Administrator of Lagos and Imo states.

Balogun had on October 7 given an Order that the Nigerian Navy should not release the body of the ex-Lagos Military Administrator until otherwise directed by the court.

The judge had given the order at the hearing of the suit filed by one of the wives of the deceased, Mrs Gladys Kanu, against the children of the deceased, the Nigerian Navy and her co-wife.

Gladys was seeking an order of the court to direct the respondents, their agents or privies to allow her to prepare for the burial and should not threaten her.

The burial was slated for Friday, October 15, 2021.

The respondents in the suit are; Kelly Kanu, the Nigerian Navy, Simone Abiona (nee Kanu), Andrey Joe- Ezigbo (nee Kanu), Paul Ndidiamaka Kanu and Karen Johnson (nee Kanu).

Others are; Jeffery Kanu, Laura Kanu, Stephen Kanu and Josephine Ndubuisi-Kanu (wife).

The judge had said that the order was given to prevent the corpse from being tampered with as a result of the fallout from the family.

“It is for the protection of the body itself so that no one goes to tamper with that body which is to be buried this Saturday.

“There is not going to be any change of date of that burial but we are protecting the body.

“That is the only Order I gave so that there will be no inter meddlers and interlopers and going to the Nigerian Navy and saying they were told to come and collect the body and we do not see the body of our dear ex-Governor any longer.

“It is a Protective Order. I also said that of this controversy lingers and there is no proper cohesion among the lawyers to the parties it will cause some confusion in Abia State on the date of the burial.

“I gave a direction and all counsel present said that it was a good advice.

“I am concerned that the body of our ex-Governor is given a befitting burial so no one should tamper with the body,” Balogun said.

Some of the final burial rites of the ex-Lagos Military Administrator which are scheduled to hold outside Lagos will run from October 13 in Imo to October 15 in Abia. (Sahara Reporters)

Continue reading