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JUST IN: Cocharis Group’s Founder, CEO Chief Maduka Loses Wife, Charity |The Republican News

FILE: Dr Cosmas Maduka (left) and Mrs Charity Maduka (right)

By Kayode Oyero


The wife of the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka, is dead, The PUNCH has learnt.

It was gathered that Mrs Charity Maduka, the Vice-President of the Coscharis Group, died on Saturday evening in Nnewi, Anambra State.

Her namesake and daughter, Charity, confirmed the death of her mother to The PUNCH on Sunday evening.

“I can confirm that she passed away yesterday (Saturday) evening,” a grieving Charity said amid muttered sobs in a phone conversation with our correspondent.

According to a profile on Coscharis Group’s website, Mrs Maduka was a co-owner of the company founded by her husband.

“In her capacity, she was once the Executive Director supervising the Administrative, Legal, Works / Maintenance, Export, Technologies teams of the organization from 1984 – 2003. Under her tutelage, she was able to grow the business by creating value via the various strategic departments she supervised within the organization.

“As a board member of the group, in the year 2005, she later became the Executive Chairman / COO of two of the subsidiaries of the Coscharis Group namely Coscharis Beverages Limited and Coscharis Properties Limited respectively,” the profile read in part.

The deceased was also a professional teacher and caterer. She attended Teachers’ Training College, Nsugbe in Anambra State from 1979 to 1981. Also attended Consertum Institute of Catering and Hotel Management, Idi-Araba, Lagos State from February to July, 1983.

“She had a brief stint as a teacher at Akamili Central School, Umudim – Nnewi between October and December 1981. Also at Tolu Primary School III, Tolu Village, Ajeromi Ifelodun / Apapa, LGA, Lagos between January 1982 and January 1983. She has equally attended various Leadership and Entrepreneurship training seminars/courses both home and abroad,” it added.

Mrs Maduka got married to Dr Cosmas in 1978 and the union produced three sons and a daughter. (Punch)

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Nigerian Army General, 3 Others Killed In Encounter With ISWAP Terrorists In Borno —Official |The Republican News

■The Army also said its troops of the Joint Task Force, North East Operation HADIN KAI succeeded in neutralising several Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the encounter.

By Nasir Ayitogo 

A brigadier general, Dzarma Zirkusu, and three other officers of the Nigerian Army have been killed in an encounter with terrorists in Borno State.

Army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

Mr Nwachukwu, a brigadier general, said the incident occurred in Askira Uba Local Government Area of the state.

The statement also said troops of the Joint Task Force, North East Operation HADIN KAI succeeded in neutralising several Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the process.

The sad development comes amidst fresh attacks by terrorists in the North-east region.

ISIS Mercenaries Arrive In Nigeria In Plan To Attack Three Communities In Borno —Report |The Republican News

The army recently said it had recorded many successes against the dreaded terrorists. This includes the massive defection of Boko Haram terrorists.

At the time the statement was released, the army said its air components had inflicted heavy equipment and human casualties on the terrorists.

Read the army’s full statement below.

OPERATION HADIN KAI:TROOPS NEUTRALIZE SEVERAL ISWAP TERRORISTS DESTROY, EQUIPMENT IN ASKIRA UBA ENCOUNTER
Troops of Joint Task Force, North East Operation HADIN KAI have neutralized several Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists during a recent encounter in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State. In the fierce encounter which is still raging as of the time of filing this report, troops supported by the Air Component of OPHK have deployed five A – Jet, two A-29, two Dragon combat vehicles and nine Gun Trucks.

Sadly, a gallant senior officer Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice in a very rare display of gallantry as they provided reinforcement in a counter offensive against the terrorists, and successfully defended the location. The family of the senior officer and soldiers have been contacted.

The Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya deeply commiserates with the families and relations of the fallen heroes. He has also directed that the troops continue in the ferocious counter offensive and hot pursuit to eliminate the remnant of the fleeing terrorists.

ONYEMA NWACHUKWU
Brigadier General
Director Army Public Relations
13 November 2021

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ISIS Mercenaries Arrive In Nigeria In Plan To Attack Three Communities In Borno —Report |The Republican News

File photo used to illustrate story

According to Eons Intelligence, over 200 terrorists have already arrived in Nigeria from Libya and Syria and are currently in the Sabon Tumbu axis of the state.

Militants under the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are planning to attack three communities in Borno State, a report has said.

According to Eons Intelligence, over 200 terrorists have already arrived in Nigeria from Libya and Syria and are currently in the Sabon Tumbu axis of the state.

The sources confirmed their arrival at Sabon Tumbu, saying the mercenaries were seen observing Jumaat prayers on Friday at Sabon Tumbu.

They will be providing logistic support to the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants to attack Baga, Malam Fatori and Marte communities in Borno State anytime soon, the report noted.

Their arrival coincided with the installation of Sani Shuwaram as the new ISWAP leader (Wali). He succeeds Malam Bako.

Sani Shuwaram

Bako was killed while leading the sect in acting capacity after the death of Abu Musab Al-Barnawi.

Al-Barnawi, son of the late Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf, was eliminated during a battle with security forces.

The planned offensives are said to be part of a grand plan by ISIS to take over some identified strong holds in the region.

Islamic State is ISWAP’s local affiliate, to further its expansionist agenda in the region.

As part of counter-terrorism efforts, the Nigerian government has since approved extra assets to boost North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK). (Sahara Reporters)

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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