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DSS Arrests Alleged ISIS Recruiters, TSA Hackers

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The Department State Services (DSS), has announced the arrest of one Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa, alleged to be a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
In statement by one of its officials, Tony Okpuiyo, the DSS said Mr. Yunusa was arrested in Kano on January 17, 2016, after he “completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ISIS.”
The statement read: “In line with the service statutory mandate to decisively and continually provide actionable intelligence as well as act to degrade persons and groups that threaten internal security in the country, the service initiated series of tactical operations, involving raids and enforcement actions against identified criminal and extremist kingpins and syndicates across the country.
“These recent operations have significantly degraded the key extremist groups and kidnapping gangs, terrorizing innocent citizens in the country, particularly in the South-West, North-West and Middle-Belt regions of the Federation.
“On 17th January, 2016, one Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa, a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was arrested in Kano. His arrest was sequel to available intelligence which indicated his terrorist antecedents and covert drive to indoctrinate and recruit susceptible youths in the country.
“Prior to his arrest, Yunusa had completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ‘Islamic State’.
“These recruits include the trio of one Muhammed Rabi’u, Yahaya Momoh Jimoh and Zainab Sunday (f).
“Yunusa is a 400-level undergraduate student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, where he was studying for a degree in Information and Media Technology.
“He was subsequently radicalized and became a member of an extremist cell, comprising of one Ibrahim (fnu) and Abubakar Ligali, whom he revealed are currently undergoing terrorist training in Libya. He listed one Aminu (fnu) and Ibrahim JIHADI (Nigeriene), as other ISIS agents operating in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
“The cell was being funded by one Abu-Sa’ad Al Sudani, a media expert with the extremist group using Western Union money transfers to fund the terrorist cell agenda.
“On 17th January, 2016, in Daura township of Daura LGA, Katsina State, another budding extremist cell affiliated to ISIS, was intercepted by the service.
“One Ibrahim Mohammed Daura, Zaharadeen Salisu and five other elements of the proscribed extremist group, Ansaru, were arrested by the Service.
“This group was discovered in an active stage, as its members were already co-ordinating themselves for attacks in Katsina and Kano States.
“In the same vein, on 22nd January, 2016, one Obansa Salami, Ejide Tijani aka Abu Uwaise II, Mohammed Rabiu aka Ubida II, Zainab Mohammed and Abdulqadir Salisu Ahmad were arrested in Kano by this service, while migrating to Libya, with their immediate families including infants, in a bid to join ISIS. This group was apprehended after painstaking monitoring of its network and plans.
“On 29th January, 2016, the Service arrested Mohammed Aliyu Ndako in Kwara State. Ndako is a seventeen (17) year old undergraduate student of a tertiary institution in the state.
“He was arrested sequel to credible intelligence on his plans with one Abdulkadir Salisu Ahmad a.k.a Daddy Tall, another student in Kano State, to carry out coordinated lone-wolf attacks on selected populated targets in Nigeria preferably worship centres or recreation venues. Suspect had hitherto been communicating with foreign extremist elements, while sourcing online terrorist training and support.
“Within the window of these tactical operations, between the month of December 2015 and February 2016, the service, busted the network of syndicated kidnap gangs spanning different regions in the country, especially Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Nasarawa, FCT, Oyo and Osun states.
“Foremost in this line, was the arrest of a gang of five (5) kidnappers, Abubakar Hassan, Usman Musa, Usman Adamu and Idrisa Babangida Ahmadu at Ife junction, Osun State, on 3rd February, 2016.
“On 5th February, 2016, the fifth member of the gang, Saidu Isyaku was arrested at Ojo area, Oyo State. These kidnappers, Six (6) AK 47 rifles, five (5) magazines and about one thousand rounds of ammunition were recovered. This gang has been active in the South West axis of the country and were at advanced stages of kidnapping high value targets for huge ransom, before they were intercepted.
“Another breakthrough in the fight against kidnapping was the killing of Abubakar Mohammed (aka BUBA), and an unidentified member of his group, on 8th February, 2016 close to Jebba Medical Centre, Jebba, Kwara State by security operatives as they tried to escape during a shootout with security operatives.
“Mohammed was a notorious kidnap kingpin known for his brutality and various acts of lawlessness. It is disheartening that this criminal and his men had terrorized, to no end, residents of the South West zone. He was also linked to the kidnap of the elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, in Ondo State.
“In the wake of deliberate vandalism of oil pipelines by criminal elements in the South-South region, the service arrested one Nengi Samuel Ikiba aka Kockman Abula, a notorious pipeline vandal on 27th January, 2016, in Bayelsa State. Ikiba confessed to vandalizing several pipelines in the State, including the 24” Agoda/Brass Oil pipeline at Idema community in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.
“The modest success of the service in its support to the Federal Government to achieve its desired economic objectives and stability may also be noted. To this effect, the DSS have arrested a group of fraudsters who had concluded plans to hack the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) domiciled in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in order to steal N4.5billion from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“The gang was led by one Sunny Okoh, a hacker who worked in collaboration with the trio of Uwem Udo Ekpo, a Chief Program Analyst in the OAGF, Maxwell Ekene, a retired security operative and Dozie Egwu, based in Malaysia and who is now at large.
The suspected fraudsters intended to use a software they had sourced and codes released to them by Ekpo to hack Government accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and defraud the government of this huge sum.
“It is instructive to note that a credibility problem would have arisen over the TSA policy if these hackers had succeeded in their plan and thus lend credence to the critics of the policy that it ought not to have been introduced and implemented.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the suspects have been handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and prosecution.
“It is pertinent to state that these successes were recorded as a result of proactive and credible intelligence offered by members of the public, sister security agencies and other stakeholders.
“This service wishes to state that it will continue to deploy every means necessary within its statutory mandate, and ambit of the law to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding residents and citizens wherever they reside.
“It is also germane to urge all and sundry to be extra-vigilant, as well as report any suspicious persons/groups or activities to relevant security agencies, for the sustenance of relative peace in the country.”

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Nigeria, US Sign Pact To Reduce Illicit Trafficking Of Ancient Arts

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The Federal Government and the United States, yesterday, signed the Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA) Agreement.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the CPIA would reduce the pillage of Nigeria’s ancient arts which are mostly smuggled to Europe, the US and other places for the benefit of art collectors.
Mohammed said the signing of the MoU became necessary because, despite all efforts by the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, with the assistance of law enforcement agencies, to prevent illicit export of the nation’s archaeological and ethnological materials, widespread looting and illicit excavation of these materials still continue.
He said this when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the CPIA with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
Special Assistant to the President on Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria, US Sign Pact To Reduce Illicit Trafficking of Ancient Arts.’
Mohammed was quoted as saying, “This legislation was enacted by the United States to restrict the importation into the US of archaeological materials ranging in date from 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1770 as well as ethnological materials, including those associated with royal activity, religious activity, etc from nations that have entered into the kind of bilateral initiative that we are signing here with the United States today.”
The minister said on the basis of the agreement, Nigerian antiquities being imported into the US without the requisite export permit will be seized at the border of the US and returned to Nigeria without the arduous and costly task of going through the labyrinth of judicial and diplomatic processes.
“We are optimistic that this agreement will reduce the pillage of our irreplaceable archaeological and ethnological materials, as the market for these materials is being shut in the United States against illicit traffickers.
“The agreement will last for an initial period of five years. If it works well, as we anticipate it will, it shall be renewed for a longer term. We implore other friendly nations to take a cue from the United States of America and join us in finding means to prevent the illegal importation of our antiquities into their countries,” he said.
The minister, who thanked the US Government, in particular the US Embassy in Nigeria, for making the MoU possible, said the Nigerian Government looks forward to a diligent implementation of the landmark agreement, so it can become a game-changer in the nation’s efforts to prevent the looting of its priceless ancient works of art.
In her remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Beth Leonard, said the agreement was aimed at preserving, restoring and protecting Nigeria’s cultural heritage.
“In Nigeria, over the past decade, the US Mission has partnered with the Nigerian government and state institutions to preserve cultural landmarks and sites through projects worth over one million dollars and funded by the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
“Just last November, I signed a grant award to digitally survey the Busanyin Shrine located within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove. That $125,000 grant will help document a series of shrines within the Grove and provide training to local professionals in digital tools and cultural heritage management,” she said.
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Three Out Of 10 Nigerians Are Mentally Sick -Reps

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The House of Representatives has said that three out of every 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or another.
Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the House added that over 20,000,000 Nigerians were currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
To this end, the House mandated its Committees on Health Institutions and Healthcare Services to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health towards improving mental health facilities around the country and further carry out serious sensitization of Nigerians on this issue.
It also asked the Committee on Health Institution to explore the modalities of liaising with stakeholders in the health sector to promote, educate and sensitise Nigerians on mental health.
The resolution, however, followed a motion titled “Need to Address the Rising Cases of Mental Health in Nigeria” presented by Hon. Uchechuku Nnam-Obi from Rivers State and considered by the House at yesterday’s plenary.
Presenting his motion, Nnam-Obi noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual can cope with the stress of life, work productively and contribute to the community.
According to him, mental illness manifests in mood disorder, anxiety disorder, trauma-related disorder, personality disorder, old age-related disorder, substance abuse disorder or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.
He said: “According to the World Health Organisation statistics, over twenty million Nigerians are currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
“Three out of 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or the other, presently there is no mental health legislation in Nigeria. However, the Nigerian mental health policy is the only framework that has access to mental healthcare, dealing with mental and neurological disorders in Nigeria, discouraging stigmatisation against persons with mental disorders and has institutionalised standards for Psychiatric practice.
“The increase in cases of depression is traceable to multifactorial inter and intrapersonal issues which leads to suicidal death in the country and this requires urgent attention.
“Nigeria has only 130 Psychiatrists with over 20million citizens suffering from mental disorders.
“With the few functional Mental Health Facilities and inadequate mental health practitioners in the country, mental health cases are left for traditional practitioners, hence the upsurge in mental health in Nigeria.
“The statistics are troubling and the continued lack of a legal framework on mental health in the country will simply cause the situation to degenerate”
Adopting the motion, the House gave six weeks to the committees within which to carry out the assignment and report back to it for further legislative action.

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Wike, PDP Govs Commiserate With Tambuwal Over Brother’s Death

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Representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, yesterday, paid a condolence visit to the Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal over the death of his elder brother, Alhaji Muhammed Bello.
Bello, who is also the Waziri of Tambuwal, passed on in Sokoto, last Tuesday night at the age 87.
He was the head of the Tambuwal family.
On the PDP governors’ delegation were, Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State.
The Vice Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who led the delegation, said they were in Sokoto to commiserate with Tambuwal and his entire family over the sudden death of his elder brother.
“We feel your pain, and we understand that a great vacuum has been created, not only within the caliphate, but across Nigeria and other places where Daddy had sphere of influence. We believe that God Almighty will grant you the fortitude to bear this great loss.
“We are, however, consoled by the fact that Daddy left legacies that will remain indelible; one of them is your very good self and your impact and contributions to our dear country.”
The governors urged the Tambuwal family, particularly the Sokoto State governor, to remain strong, steadfast and uphold those virtues which the late Waziri of Tambuwal, cherished so much.
In his response, Sokoto StateGovernor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who is the PDP Governors’ Forum chairman, said the entire Tambuwal family was gladdened by the condolence visit.
According to him, his late elder brother, who lived his life in the service of community, held the family title, Waziri of Tambuwal for 37 years after the demise of their father.
“We are, indeed, very highly consoled not only by your presence, but your words of consolation. For you to have left behind whatever you are doing in your respective states to come all the way to Sokoto this afternoon, shows clearly how you sympathise with us and how close you are to us. I assure you that we appreciate this.”

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