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Police Nab Online Impersonators In Rivers

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Online fraud and crime have taken a new dimension as men now pose as women to lure and defraud unsuspecting members of the public on the internet.
This came to the public view when operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau Response Team (FIBRT), led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, arrested a five-man gang of kidnappers which includes a lady in Rivers State, recently.
The suspects, upon interrogation, admitted that they lured men via a prominent online dating website known as ‘Tinder To Lonely Spots’ where they tricked and disposed the victims of their valuables.
The Tide gathered that the arrest was as a result of a petition filed by the family of one Michael Victor to the Police Unit.
A Police source who pleaded anonymity, hinted that Victor’s family had on January 12, 2021 reported to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) that their son had been missing since January 6, 2021.
Based on the petition, actionable intelligence and support from the Technical Intelligence Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja, the suspect, a 30-year-old man, whose name was given as Eneji Michael alias ‘General’, was arrested.
His two ‘online business partners’, Nwachukwu Emeka, male, and Success Okeke male,  (27) also went under police net.
“We normally pose as women on most of these dating sites. As soon as we lure our victims, we would arrange a meeting. If the target proved stubborn, we would bring in the lady among us to speak with him”, Michael said.
The internet gang leader also narrated how they usually instruct the lady among them to do a video chat with the male victim who insists on sighting a woman before further transaction.
“If the man still insists on seeing the face of the lady, we would go on video chat. We also uses a small Tecno phone that enables us to change our voice from a man’s voice to a woman’s, just to deceive the victim”, he said.
Michael explained further how he met some friends sometime in 2014 and was introduced to online dating fraud.
According to him, they would download pictures of beautiful women and use same to trick men into online dating.
“The lady who works for us is known as Joy. Her role is to pretend to be a single but rich woman who works in an oil company”, he said.
In his confessional statement, Success Okeke, a native of Anambra State, said he was lured into internet fraud operation by Michael who advised him to join online dating when he pleaded with him to show him the  the ‘way out’.
Efforts to reach the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Nnamdi Omoni, for confirmation proved abortive as he did not answer or return the calls placed on his mobile phone line.

 

By: King Onunwor

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Twitter Ban Creates Room For Local Platform Creation – Don

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Director, Center for  Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency  (CAR-NASRDA), Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, says the ban on Twitter by the Federal Government, presented an opportunity to develop an indigenous replica of the platform.
Rabiu, therefore, called on Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts and app developers to rise to the occasion and create a indigenous replica of the platform, in an interview he granted to the newsmen in Abuja, recently.
Reacting to the ban, Rabiu said although the ban had generated lots of reactions across board, there were benefits in the development.
“This is a great opportunity to make good and cool legitimate business with a social media platform such as this.
“I feel that the ICT sector in Nigeria is ripe enough to produce and offer an equivalent of Twitter services to Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“If some app developers can come up with something very meaningful within the coming days, it will be a development for the sector and even if Twitter comes back, it will be like a competition.
“Africa is waiting for Nigeria, with one quarter of Africa’s population, and this is where the market is,” Rabiu said.
According to him, we are technologically capable of coping with the situation and to take advantage of it.
He called on Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora to rise up to the challenge, adding that nationhood was bigger than any individual.
“We should use this opportunity to develop our country socio-economically. When we have our own produced indigenously, the tax will go to the Nigerian government, we will employ people, there may be offices in the geo-political zones or few locations of the country.
“When we develop ours, we will have Nigeria exporting this technology-driven service to other African countries and the global community as a whole.”
It would be recalled that the Federal Government suspended Twitter indefinitely on Friday, June 5, two days after the company removed a Tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, for alleged violation of the site’s rules.
A statement by the Federal Government accused Twitter of allowing the use of its platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
In the statement, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, also directed the immediate commencement of the licensing of all Over The Top (OTT) social media operations in the country.

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Embassy Seeks Partnership With NOTAP

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The Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria  has sought  partnership with  National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in the areas of capacity building and workshops to advance technology in the country.
The Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Carl Grans, stated yesterday in Abuja  during a visit to NOTAP headquarters.
Grans said the Swedish community was largely represented in Nigeria and engaged in different businesses and there was need to engage in meaningful partnership.
“ There are about 35 Swedish companies in Nigeria with headquarters in Lagos and some in Abuja.
“ The biggest is Ericsson with about 230 staff and the Swedish embassy is seeking mutually beneficial partnerships to both countries,” he said.
According to him, the visit was to seek areas of interest in NOTAP where the embassy can be involved.
He disclosed that acquiring patents was very crucial to Swedish companies and urged NOTAP to continue to deliver on its mandate.
He thanked  NOTAP for its continued support and provision of an enabling environment for development of technology in the country.
The Director General (DG) of NOTAP, Dr DanAzumi  Ibrahim, while welcoming the ambassador informed him that NOTAP was established to regulate  inflow of foreign technology and register technology transfer agreements.
“ Registering technology transfer agreements between Nigerian entrepreneurs and their foreign technical partners is one of our major functions.
“ At the same time, we promote the development of indigenous technologies for a rapid technological growth of the country and to also reduce dependence on foreign technology, “ he said.
He noted that the office considered the registration of Technology Transfer Agreement under three major perspectives: legal, economic and technical.
Ibrahim said a major focus of NOTAP was  linking of research to industry needs through what he called,  the NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship.
“ The NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship trains  high level manpower on industry-relevant research projects.
“The companies involved also agree with NOTAP to support research in different sciences and technology.
“ For example PZ Cussons funded the upgrade of the chemical laboratory in some research centers in Nigeria institutions,” he said.
He insisted that unless the academia and the industry come together, the research and development efforts of the country would not lead to economic development.
The NOTAP boss said if universities come up with technologies just for academic purposes and those technologies were not taken up by the industries, it would  have no economic value.
He promised that NOTAP would continue to carry out its mandate and create a thriving environment for all businesses in the country.

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Telecoms Operators Receive Orders To Suspend Twitter

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The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), an industry group, says it has received directives from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, to suspend access to Twitter.
The President of ALTON, Mr Gbenga Adebayo made this known in a statement made available to newsmen at the weekend.
The action may not be unconnected with Friday’s indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operations, two days after the social media giant deleted a tweet from President Buhari’s account.
Adebayo noted that the association wished to confirm that its  members had received formal instructions from  NCC, the industry regulator, to suspend access to Twitter.
“ALTON has also conducted a robust assessment of the request in accordance with internationally accepted principles.
“Based on national interest provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and within the licence terms under which the industry operates;  our members have acted in compliance with the directives of NCC.
“We will continue to engage all  relevant authorities and stakeholders and will act as may be further directed by the NCC,” he said.
He said the association remained committed to supporting the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and upholding  the rights of citizens.
As an industry, ALTON endorsed the position of the United Nations that the rights held by people offline must also be protected online, he added.
He noted that this included respecting and protecting the rights of all people to communicate, to share information freely and responsibly, and to enjoy privacy and security regarding their data and their use of digital communications.

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