Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has described the recent arrest of an alleged internet fraudster, Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, and his Lebanese accomplice, Hamza Koudeih, as a landmark achievement in the sustained fight against internet-related frauds and money laundering in the country.
Magu said the arrest of Mompha and Hamza by EFCC operatives was a testimony to the commitment of the Commission to the fight against internet-related frauds, adding that “ it is also a red alert to potential fraudsters.”
Speaking during an interactive session with stakeholders at the Lagos Zonal office of the Commission on Thursday, Magu said actionable intelligence received from local and international law enforcement agencies had revealed that the suspects, alongside their collaborators, were high-valued targets in Organized Cyber Syndicate Network (OCSN).
According to him, “the recent arrests of a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, and his Lebanese collaborator, Hamza Koudeih, for their alleged involvement in internet-related fraud and money laundering remain a landmark achievement of the EFCC.
“I make bold to tell you that these arrests have further confirmed our commitment to the anti-graft war, while also sending a red alert to potential internet fraudsters.
“I am sure you will be greatly shocked to know that five wristwatches valued at over N60 million were recovered from the suspected internet fraudster, Mompha, at the point of arrest.
“Investigation has also revealed that he operates 51 bank accounts in Nigeria with which he acquires properties in Dubai and had laundered about N14 billion through a firm known as Ismalob Global Investments Limited.
“His accomplice, Koudeih, also has two firms namely: THK Services Limited and CHK properties Limited with which he has allegedly laundered about N19 billion.
“Koudeih lives in a $5 million per annum suite at the Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island Lagos. “
The EFCC Chair also stated that the Commission had begun forensic analysis of the phones, documents and “strange” items recovered from both suspects.
“They will be charged to court accordingly as soon as investigation is concluded,” he added.
Magu also emphasized the fact that the Commission, prior to the arrests of both Mompha and Koudeih, had independently launched intensive investigative actions against the Internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo Boys, culminating in various strategic raids on their hideouts.
He further stated that the Commission had embarked on the raids even before the recently concluded collaborative operation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, tagged Operation Rewired- an international operation targeted at the Business Email Compromise, BEC, suspects across the world.
Magu added that “From January to date, the Lagos office of EFCC has made over 300 arrests, secured 207 convictions and recovered a good number of exotic cars. In addition, several properties suspected to have been acquired through the proceeds of crime were sealed.”
He, therefore, charged the media to join hands with the Commission in sensitizing the members of the public about the evil of internet frauds as well as economic and financial crimes.
Magu, who described media professionals as critical stakeholders in the anti-graft war, said: “We must collectively strive to achieve the Nigeria of our dream, one that our children and even generations unborn will be proud of.
“it is very critical for you to understand that you owe the youths that social responsibility of awakening their consciousness to the importance of a noble life devoid of crimes.
“We must continue to mentor our youths and impress it on them to shun crimes and its alluring temptation because it will always end in sorrow and regrets.
“For us, there will be no hiding place for fraudsters as the Commission will hunt and bring any errant and criminally-minded persons to justice. “
Magu also used the occasion to disclose that the Commission might soon put in place a policy of rehabilitating convicted internet fraudsters so that they could deploy “their computer wizardry to good use for the overall well-being of the society.”
He further disclosed to the stakeholders that the EFCC would commence the auctioning of recovered items soon, adding that the commission wants to ensure there is transparency in the process of auctioning the items.
“We have already commenced the process in Port Harcourt, where we will be auctioning 242 trucks that have been forfeited. We have so many recovered items that have been forfeited to the Federal Government that are waiting to be auctioned. The process should be properly coordinated in compliance with judgment given by the court and that is why we have taken so much time”.
Magu urged the stakeholders to join the EFCC in the fight against corruption by using their platform to expose the criminals and not promote them.
Enugu State Government has banned non-sporting activities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Indoor Sports Hall, Enugu, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Vitus Okecchi, said on Thursday .
Okecchi disclosed in Enugu that the ban became necessary to enable the state government rehabilitate the hall.
The multi-purpose stadium, located on Ogui Road, Achara, Enugu is the home stadium of Enugu Rangers.
The stadium, which has the capacity to accommodate 22,000 sports spectators, is named after Nigeria’s first president, the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
According to Okecchi, a lot of work need to be done in the Indoor Sports Hall.
“Some of the facilities, such as the leaking roof, need to be mended. It is unfortunate that the Indoor Sports Hall has been turned into use by churches and other activities.Within a short time, it will be used for the purpose it was built,” the commissioner said.
The commissioner, therefore, directed stadium manager not to allow the hall to be used for non-sporting activity. “That hall is purely for sports and nothing else.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, are expected to attend the National Advertising Conference scheduled to hold at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, from 25 to 27 November.
The conference, organised by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), will be declared open by the Vice President, while the SGF will declare it closed.
The theme of the conference is: “Advertising in the Post-digital Age: The Profession, The Business and Nigeria’s Socio-economic Development.”
It is expected that the conference will be a gathering of Advertising and Marketing Communications professionals as well as scholars and students with interest in Advertising, providing them opportunity to network with specially invited government figures and business leaders.
Lightweight boxer, Kabiru ‘KB Godson’ Towolawi, has declared that his return to ring action at GOtv Boxing Night Mini will be an explosive one.
Towolawi’s last fight ended in a sixth-round knockout he suffered in the hands of Adewale ‘Masevex’ Masebinu in a national light heavyweight title bout at GOtv Boxing Night 16.
Speaking in an interview in Lagos on Thursday, Towolawi said he is desirous of making amends at the event, which holds on 16 November at the Rowe Park Sports Complex, Lagos.
“The defeat by Masevex was a bitter pill to swallow, but I’m happy for the opportunity to return and I promise my fans a fantastic return by crushing my opponent,” Towolawi said.
He lauded the sponsors of GOtv Boxing Night Mini, describing it as an initiative that will help Nigerian boxers rack up more fights and improve their fight records in order to be recognised by international boxing bodies to compete for regional and global titles.
Boxers scheduled to fight at GOtv Boxing Night Mini include Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight champion; Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, West African Boxing Union (WABU) welterweight champion; Waheed “Skoro” Usman, former African Boxing Union (ABU) featherweight champion; Opeyemi “Sense” Adeyemi and Sikiru “Omo Iya Eleja” Shogbesan
Trade unions in Dangote Flour Mill on Wednesday staged a protest over non-payment of workers’ gratuities since 2012.
Gbenga Ekundayo, the Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of Trade Union Congress, said an agreement was signed between the employers in the Food and Beverages Industry and the FOBTOB members in 2008 that gratuities would be paid annually to workers.
Ekundayo said: “All companies, including DFM, complied and DFM continued to pay its workers until 2012 and since then the gratuities stopped.
“It is not acceptable, proper; even if there is need for changes, it is only proper that when changes will be made in agreement, you will go back to the same agreement table to make the changes.
“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Nigige, and Alhaji Aliko Dangote to intervene by appealing to the management to pay what is due to the workers.”
The chairman said information had reached the union that DFM had been sold to Olam Group International.
According to Ekundayo: “On November 1, the new company will take over DFM.
“Who is going to pay these accrued gratuities owed since 2012?
“Is the new buyer going to pay the liability or DFM pays before handing over.
“These are the hopes that keep people away from crimes; if people have to go through this, how much do we expect that we will keep ourselves safe in the society?”
Jimoh Oyibo, the National Deputy President, Food Beverages and Tobacco Senior Staff Association, said the workers would not relent in their agitation until the management acceded to their demands.
According to Oyibo, FOBTOB is a recognised labour body in the country and as such has procedures in addressing issues.
He said: “Our members are agitating for what is due to them; we are not asking for salary increase, appraisal or more members to do the work.
“We are only asking what is due to us; as long as DFM refuses to obey the rules, we will continue the struggle and never give up.”
The Deputy General Secretary of FOBTOB, Lagos Branch, Jumoke Oladimeji, said that workers held several meetings with the management which always ended in deadlock.
Oladimeji called on the management to work out the modalities on how to pay the gratuity before handing over to the new company.
“What we are asking for is quality life after retirement; gratuity is what our members can use to start good lives after retirement,” she said.
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE has disclosed that growth and potentials of digital economy depends on the trust in the internet and cyber space.
Abdullahi made this disclosure today in Abuja while delivering his opening remarks at the Information Assurance Workshop, a two day event put together by the Agency, in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (OSGF).
The Director General who was represented by the Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, stated that the boom in digital economy is delicately balanced with equivalent threat that could bring organisations and nations to their knees with colossal damage arising from financial and reputational losses to cybercriminals, hence government and industries need to enhance their cyber security in the wake of these evolving threats to online activities.
While acknowledging that the digital economy is estimated at 22.5 percent of the world’s economy and yet has not been fully exploited, the NITDA boss maintained that digital investments have a growth multiplier effect in the national Gross Domestic Product, (GDP). “The Nigerian digital economy is known to account for up to 13.8 percent of the nation’s GDP, it is therefore obvious that the digital economy is a platform to increase the growth of the national economy”, he said.
According to Abdullahi, the workshop is planned to bring together efforts of all government organisations to combat one of the growing threats to economies, personal and national security globally. He therefore advised government and industries that migrate online should find effective ways of reaching out to citizens and find efficient ways of carrying out their businesses.
– Story by NITDA
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said that his predecessor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has lost political grip on the state, but now resorts to deploying police operatives from Abuja to harass his aides.
The Governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, added that Oshiomhole’s intent was an “attempt to plunge the state into chaos and cause panic in [his] camp.”
He stated this in response to the arrest of his security adviser, Andrew Momodu, over the weekend by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) with the intent of whisking him to Abuja.
Osagie’s statement had alleged that Mr. Momodu was arrested in a gestapo style.
According to him, “When Momodu resisted the unlawful arrest by the security agents, he was taken to the Police Headquarters in Benin, where he was held for an extended period until the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu intervened.”
“Investigations revealed that the security from Abuja have orders from above to pick up not less than 50 persons loyal to Obaseki, in an attempt to plunge the state into chaos and cause panic in the governor’s camp.
“Those penciled down for arrest, according to sources privy to the policemen’s modus operandi, including Special Adviser (SA) to the Governor on Political Matters, Edo South, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha.
“Others on the list are Albert Obazee, Kelly Okungbowa (popularly known as Ebo Stone) and Muktar-Osagie Muntari, who heads the state’s Public Works Volunteers (PUWOV).”
Obaseki and Oshiomhole have been at loggerheads over who controls the structure of the party in the state.
Controversial Investigative journalist, Kemi Olunloyo has claimed that embattled Instagram celebrity, Mompha who is in EFCC custody is lodging in a private hotel and reporting to office every morning.
Kemi Olunloyo called on the anti-graft agency to confirm or deny the claim that Mustapha Ismaila aka Mompha who was arrested and put in custody for fraud is lodging in a private hotel.
Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed sadness over the death of the first Military Governor of the State, Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson (retd) on Wednesday at 83.
Mobolaji Johnson died in Lagos after a brief illness.
Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, described the late Gen. Johnson as a complete gentleman and officer.
“A dedicated Lagosian. General Johnson contributed immensely to the development of Lagos state in particular and the nation in general,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu recalled that General Johnson’s time as the first Military Governor of Lagos State from May 1967 to July 1975, brought visible infrastructural development to the state.
He said: ‘‘Although General Mobolaji Johnson has gone to be with his Lord and Creator, the memories of great accomplishments he left behind will linger on forever. One remembers how the late General Johnson’s administration worked with other seasoned professionals to establish five Government Colleges and Housing Estates, which were commissioned by the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, within one year of his administration. This, to me, is the hallmark of service and has remained a benchmark for successive administrations in the state.’’
Sanwo-Olu, who described the late Gen Johnson as a man of vision with a mission to see a modern Lagos evolve, noted that the vision had started to manifest in what we see today as every successive administration strives to build on the developmental structure and foundation of good governance laid by late General Johnson.
The Governor reminded Lagosians that the best way to immortalise the deceased is to ensure that good governance spreads to every facet of the society.
“We must ensure that the people enjoy the dividend of democracy. Development must touch the lives of the people directly. This is the best way to immortalise the late Mobolaji Johnson because this is virtue he lived for.’’ Sanwo-Olu stated.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos state, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of late Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson.’’
Heritage Bank Plc has said it will continue to lend support to causes that promote women empowerment as this will impact positively on the nation’s socio-economic development.
Managing Director, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, stated this at the “Raising Girls Summit ‘19” which held in Lagos last Friday as part of activities to commemorate the International day of the Girl-Child.
Sekibo, who was represented at the event by the Regional Executive, Lagos & South-West, Heritage Bank, Dike Dimiri, disclosed that the lender sponsored the “Raising Girls Summit ‘19” because as he put it: “At Heritage Bank, we are committed to anything that represents women empowerment.”
According to him, the Bank has been in the vanguard of promoting financial literacy and financial inclusion especially among women because it believes that this is key for advancement in today’s dynamic world.
He said: “If we can start promoting financial inclusion especially among the girl child, then we can stand a better chance of having our children growing up to help build a strong financial system. Heritage Bank has been in the fore front of trying to ensure that financial inclusion is not just for adults but for children and more so at a very early age.”
Sekibo, who noted that Heritage Bank actively participates in financial literacy programme organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in different parts of the country every year, assured organizers of “Raising Girls Summit ‘19” of Heritage Bank’s continuous support
Organsied by The Green Girl Company Limited, (organizers of the Miss Nigeria Beauty Pageant), the Raising Girls Summit, is part of a global effort to empower, and deliberate on issues affecting the girl-child in Africa.
It is also aimed at influencing social change and policies to ensure the better life and the future prospect of girls in Africa.
In her remarks at the event, the Green Girl Company Limited CEO, Dr. May Ikeora, thanked Heritage Bank for its support for the summit, adding that with the lender’s support, the organisation was making valuable contribution to Nigeria and the world.
She advised young girls not to focus on what society can do for them, but on what they can contribute to the society.
Also speaking at the event, a former “Miss Nigeria”, Helen Prest-Ajayi, stated that if the girl-child is better educated, the country would be a better place for all Nigerians.