Katsina: 4 Customs Officers Kidnapped By Suspected Bandits - Mega Icon Magazine
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Katsina: 4 Customs Officers Kidnapped By Suspected Bandits

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No fewer than  four officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been abducted by suspected bandits at the Dan-Bedi Checkpoint along Mallamawa Danbedi axis in Jibia, Katsina, a border town with the Republic of Niger.

The Customs officers, as learnt  were abducted on Wednesday morning along with an unspecified number of unsuspecting travellers on the Jibia – Batsari highway.

One of the residents disclosed that the bandits riding on motorcycles arrived at the customs checkpoint, overpowered the officers and disappeared with them into a nearby forest.

“The bandits in their numbers riding on motorcycles, arrived at the Customs checkpoint, overpowered the officers, seized their weapons and finally fired gunshots sporadically into the air thereby disappearing with them into nearby forest popularly known as ‘Rugu’.”

As at press time, the spokesperson of the state command of the Nigeria Customs Service was yet to confirm the incidence after promising that he will confirm it after hearing from the office.

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Crime & Court

Siblings Faking To Be EFCC Agents Arraigned In Abeokuta

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The Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned two siblings – Olatunji Beyioku (aka Bashorun) and Oluwayomi Oluwafemi Beyioku (aka Ola 1) – for allegedly falsely presenting themselves as agent of the commission to defraud members of the public.

The duo were on Thursday, January 23, dragged before Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court 1, sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, on 18-count charges bordering on conspiracy, impersonation, forgery, money laundering and obtaining money under false pretenses.

According to the charges, the accused persons allegedly laundered over N12,000,000 (Twelve Million Naira) and also defrauded unsuspecting victims of the sum of N404,000,000 (Four Hundred and Four Million Naira).

The facts of the case revealed that the brothers had represented themselves as operatives of the EFCC in order to gain undue advantage of their victims.

The charge also stated that Oluwayomi forged a document to claimed that he bagged a Higher National Diploma (HND) from the Lagos State Polytechnic, and one other that claimed that he participated in the one year mandatory national youth service for degree holders.

The duo were found to have made millions of naira engaging in series of fraudulent activities, using the proceeds to purchase a multi-million naira building, two cars – Honda Accord Crosstour and a Mercedes Benz GLK, different brands of mobile phones and other landed properties worth millions of naira.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the eighteen-count charges.

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Upon their not-guilty plea, EFCC’s counsel, Festus Ojo prayed the court for a trial date and an order to remand them in correctional custody. However, their counsel, Femi Meyile, prayed the court to admit them to bail.
Justice Abubakar allowed the prayer as he granted them bail in the sum of five million naira with one surety each in like sum. The sureties were also ordered to deposit their international passports with the Chief Registrar of the court.

The case was adjourned to March 9, 2020, for trial while the accused persons are to be remanded in the correctional custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.

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Crime & Court

EFCC slams Transparency International over poor rating on Nigeria

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vehemently condemned in strong terms, the 2019 Corruption Perception Index, (CPI) recently released by Transparency International (TI) which ranked Nigeria 146 out of 180 countries analysed. It also restates commitment to corruption fight.

The Commission further faulted the poor rating as baseless, describing it as appalling, the bogus and ambiguous criteria used by Transparency International to arrive at what can best be described as a jaundiced and illogical rating.

EFCC in a tweet said, “We insist that the rating is a far cry from the evident strides and achievements so far accomplished by the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption, particularly under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The claim and inference that Nigeria ranks the fourth most corrupt country in West Africa is totally unacceptable, as it is evidently not supported by any empirical data, especially when placed side-by-side with the remarkable achievements of the Commission in the past years.

“Moreover, it is quite ironic that the report by TI posits that the index does not show real incidences of corruption, yet it claims that the report is a reliable indication of the perception of Nigerians and the international community about the state of corruption in the country”.

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Libyan militant, Mustafa Al-Imam sentenced to 19 years for terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi

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A Libyan militant, Mustafa Al-Imam was sentenced on Thursday to more than 19 years in prison by  a federal Judge for  participating in the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

A jury had last year convicted Mustafa al-Imam  of conspiring to support the extremist militia that launched the fiery assaults on the U.S. compounds but deadlocked on 15 other counts.

The attacks, aimed at killing American personnel, prompted a political fracas in which Republicans accused the Obama administration of a bungled response.

Al-Imam was sentenced to a total of 236 months behind bars. He is the second militant convicted in the attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, communications specialist Sean Smith and security officers Tyrone Snowden Woods and Glen Anthony Doherty.

According to the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Thursday,  Al-Imam’s sentencing sends a strong message to those who would attempt to commit such a heinous crime.

“We express our continued gratitude to the U.S. law enforcement, military, and intelligence communities for their relentless efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack. We continue to mourn the losses of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods. Each sacrificed his life promoting American ideals. Their colleagues serving around the world today continue that important work in the same spirit and in their honor”, Pompeo added.

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