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Nigeria Senate: Tension As 9th Assembly Elects Principal Officers Today

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As the election of Nigeria’s 9th Senate President and his Deputy comes up on (today) Tuesday with Senator Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume locking horns for the position, both former 8th Senate leaders are still gripped with tension.

It’s particularly so, because the Clerk to the National Assembly, who is the administrative head has adopted a secret ballot system of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the Senate.

Initially, there was conflict of ‘modus operandi’ with skepticism from the Ahmed Lawan Campaign Group headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi that if secret ballot was adopted, there might be shocked despite Ahmed Lawan’s adoption by the ruling All Progressives Congress.

While the Presidency’s intervention has made the former Governor of Gombe State, who is also a ranking Senator, Danjuma stepped down for Lawan, his rival, Ali Ndume representing Borno South has insisted that it was late stepping down for anyone.

Between Ahmed Lawan and Ndume, no one has had the pendulum swung in his favour yet despite the acclaimed endorsement of some Senators-elect.

What further makes the situation looks gloomy is the dead silence of the Senators-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Among PDP Senators-elect, most are still indecisive. Their silence is not only grooming, but heightening tensions all over the places.

Prodded to talk on the situation of things ahead of today, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South Senatorial district confirmed that the party would take a unanimous decision on who to vote.

Speaking on reasons for PDP’s silence even in few hours to the election, the ranking lawmaker said, “there is dignity in silence.”

He further ruled out open ballot, stating that secret ballot has always been a tradition, insisting that Tuesday’s election would not be different.

With PDP having 44 Senators-elect, they play a commanding decision as to who emerges as Senate President on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, PDP had scheduled a meeting last0 inviting all Senators-elect, House of Representatives-elect and governors at the instance of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Nwike to hold at Rivers House As Okoro.

Sources close to the venue explained that the party would take a position ahead of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the upper and lower legislative Chambers. It also said, “the party would roll out conditions for supporting any candidate especially the Senate President.”

The source added that the party became uncomfortable over the ruling APC’s decision not to allow Chairmanship of Committees to any of its member irrespective of ranking or not. It added that so many factors would shape PDP’s decision at the meeting today.

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BIG STORY

Kidnappers Abduct Police DPO, Demand N50m Ransom

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Mubi North divisional police command in Adamawa state, Ahidjo Mohammed, has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen at around 7 pm, Tuesday.

The officer was said to have been kidnapped at around 7 pm while returning to Mubi from Yola, where his mother has been receiving medical attention.

The kidnappers were said to have made contact with some persons demanding fifty million Naira from the family of the victim for the ransom of the law officer.

Similarly, another resident of Mubi, a trader, Alhaji Mahmudu Mbilla from Mbilla village has also been kidnapped, Monday night and the kidnappers are said to have also been demanding for five million Naira from the family of the kidnapped victim.

Speaking to the PPRO Adamawa state police command, Usman Nguroje confirmed the kidnap and said the Adamawa state police command has policed personnel including the IG anti kidnap squad to rescue the kidnap office.

Nguroje said, “We have set everything in place to ensure that no man in Adamawa is kidnapped.

“The officer was kidnapped at the Mararaba Mubi following a sporadic gunshot and before the police in the area could reach the area, they found the vehicle carrying him abandoned with his identity card left behind.”

On whether the kidnappers have made any financial demands, the PPRO said, “I am not aware of that.”

Some residents of Mubi expressed I’ve got the rising spare of kidnap in the area and told Daily Sun that there is apprehension in the land as a result of the kidnap of a law enforcement officer.

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DSS, Naval Officer, Three Retired Police Officers Arrested Over Lion Found In Indian Residence In Lagos

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Three retired Senior Police, Navy and DSS officers have been arrested alongside a security guard over the illegal possession of a lion in a residential building on 229, Muri Okunola Street, on Victoria Island, Lagos.

The two-year-old lion named ‘Kiara’ believed to be owned by a yet-to-be-identified Indian man was discovered and taken to a zoo in the state.

In an exclusive chat with Channels Television, Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and special offenses, Olayinka Egbeyemi, explained that the three retired officers, who double as Chief Security Officer to the cat owner, said they were aware of the presence of Kiara within the building since it arrived.

Although the Indian owner is yet to present himself to the authorities for questioning, the four arrested have been transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Depart (SCIID) in Yaba for further investigation and possible charges.

Kiara in stable condition

Meanwhile, the lion is in a stable condition after regaining consciousness and has acclimatized to its new environment.

The lion was tranquilized and taken to a zoo on Monday.

In a short video obtained exclusively by Channels Television, Kiara is seen reacting to its strange vicinity, while being served a meal.

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How Yahoo Boy,H-Money, Serving 24-yr Jail Term, Pulled Off $1m Scam From Kirikiri Prison, Attends Parties, Bought Properties

Peter Okunoren

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A convicted internet fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke who is serving a 24-year jail term at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos is again, the subject of an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for being the alleged mastermind of a mega scam to the tune of over $ 1,000, 000.

He allegedly pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of the targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.

The lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was blown following intelligence received by the EFCC.

The immediate riddle that confronted the EFCC was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of Internet fraud from prison.

Preliminary investigation revealed that that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to the internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.

Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.

The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements are already being investigated by the EFCC.

For a felon supposedly serving a jail term, the investigation revealed that the Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with two of Nigeria’s leading banks.

He also bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki Lagos in 2018 for N22million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.

The convict was also in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.

Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four-bedroom duplex at Plot 12, Deji Fadoju Street, Megamounds Estate Lekki County Homes, Lekki for N48million.

Aroke was one of two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC in the closing weeks of 2012 at the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos following a tip-off. The indigene of Okene, Kogi State had claimed to be a student of Computer Science at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University, Malaysia.

But the Commission’s investigation fingered him as the arrowhead of an intricate web of internet fraud scheme that traverses two continents.

When Aroke was arrested, a search conducted by EFCC operatives on his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, traveling documents, cheque books, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz Jeep, One 4Matic Mercedes Benz Car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.

He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretense, cheque cloning, wire transfer, and forgery.

He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on each of the two counts.

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