Thursday 1 February 2024

Four Kidnappërs Arrested In Kano After Collecting Ransom

Four Kidnappërs Arrested In Kano After Collecting Ransom


Operatives of the Edo State Police Command have arrested four suspected kidnappërs in Kano after collecting ransom from their victim in the state.

The suspect, Aminu Sadio, 24; Umar Aminu, 22; Adamu Abubakar, 30, and Adamu Tahir, 30, were alleged to have kidnapped their victims in Fugar, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State but were arrested in Kano State.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the suspect was arrested by the Anti-kidnapping and Cyber Crime Unit of the command while investigating a case of kidnapping.

He said the police received a report of the kidnap of four persons at Fugar, Edo State on January 23 and the alleged collection of ransom by the kidnappers through Union Bank and Moniepoint respectively.

Nwabuzor said the police using intelligence-based investigation arrested Aminu Sadio and Umar Aminu, the owners of the two accounts that received the ransom.

He said the police also arrested Adamu Abubakar and Adamu Tahir, who are accomplices in the kidnápping case.

The PPRO said, “Operatives of the Edo State Police Command have arrested four suspected kidnappërs in Kano after collecting ransom from their victims in Edo State.

“The suspects, Aminu Sadio, 24; Umar Aminu, 22; Adamu Abubakar, 30, and Adamu Tahir, 30; were alleged to have kidnápped their victims in Fugar, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State but were arrested in Kano State,” he added.

Nwabuzor said investigation had commenced and that suspects would soon be charged to court.

CBN Orders Banks To Sell Excess Dollars In 24 Hours

CBN Orders Banks To Sell Excess Dollars In 24 Hours


Amid its fresh moves to stabilise the nation’s volatile exchange rate, the Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered Deposit Money Banks to sell their excess dollar stock latest February 1, 2024.

The CBN, which made the disclosure in a new circular released on Wednesday, also warned lenders against hoarding excess foreign currencies for profit.

According to officials, the central bank believes some commercial banks hold long-term foreign exchange positions to enable them profit from the volatile movements of exchange rates.

The new circular introduces a set of guidelines aimed at reducing the risks associated with these practices.

In the circular titled, “Harmonisation of Reporting Requirements on Foreign Currency Exposures of Banks”, the CBN raised concerns over the growing trend of banks holding large foreign currency positions.

The latest circular came barely 48 hours after the CBN released a circular, warning banks and FX dealers against reporting false exchange rates, among others.

The new development also came on the heels of the adjustment of the methodology used for the calculation of the nation’s official exchange rate by the FMDQ Exchange.

The review has pushed the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market rate (official exchange rate) from approximately N900/dollar to N1,480/dollar. The naira closed at 1,450/dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday.

The move which is aimed at unifying the official and parallel market exchange rates has been hailed by economists and other stakeholders.

They however challenged the CBN to clear FX backlogs estimated at over $5bn and also fund FX demands at the official market. This, they said, would forestall a situation whereby the parallel market rate would move away from the official rate again.

Apparently as part of the moves to fund FX request at the official window, the CBN in its latest circular released on Wednesday accused banks of holding excess foreign exchange positions.

As a result, the central bank gave lenders until February 1, 2024 (today) to sell off excess dollar positions.

The circulated, dated January 31, 2024, was signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange, CBN, Dr. Hassan Mahmud, and representative of the Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mrs. Rita Sike.

The circular read in part, “The Central Bank of Nigeria has noted with concern the growth in foreign currency exposures of banks through their Net Open Position (NOP). This has created an incentive for banks to hold excess long foreign currency positions, which exposes banks to foreign exchange and other risks.”

To address these issues, the CBN in the circular issued prudential requirements that banks must follow. A key focus of these requirements is the management of the Net Open Position (NOP).

The NOP measures the difference between a bank’s foreign currency assets (what it owns in foreign currencies) and its foreign currency liabilities (what it owes in foreign currencies).

The circular mandates that the NOP must not exceed 20 per cent short or 0 per cent long of the bank’s shareholders’ funds.

This calculation, the apex bank said, must be done using the Gross Aggregate Method, which provides a comprehensive view of the bank’s foreign currency exposure.

Furthermore, banks with current NOPs exceeding these limits are required to adjust their positions to comply with the new regulations latest by February 1, 2024.

Additionally, banks must calculate their daily and monthly NOP and Foreign Currency Trading Position (FCT) using specific templates provided by the CBN.

The CBN also directed banks to maintain adequate stocks of high-quality liquid foreign assets, such as cash and government securities, in each significant currency.

According to the circular, all banks are required to adopt adequate treasury and risk management systems to provide oversight of all foreign exchange exposures and ensure accurate reporting on a timely basis.

Banks are expected to bring all their exposures within the set limits immediately and ensure that all returns submitted to the CBN to provide an accurate reflection of their balance sheets.”

Finally, the CBN warned banks that non-compliance with the NOP limit would result in immediate sanction and suspension from the foreign exchange market.

In the half of 2023, First Bank, UBA, Zenith, Access, and GTB reported a combined N1.38tn in forex revaluation gains.

The apex bank at the time issued a directive instructing commercial banks to resist using their foreign exchange revaluation gains for dividends and operational expenditures. It noted that “Banks that exceed the NOP prudential limits due to the FX revaluation shall be granted forbearance for the breach upon application.’’

A top bank executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the new circular would force banks to sell off excess dollar liquidity exceeding $5bn.

The top banker said, “Just as some Nigerians prefer to keep their money in dollars because naira is not a good store of value, banks also hold excess dollar liquidity to make gains. They do their own at institutional level.  What the CBN is saying with this new circular is that, you cannot hold excess dollar liquidity again. Any foreign exchange you are holding must be committed to something, a transaction or obligation you can proof. Banks have made a lot of revaluation gains. Some banks, I believe, got approval under the last administration to hold more dollar than the requirement. The idea is that if banks sell all these excess dollars, there will liquidity and the exchange rate will stabilise. Foreign investors will come in.”

Wednesday 31 January 2024

EFCC Reveal A Religious Sect Laundering Money For Terrorist

EFCC Reveal A Religious Sect Laundering Money For Terrorist


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Ola Olukoyede, has confirmed that the agency’s operatives uncovered a religious sect laundering money for terrórists in Nigeria.

Olukoyede said this on Wednesday at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, during a one-day dialogue on “Youth, Religion, and the Fight against Corruption.”

The EFCC boss revealed that another religious body was found to be protecting a money launderer after some money suspected to have been laundered was traced to the organisation’s bank account.

Olukoyede said, “A religious sect in this country had been found to be laundering money for terrorísts.”

“We were able to trace some laundered money to a religious organisation, and when we approached the religious organisation about it and we were carrying out our investigation, we got a restraining order stopping us from carrying out our investigation,” he added.

There have been several claims that persistent terrórists actions disturbing the peace of Nigeria and other neighbouring countries are connected to religious activities.

It was reported how terrorists attacked both churches and mosques in Nigeria.

For instance, In June 2022, a church in Ondo State was attacked by terrorists, with scores of people kîlled while many were injúred.

The incident occurred at St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Many members of the congregation were shót and slaúghtered.

It was also reported how terrórists locally dubbed as bàndits attacked worshippers in a Mosque at Saya-Saya village in Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna State, kîlling seven people.

Five of the victims were gunned down in the mosque, while the remaining two other victims were kílled at different locations within the area.

Abductors Of Ekiti School Children, Teachers Demand N100m Ransom

Abductors Of Ekiti School Children, Teachers Demand N100m Ransom


Kidnappers of five pupils of Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure Ekiti, and four staff members have demanded N100m ransom for the release of the nine victims who were taken away on Monday.

The principal of the secondary section of the school, Boje Olanireti, confirmed the ransom demand, in an interview with  The PUNCH on Tuesday.

The abduction epidemic has continued to defy the efforts of the security agencies as cases of kidnappings were being recorded in various parts of the country daily.

On Monday, gunmen killed two Ekiti monarchs-the Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin, while the Alara of Ara Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, narrowly escaped.

The traditional rulers were returning from a function in Kogi State when their vehicles ran into the suspected kidnappers who were operating on the highway between Ipao and Oke Ako in the Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

The abduction of the schoolchildren and four staff members occurred when the school bus conveying 25 pupils home after school hours was waylaid by the gunmen in the Emure community in Ekiti State.

Shedding light on how the incident occurred, Olanireti explained that the abduction occurred about a five-minute drive from the school.

She said, “Immediately the school closed at 3pm, and by the time we gathered all the children, it was already 3:30pm. It was that time that they moved. So, the incident happened between 3:30pm and 4pm. The school is in a suburb of Emure village, so they were going back home in Eporo. The incident occurred just about a five-minute drive from the school to Eporo.

“When the gunmen attacked, the people around heard the gunshots and they came to Emure with motorcycles to inform the people in the school about what happened. We immediately reported to the police station at Emure.

“The students were over 25 on the bus when the incident happened. When the gunmen attacked them, they shot the tyre of the vehicle and asked the children to come out of the bus. They asked all of them to lie down. They picked five students and four staff members. They, after that, asked others to go.”

Olanireti added, “The five students comprise two from the secondary (school) and three from primary school while the four staff comprise two teachers, one driver and one bus assistant.

“When the parents heard about the incident, they came from Eporo and they have been making frantic efforts by reaching out to some security outfits, including the police and Amotekun.’’

“The security operatives have also been talking to the proprietor of the primary school and he has been giving them information. By the time they opened communication, they first called the husband of one of the teachers and demanded N10m for each kidnapped victim. But when they later called the headmaster, they demanded N100m for all of them.” the principal said.

A family source at Eporo Ekiti, who preferred anonymity, confirmed on Tuesday that the kidnappers had contacted the family of one of the children demanding  N100m on the victims.

The source said, “They called the family of one of the school children and they are requesting N10m per victim. What we gathered is that there are nine persons kidnapped – five schoolchildren, two teachers, one bus assistant, and a driver.

“The parents are at Eporo. The bus was taking them home after closing. It was in the process that the kidnappers struck. None of the families of the abductees can afford the ransom.’’

Meanwhile, the Aremo of Emure Kingdom, Chief Clement Akinola, has appealed to the state government to assist in the release of their children.

Akinola, who in the company of the Emure Local Government Chairman and state government officials visited the families of the kidnapped persons at Eporo Ekiti, said, “One can imagine the condition the children will be in, one can imagine the state of mind of the parents, the entire Emure community and the Eporo people. There is tension, very high tension.’’

The chief called for the establishment of military posts on the many borders between the Emure community and Ondo State to tame kidnappings and the activities of gunmen in the area.

He said, “Emure is a border town, we have a boundary with Ondo State at Owo through Eporo, we have a boundary with Ondo State through Supare Akoko, and we have some farm roads pliable by motorbikes to Ondo State at Uso.

“My appeal is that there should be military checkpoints between Emure and Owo and Eporo and as well around Supare. These will reduce the violent crimes in the areas.

The Chairman of the Joint Security Committee of Ise, Emure and Ikere, Tunji Falana, who corroborated Akinola, said, “The boundaries are too porous. We have been appealing to the government to establish police posts and army checkpoints at the borders.

Monday 29 January 2024

CBN Injects Fresh $500m Into Forex Market

CBN Injects Fresh $500m Into Forex Market


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has committed $500 million into the forex market.

Hakama Sidi-Ali, Acting Director of the Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

Sidi-Ali reiterated the bank’s commitment to “settling all legitimate foreign exchange backlogs within a short time frame.”

She also assured Nigerians that the CBN was implementing a comprehensive strategy to improve liquidity in the Nigerian foreign exchange markets in the short, medium, and long term.

According to her, this strategy is focused on addressing fundamental issues that have hindered the effective operation of the Nigerian forex markets over the years.

“As the governor said, the CBN’s focus is on addressing fundamental issues that have hindered the effective operation of the Nigerian FX markets over the years,” she said.

The forex market reforms, she explained, are designed to streamline and unify multiple exchange rates, foster transparency, and reduce arbitrage opportunities.

She expressed confidence that a stable exchange rate would boost investor confidence and attract foreign investment.

She urged all participants in the forex market to play by the rules, emphasizing that transparency in the market would enable the fair determination of exchange rates and, by extension, guarantee stability for businesses and individuals alike.

We believe that a stable exchange rate will boost investor confidence and attract foreign investment.

“We urge all participants in the market to play by the rules. Transparency in the market will enable the fair determination of exchange rates and, by extension, guarantee stability for businesses and individuals alike,” she said.

Earlier, the apex bank had infused nearly $2 billion to satisfy outstanding commitments in the manufacturing, aviation, and petroleum sectors.

ECOWAS Rejects Exit Of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso From Commission

ECOWAS Rejects Exit Of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso From Commission


The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission) says it is yet to receive a formal notification from Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso about their intention to quit the regional bloc.

It was reacting after the military juntas from the three Member-States withdrew from ECOWAS with immediate effect.

The three countries, which mulled a counter force, Alliance of Sahel States, against the regional bloc after the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Niger, announced the development on Sunday.

ECOWAS under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu had threatened military action if the Niger junta refused to transfer power.

But the regime stood its ground as Mali and Burkina Faso vowed to fight in defence of Niger.

On Sunday, the leaders of the three Sahel nations said they had taken a sovereign decision to pull out their countries from ECOWAS.

However, in a communique issued by the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja on Sunday evening, the body said it had been working with the three countries for restoration of constitutional order.

It insisted that Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso remained important members of the Community and the Authority of Heads of State and Government remained committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse.

The communique reads: “The attention of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission) has been drawn to a statement broadcast on the National Televisions of Mali and Niger announcing the decision of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to withdraw from ECOWAS.

“The ECOWAS Commission is yet to receive any direct formal notification from the three Member States about their intention to withdraw from the Community.

“The ECOWAS Commission, as directed by the Authority of Heads of State and Government, has been working assiduously with these countries for the restoration of constitutional order. Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the Community and the Authority remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse.

“The ECOWAS Commission remains seized with the development and shall make further pronouncements as the situation evolves.”

Bandits Abdúct Newly Wedded Couple In Zamfara

Bandits Abdúct Newly Wedded Couple In Zamfara


Bandits stormed Madabanciya village in Bungudu local government area of Zamfara State, on Sunday night, where they abdûcted a newlywed husband and wife.

An indigene of the area, Ibrahim Sani, said the bàndits arrived in the village on foot around 11.45pm on Sunday, leaving their motorcycles outside the village.

Sani said the bandits, who were in large numbers, were wielding sophisticated weapons and immediately they arrived at the village, they began to shoot indiscriminatelg to scare residents.

According to him, the bandits went from house to house in search of food items and other valuables.

He added, “They stole large number of animals, food items and other valuables.

“In the process of going round the village, they came across a newly married couple and took them to the forest.”

Sani said there was no security agent attached to the village to protect the lives and property of the people, despite the security challenges affecting the state.

He called on the authorities to deploy security personnel to the area, concluding that “if something is not done on time, we will be left with no option than to relocate to other places.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yazid Abubakar, could not be reached for comment as of the time of sending this report.

On its part, the state government has concluded arrangements to launch its Community Protection Guards next Wednesday.

They would be deployed to their respective localities to help the security personnel in the fight against banditry.

Zamfara has been facing frequent attacks by bandits, resulting in the loss of lives and the abduction of numerous individuals over the past few months.

Lagos Tenant Hospitalised As Landlady Breaks Into Apartment

Lagos Tenant Hospitalised As Landlady Breaks Into Apartment


Olanike, the wife of a car dealer, Ayodeji Soetan, has been hospitalised after their landlady, Juliet Akano, allegedly vandalised and broke into his apartment at Tijani Bello in the Ojodu area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the incident happened at about 11 am on Wednesday, January 24.

Speaking with our correspondent on Sunday, Soetan said Akano stormed the premises of the two-storey building in the company of some suspected thugs.

According to him, one of them brought out a sledgehammer and started to demolish his door and windows before eventually breaking into his apartment.

He, however, lamented that the sudden demolition affected his wife who was later rushed to the hospital due to shock resulting in high blood pressure.

While narrating the incident, he said, “I had left home in the morning when my wife called to tell me that the landlady came with some people to vandalise my flat which is on the ground floor of the building. And by the time I got home, they had vandalised my door, including my bedroom and kitchen windows. My wife lost her pregnancy two months ago and she has been recovering from the loss, but the shock of the demolition was too much for her. She developed high blood pressure and now in the hospital.”

Soetan alleged that one of the men assaulted his neighbour who attempted to restrict them from going ahead with the demolition.

He said, “In the process of trying to stop them, one of the thugs she brought assaulted my neighbour. All these were happening in the presence of our landlady while she said nothing. After doing that, they went ahead and dug a hole around the building. I have no issue with her order than the house rent I want to pay her. I have offered to pay the rent which will be due by May this year, but she has refused to collect it. She did not even give me an audience at all.”

Soetan said no prior notice was made by the landlady before the demolition.

He also added the suspected thugs who carried out the exercise were not officials of the state government as claimed by Akano.

He said, “Before this incident, she had brought some people to mark the house, claiming they were Lagos State Government officials. She said the people who vandalised our property were government officials too. But when I made my findings, I found out that they were not from the state government. How would the Lagos State Government officials come to demolish people’s property in that manner?”

When contacted, Akano picked her call but later dropped it when our correspondent introduced himself. A text message sent to her had yet to be replied to as of the time this report was filed.

Thursday 25 January 2024

BREAKING: Police Reject N1m Bribe, Arrest Bandit In Kaduna Hotel

BREAKING: Police Reject N1m Bribe, Arrest Bandit In Kaduna Hotel


A police Divisional Officer has rejected one million naira bribe offered to him by a suspected bandit after his arrest in a hotel in Kaduna Community.

The arrested bandit reportedly offered the bribe out of the ransom recovered from him by the police at a hotel in Tafa community.

According to the Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, on Thursday, the arrest was made on the 19th of January, 2024.

According to him, the divisional headquarters received credible information regarding the presence of the suspected person st Easyway hotel in Tafa town.

He explained that their Operatives led by the Divisional Police Officer stormed the hotel and arrested a certain 28-year-old Bello Muhammad from Zamfara State and recovered the sum of N2,350,000:00, suspected to be proceeds of kidnapping.

He said during the course of the investigation, the suspect admitted to being a kidnapper who operates with his gang around Kagarko forest in Kaduna.

ASP Mansir said the aforementioned sum is the suspect’s own share of a ransom collected, adding that a check of his mobile phone corroborated the suspect’s confession as pictures of him brandishing an AK47 rifle in a forest were retrieved.

“The said suspect Bello Muhammad thus offered a million naira backhander to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to stop him from furthering the investigation, which the Police Officer forthwith rejected. The investigation is still ongoing as the suspect is assisting the Police with vital information,” he said.

The Commissioner of Police Kaduna State Command, CP A.D Ali, while praising the Tafa Division’s Operatives, urged them and others not to dwindle but to increase the tempo until crimes and criminality are reduced minimally.

The CP tasked hoteliers, recreation, and leisure service operators in the State to always scrutinize the identity of their customers to avoid providing criminals with a safe haven.

Daily Trust 

DHQ To Summon CAN Chairman Accusing Military Of Aiding Plateau Kìllings

DHQ To Summon CAN Chairman Accusing Military Of Aiding Plateau Kìllings


The Defence Headquarters has said it would request to meet with the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, Rev Timothy Daluk, over his recent comment against the military.

Daluk had accused the Nigerian military of supervising the kìllings of Christians and destruction of property in the state.

In a viral video seen by our correspondent, Daluk said, “I am here to report the situation happening in Mangu Local Government for the whole world to understand. What is happening in Mangu at this particular point in time, the military are the ones sending our people away for the militia to búrn their houses.

“At this particular point in time, they have sent every Christian away from the new market, thereby leaving the Muslims to come and burn their houses.”

However, responding following an inquiry from our correspondent on Thursday, the Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba said the DHQ was in the process of reaching out to the cleric to substantiate his allegations.

He said, “DHQ is in the process of reaching out to him to come and substantiate the claims. It is not unusual for emotions to cloud people’s judgment when they have been confronted with a very traumatising experience.

“We would get to the bottom of his allegations after we have an audience with him. All the same, the military will continue to discharge its duties professionally and in line with the best international standards.”