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VIDEO: INEC Chairman Becomes Peacemaker As Political Parties Fight Over IPAC Leadership

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There was a drama at the consultative meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with political parties, as two persons claimed leadership of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC).

The event took place on Monday in Abuja at the Electoral Institute of the commission.

Immediately after the opening remarks and the display of the specimen of the ballot paper by Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, the moderator of the event, Oluwole Ozaze, called on the Chairman of IPAC to speak on behalf of other chairmen.

Trouble started when the IPAC Chairman, Peter Ahmed, mounted the podium to speak and a loyalist of Chekwas Okorie stood up to prevent him from speaking. At this time, many other people joined, shouting that the IPAC election matter was still in court and nobody was qualified to speak on the council’s behalf. The group maintained that as far as it was concerned, there IPAC had no Chairman.

While the argument ensued, the event was brought to a standstill, as the two factions took the battle to the podium. It took the intervention of the INEC Chairman to restore calm to the groups.

Meanwhile, the IPAC spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, accused the INEC Chairman of smuggling dubious items into the draft guidelines of the election without including it in the agenda of the meeting.

“The Chairman has finished work on the guidelines and smuggled it into our meeting without including it in the agenda for discussion for today. And what are the suspicious things he’s introducing into the guidelines?” Ugochinyere asked.

“That people who come to polling units whose fingerprints cannot be read, whom the card readers cannot recognise, will be allowed to vote; that people whose PVCs can be read, but their names are not in the voters’ register, can vote.”

He also accused INEC of tampered with the Section 8a of the guidelines, where the commission adopted accreditation and voting simultaneously.

“You all know that the laws we are going to use for 2019 elections are 2015 laws that was used, because Mr. President refused to sign the electoral act,” he stated.

He vowed to disrupt the meeting if the matter of Amina Zakari and other items in the guidelines are not listed for discussion in the meeting.

As of the time of filing this report, journalists had been asked to vacate the hall, with the meeting continuing behind closed doors.

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Ekweremadu speaks on attack on him by IPOB members in Germany

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Ike Ekweremadu, the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate has confirmed a physical assault on him by some members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday.

Ekweremadu confirmed the attack in a statement released by his Media Assistant, Uche Anichukwu in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a 64-second video about the attack had gone viral on the social media earlier on Saturday.

NAN further reports that there were initial speculations on the veracity of the video where the senator was attacked with eggs by the irate IPOB members.

The Senator who also gave an account of the event on his social media handle, @iamekweremdu, however, assured that he was safe.

He condemned the attack and said he had immediately reported it to the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Yusuf Tuggar.

He said: “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organized by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nurnberg today where I was billed to give a keynote address along with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however, could not make it eventually.

“I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.

“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organizers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue.

“Much as I am disappointed in their conduct, especially as I am one of the persons, who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency and the media as well as rallied the southeast Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East, I nevertheless do not hold this to the heart against them, for they know not what they do.

“I have received thousands of solidarity calls and messages from well-meaning Ndigbo. I want to assure them that I am hail and hearty. I have also spoken with the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar.”

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Crime

Army vs Police: Military issues strong warning to Nigerians

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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has warned Nigerians against comments and actions that could pit the Nigerian Police Force against the Nigeria Army.

The warning became necessary following the controversies and public criticism that greeted the killing of three policemen and a civilian last week by soldiers on the Ibi-Wukari Road in Taraba State.

Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Acting spokesman for the DHQ, Colonel gave the warning while reminding Nigerians that the police and the army are two very important services in the country.

He said that concern should be geared at ensuring the joint panel constituted undertakes an exhaustive investigation.

When asked by The Nation about the captain alleged to have been responsible for the unauthorised shootings and release of the suspected kidnapper, Nwachukwu said, “That information did not come from me. Our concern is to allow the panel do a thorough job and avoid comments that heat up the situation. We are trying to apply some restraint on this issue to avoid pitching the police against the army.

“These are two very important institutions in Nigeria and it will be most unfair to this nation to pit them against each other or the personnel of each service against the other.

“What is important is that lives have been lost and this is a difficult time for the families of the victims. We should be more concerned at looking into the human angles, the psychological traumas these families are going through.

“Our concern should be that the panel does exhaustive investigation and gets to the bottom of the matter. So, I would not like to begin to make comments that would pre-empt the investigation or its outcome.”

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Crime

FBI Arrest Nigerian Billionaire Over $11m Fraud

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrested the Chief Executive Officer of Invictus Group, Obinwanne Okeke, for conspiracy to commit computer fraud.

Okeke, who made it into Forbes ‘Africa’s 30 Under 30 List in 2016’, was arrested by the FBI over $11m wire fraud after an account belonging to the CEO of Unatrac Holding Limited, a steel company, was hacked.

The suspect was alleged to have conspired with some other individuals to access the CEO’s computers without authorisation, PMNews reports.

According to an affidavit signed by Marshall Ward, a Special Agent of FBI, representatives of Unatrac Holding Limited, contacted the agency after experiencing a fraudulent transfer of $11m from the firms account through a compromised email.

The affidavit reads, “Unatrac’s Chief Financial Officer received a phishing email containing a web link purportedly to the login page of the CFO’s online email account hosted by Microsoft Office365.

“When the CFO opened the link, it instead led him to a phishing website crafted to imitate the legitimate Office365 login page.

“Believing the page to be real, he entered his login credentials, which were captured by an unknown intruder who controlled the spoofed web page.

“Between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the CFO’s account at least 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in Nigeria.”

The report led to an investigation, which began in July 2018 after the FBI reviewed the submitted documents and eventually led to the arrest of Okeke.

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