How We Broke Into Imo Police Command, Prison, Freed Inmates - Arrested ESN Member - IReporteronline
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How We Broke Into Imo Police Command, Prison, Freed Inmates – Arrested ESN Member

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An operative of the Eastern Security Network, the militant arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra has been arrested by the police, who narrated how he and other members broke into the Imo State Police Command and the Imo State Correctional facility in Owerri, the state capital.

SaharaReporters learnt that the suspect, who gave his name only as Andy, alias Japan, was arrested in the Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State, and confessed to have participated in the April 5 invasion of the two government buildings in the state capital.

In a video recording of his confession, Andy said he and others were conveyed in a bus before dawn as they invaded the correctional centre. He noted that he and others broke the windows of the correctional facility as the inmates ran out.

He said, “My name is Andy alias Japan. I come from Orsu LGA. I joined the ESN about three years ago. I participated in the attack on the police headquarters and prison.

“I followed. We did it because of some of our members who were in the prison. We went to rescue them. I don’t know anyone of the inmates. I was not armed; I was only carrying a big stick. I entered the prison. I broke the windows and glasses. I joined the ESN because they were freedom fighters. We are looking for freedom.

“Our bus was the one which first passed. I only heard that they killed soldiers. I was in a small bus; we picked another guy on the road. As I am now, I know I have offended, but the government should free me. I have been living in Igweocha (Rivers State). I am married and I have children. They (ESN) don’t pay me one naira. They don’t pay anything. When Biafra comes, they will take care of us and our children.”

SaharaReporters had on Tuesday, April 20, reported that security personnel stormed some Imo State communities to carry out raids, discreet searches and arrests of youths and residents who are suspected to be linked to the Indigenous People of Biafra and its military arm, the Eastern Security Network.

Multiple sources had told SaharaReporters that the military personnel, suspected to be led by the 34 Artillery Brigade, Owerri, since Sunday had been arresting male residents and youths particularly in Oguta and Ohaji communities and clamping them into vans.

Imo State has been a hotbed of violence and killings which got to a head on April 5, when the notorious gunmen attacked the state police command headquarters, and freed no fewer than 2,000 inmates at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Owerri.

The gunmen had also attacked the office of the State Criminal Investigation Department of the state police command, freeing suspects there.

The attackers had burnt all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters and freed all the suspects in almost all the cells at the SCID.

SaharaReporters had reported that the gunmen operated in over 10 vehicles, and also attacked soldiers stationed at Umuorji along Owerri–Onitsha Expressway.

Earlier, four police divisional headquarters had been attacked since February. They include Obowo, Aboh Mbaise and Ihitte/Uboma, divisions.

Unknown gunmen on March 20 also razed the Isiala Mbano Police Divisional Headquarters located at Umuelemai in Imo State.

The gunmen had invaded the divisional headquarters armoury and freed suspects in the detention facility and carted away arms.

While some had fingered the IPOB and ESN as the culprits, the state government had said the gunmen were being used by aggrieved politicians, while the IPOB has also denied its involvement in the attacks.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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Nigerian, Ghanaian Arrested For Duping COVID-19 Patients On The Pretext Of Supplying Oxygen Cylinders

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Two African nationals have been arrested for allegedly cheating people on the pretext of providing them oxygen cylinders, police said on Sunday.

 

The accused have been identified as Cheema Benneth (42), a native of Nigeria and Jonathan Kojo (44), a resident of Ghana.

On May 5, a man told the police that he needed an oxygen cylinder for his relative suffering from Covid-19.

 

After finding a phone number on social media, he contacted the accused, who told him to pay Rs 16,000 for an oxygen cylinder and Rs 4,000 as a transportation charge. The complainant transferred Rs 20,000 to their account, officials said.

 

The accused assured him that the cylinder would reach his address. However, the victim did not receive any cylinder and when he tried to contact the accused, they blocked his number, a senior police officer said.

 

“During the investigation, it was found that foreign nationals were involved in the cheating racket spread across India. On Thursday, police apprehended Benneth from Green Park in south Delhi. Based on his disclosure, his associate Kojo was also nabbed on Saturday,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shibesh Singh said.

 

Police recovered 163 SIM cards, 19 mobile phones, five laptops, four debit cards and other articles from their possession.

 

During interrogation, Benneth told the police that he and his associates in India and abroad were cheating people via different modes.

 

After seeing the rising demand for oxygen cylinders in Delhi, they planned to cheat people via this mode. They flashed their mobile numbers on different social media platforms, promising to provide oxygen cylinders to needy people, police said.

 

The accused disclosed that he collected phone numbers of the needy people from social media and, along with his associates and started sending messages to them regarding the availability of oxygen cylinders, they said.

 

One of his associates in Bangalore provided the bank accounts to receive the money. After withdrawing the money, their share was deposited in their respective bank accounts. Their other associates in Africa also assisted in this fraud, Indian Telegraph reports.

 

Police found that they were using more than 20 bank accounts for cheating and they have duped more than 1,000 people across India of over Rs 2 crore.

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Nigerian Governor’s Aide Arrested In U.S. Over $350,000 Fraud

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An aide to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State is currently enmeshed in over $350,000 (about N140 million) COVID-19 unemployment fraud in the United States.

Abidemi Rufai, who works as Senior Special Assistant to Mr Abiodun, was arrested last Friday, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York before boarding a flight to Amsterdam.

He is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday.

The money wired is said to be unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department.

Wire fraud according to the United States Department of Justice is punishable by up to 30 years in prison when it relates to benefits paid in connection with a presidentially-declared disaster or emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statement

The Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman said in a statement that his team “worked diligently with a federal law enforcement team to track down the criminals who stole funds designated for pandemic relief since the first fraud reports to their office in April 2020″.

“This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of ESD fraud,” Ms Gorman said.

Mr Rufai reportedly used the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with ESD for pandemic-related unemployment benefits, the statement added.

He is also accused of filing fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania.

“Rufai used variations of a single e-mail address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems,” Ms Gorman continued.

“By using this practice, Rufai made it appear that each claim was connected with a different email account.

“Rufai caused the fraud proceeds to be paid out to online payment accounts such as ‘Green Dot’ accounts, or wired to bank accounts controlled by ‘money mules’.

“Some of the proceeds were then mailed to the Jamaica, New York address of Rufai’s relative. Law enforcement determined more than $288,000 was deposited into an American bank account controlled by Rufai between March and August 2020.”

Also, the Special Agent in Charge FBI Seattle, Donald Voiret, said “the FBI and our partners will not stand idly by while individuals attempt to defraud programs meant to assist American workers and families suffering the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

PREMIUM TIMES understands the case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG).

“The fraud on ESD is being investigated cooperatively by the FBI, DOL-OIG, Social Security Office of Inspector General, U.S. Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations.

“The Washington Employment Security Department is cooperating in the investigation,” the report on the United States Department of Justice website read.

“The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Seth Wilkinson, Cindy Chang, and Benjamin Diggs of the Western District of Washington, and Trial Attorney Jane Lee of DOJ’s Cyber Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS).”

PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mr Rufai’s principal, Governor Abiodun, on the matter but his spokesperson, Kunle Somorin, asked our reporter to call him back.

Hours later, he is yet to respond to calls and text messages.

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JUST IN: El-Rufai Declares NLC Boss, Wabba, Other Labour Leaders Wanted Over Strike In Kaduna

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The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has accused the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLc) and its leaders as saboteurs after the halt in economic activities due to the ongoing industrial action.

Consequently, El-Rufai declared the NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba ‘wanted’ while pledging his prosecution under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

The Governor made this disclosure via a tweet on Tuesday, saying, “KADUNA UPDATE: Ayuba Wabba & others of NLC declared wanted for economic sabotage & attacks on public infrastructure under Miscellaneous Offences Act.

“Anyone that knows where he is hiding should send a message to Ministry of Justice, Kaduna. There will be a handsome reward!”

Ripples Nigeria had reported that Wabba in his remarks on Monday, commended the workers, saying there will be no retreat or surrender by the organized labour to ensure the realisation of their demands is met by the El-Rufai led government.

According to the labour leader, “the 5-day warning strike in Kaduna state is a decision of the highest body of labour, the decision has been communicated to all security agencies of government. It is the beginning of the struggle of labour, hope our politicians will cooperate with us to ensure we protect our democracy by delivering its dividends to the citizens including workers.”

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