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EFCC Summons Ex-Aviation Minister, Sirika, Nigeria Air Officials



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to appear before the commission.

The anti-graft agency had also questioned officials of Nigerian Air over the recent launch of the airline in Abuja.

While the minister was due to appear before the commission within the week to answer questions related to the launch of the airline, Nigerian Air, garbed in Ethiopian colours, the commission had already grilled some supposed officials of the national carrier.

According to a report by ThisDay, the spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that there was an ongoing investigation but could not give further details.

“I can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation in that regard,” he said.

Competent sources revealed that the commission would look at the N3 billion sunk into the project though some stakeholders insisted that over N80 billion was expended on the project.

The minister had, at the twilight of the Buhari’s administration, caused the supposed launch of the Nigerian Air in Abuja using an Ethiopian aircraft.

Stakeholders were enraged that an Ethiopian airline that landed in Nigeria with Ethiopian colours was packaged as a national carrier.

The minister had said at a recent Arise News Channel interview that the landing of the Ethiopian aircraft in Abuja, was “a marketing strategy.”

“We have already questioned some officials of Nigerian Air.

“We have invited the former Aviation minister, Hadi Sirika.

We are expecting him within the week”, the source said.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) disclosed last week that the airline was still in the first stage in a five-phase process of obtaining an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to operate as a commercial airline.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) had also consistently opposed the idea on several grounds.

Speaking on the matter recently, the spokesman of AON, Obiora Okonkwo, warned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to be “blackmailed into accepting a contraption that would definitely and ultimately hurt the Nigerian economy and destroy millions of existing jobs in favour of one or two individuals”.

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Mohbad’s Father Present As Police Launches Special Investigation Team On Son’s Death 



The inauguration of a 13-man special investigative team by the Lagos State Police Command to probe the death of the late singer’s son, Ilerioluwa Aloba, also known as Mohbad, was attended by Joseph Aloba, the singer’s father, and some other relatives.

While addressing the press at the inauguration, the Lagos State Commissioner, Idowu Owohunwa, said, “Wherever you are in this world, do not forget, we have a unique access in the INTERPOL, everybody linked to it will be identified and brought to establish their level of liability.

“We want to undertake a fair and open investigation, and we don’t want to isolate specific characters. All facts, including videos, personalities that have been mentioned, those not even mentioned but we do know from our homicide investigation experience, could be vital to getting to the root of this.

“I don’t want to reduce it to specific names at this moment. Let’s proceed with the investigation. And as we have need to identify individuals which could be wider, we will pick on whoever we believe from investigation is linked and we’ll bring such a person within the dictates of the law to come and clarify their level of involvement.”

Mohbad died on September 12 at the age of 27.

Credit: TVC

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Military, Police begin search for kidnapped Zamfara corpers



The National Youth Service Corps has said its Director General, Brig. Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed is working with the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services, and the military brigade to secure the release of eight corps members kidnapped in Zamfara State on Saturday.

The NYSC Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, made the development known on Wednesday in a telephone interview with our correspondent.

“As I speak to you, the NYSC DG is in Zamfara state, and the NYSC is currently working with the police, the military brigade, and the DSS to release the eight corps members that were kidnapped in Zamfara,” Megwa said.

The PUNCH reports that gunmen abducted eight members of the NYSC on a highway in Zamfara on Saturday. The corps members were travelling inside an AKTC bus from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to Sokoto State, en route to Zamfara State, to take part in the mandatory national service.

A source in the transport company, who did not want his name mentioned because he was not authorised to speak, confirmed the development, adding that the corps members were 11 in number but three escaped during the attack by the gunmen.

“The corps members were offloaded (from the bus) and taken into the bush. The police have recovered the bus.

“They left here (Uyo) on Friday and slept over in Abuja. It was when they were proceeding to Sokoto that they were kidnapped,” he said.

He further noted that the incident had been reported to government authorities and security agencies, adding that the bus driver was also killed.

Meanwhile, another NYSC member, Miss Esther Akande, with Call-up No: NYSC/IFE/2023/201810 (Batch B stream 2), who was kidnapped on Wednesday, August 16, while on her way to the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Magaji Dan Yanusa Keffi, Nasarawa State, and released on Saturday, August 19, has revealed that the sum of N1m was paid to secure her freedom from the den of her abductors.

Family sources had confirmed to The PUNCH on Saturday that the kidnappers demanded a ransom of N1m, adding that the police were nonchalant about the situation, while the NYSC urged the family to pay the ransom.

However, Miss Esther, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Wednesday, gave the full details of her abduction and subsequent release.

When asked about her release, Esther revealed, “I spent four days. From Wednesday, I was released on Saturday. The incident happened on Wednesday. They released me on Saturday after collecting money from my parents. So, they actually requested money. At first, they were requesting N300m.

Then later, it was reduced to N100m. Then, after begging, it was later reduced to N1m.

“They asked my dad to bring the money to Abaji. So, I don’t know how it happened there, because I know they delayed him; he was there since 12 and they attended to him by 9. So after they collected the money, they later released me.”

She further explained that she was taken to the NYSC camp from there and received treatment. She further added that although her aunty informed the police, she wasn’t taken into custody after her release. The police weren’t involved in the transaction process either.

However, when contacted, the NYSC Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, said, “The important thing is that she’s out of their hands now, and she’s not hurt. She’s in orientation camp now with her colleagues. It took the combined efforts of security men and pleading for her to be released. We at NYSC worked with security agencies to ensure that she was released. We’re not aware that any ransom was paid.”

Also, Esther’s father, Mr Akande, who is also a pastor, denied the payment of ransom to the kidnappers, despite contrary revelations by his daughter, the victim.

Also, confirming Esther’s narration, a family source privy to the development told one of our correspondents that the victim was only released following the payment of the ransom.

“We were advised not to involve the police. It was later taken up by the school authority—the higher institution she graduated from—Adeyemi College of Education. Corps members, undergraduates, and staff members from the school helped raise over half of the N1m ransom,” the source revealed.

Reacting to the denial by the NYSC, he queried, “The question should be, is it possible for the police and other security agencies to get a victim from kidnappers and not arrest the kidnappers? The family had to travel down from here to give them the money. The kidnappers even gave an ultimatum. I don’t need to deny it, especially now that she has been released.”

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We’ve been stealing goats for 5 yrs —Suspects Says they’ve stolen over 500 goats so far



Niger State Police Command has arrested four suspects, who specialised in stealing goats around Kpakungu, Soje areas of Minna, the Niger State capital.

They were said to have been in the business for the past five years to survive.

Residents of the affected areas were said to have been trailing the thieves in the past few months before Nemesis caught up with them last week.

The suspects, it was gathered, were trailed by the Police after receiving a tip-off from residents of the area of the operation of the syndicate on the fateful day.

According to the police,“Immediately the syndicate was sighted, the policemen, after being alerted, went into action and while the Tactical Support Team trailed them, the suspects zoomed off in a Honda Civic vehicle with number plate, MNA 342 AA.

“The vehicle was intercepted around Shiroro Hotel and three suspects were arrested there-in.”

Spokesman of the state police command, Wasiu Abiodun, added that Shehu Buhari, 25; Musa Idris, 40. both of Barkin-Sale, Minna and Idrisu Aliyu (Dagrin), 22 years of Kaffintela, Minna were immediately arrested.

He said the suspects had confessed to the crime during interrogation.

He said: “The suspects said they have been stealing goats in Minna for the past five years to survive and that they had stolen over 500 goats at different locations in Minna.

“They further stated that they do sell the goats between N10,000 and N15,000 depending on the size to butchers in Maitumbi and Tunga areas and that Idris Dagrin’s vehicle, Honda Civic, was always used to convey the animals.”

He added that the suspects had also mentioned two receivers of which one Murtala Dan-Azumi of Tunga was arrested while Hussaini Yahaya is presently at large.

Abiodun said efforts were on to arrest the fleeing suspect, adding that the case was under investigation and all suspects would be arraigned in court after investigation

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