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How Lawmaker Lawal Idris Forged YabaTech Certificate to Win House of Reps Seat

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Culled from SaharaReporters, New York Oct 01, 2018
The following day a letter from Adenuga Adijat on behalf of the Registrar, addressed to the CP and titled ‘Re: Authentication of Certificate: Lawal Mohammed Idris’, disowned the said certificated. “Your request on above refers,” Adijat wrote. “Please be informed that Lawal Mohammed Idris was not a registered student of the college and the attached certificate which was said to have been issued to him did not emanate from Yaba college of Technology. Kindly discountenance his claim. Thank you.”
When Lawal Idris, the lawmaker representing Ajaokuta Federal Constituency of Kogi State, goes to the All Progressives Congress (APC) House of representatives primary as he formally begins his quest for another stint at the lower chamber, it will be with a forged certificate from Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech).
That certificate was already investigated by the Police and dismissed by the institution itself.

The Beginning
In early 2017, the Commissioner of Police, General Investigation Section, Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Police at Alagbaon, Lagos, had received a complaint of forgery of institutional certificate/documents, attempted murder and threat to life against Idris. Acting on this, it wrote the Registrar of Yabatech for advice.
A letter on behalf of the Commissioner of Police by Abutu Yaro, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, to the Yabatech Registrar, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, read: “This Office is investigating the above mentioned case reported through petition by Mr. Aloysius .A. Okino.
“You are kindly requested to furnish this office with the following:
“I. Confirm if Lawal Mohammed Idris was actually a registered student of your institution and his Matriculation No. before being awarded a National Diploma Certificate in Business Administration with Lower Credit on the 26th day of June 1987.
“II. Confirm the authenticity /genuinety or otherwise of the attached certificate awarded and duly signed on 20th of October 1990 to the aforementioned candidate, and
“III. Any other relevant information that could enhance our investigation in this case.
“Your prompt response will be appreciated, please.”
Attached to that letter was a document purportedly from Yabatech, which read: “This is to certify that Lawal Muhammed Idris, having passed the prescribed examinations, has on the 26th day of June 1987 been awarded the National Diploma In Business Administration Lower Credit.”
The certificate was supposedly signed by the registrar and the Rector. It was dated October 20, 1990.

Follow-up
On April 10, 2017, the Police followed that up with an invitation the Yaba Tech Registrar. This second letter, also written by Yaro, read: “This office is investigating the above mentioned case reported through petition by Mr. Aloysius .A. Okino, in which your office features prominently.
“In view of this, you are therefore requested to report for an interview with the Commissioner of Police, General Investigation Section, Force Criminal Investigation Department Annex, Alagbon Close Ikoyi, Lagos on Wednesday 12th April, 2017 at 1000hrs in connection with a case under investigation.
“You are to report to the Officer-in –Charge ‘LEGAL. SEC GI’ who will take you before the Commissioner of Police.
“This request is compelled by urgent law enforcement requirement and you are kindly further requested to treat with utmost urgency.
“Accept the esteemed regards of the commissioner of police please.”
The Verdict
The following day a letter from Adenuga Adijat on behalf of the Registrar, addressed to the CP and titled ‘Re: Authentication of Certificate: Lawal Mohammed Idris’, disowned the said certificated.
“Your request on above refers,” Adijat wrote.
“Please be informed that Lawal Mohammed Idris was not a registered student of the college and the attached certificate which was said to have been issued to him did not emanate from Yaba college of Technology.
“Kindly discountenance his claim. Thank you.”
Arrest And Dismissal of The Accomplice
Yabatech then embarked on its own internal investigations, and fished out its member of staff who helped Idris forge the certificate.
In September 2017, Charles Oni, its Director of Public Relations and Media, disclosed the name of the dismissed staff member as Seun Adekoya.
He said Adekoya, a registry staff member who was involved in sale of certificate to the serving federal lawmaker, was arrested by the State Crime Investigation Division (SCID) and detained but later granted bail.
When operatives of the SCID searched Adekoya’s house, blank Yabatech certificates, statement of results, stamp pad and other college items were found.
After his release on bail, Adekoya, who was queried by Yabatech management and later dismissed from the institution, also jumped bail.
“After he was released on bail, he resigned his appointment but the college rejected it and dismissed him,” Oni had said back then.
“If he is on bail, the Police should look for him. We don’t know anything about his whereabouts. When his house was searched, all manner of college materials were found.”

Adekoya’s Confessions
In his statements to the Police, Adekoya, 35, confessed to forging a 1987 National Diploma certificate for Idris.
He stated that he got to know Idris through a friend called Kunle Owoseni in September 2015; and that after Kunle had introduced Idris to him in the school premises as his direct boss, Idris later approached him in confidence that he presented fake 1987 National Diploma Certificate of Yaba College of Technology to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when he was to contest for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2015, and that he needed a perfection of the forged certificate.
He stated further that having collected photocopy of the fake result, he did a fake perfection for him in consideration for payment of N10million, which he shared with Kunle Owoseni and some other staff of the college.
He also confessed it wasn’t his first time faking results of Yabatech for interested persons and politicians during the period when he worked with Ologunore Jasper Abiodun and Peter Oyebanji of Exams & Academic Record in Year 2016.
He said since he had direct access to the Department of Exam and Records, which made it easier for him to be in possession of original school results, he always advised his candidates to originate letter of confirmation of such fake results from their respective offices, which he normally intercepted and treated personally by replying such organisations that the fake results were genuine.
He revealed that he had done fake results for notable Nigerians, such as Wilson Sandra, attached to Edo State Government in the Department of Internal Revenue, Ejoubo Petera, Abayomi Ojo Ajayi, Flora Bassey Oke, Deru Olayinka Folashade and Olubunmi Olufunke, attached to the Department of State Security (DSS) in Ikeja, Lagos.
He added that he usually compensated the office of the registrar through his boss, Jasper Abiodun. He listed some of those he had settled as Mrs. Adewale Iziogba, Ogunore Jasper Abiodun, Aluko Olugbenga , Arejiogbe Bayo, Funke Madamidola, Mrs Helen Ibitayo, Olagunju Nasiru and Amapakabo Charity.

Forged success
With the aid of the forged certificate, Idris passed INEC’s screening and earned a seat at the House of Representatives, and even went on to chair the House Committee on Steel.
He is currently seeking a second term in office on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Watch out for follow-up of in-depth investigations in our subsequent editions.

Pegasus Spyware Used to Target Journalists, Civil Society – CPJ
In a report published on September 18, Citizen Lab said it had detected Pegasus, a spyware created for mobile devices, in over 45 countries. Pegasus, which transforms a cellphone into a mobile surveillance station, could have been deployed against a range of journalists and civil society actors in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Morocco, Togo, Israel, the U.S., and the United Arab Emirates, the report found.
Researchers have previously identified a number of major Pegasus campaigns, including one against investigative journalists in Mexico, and another against human rights workers in Saudi Arabia. The spyware’s presence in 45 countries raises significant implications for journalists, both in terms of their own security as well as the safety of their sources.
The spyware gives the attacker the ability to monitor, record, and collect existing and future data from the phone. This includes calls and information from messaging applications and real-time location data. The spyware is able to remotely activate the camera and microphone to surveil the target and their surroundings.
Pegasus is designed to be installed on phones running Android, BlackBerry OS, and iOS without alerting the target to its presence. Journalists will likely only know if their phone has been infected if the device is inspected by a tech expert.
Pegasus can be installed in a number of ways. Journalists should be aware of these methods and take appropriate steps to protect them and their sources.

Spear-phishing attacks
Attackers create tailor-made messages that are sent to a specific journalist. These messages convey a sense of urgency and contain a link or a document which the journalist is encouraged to click on. The messages come in a variety of forms, including SMS, email, through messaging apps such as WhatsApp or via messages on social media platforms. Once the journalist has clicked on the link, then the spyware is installed on their phone.
Research by Citizen Lab and Amnesty International found that messages tend to take the following forms: Messages purporting to be from a known organization such as an embassy or a local news organization.
Messages that warn the target may be facing an immediate security threat. Messages that raise any work-related issue, such as covering an event that the target usually reports on.
Messages that make appeals to personal matters, such as those relating to compromising photos of partners. Financial messages that reference purchases, credit cards, or banking details. The suspect messages may also arrive from unknown numbers.
Attackers can target personal and work phones. To better protect themselves and their sources, journalists should:
Verify the link with the sender through a different channel of communication. This should preferably be through video or voice.
If the sender is not previously known to you, secondary channels may not provide successful verification of the links, as secondary channels may be set up by the adversary as part of an elaborate cover identity.
If the link utilizes a URL shortener service like TinyURL or Bitly, input the link into a URL expander service such as Link Expander or URLEX. If the expanded link looks suspicious, for instance mimicking a local news website but not being quite the same, do not click the link and forward it to phishtank@cpj.org.
If you feel you need to open the link, do not use your primary device. Open the link on a separate, secondary device that does not have any sensitive information or contact details, and is used solely for viewing links. Carry out a factory reset on the device regularly (keeping in mind that this might not remove the spyware). Keep the secondary device turned off, with the battery removed, when not in use.
Use a non-default browser for the phone. Pegasus is believed to target default browsers. The default browser for Android is Chrome and the default browser for iOS is Safari. Use an alternative browser such as Firefox Focus and open the link in that. However, there is no guarantee that Pegasus will not, or has not, already targeted other browsers.

Physically installed by an adversary
Pegasus can also be installed on your phone if an adversary gains physical access to the device. To reduce risk:
Do not leave your device unattended and avoid handing over your phone to others.
When crossing a border or checkpoint ensure that you can see your phone at all times Turn off the phone before arriving at the checkpoint, and have a complex passphrase consisting of both letters and numbers. Be aware that if your phone is taken then the device may be compromised.
If you believe your phone is infected by Pegasus immediately stop using that phone and purchase another one. You should leave the suspected device in a place that does not compromise you or your surroundings. If you have access to tech support through a media organization, contact them immediately for assistance. If you are a freelance journalist or a journalist that does not have access to tech support, contact the Access Now Helpline.
CPJ is working alongside our partners to understand the full scope of the threat Pegasus poses to journalists. If you have received a suspicious message and believe you may have been targeted by Pegasus, please forward the message to phishtank@cpj.org. This information will be handled confidentially.
For more information on technology security we encourage journalists to review the CPJ’s Security Guide’s Chapter on Technology Security and see the digital safety information included in our Resource Center.
With thanks to Citizen Lab for valuable insight.

Politics

Disrupt Election process at the expense of your life,Buhari tells Political Thugs

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….. orders military to be ruthless on ballot box snatchers

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned political thugs to behave themselves or face the dare consequences.The president made this known in Abuja on Monday.

President Buhari said : I do not expect anybody to make any disturbance, I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military to identify hotspots , flash points, they should be prepared to move. They too would have made their own arrangement as possible and resources provided as much as the country can afford it.

He added that anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or lead thugs to disturb it (elections) , maybe that would be the last unlawful action he would take. I have directed the police and the military to be ruthless.

He also stated that “We are not going to be blamed that we want to rig elections. I want Nigerians to be respected, let them vote whoever they want across the party. I’m not afraid … As you said, I have gone round all the 36 states and Abuja. I think I have gotten enough support across the country.

“I am going to warn anybody who thinks, he has enough influence in his locality to lead a body of thugs to snatch boxes or to disturb the voting system, he would do it at the expense of his own life. Baba has spoken” he warned categorically.

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Politics

Nabena to US, UK, EU: Focus on Brexit, election interference probe, not Nigeria

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The reported interference on Nigeria’s forthcoming General Elections by some western countries led by the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK) and countries of the European Union (EU) has been strongly condemned by Yekini Nabena, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Nabena made the condemnations while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday

According to tge APC chieftain, the western nations have enough enough already on their hands, therefore their time and energy should be spent on the probe of alleged Russian interference in the immediate-past US elections, the breakdown of the Brexit deal between the UK and EU and many other serious challenges they facing them.

“In all elections conducted in the country, we have always welcomed local and foreign monitors and observers. In our view, this is a best practice and geared to ensure the transparency of our elections.

“But comments on our election processes coming from some western diplomats and accredited foreign observer missions have been downright meddlesome and tantamount to interference.

“Nigeria is a sovereign nation and such actions by these western countries negate the principles of international law which outlaws interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation by another country.

“While the electioneering process might not be perfect as seen with the last-minute postponement of the General Elections, we must all work together to make it better. Statements and actions by these western diplomats and accredited foreign observer missions that erodes confidence in the elections is inexcusable and strongly condemned. As a country, we will always find local solutions to our local challenges whenever they arise.

“The US, UK and EU have enough already on their hands. Their time and energy should be spent on the probe of alleged Russian interference in the immediate-past US elections, the breakdown of the Brexit deal between the UK and EU and many other serious challenges they face.” Nabena stated.

The Bayelsa-born APC chieftain, also condemned the last-minute postponement of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He however urged INEC to correct the lapses which led to the postponement to ensure hitch-free rescheduled elections on Saturday.

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Politics

Timi Frank exposes plot to bomb INEC headquarters in Abuja

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…Urges security beef up

The erstwhile Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APCl has raised an alarm over an alleged plot to destabilise the rescheduled polls after the postponement of the Presidential Elections last Saturday, including bombing of Abuja headquarters of the INEC.

According to Frank, the deadly plan is being orchestrated by those who are bent on destroying democracy in Nigeria at all cost, even if it amounts to total breakdown of law and order, or the loss of lives in achieving their agenda.

In a statement made available to newsmen on Monday, Frank said the plot which was revealed by an anonymous top lead also exposed the modus for which “the agents of darkness intend to operate.

“Top among the planners includes three serving Ministers from the Niger Delta, Two former Governors and three business men all within the ruling party and benefiting from its largesse.

“Following the postponement of the February 16th polls and realizing that the plan for staggered elections may have been busted, these desperate political crooks are it again devising yet another grand plan to carry out this evil plot against the Nigerian people.

Nigerians may recall the mysterious arson on INEC facilities and building all around the country happening simulteanously days before the elections.

“Starting off with the burning of the INEC office in Quan-Pam, Plateau state, to the burning of Card Readers in Anambra State, to the burning of INEC materials in 5 buses at Akwa Ibom and other INEC facilities nationwide, it will be safe therefore to note that these events are not a coincidence, but rather a grand plot to disenfranchise the opposition strongholds which is currently underway.

“Having realized that the grand scheme of rigging the polls may have been busted by the INEC chairman giving to the postponement of the elections, these desperadoes are bent on doing everything possible in achieving thier aim, including the trauncating of our hard earned democracy for selfish gains.

“We are also aware that the services of some Niger Delta militants is being sorted after in carrying out this dastardly act, even at a time when the region is being faced with its worst times under the current administration.

“These militants are being promised the backing of the military authorities as well as being rewarded handsomely should they succeed in carrying out these attacks.

“I am therefore urging all true sons of the Niger delta to desist forthwith from allowing themselves to be used by this agents of darkness, as no true son of the region will volunteer for such doom, irrespective of any pecuniary gains.

“I would like to thank our foreign partners (EU, UK, US, Ecowas Monitoring group) on the electoral roles already carried out in Nigeria and also urge the US, UK and the EU to continue with its good works and to further beam it’s satellite on Nigeria in the wake of this grave revelation at a time when the country prepares for its General Elections.

“The desperation by this individuals for their paymasters is as deadly as treason committed on the Nigerian nation. Furthermore if this plot is true, then we may be faced with the likely scenario of the “body bags” as suggested by a chieftain of the ruling party on all who may be present at the INEC office including the foreign observers.”

Frank urged the security agencies to beef up security and surveillance around the INEC Headquarters and pleaded with the INEC chairman to remain resolute to delivering his trust and mandate to the Nigerian people on the 23rd of February.

“We are aware of the happenings in INEC including the role to be played by Amina Zakari who is now in charge of Collation and RACTEC unit under the IT Department. Let it be known that any move to frustrate the wishes of Nigerians will be resisted by all peace loving Nigerians.”

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