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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

Harassment of opposition members: Frank urges US, UK, EU, UN, others to call President Buhari to order

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Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has appealed to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, United Nations, and other members of the international community to urgently call President Muhammadu Buhari to order over his incessant intimidation and harassment of opposition figures in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Frank specifically condemned in strong terms the plot to arrest the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, over frivolous charges simply because of the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Peter Obi, was a former chairman of the bank.

He also said apart from the indiscriminate arrest and freezing of bank accounts of many opposition figures, some businessmen suspected to be supporting the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are also being harassed by agencies of government on the orders of the presidency.

In a statement in Abuja on Thursday, Frank called on the international power blocs to come to the aid of Nigeria to prevent a revolt against the government by citizens who are now being pushed to the wall.

According to Frank, from all indications the current government is not ready for the general elections in 2019 as evident on its refusal to assent to the Electoral Act amendment bill meant to correct past lapses and ensure free, fair, credible and transparent elections.

He added that since electoral body lifted embargo on open rally, the APC and its presidential candidate have failed to organize political rallies to sell their programmes, hence their resort to intimidate and frustrate opposition members.

The former APC spokesman, who condemned the arrest of Doyin Okupe, the search of Atiku’s son’s residence in Abuja, unlawful freezing of the accounts of some PDP members, arrest of activists and Journalists among others, stated that such anti-people actions were reminiscent of past military dictatorship in the country.

He urged the international community to save Nigeria’s democracy, and said: “The APC’s government should not be allowed to create another monster. If nothing is done to halt this ongoing harassment, it will get to a state where people will begin to defend themselves and by that time the current Boko Haram insurgency will be child’s play.

“In a democracy, how can a President treat his country men and women as less than human? The APC’s government is using state apparatus like the Police and EFCC to intimidate innocent Nigerians, unlawfully. Nigerians are living in fear. Freedom of Speech has been put on hold under President Buhari’s government. Critics of the administration are increasingly being hurled into jail.

“Despite signing the Peace Accord, we believe that President Buhari will not abide by its tenets based on his antecedents. Unless the friends of Nigeria come to its aid, unless this government is put to check, it is not only the 2019 election that is endangered. The continued existence of the country is also in jeopardy.

“So, I urge the international community and all the lovers of democracy all over the world to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop all forms of intimidation and harassment of Nigerian citizens over spurious allegations,” Frank stated.

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Politics

Bauchi monthly IGR now N1 billion – Official

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‎The Chairman of the Bauchi Board of Internal Revenue Mr Aliyu Jibo, on Wednesday said that the state’s N1 billion monthly internally-generated revenue was too low to enhance development of the state.

Jibo, also the new Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Bauchi State Chapter, expressed the dissatisfaction at the inauguration of new executives of the CITN in Bauchi.

According to him, the state government budgets about N167 billion annually but generates N1 billion monthly.

“This is a serious problem,” he said.

He urged CITN members to remain professionals to improve tax collection in the state which, he said, was faced with dwindling federal allocations because of the nation’s economic challenges.

“The challenges need swift and concrete measures to cushion the effects and enable Bauchi State Government to meet its financial obligations and provide basic amenities and interventions.

“The state government has introduced tax reforms and measures to help in augmenting the revenue flow,” he said.

Jibo also urged CITN members to be committed to improving thier profession and the citizens.

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Politics

2019 Elections: APC Statement on PDP, Atiku’s Failed Attempt to Evade National Peace Accord

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The All Progressive Congress(APC) has slammed the People Democratic Party, (PDP) and her presidential candidate on their boycott to the peace accord. the ruling party said that ,it is obvious that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Atiku Abubakar tried to avoid signing the national peace accord ahead of the country’s 2019 General Elections.

In as statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu noted that to all discerning Nigerians, the PDP and Atiku’s dubious claim of a “communication lapse” as reason for their no-show at Tuesday’s formal signing ceremony is hogwash, as the peace committee duly and formally invited the PDP and Atiku like other candidates and political parties contesting the 2019 Elections.

Lanre said Atiku’s eventual decision to sign the peace deal is clearly a face-saving move following widespread condemnation that greeted his initial refusal to agree to the peace deal. We, however, must not lose sight of the dangerous and ominous signs the PDP and Atiku have inadvertently shown Nigerians in the leadup to the elections.

“Again, this brings to the fore, PDP’s open declaration in August this year that the Party will deploy all “means, schemes, shenanigans in all ramification and magnitude” to manipulate the 2019 election” he added.

The APC reiterated that security and other relevant agencies must be on high alert to check this dangerous threat posed by the PDP’s planned actions for the general elections. In 2019 and beyond, the votes of the electorate must count and the will of the electorate must prevail. We must stand against and resist plans by retrogressive elements who are now nested in the PDP and their agents to disrupt elections through violence and other undemocratic practices.

” For signing the 2019 election national peace accord, the Party affirms the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari led APC government to a free and fair electoral process. The APC government has an abiding pledge towards a participatory, peaceful, credible and transparent elections” the spokeperson said.

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