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Defence and Security

Lawsuit Looms for NAF Personnel Over Security Breach at EFCC Kaduna



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed its intention to take legal action against Nigerian Air Force personnel who were released on administrative bail by its Kaduna Zonal Command once the ongoing investigation is concluded. This announcement was made in a release posted on the EFCC website on Monday, as communicated by the Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale.

Previously, certain members of the Nigerian Air Force had been granted administrative bail on Friday.

The officers were returned to their service following strict adherence to the bail procedures of the commission. The commission emphasizes that no one is above the law, and the due process will be observed in concluding the case,” stated Oyewale.

The EFCC had previously revealed that officers of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) were implicated in a security breach. The agency highlighted that the NAF officers were apprehended for attempting to release suspected fraudsters who had been arrested by the EFCC.

Oyewale said, “Operatives of the Kaduna Zonal Command of the EFCC, on Monday, November 13, 2023, arrested five suspects at a residential Inn and Disney Chicken Eatery, Barnawa, Kaduna following credible intelligence about their alleged internet- related fraud activities.

The suspected fraudsters: Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila and Solomon Olobatoke were arrested without incident.

“However, after the sting operation, six military personnel who witnessed the operation at Disney Chicken Eatery, stormed the Kaduna Command and tried to forcefully release the arrested fraud suspects. They were subdued and detained over the security breach.

The intruders consist of four Air Force personnel: Lawal Abdullahi, Chukwuma Christian, Alfa Suleiman, and Emmanuel Ekwozor, along with two students from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology, Chidera Anuba and Joseph Tokula. While in custody, there were inter-agency communications and discussions between the leadership of the EFCC and the Nigerian Air Force to resolve the issues.

“Regrettably, negotiations for the release of the apprehended Air Force personnel broke down on Friday, November 17, 2023, when some disruptive NAF Officers forcibly entered the Kaduna Command in a commando-style operation to release their detained colleagues.

“Despite the provocation and abuse of power, the EFCC exercised restraint. The Commission continued to engage with the leadership of the Nigeria Air Force and eventually released the officers to the NAF Provost after completing their proper profiling. The EFCC reassures the public that it will persist in fulfilling its statutory mandate to address all cases of economic and financial crimes, without obstruction.”

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Defence and Security

Nigeria Correctional Service in Enugu Registers 1,137 Inmates for NECO Exams in 12 Years



The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Enugu State Command, has revealed that it registered 1,137 inmates for the National Examination Council of Nigeria (NECO) external exams over the past 12 years. Mr. Nicholas Obiako, the Controller of Corrections in Enugu State, provided this information, highlighting the commitment of the custodial centers in the state to educational pursuits and the formation of inmates.

While speaking to journalist, Controller Obiako stated that 124 inmates were currently taking the ongoing NECO external examination at the Special Study Centre within the Enugu Custodial Centre. He emphasized the dedication of the custodial centers in Enugu, Nsukka, and Oji River to providing educational opportunities for inmates.

Controller Obiako praised the inmates’ performance, noting that they consistently achieved excellent results due to investments in education from primary and secondary school classes, as well as quality adult education classes within the centers. He highlighted the inmates’ options after obtaining their educational qualifications, stating, “For those that cannot continue, they will be enrolled into various vocational centers – tailoring, leather, iron, woodworks, etc – and they will be groomed to pass a trade test examination for certification before graduating from the vocational training.”

The Controller also commended the Controller-General of Corrections, Mr. Haliru Nababa, for prioritizing education as a vital tool for the reformation, re-orientation, and reintegration of inmates into society. He emphasized the commitment of the Nigeria Correctional Service under Nababa’s leadership to ensure that inmates develop themselves during their custody, promoting self-reliance and public protection even after their release.

Mr. Kelvin Iloafonsi, a Deputy Controller of Corrections in charge of Operations and the Desk Officer of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), highlighted that the pursuit of education and obtaining certificates while serving had contributed to zero recidivism among former inmates who studied within the custodial centers. He praised the Controller-General for creating an enabling environment for inmates to study and improve their academic proficiency.

Iloafonsi also acknowledged the support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Catholic Prisoners’ Interest Organization (CAPIO) and others in assisting with the education of inmates. He called for more NGOs to come forward and partner with the correctional service to empower inmates and contribute to their responsible reintegration into society.

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EFCC Issues Warning on Rising ATM Swap Fraud



In a recent statement issued on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has sounded an alarm over the surge in ATM switch scams, cautioning Nigerians to exercise heightened awareness to protect themselves from falling victim to this nefarious activity.

Mr. Dele Oyewale, the Head of Media and Publicity for the EFCC, conveyed the urgent recommendation in response to a rising tide of complaints related to this type of financial crime. The EFCC’s investigations have unveiled a concerning trend where unauthorized withdrawals are traced back to ATM Debit Card switching or fraud.

The perpetrators employ a cunning method, as outlined by Oyewale. They seize the opportunity when a bank customer appears confused or in need of assistance at an ATM. In a hurried and inconspicuous manner, the fraudsters swap the customer’s debit card with another from the same bank. Simultaneously, they memorize the PIN used during the transaction.

“The cards get stuck in the machine due to a wrong pin, and the fraudster quickly abandons the victim, advising him/her to report to the bank while making away with the victim’s card to make immediate withdrawals from the account,” explained Oyewale.

This deceptive card-swapping tactic is not limited to ATMs alone; it can occur at various service delivery points, including Point of Sale (POS) terminals. The EFCC’s warning serves as a crucial reminder for individuals to remain vigilant during their financial transactions and to report any suspicious activity promptly.

As technology continues to advance, so do the methods employed by criminals. The EFCC encourages the public to adopt additional safeguards, such as regularly checking bank statements, reporting lost or stolen cards promptly, and being cautious of any unsolicited assistance at ATMs. By raising awareness about the risks associated with ATM switch fraud, the EFCC aims to empower Nigerians in safeguarding their financial well-being.

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Defence and Security

Beware of ATM Swap Fraudsters, EFCC Alerts Nigerians



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has advised Nigerians to be wary of ATM swap fraudsters, saying the commission had been inundated with a barrage of complaints from the public concerning the incident.

The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Dele Oyewale, gave the advice in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Ibadan.

Oyewale said investigations by the Commission have linked unauthorized withdrawals from customers’ bank accounts to Automated Teller Machine (ATM) day Debit Card swapping or fraud.

He said that the modus operandi of the fraudsters involved keeping a debit card of the same bank and swapping the card in the guise of helping a confused bank customer at any ATM point.

“They swap the card in such a hurry that the customer would not notice and at the same time memorize the pin used in trying the fake cards.

“These cards get stuck in the machine due to a wrong pin and the fraudster quickly abandons the victim, advising him/her to report to the bank while making away with the victim’s card to make immediate withdrawals from the account.

“This card swapping typically happens in any service delivery point, such as Point of Sale (POS) terminals, and ATM points, among others,” Oyewale said.

He said that the fraudulent practice was gaining momentum across the country and the banking public was enjoined to be more circumspect in the use of debit cards.

The commission listed the useful tips to be adopted by the banking public to avoid further financial losses to include keeping cards in sight or a safe place after making any transaction and ensure that the card actually belongs to oneself.

“Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transaction, set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card are also vital in stopping the fraudsters.

“You could also cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at POS terminal/ATM machines and never be in a rush to make payments or withdrawals and request for assistance only from officials of the bank.

“Call your banks to block your ATM cards immediately your cards are stuck in the ATM machines or whenever you observe any irregularity.

“Ensure you know your bank’s ATM off line, blocking code and quickly make use of it whenever it is misplaced or stolen.

“Dial the USSD code *966*911# and follow the pop-up instructions to block your ATM card instantly,” EFCC advised

Oyewale said the commission would not relent in safeguarding personal, corporate and national finances in its quest to rid the nation of all forms of economic and financial crimes.

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