The Defence Headquarters has initiated a manhunt for the terrorists responsible for the recent attack on the convoy of Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni. The incident occurred as the convoy was traveling from Maiduguri to Damaturu when it was ambushed by terrorists. Although Governor Buni was not present, high-ranking government officials, including the Secretary to Yobe State Government, Baba Wali, and the Special Adviser on Religious Affairs, were among those in the convoy.
In a statement released on Sunday night, Major General Edward Buba, the Director of Defence Media Operation, revealed that the intervention of troops from the 29 Task Force Brigade, who were on patrol duty, played a crucial role in rescuing the victims and recovering the two vehicles affected in the attack.
The convoy’s security personnel bore the brunt of the assault, with injuries reported among one military truck driver, four police escorts, and one Department of State Services (DSS) operative. Despite the challenging circumstances, the swift response of the security forces prevented further casualties and ensured the rescue of the convoy’s occupants.
The statement from Major General Edward Buba read, “On November 18, 2023, at about 18:30hrs, the convoy and escorts of the executive governor of Yobe state that were returning to Damaturu from Maiduguri unexpectedly met a terrorist attack at a location about six kilometers from Benesheikh town, which is along the Maiduguri to Damaturu road.”
While the governor was not in the convoy during the attack, the incident underscores the persistent security challenges faced by public officials and highlights the ongoing threats posed by terrorist activities in the region.
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.
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.
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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