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DSS Finally Reveal Why Terrorists’ Negotiator, Manu Was Arrested

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By Gloria Ikibah

The Department of State Services has revealed why the lead negotiator between the terrorists and passengers kidnapped from the attacked Abuja-Kaduna train, Alhaji Tukur Mamu, was arrested.

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The terrorists’ negotiator was arrested in Egypt alongside his family members. Mamu was on his way to Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj when he was detained at the Cairo International Airport.

Naijablitznews.com reports that Mamu’s arrest was coming a few days after the All Progressives Congress vice-presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, visited the publisher and Sheikh Gumi in Kaduna State.

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The ex-negotiator personally shared pictures of the visit with our correspondent on Monday. Confirming Mamu’s arrest, the Management of the Desert Herald Newspaper, said the arrest was an attempt to intimidate its publisher.

In a statement on Wednesday by its Head, Special Projects, Ibrahim Mada, the management accused the Federal Government of contriving the arrest, deportation of Mamu from Egypt to Nigeria.

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“His patriotic mission to ensure the safety of the hapless passengers made him a target of blackmail by unscrupulous elements in the government who are hell bent in punishing him for this noble but dangerous sacrifice for the fatherland. Such threats and intimidations have forced him to reveal on a number of times that his life was under serious threat.

“Due to numerous threats to his life and conspiracy from the side of security agents to frame him, he withdrew from the said negotiations but from his latest sojourn, it appears that those who are desperately praying for his head are still hell-bent in carrying out their odious dastardly plans.

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“But it is our fervent hope that the evil machination of these desperate elements will be nixed by the fact that Allah is always by the side of the oppressed. This evil machination like the ones before it, shall also come to pass,” the statement read in part.

But giving details on why Mamu was arrested, the DSS in a statement by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, said Manu was arrested because he was a “person of interest”.

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He noted that upon his return to the country on Wednesday, the DSS took Manu into custody.

According to him, Manu has some critical questions to answer on the ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in Nigeria.

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The statement read, “The Department of State Services has been inundated with enquires in respect of the arrest or otherwise of Tukur Mamu, the self-acclaimed Kaduna Train hostage negotiator.

“This is to confirm that Mamu, as a person of interest, was intercepted by Nigeria’s foreign partners at Cairo, Egypt on 6th September, 2022 while on his way to Saudi Arabia.

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“He has since been returned to the country, today, 7th September 2022 and taken into the Service’s custody.

“The act followed a request by Nigeria’s Military, Law Enforcement and Intelligence Community to their foreign partners to bring back Mamu to the country to answer critical questions on ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in parts of the country.

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“The public may wish to note that the law will appropriately take its course.”

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Reactions as new photos of Tinubu with grandchildren resurface on social media

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By Francesca Iwambe

Reactions have continued to trickle from Nigerians on social media over photos of presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with his grandchildren, which surfaced on Twitter and Instagram on Thursday.

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Tinubu’s son shared photos of the APC flag bearer on his verified Instagram handle with the caption and hashtags, “ Hi Grandpa #FamilyFirst#TinubuFamily #FamilyMan #Grandpa #TakenOnSunday #Noella #BATSenior #BATJunior #Leader.”

Special assistant on digital communications to President Muhammad Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, also shared Tinubu’s photos on Twitter on Thursday.

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Ahmad tweeted, “Good morning from our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu, and his grandchildren. A wonderful family person.”

Recall that Tinubu shared a video of himself cycling on a fitness bike on Sunday.

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The video, which went viral, had since elicited questions about his whereabouts.

But, the spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo has said cycling is a regular routine for Tinubu, adding that the former Lagos state governor was not trying to prove any point.

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Keyamo, while speaking in an interview with Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, described Tinubu as an “avid cyclist.”

His words, “People who are close to him know that he is an avid cyclist. He does that all the time. It is his regular routine. So, we are not trying to prove anything to anybody.”

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Meanwhile, Tinubu also posted picture of himself in an office on Instagram on Thursday with a caption that simply reads, “Stay Focused.”

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NCC To Deploy Technology For Verification Of Annual Operating Levies, Tax, Among Others

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By Gloria Ikibah

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it is going to deploy technology to verify the annual operating levies (AOL), tax and other payments by network service providers to the Federal Government.

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Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbata, disclosed this on Wednesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Duplication of Functions of Agencies of the Federal Government.

He said, “We are currently going to deploy a technology solution. We call it Revenue Assurance Solution. We have finished signing the MOU with the consultant that is going to do this deployment, so that we can be independently verify that the amount of annual operating levy (AOL) they are paying and other taxes are indeed what they are supposed to pay and therefore not shortchange the NCC or government when it comes to payment of taxes”.

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He also revealed that the Commission recently did a successful fifth generation spectrum auction where more than half billion dollars was generated for the Federal Government.

He said, “We, through what we call annual operating levy, run our operations, pay our staff salaries and allowances and even provide resources for intervention in the diverse areas of information and communication technology in the various parts of the country.

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“These interventions are verifiable. There is no state of the federation that we don’t provide interventions in the diverse areas of ICT. We also provide training. We would like to ensure our citizens are ICT savvy by embracing this important technology because that is what the whole is doing. That is what we can do in order to ensure our citizens are socially and economically transformed to change the way they are doing things, the way they collaborate and innovate.

“We have records available to show that we have been contributing a lot to the coffers of the government and a very good example is when we did that successful 5G auction. The proceeds from the auction goes to the coffers of the government. We don’t normally take anything. It is gazetted that whatever we sell spectrum, we do not keep the money, we normally transfer this money to the consolidated revenue fund of the government,” he said.

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Earlier, the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, Rep Victor Danzaria, said research, revenue generation and service delivery are critical conditions in the consideration process for merging or crapping agencies of government.

According to him the committee had a mandate to investigate duplication of functions and counter productivity of agencies for possible merger.

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Some of the agencies under consideration were Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBS) and the Nigerian Communication Satelite.

Others are, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Galaxy Backbone, National Boundary Commission and Border Communities Development Agency among others.

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Danzaria said that it is not about having many agencies with so many Director-Generals that does not deliver the required services to Nigerians but about productivity.

“The ad hoc Committee is critically looking at these agencies, their existence and looking at possible synergies and mergers of these agencies to give effective service to Nigerians.

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“One area is research, second is revenue generation and thirdly is regulatory functions and service delivery and at the end of the day, this is what Nigerians want.

“It is not about when you go to any agency, you see this man seated there on a table and services are not being offered there,” he said.

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BREAKING: Rivers State House of Assembly Delists Omehia, As Ex-Gov

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By Gloria Ikibah

The Rivers State House of Assembly, on Thursday at plenary adopted a motion to derecognise Sir Celestine Omehia, as a former governor of the State.

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Omehia was governor of the state from May 29, 2007 to October 25, 2007 when he was removed by the Supreme Court and replaced by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as the rightful governorship candidate of the PDP at the time.

Although Justices of the Supreme Court, while delivering their judgement, declared that in the eye of the law, Omehia was never a governor, but on June 25, 2015, the incumbent governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, officially recognised Omehia as a former governor of the State.

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The motion to derecognise the Ubima, Ikwerre local government area-born politician, was moved by the leader of the House, Hon. Martin Amaewhule.

Naijablitznews.com reports that the former governor is a close ally of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

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