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Vigilante Group of Nigeria dissociates from purported award, endorsement of GYB for President

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The Vigilante Group of Nigeria has distanced itself from a purported award and endorsement of Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Another group who also named itself as The Vigilante Group of Nigeria had earlier declared their full support for the Kogi Governor to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari as next President of the country in 2023.

The group described him as a true Nigerian who has shown both in action and character his intentions to unify and secure the nation.

However, Deputy Commander,Yusuf Ibrahim Tanimola, on behalf of the National Public Relations Officer, in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja described Usman Mohammed Jahun, as a serial impersonator of the Commander General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.
The statement reads in part,
“The attention of the National Headquarter of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria has been drawn to a publication by some online portal, titled 2023: Vigilante Group of Nigeria wants GYB to be President.
“Ordinarily, the VGN would have ignored the publications as fake news but we had to pay attention to the said publications because of the photo-ops of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and one Usman Mohammed Jahun, a serial impersonator of the Commander General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.
“In the said hatchet publication which was poorly executed and clearly aimed at extortion and cheap publicity, the said Usman Mohammed Jahun wore the uniform of the VGN and rank of the Commander General.
“The Governor of Kogi State was given an award for good governance and endorsed for the Presidency in the 2023 general elections.”
He said, the VGN is a registered paramilitary organization with a clear mandate to offer complimentary support for the Police and other security agencies in intelligence gathering, crime detection and prevention and community policing.

“In line with standard practice and behaviour, the mandate of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria does not include giving dubious awards and endorsement of politicians.

“While the VGN hold His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in high esteem for ensuring peace and stability in Kogi State, our organization find it ridiculous that the Governor did not undertake due diligence before dealing with a man who has been evading the law and parading as the Commander General of the VGN.

“The VGN is not averse to the political ambition of Governor Yahaya Bello nor any Nigerian but the organisation prefer to be left alone to perform its statutory role of securing lives and property.

“The said Usman Mohammed Jahun is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Police to answer for criminal complain against him by the leadership of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.”
DC Tanimola said to keep records, the only recognised Commander General of Vigilante Group of Nigeria appointed by the National Executive Council and well known by security agencies is Navy Captain (Dr) Umar Bakori (rtd) Fss, Mss, Dss, psc, fndc, Msc.

“The Vigilante Group of Nigeria is a reputable organisation whose bill at the National Assembly has passed crucial stages and will soon be assented to by Mr President to enable it play its role of providing community-based intelligence backbone to overcome security challenges in the country.

“The organization will therefore not do anything to tarnish its well guarded reputation by getting involved in partisan politics or foray into giving controversial awards.
He gave the officially recognised registered address of the VGN National Headquarters to be No. 52B, Ishaya Shekari Crescent, Setraco Gate, Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja.

“We therefore WARN members of the public to be wary of the said Usman Mohammed Jahun as anyone who deals with him shall be doing so at his/her detriment.”

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Kogi: Police Confirm Rescue Of 7 More CUSTECH Students

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Nigeria Police, Kogi State Command has announced the rescue of seven more students of Confluence University of Science Secondary Technology (CUSTECH) kidnapped by hoodlums on Thursday, May 9.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) SP William Ovye Aya, made the announcement in a press statement on Thursday in Lokoja.

He said that feat was achieved through the intervention of Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun who ordered the deployment of the Air Component of Police Security Apparatus made up of a Helicopter Crew.

The deployment, he said was in furtherance of the ongoing Rescue Operation and to sustain the onslaught to rescue all the kidnapped students.

He said that the Air Component deployed to Kogi State on Tuesday 14th May, 2024 was made up of Helicopter Crew specially trained for Aerial Surveillance, Monitoring Team as well as Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU).

“The reinforcement is in response to IGP’s unwavering passion about protecting lives and property of all Nigerians especially the safety of our children in various schools in the country”, Aya said.

With the new development which Aya ascribed to the diligence and indomitable spirit of all the combined team, 27 students have so far been rescued from the kidnappers as a total of 20 students were earlier rescued.

“Be it noted that it is not over until it is over” so we should not rest on our Oars, instead all hands must be on deck to ensure all are safely rescued and perpetrators brought to deserved justice”, the PPRO declared.

He stated that Kogi State Government as well as the University Community were satisfied with the Rescue Operations so far.

“The State Government has commended the indubitable, unassailable level of cooperation, collaboration and synergy amongst the Security Agencies, Local Vigilantes and Hunters in the State”, he enthused.

According to Aya, the Commissioner of Police, CP Bethrand Onuoha has seized this occasion to thank and appreciate the Inspector-General of Police for the deployment of the Air Component.

The CP, he said, also commended the Security Personnel, and Vigilantes/Hunters for their “show of unprecedented and undiluted patriotism and altruism, and to the good people of Kogi State as well as the vibrant Press for their show of concern and empathy.”

“The CP will continue to solicit the cooperation, collaboration and solidarity of the good people of Confluence State with the Police and other Security Agencies.

“Together, we shall ensure adequate Security of life and property of law-abiding citizens in the State”, he assured. (Ends)

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Senate backs FG, CBN over controversial Cybersecurity levy

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***Insists, it is NASS creation to safeguard economy, country against insecurity

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Shehu Umar Buba, has allay the fears being entertained by Nigerians over the proposed implementation of the Cybersecurity levy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

While giving tacit support to the Federal Government on the levy that has created bad blood among Nigerians against the Tinubu administration Senator Buba said th levy is provided for in the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act, 2024.

He clarified that the levy is not punitive as it has numerous exemptions to protect and relieve ordinary citizens, particularly the poor.

According to him, the exemptions include salary payments, intra-account transfers, loan disbursements and repayments, and other financial transactions.

Senator Buba said the amendments to the Cybercrimes Act were collaborative effort with the National Assembly’s ICT and Cyber Security Committee. Explaining further he said committee also underwent a transparent public hearing process, receiving contributions from various stakeholders.
“Both chambers of the National Assembly unanimously passed it before President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed it into law.

Senator Umar reiterated the fact that the provisions for the cybersecurity levy have been in place since 2015 but were delayed due to unclear interpretations and applications.

“The Cybercrimes Act of 2015 has provisions for imposing a cybersecurity levy since its enactment, but the vagueness of Section 44 led to different interpretations until the 2024 amendments. The levy is 0.5%, equivalent to half a per cent of the value of all electronic transactions by businesses specified in the Second Schedule to the Act.

“The amendments addressed crucial gaps in the Act and empowered the nation to implement the National Cybersecurity Programme effectively. They also seek to realign and empower the country to combat the inadequate funding and disruptive effects of cyber threats on national security and critical economic infrastructures,” he said.

Senator Umar underscored the criticality of the cybersecurity levy’s implementation, stating that its prudent utilisation will bolster the nation’s capacity to evaluate, execute, upgrade, and fortify the security of national critical economic infrastructure, thereby safeguarding the nation’s cyberspace.

The chairman commended the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for initiating the operationalising the cybersecurity levy, highlighting its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.

He expressed appreciation to the leaders and representatives of MDAs at the federal and state levels, as well as to all stakeholders who contributed to this effort’s success.

While maintaining that the Committee’s mandate is to create laws that align with the aspirations of Nigerians, he appealed for public support, assuring that the policy will yield maximum benefits for citizens in the shortest possible time.

Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024 and under the provision of Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act, a levy of 0.5 per cent (0.005) equivalent to half per cent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the Second Schedule of the Act is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund, which the Office of the National Security Adviser shall administer.

Though the announcement created controversy, the circular exempted some transactions from cybercrime levy.

The exemptions included loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank, and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) instructions to their correspondent banks.

The exemption also applies to interbank placements, banks’ transfers to CBN and vice versa, inter-branch transfers within a bank, cheque clearing and settlements, and Letters of Credit (LCs).

Others include banks’ recapitalisation-related funding only bulk funds movement from collection accounts; savings and deposits including transactions involving long-term investments such as treasury bills, bonds; and commercial papers; government social welfare programmes transactions, e.g. pension payments; non-profit and charitable transactions including donations to registered non-profit organisations or charities; educational institutions transactions, including tuition payments and other transaction involving schools, universities, or other academic institutions.

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Akpabio doles out N27m to 7 families of deceased Police officers

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The President of the Senate, Godswill Obot Akpabio has has dolled out N27m to families of seven police personnel killed at Ugheli forest in Delta State on 20th February, 2024.

Akpabio, while making the presentation of the posthumous awards on behalf of the Nigeria Police, announced that he would support each of the families with one million naira to pay their way back home while the Senate as an institution made a commitment to supoort the families of the deceased with N20 million.
Akpabio made the pledge at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony which held on Monday evening in Abuja.
In addition to the awards given on various aspects of policing, posthumous awards were also given in memorial recognition of the fallen heroes as Akpabio pledged the full cooperation and support of the National Assembly for better policing of Nigeria.

Akpabio told the audience which included Vice President Kashim Shettima that “as the leader of the National Assembly, I pledge our full cooperation and support for the better policing of Nigeria.

“We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and motivated police force in ensuring the security and well-being of our citizens.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework and resources to enable the police to carry out their duties effectively.”

The Senate President commended the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and the entire leadership of the Nigeria Police Force for organising the event and urged them to use the occasion to celebrate the achievements of the Nigeria Police Force and to reiterate the commitment to working together for a safer and more secured Nigeria.

Akpabio said: “I commend the Police for this maiden effort in organizing this awards ceremony. It is a testament to IGP Egbetokun’s commitment to giving honor to whom it is due.

“By recognizing the gallant, selfless and patriotic contributions of individual officers, we not only motivate them for higher performance but also reinforce the new policing agenda of the Force.

“This agenda focuses on internal ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standards and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive.

“However, let us not ignore the challenges faced by the police in Nigeria. The ever-evolving landscape of crime and the increasing sophistication of criminal gangs pose significant obstacles.

“Moreso, as we honor the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones because a chain is as strong as its weakest link. It is crucial that we address these issues and work together to find solutions.

“The Police need the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to overcome these challenges and build a stronger and more effective Police Force.

“I congratulate the awardees who have excelled in their respective fields of policing. Their dedication, bravery and integrity have set them apart and made them deserving of this recognition.

“I commend each and every one of them for their outstanding performance and commitment to the service of our nation. I urge them to remember that to whom much is given, much is expected.

Representatives of the families of the deceased received the awards as well as cheques for their entitlements.
Kano State Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf also announced a donation of N20 million to support the families of the deceased.

The Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima commended the Senate President and Kano State Governor for their “show of empathy” to the affected families.

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