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Police Recover N14.7m from Nine Suspected Kidnappers of CBN Gov’s Wife

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  • Police Recover N14.7m from Nine Suspected Kidnappers of CBN Gov’s Wife

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) monday exhibited N14,725,000, two Honda cars, one Audi car, one AK47 magazine, and two cartridges recovered from the nine suspected kidnappers of Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, wife of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, and her three relatives.

Mrs. Emefiele and her relatives were abducted on Thursday, September 29 at Ogoneki Hills along the Benin-Agbor Road in Delta State. She and others were rescued 36 hours after their kidnapping, following a massive manhunt involving all the security agencies in the country.

Among the nine suspects paraded by the police yesterday were two serving Nigerian Army lance corporals — Musa Maidabra (28) and Edwin George (32) – and a dismissed soldier of the army, Ernest Anthony Uduefe.

Other arrested suspects included: Mohammed Abubakar (29), also known as Dogo, the alleged gang leader; Mohammed Musa (26); Mohammed Sule (26); Ibrahim Abdullahi (30); Aliyu Musa (30); and Mohammed Yusuf (36).

In a statement issued in Abuja on behalf of the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Donald Awunah, explained that the ransom paid for the safe return of the CBN governor’s wife was used as a bait or bargaining chip to save the lives of the victims, which was primary to the objectives of the security operatives.

However, he said the police would not encourage the payment of ransom by relatives of kidnapped victims, cautioning relatives to exercise considerable restraint while the police do their intelligence gathering to rescue the victims.

He advised that at all times of kidnapping, the public should immediately involve the police because paying ransom in some cases could be counter-productive.

The IG said: “The curtailment of the activities of kidnappers in our communities will be ultimately successful through the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders. There must be collective ownership of law enforcements.”

On how Mrs. Emefiele and her relatives were rescued at Ugoneki hills, the IG said he ordered the Intelligence Response Team and other tactical teams to swing into action to rescue her when they got information of the abduction, adding that it yielded positive result, as they were rescued the following day.

All the suspects, according to the police, admitted being part of the kidnapping gang that abducted Mrs Emefiele and others, adding that through their confessional statements, they alluded to have partaken in sharing the ransom money.

While the two serving soldiers confessed to sharing N6.5 million each, the others got between N10 and N11 million each, adding up to about N54 million extorted from their victims’ families.

The two lance corporals provided the army uniforms and gun.

On the injury sustained by Mohammed Musa, the IG said: “The suspect is 26 years old and hails from Yabo LGA of Sokoto State. He confessed to receiving the N10 million from the ransom paid.

“He sustained bullet wounds after a gun duel with the police while trying to leave the forest where they had kept their victims. N7.7 million was recovered from him. Useful information was gotten from him that led to the arrest of other gang members.”

He also revealed that Lance Corporal Maidabra is a 30-year-old native of Katau Village in Billiri LGA of Gombe State.

“A lance corporal with the Nigerian Army serving at 122D30 Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State, he was arrested for the active role he played in the kidnapping.

“Upon his arrest, he made a confessional statement to the police admitting to be part of the gang that kidnapped and collected ransom from the victim’s family.

“In the course of investigation into the crime, an SUV worth N1.5 million and a sum of N4 million, which was his own share of the ransom money, was recovered from his possession.

“It was also discovered that he, in the company of NA/65/6582 Lance Corporal Edwin George and one Ernest Anthony Uduefe, a dismissed soldier, while dressed in army uniforms, escorted some of the kidnappers and the ransom money in a maroon coloured Audi car out of the forest where they had kept the victim, to Benin City, Edo State,” the IG stated.

In the case of Lance Corporal George, he is a native of Otukpo town, Otukpo LGA of Benue State. He is personnel of the Nigerian Army serving at 122D Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State.

“As earlier mentioned, he was part of the trio that escorted the ransom money to Benin City, Edo State. A Honda car worth N1.1 million, which he used part of his loot to purchase was recovered from him.

“The suspect was arrested on October 5, 2016 at about 1300hrs in his home town,” the IG divulged.

Uduefe, the dismissed soldier, is a native of Igbuku village, Ndokwa East LGA of Delta State. He also volunteered a confessional statement to his involvement in the crime.

“Investigations revealed that he also bought a Honda car worth N1.5 million and furnished an apartment in Benin City, Edo State within 48 hours of the kidnapping.

“The sum of N1.5 million in cash and the said Honda car were recovered from him,” he said.

Mohammed Abubakar, also known as Dogo, is a native of Mubi town, in Mubi LGA of Adamawa State and the leader of the group.

The IG said he confessed to the crime and admitted that he received the sum of N11 million in cash from the ransom, adding that the suspect, however, claimed to have given one Danjuma who is presently on the run, the said sum to keep for him.

Mohammed Sule hails from Awe village in Awe LGA of Nasarawa State, the IG added. The suspect, he said, confessed to have received N10 million in cash as part of his share of the ransom paid and claimed a soldier and gang leader escaped with the loot.

Ibrahim Abdullahi from Fondogeri LGA of Niger State, admitted to have received N10 million in cash as part of his share of the ransom money, while Aliyu Musa and Mohammed Yusuf were arrested for their involvement in the kidnapping based on information availed the police by Mohammed Musa.

Musa and Yusuf are being investigated further on the roles played by them in the commission of the crime, said the IG

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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