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Pantami Has No Link With Boko Haram, says Muslim Media Watch Group

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Pantami

A group known as the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, MMWG, has said that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, don’t have link with Boko Haram or any terrorists group.

In a statement issued on Thursday and signed by its national coordinator, Malam Ibrahim Abdullahi, MMWG, described the recent media report linking the minister-cum-Islamic scholar with the activities of terrorists as “false, baseless and unfounded.”

“Dr. Isa Ali Pantami has an impeccable record academically, religiously, professionally and socially that cannot be destroyed by any group or individual through fake news and unsubstantiated allegations,” Abdullahi stated.

According to him, MMWG has investigated the allegation and found it to be tissues of lies and false media propaganda by enemies of Nigeria.

He added that the news must have emanated from “some undesirable elements, who are envious of the rising profile of an outstanding professional in the area of ICT, good administrative skills and transformational agenda in his ministry which would lead Nigeria into new economic progress and development.”

Abdullahi informed that within a period of three years in government as a Director-General in the ICT industry, Pantami received over 110 awards nationally and internationally for his outstanding academic and professional achievements, even before he assumed office as Minister.

He maintained that someone who had delivered over 25 public lectures condemning the doctrines and heinous crimes of terrorists and insurgents cannot be part of them.

The group leader further noted that “some of the print media organizations that carried the false reports have started retracting their false stories against Dr. Pantami, to save them from conviction in courts of law”, stating ”this is very bad.”

“Some media organizations would out of sentiment and parochialism willfully use false stories before investigating them instead of investigating before publishing or broadcasting. One of the ethics of journalism is to ‘leave out’ when not sure of any story and carry-out your independent investigation before publication,” he stated.

The group therefore reiterated its support for stringent laws to deal with purveyors of fake news in order to rid the nation of the crime which in most cases has led to civil war, unrest and destruction of some nations.

It would be recalled that Pantami has written to the publishers of Daily Independent newspapers demanding public apology and retraction of a story alleging that he is on a United States watch list over alleged links to Boko Haram.

The minister, through the legal firm of Karina Tunyan, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, demanded that the newspaper recant the story it published in its last Sunday edition, which has since gone viral, within 24 hours or face legal consequences.

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Zulum Cancels Project Commissioning in Honour of Slain General

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Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has postponed his scheduled commissioning of projects across local Government areas in southern Borno.

The postponement is to honour the Commander, 28 Task Force Brigade, Chibok, Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three soldiers who lost their lives last weekend during a battle with terrorists.

Brig. Gen. Zirkisu
Killed by bandits

The terrorists however failed in their attempt to capture a military base in Askira-Uba local government area.

The tour was scheduled to start on Tuesday (16th November 2021) with dozens of completed Government projects, mostly schools and healthcare centres, lined up for commissioning by the Governor.

Announcing the postponement, Zulum’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, said the Governor will embark on the commissioning tour after visiting the family of late General Zirkisu who lives outside Borno State.

Zulum’s trip is to convey the deepest sympathy of the Government and people of Borno State

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Missing Journalist, Tordue Salem, Found Dead in Abuja

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The missing Vanguard reporter, Mr Tordue Salem has been found dead in Abuja.

This was even as the Police reportedly arrested a man who posed as kidnapper in an attempt to extort money from the late journalist’s family.

Details of recovery of his remains haven’t been released as at Thursday evening.

The late Benue born journalist was covering the lower legislative Chamber of the National Assembly until he was last seen on Wednesday, 13th October, 2021.

After he closed from work, he was said to have left in a public cab for B.J’s garden with a female relative situated close to Total filling station, opposite Force headquarters.

From the garden, he reportedly flagged a cab for the lady who left before him, informing her that he was going to Area 8, Garki. But he was never seen until his remains were recovered on Thursday.

According to Vanguard, the Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT swung into action on 16th October after the matter was reported to it about the mysterious missing of the late Tordue.

It was reported that a suspect, who was identified as Prince Enyenihi, 25 was arrested in an attempt to extort the family and others who were not named immediately.

The suspect identified as Prince Enyenihi, 25, contacted Mrs Salem on October 26, 2021, via a text message with a concealed number, requesting for N100 million ransom, to be paid as ransom for her husband’s release. Part of the text message read: “if you don’t pay, Tordue will be killed in seven days. For more information, call this number.” The text message also contained an account number the money should be paid into.

This was followed by a call with a concealed number to Salem’s wife the next day,. Mrs Salem requested to speak with her husband, to ascertain he was alive before negotiation would begin. But the caller gave the phone to someone who tried to play along.

When she noticed that the voice did not sound like her husband’s, she asked the stranger to mention the name of their daughter and her birth date, a question that met dead silence at the other end.

Same evening, another call with a concealed number was received by Mrs Salem, requesting to know if her husband had been released. The confused woman was said to have requested why the caller had his number concealed.

On October 27, another text came on a bulk text message platform, ordering the family to pay the N100 million ransom before the next day, failure of which they would kill Salem.

The Police swung into action first, by de-encrypting the number that called and traced its owner to a lady in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

However, during interrogation, the lady who owns Joy Skin Care denied culpability, stating rather, that a particular number had been calling her line since October 26, 2021.

Security Operatives upon checks discovered that the number was same with that used to contact Mrs Salem, which Prince Enyenihi was finally arrested on 5th November, 2021.

Preliminary investigation by security operatives indicated that Prince Enyenihi was the next door neighbor to the beautician.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he got information of Vanguard reporter’s disappearance on a flyer that went viral on social media, which had the number of Mrs Salem as the contact person to report to if found.

The suspect further stated that he sent the text messages without the knowledge of his female neighbour, adding that he got his neighbour’s telephone number and account details from her Facebook page.

He said, “I knew the family wouldn’t pay the money. I used the owner of Joy beauty skin care ‘s account details in order to punish her for always talking to me anyhow.

(Additional details by Daily Post)

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POLICE OFFICERS IN EXTORTION VIDEO ARRESTED

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… AS KOGI COMMAND COMMENCES INVESTIGATIONS

The Kogi State Police Command has commenced investigations into a trending video where Police personnel attached to Adogo Division, while on patrol duty along Adogo-Okene road, reportedly extorted the sum of Twenty-Five Thousand Naira (N25,000) from a traveller while another was physically assaulted by one of the men in uniform.

The Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, CP Idrisu Dauda Dabban, psc (+), fdc, while condemning the incident, noted that the Police officers have been identified and detained at the State Criminal Investigations Department.

A statement by DSP William Ovye Aya, Police Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Police Command identified the officers as: ASP Isah Barnabas, Inspector Ifediegwu Godwin, Sgt Emmanuel Ochima and CPL Umameh Mathias who physically assaulted one of the travellers.

The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) has been issued an official query while the three (3) other junior officers are currently undergoing orderly room trial (Police internal disciplinary actions), the statement further said.

“The CP further noted that the Command is doing its best to establish contact with the victims. He enjoined the victims to reach out to the Command thorough 08107899269”.

“He assured that any of the officers found wanting in the investigations would be dealt with accordingly”.

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