Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Salami: IGP begins fresh investigation •Takes custody of authentic call logs •Oyinlola makes statement •MTN, Salami, NJC to be summoned

THE office of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, on Wednesday afternoon, took custody of the call logs of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal,

Justice Isa Ayo Salami and others which were released by communications firm, MTN Nigeria Ltd, to the Area "G" Command Headquarters, Ogba, Lagos State, as fresh probe deepens in the alleged manipulation of call data of those fingered in the  alleged unethical communications between jurists and politicians in the determination of Osun and Ekiti state governorship appeals.

Responding to a suit brought against it by former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the Osun and Ekiti state chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), MTN had confessed that the call logs, which the National Judicial Council (NJC) probe panel rejected, querying its authenticity before clearing Salami and other jurists fingered in the alleged unethical communications, were released by it to the said command.

Nigerian Tribune can reveal that the fresh probe, which was at the instance of Oyinlola and the PDP, led to the police boss taking over the investigation and demanding for the call logs authenticated by MTN.

A top source disclosed that Mr Abdullahi D. Ishola of the Ogba command, last Tuesday, released the said call logs to the officers dispatched by the IGP from Abuja to Lagos, who eventually returned with the documents on Wednesday evening.

The names of the officers who made the Lagos trip were given as Umar Babangida and Musa Idi.

Oyinlola, in a petition entitled: "MTN's dangerous corporate conduct," had complained about the security implications of MTN's alleged fiddling with the call data records it earlier released to security agencies for transmission to the NJC's probe panel, with the IGP reportedly taking direct charge of the probe and said to have directed Mr Peter Gana to coordinate the investigation.

Though MTN had claimed that its storage capacity was three months, the call data in possession of the police top hierarchy covered five months, with MTN already indicating that it released them.

It was further learnt that Oyinlola had made a statement to the police on Friday, March 13, while summons were reportedly being packaged for other interested parties, including Salami, NJC and MTN, to make statements.

A source disclosed that the summons might materialise next week.

In the statement made to the police, Oyinlola accused MTN of doctoring call data records of telephone subscriber numbers: 08034004887, 08035955287, 08034010700, 08033333469, 08038305298, 08035605656, 08034303333, 08034301111, 08034030263, 08034020700, 08033235280, 08034301122, 08033246788, 08037643770 and 08033340330.

The former governor of Osun State also wanted the IGP to cause MTN to reveal the SIM registration details of subscriber numbers: 08034240000", registered in the name of Tunde Folawiyo (Lagos State governor) and 08062240104 (registered in the name of Gbadegesin Ademola).

Oyinlola claimed that contrary to MTN's claim that its system was only capable of holding three months of history call data, what the telecoms firm released to Area G Command, Ogba, Lagos, in respect of Justice Salami's call data record covered five calendar months, adding that his witness, Adeolu Oyinlola, obtained his own call data record from the same MTN which covered three months and nine days.

With the recent confirmation of the genuineness of the call logs from the said command, it was gathered that Oyinlola and PDP were preparing perjury case against the telecommunications firm.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bomb Blast Hit Kaduna Nigeria on Easter Day

An explosion struck a city Sunday in central Nigeria that has seen hundreds killed in religious and ethnic violence in recent years, causing unknown injuries as diplomats had warned of possible terrorist attacks over the Easter holiday, police said.

The blast struck Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna state, as churchgoers prepared to celebrate the holiday. Kaduna state police spokesman Aminu Lawan confirmed the blast, but said authorities were yet to make it to the scene.

There was initial confusion over the location of the blast. A witness said the blast occurred near All Nation Christ Assembly Church in the city. Yushau Shuaib, a spokesman for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, told The Associated Press that the blast happened in a local market where many eat in the city.

"There are definitely injuries," Shuaib said.

It was not immediately clear if the explosion occurred from a bomb blast or an accident.

The blast happened as the United Kingdom and the United States had warned its citizens living in the oil-rich nation that violence was likely over the Easter holiday. Nigeria's weak central government is under increasing attack from a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa language of Nigeria's north, is waging an increasingly bloody fight with security agencies and the public. More than 380 people have been killed in violence blamed on the sect this year alone, according to an AP count.

The sect, employing suicide bombers and assault-rifle shootouts, has attacked both Christians and Muslims, as well as the United Nations' headquarters in Nigeria.

The sect has rejected efforts to begin indirect peace talks with Nigeria's government. Its demands include the introduction of strict Shariah law across the country, even in Christian areas, and the release of all imprisoned followers.

Kaduna, on Nigeria's dividing line between its largely Christian south and Muslim north, was at the heart of postelection violence in April 2011. Mobs armed with machetes and poison-tipped arrows took over streets of Kaduna and the state's rural countryside after election officials declared President Goodluck Jonathan the winner. Followers of his main opponent, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, quickly alleged the vote had been rigged, though observers largely declared the vote fair.

Across the nation, at least 800 people died in that rioting, Human Rights Watch said. In the time since, heavily armed soldiers remain on guard on roadways throughout Kaduna. In December, an explosion at an auto parts market in Kaduna killed at least seven people. Though authorities said it came from a leaking gas cylinder, the Nigerian Red Cross later said in an internal report the blast came from a bomb.

In February, bombs exploded at two major military bases near the city, injuring an unknown number of people.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lost cat found after 16 years

Officials at a German animal shelter said a cat was reunited with his owner after spending 16 years living in the woods.

Bernhard Schoettel said his 19-year-old son, Kilian, found the cat while walking in the woods near Munich and brought it home, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

"My son immediately noticed that the animal was quite old," Schoettel said. "He felt sorry for it because it no longer had any front teeth. The tom was very trusting. We fed him for a few days and discovered that he was tattooed, so we took him to the animal sanctuary over the weekend."

Officials at the animal shelter said they were able to trace the cat's identification tattoo to owner Monika Moser, who said the feline went missing 16 years ago. The shelter said the cat's survival was unusual and he is now suffering from liver and thyroid problems.


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