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FBI list: Nigeria’s EFCC arrests wanted Osondu Igwilo, others over $100m fraud

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Nigeria’s Anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Osondu Victor Igwilo, a suspect wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2018.

A statement on Monday by spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said Igwilo, 52, is the alleged leader of a criminal network of “catchers”.

He was caught alongside Okafor Nnamdi Chris, Nwodu Uchenna Emmanuel and John Anazo Achukwu at a studio in the Sangotedo area of Lagos.

They are accused of fraud, money laundering and identity theft to the tune of about $100millon.

The suspects allegedly perpetrated a scheme involving false promises of investment funding, impersonating United States bank officials in person and via the internet.

“Investigation revealed that those who fell victims of the suspects’ criminal activities were asked to make certain payments before they could receive their funding”, EFCC noted.

Proceeds were allegedly laundered through American bank accounts and diverted to the alleged culprits in Nigeria.

Igwilo was placed on the FBI watch list following a criminal complaint filed against him in the U.S. District Court, Houston, Texas, in December 2016.

“Following their arrest, five houses located in choice areas of Lagos were recovered from Igwilo. The suspects will soon be charged to court.” Uwujaren added.

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Somali forces, local vigilantes, recapture strategic town from Al-Shabaab terrorists

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The Somali National Army (SNA), alongside local vigilantes popularly called Mo’awisley, on Monday, recaptured the strategic city of Adan Yabaal from the al-Shabaab terrorist group, the military said in a bulletin on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the town located near the border between Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions that comprise Hirshabelle State, which is about 220 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu, is one of the five federal member states of the Federal Government of Somalia, and had been a strategic location held by the al-Qaeda-sponsored extremist group.

The SNA said in the bulletin that it met no resistance from the al-Shabaab fighters who left the town without posing resistance on getting information about the approach of the federal troops.

Al-Shabaab have lost most of the towns and settlements in Hirshabelle State, both Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, after the SNA and Mo’awisley vigilantes waged offensive wars.

“Mo’awisley vigilantes, who are mainly composed of nomadic herders, took up arms and rebelled against the jihadists’ confiscation of their livestock and illegal tax collection known as zakawaat.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the government forces and the vigilantes have been gradually inching towards the town which they seized on Monday. The town had been under the full control of al-Shabaab for over a decade,” the bulletin said.

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Tanzania President, Samia Hassan, cancels country’s Independence Day celebrations: Here’s why

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Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebrations which was scheduled for Friday, December 9, and has rather directed that the funds that would have been sunk into the celebration should be used to build dormitories for children with special needs.

The organisers of Tanzania’s 61st Independence Day celebrations had presented a budget of $445,000 to the government but the President vehemently opposed the budget and ordered that the money should be used to build dormitories in primary schools around the country.

However, Tanzania’s Minister of State, George Simbachawene, said the money had been disbursed, alluding that the East African country will celebrate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development marked with pomp and state banquets.

This is not the first time Tanzania has cancelled the celebrations.

In 2015, late President John Magufuli cancelled the celebrations and diverted funds towards the building of a road in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

In 2020, he also cancelled the celebrations and directed that the budget earmarked for it should be used to buy medical facilities.

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