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Kaduna-Abuja Train Attack: Bandits’ Negotiator, Mamu, arrested over N2Bn ransom racketeering



Tukur Mamu, the Kaduna-based publisher was arrested on Tuesday by security operatives in Cairo, Egypt for his alleged involvement in collecting ransom and taking same to terrorists in exchange for kidnapped victims, Daily Trust gathered from reliable security sources.

Some of the security sources said beyond his relationship with insurgents in Nigeria, Mamu was also arrested because of his “Strong ties with a terror group in Sinai area in Egypt”.

Sinai Peninsula is the northeastern extremity of Egypt and adjoins Israel and the Gaza Strip on the east. Like in Nigeria, despite the decrease in the frequency of attacks in recent years, militants remain active and pose a serious threat to Egyptian security operatives and other symbols of Sinai.

Mamu denied wrongdoing saying he was on a legitimate journey to Saudi Arabia.

The Kaduna publisher, who was involved in the controversial negotiations that led to the release of several abducted passengers of the March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack,  was arrested together with his family by operatives of the Department of State Services (SSS) shortly after he was repatriated to Nigeria from Egypt.

He was arrested and whisked away by security operatives shortly after the Egypt Airline, which returned him from Cairo touched down at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) at 1:55pm.

Family sources said Mamu, who was on his way to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj was travelling alongside his two wives; Fatima Bashir Mamu and Aisha Salisu Mamu as well as his eldest son, Faisal Tukur Mamu, and his brother-in-law Ibrahim Hassan Tinja.

Nigerian authorities have been accused of not doing enough to secure the release of kidnap victims whenever such incidents occur,  a development that makes it necessary for desperate families to devise other means, including ransom payments to liberate their loved ones for fear of being killed.

And this is what brought Mamu to the limelight as he openly and severally declared that he secured the release of most of the train victims even though he persistently denied collecting ransom from families of the victims and taking them to the terrorists.

He’s in our custody – DSS

The Department of State Services (DSS) said yesterday that Mamu is in its custody. Peter Afunanya, the spokesman for the agency confirmed this in a statement.

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“The DSS has been inundated with enquires in respect of the arrest or otherwise of Tukur Manu, the self-acclaimed Kaduna train hostage negotiator. This is to confirm that Manu, as a person of interest, was intercepted by Nigeria’s foreign partners in Cairo, Egypt on 6th September 2022 while on his way to Saudi Arabia. He has since been returned to the country, today, 7th September 2022 and taken into the Service’s custody.

“The act followed a request by Nigeria’s military, law enforcement and intelligence community to their foreign partners to bring back Manu to the country to answer critical questions on ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in parts of the country. The public may wish to note that the law will appropriately take its course,” he said.

However, in a statement last night, the management of Desert Herald condemned the arrest of its publisher, Mamu, alongside some of his family members.

The statement issued by the Head, Special Operations and Production Manager, Ibrahim Mada,  alleged that the security operatives only acted on an order by the Nigerian government to arrest Mamu and his family who were on their way to Saudi Arabia to perform lesser hajj and were billed to return on September 20.

“The allegation according to some sources that he was arrested by security operatives in Egypt for fleeing the country is unfounded and baseless. We hereby demand for their immediate and unconditional release,” he said.

‘Mamu on international watch list’

A source in one of the intelligence outfits in Nigeria said Mamu’s arrest was beyond his activities in Nigeria.

“He was arrested in Egypt based on Advance Passenger Information (API) because he came under international security scrutiny following his activities here at home and beyond the shores of Nigeria shortly after the Kaduna train attack,” he said.

“I can assure you that Mamu has high linkage with terror groups in Egypt, especially in Sinai and by extension Libya, the Sahel and other parts of West Africa on this side, and the middle- east on the other side.

“He has collected over N2bn in ransom for terrorists with some of the payments made in US dollars by desperate families and negotiated the release of their loved ones…We have been monitoring all his activities and evidence abound to hold him to account,” he said.

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When told that Mamu had shortly before his repatriation from Cairo said there was an attempt to treat him like Nnamdi Kanu, the source said, “Egyptian authorities are not subordinated to the dictate of Nigerian authorities. They deported him based on the facts at their disposal and based on global standard.”

Another source said they monitored Mamu’s activities for long before he was flagged both at home and abroad. “Can he tell the world his legitimate source of income to justify his lifestyle? Had it been we wanted, we could have picked him in his house in Kaduna but because what he is doing has global implications, we allowed the international law to take its cause.”

Yet, another security source with knowledge of the situation told our reporters that Mamu was intercepted because of an intelligence report over a scheduled meeting with some persons believed to be leaders of the terrorists who conducted the Kaduna train attack.

“He scheduled many things in his itinerary including a medical check-up and lesser hajj but we believed it was just a decoy for him to carry out nefarious activities. He plans to end up in Dubai where he has made a rendezvous with those people,” he said.

The source, who asked not to be named for lacking authority to speak on the operation, said communication between Mamu and the suspected terrorist leaders have been intercepted, adding that there was fear over what could be the outcome of the planned meeting.

Aside from this, he said, there are many allegations against the negotiator around the ransom paid to secure the release of the train passengers.

“There are reported inconsistencies between monies paid and what was actually remitted to the kidnappers. He is also seen as pandering too much to the side of the terrorists than the people and government. What pained us was the recent move to pay N25 million to secure the release of the remaining 23 persons but at the last minute, he thwarted the arrangement insisting on a much higher figure.”

However, Mamu told Daily Trust that after he was investigated by the Egyptian security agencies: “I don’t have anything to hide and I am not afraid of them (DSS). I swear to God, I am not afraid of them. I just want the world to know what is happening.”

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Release of our loved ones threatened – Relatives

Some relatives of the abducted train accused the Nigerian government of being too hasty in the arrest of Mamu saying the arrest could jeopardise the release of their loved ones.

Two of the relatives who spoke in Kaduna on the condition of anonymity said the government should have ensured the rcorrespondentelease of all abducted passengers before any attempt to arrest Mamu.

“The Nigerian government should have allowed him to continue in his capacity as a negotiator to ensure the release of the remaining 23 passengers who are still in captivity. Why arrest him now when many people are in captivity and we all know that Mamu has played a vital role in the release?” he asked.

Another passenger who was released through the intervention of Mamu said: “All he did was to negotiate our release, but he was not responsible for the delivery of ransom to our captors, my brother did that.”

How Mamu, family were picked

The Correspondent of the paper who was at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport reports that operatives of the DSS were stationed at the entrance of the international wing of the airport moment before the aircraft landed. It was observed that the heavily armed operatives who were also in the company of others dressed in mufti, were on guard at the entrance of the arrival section of the international wing while three vehicles with Kano number plates (two Hilux and one Hiace) packed by the entrance.

Reports said that as soon as passengers began to come out from the arrival section, one of the Hilux moved forward while luggage, presumably of Mamu and his family members, was loaded in one of the other two vehicles. It was observed that the two vehicles later moved forward and the Hiace bus moved into the tarmac area before it later zoomed off to join the other two. It was later gathered that Mamu and his family were conveyed in the Hiace bus. (Daily Trust)

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EFCC decries rise in fake dollars circulation, cyber crime in Benue



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has decried the sudden rise of fake dollars and cyber crimes in Benue axis.

Its Acting Chairman, Mr Abdulkarim Chukkol, who disclosed this on Thursday in Makurdi, said that the commission had taken measures to address the situation.

The EFCC chairman spoke during a workshop on “Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes,” organised for 30 journalists of major media organisations in the country.

Chukkol was represented by the Head of Makurdi Zonal Office of EFCC, Mr Friday Ebelo.

He said the primary aim of the commission was to reduce corruption in the country to barest level, and would continue to discharge its duties effectively and professionally.

“Through the commission’s enforcement activities, recoveries running into several billions of naira have been recorded and the country’s anti-money laundering framework strengthened.

“There is now a more robust regulation of the activities of these entities which are vulnerable to money laundering,” he added.

The EFCC chairman warned people against disclosing their bank details to anybody to avoid its being used for illegal financial deals.

“I will like the media to educate family members, friends, politicians and others that they run the risk of going to jail if they allow their companies or banks accounts to be used to launder proceeds of illegal activities.

“Under the Money Laundering Act, 2022 family members and close allies of politicians and public office holders, including top civil servants, are now classified as Politically Exposed Persons.

“The EFCC is determined to ensure that anyone who steals from public treasury and all those who assist them under whatever guise, are brought to justice, and ignorance of the law will not be an excuse,” he said.

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Chukkol said that the commission had recorded 3,785 convictions in 2022, the highest since its establishment.

He said that the Makurdi Zonal Office, which was established in 2019, has so far recorded 107 convictions. (NAN)

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Akwa Ibom tribunal affirms Governor Eno’s victory, dismisses ADC, NNPP’s petitions



• Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo has discarded the petition brought before it by the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ezekiel Nyaetok, challenging the election of Pastor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The tribunal had earlier thrown out suit number EPW/AKS/GOV/03/23, brought by the governorship candidate of the NNPP, Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, challenging the election of the governor.

Among other grounds, Nyaetok of ADC sought the disqualification of Pastor Umo Eno, alleging that he was convicted by a Magistrate Court in Abuja and that having been convicted, all votes accrued to him during the March 18 elections ought to be nullified.

He also challenged other candidates who scored more votes than him, alleging that they were handicapped by litigations and legal bars which hampered their eligibility to participate in the elections.

But delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Adekunle Adeleye chaired the panel and unanimously ruled that the same magistrate court presided by Emeka Iyama, delivered a judgment, nullifying its earlier conviction of Pastor Umo Eno and that once a judgement is nullified, it ceases to exist.

The tribunal also held that Nyaetok’s petition lacked merit as the petitioner was not able to establish one polling unit in which there was noncompliance with the electoral law in the March 18 Governorship elections.

After about one hour and thirty minutes of detailed and considered judgement, the governorship election panel, in a unanimous decision concluded that the petition by Senator John James Akpanudoedehe and his party against Gov Umo Bassey Eno, the PDP, and INEC deserves no less a verdict than a dismissal for lacking in merit.

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The governorship election petition by the former senator followed the defective trajectory of two previous cases dismissed by the tribunal two weeks ago, by virtue of the attempt to resurrect the subject matter of certificate forgery leveled against Governor Eno, which was previously buried by the Supreme Court.

Counsel to the PDP had told the tribunal that the petition was “most unambitious”, as the Petitioners neglected and or refused to declare what they really wanted.

Akpanudoedehe of the NNPP had in his arguments claimed that Gov. Umo Eno was a convict by the Wuse Magistrate Court, Abuja, thereby robbing him of the qualification to have contested the March 18, 2023 governorship election.

He prayed the Tribunal to order that the election be cancelled, and a fresh one conducted within 90 days.

He also alleged that the Governor was born in Enugu, even though he declined to show proof of this claim as he neither front-loaded nor relied upon any document to back it.

Surprisingly, of the over 5000 voting units in the state, the NNPP candidate called only 2 witnesses with himself as one of the two.

Under cross-examination, the NNPP gubernatorial candidate admitted, when shown the enrolled order of the Wuse Magistrate Court repudiating its judgement orders, that he lacked knowledge of the existence of the order before his petition.

Counsel to the PDP and Pastor Umo Eno had noted in their submission that the NNPP petition is most unambitious, as the petitioner has not only failed to prove the criminal allegation of forgery but also failed to state what he wants.

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The tribunal, presided over by Justice Adekunle Adeleye, ruled that lacking in merit, the petition had to be confined to the trashcan.

Reacting to the judgement, Counsel to the PDP, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem said the judgement was in strong agreement with the point of law.

Enoidem said the petitioners failed to prove that Pastor Umo Eno did not meet the constitutional entry requirements for office of the Governor, adding that most of their claims were pre-election matters which they could not also substantiate.

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NDDC Invites Applications for 2023/2024 Foreign Post Graduate Scholarship




The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has announced the commencement of the application process for its 2023/2024 Foreign Post Graduate (Masters) Scholarship Programme.

This marks a significant stride in the Commission’s unwavering commitment to fostering human resource development and empowerment of the youths in the Niger Delta region.

Aiming to cultivate empowerment and specialization, this initiative is designed to equip the vibrant minds of the region with indispensable skills and training. The goal is to facilitate their meaningful participation in the Federal Government’s local content programme and to enable them to excel in various professional disciplines, enhancing their global competitiveness.

Diverse Opportunities for Study:
The programme offers a broad spectrum of fields, including diverse engineering disciplines like Biomedical, Software, and Marine, and cutting-edge domains such as Artificial Intelligence and Math/Sciences. Opportunities also extend to Health and Social Sciences, with options in Medical Sciences and Law, as well as Environmental and Physical Sciences, including Architecture and Environmental Science.

Eligibility and Application:
Eligibility is reserved for individuals originating from the Niger Delta Region, possessing relevant Bachelor’s Degrees with commendable classifications from recognized institutions. Prospective candidates are invited to submit their applications online through our official website [](, with the application window closing five weeks from the date of this announcement.

Rigorous Selection Process:
Candidates will undergo a comprehensive selection process, including preliminary shortlisting, a computer-based test in Rivers State, and final verification through respective Local Government Areas and Community Development Committees. The scholarship amount will be determined based on the prevailing exchange rate of the Naira.

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For detailed information on application procedures, required documentation, and other relevant aspects, applicants are encouraged to visit []( Further enquiries can be directed to:

Director, Education, Health and Social Services, NDDC
Mobile: +234(0)9137806550, +234(0)9049409391

The NDDC remains steadfast in its mission to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative, and politically harmonious. We extend our sincere best wishes to all applicants and eagerly anticipate welcoming the scholars who will contribute to shaping a brighter future for the region.

Pius Ughakpoteni
Director, Corporate Affairs
September 28, 2023.

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