A copy of President, Major General (Retd.) Muhammadu Buhari’s speech was flying around on the internet minutes before he commenced his nationwide broadcast on Monday, April 27, has been caught.
This was considered by many as a serious vulnerability in the statehouse which further catalysts investigations into the matter.
Few days after that, Femi Adesina, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity has revealed that the person who leaked the has been caught and now “paying for his evil action.”
The Presidential spokesperson who described the person as an “Enemy of the State who does not wish his country well”, said an unedited draft of the broadcast was leaked.
Femi Adesina said the person was nabbed through the digital footprint he left after leaking the document.
“ENEMY OF THE STATE
“You have possibly watched the 1998 action-thriller film with the above title, starring Will Smith. It was the box office hit story about a group of people plotting to kill an American Congressman, and the tape of the plot was discovered.
“Well, an Enemy of the State struck in Nigeria on Monday, but this time, it was no fiction. It was real life act of sabotage from somebody who does not wish his own country well at all, and who derived a sinister kind of pleasure from undermining the system.
“President, Major General (Retd.) Muhammadu Buhari was to broadcast to the country by 8 p.m, to give an update on the battle against COVID-19, and what becomes of the lockdown that had lasted four weeks, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States. Kano was also a point of heavy interest, with the strange deaths ravaging the state. Was it COVID-19 or not?
As the country waited for the President with great expectations, a purported copy of the broadcast began to circulate on social media from about 4 p.m. Whodunnit?
“I took a look at the circulating document, and within one minute, I knew that it was a rogue copy. What immediately gave it away was the paragraphing. It was completely different from the one I had been part of producing, and which had been recorded for broadcast by the President.
“Another tell-tale to the dubiousness of the document was the date it gave. It said the lockdown in the affected states and the FCT would be eased from May 2, while the authentic copy bore May 4.
“There were some other discrepancies. Paragraphs that had been excised from the final copy were still intact, and the document was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, which you would rarely find in a presidential broadcast, which would have passed through a number of select and trusted hands.
“I made a few phone calls to those of us involved with the script, right from origination, which was from outside the Presidency, to final editing, which I did, and the conclusion was easy to reach. Somebody had spirited out the original draft, which had gone through many stages of fine-tuning in terms of content and language, and thinking that it was a world exclusive in terms of artifice and underhand action, he fed it into the social media.
Who would do such a thing, except an Enemy of the State, someone who wants to ridicule the government, cause utmost confusion in the polity, and smirk his lips in malevolent pleasure, as the government, and possibly the media handlers of the President were flagellated, “and taken to the cleaners.
“Yoruba people talk of ‘ba ase je.’ Somebody who spoils the feast. Everybody is rejoicing and making merry, and he comes to pollute their joy. He could bring extremely bad news that sends everyone scurrying home, or looking for cover. He could even urinate in the big pot of soup in the full glare of the merrymakers. Or he could pour sand in the big pot of rice on the fire. Ba ase je (spoiler of the feast) can strike in many ways. That was the same thing the Enemy of the State did.
“Igbo people speak of the proverbial lizard that ruined his own mother’s funeral. That was what the hidden hostile hand did. But he forgot that in these days of technology, almost everything leaves a trail. Before the end of that evening, computer evidences had narrowed down the suspect, and he was already answering for his evil action.
“There is the house mouse called ‘oofon ‘ in Yoruba. And there is a delicious soup made from beans called ‘gbegiri.’ Yes, do you remember the popular amala and gbegiri politics as championed by Lamidi Adedibu in Oyo State in those days? That’s the soup I’m talking about. What happens when the house mouse urinates inside the bowl of gbegiri soup? Lassa fever! That’s why we have the Yoruba saying; oofon to si gbegiri, ki eleko ko eko e dani. Translating this into English makes it lose some originality, but let me try.
“The house mouse has urinated in the pot of gbegiri soup, let all merrymakers find their ways home. That was what the evil mind attempted to do by leaking the presidential broadcast hours before it came. But he fired blank, having laid hands on a wrong copy.
However, if that person had got the final, authentic copy, that is the same way he would have leaked it. To what end, to what purpose? Sinister. Sneaky. Hateful.
“Some people hate their own country, and ironically would be the first to complain that things were not going well. Every act of the government (any government) they would undermine. If they can stick a knife into the soft underbelly of government in any way, they do it with relish, and would be the first to grumble that things were not going right. Enemies of the State.
If the person that leaked the unedited draft of the broadcast had access to more sensitive national documents, he would do the same thing. If he cottons on information that could sell Nigeria to the enemy, ho would gladly do it. Thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.
“I am surprised that a large number of people, including newspaper houses, fell for the gambit. They took their information from the wrong source, and ended up publishing falsehood. That was what the Enemy of the State wanted. Cause maximum confusion. And he succeeded to some extent.
There is a way we release information from the media office of the President. And the media knows it. If a presidential speech was to be given ahead, there would be an embargo on it for a particular time.
“The circulating copy bore no embargo, yet they fell for it. And got embarrassed by publishing inaccurate information. Serves them right, do you say? The final copy was released by 8.06 p.m, good enough time for a newspaper to still produce and get early to market for the next day. The social media is being used for every purpose: good and bad. It is the bastion of fake news, hate news, concoctions and all sorts of conjurations.
“Will the users and consumers be more discerning? It is said that the person that stole a keg of palm oil from the rafter is not the only thief. The person that collected the keg from him is also a rogue. Those who began to share an obvious leak, rebroadcasting it, are also not guiltless. Be quick to hear, and slow to speak.
“It was amusing to me to hear armchair critics blaming the media office of the President for the leakage. Ignorance. Why pontificate about what you don’t know? They were on radio and television stations the next morning, magisterially shooting breeze. It was Dr Reuben Abati, immediate past media adviser to a President who gave some proper perspectives on how a presidential broadcast is originated and produced, and how it was improbable that the leakage came from the Presidency. The lesson? Seek information, get your facts right, before arriving at a conclusion, lest you look foolish and uninformed.
“Some people are not interested in the well being of their own country. Sad, very sad. Such would sell their mothers, and their country for thirty pieces of silver. Thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.”
Driver jailed 10 years for importing hard drugs
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday sentenced a driver, Akinola Suleiman, to 10 years imprisonment for importing 11 kilogrammes of hard drugs.
Justice Babs Kuewumi convicted Suleiman following a nearly seven-year trial before two judges.
He said the convict’s jail term would run from August 30, 2013, when he was arrested by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The judge also ordered that the drugs seized from the convict be destroyed if there was no appeal against the judgment within the period stipulated by the law.
Kuewunmi, who plies the Ghana-Nigeria route, was found at the NDLEA checkpoint, Gbagi, Seme Border area, with 1.3kg of heroin neatly concealed in a big brown travel bag with false bottoms, hidden in a Toyota Camry car with registration number JJJ 584 AE Lagos.
He was charged before Justice Okon Abang on November 6, 2013, on two counts of importation of 1.3 kilograms of heroin and 9.75 kilogrammes of Ephedrine, a substance similar to cocaine, heroin and LSD.
The NDLEA said he violated Section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.
Suleiman pleaded not guilty, but Abang declined to grant him bail on the ground that he was a flight risk.
When his trial commenced on February 20, 2014, prosecution counsel Aliyu Abubakar called four witnesses.
Following Justice Abang’s transfer to another division of the court and the parties’ inability to obtain a ‘fiat’ for the judge to complete the case, the convict’s trial started ‘de novo’ before Justice Kuewumi.
During the new trial, the prosecutor called seven witnesses and tendered six exhibits, The defendant was his only witnesses.
Fingerprints on fire extinguisher used to smash Vera Uwaila Omozuwa led to suspect’s arrest
The suspect arrested in connection with the gruesome rape and murder of Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa was nabbed courtesy of fingerprints left on a fire extinguisher.
WuzupNigeria reports that Omozuwa, a 100 level Microbiology student of the University of Benin [UNIBEN] was attacked inside a Redeemed Christian Church of God Parish in Edo State. She was said to have gone to read in the church.
Her attackers were said to have left several bite marks on her body, broken her bones and strangulated her, leaving her for dead. Reports claimed the 22-year-old was a virgin as of the time of the attack.
The Edo State Police Command has, however, arrested one person in connection with the incident.
According to the Command’s spokesperson, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, the suspect was arrested following the screening of the fingerprints on the fire extinguisher allegedly used to smash the head of the deceased.
“The item used in the assault, which was a fire extinguisher, was recovered, immediately the operatives who were with some specialists screened the fingerprints which led to our suspect around the place of the incident, the suspect was arrested,” Nwabuzor said.
The murder of Uwa after she was raped in a church where she had gone to read had sparked outrage and protests in Benin, Lagos and Abuja with the hashtag #JusticeForUwa dominating social media trend since Sunday.
A group of protesters from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) students union, activists and some members of the public had on Monday stormed the headquarters of the state police command in Edo State demanding justice for Vera Uwaila Omozuwa.
The protesters wearing black outfits and bearing placards condemning rape staged a walk from the Kings Square area of Benin City and eventually took their message to the state police command headquarters at GRA.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, operations, Ayoola Ajala who received the protesters, assured them that investigations have commenced and arrests have been made in connection to Uwa’s murder.
Among those who reacted in condemnation of the tragic death of Vera was the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, APC lawmaker representing Ovia federal constituency in the House of Representatives John. Dennis Idahosa and General Overseer and Senior Pastor of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide Pastor Johnson Suleiman.
Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr Chris Nehikhare in a statement in Benin said it was saddened by the brutal rape and murder of Miss Vera.
The party noted that “education is the cornerstone of sustainable development and meaningful progress…our youth must be told”.
Mr.Idahosa in a statement signed by his media aide Mr Osaro Aghedo said:
“I’m shocked and deeply anguished to hear about the death of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 100 level student of University of Benin, Micro Biology department who was a victim of rape that took place on May 29th, in Benin and later died 30th of May 2020.”
He stated that:
“Action and not words is required to check incidents like this heinous rape. We must identify the causes and find solutions for such criminal depravity in our society.”
While expressing condolences to the bereaved’s family, friends and the university community, the lawmaker called on “all Security agencies to fish out the perpetrator of such dastardly act.
I was the lookout, says 22-year-old arrested over kidnap of magistrate’s daughter in Rivers
A 22-year-old suspect has narrated his role in the kidnap of the daughter of a magistrate in Rivers State sometime in April.
Gift Tasie, was one of the hoodlums that attacked the home of the magistrate at Rumuagholu, abducted his daughter and then demanded N10m ransom.
Tasie, who is presently in the custody of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), said his role on the day of the attack was to act as a lookout while others stormed the magistrate’s apartment
The suspect said he took to crime because he needed to survive.
Tasie, who described himself as an orphan, said he dropped out of school after his parents’ death.
“It was because I needed to survive that made me join the gang led by Ihekazi Igwe. He initiated me into the Icelander cult group. On the day of the incident, I joined them at an agreed location at Omagwa. When I got there, Ihekazi, Ibuchi, Bright and Sampson Aaron were already on the ground with their guns. We drove to the house. I was given a machete and instructed to watch out for vigilante boys. After about an hour, they drove out with another car and inside the car was the magistrate’s daughter.
“When we got to the bush, they shared all the valuables stolen from the house. I was given N10,000 and a wrapper. I was asked to go home because I live with my sister, and if she doesn’t see me in more than 24 hours, she could raise the alarm.
“When I called them the next day, they told me that they asked the family to pay N4 million. I was waiting to be called to collect my share when Ihekazi called to say that the lady had escaped. I wanted to use my share to start a business. I am sorry, it was poverty that led me to crime.”
The attack on the magistrate’s home was carried out by five young men, including Tasie. The other suspects are still at large.
The gang robbed the victim’s house and then abducted his daughter. She later escaped from her kidnappers.
The IRT operatives, who had been investigating the matter since the invasion of the magistrate’s home, tracked Tasie to his home and arrested him.
The operatives are still on the trail of other fleeing members of the gang.
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