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FG monitors Nigerians’ Facebook, Twitter accounts

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President Buhari Loses Second Nephew In 23 Days

The Federal Government has been monitoring the social media accounts of Nigerians who are suspected of having links with various terrorist groups, including Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.

The covert operations have been going on for a while,

Security agencies hack into the Facebook and Twitter accounts of those they are monitoring.

The move, it was learnt, was meant to frustrate terrorist attacks on the country.

The project, which is costing the country millions of dollars, is being managed by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan approved the request by security agencies to spy on targeted sections of the population, mainly religious extremists and radicalised individuals.

It was gathered that the project is being coordinated by some foreign firms, including an Israeli firm, Elbit System.

Our correspondent learnt that the local espionage involves hacking of phones, email accounts, social media accounts and bugging of telephone conversations of persons of interest.

A source said, “The surveillance system is not being used to target everyone, as people may want to believe. It is only deployed to get intelligence on specific targets because it would be hard and difficult to use such system to spy on all Nigerians; the amount of data would be too huge and staggering for the assessors to sort and manage.

“Basically, the system is used to hack into emails and phones of targets, and the targets are those who are suspected of having ties with terrorists, whether Boko Haram, ISIS or any other criminal element.”

It was also learnt that the system had greatly assisted security agencies to nip in the bud and also frustrate many terror plots and attacks across the country.

The security agencies had been using electronic trackers, which they were used to track and apprehend kidnappers.

But it was learnt that the electronic surveillance system is more effective and has better capacities to hack emails, passwords and social media accounts used by terrorists to recruit members.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, confirmed that security agencies were using a sophisticated surveillance system as part of measures to combat crime and terrorism in the country.

He said, “It is not a new technology. Everywhere in the world, it is used, including drones and other sophisticated equipment. Nigeria is part of the international community; we have our surveillance system, which shows that Nigeria is developing.”

Ojukwu said the security agencies respect the rights of Nigerians and were not using the system to hack the phones and computers of innocent Nigerians.

The Department of State Services could not be reached for information on their use of the surveillance system.

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Deborah Samuel: Gov Tambuwal relaxes curfew

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Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew he imposed on the state capital following violent protest over the arrest of some youths allegedly involved in the killing Deborah Samuel, a 200-level student.

Tambuwal in a statement issued by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Isah Bajini, said the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township.

The statement noted that “Sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the State, the State Governor, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis

“The revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to affording people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood.”

Recall that following the lynching of the 200-level student for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed, the State’s police command arrested some persons linked to the incident.

However, a large number of Muslim boys who were angered by the arrest, stormed the streets in the State on Saturday, demanding the release of the suspects.

The development, which triggered tension in several parts of the State, made the Governor to impose the curfew.

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Arsonists burn down LG secretariat, Magistrate Court in Anambra

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Suspected arsonists have burnt down Idemili North Local Government secretariat in Ogidi and a Magistrate Court in the area.

Sources said the arsonists entered the premises on Sunday night to perpetuate the act, burning down all files, properties in the secretariat, including the secretariat building.

Videos and pictures circulating online showed that the entire buildings were reduced to rubbles, while vehicles parked inside the Local Government secretariat were also burnt to ashes.

The State Police Command has also confirmed the development, attributing it to unidentified arsonists.

DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson of the State Police Command said: “Yes, the incident was confirmed, and our men were there to restore normalcy.

“Right now, the fire has been put off, and calm has been restored to the area,” Ikenga said.

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National Assembly transmits amended Electoral Act to Buhari

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Senate

The National Assembly has transmitted the amended Electoral Act 2022 to the Presiden Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The bill was transmitted to the Presidency on Friday.

Sources in the Presidency and the National Assembly confirmed the transmission.

A source in the Presidency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he had not been authorised to announce the development officially, said, “Yes, it has been transmitted. But wait till Monday when it may be announced when the President will sign it.”

Another source in the National Assembly said, “It was transmitted on Friday. I needed to confirm it before saying anything.”

It was further learnt that Buhari would sign the amendment ahead of primaries of political parties beginning next week.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had last week passed an amendment to the Act to recognise statutory delegates at primaries, congresses, and conventions of political parties.

The lawmakers particularly amended Section 84(8) of the Act to provide automatic or statutory delegates, ahead of the forthcoming party primaries, from where candidates would emerge for the 2023 general elections.
In March, the National Assembly had passed the bill for the Act while the President signed it into law.

While political parties are close to conducting primaries to elect candidates for the 2023 general elections, the Act did not allow members elected into public offices and executives of the parties, known as statutory delegates, to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of parties.

The chambers had described the omission as “a fundamental error.”

Without the provision by the law, Buhari; the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, chairmen of local government areas, councillors, executives of political parties, amongst others, would have been disenfranchised.

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