Monday 27 February 2017

Nigeria Football Federation On Security Alert Over Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has disclosed that it is implementing a programme that would ensure the security of lives and property of the senior national team's players and officials when they visit South Africa for a Cameroun 2019 African Nations Cup qualifier in June.

Nigeria Records 80,000 Road Accidents in 3 Years; Ogun, Lagos, Kano Top Lists

Report indicates that not less than 79,875 cases of road accidents have been reported in Nigeria in the last three years.

Unemployment, Poverty etc. Responsible For Rise in Kidnapping – NOI Polls

Poll results from NOI polls indicates that unemployment and poverty are the two major reasons there is a steady rise in cases of kidnap in the country. Apart from these major causes, greed was also mentioned by 15 percent of respondents who took the polling organisations survey as another major reason why people choose kidnapping as their source of revenue.

Thursday 23 February 2017

Reprisals in Nigeria Over South Africa Xenophobic Attacks; Protesters Vandalize MTN Abuja Office

MTN Nigeria
Daily Trust newspaper reports that vandals attacked the regional head office of telecoms giant, MTN in Abuja stealing phones, cash and also destroying vehicle and office equipment.

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Gunmen Kidnap Two Germans In Kaduna

Two German Archeologists working in Kaduna, have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Kagarko Local Government Area of the state.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Boko Haram Recruited 2,000 Children As Child Soldiers in 2016, Says UNICEF

The terrorist Boko Haram group recruited about 2,000 children in 2016 and used them as child soldiers, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said.

Monday 20 February 2017

Sunday 19 February 2017

How Lack of Scanners Jeopardise Security At Nigerian Seaports

As Nigeria contends with serious security and terrorism challenges, recent indications revealed that the nation’s entry points, particularly the seaports are not well monitored to guide against influx of arms, ammunitions and some unwholesome goods.

Friday 17 February 2017

Boko Haram Insurgents Attack Air Force Helicopter, Injures Airman

A Nigerian Air Force helicopter carrying medical personnel came under several attacks by members of Boko Haram sect Wednesday, leaving an airman with bullet injuries.

Gunmen Kidnap Catholic Priest in Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria

A Roman Catholic priest of Ikot Ekpene Diocese, in Akwa Ibom State, Rev. Father Felix Akpan has been abducted by unknown gunmen.

Countering Violent Extremism: Facebook Algorithms 'Will Identify Terrorists'

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has outlined a plan to let artificial intelligence (AI) software review content posted on the social network.

Thursday 16 February 2017

Health Alert! Lassa Fever Outbreak Claims 8 Lives in Nasarawa, North-Central Nigeria

The Nasarawa State Government, has said that no fewer than eight people have so far died following the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

Nigeria Safe Schools Initiative To Continue Despite Boko Haram Attacks – UN Envoy

The Nigeria’s Safe School Initiative, an initiative to help protect hundreds of schools in Northeast, will continue in spite of Boko Haram attacks, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, said.
Brown told the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York on Tuesday that the project was already yielding results in schools enrolment in northeast.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Gunmen Kidnap Seven People in Epe, Lagos Suburb

Barely 24 hours after the abducted secretary of Isheri North Landlord Association was released by his abductors, two members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and five farm workers of Eliasa Farm have been kidnapped in Igbodu area of Epe, Lagos State yesterday.

Monday 13 February 2017

Ex Dept. of State Security Director Kidnapped in Kogi State, Freed

Premium Times reports that a retired State Director of the State Security Service, otherwise known as the Department of State Security, DSS, has been kidnapped.

Saturday 11 February 2017

Security Alert! Muslim Brotherhood Plotting To Bomb Targets Across Nigeria

Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Friday alerted Nigerians of an alleged plot by Boko Haram affiliate, Muslim Brotherhood Cell in Kogi State, to launch deadly attack on banks, arm depots and prisons across Nigeria.

Nigeria Loses $80bn Annually to Vandalisation of Oil Facilities in The Niger Delta – Petroleum Minister

Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Friday said Nigeria is losing at least $80 billion annually  to vandalization of oil facilities in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta region.

Friday 10 February 2017

Boko Haram Ambush Nigerian Troops, Kill Eight 

Guardian Newspaper reports that at least eight Nigerian soldiers were killed in a Boko Haram ambush on Friday, sources said, highlighting the Islamist group’s capacity to strike despite government claims it is seriously weakened.

Nigerian Navy Destroys 40 Illegal Refineries, Impound 2 Vessels

The Nigerian Navy has destroyed 40 illegal refineries in its Operation River sweep in the Niger Delta region.

Thursday 9 February 2017

Children/Teen Security And Safety Workshop Holds in Lagos

Children in Nigeria are not immune from the unprecedented security and crime challenges currently spreading across the nook and cranny of Nigeria. Nigerian children are increasingly at the receiving end of kidnap for ransom and extortion, rape, sexual abuse/assault, cyber-bullying, emotional and psychological torture, amongst others.

Gunmen Kidnap Residential Estate Secretary, Kill 3 Security Guards in Lagos

Barely a week after the Lagos State governor signed the Lagos State anti-kidnapping bill into a law, Channels Television reports that daredevil gunmen have kidnapped the Secretary of Isheri North Estate, GRA, Lagos State, Mr Dayo Adekoya.

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Pirates Kidnap Seven Russians, Ukrainian Crew Off Nigerian Coast

A crew of seven Russians and a Ukrainian have been taken hostage off the coast of Nigeria after their ship was attacked, diplomats in Moscow and Kiev said Wednesday.

Monday 6 February 2017

Why The Scourge of Kidnapping Persists in Nigeria

Kidnap for ransom and extortion (KRE) came to the fore in Nigeria when sometime in 2007, a total of 24 expatriates comprising 3 Koreans, 8 Filipinos, a Dutchman, amongst others were kidnapped in separate attacks in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta region. On the night of 14-15 April 2014, Boko Haram upped the ante with the kidnapping of about 276 Chibok school girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State. 21 of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls were freed by Boko Haram in October 2016 after negotiations were facilitated between the insurgent group and the Nigerian government by the Swiss government. Nigeria’s THISDAY newspaper says ‘’an authoritative presidency source informed it that
Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram
Nigerian government was coerced to part with cash to get the 21 girls out’’. While we fixated on Boko Haram’s mass kidnappings of scores of women and girls,
Small Wars Journal reckons Boko Haram kidnapped and co-opted more than 10, 000 boys.

Kidnapping in Nigeria is Under-reported; Ransoms Often Paid

While Mexico came tops followed by India, Pakistan and Iraq, Nigeria was ranked fifth in 2015 global abduction index published by Control Risk, a UK consultancy firm. Kidnapping incidents are generally underreported in Nigeria. There is paucity of reliable crime data in Nigeria but a guestimate by the Nigeria Police suggests there were 887 kidnapping incidents in Nigeria in 2015. Security agencies apparently go all out when a big-shot is kidnapped than when a Joe Bloggs is involved. For want of confidence in the security agencies, families of kidnapped victims will rather ‘play ball’, pay ransom than involve the security agencies.
Source: control Risks
Trend of Mass Kidnappings in Nigeria

Mass kidnapping is becoming a trend in Nigeria. Sometime in January 2017, two young ladies – Veronica Otogo, Bisola Mohammed and one Damilola Oribuyaku were reportedly kidnapped in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Their abductors are demanding $300,000 ransom. In 2016, seven expatriates were kidnapped in Calabar, Cross River State, South-South Nigeria and subsequently released after ransom payment. The Lagos-Ogun state axis in South-west Nigeria is also bedeviled with mass kidnapping of residents and students. Typical cases include the recent kidnapping of 3 landlords in Isheri area of Lagos State. Others include students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, a model private missionary school in Ikorodu, students of Lagos State Model College, Igbo-Nla in Epe, both in Lagos state and the recent kidnapping of staff and students of the Nigerian Turkish International College, NTIC, located in Isheri North, Ogun State. 
Nigeria Turkish International Colleges, NTIC
They were freed after ransom was paid. Three women were kidnapped in Kaduna State, North-Central Nigeria while three medical doctors were also kidnapped in Imo state, South-East Nigeria. Five children were kidnapped in Bauchi State while 5 Polish sailors were kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria.
Kidnapping Risk Level Pers States in Nigeria (Credit: Red24)

Kidnapping Thrives in Nigeria Despite Death Penalty

Worried by pervasive kidnapping in Nigeria, the Nigerian Senate sanctioned death penalty for kidnappers. Out of Nigeria’s 36 states, kidnapping attracts death penalty in about 10 states - Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kogi and Lagos where the governor recently signed the State’s anti-kidnapping law. The Lagos State anti-kidnapping law inter-alia prescribes death penalty for convicts whose victims die in their custody. Persistent criminal activities, kidnapping in Nigeria despite death penalty and amnesty indicates that such prescriptions don’t deter nor rein in criminals.

Causes of kidnapping in Nigeria

Massive Unemployment: A report by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, asserts that unemployed Nigerians skyrocketed to a record 31 million as at September 2016. Some analysts believe that kidnapping basks on the high unemployment rate in Nigeria. Others factors that contribute to insecurity and kidnapping are: paucity of state-of-the-art equipment (forensic, intelligence gathering gadgets etc) for the security agencies and inherent reactive approach to crime fighting, lack of security awareness and consciousness on the part of the citizenry, impunity and a corrupt, slowpoke judiciary, amongst others. Talking about inefficient criminal justice system, an alleged notorious kidnap kingpin, militant leader cum founder of Liberation Movement of the Urhobo People, LIMUP reportedly responsible for the kidnapping of Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and other high profile kidnappings, one Kelvin Oniarah Ezeigbe, alias Ibruvwe was arrested by security agents on 25 September, 2013 but his trial drags on till 2017, four years after his arrest. No guarantee his trial will be concluded in the next 6 years. Reminiscent of movie scenes or events in a failed state, on January 27, 2017, a daredevil criminal gang invaded Owerri High Court, South-East Nigeria, shot sporadically and whisked away their leader, a notorious kidnapper identified as Chibueze Henry alias "Vampire" or ‘’Onye Na Way Ya’’ who was standing trial. Vampires daring get away is not a one-off. Recall that few years ago, Kelvin Oniarah Ezeigbe (mentioned above) purportedly masterminded the escape of his men been escorted by Prison officials to stand trial.
Henry Chibueze a.k.a Vampire
Amnesty To Criminals in Nigeria, A Pat on The Back?

Recall that Imo, Rivers, and now Lagos State governors respectively offered amnesty to criminals, cultists in their domains. Criminals are more likely to recidivate - fall back to crime - when they waltz from breaking the law. I expounded the implications of amnesty and recidivism of criminals in Nigeria in one of my piece. The same Niger Delta blokes that the Yar Adua/Jonathan administration granted amnesty are the same people still blasting oil installations.  Same Boko Haram insurgents that parleyed, allegedly swapped prisoners with Nigerian government on the release of 21 abducted Chibok girls are the ones still causing mayhem. The seeming untouchability and larger-than-life disposition of outlaws in Nigeria emboldens their henchmen and other potential criminal elements. Perhaps we can take a cue from the United States. Former President Obama commuted the sentences of Ms. Chelsea Manning, a US Army intelligence analyst serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified military information. All in all, Mr. Obama granted 64 pardons and 207 commutations. The aforementioned committed various crimes, they were tried, convicted, did time and later pardoned or had their sentences commuted. In Nigeria, the trend is to (un)wittingly encourage impunity by granting carte blanche amnesty to hardboiled criminals. As they say, if someone is ready to do the crime, s/he should also be prepared to do the time. Commutation, pardon or amnesty can come later, if need be.

Recommendations, Anti-kidnapping Tips 

Prevention they say, is better than cure. To rein in insecurity and criminal activities, the Nigerian government must tackle unprecedented proliferation of arms in the country. There’s urgent need to provide sophisticated gadgets to the security agencies, boost their morale and train them to be proactive rather than reactive. Nigeria urgently needs far-reaching reform of its criminal justice system to encourage quick dispensation of justice. Security and safety education and awareness must be ramped up. House owners, schools, public places and organizations must factor in ‘’Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, CPTED, while designing and constructing their structures. CPTED is a proactive crime prevention concept that focuses on tactical design and effective use of the built environment to reduce or remove the preponderance for crime to occur in an environment. CPTED encompasses five principles: (a) physical security – fencing, CCTV cameras, lighting (b) surveillance – intelligence gathering, security guards (c) access or movement control - gates (d) management/maintenance and (e) defensible space. Government and regulatory agencies must ensure schools are not operated in make-shift apartments. Beware of ‘’insider threats’’. Some kidnapping incidents are engineered by domestic staff; ensure holistic security background checks while hiring such staff. You may wish to refer to 27 security, safety tips to prevent, survive a kidnapping incident for comprehensive anti-kidnapping tips.

Kidnapping persists in Nigeria because of the penchant for treating the symptoms of a disease rather than addressing its root causes. An analogy suffices: if two motorcycles collide in an accident in Nigeria, the likely solution will be to ban the use of motorcycles. No effort is made to unravel and fix the remote and immediate causes. The security agencies must not be reactive, wait for kidnapping to occur, ransoms paid before entertaining the public with parade of suspects who were probably tortured into confessing to the crime. An Igbo proverb says, ‘’onaghi adi mma mmiri zoochaa, echenyewa oku’’. Rough English translation says, ‘’there’s no point bringing out kegs to fetch rain water after the rain must have ceased.

Written by:

© Don Okereke
(Security Consultant/Analyst, Writer)
Holistic Security Background Checks Limited
Twitter: @DonOkereke

Boko Haram Insurgents Seize Sasawa Community in Yobe State

Daily Post Newspaper reports that suspected Boko Haram insurgents took over Sasawa town in Yobe State on Sunday after fierce battle with the Nigerian troops.

Sunday 5 February 2017

Bakassi Strike Force Militants Clash With Kidnappers in Cross River State, 10 Feared Dead

A bloody clash between a militant group known as the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF), active in the Bakassi Peninsular of Cross River State and Kidnappers has claimed about 10 lives.

Saturday 4 February 2017

US Congress Cites Nigeria As 'The Most Dangerous Place for Christians in the World’

The United States House of Representatives says Nigeria has been cited as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world and that impunity for those responsible for the killing of Christians in the country “seems to be widespread.”

Friday 3 February 2017

Nigerian Navy Recover Arms, Seize Crude Oil, Diesel Worth N420bn

The Nigerian Navy has said that it confiscated stolen crude oil and diesel worth N420 billion, in 2016.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, made the disclosure during a budget defence session at the House of Representatives.

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Boko Haram Kills 5 UN Staff, Others Near Nigeria-Cameroon Border

An armed group, suspected to be Boko Haram, attacked a U.N. technical team working along the border between Nigeria and Cameroon, killing five persons and wounding several,

Lagos State Governor - Ambode Approves Death Penalty For Kidnappers

Governor Ambode
Kidnappers in Lagos are to face death penalty or life imprisonment as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode signs into law the state kidnapping prohibition bill, 2016.

85 Nigerians To Be Deported From The United Kingdom Today

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, says about 85 Nigerians were to be deported by the United Kingdom to Nigeria today.

Nigeria Customs Declares Senior Officials Wanted Over Importation of Rifles

The Nigeria Customs Service has declared two of its senior officers wanted over the importation of 661 pump-action rifles into the country.