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Nigerian student faces jail time, deportation over threat to bomb UK university

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A Nigerian master’s student in the United Kingdom, Somtochukwu Okwuoha, has been remanded in custody after a jury found him guilty of making terrorist threats against Dundee University in Scotland.

The BBC reports that Mr Okwuoha, 26, claimed he had enlisted ISIS, an international terrorist organisation, to help bomb the university.

Also, Mr Okwuoha told staff members of the university that he planned to target Dundee in a chemical attack.

ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It is a Sunni jihadist group with a particularly violent ideology. It calls itself a caliphate and claims religious authority over all Muslims. The group was inspired by al Qaeda but was later publicly expelled from it.

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Mr Okwuoha was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing in December.

He faces jail and deportation after a jury found him guilty of making terrorist threats against the university.

The jury found Mr Okwuoha, a master’s student of International Energy Studies, guilty of seven charges.

The sheriff presiding over the case at the Perth Sheriff Court in Scotland, William Wood, will consider the Crown’s request for an order to deport Mr Okwuoha to Nigeria.

Witnesses’ testimonies

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At trial, witnesses told the jury that Mr Okwuoha told the university staff members he planned to carry out mass murder on the Dundee University campus.

The witnesses narrated how Mr Okwuoha claimed he had a military background and was capable of making bombs and unleashing a deadly virus on the city.

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A 58-year-old retired director of student services, Keith Mackle, told Perth Sheriff Court he became aware of “serious concerns” in the autumn of 2021.

He said staff members received emails making terrorist threats.

“Expect a massive bomb explosion at the University of Dundee. I have contacted ISIS terrorists to plant bombs on campus.

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“I can assure you staff and students will die in great numbers. 9/11 will be a joke compared to what will happen.

“Blood will spill and flesh will be scattered,” one of the mails read.

Shane Taylor, an accommodation officer, told the court that Mr Okwuoha accused him of being racist and said he planned to wipe out Scottish people as revenge.

Mr Okwuoha, a prisoner at Perth, was found guilty of threatening to murder staff members at the university and commit terrorist crimes between December 2021 and June 2022.

The embattled student was found guilty of threatening to commit mass murder, using biological weapons, revealing staff details to international authorities, and claiming to have planted bombs.

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He was also found guilty of threatening to kill police officers and detonate bombs he had planted at Dundee University.

In June, another Nigerian student, Cyril Kenneth, who arrived in the UK in February, was apprehended by the police for allegedly attempting to sexually harass minors in the Belfast province of the country.

The police said there was evidence of Mr Kenneth grooming and sexually harassing two girls between the ages of 14 and 15.

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Crime

Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC chairman

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

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Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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“I said if that is the issue, I’m going to pass you through my own gate, and you will come to my floor. We will accord you that respect. I will invite my operatives; they will interrogate and interview you in my own office. What could be more honourable than that to allay the fear?

“You know what he said: ‘Thank you, sir, but can’t they come to my village? Olukoyede added.

The chairman also highlighted the agency’s achievements during his tenure, stating, “We have recovered close to 120 billion and secured over 1,600 convictions in six months.

“I’m so passionate about the need for us to move forward in this country. We need the EFCC to survive. There are so many victims that we have wiped tears off their eyes, people that have been swindled in their millions. Every day, we keep recovering money for victims.”

Theheute reports that the EFCC chairman, Olukoyede, has vowed to resign from his position if Yahaya Bello is not prosecuted.

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The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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Crime

Man, 30, defiles landlady’s 13-year-old daughter in Rivers

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The operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested a 30-year-old man identified as Jeffrey for allegedly defiling the teenage daughter of his landlady in an estate in Abuloma, Port Harcourt Local government Area of the State.

It was learnt that the suspect, who has a tailoring shop at the estate, lured the 13-year-old girl to his business place one evening under the guise of showing her clothes.

But Jeffrey ended up locking the shop, overpowered the girl, and allegedly had his way with the girl.

The suspect was, however, arrested by men of the Trans-Amadi Police Division last Friday when the teenage girl opened up to her mother about what transpired.

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A source who does not want his name in print said, “Already a medical examination conducted on the minor indicated she was defiled.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

“She stated, “Yes, I can confirm the arrest of the suspect. The matter has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt, for discreet investigation.”

Iringe-Koko further said the command will ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to deter others.

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Lagos police arrest suspected cable vandal

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Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command, have arrested a suspected electricity cable vandal.

The suspect, simply identified as Abu Ali, aged 35, was said to have been arrested by policemen from the Pen Cinema Division at about 1 am when motorists alerted the state police command of the suspect’s activity.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a statement on his X handle, @BenHundeyin, on Tuesday morning.

He noted that the suspect had been arrested and will be prosecuted.

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The statement read, “At about 1 am, officers from Pen Cinema Division responded to calls from motorists that somebody was sighted cutting cables.

“Abu Ali, aged 35 was arrested at Ode Aran bus stop, Ogba, with vandalized cables.

“Prosecution follows.”

Recall that in February 2024, the Lagos State Police Command arrested one Chris Abu and Paul Philip for allegedly vandalising electricity cables belonging to the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

Theheute gathered that the incident occurred on February 18, 2024, at about 2:30 pm.

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A police source told our correspondent that a distress call was received from the Lagos State Electricity Board in Ikeja about the activities of vandals who specialise in vandalising electricity and armoured cables.

The source added that police officers went to the scene immediately and two males were arrested.

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