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DSS arrests 3 over plot to hack, steal N4.5bn from TSA

By The Citizen

A plot by a syndicate to steal N4.5 billion from the Federal Government's Treasury Single Account (TSA) has been foiled by the Directorate of State Services (DSS).

The four-man syndicate was about to hack into the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) domiciled in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) to steal the money when the plan was aborted by the undercover security outfit.

In a wide-ranging statement on its activities yesterday, DSS spokesman Tony Opuiyo, said: 'The gang was led by one Sunny Okoh, a hacker who worked in collaboration with the trio of Uwem Udo Ekpo, a Chief Programme Analyst in the OAGF, Maxwell Ekene, a retired security operative and Dozie Egwu, based in Malaysia and who is now at large.

'The suspected fraudsters intended to use a software they had sourced and codes released to them by Ekpo to hack government accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and defraud the government of this huge sum,' the DSS alleged.

The intelligence-gathering agency stated that the hacking suspects had been handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and prosecution, adding that citizens' timely information is always helpful in uncovering criminals' plans.

The DSS has also arrested a 17-year-old university undergraduate and other suspected members of extremist groups linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operational cells in Libya.

According to Opuiyo, intelligence provided by citizens and sister agencies facilitated the DSS' series of tactical operations involving raids and enforcement against identified criminal and extremist kingpins and syndicates across the country.

He said: 'On 17th January, 2016, one Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa, a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was arrested in Kano; his arrest was sequel to available intelligence which indicated his terrorist antecedents and covert drive to indoctrinate and recruit susceptible youths in the country.

'Prior to his arrest, Yunusa had completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the Islamic State; these recruits include the trio of one Muhammed Rabi'u, Yahaya Momoh Jimoh and a woman, Zainab Sunday.

'Yunusa is a 400-level undergraduate student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, where he was studying for a degree in Information and Media Technology; he was subsequently radicalised and became a member of an extremist cell, comprising one Ibrahim and Abubakar Ligali, whom he revealed are currently undergoing terrorist training in Libya.

'He listed one Aminu and Ibrahim Jihadi (Nigeriene) as other ISIS agents operating in Nigeria and the West African sub-region and that the cell was being funded by one Abu-sa'ad Al Sudani, a media expert with the extremist group using Western Union money transfers to fund the terrorist cell agenda.'

Other suspects were also arrested in Daura, Katsina State, Kano city and in Kwara State.

'On 17th January, 2016, in Daura township of Daura LGA, Katsina State, another budding extremist cell affiliated to ISIS was intercepted by the Service; one Ibrahim Mohammed Daura, Zaharadeen Salisu and five other elements of the proscribed extremist group, Ansaru, were arrested by the Service.

'This group was discovered in an active stage, as its members were already co-ordinating themselves for attacks in Katsina and Kano states.

'In the same vein, on 22nd January, 2016, one Obansa Salami, Ejide Tijani (aka Abu Uwaise II), Mohammed Rabiu (aka Ubida II), Zainab Mohammed and Abdulqadir Salisu Ahmad were arrested in Kano by this Service while migrating to Libya with their immediate families, including infants, in a bid to join ISIS.

'On 29th January, 2016, the Service arrested Mohammed Aliyu Ndako, a 17 year-old undergraduate student of a tertiary institution in Kwara State; he was arrested sequel to credible intelligence on his plans with one Abdulkadir Salisu Ahmad (a.k.a Daddy Tall), another student in Kano State, to carry out coordinated lone-wolf attacks on selected populated targets in Nigeria, preferably worship centres or recreation venues.

'The suspect had hitherto been communicating with foreign extremist elements while sourcing online terrorist training and support,' the DSS alleged.

The DSS disclosed that a gang of five kidnappers - Abubakar Hassan, Usman Musa, Usman Adamu and Idrisa Babangida Ahmadu - were arrested at Ife junction, Osun State, on 3rd February. Saidu Isyaku was arrested at Ojo in Ibadan, Oyo State. Their arsenal comprising six AK 47 rifles, five magazines and about 1000 rounds of ammunition were recovered.

'Another breakthrough in the fight against kidnapping was the killing of Abubakar Mohammed (aka BUBA), and an unidentified member of his group, on 8thFebruary, close to Jebba Medical Centre, Jebba, Kwara State during a shootout with security operatives; Mohammed and his men had terrorized, to no end, residents of the Southwest zone and he was also linked to the kidnap of the elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, in Ondo State,' the DSS added.

Nengi Samuel Ikiba (aka Kockman Abula) was arrested on 27th January in Bayelsa State. The DSS alleged that the suspect confessed to vandalisation of several pipelines, including the 24″ Agoda/Brass Oil pipeline at Idema community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. – The Nation.