Turkey detains 73 academics

Police detained 73 academics at Yildiz Teknik University in Istanbul on Friday as part of an ongoing crackdown in the wake of the July coup attempt by a faction in the military.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said the 73 were part of the 103 academics it issued warrants for as some of the suspects in the last part of the probe.

It said their arrest was in part based on information that the academics had used ByLock, an instant messaging application.

The office said that government saw the app as a tool that was used by Gulenists in the period before the coup attempt.

The government blames the coup attempt on Fethullah Gulen, a preacher based in the U.S, who was once allied with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and has launched mass arrests and purges of his alleged followers.

Gulen has since denied the charges.

The government has dismissed tens of thousands of civil servants and more than 20,000 from the military including cadets.

Moreover, some 35,000 people are jailed, while more than 6,000 have lost their jobs since the coup.

At the same time, the government has stepped up measures against other opponents, including media outlets and Kurdish groups, with more than 100 journalists behind bars along with 10 members of parliament from the pro-Kurdish peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Ankara has taken over 34 local governments in the mostly Kurdish south-east of the country, deposing elected mayors on terrorism charges.

The legal HDP denies links to armed groups and calls for a return to peace talks to end the conflict in the country.

Turkey Detains Brother Of Cleric Gulen, Issues Arrest Warrants For 115

Turkish authorities have detained a brother of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric they accuse of orchestrating a coup attempt in July, and issued arrest warrants for 115 other people as part of nationwide investigations into the abortive putsch.

Kudbettin Gulen was taken into custody on Sunday by Turkish counter-terrorism police in the Gaziemir district of the Aegean province of Izmir following intelligence that he was staying at a relative’s house, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

The daily Hurriyet reported that Kudbettin Gulen had been abroad recently but that security services learned he had returned to Turkey and he was then detained.

Several of Gulen’s relatives, including a nephew, niece and cousins, have been arrested since the July 15 coup.

A chief prosecutor’s office in Sakarya province, 150 km (93 miles) east of Istanbul, has opened an investigation into 148 people over their suspected links to Gulen’s movement, Anadolu said. A court issued arrest warrants for 115 of them.

Police carried out simultaneous raids across 27 provinces to detain the suspects, it added.

Turkey has dismissed or suspended more than 100,000 people in the military, civil service, police and judiciary over their alleged role in the attempted coup. Some 32,000 people, including soldiers and journalists, have been arrested.

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EFCC Detains Ex-gov Udenwa For Failing To Refund N350m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a former Imo State Governor, Achike Udenwa, for allegedly receiving N350m from the Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman, during the build-up to the 2015 presidential elections.

The money was said to have been part of the N4bn that emanated from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to the EFCC, Udenwa who was the Imo State coordinator of the campaign organisation, had admitted in his statement of oath that he received the money via Diamond Bank account 0058805692 and 005950791 respectively on January 14 and January 28, 2015 in three separate instalments.

Udenwa explained that he and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, who was his deputy at the presidential campaign organisation, were the two signatories to the Diamond Bank account that received the money.

Onwuliri has since left the country.

Investigations revealed that the money came from a company named Joint Trust Dimension Limited which is said to be owned by Usman.

This same company was charged alongside Usman and the Media Director of the campaign organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, before a Federal High Court in Lagos on a similar allegation.

Fani-Kayode had also admitted receiving N840m through the account while the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae, received N100m through his company, Marecco Nigeria Limited.

A source at the EFCC said, “Upon his arrest, Udenwa was immediately granted administrative bail by the commission with condition that he should be reporting to the commission at an appointed time. But while enjoying his administrative bail, Udenwa chose to deliberately skip reporting, thereby compelling the commission to revoke his administrative bail pending his arraignment soon.”

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EFCC Detains Badeh, Gets Order To Hold Amosu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has detained the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), in connection with his alleged role in the $2.1bn arms purchase scam.

Badeh, who was clad in a brown kaftan and a black cap, arrived at the EFCC office around 10am on Monday.

The former defence chief had visited the commission on Thursday last week but was asked to report to the agency’s office on Monday.

Badeh, who was accompanied by three unidentified men, was escorted into the Idiagbon House headquarters of the EFCC by armed operatives.

He was subsequently interrogated by detectives for several hours.

As of 10pm, Badeh was still in the custody of the anti-graft agency.

An EFCC operative, said, “Badeh arrived at our office at 10am and as of 10pm, he is still with us.”

It was gathered that the commission had assembled two teams of EFCC operatives, who began the interrogation of the former chief of defence staff at about 10.30am on Monday.

It was learnt that he was asked to account for contracts awarded by the Nigeria Air Force when he was the chief of defence staff.

According to reports, contracts totalling $930,500,690.00 were by the military awarded under the leadership of Badeh.

The money is said to be part of the $2.1bn, which was under the control of the Office of the National Security Adviser, then under the headship of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).

Badeh is also said to be answering questions on the non-specification of procurement costs, absence of contract agreements, award of contracts beyond authorised thresholds, transfer of public funds for unidentified purposes and general non-adherence with provisions of the Public Procurement Act.

Credit: Punch

EFCC Detains Ex-Chief Of Air Staff Over N29billion Arms Deal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested and detained the immediate past Chief of Air Force, Adesola Amosu.

Mr. Amosu, an air vice marshal, who was retired last year, alongside other military chiefs, is allegedly being detained over allegation of corruption in arms procurement during his tenure. An official of the EFCC confirmed the development.

The official said Mr. Amosu was arrested on Wednesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari had recently directed the EFCC to investigate the former air chief and other serving and retired military officers over alleged misconduct established against them.

Among those to be investigated include the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, former Chief of Defence Staff, Marshal Alex Badeh and another former Chief of Air Staff, Mohammed Umar.

Mr. Dasuki is currently facing charges over alleged $2.1 billion arms procurement deal.

Credit: PremiumTimes

SSS Detains Faleke, Abubakar Audu’s Son- Aide

The Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the November 21, 2015 Governorship election in Kogi State, James Faleke, and Mohammed, the eldest son of Abubakar Audu, the late APC governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu, were on Saturday invited by the State Security Services for undisclosed reason, and then detained.

The Director, Media and Publicity of Audu/Faleke Campaign Organisation, Duro Meseko, said in a statement on Saturday that the duo arrived the SSS headquarters in Abuja at exactly 10.00am and were kept in an office with assurances that an officer would attend to them only to keep them indefinitely.

Mr. Meseko said the two politicians were kept in an isolated office till 4p.m on Saturday evening.

He said, “I’m surprised my Principal and the eldest son of our political leader, Mohammed are still being kept as I speak with you which is 4pm. What could be responsible for this ill treatment by the SSS?

“Or could they be acting the intimidation script? Trying to arms-twist them into abandoning the sacred mandate freely given to the Audu/Faleke team by the generality of Kogi people?

“Let me make it abundantly clear that our mandate is sacred and no amount of of technical detention, intimidation and harassment would shake our resolve to get justice through the judiciary.?

“I refuse to believe that the presidency has hands in the arrest! But we may not rule out the fact that the power that be must have wielded their influence in the arrest, but we are not not pertubed over the development, because we believe that God ultimately vindicate us.”

The SSS has had no official spokesperson since Marilyn Ogar was removed, and could therefore not be reached for comments.

Credit: Premiumtimes

Cameroon Detains 84 Children After Raiding Quranic Schools

Cameroonian authorities have been holding 84 children — some as young as 5 years old — for months without charge after officials accused their teachers at Quranic schools of running terrorist training camps, Amnesty International said Friday.

 The international human rights organization called on Cameroon to release the children to their parents immediately, saying nearly all of them are too young to face criminal charges. The raids in the country’s far north are part of the fight against Islamic militants from the Nigeria-based group Boko Haram.

“Detaining young children will do nothing to protect Cameroonians living under the threat of Boko Haram,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International deputy regional director for West and Central Africa.

A government spokesman did not immediately respond to the report and said a news conference would be held Monday.

Boko Haram has waged a six-year insurgency seeking to implement an Islamic caliphate. In recent months, militants have stepped up attacks inside neighboring countries.

Cameroonian forces arrested the 84 children in December along with 43 men in the northern town of Guirvidig, accusing the teachers of using the schools “as fronts for Boko Haram training camps,” Amnesty said.

“They said they would dig our grave and throw us into it. We were scared,” one child told Amnesty. “Then they roughed up our teachers . some among them had blood all over their faces.”

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Nigerian Army Detains Policemen Without Food For Refusing To Wear Military Uniforms

Ten counter-terrorism police officers attached to the Nigeria army peacekeeping forward operation base in Abuja are currently unlawfully detained at a military barrack in Gwagwalada, Abuja.

The personnel were locked up since Tuesday without food and medical care for refusing to wear military fatigues for an operation they feared could be illegal.

According to the detainees, they were detained on the instruction of a Colonel Kalejaye, head of the army forward operation base, because they refused his directive to “impersonate” soldiers by wearing their uniforms for a training in Kaduna State.

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