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Showing posts with label Investigation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Investigation. Show all posts

Missing OAU MBA Student Timothy Adegoke Found Dead, Six Arrested - Osun Police Command

Missing OAU MBA Student Timothy Adegoke Found Dead, Six Arrested - Osun Police Command

 The missing MBA student at Obafemii Awololowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Timothy Adegoke is dead, a statement by the state police Command confirmed it.


Adegoke was declared missing on November 7 2021.

According to a statement signed and made available to the press by Opalola Yemisi Olawoyin who is the spokesperson for the Osun State Police Command, the police said it was working to unravel the circumstances surrounding Adegoke’s death.

It reads in part: “The Commissioner of Police, CP Olawale Olokode, psc, wishes to assure the general public, especially the family of the deceased, students and management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, that the police command is working assiduously to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Timothy Adegoke, a master’s degree student of OAU who came from Abuja to sit for his examination at the OAU distance learning centre, Moro, Osun State.

“It would be recalled that, a case of missing person was reported on 7th November, 2021 at about 1630hrs, at Edun Abon police station and later transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for discreet investigation on 9th November, 2021. Immediately the case was received, detectives from SCID of the command swung into action and have arrested six (6) suspects in connection with the case while investigation is ongoing.

“Consequently, the Commissioner of Police is using this medium to appeal to the family, the sympathizers, students and management of the university to remain calm and be rest assured that, the police will do all within its constitutional responsibility to unravel the mystery behind his death.”

The police however did not state how he died or where his body was found.

Adegoke, was an Abuja-based student who travelled to Ife on November 5 to sit for an examination at the school’s distance learning centre in Moro, Osun State.

He was declared missing two days later when friends and family members could neither reach his phone line nor find him at the exam venue.

 The missing MBA student at Obafemii Awololowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Timothy Adegoke is dead, a statement by the state police Command confirmed it.


Adegoke was declared missing on November 7 2021.

According to a statement signed and made available to the press by Opalola Yemisi Olawoyin who is the spokesperson for the Osun State Police Command, the police said it was working to unravel the circumstances surrounding Adegoke’s death.

It reads in part: “The Commissioner of Police, CP Olawale Olokode, psc, wishes to assure the general public, especially the family of the deceased, students and management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, that the police command is working assiduously to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Timothy Adegoke, a master’s degree student of OAU who came from Abuja to sit for his examination at the OAU distance learning centre, Moro, Osun State.

“It would be recalled that, a case of missing person was reported on 7th November, 2021 at about 1630hrs, at Edun Abon police station and later transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for discreet investigation on 9th November, 2021. Immediately the case was received, detectives from SCID of the command swung into action and have arrested six (6) suspects in connection with the case while investigation is ongoing.

“Consequently, the Commissioner of Police is using this medium to appeal to the family, the sympathizers, students and management of the university to remain calm and be rest assured that, the police will do all within its constitutional responsibility to unravel the mystery behind his death.”

The police however did not state how he died or where his body was found.

Adegoke, was an Abuja-based student who travelled to Ife on November 5 to sit for an examination at the school’s distance learning centre in Moro, Osun State.

He was declared missing two days later when friends and family members could neither reach his phone line nor find him at the exam venue.

MINDBLOWING INVESTIGATION - Murder in Uyo: Who Killed Hiny Umoren?

MINDBLOWING INVESTIGATION - Murder in Uyo: Who Killed Hiny Umoren?

By David Hundeyin


On Friday April 29, a 26 year-old lady set out around 1PM to attend a job interview in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Having recently completed her university program despite losing both parents, she was looking for a way to support herself before being called up for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program.


Instead of a job interview and hope for the future however, what she would actually encounter on that day would become one of the most shocking stories to ever emerge from Nigeria.


Iniobong “Hiny” Umoren became the subject of a desperate nationwide search led by Nigerian Twitter users after her friend Umoh Uduak put out an urgent appeal. She was eventually found, but unfortunately the worst had already happened. The police would later confirm that she was found dead, having been raped, murdered and then buried in a shallow grave.


In the wake of a crowdsourced social media sleuthing campaign which uncovered his identity, a primary suspect Frank Uduak Ezekiel Akpan was also arrested.


 

In a manner completely uncharacteristic of Nigeria’s elephant-paced justice system, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command rapidly announced that it had extracted a confession from Akpan, and even identified his motive – he was a serial rapist and serial killer acting alone. End of story and job done.


Police statement on Hiny Umoren case

Naturally, this neat explanation did not satisfy many, who felt that Akpan could not have acted alone, and that the police might be involved in some kind of a cover up to protect powerful people potentially implicated. Rumours also began swirling about Hiny’s family receiving death threats, and the suspect allegedly boasting about being well-connected.


Beyond the whispers however, there has been precious little to substantiate the idea that stringing up Frank Akpan alone would not represent any kind of justice for Hiny Umoren. Sources willing to speak up and provide information about this case have generally not been forthcoming.


Until now.


Game Changing Information

Every telephone conversation made via a GSM telephone line has a permanent record with the mobile service provider, which by law cannot be tampered with or erased. The information captured can vary, but it always includes the following elements: the date and time the interaction was initiated; the type of interaction (voice or SMS); the length of the interaction; the number initiating the interaction; the number receiving the interaction and the location of the closest cell towers to both parties.


Some networks also record the actual conversation (voice note), and depending on the type of signal band and mobile device, it is even possible to capture the exact location of both parties, accurate to within a few metres. Anyone who can get their hands on the call data from Frank Akpan’s line would very quickly be able to establish whether he was in fact acting alone – which is where my source came in handy.


 

Understandably, this information is meant to be impossible to access without law enforcement authorisation. With this in mind, I have taken the extra precaution of reproducing it manually via a spreadsheet, so as to protect my source by removing all possible identifying information. Over the course of several hours last week, I pored over several days worth of leaked call data from Frank Akpan’s mobile provider to make sense of the situation.


What will be presented in this story is the closest thing that exists to objective evidence that:


1.) Frank Akpan is being used to take the fall for much bigger fish involved in Hiny Umoren’s murder; and


 

2.) While Frank Akpan is certainly the primary suspect and was directly involved in the murder, there are other participants in the murder still walking free, while the Akwa Ibom Police Command intentionally bungles what should be an open and shut investigation.


Who is Frank Akpan?

Apart from a few tidbits pieced together from social media accounts about him, very little is known about Frank Akpan the primary suspect. The timeline to his arrest begins late in the afternoon on April 29, when Umoh puts out Hiny’s number hoping someone will be able to track down her friend’s location.


The mention of “Frank Akpan” as a central figure in this story begins with this tweet from Umoh which identifies the owner of the Airtel number +2348127530092 as the person who invited Hiny for the supposed interview.


A quick check with Truecaller brings up the name “Ezekiel Akpan.” Curiously, the occupation tag on this person’s Truecaller profile reads “Political.” It is important to bear in mind that Truecaller fills an individual’s ‘name’ and ‘occupation’ fields by pulling high quality data from several sources including Facebook profile information and analysis of the individual’s Facebook friend networks – so this tiny detail will become significant later on.


Shortly after finding himself under instant national scrutiny following Umoh’s tweet, Akpan then attempts to throw the public off the scent with the Facebook post below. In so doing, he inadvertently confirms that the telephone number in question is actually his, thereby proving that “Uduak Frank Akpan” and “Ezekiel Akpan” are the same person.


Shortly thereafter, he deactivates his Facebook profile and seemingly goes silent until the Akwa Ibom State Police Command issues a statement 3 days later, confirming his arrest and effectively pronouncing him guilty of the crime as a sole suspect.


Frank Uduak Ezekiel Akpan

So far, based on the version of the story that is in official circulation, there is only Frank Akpan and the unfortunate Hiny Umoren. The police have declared him a serial rapist – and hence a single actor. Officially, the issue is over and there is nothing more to see here. It was just a horrible monster and a woman who unfortunately fell victim under the most heartbreaking circumstances.


The only counter-story so far boils down to a few unsubstantiated social media rumours that cannot stand in court, plus what would otherwise be compelling evidence from Akpan’s crime scene, which unfortunately has now been contaminated and rendered all but useless for the purpose of a criminal investigation.


By deliberate malfeasance or by incompetence, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has allowed key evidence from Akpan’s hideout potentially pointing to a larger conspiracy, to be trampled underfoot by hundreds of curious onlookers and social media content creators. In so doing, the evidence to build a case for anything other than a standalone Frank Akpan conviction has been destroyed or rendered inadmissible.


There is however, one type of evidence that cannot be physically destroyed or tampered with in any way. This evidence has a permanent digital record which sits in cloud storage away from the incompetence or malfeasance of the Nigeria Police Force, and what it shows without a shadow of doubt is that Frank Akpan did not act alone.


 

Organ trafficking to feed the international donor organ black market? Ritual killings on behalf of politicians involved in occultic practices?


Let’s find out.


Leaked Network Records: The Smoking Gun

To properly understand and contextualise the data that you are about to see below, a little explainer is in order. As mentioned earlier, the 6 categories of telephone interaction data always recorded by service providers are call date and time, originating number, receiving number, type of interaction (call or SMS), length of interaction (in seconds) and the originating/receiving cell tower.


Every cell tower on earth has a unique location code written in this format: MCC (Mobile Country Code)-MNC (Mobile Network Code)-LAC (Location Area Code)-CellID. Nigeria’s mobile country code is 621, and its 4 largest network providers MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9Mobile have the respective MNCs 30, 50, 20 and 60. Using this information alongside the LAC and CellID provided in the call records below, you can pinpoint the exact cell tower closest to where the call in question was made or received.


 

For example, if the given MCC is 621, the MNC is 20 (Airtel), the LAC is 00784, and the CellID is 20565, you can put this information into free public access cell site locators like cell2gps.com and the result will be a cell tower site in Uyo at the junction of Ikot-Ekpene road and Ikpa Road.


This is actual cell site data from a call made by Frank Akpan at 6.50PM on April 29, 2021

That being said, it is time to examine the leaked call record data and draw our conclusions. First, here is data I extracted from what my source provided, showing the significant parts of Frank Akpan’s call and SMS history on the day Hiny Umoren was murdered.


For ease of understanding, I ran all the numbers through Truecaller and put the names in brackets next to them

Around 1.17PM on April 29, Frank Akpan placed a call to Hiny Umoren, which lasted for 124 seconds. It is fair to extrapolate that this was a call where he gave directions to her regarding where she should go for the purported interview. At 1.21PM, he then placed a call to a Blessing Godwin, which lasted 147 seconds. Was he chatting up another potential victim of the same job interview snare? It is impossible to say for now.


At 3:38PM, Hiny Umoren then placed a call to Frank Akpan lasting for 106 seconds. If you compare the cell tower data here to that of his previous phone calls, it is clear that he was already at the supposed venue waiting for her because the tower location does not change. It is safe to assume that she was calling to tell him that she had arrived for her interview. Save for a 2-second WhatsApp voice note which Hiny later managed to send to Umoh, this call was probably the last time anyone ever heard Hiny Umoren alive again.


Around 6.15PM, almost 3 hours after Hiny Umoren arrived at his lair, Frank Akpan then placed a call to an unknown number. The call records clearly show +2348127530092 – Frank Akpan’s known public number – making repeated contact between 6.15PM and 6.50PM with +2348122386922, an unknown number which brings up no details on Truecaller or Facebook. For reference, if a mobile number pulls up no Truecaller, Facebook or social media results whatsoever, this could either mean that it is used on a non-internet-enabled feature phone (a so-called ‘burner’ phone), or that the owner is extremely intentional about having no digital footprint linked to that number.


Incidentally, this was also around the time when the Twitter hashtag #FindHinyUmoren had already led Twitter sleuths to uncover Frank Akpan’s identity, leading to his amateur attempt at misdirection referenced earlier. In the middle of a clear and obvious crisis moment, why was Frank Akpan repeatedly trying to establish contact with this unknown number with no digital footprint? The answer could lie in some data I extracted from a different set of call records showing Frank Akpan’s contact with this number in the days and weeks before Hiny Umoren was murdered.


This unknown person contacted Frank Akpan no fewer than 12 times between April 4 and April 27

Was this a regular buyer or facilitator of whatever gruesome trade Frank Akpan was involved in? Was Frank calling him for help after an unexpected social media campaign suddenly exposed him and put their entire business operation at risk? Why was this the first number that Frank called immediately after raping and murdering a young woman? We do not know the answers to these questions, but there is at least one person other than Frank Akpan himself who can probably tell us.


The “Senior Forestry Officer”

It is April 30, 2021, and Frank Akpan has become a nationwide hate figure on social media. His involvement in Hiny Umoren’s disappearance is public knowledge at this point, and time is running out for him. He needs friends and allies to protect him – and fast. His name and picture are doing the rounds on social media, and in a city like Uyo, it will not be long before someone recognises him and he finds himself subjected to Nigerian street justice.


Between 10.27Am and 10.44AM, he places 3 phone calls to a Francisca Bassey Akpan – presumably a family member who is willing to help him. Francisca is in Calabar when she receives the calls, and she is using a smartphone in a location with high network capacity, which means the network is able to record her location while receiving Frank’s calls to within a few metres of accuracy.


At 10.55AM, Francisca calls Frank back. Only they and the mobile network know what is said during this 51-second conversation. My source balked at the idea of obtaining customer voice notes because that would simply be a bridge too far, even for the sake of solving a brutal murder. Just getting this much information to me is already breaking multiple in-house rules and NCC codes, so they understandably did not want to push their luck.


At 4.32PM on April 30, Frank then makes one of the most most interesting phone calls in this entire story. Truecaller pulls up the details of the recipient of the phone call with the number +2348032939326 – one “Kufre Effiong.” Unlike the other people Frank has been known to associate with, Kufre Effiong appears to be from a different world. He is significantly older than Frank and as his location details show, he lives in the swanky part of town. Who is this guy?


Their conversation lasts for just 31 seconds and presumably ends with Kufre hanging up. Frank’s phone rings almost immediately at 4.34PM. The caller is +2348038967819 and this conversation lasts decidedly longer than the last one – almost 4 minutes. Who is the owner of this number that has so much to talk about with someone who is probably Nigeria’s most wanted man at the moment? Truecaller answers once again.


Kufre Effiong is an older, wealthier looking man who apparently spends his time in the upscale Ewet Estate while Frank Akpan rapes and murders young women in uncompleted buildings somewhere across town. What could these two possibly have in common that brings them together? Interestingly, if you compare the location data from both calls, it is clear that both men have in fact met physically at a certain 58G, Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo. Frank is probably outside the building talking to this older, wiser man on the phone and hoping to get some help from him.


More on 58G, Ewet Housing Estate later.


Who exactly is Kufre Effiong? I eventually found the answer after scrolling through dozens, maybe hundreds of social media profiles with that exact name. Mr Effiong as it turns out, is something of a big fish in Niger Delta civil service circles.


Source: Facebook


Source: LinkedIn

Now back to the address where both men met. Plot 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate is home to the Uyo branch office of a medical NGO called the Center for Clinical Care and Research (CCCR Nigeria).


Founded in 2010 by an all-star list of accomplished Nigerian-American doctors, CCCR carries out medical outreach programs in underserved areas of Nigeria and promotes medical best practices using a fusion of global best practices and local healthcare delivery models. Or at least it used to, because as far as it is possible to tell, its social media pages have had no activity whatsoever since 2017. A scan of news stories since 2017 using the keywords “CCCR Nigeria” and “Center for Clinical Care and Research Nigeria” turns up nothing. To all intents and purposes, this is a ghost NGO.


Source: Facebook

And yet, at least if Google is to be believed, its Uyo branch office at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate still opens at 8.30AM everyday and closes at 5PM. This exact address also happens to be where Kufre Effiong made and received calls from Frank Akpan, who also physically met him there 24 hours after raping and murdering Hiny Umoren. This leaves open two possibilities.


The first is that the Uyo Branch office of an organisation which specifically offers “supply chain management of health commodities” may have been commandeered by an illegal organ trafficking ring to feed the booming global black market organ trade. At the lower end of the operation would be Frank Akpan who would specialise in rape and murder of defenceless women so as to harvest their organs for onward delivery to those in charge of the operation.


Black market value of human organs | Source: Gizmodo

The second possibility is more prosaic, but no less horrific. Due to the convoluted house numbering system in Uyo, the property labeled as 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate is also recognised on most digital maps as Plot S.9, Unit G, Ewet Housing Estate. That address is also home to Davok Suites, which is a popular upmarket hotel in Uyo favoured by high profile guests including the Cameroon national team.


Source: Hotels.com

This would be the ideal location for a trusted associate of a politician – say, a senior civil servant – to lay his head while running a clandestine errand for his boss. An errand such as sourcing human parts for use in a ritual sacrifice ahead of the upcoming election season, for example. Whatever it is that happened or is happening at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate – and for whose benefit – is a question only Kufre Effiong can answer. Cavernous as this story has become, there is still one more twist.


Hiny Umoren’s Murder – A Police Cover Up In Progress

At the outset, I referenced a press release from the Akwa Ibom State Command on May 2 patting themselves on the back for arresting Frank Akpan and solving a huge criminal conspiracy in 5 minutes by pinning everything on him. One of the names singled out for praise in the press release for his alleged role in apprehending Frank Akpan was a certain SP Samuel Ezeugo.


On April 30, at 4.40PM, Frank Akpan placed a call to someone with the number +2348034386086.


Second from bottom

At this point, I trust it will not shock you to know that when I ran this number through Truecaller, the name that came up was none other than…


The one and the same.

In other words, while the Akwa Ibom Police Command is releasing statements claiming to be solving a crime by arresting a suspect, the suspect was actually making telephone calls to one of the police officers who would later “arrest” him, and speaking to him for a minute and a half. What were they talking about? Perhaps Frank Akpan – who was still at large at the time – was giving SP Ezeugo instructions for how to apprehend him nicely?


Even more conveniently, Akpan placed the call to SP Ezeugo less than a minute after receiving a text message from Kufre Effiong. While still physically located at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate.


 

In other words, the senior civil servant working at the Niger Delta Ministry probably sent SP Ezeugo’s phone number to Akpan via SMS, with instructions to call him and let him “handle” it.


And most tellingly of all, SP Ezeugo’s cell tower location data indicates that while all this was happening, he was in close range of a cell tower near the entrance of Ewet Housing Estate. Presumably, on his way to meet oga.


Take note of the cell tower’s location next to General Edet Akpan Avenue


For comparison, look at Ewet Housing Estate vis-a-vis General Edet Akpan Avenue

So putting the entire picture together, we have what appears to be a well-connected criminal gang in Akwa Ibom with links to the police and the Federal Ministry of the Niger Delta, which specialises in sourcing human organs either for the purpose of selling to the international black market or to service local politicians who believe in ritual human sacrifice.


By the accident of targeting someone with significant social media capital, the existence of this organisation is threatened, and so the Akwa Ibom Police Command is allegedly being used to actively bungle and mishandle the case.


 

Finding the individual who owns the telephone number +2348122386922 is central to unraveling the mystery of why Iniobong Umoren had to die, how many more like her have died in the past, and most importantly, who are the big fish behind the entire operation. Exactly what is going on at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate is another key question that must be answered.


If Frank AKpan won’t talk, maybe Kufre Effiong can tell us.


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By David Hundeyin


On Friday April 29, a 26 year-old lady set out around 1PM to attend a job interview in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Having recently completed her university program despite losing both parents, she was looking for a way to support herself before being called up for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program.


Instead of a job interview and hope for the future however, what she would actually encounter on that day would become one of the most shocking stories to ever emerge from Nigeria.


Iniobong “Hiny” Umoren became the subject of a desperate nationwide search led by Nigerian Twitter users after her friend Umoh Uduak put out an urgent appeal. She was eventually found, but unfortunately the worst had already happened. The police would later confirm that she was found dead, having been raped, murdered and then buried in a shallow grave.


In the wake of a crowdsourced social media sleuthing campaign which uncovered his identity, a primary suspect Frank Uduak Ezekiel Akpan was also arrested.


 

In a manner completely uncharacteristic of Nigeria’s elephant-paced justice system, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command rapidly announced that it had extracted a confession from Akpan, and even identified his motive – he was a serial rapist and serial killer acting alone. End of story and job done.


Police statement on Hiny Umoren case

Naturally, this neat explanation did not satisfy many, who felt that Akpan could not have acted alone, and that the police might be involved in some kind of a cover up to protect powerful people potentially implicated. Rumours also began swirling about Hiny’s family receiving death threats, and the suspect allegedly boasting about being well-connected.


Beyond the whispers however, there has been precious little to substantiate the idea that stringing up Frank Akpan alone would not represent any kind of justice for Hiny Umoren. Sources willing to speak up and provide information about this case have generally not been forthcoming.


Until now.


Game Changing Information

Every telephone conversation made via a GSM telephone line has a permanent record with the mobile service provider, which by law cannot be tampered with or erased. The information captured can vary, but it always includes the following elements: the date and time the interaction was initiated; the type of interaction (voice or SMS); the length of the interaction; the number initiating the interaction; the number receiving the interaction and the location of the closest cell towers to both parties.


Some networks also record the actual conversation (voice note), and depending on the type of signal band and mobile device, it is even possible to capture the exact location of both parties, accurate to within a few metres. Anyone who can get their hands on the call data from Frank Akpan’s line would very quickly be able to establish whether he was in fact acting alone – which is where my source came in handy.


 

Understandably, this information is meant to be impossible to access without law enforcement authorisation. With this in mind, I have taken the extra precaution of reproducing it manually via a spreadsheet, so as to protect my source by removing all possible identifying information. Over the course of several hours last week, I pored over several days worth of leaked call data from Frank Akpan’s mobile provider to make sense of the situation.


What will be presented in this story is the closest thing that exists to objective evidence that:


1.) Frank Akpan is being used to take the fall for much bigger fish involved in Hiny Umoren’s murder; and


 

2.) While Frank Akpan is certainly the primary suspect and was directly involved in the murder, there are other participants in the murder still walking free, while the Akwa Ibom Police Command intentionally bungles what should be an open and shut investigation.


Who is Frank Akpan?

Apart from a few tidbits pieced together from social media accounts about him, very little is known about Frank Akpan the primary suspect. The timeline to his arrest begins late in the afternoon on April 29, when Umoh puts out Hiny’s number hoping someone will be able to track down her friend’s location.


The mention of “Frank Akpan” as a central figure in this story begins with this tweet from Umoh which identifies the owner of the Airtel number +2348127530092 as the person who invited Hiny for the supposed interview.


A quick check with Truecaller brings up the name “Ezekiel Akpan.” Curiously, the occupation tag on this person’s Truecaller profile reads “Political.” It is important to bear in mind that Truecaller fills an individual’s ‘name’ and ‘occupation’ fields by pulling high quality data from several sources including Facebook profile information and analysis of the individual’s Facebook friend networks – so this tiny detail will become significant later on.


Shortly after finding himself under instant national scrutiny following Umoh’s tweet, Akpan then attempts to throw the public off the scent with the Facebook post below. In so doing, he inadvertently confirms that the telephone number in question is actually his, thereby proving that “Uduak Frank Akpan” and “Ezekiel Akpan” are the same person.


Shortly thereafter, he deactivates his Facebook profile and seemingly goes silent until the Akwa Ibom State Police Command issues a statement 3 days later, confirming his arrest and effectively pronouncing him guilty of the crime as a sole suspect.


Frank Uduak Ezekiel Akpan

So far, based on the version of the story that is in official circulation, there is only Frank Akpan and the unfortunate Hiny Umoren. The police have declared him a serial rapist – and hence a single actor. Officially, the issue is over and there is nothing more to see here. It was just a horrible monster and a woman who unfortunately fell victim under the most heartbreaking circumstances.


The only counter-story so far boils down to a few unsubstantiated social media rumours that cannot stand in court, plus what would otherwise be compelling evidence from Akpan’s crime scene, which unfortunately has now been contaminated and rendered all but useless for the purpose of a criminal investigation.


By deliberate malfeasance or by incompetence, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has allowed key evidence from Akpan’s hideout potentially pointing to a larger conspiracy, to be trampled underfoot by hundreds of curious onlookers and social media content creators. In so doing, the evidence to build a case for anything other than a standalone Frank Akpan conviction has been destroyed or rendered inadmissible.


There is however, one type of evidence that cannot be physically destroyed or tampered with in any way. This evidence has a permanent digital record which sits in cloud storage away from the incompetence or malfeasance of the Nigeria Police Force, and what it shows without a shadow of doubt is that Frank Akpan did not act alone.


 

Organ trafficking to feed the international donor organ black market? Ritual killings on behalf of politicians involved in occultic practices?


Let’s find out.


Leaked Network Records: The Smoking Gun

To properly understand and contextualise the data that you are about to see below, a little explainer is in order. As mentioned earlier, the 6 categories of telephone interaction data always recorded by service providers are call date and time, originating number, receiving number, type of interaction (call or SMS), length of interaction (in seconds) and the originating/receiving cell tower.


Every cell tower on earth has a unique location code written in this format: MCC (Mobile Country Code)-MNC (Mobile Network Code)-LAC (Location Area Code)-CellID. Nigeria’s mobile country code is 621, and its 4 largest network providers MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9Mobile have the respective MNCs 30, 50, 20 and 60. Using this information alongside the LAC and CellID provided in the call records below, you can pinpoint the exact cell tower closest to where the call in question was made or received.


 

For example, if the given MCC is 621, the MNC is 20 (Airtel), the LAC is 00784, and the CellID is 20565, you can put this information into free public access cell site locators like cell2gps.com and the result will be a cell tower site in Uyo at the junction of Ikot-Ekpene road and Ikpa Road.


This is actual cell site data from a call made by Frank Akpan at 6.50PM on April 29, 2021

That being said, it is time to examine the leaked call record data and draw our conclusions. First, here is data I extracted from what my source provided, showing the significant parts of Frank Akpan’s call and SMS history on the day Hiny Umoren was murdered.


For ease of understanding, I ran all the numbers through Truecaller and put the names in brackets next to them

Around 1.17PM on April 29, Frank Akpan placed a call to Hiny Umoren, which lasted for 124 seconds. It is fair to extrapolate that this was a call where he gave directions to her regarding where she should go for the purported interview. At 1.21PM, he then placed a call to a Blessing Godwin, which lasted 147 seconds. Was he chatting up another potential victim of the same job interview snare? It is impossible to say for now.


At 3:38PM, Hiny Umoren then placed a call to Frank Akpan lasting for 106 seconds. If you compare the cell tower data here to that of his previous phone calls, it is clear that he was already at the supposed venue waiting for her because the tower location does not change. It is safe to assume that she was calling to tell him that she had arrived for her interview. Save for a 2-second WhatsApp voice note which Hiny later managed to send to Umoh, this call was probably the last time anyone ever heard Hiny Umoren alive again.


Around 6.15PM, almost 3 hours after Hiny Umoren arrived at his lair, Frank Akpan then placed a call to an unknown number. The call records clearly show +2348127530092 – Frank Akpan’s known public number – making repeated contact between 6.15PM and 6.50PM with +2348122386922, an unknown number which brings up no details on Truecaller or Facebook. For reference, if a mobile number pulls up no Truecaller, Facebook or social media results whatsoever, this could either mean that it is used on a non-internet-enabled feature phone (a so-called ‘burner’ phone), or that the owner is extremely intentional about having no digital footprint linked to that number.


Incidentally, this was also around the time when the Twitter hashtag #FindHinyUmoren had already led Twitter sleuths to uncover Frank Akpan’s identity, leading to his amateur attempt at misdirection referenced earlier. In the middle of a clear and obvious crisis moment, why was Frank Akpan repeatedly trying to establish contact with this unknown number with no digital footprint? The answer could lie in some data I extracted from a different set of call records showing Frank Akpan’s contact with this number in the days and weeks before Hiny Umoren was murdered.


This unknown person contacted Frank Akpan no fewer than 12 times between April 4 and April 27

Was this a regular buyer or facilitator of whatever gruesome trade Frank Akpan was involved in? Was Frank calling him for help after an unexpected social media campaign suddenly exposed him and put their entire business operation at risk? Why was this the first number that Frank called immediately after raping and murdering a young woman? We do not know the answers to these questions, but there is at least one person other than Frank Akpan himself who can probably tell us.


The “Senior Forestry Officer”

It is April 30, 2021, and Frank Akpan has become a nationwide hate figure on social media. His involvement in Hiny Umoren’s disappearance is public knowledge at this point, and time is running out for him. He needs friends and allies to protect him – and fast. His name and picture are doing the rounds on social media, and in a city like Uyo, it will not be long before someone recognises him and he finds himself subjected to Nigerian street justice.


Between 10.27Am and 10.44AM, he places 3 phone calls to a Francisca Bassey Akpan – presumably a family member who is willing to help him. Francisca is in Calabar when she receives the calls, and she is using a smartphone in a location with high network capacity, which means the network is able to record her location while receiving Frank’s calls to within a few metres of accuracy.


At 10.55AM, Francisca calls Frank back. Only they and the mobile network know what is said during this 51-second conversation. My source balked at the idea of obtaining customer voice notes because that would simply be a bridge too far, even for the sake of solving a brutal murder. Just getting this much information to me is already breaking multiple in-house rules and NCC codes, so they understandably did not want to push their luck.


At 4.32PM on April 30, Frank then makes one of the most most interesting phone calls in this entire story. Truecaller pulls up the details of the recipient of the phone call with the number +2348032939326 – one “Kufre Effiong.” Unlike the other people Frank has been known to associate with, Kufre Effiong appears to be from a different world. He is significantly older than Frank and as his location details show, he lives in the swanky part of town. Who is this guy?


Their conversation lasts for just 31 seconds and presumably ends with Kufre hanging up. Frank’s phone rings almost immediately at 4.34PM. The caller is +2348038967819 and this conversation lasts decidedly longer than the last one – almost 4 minutes. Who is the owner of this number that has so much to talk about with someone who is probably Nigeria’s most wanted man at the moment? Truecaller answers once again.


Kufre Effiong is an older, wealthier looking man who apparently spends his time in the upscale Ewet Estate while Frank Akpan rapes and murders young women in uncompleted buildings somewhere across town. What could these two possibly have in common that brings them together? Interestingly, if you compare the location data from both calls, it is clear that both men have in fact met physically at a certain 58G, Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo. Frank is probably outside the building talking to this older, wiser man on the phone and hoping to get some help from him.


More on 58G, Ewet Housing Estate later.


Who exactly is Kufre Effiong? I eventually found the answer after scrolling through dozens, maybe hundreds of social media profiles with that exact name. Mr Effiong as it turns out, is something of a big fish in Niger Delta civil service circles.


Source: Facebook


Source: LinkedIn

Now back to the address where both men met. Plot 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate is home to the Uyo branch office of a medical NGO called the Center for Clinical Care and Research (CCCR Nigeria).


Founded in 2010 by an all-star list of accomplished Nigerian-American doctors, CCCR carries out medical outreach programs in underserved areas of Nigeria and promotes medical best practices using a fusion of global best practices and local healthcare delivery models. Or at least it used to, because as far as it is possible to tell, its social media pages have had no activity whatsoever since 2017. A scan of news stories since 2017 using the keywords “CCCR Nigeria” and “Center for Clinical Care and Research Nigeria” turns up nothing. To all intents and purposes, this is a ghost NGO.


Source: Facebook

And yet, at least if Google is to be believed, its Uyo branch office at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate still opens at 8.30AM everyday and closes at 5PM. This exact address also happens to be where Kufre Effiong made and received calls from Frank Akpan, who also physically met him there 24 hours after raping and murdering Hiny Umoren. This leaves open two possibilities.


The first is that the Uyo Branch office of an organisation which specifically offers “supply chain management of health commodities” may have been commandeered by an illegal organ trafficking ring to feed the booming global black market organ trade. At the lower end of the operation would be Frank Akpan who would specialise in rape and murder of defenceless women so as to harvest their organs for onward delivery to those in charge of the operation.


Black market value of human organs | Source: Gizmodo

The second possibility is more prosaic, but no less horrific. Due to the convoluted house numbering system in Uyo, the property labeled as 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate is also recognised on most digital maps as Plot S.9, Unit G, Ewet Housing Estate. That address is also home to Davok Suites, which is a popular upmarket hotel in Uyo favoured by high profile guests including the Cameroon national team.


Source: Hotels.com

This would be the ideal location for a trusted associate of a politician – say, a senior civil servant – to lay his head while running a clandestine errand for his boss. An errand such as sourcing human parts for use in a ritual sacrifice ahead of the upcoming election season, for example. Whatever it is that happened or is happening at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate – and for whose benefit – is a question only Kufre Effiong can answer. Cavernous as this story has become, there is still one more twist.


Hiny Umoren’s Murder – A Police Cover Up In Progress

At the outset, I referenced a press release from the Akwa Ibom State Command on May 2 patting themselves on the back for arresting Frank Akpan and solving a huge criminal conspiracy in 5 minutes by pinning everything on him. One of the names singled out for praise in the press release for his alleged role in apprehending Frank Akpan was a certain SP Samuel Ezeugo.


On April 30, at 4.40PM, Frank Akpan placed a call to someone with the number +2348034386086.


Second from bottom

At this point, I trust it will not shock you to know that when I ran this number through Truecaller, the name that came up was none other than…


The one and the same.

In other words, while the Akwa Ibom Police Command is releasing statements claiming to be solving a crime by arresting a suspect, the suspect was actually making telephone calls to one of the police officers who would later “arrest” him, and speaking to him for a minute and a half. What were they talking about? Perhaps Frank Akpan – who was still at large at the time – was giving SP Ezeugo instructions for how to apprehend him nicely?


Even more conveniently, Akpan placed the call to SP Ezeugo less than a minute after receiving a text message from Kufre Effiong. While still physically located at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate.


 

In other words, the senior civil servant working at the Niger Delta Ministry probably sent SP Ezeugo’s phone number to Akpan via SMS, with instructions to call him and let him “handle” it.


And most tellingly of all, SP Ezeugo’s cell tower location data indicates that while all this was happening, he was in close range of a cell tower near the entrance of Ewet Housing Estate. Presumably, on his way to meet oga.


Take note of the cell tower’s location next to General Edet Akpan Avenue


For comparison, look at Ewet Housing Estate vis-a-vis General Edet Akpan Avenue

So putting the entire picture together, we have what appears to be a well-connected criminal gang in Akwa Ibom with links to the police and the Federal Ministry of the Niger Delta, which specialises in sourcing human organs either for the purpose of selling to the international black market or to service local politicians who believe in ritual human sacrifice.


By the accident of targeting someone with significant social media capital, the existence of this organisation is threatened, and so the Akwa Ibom Police Command is allegedly being used to actively bungle and mishandle the case.


 

Finding the individual who owns the telephone number +2348122386922 is central to unraveling the mystery of why Iniobong Umoren had to die, how many more like her have died in the past, and most importantly, who are the big fish behind the entire operation. Exactly what is going on at 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate is another key question that must be answered.


If Frank AKpan won’t talk, maybe Kufre Effiong can tell us.


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MY INDEPENDENT FINDINGS ABOUT THE FULANIS/HAUSAS THAT CAME TO OKITIPUPA - Odusola

MY INDEPENDENT FINDINGS ABOUT THE FULANIS/HAUSAS THAT CAME TO OKITIPUPA - Odusola

I have carried out my independent findings and I find the following as facts and true;


1. That behind the Army Barracks, Hausas and fulanis numbering over 3,000 are occupying the Army Barracks land and built houses there where the live.


2. That the fulanis/Hausas that we saw 4days ago who were arrested and transported to Akure by Amotekun, didn't come that day, but have been coming in batches day before that day.


3. That as at yesterday, another set came and are already in the army barracks.


4. That the total number of vehicle that brought them was 31. (One should wonder how come no security agency stopped them on their way)


5. That when they got to okitipupa, they headed straight to the Army Barracks, where they are expected to stay for reason best known to those who sent them.


6. That the soldiers at the barracks refused to allow them entry. But later a signal came from above, which directed the C. O of d barracks to allow them into the barracks.


7. That the time it took for the C. O to receive the tignal caused the said fulanis/Hausas to stay a long time at the gate of the barracks, and this gave their presence out to people and the  chairman of local government and Amotekun were alerted.


8. By the time the C. O told them to enter into d barracks, the Amotekun and Local government chairman were already there to question whatever thing was happening there.


9. The soldiers allowed the chairman to question the said strangers and during the interview, they said they belong to a security network and are sent to the barracks to receive training.


10. The chairman asked them if they are soldiers and how come they are to be trained by soldiers when they are not security agents. (They could not answer d questions)


11. Apart from saying that they are members of an unknown security network, they have no other reasonable reason for coming into okitipupa in that large number.


12. As a matter of fact, they are about 1,000 in number and if they are added to the existing numbers in d Army barracks bush, we will be having about 4,000 fulanis/Hausas in okitipupa. (That figure is enough to run down the entire southern senatorial district and the entire southwest of Nigeria)


My conclusion:


The federal government under Major General Muhammadu  Buhari surely has a mission. As it is, the southwest of Nigeria has been surrounded. You may choose not to believe me, but I'm sure of what I am saying.


Amotekun is not enough, we need more volunteer security groups like Eastern security network (ESN). LET'S EVERYBODY START LOOKING FOR GUNS. We must also be watchful, lest we are caught unaware.


As for me, I know what to do when the time comes.


This Government is a terrorist Government.


By Wale Odusola



Ondo Returns Suspected FULANI Invaders



At least, forty-two persons from the northern part of the country who arrived Ondo State with unknown mission have been returned to their states of origin.


According to the daily Post report, the suspected invaders, who were rescued from being lynched at Okitipupa, Ondo state, Nigeria by the Amotekun Corps, were later rounded up and profiled by the security agency.


While parading them in Akure, the commander of the Amotekun corps, Adetunji Adeleye claimed that they came for a private firm security training.

"The explanation provided by the men and women was not satisfactory to the state of government.


“These men and women were first sighted in Okitipupa local government area of Ondo state on Thursday where their arrival created unnecessary tension and apprehension among many residents of the community.


“The people who came from Jigawa and Kano states were said to have come for a mission unknown to government.”


Also speaking on the situation, Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, said “The situation would have degenerated to the extent of lynching and jungle justice. It was almost getting to that point when they were seen in a suspicious manner in Okitipupa but the governor had to rise up to the occasion to ensure that they were given to adequate protection so that jungle justice had to be avoided. That was one of the key points that was achieved in the last 72 hours. It was a very frightening situation.


Ordinarily looking at the insecurity situation in the country, some of this persons would have been molested if not killed but that is not what we want. Whatever is worth doing must be well done and we ensured as a government that they were well protected and taken care of until they were moved out of that danger zone to Akure.”


The suspected invaders were said to have been contacted by their alleged sponsors for a special training.


Meanwhile, they have been escorted by the officers of the Amotekun Corps to the state boundary.

I have carried out my independent findings and I find the following as facts and true;


1. That behind the Army Barracks, Hausas and fulanis numbering over 3,000 are occupying the Army Barracks land and built houses there where the live.


2. That the fulanis/Hausas that we saw 4days ago who were arrested and transported to Akure by Amotekun, didn't come that day, but have been coming in batches day before that day.


3. That as at yesterday, another set came and are already in the army barracks.


4. That the total number of vehicle that brought them was 31. (One should wonder how come no security agency stopped them on their way)


5. That when they got to okitipupa, they headed straight to the Army Barracks, where they are expected to stay for reason best known to those who sent them.


6. That the soldiers at the barracks refused to allow them entry. But later a signal came from above, which directed the C. O of d barracks to allow them into the barracks.


7. That the time it took for the C. O to receive the tignal caused the said fulanis/Hausas to stay a long time at the gate of the barracks, and this gave their presence out to people and the  chairman of local government and Amotekun were alerted.


8. By the time the C. O told them to enter into d barracks, the Amotekun and Local government chairman were already there to question whatever thing was happening there.


9. The soldiers allowed the chairman to question the said strangers and during the interview, they said they belong to a security network and are sent to the barracks to receive training.


10. The chairman asked them if they are soldiers and how come they are to be trained by soldiers when they are not security agents. (They could not answer d questions)


11. Apart from saying that they are members of an unknown security network, they have no other reasonable reason for coming into okitipupa in that large number.


12. As a matter of fact, they are about 1,000 in number and if they are added to the existing numbers in d Army barracks bush, we will be having about 4,000 fulanis/Hausas in okitipupa. (That figure is enough to run down the entire southern senatorial district and the entire southwest of Nigeria)


My conclusion:


The federal government under Major General Muhammadu  Buhari surely has a mission. As it is, the southwest of Nigeria has been surrounded. You may choose not to believe me, but I'm sure of what I am saying.


Amotekun is not enough, we need more volunteer security groups like Eastern security network (ESN). LET'S EVERYBODY START LOOKING FOR GUNS. We must also be watchful, lest we are caught unaware.


As for me, I know what to do when the time comes.


This Government is a terrorist Government.


By Wale Odusola



Ondo Returns Suspected FULANI Invaders



At least, forty-two persons from the northern part of the country who arrived Ondo State with unknown mission have been returned to their states of origin.


According to the daily Post report, the suspected invaders, who were rescued from being lynched at Okitipupa, Ondo state, Nigeria by the Amotekun Corps, were later rounded up and profiled by the security agency.


While parading them in Akure, the commander of the Amotekun corps, Adetunji Adeleye claimed that they came for a private firm security training.

"The explanation provided by the men and women was not satisfactory to the state of government.


“These men and women were first sighted in Okitipupa local government area of Ondo state on Thursday where their arrival created unnecessary tension and apprehension among many residents of the community.


“The people who came from Jigawa and Kano states were said to have come for a mission unknown to government.”


Also speaking on the situation, Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, said “The situation would have degenerated to the extent of lynching and jungle justice. It was almost getting to that point when they were seen in a suspicious manner in Okitipupa but the governor had to rise up to the occasion to ensure that they were given to adequate protection so that jungle justice had to be avoided. That was one of the key points that was achieved in the last 72 hours. It was a very frightening situation.


Ordinarily looking at the insecurity situation in the country, some of this persons would have been molested if not killed but that is not what we want. Whatever is worth doing must be well done and we ensured as a government that they were well protected and taken care of until they were moved out of that danger zone to Akure.”


The suspected invaders were said to have been contacted by their alleged sponsors for a special training.


Meanwhile, they have been escorted by the officers of the Amotekun Corps to the state boundary.

INVESTIGATION: PREMIUM TIMES Reveals How Non-Existent Company Was Awarded Multi-Billion Naira Railway Contract By The Buhari Led Administration

INVESTIGATION: PREMIUM TIMES Reveals How Non-Existent Company Was Awarded Multi-Billion Naira Railway Contract By The Buhari Led Administration

A Nigerian online news portal  PREMIUM TIMES has just publishesd its INVESTIGATION  on how non-existent company was awarded multi-billion naira railway contract by the APC government of Major General Muhammadu led Administration.






Major Gen. Buhari


ByTaiwo-Hassan Adebayo

A multi-billion-naira contract to rehabilitate a section of Nigeria’s Eastern Railway Line was awarded to an unregistered entity in a process that reeked of corruption, regulatory failure, collusion, and defiance of Nigeria’s public procurement rules, an investigation by PREMIUM TIMES has shown.

That malfeasance was committed during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s immediate past president, who lost his re-election bid in 2015 in part due to charges that his government did not confront corruption frontally.

But officials under the current Muhammadu Buhari administration have also not proven to be better. They have helped to sustain a web of subterfuge devised to cover the fraud that started under Mr Jonathan.

A setup named Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated, promoted by Turkish firm Eser, was awarded the contract to rehabilitate the 463 KM Port Harcourt-Makurdi section of the Eastern Railway line for N19.2 billion in March 2011. But it has no legal capacity for the work as it has no required certificate of incorporation, a CAC search revealed.

Our investigation showed the setup has possible connections with persons – Adekemi Alokolaro, nee Sijuwade, and her husband, Ola Alokolaro – who share family ties with Adeseyi Sijwuade, then Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation. For several years Mr Sijuwade has been a subject of contract fraud and corruption probes by the National Assembly and security and anti-graft operatives.


The couple, Mr and Mrs Alokolaro, did not respond to an emailed request for comment. So did Mr Sijuwade, who was contacted by phone call, WhatsApp message and SMS.

The railway rehabilitation work was divided into three sections: 463 KM Port Harcourt-Makurdi; 1016 KM Makurdi-Kuru; and 640 KM Kuru to Maiduguri, all at once awarded to three different contractors in March 2011.

This article extends PREMIUM TIMES’ investigative reporting on Nigeria’s Eastern railway fraud, after an earlier story of how a company, Lingo Nigeria Limited, took public money for work not done and had Nigerian taxpayers and two foreign firms, from Czech and China, as victims.

Lingo was awarded the Kuru-Maiduguri section for N23.7 billion. CGGC Global Projects Nigeria Limited was charged with rehabilitating the segment that runs from Makurdi to Kuru for N24.5 billion.

Nine years after the contracts were awarded, the rehabilitation work has failed despite huge funds already sunk, dashing the hopes of people, especially traders, who had in the past several years relied on train service. The government has now decided to wrest the contracts from the companies, who have submitted their exit plans on the government’s request.

Of the three contracts, two – the Port-Harcourt-Makurdi section and Kuru-Maiduguri section – given to Lingo and Eser respectively were associated with procurement fraud, our investigations showed. And while our earlier article described the contract awarded to Lingo as the most problematic, the procurement process involving Eser pushes the limits of impunity.

We did not find the third contract given to CGGC to have been associated with any procurement fraud. However, as our field investigation involving travel across several states showed, CGGC also did jobs, which on-the-ground railway staff complained was perfunctory – a similar complaint as that made by the staff at the section handled by Eser.

The staff said it was the shoddy job that made the Eastern line now virtually unusable and not different from its state before the rehabilitation contract, if not worse.


Against the rules

In the invitation-to-bid advert for the contracts placed in the November-December 2010 edition of Federal Tenders Journal, the railway corporation required prospective contractors to submit a valid certificate of incorporation — a statutory requirement.

However, this requirement was brushed aside in the consideration of the bid submitted by Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated even as the process moved from the railway corporation to the Bureau of Procurement Procurement (BPP), and the ministry of transport and the presidency before the contract was awarded.

The Public Procurement Act charges the BPP with the responsibility of preventing “fraudulent and unfair procurement” and applying administrative sanctions “where necessary”.


But the BPP failed in this responsibility as it issued a “Certificate of No Objection” to clear the way for the railway corporation to award the legally non-existent company the contract. Also, it was the certificate issued by the BPP that the then Transport Minister, Yusuf Suleiman, cited in requesting anticipatory approval for the award of the contract from Mr Jonathan.

The ministerial request was made on March 25, 2011, a day after the BPP’s certificate was issued, and was approved on March 28, 2011, by Mr Jonathan, official records obtained by PREMIUM TIMES show. It was in November of the following year that the Federal Executive Council endorsed the Eser contract alongside the two other sections as the president had in March 2011 hurriedly given anticipatory approval.

BPP did not comment after repeated requests via email and a Freedom of Information Act letter.

Legal expert, Jiti Ogunye, said a foreign firm participating in the procurement process in Nigeria will still have to incorporate an entity in the country to satisfy the “legal capacity” requirement stipulated in the Public Procurement Act.


The Cover: Enters Eser West Africa

After the non-existent Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated was given the contract in March 2011, the promoters devised a way to smoothen the irregularities. The plan was to register a new company, thus birthing Eser West Africa Limited.

Eser West Africa Limited was registered in June 2011, three months after the contract was awarded, and that entity has since carried on with the contract, engaging with officials, including those of Mr Buhari. The name “Eser West Africa” appears on boards at the construction site at the railway station in Port Harcourt.

But Eser West Africa had not been registered at the time the contract was awarded and it was not the entity that was formally awarded the contract, according to records from BPP, NRC, transport ministry, State House, and FEC.

Yet, till date, despite its not being the original contract beneficiary and being without a certificate of incorporation at the time the contract was awarded, officials have continued to engage with Eser West Africa and use that name in official communications relating to the Eastern railway line rehabilitation contract.

While our investigation established that Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated has no certificate of incorporation in Nigeria, it remains uncertain if it satisfied other requirements, such as tax clearance and audited accounts for the preceding three years, in the advert for the contracts.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) replied an FOI request for the entity’s tax status as well as that of the later-registered Eser West Africa created to smoothen the procurement fraud. The tax agency, however, declined any disclosure.

“The information you have requested concerning the companies cannot be disclosed by virtue of the provision,” the FIRS wrote, referring to Section 14(1) (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, which requires public institutions to deny applications for information regarding taxpayers and the assessment or collection of their tax.

Family link

An initial procurement process for the Eastern line rehabilitation contract was cancelled by then transport minister, Mr Suleiman, over allegations of fraud and irregularities. Among the companies that benefited in that cancelled initial process was Eser Nigeria Contracting Company Limited, registered in March 2009, just before bidding opened.

That was the first appearance of Eser in railway procurement activities. Eser Nigeria Contracting – different from the legally non-existent Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated and Eser West Africa, registered in June 2011 ostensibly to smoothen irregularities – has among its owners and directors Project Niche Limited, alongside Lihan Adiloglu, a Turkish businessman, according to incorporation filings we obtained.

Project Niche is owned and directed by Mr and Mrs Alokolaro, who represent that company as directors on the board of Eser Nigeria Contracting, according to incorporation filings. Mrs Alokolaro, a daughter of the late Ooni of Ile-Ife, Okunade Sijuwade, shares family ties with Mr Sijuwade, who oversaw the procurement process. This is the possible link our investigation showed may exist between Mr Sijuwade’s family members and promoters of Eser.

Also, an Eser-associated company, Espro Asphalt, has Mrs Alokolaro as one of its directors alongside Eser Contracting and Industry, represented by Cagatay Tezsezen.

Eser could not be reached for comments. Nothing resulted from our visit to the Lagos address the company listed in its incorporations filings. Security staff at the building said the company does not operate from that address. An email to the address listed on the website of its parent company based in Turkey was not replied.

Then minister, Mr Suleiman, said determining the validity of the claims made by Eser was outside his charge as minister.

“I honestly was not aware,” he said. “Everything about tendering, due diligence and all that were by the railway corporation as well as the BPP. As a minister, I was not the accounting officer and was only transmitting letters to the President for approval. But I had power to cancel or review if there was genuine complaint. But I got no complaints. I cancelled the initial process because of complaints about irregularities.”

“Not rehabilitation really”

PREMIUM TIMES investigation included the tracking of the work done by the contractors in Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa and Kaduna States, which the Eastern Railway line transverses before linking Kuru in Plateau State and going through Bauchi and Gombe States before terminating in Borno State. We had earlier conducted fieldwork from Kuru to Gombe for our earlier report.

At the railway station in Port Harcourt, a board bearing “Eser West Africa” as the contractor stands conspicuously at the entrance. This company, though found to have taken the contract in ways that violate Nigeria’s law, worked from Port Harcourt to Makurdi, the endpoint of the section it was assigned, railway staff on the ground and community sources said.

However, the staff also said the rehabilitation work was only done by Eser in selected places, especially areas close to stations.

“I can’t say that was true rehabilitation,” one staff said, echoing the concerns of others in Otukpo, Benue State. And what the staff complained was manipulation and abuse of their labour rights. They said Eser “used us to do their contract and did not pay us. They manipulated that we were doing our normal official work but they collected billions to do the work and hire workers.”

At least three persons corroborated this claim. Then, the staff further alleged that Eser used old rails and accessories that were kept in stores for the rehabilitation work.

The staff did not agree to be named because of fear they could be punished by authorities.

In what appears to support the claim of the complaining staff, PREMIUM TIMES observed that old rails of BS-60 model with dates that preceded independence were still on the tracks, which in various places have been covered by trash, sand and bushes.

After Eser’s work, trains started using the track but stopped in 2017. “But trains were just derailing because of the nature of the work they (Eser) did,” one staff said.

However, PREMIUM TIMES confirmed that daily service between Port Harcourt and Aba only stopped due to the COVID-19 restrictions based on interviews with staff and several persons who had used the service.

“It is a safer and cheaper way of travelling,” Tunde Lasisi, a trader in Port Harcourt said, adding that train service was his means of sending goods to Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State.

In Makurdi, where CGGC started its work, one senior staff on the ground, who only agreed to speak without being identified by name, largely corroborated the claims of his colleagues previously interviewed in the section handled by Eser.

“They only put balance stones to make the track look new,” the staff said. “They replaced the rails but they used the old ones in the store and they used our men.”

Yet that was limited to within the station yard, the staff said, explaining that rehabilitation did not take place in the wider Makurdi area.

Recalling the January 2015 inauguration of “modern trains” for Port Harcourt-Makurdi service by Mr Jonathan’s deputy, former Vice President Namadi Sambo, the staff said, “We only rode the train within the yard, between the level crossings. It was all formality but the VP may not know about the type of work that was done.”

The staff further said that “passenger service started but trains were derailing. So, the loss was too much. We stopped in 2017, two years after the rehabilitation.”

In Lafia, a staff member said CGGC worked outside the station but “if they worked well, why are trains not working? Why is our service not effective. They used old materials already kept in stores.”

In Kafanchan, Kaduna State, connected to the Eastern Railway line through a spur line, a staff said, “they (CGGC) worked here but only skeletal rehabilitation. It was not rehabilitation really. They did some kilometres and left some.

The staff said service that followed the rehabilitation lasted only for a “short period”

The company did not work up to Kuru Junction and it also did not work on the branch line from Kuru to Jos station, PREMIUM TIMES confirmed.

CGGC did not comment for this report. A text message was not replied and an official ended a call abruptly as our reporter introduced himself and explained he wanted to make inquiries on the Eastern rail line project. Repeated calls were ignored.

No part of the section rehabilitated by CGGC is now used for train service. And except between Port Harcourt and Aba before COVID-19, the Eastern Railway line is not functioning despite several billions of naira pumped into the project.

The frontline staff on the ground are only reporting to stations daily without any real work, they said.
Seeking N5.5 billion in exit plan

As the N67.3 billion rehabilitation contract has failed, authorities are planning a fresh procurement process and have asked the failed contractors to submit exit plans.

PREMIUM TIMES had previously reported how Lingo, the contractor awarded the Kuru-Maiduguri section, requested N9.2 billion, after being previously paid at least N9.4 billion, despite underperforming on the contract. Government’s assessors have now rejected Lingo’s claim and concluded the company instead owed the country N1.6 billion for being overpaid, corroborating PREMIUM TIMES’ findings that the company made inaccurate claims about its work. The company is also being investigated by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.

We have now accessed more records showing some details of the request made by Eser in its exit plan. According to these records, Eser requested N5.5 billion to exit the contract. However, the railway corporation’s valuation, according to the records, is N1.3 billion.

The transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, is yet to authorise payment to Eser, sources close to him said.

CGGC, on its part, did not request any amount for exiting the contract, according to the records we have seen. But curiously, the records show that the railway corporation says its valuation is N3.6 billion.

While we accessed official records that showed what Lingo had previously been paid before the exit plan request, PREMIUM TIMES could not determine what was paid to Eser and CGGC.

An FOI request to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation was referred to the transport ministry. The ministry did not respond.

The government has now gone far in plans to re-award the contract to fix the Eastern Railway line but there are no certainties anyone will be made to face any sanction for the regulatory failure and corporate fraud that characterised the failed contracts.


A Nigerian online news portal  PREMIUM TIMES has just publishesd its INVESTIGATION  on how non-existent company was awarded multi-billion naira railway contract by the APC government of Major General Muhammadu led Administration.






Major Gen. Buhari


ByTaiwo-Hassan Adebayo

A multi-billion-naira contract to rehabilitate a section of Nigeria’s Eastern Railway Line was awarded to an unregistered entity in a process that reeked of corruption, regulatory failure, collusion, and defiance of Nigeria’s public procurement rules, an investigation by PREMIUM TIMES has shown.

That malfeasance was committed during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s immediate past president, who lost his re-election bid in 2015 in part due to charges that his government did not confront corruption frontally.

But officials under the current Muhammadu Buhari administration have also not proven to be better. They have helped to sustain a web of subterfuge devised to cover the fraud that started under Mr Jonathan.

A setup named Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated, promoted by Turkish firm Eser, was awarded the contract to rehabilitate the 463 KM Port Harcourt-Makurdi section of the Eastern Railway line for N19.2 billion in March 2011. But it has no legal capacity for the work as it has no required certificate of incorporation, a CAC search revealed.

Our investigation showed the setup has possible connections with persons – Adekemi Alokolaro, nee Sijuwade, and her husband, Ola Alokolaro – who share family ties with Adeseyi Sijwuade, then Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation. For several years Mr Sijuwade has been a subject of contract fraud and corruption probes by the National Assembly and security and anti-graft operatives.


The couple, Mr and Mrs Alokolaro, did not respond to an emailed request for comment. So did Mr Sijuwade, who was contacted by phone call, WhatsApp message and SMS.

The railway rehabilitation work was divided into three sections: 463 KM Port Harcourt-Makurdi; 1016 KM Makurdi-Kuru; and 640 KM Kuru to Maiduguri, all at once awarded to three different contractors in March 2011.

This article extends PREMIUM TIMES’ investigative reporting on Nigeria’s Eastern railway fraud, after an earlier story of how a company, Lingo Nigeria Limited, took public money for work not done and had Nigerian taxpayers and two foreign firms, from Czech and China, as victims.

Lingo was awarded the Kuru-Maiduguri section for N23.7 billion. CGGC Global Projects Nigeria Limited was charged with rehabilitating the segment that runs from Makurdi to Kuru for N24.5 billion.

Nine years after the contracts were awarded, the rehabilitation work has failed despite huge funds already sunk, dashing the hopes of people, especially traders, who had in the past several years relied on train service. The government has now decided to wrest the contracts from the companies, who have submitted their exit plans on the government’s request.

Of the three contracts, two – the Port-Harcourt-Makurdi section and Kuru-Maiduguri section – given to Lingo and Eser respectively were associated with procurement fraud, our investigations showed. And while our earlier article described the contract awarded to Lingo as the most problematic, the procurement process involving Eser pushes the limits of impunity.

We did not find the third contract given to CGGC to have been associated with any procurement fraud. However, as our field investigation involving travel across several states showed, CGGC also did jobs, which on-the-ground railway staff complained was perfunctory – a similar complaint as that made by the staff at the section handled by Eser.

The staff said it was the shoddy job that made the Eastern line now virtually unusable and not different from its state before the rehabilitation contract, if not worse.


Against the rules

In the invitation-to-bid advert for the contracts placed in the November-December 2010 edition of Federal Tenders Journal, the railway corporation required prospective contractors to submit a valid certificate of incorporation — a statutory requirement.

However, this requirement was brushed aside in the consideration of the bid submitted by Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated even as the process moved from the railway corporation to the Bureau of Procurement Procurement (BPP), and the ministry of transport and the presidency before the contract was awarded.

The Public Procurement Act charges the BPP with the responsibility of preventing “fraudulent and unfair procurement” and applying administrative sanctions “where necessary”.


But the BPP failed in this responsibility as it issued a “Certificate of No Objection” to clear the way for the railway corporation to award the legally non-existent company the contract. Also, it was the certificate issued by the BPP that the then Transport Minister, Yusuf Suleiman, cited in requesting anticipatory approval for the award of the contract from Mr Jonathan.

The ministerial request was made on March 25, 2011, a day after the BPP’s certificate was issued, and was approved on March 28, 2011, by Mr Jonathan, official records obtained by PREMIUM TIMES show. It was in November of the following year that the Federal Executive Council endorsed the Eser contract alongside the two other sections as the president had in March 2011 hurriedly given anticipatory approval.

BPP did not comment after repeated requests via email and a Freedom of Information Act letter.

Legal expert, Jiti Ogunye, said a foreign firm participating in the procurement process in Nigeria will still have to incorporate an entity in the country to satisfy the “legal capacity” requirement stipulated in the Public Procurement Act.


The Cover: Enters Eser West Africa

After the non-existent Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated was given the contract in March 2011, the promoters devised a way to smoothen the irregularities. The plan was to register a new company, thus birthing Eser West Africa Limited.

Eser West Africa Limited was registered in June 2011, three months after the contract was awarded, and that entity has since carried on with the contract, engaging with officials, including those of Mr Buhari. The name “Eser West Africa” appears on boards at the construction site at the railway station in Port Harcourt.

But Eser West Africa had not been registered at the time the contract was awarded and it was not the entity that was formally awarded the contract, according to records from BPP, NRC, transport ministry, State House, and FEC.

Yet, till date, despite its not being the original contract beneficiary and being without a certificate of incorporation at the time the contract was awarded, officials have continued to engage with Eser West Africa and use that name in official communications relating to the Eastern railway line rehabilitation contract.

While our investigation established that Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated has no certificate of incorporation in Nigeria, it remains uncertain if it satisfied other requirements, such as tax clearance and audited accounts for the preceding three years, in the advert for the contracts.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) replied an FOI request for the entity’s tax status as well as that of the later-registered Eser West Africa created to smoothen the procurement fraud. The tax agency, however, declined any disclosure.

“The information you have requested concerning the companies cannot be disclosed by virtue of the provision,” the FIRS wrote, referring to Section 14(1) (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, which requires public institutions to deny applications for information regarding taxpayers and the assessment or collection of their tax.

Family link

An initial procurement process for the Eastern line rehabilitation contract was cancelled by then transport minister, Mr Suleiman, over allegations of fraud and irregularities. Among the companies that benefited in that cancelled initial process was Eser Nigeria Contracting Company Limited, registered in March 2009, just before bidding opened.

That was the first appearance of Eser in railway procurement activities. Eser Nigeria Contracting – different from the legally non-existent Eser Contracting and Industry Company Incorporated and Eser West Africa, registered in June 2011 ostensibly to smoothen irregularities – has among its owners and directors Project Niche Limited, alongside Lihan Adiloglu, a Turkish businessman, according to incorporation filings we obtained.

Project Niche is owned and directed by Mr and Mrs Alokolaro, who represent that company as directors on the board of Eser Nigeria Contracting, according to incorporation filings. Mrs Alokolaro, a daughter of the late Ooni of Ile-Ife, Okunade Sijuwade, shares family ties with Mr Sijuwade, who oversaw the procurement process. This is the possible link our investigation showed may exist between Mr Sijuwade’s family members and promoters of Eser.

Also, an Eser-associated company, Espro Asphalt, has Mrs Alokolaro as one of its directors alongside Eser Contracting and Industry, represented by Cagatay Tezsezen.

Eser could not be reached for comments. Nothing resulted from our visit to the Lagos address the company listed in its incorporations filings. Security staff at the building said the company does not operate from that address. An email to the address listed on the website of its parent company based in Turkey was not replied.

Then minister, Mr Suleiman, said determining the validity of the claims made by Eser was outside his charge as minister.

“I honestly was not aware,” he said. “Everything about tendering, due diligence and all that were by the railway corporation as well as the BPP. As a minister, I was not the accounting officer and was only transmitting letters to the President for approval. But I had power to cancel or review if there was genuine complaint. But I got no complaints. I cancelled the initial process because of complaints about irregularities.”

“Not rehabilitation really”

PREMIUM TIMES investigation included the tracking of the work done by the contractors in Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa and Kaduna States, which the Eastern Railway line transverses before linking Kuru in Plateau State and going through Bauchi and Gombe States before terminating in Borno State. We had earlier conducted fieldwork from Kuru to Gombe for our earlier report.

At the railway station in Port Harcourt, a board bearing “Eser West Africa” as the contractor stands conspicuously at the entrance. This company, though found to have taken the contract in ways that violate Nigeria’s law, worked from Port Harcourt to Makurdi, the endpoint of the section it was assigned, railway staff on the ground and community sources said.

However, the staff also said the rehabilitation work was only done by Eser in selected places, especially areas close to stations.

“I can’t say that was true rehabilitation,” one staff said, echoing the concerns of others in Otukpo, Benue State. And what the staff complained was manipulation and abuse of their labour rights. They said Eser “used us to do their contract and did not pay us. They manipulated that we were doing our normal official work but they collected billions to do the work and hire workers.”

At least three persons corroborated this claim. Then, the staff further alleged that Eser used old rails and accessories that were kept in stores for the rehabilitation work.

The staff did not agree to be named because of fear they could be punished by authorities.

In what appears to support the claim of the complaining staff, PREMIUM TIMES observed that old rails of BS-60 model with dates that preceded independence were still on the tracks, which in various places have been covered by trash, sand and bushes.

After Eser’s work, trains started using the track but stopped in 2017. “But trains were just derailing because of the nature of the work they (Eser) did,” one staff said.

However, PREMIUM TIMES confirmed that daily service between Port Harcourt and Aba only stopped due to the COVID-19 restrictions based on interviews with staff and several persons who had used the service.

“It is a safer and cheaper way of travelling,” Tunde Lasisi, a trader in Port Harcourt said, adding that train service was his means of sending goods to Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State.

In Makurdi, where CGGC started its work, one senior staff on the ground, who only agreed to speak without being identified by name, largely corroborated the claims of his colleagues previously interviewed in the section handled by Eser.

“They only put balance stones to make the track look new,” the staff said. “They replaced the rails but they used the old ones in the store and they used our men.”

Yet that was limited to within the station yard, the staff said, explaining that rehabilitation did not take place in the wider Makurdi area.

Recalling the January 2015 inauguration of “modern trains” for Port Harcourt-Makurdi service by Mr Jonathan’s deputy, former Vice President Namadi Sambo, the staff said, “We only rode the train within the yard, between the level crossings. It was all formality but the VP may not know about the type of work that was done.”

The staff further said that “passenger service started but trains were derailing. So, the loss was too much. We stopped in 2017, two years after the rehabilitation.”

In Lafia, a staff member said CGGC worked outside the station but “if they worked well, why are trains not working? Why is our service not effective. They used old materials already kept in stores.”

In Kafanchan, Kaduna State, connected to the Eastern Railway line through a spur line, a staff said, “they (CGGC) worked here but only skeletal rehabilitation. It was not rehabilitation really. They did some kilometres and left some.

The staff said service that followed the rehabilitation lasted only for a “short period”

The company did not work up to Kuru Junction and it also did not work on the branch line from Kuru to Jos station, PREMIUM TIMES confirmed.

CGGC did not comment for this report. A text message was not replied and an official ended a call abruptly as our reporter introduced himself and explained he wanted to make inquiries on the Eastern rail line project. Repeated calls were ignored.

No part of the section rehabilitated by CGGC is now used for train service. And except between Port Harcourt and Aba before COVID-19, the Eastern Railway line is not functioning despite several billions of naira pumped into the project.

The frontline staff on the ground are only reporting to stations daily without any real work, they said.
Seeking N5.5 billion in exit plan

As the N67.3 billion rehabilitation contract has failed, authorities are planning a fresh procurement process and have asked the failed contractors to submit exit plans.

PREMIUM TIMES had previously reported how Lingo, the contractor awarded the Kuru-Maiduguri section, requested N9.2 billion, after being previously paid at least N9.4 billion, despite underperforming on the contract. Government’s assessors have now rejected Lingo’s claim and concluded the company instead owed the country N1.6 billion for being overpaid, corroborating PREMIUM TIMES’ findings that the company made inaccurate claims about its work. The company is also being investigated by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.

We have now accessed more records showing some details of the request made by Eser in its exit plan. According to these records, Eser requested N5.5 billion to exit the contract. However, the railway corporation’s valuation, according to the records, is N1.3 billion.

The transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, is yet to authorise payment to Eser, sources close to him said.

CGGC, on its part, did not request any amount for exiting the contract, according to the records we have seen. But curiously, the records show that the railway corporation says its valuation is N3.6 billion.

While we accessed official records that showed what Lingo had previously been paid before the exit plan request, PREMIUM TIMES could not determine what was paid to Eser and CGGC.

An FOI request to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation was referred to the transport ministry. The ministry did not respond.

The government has now gone far in plans to re-award the contract to fix the Eastern Railway line but there are no certainties anyone will be made to face any sanction for the regulatory failure and corporate fraud that characterised the failed contracts.


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