THE world has gone digital and Nigeria is also steadily embracing information and communications technology, especially the use of internet in all sectors of the economy. With this steady march towards digitalisation comes the challenge of cyber crime which falls under section 419 of the Nigerian Criminal law. This relatively new crime wave is taking Nigeria by the storm and criminals have seized the momentum to hack people’s phone or electronic mail addresses to send spooky messages to unsuspecting victims. From our investigation, the Nigerian security system is not well equipped to fight this crime which is gaining ground and is not a respecter of persons. We in Realnews were alarmed when we got the tip that friends of General Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state, lost a substantial amount of money to the fraudsters who hacked the General’s phone to send an SOS message that he was in trouble and needed urgent help. In our usual tradition, we decided to investigate and assigned Ishaya Ibrahim, staff writer and one of our very hard working reporters to ferret out more information about the incident. The assignment took him to Minna, Niger State, where the crime was committed. But his experience at the hands of the Police Command and the office of the attorney-general handling the case left a sore taste in his mouth. They were sending him from pillar to post in a bid to frustrate and put him off the story. According to Ibrahim, “These people are just tossing me around by sending me from one office to another. They don’t want to give out any information. They just want to cover the matter up because it involves the highly placed. The Police sent me to the office of the attorney-general to get the case file. On reaching there, they sent me back to the police who after a phone call from the editor confirmed that the case was treated four months ago and sent me on another wild goose chase at the Chief Magistrate Court 1, Minna, where the suspects were said to have been arraigned”. At the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Ibrahim was again referred to the Police. Well, their effort failed and Ibrahim, who is a 2006 Mass Communication Graduate from Kaduna Polytechnic, beat them to their trick to put the bits and pieces of information he got together to anchor his first cover story for Realnews entitled: “General Abdulsalami Abubakar: How Fraudsters Used His Name to Dupe His Friends” Enjoy it.
— Dec. 24, 2012 @ 01:00 GMT