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INTERPOL Appoints Uche, Nigerian CP as Chairman, African Heads of Cybercrime Units

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International Police Organization (INTERPOL), has appointed  Ifeanyi Henry Uche, Nigerian Police Commissioner, as the chairman of the African heads of cybercrime units comprising heads of 54 countries.

INTERPOL Appoints Uche, Nigerian CP as Chairman, African Heads of Cybercrime Units

Uche who is the Commissioner of Police in charge Nigeria Police Force National Cyber Crime Centre (NPF -NCCC) is taking over from Ratjindua Tjivikua, head of Cybercrime of Namibia after his tenure expired.

Speaking at the closing of the Africa Working Group Meeting on Cybercrime on Friday, Uche said, “The high penetration rate of new technologies in Africa increasingly exposes the sub-regional cyberspace as potential targets for cybercriminals as most African countries still have low levels of commitment to cybersecurity.

“It is important that we join the operational sub groups created by INTERPOL to bolster our collective efficiency in the fight against cybercrime in the subregion.

He said, “Resource sharing, the level of information and intelligence among African law enforcement is still at its lowest ebb largely blamed on extant domestic laws.

“I advocate for the establishment of African Incident Response Mechanism and Cybersecurity Frameworks on a Police-to-Police basis to eliminate the bottlenecks impeding free flow of resources.

“We must leverage the INTERPOL NCB 1/247 communication network and existing capabilities with regard to sharing of classified intelligence.”

Uche said this should be done with “Establishment of Specialized Cybercrime Units, noting it is rather unfortunate that most African countries do not have a specialized Cybercrime Unit dedicated for the investigation of Cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime. I implore member states to under-study the Nigeria police model of the Nigeria police Force National Cybercrime Center (NPF-NCCC).

“Investment in Technology, Infrastructure and Capacity building through a deliberate effort by member states to make the multi-million-dollar commitment in acquiring the much-needed technology and digital solution as a prelude to efficient cybercrime response and prevention. We must begin to look inwards by developing indigenous technologies to address our peculiar socio-cultural challenges.

“Legislative support to push the advocacy and lobby the governments to make and enforce robust cybersecurity laws and regulations that address cybercrime effectively. This includes laws on data protection, online privacy, electronic transactions, and cybercrime prevention.

“With the Fourth Industrial Revolution and emergence of Al and IOT, the undeniable reality is that the global cyberspace is undergoing profound and rapid changes given the penetration of new technologies and growing interconnection of the system.

“Though this evolution offers opportunities for innovations, diversification, and cost optimization, it also carries with it increased exposure to new and devastating risks of imminent cyber-attacks. These attacks permeate and affect the entire global digital ecosystem equally with no exception to geographic belts hence it affects businesses of all sizes both in public and private sectors in all regions at a breakneck speed.

“Cybercrime poses a significant threat to our societies, economies, and security”,  he said. “it is imperative that we work together to address this growing challenge. As Chairman, I am committed to lead from the front, fostering the much-desired collaboration among our member Units to enhance our collective ability to prevent and investigate cyber crimes effectively in Africa.

“I consider this as a call to champion the enthronement of a new charter of technological renaissance and home-grown cybersecurity ethics in Africa and a paradigm shift from absolute dependence on external solutions to African nurtured technological initiatives, adaptive to our Socio-Political ecosystem.

In her remarks at the event, Hajia Imaan Suleiman Ibrahim, minister of State, Police Affairs, said, “The Government of Nigeria is fully committed to reforming our police force, recognizing that cybersecurity is an integral component of our national security agenda.

“We understand that a secure cyberspace is essential for our immediate and long-term development objectives. Therefore, we are dedicated to enhancing our cybersecurity capabilities, investing in the necessary resources, and fostering collaboration both domestically and internationally.

“Consistent with the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President, we are working assiduously to move beyond mere conversations to working with key stakeholders to strengthen Nigeria’s cybersecurity legal and regulatory frameworks.

“We are working to enhance the provision of the requisite tools, equipment, and facilities to strengthen the cybersecurity architecture of the Nigeria Police Force, and we remain committed to regional and international cooperation mechanisms.”


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Court Dismisses Base Stations Lawsuit Against ATC, MTN

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ATC Nigeria, a subsidiary of American Tower Corporation, and MTN Nigeria scored a major victory in court last week over constructing or operating base transceiver stations “within close proximity” to stations owned by IHS Towers Nigeria.

The lawsuit against the two had been filed by non-profit organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, in November 2023.

Additionally, HEDA also filed a contempt of court case against ATC Nigeria’s CEO, Errol Ambler-Smith, seeking his arrest, which HEDA later withdrew.

ATC Nigeria announced that on Friday, June 21, 2024, the court struck out HEDA’s suit against ATC Nigeria and MTN Nigeria on the grounds that it was speculative and failed to disclose any reasonable cause of action.

American Tower said it has “always been and remains committed to upholding” the highest standards of legal compliance and operational integrity in all its activities.

“We are pleased that the court recognised the speculative nature of HEDA’s lawsuit, and we are hopeful that this outcome will send a message to other similar potential speculative lawsuits. We appreciate the support and understanding of all our stakeholders as we continue to invest in, and provide critical infrastructure for, Nigeria’s telecommunications industry,” ATC Nigeria said in a statement.


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Airtel Boosts Sickle Cell Awareness with CrimsonBow Initiative Collaboration

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In commemoration of this year’s World Sickle Cell Day, Airtel Nigeria partnered with the CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative to host a well-attended sickle cell awareness and clinic over the weekend, at Dansol Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos.

The event which aimed at improving sickle cell education and supporting individuals living with sickle cell disease, featured free counselling for sickle cell patients, free medical testing, drug dispensing, and sensitization sessions to educate the public about the sickle cell disease.

Through the partnership, much-needed support and resources were provided to affected individuals while promoting early detection and proper management of the condition.

Commenting on the involvement of Airtel in the program, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja, emphasized Airtel’s dedication to good health as part of the telecommunication company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals.

“We are proud to partner with CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative in this important endeavour, as it reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility and improving community health outcomes. The goal of this partnership is to provide crucial support to individuals living with sickle cell disease and to help raise awareness about the condition.

“Through this partnership, we strongly hope to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative, Timi Edwin, expressed gratitude to Airtel. In her remarks, “This partnership with Airtel Nigeria allows us to extend our reach and provide essential services to more individuals living with sickle cell disease. We appreciate Airtel Nigeria for their support in making this event possible.”

Airtel Nigeria has continued to reinforce its position as an organization committed to the well-being of the society through various corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Asides initiative partnerships like this to combat the challenges faced by individuals living with sickle cell disease, they continue to make strides under several CSR initiatives, contributing to the overall effort to enhance the general wellness of Nigerians.

 


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Tinubu appoints Tunji Bello as CEO of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has appointed Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice-Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, noted that the appointment is pending confirmation by the Senate.

He said that the President expects that the new Chief Executive Officer of this important agency will ensure the holistic realization of the Commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interest and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

Bello, who is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist, is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos.

“He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002,” the statement read.

“Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor; Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor, National Concord.

“He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed the Chairman, Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

“He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.


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