The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, got Nigerians all worked up after he started a conspiracy theory upon his appearance in Israel that the President of the country had been cloned and that the person appearing at social functions within and outside the country was actually Jubril from Sudan – a body double.
While the Presidency has neither denied or confirmed the allegations, different stakeholders in the country have described the allegations as baseless.
It’s all hooey, of course. As Shehu Sani, a former senator in the All Progressives Congress (APC) among others debunked the claim.
Political body doubles are actually surprisingly rare. Granted, if they’re really good, we’d never know about them, since that’s kind of the point, but documented examples are hard to come by. Still, here are three examples of “authentic” fake world leaders.
General Bernard Montgomery
The name might not ring a bell, but Montgomery was the British World War II general responsible for planning the D-Day invasion of Normandy. So, you know, kind of a big deal.
In the lead-up to the historic invasion, MI5 noticed that another soldier, an Australian actor named M.E. Clifton James, was a dead-ringer for the general. James was tasked with a special mission: Pretend to be General Montgomery and travel around Gibraltar and Northern Africa while loudly talking about fake Allied plans within earshot of Nazi spies.
James, who was missing a finger from the first World War and wore a prosthetic to better pass as Montgomery, pulled it off. In his autobiography, I Was Monty’s Double James claimed that the Nazis had been so thoroughly duped that they considered assassinating him.
The Germans ended up moving a lot of their troops to southern France, where, thanks in part to James’ actions, they thought the invasion would come from instead of Normandy.
Saddam Hussein (and maybe his son, Uday Hussein)
The late Iraqi dictator reportedly employed a roster of body doubles while ruling the Middle Eastern country, according to U.S. Military officials.
According to an expert, especially observant Iraqis could tell if they were dealing with the real Hussein by whether or not his bodyguard would ever joke around.
Talk of Hussein’s use of body doubles was so prolific, that when he was captured in 2003, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had to address concerns that the U.S. had nabbed a decoy.
“Knowing that his doubles had used plastic surgery and could very well have done duplicate tattoos and bullet holes and various things [like] moles that would make it appear they were Saddam Hussein, the decision was made to have him publicly identified,” Rumsfeld explained in a Pentagon briefing.
Hussein’s oldest son, Uday Hussein, may have used a body double as well. According to the supposed double, Latif Yahia, he went to school with Uday, and in 1988 when he was serving his mandatory stint in the Iraqi military, was enlisted to be Uday’s body double against his wishes.
Yahia claimed that he had been shot 26 times while pretending to be Uday, who he said was a psychopath. He eventually escaped Iraq, and there was even a Hollywood movie about his story, The Devil’s Double.
Some journalists have cast serious doubts on some or all of Yahia’s story, but it made for a pretty good movie.
The leader of the U.S.S.R. was infamous for his mastery of propaganda, so perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that he employed body doubles. One double, known only as “Rashid,” was reportedly dismissed from the army because of his resemblance to Stalin. After he went home, a KGB agent came to recruit “Rashid,” and he would go on to sit-in for the dictator at meetings and banquets. He died in 1991 at age 93.
A little more is known about another of Stalin’s supposed doubles, Felix Dadaev.
As Dadaev tells it, he was injured during the Russian liberation of Grozny in 1942 and Soviet superiors faked his death. He was told that he needed to pass as Stalin — who at the time was nearly 40 years his senior. Had he not impressed the chief of the secret police or Stalin’s personal head of security, Dadaev says he probably would’ve been shot.
His biggest outing as “Stalin” was during the dictator’s trip to the 1945 Yalta conference. Stalin’s flight was a secret, but one with Dadaev was made public.
Dadaev kept his role as a body double a secret until he was 88, only spilling the beans in 2008 (with the blessing of Vladimir Putin, naturally).
Hushpuppi Allegedly Behind The Infamous £2 Million Lazio Scam
The list of Hushpuppi’s crime is growing as the FBI revealed that it was the fraudster and his gang who were responsible for a £2m scam of Italian Serie A team Lazio.
Recall that back in 2018, Lazio reportedly fell for an email scam and paid €2 million of the final installment for defender Stefan de Vrij’s transfer from Dutch club Feyenoord to fraudsters.
Lazio received an email that appeared to be from the Dutch champions asking for the €2 million along with bank account details, and duly sent the money.
But Feyenoord never received the cash and claim to have no knowledge of the email.
The infamous scam has finally been solved after Hushpuppi and gang were found responsible for diverting the payment.
Brila FM sports radio who reported the news, wrote:
“The FBI has revealed that it was Ray hushpuppi and his gang who were responsible for the £2m scam perpetuated on SS Lazio in a payment intended for Feyenoord for Stephan de Vrij.
The infamous scam from 2018 has finally been resolved.”
See tweet below:
How We Nailed Hushpuppi, Accomplices — FBI Agent
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has revealed the mode of operation through which the suspected Nigerian swindler Ramon Olorunwa Abbas alias Hushpuppi, and his gang were tracked until he was arrested in Dubai, United Arabs Emirates (UAE) on June 10.
Special agent Andrew John Innocenti, in an affidavit attached to the charges against Hushpuppi in the US, said the main suspect and others identified only as Coconspirator 1 and Coconspirator 2, used to hack into the computers of their targets and move money from one account to the other across the globe.
They then use the huge money so realised to live large, acquiring expensive properties, designer clothes, expensive watches and luxury cars, and also charter jets.
According to the FBI agent, their Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud schemes “often involve a computer hacker gaining unauthorised access to a business-email account, blocking or redirecting communications to and/or from that email account, and then using the compromised email account or a separate fraudulent email account (sometimes called a “spoofed” email account) to communicate with personnel from a victim company and to attempt to trick them into making an unauthorised wire transfer.
“The fraudster will direct the unsuspecting personnel of the victim company to wire funds to the bank account of a third party (sometimes referred to as a “money mule”), which is often a bank account owned, controlled, and/or used by individuals involved in the scheme based in the United States.
The money may then be laundered by wiring or transferring it through numerous bank accounts to launder the money, or by quickly withdrawing it as cash, by check, or by cashier’s check.”
Abbas and Coconspirators 1 and 2 allegedly laundered approximately $396,050 while Coconspirator 2 was in Los Angeles, California
Abbas and Coconspirator 1, he said, “conspired to launder funds intended to be stolen through fraudulent wire transfers from a foreign financial institution (the “Foreign Financial Institution”), in which fraudulent wire transfers totaling approximately €13 million (approximately USD $14.7 million) were sent to bank accounts around the world in February 2019.
“Coconspirator 1 conspired with the persons who initiated the fraudulent wire transfers, and also conspired with a number of others, including ABBAS, to launder the funds that were intended to be stolen.
“ABBAS, specifically, provided Coconspirator 1 with two bank accounts in Europe that ABBAS anticipated would each receive €5 million of the fraudulently obtained funds.”
Continuing, he said that analysis of Coconspirator 1’s iPhone and other online accounts showed that Coconspirator 1 “operated and tasked money mule crews for a number of fraudulent schemes, including BEC schemes and cyber-heists.
“Analysis also showed that Coconspirator 1 communicated with the U.A.E. phone number +971543777711 (“Phone Number 1”) about multiple fraudulent schemes and money laundering.
“Phone Number 1 was one of the phone numbers ABBAS used during 2019 and 2020.
“Based on my review (pursuant to federal search warrants obtained in this District) of data from Coconspirator 1’s iPhone and from an online account connected to that phone (the “Online Account”), other law enforcement personnel’s review of that digital data, and from discussions with United States Secret Service (“USSS”) and FBI personnel, I know the following: a.Coconspirator 1’s iPhone listed Phone Number 1 (+971543777711) with the contact name “Hush.” The phone also contained a contact for Snapchat username “hushpuppi5,” which listed the Snapchat contact name “The Billionaire Gucci Master!!!” b.Searches of Phone Number 1 and the contact name “Hush” inCoconspirator 1’s iPhone revealed messaging conversations between “Hush,” using Phone Number 1, and Coconspirator 1. (For ease of reference, communications with this moniker and Phone Number 1 are referred to as communications with ABBAS in the remainder of this affidavit.)
“In or around December 2019, April 2020, and June 2020, I reviewed the publicly viewable Instagram account of “hushpuppi” at www.instagram.com/hushpuppi.
Based on information available on the profile page, the user of that account made more than 500 posts and had 2.3 million followers as of June 2020.11.
“This Instagram account included numerous publicly viewable images of a man who appeared to be ABBAS, based on comparisons to photographs of ABBAS in passports and other identification documents referenced below in paragraphs 16.c to 16.c.iv.
Hundreds of these images on the Instagram account showed ABBAS in designer clothing and shoes, posing on or in luxury vehicles, wearing high-end watches, or possessing other luxury items, indicating substantial wealth.”
Abbas made his initial court appearance in Chicago, USA, on Friday and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
He was extradited to the USA from Dubai on Thursday to face charges of conspiracy to launder millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams.
The US Justice Department described Abbas as a “Dubai resident who flaunted his extravagant lifestyle on social media.”
Hushpuppi was arrested along with 11 others in six simultaneous raids carried out by the Dubai Police.
Confiscated from them were 13 luxury cars worth N2. 640 billion (Dh 25 million), 21 laptops, 47 smartphones, 15 memory storage devices, 5 external hard drives and 800, 000 emails of potential victims.
The gang was responsible for Dh1.6 billion (about N169 billion) fraud involving over 1.9 million victims.
Almajiri Can Not Be Banned — Sheikh Tells Northern Governors
One of the most respected Islamic clerics, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi has declared the ban on Almajiri system unacceptable.
Almajiri system is known as a system where children leave their parents and homes in the quest for Islamic knowledge.
Many Northern Governors such as Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state banned the system as part of measures to contain COVID-19 Pandemic.
However, Usman Bauchi said the government has no rights to ban the system as every citizen is entitled to freedom of religion and the ban violates that fundamental human right.
“The constitution of the country gives us the freedom to practice our religion the way we want it. Our biggest religion is the Quran. Since the Quran has given them (those in power) laws that they have refused to abide with, what right do they have to give instructions or law to the Quran? Based on that, we will not accept the ban on Almajiri by northern governors,” he said.
“Our right to freedom of worship is being violated. We will not accept violation of our right to go to any part of the country to practice our religion.
“The reason is because there is a government and the government operates by a constitution. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives every citizen the right to movement, the right to practice their religion. These students (Almajirai) are Nigerians.
“Packing our people like animals and moving them from one place to the other, we will not accept. As Nigerians, we have a right to practice our religion. The Quran is the basis of our religion. We will not accept any violation of our rights.
“We will not accept the ban on Almajiri. We have the right to go anywhere in the world to read the Quran.” the Islamic cleric concluded.
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