By Yemi Adebowale
Following reports on Tuesday by BREAKING TIMES, which exposed Imad Mesdoua of Africa Matters Ltd as an MI6 undercover agent, further investigations by BREAKING TIMES on Thursday have revealed that not only did Imad work as an investigator at Mintz Group, he has also worked as a research analyst at Pasco Risk Management a security and intelligence gathering firm acquired by UK’s Control Risks in June 2014.
Control Risks is an independent, global risk consultancy specializing in political, security and integrity risk investigations.
According to a UK Telegraph report, Control Risks has provided security services for many government agencies in Iraq.
“Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Control Risks has grown rapidly and provides political analysis for many corporations, investigative work linked to investments, security consulting, and crisis management. The company employs former Special Forces members and MI6 agents, including ex-SAS commander Sir Michael Rose, a director”, the UK Telegraph said.
Control Risks supports clients by providing strategic consultancy, expert analysis and in-depth investigations through to handling sensitive political issues and providing practical on the ground protection and support.
Control Risks offers security training courses including crisis management preparedness, kidnap and response workshops, security management, hostile environment and security awareness training, contractors on deployed operations training (for staff deploying in support of the British military), close protection among others.
Control Risks, which parades a profile similar to Mintz Group where Imad has worked as an investigator, is reputed for hiring ex-security agents for its strategic operations. Randal Phillips, Imad’s former boss and colleague at Mintz Group is an ex-CIA Chief and now heads Mintz Group’s Beijing office and activities across Asia. Randal spent 28 years with the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service, most recently serving as the Chief CIA representative in China. He has an extensive background in foreign field operations, policy and program management, and leadership development. Just like Imad, he is multi-lingual, fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa Indonesian. Randal has lived and traveled throughout China and elsewhere in Asia for the U.S. Government.
Fluent in Arabic, French, English and Spanish, Imad has recently developed an unusual attraction for Nigeria’s Yoruba language predominantly spoken in the city of Lagos where he resides. Sometimes, he tweets in Yoruba to the applause of some of his Nigerian fans and admirers.
“Imad’s tactic as a HUMINT spy is to warm his way into the hearts of unsuspecting targets and then glean relevant information from them. Usually, his targets include influential young people, civil society organisations, business professionals and politicians”, an informed source told BREAKING TIMES.
Imad within his period in Nigeria working on behalf of the British government under the guise of Africa Matters Ltd met and interacted with several carefully selected public contacts profiled below in this feature. Most of these contacts are high profile individuals with proximity to sensitive economic, security, social and political intelligence.
Aregbesola, a chieftain of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was formerly an activist and Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure. He ran for election in April 2007 on the Action Congress platform. He is the Governor of Osun State.
Nasir El Rufai
Nasir El-Rufai a former Director General of Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from 16 July 2003 to 29 May 2007. A chieftain of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) El Rufai was elected as the Executive Governor of Kaduna State at the just concluded elections in Nigeria. He was reportedly in self-exile during the tenure of President Umar Musa Yar’ Adua.
Seun Onigbinde, an ex-banker with First Bank and engineer with Nigeria’s defunct NEXT newspapers is the founder of BudgIT – an organisation focused on promoting public access and understanding of government’s budget processes.
Henry Okelue and Andy Madaki
Henry Okelue who popularly tweets via @4eyedmonk is a staff of the Nigerian government’s Internet security support system – Galaxy Backbone Ltd wholly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology.
Andrew Madaki, a graduate of Sociology with a Masters degree in Computer Forensics from the University of South Wales, United Kingdom, is the Chief Technology Officer of Brinq Africa, a Payment Terminal Service Provider (PTSP) registered with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is a former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice of Lagos State. A chieftain of Nigeria’s ruling the All Progressives Congress, Osinbajo is a Senior Partner in the Law firm of Simmons Cooper Partners. He is the Vice President of Nigeria.
Tolu Ogunlesi was Features Editor for Nigeria’s defunct NEXT newspaper. In 2009 he was awarded the Arts and Culture prize in the annual CNN Multichoice African Journalism Awards. The Nigerian presidency recently confirmed his appointment as Special Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Olamide Adedeji popularly known by his stage name Olamide, is a Nigerian hip-hop recording artiste from Bariga, Lagos State. He records mostly in Yoruba, his native tongue and is widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s new generation pop culture symbols.
There seem to be more questions than answers on the outing of Imad Mesdoua. Is Imad in Nigeria in official capacity or as a tourist? Is Imad documenting and reporting findings from all his official meetings as well as those where he appears to be socialising but actually gleaning relevant information? Has any Nigerian Imad made contact with shared any information with him that is capable of compromising Nigeria’s national security in the short or long terms? Are there other private contacts beyond the public contacts profiled here that Imad could have met in the course of his undercover assignment as a representative of Africa Matters Ltd? Are all these targets willing to collaborate with Nigerian security investigators?