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Updated: 3 hours 58 min ago

Freed Jangebe Students Said Their School's Security Guard Facilitated Their Abduction—Matawalle

15 hours 39 min ago


Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has said Jangebe schoolgirls revealed that the security guard in their school was involved in their abduction.

The governor stated this when he appeared on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday.

SaharaReporters had reported how over 270 schoolgirls abducted from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara were released on Tuesday.

Matawalle had earlier said he knew those behind the abductions in the state and that Nigerians would be shocked to hear the revelation. 

However, when probed about it, the governor said the bandits who kidnapped the girls, identified the security guard of the school as the facilitator of the abduction.

Matawalle, however, did not reveal the abductors' identities but promised a thorough investigation into the matter.

“…Even the watchman of the school…. The children have mentioned that when they were there; after releasing them, the bandits were telling them (the schoolgirls) to greet the watchman for them,” he said.

“They even mentioned his name that he is the one who gave them the go-ahead to come, so he was involved.

“They have said this in front of the commissioner of police in Zamfara state. An investigation will be carried out and all people involved will be known.”

Also speaking on the no-fly zone order over the state issued by President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor said he had accepted the decision of the president, but added that he should have been consulted before the decision was taken.

“I thought the security council should invite me so that I can come to inform them and give them more information that can help them to do whatever they want to do,” he said.

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BLOOD ON UNIFORMS (2): No Justice For Inmates Killed By Nigerian Correctional Officers As Families 'Beg' For Corpses

17 hours 30 min ago


Nigeria Correctional Centre Kaduna


Wisdom


A scene at the correctional centre on March 30


Wisdom's barber's shop


Cyprian


Sample application for dead body


Sample letter of Indemnity NCS gave the family to write


Wisdom Felix has been dead – or said to be dead - for about 11 months now but his siblings would dare not break the news to his aged mum. 

For one reason, Felicia, Cyprian and Doris believe such an announcement would worsen her health situation. Before Wisdom was arrested and taken to the Kaduna Correctional Centre in 2018, Mrs Ruth Felix was already suffering from high blood pressure and excess sugar among other ailments. 

Nigeria Correctional Centre Kaduna

Her health status was aggravated by the news of her beloved son, Wisdom, being imprisoned and even made worse by the many futile attempts to get him out. She is now bedridden. 

“The news will just kill her,” Wisdom’s elder brother, Cyprian, says, having agreed to an interview at a location other than their house also to prevent their mum from knowing.

On the other hand, circumstances surrounding his killings are so hideous its announcement would break even a hale being. At first, it was said that Wisdom was caught in the brawl between the correctional officers and rioting inmates. Then, the most corroborated account was that he was beaten by the warders for no just reason other than ‘’they had the power to do so’’. 

Worst still, his corpse has not been released to the family for proper burial 11 months after. How then do you tell such an awful story of a child’s death to a mum grappling within the gravity of life and death?

The story of his journey to the correctional centre was enough headache for the 64-year-old. It all started in June 2018, then 25-year-old Wisdom was dating Godiya Elisha. Some acquaintances of these lovers said the relationship had lasted for just a few months before they started having misunderstanding, which climaxed on June 9. 

On this very day, he was in the middle of an altercation with the girlfriend then he seized her phone. Irked by this move, Godiya screamed, calling the attention of officers of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) who immediately took him into custody and detained him.

Wisdom

Wisdom was not immediately charged to court, instead, the officers kept him for about a week then transferred him to the correctional centre awaiting arraignment. 

Against Nigerian law which stipulates that persons accused must be charged to court within 24 hours where a court of competent jurisdiction is located within a radius of 40 kilometres from the police station, Wisdom was neither charged nor released until February 2019, eight months after. He was charged with armed robbery at the Kaduna High Court.

Contrary to accounts of witnesses, which attest to a domestic fight between Wisdom and the girlfriend, the charge sheet reads that Godiya was “violently attacked while (Wisdom was) armed with a knife, which led to the dislocation of her arm when he robbed her of her Gionee M6 Mobile Phone valued at Fifty Thousand Naira (50, 000).”

Several attempts made by this newspaper to speak with Godiya were rebuffed on the excuse that she is now married.

Futile efforts at bail

Having escalated this much, Wisdom’s family decided to hire a lawyer to secure his bail.

“At a point in time, he told me he was having issues,” Wisdom’s elder brother, Cyprian says of the lawyer’s effort. “I told him you were the one recommended to us by them who we can bank on in getting bail, he said yes he can do it but there are many other people involved.

“He said I have to make the girl available to go and see the Director of Prosecution at the Ministry of Justice. When I made the girl available, she came down, we went to the lawyer, the lawyer took us to the director. When we got there, he (director) asked for the file, he asked the girl some questions that how and what does she think, what does she want and the girl categorically told him that she let go, she has forgiven him (Wisdom). He assured us that he was going to be bailed but after seven months, he was not released.”

Cyprian said the lawyer told the family his brother was only eligible for bail after three months but by March 2019, nine months after, he was disengaged due to his inability to deliver. 

The family contacted other lawyers but none could secure the needed bail. Two other lawyers, contracted by the family, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, gave excuses of bureaucracy, judiciary’s holiday and inability to get a brief as the reason why getting Wisdom out of the prison was difficult.

The family kept visiting Wisdom and making efforts to get him out when the unexpected happened from late March to early April 2020.

‘How Wisdom, others were killed in Kaduna correctional centre’

A regular day for inmates at the correctional centre starts as early as 6 a.m. with denominational prayers. This is then followed a few hours after with domestic chores, most times fetching water. But March 31, 2020, deviated from the norm. Multiple sources recounted the events of the day to PREMIUM TIMES.

A fresh inmate, who was brought to the facility some few days back then started showing some COVID-19 symptoms around 10.30 a.m. on March 31. Coughing profusely, the condition of the inmate soon caught the attention of other inmates who suspected she had contracted the virus.

Soon, the inmates mobilised in numbers demanding the authority do something about the virus. Five days earlier, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola had called for a speedy decongestion of prisons nationwide to avert the spread of COVID-19.

Worried by this development, the Deputy Comptroller of the prison, Ahmed Usman, accompanied by some other officers came to address the agitated crowd but his pacification won’t quell their demand.

“When he came, he saw people shouting ba maso (we don’t want this). He asked them to calm down but they said ‘no’. That was when he called the officers at the gate to come in,” one of the sources narrated.

Normally, officers within the facility only move around with batons but the ones guarding the entrance, who were called upon to quell the agitation used rifles. They didn’t hesitate using the rifles on the protesters. Soon five bodies fell. First three, then another, then another.

A scene at the correctional centre on March 30

An earlier investigation by PREMIUM TIMES identified the five as Hammed Abdullahi, 25, awaiting trial for a murder case at the Kaduna State High Court 5; Lucky Ujokama, 24, awaiting trial for a rape case at Barnawa Magistrate Court 17; Ibrahim Abubakar, 37 awaiting trial for armed robbery. Yahu Salisu, appearing before Magistrate Court 21, died from gunshot wounds while Oluchukwu Oche, a condemned inmate died from injuries sustained from beating.

Prison authorities had then told PREMIUM TIMES 16 officers of the correctional service died as a result of the furore.

Irked by this confrontation, the officers became more brutal with their treatment of inmates and tightened security. In one of the brutalities confirmed by three of our sources, officers went on a show of force immediately after the incident. In doing this, the correctional officers, led by one officer, whose name this newspaper decided not to publish as his role could not be independently verified, used batons on the inmates several times.

“Wisdom didn’t do anything, he was inside the cell before they come and call all of them to come outside. He was a quiet inmate. When they opened their place, Wisdom was coming down, he was first attacked by (the officer with name withheld). Anyone who comes down the step must be given that heavy beating. They hit Wisdom in the chest, he fell, then started crying, they continue to hit him on the ground. That was how the guy died. He didn’t die instantly, he died at the hospital,” a source narrates.

It is not clear which date Wisdom died but the centre recorded it as April 5, 2020. It is also not clear how he died as the centre offered no convincing explanation.

In a notice sent to the Court 2 of the Kaduna High Court, the centre wrote that Wisdom died at the custodial centre hospital of ‘protracted illness’ but offered no explanation on the kind of illness.

However, on the death certificate sighted by this reporter, he was recorded to have died of ‘head injury’ due to ‘blunt trauma’. This was also recorded on the warrant for burial. Again, the centre did not explain how Wisdom sustained the head injury, the kind of care he received or how he eventually died.

Horrid pictures gathered in this investigation can be viewed in a separate folder here. These are graphic pictures. Beware!

Game of lies

When the news of the incident first broke out, authorities at the prison first claimed no inmate died in what it branded ‘attempted jailbreak.’

Wisdom's barber's shop

A few days later, however, the service released a statement admitting that four inmates died. 

“Four inmates later died in the hospital from the injuries sustained in the melee that ensued while being restrained by the custodial officers from breaking jail. For the avoidance of doubt, all the deceased inmates were from the condemned section of the Custodial Centre where the jail-break occurred,” a statement by the controller of corrections, Kaduna State command, Sanusi Danmusa reads.

By condemned, the service meant only those that have been sentenced to death.

This again turned out to be a lie as at least three of the deceased were awaiting trial inmates. Hammed Abdullahi, Lucky Ujokama and Yahu Salisu and Ibrahim Abubakar were not condemned inmates as claimed by the service.

The statement noted further that an investigation had been opened on the issue. However, when contacted in February, the Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna NCS, Ahmadu Wadai, requested more time when asked about the investigation.

 “We are still working on some documents. If you can give me some time, I can relate with you,” he said.

Illegality

Meanwhile, the conduct of the officers was against the dictates of the Nigeria Correctional Service Act which spelt out instances where officers may use firearms which include cases of the attempted jailbreak, attempted escape when inmates use weapons against correctional officers among others.

Despite this provision, the Act only provides for the use of firearms with a caution. “The use of weapons under this section shall as far as possible be to disable and not to kill,” it states in section 20 (6).

Since the incident, the NCS has provided no justifiable reason for the killings and neither has any officer been charged to court for the extra-judicial killings.

No plea, no corpse

When the killings happened, families of the victims were not informed of the demise of their relatives, instead, the correctional service put out a series of press statement mostly false and full of denials.

Cyprian said he only got to know about the death of his brother through the news some days after. 

“Around 11.47 p.m. that was when the publication came out. A friend screenshot it and forwarded it to me on WhatsApp. They did not contact us.” 

Cyprian

If the explanation of the service was anything to go by, Wisdom was still alive when Cyprian read the news on March 31.

Still, in disbelief, Cyprian did not inform Felicia and Doris, his siblings. The following day, two people called Cyprian, the first to announce Wisdom’s death, the second to inform him that he was seriously beaten and needed urgent medical attention.

Despite the lockdown in force in Kaduna then, Cyprian made his way to the correctional service. He was denied entry on the excuse of COVID-19 but told that his brother ‘’was being well taken care of’’ by officers at the gate.

“I kept going there until someone now advised that I should get a lawyer that the lawyer would gain access to the inside to know his condition,” he said of his many futile efforts to ascertain the condition of his brother.

The family was not contacted until April 27 when an official asked them to come for Wisdom’s corpse. The family met, without the matriarch’s knowledge, and decided to retrieve the corpse.

“When we went, they now gave us a format, they gave us a copy of the format to follow in pleading for the release of the corpse.”

Sample application for dead body

To retrieve Wisdom’s corpse, the family was asked to process and sign three documents: a formal letter to apply for the release of the body, a letter of indemnity in which the family must ‘beg’ for the release of the corpse ‘’and affirm that they held nothing against the service’’ and an affidavit in support of these documents.

Copies of the three samples were sighted by PREMIUM TIMES. The sample letter of indemnity, which the family considered most ridiculous reads, “On behalf of the family of the above-named inmate, we are pleading with the Nigerian Correctional Service to release his body to me for burial and that we don’t hold anything against the Nigerian Correctional Service about his death.

“We believe that he died a natural death.”

Sample letter of Indemnity NCS gave the family to write

This letter must be signed by a family member of the deceased, Cyprian said adding that the service was eager to have the letters delivered and processed.

“That period, they arranged the court for me to go to the court to swear indemnity oath attesting that I owe nothing against the correctional centre before the body would be released to us,” Cyprian recounts. “The moment they gave us that copy, they started calling, they were frequent with their calls. They kept calling that other people have started coming for their corpse that it remains only us.”

However, the family decided not to claim the corpse under the circumstances to which they were held by the correctional centre.

“It is disheartening that someone is asking you to attest to something contrary to your belief. That boy is my junior brother, how will I go, because I want to take his corpse, you’re asking me to write to the authority pleading for the release of his body and also stating in the letter that he died a natural death.”

Meanwhile, other families had claimed their corpses, sources within the centre confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES.

A family member of one of the killed inmates told PREMIUM TIME's corpse of their relative was released after signing all these documents and payment of N20, 000. The corpse, the relative said, was released three months after.

“Before the corpse was released, they had to swear affidavits that he was not murdered,” the relative added.

Eleven months after, the correctional centre still holds on to Wisdom’s corpse deposited at the General Hospital, Sabon Tasha. Although the family had made some efforts through some lawyers, none has been successful. 

In one of these efforts, Falana and Falana in June 2020 wrote the correctional service to demand N200 million as damages for the extra-judicial killing of Felix. In response, the centre lied that Wisdom is ‘unknown’.

Now, all Wisdom’s sibling want is justice, a release of his corpse under fair circumstances and some compensation.

“They should pay for damages and release the corpse of our brother to us for burial. They should bring all officers involved to book and let them face the law as the case may be,” a distraught Cyprian says.

 

Horrid pictures gathered in this investigation can be viewed in a separate folder here. These are graphic pictures. Beware!

 

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Students, Parents, Teachers Beg Kwara Government To Restore Schools To Their Past Glory

18 hours 5 min ago






The school library

Once upon a time, the Government Girls Day Secondary School Okesuna in Ilorin had good amenities. It was renowned for its discipline and well equipped facilities like laboratory, library, toilets, proper fence and many more.

Now the school has passed into decrepitude. It is not only that facilities have deteriorated, the school lacks teachers for essential subjects. 

“The government is aware of the situation of the school because letters have been written to them many times and nothing has been done,” said  a teacher who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared she could be punished for granting an interview. 

“We lack teachers, especially chemistry and civic education teachers,” a student told our reporters.  “But recently, we've been provided with a chemistry teacher while we are still left without a civic education teacher,” the student added. 

Another run down school is Tanke LGEA at Tanke area in Ilorin South Local Government Area. Comprising primary and junior secondary, the school lacks a library, laboratory and adequate classrooms. 

 The only toilet in the school is reserved for the staff while  the students are expected to find other means of relieving themselves. 

Some students are forced to sit on the floor as some of the classes are without desks and chairs.

“We can't do most things ourselves as we do not have the capacity to do so,” said a teacher who spoke to the reporter.  “But we use the PTA levy to renovate the most demanding situations as we have been severally written to the government without a reply.”

At Fate Basin Primary and Secondary School, the appalling state of the facilities is apparent. Students do not have access to toilets, library and laboratory. The school is located at the centre of Fate and Basin communities in Ilorin South local Government Area.

“We have a shortage of teachers due to the fact that most of our teachers were sacked a few months ago by the state government,” said the headmistress of the primary school. She added she had sought government’s intervention without success. 

Such neglect is happening at Government Girl's Day Secondary School in Pakata in Ilorin West Local Government. The school lacks toilets, laboratory, and good staff rooms.

The school library is an old container in the middle of the school premises. The library is always hot during the day which makes it hard for students to study. 

One of the students told our correspondents they suffer a lot just to learn. “We normally do alternatives to practical since we lack apparatus to carry out real practicals because our laboratory was just built with bad furniture (Biology and Agric laboratory) while others are not equipped ( Chemistry and Physics Laboratory). We also lack teachers, especially physics, chemistry, English, literature and maths. We only have 2 english for all SS classes and it's not enough.”

The school library

The teachers and students who spoke to our correspondent urged the government to help make the school conducive for learning like it used to be in the past. 

 

Schools Report is an initiative of the Civic Media Lab, to improve the standard of basic education across the country, with support from MaArthur Foundation. 

 

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Nworie, First-class Mathematics Graduate In Viral Farm Photo Bags PhD Scholarship In US

18 hours 14 min ago


Emmanuel Nworie, a first-class mathematics graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has bagged a fully-funded scholarship at a university in the United States.

The photo of Nworie, who was tilling the soil in Ebonyi state owing to poverty and a lack of a platform to utilize his knowledge, went viral a few months ago.

The 27-year-old, who graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 4.92/5.00, had experienced a life of hardship before he applied for the Michael Taiwo (MT) Scholarship.

"I started having challenges in 2005 when we struggled with the health of my dad. I have long wanted to be a mathematician. But after my dad passed away, I was deterred because at some point when I was trying to save for undergraduate studies and after two years I couldn't save enough, so I was frustrated," he had said in an interview with TheCable.

Michael Taiwo, a US-based Nigerian and sponsor of MT Scholarships, alongside Suraj Oyewale, founder of JarusHub, a career and education platform, identified Nworie during the selection of candidates for the scholarship.

The UNN graduate emerged as one of the 23 candidates selected from a pool of 1,509 applicants for the scholarship, covering costs for application fees and the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) — a requirement for the graduate application for some courses in the US.

In a statement on Tuesday, Taiwo announced Nworie's selection for a fully-funded PhD in mathematics at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas.

He said the first-class mathematician received three offers from universities in the southern part of the US.

"Today, I am pleased to announce that Emmanuel Chinweuba Nworie has accepted a fully-funded offer to study for his PhD in Mathematics at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. SMU is a prestigious private research university. Emmanuel prefers locations with warm weather. He received three great offers, all from schools in the southern part of the US," he said.

"Mentors are our secret sauce. It is hard to exaggerate the role Dr. Busayo Aworunse, Emmanuel's assigned mentor, played in delivering the outcome we celebrate today. Busayo, thank you. Help me congratulate Emmanuel. I cannot wait to see what he does with a Math PhD from SMU!"

Speaking with TheCable, Taiwo described Nworie's achievement as remarkable.

He said he still feels "the rage and sadness I spoke about a couple of months ago, but I feel happy for him in particular and hope in general that we can make a difference".

"He is going to one of the best universities in the world. SMU is a costly school, more expensive than Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale. He will be schooling with people from the richest families in the world. This is the kind of exposure we (the MT Scholarship team) and he felt like he needed so that he can think big with his God-endowed brain," he said.

"It costs over $75,000 per year to attend SMU. Emmanuel won't pay a single dollar out of this. In addition to this, he will be given a very generous stipend to cater for his living expenses. The interesting thing is that he got three of this type of offers from Southern Methodist University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and the University of Texas at Dallas."

When asked about his advice for other distinguished graduates who share similar stories like Nworie, Taiwo said such people should endeavour to utilize the internet to access available opportunities.

"I would say they should keep up hope and try to move to a city where they can have access to the internet. As you can remember from Emmanuel's story, his breakthrough came because he was in Enugu when the application window for the annual Michael Taiwo Graduate School Application scholarship was open," he said.

"If he had been at his farm in Ebonyi, he would have missed this generation-changing opportunity. So my advice is that they should relocate to where they can get access to information, i.e. the internet."

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101 Soldiers Who Absconded After Marte, Dikwa B'Haram Attacks Yet To Be Found

18 hours 25 min ago


File Photo

The Nigerian Army has declared 12 officers and 86 soldiers missing in the wake of last week's Boko Haram attacks on Marte and Dikwa local government areas of Borno State.

A signal dated March 1, 2021, from Operation Lafiya Dole Headquarters in Maiduguri, sighted by the DailyTrust, showed that the soldiers were declared as deserters.

File Photo

It indicated that three majors, three captains, six lieutenants, three sergeants and 89 soldiers fled in the aftermath of the attacks on Marte and Dikwa.

The signal, signed by Col. A.O. Odubiyi, on behalf of the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, partly read, "I am directed to connect Reference A on the above subject and to respectfully forward details of additional officers and soldiers who absconded from the defensive location during the BHT attack on New Marte and Dikwa. See Also Military Nigerian Army Declares 101 Soldiers Wanted For Fleeing Boko Haram Attacks In Borno, Freezes Bank Accounts 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

"You are requested to declare the named officers and soldiers' deserters WEF February 19 21. You are also requested to cause HQ NAFC to freeze their accounts and apprehend/bring them under military escort to this Headquarters if seen within your AOR."

When contacted last night for official reaction, the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima told our correspondent that, "If Army has anything to tell the world, shall we wait for the media to prompt us? No! Well, if we have anything to tell the world on that, we will tell the world, we won't allow you to prompt us."

It would be recalled that Boko Haram fighters had dislodged Nigerian troops in Marte on February 14, prompting them to relocate to Dikwa. See Also Boko Haram Boko Haram Kills ‘Many Soldiers’, Displays Armed Personnel Carrier, SUVs, Ammunition Captured From Nigerian Military 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

The insurgents reportedly foisted their flags at the Marte area after killing seven troops of the 153rd Task Force Battalion.

After that, the terrorists waged another war against the troops in Dikwa on February 19 but were repelled.

Shortly after the attempted attack, the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru went to Dikwa and gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the troops to recapture Marte and other towns, which they did.

A military source told Daily Trust that the case of the 101 soldiers that deserted was a source of concern.

"This case should not be seen as mutiny because they went separate ways when the insurgents dislodged them. Some may have been killed; some may have retreated to their main bases and others may be on the run.

"This is not a new thing. It happens when military bases are dislodged," he said.

Another military source familiar with the recent development said most of the deserters left in protest because the terrorists had superior weapons and not because they didn't want to continue serving their country.

"The fact is that the weapons procured by the federal government between 2013 and 2014 have all worn out while the terrorists have stolen others during raids on military bases.

"Also, the terrorists have procured additional weapons from other sources, which they are now using to take the war to the doorsteps of our troops.

"The terrorists also believe that they are fighting a religious battle and therefore are ready to fight all the time, confronting the troops with the conviction that they would either win or die. All these factors have collectively dampened the morale of our troops and the federal government must do something to revive it," he said.

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"EFCC Should Arrest Him"—Oba of Lagos Under Fire For Keeping $2m, N17m In Palace

18 hours 26 min ago


Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, is under fire over his comment on Wednesday that hoodlums who invaded his palace during the #EndSARS protest stole his $2 million and N17 million.

Akiolu, who spoke at the Glover Hall Memorial Commissioning, Lagos on Wednesday, lamented the devastation inflicted on Lagos by the protesters, including his palace.

"I can now say it publicly that they stole from my palace two million dollars cash and N17 million, I am now saying it publicly.

"I am not a wealthy man, but I am a contented person and Insha Allahu, I will continue to be rich.

"Those who committed the offence would not have done that if they knew the implication. But as a father, I won't place any curse on them," he added.

$2 Million, N17 Million Stolen From My Palace During #EndSARS protest— Oba Of Lagos | Sahara Reporters
Akiolu, who spoke at the commissioning of the Glover Hall Memorial in Lagos on Wednesday, stated that the loss Lagos suffered during the...
READ MORE: https://t.co/W1tu2KUUXL pic.twitter.com/ZArQJ0tYkJ

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) March 3, 2021

Akiolu's comment has elicited a backlash on social media, with Nigerians asking how he got such a huge amount of money that he kept in his palace.

Many Nigerians who reacted to the story on social lambasted the monarch, asking where he got that huge amount of money.

Here are the reactions below:

According to J. Osaghae, who commented on the story, "Oba Rilwan Akiolu, can you tell Nigerians where you got $2 million and 17 million naira? You are shameless to come out with this type of story. You are not a clean man. Your curse cannot work on those who took the money.

"You cursed before but it did not work. You gave them an ultimatum to return what was taken away from your palace that you turned into a bank, but it did not work."

Suraj Adejumo wrote, "This King is shameless and callous. Two million dollars!"

Sunny Lulu, who reacted to the story, said: "In my opinion, although it is sad to note that the Oba lost such a huge amount of money supposedly to those who vandalized his palace (they are not the #Endsars protesters, but the hoodlums sponsored by failed politicians), it's very difficult to sympathize with the monarch because keeping such a large amount of money at home could be hazardous, e.g. fire incidents."

"The EFCC should arrest you, so you can explain where you got the money from. Even banks in America wouldn't keep that amount of money in their vaults," Mashood, who commented on the story said.

According to Ade Badejo, "Oga that one na voice mail. You get that kind amount; subjects living around you can't even feel it. Where's your humanity? You wan carry the money go to heaven? At that age?"

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Zamfara Governor Offers To Resign Over Rising Insecurity

18 hours 34 min ago


Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has offered to resign if taking such a step will bring a lasting solution to his state's high level of insecurity.

Zamfara is one of the north-west states affected by banditry.

Many persons have been killed, while countless people have been abducted in attacks by different armed gangs.

Responding to the state's disturbing trend, the federal government declared Zamfara a no-fly zone on Tuesday and banned mining activities there.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Presidential Spokesman, had told Daily Trust that the action was taken based on the suspicion that choppers ferry in arms for bandits.

Speaking when he featured on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday, Matawalle said he does not mind using his job as a sacrifice for peace to reign.

"If I know that my resignation as a governor will make the people sleep with their two eyes closed, I can resign.

"I am ready to do what will bring security. I am not power-hungry. I have been having a sleepless night to protect the people of Zamfara state."

The governor, who has been pushing for a dialogue with bandits, also defended his stance.

He said repentant bandits facilitated the release of Government Girls Secondary School students, Jangebe, who were abducted last week.

"People are saying amnesty; it is not about amnesty. What amnesty means maybe is the federal government provides some huge amount of money," he said.

"We are not giving them kobo; we are not giving them anything. People talk about amnesty, it's like people think that a huge amount of money was collected and given to them.

"No single kobo was given to them, any of them who repented; nothing was given to them."

The governor, who had earlier rejected the decision of the federal government to declare the state a no-fly zone, said: "On the decision of Mr President on the no-fly zone, I accept it. I agree with that. People don't even know that Zamfara does not have an airport. So, the states that have airports and are encountering this kind of situation, what happens to them?"

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Nigerian Soldier Commits Suicide In Bauchi

18 hours 36 min ago


File Photo

A soldier with the Nigerian army school of armour in Bauchi has killed himself.

The soldier was said to be one of those newly recruited in 2020, and his first posting had been the army's school of armour in Bauchi. 

File Photo

"He was on duty alongside his colleagues. They were all discussing normal soldier things and suddenly, he pulled out his gun and shot himself in the stomach," military sources have told TheCable. 

"We couldn't even rush him to the hospital as he died on the spot." 

His body has been deposited at the mortuary in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBU), Bauchi. 

The other soldiers he was with at the time of the incident have been locked in the guardroom, pending investigation. 

The incident, sources said, has been communicated to the army headquarters, and a board had been set up in the barracks to investigate the matter. 

Mohammed Yerima, the army spokesperson, was not immediately available to comment on the incident. 

Before this incident, there have been other instances where soldiers killed themselves. 

In 2017, a soldier committed suicide after killing a captain in Chibok, Borno state. 

Another soldier also hung himself to death inside the barracks in Abuja in 2019. 

In 2020, a soldier fighting Boko Haram insurgents committed suicide, leaving a note for his wife.

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Veteran Actor Sadiq Daba Is Dead

3 March 2021 - 3:30pm


Veteran Nollywood Actor, Sadiq Daba, is dead.

 It was gathered that the actor died on Wednesday at about 8:30 pm. According to his close friend, Joe Odumakin, the actor had been ill for a while before his demise.

In an interview with Punch, Odumakin said, "We have lost Sadiq. It is so painful because I spoke to him a few days ago when his wife became a permanent secretary. 

"I called his number some hours ago but his son picked it. I told him to give his father the phone, but he told me that his father is gone. I had to ask; gone to where?

"His wife just called me now and we spoke. She said that she was at the morgue. I asked what happened and she told me that he had been ill about a week ago, but he had been home and that he went to the hospital late afternoon today.

"She explained that he had not been eating much and that as soon as they got to the hospital, they started conducting different tests on him, including COVID-19. They put him on oxygen but he died around 8:30 pm."

In 2017, Daba announced that he had been diagnosed with Leukemia and Prostate Cancer and was supported with fundraising by several Nigerians.

Before his death, Daba worked as a broadcaster for Nigerian Television Authority. His acting career came to prominence in the late 1970s, starring in Cockcrow at Dawn.

He was in blockbuster movies like Citation, October 1, among many others.

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Business Magnate, Dahiru Mangal's Son Dies In Ghastly Powerbike Accident

3 March 2021 - 3:25pm


Nura, son of famous business magnate Dahiru Mangal, has died in a road crash.

It was gathered that Nura was involved in the accident while riding his power bike along Dutsimma road, Katsina.

The incident reportedly happened not too far from Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic.

He was rushed to the Katsina General Hospital, where he was confirmed dead.

A family source told DailyTrust that a funeral prayer for the deceased would hold by 10 am on Thursday at the Mangal Mosque, Kofar Kwaya, in Katsina.

Born on August 1, 1990, the late Nura graduated from a University in Manchester, United Kingdom.

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$2 Million, N17 Million Stolen From My Palace During #EndSARS protest— Oba Of Lagos

3 March 2021 - 2:00pm


The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has said a total of $2 million (about N800 million) and N17 million were stolen from his palace during the #EndSARS protest that rocked the nation in October 2020.

Akiolu, who spoke at the commissioning of the Glover Hall Memorial in Lagos on Wednesday, stated that the loss Lagos suffered during the crisis is so enormous than in any other part of the country.

The monarch further said that those who committed the offence would not have done that if they knew the implication.

Akiolu said: “I will support anything that will move Lagos forward. I have appealed to the Federal Government to assist Lagos with what we have suffered. The incident that happened here from October 20th to 23rd is so saddening.

“The destruction we suffered in Lagos is so enormous than in any other part of the country.

“Many buildings were burnt, including vehicles used to generate income. I can now say publicly that they stole away from my palace $2 million and N17 million.

“Those who committed the offence would not have done that if they knew the implication. But as a father, I won’t place any curse on them.”

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EXPOSED: How Gombe Governor, Inuwa, ‘Bribed’ Late Mai Tangale’s Son With Commissioner’s Slot To Appoint Unpopular Candidate

3 March 2021 - 1:35pm




To manipulate the selection process of the new Mai Tangale, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State nominated Christopher Abdu Buba Maisheru, the first son of the late monarch of the community, His Royal Highness Abdu Buba Maisharu, as commissioner.

SaharaReporters had earlier reported how the people of Billiri Local Government Area in the state kicked against the governor’s choice of Malam Danladi Sanusi Maiyamba, who was defeated by another candidate, Dr Musa Maiyamba.

The people of Tangaleland, who are predominantly Christians, have accused the governor of exhibiting religious bias in the selection of the new Mai Tangale.

The people claimed that five of the nine kingmakers had selected Musa as the next monarch, accusing the state government of not picking him because he is a Christian while the governor is a Muslim.

See Also Politics Gombe Governor Shuns Kingmakers Choice Of Christian Candidate, Appoints Malam Danladi As Mai Tangale 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

While Musa secured five votes out of a possible nine from kingmakers, the two other candidates, including Danladi Sanusi Maiyamba, had two votes each.

However, a source told SaharaReporters on Wednesday that the first son of the late 14th Mai Tangale, Christopher, was given an appointment to silence the traditional institution and pave the way for the choice of the governor.

Yahaya had on Tuesday sacked three commissioners and replaced them subject to confirmation of the state House of Assembly.

“Meanwhile, His Excellency has nominated the following to serve as commissioners, pending their confirmation by the Gombe State House of Assembly: Mr Christopher Abdu Buba Maisheru, Abdullahi Idris Kwami, and Abubakar Aminu Musa

“His Excellency congratulates the new nominees and wishes them success in their new responsibilities,” a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Ibrahim Njodi, had read.


The appointment of a new Mai Tangale had led to protests in the area by those who felt that the process was being manipulated.

Women and youths had blocked Gombe/Yola road crisscrossing the Billiri council area and vehicles were forced to make hasty diversions or stay on the highway.

The protest last week led to the death of three, destruction of property, and worship centres, thus forcing the government to impose a curfew in the area.

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Boko Haram Terrorists Free Borno Pastor Bulus On Expiration Of Seven-Deadline Given To Him

3 March 2021 - 12:56pm


The Boko Haram terrorists have freed Pastor Bulus Yikura who was abducted on December 24, 2020, and was given a seven-day deadline last week to be killed.

Yakuru was freed on Wednesday and was conveyed by operatives of the Department of State Services around 6.15pm and sighted by a Premium Times reporter.

On Wednesday, when he was asked to speak about his freedom, Mr Bulus kept repeating, “I thank God, I thank God.”

SaharaReporters had on Sunday reported that the Chibok community in Borno State including residents, family and church members of the pastor contributed money as a ransom to meet Boko Haram factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, to secure the life of the pastor.

Top elders in Chibok had confirmed to SaharaReporters that Pastor Bulus was married with three children, and his wife was depressed and desperately hoping her husband was not killed by the Boko Haram terrorists.

Last Wednesday, the pastor had cried out from a video sent by the Boko Haram to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Borno State government, and the Christian Association of Nigeria from the terrorists’ den, begging that he had been given one week to live.

Bulus had said he was in pain and would like to be reunited with his family members, church and relatives.  

The Boko Haram struck Pemi village in Borno, only about 20 kilometres from Chibok, on December 24, 2020, during which the pastor was taken away.

A Chibok top community elder told SaharaReporters that some money had been raised by all of the stakeholders as a ransom, and they were planning to meet Shekau’s men to deliver it in exchange for Bulus' life.

“Today is the last day I will have the opportunity to call on you in your capacity as my parents and relatives in the country. Anyone who has the intention should help and save me. Please release me from this pain,” Bulus had stated in the video released by Boko Haram last Wednesday.

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BREAKING: Shoot Anyone Seen With AK-47, Buhari Directs Security Agents

3 March 2021 - 12:47pm


President Muhammadu Buhari has directed security agencies to shoot anyone seen with AK-47.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in an interview with the BBC.

He said the President directed a clampdown on bandits who have refused to surrender.

On the efforts being made to rid Zamfara and other northern states of bandits, Shehu said the government is resorting to lethal force.

“The president has ordered security forces to go into the bushes and shoot whoever they see with sophisticated weapons like AK-47,” he said.

“He ordered that whoever is seen with terrible weapons at all should be shot immediately.”

Shehu also said the Nigerian government declared Zamfara a no-fly zone following intelligence that arms were being transported to the bandits with private jets.

“These jets are being used to pick up gold that is being mined in some parts of Zamfara and exported. This is strong because at the moment, there is a Nigerian gold market in Dubai. The government is losing, the people of this country are losing, that’s why it is said that gold mining is banned for those who are not made by the government," he said. 

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BREAKING: One Killed, Two Injured As Nigerian Soldiers Open Fire On Jangebe Residents

3 March 2021 - 12:01pm


Personnel of the Nigerian Army have opened fire on some residents of Jangebe, the Zamfara community where some secondary schoolgirls were abducted last week, killing one person and injuring two others.

The schoolgirls who were released recently were brought back to the community on Wednesday to reunite with their family members.

However, some youths threw stones at the convoy of the Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran, who was accompanied to the community by men of the Nigerian Army.

There has been tension in the community since the abduction of the schoolgirls, with the youth stopping security operatives and government officials from entering the main town.

“They came to hand over the students to their parents, but the angry youths stoned the convoy of the government officials. From there, the army opened fired on them, killing one person and injuring two others. The commissioner who led the team that brought the girls was escorted to the town by soldiers,” a source told SaharaReporters.

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Tinubu: A Failure That Should Never Become Nigeria’s President By Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed

3 March 2021 - 11:53am


Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed

Nemesis does not only befall those who deliberately impoverish their people, it consumes their children too. The socio-political space in Nigeria has been polluted with criminality.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a sociopath and betrayer of trust against MKO Abiola during NADECO era, is a desperate politician who is unmoved by the current crisis rocking the nation. The country can burn if it so desire, provided that his ambition to clinch power in 2023 is intact.

Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who claims to be a more profound nationalist than Chief Obafemi Awolowo, has not even achieved an atom of Awolowo’s achievement. His colloquium has been a jamboree that hasn’t achieved any result, however infinitesimal. Neither did he continue from what Awolowo left behind.

It’s the empty vessel that’s usually noisy, the one containing water isn’t. The legacy Chief Obafemi Awolowo left behind, such as the democratisation of education and several others, remain relevant several years later. The ideology of Tinubu is not only to ruin any organisation but also to hijack it as his own private entity – Lagos and Osun states are examples of why Tinubu must be avoided by all means – like a plague.

Awolowo was a known freedom fighter, who fought for justice and equal rights throughout his lifetime. He contributed in the fight for independence, liberated his own people and gave them western education.

On the contrary, Tinubu has not only impoverished Lagosians, he made sure thousands of them are out of school so he can use them as hoodlums during elections. For instance, how many “agberos” has he given free education or scholarship? Instead, he arms them with tools to mob opposition members, his critics and then imposes himself over the will of the people.

Awolowo was a promoter of peace and unity, his immense contributions towards the development of Nigeria was as a result of free education and free healthcare system for the children in the Western Region, as it was then known.

Tinubu was an opportunist who rode on Awolowo’s establishment in the South-West, the aforementioned achievements of Chief Obafemi Awolowo can never be compared to a treacherous eight-year rule of Tinubu as a Governor of Lagos State. These eight years were wasted years that amounted to a fruitless journey that bore no good seed.

Tinubu deceptively claimed that Major-General Muhammadu Buhari would make heaven as a second home in Nigeria, but Buhari brought hell instead. Indeed, someone whose character is questionable in the US should never be trusted with a sensitive position in Nigeria, let alone becoming President! May it never happen!

His motives and ways of manipulating people against each other is another matter entirely. He previously said: “I don’t believe in one Nigeria.” Such a man should not be considered a true democrat.

Those who don’t believe in one Nigeria like Tinubu will do all sort of things to cause chaos in the country just to gain access to power. They will mobilise thugs to deal with people who kick against their political ambition. Tinubu is well-known as the grand patron of thugs in the entire South-West.

He was indicted by the United States Government for drug and fraud related offences in 1993, to the extent that he forfeited 460,000 US Dollars to the United States government. So, apparently, the National Leader of APC, as they call him, has some  unanswered questions to answer over drug crimes and criminal activities he reportedly committed in the United states.

Lagos State under his watch as governor was bastardised and ruined to the most miserable state. He acquired lands and properties, converted them with the state treasuries as his personal businesses.

Remember when he justified the killing of Pa Fasoranti’s daughter who was killed by Fulani herdsmen? It is also obvious that Tinubu has no sympathy or respect for humanity. None at all!

Tinubu who used semen as soap in the United states, urine as a water in Nigeria, can never in anyway stand to become Nigeria’s president. Nigerians should never again support a mediocre, anti-democratic forces who pose as democrat in agbada, people with shady records or criminals who cannot be trusted with basic things!

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Britain Woos Skilled Migrants With New Visa System

3 March 2021 - 11:25am


Britain has launched a new visa system to make it easier for science, research and technology workers overseas to move to Britain.

The country's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, disclosed this while addressing lawmakers on Wednesday.

Sunak described the initiative as part of ongoing efforts to make Britain the best place in the world for high-growth, innovative companies and to make the four nations internationally competitive.

He said the visa measures would attract 'international talent' to the UK in areas such as science and tech to make the country a global hub for innovation.

He said: “I’m announcing ambitious visa reform aimed at highly skilled migrants. A new unsponsored points-based visa to attract the best and most promising international talent in science, research and tech, new, improved visa processes for scale-ups and entrepreneurs, and radically simplified bureaucracy for high-skilled visa applications."

According to him, the new arrangement includes an unsponsored points-based visa to attract the best and most promising international talent in science, research and tech.

He added that it also included new, improved visa processes for scale-ups and entrepreneurs, and radically simplified bureaucracy for high-skilled visa applications.

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How Ajimobi, My Govt Spent $200 million World Bank Loan — Makinde

3 March 2021 - 11:18am


Seyi Makinde

The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday explained how his predecessor, the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and his government spent a $200 million World Bank loan.

Makinde in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said that claims that the state was about to lose a World Bank loan to the tune of $200 million were unfounded and a misrepresentation.

Seyi Makinde

The spokesman for the governor described such reports as mischievous. 

In the statement, Makinde's media aide said the governor had explained the issue surrounding the loan in detail when he recently featured on a television programme, “The Governor Explains”. 

According to him, the governor explained that the total loan was $200 million and that before he came into office, the previous administration had already spent $50 million and also committed $100 million to projects. He said what was left $50 million, which the management of the project was trying to use to do some works.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, who supervises the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), which is managing the loan, had stated in a release on February 15 that the management of the project was following due process in awarding the last batch of contracts.
He also stated that the state government and the World Bank were not at loggerheads over the project, adding that due process was strictly being followed.
Ojo also stated that it was unfortunate that some media houses misrepresented facts and figures to drag the project into unnecessary controversy.
A coordinator of the project, Dayo Ayorinde, had equally said that the claims that the state would lose the said funds were unfounded, adding that the report was false in its entirety.

“It negates the reality of the situation in the bidding process as well as the process of engaging contractors for the second pool of works at the IUFMP.

"To the best of our knowledge, there was no query to the state government from the World Bank. The bidding process is on course; the two parties involved (the Oyo State Government and the World Bank) are positively engaging the Bid Evaluation Report (BER) through the PIU, and the process is within schedule," the coordinator had said in the statement made public in February.

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Delta Police Arrest Suspected Cult Members Impersonating Army Officers, In Possession Of Firearms

3 March 2021 - 11:08am


The suspected criminals were apprehended across the state for armed robbery, unlawful use of siren and plate number, illicit ownership of guns, impersonation of military officers and carjacking.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ari Mohammed Ali, who paraded the suspects in Asaba on Wednesday, said 20 of the suspected cult members were arrested by policemen who ransacked flashpoints in Agbor and Sapele towns.

He explained that the raid was executed by operatives of the Anti-Cult unit, after receiving alarming cases of attacks by suspected cult members in Sapele and Agbor.

The police chief in the state also lamented that the two towns, especially Sapele, had recently witnessed an increase in cases of cult-related deaths.

 He said two locally made guns, two Dane guns, one dagger and a laptop were recovered from the suspects. 

He added that the suspects who had already confessed to being members of 'Aro Bagger' and 'Ayes' confraternities, were being interrogated.  

Ali also paraded 11 other suspects who were arrested across the state for offences similar to the ones allegedly committed by the 20 suspects. 

While speaking on a suspected kidnapper who turned himself in at Obiaruku community, Ukwuani Local Government Area, Ali said a total of five suspects had been arrested in connection with the matter, saying the matter was still being investigated.

He, however, applauded the people of Obiaruku for ensuring that the suspects were arrested in their den in the bush following the confession of the suspect who earlier turned himself in, noting that the people of the community showed uncommon bravery.

“The kidnappers and criminal elements among the herdsmen carry out their kidnapping in collaboration with locals. “The five suspects are natives of Obiaruku. They collaborate with criminal elements among the herdsmen to kidnap people and collect ransom.

“And whatever proceeds they realise from every operation, they usually share it with their local collaborators who sell out their brothers and sisters and make them soft targets for kidnapping,” Ali said.

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Court Convicts Two Fraudsters in Abeokuta, Orders Forfeiture Of House, Luxury Cars, Others

3 March 2021 - 10:30am


Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abeokuta, on Wednesday, convicted  Komolafe Ololade Olajide and  Olaniyi Joshua Omobolaji for fraudulent impersonation. The offence runs contrary to Section 22(2) (b) (i) and is punishable under Section 22(2) (b) (iv) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015.

They were convicted on separate one count of fraudulent impersonation preferred against them by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Komolafe, 30, who claims to be a graduate of computer science from Osun State University was arrested on January 22, 2021. In the course of investigation, a number of incriminating documents were recovered from his email. 

Upon arraignment on an amended charge after a plea agreement, he pleaded ‘guilty’.

Justice Abubakar thereafter convicted and sentenced Komolafe to six months imprisonment with an option of N300, 000 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) fine. Apart from his conviction, Komolafe was also ordered to restitute a total sum of N1, 319,708.85 (One million, three hundred and nineteen thousand, seven hundred and eight naira, eighty-five kobo).
The court equally ordered the forfeiture of his iPhone 12, Samsung S5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phones; one MacBook, one Toyota Corolla 2008 model car, one Toyota Venza 2013 model car, one Toyota Camry 2013 model car; and a 4-bedroomed bungalow.   

Similarly, Justice Mohammed Abubakar convicted and sentenced Olaniyi to four months in prison with an option of N100, 000 (One hundred thousand naira) fine. He was equally ordered to forfeit a Samsung A51 mobile phone and a Lexus ES 330 car to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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