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EXCLUSIVE: How Nigerian Soldier Killed More Than 14 Boko Haram Insurgents Before He Was Gunned Down

10 January 2019 - 8:59am

Boko Haram insurgents may have been gaining ground recently in their onslaughts against the Nigerian Military, but the deaths of soldiers in battle are usually laden with untold stories of the heroics of Nigerian troops.

As Saharareporters has now found out from a firsthand witness, when Boko Haram raided the Army’s base in Monguno, Borno State, in the last week of 2018, the soldier who was killed, lost his life in the most heroic of circumstances — and not until he had killed at least 14 Boko Haram insurgents.

“We were on ground when Boko Haram surprised us with a strike,” a soldier who escaped the attack unhurt told SaharaReporters on Thursday. 

“The first thing we did was to run for cover. We ran until we arrived a location fenced with transparent barbed wire. The place was locked.” 

The soldier driving the vehicle disembarked and fired at the padlock, paving the way for others to charge through the gate and run until they got to a parapet — “a straight, deep hole that you can take cover in” — where the assailants were hiding in their dozens.

“The Boko Haram insurgents were hiding inside,” said the soldier.

“That was how the driver came down from his own vehicle, collected his rifle, jumped into the parapet and started shooting those guys inside [the insurgents].

“He killed more than 14 Boko Haram insurgents before he died — more than 14. He was killing them and advancing. But there was one insurgent that he shot and thought had died; it was that one who eventually managed to shoot him in the back as he was advancing, otherwise he would have killed many more. He killed many of them already, more than 14.”

Only one soldier — that driver — died in that attack, while another was injured. But in an attack the same week when insurgents overtook Baga, killing many soldiers, with some 700 more missing, the story was entirely different. See Also Exclusive EXCLUSIVE: ‘About 700 Soldiers Missing, More Than 2,000 Trapped’ As Boko Haram Takes Over Baga 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

“Nobody stood to fight. People ran away — because Boko Haram came with enough weapons. Those guys were holding good weapons. All those things that the Army says about weapons are fake; they are lying. They don’t have what Boko Haram has,” the soldier added.

“You cannot compare yourself holding a blunt knife and trying to fight someone with a sharp cutlass. Imagine, your knife is not long; and it’s not sharp. Now, your opponent has a long and sharp cutlass. The person will surely defeat you. 

“So, that is the problem we’re facing; we don’t have weapons. Look at Baga, Boko Haram collected it from the Army. The most painful thing is that the brigade there had a guard room where both soldiers and Boko Haram were locked. When Boko Haram chased everyone away, they opened the guard room. What do you think they would have done to the soldiers in that guardroom? Kill them, of course!”

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Bayelsa Assembly Speaker, Deputy, Accountants Accused Of Embezzling N1billion

10 January 2019 - 7:45am

There is rising tension in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly over a petition filed before the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) by the member representing Brass Constituency 1, Hon. Isreal Sunny-Goli, against the Speaker, Hon. Kombowei Benson (pictured middle, with Dickson), the Clerk of the House, Mr. Aaron Timiye (pictured left) and two other accountants over alleged diversion and embezzlement of over a billion naira in allowances, constituency tour and office maintenance allowances in the last four years.

Sunny-Goli stated in the petition that although he endured the show of disdain to his office as an Assembly member and his constituent in Brass Constituency 1 by the Speaker on the direct orders of the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, the alleged diversion of his allowances started from 2015 and has continued till date.

He condemned the grand conspiracy by the Speaker, Clerk, Head of Account Department, Mr. Koroye Stephen and Former HOD, Accounts, Mr. Thompson Tamaradubo, to intimidate him and deprive him of his legitimate financial benefits from the Assembly, and further perpetrate largescale financial fraud on the funds belonging to the Assembly.

According to the petition, signed by his legal counsel, Ochu Chukwuma, Esq.: It is also very pertinent to state that from 2015 till date the Speaker of the House of Assembly and his co-travellers in the disastrous financial misadventure have refused to pay our client his furniture allowance but have appropriated the same for themselves.

"Sometime in 2016, our client was deliberately left out of an approved trip for all members of the House of Assembly to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Assembly in Mauritius. While every member of the Assembly was paid, our client was refused payment and consequently the trip. The approved money was taking, withdrawn and spent by the persons mentioned.”

“Sir, it is of paramount importance to state that the approved sum of money for member’s constituency tour during the annual assembly recess, which money is usually paid to members’ salaries account, have never been paid to our client. This money was paid to other members from the Assembly Sterling bank account and that of our client has been embezzled jointly by the afore-mentioned persons. While in June, 2018 the approved N8,000,000.00 (Eight Million Naira) only usually paid as constituency Office Maintenance Allowance to members were transferred from the Assembly Sterling Bank Account to the Assembly Zenith Bank Account and paid to all the other members’ salaries account except that of our Client.”

“Most worrisome sir, within this month of August, 2018 our client was paid the sum of N10,000,000,00 (Ten Million Naira) only as Constituency Tour Allowance for the annual assembly recess. This money was consequently and surreptitiously reversed from our clients salary account on the request of the Accountant acting supposedly on the orders of the Speaker of the Assembly. These acts and many more have been going on in the Assembly from inception and our client have drawn the attention of the Speaker to the anomalies but the same and all efforts by our client have been rebuffed without remedy, the Speaker citing 'Order from above' as excuse.

“Let it be stressed that the Assembly is an arm of Government with its operations distinct and separate from the other arms of government hence, it will be ridiculous for the perpetrators of this financial fraud to cite 'Order from above' as an excuse. It has become very urgent to checkmate this untoward financial recklessness being perpetrated against our client on one hand and the funds of the Assembly on the other hand hence this petition against the principal actors. You are, therefore, invited to use your good offices to properly investigate this matter with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

Several attempts to get the reaction of the Speaker proved difficult as his Media Aide, Mr. Aotendeike Boloigha, pleaded on Tuesday for 48 hours to allow his principal respond to the allegation. 

“I have just spoken with my principal, the Speaker, can you kindly just hold on a bit till tomorrow so we can conclude on the petition?" Aotendeike Boloigha said. Seventy-two hours later, teh Speaker's reaction is still being awaited.

Other sources within the state assembly told our correspondent that the Speaker is seeking an audience with Governor Dickson in order to ensure his response to the petition is not misconstrued.

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To ‘Redefine Public Transportation’, Ambode Injects 820 Buses Into Lagos

10 January 2019 - 5:42am

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday said plans have been firmed up to roll out the Bus Reform Project of the state government in March with 820 high and medium capacity buses.

According to the Governor, the initiative would “redefine public transportation and make the state globally competitive".   

Speaking during an extensive inspection tour of ongoing projects across the state, which lasted from morning till late in the night, Ambode said the initiative was basically designed to inject 5,000 buses, modern terminals, facilitate ease of mobility for residents and also rev up the Lagos economy, among others.

While inspecting the assembling plant at Awoyaya in Ibeju Lekki area of the state, which is also serving as the temporary holding bay for 500 out of the 820 buses, he expressed optimism that the buses would be rolled out after the elections, while the next phase of the project would be to assemble the buses in Lagos.

"This is an assembling plant. The dream is that beyond the procurement of 820 buses by government, the next set of buses in the vision should be assembled in Lagos in this assembling plant and another one in Epe,” he said.

"That is the dream and the whole project is scalable and in this scale right now, we would run with the 820; you have seen the maintenance workshops and all that, and then the next scale, which is the next phase, is for Nigerians to be able to assemble the buses in Lagos and then we create employment opportunities and also allow the GDP of Lagos to grow. The buses are ready and we think with everything we have done, we should be able to roll out these buses maybe immediately after the elections.”

Ambode explained that although the 5,000 buses would not be enough for the state, the government was showing good example and creating the conducive atmosphere to allow the private sector come in and participate in the whole arrangement.

“What has happened is that government has gone ahead to procure these buses using its funds and the buses are being owned by a government company called Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL). So, the LBSL will lease these buses to operators who would use the three depots at Oshodi, Anthony and Yaba to ensure that the buses are sustained and maintained properly so that they don't get wasted before their lifespan expires,” he said.

"The idea is if we are able to show good example — and we have procured these buses with our own money — the private sector can join hands with us and start to procure those additional buses that will take it to 5,000, while government can also procure more and by so doing, we would have had assembling plant in Lagos and create job opportunities for our people.

"By the time you put these buses on the road, it will create jobs for drivers, engineers, technicians, and so on, thereby growing the economy of Lagos coming from the transport sector in addition to 100 bus stops being constructed simultaneously across the State with attendant positive impact on the economy. So, the idea is: create jobs, grow the economy, make the city globally competitive and then make life comfortable for the people."
The 820 buses, which have already been delivered, are equipped with cameras, USB point, internet, television, and special spaces for physically challenged, pregnant women and the aged, among others.

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End Of 22-Year Kabila Era In Congo As Opposition Candidate Wins Presidential Election

10 January 2019 - 5:17am

The electoral commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo has declared Felix Tshisekedi, the leader of the opposition party, winner of the country’s presidential election.

Announcing the result on Thursday, Corneille Nangaa, the President of the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), told a news conference that Tshisekedi won with 38.57 per cent of more than 18 million ballots cast.

The presidential election, held in December 2018, has been rife with crisis, which led to a shutdown of internet services to forestall breakdown of law and order.

According to Reuters, the runner-up dismissed the result as an "electoral coup".

The result will see to the transfer of power from a democratic government for the first time in Congo.

"Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo is declared the provisionally-elected president of Democratic Republic of Congo," Nangaa said while declaring the result at the CENI headquarters.

The announcement has elicited mixed reactions.

In his remarks to his supporters at his campaign headquarters, Tshisekedi referred to current President Joseph Kabila, as "an important political partner", and expressed his determination to see to true development for the people of Congo.

Kabila became president in 2001, 10 days after the assassination of his father, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who had himself been President since 1997. 

After succeeding his father, Kabila was elected President in 2006, and re-elected for a second term In 2011.

Also, if the result goes unchallenged, this would be Congo’s first democratic transition of power since gaining independence in 1960.

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REPORTER’S DIARY: How Foreigners Sold Wizkid’s ‘Made in Lagos’ Concert Ticket Of N4,000 For N1,000

10 January 2019 - 4:39am

As an entertainment journalist, the job gets really busy in December, with a litany of music festivals, award shows, comedy events to cover. As early as October 2018, entertainers begin to roll out dates, venues and time of their concerts scheduled for December. So, it was a well-expected move on December 7 when Nigerian singer Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, better known as Wizkid, took to his Instagram handle to announce the date and venue of his two concerts: The Wizkid Exclusive VIP Experience at Eko Convention Centre on December 19, and the Made In Lagos Festival which was to hold at Eko Atlantic on December 23. 

I reached out to Xchange, organisers of the two events, in order to get press pass to this event. Our request was granted, we attended the Singers First event, which was held at Eko Convention Centre. On Saturday December 22, I placed a call to the Xchange team in order to get press pass for the singers’ Made In Lagos concerts which was going to hold on Sunday 23rd. The person on the line told me there was an event, ‘Afrobeat Fest’, holding at Eko Atlantic and there were press passes for us if we would like to cover the event. 

It should be recalled that Yemi Alade had tweeted: "Stop increasing your ynash in your pictures! You know you are straight like ‘I’ embrace your real self! Ahh ahh. Deceiving fans up and dan.” Few hours later, Tiwa Savage took to her Instagram page to post a series of pictures displaying her backside, which she captioned: "Flash Black Friday #ToWhomItMayF&ckingConcern” for the first photo and "Because I’m petty I get plenty more but make I no break your screen guard. Let sleeping dogs lie. A word is enough for the wise," for the second photo. Fans did their one plus one and concluded that a very big celebrity fight was brewing. 

The zeal and desire to tell every story as a Journalist and probably the opportunity to get Yemi Alade’s reaction, as she was billed to perform at the event (Afrobeat Fest), made me want to cover the event. Later in the evening, I headed to Eko Atlantic, venue of the event. Upon arrival, I noticed how scanty the place looked and how lifeless it was for a music concert. If a census was taken, those present would hardly be 100. “Maybe it is the usual African time; people will come.” I said to myself as I tried to clear my doubt that an event was indeed going to take place that night. This was how I kept consoling myself till Ephraim, a friend of my colleague, joined me at the venue. His arrival brought more regrets rather than happiness, as he was even more convinced that no concert was going to hold that night.

In the midst of all this, as we walked away from the main arena, we bumped into a group of white foreigners who were very pissed off that an event reportedly slated for 7pm was yet to start by 11pm. Determined not to rant in vain, they walked to an usher to seek explanations. Wanting to see how this was going to end, I signalled Ephraim for him to wait while I observed the situation. 
After speaking with the ushers, who could not come up with concrete reason why an event billed to start by 7pm was yet to start by 11pm, the foreigners were directed by the ushers to speak with a superior official at the gate. Still visibly angry, they walked towards the gate in hope that they would get answers to all their questions. 

The following conversation ensued between the foreigners and some ticketing officials at the gate:

Foreigners: We arrived at 05 past 9; we’ve been waiting for three hours; three hours, nothing! You can cut our bands off (the pass that grants access into the venue, worn on the hand). We paid N5,000 to see Femi Kuti and then what we’ having is just… it’s not funny…..the lack of communication is so bad for social growth. 

Video of Reporters Diary: Scalpers Purchase Wizkid Concert Resale Tickets Below Face Value Reporters Diary: Scalpers Purchase Wizkid Concert Resale Tickets Below Face Value

Officials: We apologise. 

Foreigners: Who do we speak to? Who is the manager that we can speak to?

Officials: Point towards a man not so far.

While this was going on, they approached the manager, whom they were directed to speak with. When they told him their grievances, all he did was to try to calm the angry foreigners while saying the usual customer care catchphrase: “We’re sorry for the inconvenience.” 

Having expressed all their anger with the organisers, the foreigners decided to leave the concert, totally pissed. I followed them behind as they made their way out of the venue.

As they made their way to the parking lot to retrieve their vehicles, their ‘fans’, including me, kept following them. Then I eavesdropped on someone saying in Yoruba: “They have tickets to Wizkid concerts that they want to sell.”

“How much?” I asked someone beside me, who was also probably trying to purchase the tickets. I wasn’t sure. “1k” the person replied. If there is anything Nigerians chase more than they chase their dreams. definitely it’s freebies. It was then it dawned on me that these people were on the foreigners trail not for money but for tickets. At that moment, I began to observe to see if truly the tickets were going to be sold for N1,000. Like wildfire, the ticket sale story went viral. Soon, prospective buyers began to approach the foreigners. Someone tried to negotiate for N500, but the foreigners declined the offer. They knew quite well how not to be stupid on the streets of Lagos.

The foreigners stood by the road as they awaited a potential buyer. Not that they were not getting offers, these offers were not juicy. Ephraim, my friend’s colleague, walked up to one of the foreigners to strike a deal. 

"How much?' he asked. "

“1k" he replied. 



"Bring it let me see" 

"How many?"


One foreigner signalled to one of his companions to bring two tickets. Not wanting to get detected by security officials patrolling the area, knowing that sale of tickets by unauthorised persons is illegal and regarded as ‘black market’, he stylishly hid the ticket, covering it with both hands while waiting for Ephraim to seal the deal. When Ephraim saw the tickets, he reached down to his pockets for his legal tender. Money exchanged hands, tickets exchanged owners, the deal was signed, sealed and delivered. Ephraim was not the only who bought the tickets, I also bought one. The foreigners ensured they sold all their tickets before leaving. 

This illegal trade would not have taken place if the event organisers kicked off the event at the scheduled time or intimated concert goers on why the concert was yet to start. Had the foreigners enjoyed their money's worth, there would have been no need to sell their tickets. The Nigerian entertainment is a fast-growing industry but that growth must now extend to timeliness. No more African time, please!

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Why Yari Should Take His Empty Seat Home By Azu Ishiekwene

10 January 2019 - 3:15am

Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, offered Greek gift as Christmas present: his soon-to-be-vacant official stool is not worth the paper on which he made the promise to step down as governor if doing so would bring peace to the state. There’s no need to give up his seat or to step down.

Out of the goodness of his purple heart, however, the governor, whose state now appears to be run officially by bandits, mostly illegitimate political children of former Governor Sani Yerima’s fanatical experiment nearly 20 years ago. The monsters have now come of age.

Yari said he was willing to make any personal sacrifice, including giving up his post as governor, if that might retrieve the state from the control of these bandits.

His stool, the governor said, is not worth the life of a single resident, much less the tens of hundreds who have been killed, wounded or dispossessed since the current escalation of deadly banditry in the state.

I had to wait for a few days to pass to be sure it was Yari speaking. Even after that, I only paid attention to reports carrying not only his speech but his photograph as well, just to be sure it was not another Yari.

But there he was, wearing his bleeding heart on his sleeve and speaking from Zamfara, of all places, where he had been a stranger for the better part of the last four years of his tenure.

I don’t know if he missed his way to Gusau, but surely, Yari, the undisputed runaway crown prince and executive governor-in-absentia, does not expect us to take his crocodile tears seriously. 

If he was crying privately, we might even have offered him buckets to collect his tears and then admonished him quietly for mockery. But to make a public show of his concern about the state of affairs in Zamfara, after all he has done horribly wrong, particularly in the last four years, is an insult the grieving people of the state could do without.

So, it’s OK for President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency now, on the eve of Yari’s departure as governor? Around July last year, when it was very obvious that things were getting out of hand, LEADERSHIP newspaper wrote a frontpage editorial asking the President to declare a state of emergency in Zamfara.

The newspaper argued – and it was quite clearly the case – that bandits in Zamfara were killing for sport and that the governor, apart from accepting that he was only chief security officer in name, had also abandoned the state and camped in Abuja.

The newspaper said in that July editorial that, “The killings in the state are more than all the killings in all the other states of the country put together…Now that the Zamfara State government has failed in its duty – the state is effectively a failed state – we should stop pretending about it. If the governor who collects millions of naira as security vote and has a plethora of security men guarding him has fled the state, what is the point pretending that a normal intervention will end the banditry?”

In response to the editorial, the governor used part of his security vote, which if he couldn’t use to secure the State he could at least have used to provide succour, to abuse LEADERSHIP in acres of pages of sponsored advertisements. 

Five months later, the same governor sees the light and invites a long line of sympathisers to help wipe away his tears. 

Not so fast. It’s important to examine Yari’s real motive. I’m not ruling out the raging war by bandits as a reason, but Yari’s conduct shows that banditry is just a convenient mask for his loss of political influence within his party. He is offering his stool, not to save the state, but to spite his adversaries and purchase sympathy.

In coming to terms with the heavy defeat he suffered during the last governorship primary in the state at the hands of the Abuja forces led by Kabiru Marafa and Adams Oshiomhole, Yari is happy to cover his shame with whatever he can find, including a fig leaf of emergency rule.

All the pretence that he’s happy to step down now to save the state is nonsense. 

He can cry until the handkerchief factory closes down, his fake tears will not save him from answering questions about what exactly he did with the state’s security vote, at least in the last four years, when security mattered most. 

We have seen voodoo expense sheets in newspaper adverts claiming that Yari put up a braver fight against the bandits than Napoleon did at Waterloo, but to what effect? To what purpose?

The governor collects tens of millions of naira from Abuja monthly as security vote only for him to disappear and camp out outside Gusau until the next cash load is ready. Since when did his love for the people of Zamfara become more important than his personal safety and security? Since when did his commitment to serve become more important than his personal comfort?

Wasn’t this the same governor who instead of providing vaccines when meningitis broke out in Zamfara two years ago said the outbreak was punishment for widespread fornication? 

Apparently, the only punishment worse than meningitis was Yari’s election as governor. The offer of a virtually empty seat in Government House is not worth his redemption. Zamfara is not the only state under siege. Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, has also cried out; while in the North East, Borno and Yobe have been in the eye of the storm for years now. 

In spite of the deadly attacks, which have increased dramatically in recent times, however, it is to Governor Kashim Ibrahim Shettima’s credit that he has stood firm with residents in Borno in the face of grave danger, offering succour and hope wherever he can under very difficult circumstances. That is what leadership demands.

Yari may complain that the present scale of violence in Zamfara is beyond what a state government can contain, however zealous it may be. He would be right, up to a point. I think that whatever cleaning up Buhari may have done in the military top hierarchy when he took over, the majority of the fighting forces are still being poorly served by deep-rooted corruption in the system.

Add that to the weak, deeply fragmented, failing neighbouring countries on our northern borders and you have a compounded problem.

But poor leadership in Zamfara, particularly in the last four years, has also made the state an attractive destination for bandits with a bloodline to the Yerima era. Yari’s will be remembered for his frequent and prolonged absences from the state and his faux pas over meningitis. He will also be remembered as one of the governors charged by EFCC for pocketing $3m of the Paris Club refund, which should have been used to pay salaries.

Each breach of faith by the governor – and they are in multiples – has only made the people of Zamfara more vulnerable, more insecure. The bandits have been a terrible plague; but Yari has been no less a predator.

Perhaps one thing he did well was holding the chair of the Governors’ Forum – a side hustle which neither requires presence of mind nor sustained effort. He can keep his seat as governor till the end; Zamfara will manage to survive him.


Ishiekwene is the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview and member of the board of the Global Editors Network

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JUST IN: Passengers Escape Through The Window As Train Derails In Lagos

10 January 2019 - 2:28am

A moving train has derailed in Agege, Lagos.

According to witnesses, the train left its course and ran into passers-by and traders.

The derailment was said to have been caused by the last two coaches, which witnesses said fell off the back of the train.

The incident has led to a traffic jam in Agege/Ikeja/old Abeokuta road axis.

Passengers trapped in the train had to escape through the window.

The figure of casualties was yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.

Lagosians have pleaded with the Nigerian government to invest more in the rail transportation system in Nigeria, calling for an improvement in the railway that has been in existence since the early 60s.

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The ₦282.6 Billion IGR Lagos State Transport Sector Ceded Out Illegally​

10 January 2019 - 1:58am

The only reason why Thugs would have the effrontery  to start trouble in front of a sitting Governor is:

The ₦282.6 billion IGR Lagos State Transport Sector ceded out illegally.

The Average illegal tax on Bike in Lagos is ₦600/day sampling 6 locations.

The Average illegal tax on Keke Marwa in Lagos is #1000/day sampling 6 locations.

Average Illegal tax on yellow bus and molue is ₦3000 /day sampling 6 locations in Lagos.

There is a minimum of 120,000  bike in Lagos taxed illegally.  

There is a minimum of 120,000 marwa keke (tricycle) in Lagos taxed illegally.

There is a minimum of 145,000 registered Danfo buses and molues when we join the unregistered we will be talking of over 250,000 taxed illegally.

This Agberos are very efficient in this illegal tax collection that they rarely miss.

Okada  ₦600*120,000 =  ₦ 72,000,000 /day

Keke Marwa ₦1000* 120,000= ₦120,000,000 /day

Danfo+Molue ₦3000*250,000=  ₦ 750,000,000/day  

Illegal tax at stake per day in Lagos is ₦ 942 million /day  

The Agberos in Lagos stand to cash out (₦72m + ₦120m + ₦ 750,000) * 300 days annually =₦ 282.6 billion annually. Excluding public holidays and Sundays, some collect tax on Sundays. 

Please note the number of bikes, tricycle and buses in Lagos surpasses the numbers I used in my analysis.  

This is 91 % of the IGR of Lagos in 2017 and some guys just screw the danfo drivers. That is why the drivers and conductors are mad in Lagos.

This is over 27% of the 2018 Lagos State budget.

This cash is more than the capital spending on education in Lagos since 1999.

This cash is more than the IGR of all the 35 states individually.

If Lagos State takes just 50% of this cash and leave 50% to the Agberos we will fix our roads in 15 years max.

Over to the incoming Governor of Lagos.

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I Begged My Son For 30 Days To Denounce Boko Haram But He Refused, Says Father of Captured Sect Leader​

10 January 2019 - 1:33am

Malam Baba Modu

Malam Baba Modu Vanguard Newspaper

Mallam Baba Modu, an 80-year-old father of a Boko Haram commander, knowns as ‘Ba-Ana,’ has narrated his failed attempt to convince his son to denounce Boko Haram.

He narrated to NAN on Wednesday, his ordeals travelling to the Lake Chad camp of the Al Barnawi faction of the sect to plead with his son to dump the insurgents but his Ba-Ana refused his counsel.

He said he was unable to persuade his son to abandon the cause and surrender himself to the Federal Government’s Operation Safe Corridor.

He said his son was conscripted by the insurgents in 2012 at a farm in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.

“I lost hope of meeting my son after his abduction in the past seven years. One day, I met someone who told me that my son was alive and mentioned where I could find him.

“I was also told he is one of the commanders of the Al Barnawi faction of the Boko Haram sect.

“I travelled to the shores of the Lake Chad to plead with Ba-Ana to surrender and embrace peace. It took me about one week to get to where I met him.

“When I arrived at the camp, I told them that I am the father of Ba-Ana and after a series of interrogations, they asked me to wait for him to return from a mission.

“Ba-Ana returned at night. He was surprised to see me, and when he heard my voice, he told his men that I am his father.

“I pleaded with him for about 30 days in a bid to convince him to lay down his arms and embrace peace. Regrettably, he did not heed my counsel.

“Ba-Ana confessed that he killed many people and believed that the authorities would not forgive his crimes. He also believed that he had committed his life to the cause of God.

“I have not lost hope; I will continue to pray to God to heal his soul and bring him back to me."

Meanwhile, the military said on Wednesday that it was clearing the remnants of Boko Haram on the major road leading to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

A statement signed by the spokesman for the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, noted that there was no truth in media reports that the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road had been closed to motorists.

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UN: Recent Upsurge In Boko Haram Attacks Caused 30,000 IDPs To Flee To Maiduguri​

10 January 2019 - 1:10am

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) says an additional 30,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have fled volatile areas around the Lake Chad in Borno State to Maiduguri, the capital, following recent upsurge of Boko Haram attacks in the area.

A statement by Edward Kallon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, issued on Wednesday noted that the increasing attacks by Boko Haram insurgents have forced scores of people to flee again to the capital.

The statement read: "Clashes on 26 December 2018 between Nigerian government forces and non-state armed groups in Baga town, on the shores of Lake Chad about 200 kilometers north of state capital Maiduguri, triggered the massive displacement, with most women, men and children converging on already congested camps or sites for internally displaced people in Maiduguri or Monguno town."

“The impact of the recent fighting on innocent civilians is devastating and has created a humanitarian tragedy,” Kallon was quoted to have said after a visit to Monguno and the Teachers' Village camp for IDPs in Maiduguri.

“It is heart-wrenching to see so many of these people living in congested camps, or sleeping outside with no shelter. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and the United Nations is extremely concerned about the impact that violence in north-east Nigeria, especially in Borno State, is having on civilians."

UN said the over 30,000 new IDPs were mainly from the Nigerian border town of Baga, which is in the throes of the aftermath of the December 20 attack on the town by Boko Haram.

About 20,000 new IDPs have arrived the Teachers Village camp in the past two weeks, the UN disclosed.

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Court Fixes Date For Hearing Of Case Seeking Buhari's Disqualification From Presidential Election​

10 January 2019 - 1:08am

The Federal High Court has fixed January 21, 2019, to hear a suit seeking the disqualification of President Muhammadu Buhari from contesting the forthcoming 2019 general election.

Kalu Agu, an Abuja-based legal practitioner and two others, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris, in the suit which came up before Justice Ahmed Mohammed, on Wednesday, claimed that President Buhari lied in his form CF 001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with regards to his educational qualifications and certificates.

Joined in the suit is also the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC as second and third defendants.

Uchendu Ndubisi, counsel to the plaintiffs, informed the court that the defendants had been served, but asked for extention of time to allow him respond to the objections filed by the defendants. 

The plaintiffs are seeking the determination of the following questions: “Whether having regards to the information in the affidavit contained in Buhari’s INEC form CF 001, regarding his educational qualification/certificate, he has submitted false information to INEC.

“Whether from the facts and exhibits contained in the affidavit in support of the originating summons and having regards to Section 31(5)(6) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, Buhari is disqualified from running for the office of president in the 2019 general election.

“Whether Buhari, having submitted false information to INEC, the APC can validly present him as its candidate for the office of president in the 2019 general elections.”

Upon the determination of the aforementioned questions, the plaintiffs seek a court declaration that the president submitted false information regarding his educational qualification to INEC to contest elections into the office of President of Nigeria in the 2019 general election; a declaration that the president, having submitted false information regarding his educational qualification/certificate, is disqualified from contesting elections into the office of president in the 2019 elections.

They also pray the court for an order directing INEC to reject or remove Buhari’s name as the presidential candidate of the APC submitted to INEC for the 2019 general election.

Meanwhile, Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter until January 21 for hearing of the main suit and the preliminary objection.

Mohammed also ordered that hearing notices be served on APC and INEC.

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Fake News Can Cost You Marital Peace, Says Osinbajo

10 January 2019 - 1:05am

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has spoken against the negative effects of fake news.

The vice-president, while speaking at a symposium in Abuja on Wednesday, said fake news can also strain marriages.

His words: “I have been one of the targets of fake news. It can also sometimes cost you marital peace. I got a call from my wife about three or four weeks ago and she said 'Yemi what are you doing with strippers?' and I said 'what do you mean by strippers?' So, I read a story in a famous blog that said: ‘Osinbajo caught with strippers'.

“And there was a photograph of me sitting between two perfectly clothed ladies but underneath this picture, the same ladies were not wearing much.

“In fact-checking, (I noticed that) the photographs with these two ladies at an entertainment event were taken when they were perfectly clothed but by the time the story was put out, it was as though I had taken a photo with them at the time they were not clothed at all.

“As it turns out, I wasn’t in the picture of where they were not wearing clothes but just the caption, the stories and all that gave the impression that here I was in the company of these ladies at a point when they were doing their business. I think the capacity of fake news to cause great harm is not in doubt at all.”

Osinbajo, however, rejected further legislation that would limit press freedom since it included the right to create a blog or post social media messages.

He added: “It will be impossible to regulate social media without in some sense substantially infringing on fundamental rights, especially freedom of expression. There is no way you will leave that power in the hands of the government or the legislature without finding some form of overbearing activity on the part of the government or the legislature.”

Festus Okoye, a national commissioner and Chairman of Publicity and Voter Education Committee of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who was at the symposium, said the commission decided to organise weekly press briefings in anticipation of the election because of fake news.

Okoye said the major targets of fake news are the country’s youth.

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Dasuki Seeks Court Order To Invite Falana, Others To Speak On His Detention

10 January 2019 - 12:59am

Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), former National Security Adviser, has filed an application seeking court order to have senior lawyers like Femi Falana, a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, to speak on his continuous detention despite multiple bail orders.

In the application moved by counsel to the defendant, Adeola Adedipe, on Wednesday, Dasuki asked Justice Ahmed Mohammed, the presiding judge to call for the intervention of notable ‘Amici Curiae’ to dissect the implication of holding him in detention in disregard of the Constitution.

Amici Curiae is a Latin phrase that means ‘friends of the court’. These are respectable members of the legal profession who can give informed suggestions to the court in a matter, provided they are not a part of the matter and have no vested interest.

Dasuki is standing trial for alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering. 

In 2015, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Dasuki on a 19-count charge bordering on money laundering, fraud and breach of public trust.

He was accused of siphoning  N32billion from accounts the office of the NSA operated with both the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions.

The court, however, granted him bail but he has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since 2015, despite court orders for his release.

On July 2, 2018, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted him bail and declared his continued detention by the DSS as illegal.

Having failed to secure his release, his counsel, at the resumption of hearing on the matter, asked the court to step down hearing until the intervention of the ‘friends of the court’.

Those listed as Amici Curiae are all Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN). They include two former Presidents of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun and Mr. Olisa Agbakoba; human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana; Professor Koyinsola Ajayi; Mr. Onyeachi Ikpeazu and the incumbent NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro.

In addition, the counsel said issues submitted for consideration in Dasuki’s motion on notice of December 11, 2018, raised very serious and unusual situations. According to him, the issues raised have far-reaching legal implications on the viability of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Nigerian criminal jurisprudence, rule of law, and sanctity/authority of the bench and the practice of law.

In an affidavit deposed to by one Dolapo Kehinde, the deponent submitted that the court had inherent powers to invite or request contributions from the enumerated Amicus Curiae

He said this would enable them give their views with respect to the issues raised for consideration in the said application.

According to Kehinde, it is in the overall interest of justice, sanctity of the bench, preservation of the Constitution and sustenance of the rule of law, for the court to grant the application.

He said the motion on notice touched on very sensitive constitutional issues on usual circumstances which would impact on both the authority of the bench and law practice in Nigeria.

The deponent averred that the continued detention of the applicant was indicative of the fact that the complainant had no regards for the rule of law, hence the need for the intervention of eminent lawyers in the matter.

The trial judge adjourned the matter till January 29.

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I Will Expose How Kwankwanso Used State Funds For 2015 Presidential Campaign, Says Ganduje​

10 January 2019 - 12:56am

Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, has accused Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, the state’s former governor, of funding his presidential campaign with funds budgeted for road construction in the state.

Ganduje made the revelation on Wednesday at the inauguration of campaign committees for his re-election bid.

He also vowed to investigate Kwankwaso over a multi-billion Naira road project.

He revealed that the issue had been taken to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation.  

According to Ganduje, so far, investigation by EFCC revealed how Kwankwaso used money budgeted for the construction of five-kilometre roads in the 44 local governments of Kano state for  his presidential campaign in 2015.

His words: “I was the deputy governor when the project was conceived. Ninety per cent of the total sum of the contract was provided by the 44 local governments while the remaining 10 per cent was provided by the state government.

“However, Kwankwaso collected the 90 per cent from the 44 local government, paid the mobilisation fee and funded his presidential campaign with the remaining balance. The Kwankwasiyya people have started campaigning with the 5km road project, but I will expose them."

He also alleged that EFCC discovered that the funds were converted to dollars.  

However, Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam, a commissioner under Kwankwaso's government, said the allegation raised by Ganduje was a ploy by the governor to  "to divert people’s attention".

It was confirmed by Abdulsalam, who is the running mate  to the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf, that the contract took effect during Kwankwaso’s tenure but originated from Ganduje’s office when he was the deputy governor and commissioner for local government.

“Let him tell the public how the contract was awarded, what happened to it and who the contractors are. The 5km road project was not the case investigated by the EFCC and it is not Ganduje that took the case to EFCC. The EFCC has finished that case,” he said.

Ganduje, himself, has in recent times been riddled with corruption allegations.

He was recently revealed in a leaked video allegedly collecting kickbacks from contractors.

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Peddlers Of Fake News Are Cowards, Says Soyinka

10 January 2019 - 12:52am

Wole Soyinka, Nigeria’s only Nobel Laureate, says those who spread fake news are cowards and may need psychiatric evaluation.

He also directed what appeared to be criticism at Obasanjo's support for Atiku's candidature.

The literary icon spoke during a symposium in Abuja, on Wednesday, but did not directly mention neither Obasanjo nor Atiku, in his speech.

He questioned the former president's change of heart, which seemed to refer to Obasanjo's initial stance on his former vice-president.

His words: “We have got to develop very healthy scepticism. If someone in a position of power for eight years, has lectured a nation for eight years and after that continued year after year to continue to direct the minds of a whole nation in one direction only saying ‘this is Lucifer from hell’, for eight years in office and several more years out of office saying this is Lucifer and then one day he changed his left hand and says behold your redeemer, which of the two is fake news?”

Obasanjo had heavily criticized Atiku, who was his vice, during his eight years of presidency. 

In his book titled ‘My Watch’, Obasanjo described Atiku as a “shameless liar”. 

At a time, Obasanjo said God would never forgive him if he supports Atiku. However, he took a different turn in 2018 when he endorsed the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar.

Speaking further at the symposium, which was themed ‘Nigeria 2019: Countering Fake News', Soyinka advised that psychiatrists be involved in the advocacy against fake news. He reasoned that peddlers of fake news have mental problems.

He went on to share his experience on how fake news has affected him, saying he had heard of news of his own death numerous times and laughable statements which never originated from him had been circulated as his. 

He continued: "During the last presidency, there was a statement attributed to me that I said that it serves President Jonathan right for marrying an illiterate woman. I never made any comment whatsoever about her and suddenly here it is staring me in the face.

“An account (on Facebook) has even been created in my name and from time to time a card is sent to me and it reads, ‘Wole Soyinka says anyone who votes for this person must be stupid, must be mentally retarded, his mother must be a goat and his father must be a gorilla.’

“And this comes on all the time and I don’t want to understate the numerous motivations going into this. Although basically, I think the commonality is that those who create fake news are sick in the head and they are also cowards because they lack the conviction for their own beliefs and so they try to attribute to other people what they are thinking.”

“I have insisted that it is something that must be treated criminally but I don’t want this to become an opportunity for our very bloodthirsty legislators to push the kind of law which they tried to enact the other time which they were decreeing capital punishment for any hate speech.

“I don’t know how far it has gone, whether they have dropped it or if it is on the president's table but nothing I say today should be taken as an endorsement of that lunacy.

“If people are bloodthirsty they should go and join Boko Haram instead of using the legislative chambers to initiate another opportunity for slaughtering people for speaking their minds like Khashoggi. Let us be very careful about that.”

He advised that social media platforms like Facebook should put in more efforts in curtailing fake news. He also called on the need for INTERPOL and other global law enforcement agencies to join hand in the war against fake news.

Soyinka also took out time to comment on the leaked audio of Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation.  

“Just two or three days ago, I read an item where a minister was supposed to have insulted the president and it was carried in some media and I checked the statement and of course there was a video and so on and I looked through it, I read the text again and again and I said I have to relearn English language because I didn’t see where the insults were.

“So sometimes, print media feels compelled to compete with the electronic  media and this is a great mistake because there is a reputation, there is an expectation and you should not be embarrassed to show yourself superior to a medium which is accessible to the lowest, the very dregs of society.”

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Islamic Cleric Who Defiled Five-Year-Old To Remain In Prison

9 January 2019 - 12:45pm

An Ikeja Magistrate Court has ordered the remandment of Abdulsalam Salaudeen, a 43-year-old Islamic cleric who allegedly defiled a five-year-old female pupil placed under his care.

Salaudeen was arraigned on Wednesday after a defilement suit was filed against him by the Nigeria Police Force (NFP). The defendant denied committing the offence.

Mrs. Olufunke Sule-Amzat, the Chief Magistrate, said the defendant should be held at the Kirikiri Prison, pending advice from the state Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

She adjourned the case till Feburary 7 for hearing.

The defendant, who lives at 16, Awoyemi Street, Igando Road, Ikotun, a Lagos suburb, was docked for defilement. Inspector Benson Emuerhi, the Police prosecutor, told the court that the offence was committed on December 22 at Olorungbebe Mosque located at Iyana Ile-Oba, in Igando area of Lagos.

Emuerhi said the suspect is a popular Islamic cleric within his locality. He further informed the court that the incident was reported by a neighbour at the Ikeja Police Command.

The accused was arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command. In a video presented to the Lagos Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, the cleric was caught defiling the girl who was supposed to be learning Islamic studies. 

CSP Chike Oti, the Police Public Relations Officer, said a neighbour of the accused had tendered the evidence to the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command.

The offence, Emuerhi argued, contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. The section prescribes life sentence for offenders.

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Christ Apostolic Church Pastor Arrested For 'Impregnating' 16-Year-Old Church Member

9 January 2019 - 12:43pm

Josiah Akinsuyi and Sunday Babatunde, accused of sexually defiling a 16-year-old.

Josiah Akinsuyi, a pastor with the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in Ondo State, has been arrested over allegations of impregnating a 16-year-old girl in the state.

The 46-year-old pastor was also said to have been involved in an affair with the victim's elder sister before he was exposed.

Officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State, paraded the pastor before journalists in Akure on Wednesday.

Pedro Awili, the NSCDC Commandant in Ondo State, said the incident was reported by the father of the victim. He said the victim confessed to her father that she was already four months pregnant after a pregnancy test was conducted.

He revealed that the girl and her family stayed in the same neighbourhood where the pastor's church is located at Abusoro in Ijoka area of Akure, adding that the suspect took over from one Sunday Babatunde, who was also involved in sexually defiling the girl.

"Our investigation revealed that the pastor had had carnal knowledge of the girl three times and we have carried out pregnancy test which proved that the girl is four months pregnant. Investigation also revealed that the elder sister of the girl has something doing with the pastor, because the first time he wanted to have carnal knowledge of her, she was not cooperating and she informed her sister about it, and the sister asked her to cooperate with the pastor," he said.

"She told us that there was a time this same pastor slept with her in the classroom of one private school owned by his wife. The pastor denied having any intercourse with the girl. I am not expecting him to accept the allegation. The girl confessed to us that the pastor had earlier promised to give her N50,000, but he failed on his promise.

"We think it was because the pastor failed to redeem his promise and was not attending to her again that made the girl confess to her father."

Awili stressed that the pastor would soon be charged to court for prosecution.

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‘APC Thugs’ Attack Atiku Campaign Office In Ondo, Destroy Posters And Billboards

9 January 2019 - 12:40pm

The campaign office of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akure, the Ondo State capital, was on Wednesday attacked by some hoodlums.

The hoodlums were suspected to be the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who were allegedly working under certain instructions. 

A Sahara Reporters correspondent learnt that the rampaging hoodlums scaled the fence of the office located along Ijapo Estate Road in Akure and destroyed the billboards and posters bearing Atiku.

Olumide Ogunkua, Personal Assistant to the Ondo State Coordinator of the Atiku Presidential Campaign, confirmed the attack to journalists in Akure, the state capital. 

Ogunkua noted that the hoodlums, after entering into the compound of the campaign office, began to chant the APC slogan of ‘Next Level’ and tore the posters of the Atiku/Obi for 2019 President, including other PDP posters of candidates in the state. 

He disclosed that the security guard in the compound was molested and beaten before he was tied up by the suspected hoodlums.

“We got a call today from one of our sympathizers that all the billboards, banners and posters in front of our Campaign (Atiku) office have been vandalized and destroyed,” he said.

“We quickly rushed down there and by the time we got in, we all noticed that they had destroyed the poster and removed Alhaji Atiku Abubakar new billboards that we just erected. 

"In fact, they tied our security guard for challenging their action and also took his two phones away with all other personal belongings. 

"The security guard told us that the hoodlums scaled through the fence and held him hostage before finally perpetrating their dastardly act by destroying the newly-erected boards.

"It indicates the desperation of the ruling party because our guard told us that the hoodlums were shouting the slogan of 'Next Level' when they were destroying the bill boards and banners.”

Ogunkua later condemned the action of the hoodlums, saying the attack and vandalism have already been reported to security agencies in the state for investigation. 

He added that the Atiku presidential campaign team in the state would write both the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Director of the Department of State Service (DSS) to formally report the evil act. 

"It is sad and if a stop is not put to, it might be a threat to the peaceful conduct of the general election next month.

Reacting, the APC Publicity Secretary in the state, Comrade Alex Kalejaiye, condemned the attack but denied allegations that the hoodlums were his party members. 

“We are so confident of our victory come February 2019, so we won't have any reason whatsoever to attack any party or their facilities,” he said.

“The state government under the APC controls the signage agency that moderates the activities of setting up billboards, which collects revenue. 

"So, why do you think we would now sponsor anyone or group to destroy what brings in revenue in the state government's purse.  We would never encourage such. If anybody is pointing accusing finger at the APC, the person is doing it out of either frustration or ignorance.”

When contacted, Femi Joseph, the Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer, said the command had not yet been briefed about the attack. 

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El-Zakzaky's Supporters Run To The US Embassy For Help

9 January 2019 - 11:18am

Shiites with official of the US Embassy during the protest.

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have called on the United States of America to prevail on the Nigerian government to release their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, to enable him  attend to his failing health.

The group made the appeal on Wednesday in Abuja during a peaceful protest at the US Embassy. The protesters carried placards and defied the presence of armed policemen who were stationed around the perimeter of the facility.

Addressing the protesters, Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, the Secretary of the Academic Forum of the movement, said the group wants the US to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to release Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, from "illegal detention to allow him seek medical attention".

Speaking on why they wanted their leader released, he said: "Failure to release Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife will further increase the momentum for Free Zakzaky protests in Abuja, most particularly your embassy. We have been holding Free Zakzaky protests daily for the past one year. The protest will continue and your commission will continue to be a place for our protest, until Sheikh Zakzaky is released. We are at your commission today, and we will continue to come for our demand.

"As champions of the so-called democracy, you assert to protect the right of people, but hundreds of students, women and children were massacred in Zaria in December 2015. Hence, you continue to support the tyrannical administration of Buhari. The UK High Commission may wish to note that people are not ignorant of the open free hand given to Buhari to execute the massacre of hundreds of students, women and children and to detain Sheikh Zakzaky.

"This is a clear evidence of the open support from the UK, US and Israel to the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. In fact, the world is now aware that the Zaria massacre is a pre-planned pogrom, well-scripted, planned to eliminate Sheikh Zakzaky and his Islamic movement for imperialism to gain full control over our resources and for occupation purposes."

Musa said the embassy would be made a meeting point for the daily protests of the group if it fails to prevail on the Nigerian government and berated the officials of the embassy for "maintaining a defeaning silence, despite the genocide and mass murder being committed by the Buhari-led government".

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Politicians 'Share' 1,000 Job Slots Meant For Unemployed Youth In Bayelsa

9 January 2019 - 10:00am

Graduates from Bayelsa State have cried out over the alleged hijack of the state government's recruitment exercise of 1,000 unemployed youth into the civil service.

The graduates claim that politicians have truncated the process and shared the slots among themselves.

Under the leadership of the Bayelsa State Graduates Forum (BSGF), the graduates expressed dissatisfaction with the ongoing 1,000 civil service recruitment exercise embarked upon by the state government.

A statement made available to newsmen in Bayelsa, through the Secretary of the Forum, Domor Mienye, referred to the exercise as a "sham".

Noting that there was evidence of faulty handling of the recruitment process, Mienye said: "The process which started in June 2018 should have been completed by now, but the fate of applicants is hanging by a thread.

"We are disappointed by the way and manner the exams were conducted. In this age and time where recruitment processes are completely automated, the Bayelsa State Civil Service Commission is subjecting our people to a rigorous, yet ineffective, semi-automated process, where scores for computer-based tests were not published because of their ulterior motive.

"Information reaching the forum has it that the 1,000 slots have already been shared amongst top politicians, and some cronies of the Governor from a particular LGA have highjacked a major percentage of the slots, which is making it difficult for qualified graduates that participated in the exercise to be employed.

"We are using this medium to notify the public what the Dr Peter Singabele-led commission is doing, which poses grave danger if not averted immediately, and we are appealing to the Restoration Governor to call the commission to order as his reputation and integrity will be harmed by this unholy act if not stopped. In a nutshell, what we are saying is we expect a recruitment process that is free, fair, and credible. No local government area is superior to the others. Hence, we expect the slots to be spread across the various LGAs using the metrics."

The graduates also urged the commission to do the needful and publish the names within two weeks, "after which the forum will have no choice but to mobilise its members to make a peaceful protest".

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