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Troops Arrest Suspected Terrorists’ Collaborators at Access Bank

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Two suspected collaborators of terrorists have been arrested at a branch of Access Bank in Kaduna State by personnel of the Nigerian military.

The spokesman of the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, Major-General Musa Danmadami, confirmed this in a chat with reporters on Thursday.

According to him, the arrest was made on September 15, 2022, at the PZ branch of Access Bank in Zaria while attempting to withdraw N14 million deposited into the “account of one Alhaji Abubakar, a suspected terrorist financier.”

He informed newsmen that the arrest was made possible as troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI continued to intensify offensive actions against terrorists and other criminal elements in their operational environment.

While revealing other successes made by the military in the various operational theatres of the six geo-political zones of the country in the past two weeks, Mr Danmadami said troops also neutralised 16 suspected terrorists and arrested 10 notorious terrorists at different locations in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, while 21 civilians were rescued.

He disclosed that troops of Operation HADIN KAI conducted fighting patrols, ambushes and clearance operations at communities, villages and towns in Kukawa, Monguno, Kaga, Dikwa, Biu, Damboa, Gwoza, Mafa, Konguda, Bama and Guzamala Local Government Areas all in Borno State.

According to him, of significance was the neutralisation of two key Boko Haram terrorists/Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) commanders; Abu Asiya and Abu Ubaida (A Qaid), at Parisu and Sheruri general area in Sambisa forest, respectively.

Mr Danmadami also disclosed that the air component of Operation HADIN KAI on September 9 conducted an air interdiction operation at Somalia in Sambisa Forest and bombarded a terrorist critical facility.

He further stated that Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE troops sustained offensive actions against oil thieves and economic saboteurs in communities in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States. The military officer said the team conducted patrol, raids, clearance and swamp buggy operations in the creeks and villages, discovering and destroying several illegal refining sites, 17 wooden boats, 103 storage tanks, 94 ovens and 58 dugout pits.

In the South East, he said officials from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force worked together to sustain an offensive and raid operation against the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network.

Mr Danmadami stated that in Lagos, troops joined forces with operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to arrest four suspected drug barons at Solebo Estate, Ipakodo in Ikorodu Local Government Area. About 1,855kg of substance suspected to be cocaine worth about $278.3 million was recovered from the suspects.

The spokesman said the Armed Forces will continue to collaborate with other security agencies to “conduct our operations,” appealing to members of the public to “continue to provide prompt and creditable information on the activities of enemies of our beloved nation, in their respective locality.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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SERAP Drags FG to Court over $23m Abacha Loot

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By Adedapo Adesanya

A suit has been filed against the federal government by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over the recently recovered $23 million looted by ex-Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

In a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the group is asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari and Mr Abubakar Malami to release and widely publish a copy of the agreement on the Abacha loot with the US.”

In a statement on Sunday by SERAP Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is joined in the suit as respondent.

The United States government had in August signed an agreement with the federal government to repatriate the $23 million Abacha loot to Nigeria. It was in addition to the $311.7 million Abacha loot repatriated from the US to Nigeria in 2020.

“The Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations impose transparency obligations on the Federal Government to widely publish the agreement on the $23 million Abacha loot,” SERAP argued in the suit.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement with the U.S. would allow Nigerians to scrutinise it, and to monitor the spending of the repatriated loot to ensure that the money is not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.

“The repatriated $23 million Abacha loot is vulnerable to corruption and mismanagement. A substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 may have been mismanaged, diverted, or re-stolen, and in any case remain unaccounted for.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement would ensure that persons with public responsibilities are answerable to the people for the performance of their duties, including the management of repatriated loot,” SERAP said.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Atinuke Adejuyigbe, said the Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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Lagos to Severely Punish Those Behind Mushin Collapsed Building

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The owner of the building that collapsed in the Mushin area of Lagos State and others would be “severely punished,” the state government has promised.

On Friday, it was reported that a 3-storey building on 2/4 Oye Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos collapsed, killing four people and injuring others.

In a statement issued yesterday, the new Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the state government would go after whoever is indicted in the incident, hinting that an investigation has commenced to unravel what happened.

During a visit to the scene of the unfortunate incident, the Commissioner directed that the adjoining building be pulled down for safety reasons, adding that efforts are on to rescue those who might have been trapped in the rubble.

He disclosed that the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory have been directed to unravel the cause of the collapse.

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NNPC Opens Talk with Financers on Gas Projects

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has established talks with the United States Finance Corporation and the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) to seek financing for its multi-billion-dollar gas projects.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this at the Nigerian International Economic Partnership held in New York as part of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Mr Kyari said: “Inclusion (in energy transition) means we need to be supported. We are already talking to the US DFC, and the EXIM so that they can give us financing and funding for our gas projects, and this is very critical so that we can have that flexibility to move forward and at the back of this.

“I’m sure some of you may be aware that today, we are getting a grant to build baseline carbon emission studies in our country by the United States Government. This is very helpful in the sense that President Muhammadu Buhari, has also asked that we need to be supported. Currently, the major source of financing we are having is from the African Exim.”

Nigeria’s transition to net zero by 2060 requires enormous investments in gas projects which have been positioned as the country’s major transition fuel.

Mr Kyari said Nigeria is looking for opportunities to leverage the gas resources in the country to provide the possibility required for the energy transition.

It will cost $410 billion to transit, according to the federal government, and huge gas projects like the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NNPC, ECOWAS Commission, and Morocco to deliver pipelines along the African corridor will gulp billions of dollars.

“We are embarking on massive infrastructure and to see how we can deliver the Morocco gas pipeline which will pass through some countries to provide a number of securities including bringing people out of poverty and increasing gas supply in the domestic market,” Mr Kyari said.

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