WHAT’S NEWS? October 13, 2023
By Ezinwanne Onwuka
● Nigerian Army reports progress in war on terrorists; 50 insurgents killed in October
As a demonstration of earnest commitment to quashing terrorism and rampant kidnap-for-ransom crimes across the country, the Nigerian Army has killed 50 terrorists and arrested 114 perpetrators of various crimes across Nigeria.
“Our operations in the last week resulted in 50 neutralised terrorists while 114 of them were arrested. Troops also arrested 19 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 49 kidnapped hostages,” according to Major General Edward Buba in a televised press conference.
Gen Buba added that 49 hostages were rescued within the week.
He said troops of Operation Hadin Kai in the northeast had sustained an onslaught against Boko Haram and Islamic States of West Africa Province [ISWAP] jihadists, leading to the surrender of some of their fighters in Borno and Yobe States.
Similarly, troops of Operation Safe Haven in the north-central region are combating kidnappings in Plateau, Benue and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Additionally, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji and Operation Udo Ka recorded significant success in their operations against terrorism and insurgency in the north-central and southeast, respectively.
● 11 vehicles burned in tanker conflagration
Drivers of 11 trucks evaded burning to death by the skin of their teeth on Thursday night when two tanker trucks carrying petrol went up in flames after they collided. The drivers reportedly escaped death by jumping out of their vehicles.
The accident happened at the Lagos Quadrapont Bridge by the National Arts Theater, Iganmu in southwestern Lagos State.
Emergency authorities said the accident involved two tanker trucks, a tipper truck, three trailer trucks, three cars and two minibuses. Twelve high-tension electricity poles were also affected by the inferno. There were no casualties.
The emergency response team battled for hours to contain the inferno from spreading any further.
● Tinubu Asks Supreme Court to dismiss Atiku’s appeal
President Bola Tinubu is asking the Supreme Court in Nigeria to quash failed presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar’s appeal against his election victory and the verdict of the election tribunal upholding the outcome of the February 25 poll. Tinubu’s team of 17 attorneys on Thursday (Oct. 12) argued that Atiku “cooked up allegations of discrepancies” against the President.
Atiku lost to Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election. He went to court seeking nullification of the election on grounds of irregularities, but his petition was dismissed for “lacking merit” on September 6. He lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court with evidence that Tinubu forged the Chicago State University certificate submitted to the electoral body ahead of the election.
Tinubu’s lawyers said Atiku’s introduction of Tinubu’s forged certificate is “alien to this proceedings, does not arise from the record or the judgment of the lower court”. They asked for the appeal to be dismissed outrightly and the decision of the tribunal affirmed. No date has yet been fixed for the Supreme Court to commence hearing on the presidential dispute.
● Nigeria lifts forex ban on 43 items to stem naira plunge
Nigeria’s central bank has ended an eight-year ban on 43 items that had been restricted from accessing forex on the official market. The importers of all the previously restricted items “are now allowed to purchase foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market,” the Abuja-based Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] said in a statement on its website on Thursday.
In 2015, the CBN banned manufacturers and importers of the items from accessing forex from the official market. At the time, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said the restriction would conserve foreign reserves. Rather, it resulted in soaring prices of the items, because importers diverted to the black [unauthorized] market, fuelling a rout in the local currency.
The CBN’s decision to relax the ban is a market-friendly step in resolving the country’s forex crisis. The naira has been weakening on the parallel market as demand continues to regularly exceed supply. Street traders are selling at N1045/1$, a wide gap with the official market [N776/$1], where restrictions on trading the currency were lifted in June.
● Four abducted students regain freedom after payment of ransom
Four students at a state-owned university in north central Nasarawa State of Nigeria abducted on Monday [Oct. 9] night by armed masked hoodlums, have been freed. The kidnappers reportedly demanded N80 million – N20 million for each student – from authorities as ransom for their release.
The first-year students, Rahila Hanya, Science Laboratory Technology; Josephine Gershon, Computer Science; Rosemary Samuel, Business Administration; and Goodness Samuel, Geography were released Thursday afternoon after an “undisclosed” amount was paid for their freedom, according to local media.
Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.