A court martial sitting at the Nigerian Army’s 7 Division in Maiduguri, Borno has sentenced Azunna Maduabuchi to death. Madiabuchi, a trooper with the Army’s 202 Battalion in Bama, Borno, had in July 2020 killed Babakaka Ngorgi, a lieutenant and adjutant of the unit. The soldier shot his superior for denying him a pass to go see his family. A pass is a written permission for a soldier to be away from his military unit for a limited period of time, and with the army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, it could be for seven, 10 or 14 days. Trooper Maduabuchi had requested a pass to visit his family over an urgent matter and when he was turned down, he fired shots at the lieutenant who is the battalion’s adjutant responsible for administrative matters. Mr Maduabuchi was arraigned and was on Tuesday sentenced to death by firing squad after he was found guilty at the court martial. Four other soldiers were arraigned for manslaughter and sentenced to various years of imprisonment. Sani Ishaya, a sergeant, was sentenced to four years, Bidemi Fabiyi, another sergeant, was sentenced to two years, while Musa Bala and Abdulraheed Adamu, both privates, were sentenced to one year imprisonment each.

The FG is not subsiding petrol and has no plan to do so, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said on Tuesday. She also stated that the government did not make any provision for electricity subsidy in 2021 and would not subsidise power. Responding to a question on whether the reduction in petrol price about a month ago had led to the return of subsidy, while speaking during a virtual meeting in Abuja, Ahmed said, “The answer is a flat no. “We are not bringing back fuel subsidies. We didn’t make provision for fuel subsidy in the budget. The impact of what was done was reducing some of the cost components that were within the template. And also related to it, on matters of electricity subsidies, no provisions have been made for subsidy for fuel and no provisions have been made for subsidy for electricity.” Ms Ahmed stated that the government would hold the unclaimed dividends of investors in the stock market in trust and would make the fund available when needed by an investor.

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has asked Nigerians to complete their National Identification Number (NIN) registration irrespective of whether they generated the same through bank verification number (BVN). Amidst the rush to get registered, a viral message circulating on social media claims that those who had registered for Bank Verification Number already have a NIN. Thus, they do not need to register for NIN. “Good news: So many Nigerians have NIN and they are unaware. The truth is that everyone that did their BVN when it was introduced in 2014 has NIN automatically assigned to them. “Just dial *346# with the same number you registered for BVN and retrieve your NIN. Don’t go to NIMC centres to queue, Covid19 is real,” the message read. But in a tweet on Tuesday, NIMC said the NIN registration must be completed despite a NIN generation through BVN. The agency warned that an incomplete registration will hinder the user’s access to the NIMC mobile application and render the NIN-SIM integration invalid. It said, “You must complete your NIN registration even if your BVN has generated a NIN,” the tweet read. “If your NIN was generated due to the BVN record harmonisation with the National Identity Database, you will not have access to the NIMC mobile app and your NIN-SIM integration will be invalid. Visit an enrollment centre to complete NIN registration,” the tweet concluded.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, without providing hard evidence, that al Qaeda had established a new home base in Iran. The New York Times reported in November that al Qaeda’s Abu Muhammad al-Masri, accused of helping to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, was gunned down by Israeli operatives in Iran. Iran denied the report, saying there were no al Qaeda “terrorists” on its soil. Pompeo told a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington that he was announcing publicly for the first time that al-Masri died on 7 August last year. Pompeo said his presence in Iran was no surprise, and added: “Al-Masri’s presence inside Iran points to the reason that we’re here today … Al-Qaeda has a new home base: it is the Islamic Republic of Iran.”