The Department of State Services (DSS) told the Federal High Court, Abuja that some ‘one chance’ criminal elements have stolen its case file. The DSS said the case file contained the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the 12 associates of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (aka) Sunday Igboho. When the matter was called on Wednesday, the DSS counsel, Mr Idowu Awo, said the file, which contained the court processes served on the DSS by the aides, was stolen from a member of the service legal team. Awo said the ‘one chance’ thieves snatched the case file from his colleague, who unknowingly boarded their vehicle. The 12 Igboho associates instituted the rights enforcement suit against the DSS for parading them in the media as common criminals. In the suit, the aides are seeking a declaration of the court that their detention beyond 48 hours and their media parade without a court conviction constituted a breach of their fundamental rights. They are also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the DSS from interfering with their personal liberty and freedom of expression. The associates also prayed the court to order the DSS to pay them ₦100 million for aggravated and exemplary damages, for what they described as a serial breach of their constitutional rights. The counsel to the 12, Mr Timilehin Odunwo, told newsmen that his clients were also asking for an order restraining the DSS from any further harassment. The judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, however, ruled that the case file be returned to the registry for reassignment to a regular court.

Pirates have launched a fresh attack against a vessel in the Gulf of Guinea, injuring two crew members less than three months after the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) launched its much-touted Deep Blue project. The Deep Blue project, which cost Nigeria a whopping USD195 million (about ₦80 billion), was touted by NIMASA and transport minister Rotimi Amaechi as the answer to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Both Amaechi and the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, assured the maritime community that the project would end piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Jamoh had described the project as “mission accomplished”. The project, also called the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in June. But on Sunday, 5 September, the daredevil pirates struck again as they successfully attacked an offshore supply vessel and injured two crew members in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Gabon. The International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC), which confirmed the attack, said another crew member has been reported missing. According to the IMB PRC report, five persons in a speed boat armed with guns approached, fired upon and boarded the offshore supply ship, which was at anchorage. “The alarm was raised and crew members secured themselves in the ship, but two crew were injured due to the firing and required hospitalization,” the report said.

Chukwu Odiahu, a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), in Okene, Kogi State, has been reportedly stoned to death by yet-to-be-identified persons. Daily Trust quoted sources as saying that Odiahu who worked at the engineering department of the broadcast station in Okene and was stoned dead after he closed from work on Tuesday evening. It was gathered that all staff on duty when the incident occurred had been arrested by the police. The source said the arrested staff were currently helping the police in their investigation at the divisional office of the Nigeria Police Force, Okene. A member of staff at NTA in Okene, who spoke under anonymity, confirmed the incident. The staff described the incident as unfortunate, saying that we all woke up this morning to see the corpse of one of our colleagues in the engineering department. When we closed transmission around 10 pm on Tuesday, he left the office premises,” he said. He lamented that unfortunately, the body was later discovered. However, all the staff on duty have been arrested because they were prime suspects, he said. State police spokesperson DSP William Ayah confirmed the incident on Wednesday.

West Africa’s main political and economic bloc suspended Guinea’s membership on Wednesday following a weekend military coup that ousted President Alpha Condé and dealt the latest in a flurry of setbacks to democracy in the region. During a virtual summit, leaders from the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanded a return to the constitutional order and Conde’s immediate release, and also agreed to send a high-level mission to Guinea as soon as Thursday, said Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. “At the end of that mission, ECOWAS should be able to re-examine its position,” Barry told reporters. He did not announce any immediate economic sanctions against Guinea, as ECOWAS imposed against Mali following a coup there in August 2020. Some experts say ECOWAS’s leverage with Guinea could be limited, in part because the country is not a member of the West African currency union and not landlocked like Mali. The economic bloc’s response is being closely watched amid criticism from pro-democracy advocates that it has not stood up robustly enough in recent months against democratic backsliding in the region. ECOWAS remained silent last year as Condé and Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara sought third terms after changing constitutions that would have forced them to step down, moves denounced as illegal by their opponents. Activists say this has contributed to West Africans’ loss of faith in democracy and made military coups more likely. Guinea’s coup leader, Mamady Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire, has pledged to install a unified, transitional government but has not said when or how that will happen. In an apparent gesture to Conde’s civilian opponents, at least 80 political prisoners detained by the president were released on Tuesday evening, many of whom had campaigned against his constitutional change.