Bandits on motorcycles killed 32 people and set fire to houses in several villages in the Kajura area of Kaduna on Sunday, authorities said on Thursday. Armed gangs are rife across Nigeria’s northwest where they rob or kidnap for ransom, and violence has increasingly spread to other areas. The attackers hit the villages of Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Ungwan Maikori, the statement from the state’s ministry of internal security and home affairs said. “An Air Force helicopter … dispatched to the location, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire,” it added. “The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops.” At the end of March, bandits blew up a train between the state’s capital, Kaduna, and Abuja, killing eight passengers, injuring 26 and holding others for ransom. In Borno, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) group have reportedly killed 25 scavengers, otherwise known as ‘Yan Ajakuta’, in Dikwa LGA, according to reporting by The Cable. The scavengers were reportedly killed in Mukdala village, located about 10 kilometres north of Dikwa town on Wednesday. The victims were reportedly shot by insurgents who rode on six motorcycles. Takno Ibrahim, a member of a civilian joint task force in the state, said the victims were shot multiple times. Ibrahim said some of the victims escaped with bullet wounds and were taken to the General Hospital in Dikwa town by military and task force officers.

Nigeria’s unions under the auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have thrown their weight behind the emergence of the former Anambra governor, Mr Peter Obi, as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in next year’s general election. Against the background of the emergence of a splinter group laying claim to both the leadership of the party and its presidential ticket, NLC said that both NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) recognize the leadership of the Labour Party led by Julius Abure, a former trade union leader. In a statement signed by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, the Congress said that Labour Party “is the creation and offspring of the Nigeria Labour Congress”, adding that workers are part of the leadership of the party. Wabba said that NLC and TUC recognise only one presidential primary, which was held in Asaba, Delta State on 30 May 2022, and produced Obi as its presidential candidate. The NLC described the emergence of a factional group led by Calistus Okafor as a fruitless effort to distract the Labour Party from ongoing mass mobilization efforts for sweeping electoral victory in the 2023 general election.

The Federal High Court in Abuja issued a final order to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to defend a suit challenging alleged lopsided appointments in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). They risk having judgement issued against them in the suit should they refuse to file their defence as ordered by the judge. Inyang Ekwo, the judge, issued the order on Thursday following the refusal of the three defendants to file their defence in the suit instituted by Maxwell Okpara, an Abuja-based lawyer. The plaintiff, Mr Okpara, contended that Mr Buhari, the FCT Minister and the AGF violated the federal character principle in the recent appointments of permanent secretaries, executive secretaries, personal aides, directors and other members of staff of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). At Thursday’s proceedings, only the Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello, was represented by a lawyer, Udom Ibeanem, while Mr Buhari, the AGF and the FCC, had no legal representation in court. The plaintiff’s lawyer, Chukwuma Ozougwu, drew the attention of the court to the persistent refusal of the three defendants to respond to the suit served on them since December 2021. Mr Ozougwu sought the court’s permission to present the plaintiff’s case, without any counter-argument from the defendants. But, the judge held a contrary position, saying the matter is such that the three defendants must file their defence. He, however, said he was inclined to give Mr Buhari, the AGF and the FCC, one more opportunity to come up with their defence. The judge adjourned the suit until 17 October for a definite hearing.

Kenya’s electoral agency says an ongoing audit of its voters’ roll has found the names of nearly 250,000 deceased voters on the register. Nearly half a million more voters were found to have duplicate records and more than 226,000 people were registered using documents that do not belong to them. Others had registered with invalid documents, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said in a statement on the anomalies that affect more than a million people. IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said that because of the “implementation of the preliminary audit findings” the commission would delay certifying the final register for publication. The commission said earlier that it would publish the register of voters on or before 9 June but has pushed that to 20 June as it seeks to address the findings by KPMG, the firm contracted to do the audit. Electoral irregularities in past elections in Kenya have led to deadly violence. This year’s elections will be held on 9 August. Four presidential candidates have been cleared to run in the election – David Mwaure, George Wajackoyah, Raila Odinga and William Ruto.