Troops of Operation Forest Sanity have raided a bandits’ den around the Chikun-Birnin Gwari boundary and rescued three kidnapped victims in Kaduna State. The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the development in a statement issued on Wednesday in Kaduna. Aruwan said: “Troops of Operation Forest Sanity carried out a raid on a bandits’ hideout, in furtherance of clearance operations in the Kuriga-Manini-Udawa general areas, on the Chikun-Birnin Gwari boundary. “Acting on credible intelligence, the troops carried out search-and-rescue operations at the hideout located around Ungwan Malam Ali.” According to him, the troops made contact with the bandits, who withdrew with gunshot wounds under the superior firepower of the advancing forces. “On raiding the camp, the troops rescued three kidnapped persons,” Aruwan said. He disclosed that the troops recovered one AK47 rifle, 18 rounds of ammunition and 11 pump action cartridges.

A Federal High Court in Damaturu, Yobe State on Wednesday ruled that Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, is not the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North Senatorial District in next year’s election into the National Assembly. The court ruled that Bashir Machina is the party’s authentic candidate, having won the legally recognised primary supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The court ruled that Mr Lawan did not participate in the legally recognised APC primary election to select its candidate in the election held on 28 May. With the ruling, Mr Lawan, a former university lecturer, will not be holding an elective office for the first time since 1999 when he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives for Bade/Jakusko Federal Constituency of Yobe State.

A bill seeking to regulate the employment of domestic workers and other informal sector employees has scaled second reading at the Senate. The bill was sponsored by Mohammed Sani (APC- Niger). Mr Sani, while presenting the bill, said it also sought to empower the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to monitor privately-owned agencies that employ informal workers. Mr Sani said the informal sector operation was usually on a small scale with labour-intensive production and usually private-ownership driven. He said the participation of the Nigerian economy by the informal sector showed evidence of a violation of employee rights and non-implementation of labour regulations. “Informal sector in Nigeria has a practice that is not in conformity to International Labour Organisation (ILO) best practices as ratified in its convention, notwithstanding that Nigeria is a signatory to these conventions. “There are still a lot of deficits in its implementation of these conventions; one of such areas of concern relates to decent work deficit, decent work with fair and equal treatments, decent remuneration, and fair condition of employment, safety and social protection, opportunities for training and collective bargaining,” he explained. He said the primary role of the bill was to regulate the sector to promote strategic objectives, promotion of rights at work, employment, social protection and social dialogue.

Sierra Leone’s Information Minister Mohamed Rahman Swarray has played down a comment made by the country’s first lady that her husband holds a PhD in staging military coups. Fatima Bio said at a fundraising event in the US over the weekend that President Julius Maada Bio was a teacher of coups and therefore nobody could overthrow him. Her comments were a reference to protests held on 10 August in opposition strongholds over the rising cost of living and to the fact that her husband had been a part of two coups in the 1990s. “I am not aware of any university where they offer coup studies,” Mr Swarray told the BBC In 1992 Mr Bio and other junior military officers overthrew the civilian government of Joseph Saidu Momoh. In January 1996 he staged a palace coup and succeeded Captain Valentine Strasser as head of state. Two months later he held elections and handed over to civilian rule. Mr Swaray said the 1992 coup “was the most popular in the history of this country… because several attempts at a democratic change of government had failed”. He said the president was one of the morale guarantors in West Africa to return Guinea and Mali – where the military has seized power – to democratic civilian rule.