Daily Watch – FG says Kaduna train hostages regain freedom, Senate confirms 19 INEC RECs

6th October 2022

Terrorists who abducted passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train have freed the remaining 23 hostages in their custody. Transportation minister, Mu’azu Sambo, announced this on his Twitter handle yesterday. It is unclear if the government paid a ransom to secure the victims’ release today. Announcing the release, the minister said, “I am pleased to announce to the nation and the world that at 16:00hrs (4:00 pm) today, Wednesday 5-10-22, the seven-man Presidential Committee assembled by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Leo Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on 28 March 2022. The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian military under the leadership of the CDS, who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish. All sister security agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this operation. The unwavering support of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, is what made it all possible.“

The Senate has confirmed the nomination of 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).  It also confirmed the nomination of Muhammad Sabo Lamido as Executive Commissioner, Finance and Accounts for the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NUPRA). The confirmations were made sequel to the consideration of the reports of its Committees on Electoral Matters, and that of Upstream Petroleum Sector respectively. The Resident Electoral Commissioners confirmed are Ibrahim Abdullahi (Adamawa); Uzochukwu Chijioke (Anambra); Hudu Yunusa (Bauchi); Agunndu Tersoo (Benue); Obo Effanga (Cross River); Yomere Oritsemlebi (Delta); Queen Elizabeth Agwu (Ebonyi); Agu Uchenna (Enugu); Ahmed Yushau Garki (FCT); Onyeka Ugochi (Imo); Yahaya Ibrahim Makarfi (Kaduna); Nura Ali (Kano); Zango Abdu (Katsina); Samuel Egwu (Kogi); Agboke Olaleke (Ogun); Ayobami Salami (Oyo); Muhammed Bashir (Sokoto); Umar Ibrahim (Taraba); and Mohammad Nura from Yobe. Presenting his report the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, Senator Kabiru Gaya said the nominees assured the committee of their non-partisanship, non-membership of any political party, and promised to discharge their responsibilities diligently according to the laid down laws. He said the committee found no merit in the petitions against four nominees that bordered on alleged membership of political parties, partisanship, compromise and incompetence.

The Chief Executive of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari has said that the company had uncovered an illegal 4km pipeline from Forcados in Delta State to the sea and a loading port that has operated for the last nine years. Mele Kyari made the revelation when he appeared before a joint senate committee on Upstream, Downstream and Gas, lamenting that though oil theft in Nigeria has been going on for over 22 years, the rate it has assumed in recent times is unprecedented. Kyari revealed that three operational facilities of Forcados, Bonny and Brass oil terminals have all been shut down as a result of the high rate of crude oil theft, leading to the loss of about 600, 000 barrels per day. The Chief Executive of NNPCL added that in the last six weeks there has been a spill site in Bori community in Rivers state, which may affect the operations of the Trans-Nembe pipeline if not clamped. He added that the spill has led to the country losing 120,000 barrels per day, in addition to the hundreds of illegal refineries in the country. 

A roadside bomb killed three United Nations peacekeepers from Bangladesh and injured several others in northwest Central African Republic on Monday, the U.N. said. The attack occurred near the village of Kaita, close to the border with Cameroon, in an area rife with militia activity. “The battalion was carrying out a patrol when one of its vehicles hit an explosive device,” the peacekeeping mission MINUSCA said in a tweet late on Tuesday. No militia was directly blamed for the attack, although MINUSCA head Valentine Rugwabiza condemned “the use of explosive devices by armed groups.” MINUSCA said it has launched an investigation into the explosion.