Daily Watch – Dozens of abducted schoolchildren released, Detained Binance exec skips town

25th March 2024

On Sunday, the Nigerian Army announced the rescue of LEA School’s abducted pupils and teachers in Kaduna’s Chikun Local Government Area (LGA) within Zamfara State. On 7 March 2024, about 287 pupils and teachers were kidnapped, with ₦1 billion demanded as ransom by 27 March 2024. Army Spokesman Major General Edward Buba confirmed the rescue of 137 victims, comprising 76 females and 61 males, with assistance from local authorities. They will be transferred to Kaduna and handed over to the state government. This rescue follows the liberation of 16 pupils (Almajiris) and a woman in the Gada LGA of Sokoto State by the troops. In Rafi LGA of Niger State, at least 66 people have died from an attack on Madaka, according to Premium Times. The state’s Commissioner for Security, Bello Mohammed, confirmed the incident and said the government was working to protect farming communities in the state.

One of the two Binance executives, Nadeem Anjarwalla, detained in Nigeria for alleged tax evasion and other offences, has escaped from lawful custody, those familiar with the matter told Premium Times. Premium Times reported that Mr Anjarwalla, 38, escaped on Friday, 22 March, from the Abuja guest house where he and his colleague were detained after guards on duty led him to a nearby mosque for prayers in the spirit of the ongoing Ramadan fast. The Briton, who also has Kenyan citizenship, is believed to have flown out of Abuja using a Middle East airliner. It remains unclear how Mr Anjarwalla got on an international flight despite his British passport, with which he entered Nigeria, remaining in the custody of the Nigerian authorities.

Ghana’s Gross International Reserves (GIR) excluding Encumbered Assets and Petroleum Fund increased by 9.99% in the first two months of 2024 to $4.02 billion in February 2024. This is equivalent to 1.8 months of import cover. In December 2023, the Gross International Reserves stood at $3.66 billion, about 1.7% of import cover. It inched up to $4.17 billion in January 2024 but declined slightly to $4.02 billion in February 2024. According to the Bank of Ghana’s March 2024 Summary of Economic and Financial Data, the country’s reserves have been growing consistently albeit slightly since August 2023. Meanwhile, the country’s trade surplus stood at $392.8 million, about 0.5% of Gross Domestic Product in February 2024. This is lower than the $862.5 million (1.1% of GDP) recorded during the same period in 2023.

At least 17 people were killed in Somalia after the Islamist group al Shabaab attacked the Busley military base, in the Lower Shabelle region in the country’s southwest. “Several suicide car bombs attacked the base after fierce fighting, al Shabaab briefly captured the base. Then, government reinforcement fiercely battled and drove out al Shabaab,” a Somalia military officer told Reuters. Seven Somalia soldiers, including the commander of the base, and 10 al Shabaab fighters were killed in the fighting, he said. Some residents told Reuters al Shabaab also burnt military vehicles and took others. Al Shabaab issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. It said it had killed 57 government soldiers. Somalia government officials could not be reached for comment.