Ayade To Appoint 6,000 More Aides

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State said, yesterday, that he will soon appoint 6,000 more aides and create 50,000 jobs in January 2017 for youths of the state to expand governance and put food on the table of everyone in the state and ensure that no one goes to bed in an empty stomach.
Governor Ayade, who spoke at U J Esuene Stadium during a reception in his honour after the December 9 Supreme Court victory on a case of perjury brought against him by Mr Joe Agi, SAN, a co-contestant in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primaries in December 2014.

He said, “I am appreciative of all the support given me by the women of the state and the youths and in this light, I will ever remain grateful. To ensure that nobody goes to sleep in an empty stomach, I shall appoint 6,000 more aides, create 3,000 jobs for the youths and in January 2017, create 50,000 jobs to make sure nobody in the state is unemployed.”

Ayade who announced a donation of N50 million to the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and N30m to the Muslim community in the state, said it was God who removed shame from him by giving him victory at the Supreme Court.

“I kept asking myself why me and if I said I truly believe in God, why should I be put to shame? But as it turned out, it is only God who has the glory and nobody else, not even the Supreme Court.”

The governor said that the victory has given him more verve to more towards the transformation of the state and hence, he would be dressing in jean and t-shirt while he traverses the state to inaugurate more projects and programmes for the people.

“I should say it without mincing words that if you come here in 2019, you will not recognise that this was not the Cross River State you used to know because I shall carry out a complete transformation of the state.”

He extended an olive branch to his opponent, Mr Joe Agi to sheathe the sword and join him along with his group in working for the state because there was a lot of work to be done.



Dasuki’s aide, eight others arraigned over fresh N36.8bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, arraigned Col. Nicholas Ashinze, a former Special Assistant to the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and three others on a 13-count charge of corruption and money laundering to the tune of N36.8bn.

Dasuki is already facing trial before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, together with other set of persons for an alleged diversion of huge sums of money belonging to the Office of the NSA.

But Ashinze was on Wednesday arraigned alongside an Austrian, Wolfgang Reinl, Edidiong Idiong, Sagir Mohammed and five companies over allegations bordering on diversion of huge sums from the office of the former NSA, before a Federal High Court in Abuja. The companies are: Geonel Integrated Services Limited, Unity Continental Nigeria Limited, Helpline Organization, Vibrant Resource Limited and Sologic Integrated Services Limited.

Ashinze and his co-accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them when they appeared before Justice Gabriel Kolawole on Wednesday.

Count three of the charge reads:

“That you, Col. Nicholas Ashinze, being a serving officer of the Nigerian Army and a former Special Assistant (SA) to the immediate past National security Adviser, Wolfgang Reinl, being an Austrian national and managing director of Geonel Integrated Services Limited and Geonel Integrated Services Limited on or about 22nd April, 2014 at Abuja, in the Judicial Division of the Federal High Court did transfer the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N550,000,000.00) to Edidiong Idiong, being a lawyer practicing in the name of Law Partners & Associates, knowing that the said sum forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit : ‘corruption’ and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) and (4) of the same Money Laundering (Prohibition), Act 2011 (as amended).”

After the arraignment on Wednesday, EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Mr. I. O. Uket, said his witnesses were in court and he was ready for trial to commence immediately.

But Ashinze’s counsel, Ernest Nwoye, informed the court of his client’s pending bail application.

While moving the application, Nwoye urged the court to grant his client bail on personal recognition having earlier been released on bail by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.

The counsel representing the second and fifth defendants, Afam Osigwe, also urged the court to grant his clients bail.

The third defence counsel, Paul Erokoro SAN, also said his client, Idiong, being a legal practitioner would not jump bail.

In the same vein, the counsel representing the fourth defendant, N. Jimoh, said his client had a health challenge which he had been managing for close to 40 years.

Responding, Uket argued that the defendants had lost their administrative bail the moment their matter was charged to court and their counsel filed applications for their bail.

In his ruling on the applications, Justice Kolawole granted bail to the accused persons, saying the charges instituted against them were all bailable.

He added, “Since each of the defendants has been on one administrative bail or the other, my sixth judicial sense informs me that I adopt the terms and conditions of the bail granted to the defendants by the EFCC and my learned brothers in the FCT High Courts.”

The judge added that the case would be given accelerated hearing, and adjourned till January 23, February 1 and 14; and March 7 and 21, 2017 for trial.

Legislative aides protest unpaid salaries, allowances.

The lobby of the National Assembly was Wednesday besieged by legislative aides who were protesting the non-payment of their salaries and allowances which they said run into N1.5 billion.

The protesters also lamented that there were being denied training benefits and welfare packages despite assurances by management.

An aide, Mr. Yusuf Modu, said the permanent staff were being regularly paid by the management despite excuses of unavailability of funds.

“I don’t know why this discrimination exists despite the important role we play to senators and members of the House of Representatives. Today’s protest is to tell management that enough is enough, next time we storm this place, we will not allow the Speaker and the Senate President enter the chambers until they address us,” he said.

Another aide, Kingsley Uche, said they were yet to receive their salary for September.

“Our entitlements such as transport allowance for five quarters of the year, this is since last year -has not been paid to us. It’s the same for our 28-day allowance which has not been paid to most of us. We are entitled to training at least one each quota but till date, we have never been sent for training,” he said.

The Director of Information at the National Assembly, Mr. Isyaku Dibal, while reacting to the protest, said it was not deliberate that the aides have not been paid.

“Their monies come along with salaries and allowances of legislators they work with, from the federal government,” he said.

In another development, the main gate of the National Assembly was also besieged by protesters in favour of suspended lawmaker, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin and those against him.

Anti Abdulmumin protesters commenced their protests on Tuesday bearing placards demanding for his recall by his constituency.

They continued on Wednesday morning but were joined by protesters protesting the embattled lawmaker’s suspension.

There was however no clashes between the two groups as security men were at hand to ensure there was no breakdown of order.

Jonathan approved virtually everything his aides brought to him – Committee

The Chairman of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Transition Committee, which interfaced with former President Goodluck Jonathan’s team, Ahmed Joda, has revealed that a major undoing of Jonathan when he was in office as president was that he gave presidential approval to virtually everything his aides came to seek from him.

Speaking recently with select journalists in Yola, Adamawa State, the retired permanent secretary regretted that this even extended to the affairs of state which ought to have been handled independently of the Presidency’s consent.

He stated that despite the perfidy committed by some persons during the administration, then Finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, always sought presidential approval, pointing out that such tactfulness from her made it difficult for anyone, including the EFCC, to be able to link her with fraud.

The elder statesman stated this while responding to a question on whether or not Buhari could bring back the likes of the former Finance Minister to help the administration fix the economy.

According to him, “Okonjo-Iweala is a professional and she guarded herself, if you look at what she did. Whenever, they said this happened she was able to produce papers to say, ‘look oh!’ We had a meeting, presided over by the President and attended by the National Security Adviser and others. And we agreed.

“And she would go back and write the President and say, ‘I have received a request to release so many billions in accordance with our minutes. Your Excellency, if you will approve.’ And His Excellency would approve it. So, she covered herself, thus you can’t pin anything on her.”

Joda stated that he was surprised that the recession in the country was not as worse as envisaged, given the “character of the country which consumes without producing.”

His words, “We were pretending, given our character as a consumer country, even the oil and gas we are not producing; if we are to tell ourselves the truth. We have four refineries. We can’t refine; we are importing. We don’t have enough facilities to import the quantity of fuel that we require. We are badly managing our affairs, we are destroying our economy.

“I’m not surprised that we are in this situation. I’m only surprised that we are not even worse.”

He held that the current economic challenges bedevilling the country should not necessarily be blamed on the immediate past administration and that the problem was traceable to “What we failed to do as a nation.”

According to him, no one can excuse himself from the blame.

While maintaining that Buhari’s presidency as a civilian was bound to face some governance challenges because democracy was a different terrain, Joda said, “When he (Buhari) was a military president, he could jail people and order people to queue up. But today he can’t; because he didn’t come through the bullet, he came through the ballot box.

“And this ballot box says okay, Mr. Buhari you are no longer a General, if you like you can call yourself Alhaji or Mallam. But here are the courts, here is the National Assembly and this is the way you are going. You cannot jail anybody or even lock them up for even one hour. You have to follow due process,” he added.

Aisha Buhari Sues Gov. Fayose, Aides

President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, on Wednesday sued Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State for claiming she was involved in the Halliburton scandal.

Mr. Fayose had in June said Mrs. Buhari was the “Aisha Buhari” named in a U.S. court document, alleged to have been involved in bribery case involving a convicted former U.S. lawmaker, Williams Jefferson.

The governor, in what appeared to be an error, referred to the Jefferson bribery as the Halliburton scandal, which is an entirely different case.

Mr. Fayose however insisted he was right, despite Mrs. Buhari’s denial and threat of lawsuit.

In the ex-parte motion, filed July 20, 2016, Mrs. Buhari prayed the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, to grant her reliefs to issue writ of summons against Mr. Fayose and his media advisers, Idowu Adelusi and Lere Olayinka.

Olukayode Adeniyi, the presiding judge, granted all reliefs sought by Mrs. Buhari, including an order of substituted service.

Mary Ekpere, counsel to Mrs. Buhari, prayed the court for the lawsuit to be served on Mr. Fayose and his two aides.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Okorocha Dragged To Court Over Assault Linked To Aides

Imo state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been dragged to court for allegedly ordering his aides to beat up Anthony Amadi and Chigozie Oparaku, who were in the Compound of Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, when the Governor arrived with a demolition squad that demolished part of Iheanacho’s compound.

This was just as the victims are asking the court to award them N50 million in damages for the varying degrees of injuries that they sustain during the brutal assault by the Governor’s Aides.

The duo said that their only crime was that they had brandished an order of the Federal High court, Owerri restraining the Governor from demolishing Ihenacho’s property, that rather the governor ordered his security details to beat them up.

According to him, “About an hour later, the Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha in company of his full security detail came to Captain Ihenacho’s house and the Governor ordered the engineer to demolish Ihenacho’s house, we then went towards the Governor as much as the security details would allow us and showed him the court order, thereupon, the Governor ordered his security details to beat us up and arrest us,” Amadi narrated.

In an affidavit deposed to by Anthony Amadi, he said that on the 7th of July, 2016, while at Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho’s house, they noticed agents of the Imo state government advancing towards Ihenacho’s house with heavy equipment and with intent to demolish the property. They approached the engineer in-charge of the demolition and showed a copy of the restraining order against the said demolition and the Engineer obeyed and withdrew his equipment.

The victims recalled that they were beaten for over half an hour by more than 20 security details of the governor just for daring to show them a restraining order of court against their illegal action.

“At the end, we could hardly stand or walk, and they carried us and dumped us at the Shell Camp Police Station without any medical treatment,” Oparaku they submitted.

Amadi’s left eye still have blood clots and opens with difficulty while Oparaku has an ugly lump on his back all sustained after the beating.

They also said that in spite of the fact that the Imo state Police Commissioner had duly acknowledged a petition by their Lawyer Amadi Obi against the Imo state Governor,that they were dumped in the Shell Camp Police cell without treatment.

“Receipt of the petition was acknowledged the next day, yet the commissioner refused to release us to seek medical care instead we were transferred from Shell Camp Police Station to Owerri Area Command at Fire Service.

We were released on the fourth day without any charge against us. We were only told that we were detained on the orders of Governor Rochas Okorocha and that was exactly what was written on the incident board.”

However, the Chief Press Secretary to the Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo said that the Governor has not been served with any court summons.

Credit: Sun

PDP Chairman, Sheriff, Appoints Aides

The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ali Sheriff, has appointed Inusa Mohammed as his Principal Secretary.

A statement by the national secretary of the party, Adewale Oladipo, on Wednesday also said the party’s leadership had approved the appointment of Uche Nnaji as the Political Adviser to Mr. Sheriff, while an ex-Senator, Saidu Kumo, was appointed as the Special Adviser on National Assembly Relations.

The statement added that another former Senator, Ighoyota Amori, was appointed as the Special Adviser, Reconciliation and Conflict Management.

 “The appointments take immediate effect,” the statement said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Gov Ortom Buys N.5 Billion Luxury Cars For Aides

While Benue groans under severe financial hardship, the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, has shelled out N558.7 million for luxury vehicles for his aides and local government chairmen.

Mr. Ortom came to power with what he called five-pillar agenda, including a promise to create enabling environment for citizens to engage in meaningful businesses.

The governor said in his inaugural address on May 29 that the policy would enhance the living condition of Benue people and in the process reduce over-dependence on government.

The five-point agenda promised good gov­ernance and revenue security; agricultural-driven in­dustrialization, improvement in science technolo­gy, arts and mathematics, invest­ment in critical infrastructure, and promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women, youth, sports and persons with disabil­ities.

But a few months into the administration and in what appears to be a departure from the development agenda, Mr. Ortom has bought 13 new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado SUVs for commissioners in the state.

The 13 Prado cars came at a whopping N240.5 million, with each costing the state N18.5million.

The governor also bought 43 new Toyota Corolla cars at the cost of N318.2 million, with each delivered at the cost of N7.4 million.

The Toyota Corolla cars were distributed to the 20 special advisers appointed by Mr. Ortom while the remaining 23 went to local government chairmen in the state.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Police Arrest Governor Aregbesola’s Aide Over Girlfriend’s Death

A Special Adviser to Osun State Governor, Mr Bode Olugbore, has been arrested by the police over the death of his girlfriend, Miss Kemi Arobieke.

A Punch correspondent gathered that Kemi, a graduate of the Lagos State University, visited Bode in Osogbo, the Osun State capital on Thursday, August 6, all the way from Lagos and promised to return on Saturday.

The deceased’s elder brother, Ayo, who confirmed the death of his sister to our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday, said Kemi had known Olugbore for about four years, but the family did not know about their relationship.

The brother of the deceased said he, Kemi and Bode were members of the same church in Lagos adding that her sister said the suspect had been separated from his wife.

He said, “My sister travelled to Osogbo and she was supposed to return to Lagos on Saturday, but we got a call from the police that she was involved in an accident and it was very serious.

“We got to Osogbo but the police prevented us from seeing her only to be told that she was electrocuted. She was said to have been electrocuted by a Binatone fan, but it is unbelievable.

“The current in a fan is not enough to kill, except one has direct contact with a live wire. The mark on her body suggests something contrary.”

He said he saw Bode at the State Criminal Investigation Department on two occasions he went to the place.

The deceased’s brother said the police had done the autopsy, but the family was still waiting for the police to give them the result.

He said, ” We were told that Bode’s family will have to be present before they would give us the result.”

The governor’s media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, when contacted declined to comment on the matter.

He said, ” It’s a police matter. You can get accurate information about whatever happened from the police.”

Also, efforts to speak to the Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Folasade Odoro, proved abortive on the matter as calls put across to her telephone were picked but she refused to talk.

After many calls to her other telephone, a male voice answered the call and told our correspondent that the PPRO was not in the office but left her phone for charging. He promised that the PPRO would call back when she returned, but she did not.

Also, a text message sent to inquire about the case was not replied to as of the time of filing this report.

Borno Assembly Reduces Gov. Shettima’s Aides From 40 to 20

The Borno State House of Assembly on Wednesday slashed the number of Special Advisers to the Governor from 40 to 20.

Gov. Kashim Shettima had sent list of 40 nominees to the Assembly, but the members approved 20.

The Speaker, Alhaji Abdulkarim Lawal, said at the plenary session that the reduction was due to the state’s financial position, as well as to check the cost of governance.
The motion for the reduction of the number of advisers was moved by Alhaji Mohammad Zakari, the House Leader.

In another development, the speaker announced the appointment of Mr Ayuba Wukawa, representing Hawul Constituency, as the Deputy House Leader, and Alhaji Audu Mustapha, representing Magumeri Constituency as the Chief Whip.

Credit: NAN

Former President Jonathan’s Son Hale And Hearty – Aides

Ariwera, a teenage son of former President Goodluck Jonathan, is hale and hearty, contrary to rumors of his passing, sources close to the former Nigeria leader said.

Several aides of the former President told SaharaReporters on Tuesday that his rumored death came as a surprise to them, as the boy is not even sick.

Read Moresaharareporters


Mark, Ekweremadu Leave NASS Premises Without Convoy, Aides

Follwing the valedictory session marking end of the 7th Senate, outgoing Senate President, David Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday evening left the premises of the National Assembly without the usual convoy of vehicles.

Also, the two principal officers of the Red Chamber were seen leaving the premises without their usual retinue of aides. Instead, among the several vehicles in their convoys, only a handful of three cars, believed to be their personal cars, followed them outside.

The siren blaring vehicles and motorbikes, usually in their convoys, which were missing as they drove out separately, caught the attention of not just some legislative staff but some of the National Assembly workers who watched as they were moving out, after the formal closing of the legislature.

Read More: vanguardngr

Why President Buhari Didn’t Declare Assets Publicly- Aides

Aides of President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, explained why the president did not declare his assets publicly. They said he will make his assets known to Nigerians within the first 100 days of his stay in power in line with his assertions before the election.

Meanwhile, there were mixed reactions, yesterday, on the report that the president and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had submitted their assets declaration to the Code of Conduct Bureau without immediately making them public.

A civil rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, argued that it was imperative for the duo to make public their assets. It said the action will indicate “their desire and commitment to ending corruption in the country.” The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on its part, said it would allow Buhari to settle down for governance before taking him to task on his campaign promises.

However, some notable Nigerians disagreed over call for the public declaration of assets by the president and his vice president.

Among those who expressed divergent views were constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN; Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN; rights crusader, Mr Femi Falana, SAN; Mr Kayode Ajulo; Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed and rights activist, Mr Mohammed Fawehinmi.

A close associate of the president, however, debunked criticisms on the issue saying, yesterday, that the president still has 97 days within which to make his assets public as he promised during the campaigns.

President Buhari had in a document on his plan of action within the first 100 days of assumption of office as president promised to make his assets declaration public and influence his appointees to do the same.

“In the document the president said what he would do within the first 100 days and among them was that he would declare his assets publicly in the first 100 days. How many hours has he been in office? How many days after his inauguration?

“I think that the president should be given the benefit of the doubt. It is only three days since he came to office. Does he not deserve the benefit of the balance of the 96 remaining days? I think he deserves commendations”, the source close to the president said on the basis of anonymity.



Buhari To Appoint Key Aides Before Friday

Muhammadu Buhari, president-elect may be naming some of his aides before Friday.

buhari potrait

THE GUARDIAN reports that well-placed sources close to the president elect’s men explained that the expediency of getting some vital information pieces from the outgoing president’s men may compel him to name a few personal aides ahead of inauguration.

Buhari is reportedly concerned with the paucity of information about certain issues that need to be physically inspected before taking over, although the handing over notes were submitted on Monday to the Ahmed Joda’s transition committee by the outgoing vice president, Namadi Sambo.

National Assembly Members, Aides Asked To Vacate Offices

?M?embers of the National Assembly have been asked to moved out of their respective offices latest Monday, May 18?,? with the expiration of the 7th Assembly just 17 days.

The directive was passed to the legislators by the National Assembly management through an internal memo?.
Aides, including senior legislative aides and other non-permanent members of staff in the lawmakers’ offices, also got the directive, an aide to one of the members of the House of Representatives.

“It is a normal routine thing that happens every four years,” the legislative aide said. “It’s to reallocate the offices, especially as new members will be coming in. Also, you know there is hierarchy here. Some returning members will be reallocated offices upstairs, while new ones will take offices downstairs. The National Assembly has to prepare for the inauguration of the 8th Assembly.”

Report provides that the legislators and their aides started receiving the memo since last Wednesday. An official, who did not want to be named as he was not cleared to speak officially on matter, said, “The directive came early so that we will be able to meet up with schedule for inauguration of the 8th Assembly. We have to do repairs, change name tags and so on.”

The Senate and the House of Representatives have 109 and 360 members respectively. However, while 76 senators are not returning, 299 House members also lost bid to return.


Caution Your Aides, APC Tells Jonathan

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to caution his aides to stop overheating the polity with their incautious statements, especially relating to the transition of power.

The party said while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be deeply traumatized by its loss in the last general elections, that should not be a reason for it to disrupt the nation’s peace by displaying crab mentality.

The APC was reacting to statements credited to the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Alkali that the party is trying to stampede the President out of office.

Lai Mohammed, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, in a statement issued in Abuja, described Alkali’s statement as provocative and ill-intentioned.

Mohammed noted that Alkali’s statement is a reflection of mediocrity that permeates the Jonathan Administration, which led to its downfall.

He reiterated its earlier advice to the PDP to shake off the trauma of defeat and gear up for the challenging task of being in opposition.

Jonathan To Sack More Aides

Palpable fear has gripped some aides of President Goodluck Jonathan over rumours that the President is considering sacking more political appointees. Mostly affected by the sack fever are presidential aides, heads of key public institutions and ministers.

President Jonathan had on Tuesday sacked the Inspector -General of Police, Suleiman Abba. Some of the aides are already contemplating resigning their appointments because of stringent directives handed down to them by President Jonathan.

Jonathan has warned his aides and other top government officials not to hobnob with the with the incoming President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC). He has threatened to sack any political appointee who flouts the order.

Read More: TheNation

Robbers Invade President Jonathan’s Aide’ Home, Cart Away Undisclosed Amount Of Money

Unidentified gunmen on Saturday stormed the home of the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Matters, Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa, and carted away an undisclosed amount of money after destroying the safe kept in one of his rooms.

It was learnt that the gunmen, 10 in number, were dressed in police uniform. They were said to have stormed his residence in Okaka Estate, Yenagoa, around 8pm.

It was learnt that when the robbers came, the three policemen guarding the residence of the Presidential aide were not around.

The gunmen were said to have gained entry into Dudafah ‘s residence after telling the security men (civilians) that they were policemen from the police headquarters.

When they got into the premises, they were said to have grabbed the Chief guard, Muhammed Garba, tying his legs, his hands and covering his eyes and mouth.

An eyewitness, who craved anonymity, said the attack on Dudafah’s home was politically motivated.

He said the incident took place few minutes after results of some rescheduled House of Assembly elections were released and Dudafah’s candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance defeated his Peoples Democratic Party opponent in Kolokuma-Opokuma constituency.

Narrating his ordeal, Garba, who said he had been working with Dudafah for eight years, said the suspects came in two black Sport Utility Vehicles.

He said , “The robbers knocked on the door, saying, Where is the security man, where is the security man? When I asked who they were, they said they were policemen. They asked the whereabouts of the police security operatives in Dudafah residence.

“They ordered me to open the gate. I opened the small gate and saw about 10 of them. They pushed me and gained entry into the premises. They hit me in the head. They tied my hands, my legs and covered my mouth and eyes with celotape. They asked me to show them the apartments of police security in the building. They also asked for oga’s (Dudafa’s) house keys. I told them I did not know where they were since I was not the person keeping them.

“They said they would kill me if they eventually found the keys in my place so I kept quiet. After ransacking my room, they found the keys and started using them to open the main building.

“The man leading the operations, asked his colleagues to talk gently so that when my colleague who had gone to buy noodles at that time returned, he would not suspect something was amiss. No sooner had they said that than my colleague came in, and they caught him and tied him up.”

Garba said when the robbers had held all of them captive, they went inside the building and started ransacking everywhere.

 Pictures of the damaged safe

The 55 year old Garba, a father of one, said the operations lasted for about three hours before they left around 12 midnight on Saturday.

Also, Dudafah’s cousin, Pere Ozoru, said he was sleeping in his room when the gunmen came.

He said it was the second security guard, Ibrahim, that brought them to his apartment after which they tied him up.

Ozoru said by the time the gunmen left the premises, he was able to untie himself and thereafter untied Garba and Ibrahim.

He said before the incident, three policemen used to guard the building but when asked about the whereabouts of the policemen, he said he did not know where they went that day.

He said he would not forget the day in a hurry, saying that they were battered, tied and subjected to inhuman treatment by the gunmen.

When our correspondent visited the residence on Sunday, it was discovered that most apartments in the gigantic edifice were ransacked and furniture were destroyed.

In one of the rooms, a safe was destroyed and it could not be ascertained how much was carted away from it.

Efforts to get the police’s reaction were unsuccessful as calls to the spokesman for the Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, rang out several times.

Source: Punch