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BREAKING: Joint security operatives rescue 30 Muslim worshippers in Katsina

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Joint security operatives, comprising the Police, Army and other allied agencies, Monday afternoon rescued 30 Muslims out of the 40 that were kidnapped while praying inside a mosque.

Spokesman of the katsina State Police command, SP Gambo Isa who confirmed the abduction and subsequent rescue of the Muslim faithful, told The Nation in a telephone chat that the bandits in their numbers came from Zurumi border town in Zamfara state during Tahajjud prayers in the outskirt of Jibia forest.

Gambo said; ‘’the bandits, who came in their numbers, surrounded the worshippers at a newly constructed mosque at the outskirt of Jibia.

“It is around Abattoir quarters, which is their notorious route into Jibia. They surrounded the worshippers and fired a shot into the air to scare them after which they abducted about 40 of them.”

“But a combined effort of the police, military, local vigilante and members of the community went after them and succeeded in rescuing about 30 of the victims.

“When we conducted a headcount this morning, about 10 are still missing, but we are not sure if they are actually with the bandits or they ran to other places for their safety. But investigation is ongoing,” he said.

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JUST IN: Old naira: IMF asks FG, CBN to extend February 10 deadline

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the extension of the February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.

The International monetary body made the call just after the Supreme Court had restrained the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) from enforcing the deadline.

The IMF, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by Laraba Bonet, said the plea was on the hardship Nigerians were exposed to over the issue.

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It said: “in light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline should problems persist  in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline”.

The IMF is the first international financial organisation to openly call for extension of the deadline for the deposit of old Naira notes.

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Cash crunch: Protesters defy police in Abeokuta, make bonfires on major roads

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Residents of Abeokuta, Ogun State, took to the streets on Tuesday protesting the scarcity of cash and the attendant pains.

Major streets affected by the protests are Aladesanmi, Fajol and Somorin in Obantoko area of Abeokuta as the protesters made bonfires and chanted anti-CBN songs
The Sapon branch of First Bank was also vandalised and the protesters tried to set it ablaze.
Ogun Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the protest, saying police officers were on the ground to monitor the situation and prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.
He said some group of boys were involved in the crisis.
The police later came to disperse the protesters but they regrouped as soon as the operatives withdrew from the scene.
The situation affected vehicular movement as motorists and pedestrians ran in different directions to avert being caught up in the chaotic situation.

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Court frees Diezani associate Omokore of $1.6bn fraud

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An Abuja federal high court on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, of $1.6bn fraud allegations.

Omokore, an associate of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo on a 15-count charge on July 4, 2016.

They were accused of fraudulently diverting the $1.6bn said to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.

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