Nigerian president expresses ‘overwhelming joy’ as all 279 kidnapped students are released

All 279 girls kidnapped from their boarding school in northern Nigeria have been released and are on government premises, the local governor told AFP on Tuesday.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed “overwhelming joy” over the release of the girls from days of captivity, vowing tougher action against kidnappers.

Nigeria has been rocked by four mass abductions of students in less than three months, sparking widespread anger against the government and memories of the 2014 kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok, in the country’s east, that shocked the world.

“I am happy to announce that the girls are free,” Dr Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state, told an AFP journalist early on Tuesday. “They have just arrived in the government house and are in good health.”

An AFP reporter saw hundreds of girls wearing hijabs, gathered at the government premises.

Authorities initially said 317 girls were abducted in the raid by hundreds of gunmen on the Government Girls Secondary School in remote Jangebe village on Friday.

But Dr Matawalle said the “total number of female students abducted” was 279.

“We thank Allah they are all now with us.”

AFP footage showed minibuses pulling up in the night with students inside and lines of girls filing into a building. 

Government officials had been in talks with the kidnappers, known locally as bandits.

A source said “repentant bandits” had been contacted to reach out to their former comrades as part of efforts to free the students.

Armed gangs

Heavily armed criminal gangs in northwest and central Nigeria have stepped up attacks in recent years, kidnapping for ransom, raping and pillaging. 

The Nigerian military deployed to the area in 2016 and a peace deal with bandits was signed in 2019 but attacks have continued.

In December, more than 300 boys were kidnapped from a school in Kankara, in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state of Katsina, while he was visiting the region.

The boys were later released but the incident triggered outrage and memories of the kidnappings of 276 schoolgirls by jihadists in Chibok.

Many of those girls are still missing.

The gangs are largely driven by financial motives and have no known ideological leanings.

But there are concerns they are being infiltrated by armed Islamists. The jihadists’ decade-old conflict has killed more than 30,000 people and spread into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Authorities have denied paying any ransom to secure the recent releases, although analysts say this is unlikely and security experts fear that this will lead to an increase in kidnappings in these regions plagued by extreme poverty.

President Buhari, who has been criticised for failing to deal with the unrest, had insisted that he would “not succumb to blackmail by bandits”.

In a statement on Tuesday Mr Buhari said he was excited the schoolgirls were freed without any incident, adding that “being held in captivity is an agonising experience not only for the victims, but also their families and all of us”.

The Nigerian leader urged “the police and the military to go after these kidnappers and bring them to justice”.

Nigeria has been rocked by four mass abductions of students in less than three months.


Security deteriorating

Mr Buhari was elected president for the first time in 2015, a year after the mass kidnapping at Chibok, where 276 girls were abducted by the jihadist group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria – triggering an international outcry.

More than one hundred of them remain missing and it is not known how many of them are still alive.

Mr Buhari had promised to end the conflict in the northeast, but the situation has sharply deteriorated since.

Jihadists linked to the Islamic State have attacked a UN base and overrun a humanitarian hub in Dikwa, northern Nigeria, trapping 25 aid workers, security and humanitarian sources said late Monday. The attack was still under way on Tuesday.

If the northeast is still not secure, the northwest is also under the yoke of armed groups the authorities call “bandits”, who terrorise the people, steel cattle and perpetuate mass kidnappings for ransom.

Kidnapping for ransom in Africa’s most populous country is already a widespread national problem, with businessmen, officials and ordinary citizens snatched from the streets.

At least $US11 million ($A14.1 million) was paid to kidnappers between January 2016 and March 2020, according to SB Morgen, a Lagos-based geopolitical research consultancy. 

The student abductions have increased the number of children who cannot attend school, especially girls.

The regions involved account for the greatest number of unschooled children in the world, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group says.

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Nigerian governor says 279 kidnapped schoolgirls are freed

Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted last week from a boarding school in the northwestern Zamfara state have been released, the state’s governor said Tuesday.

Zamfara state governor Bello Matawalle announced that 279 girls have been freed. The government last week said 317 had been kidnapped.

Gunmen abducted the girls from the Government Girls Junior Secondary School in Jangebe town on Friday, in the latest in a series of mass kidnappings of students in the West African nation.

An Associated Press reporter saw hundreds of girls dressed in light blue hijabs and barefoot sitting at the state Government House office in Gusau.

After the meeting, the girls were escorted outside by officials and lined up to be taken away in vans. They appeared calm and ranged in ages from 10 and up.

Matawalle said they would be taken for medical examinations before being reunited with their families.

“Alhamdulillah! (God be praised!) It gladdens my heart to announce the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe from captivity. This follows the scaling of several hurdles laid against our efforts. I enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to rejoice with us as our daughters are now safe,” Matawalle said in a post on Twitter early Tuesday.

At the time of the attack, one resident told AP that the gunmen also attacked a nearby military camp and checkpoint, preventing soldiers from responding to the mass abduction at the school.

One of the girls recounted the night of their abduction to the AP.

“We were sleeping at night when suddenly we started hearing gunshots. They were shooting endlessly. We got out of our beds and people said we should run, that they are thieves,” she said. “Everybody fled and there were just two of us left in the room.”

The attackers held guns to the girls’ heads, she said.

“I was really afraid of being shot,” she said, adding that they asked for directions to the staff quarters and the principal. “We said we don’t know who she is. They said the principal is our father and they will teach us a lesson.”

Police and the military had since been carrying out joint operations to rescue the girls, whose abduction caused international outrage.

President Muhammadu Buhari expressed “overwhelming joy” over the release of the girls.

“I join the families and people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of these traumatised female students,” he said in a statement. “Being held in captivity is an agonising experience not only for the victims, but also their families and all of us.”

The president called for greater vigilance to prevent bandits from carrying out such attacks.

He urged police and military to pursue the kidnappers, and warned that policies of making payments to bandits will backfire.

“Ransom payments will continue to prosper kidnapping,” he said.

The terms of the female students’ release were not made immediately clear.

Nigeria has seen several such attacks and kidnappings in recent years. On Saturday, 24 students, six staff and eight relatives were released after being abducted on February 17 from the Government Science College Kagara in Niger state. In December, more than 300 schoolboys from a secondary school in Kankara, in northwestern Nigeria, were taken and later released. The government has said no ransom was paid for the students’ release.

The most notorious kidnapping was in April 2014, when 276 girls were abducted by the jihadist rebels of Boko Haram from the secondary school in Chibok in Borno state. More than 100 of those girls are still missing. Boko Haram is opposed to western education and its fighters often target schools.

Other organised armed groups, locally called bandits, often abduct students for money. The government says large groups of armed men in Zamfara state are known to kidnap for money and to press for the release of their members held in jail.

Experts say if the kidnappings continue to go unpunished, they may continue.

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Kidnappers release Nigerian schoolboys as search for 300 abducted girls continue

Maiduguri: Gunmen in Nigeria on Saturday released 27 teenage boys who were kidnapped from their school last week in the northern state of Niger, while security forces continued to search for more than 300 schoolgirls abducted in a nearby state.

Schools have become targets for mass kidnappings for ransom in northern Nigeria by armed groups, many of whom carry guns and ride motorcycles.

An empty classroom following an attack by gunmen at Government Science College, Kagara, Nigeria, earlier this month. Credit:

On February 17, an armed gang stormed the Government Science secondary school in the Kagara district of Niger state, and abducted 27 students, three staff and 12 members of their families. One boy was killed during the raid.

After their release, boys were seen by a Reuters witness walking with armed security through a dusty village, some struggling to stand and asking for water. A government official said the boys were aged between 15 and 18.

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Gunmen kidnap more than 300 girls in raid on northwest Nigerian school

An operation to rescue more than 300 girls kidnapped in Nigeria had failed to pinpoint their location by late on Friday, almost 24 hours after gunmen seized them in a raid on their school.

The raid in Zamfara state, where the governor ordered all boarding schools to close immediately, was the second such kidnapping in little over a week in the country’s northwest, a region increasingly targeted by militants and criminal gangs.

Zamfara police said they had begun search-and-rescue operations with the army to find the “bandits” who took the 317 girls from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in the town of Jangebe.

“There’s information that they were moved to a neighbouring forest, and we are tracking and exercising caution,” Zamfara police commissioner Abutu Yaro told a news conference.

All the abductees remained at large, but the parent of one of them, Mohammed Usman Jangebe, said seven of their schoolmates had resurfaced after escaping the raiders by hiding in gutters.

The assailants stormed in at around 1 am, firing sporadically, said Zamfara’s information commissioner, Sulaiman Tanau Anka.

“Information available to me said they came with vehicles and moved the students. They also moved some on foot,” he told Reuters.

By late Friday, there had been no claim of responsibility for the raid.

School kidnappings were first carried out by jihadist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province but the tactic has now been adopted by other militants whose agenda is unclear.

They have become endemic around the increasingly lawless north, to the anguish of families and frustration of Nigeria’s government and armed forces. Friday’s was the third such incident since December.

An empty classroom of the Government Science College where gunmen kidnapped dozens of students and staffs, in Kagara, Nigeria on 18 February, 2021.


The rise in abductions is fuelled in part by sizeable government payoffs in exchange for child hostages, catalysing a broader breakdown of security in the north, officials have said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The government denies making such payouts, and President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated on Friday that it would will not succumb to blackmail.

In a statement isued late on Friday, he also appealed to state administrations not to reward bandits with money or vehicles.

Rage and frustration in Jangebe

The town of Jangebe seethed with anger over the abduction, said a government official who was part of the delegation to the community.

Young men hurled rocks at journalists driving through the town, injuring a cameraman, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“People mobilised to block security operatives, journalists and government officials from getting access to the main town,” he said.

Parents arrive at the school compound in search of children kidnapped by bandits, in Jangede, Zamfara State in northwest Nigeria.

Parents arrive at the school compound in search of children kidnapped by bandits, in Jangede, Zamfara State in northwest Nigeria.


Parents also had no faith in authorities to return their kidnapped girls, Mohammed Usman Jangebe told Reuters by phone.

“We are going to rescue our children, since the government isn’t ready to give them protection,” he said.

“All of us that have had our children abducted have agreed to follow them into the forest. We will not listen to anyone now until we rescue our children.”

A military shake-up 

Mr Buhari replaced his long-standing military chiefs this month amid the worsening violence.

Last week, unidentified gunmen kidnapped 42 people including 27 students, and killed one pupil, in an overnight attack on a boarding school in the north-central state of Niger. The hostages are yet to be released.

In December, dozens of gunmen abducted 344 schoolboys in northwest Katsina state. They were freed after six days but the government denied paying a ransom.

Islamic State’s West Africa branch in 2018 kidnapped more than 100 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria, all but one of whom – the only Christian – were released. A ransom was paid, according to the United Nations.

Perhaps the most notorious kidnapping in recent years was when Boko Haram militants abducted 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno state in April 2014. The incident drew widespread global attention, with then US first lady Michelle Obama among the prominent figures calling for their return.

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Nigerian communities allowed to sue Shell in English courts over oil spills after years-long fight | World News

A group of tens of thousands of Nigerian farmers and fishermen will be allowed to sue oil giant Shell in English courts after years of oil spills in the Niger Delta.

Around 50,000 people live in the Ogale and Bille communities of Nigeria and allege they have suffered systematic oil pollution for years which has impacted their drinking water supply and destroyed livelihoods.

The communities wanted to bring forward the case against the British-Dutch company in English courts because they believe they will not be able to get justice in Nigeria.

Oil from a leaking pipeline burns in Goi-Bodo, a swamp area of the Niger Delta in October 2004

The UK Supreme Court has now ruled there is an arguable case that Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary are legally responsible for the pollution and that it can be brought in front of an English court.

A Shell spokesperson has called the decision “disappointing” and said sabotages are the “main sources” of pollution in the Niger Delta.

Shell did not dispute that both communities have been severely polluted, or that there has not been an adequate clean-up yet.

It had instead argued it could not be held legally responsible for the harm suffered and therefore the cases should not be heard in England.

The case is the latest to test whether multinational companies can be held accountable for the actions of their overseas subsidiaries, and could pave the way for more cases against Shell.

Two weeks ago, the Dutch Court of Appeal made a landmark ruling against Royal Dutch Shell that held it liable for pollution caused by its Nigerian subsidiary, ordering it to improve its pipeline network.

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Nigeria farmers win 13 year battle with Shell

Four Nigerian farmers and Friends of the Earth Netherlands had brought forward the case.

This latest Supreme Court ruling has overturned a split decision of the Court of Appeal, ending a five-year fight by the communities to have their cases heard in the English courts.

Daniel Leader from Leigh Day, a law firm representing the Nigerian communities, said: “This Supreme Court judgment gives real hope to the people of Ogale and Bille who have been asking Shell to clean up their oil for years. We hope that now, finally, Shell will act.

“But it also represents a watershed moment in the accountability of multinational companies. Increasingly impoverished communities are seeking to hold powerful corporate actors to account and this judgment will significantly increase their ability to do so.”

The Bonny oil terminal in the Niger Delta, which is operated by Royal Dutch Shell
The Bonny oil terminal in the Niger Delta, which is operated by Royal Dutch Shell

A Shell spokesperson said: “The spills at issue happened in communities that are heavily impacted by oil theft, illegal oil refining, and the sabotage of pipelines.

“Regardless of the cause of a spill, SPDC cleans up and remediates. It also works hard to prevent these sabotage spills, by using technology, increasing surveillance and by promoting alternative livelihoods for those who might damage pipes and equipment. Unfortunately, such criminal acts remain the main sources of pollution across the Niger Delta today.”

A similar case was brought by farmers against Shell in 2013, but it was rejected by the Dutch Hague Civil Court as it backed the oil firm’s argument that the spills were caused by sabotage and not poor maintenance.

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Dutch court orders oil giant Shell to pay Nigerian farmers for pipeline leaks

A Dutch court on Friday ordered Shell to compensate Nigerian farmers for oil spills that polluted swathes of their land in the Niger Delta.

After 13 years of legal battles, an appeals court in The Hague ruled that Shell’s Nigerian branch must pay out for leaks on land in two villages.

It also held the Anglo-Dutch parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, liable for installing new pipeline equipment to prevent further devastating spills.

“The court ruled that Shell Nigeria is liable for the damage caused by the spills. Shell Nigeria is sentenced to compensate farmers for damages,” judge Sierd Schaafsma said.

The court ordered Shell to compensate three out of four farmers who first lodged the case in 2008, saying the amount of damages would be determined later. The case involving the fourth farmer will also be resolved at another time.

Plaintiffs Alali Efanga, Friday Alfrad Akpan, Chief Fidelis A Oguru and Eric Dooh at a court case of Nigerian farmers against Shell, in The Hague in 2012.


The case has dragged on so long that two of the Nigerian farmers have died since it was first filed.

The Dutch arm of environment group Friends of the Earth, which backed the case, said there were “tears of joy” and that “after 13 years, we’ve won”. 

“Until this morning, Dutch multinationals could act with impunity in developing countries… and this has changed now,” Donald Pols of Friends of the Earth said outside court.

Shell Nigeria said it was “disappointed” by the verdict.

‘Environmental damage’

The farmers sued Shell over pollution in their villages Goi, Oruma and Ikot Ada Udo, in southeastern Nigeria.

At a hearing last year, lawyers for the farmers showed gushing and burning oil spills as well as villagers dragging their hands through water sources, their hands streaked with the dark-coloured liquid.

A lower court in the Netherlands found in 2013 that Shell should pay compensation for one leak but that Shell’s parent company could not be held liable in a Dutch court.

But in 2015, the Hague appeals court ruled that Dutch courts did indeed have jurisdiction in the case.

A man covers his hands in crude oil  during a protest against Shell after a oil spill from a Shell oil field, Nigeria, on 31 December 2011.

A man covers his hands in crude oil during a protest against Shell after a oil spill from a Shell oil field, Nigeria, on 31 December 2011.


On Friday, the court ruled that Shell Nigeria must pay compensation for the leaks at Goi and Oruma.

“In the Oruma cases, Shell Nigeria and… Royal Dutch Shell are ordered to equip the pipeline with a leak detection system so that environmental damage can be limited in the future,” the court said.

Shell Nigeria should have shut down oil supplies on the day of the spill in the cases in Goi, it said.

The court said it needed more time to resolve the case of Ikot Ada Udo.

‘Years of devastation’ 

“We are happy about the ruling. It shows that our people can get justice for the years of devastation of our environment by Shell,” King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, ruler of the Ogale Community in the Niger Delta, told AFP.

A lawyer for the farmers, Channa Samkalden, said outside court it was “fantastic news”.

“My clients have been struggling and waiting for this for a very long time,” Mr Samkalden said.

Shell has always blamed all of the spills on sabotage and said it has cleaned up with due care where pollution has occurred.

“We continue to believe that the spills in Oruma and Goi were the result of sabotage,” Shell in Nigeria said in a statement.

Friends of the Earth activists hold a banner outside court ahead of the case of Nigerian farmers against Shell in 2013.

Friends of the Earth activists hold a banner outside court ahead of the case of Nigerian farmers against Shell in 2013.


Nigeria was the world’s ninth-largest oil producer in 2018, pumping out volumes valued at some $43.6 billion, or 3.8 per cent of total global production.

In a separate case in the Netherlands, the widows of four Nigerian activists executed by the military regime in the 1990s have accused Shell of complicity in their deaths. 

Shell also faces a landmark legal bid to force it to meet emissions targets in the Paris climate accords, brought by several environmental groups in the Netherlands led by Friends of the Earth in 2019.

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Nigerian states close schools after students kidnapped in Katsina

Police at the school in Kankara. Many students tried to flee when gunmen stormed it

More states in northern Nigeria have ordered all schools to close following last week’s kidnapping of hundreds of pupils in Katsina state.

Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara and Jigawa have followed Katsina in closing schools following Friday’s attack.

The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has said it was behind the raid.

More than 300 children are still missing, raising fears for the safety of other schools, especially those in remote areas.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Teachers has threatened a nationwide strike unless the government urgently improves the security situation.

The union said pupils and teachers were now being actively targeted by gunmen and kidnappers. It said the attack was a sad reminder of previous raids – dozens of girls from Chibok, in northern Borno state, are still missing six years after they were abducted by jihadists.

Nigerian authorities say have been in contact with the kidnappers in the latest incident, but there are no details of the discussions.

The governor of Katsina state, Aminu Bello Masari, said on Twitter late on Monday: “Talks are ongoing to ensure [the pupils’] safety and return to their respective families.”

The jihadist group issued its claim of responsibility in a four-minute recording.

However, security and local sources cited by AFP news agency said Boko Haram had recruited three local gangs to carry out the attack.

One source said the children had been taken across the border into Zamfara state and divided among different gangs “for safe keeping”. Some of the gangs had since been in touch with authorities over the release of the students.

Boko Haram has previously targeted schools because of its opposition to Western education, which it believes corrupts the values of Muslims. The group’s name translates as “Western education is forbidden”.


Witnesses said the armed men came to the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara town at about 21:30 on Friday and that many students jumped the school fence and fled when they heard gunshots.

Many were tracked by the gunmen who tricked them into believing that they were security personnel, students who escaped said. Once the students were rounded up they were marched into the forest by the armed men.

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Nigerian military in firefight with gang which kidnapped students

Nigeria’s military has located and exchanged fire with gunmen who kidnapped scores of secondary school students in north-western Katsina state, the nation’s President says.

The gang, armed with AK-47s, stormed the Government Science secondary school in Kankara district at about 9:40pm on Friday, police and locals said.

A parent and school employee said roughly half of the school’s 800 students were missing.

But police and the military are still working to determine exactly how many students have been taken.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement the military had located the kidnappers in a forest and, aided by air support, was exchanging fire with them.

In the statement, he condemned kidnappers’ attack in his home state.

But Bint’a Ismail, a parent of one of the abducted children, criticised the Government.

“Sincerely speaking, we here in Katsina State are in a terrifying condition,” she said.

“We don’t see the value of the Government in fact.

“I have a younger brother and a child taken along by the kidnappers.

“I … have been in this school since dawn and yet there is no update [from the Government].”

Police who were at the scene on Friday exchanged fire with the attackers, allowing some students to run for safety, police spokesman Gambo Isah said in a statement.

Marwa Hamza, whose relatives also had children taken in the kidnapping, said she had been at the school at dawn waiting for news.

Police said they would deploy additional forces to support the search and rescue effort.

Gang attacks commonplace

Katsina is plagued by violence the Government attributes to bandits — a loose term for gangs of outlaws who attack locals and kidnap for ransom.

Attacks by Islamist militants are common in north-eastern parts of the country.

Violence and insecurity across Nigeria have enraged citizens, particularly in the wake of scores of farmers being killed, some beheaded, by Islamist militants in north-east Borno state late last month.

Mr Buhari, who arrived on Friday for a week in his home village some 200 kilometres from Kankara, was scheduled to brief the national assembly on the security situation last week but cancelled the appearance without an official explanation.


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Nigerian arrested at JKIA carrying Sh100m in a bag


Nigerian arrested at JKIA carrying Sh100m in a bag

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG



  • ARA said his failure to disclose that he was carrying such a huge amount of money and produce documents supporting the legitimacy of the cash raised suspicion of money laundering.
  • When asked why he was carrying such a huge amount, Mr Bala allegedly said he was heading to Dubai for business.
  • The money was handed to Kenya Airways for safe keeping.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is seeking court orders to freeze over Sh100 million seized from a Nigerian at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while heading to Dubai.

Mauzu Bala was arrested Friday with the money — in 880,000 US dollars, 60,000 euros and 63,000 Nigerian naira — stacked in his handbag.

ARA said his failure to disclose that he was carrying such a huge amount of money and produce documents supporting the legitimacy of the cash raised suspicion of money laundering.

Section 12 (1) of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act requires a person to declare any amount above $10,000 (approximately over Sh1 million).

The Act gives the agency powers to obtain a court order seizing money within five days, where there is reasonable grounds to believe that it is illicit money.

“The threshold for requiring the declaration was not complied as the respondent did not disclose the source of the cash, the business he was doing and the basis of moving with cash of that magnitude,” Fedrick Musyoki, a police investigator attached to ARA, said in an affidavit.

“There are reasonable grounds to suspect the funds found in possession of the respondents in cash may be a direct or indirect benefit or proceeds of crime obtained from a complex money laundering scheme and are liable to be forfeited to the state under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2009.”

When asked why he was carrying such a huge amount, Mr Bala allegedly said he was heading to Dubai for business.

But the agency said there are banks in Nigeria and Dubai that allow a customer to transfer money within the two countries.

Mr Bala allegedly he had no proof of declaration of being in possession of the bulky cash from Nigeria or documentation to support the source, purpose or movement of the cash.

The money was handed to Kenya Airways for safe keeping.

The agency wants the court to order Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka to hand the money to ARA, pending conclusion of investigations.

The agency says the Nigerian had disembarked from Kenya Airways flight KQ535 from Lagos, Nigeria and was intercepted at the transit lounges, heading to catch flight KQ310 to Dubai.

ARA filed an application before a magistrate at JKIA but the ruling had yet to be delivered, forcing the agency to rush to the High Court.

“That there are no court orders currently preserving the assets in issue and there is imminent danger the respondents shall dispose, transfer and dissipate the said assets unless the court issues preservation orders as prayed,” said Stephen Githinji, a State counsel.

The agency wants to be allowed to hold the money, pending conclusion of investigations and possible application for forfeiture to the State.

Anti-corruption lobby Transparency International has termed the Gulf city of Dubai a “money laundering paradise”.

Dubai, a global financial centre popular with the well-to-do shoppers and gold dealers, is also is a major trading hub.

It has also been seen to attract illicit money.

In June, police in Dubai arrested 12 Nigerian scammers living in the UAE and seized more than $40 million in cash and hard disks containing the addresses of nearly two million victims, in six raids.

The Nigerians were accused of impersonating legitimate employees of various US companies in “business email compromise” schemes and tricking the recipients into wiring millions of dollars into their own accounts. Other than the $40 million in cash, police recovered 13 luxury cars worth $6.8 million, 21 computers and 47 smartphones.

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