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African press review 18 September 2015


Nigerian conmen swallow 156,000 dollars nabbed near Lagos airport; a bribe-taking policeman shoots a Lagos family returning home from church; and an update on the Burkina Faso  coup by rebels close to ousted President Blaise Compaoré.

The press in Nigeria is not passionate about the military coup staged in Burkina Faso. Punch does carry a front-page story about a massive demonstration in the capital Ouagadougou and a crackdown by rebel soldiers resulting in the shooting to death of 10 people and more than 60 others wounded. The paper says the transitional government was overthrown less than a month to democratic elections.

The coup leader, General Gilbert Diendere, was a close ally of Burkina Faso's ousted president Blaise Compaore. Diendere was Compaore's intelligence chief and later commander of the presidential regiment, notoriously branded as '"an army within the army".

Punch says that despite the enforcement of a night-time curfew across the West African state, the headquarters of Compaore’s Congress for Democracy and Progress party were ransacked in Ouagadougou as news of the coup spread.

Several Nigerian papers report that the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States have condemned the coup and the abduction of the transitional president, Michel Kafando; the prime minister, Yacouba Zida; and the transitional ministers.

Punch has been investigating the circumstances surrounding the police shooting of a couple as they returned from church on their tricycle in Lagos on Wednesday.

The paper’s correspondent reports that a police corporal opened fire on the vehicle after it failed to stop at a checkpoint manned by bribe-taking policemen. Punch says that the woman who was breastfeeding a three-month-old baby was killed on the spot while her husband and her children suffered severe bullet wounds. The newspaper reports that the policemen fled the scene after the shooting.

The Nigerian Tribune reports that the police corporal, who shot the woman to death in the Lagos suburb, has since been arrested and is due to be presented before a judge Friday.

And Vanguard sheds light on an amazing discovery made by agents of Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Thursday. Members of a money laundering syndicate were caught red-handed while trying to swallow 156,000 dollars (136,000 euros) in a hotel room near Lagos airport.

According to the newspaper, one of the two men who had booked flights for Brazil had already swallowed up to 74 wraps of dollar bills amounting to 111,000 dollars when the agents stormed the hotel room.

His accomplice was found sitting in front of sachets containing 45,000 dollars he was being urged to take in before boarding time. Vanguard says their accomplices included a specialist in wrapping sachets of money, the hotel manager and an agent of a currency exchange office.

And Nigeria’s Daily Post likes the advice dished out to men by a Kenyan politician. A Nakuru member of the Kenya Parliament, David Gikaria, told a free medical camp he recently organised in his constituency that prostitution would be eradicated in Kenya if men marry more than one wife.

Gikaria, who has three wives, invited his audience to come and learn from him, arguing that prostitution was on the increase in Kenyan towns because women lack husbands. 

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