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Sources: Foreign aid worker detained for breach of security at Borno govt house

Sources: Foreign aid worker detained for breach of security at Borno govt house
August 05
12:29 2021

One Santiago Alexander, a foreign national who claimed to be the country director of ACTED, an international non-governmental organisation (iNGO), has been arrested for breaching security protocol at the Borno state government house, in Maiduguri, TheCable can report.

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TheCable learnt that Santiago was detained after he was intercepted on Wednesday around 4 pm inside a grey coloured Sienna with registration number MAG 479 RM.

Santiago, whose country of origin was not ascertained as of press time, was close to the official residence of Babagana Zulum, the state governor, and had no form of identification when he was intercepted. Santiago’s driver identified as Abubakar Suleiman also had no form of identification on him.

The suspect claimed that he lost his way while trying to locate a multipurpose hall where a meeting of the Joint Planning Board (JPB) and National Council on Development Planning was taking place within the government house.

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He admitted being at the same hall the previous day (Tuesday) for the three-day event.

TheCable learnt that the governor’s residence is located about 500 meters from the hall, and with a security point, which has the governor’s entrance gate.  Despite being at the hall on Tuesday, Santiago’s driver suspiciously went around the gate, drove near the governor’s office and headed towards the residence.

The point where the driver was intercepted was over 1km from the hall which Santiago claimed he was going to despite evident landmarks and road bends to indicate that they were heading in a different direction.

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Security details at the government house suspected foul play when Suleiman ignored waves to stop after breaching security. The details had to chase and intercept the vehicle.

They further got suspicious given that the event hall where Santiago claimed he was heading had multiple posters, banners and vehicles —  all of which made the location too conspicuous to be missed.

When interrogated, Santiago, who was not on an invitation to the government house, said he was there to deliver mail to one Oluseyi Fatuyi of the department of international cooperation from the federal ministry of finance who was in Maiduguri for the three-day JTB meeting.

Fatuyi confirmed having an appointment with Santiago.

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Zulum has directed the state commissioner of police to take over the case for further investigation.

ACTED SUSPENDED IN JUNE OVER SHOOTING TRAINING

ACTED, which Santiago claimed to be heading, was suspended in June on Zulum’s directive for using a hotel for training its staff on shooting.

The state government said the French iNGO was found using toy guns and simulators in training exercises after residents reported to officials that they were hearing sound of gunshots from the hotel.

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The governor subsequently ordered the sealing off of the hotel and suspension of ACTED from any humanitarian activity in the state.

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