Nigerian ex-minister held over 2014 stampede deaths

2016-02-23 14:14

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Abuja - Nigeria's anti-graft agency has arrested a former interior minister under then-president Goodluck Jonathan over the death of at least 20 people in a stampede tragedy two years ago, an official said on Tuesday.

Dozens were also injured in March 2014 when job seekers scrambled to take screening tests for jobs at the country's immigration department, according to media reports. There was no official death toll.

"Former minister of interior Abba Moro was arrested on Monday in connection with the 2014 immigration recruitment scam," the official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), who did not want to be named, told AFP.

"He is still in our custody for interrogation. He may be charged to court at the end of the interrogation," he said.

Local media said two former senior officials of the interior ministry and immigration department were also being questioned over the botched recruitment tragedy.

Tens of thousands of people had turned up for the test in various parts of the country and officials were blamed for not making adequate arrangement for effective crowd control.

The recruitment exercise was cancelled after it also emerged that millions of dollars in application forms were collected from the job seekers.

Moro was removed in May 2015 following the election of President Muhammadu Buhari who defeated Jonathan in March ballots.

There is a high level of unemployment in Nigeria especially among young people. In 2011, the jobless toll stood at 23.9%.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

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