PREMIUM TIMES will start publishing a three-part series entitled “Merchants of Terror” from Monday, 3 October 2022.
The series is an on-the-ground investigation exposing a new financing scheme by Nigerian terrorists.
“Merchants of Terror” is a two-month long investigative work by Ibrahim Adeyemi, PREMIUM TIMES chief investigative reporter.
The report is the result of weeks of travelling across hard-to-reach communities across the northwest, including Zamfara and Sokoto States, to document how bandits force communities to pay millions as “taxes” and how this disempowers and impoverishes the communities.
“It is a mentally draining investigation that almost took my life,” said Mr Adeyemi, who executed the investigative project. “I was only able to achieve this by staying faithful — and months-long patience conducting field exercise in the northwest region.”
In one instance, the story details how bandits corner revenues that should ordinarily go into states’ coffers. In another instance, the reporter reveals how the terrorists have taken over ungoverned spaces, commandeering communities in their criminal sovereign enclaves.
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“Ibrahim demonstrated rare courage venturing into these troubled areas to get us this important piece of enterprise that opens our eyes to an aspect of terrorism financing in Nigeria,” said Taiwo-Hassan Adebayo, head of Premium Times investigative unit.
“It is such an important and relevant work because for several years the understanding – both for the public and the government – of how violent non-state actors raise and spend money for their violent crimes is limited.
“That’s one reason it has been difficult stopping these actors. With this work, we hope we are producing some necessary help to law enforcement and defence authorities to tackle the bandits and terrorists alike.”
Premium Times is Nigeria’s leading investigative media outlet that has over the years provided rare insights into the country’s protracted insurgency.
The groundbreaking investigative work will run on our website from tomorrow morning.