It has emerged that the Nigerian journalist, Abdullahi Shuaibu, arrested for robbing four banks in Manhattan, United States, all during his lunch hour, was sacked by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)) when he refused to heed his recall home from the United Nations Headquarters posting.
When he was asked to return home in 2010, he said he was pursuing an academic programme in the university in the US. The NAN management allowed him time to finish the programme but when he refused to return in 2013, he was fired, said NAN sources.
The termination of his appointment was formally conveyed to the UN.
He was later employed by Nigeria’s Permanent Representatives at the UN, Chief Agboola Gambari, for a while.
Shuaibu was described by the New York Police department as an employee of the United Nations, but truth is he had log seized to be one, said Western Post sources.
The photograph of the 53-year-old was circulated by NYPD.
He was picked up by police on Monday and charged with robbery and attempted robbery for the crimes committed during his two-month spree.
All four banks are within walking distance of UN headquarters on First Ave. near E. 42nd St., where the Nigerian worked.
Authorities were led to the suspect after a retired police officer who works at the UN recognised him from a surveillance image previously released by the police.
In the first incident, Shuaibu walked into a Santander Bank on Madison Ave. near E. 43rd St. on Feb. 27 and told the teller he had a gun. The bank employee complied and handed him an unknown sum of money.
Shuaibu who served as NAN’s UN correspondent between 2006 and 2009 hit two more banks in March, first striking out at a Bank of America on Third Ave. near E. 47th St. on the 13th. He was also successful in robbing a Santander Bank on Third Ave. and E. 63rd St. on the 27th.
During the most recent incident on Monday, Shuaibu walked into an HSBC on Third Ave. and E. 40th St. around 2:30 p.m. and passed a note demanding cash to the teller.
The teller did not read the note and asked him for identification. He, however, instructed the teller to read the note, keeping his hand in his jacket pocket while simulating a gun, police said.
Police arrested him later in the day when he returned to the UN.
A UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric denied that Shuaibu was a staff of the organisation. He told NAN in New York that the suspect was also not accredited to the UN after NAN withdrew his accreditation.
Dujarric also said the suspect only worked as a contract staff for three months in Darfur and his contract was terminated in 2012.
Shuaibu attended Ahmadu Bello University between 1980 and 1985, where he studied International Relations.