June 18, 2019 / 5:35 PM / 3 months ago

Nigerian governor says armed robbers, not cash-eating gorilla, stole $22,000

ABUJA (Reuters) - An investigation into the disappearance of 6.8 million naira ($22,000) from a zoo in northern Nigeria found it had been taken by armed robbers - not eaten by a gorilla as widely reported in local newspapers.

Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor of northern Kano state, had ordered the state’s anti-corruption commission to look into the disappearance of gate fees at the Kano Zoological Gardens.

Nigeria has for years been plagued by corruption and forms of banditry ranging from armed robberies to kidnapping for ransom. President Muhammadu Buhari had pledged to improve security and crack down on graft.

“Preliminary reports indicate that there was armed robbery at the zoo,” Ganduje told reporters after meeting Buhari together with other governors in the capital, Abuja.

“The issue of (a) gorilla is junk journalism,” he said. “This is because there is ... no gorilla in that zoo.”

Last year, a Nigerian sales clerk was suspended after telling auditors that 36 million naira had been eaten by a snake.

($1 = 305.9500 naira)

Additional reporting by Desmond Mgboh in Kano; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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