Thursday, August 30, 2018

NIGERIA NEWS TODAY


1.FAYEMI HIRES 35 LAWYERS FOR DEFENCE
Ekiti State Governor-Elect, Kayode Fayemi, has filed his defence to the petition by the candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and outgoing Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka.

Fayemi in a 2,558-page defence with over 3,000 documents as exhibits, averred that he won the gubernatorial election of July 14, 2018 and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition of Professor Eleka.

The statement added that the team of lawyers with 3,500 exhibits and 1,009 witnesses were on Tuesday led to the tribunal by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Hakeem AfoIabi, Yomi Aliyu and Kayode Olatoke.

Olatoke after filing the petition on Tuesday told journalists that Eleka's petition was a waste of time claiming that it lacked substance and was sure that the case would be dismissed by the tribunal.

"The third ground is on deliberate voiding of votes as alleged by Eleka but in actual fact, majority of the voided ballots were votes meant for Fayemi, while the fourth ground is on vote buying which is baseless as it was, Eleka's sponsor, Fayose that was guilty of this.

2.THERESA MAY VISITS NIGERIA AS BREXIT TRADE MISSION CONTINUES
Theresa May is visiting Nigeria on the second day of her trade mission to boost ties with Africa after Brexit.

Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said Mrs May's "warm words" rang hollow as her government had cut Border Force staff and police officers, who were "the frontline in the fight against modern slavery".

Mrs May's three-day trip to Africa is aimed at deepen economic and trade ties with growing African economies ahead of Britain leaving the EU in 2019.

Arriving in South Africa on Tuesday, Mrs May - who is accompanied by a team of business delegates - said she wanted the UK to overtake the US to become the G7's biggest investor in Africa by 2022.

On Thursday, she will finish her tour in Kenya, where she will hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta and attend a state dinner, visit a business school and meet British troops.

3.NIGERIA MUST ACCOUNT FOR VICTIMS OF ‘ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE’, SAYS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
In a statement issued on Thursday to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the human rights group accused the government of holding several persons in secret detention facilities without charge or trial across the country.

She added, "It's time the government did the right thing - and either release these detainees or charge them with a recognisable criminal offence in a fair trial without recourse to death penalty."

Using the case of a journalist, Abiri Jones, who was detained for more than two years without trial, the director said, "At the beginning, the government denied detaining him, only to later release him following pressure from civil society organizations."

Ojigho said according to figures provided by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), the fate of at least 600 of their members has been unknown since the Shiites clashed with the military in December 2015 in Zaria.

She alleged that several people suspected of being associated with Boko Haram, Niger Delta agitators, and pro-Biafra activists in the country were arbitrarily arrested and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) in recent years.

4.THE UK’S POSITION IS THAT NIGERIA CANNOT ️BE TRUSTED WITH MONEY, SAYS QUEEN’S COUNSEL
Philip Hackett, a Queen’s Counsel, has expressed the reservations of the United Kingdom, when it comes to returning looted funds to Nigeria.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Institutionalising the War against Corruption – New Approaches to Assets Tracing and Recovery’, at the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja on Wednesday, Hackett said the issues with accounting for the funds also contributed to the UK’s hesitation on returning looted funds.

He said: “How much money has been recovered? Practically nothing. Nigeria has recovered so little.

“The UK’s position is that Nigeria cannot be trusted with its money. That’s what underpins it (poor asset return rate), and it has to be addressed.”

The session was chaired by Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), and featured the presence of Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), who was represented by Chile Okoroma, EFCC’s Director of Legal and Prosecution Department.

In his address, Magu lamented “poor record keeping system”, noting that it is difficult to estimate how much has been looted from the country.

He said: “It is difficult to estimate what Nigeria has lost because we have poor record keeping system.

“Lawyers have been involved in money laundering; laundering of proceeds of crime. When they were asked to register with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SVUML) for regulation, they went to court. NBA said it could regulate itself. But how far has NBA gone in regulating itself? That is the issue.

“I think the NBA Disciplinary Committee should be up and doing. I get embarrassed when NBA descends heavily on lawyers who are not considered to be significant, but they turn a blind eye to what big-time counsels are doing.

“I think they have to do their work without looking at faces, no matter whose ox is gored. That is the only way that we can have confidence and respect for the disciplinary committee."

5. POVERTY, NOT CORRUPTION IS NIGERIA’S GREATEST PROBLEM
The report entitled, “A new taxonomy for corruption in Nigeria,” was quoted to have offered as follows: “Kleptocratic capture of political party structures is a sine qua non of gaining power and thereby unlocking corruption opportunities across a range of other sectors.

Little distinguishes Nigeria’s two main political parties in this regard. Both are constellations of fluid national, state, local elite networks. Both are almost identically structured non-ideological organisations. Both rely on misappropriated public funds to finance elections campaigns. Neither values internal party democracy, allowing money and high-level interference to corrupt candidate selection processes.”

It diagnosed further that: “… Corruption in Nigeria runs the gamut from the jaw-dropping, to the creative, to the mundane. It encompasses the oil minister who diverted billions of petro-dollars in just a few years.

It includes the local official who claimed a snake slithered into her office and gobbled up $100,000 in cash. And it involves the cop shaking down motorists for 25 cents apiece at makeshift checkpoints.”

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