One Decade, 13 Coups: Turbulent Africa

Burkina Faso’s new coup leader Captain Ibrahim Traore gives a news conference on October 2, 2022 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Stringer / Anadolu Agency (Photo by STRINGER / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP)

The West African state of Burkina Faso, where the military has seized power for the second time in a year, is the latest in a string of sub-Saharan countries that have suffered coups in the past decade.

A timeline:

Mali, 2012

In March 2012, troops overthrow Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure in the run-up to elections, accusing him of failing to handle a Tuareg rebellion in the country’s north.

Shortly after Tuareg rebels and allied Islamist groups overrun northern Mali. The military hands power to an interim civilian government.

– Guinea-Bissau, 2012 –
Troops oust Guinea-Bissau’s interim president Raimundo Pereira and arrest a leading candidate, ex-prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior, between two rounds of a presidential election in April 2012.

It is the fourth coup since independence from Portugal in 1974.

A civilian transitional government is put in place.

Central African Republic, 2013

Rebels from a Muslim-dominated coalition called the Seleka storm Central African Republic’s capital Bangui in March 2013 and oust Francois Bozize, a Christian who had seized power a decade earlier.

Seleka leader Michel Djotodia declares himself president.

The country descends into sectarian chaos pitting Seleka rebels against vigilante self-defence groups from the Christian and animist majority known as the anti-Balaka.

Burkina Faso, 2015

Less than a year after the fall of president Blaise Compaore in a popular revolt, Burkina Faso’s president Michel Kafando is overthrown in a coup led by his own presidential guard in September 2015.

Less than a week later Kafando is back in power after the coup leaders fail to win popular support.

Zimbabwe, 2017

Zimbabwe’s bellicose President Robert Mugabe, who ruled the country with an iron fist for 37 years, is pushed out by the military and members of his own ZANU-PF party in November 2017.

His former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeds him and Mugabe dies in Singapore two years later at the age of 95.

Sudan, 2019

Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir’s 30 years in power are terminated by the army in April 2019 after a four-month revolt against his authoritarian rule.

More than 250 people die in the protests. A transition council of military and civil society leaders is formed in August 2019 but the military soon takes the upper hand.

Mali, 2020

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is overthrown in August 2020 after several months of street protests over the military’s failure to stem the Islamic insurgency that began in the north in 2012 and then spread to other regions.

Chad, 2021

When Chad’s longtime leader Idriss Deby Itno dies in an operation against rebels in April 2021 his son General Mahamat Idriss Deby takes over at the head of a military junta.

He dissolves parliament and suspends the constitution, vowing to hold “free and democratic” elections after an 18-month rule.

Mali, 2021

In May 2021, the Malian military takes over yet again after the civilian leaders of an interim government remove soldiers from some key posts.

Army strongman Colonel Assimi Goita survives an assassination attempt on July 20 at a Bamako mosque.

Under international pressure, the colonel vows to hold free elections by February.

Guinea, 2021

In September, mutinous troops led by lieutenant-colonel Mamady Doumbouya take over in Guinea, arresting 83-year-old President Alpha Conde.

Conde had been Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010 but he sparked fury by changing the constitution so he could run for a third term.

Doumbouya has pledged to return power to elected civilians within three years.

Sudan, 2021

After weeks of tension between the military and civilian leaders who had shared power since the ousting of dictator Omar al-Bashir, the armed forces stage a new coup on October 25 and arrest Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

But protests later force them to reinstate him before he resigns on January 2, 2022.

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan later vows to step aside but the pro-democracy protests continue.

Burkina Faso, 2022

In January 2022, mutinous soldiers led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba arrest President Roch Marc Christian Kabore over his handling of a wave of jihadist attacks.

The seventh coup since the country’s independence from France in 1960 is soon followed by another.

On September 30, army officers announce that they have dismissed Damiba, also accusing him of failing to curb the jihadist violence. He agrees to step down two days later.

32 Children Died In Indonesia Stadium Disaster, Officials Reveal

This picture taken on October 1, 2022 shows security personnel (lower) on the pitch after a football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java. AFP

 

At least 32 children died in Indonesia’s stadium crush, an official said Monday as police moved to punish those responsible for one of the deadliest disasters in football history.

The tragedy on Saturday night in the city of Malang saw a total of 125 people killed and 323 others injured after officers fired tear gas in a packed stadium to quell a pitch invasion, triggering a stampede.

Dozens of children caught in the chaos lost their lives, an official at the women’s empowerment and child protection ministry told AFP.

“From the latest data we received, out of 125 people who died in the accident, 32 of them were children, with the youngest being a toddler age three or four,” said Nahar, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.

As anger mounted against police, Indonesia’s chief security minister Mahfud MD announced a task force had been formed to investigate and called for those responsible to be punished.

“We asked (police) to unveil who has perpetrated the crimes and take action against them and we also hope the national police will evaluate their security procedures,” he said in a broadcast statement.

The police force sacked its local chief in Malang within hours of the minister’s speech.

“Tonight the national police chief has made a decision to relieve Malang police chief Ferli Hidayat from his duty and replace him,” national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told a press conference.

East Java police also suspended nine officers on the instruction of the national police force, he said, without providing details about their role in the tragedy.

‘We want accountability’

Saturday’s incident unfolded when fans of home team Arema FC stormed the pitch at the Kanjuruhan stadium after their loss 3-2 to bitter rivals Persebaya Surabaya.

Police responded by launching tear gas into packed terraces, prompting spectators to rush en masse to small gates where many were trampled or suffocated, according to witnesses.

“It felt like people were packed into a small tube with a tiny hole, and then they were smoked,” said 29-year-old spectator Ahmad Rizal Habibi, who escaped before the crush.

Police described the incident as a riot and said two officers were killed, but survivors accuse them of overreacting and causing the deaths of scores of spectators.

“One of our messages is for the authorities to investigate this thoroughly. And we want accountability. Who is to blame?” said 25-year-old Malang resident Andika, who declined to give his last name.

“We want justice for our fallen supporters.”

One witness outside the stadium said police refused to help when the crush happened.

“The place looked like a mass cemetery. Women and children were piling on top of one another,” Eko Prianto, 39, told AFP.

“I ran to the police or soldier to help. There were no medics in sight. The police did not help and the soldier threatened to beat me.”

‘Full responsibility’

In a tearful live address, Arema FC president Gilang Widya Pramana apologised for the tragedy.

“I, as the president of Arema FC, will take full responsibility for the incident that occurred,” he said.

The Arema squad visited the site of the crush on Monday wearing black shirts to pay their respects and lay flowers before gathering on the pitch to pray for victims.

Newspaper Kompas published a black front page with the word “tragedy” and a stadium bearing the names of victims.

Graffiti daubed on the walls of the venue revealed bubbling anger towards authorities.

“My siblings were killed. Investigate thoroughly,” read one message scrawled on the stadium’s shutters, accompanied by a black ribbon and the date of the disaster.

“ACAB”, an acronym for “all cops are bastards”, was sprayed on another wall.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered compensation for families of the victims to the tune of 50 million rupiah ($3,200) each, a minister said on Monday.

He has also suspended football matches until security improves and announced a probe.

Rights groups said officers should be held accountable for using tear gas in a confined area.

Mahfud said the task force for the investigation would consist of government and football officials, academics and members of the media.

He said the probe would be “concluded in the next two or three weeks”.

But Human Rights Watch said the police and Indonesia’s football association “may be tempted to downplay or undermine full accountability for officials”.

‘A dark day’

Football fan violence is an enduring problem in Indonesia.

Witnesses say supporters of the home team invaded the pitch after their loss to Persebaya Surabaya.

Persebaya Surabaya fans were barred from the game, due to the fear of violence.

Mahfud said 42,000 tickets had been allocated for 38,000 seats.

After the stampede, Arema fans threw rocks at officers and torched vehicles including a police truck on the streets of Malang, according to police.

FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino called the tragedy a “dark day” for football.

The world governing body’s safety guidelines prohibit the use of crowd control gas by police or stewards at pitchside.

Swede Paabo Wins Nobel Medicine Prize For Sequencing Neanderthal DNA

In this collage, to the left, Member of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine Anna Wedell explains the research field of the winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Svante Paabo, who is captured on the right, in a photo from a 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

 

Swedish paleogeneticist Svante Paabo, who sequenced the genome of the Neanderthal and discovered the previously unknown hominin Denisova, on Monday won the Nobel Medicine Prize.

“By revealing genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from extinct hominins, his discoveries provide the basis for exploring what makes us uniquely human”, the Nobel committee said in a statement.

Paabo, director of the department of genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, found that gene transfer had occurred from these now extinct hominins to Homo sapiens following the migration out of Africa around 70,000 years ago.

“This ancient flow of genes to present-day humans has physiological relevance today, for example affecting how our immune system reacts to infections”, the jury said.

Covid-19 patients with a snippet of Neanderthal DNA run a higher risk of severe complications from the disease, Paabo reported in a 2020 study.

Paabo, 67, who takes home the award sum of 10 million Swedish kronor ($901,500), will receive the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.

Last year, the Medicine Prize went to US pair David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for discoveries on receptors for temperature and touch, which have been used to develop treatments for a wide range of diseases and conditions, including chronic pain.

The Nobel season continues this week with the announcement of the winners of the Physics Prize on Tuesday and the Chemistry Prize on Wednesday.

They will be followed by the much-anticipated prizes for Literature on Thursday and Peace on Friday, while the Economics Prize winds things up on Monday, October 10.

Anti-Putin prizes?

For the Literature Prize on Thursday, literary critics told AFP they thought the Swedish Academy may go for a more mainstream author this year, after selecting lesser-known writers the past two years.

Last year, Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah won, while US poet Louise Gluck was crowned in 2020.

US novelist Joyce Carol Oates, France’s Annie Ernaux and Maryse Conde, Russia’s Lyudmila Ulitskaya and Canada’s Margaret Atwood have all been cited as potential laureates if the committee has its eyes on a woman.

Online betting sites however have France’s Michel Houellebecq as the favourite, ahead of British author Salman Rushdie, who was the victim of an attempted murder attack in August.

But it is the Peace Prize that is expected to hold special significance this year.

After Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov won the prize last year together with his Philippine colleague Maria Ressa in the name of freedom of expression, will the Norwegian Nobel Committee award another anti-Putin prize after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine?

Not since World War II has a conflict raged between two countries so close to Oslo.

The International Criminal Court, tasked with investigating war crimes in Ukraine, and the International Court of Justice — both based in The Hague — have been mentioned as possible laureates this year.

So have jailed Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

If the committee were to focus on the climate crisis, experts tipped Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, possibly together with British environmentalist David Attenborough or other activists such as Sudan’s Nisreen Elsaim and Ghana’s Chibeze Ezekiel.

Another Billionaire Arrested By NDLEA For Alleged Drug Trafficking In Lagos

 

No less than Thirteen Million, Four Hundred and Fifty One Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty Six (13,451,466) pills of Tramadol 225mg worth Eight Billion Eight Hundred and Sixty Million Naira (N8,860,000,000) in street value have been recovered by operatives of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), from one of the mansions of a suspected billionaire drug baron, Ugochukwu Nsofor Chukwukadibia, in the highbrow residential estate, Victoria Garden City, Lekki area of Lagos.

The arrest of Ugochukwu who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd is coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered a methamphetamine clandestine laboratory in the residence of another suspected drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Emeka Nzewi, who was arrested on Saturday 30th July along with a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him.

At least, 258.74 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals used for the production of the toxic drug were recovered from Nzewi’s home during his arrest.


READ ALSO: NDLEA Arrests Ex-Footballer, Two Others For Illicit Drugs Smuggling


Following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday 30th September stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin.

A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13, 451, 466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day.

Before his arrest, Ugochukwu who hails from Ihiala local government area of Anambra state has been on the Agency’s watch list as one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.

Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within the VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and another as his office.

Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bullet jeep have been successfully removed to the Agency’s facility.

Reacting to the latest drug haul, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence while also appreciating Nigerians for supporting the Agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

According to him, “I’ll like to reassure Nigerians and other stakeholders wherever they are located across the country and beyond of our preparedness to work with them on this onerous task of saving our people from the drug scourge. This partnership is a further warning to the drug barons and cartels that there is no hiding place for them anymore, because we remain on their trail and we’ll always get them.”

Tinubu Passionate About Nigeria, In UK For Consultation – APC Chieftain

A file photo of APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

 

The Deputy National publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, Hon Yakubu Murtala Ajaka, has said that the party’s presidential Candidate, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is in good health and not on medical trip as widely circulated.

Honourable Ajaka, who visited the APC flag bearer in London, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday evening.

He said, “Contrary to the widespread speculation in the public space which was hugely circulated by our political opponents that senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu was on a medical trip in London. It is totally false”.


READ ALSO: 2023: I Have Not Withdrawn From Presidential Race – Tinubu Shares Workout Video


The Party chieftain said that Sen. Tinubu was in the country to meet with different interest groups for the advancement of the country, saying he is ‘hale and hearty’.

He added that Tinubu is a man of resounding political and administrative experience, who has a sound and vast understanding of Nigeria’s diversity and would deploy this knowledge into leadership when elected.

The lawmaker stressed that among other things, the presidential candidate would deploy his stern desire to unify the nation and inclusion of youths to drive the policy of the country.

Hon. Ajaka added that among those jostling for the role of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the 2023 general elections, the APC’s flagbearer stands tall with a very humbling track record.

Wike To Supreme Court: Give Desired Urgency To VAT Suit

 

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has appealed to the Supreme Court of Nigeria to give the case before it concerning the collection and distribution of Value Added Taxes generated from the State by the federal government the urgency it requires.

Governor Wike made the appeal at the match past and parade in commemoration of the 62nd independence of Nigeria at the Sharks Football Stadium in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

He explained that such urgency and eventual ruling of the case in favour of the State, will further add more financial resources that will accelerate the economic growth of Rivers State.

“We have also not given up in our determination to right the injustice associated with the collection and distribution of Value-Added Taxes generated from the State by the Federal Government just as we again call on the Supreme Court to please, treat this matter with the urgency that it requires.”

Governor Wike said since 1999 that the country returned to democracy, it has continued to witness deliberate constitutional distortions, institutional weaknesses and widespread corruption that have prevented Nigerians from enjoying a robust democratic practice.

He listed the absence of a free and fair elections, the rule of law and social justice as part of experiences that are refused to take root in Nigeria.

“This is not to say that Nigeria has not made any progress as a nation. Certainly, we have achieved some visible developmental strides and economic progress as Africa’s largest economy.

“The fact that we have remained together despite the recurrent conflicts and crisis of confidence is also worth celebrating as an achievement.

“But, after 62 years, Nigeria deserves more than what it has achieved and Nigerians likewise deserve much more than what their leaders have delivered to them with the country’s enormous natural and human resources.”


READ ALSO: NDLEA Arrests Another Billionaire Drug Baron In Lagos, Recovers N8.8bn Worth Of Tramadol


Governor Wike bemoaned the inability of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government, over the last seven years, to keep the economic and social conditions within Nigeria from deteriorating.

He pointed to such inability as evidence that the APC led federal government is totally lost in what further measures it could take to stem or ameliorate the predicaments they have visited on Nigerians.

“Life is sacrosanct, but the present federal government has failed in the most basic duty to the nation to protect the lives and property of its citizens.

“Under their watch, infrastructure across all sectors, including roads, education and healthcare has collapsed. Tertiary education has remained comatose for over seven months and with no employment opportunities, the federal government continues to toy with the future of the youths.”

The Rivers State governor decried the situation where healthcare delivery is a nightmare across the country with ordinary citizens unable to access necessary medical services, basic diagnostics and medications at affordable rates in public hospitals.

He noted the spiraling crime and physical violence that are almost out of control across the country with the schools, churches and mosques no longer serving as safe places anymore.

“And with compulsive corruption, insecurity, low export earnings, protracted forex crisis and an economy so close to bankruptcy the untold suffering and hopeless future among Nigerians will continue if something is not done to improve the quality of political leadership in our country.”

Governor Wike however, stated that things can be better if there is the right political leadership in place that has the courage, decisive and purposeful in driving the country on a new path.

“However, let’s not forget that before the present deplorable state of affairs, we experienced significant economic growth, relative prosperity, a stable educational system and a relatively better quality of life for our people, under the Peoples Democratic Party.

“This showed that Nigeria’s current economic, social and security situation can rapidly be resolved with new leadership that is courageous, decisive, purposeful and able to take the country in a new direction that would curb corruption, stop unsustainable debts, and drive economic growth to create jobs and prosperity for all citizens.”

Governor Wike insisted that there is a need to have a new government that cares about the unity of the country and the wellbeing of its citizens.

Such government, Governor Wike said, should be one that is religiously committed to changing the present circumstances of the people and making life more meaningful for everyone.”

Governor Wike stressed that his administration is already performing like the expected new government at the national level by providing road infrastructure in quality and quantity that are unmatched by any previous government since the creation of the State.

“No State government, not even the Federal Government, can boast of the simultaneous construction of 12 flyovers and other major roads across the State in three years with Julius Berger Nigeria limited as the contractor; but that is what our government has successfully executed.”

Governor Wike emphasised that within the past seven years, his administration achieved so much because if it was dogged in implementing various fiscal measures that have improved the State’s revenue base.

With such growth, Governor Wike said, existing hospitals have been renovated, abandoned ones completed and new ones delivered to improve access to health for Rivers people.

“We have expanded excess to quality education, including tertiary education with the successful establishment of the medical college and the four new campuses for the Rivers State University in Emohua, Ahoada, Etche and Tai Local Government Areas of the State.

“We have renovated existing hospitals, completed abandoned ones, delivered new ones, and are set to deliver the most advanced specialist hospital in entire West Africa for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases here in Port Harcourt, which we believe will help the nation to stem medical tourism and conserve foreign exchange for the country.

“We have since started the payment of arrears of gratuities and death benefits to our senior citizens and legal beneficiaries and this will continue until all existing arrears of gratuities and death benefits are fully paid out.”

Speaking further, the Rivers State governor added that his administration significantly advanced the economic interest of Rivers State through securing important legal victories that helped in recovering several oil wells and gas fields hitherto denied to the State by the Federal Government.

“The 13% and other derivation funds from these oilfields have added appreciable resources to the State’s revenue base, which we are deploying to accelerate the development of our State.

“The roads and bridges we have built continue to stimulate economic growth and prosperity by providing safe and seamless commuting across the State for businesses, farmers and social endeavours.

“We have greatly enhanced the State’s judicial system and improved the living conditions of judicial officers serving in the State, including those serving in the Rivers State jurisdictions of federal courts to enhance the rule of law and social justice in the State.

“Additionally, the tremendous support we are giving to the federal security agencies has resulted in curbing crimes and made Rivers State one of the safest States in the country to invest, live and bring up our children.”

Two Internet Fraudsters Bag Seven Years Imprisonment

 

The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has secured the conviction and sentencing of two Internet fraudsters.

The fraudsters: Harmony Enobakhare and Lucky Uhunamure Osamudiamen were jailed by Justices Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court Benin City and Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State.

Enobakhare was jailed on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, after pleading guilty to one count charge bordering on retention of N518, 114, 049. 35k (Five Hundred and Eighteen Million One Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Forty Nine Naira and Thirty – Five Kobo) which are proceeds of illegal conducts.

In a similar vein, Justice Abdu Dogo of the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, has convicted and sentenced three internet fraudsters to different jail terms.

The convicts: Somadina Kingsley Madubuke, Sunday Ogbonna and Bello Emmanuel Adeoza, were jailed on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

They were convicted, after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge, bordering on criminal impersonation and Point of sale, POS, fraud, upon being arraigned by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the EFCC.

They pleaded guilty to the charge, when it was read to them individually.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel: Ramiah Ikhanaede prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

Delivering judgment, Justice Dogo sentenced Somadina to three years imprisonment or an option of fine of N1 million. Additionally, he should restitute N1.8 million to his victims through the EFCC.

He also forfeited his phones $800 found in his bank account. The court also froze all his bank accounts.

Three Internet Fraudsters Bag Jail Terms in Makurdi

 

Justice Abdu Dogo of the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, has convicted and sentenced three internet fraudsters to different jail terms.

The convicts: Somadina Kingsley Madubuke, Sunday Ogbonna and Bello Emmanuel Adeoza, were jailed on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

They were convicted, after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge, bordering on criminal impersonation and Point of sale, POS, fraud, upon being arraigned by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the EFCC.

They pleaded guilty to the charge, when it was read to them individually.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel: Ramiah Ikhanaede prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

Delivering judgment, Justice Dogo sentenced Somadina to three years imprisonment or an option of fine of N1 million. Additionally, he should restitute N1.8 million to his victims through the EFCC.

He also forfeited his phones $800 found in his bank account. The court also froze all his bank accounts.

Buhari And Xi Jinping Felicitate On Nigerian, Chinese National Days

I Am Fully Committed To Mambilla Power Project, Buhari Tells Xi
President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chises counterpart, Xi Jinping. Credit: AFP

 

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have exchanged pleasantries on the occasion of the two nations’ independence anniversary on October 1.

While Nigeria marks its 62nd anniversary, for the People’s Republic of China it’s the 73rd.

In his letter, congratulating the Chinese President on the anniversary, the Nigerian leader said relations between the two countries have “achieved far-reaching and fruitful results on the basis of equity, mutual trust and mutual benefits,” adding that Nigeria seeks to elevate the strategic partnership to a new level.

On his part, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, said the Sino-Nigerian relations enjoy “sound momentum, with political mutual trust being enhanced, cooperation in various fields yielding fruitful results and coordination on international and regional affairs being closer.”


READ ALSO: How Africa’s Free Trade Area Can Succeed – Buhari


The full texts of the letters are as follows:

Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

Your Excellency,

LETTER OF FELICITATIONS

I write on behalf of the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to extend warm greetings and felicitations to the Chinese Government and People on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

The bilateral ties between Nigeria and China have achieved far-reaching and fruitful results on the basis of equity, mutual trust and mutual benefits. We thank China for its support to us in various ways and ready to seek more collaborations with you, as well as to elevate the Strategic Partnership between our two countries to a new level.

I highly commend China’s accomplishments under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to which President Xi Jinping doubles as General Secretary.

As the 20th National Congress of CPC will be held in October, I wish this historical Congress a great success, and also hope it will draw up blueprint for China’s future development.

While wishing you once again, happy celebrations, please accept Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem and regards.

Yours Sincerely

Muhammadu Buhari

H.E. Muhammadu Buhari

President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Abuja

Your Excellency,

On the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the independence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I would like to, on behalf of the government and the people of China, and in my own name, extend to you and through you to the Nigerian government and people, the warmest congratulations and best wishes.

In recent years, the development of China-Nigeria relations enjoys sound momentum, with political mutual trust being enhanced, cooperation in various fields yielding fruitful results and coordination on international and regional affairs being closer. I highly value the development of China-Nigeria relations, and would like to join efforts with you to promote the Strategic Partnership between our two countries and the two peoples.

I wish the Federal Republic of Nigeria prosperity and its people happiness.

Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

Alleged Breach Of Electoral Act: Court Fixes Oct 6 For Suit Against Tinubu, Atiku

A photo combination of APC presidential aspirant, Bola Tinubu, and PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja, has slated October 6 to hear a suit seeking to disqualify the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, for allegedly acting in breach of the Electoral Act.

The suit which was instituted by the immediate past Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and filed alongside a non governmental organization under the aegis of the Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International, is equally praying the court to disqualify the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, over the same allegation.

Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered service of all the relevant court processes as well as hearing notices on all the Defendants in the matter.

READ ALSO: How Africa’s Free Trade Area Can Succeed – Buhari


It will be recalled that Nwajiuba, who is a chieftain of the APC and one of its presidential aspirants, had secured leave of the court to sue both his party’s presidential flag-bearer, Tinubu, and that of the PDP, Atiku.

Specifically, the Plaintiffs, in the suit they filed through their lawyer, Mr. Okere Nnamdi, alleged that the primary election that produced Tinubu as the 2023 presidential candidate of the APC, was marred by corruption and massive vote buying, insisting that majority of the delegates were bought over with dollars.

To strengthen his allegation, the ex-Minister who polled only one vote at the primary election that held on June 8, included in his proof of evidence, a video recording showing the immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, decrying that delegates at the APC primary sold their votes.

Besides, the Plaintiffs queried Tinubu’s source of income and his educational qualifications.

They urged the court to declare that Tinubu, “who had previously sworn an affidavit in the INEC nomination form declaring that he lost his primary and secondary school documents and benefitted therefrom, cannot in a later affidavit deny and abandon same facts deposed in the previous affidavit and thus falsely contradicting his academic qualifications”.

EFCC Arrests Two Siblings, 24 Others For Internet Fraud In Ibadan

 

Operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the EFCC have arrested two siblings: Lateef Afeez Abiodun and Lateef Abdullahi Olalekan alongside twenty-four others, for suspected internet- related fraudulent activities in Ibadan, Oyo State.

They were arrested Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at Apete area of Ibadan based on actionable intelligence worked upon by the Commission.

The other suspects are: Awotunde Joseph Sunday, Ojekunle Ifakorede Apesinola, Oladepo Kayode Samuel, Emmanuel Michael Blessing, Shittu Hassan Taiwo, Olubanji Michael Remilekan, Bakari Ibrahim Oluwatosin, Nafiu Hassan Ayomide, Shittu Toheeb Ife, Kehinde Abiodun, Ibikunle Lolade Tanimola, Ahmad Sodiq Adekola, Joshua Sowemimo, Adeleke Adegoke Yusuf and Ahmad Ridwan Adeniyi.

Others are Lawal Ayomide Alani, Olayiwola David Olateju, Quincy Okonma, Omotayo Bright Happiness, Okunlaja Joshua Opeyemi, Olasantan Adewola Seyifunmi, John Uroko Amuta, Olaoye Ifasola Ifasegun and Ayomide Adeleke Olamilekan.

Items recovered from the suspects include a car, laptops, and exotic phones.

Similarly, Justice Abdu Dogo of the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, has convicted and sentenced three internet fraudsters to different jail terms.

The convicts: Somadina Kingsley Madubuke, Sunday Ogbonna and Bello Emmanuel Adeoza, were jailed on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

They were convicted, after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge, bordering on criminal impersonation and Point of sale, POS, fraud, upon being arraigned by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the EFCC.

They pleaded guilty to the charge, when it was read to them individually.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel: Ramiah Ikhanaede prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

Delivering judgment, Justice Dogo sentenced Somadina to three years imprisonment or an option of fine of N1 million. Additionally, he should restitute N1.8 million to his victims through the EFCC.

He also forfeited his phones $800 found in his bank account.

The court also froze all his bank accounts.

How Africa’s Free Trade Area Can Succeed – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will succeed if African governments demonstrate a higher level of commitment to tackle the slow pace of physical integration, political cooperation and tariff barriers that inhibit business integration.

Addressing the second African Sub-Sovereign Governments Network (AFSNET) Conference on Friday in Abuja, organised by the Afreximbank in collaboration with the secretariat of AfCFTA and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the President decried the low-level trade among African countries.

”As leaders, we must all be concerned that we are not trading enough amongst ourselves. It is a bitter reality that Intra-regional trade still accounts for a very tiny fraction of total trade in Africa.

”We have to understand that if this new drive towards a continental free trade area is to succeed, we must demonstrate a higher level of commitment to tackle the slow pace of physical integration due to geographic and political fragmentations, the pace of political cooperation, and difficult tariff and non- tariff barriers that inhibit business integration.

”I am firmly convinced that with the right collaborative action, we will be able to record a much stronger pace of transformation.

”Through shared knowledge, innovation and creativity, we will be better able to cater for the needs of the African continent’s population of over 1.4 billion people,” the President said, urging the Conference to use the network and support provided by pan-African institutions as a platform for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and skills.

The Conference, he said, should also seek and advance innovative solutions to support our common quest for the expansion of intra-Africa trade opportunities for our people.

The Nigerian leader commended the organizers of the conference for demonstrating innovative thinking by taking the AfCFTA to the grassroots, lauding the President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, and his team for committing US$250 million as seed capital towards the establishment of the AFSNET.

He acknowledged that the initiative spearheaded by Afreximbank was aimed at firmly establishing and deepening intra-continental trade investment development frontier for Africa, facilitating the reduction in the continent’s dependence on exports of primary commodities as well as minimizing the risks experienced due to strong reliance on global value chains.

”This opportunity, if properly harnessed, is a significant step for Africa to begin carving its own niche in the global value chain, from the constituent units up.

”This will undoubtedly complement broader programmes such as the AfCFTA which remains one of the most strategic pan-African agenda to deliver inclusive and sustainable development,” he said.

The President also recognised the support of the Secretariat of the AfCFTA and the role of its Secretary General, Wamkele Mene, in organizing the conference in Abuja.

He underscored the critical role of the African Union Commission to the development of Africa and expressed delight that this initiative compliments the AU vision of achieving the 2063 Agenda –”The Africa We Want”.

He, therefore, assured the participants of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian government in the implementation of the programme.

President Buhari also commended the outgoing Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who also recently emerged as the President of the Forum of Règions in Africa, for embracing this initiative and being at the forefront of sharing and exploring opportunities that improve production and trade facilitation activities with his peers in the region.

The President, who told the conference that he was in the second and final term in office, used the occasion to reflect on the challenges the continent has encountered since he took office as President in 2015.

”In all, we have remained particularly resilient.

”Together, we have endured several challenges, from the collapse in commodity prices in mid- 2014 up till 2016 and again in 2020, to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the worsening impact of climate change, droughts, food insecurity and the depletion of our ecological reserves, and of course our fight against violent extremism and terrorism.

”In this regard, in May this year, at the African Union Extraordinary Summit in Malabo, I backed the recommendation of the AU Commission to set up a Standby Force on Terrorism on the continent. As leaders, we must summon the political will required for development.

”We must entrench synergy, enhance intelligence gathering and bring more urgency in our collective efforts as we seek to guarantee peace and prosperity in our continent.

”Therefore, we must increase our efforts in our fight against cybercrime, money laundering, drugs and arms trafficking, smuggling of persons and the reckless destruction of our precious wildlife.

”These and more we must do in order to engender a safe and productive environment for all.”

In separate messages at the event Governor Fayemi, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo and the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank, Prof Benedict Oramah welcomed the need for deliberate action to remedy the continued reliance of Africa on external trade partners, noting that the AfCFTA provides the platform to do that.

Pledging the commitment of Afreximbank, Prof Oramah said the bank has disbursed over $20 billion in the 5 years to 2021 in support of intra-African trade and on the way to double this to $40 billion in the next 5 years.

”We have supported the AfCFTA Secretariat through current funding; launched in collaboration with the AfCFTA secretariat and AU Commission, the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) to support payment for intra-Africa trade in African currencies.

”A USD 3 billion facility for clearing and settlement is available for a continent-wide operation of the system; We have also launched the African Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme to enable goods to move across borders easily, ” he said.