| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(Bloomberg 03/07/17)
Islamist militant group Boko Haram has caused $9 billion of damage in Nigeria’s northeast since 2009, destroying homes, schools, bridges and roads, according to the United Nations. Borno state alone suffered losses worth $6.2 billion, Matthew Rycroft, the president of the UN Security Council, told reporters Sunday on a visit to its main city of Maiduguri. The global body is stepping up support to the region as many who fled Boko Haram violence are now facing a humanitarian crisis even as attacks on their communities abate, he said. “The number of displaced is shocking, the number of children suffering from malnutrition is alarming,” Rycroft said. “It is like suffering twice.” Boko Haram has waged an eight-year campaign, capturing towns and...
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
South Sudan on Monday issued exploration and production rights in its hitherto dormant Block B3 oil field to Nigeria-based Oranto Petroleum Limited. The oil field that straddles across northern region of Jonglei, Lakes and Central Equatoria will cost about 3 billion U.S. dollars within four years of exploration leading to drilling. "What we have just signed is an Exploration Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) for Block B3. This Block (B3) is awarded today to Oranto Petroleum Limited," The minister of petroleum Ezekiel Gatkuoth told journalists in Juba. "They (Oranto) will immediately start exploring this Block. They are sharing this Block with our Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilpet) and the distribution of the shares of this Block, 90 percent will go to Oranto...
(Premium Times 03/07/17)
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has restated his call for true federalism as a panacea to Nigeria’s problems. While speaking at the Obafemi Awolowo University at a program organised by the Faculty of Law on Thursday, Mr. Abubakar said in a true federal system, the federal government would have little or no need for some ministers as their issues would be handled by the federating units. “We have a government that gives power to the central government and leaves the federating units with nothing,” he said.‎ “The current structure can be called unitary federalism.” The politician, who is rumoured to be interested in the 2019 presidential race, said the current Nigerian structure makes the country economically indolent and doesn’t...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/07/17)
Nigeria has advised its citizens against any non-urgent travel to the United States until Washington clarifies its immigration policy, after several incidents in which people with valid visas were denied entry, a presidential aide said on Monday. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, said no reasons were given for the cases over recent weeks in which Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S. visas had been denied entry and sent back to Nigeria. The West African country is not among a group of Muslim-majority countries from which President Donald Trump wants to suspend travel to the United States on security grounds. About half of its 180 million inhabitants are Muslim, and half Christian. Trump is...
(Voice of America 03/07/17)
Representatives of United Nations Security Council member countries visited a target of Boko Haram militants on Sunday. The diplomats traveled to Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s Borno State. They met there with women at a camp for displaced persons. The diplomats have been on a four-day-long trip to the Lake Chad Basin. They went to Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria before going to Niger on Monday. On Sunday, the ambassadors arrived in Maiduguri under heavy security. Two days earlier, three bombers died in a suicide attack near a fuel station. No civilians were hurt in the explosions. The diplomats met with the women in a camp where about 7,000 people live. They heard the women tell about their husbands being killed...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/07/17)
A former Nigerian state governor was jailed for five years on Monday after being found guilty of corruption related to procurement of cars while in office, a judge said. James Bala Ngilari - who was governor of northeastern Adamawa state for seven months until May 2015 - was convicted of awarding a contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles at a cost of 167 million naira ($548,891) without following due process. Convictions of serving and past government officials remain rare in Nigeria, despite President Muhammadu Buhari making a crackdown on corruption a central plank of his government's approach after taking office in May 2015. "The only thing is to give you the minimum sentence of five years" Justice Nathan Musa...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/17)
A Nigerian former state governor was on Monday found guilty and sentenced to five years in jail for corruption, marking one of the first high-profile convictions in President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-graft war. James Bala Ngilari was convicted of breaching due process in the award of a 167.8-million naira ($527,000, 497,000 euros) contract for the procurement of 25 cars. The politician from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was governor of the northeastern state of Adamawa from October 2014 to May 2015. He had stepped up from deputy governor after the impeachment of his boss, Murtala Nyako, on corruption allegations. He is still facing charges in a separate trial.
(AFP (eng) 03/06/17)
Nigeria is advising its citizens against all but essential travel to the United States because of the lack of clarity on new immigration rules, the government said on Monday. A special adviser to the president on foreign affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in a statement that Nigerians "without any compelling or essential reasons" should consider delaying. "In the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry US visas being denied entry and sent back to Nigeria," she said. "In such cases reported to the office, such affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were cancelled." Dabiri-Erewa said "no reasons were given for the decision by the US...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/17)
Thousands of Nigerian women forced from their homes by Boko Haram jihadists held a protest on Sunday to demand better conditions as UN Security Council envoys visited their camp, an AFP journalist saw. The demonstrators accused local authorities and aid agencies of exacerbating one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, which the UN says has left northeastern Nigeria on the brink of famine. They also accused local aid agencies of diverting assistance that should have gone to the 15,000 displaced people living in the Teachers Village camp near the flashpoint city of Maiduguri.
(AFP (eng) 03/06/17)
Dalami Tukura stands with a long, hand-crafted musket slung over his right shoulder next to his brother's freshly-dug grave, a mound of red earth marked with a cross made of woven grass. The burly 40-year-old maize farmer's brother was killed just days ago when suspected cattle herders attacked his home in northern Nigeria. "He was shot," Tukura told AFP, his voice hoarse with emotion. "I want to protect my home town and my entire family." Tukura's defiance is increasingly common across southern Kaduna state. For the past few months, tit-for-tat attacks in the area by mostly Muslim Fulani herdsmen and Christian farmers have killed hundreds in a bloody battle for land that shows no sign of stopping. On February 19,...
(AfricaNews 03/06/17)
Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has rejected reports that he refused an offer by the British government to help in the rescue of the abducted Chibok girls in 2014. A statement by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, said then President Jonathan did not rebuff the UK’s offer but rather personally sent correspondence to the United States, France and the UK to help the rescue efforts – he also cited request or assistance from China and Israel. ‘‘In fact, the Jonathan administration was so genuinely supportive that the foreign powers involved were granted permission to overfly our airspace, while conducting the search and rescue missions. We are, however, not surprised that this kind of concocted story is coming out at this...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/06/17)
Nigerian pirates have released seven Russian and one Ukrainian sailors after they were captured last month on the cargo ship the BBC Caribbean, Russian news agencies reported on Sunday, citing a human rights activist in Crimea. The sailors were released after talks between the owners of the ship and pirates. Interfax news agency quoted human rights activist Pavel Butsay, in the city of Sevastopol, as saying the sailors were at a Frankfurt airport and planned to return home next week. Butsay told TASS news agency that a ransom was paid but did not reveal the sum. Security experts class West Africa's waters, especially off Nigeria where many pirates originate, as some of the world's most dangerous, with attackers often targeting...
(Voice of America 03/06/17)
A senior Nigerian military official said the cause of the accidental bombing of a displaced persons camp in the country’s northeast in January was the result of incorrect coordinates. Nigerian Major General Leo Irabor told a visiting U.N. Security Council delegation Sunday that the January 17 bombing in the town of Rann, which killed 236 civilians, was a “grave mistake” that was the result of faulty information. “The coordinates that were received gave indications that there were presence of Boko Haram within the vicinity," Irabor said. "It’s just that the wrong coordinates were utterly given.” He went on to say that although he was not trying to justify the military’s error, two days later Boko Haram did attack the town,...
(AFP (eng) 03/06/17)
Nigerian center Festus Ezeli, who has yet to play for the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, will miss the full campaign after undergoing left knee surgery in the next few days. The team announced Sunday that the 27-year-old African, a Golden State Warriors reserve on their 2015 NBA championship squad and the 2016 team that won an NBA record 73 games, would undergo the operation next week in Vail, Colorado. Ezeli signed a two-year contract worth $15.2 million with the Trail Blazers in the off-season after being dropped by the Warriors following their deal with superstar forward Kevin Durant. But Ezeli struggled with pre-season knee issues and never played for the Blazers before being ruled out for the remainder of the...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Vanguard 03/04/17)
Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has lauded the potential of Nigeria in becoming the world’s defence systems solution hub following her capacity to produce high-grade security merchandise locally. Idris made the remark during a tour of ProForce Armour and Ammunitions Production Facility, a defence systems and gadgets provider, on Friday in Ode-Remo, Ogun. According to him, the facility provides armoured personnel carriers, ammunitions, ballistic helmets, bullet-proof vests, armoured cash-in-transit and personal protection vehicles. Idris who lauded the level of expertise, added that the nation’s poise for rapid development could only materialise through adequate support for local manufacturing.
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Multiple explosions rocked the outskirts of Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri early Friday, killing three suicide bombers, the emergency service and police said. The blasts on Damboa road in the restive city were triggered when one of the bombers detonated his explosives, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told AFP. "Three suicide bombers came into the city through Damboa around 3:00 am (0200 GMT) and they were spotted by civilian (vigilantes)," he said. "They quickly ran and hid under three petrol tankers, where one of them detonated his explosives, killing all of them." Two of the bombers were women and the third male. Borno state police confirmed the incident and said its officers had been sent to...
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Nigeria's anti-graft agency on Thursday filed corruption charges against oil majors Shell and Eni over a $1.3 billion offshore block deal. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused 11 defendants of "official corruption", according to court documents. Shell, Eni and Agip, Eni's Nigerian subsidiary, are alleged to have corruptly given the "aggregate sum of $801 million" to Nigerian businessmen and politicians. This is the latest probe into the controversial 2011 oil deal that highlights endemic corruption within the sector. Italian prosecutors are also looking into the purchase of the OPL 245 block prospecting license.
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Thousands of people began to arrive at the Nigerian megachurch just after dawn on a cool morning, looking for love and hot tips on how to avoid "dating devils". The "singles summit" is one of several offered by hugely popular Pentecostal churches in the west African nation, where marriage is a cornerstone of society to which most people aspire. With the relentless hustle and bustle of city life, and challenging economic conditions in a period of recession, there's often little time to seek out love. But the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries aims to change all that at its vast Prayer City complex, opposite an amusement park off the Lagos to Ibadan expressway. Its Gen218 programme -- named after...

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