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Xenophobia: African Commission takes new action

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Ms Soyata Maiga, Chairperson, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has agreed to “take appropriate action” on request by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) asking the commission to “submit a case on the escalating xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other African citizens in the country to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and to seek an effective remedy and reparation for Nigerian victims.”

SERAP had in its letter to Ms Maiga last Friday stated that “these xenophobic attacks constitute serious violations of the human rights of Nigerians and other African citizens in South Africa.” The organization also urged the commission to “seek in the case to the African Court, punitive damages and adequate compensation of $10 billion (USD) on behalf of hundreds of Nigerian victims and their families. This amount will sufficiently take into account individual harm suffered by victims.”

In an email response to SERAP on Monday, Maiga said: “Thank you for your open letter requesting our commission to take action to the court. I have just shared the letter with Ms Jamesina Essie King, the Chair of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, for follow-up and appropriate action.”

Responding to Maiga’s email, SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “Thank you very much for your email and quick response to our request. We really appreciate your commitment to human rights in Africa, and the indication and assurance that the commission will take action on this very important matter, and to address the grave human rights violations of Nigerians in South Africa. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any further information.”

Oluwadare also said: “The fact that a preeminent African human rights body has decided to take action on the matter shows the commission’s willingness to stand up for the human rights of Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa, and to become more responsive to rights holders and victims.”

“This will put massive pressure on the South African authorities and pollical leaders to uphold the highest standards in the protection of human rights of Nigerians and end their political rhetoric and incitement to hatred, violence and discrimination.”

It would be called that SERAP had in its letter to the commission dated 6 September 2019 said: “This is a key moment for the commission to push to protect the human rights of the victims. The commission ought to make it clear to the South African authorities that the victims of the heinous crimes have a right to an effective remedy and reparation, which includes restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.”

The organization also said: “For the sake of the victims, the commission should move swiftly on the matter to prevent further harm to Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country. Unlike for individuals and NGOs, the African Court Protocol does not require Nigeria to have made the declaration under Article 34(6) for the commission to submit a case on behalf of the Nigerian victims before the Court.”

The open letter read in part: “If the victims see that a process for ensuring adequate compensation for the crimes committed against them in South Africa is underway, it will also discourage revenge violence and killings and help break the cycle of violence that is now spiralling beyond control in the country.”

“Over 200 Nigerians have been reportedly killed since 2008, several more have been displaced from their homes while more than 300 Nigerians have registered for evacuation from South Africa. Shops and businesses by Nigerians have been looted or destroyed, and high-ranking political leaders have deliberately fuelled the attacks and violence.”

“The impact of the violence and attacks on Nigerian women and children has been devastating, as children have been unable to attend school due to fear of attacks. Many Nigerians are now relocating their wives and children to Nigeria while they stay back to work in South Africa.”

“In February 2017, parents reported that xenophobic prejudice was being extended to local schools. For example, the Eastleigh Primary School in Edenvale, Gauteng threatened to refuse the children of foreign nationals access to education. In May 2008, more than 60 people were killed, more than 600 injured and over 20,000 people were displaced in the Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces.”

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Alleged P&ID Scam: Briton asks court vary bail conditions

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A British citizen, James Nolan, standing trial over his alleged link with now grounded Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) on Wednesday, applied for variation of his bail at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Nolan was on October 21, arraigned alongside another Briton, Adam Quinn (at large), over their alleged complicity in the activities of P&ID, which recently won a $9.6 billion judgment against Nigeria.

A British Commercial Court had awarded judgment in favour P&ID, who had dragged Nigeria to the International Court of Arbitration over alleged non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA).

The arraignment of the two British nationals is coming weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.

The defendants, both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) and ICIL Limited, were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Justice Okon Abang had, on Nov. 7, admitted Nolan to a bail in the sum of N500m.

Justice Abang, who granted the bail in an application filed by Nolan, ordered that the applicant must produce “a surety in like sum, who must be a Nigerian and a serving senator not standing any criminal trial in any court in Nigeria.

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, Counsel to the defendant, Paul Erokoro, SAN, prayed the court to favourably grant their application for bail variation.

The lawyer also told the court that he was not prepare for the commencement of trial due to inability to have adequate access to his client.

The EFCC, through his lawyer, had informed the court that he was ready to commence the trial earlier slated for today.

However in a short ruling, Justice Abang agreed with the prosecution that the court at its last sitting adjourned to commence trial today.

The Court held that the defendant who is yet to meet the conditions of his bail granted last month has been given enough time to prepare for his defense.

Justice Abang said that the commencement of trial of defendant can not be adjourned based on oral application or on the grounds that he had filed an application for the variation of bail condition.

The judge however ordered officials of the Correctional Centre where Nolan is being remanded to grant access to his lawyer to visit and to received brief from defendant.

He subsequently ordered the prosecution to call its first witness, an official of Guaranteed Trust Bank.

Testifying, Adewale Akinseye an account officer with the GTB bank Abuja said that Nolan’s two companies namely; Goidel limited and ICIL ltd operate six separate accounts with the bank.

Led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Iheanacho Ekele, the witness said both companies were registered with Corporate Affairs Commission but he was not sure whether the operator of the companies provide evidence of Special Control Against Money laundering (SCUAML) at the time the company was opened.

Akinseye said that the bank received a request in August from EFCC to provide account documents in respect of the companies.

The court admitted as exhibits the companies opening bank accounts and EFCC letter to GTb dated September 26, in respect of the investigation activities.

The witness said that James
Nolan and Isaac Ebubuotu are signatories to both accounts and either of them can sign.

According to transactions in the bank statement in one of the Account with number: 0154696733, the sum of $127,000 was credited in February 1 ,2018.

On May 2, 2019 thesum of $47,975 was paid into the account from Industrial Consultant International.

He said on Account with number: 01728629, the sum of N50m was transferred on December 15 , 2015 from Box design to Goidel ltd while on Nov 6, 2016 the sum of N6m was transferd into the same account.

Another sum of N11m from lurgi consult ltd was said to have been transferred to Goidel ltd on May 6, 2016.

Other transactions according to akinseye, include the sum of N10m in February 1, 2018 from Eclate Plethora ltd to Goidel ltd.

On Account with Number: 0024024414-, the witness said the sum of $350,000 was paid on September 1 2014 from Basale enterprises while the sum of $80,000 was paid to Ahmed Usman in September 4, 2014.

Also on September 4 ,2014 the sum of $40,000 was paid to Neil and Elizabeth while on September 8, the sum of $700 was paid to one Ahmed Usman.

Under cross examination by the defendant lawyer Pau Erokoro (SAN), the witness said that Goidel’s account was open on May 20, 2014/while ICIL account was opened November 2006.

He said the companies operate corporate account and met the requirements for operating the accounts .

Cross examination continues tomorrow.

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What Atiku said about Goodluck Jonathan @62

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated ex-President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, as he marks his 62nd birthday on Wednesday.

In a Twitter post he personally signed, Atiku hailed Jonathan as “as an evergreen face of democracy, peace and freedom”.

He wrote: “Happy 62nd birthday, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, @GEJonathan – an evergreen face of democracy, peace and freedom.

“I wish you continued good health and wisdom.”

This comes amid accusations that Jonathan was used by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against the PDP, in the just concluded governorship elections in Bayelsa state, where he hails from.

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Policemen who allegedly disrupted voting in Bayelsa, Kogi elections exposed – IGP

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The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, has identified suspected policemen recorded while disrupting voting in Bayelsa and Kogi elections.

Adam, after the meeting of the National Security Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, on Tuesday, said those caught on tape were “fake” officers.

He said that all security personnel, who worked during the elections were given “special identification tags”, adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.

“Before the elections, there was threats assessment of the two states and we realised that there was going to be violence in two states”, NAN quoted him as saying.

“Because, during the campaigns, we saw how the opponents were fighting themselves, so we prepared so much for that. During one of the stakeholders meeting, I went to Kogi with the chairman of INEC and I also went to Bayelsa.

“Even at the point of signing the peace accord to conduct the election without any problems, after signing a peace accord in Kogi, within the hall there was problem by the parties.

“So we knew that it was not going to be easy and so we had to prepare heavily for the elections.

“During the elections, anybody you saw either in police uniform or military uniform that does not carry the tag that has been given for the election, that person is not genuine police officer or military officer or that he was not on official duty.

“We were aware of the fact that some politicians were going to sew police and military uniforms, so we devised some other means of identifying those that were on election duty. We gave them tags,’’ he said.

On why the Police allowed violence during the elections even with security reports before the exercise, he said: “You see, it depends on the way you choose to interpret.

“We did our assessment, we knew these things will happen but what we needed to do was plan to prevent it, or if it happens, to arrest. That explains why the number of policemen we sent to those states were so massive.

“Now, when you get the information and you did your assessment and you did your plan, the bad guys are also planning, and the people we are dealing with here are politicians. So, for us to be able to distinguish the bad from the good, one of the strategies was to create a situation that will enable us to identify the good ones, genuine personnel.

“Then anyone without identification tag, is a bad guy and then we pick him. They came out as they planned but then, we made some arrests on the spot where we saw them, those that escaped through information and intelligence we also picked them.”

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