Author: uzomaeze

Zimbabwe On Fire As Possible Overthrow of Mugabe underway

A military tank is seen with armed soldiers on the road leading to President Robert Mugabe's office in Harare, ZimbabweZimbabwe's military stormed the country's national broadcaster's studios last night to declare there was no coup after explosions and gunfire were heard in the capital

News coming out from Zimbabwe doesn’t sound too good as Zimbabwe’s leader Robert Mugabe and his wife have been detained by the military in a ‘bloodless transition’ of power  and the country’s deposed Vice-president has returned from exile.

It’s assumed Mugabe and his family are holed up, Former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, a veteran of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation wars who was sacked by Mugabe earlier this month,to enable his wife Grace 52, take over has now returned from exile.

Zimbabwe media reported that vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa (in the dark blue suit) had returned to the country and will be taking control 'as per the military'

 

Egyptian Cleric advices Men to Marry their own daughters

 

According to reports, an Egyptian Islamic cleric has suggested that it is okay for men to actually marry their own daughters.

Identified as Mazen Al Sersawi, the Salafist cleric says Islam permits men to actually form carnal relationships with their illegitimate daughters (born outside wedlock) and possibly marry them. Al Sersawi quoted a popular Muslim scholar, Imam Al-Shafi’i’s saying that ‘illegitimate daughters are not officially attributed to their fathers and thus can be married to them.’

In a video which has since gone viral, Sersawi, a teacher at the Al-Azhar University in Egypt, said Al-Shafi’i maintains that any girl born into an adulterous relationship is not exactly his daughter, especially because the child will not carry her father’s name.

He is quoted as saying: “She is not his daughter according to Sharia. She is not officially attributed to him”

 

Federal Govt Tells Court London Paris Club loan refunds by 35 states confidential

 

The Federal Government has told the Federal High Court in Lagos that the record of spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds by 35 states released to the states by Federal Government to pay overdue pensioners’ entitlements and workers’ salaries “is protected by professional privilege, and therefore confidential.”

The Federal Government through the Accountant General of the Federation Alh. Ahmed Idris was responding to the suit number FCH/CS/523/17 filed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) seeking “an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling the government to publish details of spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds allegedly diverted and mismanaged by 35 States.” The Federal Government’s response filed last Friday followed the ruling in June by Justice Muslim Hassan that SERAP could proceed with the legal challenge to unravel how exactly 35 states spent Paris Club loan refunds. Justice Hassan had while granting leave stressed that it was important for the authorities “to come and tell us how they spent our money.” However, in its defence the Federal Government is now arguing that, “The relationship between the Accountant General and the 35 states is professional and confidential. It is a fiduciary one akin to that between a bank and its customer and allied professionals. On that score, record of the spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds by the 35 states is exempted from publication, assuming the Federal Government has the information sought by SERAP.” The Federal Government is also arguing that, “The Accountant General does not have custody or possession of the information or record relating to the spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds by 35 states which the government gave them. The Accountant General did not release the funds to the states. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Accountant General argues that assuming we have the information sought, the government is not obliged to comply with the request.” The government argued that, “States have exclusive control over their revenue and expenditure and the Accountant General of the Federation cannot demand obligatorily from any tier of government including the 35 states information how they have spent the Paris Club refunds.” According to the government, “SERAP has the right to the information sought but not to request that the information be passed to the Attorney General of the Federation. In any case, the Accountant General has no record of the spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds by 35 states and therefore cannot be compelled to release the record, as the court does not act in vain. An order of mandamus should not be issued because it will be unnecessary and not effective and will not serve the purpose.” Responding, SERAP argued that, “Due to non-payment of overdue pensions and salaries of workers by the states, citizens have continued to languish in untold hardship and poverty. Therefore, there is compelling public interest in knowing how exactly the Paris Club loan refunds were spent by the 35 states. There is also no professional relationship or privilege between the Accountant General and the 35 states as to warrant any duty of confidentiality on the part of the Accountant General.” According to SERAP, “There must be transparency and accountability in the spending of the refunds, in line with the principle of Open Government Partnership (OGP) to which Nigeria is a signatory. In addition, section 15(5) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides that the state shall abolish corrupt practices and abuse of power. Citizens must be able to access the performance of government, and this depends on access to record about spending of the refunds by the 35 states”. SERAP also argued that, “Assuming without conceding that the Accountant General does not have record of spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds by the 35 states, nothing stops the Accountant General from working with other agencies/ministries to release information on the spending, especially being the Chief Accounting Officer of the Federation, and constitutionally charged with the overall responsibility of keeping and managing all the receipts and payments of the Federal Government.” SERAP said that, “The Accountant General cannot therefore say he is unaware of the spending of the refunds by the states. Otherwise, this would mean that the Accountant General is lacking in his duty as Chief Accounting Officer of the Federation.” SERAP’s response read in part: “The Accountant General has a duty under section 2(2) of the FOI Act to keep and maintain records, and to proactively disclose information without SERAP even requesting it. A basic principle behind the FOI Act is that the burden of proof falls on the body asked for information in this case the Accountant General, and not the person asking for it. The person making the request does not have to explain their actions.” “The government’s counter-affidavit constitutes objection and legal argument, and therefore same ought to be disregarded by the court as it offends section 115 of the Evidence Act. Besides, any control by the 35 states over the spending of Paris Club Loan refunds is not absolute, and in fact subject to scrutiny by Nigerians.” “The Accountant General owes no duty of confidence to the 35 states but rather to the entire citizens of Nigeria. Disclosure will not constitute an actionable breach of confidence if there is a public interest in disclosure which outweighs the public interest in keeping the information confidential.” “The FOI Act does not say that the information requested can only be issued to the person making the request nor does it say that SERAP cannot request information for the use of another person, especially when that person is the Attorney General of the Federation who is constitutionally obliged by law to act in the public interest, including in matters relating to the spending of the Paris Club Loan refunds by the 35 states.” “The intention of the drafters of the FOI Act as shown in its preamble and its sections is to allow access to information, enhance and promote transparency, accountability, openness, justice and development. Therefore, all public officials including the Accountant General ought to strive to ensure the effective implementation of the FOI Act.” It would be recalled that the motion on notice was set for Wednesday 14 September 2017 for the hearing of argument on why the government should not be directed and compelled to public details of projects on which the Paris Club loan refunds were spent. But the government has now filed a counter-affidavit and brief of arguments, claiming among others that the matter was confidential. It would also be recalled that the Federal Government released N388.304billion of the N522.74 billion to 35 states as refunds of over-deductions on London-Paris Club loans. The amounts received by the states are as follows: Akwa Ibom N14.5bn; Bayelsa N14.5bn; Delta N14.5bn; Kaduna N14.3bn; Katsina N14,5bn; Lagos N14.5bn; Rivers N14.5bn; Borno N13,654138,849.49; Imo 13bn; Jigawa 13.2bn; and Niger N13.4bn. Others are: Bauchi N12.7bn and Benue N12.7bn, Anambra N11.3bn; Cross River N11.3bn8; Edo N11.3bn; Kebbi N11bn; Kogi N11.2bn; Osun N11.7bn; Sokoto N11.9bn; Abia N10.6bn; Ogun N10.6bn; Plateau N10.4bn; Yobe N10bn; and Zamfara N10bn. Other states are: Adamawa N4.8bn; Ebonyi N3.3bn; Ekiti N8.8bn; Enugu N9.9bn; Gombe N8.3bn; Kwara N5.4bn; Nasarawa N8.4bn; Ondo N6.5bn; Oyo N7.2bn and Taraba N4.2bn.

culled from the vanguard Nigeria.

Lebanese Prime Minister resigns over fear to his life

Saad Hariri in Washington - 2017 - (35376275923).jpg

Lebanese prime minister, Saad al-Hariri resigned this morning in a televised broadcast, saying he feared a plot to target his life and criticizing Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

In the live telecast he said, “We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of (his father the late prime minister) martyr Rafik al-Hariri. I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life”.

 

Hariri was appointed prime minister in late 2016 and headed a 30-member national unity cabinet that included the Shiite militant Hezbollah. The government has largely succeeded in protecting the country from the effects of the civil war in neighboring Syria.

His resignation is expected to sharply raise tensions in the country. In his speech, he suggested he feared for his life and said the atmosphere in the country is similar to the one that existed before his father, the late prime minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in 2005

Bola Tinubu son Jide Dies Aged 43 years condolence visits to his home

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Following the death of APC Chieftain’s son Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Jide Tinubu, A statement released by the APC UK chapter

Dear member, It’s with regrets that I inform you of the demise of Mr. Jide Tinubu, the Son of Our dear and esteemed Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Please commiserate with him. Thank you.
A number of Governors have paid respect to the leader, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State and few others have paid APC Chieftain, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu a visit over his son’s death. Tinubu was at his Abuja residence when the sad incident occurred, and it was were they visited him.

Biafra War: Years After the war Nigerian Government to pay victims 88 million naira

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About 47 years after the Nigeria civil war ended on ‘No victor, no vanquish’ terms, the federal government on Monday agreed to pay victims of the war N88 billion compensation for their losses.

A breakdown of the compensation adopted by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice as consent judgment for government and the victims showed that N50 billion will go direct to the victims of the war in eleven affected states in the South-east, South-south and part of North-central regions, while the remaining N38 billion will go for the evacuation of abandoned bombs and other lethal weapons and construction of schools, courts, churches and mosques among others in the affected areas.

In the consent judgment read by Justice Friday Nwoke, the federal government is expected to pay the N50 billion into the United Bank of Africa, UBA, account with number 1018230076 belonging to Noel Chukwukadibia, the nominated counsel for the war victims, and another N38 billion to be paid into another UBA account with number 1016296801 belonging to Deminers Concept Nigeria Limited for RSB Holdings Nigeria Ltd and Deminers Concept Nigeria Ltd who are expected to evacuate all the abandoned bombs and other dangerous weapons in the farmlands, schools, churches and mosque of the war victims and to also carry out construction works.

Besides, the federal government will by the consent judgment establish a National Mine Action Centre in Owerri, Imo State for victims in the South-east region.

In order to ensure transparency and accountability, the federal government will also set up a Special Purpose Vehicle that will comprise of all necessary stakeholders in the terms of settlement.

The consent judgment further indicated that medical experts employed on behalf of the federal government to screen and identify true victims of the war, acknowledged that 685 persons were selected and classified as survivors while 493 of them including those who sued the federal government were confirmed as victims of either landmines or other dangerous military ordinance including locally fabricated weapons and confirmed to be entitled to compensation.

The consent judgment further acknowledged that a total of 17,000 bombs were recovered in the war ravaged communities and destroyed by RSB Holdings Ltd and Deminers Concept Nigeria Ltd, while a total of 1,317 bombs are still in the stockpile located at the Mine Action Centre, Owerri, Imo State in addition to large quantities of live bombs that still litter in communities of the war victims.

It further indicated that the federal government as part of its responsibility undertook to remove and destroy without further delay all the stockpile bombs at the Nigerian Mine Action Centre located at plot 108, Ndubuisi Kanu Street, New Owerri, Imo State.

Parties, according to the consent judgment, agreed that for the war victims, apart from their direct physical injuries, their families and community at large have been deprived of the use of their farmland since the civil war hostilities ended in 1970, hence the agreement to clear the war affected areas of the post war ordinances.

It was also agreed that RSB Holdings Nigeria Ltd and Deminers Concept Nigeria Ltd having satisfactorily performed the first phase of clearing and destroying the post war bombs should be mobilized back to site to complete the final phase of the ongoing demining process.

The representatives of the victims of the Nigerian civil war, including the 493 victims prey enumerated by the Federal Ministry of Defence had through their agents, Vincent Agu and 19 others, dragged the federal government before the ECOWAS court demanding N100 billion and another order of the court compelling government to clear and destroy all by post-civil war bombs and other dangerous weapons of war abandoned in their various communities and farmland since 1970.

The plaintiffs claimed that apart from physical injuries, the abandonment of the war weapons has deprived them of the use of their farmlands, schools and churches, hence their demands for compensation.

Though the suit was filed at the regional court in 2012, the federal government opted for out of court settlement with the war victims prompting the court to adopt the terms of settlement by government and the war victims as consent judgment delivered on Monday.

Key signatories to the terms of settlement are: Noel Chukqukadibia and Alex Williams for the applicants, Femi Falana, Sola Egbeyinka, Charles Uhegbu and Solomon Chukwuocha for government and its agencies, while Charles Onuoha and Alams Chukquemeka signed for the stakeholders.

Culled from Premium Times