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ECOWAS Issues Deadline to Resolve Gambian Crisis

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  • ECOWAS Issues Deadline to Resolve Gambian Crisis

Chairperson of the of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government and the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has issued deadline for the resolution of the political logjam in Gambia.

In her address at the 50th Ordinary Session of the Authority and Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in Abuja, she noted that the progress made by the ECOWAS Mission led by her to Gambia on December 13, to mediate in the logjam was successful, but stressed that the will of the people as expressed through their votes in the December 1, must be respected.

Gambia had conducted a presidential election on December 1, which saw the opposition candidate, Adama Barrow defeating the incumbent president, Yahya Jammeh. Shortly after the election the incumbent president conceded defeat. However, on December 10, Jammeh rescinded his concession and called for a fresh election.

The ECOWAS Mission led by Sirleaf, comprising Presidents John Mahama, Muhammadu Buhari and Ernest Bai Koroma, accompanied by Dr. Mohamed Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to West Africa and the Sahel, met with all the parties in Banjul on December 13, to ensure that the will of the people was respected.

But Sirleaf has called for the resolution of the political impasse before January 19, the date for the inauguration of the new government. She said: “It is now important that the Authority, at this Summit, considers recommended measures to bring this matter to successful conclusion before January 19, the constituted date when the mandate of the incumbent President expires.”

On security in the sub-region, Sirleaf expressed concern on the recurring terrorist attacks on civilians and the military by the Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin.

She said: “We remain very concerned about the Boko Haram recurring attacks in Nigeria and other countries of the Lake Chad Basin. There is equal concern regarding terrorist attacks on civilians and military targets in Mali. The negative impact of these attacks does not take away from the significant progress of President Kieta and his government in the implementation of the Malian Peace and Reconciliation Agreements.

“Moreover, the Chiefs of Defence Staff at recent regional meetings have formulated strategic security interventions to address these terrorist activities.

“Another challenge in the region is the Transhumance security, which has resulted in the loss of lives and negative impact on regional food security. I am pleased that the Commission has taken the necessary actions to address this challenge from a human security perspective.

“In this regard, the Authority expects an integrated approach, which will support the Commission’s efforts at deepening Regional Livestock Movement Management Control System, noting that the Nigerian approach to managing its Transhumance challenges is a model that can be shared at bilateral levels with other Member States encountering the same problems.”

Reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s call for reduction in the cost of governance across the regional body’s institution, she said president of the ECOWAS Commission is already taking firm action to rationalise the structure of the commission, and to contain cost through more efficient financial management and effective use of resources consistent with the current economic situation.

President Buhari had called for a reduction in the cost of governance across all the regional body’s institutions, as part of the effort to halt the current global economic crisis.

In his welcome address, he stressed that it was imperative that measures be urgently taken to review the ECOWAS Treaty. This, according to him, is in order to make the regional body responsive to new national, regional and global challenges.

He also called on the regional leaders to make deliberate efforts to improve on governance and accountability at all levels, while ensuring the implementation of development programmes and schemes in their respective countries.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Abdulaziz Yari, Former Governor of Zamfara State, to Forfeit N270 Million in Zenith, Polaris

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Abdulaziz Yari, Former Governor of Zamfara State, to Forfeit N270 Million in Zenith, Polaris

The former governor of Zamfara State, Mr. Abdulaziz Yari, could forfeit as much as N270 million stashed in Zenith Bank and Polaris Bank, according to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu said the former governor could not prove how he came about the money legitimately to the court on Tuesday.

Mr. Yari, 52, who served as governor of Zamfara State for eight years between 2011 and 2019, was said to have used his position to amass wealth, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) stated.

Since the court granted an order for interim forfeiture of Yari assets in August 219m he has been unable to explain why the money found in his bank accounts should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Justice Ijeoma explained that while there is nothing wrong in having such an amount in one’s bank account, the owner must be able to explain the legitimate source of such funds.

“The respondents, who have been given an opportunity to tell their story, have failed to provide evidence for such legitimate income.

“The respondents have not countered the case and facts presented by the applicants (ICPC).

“The respondents, having failed to establish the legitimate source of the money as stated in this case, this honourable court hereby makes an order of final forfeiture of the following:

“An order of final forfeiture of N12,912,848.68, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of final forfeiture of $57,056.75, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in an account number …in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of forfeiture of N11,159,674.17, being proceeds stashed in an account in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of $319,000.91, being proceed of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of N217,000.04, being proceeds of some unlawful activity allegedly stashed in the name of B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of $311,817.15, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of BT. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited,” the judge held.

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45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Launches ‘office Of The Former President’ In Florida

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45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Launches ‘office Of The Former President’ In Florida

The former President of the United States, Donald Trump, has launched the “Office of the Former President” in Florida in a move that suggests the 45th President of the world’s most powerful country remained resolute in his fight to return to office in the year 2024.

According to a statement released, the purpose of the office will be to oversee Trump’s post-presidential advocacy, ‘Make America Great Again’.

The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organising, and public activism,” an official statement said.

President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People,” the statement added.

The former president has not made any public appearances since he left office on January 20, 2021, instead remained inside his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort.

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President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

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President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.

The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.

According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.

The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.

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