Tag Archives: ECOWAS

Israeli Prime Minister to visit West Africa for the first time in 50 years



Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, is scheduled to attend the 51st summit of heads of state of ECOWAS in Liberia on Sunday.

This is the first time in more than 50 years that an Israeli prime minister will visit West Africa.

Golda Meir, a former prime minister of the country, visited Nigeria in the 1960s.

Tony Obiechina, senior media and political officer of the embassy of Isreal in Abuja, said Netanyahu would sign a joint declaration for greater cooperation with ECOWAS countries during Sunday’s visit.

“This visit will be the first foreign leader ever to address the summit of the 15-nation West African regional body. It will also be PM Netanyahu’s first trip outside Israel after hosting President Donald Trump in Jerusalem,” Obiechina said in a statement.

“The trip is the first for any Israeli leader to West Africa since the late prime minister Golda Meir visited Nigeria in the 1960s.

“The prime minister last year toured East Africa. Before embarking on the four-day historic trip he had remarked that ‘Israel returns to Africa, just as Africa is returning to Israel. In seizing the future, Israel is coming back to Africa in more than a verbal way.’

According to the statement, one of the goals of the trip is to strengthen economic ties and boost Israel’s know-how specifically, in the areas of water technology, agriculture, energy and cyber-security.

“Israel’s relations with Africa date back to the 1950s barely few years after it was created in 1948. Delegations from Africa to Israel had made unforgettable impacts which are still being appreciated by many today,” the statement read.

Source: thecable.ng

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​ECOWAS Court Adjoins Nnamdi Kanu’s suit



The hearing into the fundamental rights suit of the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra , IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, has been adjourned by ECOWAS court.
The suit filed in March 2016 has again been adjourned until May 30 for hearing.

The suit had not reached hearing stage since it was filed at the court.

It was adjourned in November 2017, after a previous postponement a month before, following applications by parties in the matter.

The court presided over by Justice Hemeye Mahdmadane on Tuesday in

Abuja announced its decision to make further adjournment after entertaining a fresh application by the prosecution.

The judge said the court’s decision to adjourn sitting was based on the fact that motions brought before the court in November were yet to be translated into English language.

Reacting to the recent application, however, Mr. Ejiofor accused the prosecution of making unnecessary motions aimed at preventing the case from succeeding.

The court warned Ejiofor to desist from making such utterances in court.

Source: onlimenigeria.com

​Reps order probe into alleged N2b, $3.8m fraud by banks


           House of Representatives
• To investigate registration of underage voters

• Buhari pledges support for Ghana’ s anti – graft fight

The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to probe the alleged loss of over N 2 billion and $ 3 . 8 million as a result of the non – payment of interest by banks from sale proceeds of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN ) successor firms .

The House resolved to set up a committee to investigate the matter and report back within six weeks.

The decision followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Mr. Chukwuka Onyema (PDP, Anambra ) at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara .

Onyema noted that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 unbundled PHCN into 18 successor companies , comprising six generation companies, 12 distribution companies and a transmission company .

He said : “Following the divestiture of the Federal Government from PHCN through privatisation , the company was divided into separate companies known as Local Electricity Distribution Companies.

“The successor companies made payments to the Federal Government through Standard Chartered Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC , Access Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank, Zenith Bank and Unity Bank. ”

Onyema noted that the banks , in collaboration with officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, allegedly diverted the interest of N 2 billion and $ 3 . 8 million that should have been paid to the Federal Government .

The House also resolved to set up a committee to investigate the alleged registration and issuance of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to underage persons by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC ).

The committee has five weeks to submit its report .

The decision followed a motion by Johnbull Tiemlong Shekarau (PDP, Plateau ).

Shekarau noted that Section 12 (1 ) of the Electoral Act 2010 provides that a person shall be registered as a voter , if such an individual has attained the age of 18 years.

He said : “Reports from the social , print and electronic media indicated that there were incidents of underage voters who presented themselves at polling units with PVCs in the recently conducted local government election in Kano State.

“The Director of Publicity and Voter Education at INEC , Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, while responding to questions on Africa Independent Television on the matter on February 15, 2018, said the underage voters were registered because the lives of the registration officers were being threatened . ”

Shekarau described the report as a national embarrassment , a threat to democracy and a danger to the lives of INEC officials . He also warned that the matter could undermine the credibility of forthcoming elections.

President Muhammadu Buhari , meanwhile , has pledged Nigeria’ s support to Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo – Addo , in the fight against corruption.

He made the disclosure in a speech at Ghana ’ s 61 st independence anniversary in Accra yesterday .

He said : “Your Excellency can be assured that you have a good partner in me , as I look forward to any form of collaboration between Nigeria and Ghana in tackling the menace of endemic corruption.

“Given all these public policies, it becomes reassuring that with the right leadership , Africa ’ s drive to eradicate poverty and entrench democracy is on course . ”

Buhari , who was the special guest of honour , recalled the historic and cultural ties between Nigeria and Ghana , urging the citizens of both countries to maintain the bond.

“It is, therefore , my strong desire that we owe it a duty to ensure that our good peoples continue to live in each other ’ s countries unhindered, ” he said , noting: “ Our newly rejuvenated Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation has already provided us with a good platform in resolving any differences, while focusing on our main developmental objectives . ”

Commenting on peace and security in West Africa , the president commended Akufo -Addo ’ s contribution to peace in neighbouring Togo .

“Permit me to put on record Ghana’ s untiring efforts in brokering peace in Togo by bringing all the warring parties to the negotiation table . I am appealing to the opposing parties in Togo to please come together and resolve their differences, so that Togo will move forward .

“In the same vein , I wish Nigeria and Ghana continue to provide the impetus in realising the objectives and ideals of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to ensure security, peace and development of our region , ” he said .

A statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu , quoted Buhari as commending Akufo -Addo on his achievements in the first year in office, and praising his fight against corruption with the passage of the Special Prosecutor ’ s Bill .

He said : “From Nigeria, I have watched closely your achievements, ranging from your ingenious approach to creating jobs for the teeming youths through various initiatives, including the repositioning of agriculture for modern farming , ‘ Farming for Jobs and Food’ , Senior High School ( SHS) free education , One- District – One- Factory, and One- Village – One- Dam , as well as the improvement being recorded in the republic’ s macroeconomic indicators .

“All these efforts , I am aware , have made Ghana to become a good destination for foreign direct investment , just like Nigeria. Accept my congratulations !”

Nnamdi Kanu has jumped bail, his $800m suit purposeless – FG


The Federal Government has urged the Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States sitting in Abuja to dismiss a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

It stated that Kanu having been granted bail and allegedly escaped from his ongoing trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the judgment of the ECOWAS Court on the suit would serve no purpose.

Kanu had filed the suit on March 3, 2016 demanding $800m as compensation from the Federal Government for his alleged unlawful arrest in 2015 and continued detention.

But the lawyer representing the Federal Government, Mrs. Maimuna Shiru, stated in an objection to the suit that Kanu having been granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja where he is being tried alongside others on charges of treasonable felony, on April 25, 2017, it was unnecessary for the ECOWAS Court to adjudicate on the IPOB leader’s suit.

She also noted that Kanu having allegedly jumped the bail granted him by the Federal High Court, Abuja, event had overtaken the suit.

The three grounds of the application stated, “Having regards to Article 88(2) of the Rules of the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, this suit has become devoid of purpose and unnecessary to adjudicate upon.

“The result of a judicial decision in this suit will serve no purpose. There are no live issues in controversy between the parties for the court to determine.”

Mr. Thomas Etah, who deposed to an affidavit filed in support of the Federal Government’s motion, stated that Kanu filed his notice of registration before the ECOWAS Court on March 3, 2016, while the plaintiff was granted bail by the Federal High Court on April 25.

He added, “That the plaintiff/respondent has now jumped bail and his whereabouts are unknown.

“That further to paragraph 8 above, it is public knowledge that the Federal High Court of Nigeria has ordered Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe and two other sureties to produce the plaintiff/respondent or forfeit their bail bonds.

“That the plaintiff/respondent and the group he represents, the Indigenous People of Biafra have been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the defendant/applicant (Federal Government).

“That this suit before this honourable court has been overtaken by events and has become devoid of purpose.”

Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the ECOWAS Court on November 21 that he needed to respond to the application by the Federal Government.

He alleged that the Federal Government deliberately delayed the filing of the motion in order to frustrate the hearing of the case.

But the Federal Government’s lawyer denied the allegation insisting that the motion was filed early enough.

The presiding judge of the ECOWAS Court panel, Justice Hameye Mahalmadane, also noted that the court paper filed by the Federal Government had to be interpreted to the panel members who were all French-speaking.

The court adjourned until February 7 for hearing.

Source: News2.onlinenigeria.com

Biafra: ECOWAS Court Rubbishes Nigerian Govt over Nnamdi Kanu


The Nigerian government has been accused of working to truncate the hearing process of the case filed against the government by the separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Nnamdi Kanu.

The Economic Community of West African States’ court has berated the Nigerian Government for always filing fresh motions in a bid to frustrate a fundamental right enforcement suit filed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

The regional court described the action of the Nigerian Government as unacceptable. Speaking during today’s hearing, one of the judges on the three-man panel, Justice Alioune Sall said they were not in a Nigerian court but an international court which has a different way and “the process of bringing new documents every day is not allowed here.”

Sall said this after Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor told the court that it had scheduled today’s sitting for definite hearing.

Ejiofor said, however, “two days ago, my attention was drawn to a new process filed by the Federal Government challenging the authority of the court to hear the case.”

Describing the process filed by the Federal Government as baseless, Kanu’s counsel alleged that the purpose was to truncate today’s hearing.

“We want the matter to be heard speedily as the court had earlier ordered. But we are sure they (FG) do not have any defence for the substantial suit hence the reason they filed this new process to truncate the day’s hearing,” he said.

Ejiofor prayed the court to give them a short date to respond to the application. He also asked the court to award a punitive cost of N10 million against the FG.

Reacting to Ejiofor’s prayer, Federal Government’s counsel, Maimuna Lami Shiru, an Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, said they filed the application because the court had earlier asked for the issue to be addressed when new facts arise.

Shiru explained that the application filed on November 14 was to bring to the attention of the court that the IPOB had been proscribed by the government.

She consequently urged the court to discountenance Ejiofor’s prayer of N10million cost against the government.

After listening to both arguments, the three-man panel led by Justice Hameye Foune Mahalmadane thereafter adjourned the matter to February 7, 2018.

SOURCE: TORI.NG