MTN Denies Illegal Transfer Of $14 bn From Nigeria

South Africa’s MTN has denied it illegally transferred $13.9 billion from Nigeria in the latest scandal to hit the telecom firm in its largest market in the continent.

The Johannesburg-based firm is facing a parliamentary probe over accusations it connived with senior Nigerian officials to move the funds out of the country without complying with the law.

“We would like to reiterate that at no point did MTN Nigeria (MTNN) illegally repatriate funds out of Nigeria or collaborate with Nigerians to loot the external reserves of the country,” Ferdinand Moolman, the chief executive officer of MTNN told the Senate hearing in Abuja on Thursday.“MTNN is a Nigerian company and is proud to be conducting business in Nigeria. It therefore categorically refutes any accusations of money laundering, economic sabotage or tax evasion levied against it,” he added.

Moolman said all monies repatriated by the company were in respect of dividend payments and capital divestment originating from legitimate foreign direct investment.

“The dividend payments were made to shareholders who imported foreign capital for investment in MTNN,” he said.

Moolman also exonerated Nigeria’s Trade and Investment Minister Okechukwu Elenemah from the alleged capital flight.

“We would like to state that Dr Elenemah has never been a director or shareholder of MTNN,” he said, adding that the minister had not connived with the company to move funds out of Nigeria.

The parliamentary probe followed a motion last month by Dino Melaye, a senator from central Kogi state which called for MTN to be investigated over the alleged illegal transfers.

Four local banks were alleged to have been used to move the funds with the help of the trade minister.

The probe is the latest setback to hit MTN in Nigeria.

The firm was last year slammed with a $3.9 billion fine for failing to cut off 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards, amid fears that some of the affected lines were being used by Boko Haram insurgents.

Read More:

Any Policeman Checking Vehicle Particulars Is On Illegal Duty – Says AIG

Dan Bature, Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police in Charge of Zone 11 comprising Oyo, Osun and Ondo states, says any policeman checking vehicle particulars on the highways is on illegal duty.

Bature said this on Wednesday in Ibadan during a two-day familiarization visit to Oyo State. He said that the duty of the police was not to check vehicle particulars but to ensure safer roads.

He warned policemen against blocking high ways, saying police patrol vehicles are not toll gates.

He said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) was committed to changing the negative image of the police and supporting the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government.

Bature advised officers unable to key into the laudable initiatives of the IGP to resign from the force.

He said that a lot was expected by the public from the police, adding that this informed the monitoring of officers.

“The Inspector General of Police is determined to improve on your welfare and pursue the increment of salary. But this can only be achieved when the people have good perception about the police.”

NSCDC Destroys 15 Illegal Refineries, Gears Up For “Ember” Months

The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, said the corps has destroyed 15 illegal refineries and illegal dumps, in the creeks.

In a statement, Thursday, from the corps spokesman, Emmanuel Okeh, Gana commended the effort of the personnel as well as the Commandant of Rivers State command, Mrs. Helen Amakiri, “for a successful operation in the creek leading to the destruction of 15 illegal refineries and illegal dumps.”

Gana also appreciated the effort of the personnel across the Nation for providing security during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

He said ”I am happy with the pro activeness and doggedness of all of you in tackling insecurity in this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration, and I pray that you keep it up at all times to justify the mandate of the Corps ”.

The Corps helmsman reiterated that in this ”ember” season, the Corps has a lot to do especially in protecting Critical Infrastructure.

Gana noted that, the-get-rich-quick syndrome of the youths during this period is usually high considering the fact that “instead of celebrating Christmas festival in line with the Christian doctrine, youths usually take to crime and criminalities, in trying to grab at all cost what do not belong to them”.

He therefore urged the security operatives, “to re-strategies the modus operandi in order to nip in the bud such vices.”

He however debunked the speculations there is rift among the Management Team and urged the sectional heads to brief their Staff adequately against peddling false information on issues they are not clarified about.

More Illegal Structures To Go After Sallah- Ambode

Illegal buildings and other structures in Ikoyi, Victoria and Lekki areas of Lagos State may be demolished after the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, as the special committee set up for the purpose, yesterday gave notice of enforcement
Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Tunji Bello, said this followed the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum issued to owners of such structures.
He disclosed that abandoned buildings, which allegedly harbour prostitutes, shanties, street hawkers and those who had converted walkways into trading points and food courts in the areas would be affected.
According to Bello, the committee decided to first embark on sensitisation campaign to give owners of such illegal structures enough notice to pull down such structures before expiration of the 14-day ultimatum.
He advised owners of illegal structures in the areas, who may still be sitting on the fence or nursing the hope that the government would have a rethink on the cleanup to make use of the window offered them now or face the full force of the law.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had last week inaugurated a 15-man special committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello.
During the inauguration Ambode lamented that the Environmental Sanitation and Town Planning laws in the affected areas had been violated.


FG To Counter Illegal Radio Broadcast By Boko Haram, Militants

The Federal Government will now deploy all the four International Radio Monitoring Stations (IRMS) across the country to counter “illegal radio broadcast” by Boko Haram, the Niger Delta Avengers and the Indigenous People of Bi­afra (IPOB), the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said.

The IRMS facilities are located in Azare in Bauchi State, Gusau in Zamfara State, Ipaja in Lagos State and Ogoja in Cross River State.

Shittu in a statement Wednesday by his media aide, Victor Oluwadamilare, said the FG is in the process of rehabilitating the moribund IRMS and would thereafter deploy them to counter any radio or internet broadcast capable of undermining the country’s national security.

He said the IRMS are “strategically located in various parts of the country as security surveillance to monitor radio broadcast activities, so as to guide against illegal use of the radio frequency airspace for unauthorized broadcast by proscribed groups, political and ethnic motivated dissidents.”

He further said: “The Federal Ministry of Communications has adequately appropriated for rehabilitation works on the IRMS facilities across the country in the 2016 Federal Government budget and has consequently warned against any illegal occupation and acquisition of any fraction of land on which these infrastructures are located.”

Credit: DailyTrust

Court Declares PDP Caretaker Committee Illegal

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos has declared as invalid the caretaker committee constituted over the weekend to take over the affairs of the Peoples Democratic Party from its acting National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff.

The judge, in a ruling on Monday, directed the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to enforce his order, barring the members of the constituted caretaker committee from taking over the affairs of the party.

Details later…

Court Fines SSS N5million For ‘Illegal’ Arrest, Detention Of Ekiti Lawmaker

The Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti Division, on Wednesday fined the State Security Services, SSS, N5million for illegally arresting and detaining a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Afolabi Akanni, who represents Efon Constituency 1.

Mr. Akanni was whisked away on March 4 by SSS operatives who invaded the House of Assembly complex for alleged breach of security regulations. He was eventually released on March 22.

Mr. Akanni was not in court on Wednesday.

His counsel, Obafemi Adewale, told the judge, Taiwo Taiwo, his client could not be physically present because he was still receiving “post-traumatic” treatment in a hospital outside the state.

Delivering his  judgment, the judge, noted that the Respondent, SSS, had all along failed to either deny or defend the position, facts and allegations of the applicant.

He said in the eyes of the law, “there is no basis for the court to believe that all that the applicant had alleged against the DSS were not true.”

According to him, Mr. Akanni’s fundamental rights as a citizen of Nigeria, as specified by the principles of the Rule of Law and the African Charter on the Rights of individuals, had been violated by the SSS in illegally arresting and continually detaining him for 18 days.

The court also granted three out of the four reliefs sought by the applicant’s counsel, which are, “whether the applicant’s unlawful arrest and detention is justified , whether the said intimidation, torture and continued detention is not a violation of his fundamental human rights and a violation of the Rule of Law, and whether the applicant’s is not entitled to damages”.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Nigerian Navy Destroys 50 Illegal Refining Camps

The Central Naval Command, CNC, in Yenagoa, on Sunday destroyed 50 illegal oil refining camps and 150 drums of locally refined diesel at Asiagbene in Delta.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CNC conducted the operation in collaboration with Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS, in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta.

Real Admiral Apochi Suleiman, the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, accompanied by Commodore Sule Aliyu, NNS chief in Delta, said that the largest illegal refinery in the region was discovered during the raid.

He said that the camps, numbering about 50, as well as a boat used to convey the stolen crude for refining, were destroyed during the raid on the oil thieves.

Mr. Suleiman said that no arrest was made as the oil thieves fled on sighting the ship.

He said that the oil thieves capitalized on the difficult terrain, adding that the journey to the creek took about three hours.

“There is no room for criminals in the waterways anymore; we are flushing them out,” he said.

He advised youths in the area to engage in legitimate business as the Navy was poised to deal with all forms of illegal activities in the region.

Credit: NAN

Army Uncovers Massive Illegal Oil Bunkering Site

Nigerian Army has uncovered a massive illegal oil bunkering site barely two weeks after heightened security operations in the area. And strangely too, the location is about one kilometre from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Thirteen suspects were arrested.

According to the Commander of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Brig.-Gen. Stevenson Olabanji, who broke the news, thousands of litres of illegally refined diesel were discovered at the site. He said Army operatives were immediately deployed to the site at Makoba Beach, after a tip-off. It was gathered that the site is also about two kilometres away from the Rivers State Government House.

Olabanji said: “About 16:40 hours on Monday, we got an information that some illegal bunkering activities were going on along Makoba Beach. On arrival at the area, our personnel discovered illegal activities including bunkering of illegally refined petroleum products and lifting of diesel to local boats…”

Read Morengrguardiannews

UK To Jail Illegal Migrants’ Landlords

Britain has announced new measures to tackle illegal migrants by forcing landlords to evict them, as a growing number of migrants in Calais continued their attempts to enter the UK via the undersea cross-channel Eurotunnel.

Under the measures announced on Monday, British landlords who do not remove illegal migrants, or who do not check their immigration status before renting them a property, could be jailed for up to five years.

The move, announced by Greg Clark, Britain’s communities secretary, is set to be included in a new immigration bill to be debated by the British parliament in coming months.

Britain also announced that another 100 guards would be placed on duty at the tunnel’s terminal in Calais, while UK border officials were to begin working inside the control room of the tunnel.

The migrants continued their attempts to cross the English channel via a freight train to Britain on Monday night.

Another 1,700 attempts were made by migrants in Calais to cross via the tunnel overnight on Sunday, according to French police sources. The number of people making the attempt was a major increase on the past few nights when there were only a few hundred.

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from the Eurotunnel’s reinforced fence in Calais, said the attempts continued “despite quite a heavy police presence”.

“Migrants at night try and hop over this fence and literally try to grab hold of a train as it goes by in some instances. That’s why we’ve seen so many deaths in recent months,” our correspondent said.

“The French authorities have put in extra lighting, we just heard a helicopter going over and there are police scattered around this area.”

Abortion Pills To Be Delivered To Poland In Drone To Counter 50,000 Illegal Annual Abortions

A drone is set to deliver medical abortion pills to Poland where nearly 50,000 dangerous underground abortions are reported to take place every year.

The “abortion drone” is being sent by a Netherlands-based non-profit organization, Women on Waves, and will arrive in the Polish town of Slubice on Saturday.

Since 1993, Poland has initiated strict pregnancy termination laws, which only permit women to have abortions for severe health reasons or in the case of rape or incest.

The drone’s mission is to drop several packages of World Health Organization-approved pills that will be picked up by women’s groups and distributed to those in need.

Although abortions are illegal in Poland, women cannot be imprisoned for terminating a pregnancy, but the doctor who carries out the operation can face up to two years in jail.

“We can’t stop pointing out the lack of safe access to abortion and medical abortion pills. It’s a violation of women’s rights. We have to make every effort to make sure they get that access,” RT quoted Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, the founder of the rights group, as saying on Monday.

Gomperts said although the move is not “illegal” under present “regulations or laws”, she was not sure “what the government’s going to do” in reaction to the abortion drone.


Our Expulsion Is Illegal, Laughable- APC Leaders

The nine members of the All Progressives Congress suspended and later expelled   by the Bayelsa State chapter of the party, have described the actions against them as laughable.

They said through their leader, Richard Kpodo, that their suspension and   expulsion were “illegal, unconstitutional and a breach of due process.”

According to them, the actions against them was a deliberate act by “some questionable characters” to cause an implosion within the party in the state.

The APC had on Monday expelled two and suspended seven of its leaders for anti-party activities. The two expelled members are Kpodo, a former Security Adviser to the State Government   and   Sunday Oputu.

Those suspended are   Godwin Sidi, Fred Akamu, Rosemary Okeazi,   Livinus Opratapu, Harrow Zuokumo, Enoch Koripamo and Christopher Abariowei.

The APC Secretary in the state,   Marlin Daniel, had said that Kpodo and Oputu   left the APC to join the opposition.

But Kpodo said he and others   had filed a petition before the national leadership of the party.

He warned that   if the APC failed to put its house in order, it should forget winning the 2016 governorship election in the state.

He said, “It is funny that party men cannot come together and discuss the way forward for the good of our party. How can some persons accused of criminal charges be selected to lead the party.

“This is the result you will get. They did not follow the constitution; they did not provide an avenue for fair hearing. It is criminal.”

Kpodo, who has been having a running battle with a former governor and leader of the party in the state,   Timipre Sylva, accused him (Sylva) of promoting crisis within the party.