Cameroon – at least 6 killed at funeral by suicide bombers

Reuters

At least six people were killed and 30 injured in northern Cameroon on Wednesday by two Islamist suicide bombers at a Muslim funeral gathering, two officials in the region said.

The attackers were from Boko Haram, the group based in neighbouring Nigeria that has stepped up cross-border attacks in Cameroon’s far north despite the setting up of a roughly 9,500-strong regional military task force.

One of the officials said the attack in Nguetchewe, about 10 km (6 miles) east of the Nigerian border, is the first known Boko Haram strike in Cameroon at a funeral gathering, although the militants have made an attack on a baptism in the past.

The U.S. military refers to Boko Haram as the “most lethal” extremist group in the world and thousands are thought to have been killed during their more than six-year insurgency.

(Reporting by Josiane Kouagheu; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Louise Ireland)

South Africa – stooge ministers wasted efforts backing Zuma over Nkandla

Business Day Live

BY SAM MKOKELI, FEBRUARY 10 2016, 05:58
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, left, addresses Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla on Wednesday as Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi looks on. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, left, addresses Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla last year as Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi looks on. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON 

A QUOTE used more than once over the years in columns by former Business Day editor Peter Bruce comes to mind as I look at the recent developments in the Nkandla scandal. “You’re so crooked, Dickie, that if you swallowed a nail you’d s**t a corkscrew,” Field Marshal Gerald Templer once said in a moment of exasperation after Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the last Viceroy of India, had behaved particularly badly.

This statement is the perfect description of the actions of two South African Cabinet ministers, Nathi Nhleko (police) and Thulas Nxesi (public works). They allowed themselves to be abused by President Jacob Zuma, who after years of denials has finally agreed to pay back some money for the Nkandla upgrades. Both men also fit the Comical Ali tag perfectly — their capacity to produce propaganda is at the low level of Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, who became known as Comical Ali for the manner in which he defended and spun for Saddam Hussein, even after the Iraqi despot had given up and gone into hiding.

There are many Comical Alis in our Parliament, including Mathole Motshekga and Cedric Frolick, the senior MPs at the forefront of the attempts to stonewall and protect Zuma, a monumental waste of time. They are ambitious career and Johnny-come-lately politicians in the African National Congress (ANC), always eager to please the boss, even at the expense of the liberation movement itself.

Frolick, who is actually not a bad legislator, is a former United Democratic Movement MP who crossed the floor in the early 2000s when it was still possible to change your colours without losing your seat.

The Zuma-Nkandla obstruction was in some ways similar to how Parliament, under Thabo Mbeki, was abused to quash debate on the “arms deal” and other scandals. Back then, good men and women were crushed and systems were subverted by previously perfectly respectable men — the Steve Tshwetes, Mluleki Georges and Mosiuoa Lekotas of this world. The trio portrayed themselves as Mbeki’s guard dogs, and they mauled whatever looked vaguely like an opponent trying to get at their man. Controversial as it was, the difference with the arms deal was that it was not about one man benefiting unduly, as is the case with Nkandla, but about the ANC trying to quash a broader government scandal that tainted many people and the party itself.

The Nxesis and Nhlekos are modern-day stooges who have engraved their own names in the history books as foolish men who sacrificed their principles to protect a man who has proved over and over again that he sees himself as bigger than even the ANC, and whose selfish interests are more important than those of the country itself.

But the real reason the ANC has over successive administrations given us unprincipled ministers who are unable to protect the ANC’s own interests, let alone SA’s, is that the party has degenerated into a morally bereft and intellectually weak personality cult from which average, sycophantic politicians can rise to Cabinet level.

As the Zuma cult unravels, it is worth looking back at how it started, with the man himself unable to shake off the image that he was a crook despite arranging that pending criminal charges he faced be dropped.

A BBC journalist once asked if he was a crook and he bought time by asking for a definition of the word. The interviewer followed with a blunt description: “It’s somebody who takes money from others for corrupt purposes.”

One of the ironies of the situation is that it has allowed demagogues such as Julius Malema to portray themselves as pro-democracy crusaders and protectors of the Constitution, an indication of just how far the ANC has drifted from the moral and intellectual centre. But then, it takes a crook to catch one.

Mkokeli is associate editor.

Africa oil – Tullow in deficit for second year running

Reuters

Tullow in the red for second year as weak oil prices bite

Africa-focused oil producer Tullow Oil (TLW.L) reported an operating loss for the second consecutive year and further suspended its dividend payments on Wednesday as the sharp decline in oil prices has drastically reduced its income.

Tullow Oil said it made a full-year operating loss of $1.09 billion in 2015, a smaller loss than the $2 billion seen the previous year, but signalling one of the worst spells in the company’s history.

The oil producer said there was a risk, if oil prices remain low, that it may become non-compliant with its financial covenants by the end of the year.

It said it was able to cut annual capital expenditure to as low as $300 million in 2017, down from up to $1.1 billion planned for 2016, if market conditions do not improve.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps, editing by Louise Heavens)

Nigeria – judge and seniuor lawyer in trouble for perverting course of justice

Premium Times

Nigeria's Supreme Court

The National Judicial Council (NJC), has queried a judge of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Mohammed Yunusa, over allegations he colluded with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ricky Tarfa, to ‘pervert the cause of justice’.

A November 19, 2015 letter by the chairman of the NJC and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, to Justice Yunusa was sequel to a complaint by a Beninese business woman, Rachidatou Abdou, against, Messrs. Yunusa and Tarfa accusing them of “bias and unprofessional conduct on the bar and bench”.

Mrs. Abdou had alleged that she went into a business venture with a fellow Beninese, Gnahoue Nazaire, sometime in 2005 by establishing an artificial hair making industry in Lagos, which they named “Rana Prestige Industries Limited”.

She said at inception, the company had the two business partners as sole directors and shareholders.

She also alleged that an instruction was given to a lawyer tasked with registering the firm (Ferdinand Egede) to ensure that fifty per cent share capital was allocated to each of the two directors. She however, said “my co-director colluded with the lawyer and changed it to 60-40 by forging my signature on the incorporation forms and papers”.

Mrs. Abdou also claimed that her business partner diverted the company funds in connivance with his younger brother, Senou Modeste, an employee of the firm. She said all the “anomalies” were perpetuated when she travelled to France for almost six years.

“Upon my return from France, when I noticed these anomalies, I instructed my lawyer to write a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to investigate and prosecute (if need be) Mr. Gnahoue Sounou Nazaire over allegations of forgery, stealing and fraudulent conversion of company funds,”she said.

She also said no sooner had the EFCC commenced their investigation on the petition, than Mr. Nazaire’s lawyer, Ricky Tarfa filed an action for enforcement of fundamental human rights and pushing for an injunction to restrain the EFCC from investigating her petition.

She said three different suits were instituted by Mr. Tarfa on behalf Mr. Nazaire on May, 15, 2015 and that all the suits were assigned to Justice Yunusa for determination.

How Judge, Tarfa colluded to pervert justice

Mrs. Abdou also informed the NJC that she had evidence of how Justice Yunusa and Mr. Tarfa “had been in constant communication some days preceding the filing of the three suits discussing how justice in the suits will be circumvented by the duo”.

She claimed that on June 29, 2015, Mr. Tarfa made an oral application for injunction to restrain the EFCC from inviting the applicants in continuation of investigation of her petition.

She said the application was “gladly” granted by the court despite being vehemently opposed by her counsel.

“The granting of this application was a result of the discussion between Mr. Ricky Tarfa and Hon. Justice Yunusa some days before the application was made,” she said.

The business woman also said the court in its sitting on July 16, 2015 took arguments on all the three suits and adjourned to August, 18, 20 and 24, 2015 for judgment respectively.

“On the 18th of August 2015, judgment was delivered in suit No. FHC/L/CS/714/2015 and Hon. Justice Yunusa did not disappoint his cohorts as he declared that I was the cause of the arrest of the applicant and that I should pay the sum of N6,000,000.00 ( Six Million Naira) as damages to the applicant who did not say that I wrote a petition against him in his original application. More so,  the EFCC in their counter affidavit maintained that I did not write a petition against the applicant,” she said.

She also told the NJC that Messrs. Yunusa and Tarfa were in regular telephone conversation shortly before the suits were instituted and while they were pending in court.

“Specifically, they spoke and exchanged SMS on several occasions. In fact, some of the calls were originated by the trial judge,” she said.

Mrs. Abdou also stated in her petition that before Justice Yunusa delivered his judgment, Mr. Nazaire was “boasting in Cotonou that he had bribed Justice Yunusa through his lawyer, Mr. Tarfa”.

She also said the telephone conversation (a copy of the call log of the alleged conversation was attached to her petition) between the judge and the senior lawyer had confirmed the allegation that the “judgments were indeed sold by justice Yunusa”.

Upon the receipt of the petition, Chief Justice Mahmud, in a letter with Ref. No. NJC/F.3/FHC.49/1/324, addressed to Justice Yunusa, asked the judge to respond to the allegations raised against him by Mrs. Abdou.

“I forward herewith a petition dated 11th November, 2015 against you by one Abdou Rachidatou. The Petition speaks for itself.

“I shall be glad to have your comments within 14 days from the date of your receipt of this letter,” the CJN said.

It is unclear whether Justice Yunusa has responded to the query issued him by Justice Mahmud. It is also not also clear whether relevant legal bodies had open any disciplinary procedure against Mr. Tarfa.

More troubles for Tarfa

Meanwhile, the EFCC arrested Mr. Tarfa on Friday and is set to arraign him on a two- count charge bordering on obstruction of justice and attempting to pervert the cause of justice.

He was arrested by operatives of the commission in Lagos, where he allegedly hid two suspects – Nazaire and Modeste; both Beninese – in his Mercedes Benz Sports Utility car, thereby shielding them from being arrested and willfully obstructing the cause of justice.

The suspects were alleged to have fraudulently converted some sophisticated manufacturing equipment belonging to Rana Prestige Nigeria Limited for their own use.

Besides, they were being investigated for alleged tax evasion running into millions of naira.

An operative of the Commission who was officially detailed to affect their arrest was reportedly prevented from carrying out his duty by Mr. Tarfa.

The senior lawyer would also be arraigned for illegally and unethically communicating with Justice Yunusa in a suit involving the EFCC and the two companies.

South Africa – how EFF got pole position in Nkandla row

Mail and Guardian

The EFF claimed the fight, started by the Democratic Alliance, about the presidential scandal as its supporters filled the streets.

EFF leader Julius Malema. (Pictures: Troy Enekvist, M&G)

NEWS ANALYSIS

When the Economic Freedom Fighters formed in mid-2013 the Nkandla saga was already well into its fourth year, and the Democratic Alliance already had under its belt one (minor) Nkandla-related court case and one (entirely unsuccessful) attempt to impeach President Jacob Zuma because of the taxpayers’ money they said had been misspent on his home.

Yet on Tuesday the johnny-come-lately party amplified a novel legal strategy – going directly to the Constitutional Court – with a showing in Johannesburg’s streets that made the DA look like distant followers regarding the controversy.

Inside the Concourt in Braamfontein various parties, including the DA, argued in the matter they had joined after the EFF had launched it.

It was still not clear whether the court would even consider the merits of the matter, or rule that it should be heard in a lower court rather than directly in the highest.

Even so the courtroom was fuller than it had ever been since its opening in 1995, with staff politely but firmly restricting entry to members of the public.

The court precinct was specifically designed without any security fencing so as to be open to pedestrians day and night, and the public is normally actively cajoled into visiting the building.

The court scrupulously gave each of the interested parties time to argue their respective cases. In the streets outside, however, other parties did not get a speaking slot. There was not a single individual in ANC regalia, nor high-ranking officials to speak to the voracious media.

A group of about 50 Congress of the People supporters in their distinctive yellow wandered about to no clear purpose or effect. A DA group about double that size milled around a trailer sound-stage, from which the party’s mayoral candidate for Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, felt it necessary to note that “none of the people who are here have been paid”.

Red deluge
And then the red wave washed over and around Constitution Hill, subsuming all before it in a fashion the DA should find chilling in a year in which post-election alliances in metros such as Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg are a ­distinct possibility.

The EFF gathered at a site a few kilometres away and built up steam as it marched. As the first thin trickle of redshirted EFF members arrived ahead of the main front there were warm greetings for the blueshirt DA supporters: high fives, even a few hugs. A speck of red intermingled with the blue in apparent common purpose.

But the rivulet became a river, then a deluge, and the thousands jogging behind Julius Malema washed away the blue as if it had never been there. By early afternoon there was not a single DA member to be found on Constitution Hill, and police joked about being the only “blue people” left.

“We are going to be here for a very long time,” Malema told the crowd during the court’s lunch break. He was speaking about the court proceedings on the day, but may as well have been referring to the EFF’s ownership of the Nkandla saga, or even his party’s future prospects.


South Africa – Zuma’s lawyer accepts ConCourt ruling that Madonsela’s Nkandla report has to be complied with

Mail and Guardian

President Jacob Zuma’s lawyer has conceded that the Public Protector’s findings were binding and her report on Nkandla ‘has to be complied with’.

Two applications by the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters against President Jacob Zuma are being heard in the Constitutional Court.(Madelene Cronje, M&G)

In an extraordinary string of concessions, President Jacob Zuma’s lawyer told the Constitutional Court on Tuesday that he accepted not only that the Public Protector’s findings against him in the Nkandla scandal were binding, but that the police minister’s conflicting report on the subject was meaningless.

“We say we accept that the president is required to carry out remedial action. The Public Protector’s report has to be complied with,” Jeremy Gauntlett told the court.

Gauntlett added that Zuma placed no reliance whatsoever on Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s controversial parallel report on Nkandla that found that he did not owe the state a cent for luxuries added to his house, notably a swimming pool and cattle kraal. That report was driven through Parliament by the ANC majority, and prompted opposition parties to go to court to enforce Madonsela’s findings.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng asked what part of the EFF and DA’s arguments the president did not agree with then, given these concessions.

Gauntlett replied that there was recurring “flirtation” in arguments by the two opposition parties as well as the submissions by Madonsela’s lawyer, that in fact the benefits that accrued to the president went well beyond the five items Madonsela flagged as non-security items.

This list of five, which included the swimming pool and kraal, were the only items for which Madonsela had sought to hold the president liable in her report “Secure in Comfort”.

Gauntlett also took issue with inferences by lawyers acting for the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance that Zuma had acted in bad faith when he ignored Madonsela’s directives.

Earlier, Wim Trengove, for the EFF, said Zuma had flagrantly breached the law and the obligation on him to uphold the Constitution in order to hold on to “ill-gotten wealth”.

The EFF and the DA, in separate applications, have asked the Constitutional Court to rule that the failure to comply with the remedial action set out by Madonsela constituted a breach of constitutional duties by both Zuma and the National Assembly.

Risk of impeachment
With a nod to upcoming local government elections, Gauntlett pleaded that this could put the president at risk of impeachment.

“This is a delicate time in a dangerous year,” Gauntlett told the eleven justices who are hearing the case.

“It will be wrong if this court makes a ruling which may result in a call for impeachment. The DA and EFF may try to impeach. Some have argued that the president was defiant…but it was an error in law,” he said.

He told the court earlier that direct access to the court for the applicants was in the court’s hands and that he had nothing to add to the matter.

In 2014, Madonsela identified a cattle kraal, chicken run, amphitheatre, visitor centre and a swimming pool as non security features for which Zuma should pay a reasonable amount back to the State.

In a surprising move last week, Zuma offered to pay a portion of the money, the sum of which would be determined with the help of the Auditor General and the Treasury.

The DA and the EFF have since rejected Zuma’s offer and committed to proceed with the court hearings. The parties want the court to make a ruling on Madonsela’s powers.

The hearing continues. – African News Agency (ANA)

Suspected recruiter for ISIS arrested in Nigeria

Premium Times

Alleged recruiter of terrorists for ISIS, others, arrested in Nigeria

SSS Nigeria

The State Security Service on Tuesday announced the arrest of one Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa alleged to a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the SSS through a statement by one of its officials, Tony Okpuiyo, said Mr. Yunusa was arrested in Kano on January 17 after he “completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ISIS.”
Read the SSS’ full statement below.

DSS Arrests ISIS Recruiter and Other Terrorists
… Planned Terrorists Attacks in States Aborted

In line with the Service statutory mandate  to decisively and continually provide actionable intelligence as well as act to degrade persons and groups that threaten  internal security in the Country, the Service initiated series of tactical operations, involving raids and enforcement actions against identified criminal and extremist kingpins and syndicates across the country.

These recent operations have significantly degraded the key extremist groups and kidnapping gangs, terrorizing innocent citizens in the Country, particularly in the South-West, North-West and Middle-Belt regions of the Federation.

On 17th January, 2016, one Abdussalam Enesi YUNUSA, a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was arrested in Kano. His arrest was sequel to available intelligence which indicated his terrorist antecedents and covert drive to indoctrinate and recruit susceptible youths in the country.

Prior to his arrest, YUNUSA had completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ‘Islamic State’. These recruits include the trio of one Muhammed RABI’U, Yahaya Momoh JIMOH and Zainab SUNDAY (f). YUNUSA is a 400 level undergraduate student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, where he was studying for a degree in Information and Media Technology.

 

He was subsequently radicalized and became a member of an extremist cell, comprising of one IBRAHIM (fnu) and Abubakar LIGALI, whom he revealed are currently undergoing terrorist training in Libya. He listed one AMINU (fnu) and Ibrahim JIHADI (Nigeriene), as other ISIS agents operating in Nigeria and the West African sub-region. The cell was being funded by one Abu-sa’ad Al Sudani, a media expert with the extremist group using Western Union money transfers to fund the terrorist cell agenda.

On 17th January, 2016, in Daura township of Daura LGA, Katsina State, another budding extremist cell affiliated to ISIS, was intercepted by the Service. One Ibrahim Mohammed DAURA, Zaharadeen SALISU and five other elements of the proscribed extremist group, Ansaru, were arrested by the Service. This group was discovered in an active stage, as its members were already co-ordinating themselves for attacks in Katsina and Kano States.

In the same vein, on 22nd January, 2016, one Obansa SALAMI, Ejide TIJANI aka Abu Uwaise II, Mohammed RABIU aka Ubida II, Zainab MOHAMMED and Abdulqadir Salisu AHMAD were arrested in Kano by this Service, while  migrating to Libya, with their immediate families including infants, in a bid to join ISIS. This group was apprehended after painstaking monitoring of its network and plans.

On 29th January, 2016, the Service arrested Mohammed Aliyu NDAKO in Kwara State. NDAKO is a seventeen (17) year old undergraduate student of a tertiary institution in the State. He was arrested sequel to credible intelligence on his plans with one Abdulkadir Salisu AHMAD a.k.a Daddy Tall, another student in Kano State, to carry out coordinated lone-wolf attacks on selected populated targets in Nigeria preferably worship centres or recreation venues. Suspect had hitherto been communicating with foreign extremist elements, while sourcing online terrorist training and support.

Within the window of these tactical operations, between the month of December 2015 and February 2016, the Service,  busted the  network of syndicated kidnap gangs spanning different regions in the country, especially Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Nasarawa, FCT, Oyo and Osun States. Foremost in this line, was the arrest of a gang of five (5) kidnappers, Abubakar HASSAN, Usman MUSA, Usman ADAMU and Idrisa Babangida AHMADU at Ife junction, Osun State, on 3rd  February, 2016.

On 5th February, 2016, the fifth member of the gang, Saidu ISYAKU was arrested at Ojo area, Oyo State. These kidnappers, Six (6) AK 47 rifles, five (5) magazines and about one thousand rounds of ammunition were recovered. This gang has been active in the South West axis of the country and were at advanced stages of kidnapping high value targets for huge ransom, before they were intercepted.

Another breakthrough in the fight against kidnapping was the killing of Abubakar MOHAMMED (aka BUBA), and an unidentified member of his group, on 8th February, 2016 close to Jebba Medical Centre, Jebba, Kwara State by security operatives as they tried to escape during a shootout with security operatives. MOHAMMED was a notorious kidnap kingpin known for his brutality and various acts of lawlessness. It is disheartening that this criminal and his men had terrorized, to no end, residents of the South West zone.  He was also linked to the kidnap of the elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, in Ondo State.

In the wake of deliberate  vandalism of oil pipelines  by criminal elements in the South-South region, the Service arrested one Nengi Samuel IKIBA aka Kockman Abula, a notorious pipeline vandal on 27th January, 2016, in Bayelsa State. IKIBA confessed to vandalizing several pipelines in the State, including the 24” Agoda/Brass Oil pipeline at Idema community in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.

The modest success of the Service in its support to the Federal Government to achieve its desired economic objectives and stability may also be noted. To this effect, the DSS have arrested a group of fraudsters who had concluded plans to hack the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) domiciled in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in order to steal Four Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N4.5b) from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

The gang was led by one Sunny OKOH, a hacker who  worked in collaboration with the trio of Uwem Udo EKPO, a Chief Program Analyst in the OAGF, Maxwell EKENE, a retired security operative and Dozie EGWU, based in Malaysia and who is now at large. The suspected fraudsters intended to use a software they had sourced and codes released to them by EKPO to hack Government accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and defraud the Government of this huge sum.

It is instructive to note that a credibility problem would have arisen over the TSA policy if these hackers had succeeded in their plan and thus lend credence to the critics of the policy that it ought not to have been introduced and implemented. For the avoidance of doubt, the suspects have been handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and prosecution.

It is pertinent to state that these successes were recorded as a result of proactive and credible intelligence offered by members of the public, sister security agencies and other stakeholders. This Service wish to state that it will continue to deploy every means necessary within its statutory mandate, and armbit of the law to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding residents and citizens wherever they reside.

It is also germane to urge all and sundry to be extra-vigilant, as well as report any suspicious persons/groups or activities to relevant security agencies, for the sustenance of relative peace in the country

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