President Buhari has congratulated Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki, on securing a second term in office. Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, said that the President said he is committed to free and fair elections “because it is the bedrock of true democracy.” Obaseki, on his part, described his re-election as a “triumph over godfatherism”. In a victory speech delivered in Benin City, he thanked his supporters who in his words, “displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation, and brutalisation. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us this triumph over godfatherism.” The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Obaseki the winner of the governorship election. Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party polled 307,955 votes and won in 13 local government areas (LGAs) to defeat his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, who got 223,619 votes and won in five. Obaseki was elected on the APC’s platform in 2016 but defected to the PDP a few months before Sunday’s vote after being denied the party’s ticket owing to intra-party squabbles.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Buhari, urging him to “urgently” instruct the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN to withdraw the proposed executive bill to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act. SERAP said if passed and signed into law, the creation of the new agency “will severely undermine the commission’s independence,” and render it a “toothless bulldog or toothless tiger”. The organisation said: “The bill, which is apparently designed to undermine the independence, integrity, and freedom of action of anti-corruption agencies, ignores the seriousness of grand corruption and its impact on Nigerians’ human rights, the rule of law, principles of good governance, development, as well as the threat corruption poses to the country’s constitutional order. By pushing to turn the EFCC into a department in the Federal Ministry of Justice, and effectively bring it under the control of the Attorney General; and to subject the appointment of the agency’s head to the approval of the Directorate of State Security, your government would seem to indicate that it is not interested in combating corruption and halting its putrefying effects.” The statement said the bill “is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”
Amidst sustained pressure on Nigeria’s official foreign exchange resources, the Central Bank of Nigeria has opened investigations into foreign exchange transactions of 55 companies and individuals. The regulator linked them to foreign exchange deals settled outside its Investors & Exporters (I&E) window. The I&E window was created by the CBN as a platform for buying and selling of foreign currencies. Some of the major corporate organisations in the list include the Stallion conglomerate, electronic payments provider, Interswitch, as well as shipping line, CMA CGM Nigeria Shipping. Other big names on the list include Petro-Afrique Energy Services, Steel Force Far East, Auto Petroleum, Cavendish Mechanicals, Aquashield Oil & Marine, Haitch & Elf Integrated Services, Fenog, and Promasidor.
Military personnel have been put on alert in Cameroon for four days starting Monday, over fears that protests scheduled for Tuesday could cause severe public disorder. Government officials have criticised a call for protests made by opposition leader Maurice Kamto, labelling his movement ‘an insurrection.’ Security authorities have forbidden all demonstrations, threatening protestors with “life imprisonment” should they answer Kamto’s call. Kamto, who leads the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, has been calling for peaceful protests, demanding that President Paul Biya step down and said regional elections in the English speaking regions be reformed to include marginalised communities. Since 2017, security forces have orchestrated a violent crackdown on activists demanding the independence of the Anglophone regions which has led to instability that has forced half a million people from their homes.