The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the remand of Senator Ali Ndume over his inability to produce the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who has jumped bail in respect of his ongoing ₦2 billion money laundering trial. Justice Okon Abang ordered that the senior lawmaker representing Borno South in the Senate, who stood surety for the defendant in May 202,0 would only be released from prison until he either produces Maina in court or sells off the ₦500 million worth of property located in Asokoro, Abuja, which was used as the guarantee for the bail bond and tenders the evidence of the payment of the proceeds of the sale into the Federation Account. The judge ordered that his remand in Kuje Prison pending his satisfaction of the conditions for release.
Members of the United Kingdom’s Parliament on Monday called for sanctions against Nigerian government and military officials over human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests. The calls for sanctions were made on Monday evening when the Petitions Committee of the UK Parliament held a debate in Westminster Hall on the motion “That this House has considered e-petition 554150, relating to Nigeria and the sanctions regime”. Citing the shootings at Lekki, Oyigbo, Delta as well as the unjust victimisation of protesters after the protests and the freezing of protesters’ accounts, parliamentarians described President Buhari’s government as a dictatorship. A member of the Petitions Committee, Theresa Villiers MP, opened the debate, while the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office sent a minister to respond. Petitions debates are general debates which allow members of parliament from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to government ministers. More than 200,000 people had signed a petition asking the UK to sanction the FG for clamping down on the rights of members of the #EndSARS movement. The petitioners had accused the Nigerian government and the police of violating the rights of agitators protesting against police brutality, while also calling on the UK to implement sanctions that would “provide accountability for and be a deterrent to anyone involved in violations of human rights”.
The Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr Asue Ighodalo, has said Nigeria is missing out on the $19 trillion invested in negative-yielding assets globally because the country’s investment climate is seen as “unwelcoming, unsafe, and unpredictable”. Ighodalo said this on Monday in his welcome speech at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit. He said for a country in desperate need of development momentum and capital, the events of last month, including the #EndSARS protests, the debilitating riots, and all of the issues that emerged, were bad for morale, confidence, and business. “Of the $19 trillion invested in negative-yielding assets globally, none of it has been invested in Nigeria, regardless of what it can earn, because our investment environment has been tagged ‘unwelcoming, unsafe, and unpredictable’,” he said. According to Ighodalo, at a time when the country’s fiscal space is constrained by low revenues and high debt, the need to strengthen the attractiveness of the investment climate to encourage local and foreign investments is of utmost importance. He said, “The world does not trust our commitment to the rule of law and the impartiality and efficiency of our dispute resolution processes. “Our multiple exchange rates, policy flip-flops and perception of how we react to investors, confuses the investing world. These are not labels we can afford particularly now.”
Ethiopian federal forces on Monday encircled the Tigray regional capital Mekele, according to a government spokesman. The development came after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a 72-hour surrender ultimatum directed at the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on Sunday. “The beginning of the end is within reach,” government spokesman Redwan Hussein said, after nearly three weeks of fighting that has destabilized both Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa. However, the leader of the TPLF denied reports that Ethiopian forces had surrounded Mekele. “There is no such encirclement so far,” TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters. Gebremichael also rejected the Ethiopian government’s ultimatum to surrender, with the leader telling news agency AFP that his people were “ready to die” defending their homeland. Abiy, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, on Sunday called on the TPLF to surrender peacefully within three days, saying they were “at a point of no return.” A blackout on communications in the northernmost region of Ethiopia has made claims from both sides difficult to verify.