Daily Watch – Sanusi banishment declared ‘unlawful,’ West African states launch joint Islamist operation

1st December 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari says the FG will punish heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) presenting new projects as ongoing ones. Buhari stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during the 3rd national summit on diminishing corruption in the public sector. In his opening speech, Buhari said his administration had reduced the cost of governance by completing abandoned or ongoing projects of previous administrations. Buhari said some MDAs have devised a “fraudulent” practice of presenting new projects as ongoing ones while calling on the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to take action in that regard. ‘‘We reduced the cost of governance by maintaining our promise to complete abandoned or ongoing projects commenced by previous administrations and have ensured that MDAs do not put forward new capital projects at the expense of ongoing projects,” Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson quoted Buhari as saying. ‘‘Government has, however, noted from the activities of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) that some MDAs have devised the fraudulent practice of presenting new projects as ongoing projects. ‘Necessary action and sanctions will continue against the heads of such errant MDAs. I am confident that ICPC will continue to maintain the vigilance required of her by the ICPC Act in this regard.”

The Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday declared the banishment of deposed Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, from Kano State as unlawful and unconstitutional. Delivering judgement in Mr Sanusi’s suit, the judge, Anwuli Chikere, awarded ₦10 million compensation to him and against the respondents comprising the police, the State Security Service (SSS) and the Attorney-General of Kano State. She also ordered them to tender a public apology to him in two national dailies. She held that the Emirate Council Law, 2019, relied on by the Kano State government in banishing Mr Sanusi was in conflict with the Nigerian constitution. According to Ms Chikere, the Nigerian constitution is supreme and any law that is inconsistent with it shall be null and void. The judge declared that the former emir had the right to live anywhere, including Kano State, as enshrined in the country’s constitution. The Kano State Government had on 9 March 2020 deposed Mr Sanusi after which security agents moved him to Abuja. The Kano State Government, through Usman Alhaji, the secretary to the state government, had said in a statement, that Mr Sanusi was dethroned because of insubordination. Mr was later banished to Awe, Nasarawa State, where he was detained in a private home until 13 March when he obtained an interim order of the court for his release from house arrest. But following an ex parte application filed on his behalf by his team of lawyers shortly after the banishment, the judge, Ms Chikere, ordered his immediate release. Although the deposed emir had since been released after the court ruling, he continued to pursue the suit – the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Director-General, State Security Services (SSS), the Attorney-General of Kano State and Attorney-General of the Federation – raising issues of how his rights were violated with his detention and banishment.

MTN Nigeria has said that it will commence the widely anticipated public offer of its 575 million shares from Wednesday 1 December. The offer will open at the aforementioned date by 8:00 am prompt and close at 5:00 pm on the 14 December. The company said, in a press statement signed by its secretary, Uto Ukpanah, that it will be offering the 575 million shares held by MTN Group to retail investors at ₦169 per share. In view of this, the company could potentially raise about ₦97.2 billion from the widely anticipated offer. The minimum subscription, it said, is 20 shares and thereafter in multiples of 20 shares. The offer includes a bonus share of one share for every 20 shares bought by a retail investor subject to maximum bonus shares of 250 per investor. However, to qualify for the free share, such retail investors must buy and hold the shares for at least 12 months after the allotment date. Interestingly, the retail offer is the first in Nigeria to be delivered via a digital platform. In view of this, the telco aims to leverage the power of technology to enhance greater participation from Nigerian investors. Commenting on the development, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, said: “The success and growth of MTN Nigeria is intrinsically linked to that of Nigeria and Nigerians. Therefore, we are very excited to offer Nigerians the opportunity to own shares in MTN Nigeria.’’ On the other hand, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Mupita, said the offer aligns with MTN Group’s strategic priority to create shared value. MTN Group had earlier disclosed its intention to proceed with a public offer for the sale of 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria. To execute this, the telco giant sought and obtained approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to proceed with the offer and subsequently launched an equity book-build to qualified institutional investors.

Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo have carried out a joint military operation to counter increased attacks by Islamist insurgent groups in parts of West Africa, Burkinabe Security Minister Maxime Kone said on Tuesday. Over 5,700 troops were deployed in the borderlands between Burkina Faso and the other three countries under a security cooperation deal the countries agreed in 2017 to prevent jihadist violence spreading from the Sahel region. The five-day operation led to the arrest of over 300 suspects and the seizure of weapons, ammunition, vehicles, drugs and a large amount of material to make improvised bombs, Kone told a news conference. Groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have expanded their reach in the Sahel region in recent years, destabilising Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. They have made occasional incursions south, including into Ivory Coast and Togo. The Burkina Faso government is facing a public outcry over its perceived inability to stop the militants, who in November carried out the most devastating attack on local security forces in recent years.