The FG said it had ended the evacuation of Nigerians from war-torn Sudan. A joint statement by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 2,518 Nigerians have been evacuated on 15 flights with four from Aswan, Egypt and 11 from Port Sudan and no Nigerian life was lost during the exercise. Abuja said an exercise will be organised to bring home other Nigerians who may want to return home subsequently. The FG had commenced moves to evacuate Nigerians on 20 April, with the first movement happening six days later. This followed unrest in Sudan as a result of violent clashes between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who have been fighting for control of the government since mid-February. 180 people have been killed in the fighting.
Some states have criticised the FG’s plan to cede the feeding and caring for inmates in custodial centres to states. The governments of Ogun, Gombe, Ondo, Delta, Borno, Osun and Rivers argued that Abuja should review the current revenue allocation formula to put them in a better financial position to shoulder the responsibility. The Punch reported the states’ response to a statement by Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola that the central government would stop feeding state offenders in custodial centres from 1 January 2024. He said state governments must include the feeding of their inmates in federal facilities in their budgets till they could build their custodial centres. The reasoning by the ministry is predicated on the recent constitutional amendment which placed correctional services on the concurrent legislative list.
Ghana’s largest opposition party has chosen its former president, John Dramani Mahama, as its flagbearer for the 2024 presidential election. Delegates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) voted in primaries over the weekend to choose a candidate for the presidential and parliamentary polls. Mahama was declared the overwhelming winner after polling 297,603 votes, representing 98.9 percent of the votes while his challenger, former Kumasi mayor Kojo Bonsu, scored 1.1 percent. This is the third time Mahama will run for the top job in Ghana, one of Africa’s most stable democracies. He came second to President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016 and 2020. The ruling New Patriotic Party will hold its own primaries in November, and the presidential election is scheduled for 7 December 2024.
South Africa has launched an investigation into several people involved in a gold smuggling and money laundering scheme exposed by an Al Jazeera investigation. In a speech to parliament, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the investigation was at the “inquiry stage”. The investigation is the direct result of Gold Mafia, a four-part series by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit into gold smuggling and money laundering in southern Africa. In it, the broadcaster revealed how a group of money launderers and gold smugglers had effectively taken over several South African banks-bribing key officials at two of the country’s biggest banks – Standard and Absa – as well as at Sasfin-to allow criminals to send large amounts of illegally obtained money overseas, from the United Arab Emirates to Mauritius to Switzerland, without raising the suspicions of the authorities.