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Acting CBN Governor, Shonubi, Deputy, CCB Dragged To Court Over Alleged Refusal To Declare Assets

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A civil group, the Network Against Corruption and Trafficking Foundation (NACAT), has dragged the Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Folashodun Shonubi, and a Deputy Governor of the apex bank, Edward Adamu, before a Federal High Court in Abuja, over alleged failure to declare their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Also joined as defendant in the suit filed by the group’s legal counsel, Festus Keyamo Chambers, is the Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau.

The applicant premised the suit on the strength of Section 1(1) and (2) of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011.

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Specifically, the group in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1182/2023 dated August 25, 2023 is alleging that Shonubi refused to declare his interest in the following companies: Intameks Ltd– RC13086; Kirby’s Place Resources Ltd – RC1215845; The Pekaboo Company Ltd – RC1395011; Ehlkuhile Investment Ltd– RC857442; Iscopeng Ltd – RC1431044; and Kilima Technologies Ltd – RC1218250.

Similarly, the applicant is also alleging that Adamu failed to declare his interest in the following Companies: Pinnacle Solutions Network Ltd – RC698688; Elad Global Resources Limited – RC933366 and Global World Frontier Services Nig. Ltd – RC772500.

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An affidavit in support of the originating motion deposed to by one Stanley Ugagbe, the operational Manager of NACAT stated the respondents had vehemently refused to avail them of the documents.

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Ugagbe averred that the 2nd respondent, (ag, CBN Gov) is listed as a Director in the following Companies: Intameks Ltd– RC13086; Kirby’s Place Resources Ltd – RC1215845; The Pekaboo Company Ltd – RC1395011; Ehlkuhile Investment Ltd – RC857442; Iscopeng Ltd – RC1431044; and Kilima Technologies Ltd – RC1218250.

Also, the deponent claimed that the 3rd respondent is listed as a Director in the following Companies: Pinnacle Solutions Network Ltd – RC698688; Elad Global Resources Limited – RC933366 and Global World Frontier Services Nig. Ltd – RC772500.

As public officers, Ugagbe stated, the 2nd and 3rd respondents have statutory obligations to declare in their Asset Declaration Forms, the interests they have in the above-named companies, while assuming their respective offices as Acting Governor and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

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“That the Applicant has a right under the Freedom of Information Act, (FoI) 2011, to access the Assets and Liabilities Declaration Forms of the 2nd and 3rd respondents, in the records of the 1st respondent, with respect to declaration of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents’ interests in the said companies.

“That the applicant has made demand under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 to the Respondents to produce their Assets and Liabilities Declaration Forms, where the 2nd and 3rd Respondents declared their interests in the said companies, but that the respondents failed, refused, and neglected to produce the said documents.

The applicant submitted that it needed the intervention of the court to compel the 1st and 2nd respondents to grant the request of the applicant, in accordance with Section 1 (3) of the Freedom of Information Act.

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The applicants predicated their prayers on the ground that they had written letters dated July 3, 2023, and August 14, 2023, requesting the respondents to produce the said documents, but they refused.

The respondents have failed, refused and neglected to produce the said documents requested from them, contrary to section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011” the counsel stated.

As public officers, the counsel submitted that the 2nd and 3rd respondents have statutory obligations to declare in their Asset Declaration Forms, the interests they have in the companies while assuming their respective offices as Acting Governor and Deputy Governor of the CBN.

NACAT claimed to be a non-governmental organisation, a pro-democracy civil society organisation whose objectives include contributing to the global war against corruption, financial crimes, terrorism and economic sabotage.

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Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit.

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ECOWAS Parliament Elects First Female Speaker

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Parliament member from Togo, Mrs Maimunatu Ibrahima, has been sworn in as the first female speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the speaker was sworn in at the second extra-ordinary session of the Parliament on Thursday in Kano.

In accordance with the parliament’s rotational system for the speakership, the position falls to Togo during this legislative session.

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In her response after the swearing in, Ibrahima promised to work with her colleagues in the Parliament toward integration in the sub-region.

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The new speaker promised to improve the image of the parliament in order to make it responsible and admired by all.

She also thanked her colleagues for the confidence reposed in her, assuring that she would bring her wealth of experience to bear on the sub-regional parliament.

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“I am grateful to my honourable colleagues for unanimously adopting me as the First female speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.

“My priority is to work harmoniously with my colleagues to advance the integration of the West African sub-region,” she said.

She also thanked the presidents of Togo, Nigeria and authorities of heads of state for supporting the parliament.

READ ALSO: Germany Threatens Tol Arrest Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu If…

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Some of the female members who spoke to NAN commended members for choosing a woman to steer the affairs of the parliament.

Ibrahima, who previously served as the third Deputy Speaker in the fifth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament has been a member since 2021.

She succeeded Sen. Barau Jubrin, from Nigeria, who acted as speaker and also elected First Deputy Speaker during the inauguration of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament on April 4.

NAN reports that the parliament was established under Articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993.

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READ ALSO: Russia Passes Decree To Allow Seizure Of US Assets

The initial Protocol establishing the Parliament was signed in Abuja on Aug. 6, 1994.

It provided for the Structure, Composition, Competence and other matters relating to the Parliament.

It is the Assembly of Peoples of the Community serving as a forum for dialogue, consultation and consensus for Representatives of the people of West Africa with the aim of promoting integration.

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The Parliament is composed of one hundred and fifteen (115) seats. Each Member State shall have a guaranteed minimum of five (5) seats.

The remaining forty (40) seats are shared on the basis of population.

The need for a Community mechanism to forge greater ties with the citizens of the West African Community served as impetus towards the creation of the Community Parliament.

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Germany Threatens To Arrest Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu If…

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Germany will arrest Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu if he enters the country amid allegations of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, a spokesperson has confirmed.

Steffen Hebestreit, a spokesperson for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, confirmed on Wednesday,May 22 that the country would ‘abide by the law’ and arrest the Israeli leader should he visit the EU nation.

The announcement comes after British prosecutor Karim Khan announced on Monday that he is seeking warrants for Netanyahu, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three Hamas terror chiefs including Yahya Sinwar, the ruler in Gaza who masterminded the terror attacks on October 7.

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Netanyahu labelled the allegations a ‘distortion of reality’ and accused the prosecutor of ‘callously pouring gasoline on the fires of antisemitism that are raging across the world’.

Germany’s decision comes after Israel’s Ambassador to Berlin, Ron Prosor, made a desperate plea to the German government to reject the ICC’s proposed arrest warrant.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Prosor wrote: “This is outrageous! The German “Staatsräson” is now being put to the test—no ifs or buts.

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READ ALSO: Russia Passes Decree To Allow Seizure Of US Assets

‘This contrasts with the weak statements we hear from some institutions and political actors. The public statement that Israel has the right to self-defense loses credibility if our hands are tied as soon as we defend ourselves.’

Staatsräson refers to Germany’s long-standing commitment to the defence of Israel, a policy declared by former Chancellor Angela Merkel during a 2008 speech to the Knesset.

Prosor added: ‘The Chief Prosecutor equates a democratic government with Hamas, thereby demonizing and delegitimizing Israel and the Jewish people.

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Russia Passes Decree To Allow Seizure Of US Assets

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree allowing the confiscation of assets inside Russia belonging to the United States, its citizens and companies, to compensate those hit by Western sanctions against Moscow.

The West froze around $300 billion of Russian financial assets, mostly its central bank reserves, after Moscow ordered troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

And the US Congress last month passed a bill that would allow President Joe Biden to use frozen Russian assets in the United States for a special fund to support Ukraine.

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The Russian decree will give Russian companies, organisations and individuals that have been hit by sanctions the right to apply for compensation from the Russian government.

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The compensation would come in the form of US-owned assets — such as real estate, companies, bank accounts or shares — based in Russia.

Many Western companies have left Russia since it launched its offensive on Ukraine.

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Those that remain — or have yet to finalise sales of their Russian businesses — could now be at risk of having their assets seized.

READ ALSO: Drama As Russia Adds Ukrainian President, Zelensky To Criminal ‘Wanted’ List

Both Moscow and Western capitals have traded accusations of stealing each other’s property over the asset freezes.

Russia has taken a number of Western-owned businesses under “temporary” state control in the past two years — acts decried by Western leaders and companies as “nationalisation”.

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In Europe, where the vast majority of the frozen Russian assets are located, pressure is ramping up over how to use them to support Ukraine.

On Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for the G7 to be more “ambitious” in how it can use the funds to help Kyiv.

AFP

 

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