Former British PM, David Cameron Quits Politics

Two months after he stepped down as the prime minister of Britain, David Cameron has resigned as a member of parliament (MP).

The former prime minister said he took the decision “with a heavy heart”, added that he did not want to become a “distraction and a diversion” to the new government.

Cameron stepped down on July 13 in the wake of defeat in the EU referendum.

The former Tory leader had promised to stay on as an MP until 2020, in the initial wake of the result.

During a trip to Warsaw, Poland, for a NATO meeting in early July after the referendum defeat, Cameron was asked if he would pledge to remain an MP until 2020.

He replied: “It’s my intention to continue serving as an MP and helping represent the interests of the people of West Oxfordshire and anything else I do will come a bit later.”

However, in a statement released on Monday, Cameron said he had “fully considered” his position over the summer and decided it was best to step aside.

“In my view, the circumstances of my resignation as Prime Minister and the realities of modern politics make it very difficult to continue on the backbenches without the risk of becoming a diversion to the important decisions that lie ahead for my successor in Downing Street and the government,” the statement read.

“I have thought about this long and hard over the summer and I have decided the right thing to do is to stand down as the member of parliament for Witney. There will be a bye election. I will give the Conservative candidate my full support.

“But in my view, with modern politics, with the circumstances of my resignation, it isn’t really possible to be a proper backbench MP as a former prime minister.

“I think everything you do will become a big distraction and a big diversion from what the government needs to do for our country. And I support Theresa May. I think she’s got off to a great start. I think she can be a strong prime minister for our country. And I don’t want to be that distraction. I want Witney to have a new MP who can play a full part in parliamentary and political life without being a distraction.

“I want to thank everybody here in West Oxfordshire who has been so supportive. It has been a great honour and privilege to serve this area and to serve these brilliant people. I’m going to go on living locally.”

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New British Prime Minister, Theresa May Names Cabinet

United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May has immediately appointed her cabinet, reports UK Telegraph.

Theresa May became Britain’s second female prime minister on July 13 charged with guiding the UK out of the European Union after a deeply devisive referendum campaign ended with Britain voting to leave and David Cameron resigning.

The new cabinet include Philip Hammond as Chancellor who is replacing George Osborne.

Others are Boris Johnson as new Foreign Secretary, Amber Rudd appointed Home Secretary while Michael Fallon will continue as Secretary of State for Defence. Liam Fox to head a new department for international trade.

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New British Prime Minister Emerges

Theresa May is to become the UK’s prime minister on Wednesday evening – after David Cameron announced he would quit after Prime Minister’s Questions.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Cameron said he would offer his resignation to the Queen on Wednesday afternoon at Buckingham Palace.

Mrs May’s only rival to succeed Mr Cameron as Conservative leader, Andrea Leadsom, pulled out earlier on Monday.

Mr Cameron, PM since 2010, said he would quit after the UK’s Brexit vote.

He said he would be chairing his final cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

BBC

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I’m A British Citizen, Ask Buhari To Release Me; Nnamdi Kanu Tells UK

The detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, has urged the British Government to intervene in his case by asking President Muhammadu Buhari to release him from prison.

Kanu who is facing treason charge alongside two other pro-Biafra agitators, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, approached the British government through his lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor.

Kanu, in a letter dated March 24 and addressed to the British High Commissioner in Abuja, described himself as a victim of travesty of justice and gross human rights violation.

He insisted that the President Buhari-led administration has violently abused his fundamental human rights through his prolonged detention in prison custody.

Even though Kanu said he was ready to answer to the charge against him, he however expressed doubt in the ability of the Nigerian government to accord him fair trial, saying he has so far been subjected to immense persecution.

Stressing that he is a British citizen, Kanu told the UK government that he was wrongly arrested and put in detention.

“It is repeating the obvious to state that our client is a full British citizen, by virtue of which position he is entitled to all Rights, Privileges and Protection, guaranteed under the British Laws and conventions. Nnamdi kanu.

“We are therefore constrained in the circumstance, to formally notify the British Government via this medium, of our well informed reservations, and apprehension, that our client is undergoing persecution in the charge above referred, and deliberate design by the persecutors to frustrate every effort of the Defense team aimed at giving our client a fair trial”.

Kanu, through his lawyer, contended that his detention from October 14, 2015 till January 20, 2016, without any lawful order of court, was not only unlawful, but was in flagrant disobedience of orders of courts of competent jurisdiction which he said directed his unconditional release and discharge.

“It is the position of our Law, that dual citizenship is a constitutional right of the citizens of Nigeria, clearly provided for under section 28 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011.

Dual citizenship is not a crime under our Law. Reservations on President’s comment “Our reservations on the President’s comment was underpinned by the findings made in the ruling delivered on February 29, 2016, by Hon. Justice John Tsoho, wherein our client and the two other defendants were denied bail.

“Recalled that on December 29, 2015, during the Presidential Media Chat, the President told the whole world that Nnamdi Kanu cannot be granted bail, alleging that he came into the country without a valid travelling passport.

“This pronouncement was roundly condemned by both local and international commentators. His pronouncement was viewed as a clear usurpation of the functions and powers of the judiciary.

“Though very regrettable and extremely unfortunate, Nnamdi Kanu was refused bail on January 29, 2016. In refusing him and other defendants bail, the court also cited the facts of his possession of dual passports as a flight risk, and as such held that he cannot be granted bail.”

Kanu maintained that Justice Tsoho denied him bail “in line with the pronouncement of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his media chat telecasted live on December 29, 2015.”

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Olisa Metuh And The British: Between The Colonized And The Post-colonized By Pius Adesanmi

If you look across Africa today, the postcolonized African often sees himself as an improvement on his colonized ancestors. In 2016, the postcolonized African looks at archetypes of the colonized African which Chinua Achebe has secured for eternity in the persons of Ogbuefi Okonkwo and Ogbuefi Ezeulu and says to himself: “we have come a long way”. The postcolonized thinks he is better than the colonized.

This, of course, is pure delusion for the postcolonized is quite frankly a fool and a butterfly who thinks himself a bird – apologies to Ola Rotimi.

True, Africa was conquered on the watch of the colonized. But we now know his history of resistance; of subtle, overt, sly, and brazen undermining of the colonizer at every turn. He fought wars where necessary, negotiated where necessary, mistranslated the colonizer where necessary, became a nationalist when necessary – and eventually achieved decolonization.

Eventually, the colonized handed over a free continent to today’s postcolonized. The choice before the postcolonized was to add substance to that freedom and take the continent to the mountain top. We know where this character has taken the continent in fifty years of freedom. The least said of the postcolonized African, the better.

One other thing I like about the colonized, what conferred on him superior moral and ethical mettle vis-à-vis today’s postcolonized African, is the fact that the colonizer’s lies hardly ever worked on him. You see, colonialism was not just violence and conquest. Colonialism was also lies. The colonizer daily had to tell lies and tell other lies to nurture the initial lies. You lied to the colonized about himself and his society in order for divide and rule to work.

You must remember that Ezeulu’s tragedy was not all self-inflicted. You must remember that he paid a heavy price for resisting the colonizer’s lies about himself and his society. The white man tried to lie to him that he is the stuff of kings. The white man tried to tell him that he is royalty. The flattering lies was meant to achieve the white man’s dream of social engineering in Igbo land: create a supreme central authority to make life easier for indirect rule. But Ezeulu refuses to buy the colonizer’s patronizing lies about himself and his society. I will not be king. There is no such thing in my society. You know the rest of the story.

All over Africa, the former colonizer, who now calls himself “Africa’s development partner”, has never quit the habit of trying to tell patronizing lies to Ezeulu’s postcolonized descendants in order to butter their ego and make life a little better for neocolonialism. Unfortunately, the postcolonized African is not cut from the same moral and ethical stone as his colonized ancestor.

The postcolonized African is a fool who laps up the patronizing lies that his “development partners” from Europe and America tell him about himself and his society.

Surely, you remember Baroness Lynda Chalker? Throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and the early 2000s, the Baroness, bless her soul, pretty much functioned as the foster mother of the Nigerian political class. She held court over Nigerian affairs from London. Her children in the Nigerian political class ran to consult her over every issue. By the time we arrived at Obasanjo and Yar’Adua, Lynda Chalker had pretty much become the Queen of Nigeria.

Some of our worst and most corrupt elections happened in this era. Even some of the beneficiaries of those egregiously corrupt elections grudgingly acknowledged the farce they conducted and benefited from. Not Baroness Chalker. She would not hear or tolerate any talk of corruption and rigged elections in Nigeria. She justified and excused every evil she encountered in Nigeria. She assured Obasanjo, then Yar’Adua, that those elections were not as bad as people were making them out to be, patronizingly adding that there are no perfect elections anywhere.

Of course the postcolonized fools in Nigeria’s leadership, whose ego she was buttering, never stopped to ask themselves if the lies she was telling them about Nigeria were valid for her own country. They never once asked her if what she was justifying and rationalizing for Nigeria was acceptable in Britain.

Since she said that Nigerian elections were okay because there are no perfect elections anywhere, they never asked her if hundreds of Londoners are shot and macheted by touts working for politicians during elections. They never asked her how many snatched ballot papers she had ever seen in a British election. These are questions that the colonized Ezeulu would have asked her to her face, even at the risk of imprisonment.

Truth is that Baroness Lynda Chalker was raking in millions as a “consultant” from the corrupt Nigerian establishment and was prepared to tell them any lies about themselves and their society to keep the funds flowing. She is British – she knows how to benefit from the inferiority complex of the postcolonized African. After all, she is from the country which manufactured that inferiority complex.

Enter Olisa Metuh, the indicted National Publicity Secretary of PDP who has just been released on bail. The crimes Olisa Metuh and his fellow elder statesgoats in Dasukigate stand accused of would long have seen them facing the firing squad in China or South Korea. For much less in Europe and America, you will not face the firing squad but that would signal the end of your public career. The first order of business in Europe and America is to immediately resign from your present post, keep a low profile, while defending yourself in court.

In those societies, it is impossible to keep your job in the face of such a huge indictment. Yet, Mr. Metuh’s first order of business as soon as the handcuffs were removed from his hands was to undertake the mandatory victory lap of thieves and the indicted – which Nigerian society condones and promotes – before heading out to his office to welcome a delegation of British parliamentarians.

What the visiting British parliamentarians had to tell Olisa Metuh should make every Nigerian overcome their ethnic, religious, and political differences for once and think. They advised Olisa Metuh and his party, PDP, to “protect your brand” in the face of challenges and difficulties. A man stands accused of massive looting of his country’s funds, funds meant to fight terrorism, even giving two million dollars to a lady friend “for investment”, and a bunch of patronizing British parliamentarians go to Abuja to talk about his brand and the brand of his party?

How many times do the members of this British delegation get to visit British politicians indicted for theft and massive corruption to discuss their brand? How often does a British politician get indicted for massive fraud, arrested, jailed, released on bail, only to stroll casually back to office and begin to welcome international delegations like nothing happened?

But I do not blame the British who have gone to Abuja to tell the usual ego-massaging and patronizing lies to the postcolonized about himself and his society. I blame Nigerians for the kind of postcolonial monstrosity they have created and called a society. A society of no consequence. A society where a man waltzes back to office from jail, a hero under the weight of indictment. A society where a Senator illegally goes around in a convoy in the nation’s capital, breaks traffic rules, gets into an accident, and travels abroad for treatment at public expense in broad daylight and has yet to face consequences till today. A society whose National Assembly is a bazaar of former indictees, current indictees, and aspiring indictees.

The British know this about you. That is why they come to you frequently to encourage and rationalize what they will never accept in their own society. That is why they come to pat you patronizingly on the head for creating a 17th-century nightmare that is completely antithetical to 21st-century civilization. I shudder to think of what that British delegation was thinking of us even as they mouthed lies to Olisa Metuh.

Ezeulu would never have tolerated the lies the British told Olisa Metuh.

The Nigeria of 2016 is inferior to the Nigeria before 1960.

I miss Ezeulu.

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FLASHBACK: Olisa Metuh Beats Up British School Principal, Drives Him Off In Car Boot

The Vice-Principal of British Nigerian Academy, Prince & Princess Estate, Abuja, Mr. Kola Pele, 67, has taught in numerous schools and nurtured many pupils.

He was going about his duty at the last BNA visiting day when the National Vice-Chairman (South-East), Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, invaded the school with his wife, policemen as well as aides and allegedly assaulted him and other teachers for confiscating his son’s GSM phone.

Metuh, a lawyer turned politician, allegedly held Pele by the throat and reportedly ordered an aide to put him in his car boot, saying “No police IG or SSS can secure your release.”

The incident, which occurred on February 19, 2011, caused panic among the teachers and over 50 pupils that witnessed the incident.

The affected teachers had filed a lawsuit seeking N250m for general damages, N10m for punitive damages and N350, 000 for medical bills. The writ was issued by Joseph Dauda (SAN), the Nigeria Bar Association President.

Pele told PUNCH METRO on Wednesday that he went to the hostels around 6.30pm to check if the parents had dispersed, when a teacher, Ms. Amuche Igbe, informed him that she saw Metuh’s son, Derrick, a former pupil of the school, giving his GSM phone to pupils to use in violation of the school rules.

The BNA VP explained that Amuche seized the phone, handed it to him and he dropped it in his office. But he said a few minutes after, three jeeps drove into the school premises at top speed and Metuh alighted from the lead car.

“The jeeps drove round and round and this attracted pupils and staff. Metuh alighted and said, ‘who is Pele here’ and I said I am. He said, ‘where is my son’s phone. Before I could speak, he held my throat and pushed me to the ground. He said his boys should put me and another teacher, Babatunde Adedayo, in the car boot and that no police IG or SSS can release us,” Pele said.

According to him, a teacher, Hamzat Muftau, who was pleading with the PDP leader to calm down, was knocked to the ground by one of Metu’s aides.He alleged that Metuh’s aides forcibly held Mufutau’s hands and took away his office keys and phone in an attempt to get him to release Derrick‘s phone. Incidentally, Derrick is no longer a pupil of the school as he was withdrawn in December 2010 while in Senior Secondary 2.

Pele stated that the teachers, who were apprehensive that he might be killed, advised him to release the phone.

Pele said that the PDP leader had no right to visit the school as his son was no longer a pupil, adding that Metuh’s police aides did not intervene when he was being molested.

He added that although the incident was reported at Garki Police Station, the Investigating Police Officer identified simply as Felicia said ‘Metuh could not be arrested because he is a big man, but could only be invited.’

Igbe, who corroborated Pele’s claim, stated that she saw Derrick chatting with some female pupils and asked him to leave the school, but instead of leaving, he walked towards the male hostel, saying he wanted to retrieve his phone.

She said, “A pupil offered to get the phone for him, but Derrick insisted on collecting it himself. There is a gap in the gate through which a hand held out the phone, but before Derrick could take the phone, I collected it from the person, but I could not identify the pupil who brought it out.”

Muftau also explained that every attempt to placate Metuh on the day was rebuffed as he insisted on having the phone. “As I was begging him to take it easy, he said I should just get him the phone, and that it is very expensive and can buy 200 of my own. As I moved closer to him, his aide kicked me in the legs and I fell; he said I was touching his boss. I suffered body pains, but I am better now.”

Another eyewitness, Adedayo, a housemaster, described the incident as a show of shame, which might have degenerated into a serious violence if more staff were around.

“When Metuh grabbed the VP by the throat, I moved to intervene, but he asked his aide to put me and the VP in the boot of his jeep, and boasted that no IG or SSS can release us,” he explained.

A board member of BNA, who does not want to be named, expressed dismay that Metuh, a former board member of the school, would assault teachers in the presence of pupils.

“Why I am surprised is that he is a friend of the owner of the school as well as a former BNA board member. The teachers have gone to court and he will meet them there,” she said.

But when contacted, Metuh said nobody was man-handled, insisting that the allegation was “a lie to cover up their (the teachers’) incompetence and stupidity.”

He said, “They don’t have the right to seize someone’s phone. The school never has such rule on a visiting day. During the visiting day, the pupils have the right to use the phone. When he was in the school, my son took my phone and used it there. The rule doesn‘t say anything about using phone on a visiting day.

“Why do they have to victimise a pupil because he left the school? My son and wife were the victims. I don’t want to take issues with them because the owner of the school is my friend. But I welcome the law suit; let them serve me the writ.”

The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, however, said nobody was above the law. He said he would find out about the matter from the Garki Divisonal Police Officer.

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$1.1billion Fraud: British Judge Questions Jonathan’s Integrity, Stops Etete From Getting N17 billion

By Premium Times

A British Judge on Tuesday refused to release $85 million (N17 billion) to Malabu, a fraudulent company controlled by Nigeria’s former petroleum minister, Dan Etete.

In refusing to release the money to Malabu, Justice Edis of the Southwark Crown Court declared that he was not sure the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan acted in Nigeria’s interest when it approved the transfer of the money to Malabu.

“I cannot simply assume that the FGN which was in power in 2011 and subsequently until 2015 rigorously defended the public interest of the people of Nigeria in all respects,” the judge ruled.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the Jonathan administration controversially approved the transfer of $1.092 billion from Nigeria’s JP Morgan account in London to Nigerian accounts controlled by Malabu.

The money was paid by global oil giants, Shell and ENi, for Africa’s richest oil bloc, OPL 245.

The former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, and the former Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, signed the documents approving the transfer to Malabu.

The fraudulent deal, shaded in various layers of corruption, has been condemned by Nigerians and international transparency advocates and is being investigated by authorities in four different countries.

THE SEIZED $85 MILLION

The $85 million was seized at the request of Italian prosecutors who are also investigating the deal. The money was the last part of the OPL 245 largesse not yet distributed.

Sensing that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was yet to find its feet on international legal matters, Mr. Etete approached the British court and asked that the money be returned to him.

At a two-day hearing that started on November 23, Mr. Etete’s lawyers argued that there was no fraud in the deal and asked that the money be released to him.

While Mr. Etete argued that the money be released to him, the Italian prosecutor argued that “their investigation could lead to a potential forfeiture of the money down the road.” a source who has followed the case and was present at the proceedings told PREMIUM TIMES.

Malabu’s lawyers told the court that freezing the money was an assault on Nigeria and questioned how the court could imagine that Messrs. Adoke and Ngama would be a party to a corrupt deal.

THE RULING

While giving his ruling on Tuesday, Justice Edis said while he could not say for certain if the deal was fraudulent pending conclusions of investigations, it would be inappropriate to release the money to Malabu.

“I am not making any findings of fact about misconduct by anyone. I am simply assessing the evidence before me to determine whether a restraint order should be discharged which was granted by way of MLA (Mutual Legal Assistance between the UK and Italy) to support an investigation by the Italian authorities,” the judge said.

The judge also made reference to evidence provided by the Italian authorities that ex-President Jonathan was directly involved in the fraudulent deal.

“The suggestion from the wiretaps is that “Fortunato” was implicated and I am told that this was a reference in code (not subtle) to the former President of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan,” the judge said.

“Aliyu (Abubakar) is said to be associated with him and Aliyu received, in a way which was not transparent, $523m of the money paid for the OPL 245 licence in August 2011.”

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how fictitious companies owned by Abubakar Aliyu, a man referred to as ‘Mr. Corruption’ by anti-graft officials, received over half ($532 million) of the total $1.092 billion.

Mr. Aliyu, a close ally of Mr. Jonathan was recently quizzed by EFCC operatives for the first time despite being a central character in the deal whose investigation was virtually stalled during the Jonathan presidency.

ACTIVISTS REACT

Reacting to the ruling, Simon Taylor of Global Witness stated that “Given the gathering pace of the EFCC investigation in Nigeria under new leadership and a call by the Nigerian House of Representatives to cancel the deal in 2014, investors in Shell and Eni should demand to know why they were exposed to such risk.”

The UK based Global Witness has been at the forefront of the demand for transparency in the deal and other similar deals across the world.

Also reacting to the judgement, Dotun Oloko, an anti-corruption campaigner in Nigeria said, “In light of these allegations in a UK court, the role of the senior Nigerian officials involved in this deal, including Goodluck Jonathan, must now be fully investigated.”

With the ruling, Nigerian now has the opportunity to not only claim the money but also another $110.5 million of the funds held in a Swiss bank while investigations continue.

Below is a statement by Global Witness after the court ruling:

Court refuses to unfreeze funds from “smash and grab” raid on Nigerian oil block

Prosecutors allege that “fronts for President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria” received US$523m in proceeds of “smash and grab” OPL 245 deal

Southwark Crown Court today rejected an attempt by a company owned by the former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete to unfreeze US$85m in proceeds of the corrupt deal for the Nigerian offshore oil block, Oil Prospecting Licence 245 (OPL 245), which was sold to Shell and Eni for $1.1bn in 2011.

The funds were restrained at the request of Italian authorities, who are investigating the sale of the block by Malabu Oil & Gas, a company secretly owned by Mr Etete, to the international oil companies.

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under Goodluck Jonthan acted as a middleman in the deal, and the court received evidence based on wiretaps that prosecutors allege show that the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, was directly involved. The deal deprived the Nigerian people of a sum equivalent to 80% of the country’s 2015 health budget.

“In light of these allegations in a UK court the role of the senior Nigerian officials involved in this deal including Goodluck Jonathan must now be fully investigated,” said Dotun Oloko, a Nigerian anti-corruption campaigner.

Evidence from US authorities presented to the court and included in the judgement “shows payments following circuitous routes which total $523m and which arrived at Abubakar Aliyu, aka ‘Mr Corruption’” […] “Aliyu’s companies are allegedly fronts for President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria”. The Crown Prosecution Service, acting at the behest of the Public Prosecutor for Milan (PPM), described OPL 245 as a case of “grand corruption”.

The OPL 245 deal is currently under investigation by the Public Prosecutor of Milan, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The EFCC have reportedly recently interviewed Abubakar Aliyu in connection with the case, and earlier this year interviewed Dan Etete.

Justice Edis of Southwark Crown Court turned down Malabu’s application to discharge the freezing order rejecting Malabu’s arguments that the Crown had failed to follow proper procedures in securing the freezing. Justice Edis concluded in his judgement:

It is extremely important that what I am about to say is not misunderstood. I am not making any findings of fact about misconduct by anyone. I am simply assessing the evidence before me to determine whether a restraint order should be discharged which was granted by way of MLA to support an investigation by the Italian authorities. That investigation is not complete (and appears to be still at quite an early stage). What misconduct it may ultimately prove, if any, will be a matter for the PPM and the Italian court if proceedings are brought. However, precisely because I cannot reach firm factual conclusions, I cannot simply assume that the FGN which was in power in 2011 and subsequently until 2015 rigorously defended the public interest of the people of Nigeria in all respects. Mr. Fisher QC who appeared for the CPS used the phrase “grand corruption” to describe the form of corruption in which the state itself is culpable. The suggestion from the wiretaps is that “Fortunato” was implicated and I am told that this was a reference in code (not subtle) to the former President of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan. Aliyu is said to be associated with him and Aliyu received, in a way which was not transparent, $523m of the money paid for the OPL 245 licence in August 2011.

“Given the gathering pace of the EFCC investigation in Nigeria under new leadership and a call by the Nigerian House of Representatives to cancel the deal in 2014, investors in Shell and Eni should demand to know why they were exposed to such risk,“ said Simon Taylor, a Director of Global Witness.

Suspects named in the Italian case include Eni and its current and former CEOs Claudio Descalzi and Paolo Scaroni, as well the company’s Chief Development, Operations & Technology Officer Roberto Casula and former executive Vicenzo Armanna. Other suspects in the Italian case include Dan Etete and middlemen Emeka Obi, Gianluca Di Nardo and Luigi Bisignani. Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing.

“It is clear from evidence in the public domain that high level executives in Shell personally took part in negotiating this deal. Citizens in the UK, US, Netherlands and Nigeria should demand that Shell and its executives are investigated in their respective countries,” said Nicholas Hildyard of The Corner House.

Shell and Eni have invested at least $1.8bn in purchasing and developing the block, which they own 50-50. It reportedly holds probable reserves of 9.23 billion barrels of oil, which if proven, would represent the equivalent of a third of Shell’s proven reserves, and two thirds of Eni’s.

Antonio Tricarico of Re:Common said: “$85 million paid by Eni and Shell for the benefit of Dan Etete’s company Malabu remains frozen in London. The time has come that Eni and Shell come clean about what they knew about this deal and who else this money was intended for.”

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British Govt Does Not Support Biafra Agitators – UK High Commission

The UK High Commission in Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday said the British government does not support the agitation for a separate nation of Biafra.

Joe Abuku, the High Commission’s Press & Public Affairs Officer, asserted that the position of the UK Government during the Biafran War is a matter of historical record.

“The UK Government’s position, which reflected the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, was to recognise the borders laid down at Independence,” he said.  “The Biafran War caused great suffering and the UK supported the reconciliation work that followed the conflict. The UK supports the territorial integrity of Nigeria and President Buhari’s commitment to work for a secure and prosperous Nigeria for all Nigerians.”

The expressed position of the British High commission tallies with a widely-circulated letter written by UK Minister of State, Grant Shapps, affirming a similar position concerning Biafra agitation. That letter was written in response to MP Micheal Meacher, following an inquiry by one of Mr. Meacher’s constituents who had written to inquire about the detention of Nnamdi Kanu of Radio Biafra.

Mr. Shapps wrote the letter to an MP, Micheal Meacher, in response to an inquiry by one of Mr. Meacher’s constituents who had written to inquire about the detention of Nnamdi Kanu of Radio Biafra.

“We are not aware of any institutionalized persecution of any people by the Nigerian authorities,” he declared.

“The position of the British Government during the Biafran War is a matter of historical record,” he recalled.  “Our position, which reflected the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, was to recognise the borders laid down at Independence. There is no question that the Biafran War caused great suffering and the UK supported the reconciliation work that followed the conflict and continues to support efforts to reduce violence in Nigeria today.”

According to Mr. Shapps, “The UK fully supports the territorial integrity of Nigeria and President Buhari’s commitment to work for a secure and prosperous Nigeria for all Nigerians. We share the concern of President Buhari and all Nigerians about threats to Nigeria’s stability and are working with Nigeria to help tackle these threats, including Boko Haram.

Mr. Abuku said he could not confirm the authenticity of the Hon. Grant Shapps letter as it is not their practice to confirm or deny the authenticity of leaked documents.

Mr. Kanu remains in detention in Abuja, following his arrest in Lagos last month.  According to his attorneys, he has been unable to meet the conditions of a strident bail given by a magistrate.

Since his arrest, Biafra activists have embarked on protests in several cities across the world.  In some cases they have visited Nigeria embassies and threatened to burn down their buildings.

Mr. Kanu is a dual citizen of both the UK and Nigeria.  According to Mr. Abuku, the UK High Commission has a standing position stating thus: The British government only provides consular assistance to dual nationals in the country of their other nationality in exceptional circumstances.

If the High Commission is approached for consular assistance by a British National in Nigeria who also holds a Nigerian passport, the level of support that could be offered in their case would be discussed with the individual concerned.

Letter written by UK Minister of State, Grant Shapps

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Buhari Applauds British, Swiss Support For The Recovery And Repatriation Of Nigeria’s Stolen Funds

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja applauded the renewed support from Britain and Switzerland for the recovery and repatriation of public funds stolen from Nigeria.

At separate audiences with the new British and Swiss Ambassadors, who were at the Presidential Villa to present their letters of credence, President Buhari noted that British, Swiss and other foreign anti-crime agencies had already given his administration much help with relevant information and intelligence on public funds that were stolen and illegally transferred to personal bank accounts by officials of past administrations.

The President called, however, for the speeding up of the processes of investigation, prosecution and repatriation of Nigerian funds stolen by corrupt public officials and their accomplices.

‘‘Switzerland and Britain have been very helpful indeed in the recovery of our assets. But we must build on what we have started.

‘‘It is also important to send a signal to the elite that it is no longer business as usual. I personally appreciate the efforts of Prime Minister David Cameron on this issue.

  • “He has honoured his commitments to us. He promised to support our government to build a strong and dynamic economy and he has been faithful to his words,’’ the President told the new British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright.

Mr. Arkwright assured him of Britain’s preparedness to give Nigeria the fullest possible support and assistance in the recovery of its looted resources.
‘‘We are most ready to help. We have a good team at the National Crime Agency (NCA) working with your Economic and Financial CrimesCommission. Tell us where and how we can help and we will provide the assistance,’’ the British High Commissioner assured the President.
President Buhari also welcomed assurances from the new Swiss Ambassador, Mr. Eric Mayoraz that his country will expedite action on the repatriation of millions of dollars stolen by Nigerian public officials and still held in Swiss Banks.
‘‘I am very pleased and we will get our Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with you to ensure that all the stolen funds are returned safely to government coffers as quickly as possible,” the President told the Swiss Ambassador.
President Buhari also received the letters of credence of the Ambassador of the State of Palestine, Mr. Saleh Fhied Saleh, the Ambassador of Myanmar, Mr. Tha Aung Nyun and the Ambassador of Slovakia, Mr. Peter Holasek.

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BBC World Service And British Council Launch 25th International Radio Playwriting Competition

Writers from around the world are invited to submit their scripts as the 25th International Radio Playwriting Competition opens for entries today.

 

The global competition, hosted by BBC World Service and the British Council, in partnership with Commonwealth Writers and co-producers The Open University, offers the unique opportunity for playwrights to use the medium of radio drama to reach an international audience.

 

The competition has two first prizes – one for writers with English as a First Language and another for writers with English as a Second Language. Both winners will attend an award ceremony in London and see their plays recorded for broadcast on BBC World Service.

 

A third award – the Georgi Markov prize – celebrates the most promising script from the competition’s shortlist in honour of BBC World Service journalist and writer Georgi Markov (1929-1978). The winner of this prize will also travel to London for the award ceremony and spend two weeks with BBC Radio Drama and BBC World Service.

 

The previous competition attracted entries from a record 86 countries. To mark the 25th competition, The Ravens by Alana Valentine – the winner of last year’s English as a First Language prize – will broadcast again on Saturday 3 October on BBC World Service.

 

Mary Hockaday, Controller, World Service English, said: “This competition gives writers around the world the opportunity to have their radio plays heard by a truly global audience. International stories and compelling story-telling in all its forms – whether drama, news or documentaries – is at the heart of the World Service. I’m really looking forward to hearing what this 25th competition inspires”.

 

Neil Webb, Director Theatre and Dance, British Council said: “I am delighted that the International Radio Playwriting Competition continues to provide a platform for talented writers from around the world and I look forward to this year’s entries”.

 

Lucy Hannah, Programme Manager, Commonwealth Writers said: “The power of storytelling combined with the reach of radio make for a winning combination. We value our ongoing partnership with the International Radio Playwriting Competition and look forward to the new insights into the world that it brings each year”.

 

Dr Derek Neale, Senior Lecturer, The Open University Faculty of Arts said: “Creative Writing is a vibrant subject area at The Open University, with courses from beginner and undergraduate, to MA and PhD level. We are thrilled to collaborate with BBC World Service in this important and unique competition, encouraging and supporting talent internationally.”

 

The shortlisted scripts and judging panel will be announced in due course. Previous judges have included Dame Eileen Atkins, Doris Lessing, Wole Soyinka, Lee Hall and Indira Varma.

 

The International Playwriting Competition welcomes scripts from anyone outside the UK, whether established or new writers. The dramas need to be 53 minutes long and can be on any subject. The closing date for entries is midnight (GMT) on 31 January 2016. Further details on the competition, including T&C’s and how to enter, are online at: www.bbcworldservice.com/radioplay.

 

Social media users can keep up to date with the competition on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #BBCPlay.

 

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British Students Invent Condom That Changes Colour If It Detects STI

A group of teenagers from London just invented a condom that glows when it detects an STI.

The S.T.EYE condom is the brainchild of students Muaz Nawaz (13), Daanyaal Ali (14), and Chirag Shah (14), from London’s Isaac Newton Academy.

They came up with the idea, which won top prize at the TeenTech Awards, as a way to combat soaring rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The condom uses a built-in layer of molecules that glow when they come into contact with bacteria and viruses associated with the most common STIs.

And they glow a different colour depending on the infection detected – green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple in the presence of the virus which causes genital warts, and blue for syphilis.

As Daanyaal, one of the 14-year-old designers, explains: ‘We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors.’

He added: ‘We’ve made sure we’re able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be more responsible than ever before.’

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Britain/Nigeria Ties: Nigeria Deserves The Best, Says Saraki As He Receives British High Commissioner

The President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki today eulogized the continued bilateral relationship between Nigerian and the United Kingdom, UK, while assuring that the present administration is determined to fulfill its obligations to the betterment of the nation.

The Senate President while hosting the visiting British High Commissioner, Dr. Andrew Pocook in his office today commended his guest for reinvigorating the mutual understanding that exist between the two countries.

He stressed that Nigeria will always look forward to Britain in areas of infrastructural development and socio-security, “I am very delighted to receive Your Excellency in my office barely 48 hours to my resumption to office. This shows the level of commitment the British government has towards the course of Nigeria.

“We look forward for a very good working relationship in order to move our dear country forward. Nigerians deserve the best of governance.” Saraki said.

The President of the Senate was quick to remind his guest of the task ahead of the new administration in the country assuring that with the collaboration from the United Kingdom those challenges are surmountable.

IMG_2129Earlier, the British High Commissioner, Dr. Pocook congratulated the President of the Senate on the success of his election adding that the United Kingdom will always walk closely with Nigeria government in ensuring good governance at all levels.

Senators in attendance included Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu Senator Abdullahi Ibrahim of Sokoto state, Senator Abdulrahman Abubakar of Kogi State, Senator Misau Isah Hamma of Niger State, Senator Dino Melaye -Kogi State, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim of Kwara Stat.

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