The Libyan authority has announced the arrest of 3 Libyans who are suspected to have killed a Nigerian migrant worker by setting him on fire in Tripoli.
While making the disclosure on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the Tripoli-based Interior Ministry confirmed the arrest of the 3 suspects, in what a U.N. agency described as another senseless crime against migrants in the country.
The Libyan Country Chief for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a UN migration agency, Federico Soda, said that those responsible for the crime must be held accountable.
This is coming on the heels of a report earlier yesterday, that a migrant worker was burned to death in the Libyan capital, Tripoli—the latest of abuses that migrants and refugees face in the conflict-stricken country.
It was revealed that the 3 Libyans on Tuesday stormed a factory where African migrants were working. The Libyans detained one of the workers, who was a Nigerian, poured petrol on him and set him on fire with no clear motive yet for the shocking crime.
According to the IOM, there are about half a million migrants in Libya, with some of them having worked in the oil-producing country before it descended into chaos and warfare, and others attempting to travel through it to Europe.
The IOM and the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR), U.N. refugee agency have both repeatedly said that Libya should not be classified as being safe for migrants.
Thousands of migrants, including Nigerians, have attempted the very dangerous sea crossing to Europe this year, with hundreds drowning quite often in shipwrecks.
In July, three migrants from Sudan were shot dead by Libyan authorities while trying to flee detention after they were disembarked in Khums.
In May, some 30 mostly Bangladeshi migrants were shot dead in a southern desert town, after being abducted by a local gang, according to Bangladesh and the Libyan Interior Ministry at the time.
SERAP gives FG 7 days to disclose details of payment of N729bn to 24.3m Nigerians
SERAP has asked the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to publish details of proposed payments of N729 billion to 24.3 million poor Nigerians.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar-Farouk, to publish details of proposed payments of N729 billion to 24.3 million poor Nigerians for a period of 6 months.
The non-governmental organization also wants the government to provide details of the mechanisms and logistics for the payments, list of beneficiaries, how they have been selected, projected payments per state and whether the payments will be made in cash or through Bank Verification Numbers or other means.
This disclosure is contained in a statement that was issued by SERAP and seen by Nairametrics.
In the statement, SERAP also urged the minister to “Explain the rationale for paying N5,000 to 24.3 million poor Nigerians, which translates to five-percent of the country’s budget of N13.6 trillion for 2021, and to clarify if this proposed spending is part of the N5.6 trillion budget deficit.”
According to the statement, in the Freedom of Information request dated January 23, 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “Publishing the details of beneficiaries and selection criteria, as well as the payment plan for six months would promote transparency and accountability, and remove the risks of mismanagement and diversion of public funds.”
SERAP said: “Transparency and accountability in the programme would improve public trust, and allow Nigerians to track and monitor its implementation, and to assess if the programme is justified, as well as to hold authorities to account in cases of diversion, mismanagement and corruption.”
SERAP also urged Ms Umar-Farouk to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to jointly track and monitor the payments.
The FoI request from SERAP, partly reads, “We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.
“Providing support and assistance to socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians is a human rights obligation but the programme to spend five-percent of the 2021 budget, which is mostly based on deficit and borrowing, requires anti-corruption safeguards to ensure the payments go directly to the intended beneficiaries, and that public funds are not mismanaged or diverted.”
“Several questions remain as to the implementation and monitoring mechanisms for the payments, and whether this is the best and most effective way to spend N729bn to support socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians.”
“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and UN Convention against Corruption, African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
“By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on details of beneficiaries of the direct payments of N729bn.
“By Section 4 (a) of the FOI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or urgency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within seven days after the application is received.
“By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FOI Act, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information including information on details of payments of N729bn to N24.3 million poor and vulnerable Nigerians are widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means.
“The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act. The information requested for as indicated above, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FoI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public concern, interest of human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.”
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Ms Sadia Umar-Farouk, had last week disclosed that the Federal Government would pay about 24.3 million poor Nigerians N5,000 each for a period of 6 months.
- She revealed the plan at the inauguration of the Federal Government’s emergency intervention database for the urban poor, saying that the payments would serve as a cushion for those further impoverished by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Presidency reacts to claims of offering N100 billion to Miyetti Allah
The Presidency has dismissed reports in the media that it offered the sum of N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah.
The Presidency has debunked claims making rounds in the media that the Federal Government offered the sum of N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
The reaction is coming against the backdrop of the media war going on between the Presidency and the Ondo State Government over the quit order on Miyetti Allah.
The denial was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu while appearing on a Television Programme on Channels Television, who said no such amount was given to appease the association over the reported killing by some herdsmen.
What Garba Shehu is saying
Garba Shehu, when asked if the Federal Government offered N100 billion to the association, said, “That is an absolute falsehood. In all of those meetings, I have confirmed that in any of those meetings nothing like money was discussed. All of the issues were about the involvement of the leadership of this group in getting them to prevail upon their erring members and they are many. How do they assist the administration to recover weapons that are widely owned by these elements?’’
According to Shehu, the existence of some miscreants in a group does not entirely mean the entire members of the association are criminals.
He noted that Miyetti Allah is a cultural group just like the Afenifere associated with the Yorubas and the Ohaneze Ndigbo of the southeast.
He said, “The Miyetti Allah group is like Ohanaeze Ndigbo or the Afenifere. It’s just a cultural group. There are criminals with the Yoruba race and you cannot say because there are Yoruba criminals, then Afenifere is a band of criminals.’’
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the crisis between the Fulani herdsmen and some parts of the country came to the fore once again following the 7-day quit notice by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for herdsmen to vacate forest reserve area to curb the spate of kidnappings in the state allegedly committed by criminals hiding in the forest.
- However, in their reaction, the Presidency cautioned the Governor against the action saying that the herders cannot be pushed out of the reserve for any reason. They said the governor does not have any constitutional powers to ask anybody to leave the state.
- The Presidency’s reaction has drawn widespread criticisms from some lawyers and social-cultural groups like the Afenifere, Coalition of Oduduwa Elders, Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, who have expressed support for the Ondo State Governor.
Access Bank rejects Appeal Court’s suspension of injunction against Seplat, approaches Supreme Court
Access Bank has expressed its displeasure over the ruling by the Court of Appeal which lifted the Mareva injunction against Seplat Petroleum.
Access Bank Plc has filed a Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court, objecting to the suspension of the interim Mareva injunction on the assets of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, by the Appeal Court.
Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Court of Appeal had suspended the Mareva injunction, and subsequently ordered the opening of Seplat’s corporate offices.
Nairametrics reported that Access Bank Plc had obtained the Mareva injunction through an Ex-Parte order dated November 13, 2020 to seal offices and freeze the accounts of Seplat, over the indebtedness of Cardinal Drilling Services, a company which Access Bank believes is partly owned by Seplat’s boss, Mr ABC Orjiakor.
After some months of being under lock and keys, respite came the way of Seplat Petroleum on January 22, 2021 when Hon. Justice Ikyegh of the Appeal Court lifted the interim order on Seplat Petroleum assets, pending the determination of the appeal filed by Seplat.
Access Bank’s reaction to the ruling
- Expressing dissatisfaction over the ruling by the appeal court, Access Bank, through its Solicitors, Kunle Ogunba and Associates maintained that the learned justices of the court erred in law through the suspension of the interlocutory orders made by the trial judge at the Federal High Court. The solicitors regarded the outcome as an abuse of court process filed to interfere with the due administration of justice.
- The bank in an affidavit maintained that “by discharging the said interlocutory orders, the Lower Court had unwittingly (via a motion) determined the main Appeal which seeks to also discharge the interlocutory orders made by the trial court.”
- The bank is praying that the Supreme Court reinstate the interlocutory orders made by the Trial Court on December 24, 2020, thereby overriding the judgement of the Appeal court en route.
- In the same vein, the Bank is also seeking a court order restraining the defendants, that is Seplat, Cardinal Drilling Services Ltd, Mr. Orjiako, Ambrose Bryant, Kalu Nwosu and/or any other person acting through them from taking further steps towards enforcing, executing or giving any effect to the ruling/order of the Court of Appeal pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal it has filed at the Supreme Court.
- Recall that Nairametrics reported some months ago that Access Bank obtained an Ex-Parte Order dated November 13th, 2020, to seal the assets of Seplat over debt owed by Cardinal Drilling Services Limited.
- The bank also obtained a Mareva injunction freezing the accounts of Seplat in Nigeria and abroad.
- Seplat had appealed the December 24, 2020 decision of the Federal High Court granting injunctions that, among others, resulted in the sealing of its corporate offices in Lagos.
- The Federal High Court had earlier turned down an application by Seplat to access its accounts and offices which were earlier shut down by a Mareva injunction obtained by Access Bank against it.
- Access Bank is understood to be grappling with a string of bad loans issued under the defunct Diamond Bank and is now stepping up efforts to go after some of the debtors by obtaining several court orders to seize properties.