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Court orders Federal Government to recover former governors’ pensions1 minute read

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Court orders Federal Government to recover former governors’ pensions

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Federal Government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly.

The court also ordered the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to collect such pensions.”

A certified true copy of the judgment delivered last week was obtained yesterday.

The landmark judgment delivered by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo followed an application for an order of mandamus in suit number FHC/L/CS/1497/2017 brought by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The judgment follows the recently invalidated pension law for former governors and other ex-public officers in Zamfara State, which provided for the upkeep of ex-governors to the tune of N700 million annually. 

 “The Attorney General has argued that the States’ laws duly passed cannot be challenged. With respect, I do not agree with this line of argument by the Attorney General that he cannot challenge the States’ pension laws for former governors.” Justice Oguntoyinbo said.

 “The question that comes to mind is, who should approach the Court where a particular law is not in the best interest of Nigeria as a country or National interest? Who should approach the Court where a particular law is detrimental to the interest of the country? Who should institute actions in court for the purpose of recovering public funds collected?

In my humble view, the Attorney General should be interested in the legality or validity of any law in Nigeria and how such laws affect or will affect Nigerians, being the Chief Law Officer of the Federation.” Justice Oguntoyinbo added.

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Business

Sudan plans airline revival

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Sudan announced on Tuesday, that it is in talks with Airbus over a deal to supply eight new planes to its state carrier.

According to a statement from Sudan’s finance ministry, a delegation representing the European manufacturer has met the ministers of finance and infrastructure to discuss the deal and revamp Sudan Airways’ fleet

The document further explains that Airbus has also proposed to provide technical support,  without giving details on the financial aspects of the deal.

The manufacturer has commented on the proposal.

Sudan Airways has suffered heavily over the years from trade sanctions imposed by Washington in 1997, with most of its fleet grounded.

Washington lifted the sanctions in October 2017 but the airline has still not been fully operational due to difficulties in procuring spare parts.

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East Africa News

Aston Villa sign Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta

27-year-old becomes first Tanzanian to play in the English Premier League

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English Premier league side Aston Villa have completed the signing of Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta for £10m on a four-and-half-year deal, subject to a work permit and international clearance.

The 27-year-old scored 10 goals for Genk in all competitions this season including a goal against Liverpool at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Villa manager Dean Smith hailed the signing “I’m really pleased we have managed to bring Mbwana to the club, he has scored goals throughout his career and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Samatta makes history as the first Tanzanian to play in the Premier League but will be unavailable for Villa’s home match against Watford on Tuesday.

Samatta who is captain of the Tanzanian national side expressed his joy at making the move “I’m so excited, it’s a huge step for me in my career. It’s a big step for the country too. Everyone was looking for a Tanzanian to play in the Premier League.

“I know a lot about Aston Villa. I used to watch Gabby Agbonlahor when he was here.”

Samatta is Villa’s third signing of the January transfer window following loan signings of midfielder Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea and goalkeeper Pepe Reina from AC Milan.

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Business News

President Kenyatta launches Kenya’s first green bond at London Stock Exchange

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President Uhuru Kenyatta today rang the bell to kick off the trading of Kenya’s first green bond at the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Speaking during the launch, the President urged UK investors to use Kenya as a gateway to investing in Africa and AS a bridge to the emerging market of more than 1.2 billion people created by the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“Kenya is one of the top ten fastest growing economies on the continent and also one of the most pro-business nations in Africa,” President Kenyatta said. The President is in London to attend the UK–Africa Investment Summit.

The $40 million (over 4 billion shillings) bond by Nairobi-based property developer Acorn Holdings, started trading today at the LSE and becomes the first Kenya shilling corporate green bond to be listed in the United Kingdom. The bond, which was first listed at the Nairobi Stock Exchange last week, will help Acorn Holdings raise funds to build environmentally friendly accommodation for 50,000 university students in Nairobi.

The Kenyan leader applauded last year’s signing of an MoU by the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the London Stock Exchange to work with Kenyan companies to help them expand their footprint by jointly listing on the bourse in Nairobi and in London. 

“I note that to date the LSE has admitted over 200 bonds from across the world, raising over 33 billion Pound Sterling worth of capital for sustainable development,” he pointed out. 

Secretary of State for International Development, Rt. Honourable Alok Sharma, said one of the reasons the green bond was happening was because of the support the UK government has provided in terms of the regulation environment and the partial guarantees for investors.

“This is a landmark moment here as well as in the whole of London for we are here today because of the UK-Africa Investment Summit. We have over eight of the 50 fast growing economies in the world in Africa,” Mr Sharma said.

President Kenyatta, along with other African leaders, is in London to attend the UK–Africa Investment Summit.

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