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French Court Fines Congolese Activist €1,000 For Snatching African Artefact1 minute read

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A court in France on Wednesday fined a Congolese activist €1,000 for snatching an African artefact from a French museum in June.

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and four other were touring Quai Branly museum in Paris on June 12 when he grabbed the 19th-century Chadian funerary post in protest of the looting of art during colonial times.

His companions also grabbed different African artworks and made for the exit before they were stopped by guards.

The incident was filmed and live-streamed on Facebook by one of the activists.

It is not the first time Diyabanza, who belonged to a group that campaigns for the return of stolen African art, would be snatching artefacts from museums.

He had also snatched African artefacts in museums in the Netherlands and in the French port of Marseille.

He faces court cases in those cities too.

Wednesday’s hearing came a week after French lawmakers voted to return prized artefacts to Benin and Senegal more than a century after they were looted by colonial forces and hauled back to Paris to be displayed in museums.

Benin will recover the throne of its 19th-century King Glele — a centrepiece of the 70,000-odd African items held at the Quai Branly museum, which showcases indigenous art.

Senegal, meanwhile, will get back a sword and scabbard said to have belonged to Omar Saidou Tall, an important 19th century military and religious figure.

Diyabanza told reporters after Wednesday’s hearing that he would appeal the ruling.

Three of the activists who accompanied him to Quai Branly museum received suspended fines of 250 euros ($294), 750 euros ($589) and 1,000 euros ($1,177).

A fourth was cleared of the charges.

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ECOWAS Seeks To Name, Shame Countries Flouting Court Rulings

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it plans to name and shame countries who have not regarded the decisions and rulings of the Community institutions.

This is coming in view of the flagrant disregard for the rulings and decisions of the Community Court of Justice by member states since the establishment of the court.

President of the Court Justice Amaoko Asante said in Abuja on Saturday that he has sought to make presentations at the Summit of Heads of State where he can name such countries that are in violation of the court.

Asante who spoke on the sidelines of a valedictory session in hounor of members of staff who were retiring from service, said that the disregard for the court’s ruling had remained a cause for concern.

“The issue of implementing the court’s judgments is an issue which leaves a little more to be desired.

“We are pushing them, writing to them, reminding them, reminding the commission.

“It is the Commission President’s duty to ensure that they are done.

“Therefore, judgments are normally served on him and served on parties and the countries that are to do the enforcements; some are very adamant but we are still pushing them.

“We have presented to Council that it should let the court present its report at the summit.

“When the President of the Court stands there to present his report, he is going to name and shame countries who are not complying to the judgments of the court.

“We feel that if they are able to accede to this request of ours and they do it, things will change.”

The retiring staff members include: Chief Registrar Mr Tony Anene, Principal Legal Officer Mrs Franca Ofor, an Accountant Mr Apenteng Takyako, a Translator Mrs Mariama Gouro and a secretary Mrs Elisaberth Ashalley.

Retirement at the court is upon the attainment of 62 years of age or 35 years in service whichever comes first.

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Pope Names Rwandan, 12 Others Cardinals

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The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Rwanda, Msgr. Antoine Kambanda, has been elevated to the level of cardinal by Pope Francis.

Kambanda’s name appeared on the list of the 13 clerics, including archbishops from the U.S. and the Philippines, that Pope Francis has made cardinals that the pontiff issued on October 25.

The appointments will be formalised in a consistory, a meeting of cardinals, on Nov. 28, the pontiff said during his Sunday Angelus message.

Nine of the appointees are under 80, and as long as they do not reach that age, they can take part in the next conclave, the council of cardinals that elects new popes.

Two of the new Cardinals work in the Roman Curia: the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Maltese Mario Grech and the Italian Marcello Semeraro, former Bishop of Albano and the new Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints.

Six other pastors in the Church throughout the world are joining them: the Archbishop of Kigali, Rwanda, Antoine Kambanda; the Archbishop of Washington, United States, Wilton Gregory; the Archbishop of Capiz, in the Philippines, Jose Fuerte Advincula; the Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, Celestino Aós Braco; the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, Cornelius Sim; the Archbishop of Siena, Italia, Augusto Paolo Lojudice.

In addition, the Pope has also appointed the current Guardian of the Franciscan Sacro Convento in Assisi, Mauro Gambetti.

To these Cardinals who are younger than 80 years of age, Pope Francis has also added four other Cardinals who are older than 80. They are: Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Archbishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Mexico); former Apostolic Nuncio Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva who then worked in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household; and the pastor of the Shrine of Divine Love, Father Enrico Feroci.

Cardinals wear the colour red which indicates their willingness to sacrifice themselves usque ad sanguinis effusionem, that is, to the point of shedding their own blood, in the service of the Successor of Peter, and even though they reside in the remotest regions of the world, they become the titular of a parish in the Eternal City so that they are incardinated in the Church of which the Pope is Bishop.

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Nigeria’s NECO Postpones Certificate Exams Indefinitely Over Crises

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An examination body in Nigeria has postponed a certificate exam indefinitely over the different crises in the West African nation.

Azeez Sani, the spokesman of the National Examinations Council (NECO), in a statement on Sunday, said the decision to postpone the ongoing Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE) indefinitely was reached by the governing board of the council last week after it reviewed the conduct of the on-going 2020 examination nationwide.

The statement read, “The Governing Board of the National Examinations Council at its Special Meeting held on Thursday, 22nd October, 2020 reviewed the on-going 2020 SSCE (internal) nationwide,” it read.

“The Council had in a press release, dated 21st October 2020, informed the general public of rescheduling some papers of the 202 0 on-going SSCE.

“Arising from that meeting, today (Sunday) the Governing Board resolved that the 2020 SSCE (Internal) be postponed indefinitely in view of the current security challenges, occasioned by the ENDSARS protests, which disrupted the smooth conduct of the examinations in some parts of the country.

“In making this decision, the Board noted that due to these security challenges, some state governments imposed curfew and closed schools in order to safeguard lives and property;

“In the circumstances, it has become difficult for the council to move examination materials across the country and students in the affected locations were unable to sit for the papers already scheduled in the examination timetable.

“The Governing Board further resolved, that when normalcy returns, the Council will continue with the conduct of the examinations in all States.

“While regretting any inconveniences this postponement may cause our esteemed stakeholders, the Council has however taken this decision in order to maintain the integrity and security of its examination procedures for seamless conduct of the Council’s examination.”

News Central reports that NECO had initially rescheduled its examinations scheduled for Oct. 22, 23 and 24 to November, owing to insecurity and curfew imposed by some states during the #EndSARS protests.

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