Tuesday 17 January 2017

Gambian president, Jammeh declares state of emergency

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday declared a state of emergency, citing foreign interference in a presidential election he lost to opponent Adama Barrow last month. 

The declaration was necessary “due to the unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreign inference in the December 1 presidential elections and also in the internal affairs of The Gambia,” Jammeh said on state television. 

This had created an “unwarranted hostile atmosphere, threatening the sovereignty, peace, security and stability of the country,” he added. According to the Gambian constitution, a state of emergency lasts seven days if the president declares it unilaterally but up to 90 days if the national assembly confirms it. 

According to Gambian state radio and TV, the state of emergency will be for 90 days. Also, according to an “Order paper” tagged, “Fourth Assembly”, with sub-title, “First extraordinary session ” and dated 17th January 2017,  the order sought a 90 days stay of a proclamation of a state of emergency in the country effective from 17th January to 17th April, 2017. 

It read thus: “Be it resolved that this August assembly do consider and approve a resolution

- Vanguard

How Saraki funded undeclared foreign accounts – Banker

The Head of the Funds Transfer Unit of the Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Amazi Nwachuckwu, appeared before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Tuesday, giving details of how the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, funded his offshore accounts between 2009 and and 2012.
Nwachukwu, who had within the period served at the Central Clearing and Foreign Operations Units of the bank, appeared before the CCT as the second prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Saraki on charges bordering on asset declaration.
Saraki was the governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011 after which he was elected to the Senate.
The prosecution had alleged that the Senate President did not declare the foreign accounts to the Code of Conduct Bureau while being governor and a Senator during the period.
While being led in evidence by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), he said the Senate President transferred funds to his foreign accounts between 2009 and 2012.
The witness confirmed that Saraki was keeping dollar, pounds sterling and naira accounts domiciled in the Ilorin, Kwara State branch of the GTB.
He said Saraki transferred over $3m from his dollar account to his foreign account during the period.
He also said Saraki transferred the sum of $73,223.28 to America Express Services Euro Limited, New York, through their bank, America Express Bank, New York.
He said, “Dr. Saraki filled the form in Kwara State Government House, Ilorin.
“He gave instruction to transfer the sum of $73,223.28 to the beneficiary America Express Services Euro Limited, New York, through their bank, America Express Bank, New York to account number 730580 maintained by America Express Service Euro Limited.
“The purpose of payment was funding for amounts utilised on AMEX (American Express) cards issued to the customer (dollar credit card no. 374588216836009).
“For his dollar account number 441/441953/2/1/0, the customer signed the fund transfer form. The form was received from the account officer in Ilorin branch. We then processed it and transferred it to our corresponding bank abroad.
“The corresponding bank then transferred it America Express Bank Limited.”
He said the transfer was for the “funding for amount utilised on the payment cards issued to Saraki.”
He said the former Kwara State Governor transferred the total sum of £1,526,194.53 from his pounds sterling account to his Fortis Bank, London account in three instalments within two days on February 15 and 16, 2010.
He also said the GTB also offered a N375m loan to Saraki through a letter dated February 10, 2010.
According to the witness, Saraki instructed GTB to transfer the pounds sterling equivalent of the loan to fund mortage on a London property.
He said, “In Exhibit 7 is a letter dated February 10, 2010.
In the 14th out of the 16 counts preferred against the Senate President, Saraki was said to have failed to declare his interest in “an American Express Service Card with No: 374588216836009 wherein you (Saraki) transferred huges sums of money in dollars from your Guaranty Trust Bank domiciliary account No441441953210 in Nigeria to the American Express Service, Europe, whilst you Executive Governor of Kwara State.”
The offence is said to be contrary to section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, CAP. C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and as incorporated under paragraph 11(1) and (2), Part I o the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
It is said to be punishable under section 23(2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act as incorporated under paragraph 18, Part I of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
- Punch

Mavrodians panic as MMM cancels requests for payment

The joy of participants (Mavrodians) in MMM over the return of the scheme on January 13, a month after it froze their accounts, has turned out to be shortlived as they have been fed excuse after excuse.
On Tuesday, four days after its return it cancelled all (GH) requests by participants to get their money back, creating panic once again.
“MMM has crashed o. Mmm deleted automatically every GH request few minutes ago. We are stranded now,” a participant, who did not want his identity disclosed wrote in a message to PUNCH.
But the scheme had another excuse ready; a system upgrade is to be blamed. It explained that the site was not fully shut down for the upgrade because that would cause panic.
They said, “Please note that the GH orders were not cancelled because if cancelled, you will see it at the right hand side as deleted. It was removed because of the following reasons:
There is an ongoing upgrade because programmers are always working on the MMM system every day so the promised New Model can be unveiled as soon as possible.”
It added, “There is no cause for any alarm over the removed GH orders, if you check your Mavro, you will notice the value of the removed GH order has been restored and had also increased though it is still showing pending withdrawal.”
But for many participants, there was call for alarm. For instance, a user pointed out that contrary to the claim in the statement there was no pending sign on his account.
“My mavro isnt showing pending o. And I hope the order will be restored automatically when they are done cos I cant start waiting for another week to get paired, haba,” a participants complained in response to the post.
Another participant told one of our correspondents that while the GH requests were removed, the provide help function was still active.
About three million Nigerians, who are believed to be participants of the illegal scheme, had received a shocker on December 13 when their accounts was frozen with one suicide attempt reported.
At the time, those behind the scheme blamed the freeze on bad publicity and the need to prevent technical challenges that may be occassioned by the Yuletide rush.
They also promised to be back stronger on January 14, insisting that the scheme had not crashed as was widely reported.
Upon the ‘return’ of the scheme 24 hours ahead of schedule many Mavrodians had broken into wild jubilation, mocking the country’s financial sector regulators and Nigerians who had made fun of them for falling victim to one of the world’s biggest financial scams.
January 13 and the rest of the year belonged to Mavrodians they concluded, taking to the social media and posting videos of the celebrations. One Mavrodian hit the studio and posted a video of him singing, “MMM is back again/my salary is back again/my house rent is back again.”
The joy is turning out to be premature. MMM came back with new rules and most of all frustration for many who had seen their financial calculations rubished in December and their plans, including at least one wedding plan, truncated.
First, just days before its return, it announced the use of Bitcoin, something many participants are not familiar with, saying “due to the recent sharp price fluctuations of Bitcoin, MAVRO-BTC is being introduced in the system”.
Then upon its return and as thousands of participants tried to get their money back (GH) after the wait, it said it would pay the poor investors first, to the frustration of those who invested higher amounts and millions in the scheme.
Even the poor may have to wait a while to get their money as a result of the system upgrade.

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