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Saturday, 30 March 2019
Saturday, 30 March 2019 13:22

US warns Russia on military presence

President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser warned Russia on Friday about its military presence in Venezuela.

He is saying that any move to establish or expand operations there, would be considered a “direct threat’’ to international peace.

“We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations,’’ White House National Security Adviser, John Bolton, said in a statement.

“We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region,’’ Bolton added.

Russia said on Thursday it had sent “specialists to Venezuela under a military cooperation deal but insisted they posed no threat to regional stability, brushing aside a call by Trump for Moscow to remove all military personnel from the country.

Trump said on Wednesday that “all options’’ were open to make Russia pull troops out of Venezuela after two Russian air force planes landed outside Caracas on Saturday carrying nearly 100 Russian troops, according to media reports.

The United States recognised the country’s opposition leader, Juan Guaido, the leader of the national assembly, as interim president earlier this year following disputed elections.

Washington has declared President Nicolas Maduro’s government illegitimate and has launched a campaign to have Guaido recognised as the interim leader.

Russia has emerged as a key backer of Maduro’s government.

Bolton’s statement condemned Maduro’s “use of foreign military personnel in his attempt to remain in power, including the introduction of Russian military personnel and equipment into Venezuela’’.

“Maduro will only use this military support to further repress the people of Venezuela; perpetuate the economic crisis that has destroyed Venezuela’s economy and endanger regional stability,’’ he said.

Published in World

South Sudan on Friday opened an investment conference, the first dedicated to post-war funding as the country emerges from five years of brutal civil conflict.

The conference, dubbed “Doing Business in South Sudan,” aims to connect international corporations, individuals and private equity to South Sudan’s investment opportunities, said event organiser, Akol Nyok.

The day-long conference would enable government officials, local and international investors to take part in presentations, networking sessions and panel discussions.

“There is the need for transfer of information between people doing business in South Sudan and people externally,’’ Nyok said.

He added that the event could serve as a medium to provide people with practical information on doing business in the country.

“We believe that the private sector is the key to growth, and we think that as young people, we should play a role on how we can create jobs, how we can bring investment and how we can increase opportunities in this country,’’ he said.

According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for around 60 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

However, after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production fell from 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2011 to less than 130,000 bpd in 2014 amid soaring inflation and economic crunch.

Outside the oil sector, the country has high potential in agriculture, which largely remains unexploited as only four per cent of South Sudan land is under cultivation, according to a report by KPMG in 2017.

South Sudan is also home to more than 30 million livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep.

Nyok said in spite obstacles hindering investment in South Sudan, the September 2018 peace agreement provides opportunities for business to pick up in the conflict-torn country if it can hold.

“Five years from now, I see a network of South Sudan entrepreneurs, international entrepreneurs spanning continents and I see a network that provides investment opportunities in South Sudan,’’ he said.

Published in News Economy

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to shut the border with Mexico in the coming week, if the southern neighbour failed to prevent migrants from reaching and crossing the frontier.

“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States (though) our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, in the coming week,’’ Trump said in a series of tweets.

He said that the U.S. was losing money to Mexico, “especially when you add in drug trafficking etc’’ and therefore “the Border closing would be a good thing!’’

He also slammed Mexico, saying “they just take our money and ‘talk.’’

In his campaign for the 2016 election, Trump attacked Mexico and even accused Mexicans of being rapists and murderers, in what was widely perceived as a racist attack.

However, he has toned down some of his comments towards the country since becoming president and as the sides negotiated a new trade deal to replace NAFTA, along with Canada.

Trump’s latest broadside comes as reports say a new caravan of migrants is working its way up from Central America to the U.S.

Most new arrivals in the U.S. are not Mexicans, but transit through that country.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday conceded there is a problem, even as he pointed out that his country was not responsible for the situation.

Trump has declared a national emergency on the southern border and is using the special powers in this pronouncement to tap funds to vastly expand a wall between the two countries.

Published in World

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Friday dismissed the no case submission filed by suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen.

The CCT ruled that Onnoghen, has a case to answer in his ongoing trial over alleged false assets declaration.

Despite pleas for further adjournment, Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, insisted that Onnoghen must enter his defence on Monday, April 1.

Onnoghen is standing trial over alleged failure to declare all his assets.

Published in World

Members of Parliament, MPs have rejected Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement for a third time.

MP’s rejected the deal by 344 votes to 286, a majority of 58, throwing UK’s Brexit plans into more confusion, News reports.

Mrs May said the vote would have “grave” implications and the “legal default” was that the UK would leave on 12 April.

That meant there would not be enough time to get legislation through to avoid a no-deal Brexit, she said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for her to resign and call an election.

Responding to the vote, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April.”

Published in World

Nigerian car manufacturing company, Innoson Nigeria Limited, has secured a court order that allows it to take control of some branches of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).

Innoson, which has been in a long-running case with GT Bank over alleged indiscriminate charges on Innoson’s account with the bank, revealed this in a press release issued by Cornel Osigwe, the head of corporate communication.

It stated that it obtained a writ of Fifa from the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, to effect the judgment given by the Federal High Court in Ibadan and upheld by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The Federal High in Ibadan had, In 2014, ordered GTB by way of Garnishee order absolute to pay N2.4 billion to Innoson with a 22% interest, per annum, on the judgment sum until the final liquidation of the judgment debt.

Writ of FiFa (Writ of Fieri Facias) is a leave of court to execute a judgment obtained by a judgment creditor in a legal action for debt or damages by levying on the property of the judgment debtor.

The Statement reads: “The Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, OFR has through a Writ of FiFa taken over Guaranty Trust Bank PLC for and on behalf of Innoson Nigeria Ltd as a result of the bank’s indebtedness to Innoson Nigeria Ltd. In a landmark decision on February 27th 2019, the Supreme Court of Nigeria dismissed GTB’s appeal — SC. 694/2014 — against the judgment of Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division.


“The Court of Appeal, Ibadan division had in its decision of 6th February 2014 dismissed GTB’s appeal against the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division.

“Thus, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division which ordered GTB by way of Garnishee order absolute — to pay N2.4billion to Innoson with a 22% interest, per annum, on the judgment sum until the final liquidation of the judgment debt. Rather than obey the judgment of the Court of Appeal, GTB approached the Supreme Court to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision.

“However in a ruling delivered by Honourable Olabode Rhodes-Vivour JSC on Wednesday, February 27 2019, the Lord Justices of the Supreme Court (JSC) dismissed GTB’s appeal and thus affirmed the concurrent judgment of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division which ordered GTB by way of Garnishee order absolute — to pay N2.4 billion to Innoson with a 22% interest, per annum, on the judgment until the final liquidation of the judgment.

“The Judgment debt of N2.4bn has an accrued interest as at today of about N6,717,909,849.96 which results to about N8.8 billion.

“Based on the Supreme Court’s decision of 27th February 2019 the counsel to Innoson, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha ESQ, had approached the Federal High Court, Awka Division for leave to enforce the judgment having obtained certificates of Judgment from the Ibadan Division of the Federal High Court.

“Having obtained the requisite leave, the Federal High Court issued the necessary process for levying execution — the Writ of Fifa.”

“We have taken over GTBank in Awka and Nnewi,” Osigwe subsequently announced, adding that “other branches are coming soon”.

Published in Bank & Finance
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