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Archive for Nigeria

Newsline: Nigerians in Switzerland complain over alleged corruption at embassy

Nigerian Youth Movement of Switzerland has written a petition letter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to demand a probe into alleged corrupt practices by officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Bern. The group in a petition signed by its youth leader, Irydaer Omobude, titled: ‘The Nigerian Embassy in Bern is stinking in corruption’ urged the federal government to recall the Ambassador, Baba Madugu and Mrs. Kemi Amuda back to Nigeria with immediate effect. Petition reads: “The embassy in Bern under Ambassador Baba Madugu uses the swiss police to intimidate, threaten, coarse, and violently remove Nigerians on appointment at the embassy whenever they request for passport or other services which they paid for” “The Nigerian embassy in Bern receives a monthly salary for a security officer that is never employed who then receives this monthly salary” “Many contracts and purchases are highly inflated with the active participation of third parties.” (https://guardian.ng/news/nigerians-in-switzerland-petition-efcc-sgf-ministry-over-alleged-corruption-in-embassy/) The group noted that it had notified the Nigerian embassy in Bern of these acts in a letter dated 24 January 2020 but regretted that till date, the embassy has not replied to the letter. Instead, decided to introduce a closed-door policy against the community, calling the Swiss police at random to harass Nigerians from coming to the embassy.

Newsline: The diplomats without an embassy

Officially, the dream of an independent Biafra ended in 1970, when the Nigerian Civil War came to an end after the breakaway state in southeastern Nigeria was defeated by the federal government. However, according to the United States government, Biafra still exists, at least in certain filings at the department of justice. In the alphabetically ordered filings maintained under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (Fara), Biafra sits right in between Bermuda and Bolivia. But although Bermuda is recognised as a British Overseas Territory and Bolivia maintains an official embassy, Biafra is not officially recognised as an independent country in the United States, or anywhere. But all states — whether they’re widely recognised or not — as well as foreign political parties and other entities, must publicly file their contracts with US firms when those firms are hired to engage in work related to public policy or public opinion. (https://mg.co.za/africa/2020-08-22-the-diplomats-without-an-embassy/) The Biafra filing contains a contract between a separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), and the US firm Mercury Public Affairs, although Ipob is not the only non-state, or quasi-state actor in the filings. Joining Ipob are the Coordination of Movements of the Azawad (CMA), an alliance of Tuareg rebels in Mali; and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, in Western Sahara. Both have hired Independent Diplomat, a nonprofit diplomatic advisory group. The challenges they face are serious and long-standing issues, ranging from independence to the implementation of peace accords. Under the Fara filings for Mali, the CMA is listed alongside — although separately — from the Malian government. The group, a coalition of rebels from the 2012 Tuareg uprising, differs from the various Biafran movements in that it actually holds governing and military power, rather than being an independence movement.

Newsline: Ghana apologises to Nigeria for embassy demolition

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has apologised to Nigeria after a building inside the Nigerian High Commission compound in Accra was demolished. Mr Akufo-Addo has ordered an investigation, a statement from the Nigerian government said after his call with President Muhammadu Buhari. Armed men reportedly stormed the compound last week and destroyed buildings under construction. Two people have been arrested over the incident. They have been charged with Unlawful Entry And Causing Unlawful Damage. A businessman who had previously claimed that he owned the land where the building was being put up had led the demolition operation, according to an article posted on the Nigerian High Commission website in Ghana. “The man showed up last week with some papers to support his claim and began to knock down the fence surrounding the building,” the article quotes a source at the ministry of foreign affairs as saying. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53148609) Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said a bulldozer was used during the 19 June incident which destroyed two residential buildings. He called the demolition “outrageous and criminal” and urged Ghanaian authorities to protect Nigeria’s diplomatic buildings.

Newsline: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Nigeria is dead

The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja this afternoon announced the passing away Ambassador Adnan Mahmoud Bostaji. The embassy did not give any reason for the envoy’s passing. Before his appointment as a Saudi ambassador to Nigeria, Bostaji served as deputy to the ambassador at the Saudi Embassy in Berlin in 2016 (https://guardian.ng/news/saudi-ambassador-to-nigeria-is-dead/) He started his career by joining the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Later, he was appointed deputy to the ambassador at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran from 1991 until 1998. In 2000, he was appointed as chargé d’affaires at the Saudi Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, until 2003. He then worked as head of economic affairs and international organizations at the Saudi Embassy in London from 2003 until 2005.

Newsline: South Africa closes embassy in Nigeria after xenophobic violence

South Africa has temporarily closed its diplomatic missions in Nigeria following reprisal attacks by Nigerians triggered by xenophobic violence in South Africa. Between Sunday and Wednesday, mobs looted and destroyed shops, many of them foreign-owned, in South Africa’s commercial hub, Johannesburg. Nigeria’s government has been outspoken in its condemnation of the violence. South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, called the violence an embarrassment for her country. “Our government regrets all violence against foreign-owned stores or Africans from other countries who are resident in South Africa,” she was quoted as saying by national broadcaster SABC. She ordered the closure of the country’s high commission in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, and its mission in Lagos, following threats made to the diplomatic staff. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49593030) Police say the unrest has subsided and more than 420 arrests have been made.

Newsline: Ghana police declare 3 Nigerians wanted over kidnapping of diplomat

The Ghana Police Service has declared three Nigerians wanted over the alleged kidnap of the Consular – General and Head of Mission of Estonia to the West African country. Popular Accra-based radio station Starr FM reported that police rescued the 61-year-old foreign envoy after he was reportedly kidnapped in the early hours of Thursday, April 18 while on his regular morning walk in the nation’s capital city Accra. (https://www.legit.ng/1234656-ghana-police-declare-3-nigerians-wanted-alleged-kidnapping-diplomat.html) According to the report, the diplomat was rescued on Friday, April 19 by a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team following a tip off.

Newsline: U.S. Embassy shuts operations in Lagos, Abuja

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria is to close operations in its Abuja and Lagos offices on Tuesday and Wednesday in observance of the Eid-el-Kabir. The embassy announced the closure in its twitter handle @USEmbassyAbuja accessed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. The embassy urged its citizens to exercise caution during the period. It also advised Americans in Nigeria to be aware of their surroundings during the holiday, noting that security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups. “The Embassy in Abuja and the Consulate General in Lagos will be closed on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 in observance of Eid-el-Kabir. We will reopen on Thursday, Aug. 23. “Exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings during the holiday,” the embassy said.

https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/eid-el-kabir-u-s-embassy-shuts-operations-in-lagos-abuja-id8748784.html

Newsline: U.S. Embassy may resume Abuja consular services

The U.S. Embassy has said the suspended consular services in Abuja may resume after the Eid-el-Kabir holidays. The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared August 21 and 22 as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Kabir. The embassy had announced temporary suspension of its regular services for visas and American Citizen Services in Abuja. “We regret the inconvenience this has caused to our applicants in Abuja and hope to resume operations after the Eid-el-Kabir holidays. “Please monitor the Facebook and Webpage of the U.S. Embassy for the next status update of consular operations in Abuja.” It, however, noted that other offices within the Embassy remained open. The embassy stressed that consular functions at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos were not affected with the development.

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/280502-u-s-embassy-may-resume-abuja-consular-services-after-eid-el-kabir-holidays.html

Newsline: US Embassy Closes Abuja Consular Section ‘Until Further Notice’

The U.S Embassy has announced a temporary closure of its Abuja Consulate section until further notice. This means all consular appointments at the Abuja US Embassy for visa and American Citizen Service are temporarily on hold. This was contained in a publication on the website of US Embassy in Nigeria. “Scheduled visa and ACS applicants for Abuja will be contacted for rescheduling,” read the statement. It encouraged applicants to monitor the Website of the Embassy for a later announcement of resumed consular operations in Abuja.

http://saharareporters.com/2018/08/14/breaking-us-embassy-closes-abuja-consular-section-%E2%80%98until-further-notice%E2%80%99

Newsline: Dozens of defrauded Nigerians descend on their embassy in Moscow

More than 70 Nigerian citizens gathered at their country’s embassy in Moscow on Friday to complain that they were deceived into attending the World Cup on the promise that they could work while in Russia. The leader of a volunteer group told the magazine RBC that the first Nigerian tourists started reporting scammers as early as two weeks ago. They were reportedly sold “fan IDs” for $300 and round-trip tickets, and told they could earn money while in Moscow. When they arrived in the Russian capital, however, they learned that their documents don’t allow them to work, and the scammers quickly canceled their return tickets. On Thursday, a false rumor started spreading among the Nigerians in Moscow that Turkish Airlines had arranged a flight to take them home, but they were turned away at Sheremetyevo Airport, and police vans delivered them to the Nigerian embassy. More than 70 stranded tourists gathered at the embassy on Friday, and another several hundred are spread across the country.

https://meduza.io/en/news/2018/07/13/dozens-of-defrauded-nigerians-descend-on-their-embassy-in-moscow-desperate-to-return-home