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Monday, 12 November 2018

35 Points Presented by President Buhari at Paris Peace forum

November 12, 2018 0 Comments

The Nigerian president is currently in Paris, France for the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum.


The President Buhari spoke yesterday on “Illicit financial flows (IFFs) and corruption: the challenge of global governance.”

Here is the full text of the President’s speech:

I am delighted to be part of the inaugural edition of the Paris Peace Forum and would like to commend the Government of France for this laudable initiative.

We also thank France for inviting Nigeria to participate in the forum on the sidelines of the Centenary Celebration of the Armistice. It is important to recall that although Nigeria was not independent at the time, the fact remains that it had participated in the war efforts.

3. Nigeria contributed a company of riflemen and support services to the war under the Royal West African Frontier Forces.


4. I should like on this Remembrance Day, to pay tribute to the sacrifice and bravery of all those who had fallen in battle and the pain and suffering of those they left behind.

5. More than half a million Africans fought in the trenches of the First World War for France alone. There was bitter fighting also in east and southern Africa and around Cameroon and Nigeria. We shall not forget.

6. I believe this Forum would provide the needed opportunity for knowledgeable exchange and sharing of best practices on the challenges militating against the much needed good governance in many countries of the world. It is on this premise that my presentation will dwell on “Illicit Financial Flows And Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance”.

Distinguished Participants,

7. The cancerous effects of Illicit Financial Flows and corruption on the socio-economic development of countries are glaringly evident. The negative impact and ramifications of Illicit Financial Flows are many-sided.

The list which is long and ever-growing, includes:

a. Draining of foreign exchange reserves;

b. Reduction of tax/revenue collection;

c. Poor investment inflows due to near absence of credibility, transparency and policy stability.

8. Illicit financial flows escalate poverty by denying the citizens the benefit of the resources meant for development.


9. This is a crime of opportunity which thrives most in permissive environments. Such outflows further undermine the rule of law, stifle trade and worsen macro-economic conditions.

10. These reprehensible acts are being perpetrated by several international tax havens and secret jurisdictions, which facilitate the operation of:

a. Disguised corporations;

b. Anonymous trust accounts;

c. Fake charitable foundations;

d. Money laundering and transfer pricing mechanisms.

11. Indeed, Illicit Financial Flows have exacerbated poverty and inequality in many societies of the world. Thus, concerted and multi-jurisdictional efforts must be deployed to frontally tackle the menace.

12. Combating corruption has been a defining feature of our Government. Upon assuming office on 29th May, 2015, we made fighting corruption one of the three pillars of our Administration’s priority programmes, given the fact that corruption was threatening the very foundation of our national life, socio-economic development, security and even the consolidation of our democracy.

13. We continue to demonstrate zero tolerance for corrupt practices and non-conformity conduct in public life, by confronting corruption head-on. This is predicated on the fact that we remain steadfast in our commitment of ensuring integrity and ethical conduct in the task of governance. We are mindful of the primacy of leadership by example in this regard.

14. Our efforts at fighting corruption are firmly within the limits of the rule of law, in spite of the interest-forcing strategies of those who chose to discountenance the fundamental value of compliance with the laws of the land.


15. With the progress we have made, we feel the need to ensure that we put enduring institutional frameworks in place for action and measures that will consolidate our achievements in the fight against Illicit Financial Flows and corruption.

16. In the circumstances, strengthening the institutional capacity of anti-corruption bodies has been accorded due attention. For us, therefore, effective institutions and political will are strong counter-measures against corruption and Illicit Financial Flows.

17. In addition, we introduced the Whistle-Blowing policy, whereby information on the violation of financial regulations, mismanagement of public funds and assets, financial malpractices or fraud as well as theft can be reported to authorities.

18. This policy is geared towards ensuring public accountability and transparency, and it has yielded dividends, as we have recovered billions of Naira from corrupt persons and companies.

19. We have also redirected recovered funds to the development of critical infrastructure and programmes that will benefit our people. Funds and assets recovered through our actions, will be deployed in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

20. At the continental level, the African Union also launched the war against corruption and bestowed on me the honour to champion the cause. In this connection, our priorities for international cooperation as a continent will focus on the following:

a. Strengthening international cooperation on asset tracing, recovery and repatriation;

b. Enhancing cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations’ anti-corruption monitoring mechanisms through stronger engagement; and

c. Widening the understanding and relevance of anti-corruption efforts towards the realization of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

21. Appropriate legislation and policies which promote transparent financial transactions should be encouraged.

22. In addition, regulatory institutions and agencies should be strengthened to fight corruption. Nigeria has a good example in this regard with the Tax Appeal Tribunal inaugurated recently. The Tribunal arbitrates between tax payers and government in order to ensure equity and fairness in tax administration.

23. In accordance with relevant international statutes, asset return is unconditional. It is a commitment which members of the international community must abide by.

24. Nigeria, therefore, reiterates its commitment to all existing international legal frameworks to enforce anti-corruption measures, including the recovery and return of stolen assets.

Distinguished Participants,

25. While acknowledging the tremendous progress that has been achieved through the enactment of global instruments, some fundamental technical issues remain unresolved.

26. These revolve around the formulation of policy and regulatory frameworks that cut across different jurisdictions. We must not lose sight of the role played by secret companies, banks and law firms, all too often based in developed economies and their related offshore centres.

27. Recent studies reveal that flaws in the global financial system enable corrupt individuals to hide details of their financial dealings under the noses of governments and law enforcement agencies. This underscores the need to urgently address the issue of Mutual Legal Assistance, as well as continental legal frameworks, in the context of safe havens for illicit transfers.

Distinguished Participants,

28. Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators.

29. A more powerful deterrent is to ensure that profits and assets generated from illicit financial flows and corruption are recovered and returned to countries of origin.

30. This is not to under-estimate the value of strong institutions. It only indicates that asset recovery represents significant deterrence compared to the traditional focus on obtaining conviction by the law enforcement agencies of the countries of origin.

Distinguished Participants,

31. As we take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of domestic, regional and international mechanisms against Illicit Financial Flows, I seize this opportunity to recall the Global Declaration Against Corruption made in London in 2016 and our commitment thereto.
32. Among other things, the Declaration encapsulates our collective commitment to the principles of Open Government Partnership, especially the National Action Plans to actualize beneficial ownership transparency, enhance the capacity of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), reinforce Independent Reporting Mechanisms and support the activities of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. We should remain resolute in our commitment to the aforementioned goals.

33. Similarly, we must crack down on safe havens for corrupt assets. I also advocate sanctions by professional bodies against transactional middlemen (lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials, etc.) who facilitate Illicit Financial Flows.

34. I would like to reiterate that the Government of Nigeria remains open and is ever willing to continue to identify and share experiences and strategies to give life to the ideas that will lead to winning the fight against corruption.

Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen,

35. Finally, let me reiterate the importance of unity and collective action. It is only together that we stand a better chance to win the fight against the menace of Illicit Financial Flows and corruption.

I thank you for your patience and attention

35 Points Presented by President Buhari at Paris Peace forum

November 12, 2018 0 Comments

The Nigerian president is currently in Paris, France for the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum.


The President Buhari spoke yesterday on “Illicit financial flows (IFFs) and corruption: the challenge of global governance.”

Here is the full text of the President’s speech:



I am delighted to be part of the inaugural edition of the Paris Peace Forum and would like to commend the Government of France for this laudable initiative.

We also thank France for inviting Nigeria to participate in the forum on the sidelines of the Centenary Celebration of the Armistice. It is important to recall that although Nigeria was not independent at the time, the fact remains that it had participated in the war efforts.

3. Nigeria contributed a company of riflemen and support services to the war under the Royal West African Frontier Forces.


4. I should like on this Remembrance Day, to pay tribute to the sacrifice and bravery of all those who had fallen in battle and the pain and suffering of those they left behind.

5. More than half a million Africans fought in the trenches of the First World War for France alone. There was bitter fighting also in east and southern Africa and around Cameroon and Nigeria. We shall not forget.

6. I believe this Forum would provide the needed opportunity for knowledgeable exchange and sharing of best practices on the challenges militating against the much needed good governance in many countries of the world. It is on this premise that my presentation will dwell on “Illicit Financial Flows And Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance”.

Distinguished Participants,

7. The cancerous effects of Illicit Financial Flows and corruption on the socio-economic development of countries are glaringly evident. The negative impact and ramifications of Illicit Financial Flows are many-sided.

The list which is long and ever-growing, includes:

a. Draining of foreign exchange reserves;

b. Reduction of tax/revenue collection;

c. Poor investment inflows due to near absence of credibility, transparency and policy stability.

8. Illicit financial flows escalate poverty by denying the citizens the benefit of the resources meant for development.


9. This is a crime of opportunity which thrives most in permissive environments. Such outflows further undermine the rule of law, stifle trade and worsen macro-economic conditions.

10. These reprehensible acts are being perpetrated by several international tax havens and secret jurisdictions, which facilitate the operation of:

a. Disguised corporations;

b. Anonymous trust accounts;

c. Fake charitable foundations;

d. Money laundering and transfer pricing mechanisms.

11. Indeed, Illicit Financial Flows have exacerbated poverty and inequality in many societies of the world. Thus, concerted and multi-jurisdictional efforts must be deployed to frontally tackle the menace.

12. Combating corruption has been a defining feature of our Government. Upon assuming office on 29th May, 2015, we made fighting corruption one of the three pillars of our Administration’s priority programmes, given the fact that corruption was threatening the very foundation of our national life, socio-economic development, security and even the consolidation of our democracy.

13. We continue to demonstrate zero tolerance for corrupt practices and non-conformity conduct in public life, by confronting corruption head-on. This is predicated on the fact that we remain steadfast in our commitment of ensuring integrity and ethical conduct in the task of governance. We are mindful of the primacy of leadership by example in this regard.

14. Our efforts at fighting corruption are firmly within the limits of the rule of law, in spite of the interest-forcing strategies of those who chose to discountenance the fundamental value of compliance with the laws of the land.


15. With the progress we have made, we feel the need to ensure that we put enduring institutional frameworks in place for action and measures that will consolidate our achievements in the fight against Illicit Financial Flows and corruption.

16. In the circumstances, strengthening the institutional capacity of anti-corruption bodies has been accorded due attention. For us, therefore, effective institutions and political will are strong counter-measures against corruption and Illicit Financial Flows.

17. In addition, we introduced the Whistle-Blowing policy, whereby information on the violation of financial regulations, mismanagement of public funds and assets, financial malpractices or fraud as well as theft can be reported to authorities.

18. This policy is geared towards ensuring public accountability and transparency, and it has yielded dividends, as we have recovered billions of Naira from corrupt persons and companies.

19. We have also redirected recovered funds to the development of critical infrastructure and programmes that will benefit our people. Funds and assets recovered through our actions, will be deployed in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

20. At the continental level, the African Union also launched the war against corruption and bestowed on me the honour to champion the cause. In this connection, our priorities for international cooperation as a continent will focus on the following:

a. Strengthening international cooperation on asset tracing, recovery and repatriation;

b. Enhancing cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations’ anti-corruption monitoring mechanisms through stronger engagement; and

c. Widening the understanding and relevance of anti-corruption efforts towards the realization of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.


21. Appropriate legislation and policies which promote transparent financial transactions should be encouraged.

22. In addition, regulatory institutions and agencies should be strengthened to fight corruption. Nigeria has a good example in this regard with the Tax Appeal Tribunal inaugurated recently. The Tribunal arbitrates between tax payers and government in order to ensure equity and fairness in tax administration.

23. In accordance with relevant international statutes, asset return is unconditional. It is a commitment which members of the international community must abide by.

24. Nigeria, therefore, reiterates its commitment to all existing international legal frameworks to enforce anti-corruption measures, including the recovery and return of stolen assets.

Distinguished Participants,

25. While acknowledging the tremendous progress that has been achieved through the enactment of global instruments, some fundamental technical issues remain unresolved.

26. These revolve around the formulation of policy and regulatory frameworks that cut across different jurisdictions. We must not lose sight of the role played by secret companies, banks and law firms, all too often based in developed economies and their related offshore centres.

27. Recent studies reveal that flaws in the global financial system enable corrupt individuals to hide details of their financial dealings under the noses of governments and law enforcement agencies. This underscores the need to urgently address the issue of Mutual Legal Assistance, as well as continental legal frameworks, in the context of safe havens for illicit transfers.

Distinguished Participants,

28. Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators.

29. A more powerful deterrent is to ensure that profits and assets generated from illicit financial flows and corruption are recovered and returned to countries of origin.

30. This is not to under-estimate the value of strong institutions. It only indicates that asset recovery represents significant deterrence compared to the traditional focus on obtaining conviction by the law enforcement agencies of the countries of origin.

Distinguished Participants,

31. As we take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of domestic, regional and international mechanisms against Illicit Financial Flows, I seize this opportunity to recall the Global Declaration Against Corruption made in London in 2016 and our commitment thereto.


32. Among other things, the Declaration encapsulates our collective commitment to the principles of Open Government Partnership, especially the National Action Plans to actualize beneficial ownership transparency, enhance the capacity of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), reinforce Independent Reporting Mechanisms and support the activities of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. We should remain resolute in our commitment to the aforementioned goals.

33. Similarly, we must crack down on safe havens for corrupt assets. I also advocate sanctions by professional bodies against transactional middlemen (lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials, etc.) who facilitate Illicit Financial Flows.

34. I would like to reiterate that the Government of Nigeria remains open and is ever willing to continue to identify and share experiences and strategies to give life to the ideas that will lead to winning the fight against corruption.

Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen,

35. Finally, let me reiterate the importance of unity and collective action. It is only together that we stand a better chance to win the fight against the menace of Illicit Financial Flows and corruption.

I thank you for your patience and attention

Crazy In Love? Japanese Man Marries Hologram

November 12, 2018 0 Comments
A Japanese man has married his virtual reality hologram this month during a ceremony in Tokyo.

Akihiko Kondo, 35, spent ¥2 million (£13645.50) on a formal ceremony at a Tokyo hall to Hatsune Miku, an animated 16-year-old hologram with saucer eyes and lengthy aquamarine pigtails.

Mr Kondo's mother, along with all of is relatives, refused an invitation to her only son's wedding.
The softly-spoken groom said: 'For Mother, it wasn't something to celebrate.'

Around 40 guests watched as he tied the knot with Miku, present in the form of a cat-sized stuffed doll.


'I never cheated on her, I've always been in love with Miku-san,' he said, using a honorific that is commonly employed in Japan, even by friends.

'I've been thinking about her every day,' he told AFP a week after the wedding.

Since March, Mr Kondo has been living with a moving, talking hologram of Miku that floats in a $2,800 desktop device.
'I'm in love with the whole concept of Hatsune Miku but I got married to the Miku of my house,' he said, looking at the blue image glowing in a capsule.

'Drop dead, creepy otaku!'

He considers himself an ordinary married man - his holographic wife wakes him up each morning and sends him off to his job as an administrator at a school.

In the evening, when he tells her by cellphone that he's coming home, she turns on the lights. Later, she tells him when it's time to go to bed.

He sleeps alongside the doll version of her that attended the wedding, complete with a wedding ring that fits around her left wrist.
Mr Kondo's marriage might not have any legal standing, but that doesn't bother him.

He even took his Miku doll to a jewellery shop to get the ring.

And Gatebox, the company that produces the hologram device featuring Miku, has issued a 'marriage certificate', which certifies that a human and a virtual character have wed 'beyond dimensions'.



Woman Who Gave Birth To Rapist's Baby Faces 20 Years In Jail

November 12, 2018 0 Comments
A rape victim is set to be jailed for 20 years for attempted murder after she gave birth to her abuser's baby in a toilet in El Salvador.

Imelda Cortez has been in custody since April 2017 after giving birth to a baby girl who had been fathered by her abusive elderly stepfather.

The then-teenage Cortez was rushed to hospital after her mother discovered her in severe pain and bleeding heavily.

The emergency room doctor suspected Cortez had attempted an abortion and called the police.


The baby was found healthy and alive in the toilet, reports the Guardian.

Cortez had been abused by her 70-year-old stepfather since she was 12 and said she had no idea she was pregnant.
Bertha Maria Deleon, one of her defence lawyers, told the Guardian: “This is the most extreme, scandalous injustice against a woman I’ve ever seen.

"The state has repeatedly violated Imelda’s rights as a victim; she’s deeply affected but denied psychological attention.”

Abortion is illegal in all circumstances in El Salvador.

According to the Guardian while Cortez was in hospital, her stepfather visited her, threatening to kill her, her siblings and her mother if she reported the abuse.
Another patient overheard and told a nurse, who called the police.

Prosecutors initially accused Cortez of inventing the abuse to justify her crime however a DNA test confirmed the baby’s paternity. Her stepfather is yet to be charged.

The criminal trial against Cortez starts today, with a ruling by the three judges expected within a week.

Man Is Jailed Two Years For Stealing 600 Tubers Of Yam

November 12, 2018 0 Comments
A Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ilupeju-Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, on Monday sentenced one Adeleye Ajayi to two-year imprisonment for stealing 600 tubers of yam.

Chief Magistrate Joseph Ayodele found Ajayi guilty on two counts of conspiracy and stealing.

Delivering judgment, Ayodele stated: “The prosecution has proved its case of conspiracy and stealing against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.

“On count one bordering on conspiracy, the defendant is hereby sentenced to one year in prison, with an option of N20,000 fine.

“On count two bordering on stealing, the defendant is hereby sentenced to one year in prison, with an option of N20,000.’’

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Adeniyi Famodimu, had told the court that Ajayi and three other convicts earlier sentenced, as well as one person still at large, between August and September 2017 conspired to steal the tubers of yam valued at N150,000.

The crime was committed at Igbomole Oke Farm Area of Ilupeju-Ekiti.

The prosecutor said the offences committed contravened sections 516 and 390(9) of the Criminal Code Vol. 1 Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State,2012.

Lagos-Ibadan Road’ll Be Completed In 2021

November 12, 2018 0 Comments
The Sagamu-Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project will be completed by 2021, the contractor, Julius Berger, has said.

The Operations Manager, Julius Berger, Thamm Olaf, told the Senate Committee on Works, led by its Chairman, Kabiru Gaya, on Sunday,  that the project, which was to be completed in 2017, was stalled due to paucity of funds and the recent expansion.

Gaya and other members of the committee, who were on an oversight visit to road projects in Lagos, however,  stated that they were not happy about the slow pace of the work, despite the efforts and funds that had been put into it.

He said the Federal Government had spent a lot of money on the road and others across the country and had moved cost of road infrastructure from N500bn to 600bn in the 2019 budget to accommodate more road construction.