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South Africa’s opposition leader asks FBI to investigate President Ramaphosa over corrupt allegations

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Leader of South Africa’s main opposition party, John Steenhuisen of the Democratic Alliance (DA), has asked the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to probe President Cyril Ramaphosa over allegations of corruption and money laundering.

Steenhuisen’s request in a written petition to the South African branch of the FBI, comes two weeks after former head of intelligence agency, Arthur Fraser, filed a criminal complaint against Ramaphosa, accusing him of money laundering and not reporting a robbery at his Phala Phala farm where over $4 million was reportedly stolen.

Steenhuisen said it was important for the FBI to investigate how the money ended up in South Africa and whether it was brought in legitimately or laundered by Ramaphosa.

“The FBI are tasked with investigating white-collar corruption and money laundering involving the use of US dollars,” he said.

Accusing the president of remaining silent in the face of the strong accusation, the DA leader said he has refused to come clean on the allegations.

“I think the longer the president stays silent on this issue, the more people will call him to step aside. We are not yet calling on him to step aside yet, we want to give him the benefit of the doubt to come clean and tell us his side of the story,” Steenhuisen said.

In the heat of the allegations and calls for his resignation, Ramaphosa had come out refuting them saying the stolen money was less than the $4 million claimed by Fraser and it was from the proceeds from the sale of the game at his farm and not from the country’s taxpayers.

“I have never stolen taxpayers’ money. I want to reaffirm that I was not involved in any criminal conduct, and once again I pledge my full cooperation with any form of investigation,” Ramaphosa had said.

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Guinean Prime Minister, Mohamed Béavogui meets political parties to mitigate tension

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In the bid to address tension that has bedeviled its political space, Guinean Prime Minister, Mohamed Béavogui has met with political parties.

The meeting comes after the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) suspended its call for a demonstration which would have been the first major protest rally under the now ruling junta.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister stressed that “it is essential that each of us here understand once and for all that the only agenda that counts is that of the people.”

Guinea’s pressure group, The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) had called for a nationwide demonstration against the West African country’s military junta earlier this month. The group also led protests against former President Alpha Conde, calling against the ban imposed by the junta on public protest.

Mohamed Béavogui, told the political parties, civil society organizations and trade unions that “only an inclusive approach, adapted to the Guinean reality, will enable us to lay the foundations for the good life together that we all aspire.

“We have already set up an inter-ministerial council, a group of colleagues. We are going to refine the group as we go along… You also have to get organised. The government is counting on the good faith of all the participants in this consultation.”

Mr. Béavogui concluded by asking participants to “send their contributions” by July 1. He did not set any new meeting dates.

Guinea is one of the West African countries that have recently experienced a military takeover of government. Mali and Burkina Faso are part of the negative trend. There has been pressure on the countries from the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for transition into civil government.

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Nigeria gets new Chief Justice, Olukayode Ariwoola. Will he suffer fate of his predecessors?

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Following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhamed as Nigeria’s Chief Justice on Monday morning, President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn-in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Justice Ariwoola who was born on Aug. 22, 1958 and appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2011 and expected to retire by 2028.

He was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court in 2011. He was a Justice of the Court of Appeal between 2005 and 2011 after having been elevated from the State High Court of Oyo State.

Justice Ariwoola was first appointed a Judge of the Supereme Court of record in Oyo State in 1992 from private legal practice.

Before his elevation to the Supreme Court, he served as Justice of the Court of Appeal in Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos Divisions.

Nigeria’s judiciary has been in the spotlight in some ways since the administration of Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari. Recall that shortly after his swearing, the Department of State Service notoriously raided homes of judges in 2016.

Also, Nigeria’s last two Chief Justices left in circumstances that raised eyebrows on what is expected of the judicial arm of government.

In 2019President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

Barely a week before his resignation, fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the immediate former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court, amidst other corrupt allegation.

With the somewhat shadiness that surrounded the last two predecessors, it is hoped that Nigeria’s new Chief justice, Olukayode Ariwoola will offer a breath of freshness in Nigeria’s judiciary.  Time will tell.

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