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Equatorial Guinea president’s son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue’s love for Bugattis and Michael Jackson.

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Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue’s and his of Bugattis and Michael Jackson.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue in Equatorial Guinea in 2012
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue in 2012

For years the fortunes of Teodoro “Teodorin” Nguema Obiang Mangue mirrored those of his country, Equatorial Guinea, as it rose to become one of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil producers.

The son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo enjoyed a lavish lifestyle in California and France.

His good times abroad contrasted starkly with the lives of most of his fellow citizens, who saw little trickle-down from the oil revenue.

Now the funding for his lifestyle has been exposed as embezzlement, as Teodorin faces a criminal conviction in France, sanctions in the UK and a record for corruption in the US.

But back home the 52-year-old remains vice-president, in pole position to succeed his father, 79.

‘Relentless embezzlement and extortion’

Teodorin spent time in California as far back as 1991 when he enrolled at Pepperdine University in Malibu.

He eventually bought a $30m mansion in Malibu and his other assets in the US included a Ferrari car and Michael Jackson memorabilia.

This came out in 2014 when the US justice department forced him to surrender the assets in a settlement after finding he had paid for them in a “corruption-fuelled spending spree”.

“Through relentless embezzlement and extortion, Vice President Nguema Obiang shamelessly looted his government and shook down businesses in his country to support his lavish lifestyle, while many of his fellow citizens lived in extreme poverty,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell in a statement.

Money from the sale of the assets was meant to “be used for the benefit of the people of Equatorial Guinea”.

‘No longer a haven’

In 2016, Swiss prosecutors seized 11 luxury cars belonging to him. The cars – among them a Bugatti, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royce – were sold at an auction for about $27m.

A picture taken on September 28, 2019 at the Bonmont Abbey in Cheserex, western Switzerland shows a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari (L) and a 2010 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 Coupe model car during an auction preview by sales house Bonhams of sport cars belonging to the son of the Equatorial Guinea's President
image captionSports cars owned by Equatorial Guinea’s vice-president were auctioned in Switzerland

Some $23m was to go to social projects in Equatorial Guinea.

Then, in 2017, it was France’s turn to clamp down on Teodorin when a court convicted him of embezzlement and ordered the seizure of his assets in the country.

He was given a three-year suspended sentence in absentia and a 30m euro fine, and his luxury assets in France were seized. One of his seized properties in Paris is worth over $120m.

Under a French law all this wealth is to be redistributed to the people of Equatorial Guinea.

The judgment was upheld by the top appeals court, which rejected his protestations of innocence and his argument that French courts had no right to rule on his assets.

“With this decision… France is no longer a haven for money embezzled by senior foreign leaders and their entourage,” Patrick Lefas of Transparency International France, which was party to the case, said in a statement (in French).

Finally, last week the UK slapped “anti-corruption” sanctions on Teodorin and four other figures from Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Iraq.

Michael Jackson's "Bad Tour" glove is seen during the preview day of the "Icons and Idols" and "property from the life and career of Johnny Cash" auctions at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills
image captionMichael Jackson’s “Bad Tour” glove was auctioned in Beverly Hills, California, in 2010

The UK said his collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia included a $275,000 crystal-covered glove which the later singer had worn on his 1980s Bad tour.

The sanctions will see the UK impose asset freezes and travel bans to prevent named individuals channelling money through UK banks or from entering the country.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the new sanctions targeted individuals who had “lined their own pockets at the expense of their citizens”.

A warning to others

Despite his legal troubles abroad, Teodorin keeps his place at the top of Equatorial Guinea’s political establishment.

His father is Africa’s longest serving leader and has been described by human rights organisations as one Africa’s most brutal dictators.

While the president himself is the key figure, his son is “relatively well known as a personality in west and central Africa given the international media coverage he has attracted”, says Africa analyst Paul Melly.

“The action that has been taken by judicial authorities in some European countries against alleged corruption by some African presidential families is a sign of the risk of potential damage to credibility and access to development funds that some regimes might face,” he adds.

“But such cases are very much not typical of today’s sub-Saharan Africa.”

Soury:(BBC)


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FEC approves N836 million augmentation for 38 coronavirus oxygen plants

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The meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday
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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N836 million as augmentation for the establishment of oxygen production plants for COVID-19 pandemic intervention across the country.

Newsmen report that the council had in June approved N5.615 billion to four major contractors for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of the 38 oxygen plants in various parts of the country.

Newsmen report that the approval in June followed the Presidential Steering Committee’s (PSC) announcement to increase oxygen reserve capacity in the event of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting, on behalf of the Minister of Health, said the approval of the upward review followed a memo presented by the minister of health to the council.

The meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday in Abuja.

The minister said: “The Minister of Health also presented a memo seeking for an upward review for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of the 38 oxygen plants all over the country.

“You will remember in June, the Federal Executive Council, actually approved the sum of N5.615 billion to four major contractors for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of 38 oxygen plants in various parts of the country.

“Regrettably, the four companies also came back recently with the same complaints ranging from fluctuation in the foreign exchange and the scarcity of the material all over the world as a result of COVID-19.

“So, he presented a memo for augmentation in the sum of N836 million and this was also approved today.

Mohammed disclosed that the council also approved revised estimate costs and extension of the contract of the consultants supervising the Bagwai Water Dam Irrigation project from an initial sum of N98 million to N302.8 million.

“The Bagwai Water Dam Irrigation project in Bagwai Local Government Area of Kano State actually was commenced, the initial contract was actually awarded in the year 2005.

“And due to several logistics problems, the project is still on and just recently the FEC actually approved an augmentation of the entire contract and that means also that the mandate of the consultant supervising the construction would also have to be reviewed.

“So, now the total cost for the consultancy is N302. 9 million.’’

Source: (NAN)


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Osun sensitises herdsmen on anti-open grazing law

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Osun Gov. Gboyega Oyetola
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Osun State government on Wednesday in Osogbo began the sensitisation of herdsmen on the recently-passed anti-open grazing law.

Newsmen report that the sensitisation, which had heads of herders groups in the state in attendance, was organised by the State’s Civic Centre.

Newsmen also report that the House of Assembly passed the Bill entitled: “Bill to Regulate Animal Grazing and Establishment of Cattle Ranches and other Related Matters’’ on Aug. 12.

Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, thereafter, signed the bill into law on Sept. 15.

Speaking at the sensitisation, Special Adviser to Gov. Oyetola on Civic Engagement, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, said the programme was put in place to sensitise herdsmen on the content of the law.

Oyintiloye said the programme was to let the herdsmen understand that the law was not meant to witch-hunt or segregate them in the state.

“There is need for us to sensitise and enlighten them on the content of the law so that they will not run afoul of it and also to tell them that the law is not to witch-hunt them in form of segregation.

“The programme is also to educate them to operate within the ambit of the law and not to claim ignorance of it,’’ he said.

Oyintiloye, who appreciated the herdsmen on the peaceful coexistence with their host communities, appealed to them to try as much as possible to operate within the law.

He said Gov. Oyetola would continue to provide enabling environment for them to operate and transact their businesses.

In her marks, Mrs Abiodun Ige, Special Adviser to the governor on Security, said farmers and herdsmen should continue to live peacefully in the state.

Ige said that the law would take its course on anyone that ran afoul of it.

“What concerns security in this matter is that anybody that runs afoul of the law, the law will take its course.

“If farmers and herdsmen have been working together peacefully without a problem, we will still advise they work together without any problem.

“But we do not want any breakdown of law and order. If there is anything like that, the law will take its course.

“We have advised that if there is any issue, they should report promptly to security agencies,’’ she said.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Dayo Adewole, said that the law was not to fight herdsmen but to sustain the peaceful coexistence between them and farmers.

In his remarks, Mr Mudashiru Toogun, Chairman, Committee on Peaceful Coexistence between herders and farmers, also urged herdsmen to continue to coexist with the host communities peacefully.

Toogun said that with the law in place, anyone caught practising open grazing would face the law.

In his remarks, the Seriki Fulani in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Babatunde, said herders believed that the law would be of benefit to them.

Babatunde said that herders would educate one another on the law, adding that they would also continue to live peacefully with their host communities.

He appreciated the governor for providing a peaceful environment for herdsmen to operate in the state.

Source: (NAN)


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AGF: Nigerian government may file fresh charges against Sunday Igboho

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AGF Abubakar Malami
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The Federal Government may file a fresh action against Yoruba secessionist agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (also know as Sunday Igboho), following the judgment of Oyo State High Court which awarded N20 billion in damages in his favour.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the federal government had the right to appeal the Judgement or file a fresh charge.

The judge, Ladiran Akintola, had awarded the money as “an exemplary and aggravated damages” against the AGF and the State Security Service (SSS), over the invasion of Adeyemo’s home in Ibadan on July 1.

However, Mr Malami said the position of the federal government on the judgment was about “law and jurisdiction”.

“As far as this matter is concerned, which court is it that has the jurisdiction to determine it? And as you rightly know, obedient to court orders and court judgments,” he said.

“But then you have to understand within the context of such obedience that there are associated rights and interests that are vested in the Federal Government.

“Inclusive of rights of appealing against a judgment, inclusive of the right to file an application for setting aside the purported judgment and order.

“And indeed, inclusive of the possibility of filling a fresh action if indeed the jurisdiction of the court that was alleged to have indeed handed that judgment is an issue.

“So, we are doing the needful in terms of looking at the law as it exists and then working within the context of the law in ensuring that justice is done as far as the contending issues between the parties are concerned,’’ the minister explained.

Mr Igboho’s counsel, Yomi Alliyu, SAN, had filed a N500 billion fundamental human rights enforcement suit against the AGF, SSS and the Director of the SSS in Oyo State over the invasion of his home in Ibadan on July 1.

Mr Alliyu claimed that his client’s house and cars were damaged, while two occupants of the house were killed by SSS operatives during the incident.

However, counsel to AGF, Abdullah Abubakar, had argued that there was no evidence before the court that the blood seen in the video clip tendered by Mr Alliyu belonged to a human being.

Mr Abubakar also said there was nothing in the video clip that showed that the house that was invaded belonged to Igboho or linked the AGF with the invasion.

Mr Adeyemo is still being held in the Republic of Benin where he was arrested some weeks ago while trying to flee to Germany.

Source: (NAN)


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