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Nigerian Government Defends Okonjo-Iweala’s WTO nomination

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Nigerian Government WTO nomination Okonjo-Iweala

Nigerian Government Defends Okonjo-Iweala’s WTO nomination

The Nigerian government has reacted at the African Union over its rejection of the nomination of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to contest for the office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation(WTO).

It was earlier reported that the AU’s office of legal counsel had rejected the former Minister’s nomination of grounds of coming after the November 30 deadline set by the ministerial committee on candidature for member countries to present their candidates.

The Nigerian government in a Note Verbale which served as response to AU’s stance on the nomination, insisted that they did not violate any law as it was a replacement of a previously presented candidate (Yonov Agah) and not a fresh nomination.

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The Note reads;

“The permanent mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will not be a party to any propaganda and/or actions that supplant the vision and objectives of the African Union, by supporting a willful, obviously partisan and outlandish interpretation of rules and decisions,” the letter read.

“It is obvious that the OLC is stubbornly trapped to the unfounded notion that the candidature of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a fresh submission and cleverly refraining from recognizing it as a replacement for Ambassador Yonov Frederick Agah, an earlier submission, duly made in line with all known rules.

“By the same token of illogic, does it then mean that a country whose candidate steps down as a result of natural causes or act of force majeure becomes ineligible to replacing such candidate according to OLC? Such a conclusion is not just patently wrong, but worrisome and grossly uninformed.

“The rules referred to by the legal counsel were related to the submission of a new candidature and not, by any shred of imagination, a substitution/replacement of an earlier submission duly made in line with all rules.

“Hence, Nigeria’s substitution/replacement of Ambassador Yonov Frederick Agah with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as a candidate for DG-WTO cannot be treated as a fresh nomination for the position, and as such cannot be said, or even imagined not to conform with any of the rules of procedure deliberately highlighted by OLC to mislead.

“None of the decisions so far prevents any member state from substituting its candidate especially when a consensus candidate has not been chosen.

“To state that Nigeria is latching on its sovereign right to change existing rules of procedure and relevant decisions of the executive council as well as decisions of other policy organs, is very unbecoming, unfortunate and a gross misinterpretation and misrepresentation of facts from an office established to be dispassionate, neutral and professional.

“OLC has substantially failed to substantiate how the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in exercising her sovereign right, flouted any of the said decisions or rules of procedure, as none of them categorically precludes the substitution of a candidate by the member-states.”

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FG to Commence Distribution of Free Metres

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free metres

The National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) will on Friday, October 30, 2020 commence distribution of free electricity meters to Nigerians with simultaneous launch events of the scheme in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja DISCO franchise area.

According to media reports locations to receive meters include Bawo Road and environs in Kano metropolis (KEDCO), Governor Road/Tudun Wada in Kaduna (Kaduna Electric), Oshodi Business Unit in Ikeja (Ikeja Electric), and Yaba and Surulere (Eko DISCO).

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Key stakeholders to monitor the launch of the distribution include Kaduna, Kano and Lagos government representatives, the Senate Committee and House Chair on Power as well as representatives of Organised Labour and Civil Society Organisations.

The NMMP is to roll out 6 million free meters for all connections points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimating to impact 30 million consumers nationwide.

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Federal Government Re-affirms Support for Okonjo-Iweala as Director General WTO

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WTO

 

The Federal Government on Thursday said it would stand by former Minister, Dr. Ngozi -Okonjo- Iweala until she emerged Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO).

A statement issued by spokesperson, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye said the third and final round of the selection process of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization was concluded on Tuesday, 27th October 2020, and that the result was formally announced on Wednesday, 28th October 2020.

The candidate from Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.

“This is because apart from winning the election, all the 164 Member States of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus, in accordance with the rule of procedure of the WTO,” it said.

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The government said it was important to highlight that Dr Okonjo-Iweala had secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

“The ministry stated that a meeting of the General Council of the WTO has been scheduled for 9th November, 2020 for the final decision on the election process.

“Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of her candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation is realized,” it said.

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Plateau begins trial of 300 suspected looters

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Looters

The Plateau State Government on Wednesday begun the prosecution of over 300 suspected looters and arsonists in the state.
They were accused of looting, criminal trespass and inciting public disturbance, among other charges.
The suspects, who had been in military and police detention after they were arrested in different parts of Jos and the Bukuru metropolis between Saturday and Sunday, were moved to the Bassa Local Government Area on Wednesday for arraignment.

The defendants were arraigned one after the other at Jebbu Bassa Area Court before several judges including Justices N S Dashe, Adar Roseline Baraje, and L B Longs as well as Lawal Sulaiman, among others.

In all the cases brought before the judges, the prosecutors from the state Ministry of Justice told the court that the accused persons committed the offences against the state and should be prosecuted according to the law.
The defence counsels, however, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy for the accused persons, particularly as they were first offenders.
The defence counsels also pleaded for short sentencing with an option of fine after their clients pleaded guilty to the offences.

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"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

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