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Banjul – The Gambia’s controversial leader Yahya Jammeh on Thursday submitted his candidacy to seek a fifth term in December’s presidential election, saying he would listen only to God for guidance in governing.

Jammeh, 51, took power in a bloodless coup in 1994 and has run the country with an iron fist ever since, surviving successive coup attempts by consolidating his power at every level of society.
After submitting the required documentation to the electoral commission, Jammeh told its chairman: “No matter what people say about me, I am not moved… I don’t listen to anybody because I know what is important.
“It is between me and God Almighty.”
He had harsh words for his critics, or even putative advisors, adding: “You want to listen to everybody and satisfy everybody, you will end up satisfying the evil people.
“Do what is right. Make sure you satisfy the Almighty Allah.”
The president went on to present a policy platform of free education and healthcare for all, adding that his government believed especially in empowering women.
The Gambia has made great progress in the last 20 years in improving literacy and child mortality rates, and the president has in the last year banned child marriage and female genital mutilation.
But his record on civil liberties is less impressive: he has promised to bury critics “nine feet deep” and told the UN Secretary-General to “go to hell” after Ban Ki-moon called for an investigation into an activist’s death in custody.
Intimidation of opposition parties, media repression and politicised security forces have “all but extinguished” the chance of a free and fair election in the Gambia, Human Rights Watch said in a report this month.
Jammeh has attracted worldwide attention for declaring the Gambia an Islamic state, withdrawing the country from the International Criminal Court, and claiming he had concocted a herbal cure for HIV/AIDS.
Gambian opposition parties have decided to join forces to field a single candidate, Adama Barrow, to take on Jammeh on December 1.
The only other candidate is a former ruling party MP, Mama Kandeh, who has been accused of being used to split opposition votes.
AFP

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who once engaged in a war of words with Donald Trump has made a swift backtrack following the Republican’s shock victory in the US presidential election.

The Saudi billionaire had branded Trump ‘a disgrace to America’ following controversial remarks made during his campaign threatening to ban all Muslims from entering America until the threat of terrorism was more under control.

Reacting to Trump’s remarks last December, the prince took to Twitter and wrote: ‘.@realDonaldTrump You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America. Withdraw from the U.S presidential race as you will never win.’

Trump fired back by tweeting: Dopey Prince @Alwaleed_Talal wants to control our US politicians with daddy’s money. Can’t do it when I get elected #Trump 2016.’

However, within hours of Trump defeating Hillary Clinton in Wednesday’s historic night of voting, the prince swiftly tweeted: ‘.@realDonaldTrump President elect whatever the past differences, America has spoken, congratulations & best wishes for your presidency.’

US President Barack Obama and the President-elect Donald Trump met at the White House this morning for more than 90 minutes in a public display of unity intended to help the country move on after the shocking results of Tuesday’s presidential election.


The two men had never met each other. President-elect Donald Trump said he intended for the getting-to-know-you meeting to last ten to 15 minutes but it went on much longer.

He described Obama as a ‘very good’ man when it was finished as a pack of reporters hurled questions.

He added that he looked forward to receiving Obama’s counsel.
‘I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel,’ he said in a statement. ‘He explained some of the difficulties some of the high flying assets, some of the really great things that have been achieved.’
Obama spoke first, telling reporters his top priority was ‘ensure our president-elect is successful’. 

‘I have been very encouraged by…the interest in President Elect Trump’s wanting to work with my team,’ he said.

They ended the historic White House encounter with a handshake.


A few months back, President Obama had declared Mr. Trump entirely unfit to serve as president.

The family of Chijioke Obioha, a Nigerian national convicted of and given the mandatory death sentence for possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking on December 30, 2008, have been informed that November 18 is Chijoke’s new execution date.

On April 9, 2007, Mr. Obioha was found in possession of more than 2.6 kilograms of cannabis, surpassing the statutory amount of 500 grams that under Singapore law triggers the automatic presumption of trafficking.
Also in his possession were keys to a room containing additional prohibited substances, leading the authorities to presume him guilty of possession and knowledge of the drugs.
Mr. Obioha’s appeal against his conviction and sentence was rejected in August 2010. Maintaining his innocence of the crime, he initially refused to make use of his right to resentencing which amendments to Singapore’s mandatory’s death penalty laws made in 2013 allowed for.
In Singapore, when there is a presumption of drug possession and trafficking, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant. This is a violation of fair trial rights, specifically the presumption of innocence.
After the rejection of his clemency appeal in April 2015, his execution was set for May 15, 2015. It was stayed a day earlier to allow him apply for resentencing. His family were only informed on October 25, 2016 that he had resolved to withdraw his application for resentencing earlier in the year, following legal advice that he would not qualify as “courier” under the amended laws.
Consequently, the Court of Appeal lifted the stay of execution with effect from October 24, resulting in the execution date to be set for November 18.
Mr. Obioha appealed once again for clemency for the President, who has the power to commute his death sentence.
“Chijioke Stephen Obioha graduated in Industrial Chemistry from Benin University in Nigeria. He moved to Singapore in 2005, seeking to join a football club. His family members, who currently live in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, have been unable to travel to visit and had limited ability to assist him. Throughout the duration of the proceedings, they have received sporadic and often delayed updates, including when a legal representative was removed from the case,” Amnesty International stated.
Press Statement

Some of the most controversial proposals Donald Trump made while running for U.S. president were gone from his campaign website by Thursday, including his call to ban Muslims from entering the country and his promise to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement.

The link to his Dec. 7 proposal titled: “Donald J. Trump statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration,” in which he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” vanished, along with his list of his potential Supreme Court justice picks as president and certain details of his economic, defense and regulatory reform plans.
The Trump campaign did not respond to multiple emails seeking comment on the website changes.
The links, which now redirect readers to a campaign fundraising page, appear to have been removed around Election Day on Tuesday, when Trump won a historic upset against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, according to a website that records historic snapshots of web pages.
Most of Trump’s core policy positions remained on the site, however, including his central immigration promise to build an “impenetrable physical wall” on the border with Mexico and make Mexico pay for its construction.
It was not the first time the Trump campaign has made unexplained changes to its site. The campaign this year also replaced the part of the site describing Trump’s healthcare policy with a different version. When contacted about it by Reuters in September, the campaign put the original page back up.
Reuters


Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has said that it takes great self sacrifice to concede defeat in an election.

Jonathan said this on his Twitter page while congratulating the newly elected President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump.
In a short message, Jonathan saluted the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for conceding, adding that he knows what she did takes great sacrifice.
He wrote: “I congratulate President-elect Donald Trump. I also salute Mrs Clinton for conceding. Having done this, I know it takes great self sacrifice.”
Mr. Jonathan had himself conceded defeat in the 2015 Presidential elections after he was defeated by the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari.
South Africa’s scandal-hit President Jacob Zuma faced a no-confidence vote in parliament Thursday, with the main opposition party calling on ruling ANC lawmakers to vote him out of office.
Zuma, who looked certain to survive the vote despite mounting anger within his own party, last week came under further pressure after a corruption probe raised fresh allegations of misconduct.

“To put it plainly, we can choose Jacob Zuma, or we can choose South Africa,” Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance opposition party, told parliament.
“Many of you have been speaking out against him in recent weeks… I know that there are men and women in these ANC benches who want to do the right thing.”
But Zuma, 74, who came to power in 2009, retains strong loyalty among ANC (Africa National Congress) lawmakers and many party activists, particularly in rural areas.
The Democratic Alliance tabled the no-confidence motion accusing Zuma of wreaking “havoc on our infant democracy”.
The no-confidence vote will be the third in under a year, with the first two easily defeated by the ANC’s majority in parliament.
The corruption report by the country’s top watchdog raised accusations of possible criminal activity in Zuma’s relationship with the Guptas, a business family accused of wielding undue political influence.
It included allegations that the Guptas offered Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas a $44 million (40 million euros) bribe, which he said he refused.
Increasing numbers of anti-apartheid veterans, ANC activists, trade unions, civil groups and business leaders have called for Zuma to resign.
But the ANC leadership scoffed at the no-confidence vote, describing it as “ritualistic” and “founded on spurious allegations and narrow political motives”.
– ‘More powerful than the ANC itself’ –
The ANC, which has ruled since the first post-apartheid elections in 1994, has seen its popularity dive, with local polls in August delivering its worst-ever result.
Zuma’s term in office ends in 2019, but the ANC is due to elect a new party leader at the end of next year and could then decide to replace him as head of state.
South Africa’s highest court this year found the president guilty of violating the constitution after he refused to repay taxpayers’ money used to refurbish his private rural house.
He is also fighting a court order that could reinstate almost 800 corruption charges against him over a multi-billion dollar arms deal in the 1990s.
Despite the groundswell of protest and deep divisions in the ANC, Thursday’s vote in parliament posed no threat to Zuma, said Wits University professor Patrick Bond.
“The key people in the ANC are very supportive of Zuma,” he said.
The Business Day newspaper described Zuma as “back firmly in the saddle” after surviving the latest storm of criticism.
“Zuma has grown bigger and more powerful than the ANC itself,” wrote commentator Carol Paton.
When he leaves office, the three leading possible successors are his ex-wife African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize.
AFP

Minnesota voters have elected the first Somali-American Muslim woman legislator in a state where the uneasy assimilation of large numbers of Somali refugees became an issue in the US presidential campaign.

Ilhan Omar, a 33-year-old former refugee who wears the hijab, ran uncontested for a seat in the legislature of the Midwestern state, home to a sizeable Somali population.

Her victory is notable in a campaign season that saw Republican Donald Trump disparage Muslim immigrants and refugees before going on to win the White House.
REFUGEE VETTING
“Even though his message is supposed to function as a fear element in making sure that we don’t vote, so we don’t see ourselves as part of the American system, it’s had the opposite effect,” Omar told AFP about Trump.
Trump ended up losing Minnesota to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton 45 to 47 percent.
But in the campaign’s final week the real estate magnate had blamed the Somali community for Minnesota’s travails.
“Here in Minnesota, you’ve seen first-hand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with very large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval,” Trump told a rally near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
“Some of them (are) joining ISIS (the Islamic State group) and spreading their extremist views all over our country and all over the world.”
Nearly a third of Somali refugees resettled in the United States live in Minnesota. They number around 25,000 according to 2010 data, the latest available.
EXTREMISTS
Some of the community’s young men have been lured by extremist groups — notably Somalia’s Shabaab militants — to fight overseas.
In one incident that sent shockwaves through the country, members of the city of St Cloud’s close-knit Somali refugee community expressed shock after one of their own stabbed 10 people at a mall there in September.
Omar entered her campaign rally late Tuesday to the “Rocky Balboa” soundtrack.
After Omar’s victory speech, her supporters, many young immigrants or first generation Americans, clustered around her and waited for their turn to take a selfie with the newly elected state representative.
She learned of Trump’s pending White House victory from an AFP reporter.
POLITICAL ASSENT
“It’s going to be very tough, we have to figure out how to organise the community to prepare for what’s to come. We have to amplify our voices of love against the rhetoric of hate,” Omar said.
Omar’s political assent had less to do with her Somali community, though, than with her efforts to broaden her support to include other minority groups such as other East African immigrants, white liberals and college students.
“That’s a very important transition that we’ve seen in America, as Germans, the Irish Catholics and the Jews and others have come to the country,” said Lawrence Jacobs, director of the Centre for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota.
“The politics starts off as purely ethnic, and then it evolves into coalition building.”
TRUMP REBUKE
That Omar, as a Somali-American, appears to now be making a similar transition is a “very positive development,” Jacobs said.
Omar, who takes office January 3, says among her priorities are increasing funding and access to education, as well as criminal justice reform.
Memoona Ghan, a 35-year-old woman from Maple Grove, Minnesota, said her victory felt like rebuke to Trump and inspiration for the Muslim community in the state.
“Seeing her up there is quite inspiring, not only for us but for the youth as well. It’s a source of pride for all Muslims, not just the Somali community, that Ilhan is up there, and winning,” said Ghan.
AFP

The Federal High Court, Abuja has admitted Femi Fani-Kayode to bail in the sum of N50 million and one surety in like sum.
The court, however, remanded him in Kuje Prison pending the perfection of his bail condition.

Fani-Kayode was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice John Tsoho on a fresh five-count charge bordering on money laundering.
The ex-aviation minister was accused of allegedly collecting N26 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and using the money for media campaign.
Count two of the charge reads: “You, Femi Fani-Kayode, converted N26 million cash paid from the office of the National Security Adviser for the purpose of media campaign.
“You ought to have reasonably known that the said funds formed part of an unlawful act contrary to section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Act.”
His counsel, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) in arguing his bail application, told the court that his client had been kept in EFCC custody in the last 21 days without a warrant of arrest or detention from the court.
Adedipe called the court’s attention to a sister case where his client allegedly misappropriated N1.2 billion but had been granted bail and had not breached the terms of his bail.
He also said that the offence his client was accused of was a bailable one and urged the court to admit him to bail on self recognition or on liberal terms.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Johnson Ojogbane, however, argued that even though, the defence had filed the bail application before the arrest and arraignment of the defendant, he responded to the application in good faith.
“Ordinarily, we should not have responded to the bail application since it was filed long before today, but out of respect to this honourable court and in good faith, we have decided to respond,” Ojogbane said.
While admitting that the defendant had been in the EFCC custody in the last 21 days, he said that the arrest and detention was for the sole purpose of bringing him before the court according to the constitution.
Justice Tsoho, in his ruling, agreed that the offence the defendant was accused of was bailable.
Tsoho said that the fears expressed by the prosecution in their counter affidavit that the defendant was a flight risk and was likely to temper with evidence were only speculative.
He also said that there was no evidence to show that when the defendant was granted bail in the sister case or that he breached the conditions of his bail.
Tsoho, therefore, set in the conditions for bail to include that the defendant would deposit his travel documents with the court.
Others are that the surety must be resident in Abuja, own landed property and produce the original documents of the property for citing and inspection.
Justice Tsoho also ordered that the defendant and sureties must produce two recent passport photographs and adjourned for commencement of trial till Dec. 25.
Fani-Kayode pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fani-Kayode is already facing a 17-count charge of money laundering before the Lagos division of the court.
Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has stated that he will not destroy his United States’ residency permit just yet.
Responding to a question on Trump’s victory during an interview with Newsweek on Wednesday in New York, the literary icon said: “Why don’t we wait until Trump actually takes office?”
Last week, Soyinka threatened to destroy his green card if Trump won.
Nigerians had taken to social media to question Soyinka about whether he would honour his pledge following the announcement of Trump’s victory.

Soyinka said: “Why don’t we wait until Trump actually takes office? I’m just going about my normal commitments, but definitely not getting into any more commitments. Let’s put it that way for now”
The playwright added that Trump’s victory could jeopardize U.S. support in Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram.
He said that Trump’s “bunker mentality” could see the U.S. withdraw support for counter-terrorism operations in West Africa.
“One should expect that level of collaboration to diminish. Trump’s mentality is one of, ‘What are we doing there? What business do we have over there?’” Soyinka told Newsweek.
“I foresee Trump dismissing that kind of expectation offhand and closing in, shrinking, becoming smaller in terms of [the U.S.’s] presence in other parts of the world,” he added.
The low demand for dollar at the parallel market on Wednesday forced naira to appreciate further against dollar.

NAN reports that the Nigerian currency gained N5 in Lagos to exchange at N460 to a dollar from N465 recorded on Tuesday.
Also, the Pound Sterling and Euro closed at N560 and N500 respectively.
 At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the dollar was sold at N385, being the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s controlled rate.
 Also, the Pound Sterling and Euro traded at N560 and N503 respectively.
 However, the naira weakened against the dollar at the interbank market, losing N2.49 to close at N307.26 against N305.27 recorded on Tuesday.
 Traders at the market said that the demand for the green back was low due to the political situation in the U.S.
 Mr Harrison Owoh, a BDC operator, said that stakeholders in the market were painstakingly watching the political situation in U.S and its effect on the country’s economy.
 Owoh said that in the coming days, the demand for the dollar was likely to remain low until the successful transition from a Democratic to a Republican Government in U.S. 
French President Francois Hollande, who once said Donald Trump made him want to retch, warned Wednesday that the Republican billionaire’s stunning victory in the US election “opens a period of uncertainty.”
In an initial televised reaction, Hollande offered only brief congratulations to the Republican billionaire, in which he stressed Washington’s key role in world affairs.

But the French leader later penned Trump a letter, saying he was keen to “immediately” start discussions on a number of key issues.
“What is at stake is peace, the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, it’s economic ties and the preservation of the planet,” he wrote.
“On all these subjects, I would like to immediately start discussions with you in light of the values and interests which we share,” he said, hailing Trump’s conciliatory victory speech.
“We must find answers which allow us to overcome fear but also to respect the principles which bind us: democracy, freedom, respect for every individual,” he wrote.
Hollande, who has disastrous approval ratings ahead of France’s presidential election next year, has been an outspoken critic of Trump, telling journalists earlier this year that the Republican’s excesses “make you want to retch”.
Trump has raised hackles in France after saying attacks in Paris last year that left 130 people dead might have been avoided if the country relaxed its gun laws.
He has also referred to “vicious” no-go zones in Paris and said French people arriving in the United States could face security vetting because of fears about extremists.
AFP

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The House of Representatives has warned Nigerians to desist from investing in the Mavrodi Monrodi Moneybox scheme popularly known as MMM or risk loss of their funds.


The call was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Saheed Akinade-Fajabi (Oyo-APC) at plenary on Wednesday in Abuja.
Akinade-Fajabi, in the motion earlier, said that the scheme was set up by three Russian nationals in 1989 and that clients were made to invest monies with the hope to make 30 per cent interest in 30 days.

He said that the structure and operations of the scheme indicated otherwise as clients could have multi-level structures under them and earn bonus.
He said that the scheme prided itself as a mutual fund through which recruited clients contributed money in form of assistance without any intent to engage in banking business.
According to the lawmaker, the scheme entered Nigeria in 2016, capitalising on the high level of unemployment and poverty in the country to deceive and make Nigerians fall prey of their antics.
He said that a similar scheme had been launched in Russia by the same founder where investors lost millions of dollars, adding that the scheme had been banned in China to avert “financial havoc’’.
It could be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had admonished Nigerians on the MMM scheme, saying it was fraudulent.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dugara, mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the scheme with the view of saving Nigerians participating in it from financial disaster. (NAN)

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With Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton to win the US election, the Canadian Immigration website has crashed under the weight of people in the US seeking an escape.

Trump won many of the key states, including Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania.
As the election neared its conclusion, Google searches for “move to Canada” and “immigrate to Canada” went up. The website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) then had a blackout.
At a time this morning, the page was unavailable, at other times it loaded but was running slowly. The CIC made no reference to this on its Twitter feed.

Trump’s victory came after a nasty campaign. He was accused of racism, sexism and non-payment of taxes.
Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton has conceded the
presidential contest to her Republican rival Donald Trump Tuesday night.

After winning the primarily Republican States, Trump was leading in Michigan and Wisconsin, holding a
3-point lead in the latter with 92 percent of the vote in.
Trump led the popular vote by more than 1 million votes. With 86 percent of the expected vote in, more than 116
million ballots had been cast.

Earlier, the Clinton campaign had said the race was too close
to call. Also, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta told supporters at the Javits
Center who had amassed for a victory party to go home till tomorrow, saying that every vote
should be counted.

This week on Keeping It Real, Nigerian Doctor in Texas, Oluyinka Olutoye, and his team, successfully operate on an unborn baby at 16 weeks. The baby was then returned to her mother’s womb and delivered at 36 weeks.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate refuses President Buhari’s request to borrow $30 billion.

        

 In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni continues to harass and arrest opposition leader Kizza Besigye despite that it has been eight months since the elections. Mr. President is also busy teaching farmers how to make money.

As the US votes, Adeola is wondering who you would like to see become the next President of America. Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? 

This week on Keeping It Real, Adeola urged the Nigerian
government to deal with mismanagement among government officials before
borrowing more money.
In Cameroon, Oct. 21st became a black day after landslides
and train derailment killed so many.
In Togo, a woman, Farida Nabourema, is challenging the
corrupt government of Gnassingbe, the family that has ruled the nation for 49
years.

       

  Also, find out how some older women in Kenya defend
themselves against rapists.
Did Angola ban Islam? Find out from this episode and much more
stories.

Lastly, don’t forget to write your comment on whether
Africans should leave or remain part of the ICC.

According to Vanguard News, about five people have allegedly been arrested for holding a
burial ceremony in Benin, disobeying an order by the Benin Traditional Council during
the coronation of the new Oba of Benin.

The Benin Traditional Council in a statement by the secretary, Frank Irabor, insists that
all funeral activities are banned in the seven local government areas in the
senatorial district throughout the coronation ceremonies.
Although the coronation of Oba Ewuare II has been concluded,
the post-coronation festivities, which began in October, will last through the
end of December.
During this time, no one is allowed to bury a dead body in the
following local governments until January: Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia
North-East, Ovia South-West, Orhionmwon and Uhunmwode.
Oba Ewuare II is a graduate of University of Wales in the
United Kingdom, and a former Nigerian ambassador to Sweden and Angola.
The Ethiopian government has announced up to
five years jail time for any social media user that posts updates on the
growing political unrest of the country on Facebook.

This is one of the series of measures under a six-month “state
of emergency” recently declared by the government.
Since protests began a year ago, the government has imposed
a blanket ban on mobile Internet services and
restrictions on text message platforms like WhatsApp.
This is mainly to prevent people from organizing protests as
the government drives out Oromo and Amhara land owners in a bid to expand Addis Ababa.

Two Ethiopian TV stations based in the US, ESAT and the
Oromia Media Network, have also been banned. Similarly, access to foreign-based
media has been restricted, including Deutsche Welle and Voice of America, which
both have popular Amharic stations.