Friday , 6 December 2019
Latest
Home » 2019 » November » 12

Daily Archives: November 12, 2019

AfDB, Credit Suisse, China, Ghana sign $600m cocoa productivity deal

The African Development Bank, Credit Suisse AG, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) signed a $600 million syndicated receivables-backed term loan on Tuesday, to boost cocoa productivity in Ghana – the world’s second-largest cocoa producer.

Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, senior officials from Credit Suisse and ICBC, oversaw the signing of the facility, at a ceremony held on the second day of the 2019 Africa Investment Forum.

The multi-million dollar agreement is a milestone for the Bank-convened Africa Investment Forum, a transactional platform dedicated to transforming the continent’s investment and development agenda, which kicked off in Sandton City Johannesburg on Monday.

The COCOBOD transaction was launched at the Africa Investment Forum in 2018, and a year later, the signing is a demonstration of the Forum’s ability to raise much needed financing, including from international commercial financiers, for projects in Africa. Prior to the agreement, COCOBOD did not have access to long-term debt capital.

At a press conference following the signing, President Akufo-Addo said the agreement would help to ensure higher incomes for Ghana’s cocoa farmers.

“It was critical that we find a mechanism for scaling up the value chain for our farmers and that is where the Bank came in,” Akufo Addo said. “We see this agreement as a turning point and…to what is possible on this continent.”

The Bank, as Original DFI Lender and Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, is partnering with Credit Suisse as Original Commercial Lender, Global Commercial Coordinator, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger. Credit Suisse is also acting as Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner to structure and fund a dual-tranche facility comprising a $250 million, 7-year DFI tranche with the Bank, as well as a $350 million, 5-year commercial tranche.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited London Branch joined as an Original Commercial Lender, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger and Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner ahead of syndication.

Syndication of the facility is underway.

Making sure that Africa gets to the top of the value chain is one of the African Development’s Bank’s top priorities, President Adesina said, adding that Africa could become a global hub for cocoa and cocoa-based products.

“All cocoa producing countries will get similar support (from the Bank). Ghana is bankable, cocoa is bankable and of course Africa is bankable,” Adesina said.

COCOBOD will use the facility to raise cocoa yields per hectare and increase Ghana’s overall production. These include financial interventions to sustainably increase cocoa plant fertility, improving irrigation systems, rehabilitating aged and disease-infected farms. The funds will also help increase warehouse capacity and provide support to local cocoa-processing companies.

Signing for Credit Suisse, Madthav Patki said the “landmark” transaction would facilitate future long-term investment in the Ghanaian cocoa sector.

“This is a positive contribution to a key sector of Ghana’s economy. “It is a moment of tremendous pride…This is what the Africa Investment Forum is all about,” Patki said. He also commended the Bank’s signature expertise in financial instruments, that enabled them to leverage financing for the deal.

The Africa Investment Forum, an initiative of the African Development Bank is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace, dedicated to raising capital, advancing projects to bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.

Ghana’s cocoa sector employs some 800,000 rural families and produces crops worth about $2 billion in foreign exchange annually. COCOBOD is a fully state-owned company solely responsible for Ghana’s cocoa industry, controlling the purchase, marketing and export of all cocoa beans produced in the country.

Edo APC suspends Oshiomhole

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state has suspended Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the ruling party.

Anselm Ojezua, chairman of APC in the state, said this is as a result of the role of Oshiomhole in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.

He also said a vote of no confidence was passed on Oshiomhole by the chairmen of the APC in the 18 local government areas (LGAs) of the state.

“Consequent on the development, the State Executive Committee has adopted the vote of no confidence passed on him and the subsisting suspension order from the organs of the party in the state,” the statement read.

“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence on him and he stands suspended from the party.

“We don’t want what happened in Zamfara State or other parts of the country to happen in Edo State.”

The internal crisis in Zamfara APC had prevented the party from conducting primary elections before the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, are currently locked in horns ahead of next year’s gubernatorial election in Edo.

Top designers, models to storm Lagos for Zenith Bank’s lifestyle fair

Top designers, models, and brands across the world would be storming Lagos for ‘Style by Zenith 2.0’, the second edition of Zenith Bank’s lifestyle fair.

The fair is billed to hold from Friday, November 29, to Sunday, December 1, 2019, at the Eko Energy City, Eko Atlantic, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Some of the top designers to feature at the three-day event include Tom Ford, Dolce and Gabbana, Tokyo James, Eyola, Mai Atafo, Okunnoren Twins, Ejiro Amos-Tafiri, Telvin Nwafor, Fikirte Addis, House of Kaya, Gozen Green, Trish O, and Chulaap.

Others are Agatha Moreno, Sunny Rose, Nonnistics, Caesar Couture, Yartel, Orapeleng Mdutle, Mustapha Hassanaliand the Fabric Hub, amongst many more.

Aside from showcasing designs during runway modeling sessions — to be staged by leading Nigerian and international models — they would also participate in lifestyle masterclasses and offer expert opinions on recent trends and designs in the global fashion industry.

The fair would witness the exhibition of lifestyle, beauty, health and fitness products, food and drinks, games arcade for both children and adults as well as a musical concert featuring Nigeria’s biggest artistes.

‘Style by Zenith’ is an initiative launched by Zenith Bank in 2018 with the objective of supporting and creating value for customers by focusing on various aspects of lifestyle.

Registration for the event, which is free for everyone, can be done by visiting here.

Halima Dangote appointed ED commercial operations of Dangote Industries

 

Halima Aliko Dangote has been appointed as the group executive director, commercial operations of Dangote Industries Limited.

According to a release by the company, Halima Aliko Dangote is returning to the company after serving on secondment in several capacities across two of its business units over the last five years.

She is also a trustee of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the conglomerate.

Her most recent role in the group was as the executive director of Dangote Flour Mills.

She previously served as the executive director of NASCON, a manufacturer of salt, seasonings and still serves as a non-executive director.

She has over 12 years of professional experience and has held several executive management roles. In her new role, Dangote will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Dangote Group’s customer strategy to drive customer growth, improve customer relationship management, enhance customer experience and increase long term customer value.

She will also be responsible for the implementation of the group’s shared services strategy with specific oversight for the following functions; commercial, strategic procurement, administration and branding & communications.

Halima, who is the second daughter of Aliko Dangote, holds a bachelors degree in marketing from the American Intercontinental University, London and a master’s degree in business administration from Webster Business School, United Kingdom.

Halima is the president of the board of The Africa Center in New York, a uniquely focused centre providing a forward-looking gateway for engagement with Africa while encompassing policy, business and culture. She is a board member of Endeavour Nigeria and is also a member of the Women Corporate Directors (WCD).

 

UBA Group gets double honours… Wins CEO, 2019 Bank of the Year

United Bank for Africa Plc got double honours over the weekend as it emerged the Bank of the year 2019; while its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, also emerged CEO of the year at the Business Hallmark Newspaper Awards, held at the Civic Centre in Lagos on Sunday.

Uzoka beat other CEOs to the prize owing to his sterling achievement since he assumed the leadership role of the bank three years ago, whilst UBA was crowned bank of the year following its exceptional performance as it recorded impressive performance in key financial indicators in 2019.

This is the second time this year that Kennedy Uzoka has emerged CEO of the year as he had only recently clinched the Business Day Banking Awards, (BAFI). The recognitions and awards have further endorsed his visionary leadership style which has consistently earned UBA a plethora of laurels.

Receiving the awards on behalf of the bank, at a well-attended ceremony, which assembled distinguished personalities, UBA’s Executive Director, Mr. Ayoku Liadi, who represented the GMD, thanked the organisers for the recognition, noting that he was proud to work at one of the best institutions in Africa.

“We are creating superior value for all our customers, because we believe they are key to our everyday operations and this commitment, without a doubt has been yielding dividends,” Liadi said.

He continued: “Whilst we are encouraged by these awards, the recognitions present new challenges to us, as we will intensify our commitment towards setting benchmarks for the industry, particularly in our strategic roles,”

The Organiser of the awards and the Chief Executive Officer of Business Hallmark, Emeka Obasi, who spoke at the event explained that the best CEO award is borne out of the need to recognise achievements of financial executives who have been outstanding in their profession and have contributed in no small measure to the growth of their organisations and the economy at large.

Obasi also noted that the award given to UBA, is no doubt a well-deserved one, as is evidenced in the banks numerous innovations, and consistent investment in cutting edge technology giving birth to many firsts, including the launch of Leo the Chat Banker, in January of 2018. This fear has earned the bank the number one position in the digital space.

“Uzoka also did well by focusing on consistent expansion of UBA’s activities and services across and beyond the African continent”, all this is worthy of recognition.” Obasi concluded.

Just recently, UBA released its nine-month results ended September 30, 2019, closing the period with an impressive after-tax profit of N81.63bn, a growth of 32% over that of 2018, a momentum the bank will most likely sustain into the full-year, pointing to the possibility of even higher profits.

The bank’s gross earnings for 2019 nine-month stood at N428.22bn, compared to N310.45bn in 2018, representing 37.94% rise, while profit hit N81.63bn, from N61.7bn in 2018. The UBA group’s impairment charges on financial assets for the period decreased to N6.66bn, compared to N10.67bn in 2018, resulting in a decline in loan loss provision of 37.58%, thereby boosting the bank’s profit for the period.

NASA tracks swarm of asteroids zooming toward earth at breakneck speed

NASA’s asteroid tracking system, on Tuesday, confirmed that several asteroids zooming towards planet Earth at breakneck speed could make close approaches to earth on November 12.
The asteroids were estimated to arrive within hours of one another, starting at 4.54 a.m. GMT.

According to NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the first asteroid that will approach earth is called 2019 VW1, travelling at a speed of about 19,000 miles per hour, and estimated to be about 44 meters wide.
The second asteroid to zoom in on Earth on Tuesday is identified as 2019 VK3 and has a diameter of 43 meters.

Trailing behind 2019 VK3 is 2019 VN2, which is only about 24 meters wide.
The fourth asteroid is called 2019 UB14 and is estimated to be about 38 meters wide.

The agency noted that it is currently moving towards Earth at a speed of 35,000 miles per hour.

NASA has dubbed the speedy rocks Near-Earth Objects (NEO) asteroids, which are comets and asteroids that orbit the Sun from a distance of 1.3 astronomical units.

As NASA keeps a watchful eye on these space rocks to evaluate their potential for impact, according to a 2018 report put together by Planetary.org, there are more than 18,000 NEOs.

According to NASA potentially hazardous NEOs are defined as space objects that come within 0.05 astronomical units and measure more than 460 feet in diameter.
NASA has been reportedly preparing for planetary defense from asteroid strikes for years.

A June AP-NORC poll found out that Americans prefer that the space agency focuses on tracking potential asteroid threats rather than sending humans back to the Moon or to Mars.

In June 2018, the space agency unveiled a 20-page plan that detailed the steps the U.S. should take to be better prepared for NEOs.

Separately in April, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that an asteroid strike is not something to be taken lightly and is perhaps Earth’s biggest threat.

CAC to continue de-registration over failure to file annual returns

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on Tuesday in Abuja said that de-listing of companies for failure to file their annual returns is an ongoing process.

Mr Moses Adaguusu, Head Public Affairs, CAC, said that there was no need leaving companies that are not complying on the register.

He said that in 2008, the number of companies de-registered stood at 10,000 while in 2016, 38,000 companies were also de-registered.

“So, it is a continuous process and there will be no need to leave companies that are not complying on the register,’’ Adaguusu.

Adaguusu urged companies operating in the country to voluntarily file in their annual returns as provided by the law.

He pointed out that filing of annual returns by companies would keep the commission abreast that such companies were still in operation or otherwise.

“An annual return is a mandatory requirement every enterprise or incorporated trustees must file annually by delivering to CAC a return in the prescribed form containing specified matters related to the organisation in accordance with Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

“A very vital importance is that filing of the annual return by a company helps to simply keep the commission abreast that such company is still actively in operation and still engaging in business activities or otherwise,’’ Adaguusu said.

While emphasising that the Enforcement and Monitoring Department of the Commission would intensify efforts to ensure compliance, Adaguusu said that the approach would not be aggressive.
According to him, although, we go out on enforcement, we are not going like task force because the economy is difficult.

“We want companies to embrace voluntary compliance so that there won’t be penalties.
“Penalties run into millions of naira and that is enough to close a company,’’ he said.

Police arraign businesswoman for allegedly biting off apprentice’s cheek

The police on Tuesday arraigned a businesswoman, Lovina Chukwuekezi, 34, in a Magistrates’ Court in Ojo, Lagos for allegedly biting off her apprentice’s cheek.

The police charged Chuwuekezi along with her husband, Patrick, 51, with five counts of conspiracy, provocation, causing bodily harm, assault and neglect.
The Prosecutor, Inspector Simon Uche, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on October 24 at the Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, Lagos.
Uche said that the first defendant fought with her apprentice, Chinasa Nnamane, after a misunderstanding.

According to him, the first defendant grabbed the complainant by the cheeks and bite it off.

The prosecutor said that the second defendant, who witnessed the fight, failed to take step to assist the badly injured complainant.
He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 55, 246, 247, 248, and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Magistrate A.A. Adesanya admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N100,000 each with two sureties in like sum.
He adjourned the case until January 15, 2020 for mention.

Court discharges ex-IGP Ehindero, CP Obaniyi of N16.4m fraud charge

Justice Silvanus Oriji of the FCT High Court, Apo, on Tuesday discharged former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Sunday Ehindero, and Commissioner of Police, Budget and Finance at the Force Headquarters, John Obaniyi, of N16.4 million fraud charge.

Ehindero and Obaniyi were arraigned on May 10, 2018, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Delivering judgement, Justice Oriji held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendants and failed to prove that they converted the said interest generated to their personal use.

According to the judge, the investigation officer, a prosecution witness, did not discredit the claim of the defendants that the interest generated from N500 million deposited in fixed deposit accounts was used for operational purposes.

“I therefore uphold the defendants’ no case submission.The defendants are hereby discharged,” he said.

At the close of the prosecution’s case, the Counsel to Ehindero, Kelvin Omoraw, and Samuel Odariko, representing Obaniyi, had filed a no-case submission.
The ICPC had accused the former IGP and Obaniyi of misappropriating the sum of N557 million donated by the Bayelsa Government to the Nigerian Police Force for purchase arms and ammunition.

The prosecution alleged that the two defendants used their positions to divert N500 million out of the N557 million into separate fixed deposit accounts belonging to them.

The N500 million placed in fixed deposits, according to the anti-corruption commission, yielded N16.4 million interest, which they were accused of converting to personal use.

APC, Kogi govt plot to shift election by two weeks, PDP alleges

The Kogi State Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council on Tuesday accused the All Progressives Congress and the Kogi State Government, under Governor Yahaya Bello, of engaging in moves to shift the November 16 governorship election in the state by two weeks.

The Deputy Director Public Communication of the Campaign Council, Mr. Austin Okai said the alleged plot to shift the poll was because of the strong public opinion polls and the general feelings of the APC members, that Bello who is the APC Kogi State governorship candidate will be beaten to the third position in the election, if INEC goes ahead to conduct the election.

He appealed to INEC not to concede to any unholy moves allegedly by the APC that will jeopardise the expectations of the people of the state, against installing good governance.

According to him, the teeming supporters and voters across the state have travelled from far and near, to enable them elect the candidate of their choice as the next governor of Kogi State, and cannot afford to be disenfranchised.

He enjoined INEC to go ahead with the election billed for Saturday, to usher in a new brand administration into Kogi State.

But INEC through the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, had said that anyone planning to disrupt Saturday’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States would need to use an atomic bomb if he is to succeed.

He spoke during an interview on Nigeria Info 95.1FM Abuja.

DSS operatives fire live rounds to disperse free-Sowore protesters in Abuja

Operatives of the Department of State Services fired gun shots and used pepper spray to disperse protesters who were gathered around the service headquarters to demand for the release of Omoyele Sowore on Tuesday.

The protesters who were carrying several placards were rounding up their sit out when the incident occurred.

Convener of the protest, Deji Adeyanju was addressing the media on the reason behind the protest when truck loads of operatives some with masks arrived the scene and chased them away.

On sighting some of the protesters who defied the disperse order, an operative pulled out his service pistol and shot several rounds into the air.

Shortly afterwards, another operative used pepper spray to force those who were seated to flee.

In the ensuing melee, some of the protesters left behind their placards, pairs of shoes and some personal effects.

 

Judge gives EFCC ultimatum to extradite Diezani from UK

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission until March 2020 to have a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke extradited to Nigeria.

The commission had in November 2018 filed 13 counts of money laundering against the ex-minister accusing her of unlawfully taking into her possession the sums of $39.7m and N3.32bn with which she allegedly bought choice properties in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt in Rivers State, while she was in office.

When the matter came up before her on Tuesday, the judge threatened to strike out the money laundering case should the anti-corruption agency fail to produce the defendant in court by March 2020.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Faruk Abdullah, had earlier on Tuesday pleaded with the judge to adjourn the case sine die (indefinitely), on the grounds that the EFCC was facing challenges in its bid to extradite the defendant from the United Kingdom.

Diezani had been in the United Kingdom facing corruption investigations since 2015 when she left office as minister.

Abdullah told Justice Ojukwu on Tuesday that given the circumstances, it would be better for the case to be adjourned indefinitely so that it would not continue to “clog” the court’s docket.

In a swift response, the judge said, “My docket is not going to be a waiting room for the prosecution.”

“I will give you one more adjournment. If nothing happens on the next date, I will strike it out,” the judge added.

In her ruling, the judge adjourned the matter till March 10 “for a report or striking out”.

The prosecution on November 11, 2018, filed the 13 counts of money laundering accusing Diezani of unlawfully taking into her possession the sums of sums of $39.7m and N3.32bn when she reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activities.

She was said to have purchased choice landed assets with the money using different fronts as the owners.

Reps ask Customs to lift ban on supply of fuel to stations at land borders

The House of Representatives has asked the Nigeria Customs Service to lift the ban on supply of petroleum products to fuel stations at the land borders.

At Tuesday’s plenary session, the lower legislative chamber said the ban is having adverse effects on Nigerians, especially those in border communities.

The Federal Government had, through the customs, directed that petroleum products should not be supplied to fuel stations within 20km of the borders, in order to check smuggling.

This was after reports that some fuel stations in border towns were channels for smuggling fuel to neighbouring countries.

But telecommunications operators in the country warned that the restriction could cause network disruptions.

In a letter to Umar Danbatta, executive chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the operators said the ban is “already having huge negative impact on our members’ operations and this may be significant if the necessary agencies of government do not urgently intervene in the situation”.

Introducing a motion of urgent public importance, Sada Soli from Katsina state asked the house to intervene and direct the customs to lift the ban.

He said the directive to suspend the supply of petroleum products to the stations contradict the customs and excise act, and that it should instead be reviewed “with human face”.

Other lawmakers including Hassan Abdullahi from Kogi state also endorsed the call to lift the ban which he described as “very draconian”.

“Many Nigerians are suffering from this directive and it is very absurd that an agency of government can add to the difficulty of Nigerians after shutting the boarder,” he added.

SDP quits INEC peace accord after attack on candidate’s convoy in Kogi

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has refused to sign the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) peace accord for the Kogi state governorship election.

It was learnt SDP representative shunned the peace accord after the party’s campaign train was attacked at the venue of the INEC meeting in Lokoja, the state capital, on Tuesday.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, INEC spokesman, confirmed the development to journalists.

The party’s campaign organisation which accompanied Natasha Akpoti, its governorship candidate, arrived for the meeting moments after the event had started.

They were, however, refused entry into the venue and were assaulted by some individuals.

Some persons in the SDP convoy were said to have sustained injuries in the assault while one car in the fleet was damaged.

Akpoti was forced to leave with her team after attempts to get her into the venue were unsuccessful.

Oyekanmi said the SDP representative on the ground, whose name could not be immediately confirmed, refused to endorse the peace accord after the incident.

“We asked the Legal Officer of our Kogi State Office to go outside the hall and look for Natasha Akpoti, but he came back and reported that he searched the entire premises but could neither locate her nor her entourage,” he said.

“Now, the representative of the SDP inside the hall was asked to endorse the Peace Accord, but he refused.”

 

Rat holds up flight in India for 12 hours

A domestic flight in India was delayed for nearly 12 hours after a rat was spotted scampering around the aircraft, news reports and officials said on Tuesday.

Air India flight AI-952 was preparing for take-off from the southern city of Hyderabad for Vishakapatnam, a coastal city, early on Sunday, when the rodent was seen running around the cabin, the Times of India daily reported.

Helpless passengers for the flight were forced to stay put at Hyderabad airport all through the day until airline staff managed to get rid of the rat, the report said.

An Air India official confirmed the incident to dpa, adding that it was being investigated but gave no further details.

The passengers continued on their journey only after staff carried out a fumigation to sanitise the flight and searched for any possible damage caused by the rat.

The report said there were ugly scenes at the airport as infuriated passengers checked with airline staff when their flight would take off.

Several among them took to social media to express their amusement and anger over the incident.

Rats on planes are reported occasionally and are thought to enter the aircraft most frequently through catering deliveries.

In 2017, a New Delhi-San Francisco Air India flight was delayed after a rodent was found on board while the aircraft was taxiing prior to take-off. (dpa/NAN)

Bayelsa APC deputy guber candidate disqualified

A Federal High Court in Abuja has voided the candidacy of the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16 election in Bayelsa State.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment on Tuesday, held that Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo gave false information in his CF0001 form submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) to contest the election.

Ekwo said he found no nexus in the name on his school-leaving certificate, first degree (BA), Master’s and the affidavits he swore.

The judgment was on a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the APC governorship candidate, David Lyon, Degi-Eremienyo and INEC, seeking the disqualification of Degi-Eremienyo.

The judge further held that all the documents the APC deputy governorship candidate tendered documents bore different names.

The judge proceeded to disqualify Degi-Eremienyo on the ground that he provided false information to the electoral umpire to stand for the election.

ADP opposes new ‘hate speech’ bill

Following the reintroduction at the National Assembly of a bill seeking to sanction hate speech in Nigeria, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has cautioned the lawmakers against “gagging the freedom of speech of the citizens.”

The Hate Speech Bill as on of 12 bills introduced on the floor of the Senate. It is sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Abdullahi.

This comes on the heels of the social media regulation plan announced last month by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.

The ADP, in a statement on Tuesday, said the bill is “anti-democratic” and could plunge Nigeria into despotism if it scales through.

The party said the government should have nothing to fear from the social media space “If the government officials are clean and have nothing to hide.”

“It is even more absurd, that a senator, who was voted in by the people, can stand up on the floor of the Senate to propose death by hanging for citizens for expressing themselves, which the government sees as hate speeches,” the ADP said in the statement signed by its spokesperson, Adelaja Adeoye.

Referencing Chapter two, section 13-24 of the Nigerian Constitution, Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy and chapter four, section 38, ADP said every person is entitled to “freedom of thought and conscience” which include “freedom of speech and how people express themselves on social media.

“In as much as we don’t want social media platforms to be regulated, we also urge our citizens to verify the kinds of information they will be putting out, to ensure that they are not injurious, libelous or can cause a threat to the life of another person.

“ADP urges the Federal government to face the business of governance, which is the main reason they were elected.

“The Federal government should start the sanitation from its members of aides, who deliberately put out fake information, in their bid to hoodwink citizens. There are occasions, where aides deliberately put out pictures and videos of non-existed projects, in order to promote their principals, this is also a negative use of social media.”

The party asked the lawmakers to drop the bill “because it will expose citizens to incessant attack, arrest and undue detention by the power mongers, who will abuse the process.”