Egyptian, Filipino kidnapped by pirates in Nigeria

Pirates attacked a cargo vessel off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped two crew members, a maritime pro supported in the latest news high-seas strike in the Gulf of Guinea.

The CMA CGM Turquoise, managed by Dioryx Maritime Corp. in Greece, was stormed late on Monday as it travelled between Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos and Douala in Cameroon.

"This assault — like most others off the Niger Delta — was completed at night and taken an element of surprise," Dirk Steffen, from the Denmark-based Risk Intelligence business, told AFP, referring to the later assault.

The crew gathered in the citadel after the ship had boarded, but two crew members — the Filipino 2nd officer and the Egyptian electrician — didn't make it there and were captured by the attackers", he said in a email.

The Liberian-flagged vessel, chartered by French shipping company CMA CGM, was assaulted at 8:56 pm (1956 GMT), 28 nautical miles from the shoreline of the oil-rich Niger delta region.

The director of maritime security at Risk Intelligence, Steffen, said the target was uncommon and indicated the pirates were aiming at kidnapping instead of hijacking tankers because of their fuel freight.

The Gulf of Guinea is increasingly becoming a piracy hotspot alone in 2013 and Risk Intelligence has recorded 32 offshore strikes for Nigeria.

Steffen linked the increase to the winding down of an amnesty scheme to former Niger Delta militants, who demanded a fairer share of oil earnings in the 2000s through kidnapping and sabotage.

In addition, it reflected a trend of a decrease in abductions and offshore piracy in the region around elections. Presidential and parliamentary polls were held by Nigeria this past year.

Nigeria loses N577b yearly as tax incentives to businesses

The report which focused on Senegal and Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire reveals that allowing tax incentives to investors foreign companies, is depriving authorities of money to purchase vital public services like education, health and infrastructure.

According to the report that was presented to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, ‘’Corporate tax incentives which are reductions in tax offered by governments to bring investment include reduced corporate income tax rates and tax holidays for given periods, generally provided to firms operating in special economic zones. Despite the utilization of tax incentives, their big earnings losses has become common practice and serious questions about their utility.’’

The report says that tax incentives are given to companies in the expectation that foreign investors will bring in capital to support economic development and create local employment, nevertheless, there's little evidence that tax incentives have raised investments, instead, the increased investment could be attributed to the existence of natural resources, notably oil.
‘’ Neither have considerable amounts of occupations been created by the foreign investments, despite generous tax incentives given by the authorities since most of them have not been in sectors like production that create the most jobs’’.

The report urges the Nigerian government and all other authorities in ECOWAS want to review the incentives they're granting with a view to reducing them, abolishing unproductive motivators and ensuring that those remaining are targeted at achieving particular social and economic aims.

It similarly calls on the ECOWAS members and the authorities to bring their incentive regimes under the management of a single thing with supervision mechanisms that are powerful and resourced to ensure transparency and accountability of public spending.

Addressing journalists on behalf of the coalition in Abuja, the Deputy- Ifeoma Charles, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria -Monwuba said: ‘’The study has provided evidence for that per annum, Nigeria forfeits as much as N577 billion as an effect of tax break allowed companies. This sum could go towards addressing infrastructural deficit in Nigeria’’.

AGF restates Nigeria’s obligation to international rights standards

The Government has expressed commitment to the highest standards of adherence in the actions of all her international affairs, including counter insurgency operations against Boko Haram in the state.

In a press statement Salihu Othman Isah, the AGF assured the delegation that Nigeria has high value because of its relationships with the ICC, and will unequivocally continue to fulfill its obligations to the court.

Malami also disclosed the Nigeria Army has conducted its operations in the Northeast area in a highly professional way, imbibing the best practices in the areas of international human rights and humanitarian law.

He also disclosed he was not unaware of the eight case files opened against Nigeria by the ICC, which the prosecutor intends to inquire in her next stage of appraisal of Nigerian scenario.

"Let me reiterate that Nigeria retains the sovereign ability to investigate and punish the alleged offenses referred to in the report, and will consequently continue efforts that are present in the preceding direction.’’

He further added that government is dedicated to ensuring that troops are guided by their rules of engagement, assuring that any infractions will be severely dealt with.

The minister however gave indication of the management’s resolute in battling terrorism and resolve to ensure respect for human rights while remaining unshaken, by all.

Responding, the leader of delegation, Phakiso Mocho Choko said the prosecutor doesn't mean to compromise the sovereign rights of Nigeria in investigating crimes and meting out punishment.

He divulged that most cases were the ones host countries are not able to resolve through internal mechanism.

The prosecutor, through the delegation expressed readiness and support to work in addressing criminality against mankind and identified crimes, but informed he was in continuing with their participation affirmative.

Amnesty International accuses of covering up Zaria killings Nigerian military,

But Nigeria Defence spokesman, Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, described the report as "unfair," saying the military hadn't been consulted before its publication.

Make them bring it out for all to see If they naija. com breaking news have evidence that is proper. We cannot face law-abiding citizens."

"Whoever we confronted must have already been a criminal and enemy of the state.

In its report published yesterday on its website, AI said evidence gathered on the ground razed buildings, revealed the military burnt people living and dumped casualties’ bodies in mass graves.

The group’s supporters had refused to clear the road the Hussainiyya, near their headquarters to pass.

The military had promised that IMN supporters attacked the convoy in a effort to assassinate Buratai, which IMN members denied.

The report, titled, Unearthing the truth: Unlawful killings and mass cover up in Zaria, detailed eyewitness testimony of alleged large scale killings by the military and exposes attempt by the authorities hide and to destroy evidence.

" The genuine horror of what happened over those two days in Zaria is only now coming to light. Bodies were left littered in the roads and piled outside the mortuary. Some of the injured were burned alive," said AI’s Research, Netsanet Belay and Advocacy Director for Africa.

Our research, according to witness testimonies and evaluation of satellite images, has found naija news 24 hours one mass grave that was Nigerian possible. It is time for the military to come clean and acknowledge where it secretly buried numerous bodies."

Army, religious leaders harp on ethno -religious harmony among Nigerians


Speaking at the conference/award ceremony of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State chapter, Oyebade remembered the good old days when spiritual differences never caused disharmony among Nigerians, as they saw themselves as one united people working for the improvement and unity of the state.

Additionally in Kaduna, an university lecturer, Dahiru Yahya, and the state Director of the Directorate of Security Service (DSS), Mr. Mustapha Sani, expressed divergent views on whether members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, represent a threat to Nigeria’s protection.

But Sani said the group had constituted serious danger to the country by organising military training and applying weapons that were crude in their operations.

Called on media practitioners to sensitise the people on faith and ethnic issues -religious harmony across the country.