Super User

Super User

Four banks recorded N478bn non-performing loans during the first half of this year, according to their financial results

Specifically, Guaranty Trust Bank Holding Plc (GTCO), FBN Holdings Plc and two other banks reported N478.93bn non-performing loans by value in the half-year ended June 2023, an increase of nearly 16 per cent from N413.36bn reported in the full year ended December 31, 2022.

The other two banks are FCMB Group Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc.

With about 4.3 per cent NPL ratio and N5.26trn gross loans & advances, FBN Holdings reported N226.24bn NPL by value in H1 2023 from N204.29bn reported in 2022.

The holdings declared 5.4 per cent NPL ratio and N3.79trn gross loans & advances in the 2022 financial year.

GTCO declared N115.29bn NPL by value as of H1 2023 from N102.37bn reported in the 2022  financial  year.

GTCO in its presentation to investors and analysts said, “The Group’s IFRS 9 Stage 3 loans closed at 4.6 per cent (Bank: 3.6per cent) in H1-2023 from 5.2per cent (Bank:4.7 per cent) in 2022. With Individuals and others emerging as sectors with the highest NPLs i.e., 20.9 per cent and 30.96 per cent respectively.

“IFRS 9 Stage 3 loans grew marginally to N115.3bn in H1-2023 from N102.8bn in 2022, primarily driven by exchange rate impact as the Group continued to deleverage in Ghana and Kenya and carried out derecognition of fully provided facilities in the Nigerian book.”

In addition, Fidelity Bank reported N84.73bn as of H1  2023  from  N61.37bn,  while  FCMB group declared N52.66bn NPL value as of H1 2023 from N45.01bn in 2022.

Meanwhile, banks in the country have continued to write off non-performing loans. This came as lenders also continued to debit the bank accounts of recalcitrant debtors in other to reduce the volume of non-performing loans.

The CBN in 2020 released the Global Standing Instruction guideline to reduce non-performing loans in the banking sector and monitor consistent loan defaulters among others.

According to the CBN, the GSI allows banks to recover the outstanding principal and interest upon default from any account maintained by the debtor across all financial institutions in Nigeria.

A report released by the CBN on personal comment of a Monetary Policy Committee member, Kingsley Obiora, during the last MPC meeting said the capital adequacy ratio and Liquidity Ratio had remained above the minimum thresholds.

Although CAR decreased to 11.2 per cent in 2023 from 14.1 per cent, it remained above the 10.0 per cent prudential requirement, he said.

He said, “The LR was also above the 30.0 per cent regulatory minimum ratio. It increased significantly from 42.6 per cent in June 2022 to 48.4 per cent in June 2023.”



Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF has alleged that over 1,800 laden containers are currently trapped at the various seaports in Lagos due to  sharp practices by Maritime Police.

The Compliance Team alleged that many of the containers stuck at the Ports  have been flagged down for investigation by the Maritime Police division.

Speaking with journalists after a protest at Apapa Port at the weekend, the National Coordinator, NAGAFF 100 per cent Compliance Team, Tanko Ibrahim, expressed worries that if not checked, the trend might fuel port and cargo congestion, especially as the end of year activities approach.

He alleged that the Police Division was conniving with some shipping companies to get information on consignments and arbitrarily delay cargo clearance.

However, Tanko expressed displeasure over the activities of Maritime Police, which he alleged are primarily geared towards extortion, saying that freight agents and shippers part with a minimum of N1.5 million for each container flagged down by the police.

“At the moment, there are over 1,800 containers trapped within the Western Ports as a result of sharp practices of Maritime Police. For each container, Police collect N1.5 million before releasing it and most times there is no reason for intercepting the containers in the first place.

“We wrote letters to the Inspector General of Police IG, and other stakeholders at the ports about this problem. We notified port stakeholders two weeks ago that this protest will happen and we followed-up with a reminder, but nobody engaged us for any meeting or dialogue. There are numerous issues but the major one is the Maritime Police. After freight forwarders clear containers from the ports, we are harassed on the roads by this Police division. They seize the containers and take it to their stations”, he alleged. He alleged that the Maritime Police was conniving with some shipping companies to block containers even before they are released by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), leading to additional demurrage and storage charges on the consignments.

“They connive with some shipping companies to extort monies from us. We are also subjected to paying the demurrage that accrues from the delay while resolving any issue with the Police.”

We are not against the Police carrying out any investigation on consignments if they insist it is their job; but we are no longer going to be held liable for the demurrage and additional charges during their investigations,” he said.

He also warned that the freight forwarding group is at the verge of dragging the matter to court, adding that this may be the most effective way to address the issue if pleas, dialogue and protests fail.

“We recognise that ports are sensitive areas, that’s why we have been more open to dialogue and deliberations instead of protests,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA and AP Moller Terminal Apapa have called for an emergency meeting on Monday, next week with the aggrieved freight agents over the issue.



At least 26 people died and several others were missing after a ferry capsized on a reservoir in north central Nigeria on Sunday, local officials said, the second such major accident to hit the region in three months.

Bologi Ibrahim, spokesperson for the governor of Niger state, said the boat was carrying more than 100 people, including women and children, in the Mokwa local government area of the state. The victims were going to their farms across a major dam, said Ibrahim.

"Twenty six persons, mostly women and children have been confirmed dead, over 30 people rescued, while a combined rescue operation by marine police and local divers in collaboration with Niger State Emergency Management Agency is ongoing," Ibrahim said in a state.

In July, more than 100 people died when an overloaded boat capsized in a remote part of Niger state, in one of the worst such disasters in recent years.

Overcrowding and poor maintenance are responsible for most boat accidents on Nigerian waterways.




Russian strikes on Ukraine kill 2 foreign aid workers and target Kyiv

Two foreign aid workers were reportedly killed in eastern Ukraine on Sunday as Russian shelling hit a van carrying a team of four working with a Ukrainian nongovernmental organization, while dozens of Russian drones targeted Kyiv and wounded at least one civilian.

The four volunteers from the Road to Relief group, which helps evacuate wounded people from front-line areas, were trapped inside the van as it flipped over and caught fire after being struck by shells near the town of Chasiv Yar, the organization said on its Instagram page.

Road to Relief said that Anthony Ihnat of Canada died in the attack, while German medical volunteer Ruben Mawick and Swedish volunteer Johan Mathias Thyr were seriously wounded, it said.

Road to Relief added that it couldn’t trace the whereabouts of the van’s fourth passenger, Emma Igual, a Spanish national who was the organization’s director. Hours later, Spain’s acting Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares told Spanish media that authorities in Madrid had received “verbal confirmation” of the 32-year-old Igual’s death.

The volunteers were on their way to assess the needs of civilians on the outskirts of Bakhmut, Road to Relief said, in reference to the eastern town that saw the war’s longest and bloodiest battle before falling to Moscow in May. Ukrainian forces have held on to Bakhmut’s western suburbs and are pushing a counteroffensive in the area.

Also on Sunday, Ukrainian officials reported that Russia launched “dozens” of drones at Kyiv and the surrounding region early in the morning, wounding at least five civilians.

Ukraine’s air force later said it had brought down 26 out of a total of 33 drones. The head of Kyiv’s military administration, Serhii Popko, reported that debris from Iranian-made Shahed drones fell in several districts of the city and wounded at least one civilian. Popko said there was no risk to the person’s life, and added that most of the wreckage fell in open ground, although one high-rise apartment was damaged.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko later confirmed that one civilian was wounded in the city’s historic center and received help on the spot.

The governor of the Kyiv region, which surrounds but doesn’t include the capital, also reported that the drone strike wounded four people across the province, one of whom had to be hospitalized. In a Facebook post, Gov. Ruslan Kravchenko said that the drones damaged an infrastructure facility as well as civilian buildings including homes and stores, a hospital, a rehabilitation center, a school and a kindergarten.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in the early hours of Sunday that Moscow’s forces earlier destroyed three U.S.-supplied speedboats carrying Ukrainian soldiers that had been traveling toward Russian-occupied Crimea. The claim couldn’t be independently verified. Earlier on Sunday, the ministry said in a separate statement that Russian air defenses shot down eight Ukrainian drones targeting Crimea, as well as another that flew over the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine.

On Aug. 24, Ukrainian military intelligence said that its special forces landed in Crimea, which Moscow illegally took from Ukraine in 2014, and raised the Ukrainian flag along the peninsula’s western shore before leaving “without casualties.”

Ukrainian army representatives on Sunday reported further small gains near Robotyne in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, where Kyiv has mounted a counteroffensive, days after Russian-installed authorities acknowledged that Russian forces had left the village.

Oleksandr Shtupun, a press officer for Ukraine’s Tauride Defense Forces, said on Ukrainian TV that Kyiv’s troops had retaken a further 1.5 square kilometers (0.6 square miles) near Rabotyne, and that heavy fighting is ongoing.

“The Russians are clinging to every meter of our Ukrainian land … however, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are trying to make it as difficult as possible to supply the Russian army, and in certain areas this is bearing fruit,” Shtupun said, without giving details.

Hours later, Ukraine’s General Staff said in the latest of its Facebook updates that its forces had “partial success” near Robotyne as well as Klishchiivka, a village 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) southwest of Bakhmut, dislodging Russian troops from their positions. It gave no further details, and the claim could not be verified.

A Washington-based think tank late on Saturday assessed, citing geolocated footage, that Russian forces had captured territory between Robotyne and two nearby villages: Verbove, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) east, and Novoprokopivka, 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the south.

The Institute for the Study of War also said in the latest of daily updates that Ukrainian forces had advanced along the border between the Zaporizhzhia region and the Donetsk province farther east, near Novomaiorske village. It acknowledged earlier Ukrainian claims of advances “south of Klischiivka,” but gave no evidence to support them.



West ‘deadlocked’ over Russia – Ukraine

Ukraine has made no progress in making the US and its allies agree to its idea of a tribunal for top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said in a speech on Friday.

The nation’s top diplomat blasted the West’s “divisions” and “lack of will”on the issue at the Yalta European Strategy forum in Kiev.

Western nations are just as reluctant to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, Kuleba said, adding that there has been little progress on this matter as well. “Unfortunately, we are in a kind of deadlock on both,” he said.

The G7 group, which includes the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan, “stands firmly” in favor of what the diplomat described as a “hybrid tribunal,” in which Putin, as well as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, would maintain immunity from prosecution, Kuleba said, stressing that this is absolutely unacceptable for Kiev.

“The special tribunal is needed to create a precedent for punishing the Russian leaders,” he said. “The hybrid tribunal does not answer the question as to how to prosecute those three,” the top diplomat said, noting that he “simply cannot remember” the name of the Russian prime minister.

Those who are against the “special tribunal” make a “clear statement that they consider Russia’s crimes in Ukraine less important than the crimes committed during the Yugoslavia war,” Kuleba said. Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andrey Kostin, also said it would be “impossible to explain to Ukrainians that we could have a tribunal without Putin on the defendant’s bench.”

The Ukrainian foreign minister also said he sees no way to resolve these differences between Kiev and its Western backers. “President [Vladimir Zelensky] has recently asked me what has been done [to push through the idea of a tribunal] and I have admitted for the first time in my ministerial capacity that I cannot suggest a solution,” he said.

Kuleba claims that any legal constraints preventing Kiev from achieving its desired results can be altered. “If a law does not fit an idea of attaining justice, the legislation should be changed,” he said.

Kiev continues to push for Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, which includes Russia withdrawing from Donbass, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea, as well as paying reparations to Ukraine and submitting to war crimes tribunals. Moscow has dismissed these demands as “nonsense” and has said it is ready for peace talks that reflect “the reality on the ground.”

** Russian air defense destroyed Ukrainian drones over Belgorod Region

Russian air defense systems destroyed two Ukrainian drones over the Belgorod Region, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters.

"An attempt of the Kiev regime to make a terrorist attack by fixed-wing type unmanned aerial vehicles against installations on the territory of the Russian Federation was prevented at about 01:20 a.m. Moscow time (22:20 p.m. GMT). Air defense systems on duty destroyed two unmanned aerial vehicles over the territory of the Belgorod Region," the ministry said.



Whether or not history will determine that we are living in an ever more divided culture, it certainly feels that way. Perhaps there is just more to argue about when facing a never-ending Ninja Warrior course of crises. The culture wars, meanwhile, strip words of their meaning and debates of their nuance, further pitting communities, generations, families and friends against each other.

Among the many casualties of this 21st-century slanging match is – arguably – the art of debate itself. So how do you win an argument in such fractious times without fuelling division? And if arguing is indeed an art, what can we learn from its masters?

Ken Grinell, a Jamaican-Irish comedian from east London, has emerged as a fighting force on the roast battle circuit, in which comedians trade insults for laughs in front of a baying crowd and a panel of judges. Even in an environment that rewards meanness, Grinell says steamrolling tends to backfire.

“If you’re a big imposing person and you come in super-aggressive, the crowd will turn on you,” he says. “Sometimes you have to kind of let yourself get flogged a little bit before they’re comfortable seeing you return fire. You’re basically learning how strangers view you in relation to the other person on stage.”

Better to rely on wit than brawn, says Grinell, who recently uttered the following put-down in a battle against a momentarily silenced comedian called Nick: “The women in Nick’s office asked for a gender pay gap … they don’t even want to be close to him financially.”

Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP and shadow economic secretary, says that while social media has made it easier to “dress up abuse as political discourse”, parliament is no less combative than when she cut her teeth as a researcher in the late Blair years. “There was as much performative politics in the chamber then as there is now,” she says.

In 2015, while fighting to be elected in Hampstead and Kilburn, which was then the UK’s second most marginal seat, Siddiq had a crash course in how to argue her case for representation. One big lesson that she says can relate to everyday life is that a fusillade of facts isn’t always effective, however keen you might be to show your learning.

“I remember in one hustings quoting an LSE statistical study about economics and it wasn’t right for a big diverse audience,” Siddiq says. “Detail just didn’t work. I had to grind whatever point I was making down to simple language that was emotional and relatable while also not sounding robotic.”

That’s not to say you can get away with skimping on research, or that you can’t reference it when appropriate. “You have to know the facts and the law back to front,” says David Emanuel KC, a criminal defence and appeals lawyer at Garden Court Chambers.

Yet Emanuel says total command is neither possible nor always advantageous. “You have to be trustworthy and part of that is making concessions,” he says via Zoom from the Old Bailey, during a break in a murder trial. When not arguing in front of a jury, he is often making a case to senior judges at the Court of Appeal, armed with points of varying strength.“If you have weaker points or arguments, conceding they are weaker without throwing them away can make your stronger points more credible. It can also be disarming, and throw people off guard.” He adds: “Stubbornly seeming not to concede any ground at all can damage your overall position.”

Humility and empathy can be particularly scarce commodities in the wreckage of a marriage. But Kate Daly, a divorced relationship counsellor and co-founder of Amicable, a non-confrontational legal service for separating couples, says employing such traits in arguments about thorny subjects such as money or custody means everyone does better.

“Listening to each other’s ideas about what a good outcome should be, even if they’re not necessarily the ideas you run with, is really important, because that then gives the feeling to both people that they’ve been heard,” she says. “And you’ve got to be able to listen actively, to demonstrate that you’re paying attention to the other person’s viewpoint. That will help to create respect, which is absolutely essential if you’re going to win an argument.” Daly says it pays to be curious about someone’s dilemma or motivations, and use phrases such as: “So help me understand”; “Tell me a bit more about what you said because I wasn’t quite clear”; “What would that mean to you, if I could do that for you?”

The stakes in an argument are rarely higher than in a hostage negotiation. Yet even here it’s smart to deploy what Suzanne Williams calls “tactical empathy”. Williamsworked as a senior negotiator in the Metropolitan police for 32 years before going on to advise the government in war zones and in maritime piracy cases. “There’s a huge difference between hearing and listening,” says Williams, an associate professor at Oxford University’s programme on negotiation. “You have to understand the person you’re negotiating with without judgment, whatever your personal values might be.”

First, Williams has to “earn the right to negotiate” when, for example, she deals with intermediaries who represent Somali pirates on board ships taken in the Gulf of Aden (there was a spate of such hijackings early this century). “You have to peel back the layers, find out what their true motivation is, look for the hooks, or for what makes them smile, what frightens them, and you have to try to understand them.”

Williams is reluctant to share all the secrets of such a sensitive trade, but says achieving a useful rapport requires calm, active listening and an emotional capacity for absorbing abuse and – occasionally – threats of violence. When she’s ready to negotiate, she says she can almost feel a switch going somewhere. Empathy becomes only more vital.

“Too many people try to win arguments from their own perspective,” she says. “And that really is a big mistake, because their worldview isn’t necessarily your worldview, which is made up of your age, gender, life experiences, education … So clarifying how they see the situationand perception shows you’re listening to them, and taking their ideas on board, which is really important.”In all arenas for professional argument, anger and aggression are the weapons of losers. In a hostage negotiation, body language such as twitchiness or faster breathing can be the first sign that things risk getting out of control. “You have to really make sure that you bring it down with your voice,” Williams says. “If you try to match somebody’s pitch or the volume of their argument, well, that’s exactly what not to do. You shouldn’t be condescending or patronising but you should try to be the grownup in the room.”

In a divorce scenario, Daly says, “You can’t just shout somebody down, because a court is ultimately going to sign off what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable. So you are genuinely in the space of having to persuade somebody, and sometimes it’s us, the coaches, who have to show people what a reasonable range of outcomes might look like.” Siddiq says being aggressive in political arguments is almost always a turn-off. “You just come across as someone who has nothing to say or ideas of your own,” she says. “But it’s a balancing act and when someone in the party opposite says something completely ludicrous you’re within your rights to be angry and put them in their place.”

Tin Puljić, a debating coach and international relations PhD student at the University of Zagreb, adds: “Nobody is ever going to say something that is 100% idiotic … Every argument has some level of logic and if you want to win a debate you must engage with the best version of the argument. Being charitable makes it easier to win because you can say things like, ‘Even if I grant that you proved A, B or C within this argument, here is why you’re still wrong.’”

If you try to match somebody’s pitch or the volume of their argument, well, that’s exactly what not to do

Suzanne Williams, government advisernone

Puljić, who in 2021 beat everyone – including those whose first language was English – at the World Universities Debating Championships, now teaches the next generation of debaters the “Sexi” technique: Statement, Explanation, eXample, Importance – a strategic order around which to build an argument.

“Importance is vital because we should not assume anything is inherently important,” he says. “So you cannot end your argument : ‘And this will increase democracy within the country.’ Why do I care about democracy within that country? What is the context?”

University debating competitions require combatants to make the best possible case regardless of their actual beliefs. Defence barristers, meanwhile, must put their clients’ right to a fair trial above all else. But, says Emanuel, “I find it impossible to argue effectively until I’ve got to a place where I believe the argument.” He says history is littered with miscarriages of justice in which defence lawyers perhaps privately presumed their clients were guilty. So even if everything points to a guilty verdict, Emanuel challenges himself to find a way to construct an argument he can believe in, however difficult. To do his job as well as he can, he adds, “I have to accept what my clients tell me as truthful.”

Arguing with conviction, as well as humility and empathy, is a fine balance to strike. And while the techniques of expert arguers can often transfer to everyday life, there are limits. A parliamentary debating style does not always go down well in Siddiq’s marriage, for example. Puljić finds himself holding back a little when, say, debating some political point with a family member.

“‘Stop cross-examining me!’ is a common refrain in my house,” says Emanuel, who has teenage children. “And I don’t mind you quoting me on that – they’ll laugh if they see it in print.”

How to argue: five golden rules

Don’t assault people with facts
It’s important to know your stuff but reeling off too many stats can leave people cold. Ideas and emotions are more compelling. Say “so many people are feeling x”, rather than “A recent study by scientists at …”

When they go low …
If heightened emotion causes one side to raise their voice or become angry, keep yours calm and soft, without being patronising. Nobody wins in a slanging match.

Be ‘Sexi’
The structure adopted by university debating teams: make a statement, offer an explanation, then an example. And then detail the importance of what you’re arguing. For example: “We should spend less time looking at our phones (statement), because it’s eroding our mental health and ability to connect with people in real life (explanation). Excessive smartphone use has been proven to increase anxiety (example) and this matters because poor mental health among adults can have an impact on everything from workplace productivity to interpersonal relationships (importance).”

Be curious …
About the other side’s life experience and motivations. Say things like: “So help me understand” and “Tell me more about that: I wasn’t quite clear”.

Make concessions
Conceding your argument contains weaker points makes your stronger ones more credible, while also making you seem more charitable and human.


The Guardian, UK

Warren Buffett loves offering advice to younger people about life, health, and, of course, investing. But most of the advice he's given to the young over the years is just as useful for people of any age.

The personal finance site GOBankingRates has compiled a list of 10 pieces of advice Buffett often gives to millennials who aspire to great wealth. We should all be following every bit of this advice. Here are five of his most useful tips.

1. Use the power of compound interest

"Time is your friend, impulse is your enemy," Buffett once said. "Take advantage of compound interest and don't be captivated by the siren song of the market." Elsewhere, he's said that his wealth comes from a combination of lucky genes, living in America, and compound interest.

Using the power of compound interest by letting your money grow in place or automatically reinvest dividends are great ways to use the magic of compound interest to increase your wealth over time. It might not be sexy, but if it's good enough for Buffett, that probably means it's a good idea.

2. Understand accounting principles

This is another not-very-sexy piece of advice. 

But consider that Buffett's vast fortune, not to mention that of Berkshire Hathaway's investors, is built on his and his colleagues' ability to analyze businesses and choose which are likeliest to be good investments over the long term. And that ability begins with understanding accounting principles.

"Accounting is the language of business, and you have to be as comfortable with that as you are with your own native language to really evaluate businesses," he said on CNBC a few years ago. 

"You really have to understand what can be done with accounting, when it gives you correct answers and when it gives you wrong answers."

3. Avoid debt

If Buffett could give one piece advice to young people, it would be "just don't get in debt," he said at a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. 

Of course, that's a trickier equation for today's young people than it was for Buffett at their age because these days, it can be difficult to get a college education without running up student debt, and depending on the degree, that college education might still more than pay for itself.

Still, Buffett has said, the value of an education depends on the person who gets it. 

And while he's a believer in investing in yourself, he's also said that college-bound young people should carefully evaluate the value of that investment compared to the money they'll have to spend and the debt they'll have to incur to get it.

4. Be very skeptical of get-rich-quick opportunities

Buffett once noted that trying to get rich quick is one of the two most common money mistakes he sees. "It's pretty easy to get well-to-do slowly. But it's not easy to get rich quick," he said.

It's one reason he's carefully avoided Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. That, and his famous aversion to investing in things he doesn't thoroughly understand.

5. Seize real opportunities when they come around

"Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble," Buffett likes to say. If this sounds like it contradicts the last piece of advice – it doesn't. 

The key is to learn to understand business well enough that you can tell when something is a get-rich-quick scheme that's too good to be true and when there's real potential to make serious money with limited risk. 

It's one reason Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio is not as diversified as you might expect. About $177 billion – just over half the total Berkshire portfolio – is invested in just one stock: Apple.

Buffett apparently sees Apple as one of those rare investments that rains gold, and he's put out a mighty big bucket to catch it. So one way to read his advice is to go invest in Apple. 

Another, perhaps better, way is to make sure you have learned all you need to so you can quickly recognize those raining-gold opportunities on the rare occasions when you find one. And then be ready with an oversized bucket of your own.



Phrank Shaibu, an aide to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, says the presidential election petitions tribunal should explain why “Tinubu Presidential Legal Team” is marked on the certified true copy (CTC) of the judgement.

On Wednesday, the tribunal affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s victory at the February polls.

In a statement on Saturday, Shaibu said the “inscription on the CTC” suggests that the tribunal accorded special privileges to Tinubu’s legal team.

“It is very clear that there are many questions begging for answers, including why the PEPC came to the decision to avail the respondents, especially the Tinubu Legal Team to have a first receipt of the CTC of the judgement before the plaintiffs,” he said.

“Nigerians want to know why the PEPC confers special privileges to the Tinubu Legal Team by making them have a first custody of copies of the PEPC judgement, even though it was more urgent for the petitioners who needed the document in order to cause an appeal to the Supreme Court within 14 days including weekends.

“In the course of delivering its judgement, the PEPC had spoken of the petition it was ruling upon in a vexatious and denigrating language as if it was a crime to bring a case of electoral banditry before the court.”

Shaibu said the inscription at the top left-hand corner of the 798-page document is neither a monochrome nor a metadata.

“It is actually a HEADER, meaning that except for a valid explanation, the Tinubu Presidential Legal Team is the originator of the document. For the purposes of clarity, a header is text that is placed at the top of a page, while a footer is placed at the bottom of a page,” the aide said.

“Typically, these areas are used for inserting information such as the name of the document, the chapter heading, page numbers, creation date, and the like.

“On the other hand, watermark is a faint design made in some paper during manufacture that is visible when held against the light and typically identifies the maker of the document.”

He said by challenging Tinubu’s victory, Atiku is making a last-ditch effort to “salvage our country and deepen our democracy”.


Reacting to the development, Babatunde Ogala, coordinator of Tinubu’s legal team, described the controversy over the watermark as mischievous.

“After the delivery of judgment in the 3 (Three) election petitions by the Court of Appeal on September 6, 2023, the Court directed its registry to make physical copies of same available on September 7, 2023,” Ogala said.

“Accordingly, the Tinubu Presidential Legal Team applied for a certified true copy of the said judgment and paid the prescribed fee. Lawyers for PDP were present at the registry at the same time to collect the same judgment.

“In fact, the representative of the PDP collected the first copy that was made available by the registry. On collecting our own copy, we immediately scanned and water-marked with the inscription – “Tinubu Presidential Legal Team ‘TPLT’” before circulating the scanned soft copies to the lawyers in our team.

“The certified true copies issued to us and other parties in the petitions by the registry do not contain the said inscription and any insinuation to the contrary is untrue.

“Counsel to the petitioners will also appreciate the fact that the insinuations being circulated in some quarters are untrue, unkind, unfair, and unfortunate, as they have the same certified copies of the judgment as we have.”


The Cable

The UK government is offering a £10,000 international relocation payment to non-UK trainees and teachers of languages and physics who are coming to England to work.

The payment is designed to help cover the costs of moving to England, such as visa fees, immigration health surcharge, and other relocation expenses.

Here are the requirements to be eligible for the payment: You must:

* Be a non-UK citizen

* Be coming to England to teach or train to teach languages or physics

Have a degree

* Have recognized teacher-training qualifications

* Have at least one year of teaching experience

* Be able to speak English to an undergraduate level

Applications for the payment are open until 31 October 2023. You can apply online at the Get
Into Teaching website.

The UK government is offering this payment in an effort to attract more teachers to England, particularly in the areas of languages and physics.

There is a shortage of teachers in these subjects, and the government hopes that the payment will make it more attractive for qualified teachers from overseas to come and work in England.

In addition to the £10,000 relocation payment, there are other benefits available to teachers who come to work in England. These include:

* A competitive salary

Support for professional development

* Varied job opportunities

Here are some additional details about the eligibility requirements for the international relocation payment:

* The languages that are eligible for the payment are: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

* The physics courses that are eligible for the payment are: physics, astrophysics, and nuclear physics.

* The visa that you need to apply for is the skilled worker visa.

* The immigration health surcharge is a fee that you need to pay to the UK government for access to the National Health Service (NHS).



Moroccan earthquake survivors huddled for a night in the open on the High Atlas Mountains on Saturday, a day after the country's deadliest quake in more than six decades killed more than 2,000 people and laid waste to villages.

Neighbours were still searching for survivors buried on the slopes, where houses of mud brick, stone and rough wood were cracked open and mosque minarets toppled by the quake that struck late on Friday. The historic old city of Marrakech also suffered extensive damage.

The Interior Ministry said 2,012 people had been killed and 2,059 injured, including 1,404 in critical condition. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 6.8 with an epicentre some 72 km (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech.

In the village of Amizmiz near the epicentre, rescue workers picked through rubble with their bare hands. Fallen masonry blocked narrow streets. Outside a hospital, around 10 bodies lay covered in blankets as grieving relatives stood nearby.

"When I felt the earth shaking beneath my feet and the house leaning, I rushed to get my kids out. But my neighbours couldn’t," said Mohamed Azaw. "Unfortunately no one was found alive in that family. The father and son were found dead and they are still looking for the mother and the daughter."

Rescuers stood atop the pancaked floors of one building in Amizmiz, bits of carpet and furniture protruding from the rubble. A long queue formed outside the only open shop as people sought supplies. Underlining the challenges facing rescuers, fallen boulders blocked a road from Amizmiz to a nearby village.

Nearly all the houses in the area of Asni, some 40 km south of Marrakech, were damaged, and villagers were preparing to spend the night outside. Food was in short supply as roofs had collapsed on kitchens, said villager Mohamed Ouhammo.

Montasir Itri, a resident of Asni, said the search was on for survivors.

"Our neighbours are under the rubble and people are working hard to rescue them using available means in the village," he said.

The village of Tansghart in the Ansi area, on the side of a valley where the road from Marrakech rises up into the High Atlas, was the worst hit of any Reuters saw. Its once-pretty houses, clinging to a steep hillside, were cracked open by the shaking ground. Those still standing were missing chunks of wall or plaster. Two mosque minarets had fallen.

Abdellatif Ait Bella, a labourer, lay on the ground, barely able to move or speak, his head bandaged from wounds caused by falling debris.

"We have no house to take him to and have had no food since yesterday," said his wife Saida Bodchich, fearing for the future of their family of six with their sole breadwinner so badly hurt. "We can rely on nobody but God."

The village is already mourning ten deaths including two teenage girls, an inhabitant said.

Tremors were felt as far away as Huelva and Jaen in southern Spain. The World Health Organization said more than 300,000 people were affected in Marrakech and surrounding areas.


Street camera footage in Marrakech showed the moment the earth began to shake, as men suddenly looked around and jumped up, and others ran for shelter into an alleyway and then fled as dust and debris tumbled around them.

In the heart of the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a mosque minaret had fallen in Jemaa al-Fna Square. Some houses in the tightly packed old city collapsed and people used their hands to remove debris while they waited for heavy equipment, said resident Id Waaziz Hassan.

Morocco declared three days of national mourning, during which the national flag will be flown at half staff throughout the country, the royal court said on Saturday.

The Moroccan armed forces will deploy rescue teams to provide affected areas with clean drinking water, food supplies, tents and blankets, it added.

Turkey, where powerful earthquakes in February killed more than 50,000 people, was among nations expressing solidarity and offering to provide support.

Algeria, which broke off ties with Morocco in 2021 after escalating tensions between the countries focused on the Western Sahara conflict, said it would open airspace for humanitarian and medical flights.

The quake was recorded at a depth of 18.5 km, typically more destructive than deeper quakes of the same magnitude. It was Morocco's deadliest earthquake since 1960 when a quake was estimated to have killed at least 12,000 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Mohammad Kashani, associate professor of structural and earthquake engineering at the University of Southampton, compared scenes of the aftermath to images from Turkey in February: "The area is full of old and historical buildings, which are mainly masonry. The collapsed reinforced concrete structures that I saw ... were either old or substandard."

Marrakech is due to host the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank from Oct. 9.

An IMF spokesperson, asked about the planned meetings, said: “Our sole focus at this time is on the people of Morocco and the authorities who are dealing with this tragedy.”



  • A Turkish court sentenced Faruk Fatih Ozer, the founder of failed crypto exchange Thodex, to 11,196 years in prison.
  • Ozer and his two siblings received similar jail times on Thursday, Bloomberg reported. The court found them guilty of fraud and other charges.
  • Ozer dropped out of high school and had founded Thodex in 2017.

A Turkish court on Thursday found Faruk Fatih Ozer, the high-school dropout founder of failed cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, guilty of on multiple charges including leading a criminal organization, aggravated fraud, and money laundering.

He was sentenced to 11,196 years in prison, according to a Bloombergreport.

Ozer had founded his company in 2017 and it became one of Turkey's largest crypto exchanges. In April 2021, the firm announced that it wasn't able to continue operations, and Ozer fled to Albania. At the time, he did promise to repay investors, and then return to Turkey after he had done so. 

Earlier this year, he was extradited to Turkey after an extended legal battle.

His two siblings received similar sentences on Thursday, and were found guilty of the same three charges, per Bloomberg.

"I am smart enough to lead any institution on Earth," Ozer said in court, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported him as saying. "That is evident in this company I established at the age of 22. I wouldn't have acted so amateurishly if this were a criminal organization."

Prosecutors estimate that the fall of Thodex resulted in about $13 million in investor losses, though the actual amount remains unknown. Turkish media have reported those losses being as high as $2 billion. 

The sentencing comes as another high-profile crypto mogul awaits trial. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX and Alameda Research, will head to court next month. Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange imploded in November 2022, sparking a chain reaction of bankruptcies and blow-ups that led many in the sector to name it crypto's "Lehman moment."

Now, Bankman-Fried reportedly wants to pay seven expert witnesses up to $1,200 an hour to testify on his behalf. Separately, his attorney has alleged that the disgraced mogul does not have access to Adderall medication in prison, and that he is surviving off a diet of bread, water, and peanut butter.


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