: African press review 16 November 2015

We begin in Nigeria where Premium Times says it has uncovered one of the most fraudulent crude oil deals executed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

In an exclusive report published today, the paper says cronies of the ex-president diverted up to 155 billion Naira of crude oil money (725 million euros) to “corrupt Zambian officials”. Premium Times says they are now smiling at the banks after making up to 50 per cent commission from the proceeds of the deal that’s turned them into instant billionaires.

The publication names the Nigerian oil and gas company, Sarb Energy, as having played the role of middleman in the dodgy deal, adding that it was specifically established by at least one of Jonathan’s political associates for the controversial deal signed in 2008.

According to Premium Times, the managing director of Sarb Energy Akpan Ekpene has been called to testify as a witness at a Lusaka court trying several top government officials linked to the government-to-government crude oil deal. Ekpene told the court the Nigerian government gave his company, Sarb, a power of attorney to execute the contract on its behalf.

The only woman in the new Nigerian Senate has put a spirited defence of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party accused by the Buhari administration of running down the economy and perpetrating a culture of impunity during their 16 years in power.

Senator Louisa Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele who is a former deputy governor of Lagos State told Vanguard that it’s the military and not the PDP that started the rot, in a jab directed towards President Muhammadu Buhari who led one of the several military juntas that held power on the country for decades.


“When we talk about corruption, what of all those military people who now have banks, farms, etc? Was any of them tried for corruption?” she asked. This is where the impunity started, argues Senator Bucknor-Akerele, adding that because those military leaders got away with it, other people came in and felt they could get away with it too.

In the interview with the Vanguard the former Lagos State deputy governor also accuses the Buhari administration of being selective in the fight against corruption. If the president wants us to take him seriously, she noted, he should start with those people around him in the ruling APC party who brought him to power. They are among some of the most corrupt people in this country and everybody knows it, the senator concluded.

In South Africa, Mail and Guardian says it has understood the origin of the judicial problems piling up on the doorsteps of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as he battles to become the country’s next leader.

According to the paper, Ramaphosa wont get there without a fight as he must first get elected President of the ruling African National Congress under the party’s internal rules.  Mail and Guardian says that while he has already started the fight for the top job, he will have to do battle for control of the party with a “comrade in arms”, African Union President Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The irony, according to Mail and Guardian, is that while this looks like Ramaphosa’s turn with due respect to his capacity as the party’s deputy leader, a growing number of ANC stalwarts backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s are trying to convince him not to oppose her.

Source: rfi afrique