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Archive for Nigeria

Newsline: Philippine ambassador to Nigeria faces corruption allegations

Diplomatic staff of the Philippine Embassy in Nigeria are seeking the recall and investigation of Manila’s ambassador to the African state for alleged corrupt and unethical practices, accusations the envoy has vehemently denied. Consular officer Elmor Maglunsod filed an official complaint against Ambassador Shirley Ho-Vicario for allegedly violating Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employee, and Republic Act No. 3019 or Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Some embassy staffers backed Maglunsod’s complaint, which they said was strongly denied by Vicario, who assumed her post in May 1, 2017 after being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte. In Malacañang, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte was taking the matter “very seriously.” In his affidavit, Maglunsod also complained of “untoward practices” of the ambassador’s husband, Pascasio Vicario. “Throughout the consular mission, she claimed that she paid for lunch and dinner meetings with the Filipino community, bought gifts for certain groups, individuals, and companies. But the truth is, she never paid a single cent,” Maglunsod said. He claimed that Vicario “just collected all the receipts, certified it as however she sees fit, and reimbursed the receipts.” “It was actually the Filipino community who paid for the food during the meetings and gatherings and transportation of the ambassador during her tours,” he added. Maglunsod said Section 3(b) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, public officials and employees are “prohibited to solicit, accept, directly or indirectly request or receive any gift for himself or for any other person.” He also alleged that every time Vicario goes to other countries under her jurisdiction, “all the ambassador ever does aside from brief meetings with the Filipino community are shopping, collecting souvenirs, and taking advantage of people where they can gain profit and materialize their personal interest.” Embassy staffers also complained that Vicario is rarely at the embassy and would allegedly always overstay in certain countries during consular visits. They also complained of Vicario’s husband’s rude treatment of embassy staffers and his interference in embassy affairs. Based on her curriculum vitae, this is the second time that Vicario was appointed as political ambassador, having served during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as envoy to Papua New Guinea in Feb. 15, 2007 until she was recalled by President Benigno Aquino III in Sept. 30, 2010.



Newsline: Nigerian Official Issued with Wrong Visa By Turkish Consulate In Abuja Demands Compensation

A top official of Federal Capital Territory Administration, Dr. (Mrs.) Kehinde Catherine Ilupeju is demanding the sum of N50 million from the Embassy of Turkey in Nigeria for issuing her a wrong visa. Dr. Ilupeju, recalled that she had on 15 December 2017 applied for a visa at Turkish Embassy in Nigeria to visit her son who was studying at European University, Cyprus. She said she got the visa on December 20 2017 and thus, embarked on the trip to Turkey from Abuja on a few days later. However, she was arrested on arrival at Ercan International Airport by security operatives who alleged she did not have the necessary documents to enter that part of Cyprus. The civil servant lamented that she was treated as an illegal immigrant and subjected to the indignity of detention, harassment, untold embarrassment and eventual loss of huge financial resources despite the fact that she paid the sum of $400 in cash at the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria. The officials of Turkish Embassy were aware that our client was traveling to the European University of Cyprus for which she was charged $400 as processing fee which she paid in cash. “From the documents she submitted, the Embassy officials ought to have known they did not possess the authority to issue her a visa that would be respected in that part of Cyprus where the said university is located. This, our client considers as a serious breach of a duty of care owed to her by the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria,” solicitors to the FCTA official said in making the demand for the N50 million compensation. The petitioner’s lawyers threatened to take legal action against the Embassy if the demand of their client for compensation was not acceded to.


Newsline: Nigeria summons US ambassador over Trump’s ‘shithole’ remarks

The Federal Government has summoned the United States ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, over the derogatory remarks by President Donald Trump. Trump had in a fit lambasted immigrants, stating that they were coming from ‘shithole’ countries, a statement that annoyed many concerned nations and generated serious criticisms from the African Union and others. Symington is expected to meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama later today.



Newsline: Diplomats Seek Intensified Security in Lagos after German Embassy Breach

Following the recent breach at the German Embassy on Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, five diplomats from their respective embassies asked the police to intensify security. The diplomats were drawn from the British High Commission, United States (US), German, Italian and The Netherlands embassies, all in Lagos. Tabling their grouse to the Lagos Police Commissioner, Edgal Imohimi, at the command headquarters in Ikeja, they cited the popular Nigerian Army Mammy Market operated in the neighbourhood, as one of the security threats they face. According them, their worries were triggered by the recent security breach at the German Embassy, which almost went out of hand before it was contained.



Newsline: Audits on ‘higher fraud-risk’ Canadian embassies find undocumented payments

The audits in Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, India and Kenya were ordered after a probe found Canada’s embassy in Haiti was defrauded of $1.7M over 12 years. Audits of five Canadian embassies operating in “higher fraud-risk environments” have found cases of questionable procurement practices, undocumented payments for work, and sky-high levels of overtime for drivers. The audits were ordered after a 2016 investigation discovered that Canada’s embassy in Haiti was defrauded of $1.7 million over 12 years through inflated supply contracts and diverted materials. The government fired 17 locally recruited employees over the case. Management audits were conducted on Canadian embassies in Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, India and Kenya, as well as on Canada’s embassy in South Korea as a low-risk environment for comparison purposes. The audit on the Nigeria embassy was the most damning, concluding that protocols around “finance, procurement, contracting, revenues, and asset management were not consistently followed and some key controls were not in place or were circumvented.” Several dubious payments were found, including one case where the contract was signed after the work had already commenced, another where the overtime was paid at a higher rate than in the contract, and another where the value of the contract was “significantly exceeded without a contract amendment.”

Audits on ‘higher fraud-risk’ Canadian embassies find undocumented payments, ballooning overtime costs


Newsline: Nigeria Embassy in Berlin rumbles as Ambassador sacks staff

Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar who was just appointed June 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari and actually presented his letter of credence 20th September to Germany is at war with his non foreign affairs ministry staff most of them Nigerians. Eight out of these staff members were sacked recently without any entitlements and immediately replaced by new people throwing the entire embassy and Nigeria community in Germany into confusion. As you read this, embers of hate, deep rooted animosity, and bad blood of tribalism pervade the air within the embassy enclave.



Newsline: Embassy reacts to alleged kidney harvest of Nigerians in Egypt

The Embassy of Egypt in Nigeria has denied alleged illegal harvest of the kidneys of Nigerians who travel to the North African country for medical attention. In a statement issued by Ahmed Maher, who is the Head of the Press and Information Office in the Egyptian Embassy, the North African country, said its government had submitted a list of Egyptian certified medical centres and hospitals licensed to perform kidney transplant to relevant authorities in Nigeria. It also explained that all the hospitals involved in organ trafficking in Egypt had been shut down and their medical personnel prosecuted. The mission further clarified that no Nigerian was involved in the crime, adding that no complaint was filed against any Nigerian national over the incident.