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Last update: Thu, 05 May 2016 04am

Africa

World - Africa

Nigeria indicts 300 firms over fake contracts ABUJA: Nigeria has indicted over 300 companies and prominent individuals, including serving and retired military officers, for defrauding the country of millions of dollars in fake contracts, the presidency said Thursday.The contracts are linked to former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki, who served under former president Goodluck Jonathan from June 2012 until his sacking in July last year by current premier Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari took office last May and has since launched a crackdown on endemic graft with some high-profile arrests made over the fictitious arms contracts to fight Boko Haram worth some $2 billion and also linked to the former spy master.A separate committee was set up to investigate other deals awarded by Dasuki, 60, between 2011 and 2015."Over seven billion naira ($5 million) has been recovered so far from the indicted companies and individuals," the presidency said in a statement, adding that another 41 billion naira is due ...

World - Africa

Boko Haram's Shekau reappears looking dejected in new video KANO: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared on video for the first time in more than a year on Thursday, rejecting rumours about his death but appearing to signal his time in charge of the Nigerian militant group may be coming to an end.In a message that contained none of the defiant bluster, taunts and denunciation of political leaders of previous videos and will likely be interpreted as an admission of defeat, the dejected-looking Shekau ...

World - Africa

Congo president wins third term, opposition cries foul BRAZZAVILLE: Congo strongman Denis Sassou Nguesso was on Thursday declared the winner of presidential elections, extending his 32 years in power in a vote the opposition says was marked by "massive fraud".Interior Minister Raymond Zephyrin Mboulou announced the results at 3:30am (0230 GMT) on national television, saying Sassou Nguesso had secured 60 percent of the vote in the tense weekend poll held under an ongoing communications blackout.The official count gave runner-up Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas 15 ...

World - Africa

Talon wins Benin presidential race as Zinsou concedes defeat COTONOU: Businessman Patrice Talon won the second round of Benin's presidential election on Sunday, his adversary and incumbent Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou told AFP before the release of official results."The provisional results point to a decisive victory for Patrice Talon," Zinsou told AFP by telephone. "The difference is significant, (Talon's) electorial victory is certain."I have called Patrice Talon this evening to congratulate him on his victory, wish him good luck and put myself at his ...

World - Africa

Morocco expels over 80 members of UN mission in W.Sahara RABAT: More than 80 civilian members of a UN mission have left Western Sahara under a Moroccan expulsion order, airport sources and an AFP correspondent in the disputed territory said Sunday.It was the latest chapter in a row between Morocco and the world body since UN chief Ban Ki-moon angered Rabat by using the term "occupation" to refer to the status of Western Sahara."The last civilian members of the UN mission... took off on Sunday ...

World - Africa

Former official adds to allegations against South Africa's Zuma: report JOHANNESBURG: Pressure on South Africa's President Jacob Zuma intensified on Sunday when in a newspaper interview, a former high-ranking official added to mounting allegations that Zuma had a corrupt relationship with a prominent family of business owners.Zuma has so far insisted his ties with the Gupta family are above board, but investors fear further political uncertainty could hasten a credit ratings downgrade, potentially into "junk" territory, and sharply raise South Africa's borrowing costs.The allegations also ...

World - Africa

Benin votes in second-round of presidential election COTONOU: Benin began voting Sunday in the deciding second round of its presidential election, with Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou taking on businessman Patrice Talon for the tiny west African country's top job.Polls opened at 7:00am (0600 GMT), with 4.7 million people eligible to cast their ballots in a vote to elect a successor to outgoing President Thomas Boni Yayi, who is stepping down after two full five-year terms.Voting was to close at 4:00pm (1500 GMT) ...