In Nigeria Punch breaks news about the signing of an agreement between the federal government and the British government on the exchange of prisoners.
The paper reports that under the deal, signed in Abuja on Thursday by British Justice Minister Jeremy Wright and Nigerian Attorney General Mohamed Adoke, high-profile prisoners like ex-Delta State Governor James Ibori will be transferred to Nigeria to complete their jail terms.
Ibori, currently serving a 13-year term in a British prison for money-laundering, is one of over more than 500 prominent Nigerians behind bars in Britain, according to Vanguard. The British government has granted Nigeria 1.2 million euros to help fund a comprehensive reform of Nigerian prisons, according to the paper.
The Nigerian Tribune takes up the government’s decision to ban the training of civil servants abroad starting in 2014. The paper says the directive from the Ministry of Finance is part of efforts to improve governance. It underlines that the Ministry of Finance also stated that it is curtailing foreign travel by the staff of ministries, departments and government agencies.
The Nation reports that Nigerian police are questioning a Congolese woman arrested at Lagos international airport in possession of 240,000 dollars in fake notes, as she prepared to board a flight to Kinshasa. The money hidden in dictionaries was stuffed in a bag of clothes. The Abuja-based newspaper reports the woman has been identified as 39 year-old Congolese fashion designer Angela Mfundu.
In Kenya Standard digital reports a dramatic twist in the trial saga of Vice-President William Ruto at The Hague after the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, reiterated that Ruto must appear in the courtroom to face his accusers.
The paper says the surprise move, comes despite recent amendments by the Assembly of State Parties on allowing the ICC to try Ruto in absentia, a deal lauded by the African Union as a major diplomatic victory for Kenya’s indicted leaders. The Standard says Bensouda insisted that the defence plea was not grounded in law and should be rejected.
Daily Nation reports that financial transactions worth 1.7 trillion shillings were carried out on mobile phones in the first 11 months of 2013 surpassing the value of the country’s budget this financial year. That, according to the paper, represents a 23 per cent increase over 2012 figures as Kenyans turn to mobile phone financial services to transfer money, pay their bills, their children’s school fees and credit their accounts and borrow money.
In South Africa BusinessDay says that the ruling African National Congress is rallying around President Jacob Zuma ahead of the 2014 elections to limit allegations of corruption haunting him after he spent 206 million rand upgrading his private residence in his hometown, Nkandla.
According to the paper, the ANC is preparing to take on its critics armed with an interministerial report that exonerates Zuma.
The Johannesburg Star highlights findings by researchers at Quebec University in Canada that “sexercise” is the best way of losing weight after the excesses of Christmas. The paper advises its readers they may be better off heading for the bedroom rather than the gym.
According to the Star, the study found out that an hour of romance between the sheets burns almost as many calories as a 30-minute jog. It advises its readers to take that into consideration when drawing up their fitness plan.