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African press review 15 October 2018


Capital flight threatens in Nigeria after President Buhari's travel ban on prominent graft suspects.

We begin in Nigeria where a presidential order slapping a travel ban on 50 high profile graft suspects is generating controversy in the country.

Vanguard reports that Executive order signed on Thursday stops short of disclosing the names of the suspects but it quotes so-called reliable sources as saying that it includes seven former Ministers and 13 ex-State governors who served during the long rule of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Daily Post reports that the order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari also bans people on the watch list from selling assets within a minimum value of 50 million Naira, approximately 119,000 euros.

Punch relays a warning from the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar that the ban could lead to capital flight and spark an economic recession in Nigeria.

It quotes Atiku as saying that Executive Order 6 is nothing short of intimidation ahead of the 2019 elections.

According to Punch the PDP leader compared the travel ban to a recent decision by the Buhari administration in Osun where they froze the accounts of the Adeleke family and then illegally and clandestinely paid N16.7 billion to the Osun State government to facilitate alleged daylight electoral robbery.

Renowned Lagos lawyer Femi Falana speaks to the Nation about the imperative of the government to withdraw the Executive Order and allow the courts to decide. 

According to the newspaper, the influential Alliance for New Nigerian has described the Order as “dictatorial”, adding that there are enough safeguards in the constitution to take care of corruption with the guarantee for freedom of movement for citizens.

In South Africa, a confession by the leading Sunday that it was manipulated by ousted President Jacob Zuma's administration is causing a buzz in the media.

The Times editor Bongani Siqoko wrote in a column that his publication run "tainted" scoops which turned out to be largely false.

Bongani also apologized for an exclusive published in December 2011 about an alleged rogue police unit accused of scores of extrajudicial killings in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Dozens of police officers from the top anti-crime unit were arrested and suspended in 2012 in the aftermath of the Sunday Times investigation. While some have been cleared and all eventually allowed back to work, 27 still remain on trial over the claims.

The accused have denied the allegations, arguing they were targeted because they had been investigating high-profile individuals with political ties.

Furthermore Sunday Times also confessed that it "failed to present (information) in a prominent way that would have resulted in a balanced and fair piece of journalism that reflected both sides".

Besides the Cato Manor scandal, the paper also admitted that it had falsely reported on an alleged rogue spy unit inside the South African Revenue Service in 2014 that surveyed politicians including Zuma.

And in Kenya, Standard Digital celebrates the medical exploits of Kenyan neurosurgeon who removed a 2.5 cm tumor from the head of man without anesthesia.

The paper reports that Dr. Sam Njiru asked his patient to keep talking while he carried out the three-hour craniotomy on October 4. At the end the 33-year-old mason from Mathira in Nyeri Karuri told The Standard he felt like he had dodged a bullet.

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