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NCC set to combat e-fraud, standardise regional roaming tariffs

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other telecoms regulators under the auspices of West African Telecoms Regulators Assembly (WATRA) are set to develop technical and regulatory modalities aimed at combating rising wave of electronic frauds, and standardising regional roaming tariffs in the sub-region.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was the crux of a two-day meeting organised by WATRA in collaboration with the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), which started on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at Rockview Hotel in Abuja.

The meeting, which was attended by representatives of telecoms regulators from countries across West Africa, provided a platform for key participants and stakeholders to deliberate on building a unified market in telecommunications services in West Africa, to combat roaming and cyber-related frauds, and achieve the standardisation of roaming tariffs among ECOWAS member-states.

Addressing stakeholders at the meeting, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, who is also the Chairman of WATRA, underscored the centrality of the meeting by emphasising that, as businesses move online, the fraudsters are also going digital.

Danbatta, who was represented by NCC’s Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, said, based on this fact and in order to give West African citizens and businesses the confidence to fully take advantage of the enormous benefits of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), there was a need for regulators to tame and outpace the fraudsters.

“About 75 per cent of trade within ECOWAS is informal, and thus poorly recorded. Therefore, digitising this trade through employing many forms of electronic payments is a significant step towards formalising, governing and boosting intra-ECOWAS trade activities.

“Our ambitions are to formalise informal trade, including agricultural commodities as well as boosting intra-regional trade and this requires us to improve collaboration on combating electronic fraud,” Danbatta said.

Danbatta informed the delegates to the forum that electronic fraud is not just an African or a West African issue but a global phenomenon. He cited studies that revealed 54 per cent of consumers in the European Union said they are most likely to come across misleading/deceptive or fraudulent advertisements or offers on the Internet.

On the regional roaming service, the WATRA Chairman said the Assembly has the vision of a ‘Digital ECOWAS’ where improved sub-regional roaming regulation can help to facilitate an economic integration in the region.

“Our citizens, traders and companies will trade better when they can use their telephones to call contacts in other ECOWAS countries and when they can use their data subscriptions at no extra cost while travelling or doing business within the region. So, reducing and eventually eliminating the cost of roaming will also be a very significant contribution towards boosting trade within the region,” Danbatta said.

The EVC expressed satisfaction at the level of collaboration among national regulatory authorities in the sub-region on the one hand; and between WATRA and ECOWAS, to achieve a common goal, on the other hand, describing such synergy as a great indicator of progress and internalisation of best global practices.

“I am very pleased to see the excellent collaboration and the sharing of workload between the telecommunications body and personnel within ECOWAS and WATRA. Their roles have become complementary and mutually reinforcing-policies legislative frameworks that have been designed at the ECOWAS level, while WATRA does the follow-up work of information-sharing, dialogue and learning dispersal amongst regulatory authorities. It is indeed becoming a well-articulated symphony,” he added.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of WATRA, Aliyu Aboki, emphasised the value of a trusted digital economy to any nation. He cited a study by Accenture, which concludes that “a trusted digital economy would stimulate 2.8 per cent additional growth for major firms, with the new transactions generated totaling $5.2 trillion of value creation in the economy,” hence, the establishment and operationalisation of national and regional anti-fraud committee.

Aboki commended ECOWAS for “allowing this regional sharing of the enormous task of building Digital ECOWAS to work very well through WATRA, which is a regional manifestation of this collaborative structure”. The WATRA Chief restated that WATRA, as a mechanism for regional regulatory collaboration, will work in unison and ensure its vision is speedily executed by making sure that no nation in the region is left behind.

Speaking at the forum, the Acting Director, Digital Economy and Post, ECOWAS, Raphael Koffi, noted that while e-fraud in the provision of communication services has always been an issue being collectively tackled, variance in termination rates agreed in commercial roaming agreements has also constituted an obstacle to harmonization of roaming tariffs which, he said, collaboration between WATRA and ECOWAS is set to achieve.

Participants at the event were updated on the status of the implementation of the Removal of Surcharges on International Traffic (SIIT) on ECOWAS countries;  establishment of a uniform tariff cap for roaming call termination in the ECOWAS region, among others.

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Rikicin APC :Ba za mu karbi hukuncin kotu ba-Ganduje

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Ganduje

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Gwamatin Kano ta ce ba za ta amince da hukuncin da wata kotu a Abuja ta yi ba da ya rushe zaben shugabancin jam’iyyar APC da tsagin gwamnati ya gudanar.

KANO FOCUS ta ruwaito kwamishinan shari’a na jihar Kano Barisster Musa Abdullahi Lawal ne ya sanar da hakan ga manema labarai ranar Talata.

Kwamishinan ya ce lauyoyin gwamnati sun fara nazaratar hukuncin tare da daukar matakin da ya da ce.

Ya ce sunyi mamakin hukuncin kuma ba za su karbe shi ba, a cewarsa lokacin da aka gudanar da zabukan a matakan mazabu babu wadanda suka yi nasu daban.

A don haka ya ce basu ga dalilin da yasa aka rushe shugabanci Abdullahi Abbas ba.

Barista Lawan yace za su duba yadda aka yi masu karar suka sami sakamakon zabukan da aka gudanar har suka gabatarwa kotu, da ta amince dasu.

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Court declares banishment of Emir Sanusi ll illegal, orders Kano state to apologise, pay him N10m

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered Kano state government to tender an apology to the dethroned Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi ll, in two national dailies.

KANO FOCUS reports that the court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Anwuli Chikere, held that Sanusi’s forceful banishment from Kano after his dethronement, was illegal, unconstitutional and in gross violation of his fundamental human rights.

Consequently, it awarded damages against Kano state, in favour of the deposed Emir, to the tune of N10million.

It will be recalled that Sanusi was deposed as Emir by the Kano State government on March 9, 2020, after he was accused of disloyalty and insubordination.

Though the deposed Emir was initially banished to Loko village in Nasarawa State after his dethronement, later, he was forcefully moved to Awe town, where he was confined until March 13, 2020, when the court ordered that he should be granted his freedom.

Sanusi, who had since accepted his fate as the will of God, however approached the court to query the legality of his confinement in Nasarawa state.

In the suit he predicated on section 34, 35, 40, 41 and 46 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the former Emir, among other things, prayed the court to restore his rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria, (apart from Kano State).

Cited as Respondents in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020, were the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the State Security Service, Attorney General of Kano State and the Attorney General of the Federation.

While adopting his final brief of argument, Sanusi’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, told the court that his client was not before it to challenge his dethronement.

Mahmoud said his client was in court over the gross violation of his fundamental rights in relation to the harsh way he was treated after he was deposed by the Kano state government.

He said: “My lord, this is not a chieftaincy matter. The Applicant is not before this court to challenge the Respondents’ actions with regards to his removal as Emir of Kano, but the way he was bundled to Abuja and banished to a remote location.”

Mahmoud decried that notwithstanding the status of his client is the society, he was subjected to such degrading treatment.

He argued that it was clear from the way the former Emir was treated, that his rights were grossly violated, a situation that led him to seek the intervention of the court.

He prayed the court to grant all the reliefs his client sought in the suit, among which included the declaration of his confinement in Nasarawa state as illegal.

However, all the Respondents, through their respective lawyers, urged the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction.

Counsel to the IGP, Victor Okoye, further challenged the competence of the suit, noting that the instrument conveying Sanusi’s banishment was authored and endorsed by an official of the Kano State Government.

He therefore argued that the Applicant ought to have filed the case before a Kano state high court.

Likewise, counsel to the DG of the DSS, Godwin Agbadua, urged the court to strike out the suit on the grounds that the alleged rights violation occurred in Kano, stressing that there is a Federal High Court in Kano, before which Sanusi could seek redress.

On his part, the Attorney General of Kano State who was represented by Musa Mohammed, also challenged the jurisdiction of the court in Abuja to entertain the case.

He urged the court to dismiss the suit in its entirety for want of jurisdiction and competence.

Meanwhile, reacting to the judgement, the Kano State AG, through the lawyer that represented him in court on Tuesday, Abdulsallam Salleh, said they would study it properly and decide on the next line of action.

“We will look at the judgement critically and consult with our client (Kano state government) on whether we will appeal against it on not”, Salleh told newsmen.

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Yanzu-yanzu-Kotu ta rushe shugabancin Abdullahi Abbas

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Wata kotun tarayya dake Abuja ta rushe zaben shugabancin jam’iyya APC da tsagin gwamnan Kano Abdullahi Ganduje ya gudanar.

KANO FOCUS ta ruwaito mai shari’a Hamza Mua’zu ne ne ya rushe zaben a zaman kotu na yau  Talata.

Haka kuma mai shari’ar ya tabbatar da zaben da tsagin tshohon gwamnan Kano Ibrahim shekarau ya gudanar.

A cewar mai shari’ar zaben na bangaren Shekarau ya samu sanya hannun mutum 7 daga cikin wadanda uwar jam’iyyar ta turo jihar Kano domin gudanar da zaben.

Cikin abinda tsagin Shekarau ya gabatar, gaban kotun shi ne tsagin na gwamna Ganduje bai gudanar da zaben matakin kanan nan hukumomi da mazabu ba.

Idan za a iya tunawa a watan da ya gabata ne aka gudanar da zaben shugabancin jam’iyya APC a jihohin kasar nan ciki har da nan Kano.

Sai dai a nan Kano an samu rashin hadin kai tsakanin mambobin jam’iyyar.

Hakan ta sanya gwamna Ganduje ya gudanar da zaben tare da wadanda ke goya masa baya a wani wuri daban.

Yayin da Malam Ibrahim shekarau ya gudanar da nasa zaben da a wani wurin daban

Haka zalika tsagin na gwaman Ganduje ya zabi Abdullahi Abbas  a matsayin shugaba, ya yin da tsagin Ibrahim Shekarau ya zabi Ahmad Haruna Zago a matsayin shugaba.

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