Daily Watch – FG to remove telecom excise duty, Chad jails 400 rebels for life
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday raised its benchmark interest rate – the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 50 basis points to 18 percent. This is the sixth straight increase by the bank. Governor Godwin Emefiele who disclosed this after the two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja, said moderate tightening may slow the rate of deceleration in inflation without necessarily hurting output. The MPC also kept unchanged the asymmetric corridor at +100/-700 basis points around the MPR, retained Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 32.5 percent and liquidity ratio at 30 percent.
Nigeria will remove excise duties for the telecom sector in line with the recommendations of a government committee constituted to review the applicability of the duty to operators. which is considered already overburdened with taxation and sundry levies. Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Ibrahim Pantami, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press briefing on the status of the five percent excise duty, whose applicability to the sector was objected to by the Minister in August 2022. Following that, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended its application and set up a Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in the Digital Economy Sector to look into it.
The High Court in Accra presided over by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh, has sentenced five Western Togoland secessionists to a total of 25 years in prison. The five were arrested in September 2020 after they blocked the Aveyime road from Accra with sand and attacked the Aveyime and Mepe Police stations in the Volta Region, injuring three police officers. The court convicted the five accused persons on 17 March after finding them guilty of offences contrary to the Prohibited Organisations Act 1976. The convicted persons were members of the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF), an offshoot of the Homeland Study Group (HSG). The WTRF’s main aim was to use force to make it possible for the Volta and Oti Regions to secede from Ghana and form a new state, to be called “Western Togoland”.
A court in Chad sentenced more than 400 rebels to life in prison on Tuesday over the death of former president Idriss Deby, who was killed on the frontline of a battle against their group in 2021, their lawyer said. The trial of 465 members of the Libyan-based Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) rebel group started on 13 February in the capital, N’Djamena. The N’Djamena’s court of appeal’s criminal chamber, on Tuesday, found 441 defendants, including FACT leader, Mahamat Mahadi, guilty of terrorism acts, undermining national security and endangering the life of the head of state among other charges. They were sentenced to life in prison and will have to pay compensation to the state, their lawyer, Francis Djokoulde, said. The rest were acquitted due to lack of evidence, he said, adding that his team would appeal before the Supreme Court.