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Daily Watch – Jumia founders quit, PDP guber candidature annulled by court

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Documents have been released by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, detailing Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s encounter with American authorities over his alleged involvement in narcotics trafficking and money laundering. The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State has come under scrutiny over his alleged involvement in a drug trafficking case in Chicago in the 1990s. Mr Tinubu has not commented on the drug trafficking allegations even though they have been coming on and off since his governorship. The latest onslaught made the headlines in mid-August. His allies have also made efforts to downplay the matter as a trivial distraction to 2023 elections. The 56-page document released by the District Court’s headquarters in Chicago did not include crucial new details, but it further confirmed snippets of the matter that had been shared sporadically by the media for years. This latest certified copies of the court case showed that Mr Tinubu and two others named K.O. Tinubu and Alhaji Mogati were involved in banking proceeds of illicit drugs and money laundering with Heritage Bank and Citibank. It was not immediately clear whether or not ‘Alhaji Mogati’ was a misspelling of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, Mr Tinubu’s foster mother, who passed on in 2013.

Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, co-founders of Jumia, have stepped down, as the Africa-focused online retailer struggles with persistent losses since listing on the New York Exchange. Poignonnec and Hodara, former colleagues at McKinsey & Co., founded Jumia in Lagos in 2012 as a way to introduce e-commerce to Nigeria and other African countries where widespread internet use was starting to take off. In 2019, the company’s stock surged 75 percent on its US stock market debut. But a plan to profitability has not materialised as the company has struggled with Africa-specific issues such as a lack of formal addresses and city mapping, while expansion into the likes of food delivery failed to yield a step change. Jumia’s stock has duly suffered, languishing 71 percent below its value at the initial public offering. The shares slumped further following the announcement of Poignonnec and Hodara’s departure. “We want to bring more focus to the core e-commerce business as part of a more simplified and efficient organisation with stronger fundamentals and a clearer path to profitability,” Jumia Chairman Jonathan Klein, has said in a statement. Francis Dufay, who has held various leadership roles at Jumia since 2014, has been appointed as acting CEO, while the search is on for a permanent replacement for the former leaders.

The election of Dauda Lawan-Dare as the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in Zamfara State has been nullified by a Federal High Court sitting in Gusau, the state’s capital. The court also disqualified the PDP from fielding a candidate. Justice Aminu Bappa, who was the presiding judge, gave the ruling on Tuesday. This is the second time that the court would nullify the PDP governorship primary in Zamfara State. Earlier in September, the court had nullified the election of Lawal-Dare following a suit filed by Ibrahim Shehu and two other aspirants challenging the credibility of the primary. The court then ordered a re-run election where Lawal-Dare re-emerged as the winner but his opponent, Ibrahim Shehu, went to court again to challenge the election. Justice Bappa, therefore, ruled that the re-election of Dare was also characterised by a series of irregularities and as such, it was nullified while the PDP was disqualified from contesting the governorship election in 2023.

French President, Emmanuel Macron,  will officially announce today (Wednesday), the end of the Barkhane anti-jihadist operation in the Sahel, a little less than three months after the withdrawal of French soldiers from Mali, the Elysée Palace said on Tuesday. This announcement will have no impact on the French military presence in the region, as some 3,000 French troops are still deployed in Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso. According to the Elysée, the principle is “to reduce the exposure and visibility of our military forces in Africa, to focus on cooperation and support, mainly in terms of equipment, training, intelligence, and operational partnership when the countries wish it. “Our soldiers remain covered, protected, supported, administered in conditions that are satisfactory” but the official announcement is ‘necessary locally’”, the Elysée added. “In the field of perceptions, Barkhane continues to occupy a very important presence on social networks. It is necessary to put a clear end to it in order to switch to another logic”, it was concluded.

Source: SB Mintel