French industrialist Vincent Bolloré was taken into custody on Tuesday morning at the premises of the judicial police in Nanterre, France.
According to French media company, Le Monde, the billionaire businessman is being investigated for influence peddling and corruption in Africa, specifically the conditions under which he obtained two of the sixteen container terminals in the ports of Lomé and Conakry, in 2010.
State prosecutors believe that Bollores, who has interests in several African countries, could have taken advantage of his Havas communications agency to facilitate African heads of state into power in exchange for concessions to operate these terminals.
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They seek to draw a connection between Havas’ management of the 2010 presidential campaigns of the Guinean President Alpha Condé and Faure Gnassingbé of Togo at ridiculously subsidised prices and the subsequent acquisition of port rights by Bolloré Africa Logistics.
Other executives of the group were also taken into custody on Tuesday, including Gilles Alix, CEO of the Bolloré group, and Jean-Philippe Dorent, head of the international division of the Havas communications agency.
According to Le Monde, numerous documents were seized during searches carried out in April 2016 at the headquarters of the Bolloré group in Puteaux (Hauts-de-Seine). These documents reportedly confirm the state’s suspicions about under-invoicing of the presidential campaigns led by Havas.
The group has since formally denied any irregularities in the way they conduct business in Africa.
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Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe
Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.
The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).
The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.
According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.
It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.
“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.
“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”
The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.
Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival
Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.
Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.
But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.
“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.
The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.
Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.
The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.
That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.
Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.
“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.
He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.
“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”
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