External reserves fall below $47bn, lowest since April - Naijaray
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External reserves fall below $47bn, lowest since April

The nation’s foreign exchange reserves have dropped below $ 47 bn , losing $251m in the first six days of the month, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed on Tuesday.

The reserves , which stood at $ 47 .119bn as of July 31 , fell to $ 46 .868bn on August 6 , the lowest level in nearly four months .

The CBN data showed that the external reserves rose from $ 46 .845bn on April 11 to $ 46 .881bn on April 12 . The reserves hit a high of $ 47 .798bn on July 5 and had been declining since then.

Analysts at FSDH Research , in a Monthly Economic and Financial Markets Outlook released on Tuesday, noted that the external reserves recorded persistent drawdown in July .

The analysts said , “ This was due to the foreign investors’ pull -back from the Nigerian market and the increase in demand at the foreign exchange market. The 30 -day moving average external reserves decreased by 1. 32 per cent, down from $47 . 79 bn at end -June to $47 . 16 bn at the end of July .

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“ The total inflow through the Investors ’ and Exporters ’ FX Window (I &E Window ) between April 2017 and July 2018 stood at $ 34 .29 bn . Our analysis shows that the total inflow through the Investors and Exporters Window in July was the lowest figure recorded since August 2017. The two largest contributors to the inflow in July were $0 .56 bn from other corporates , and $ 0. 54 bn from Foreign Portfolio Investments .”

They added that the favourable crude oil price offered support to the accretion to the external reserves in the short-term , despite the slowdown in foreign capital inflows.

Meanwhile, the CBN has injected the sum of $210m into the interbank foreign exchange market to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the market.

According to a statement on Tuesday , the CBN offered $ 100m to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises segment received the sum of $55 m .

It added that customers requiring foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees , medical payments and basic travel allowance , among others , were also allocated $ 55 m .

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The Acting Director , Corporate Communications Department , CBN , Mr Isaac Okorafor , said the CBN would continue to intervene in the interbank forex market in line with its quest to sustain liquidity in the market and maintain stability .
He added that the steps taken so far by the CBN in the management of forex had paid off, adding that this reflected in the reduction of the country’ s import bills and accretion to foreign reserves .

The naira exchange rate remained stable in the forex market, exchanging at an average of N360 to $ 1 in the Bureau de Change segment of the market as of August 7.

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Doyin Okupe: EFCC accused of trying to silence ex-Jonathan’s aide 

Following the detention of Doyin Okupe, former aide to immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, a group known as Patriotic Nigerians, has described his continuous detention as an allege attempt to silence the PDP chieftain.

A statement signed by the group’s coordinator, Musa Muhammad, stated that despite willingly honouring the invitation of EFFC, Okupe who is the Media Adviser to the Director General of the PDP Presidential campaign has continued to be detained, which according to the group has a political undertone.

The statement reads, “Dr. Doyin Okupe yesterday (Monday) honoured the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC at the Abuja headquarters of the anti-graft body.

“Despite being patriotic and law-abiding enough to obey the invitation, it’s seems there is more to the invitation than meets the eye.

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“It is beginning to look like the anti-graft agency is on a political witch-hunt to silence the vociferous former presidential spokesperson, as it has been doing to every other active opposition figures in the nation.

The group also accused the EFCC of inconsistency in the charges put up against Okupe, adding that his case has not been assigned to any of the commission’s lawyers for prosecution as required by the law.

“Initially, EFCC claimed its invitation was based on cyber crime, but it has since shifted the goalpost in the middle of the game, changing the charges to misappropriation of arms fund claimed to have been released to him by former NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

“Agreed that the EFCC has a case against Okupe, but it’s quite surprising that since his arrival at the EFCC headquarters, the agency has refused to assign his case to a lawyer for prosecution at the court.

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“It is obvious that the EFCC is deploying a delay tactics to keep Okupe in detention as it goes on Christmas break and keep him there till the New Year.

“The nation is waiting for the abracadabra of EFCC,” the statement read.

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Stormy Daniels ordered to pay Donald Trump $293k in legal fees

Porn star, Stormy Daniels was on Tuesday ordered by a federal judge to pay President Donald Trump hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for her failed defamation lawsuit against him.

Judge James Otero, who threw out Daniels’ suit against Trump, asked her to pay the US President $293,052.33 in attorney fees.

He wrote:

Based on the unique nature of this litigation and the Court’s familiarity with the fees charged in this jurisdiction, the Court concludes that Defendant’s rate requests are reasonable.
Ms Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, who allegedly had an affair with Trump in 2016 when his wife just had their son, said last April that she had been threatened by a man in a car park to keep quiet about the alleged affair.

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She shared a sketch of the man who she claimed had threatened her and her child.

Mr Trump retweeted the image, calling it a “total con job”, and describing the image as being of a “non-existent man”.

With the help of her attorney Michael Avenatti she took Trump to court. She sued arguing that the president’s tweet was defamatory as it accused Ms Daniels of “committing a serious crime” – namely, falsely accusing a person of threatening her.

But Judge Otero dismissed the suit in October and said Trump’s tweet was a “hyperbolic statement” against a political foe.

Avenatti quickly denounced the president and his lawyers and downplayed the judge’s order on Twitter.

Avenatti tweeted:

Stormy will never have to pay the felon Cohen or Trump a single dime in attorney’s fees, costs or sanctions. The award is dwarfed by the $1.5 million award to be issued in NDA case – the main case where Cohen and Trump have been lying to the court and the public. #Criminals.
Avenatti is representing Daniels in another lawsuit against Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen. Through litigation, the adult film actress is seeking to void a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) about her alleged 2006 affair with the president.

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