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IN PICTURES: The Republic of Guinea at 601 minute read

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On October 2nd 1958, Guinea gained its independence from France. 60 years later, Guineans attend a military parade marking the anniversary of the country’s independence from France on October 2, 2018 at the Stade Du 28 Septembre in Conakry.

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Sowore: Nigeria’s civil society coalition gives government 14-day protest ultimatum

The group says if ALL demands are not met within 14 days, it will mobilise Nigerians to occupy the NHRC Commission offices

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Sowore: Nigeria's civil society coalition gives government 14-day protest ultimatum
Cross-section of attendees at the world press conference. Photo credit: Sumner Shagari Sambo

A Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria, comprising the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Enough is Enough (EiE) and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has held a world press conference today in Abuja tabling its demands and calling for response to growing human rights abuse cases in the country.

The five demands include:

  • President Muhammadu Buhari to show accountability as Commander In Chief and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights
  • The release of all illegally detained persons by the Department of State Service (DSS) as reviewed by Amnesty International, Premium Times and Punch newspaper in recent times
  • That the government obeys all pending court orders
  • An investigation of the officer who violated protocols and circumstances leading to the re-arrest of #RevolutionNow convener, Omoyele Sowore
  • Unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore

The group says if ALL demands are not met within 14 days, it will mobilise Nigerians to occupy the National Human Rights Commission offices across the country as it is legally mandated to protect Nigerians and also report to Presidency.

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Togo announces presidential election for February next year

Gnassingbe has been in power for nearly 15 years since succeeding his father Eyadema Gnassingbe

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Togo announces presidential election for February next year
Togo's incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

Togo will hold elections in February next year, when incumbent President Faure Gnassingbe is expected to seek a fourth term in office.

A government decree published late Thursday after a cabinet meeting said the presidential election will be held on February 22 with a second-round organised if no candidate gets a clear majority.

Gnassingbe has been in power for nearly 15 years since succeeding his father Eyadema Gnassingbe, who led the country with an iron fist for 38 years.

The decree said for the first time Togo citizens living abroad will be able to cast their votes at embassies in the countries where they are living.

Election campaigning will start on February 6 and end February 20.

Opposition parties and civil society leaders, including Togo’s bishops, last month called for the election to be suspended to allow for a reorganisation of the constitutional court, the electoral register and the national electoral commission.

In early May, the Togolese deputies voted a constitutional amendment allowing Gnassingbe to run again in 2020 and 2025, but also to benefit from immunity for life “for acts done during presidential terms”.

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Senator Orji Uzor Kalu bags 12 years imprisonment

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Senator Orji Uzor Kalu bags 12 years imprisonment
(file photo)

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to 12 years in prison for fraud.

Orji Kalu, a serving senator representing Abia North and former governor of Abia State, was handed a 12-year jail sentence by Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court Lagos for N7.65 billion fraud.

Kalu was tried alongside Slok Nigeria Limited, a company he chairs and Mr Udeh Udeogu who was Director of Finance and Accounts of the state house at the time Kalu was governor of Abia State.

The convicts were accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of conspiring to divert and diverting over N7billion state fund in an amended 39-count charge.

The EFCC alleged in one of the counts that Senator Kalu did procure a company solely owned by him and members of his family – Slok Nigeria Limited – to retain in its account, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7 on his behalf.

The prosecution had argued that the N7.1 billion formed part of the funds illegally derived from the treasury of the Abia State Government and which was laundered into several bank drafts before they were paid into Slok Nigeria’s account.

Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs SAN, further argued that such action was in violation of  Section 17(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, and the defendant was liable to be punished under Section 16 of the same Act.

Kalu and the other defendants were also accused of receiving the sum of N460 million allegedly pilfered from the Abia State Government treasury between July and December 2002.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

While the matter lasted in court, the prosecution called a total of 19 witnesses and the defendants testified on their own behalf. 

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