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Nigeria’s apex court dismisses opposition’s election petition against President Buhari1 min read

The 7-man panel said there was no merit in the appeal by Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party

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Nigeria's apex court dismisses opposition's election petition against President Buhari

Hopes by Nigeria’s major opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar to be declared winner of the February 23 presidential poll against incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari have been dashed by the Supreme Court which on Wednesday dismissed his appeal and that of his party.

The seven-man panel of the highest court in the country led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed said there was no merit in the appeal by Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party hence its dismissal in a three-sentence judgement which put paid to the legal dispute over the poll.

Chief Judge Mohammed said the reasons for the decision of the highest court would be made known on a date to be announced.

He disclosed that he and members of the panel had read all the documents and exhibits filed in the case for two weeks and found the appeal to be lacking in merit.

Abubakar, who is popularly known by his first name Atiku and his party had gone to the Supreme Court to challenge the September 11 judgment of the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal which affirmed President Buhari’s victory at the polls.

The judgement which was unanimously consented to by the other six members of the panel came less than an hour after the court took arguments on the appeal.

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Nigerian forces release fire in the air to stop protest

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NIGERIA-POLITICS
People demonstrate to demand the release of activist and opposition politician Omoyele Sowore(Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Nigerian security forces used tear gas and fired in the air on Tuesday to disperse protesters seeking the release of an opposition figure held since August after calling for a revolution.

Omoyele Sowore, the founder of local news site Sahara Reporters and a candidate in February’s presidential polls has been detained for “treason.”

At the end of September, the Nigerian judiciary ordered his release but the authorities have not complied. 

About 80 protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the capital Abuja, shouting slogans against President Muhammadu Buhari, a journalist said.

Nigerian forces release fire in the air to stop protest
(Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Some 50 heavily armed DSS agents confronted the demonstrators on bikes and in armoured trucks firing tear gas and shooting in the air, the reporter said, adding that they also attacked one journalist. 

Some sustained injuries after being trampled by demonstrators fleeing the scene.

The government of Buhari — who was re-elected this year — has accused Sowore and his “Revolution Now” movement of “plotting to destabilise Nigeria.”

Sowore, who came tenth in the polls and has been a virulent critic of the government, has drawn the ire of Nigerian authorities.

In August, Sahara Reporters, which regularly reports on government corruption, had called for nationwide protests against misrule in Nigeria.  

Two days ahead of the planned protest, he was arrested on August 5 and has been in detention since.

Nigerian forces release fire in the air to stop protest
(Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

The government’s handling of his case has sparked criticism from rights activists and prominent Nigerians, including Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, as well as rights groups like Amnesty International.

Last week, according to local media reports, a spokesperson for the DSS admitted the agency had received a court order for Sowore’s release but said it was detaining him “because no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him.”

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Politics

Alpha Conde approves February parliamentary elections in Guinea

The date for the vote was unveiled by the electoral commission on, but it had to be approved by the head of state

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President Alpha Conde of Guinea has confirmed that parliamentary elections will be held in February, despite violent protests over suspicions that he wants to prolong his rule.

“Guinean citizens of voting age and duly listed on the electoral roll of the present year are called to the ballot boxes for the legislative elections on February 16, 2020,” a presidential decree read out on state television said late Monday.

The date for the vote was unveiled by the electoral commission on Saturday, but it had to be approved by the head of state and political uncertainty still hangs over the poll after previous delays.

The nation has been shaken by violence during weeks of demonstrations over opposition suspicions that Conde is seeking a third term in office, banned by the constitution.

Elected for five years, Guinea’s current parliament began work in January 2014.

As a result, the next election is months overdue but has been delayed by political clashes and technical concerns.

The electoral commission previously suggested the voting date of December 28.

But this was rejected by the opposition as unrealistic and part of an alleged plot by Conde to alter the constitution enabling him to run for a third term in office. 

The International Organisation of Francophonie (OIF) – the French-speaking counterpart of the Commonwealth – also said the date should be “reconsidered”.

Electoral commission chairman Amadou Salif Kebe on Saturday said that Guinea had acquired the necessary voting materials, adding that a review of the electoral roll had begun.

Opposition parties, trade unions and representatives of civil society have urged citizens to oppose any bid for a third term by Conde, who has ruled since December 2010. A new demonstration has been called for Thursday.

At least 16 civilians and a paramilitary policeman have been killed since October 14. Dozens of people have been wounded and dozens more arrested.

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East Africa Politics News

Kenya, Lesotho Strengthen Bilateral Ties with Three Agreements

In an effort to boost bilateral ties and cooperation between the two African nations, Kenya and the Kingdom of Lesotho have today signed three key pacts; an agreement on the establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), a Memorandum of Understanding for Bilateral consultations as well as a Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Sports.

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In an effort to boost bilateral ties and cooperation between the two African nations, Kenya and the Kingdom of Lesotho have today signed three key pacts; an agreement on the establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), a Memorandum of Understanding for Bilateral consultations as well as a Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Sports.

The agreement on the establishment of a JCC will enable the two countries to identify and explore areas of cooperation while the MOU on sports will provide an opportunity for development of sports as an economic activity. The agreement on Bilateral Consultations on the other hand, will pave the way for the two countries to hold consultations on both bilateral and multilateral matters affecting the two countries at regional, continental and global levels.

The deals were signed at the end of talks held between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Right Hon. Dr Motsoahae Thomas Thabane, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, at the State House, Nairobi.

Prime Minister Thabane arrived in Nairobi last evening for a three-day state visit and was formally received today morning by his host, President Kenyatta at a colourful ceremony that included a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Kenya Army and a 19-gun salute.

During his visit, Prime Minister Thabane will lay a wreath at the Mausoleum of Kenya’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as well as visit the United Nations complex in Gigiri among other engagements.

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