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Sierra Leone’s Anti-graft Commission To Issue Arrest Warrant For Ex-President Koroma

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The Sierra Leone Anti-corruption Commission (ACC-SL), a government body that investigates and prosecutes corruption cases in the West African nation, is considering issuing an arrest warrant against the former president, Ernest Bai Koroma, after he failed to comply with a summons for questioning.

Koroma failed to appear before the anti-graft agency at its headquarters in the capital Freetown on Thursday because of concerns over his safety, his lawyers said.

The Francis Ben Kaifala-led ACC-SL wants to quiz Mr Koroma after an inquiry concluded that corruption during his 11-year presidency took the country to the brink of economic collapse.

The anti-corruption campaign was launched by Koroma’s successor, President Julius Maada Bio.

The former president was first summoned in September over allegations of wrongdoing in connection with mining, construction and procurement contracts, and follows an order on Tuesday to bar him and 111 officials from leaving the country after a judge-led inquiry alleged that they illicitly enriched themselves during his 2007-2018 tenure.

He was ordered to answer questions from the commission – which has prosecuting powers – in person on Oct. 5, he said.

Mr Koroma denies any wrongdoing, insisting corruption allegations are part of a long-running smear campaign.

Investigators blamed his supporters for physically preventing them from questioning him at his home on October 8.

Joseph Kamara, Koroma’s lawyer, said his client would agree to be interviewed in Freetown if the state provided necessary security for him to travel from his northern hometown of Makeni.

Koroma’s opposition All People’s Congress party denied there were any roadblocks, or that the crowd was hostile.

An earlier report commissioned by Maada Bio accused the previous administration of exploiting an Ebola outbreak in the West African country for personal gain.

Koroma’s Makeni property is among assets worth $200 million the government has ordered him and other officials forfeit or repay following an inquiry in September.

The former ruling All People’s Congress party, which Koroma still leads, has rejected the inquiry’s findings as “politically motivated, legally flawed and procedurally defective”. It plans to challenge it at the Court of Appeal.

East Africa News

South Sudan Launches Fresh Attack on SPLA-IO Base

South Sudan’s army has on Thursday launched a fresh attack against forces of the main armed opposition group and peace partner, SPLA-IO

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SOUTH SUDAN FRESH ATTACKS

South Sudan’s army on Thursday launched a fresh attack against forces of the main armed opposition group and peace partner, SPLA-IO at the Morota Unified Training centre. 

The deputy spokesman of the SPLA-IO in Juba, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel said the attack was ordered by General Moses Lokujo who defected from the group to join the SSPDF in September.

According to Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel “… this morning November 26, at about 6:00am, the defected force of Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo who is now under the command and control of the SSPDF attacked the SPLA-IO component of protection force for Morota Unified Training Centre, in complete violation of the permanent ceasefire,”  

The statement also confirmed the death of one SPLA-IO soldier and two others injured as the fighting continues.

Last week, the ceasefire monitoring body, CTSSAM-VM identified General Moses Lokujo as being responsible for the recent displacement of civilians around Kajo-Keji area. He was also accused of blocking access to a military training camp.

The revitalized peace deal expects all the parties to desist from actions that may obstruct or delay the provision of humanitarian assistance, protection of civilians, or restrict the free movement of people.

The armed opposition group further urged the SSPDF to cease attacks against it while urging that security mechanisms established under the revived peace agreement be implemented to halt the attacks.

He called on the SSPDF command to restrain Maj. Gen. Lokuj from incessant attacks against the SPLA-IO.

“It should also be noted that the forces in Morota Training Centre are not only SPLA-IO forces but a component of the unified forces under the command and control of the JTSC and JDB. Therefore, attacking this force is not only a violation but a direct attack against the Security Arrangement in particular and the R-ARCSS in general.”

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Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore Wins Re-election

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President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso has been re-elected to lead the West African nation for another five years.

Preliminary results from the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) on Thursday showed Kabore won 57.9% of the vote, while main challengers, Eddie Komboigo and Zephirin Diabre, got 15.5% and 12.5% respectively.

The President required over 50% to avoid a second round.

Burkina Faso’s election, held on November 22, was reportedly marred by insecurity that prevented a lot of people in the West African country from voting.

The main opponents had accused Kabore, who was elected in 2015, of failing to contain terrorist and ethnic violence which forced 1 million people to flee their homes during his first term.

Kabore’s opponents have raised concerns about the validity of the vote count, but the electoral commission has dismissed those allegations.

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President Buhari Will Set Nigeria On Fire If… -Governor Wike

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President Muhammadu Buhari will set Nigeria on fire if he chooses to turn a deaf ear to Nigerians’ demands, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said on Thursday.

Wike, who spoke on a Channels TV programme, Sunrise Daily, said Buhari should implement the requests made at a meeting between Ministers, Federal lawmakers, and leaders of the six geopolitical zones over #EndSARS protests.

News Central reports that the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, led the presidential delegation. They met with Governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday.

At the meeting, the South-South leaders, including the Rivers State governor demanded the restructuring of the country, in line with the principle of true federalism, saying it will guarantee peace, security and stability in the country.

Speaking of the meeting on Thursday, the Rivers state governor said: “I am not a pessimist. I don’t believe that because you didn’t do what you agreed to do yesterday, therefore, you will not do what you agree to do today. Even if he (Buhari) has not done what he told Nigerians he would do, he can say, look, I promised Nigerians yesterday, I didn’t do that and that is affecting my integrity and so, for people who know me, I will implement what I have said.

“People have raised the issue that they don’t think anything will come out of the dialogues. I don’t agree with them. I believe that if the President does not do it, given the opportunity he has now, he will be putting Nigeria on fire.”

He added,“He (Buhari) may not necessarily implement everything the people may want but let the people see the concrete evidence that under President Buhari, he has been able to implement one, two, three, four demands by the people.

“If he (Buhari) doesn’t take this opportunity now to implement some of these requests, I don’t think it will be very good for Nigerians and for his legacy.”

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