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Fierce critic of Nigeria’s President kidnapped

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Senator Dino Melaye, a well known critic of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria’s has reportedly been kidnapped. The incident allegedly occurred on Wednesday.

A fellow Senator, Ben Bruce, broke the news via his twitter handle saying, “I have just been informed by Moses Melaye, @dino melaye’s brother, that Dino has been abducted by unknown persons in a Toyota Sienna that blocked their car and overpowered them on their way to Kogi to answer to Dino’s court case. Lets be on the watch out. Will keep you updated,” Bruce had claimed in a post on his official Twitter handle.

The disappearance of Senator Dino Melaye got more troubling on Thursday as he was billed to appear in court for alleged gunrunning. When the matter came up in court on Thursday, Melaye’s counsel, Barrister Yemi Mohammed, explained to the trial magistrate, Suleyman Abdalah, that he was authoritatively informed that Melaye was attacked in Gwagwalada on Wednesday on his way home from court.

“I learnt that he was attacked yesterday in Gwagwalada on his way home from the court. Up till now, I have not been able to reach him. I don’t know where he is at the moment,” he said.

He also told the trial magistrate that the prosecution counsel was not ready to open the case due to reasons “best known to them.”

Officer in charge of Police prosecution, Theophilus Oteme, responding, told the court that the prosecuting counsel had an emergency yesterday, a reason according to him, that made it “extremely difficult for him to appear in court.”

He then prayed that the matter be adjourned till September 23, a request the trial magistrate frowned at, saying that “it contravened administration of criminal justice law of Kogi State as amended.”

Read Also: Gov Ortom quits! Crises rocking Nigeria’s ruling party deepens

Subsequently, the trial judge adjourned the matter till August 9 for commencement of trial.

Though, until recently, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Melaye is seen as the most out spoken critic of the Buhari-led administration. He continues to maintain that his stance on national issues has been reason for the several brushes with the law and attempts to kill or jail him.

Melaye has, at one point or the other, been charged with certificate forgery, obstruction to justice and murder. Recently, he escaped assassination, claiming that his convoy was severally shot at by agents of the state, an incident the police denies. He, together with 14 other Senators, recently dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Politics

Senegalese opposition condemns President Sall’s ‘slow’ election date announcement

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The opposition presidential contenders in Senegal have claimed that the government is taking too long to announce a new date for the poll, following a court ruling that declared a 10-month postponement to be illegal.

This occurs just a few days after President Macky Sall pledged to comply with the Constitutional Council’s position that the election be held as soon as feasible following the parliament’s resolution to reschedule the election—which was initially set for February 25—was overruled by the court.

The situation in one of the more stable democracies in coup-hit West Africa led to violent public protests and threats of authoritarian overreach, and Sall came under intense pressure both domestically and internationally to accept the council’s decision.

However, no new date has been announced, which has angered opposition candidates who want the election to happen before Sall’s term expires on April 2.

In a joint statement released late on Tuesday, sixteen out of the nineteen presidential candidates bemoaned the “inexplicable slowness” with which the council’s decision was implemented.

It was their contention that Sall’s tardy return to electoral duty demonstrated his reluctance to initiate a process that would result in a transfer of power. A request for response from the presidency was not answered.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Justice Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said that there was room for discussion over the expiration of Sall’s mandate on April 2.

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South Africa wants Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Palestinian territories declared illegal

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South Africa is back at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Israel’s role in the ongoing Hamas war. On Tuesday, Johannesburg asked the World Court to issue a non-binding legal opinion that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal.

South Africa argued that the proclamation would help efforts to reach a settlement as its representative opened the second day of hearings at the court in the Hague.

Vusimuzi Madonsela, South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands told the judges that “a clear legal characterization of the nature of Israel’s regime over the Palestinian people can only assist in remedying the ongoing delay and achieving a just settlement.”

Palestinian delegates asked the U.N.’s top court on Monday to declare Israel’s occupation of their territory illegal, adding that the advisory opinion of the court might help bring about a durable peace and a two-state solution.

Israel sent a written statement claiming that an advisory opinion would be detrimental to reaching a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, despite not being present at the hearings.

The most recent wave of violence in Gaza, which was sparked by Hamas’s attacks on Israel on October 7, has exacerbated the region’s long-standing grievances and harmed attempts to find a peaceful solution.

The ICJ’s fifteen-member panel was tasked with “occupation, settlement and annexation … including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”

It is anticipated that the judges will take about half a year to respond to the request, which also asks them to evaluate the implications of the occupation’s legal standing.

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