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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).

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Weeks after justices protest, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad resigns

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Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned.

Sources confirmed that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Hint of potential crises in Nigeria’s judiciary played out last week when fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court.

The petition is the first-of-its-kind in the 58-year history of the apex court, the justices chronicled the operational challenges that have almost crippled the efficient adjudication of cases at the court.

Arrangements are said to be ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

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18 years after suspension, Zimbabwe lobbys for readmission into Commonwealth

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Southern African Zimbabwe has continued with lobbying for readmission 18 years after it was thrown out of the body over allegations of human rights abuses.

The country made its latest move to be readmitted at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke, who is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali as an observer alongside other top government officials, told newsmen that the country’s participation at the summit was a “positive development.”

“Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,” Ms Manyeruke said.

“The Commonwealth meeting in Kigali has provided opportunities for our Zimbabwean diaspora across the globe, who are participating as panellists, facilitators and as delegates in the forums.

Zimbabwe was first suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year, after international observers condemned disputed presidential election as unfairly tilted toward Robert Mugabe in 2022.

One year after the suspension, Mr Mugabe revealed that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabwe’s suspension from the group until the country mended its ways.

“Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect,” said a government statement.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people to discuss the country’s potential readmission.

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