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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

Like Mali, Burkina Faso junta suspends France’s RFI radio over broadcast of militant speech

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West African country, Burkina Faso, has gone the way of its neighbour, Mali, as its ruling junta has suspended the broadcast of France’s RFI radio.

The suspension comes after what the junta said were false reports and giving voice to Islamist militants, a statement from the government said on Saturday.

According to a statement by the radio station, “RFI strongly deplores this decision and protests against the totally unfounded accusations calling into question its professionalism,” State-owned Radio France Internationale, usually referred to as RFI.

The statement added that the decision to suspend its broadcasting was made without prior notice and without the implementation of the procedures put in place by Burkina Faso’s communications regulator.

The ruling junta which came into power in a recent coup in September accused the RFI also repeated a press report – which it denied – that Burkina Faso’s President Captain Ibrahim Traore, who seized power in a coup in September, had said there had been an attempted coup trying to unseat him.

Burkina Faso’s neighbour, Mali, under military reign, suspended broadcasts by French state-funded international news outlets RFI and France 24 amid accusations of reporting “false allegations”.

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Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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