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Bobi Wine charged with treason. Will this be Museveni’s joker against a rising opponent?

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Uganda’s vocal legislator, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, who is popularly known as Bobi Wine has been charged with treason, in the aftermath of the deadly clashes that rocked the West Nile town of Arua on the last day of campaigns to elect a member of parliament for the municipality.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Moses Ali told parliament on Wednesday that Bobi Wine, who was campaigning for independent candidate in the race, Kassiano Wadri will face the Army Court Martial on Thursday.

Bobi Wine was arrested along with other legislators and opposition supporters, including Wadri after police accused them of attacking president Yoweri Museveni’s convoy on Monday.

The incumbent President betrayed his emotions Wednesday, slightly coming short of publicly pronouncing Wine guilty of sponsoring the attack against him.

“It is a big shame to have such confused people who want to use violence to intimidate Ugandans. Nobody has a right to intimidate any Ugandan by word or action,” said Museveni.

“Fortunately, my convoy did not react with fire in response to this attack. This was because we were not equipped for anti-riots. Our intervention could have resulted into people’s death because we only had live bullets.

“We went to the bush to fight for the right of making political decisions by Ugandans without intimidation by word or action. Anybody who threatens this will have himself to blame,” he added.

The state has levied the following charges against Bobi Wine:
• Police spokesperson of north-western region, Josephine Angucia told journalists that Bobi Wine and Wadri are to be charged with malicious damage to the motorvehicle belonging to the convoy of the President.
• Bobi Wine is also charged with unlawful possession of firearms.
• Angucia also confirmed that both Bobi Wine and Wadri have been charged with treason.

Police in Arua reportedly recovered two submachine guns and a pistol from Bobi Wine and Wadri.

Read More: Uganda opposition figure detained after his driver is slain

‘’Kassiano Wadri was arrested with one pistol, which had 12 rounds of ammunition(…) It was found with him during the time of his arrest. He even confessed that he is licensed to have it,’‘ Angucia said.

“For that matter, all have been charged with treason, unlawful possession of firearms, that is for the case of Kyagulanyi Robert and malicious damage to the motorvehicle belonging to the convoy of the President.”

Residents of Arua cast their votes on Wednesday, and vote counting is underway to determine who will replace the deceased Ibrahim Abiriga, who was gunned down in mysterious circumstances in June this year.

Wine is no stranger to controversy.

In 2009, he was accused of punching rival artiste Bebe Cool (Wine reportedly holds a professional boxing licence).

Then the Kampala Capital City Authority, the agency that runs the Ugandan capital, came for him one time, accusing him of constructing a building without following zoning procedures.

Somehow, he broke free of both accusations and his music flourished.

Then the politics started.

When Uganda went to elections in 2016, Wine stayed from the pool of artistes like Chameleone who had collaborated to sing a campaign song for veteran President Yoweri Museveni.

To him, there was nothing knew the old man was offering, having recycled policies, and failed to implement them, for three decades.

It was the first signal of what was to come.

In June 29, 2017, the musician joined politics proper after defeating National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidates to win the Kyadondo East parliamentary seat as an independent candidate.

Politics

What next as Nigeria’s Supreme Court knocks out President Buhari’s suit challenging electoral act?

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Nigeria’s highest court, the Supreme Court on Friday knocked out a suit filed by President Muhammad Buhari and his attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, to challenge the controversial section 84(12) of the new assented Electoral Act.

The ruling, which was unanimously struck out the suit on the ground of being an abuse of court process, was delivered by a bench led by Musa Dattijo-Muhammad.

Other members of the bench who consented to the lead judgement are Dattijo-Muhammad, John Okoro, Amina Augie, Lawal Garba and Ibrahim Saulawa.

Aokmaye Agim, who delivered the lead judgement, held that Mr Buhari, having earlier assented to section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022, cannot turn around to approach the court to strike it down.

Mr Agim said, “This suit cannot be entertained by this court under section 1(1) (a) of the Additional Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court Act. “

“There is no provision in the constitution that vests the president the power to challenge the constitutionality or desirability of a legislation after he has assented or denied his assent. In this case, the president gave his assent,” Mr Agim ruled.

The Nigerian President in March signed the reworked Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 after many years of back and forth. The new law among other provisions empowers the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deploy technological solutions for elections in the country.

President Buhari in a letter to the National Assembly later asked the federal lawmakers to amend the Act, by deleting Section 84 (12), which, according to him, constitutes a “defect” that is in conflict with extant Constitutional provisions.

The clause reads, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

The Assembly however rejected President Buhari’s request to amend the provision.

Justice Agim added that “The president has no power to request or compel the national assembly to amend any part of the Act of the National Assembly in which he has participated in its making.”

The effect of the new law has seen a number president Buhari’s appointees resign particularly during the height of the ruling party, the All-Progressive Congress primary elections. Notably amongst them is the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi  who had to resign to pursue his presidential ambition.

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Ex-Tunisian PM Jebali arrested on allegations of money laundering

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Former Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, who is also senior member of the opposition Ennahdha Party, was on Friday, arrested by the police on allegations of money laundering, according to his lawyer, Mokhtar Jemai said in a statement.

The statement said police in the city of Sousse also seized the phones of Jebali and his wife, before taking him to an unknown location.

The arrest of Jebali has raised further concerns within the ranks of the opposition over the human rights situation in Tunisia since President Kais Saied took unpopular actions including dissolving the parliament last July, suspending the electoral commission, dissolved the Supreme Juducial Council and sacked 57 judges this month, which his opponents have called a coup meant to entrench a one-man rule in the country.

Jebali’s defence team have said they have been able to meet with him at the detention centre where he is being held.

“Jebali told us he will not answer the investigators’ questions and he entered into a hunger strike as the issue has a political motivation and nothing to do with money laundering,” Jemai said.

Jebali who was Tunisian Prime Minister in 2012 but resigned in 2013 following a political crisis, is not the first opposition figure to be arrested in what has been seen as a clampdown on opposition leaders by President Saied.

Earlier this year, Noureddine Bhiri, the vice president of Ennahdha was arrested and detained for more than two months before he was released without any charges being brought.

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