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Nigeria’s ruling party is latest victim of leakage of official documents

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Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has become the latest victim of the spate of leakage of official documents in Nigeria.

The party on Friday expressed deep resentment over the leakage of its official correspondence with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, asking the electoral body to pay more attention to sensitive mails coming to it.

The Buhari administration had only recently dealt with the case of the leakage of a letter from the office of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to that of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The investigations led to the arrest and detention of a journalist, Samuel Ogundipe. The detainee was dragged to court and only released after local and international pressure was brought on the government which was insisting that the journalist reveal the source of the document which was widely published in the Nigerian media.

Recounting its disappointment, the APC said it was not happy that the letter notifying INEC of the proposed dates for its primaries, which it sent to the commission in accordance to the Electoral Act, was leaked to the media.

The incidence forced the party on Thursday to deny that it had fixed dates for its primaries.

The proposed time table for the primaries contained in a letter wriiten by the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu was published in a national daily.

The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, while reacting on Friday, said the National Executive Committee of the party needed to approve the time table before it could become authentic.

Read Also: Military backs out but Ugandan court charges MP Bobi Wine with treason

“Our attention has been drawn to a leaked letter the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole wrote to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu informing the Commission of the schedule of the Congresses and Primaries to elect Party candidates for the 2019 General Elections.

“These leaks of our sensitive and confidential correspondence to INEC is becoming commonplace and totally unacceptable. We strongly request that INEC looks into its internal handling of official correspondence and put a stop to these leaks.

“While the leaked formal notification to INEC has been done by the APC pursuant to the provisions of Section 85 of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), we advise the general public particularly the media to wait for an official announcement from the Party as the leaked dates are subject to changes, if necessary,” he said.

Politics

Sierra Leone imprisons 11 military, police officers over coup attempt

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Sierra Leone’s high court has sentenced 11 soldiers and police officers to hefty prison terms for their alleged roles in an attempted military coup last year.

On November 26, gunmen in Sierra Leone freed 2,200 detainees and killed over 20 in military barracks, a jail, and other locations.

After the coup attempt failed, 12 individuals were charged with treason in January. On Monday night, a unanimous jury found 11 guilty of 20 counts, including treason, murder, and military uniform use.

Due to health difficulties, the APC’s Bai Mahmoud Bangura, the twelfth accused, is being tried separately.

Amadu Koita Makalo, a retired army major and former bodyguard of ex-president Ernest Bai Koroma, received consecutive 40-70-year sentences for multiple counts.

Two female police officers were sentenced. Ramatu Kamanda Conteh received 30 years of harbouring Koita.

The government attributed the coup attempt to Koroma’s bodyguards, who were ultimately charged with four offences. However, the government let him leave the country on medical grounds.

Ex-president, Ernest Bai Koroma was accused of participating in a botched military coup attempt in November, and on January 3, was charged with four offences. However, a high court decided on Wednesday that Koroma was free to leave the nation.

His lawyers labelled the coup attempt “trumped up” and a “political vendetta” while Koroma condemned it.

Two decades after a 1991-2002 civil conflict that killed over 50,000 Sierra Leoneans, tensions have risen again.

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Tanzania’s president fires foreign, information ministers

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Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has announced the sack of two top officials, including the foreign minister, in a mini-cabinet reshuffle.

Hassan took steps to rebuild international trust in his economic and political reforms, including relaxing restrictions on opposition parties and media, which had been criticized for failing.

The presidency stated late Sunday that Hassan fired January Makamba, minister of foreign affairs and East Africa cooperation, and Nape Nnauye, minister of information, communication, and IT.

They are influential in Chama cha Mapinduzi, the ruling party.

No explanation was offered for their removal. Makamba and Nnauye responded slowly to calls for comment.

Nnauye was fired a week after a video showed him suggesting election results depended on who counts ballots and announces them.

Nnauye later apologized, saying it was a joke, but activists and social media users argued it harmed Hassan’s democracy efforts.

Muhammad Thabit Kombo became the foreign affairs minister and Jerry Silaa information, communication, and IT minister under Hassan.

While Silaa was minister of lands, housing, and human settlements development, Kombo was Tanzania’s ambassador to Italy. Two more ministers and deputy ministers were appointed, the presidency stated.

Since 2021, Hassan’s government has been lauded for rolling back her predecessor’s opposition and civil rights crackdowns. The arrests of a lawyer and an opposition leader last year have cast doubt on her government’s human rights record.

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