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Nigeria lawmakers reject President Buhari’s appeal to amend Electoral Act, insist appointees must resign to contest

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The upper chamber of Nigeria’s bicameral legislature, the Senate on Wednesday rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to amend the provision that makes it mandatory for political appointees who want to run for office in 2023 to resign in the recently signed Electoral Act, 2022.

President Buhari had, in a letter to the National Assembly last week, 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.

Earlier on Monday, The Federal High Court sitting in Nigeria’s capital city – Abuja, restrained its National Assembly from tampering with the newly amended Electoral Act 2022 following a motion ex-parte that was brought before the court by the opposition – Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The court, in the ruling that was delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, specifically barred all the Defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/247/2022, from removing section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act or preventing it from being implemented for the purpose of the 2023 general elections.

President Buhari has several political appointees currently in different Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government who will be affected by the amended law when signed into law. Specifically, in the eye of the discourse is Nigeria’s Attorney General, Mr. Abubakar Malami who by implication is an appointee and legal adviser to the President and widely believed to be interested in contesting for the seat the governor of Kebbi state.

Other political appointees include 43 ministers, special advisers, senior special assistants, special assistants and heads of government agencies holding sensitive positions that make it difficult for open declaration of their ambitions.

Some of these political appointees are currently being touted as contenders for presidential, governorship, senatorial and House of Representatives seats ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Politics

Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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Farmgate: South Africa’s ruling party, ANC, defends President Ramaphosa, wants panel reports rejected

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South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has told the country’s lawmakers to reject a report that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct over a stash of cash in his farm.

The party’s Treasurer-General of the ruling African National Congress said Paul Mashatile, “the president continues with his duties as president of the ANC and the republic.”

Meanwhile, in his defence, President Ramaphosa in a statement to the Constitutional Court said “the panel misconceived its mandate, misjudged the information placed before it, and misinterpreted the four charges advanced against me.”

Ramaphosa wanted the panel report “reviewed, declared unlawful, and set aside”.

Ramaphosa also wants any steps taken by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, over the panel report to be declared unlawful and invalid, the papers showed.

According to one of the party chieftains, Mashatile, while addressing journalists on the development, the party’s National Executive Committee’s decision to back Ramaphosa is said not to have been unanimous.

“Were we unanimous? No, there were a lot of debates, but we had to end somewhere, and what I am reporting is where we ended. That we will not support this report,” Mashatile said.

The Parliament on Thursday received a report on an investigation on the president after a huge sum of money in cash was reportedly found (stolen) on his Farm.

President Ramaphosa denied any wrongdoing but confirmed that a robbery occurred and an estimated $4 million was stolen at the farm back in 2020, on his game farm.

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