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Nigeria says no to citizens as ‘mercenaries’ in Russia, Ukraine war

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Nigeria says no to citizens as 'mercenaries' in Russia, Ukraine war

Nigeria has said it will not allow its nationals to be enlisted to fight in Ukraine where Russian forces are bombing cities and throwing neighbourhoods off-balance with gunfire.

This follows reports of alleged recruitment of volunteers in the country to fight on the side of Ukraine.

Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry spokesman Francisca Omayuli in a statement said Nigeria is in talks with Ukrainian counterparts to forestall such an occurrence.

“As a responsible member of the international community and consistent with our obligations under international law, Nigeria discourages the use of mercenaries anywhere in the world and will not tolerate the recruitment, in Nigeria, of Nigerians as mercenaries to fight in Ukraine or anywhere in the world,” Omayuli said.

ALSO READ: $1m bounty placed on Putin but Facebook yanks off post. What we know about the instigator

Nigeria’s foreign ministry said the Ukrainian embassy had denied any role in the alleged exercise.

The embassy confirmed that a number of Nigerians had approached it indicating a willingness to join the war, according to a ministry statement.

Also, the embassy also distanced itself from claims that it was requesting $1,000 (£800) from each Nigerian volunteer for an air ticket and visa and that it is not admitting foreign volunteer fighters.

“Nigeria discourages the use of mercenaries anywhere in the world and will not tolerate the recruitment, in Nigeria, of Nigerians as mercenaries to fight in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world,” the ministry’s spokesperson said.

It comes days after Senegal warned against volunteers enlisting to fight against Russians in Ukraine.

It also ordered the Ukrainian ambassador to take down a Facebook post that had called on Senegalese volunteers to enlist in the war, Africa News said.

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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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