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Nigeria’s anti-graft body, EFCC, arrests ex-governor Obiano hours after handing over

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In Nigeria, an anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, arrested the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano.

Obiano was arrested at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, at about 8:30 pm last night barely hours after attending the inauguration of his successor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo.

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest, revealing that the agency had requested the Nigeria Immigration Service to inform it anytime the governor was travelling out of the country from any of the international airports, as well as other points of entry and exit.

The manner of the arrest suggests that the agency may have been discreetly investigating the former governor and possibly had intelligence that he was planning to escape after handing over power to his successor, Professor Charles Soludo, on March 16, 2022.

Slamreportafrica.com reported on Thursday that the swearing-in ceremony of Professor Chukwuma Soludo as the governor of Anambra State, Nigeria yesterday was overshadowed by the reported fracas between the wife of outgoing Gov. Willie Obiano, Ebelechukwu, and Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu at the event.

Meanwhile, the latest update on the arrest says the EFCC has released the ex-Governor, Willie Obiano.

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Politics

ECOWAS folds, lifts economic, travel sanctions on junta-led Niger, others

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Economic sanctions on Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso were lifted with immediate effect by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday.

This came after the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held an unprecedented meeting at the State House in Abuja, where they deliberated for hours on the political, peace, and security situation in the region.

Mali and its bordering junta-run nations, Niger and Burkina Faso, abruptly announced last month that they were abandoning ECOWAS, the largest political and economic union in West Africa, reversing decades of regional integration.

The ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Touray, announced the Authority’s resolutions and stated that it has halted the closing of the air and land border with Niger, creating a no-fly zone for any commercial aircraft.

Additionally, it has halted the unfreezing of all of Niger’s assets at EBID and the freezing of any financial transactions involving the central bank of the ECOWAS states and Niger.

Additionally, it removed the restriction on military junta members’ and their families’ travel. “Based on humanitarian considerations due to lent and the approaching month of Ramadan,” according to Touray, the decision was made.

Sanctions against Mali citizens being elected to ECOWAS positions were also lifted by the authority. Along with the lifting of sanctions against Guinea, all four nations were extended an invitation to future ECOWAS technical consultative meetings.

Additionally, ECOWAS requested that the member states that were withdrawing reevaluate their choice in light of the advantages their citizens had received.

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Politics

Senegalese opposition condemns President Sall’s ‘slow’ election date announcement

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The opposition presidential contenders in Senegal have claimed that the government is taking too long to announce a new date for the poll, following a court ruling that declared a 10-month postponement to be illegal.

This occurs just a few days after President Macky Sall pledged to comply with the Constitutional Council’s position that the election be held as soon as feasible following the parliament’s resolution to reschedule the election—which was initially set for February 25—was overruled by the court.

The situation in one of the more stable democracies in coup-hit West Africa led to violent public protests and threats of authoritarian overreach, and Sall came under intense pressure both domestically and internationally to accept the council’s decision.

However, no new date has been announced, which has angered opposition candidates who want the election to happen before Sall’s term expires on April 2.

In a joint statement released late on Tuesday, sixteen out of the nineteen presidential candidates bemoaned the “inexplicable slowness” with which the council’s decision was implemented.

It was their contention that Sall’s tardy return to electoral duty demonstrated his reluctance to initiate a process that would result in a transfer of power. A request for response from the presidency was not answered.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Justice Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said that there was room for discussion over the expiration of Sall’s mandate on April 2.

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