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Nigeria’s electoral commission snubs ruling party, APC, as leadership crisis takes new twist

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The crisis in Nigeria’s ruling party has hit new direction as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. has rejected a letter inviting it to an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the ruling party.

Niger state governor, Abubakar Bello, hinted he was taking over as the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee party from Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.

The rejection from the electoral body means setback on the plot to take over the party’s leadership from Governor Mai Mala Buni by governor, Abubakar Bello,

 

INEC’s response, which dated March 9, 2022, signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran Anthony, was titled, “Re: Invitation to the emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee”, and addressed to the National Chairman, APC CECPC.

The commission drew the attention of the CECPC to the fact that the letter of invitation was not signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the CECPC, Buni and Senator John Akpanudoedehe, respectively.

This, it said, was contrary to the provision of Article 1.1.3 of the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for Political Party Operations (2018).

INEC also reminded those who wrote and signed the letter of the provision in Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, “which requires at least 21 days’ notice of any convention, congress, conference, or meeting convened for the purpose of merger and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any elective office.”

The commission, therefore, urged APC to note the key issues raised for compliance.

The letter by INEC is considered a big clog in the wheels of a plot by a bloc in the party to stage a coup against Buni, who duly transferred power to Governors Sani Bello of Niger State, to enable him to attend briefly to health issues, according to a leaked letter on Thursday.

Politics

South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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Niamey court revokes immunity of overthrown Nigerien president

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The State Court of Niamey has revoked the immunity of Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, signalling the start of criminal proceedings against him by the junta, according to a statement from his attorneys on Friday.

In July of last year, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. Since then, he and his spouse have remained in custody despite numerous requests for his release from Western nations and the ECOWAS regional political and economic grouping.

 

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, stated on state television in August that the military government had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger before competent national and international authorities.”

In a statement, one of his attorneys, Moussa Coulibaly, claimed that the court’s ruling cleared the path for Bazoum to face charges of treason and conspiracy to compromise state security.

The court proceedings “violated (ed) the absolute rights of the defence: we were not authorised to meet our client and the court refused to hear our arguments,” he added.

It was not immediately able to get in contact with the Niger government for a response. Because of Bazoum’s interactions with foreign heads of state and international organizations, the junta declared last year that it would bring high treason charges against him.

Following 2020, there have been eight coups in West and Central Africa that have brought the military government to power. Calls for Bazoum’s reinstatement have gone unanswered, including by the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which declared last year that his arrest was unjustified.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, he and his spouse had never appeared before a magistrate. Lawyers said that since October, when their phone line at the White House was taken away, they have been cut off from the outside world and are only permitted to have visitors from their doctor.

Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the deposed president, was given provisional parole from house imprisonment by the Niger military tribunal in January.

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