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Ousted former Burkina Faso President allowed to return home after months of house arrest

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Former President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, has been allowed to return to his personal home after months of being under strict house arrest since he was removed in a coup in January.

The Burkinabe military junta spokesman, Wendkouni Joel Lionel Bilgo, said in a statement on Friday that Kabore has been allowed to return to his residence in the capital, Ouagadougou, following three weeks of consultations across the country, but added that the ex-president’s residence will be guarded round the clock by government security,

As part of the deal, Kabore will be allowed to see family and close friends and to use his phone, but he is not permitted to freely move outside his home without the permission of the military, a member of the ruling junta told a journalist on the condition of anonymity.

Kabore’s ouster on January 24 by Army officers who were disgruntled by his leadership style and his handling of lingering jihadist insurgency that has claimed some 2,000 lives and forced another two million people to flee their homes, had led the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to place various sanctions on the country.

The West African regional body had also expressed concern over the junta’s transition period and demanded that by April 25, the military rulers should propose a shorter time to elections as against the junta’s announcement that it intends to stay in power for three years before holding elections and returning Burkina Faso to civilian, democratic rule.

Africa News Watch had, on April 1, reported that the West African regional body, after a summit in Accra, Ghana, on March 25, demanded the immediate release release
Kaboré’s from house arrest by the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR),

However, the military government rejected the demands, saying it had the right to do things its own way.

“The government of Burkina Faso has only one deadline. The deadline is to do things right, to plan its actions in accordance with the realities on the ground, in all objectivity and with the greatest possible prudence and realism,” Bilgo said at a press conference.

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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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