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What next as Nigeria’s Supreme Court knocks out President Buhari’s suit challenging electoral act?

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Nigeria’s highest court, the Supreme Court on Friday knocked out a suit filed by President Muhammad Buhari and his attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, to challenge the controversial section 84(12) of the new assented Electoral Act.

The ruling, which was unanimously struck out the suit on the ground of being an abuse of court process, was delivered by a bench led by Musa Dattijo-Muhammad.

Other members of the bench who consented to the lead judgement are Dattijo-Muhammad, John Okoro, Amina Augie, Lawal Garba and Ibrahim Saulawa.

Aokmaye Agim, who delivered the lead judgement, held that Mr Buhari, having earlier assented to section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022, cannot turn around to approach the court to strike it down.

Mr Agim said, “This suit cannot be entertained by this court under section 1(1) (a) of the Additional Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court Act. “

“There is no provision in the constitution that vests the president the power to challenge the constitutionality or desirability of a legislation after he has assented or denied his assent. In this case, the president gave his assent,” Mr Agim ruled.

The Nigerian President in March signed the reworked Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 after many years of back and forth. The new law among other provisions empowers the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deploy technological solutions for elections in the country.

President Buhari in a letter to the National Assembly later 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.

The clause reads, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

The Assembly however rejected President Buhari’s request to amend the provision.

Justice Agim added that “The president has no power to request or compel the national assembly to amend any part of the Act of the National Assembly in which he has participated in its making.”

The effect of the new law has seen a number president Buhari’s appointees resign particularly during the height of the ruling party, the All-Progressive Congress primary elections. Notably amongst them is the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi  who had to resign to pursue his presidential ambition.

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Tunisia: Government, labour union, UGTT, agree on IMF intervention

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In Tunisia, the government of president Saide has finally reach agreement with the country’s main labour and commerce unions for economic reforms.

The pressure groups agreed with the government on Friday to start talks on Monday over economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a rescue programme.

According to the state news agency ,TAP, quoting a government statement, Prime Minister Najla Bouden, UGTT labour union chief Noureddine Taboubi and UTICA commerce union chief Samir Majoul had agreed a “social contract” to tackle national challenges.

The UGTT which represents a vast syndicate of workers, has been a major critic of IMF economic reforms proposed by the government, including subsidy cuts, a public sector wage freeze and the restructuring of state-owned companies. It previously said, such reforms would increase the suffering of Tunisians and lead to an imminent social implosion.

In May, Tunisia reached an agreement with the European Union to secure a €300 million loan facility to cushion the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The North Africa country is seeking $4 billion in IMF support amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, though diplomat sources told Reuters any IMF programme approved would be unlikely to reach that level.

Efforts to secure the IMF bailout have been complicated by Tunisia’s political upheavals since President Kais Saied seized most powers a year ago, shutting down parliament and moving to rule by decree.

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Mali’s Prime Minister, Choguel Maiga, on “forced rest” by doctors

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The Prime Minister’s office in troubled West African country, Mali has revealed that doctors have put the PM, Choguel Maiga on compulsory rest.

The doctors’ order comes after months of intense exertion, his office said on Saturday. The office however denied media reports that he had been hospitalised after suffering a stroke.

An exert from his Facebook account reads “After 14 months of working without a break, the prime minister, head of government, Choguel Kokalla Maiga was placed on forced rest by his doctor”

“He will resume his activities next week, God-willing.”

Maiga, who is a former opposition leader, was named prime minister by the ruling junta of Colonel Goita June last year.

Maiga has been one of the government’s most outspoken voices in repeated public rows with West African neighbours and international partners who have criticised its military cooperation with Russian mercenaries and repeated election delays.

Mali has been in the eye of terror storm since war started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa with several insurgent groups, Jihadist and separatist fighters with affiliations with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Despite, insecurity being one of excused reasons for Colonel Goita’s military take government, much does not seemed to have been achieved as the country is still prone to continues terrorists attacks.

 

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