#Reuters- Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika might resign this week, the private Ennahar and El Bilad TV channels said on Sunday, after mass protests and pressure from the army demanding the end of his 20-year rule.
Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika gestures while talking with Army Chief of Staff General Ahmed Gaed Salah during a graduation ceremony of the 40th class of the trainee army officers at a Military Academy in Cherchell 90 km west of Algiers, Algeria June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina//File Photo
The reports come after the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, renewed a call on Saturday for the Constitutional Council to declare the ailing 82-year-old Bouteflika unfit to rule. [nL8N21H0N8]
Seeking to defuse the demonstrations, Bouteflika said on March 11 he was dropping plans for a fifth term. But he stopped short of stepping down immediately, to wait for a national conference on political change.
That further enraged protesters, prompting Salah to step in by proposing last week to ask the constitutional council to see whether he is still fit for office.
Bouteflika, who has rarely been in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, might announce his resignation on Tuesday, Ennahar TV said, citing political sources. El Bilad TV, quoting unnamed sources, said he would quit this week.
State media did not report similar reports, and there was no immediate comment from the presidency.
Ennahar said Bouteflika was preparing his resignation in accordance with article 102 of the constitution, which allows him to quit or face the verdict of the constitutional council whether he is still fit for office.
Late on Sunday, hundreds took to the streets in the capital, Algiers, to demand Bouteflika go, according to residents and pictures posted on social media.
The reports came hours after Bouteflika named a caretaker Cabinet. Political sources said that might be a signal that Bouteflika could resign, as a caretaker president cannot name Cabinets.
Incumbent Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui will head the administration, state news agency APS said, listing 27 ministers.
Central bank Governor Mohamed Loukal was named as finance minister, while the former head of the state power and gas utility Mohamed Arkab will be energy minister, APS said.
Sabri Boukadoum, a former envoy to the United Nations, becomes foreign minister and replaces Ramtane Lamamra, who spent less than a month in the role.
Salah kept his position as deputy defense minister in the reshuffle, according to state media. Bouteflika kept his title as defense minister. [nL8N21I0XK]
Bouteflika also named the communications minister, Hassane Rabhi, as government spokesman, a rarely filled post in what critics say has been a secretive administration.
Demonstrators have rejected military intervention in civilian matters and want to dismantle the entire ruling elite, which includes veterans from the war of independence against France, army officers, the ruling party and business tycoons.
Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Algiers for more than a month, complaining of corruption, nepotism and economic mismanagement they say has tarnished Bouteflika’s rule.
But two opposition leaders have supported the army initiative.
“The merit of this approach is that it responds to a pressing popular demand,” Ali Benflis, a former head of the ruling FLN party, said in a party statement. “We are facing a political, constitutional and institutional crisis.”
Abderazak Makri, head of an Islamist party, said he was against anything that threatened the stability and unity of the country or undermined the military.
Several close allies, including some members of the ruling FLN and union leaders, have abandoned Bouteflika.
The secretary-general of the United Nations said on Sunday he welcomed efforts towards a peaceful and democratic transition in Algeria.
Addressing an Arab League summit in Tunis, Antonio Guterres said any steps should be made in a way “that addresses the concerns of the Algerian people in a timely way”.Read More
President Muhammadu Buhari is set to leave Abuja, Monday for Dakar, Senegal to attend the inauguration of Senegalese President, Macky Sall, following his re-election for a second term.
On the invitation of his host, President Buhari, who is ECOWAS Chairman, will be Special Guest of Honour at the ceremonies to be attended by other African leaders at the Diamniadio Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.
The Nigerian leader will be accompanied by Governors Mohammed Abubakar, Nasir El-Rufai and Tanko Al-Makura of Bauchi, Kaduna, and Nasarawa states respectively.
Others on the Presidential entourage include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama; National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai, and other top government officials.
The President is expected back in the country at the end of the inauguration.
Following the cancellation of his bail by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), has warned the Federal Government not to test his patience. He added that he has the capacity to make the country ungovernable.
The Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered the arrest of the pro-Biafra leader. It also ordered that his trial on charges of a treasonable felony should proceed in his absence.
In a statement Kanu released, he dared the Federal Government to come for him if it could.
Still reacting to the court order for his arrest, he said the alleged plan by the Federal Government to arrest him with the International Police is an empty threat.
He stressed that his arrest is a ploy by the Federal Government to make the International Police stop him from traveling freely across the world to make a case for the independence of Biafra.
He also added that he was a British citizen and so could not be subjected to any Nigerian law.
Read the statement below:
“I am a Biafran that holds British citizenship. Nigerian law courts and their judges are of no consequence to me.”
“My lawyers are waiting for an Interpol red notice against my name and all hell will break loose. If the intention of Binta Nyako is to curtail my travels, thereby limiting IPOB diplomatic offensive, then let me assure Biafrans that our enemies have failed.
“Should they request Interpol intervention in this matter, I will give my lawyers here in the UK the instructions we need to launch a no-holds-barred legal assault against Nigeria.
“So, I am waiting for them. Europe and Interpol are not a bunch of wild beasts like Nigerian law courts and her security services. In Europe, there is a rule of law which is also binding on Interpol.
“The treasonable felony charge they leveled against me is not a crime that could be committed by merely carrying Biafran flag about and preaching secession, but one that could only be committed using guns, bombs, and other weapons, which my group has never been associated with.
“I warn the Federal Government not to dare me because I’m capable of causing trouble for Nigeria.”Read More
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday presented Certificates of Return to the Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Deputy-Governor of the state, Barr. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo and to the 24 elected Members of the State House of Assembly.
Listed among these newly elected Lawmakers is 31-year-old Barr. Ibenaku Onoh who was elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to represent the people of Enugu North Constituency and is set to be the youngest Member of the House in the next Assembly come June 2019.
According to the information available to blueprint afric, Barr. Ibenaku Onoh attended Federal Government College Enugu for his secondary education and thereafter proceeded to Brunel University of West London where he studied Law. He obtained a Masters in Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies before proceeding to the London School of Economics and Political Science where he obtained a Diploma for Graduates in International Relations.
Research also shows that the young Onoh attended the Nigerian Law School Abuja between 2012 and 2013. He started his law career at the law office of Chief Chris Uche SAN and later proceeded to the Legal Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria at the CBN Headquarters in Abuja where he worked for 2 years before venturing into politics.
Our findings have shown that Barr. Onoh is also a serial entrepreneur, a Youth advocate and a Ph.D. Student of the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, and Enugu Campus.
On account of the success of a number of youths who contested and won elections into various positions in different states in Nigeria, we must now appreciate graciously the impact of the not too young to run bill in the recently conducted general elections as its passage motivated and consequently paved the way for Nigerian youths to get involved in frontline politics.
Adding to the already petition filed against President Buhari's re-election victory, 3 more presidential candidates have separately approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, demanding that it voids the result of the February 23 presidential election.
The battle for who emerges Nigeria’s President in the next four years was majorly between the President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
PDP and Atiku have already filed their petition before the Presidential Election Tribunal.
However, in their various petitions, the three presidential candidates, of the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Chief Ambrose Owuru; Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Aminchi Habu and Coalition for Change, C4C, Geff Chizee Ojinka, urged the tribunal to invoke its powers and quash the declaration of President Buhari as the bonafide winner of the 2019 presidential election.
In their separate petitions, they alleged that the election was characterized by manifest irregularities, adding that the Electoral Act was not substantially complied with by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
HDP’s Chief Ambrose Owuru, whose petition marked as CA/ PEPC/001/2019, cited the APC and the INEC as Respondents.
Owuru’s total votes in the presidential election were 1,663.
Also, PDM’s Habu, in another petition registered as CA/PEPC/004/2019, equally challenged the outcome of the presidential poll.
Similarly, in its own petition marked CA/PEPC/003/2019, C4C and its presidential candidate, Ojinka, also urged the tribunal to nullify President Buhari’s election.
The C4C garnered a total of 2,391 votes at the presidential poll and cited the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as the 2nd Respondent in its case.
“Petitioners contend that the above election was vitiated by substantial non-compliance with mandatory statutory provisions, which irregularity substantially affected the election such that the 1st Respondent was not entitled to be returned as the Winner of the Presidential election,” the C4C party added.
The Justice Abdul Aboki led tribunal had on Wednesday, ordered that President Buhari should be served with a copy of the petition marked as CA/ PEPC/002/2019, which was filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar. The tribunal directed that Buhari should be served with all the legal processes, through any senior officer at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.Read More
Mohammed Adamu, the acting Inspector General of Police has denounced the poor budgetary allocation to the Force.
Appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs on Tuesday, the IGP regrettably said that inadequate funding is preventing the police from achieving its mandate.
He, however, appealed to the 8th National Assembly to quickly pass the Police Reform Trust Fund bill.
“Out of N25.1 billion appropriated for capital projects, only the sum of N5billion representing 20 percent has so far been released while the sum of N20.1 billion is yet to be released.
“Arising from fund constraint, the capital and overhead cost estimate for 2019 are limited to the given envelop as they do not reflect the actual needs of the Force.
“For example, the capital budget proposed by the Force amounted to N77.5 billion. However, the envelope is limited to N16.3 billion,” he stated.
The IGP’s visit is the first since his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 15 to replace Ibrahim Idris who retired from the Force.Read More
More sad need in Africa. Ten people have been killed along with two suicide bombers in a coordinated attack late Tuesday by Boko Haram jihadists on a town in eastern Niger, the local mayor told newsmen.
“Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up and gunmen then attacked civilians,” the mayor of the town of N’Guigmi, Abba Kaya Issa, told AFP on Wednesday.
“We have a provisional toll of 10 dead plus the two suicide bombers,” he said, blaming “Boko Haram elements” for the assault.
Eyebrows wiggle as a mild drama stir at the Enugu Headquarters of the United Bank for Africa as bailiffs from the Federal High Court Enugu stormed the bank at Station Road in Okpara Avenue, with policemen to enforce a court judgment against the bank.
The bank's daily activities had commenced peacefully and regularly till at about 10:30 am when the court bailiffs came into the banking premise and asked that all person exits.
Bank staffs and customers hurriedly left to move out their vehicles to avoid being claimed by the court.
Soon after, the bailiffs locked all the entrances to the banking hall and three gates leading into the bank premises, placing an inscription “possession taken by Court Order FHC/EN/M/339/2010.”
It was gathered that the sealing of the bank was to enforce the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, delivered on May 30, 2012, which awarded N5million against the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and United Bank for Africa, UBA for the rights violation of one Eric Emeka Onoh, a security staff of the UBA, Enugu branch who was stripped naked in banking hall.
The judgment our correspondent obtained, was delivered by Justice Dorothy Agishi in a suit No. FHC/EN/M/339/2010 between EFCC and UBA as defendants and Eric Emeka Onoh as the applicant.
Onoh had through his council Awforkansi Nnadiume, sought the relief of the court on whether the applicant has any right that is protected by Nigeria constitution.
He also asked the court to determine whether the right was infringed upon by the respondents and if the court rules that this right was infringed upon by the respondents, is the applicant entitled to the remedies of N1billion which he was claiming.
The applicant sought an order for the re-opening of his account at Diamond Bank with Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC arbitrary froze. In the application, Onoh asked the court to declare that the torture meted on him by the EFCC on mere suspicion breached his fundamental rights.
But in her judgment, the court held that the applicant (Onoh) has a legal right protected by law and after analyzing the submissions of both the applicant and respondents. The court found that the right of the applicant was infringed upon by all the respondents because of the applicant mentioned in graphic details the roles played by each of the respondents in traumatizing him.
The court noted that the respondents did not deny all the allegations made by the applicant in there submissions.
The court also awarded a compensational damage of N5 million against the respondents jointly and severally and further ordered that the applicant’s account frozen in Diamond Bank to be re-opened.
Justice Agishi, however, regretted the non-inclusion of the police in the matter.
However, the enforcement order is coming after the Appeal Court sitting in Enugu had dismissed the UBA appeal which seeks to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court.
The Federal Government has been impelled by the Amnesty International to look into the alleged cases of political thuggery and violence on journalists and electorate during the supplementary election conducted in Kano State.
Isa Sanusi, the Amnesty International Spokesperson, made the call in an interview with BBC Hausa service, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu, Yobe.
“Amnesty International condemns the human rights violation during supplementary election exercise conducted in Kano especially on journalists and electorates.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to lunch an investigation into the issue.
“Extensive electoral security problems were observed in some areas, with groups of men with weapons intimidating and obstructing the process, and security agencies ineffective at protecting citizens’ right to vote.”
NAN reports that supplementary governorship elections were conducted in Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau, and Sokoto — where results from the March 9 initial ballot were declared inconclusive as the margin of victory was less than the canceled votes.
INEC on Sunday declared Abdullahi Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress winner of the governorship supplementary election.
NAN reports that the European Union Election Observation Mission on Monday said that it witnessed organized violence and intimidation of voters during Saturday’s rerun in parts of Kano, Bauchi and Benue States.
Specifically, the Mission said police and party leaders failed to prevent attacks on electoral officials by youth gangs armed with clubs and machetes in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State which accounted for one-third of all registered voters for the supplementary governorship election.
The EU EOM in a statement on the supplementary poll stated that its observers could not access many polling units in Kano due to security concerns.