Connect with us

News

Violence in US Capitol, pro-Trump protesters disrupt Electoral College vote

Published

on

  • Democrats win runoff, set to control Senate

Supporters of President Donald Trump seeking to overturn his 2020 presidential poll loss stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday and attacked police.

They disrupted electoral vote as members of Congress who had convened to certify the vote were forced to leave the building.

The proceedings had barely begun when the protesters breached security perimeters at the Capitol, putting the building on lockdown.

Lawmakers inside the House chamber were told to wear gas masks and lay on the floor as Capitol police released tear gas, then evacuated from the building.

US Rep, Haley Stevens, D-Bloomfield Township, told MLive that she felt safe inside her office shortly before 2pm. But less than an hour later, protesters breached the Capitol building and sparred with police.

Michigan lawmakers provided live updates through social media as the situation escalated.

Several Michigan House Democrats were evacuated from the Cannon office building, including the US Rep, Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township.

“Chamber security and Capitol Police have their guns drawn as protesters bang on the front door of the chamber,” said Rep Dan Kildee, D-Flint, in a tweet. “This is not a protest. This is an attack on America.”

President-elect Joe Biden stepped out in to condemn the violent protests.

“President Trump, step up,” Biden said, urging him to stop what he called an insurrection.

Trump later called on the protesters to go home in peace as they had registered their feelings.

Levin also described it as “an assault on democracy itself” in a Facebook video but added Congress would not be stopped from certifying the vote of electors.

“My understanding is that the Capitol Police had to use tear gas to try and clear Statuary Hall,; they had to evacuate the floor of the House of Representatives,” Levin said. “It’s a disaster for our democracy, what is going on now, but we’re not going to let them succeed.”

According to pool reports, Vice President Mike Pence was removed from the Senate chamber, where he had been presiding over the certification.

Rep Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, said he was “horrified and shell-shocked by the violence of rioters” in a tweet.

Reps. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, and Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, denounced violent protests and attacks on police in separate statements on Twitter. Both had planned to vote in support of objecting electoral votes in some states.

Hours before the vote, Michigan’s Democratic representatives in Congress warned that Republicans ready to challenge electoral votes in several swing states could cause lasting damage to American democracy.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, said political division was the single biggest threat to national security, outweighing any threat from a foreign nation.

“The prospect of Americans not believing in democracy is extremely dangerous,” Slotkin said.”We are a diverse complicated country and if we don’t all believe in this system, and we start separating ourselves from it, you can see how it becomes chaotic.”

Meanwhile, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won the Georgia Senate runoff, US networks projected Wednesday, guaranteeing their party control of the body.

Ossoff defeated incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue with a nearly 25,000-vote margin, or 0.56 per cent, with 98 per cent of the expected vote counted, NBC and ABC projected.

His win, after fellow Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler in a parallel runoff election Tuesday, gave both parties 50 seats in the Senate.

With the chamber evenly split, Democratic Vice-president elect Kamala Harris will play the role of the tie-breaker, giving Democrats control of the Senate as well as the House of Representatives.

News

Updated: Chadian President Idriss Deby dies, son takes over

Published

on

Chadian President Idris Derby has died at the age of 68.

He was said to have died while visiting troops on the frontline of a fight against northern rebels, the army said on Tuesday, the day after Deby was declared the winner of a presidential election.

Reuters reported that Deby’s son, Mahamat Kaka, was named interim president by a transitional council of military officers, spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna, said in a broadcast on state television.

The late Chadian leader came to power in a rebellion in 1990 and was one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders.

According to the report, Deby and his army have been seen as a reliable Western ally in a turbulent region afflicted by jihadists. His campaign said on Monday he was joining troops on the frontline after rebels based across the northern frontier in Libya advanced hundreds of km (miles) south toward the capital N’Djamena. L1N2MC20E

The exact cause of death was not yet clear but a European diplomatic source said he had been killed.

“A call to dialogue and peace is launched to all Chadians in the country and abroad in order to continue to build Chad together,” Bermendao said, surrounded by several officers.

“The National Council of Transition reassures the Chadian people that all measures have been taken to guarantee peace, security and the republican order,” he said.

Deby, whose opponents accused him of repressive rule, pushed through a new constitution in 2018 that would have allowed him to stay in power until 2033 – even as it re-instated term limits.

He took the title of “Marshal” last year and said before last week’s election: “I know in advance that I will win, as I have done for the last 30 years.”

He was dealing with mounting public discontent over his management of Chad’s oil wealth and crackdowns on opponents.

But in the election results announced on Monday, Deby was credited with 79 per cent of the vote, handing him a sixth term in office. Several leading opposition figures boycotted the poll.

Western countries have seen Deby as an ally in the fight against Islamist extremist groups, including Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin and groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel.

His death is a blow to France, which had based its Sahel counter-terrorism operations in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena.

Continue Reading

News

Senate probes CCT Chairman, Umar, over alleged assault

Published

on

The Senate on Tuesday commenced investigation into alleged assault by the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar on a guard, Clement Sagwak, at Banex Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja.

The incident occurred on March 29, 2021.

Sagwak had also forwarded his petition to the National Human Rights Commission to probe the incident.

Senator Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North) submitted a petition on the incident to the Senate on behalf of his constituent, Sagwak.

Sagwak, had in his petition dated April 9 2021 and signed by his lawyer, Samuel Ihensekhien, accused the CCT chairman of abuse of power, assault, torture, and ‘xenophobia’.

A five-minute video that went viral captured Umar and the guard having an altercation at the plaza.

Sagwak, 22, and an employee of Jul Reliable Guards Services Limited, told the Senate he was attacked by Umar last month.

He said he was assaulted by Umar and a policeman attached to him after he informed him (Umar) that his car was not properly parked.

 

He said the CCT boss slapped him several times and forced him to kneel down in the presence of everybody while undergoing his lawful activities.

He asked the Senate to investigate the incident and ensure justice.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the petition to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report back to plenary in four weeks.

Continue Reading

News

Governors agree to implement autonomy for assemblies, judiciary in May

Published

on

State governors under the Nigeria Governors’ Forum have agreed to implement autonomy for legislature and judiciary, with effect from May.

This coincides with the Senate through its Chairman for the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele saying autonomy for judiciary is non-negotiable.

Chairman of the NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who is also Ekiti State governor, said the decision to implement the autonomy next month was reached in a meeting attended by federal lawmakers, representatives of the judiciary and legislative workers, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.

The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) is on strike to protest the government’s failure to implement autonomy for the judiciary.

President Muhammadu Buhari had signed an order to that effect in May 2020, but the gazetting of the order was suspended after the President met with governors — triggering reports that the governors were frustrating the move.

Fayemi said the governors never objected to full autonomy for the state assemblies and judiciary, adding that “the issue is about implementation.”

“There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomies. As a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support in the first instance, in the state assemblies,” he said.

“But we don’t just want to agree to something on paper without working out the modalities for implementation. Thankfully, the meeting we have just emerged from, with the chief of staff to the president chairing, has worked out the modalities to the satisfaction of all parties.

“As soon as the final document that is being cleaned up emerges, that is preparatory to implementation. We’re not going to put a timeframe in the air, but it will be implemented as soon as possible, definitely no later than the end of May 2021.”

He urged the striking judiciary and legislative workers should return to work.

Fayemi said, “I think we are basically at a position where, whether you speak to the conference of speakers’ chairperson or you speak to me or you speak to the representative of the judiciary or you speak to the solicitor-general of the federation, you will hear that we’re speaking with one voice on the implementation.

”And no later than May, you will start seeing the implementation of the agreement that we’ve reached.”

Also speaking to journalists on the issue on Monday, Bamidele said it was laughable to be grappling with judicial autonomy at this stage of the nation’s development.

He said, “We cannot continue to call on the judiciary to give peace a chance when we know the conditions under which they work cannot guarantee a passionate and enhanced delivery of justice. We are talking about judicial reforms; we are talking about the need for justice sector reforms.

“This is central and crucial to the independence of the judiciary in this country. We must not be left behind by the rest of the civilized world. Nobody stands to lose anything by granting independence to judiciary at the state level since it has been done at the national level.

“The fact that workers and staff of federal judiciary are joining the protest is only in solidarity with their colleagues at the state levels. It is a union matter and we do not have a control over it. We are hereby calling on the State Governors to do the needful because the independence of the judiciary is non- negotiable.

“No democracy can survive without being founded on the rule of law and independent judiciary.”

Continue Reading

Trending