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Pro-Tinubu group urges court to remove Buni as APC caretaker chairman

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Abiodun Nejo

Ekiti State All Progressives Congress members loyal to former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu have urged the court to sack Governor Mai Mala Buni as Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the party.

The members, under the aegis of South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023, a group rooting for Tinubu’s rumoured presidential bid, also urged the court to nullify all actions taken by Buni as APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and as well annul the July 31 ward congresses of the party in Ekiti State.

The SWAGA members made the prayers in a suit number FHC/AD/CS/21/2021 filed at the Federal High Court, Ekiti State Division, where it had also sought an interlocutory injunction stopping the conduct of the local government congress which held in Saturday “or an order declaring the outcome illegal”.

Joined in the suit deposed to by 36 SWAGA members and contestants in the ward congresses on behalf of over 3,650 members of the group in Ekiti was filed by their lawyers, Barrister Ayodeji Odu and five others for the plaintiffs, are APC (1st defendant), Mai Mala Buni(2nd defendant), Ekiti APC Chairman, Paul Omotoso (3rd defendant), Chairman, Ekiti Congress Screening Committee, Samuel Abejide (4th defendant) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (5th defendant).

Among others, the applicants are seeking from the court “a declaration that the 2nd defendant (Buni) cannot hold the position of Chairman, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee of the 1st defendant (APC) as such appointment/role is a constitutional violation of Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 8 of the 1st defendant’s constitution.

“A declaration that all actions or steps taken by the 1st defendant (APC) under the control, supervision, direction of the so called caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of APC, headed by the 2nd defendant, including the conduct of ward congresses across Nigeria and Ekiti State on 31st July, 2021 was illegal and unconstitutional on the ground that the 2nd defendant (Buni) under whose such steps or actions were taken was ineligible to superintend over 1st defendant party affairs while still serving in office as a Governor.

“A declaration that all committee/Ward congress committees set up by the 3rd defendant pursuant to the Ward Congress of 31st July 2021 was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and in total violation of the guidelines of the 1st defendant on conduct of the congress”.

The SWAGA members also sought “a declaration that no congress was held in Ekiti-State chapter of the 1st defendant as no result has been declared in respect of the congress as at the date of filing this case”.

They also sought “an order declaring the congress of the 1st defendant purportedly held on the July 31 and organized and conducted by or under the instruction/supervision of 2nd and 3rd defendants in Ekiti State as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void”.

They also prayed the court to declare that the congress of the 1st defendant purportedly held in Ekiti-State on the 31st day of July 2021 was in total breach of democratic norms and practices and violation of the Constitution and guidelines issued by the 1st defendant for the conduct of the 2021 ward congresses.

They also sought “an injunction restraining the 1st and 3rd defendants from conducting any further congresses into local government and state offices of 1st defendant in Ekiti State pending the determination of the substantive matter”.

The plantiffs asked for an injunction restraining the 5th defendant (INEC) from recognizing or dealing with any ward executive or officers purportedly produced from the purported ward congress of 31st July, 2021 in Ekiti State.

SWAGA State Chairman, Senator Tony Adeniyi, who said INEC and APC had been duly served, accused Buni, Omotoso and Abejide of evading service.

Adeniyi said, “Having realised that these defendants are trying to obstruct justice by evading service of papers, we are going to file a motion for substituted service on Monday September 6 before the court to make the service easier and for expeditious trial of the case”.

But the Secretary of Congress Committee in Ekiti, Femi Akindele, said whoever approached the court without exhausting internal mechanism to seek redress would be doing such in flagrant violation of the party’s constitution and guidelines.

Akindele said that the local government congress conducted in Ekiti on Saturday was undertaken without violating the constitution of the party and the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, saying the suit did not vitiate the process already undertaken.

Source: https://punchng.com

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Seven killed, 140 injured in Sudan coup protest

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Seven people have reportedly died and about 140 others wounded after soldiers opened fire on crowds opposing a military takeover in Sudan.

Many people took to the streets after the armed forces dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders and called a state of emergency on Monday.

Troops are reported to have been going house to house in the capital Khartoum arresting local protest organisers.

The coup has been condemned around the world, and the US halted $700m in aid.

The leader of the coup, Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan, blamed political infighting for the military action.

Civilian leaders and their military counterparts have been at odds since long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was overthrown two years ago.

As night fell on Monday, large numbers of protesters were on the streets of Khartoum – and other cities – demanding the return of civilian rule, BBC Arabic’s Mohamed Osman reports from the capital.

One wounded protestor told reporters he was shot in the leg by the army outside the military headquarters, while another man described the military firing first stun grenades, then live ammunition.

“Two people died, I saw them with my own eyes,” said Al-Tayeb Mohamed Ahmed. Sudan’s doctor’s union and the information ministry also wrote on Facebook that the fatal shootings had happened outside the military compound.

Our correspondent says that despite the violence, the protests show few signs of easing.

Demonstrators have blocked roads with piles of bricks and burning tyres. Many women are also taking part, shouting “no to military rule”.

The city’s airport is closed and international flights are suspended. The internet and most phone lines are also down.

Central Bank staff have reportedly gone on strike and across the country, doctors are said to be refusing to work in military run hospitals except in emergencies.

BBC

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Sudan military declares state of emergency after coup, shuts down internet

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Sudan’s military leader has declared a state of emergency across the country and dissolved its transitional cabinet, which is seen as a huge blow to the country’s already fragile transition to democracy.

Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan made a televised announcement on Monday as thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded the streets of the capital Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman, after soldiers arrested several government officials.

Among those detained on Monday is Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. He was moved to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the coup, said the information ministry, still apparently under the control of Hamdok’s supporters.

The military also raided the television and radio headquarters and shut down the internet. The capital’s airport has been also closed, together with some of the city’s roads and bridges.

At least 12 people have been wounded so far in the protests that have been called by the pro-democracy coalition born out of the uprising which put an end to the 30-year long rule of Omar al-Bashir.

In his announcement, Burhan said that the military will continue the process towards democracy, but dissolved the sovereign council, a joint military and civilian body created to run the country since al-Bashir’s removal.

“We have started our path towards the state of freedom and peace but some political powers are still trying to maintain everything in their hands, without giving attention to political, economic and social threats,” he said.

Al-Burhan said the military will appoint a technocratic government to lead the country to elections, set for July 2023.

But he made clear the military will remain in charge.

“The Armed Forces will continue completing the democratic transition until the handover of the country’s leadership to a civilian, elected government,” al-Burhan said.

The move came just before the military was supposed to hand leadership of the country’s joint military-civilian administration to civilians next month.

The information ministry called his speech an “announcement of a seizure of power by military coup”.

Tensions have been rising for weeks between Sudan’s civilian and military leadership over Sudan’s course and the pace of the transition to democracy.

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Sudan: UN condemns military takeover, PM detention

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The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has condemned the military coup in Sudan, and called for the release of the prime minister and other officials.

He said this in a tweet Monday

In a military takeover on Monday morning, Sudan’s armed forces dissolved a governing council that included civilians and detained the prime minister and other civilian officials, endangering the country’s transition to democracy.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, his wife and members of Sudan’s cabinet were detained and taken to an undisclosed location.
In a security alert posted Monday, the US Embassy said it “has received reports that armed forces are blocking certain areas in and around Khartoum” and “internet in Khartoum is non-functional.”

Guterres said the UN would “continue to stand” with the people of the country.

“I condemn the ongoing military coup in Sudan. Prime Minister Hamdok & all other officials must be released immediately. There must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition. The UN will continue to stand with the people of Sudan.”
An aide and office director of Sudan’s now-arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told CNN that the premier was aware of army plans and was under pressure to dissolve the government.

The adviser, Adam al-Hireika, said that he visited Hamdok on Sunday evening where he discussed the current state-of-affairs.

Hamdok had just met with army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who declared the coup on state-TV on Monday.

“I say he was cautiously optimistic that there was an opening for agreement, but I think the military side wanted him to dissolve the government and he insisted on not unless there is a process and there is an agreement between political parties,” he told CNN’s Becky Anderson.
“This morning, when I heard about what happened I went to the PM’s residence, he is my boss and friend. I went to his residence unfortunately he wasn’t there. His wife and him were taken to an unknown destination by soldiers,” he added.

Burhan said in a statement that power-shared council and government were dissolved and declared a state of emergency after a balanced power-sharing agreement with the civilian component “became a conflict” over the past two years, “threatening peace and unity” in Sudan.

“What, General Burhan mentions in his address, actually what most of a lot of it was agreed between the two parties, but as the PM stood very strongly against dissolving the government without a process. I think that was the biggest issue of contention,” Hireika said.
Hireika warned of a civil war in Sudan if there was a return to military rule. “
“Well, I think the bigger picture, a return to military rule will mean more civil war in Sudan and instability in the region as a result,” he added.
Amnesty International calls on Sudan authorities “to respect human rights” following military takeover
From CNN’s Mohammed Tawfeeq
Amnesty International has urged the authorities in Sudan “to respect human rights” following the arrest of the country’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other officials in an apparent coup.
“We are concerned by the escalating tensions in Sudan following the reported arrest of the Prime Minister and other civilian leaders and the imposition of an internet shutdown,” Amnesty International said in a post to Twitter on Monday.
Amnesty International “calls on the authorities in Sudan to respect human rights—including the right to life, right to freedom of association, expression and assembly, both offline and on the internet. The right to peaceful protest must be respected, now more than ever.”
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s armed forces, dissolved the power-sharing Sovereign Council and transitional government, saying in a televised statement that an “independent and fair representative government” would assume power until one is elected in 2023. Burhan also announced a state of emergency across Sudan.
Several articles of the constitution were suspended and state governors were removed, Burhan said.
Those arrested by “joint military forces” include various civilian ministers of Sudan’s transitional government and members of Sudan’s sovereign council, the Information Ministry said. CNN could not independently verify the Information Ministry’s claims, however family members said the Minister of Information was one of several senior officials detained.
Protesters who opposed the coup have taken to the streets in the capital Khartoum and have faced gunfire near the military’s headquarters, according to the information ministry.

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