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Ex-President Yar’Adua’s daughter, Zainab, forged land documents –FCT Minister tells court

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, yesterday told an Abuja High Court that Zainab, daughter of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, allegedly forged several documents to lay claim to ownership of a disputed plot of land in Abuja. Bello further stated that there was nothing to show that Zainab ever applied for land in the FCT or made any payment officially or otherwise to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to enable her entitle to own any land in Abuja. In a joint statement of defence to a legal action instituted by Zainab on the ownership of plot 506, Zone B 09, Kado District, Abuja, the minister and FCDA, who are 3rd and 4th defendants, in the suit denied ever allocating any plot of land to the plaintiff.

Zainab

In the defence statement dated September 21, 2021 and filed on their behalf by their counsel, Yakubu Abubakar, the minister and FCDA informed the court that Zainab claimed ownership of the plot of the land through a Power of Attorney which the donor, one Haliru Malami, later disowned as purported seller. Zainab through her company, Marumza Estate Development Company Limited, had sued Itban Global Resources Limited Haliru Malami, Bello and the FCDA laying claim to ownership of plot 506, Zone B 09, Kado District, Abuja, having allegedly purchased the land from the FCDA through Itban Global Resources and Malami.

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However, in their statement of defence, the 3rd and 4th respondents averred that before filing the court case, Zainab had allegedly given conflicting accounts of how the land was acquired through a former Minister of the FCT as well as acquisition by way of purchase from the 1st defendant. They stated that the 1st defendant, who allegedly sold the land, issued a letter on March 4, 2021, denying ever selling the land and ever issuing Power of Attorney to the plaintiff. They further argued that there was nothing in the records of their Department of Land Administration and the Abuja Geographic Information System indicating that the plaintiff paid any money, whether official or otherwise in respect of the land, adding that their review of events revealed that the registration of the purported Power of Attorney was irregular.

The 3rd and 4th defendants further claimed that upon the discovery that the plaintiff was laying claim to the plot of land through irregular documents, they voided and set aside a Certificate of Occupancy purportedly obtained from the FCDA. They therefore asked the court to dismiss the case of the plaintiff with cost because she is not entitled to any claim in the originating summons.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi had permitted the plaintiff to amend her statement of claim and subsequently fixed December 15 and 16, 2021 for definite hearing of the matter. The judge on July 11, 2021 declined a request by Zainab for an injunction against Bello and three others over the disputed land. Zainab, through her counsel, Chief Sebastine Hon (SAN), filed a motion on notice praying the court to issue an injunctive order stopping the minister and other defendants in her suit from taking any further actions on the disputed land. Justice O Adeniyi had held that request for an injunctive order at the stage of the suit would not only delay the hearing of the matter but will affect the substantive claims and counter claims in the case.

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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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Boko Haram attacks Yobe military base, three soldiers injured

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Three soldiers were wounded on Saturday when Boko Haram insurgents attacked a military base at Katarko village in the Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.

The reportedly insurgents drove into Katarko village in about 10 gun trucks and attacked the military formation.

They were said to have engaged the security operatives at the base in a gun duel.

The Cable reports that troops of the Nigerian Army, who repelled the attack, alongside airstrikes by the Nigerian Air Force, were said to have killed many of the insurgents.

However, a precise number of fatalities had not been ascertained as of the time of filing this report. It was only gathered that three soldiers were injured in the attack.

“Two to three soldiers were injured and have been taken to hospital in Damaturu for treatment,” the source said, adding, “Many Boko Haram members are also feared dead. They were struck by foot soldiers and air support.”

 

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