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The Gambia: Use of Force Imminent As ECOWAS Plans To Oust Jammeh

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Gambia's President Jammeh smiles during a rally in Banjul

Use of Force Imminent As ECOWAS Plans To Oust Jammeh

The refusal of out going President Yaya Jammeh of The Gambia to agree to step down honourably on January 19, 2017 following his loss of the December 1, 2016 presidential election to the coalition of opposition parties’ candidate, Mr. Adam Barrow, has left the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders with no other option than to eject him from office by military force.

Sources familiar withe situation said yesterday that after the last minute efforts by the ECOWAS delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday hit the rocks with Jammeh insisting he would not step down until May when the Supreme Court of The Gambia reviewed his petition, challenging the election, the ECOWAS leaders decided to activate the military option of forcing him out of office and installing Barrow.

Preparatory to the military action, ECOWAS service chiefs met last Saturday in Abuja with Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, presiding.

Top on the agenda was the inauguration of ECOWAS Military Intervention Group (ECOMIG), which would escort Barrow from Senegal to The Gambia for inauguration on Thursday.

ECOWAS leaders had quartered Barrow in Senegal for his safety, pending his inauguration as the president of The Gambia.

Jammeh had filed a motion with the country’s apex court to prevent Barrow from being sworn into office on Thursday. But the court could not sit because it could not form a quorum.

Meanwhile the defeated president is insisting that he will not step down until the country’s Supreme Court delivers the final judgment on the dispute.

Thousands of Gambians are said to have fled their country over fears of possible military confrontation between forces loyal to Jammeh and the sub-regional military forces.

ECOWAS and the African Union (AU) have insisted that Jammeh, whose tenure ends on January 19, would cease to be the President of Gambia by January 20.

ECOWAS had also pledged to send troops to ensure a peaceful transition of power if Jammeh, who had ruled for over 20 years, refused to cede power.

State-owned Senegalese news agency, APS reported yesterday that Senegal will host Barrow until his swearing-in ceremony due to take place on Thursday.

The agency said Senegalese President Macky Sall accepted to host Barrow in line with the request of the ECOWAS at a Franco-African summit in the Malian capital Bamako on Saturday.

Radio France Internationale had earlier quoted Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbe as saying that ECOWAS had set Thursday as a deadline to try to resolve the crisis.

In his welcome address to the sub-regional defence chiefs in Abuja, Olonisakin said the regional leaders and military commanders were ready to continue with the option of dialogue with the political leaders of The Gambia to ensure peaceful transition of power.

The meeting was also said to have resolved that each member country of ECOWAS should assembly troops that would be deployed in The Gambia and install the new president in accordance with the will of the people, which they expressed with their ballot on December 1, 2016 as well as The Gambia’s constitution.

Though no communique was issued at the end of the meeting, the Defence Headquarters, in a statement published on its website, listed military chiefs at the event to include: the chairperson of ECOWAS Chief of Defence Staffs, Brig. Gen. Daniel Ziankahn of Liberia; CH Gueye of Senegal; ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Hajiya Salamatu; Vice President of the Commission; the Ghanian Chief of Defence Staff and principal staff officers from Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force Headquarters.

On Friday, Barrow attended the Franco-African summit, while Mr. Jammeh was absent.

A statement by Barrow’s office said Jammeh’s meeting with Buhari and other ECOWAS representatives was “unproductive.”

Buhari had led a three-nation delegation to Banjul, but Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said the delegation could not persuade Jammeh to relinquish power.

Briefing the UN Security Council on the crisis, the Head of UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Mohamed Chambas, had admitted that “some countries in the region had witnessed political uncertainty or significant security challenges.’’

“We were saddened by the quickly unfolding political crisis resulting from President Jammeh changing his mind and deciding to reject the results,’’ he said.

“UNOWAS is fully involved in supporting the ECOWAS-led mediation, which continues to explore all avenues towards a peaceful transfer of power,” he added.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process

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Nigerian International passport- Investors King

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.

The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.

Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.

Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.

The statement in full:

“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.

The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.

With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;

Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;

  • applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
  • a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
  • upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
  • that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
  • that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
  • applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
  • a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.

The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.

Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″

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INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week

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INEC-PVC- Investors King

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.

Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).

He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.

He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities

He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.

“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.

“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.

“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.

“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.

He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.

“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”

Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.

According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.

“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.

“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.

“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission

“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.

Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.

Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.

“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.

“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria

“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.

He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.

In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.

Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.

“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.

“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.

“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said

Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.

Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.

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Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum

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House of representatives

The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.

The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.

The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.

The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.

He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”

You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.

Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.

The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.

Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.

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