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Nigerian Warship Heads to The Gambia

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  • Nigerian Warship Heads to The Gambia

A Nigerian warship has been deployed in The Gambia, more as a show of force rather than preparation for an attack, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The deployment is obviously part of the strategy of ECOWAS to force out President Yahya Jammeh who has refused entreaties from the region’s leaders to step down following his last December 1 presidential election defeat by Mr. Adama Barrow.

Jammeh remained intransigent Tuesday, declaring a 90-day state of emergency, less than 48 hours before his official mandate ends, according to the Gambia Television.

Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters, however, yesterday continued to down play its reported involvement in planned military operations in The Gambia, insisting that the matter remained with the political authorities to decide.

“We are not involved in any preparation for military action in The Gambia,” the Director of Defence Information, Brig-Gen. Abubakar Rabe said on Tuesday.
But BBC said a military source told it that the vessel – the NNS Unity – is currently sailing off the coast of Ghana.

On Tuesday, Thisday reported that ECOWAS had prepared a force for military intervention if the outgoing Gambian president refused to step down today.

The exact terms of the state of emergency remain unknown, as no details were provided with the announcement.

Jammeh initially accepted the election results but then decided he wanted them annulled after the electoral commission admitted some errors, although it insisted this did not affect the final outcome.

The Supreme Court is unable to hear Jammeh’s petition against the results of the election until May because of a shortage of judges, and the embattled president said he would not step down until then.

At least three Gambian ministers, including the foreign minister, have resigned in recent days. Thousands of Gambians have also fled to neighbouring Senegal amid fears of violence.
Barrow won 43.3% of the vote compared with Jammeh’s 39.6%. A third candidate, Mama Kandeh, got 17.1%.

Jammeh seized power in the tiny West African country in 1994 and has been accused of human rights abuses, although he has held regular elections.

Legal Basis for Military Intervention
In Abuja, a senior lawyer, Chief Sebastine Hon (SAN), said ECOWAS decision to use force to oust Jammeh was protected both under the United Nations Charter and existing ECOWAS legislations.

He said the political situation in The Gambia had reached a situation that called for urgent action, to forestall a large scale humanitarian challenge, regional instability and anarchy.

He advised that on no account should the world, ECOWAS and the African Union, stand aloof and watch the ethos of democracy destroyed by a sit-tight dictator who did not even assume leadership under acceptable circumstances.

By section 63(1) of the Constitution of The Gambia, the 5-year tenure of office of Jammeh will end on 19th January, 2017.

He said: “The reported resolve of ECOWAS to use force, if necessary, to topple him and then to install the winner of that election – Adama Barrow – is not only a welcome development but is protected both under the United Nations Charter and under existing ECOWAS legislations.

“It is also protected under historical and empirical happenings worldwide. The following are the various pre-United Nations military interventions in sovereign countries, namely:

• The Russian, British and French Anti-Ottoman military intervention in the Greek War of Independence, 1824;

• (b) The Russian unilateral Anti-Ottoman military expedition in Bulgaria, 1877;
• The US military occupation of Haiti in 1915.

He said that even after the United Nations was formed in 1945, direct military interventions in independent states without recourse to the UN have continued to be recorded, as follows:

• The US military intervention in the Dominican Republic, 1965;

• The military intervention of Vietnam in Kampuchea, which led to the overthrow of the government of that country in January, 1979;

• The intervention by France in the Central African Empire (CAE), which led to the overthrow of that government in September, 1979;

• The military intervention of Tanzania in Uganda, which led to the overthrow of the government of that country in April, 1979;

• The military intervention by the then USSR in Afghanistan, which led to the overthrow of the government of that country, in December, 1979;

• The USA military intervention in Grenada, which led to the overthrow of the government, in October, 1983;

• The USA military intervention in Panama, which led to the overthrow of the government there, in December, 1989;

• The military intervention by Iraq in Kuwait, which led to the overthrow of that government, in August, 1990;

• The US-led international military intervention in Libya, which led to the overthrow and killing of Muammar Ghaddafi, in 2011;

• The international military coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, 2014-date, etc.

He noted that even though Article 2(4) of the UN Charter provides that: “All Members shall in their international relations refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations,” other extant provisions of the Charter and empirical examples showed that military intervention was not altogether ruled out or deemed illegal.

He said: “For instance, Chapter VIII of the Charter has in very clear terms recognised ‘Regional Arrangements’. In particular, Article 52(1) which falls under that Chapter provides that ‘Nothing in the present Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action….’”

Hon said that Charter VIII provisions had been tested before during the Liberian and Sierra Leone political quagmires of the 1980s-1990s.

According to him, with the positive signal from the UN representative in West Africa, Mr. Ibn Chambas, military intervention in The Gambia under Article VIII without prior UN Security intervention is not only legal and lawful, but is also imperative, should Jammeh refuse to relinquish power today.

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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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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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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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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