Relief As Sudan’s Rival Factions Agree To three-day Ceasefire
The warring parties in Sudan have agreed to a three-day ceasefire starting midnight on Tuesday, as many countries are racing to evacuate civilians from the battle-scarred African country.
“Following intense negotiation over the past 48 hours, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces have agreed to implement a nationwide ceasefire starting at midnight on April 24, to last for 72 hours,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday in a written statement.
Previous attempted ceasefires had failed as the brutal fighting, entering a second week, has killed at least 427 people and wounded more than 3,700, according to UN agencies.
READ ALSO: Sudan: Evacuation Of Over 2,000 Nigerians Begins Today
Hours before Blinken’s announcement, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, had warned that the violence “risks a catastrophic conflagration within Sudan that could engulf the whole region and beyond”
He, however, called on UN Security Council members to exert maximum leverage.
In a statement on Monday, the RSF said it had agreed to the truce “in order to open humanitarian corridors, facilitate the movement of citizens and residents.
“Also to enable them to fulfill their needs, reach hospitals and safe areas, and evacuate diplomatic missions.”
READ ALSO: Sudan Crisis: FG Sends Message To Nigerian Students Trapped
Over the weekend, countries had evacuated their diplomats and citizens as fighting raged in densely populated parts of the capital.
Brief lulls in the conflict have allowed foreign civilians to flee Sudan to safety.
The current three-day ceasefire, if it endures, might generate a chance to deliver essential resources such as food and medical supplies to those in need.
Tribunal Admits U.S. Court Judgment Ordering Tinubu’s Forfeiture Of $460,000
The Labour Party on Tuesday called its first witness in the ongoing petition between its candidate, Peter Obi, and the ruling All Progressives Congress and the President, Bola Tinubu.
Counsel for the LP and Obi, Jibrin Okutepa, stated that documents from number one to four together with receipts tendered are documents where the vice president, Kashim Shettima, accepted his nomination as the vice-presidential candidate of the APC.
The witness, Lawrence Nwakaeti, who is a legal practitioner, disclosed that he was deposed to the witness statement on March 20, 2023.
Part of the documents deposed to by Nwakaeti referred to the alleged $460,000 forfeiture by Tinubu to the government of the United States.
READ ALSO: UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Others In Bilateral Meetings With Tinubu
One of the grounds on which the LP and Obi are praying for the court to nullify Tinubu’s victory is that the president, Tinubu “at the time of the election was not qualified to contest for election to the office of President as he was fined the sum of $460,000 for an offence involving dishonesty, namely narcotics trafficking imposed by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Case No: 93C 4483.”
While answering questions during the cross-examination, the witness admitted that the judgment was not registered in Nigeria.
He also admitted that there was no certificate from any consular in Nigeria or America in support of the judgment.
He, however, maintained that “the judgment speaks for itself.”
APC counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, asked, “As a lawyer, you are aware that these documents are not registered in Nigeria and there is no certificate attached to the document from the US?” to which Lawrence replied that there are certificates.
“Is there a certificate from the US consular?”
“No certificate from the consular,” Nwakaeti replied.
He also said he had no knowledge of a February 4, 2003, Formal Clearance Report by Legal Attachee from the American Embassy in respect of the alleged indictment and forfeiture.
READ ALSO: BREAKING: I Will Never Call Tinubu ‘My President’ – Tunde Bakare
When asked by Fagbemi, SAN, to produce a copy of the charges against Tinubu, the witness said he had none but maintained that the forfeiture are from civil proceedings.
“You are aware that all the proceedings were civil proceedings?”
“Civil forfeiture proceedings,” the witness replied.
Meanwhile, the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has shifted further hearing in the petition till May 31.
Otti Freezes Abia Accounts, Sacks Boards Executives
Governor Alex Otti of Abia State, has directed the immediate freezing of all accounts of the state government and those of its agencies domiciled in every bank and financial institution across the state and around the federation.
He has also dissolved all boards of Abia State government agencies and parastatals and ordered the heads of all the dissolved agencies and parastatals to subsequently hand over to those next in line to them.
The governor gave the orders in a statement he issued through his media office on Monday, which was signed by Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.
The directive read in part, “With this notice, all banks and other financial institutions in the country are directed to immediately seize from honouring any cheque, document, instrument or directive of any kind not expressly approved by or emanating from him.
READ ALSO: Abia: Why I Accepted To perform At Alex Otti’s Inauguration – Davido
“Similarly, Governor Otti has directed the immediate dissolution of all boards of the Abia State Government agencies and parastatals and subsequently ordered the chief executives of these organisations to hand over to those next in line to them”.
The reporter gathered that the news of the sack of the former chief executives of the dissolved boards sparked celebration among staff of such agencies, especially those who were owed some months of salary arrears.
PICTORIAL: Obi, Datti, Keyamo Present As Tribunal Resumes Hearing
The presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed, are currently in attendance at the ongoing presidential election tribunal PUNCH reports.
Former minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, is also present at the tribunal and appearing as a counsel in the legal team of President Bola Tinubu.
Obi and the Labour Party filed a petition challenging the victory of Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, in the February 25, 2023 Presidential election.
READ ALSO: Peter Obi, LP Must Pay N1.5million To Access Documents – INEC
In the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023, Livy Ozoukwu, lead counsel to LP and Obi, said Tinubu “was not duly elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election”.
Among other allegations, they claimed that Kashim Shettima, vice-president, had a double nomination in contravention of the electoral act.
A proper hearing of the petition commenced on Tuesday and the first witness has been called.
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