Sudan: We Meed 4 Aircraft To Bring Nigerians Back — FG
The Federal Government has said that if four aircraft were made available to move at once, every Nigerian in Sudan will be evacuated.
The first group of several Nigerians stranded in Sudan arrived in Abuja on Wednesday, after days of trying to escape persistent fighting.
According to Nigerian authorities, the evacuation plan covers more than 3,500 nationals, but their total number could be greater, as more than 5,000 Nigerians are believed to reside in Sudan, many of them students.
Nigerian commercial carrier Air Peace landed in capital Abuja around 11:40p.m. yesterday with 260 passengers, while a Nigerian Air Force plane arrived a few minutes later with about 94 passengers.
READ ALSO: [BREAKING] Sudan Conflict: 350 Passengers Arrive Aswan Airport, Egypt
Meanwhile, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said if four aircraft can move at once, every Nigerian stranded in Sudan will be brought home.
She stated this last night at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, while awaiting the arrival of the two aircraft from Egypt.
She said if four airplanes can move at once, everyone would definitely arrive, adding that another 3,000 stranded Nigerians were expected to return home.
According to Dabiri-Erewa, Egypt officials are insisting that the airplanes sent from Nigeria must be able to take the number of Nigerians available, otherwise they will not be allowed to evacuate anyone.
She said: “If four planes go at the same time, they will bring everybody back. Most importantly, we hope those over there come back speedily.
READ ALSO: JUST IN: Bus Conveying Stranded Nigerians From Sudan Catches Fire
“We are expecting that with the arrangements made by NEMA, it is going to be more planes because Egypt makes it difficult.
“Egypt says if the number of people you brought is let’s say 200 and the aircraft can only take 150, then nobody will leave.
“They want you to pick the number of people that you are bringing into their borders.
“At the Port Sudan, we are trying to get tickets because it is even more difficult to get flight to Port Sudan but they have an airline.
“So they are processing them now to get them tickets and then they come back home. And if other airlines get the landing permit, they will quickly go to help evacuate them.
READ ALSO: Sudan: 7,000, Including Nigerians, Stranded At Egypt Border
“At least, they are coming back home and we are glad no life was lost and priority was given to students, women and children. So, let’s just set our eyes on that,” she said.
Returnees recount ordeals
Meanwhile, the Nigerians that returned last night have said they surferred.
A returnee female student told journalists they faced humiliation and slept in the open.
“We spent all the money we had. We were so hungry and thirsty. They were harassing us sexually.
READ ALSO: Sudan Crisis: FG Accused Of ‘Fake’ Evacuation Of Nigerian Students
“There was no food, no water to drink. It got to a point we picked things from shops and ran away,” she said.
Another female student told the BBC Hausa Service that their legs were swollen due to long hours of stay in the bus.
Yet another said the situation was so bad that they even had to pay money before they were allowed to urinate.
However, he wants the war to end so he can go back to Sudan and complete the last semester of his programme.
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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