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7 Years After Revolution: Democracy is Still a Mirage in Egypt



Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi [Photo Credit: Egyptian Streets]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is running for reelection next month, but the race has already been shrouded in controversy, with multiple candidates dropping out citing fear and intimidation.

The sense of fear in the present political climate in Egypt is a reminder that seven years on from the Arab Spring, the state of Egypt’s democracy is still in disarray.

Thousands of Egyptians, young and old, marched on the streets of Cairo in 2011, making their way to Tahrir Square demanding an end to nearly three decades of President Hosni Mubarak’s rule. When Mubarak was finally toppled, millions of Egyptians across the country celebrated, believing a more democratic future was on the horizon.

But since then, Egyptians have seen two presidents sent to prison, a military coup, and mass demonstrations which have led to hundreds of deaths and thousands more imprisoned.

Tarek el Kholey was one of the principle organizers of the Tahrir demonstrations. Despite his country’s return to military rule, Tarek still recalls the protests with excitement. “Although security forces were waiting for us there, they couldn’t stop a protest that already had thousands of participants at that point, and it snowballed from there,” he Tarek says. “More and more people joined us as we were cheering, ‘Come along, Egyptians!’”

“The day we were leaving the square,” Tarek said, “I remember that day felt to me like a holiday and we were done, I could resume my job, and Egypt was safe. But it turned out it was the complete opposite.”

Activists, who, seven years after they took to the streets in search of a revolution, are still hoping to effect lasting change in Egypt.


Court threatens to arrest INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu



Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu

This may not be the best of times for the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu. Presumably, tossing and turning all night not for the hurdles before the general elections coming in few weeks, but because of a persisting order of court threatening to get him arrested.

The threat follows the refusal of the INEC boss to appear before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Anambra Judicial Division, sitting at Akwa, to defend a contempt proceeding against him in suit no: NICN/AWK/08/2018 filed by Akutaekwe Chizoba on 20th February, 2018.

In the earlier suit, Akutaekwe had approached the court challenging his unlawful compulsory retirement from INEC. In the suit, he alleged that his dismissal was done in total disregard to the INEC staff conditions of service and in breach of the principles of fair hearing.

Upon hearing and determination, the court granted a judgement in Akutaekwe’s favour. Consequently, an order of court was issued on 11th October, 2016 mandating INEC to grant him the reliefs he sought for; an order that INEC has refused to obey.

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Revealed: How INEC Officials manipulated past elections

-INEC Staff hide voting materials; make wrong entries in the register of voters



A photo of INEC officials attending to voters used to illustrate the story [Photo Credit: Daily Post]
A photo of INEC officials attending to voters used to illustrate the story [Photo Credit: Daily Post]

As the countdown to the 2019 general elections begins, facts have emerged on how INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) officials are bought over to swing election results in favour of the highest bidder.

The revelation comes as crucial lessons for advocates of free and fair elections, even as high and low INEC officials across the country are known to be soliciting major and minor political parties in the bid to serve their interests.

During the 2011 general elections, no fewer than 30 INEC officials were implicated and consequently sacked for aiding electoral malpractices across the country. In Anambra State alone, 16 INEC officials were involved in the sack.

A source close to INEC however suggests that the sacked officials were only used as shields, insisting that the real perpetrators of electoral fraud are ‘the high and mighty’ in INEC.

The clandestine activities of the officials of INEC included the deliberate hiding of ballots to disfranchise voters and to later thump print the hidden ballots secretly to the advantage of their preferred candidates.

An inside source who spoke to SATELLITE TIMES explained how in 2011, a plot was perfected in Owerri North Local Government area, Imo State during the gubernatorial and House of Assembly election; in the polls that brought the sitting governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha to power.

The election held on 26th April, 2011 the source said the Supervisory Presiding Officer of Orji ward, Stanley Okolie instead of taking twelve thousand ballots (12,000) each, he rather took ten thousand (10,000) each, leaving two thousand behind.

“The shortage of the ballot papers caused some party agents to disrupt election and the election did not start as scheduled,” the source disclosed.

The implication is that, the voting exercise would have stretched into the night and providing gaps for possible manipulations.

Other states where INEC officials were implicated in offences relating to hiding of ballots and wrong entries in the register of voters included, Edo Zamfara, FCT, Delta, Lagos and Rivers States with one (1) official each affected, Oyo and Osun two (2) each, and three (3) in Delta State.

All the affected officials were reportedly dismissed by INEC.

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2019: Secret arrangement between APC and Jailed Senator Dariye



Joshua Dariye in court

A source close to embattled Plateau Senator, Joshua Dariye has revealed the real reason why the convicted Senator picked a form to contest for a seat in the National Assembly in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The election form was posted on Facebook by Monday Shadrack Kopmut, a supporter of the convicted Senator and the news quickly filtered a number of media platforms.

Though the All Progressives Congress (APC) through its Spokesperson, Yekini Nabena said on Tuesday that the law governing Nigeria and that of its constitution forbids Mr Dariye, a convict from election, a source close to the Senator has revealed that there are secret plans to allow him run for a seat in the Upper Legislative Chamber.

Speaking to SATELLITE TIMES, the source who begged to remain anonymous revealed that Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong last week met with President Muhammadu Buhari on arrival from his trip to China to raise concerns over the forth coming elections.

Mr Lalong was said to have registered worries over the loss of popularity and the possibilities of losing Plateau State to its opposition if a resolute action was not taken.

Governor Lalong in a meeting with President Buhari

Governor Lalong in a meeting with President Buhari [Photo Credit: Punch Newspaper]

According to the source, the best alternative to regain the trust and mandate of the people of Plateau State would be to free the former Governor on bail and allow him to contest; adding that he (Dariye) enjoys significant support in the State.

SATELLITE TIMES sought official response via a telephone call to Mr Yekini Nabena, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to confirm if the party was aware of the alleged plot but the call was turned down. Mr. Yekini who said he was going to call back failed to do so, even with a follow up text message reminder.

Mr Dariye served as the governor of Plateau State from 1999 to 2007 and was later elected as the Senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial District in 2011 on the platform of the Labour Party (LP) and later moved to the APC in 2015.

Accused of diverting N1.126bn from Plateau Government’s ecological funds, a Federal Capital Territory High Court in June sentenced Mr Dariye to 14 years in prison.

The presiding judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, sentenced the former governor to two-year and 14-year jail terms to be served concurrently without an option of fine.

In 2007, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) found him guilty on 15 out of 23-count criminal charge bothering on money laundering. The former governor was said to have operated Ebenezer Reitner Ventures, an unregistered company through which he diverted the said funds.

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