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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Wins 2017 African Leadership Award

Since 2006, Liberia was the only country out of 54 to improve in every category and sub-category of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.

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Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf

The 2017 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership has been awarded to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation announced today following a meeting of its independent Prize Committee.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who served two terms as President of Liberia from 2006 to 2017, is the fifth recipient of the Ibrahim Prize, which recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership.

The Ibrahim Prize aims to distinguish leaders who, during their time in office, have developed their countries, strengthened democracy and human rights for the shared benefit of their people, and advanced sustainable development.

In its citation, the Prize Committee praised her exceptional and transformative leadership, in the face of unprecedented and renewed challenges, to lead Liberia’s recovery following many years of devastating civil war.

Announcing the decision, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the Prize Committee, said: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took the helm of Liberia when it was completely destroyed by civil war and led a process of reconciliation that focussed on building a nation and its democratic institutions. Throughout her two terms in office, she worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Liberia. Such a journey cannot be without some shortcomings and, today, Liberia continues to face many challenges. Nevertheless, during her twelve years in office, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf laid the foundations on which Liberia can now build.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became President of Liberia on 16 January 2006, after winning the 2005 national elections.

She served her first term 2006-11 and was then successfully re-elected for a second term, serving in office 2012-17. Since 2006, Liberia was the only country out of 54 to improve in every category and sub-category of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. This led Liberia to move up ten places in the Index’s overall ranking during this period.

On hearing the outcome of the Prize Committee’s deliberations, Mo Ibrahim said: I’m delighted that the Prize Committee has decided to make Ellen Johnson Sirleaf an Ibrahim Prize Laureate. In very difficult circumstances, she helped guide her nation towards a peaceful and democratic future, paving the way for her successor to follow. I am proud to see the first woman Ibrahim Laureate, and I hope Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will continue to inspire women in Africa and beyond.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf joins Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), Pedro Pires of Cape Verde (2011), Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008) and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007) as an Ibrahim Prize Laureate. Nelson Mandela was made the inaugural Honorary Laureate in 2007.

The Ibrahim Prize is a US$5 million award paid over ten years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation will consider granting a further US$200,000 per year for ten years towards public interest activities and good causes espoused by the Ibrahim Laureate.

The candidates for the Ibrahim Prize are all former African executive heads of state or government who have left office during the last three calendar years, having been democratically elected and served their constitutionally mandated term.

Culled from Mo Ibrahim Foundation

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Politics

Court threatens to arrest INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

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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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Politics

Revealed: How INEC Officials manipulated past elections

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

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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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Politics

2019: Secret arrangement between APC and Jailed Senator Dariye

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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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