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Obasanjo in Monrovia for Weah’s inauguration

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Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo [Photo Credit: African Arguments]

Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has arrived in Monrovia for the swearing-in of Liberia’s President-elect, Mr. George Weah.

Obasanjo’s plane touched down at the Roberts International Airport at 8:01 a.m. (9 a.m.) Nigerian time to attend the inauguration taking place later on Monday.

On hand or receive him were the Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia, Mr James Dimka; Force Commander for the United Nations Mission in Liberia , Maj.-Gen. Salihu Uba, among other officials.

Weah and Boakai: Who wears the cap?
Weah and Boakai

Speaking to newsmen Obsanjo said he was a proud man to witness a peaceful democratic transfer of power in Liberia considering the huge sacrifices made by Nigeria for peace and stability in the country.

“I am very happy over what is happening in Liberia today and I congratulate my brothers and sisters in this great country,” he said.

The former ace footballer George Weah will be sworn-in as Liberia’s President on Monday after defeating the country’s Vice President in a re-run election.

Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) presented certificate of return to the President-elect, George Weah; Vice President-elect, Jewel Howard-Taylor, and the newly elected members of the House of Representatives.

According to local media, 66 out of the 73 elected lawmakers were certificated, leaving out seven who are facing legal challenges over their election in the Oct. 10 general polls.

The final tallies of the re-run election indicate that Weah of CDC polled a total of 722,185 votes representing 61.5 per cent, while Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party (UP) finished with 457,579 or 28.5 per cent.

The president-elect, George Weah, described his election as a unifying factor in the country. He will take over from President -Ellen-Johnson-Sirleaf

The president-elect reiterated his assurance of greater freedoms, saying he would not interfere with the tenants of democracy, especially political dissent.

51-year-old George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah is a retired professional footballer who played as a striker.

After beginning his career in his home country of Liberia, Weah spent 14 years playing for clubs in France, Italy, and England. Arsène Wenger first brought him to Europe, signing him for Monaco in 1988.

George Weah won election but was stopped by faulty sound-system
Liberia’s President-elect George Weah

Weah moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 1992 where he won Ligue 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League.

He signed for Milan in 1995 where he spent four successful seasons, winning Serie A twice. His most notable goal in Italy saw him run the length of the field against Verona.

He moved to the Premier League towards the end of his career and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City, winning the FA Cup at the former, before returning to France to play for Marseille in 2001, and subsequently ending his career with Al-Jazira in 2003.

At the international level, he represented Liberia at the African Cup of Nations on two occasions, winning 60 caps and scoring 22 goals for his country.

He became involved in politics in Liberia following his retirement from football.

He formed the Congress for Democratic Change and ran unsuccessfully for President in the 2005 election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting.

In the 2011 election, he ran unsuccessfully as Vice President alongside Winston Tubman. Weah was subsequently elected to the Liberian Senate for Montserrado County in the 2014 elections.

Weah was elected President of Liberia in the 2017 election, defeating the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai

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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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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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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