Jonathan and Ekweremadu congratulate Senegal’s President-elect

Senegal President -Elect, Maky Sall

The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has commended the people of Senegal over the successful conclusion of the Sunday run-off presidential polls.

Ekweremadu who congratulated President-elect, Mark Sall for winning in a free, fair, and credible manner also commended the incumbent President, Abdoulaye Wade for conceding defeat, describing his action as an invaluable asset to Senegal’s democracy and unity.

“Coming on the heels of the temporary setback to democracy in Mali, this is not only good news for the people of Senegal, but for the entire West African sub-region as it reaffirms our resolve as a people to live under constitutional, democratic and stable order”, Ekweremadu stated.

Describing the election as an added momentum to democracy in West Africa, the Speaker who also doubles as Nigeria Deputy President of Senate, urged the President-elect to be magnanimous in victory, ensuring that all traces of genuine political grievances were assuaged and the nation welded even more closely by the democratic feat that the presidential election represents.

While commending the ECOWAS and members of the international community for ensuring that what appeared a logjam in Senegal was resolved amicably through the ballot box, Ekweremadu reiterated the commitment of the ECOWAS Parliament to working with all institutions and organs of ECOWAS to ensure the sub-region “consolidates the path of zero tolerance to unconstitutional seizure of power, bad governance, injustice, impunity, corruption, coup d’états, and blemished electoral processes which are in themselves the roots of conflicts, instability, and underdevelopment.”

Meanwhile President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the opposition candidate in last Sunday’s presidential election run-off in Senegal, Mr. Macky Sall, on his election as President-Elect of Senegal.

Describing his election as “victory for democracy and just reward for all Senegalese people who kept faith in the democratic process and voted responsibly in what has proved to be a watershed election,” the President noted that “the Senegalese people have confirmed that theirs is a mature democracy built on freedom and respect for rules and laws.”

“If there was ever any doubt, this election has proved that the foundation of Senegalese democracy is rock solid. This is good for the Senegalese people and also for our sub-region, especially at a time one of our brother countries is facing grave challenges to constitutional order,” he said.

President Jonathan further observed that Sall’s “commitment to democracy and remarkable leadership and doggedness in the face of great odds are proof that he is the right person to heal wounds, unite the country and lead Senegal along the path of peace, equity and prosperity.”

The President while also commending incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade, “for graciously accepting defeat, showing great maturity and statesmanship and organising an election that was adjudged free and fair, whose outcome he has accepted”, recommended Wade’s example to all other leaders on the African continent.

“The outcome of the election in Senegal is good for West Africa and the African continent,” he stressed, adding that “he looks forward to working with President-elect Sall and the people of Senegal for the mutual benefit of our two countries and for the peace, stability and prosperity of our sub-region.”



Edo State police parades 10 robbery suspects

Edo State Police commissioner yesterday paraded 10 individuals suspected of armed robbery at the command’s headquarters in capital city Benin, reiterating the state’s determination to rid the regiono f criminals.

Edo State police parades 10 robbery suspects

Commissioner Umar Manko said: “Let me assure you that in line with the police new leadership’s agenda to confront crime and criminality headlong, the command will not relent in the task of riding Edo State of criminals. I call on the entire people of the state to cooperate with the police by availing us with useful information that will lead to the arrest of criminals.”

The suspects include Ohiorenuanb Ogedegbe, Akhaome Agbedokhai, Osakpolo Iredia, Osazee Sunday, Goodluck Iboho, Okungbowa Unuoma, Monday Osabohen, Abayomi Friday, Ayewa Kehinde and Ogbewe Airende.

According to the state police commissioner the suspects were arrested at different locations and the items they had allegedly stolen had been recovered from them and some weapons ceased.

Manko also disclosed that one of the suspects, Okungbowa Unuoma, is a member of a 5-man robbery/kidnapping gang, who had been terrorizing Ugbor area of the state capital.

ECOWAS court adjourns case against FG and Rivers state

The ECOWAS community Court of Justice in Abuja on Wednesday adjourned the case against the Federal and Rivers state governments over the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Bundu water front, Port Harcourt in October 2009.

ECOWAS court adjourns case against FG and Rivers state

The case was adjourned to March 26th for further hearing.

The presiding Judge; Justice Benfeito Ramos, adjourned the court proceedings due to the prayer of the new counsel for the Rivers state government and Solicitor-general of the state, Rufus Godwins, who asked the court for more time to allow him study the matter because he “just took over the case from the previous counsel.”

The plaintiffs in the case which included the residents of Bundu waterfront were expected to give evidence on the matter on Wednesday, but they were denied due to the prayer of the Solicitor-general.

This was contested by the counsel to the slum dwellers; Adetokunbo Mumuni, who accused the government of “unnecessarily delaying the matter with incessant request for adjournment.”

However counsel to the Rivers state government pointed out to the court that the prosecution counsel has not complied fully with the provisions of the court to make a formal application on the witnesses he intends to present as such the court cannot allow the matter to go on.

After listening to their argument Justice Ramos stated that “before any counsel calls a witness to testify in the court such counsel must comply with Article 43 of the ECOWAS community court of justice which requires counsel to file an application identifying its witnesses, state what facts the witnesses will be testifying on and the reason why they want to give the testimony.” The judge then pronounced the adjournment till the 26th of March.

At least one person died and 12 were injured when armed security forces allegedly opened fire on people protesting the proposed demolition of their homes in Bundu community in October 2009.

The case was filled by 10 residents of the Bundu waterfront and surrounding communities with the support of civil organization; the Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).