Politics

Ex soldier, Julius Bio wins Sierra Leone’s presidential poll

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The opposition party’s candidate, Rtd Brig Julius Madaa Bio of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party  (SLPP) has been declared  the winner  of the March 31 Sierra Leone Presidential run-off election.
According  to the result announced by the Sierra Leone’s National Electoral  Commission (NEC) on Wednesday  in Freetown, Bio received  1,319,406 votes representing 51.81 per cent of the total valid votes cast, 2,546,577, to defeat the candidate of the ruling party.
According to  the result  Kamara  Wilson  of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC)  polled 1,227,171 votes, representing 48.19 per cent of the valid votes cast.

The Chairman  of NEC,  Mohamed Conteh,who announced the result,  said that the national turn out in the election  was 2,578,271 representing 81.11 registered voters,  while 31,694 invalid votes were recorded.

“Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred on me as National Returning Officer by sections 52(2) and 94(4) of the Public Elections Act, 2012 (Act No 4 of 20l2), I hereby certify that Bio Julius Manda having polled 1,319,406 of the valid votes cast in the March 31 Presidential election run-off has been duly elected President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Any citizen of Sierra Leone who has lawfully voted in this election may challenge the validity of the said election of the President by petition to the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, within seven days after the declaration of Presidential result pursuant to section 55(1) of the Public Elections Act, 2012 (Act No. 4 of 2012),” Conteh said.

 Bio is to take office as Sierra Leone’s 5th President having won the  run-off election with more than 92,000 vote margin against his APC counterpart.

Bio replaced President Ernest Bai Koroma of APC, who has completed his two terms of five years each.

Under Sierra Leone’s constitution, a winning candidate is sworn in once the Chief Electoral Officer certifies the results of the election, followed by official inauguration later.

Fourteen  political parties participated in the first ballot which was conducted  on March 7, where no candidate  secured  the mandatory  55 per cent of the total  valid votes cast.

The News Agency  of Nigeria (NAN)  recalls that the opposition candidate,  Bio led the final result of the first ballot with 1,097, 482 votes, making 43.3 per cent of the 2, 537,122 valid votes cast in the polls.

Samura Kamara of APC at the first ballot  came a close second with 1,082, 748 votes, representing 42.7 per cent of the total votes cast.

One of the world’s poorest nations despite huge mineral and diamond deposits, Sierra Leone is recovering gradually from war and disease. Its economy remains fragile, with corruption widespread in the former British colony.

Political loyalties are often divided along ethnic lines and traumatic memories of the 1991-2002 civil war run deep.

The  run-off election became necessary since none of the candidates was able to get 51 per cent of the total votes cast,   as  provided by the country’s constitution (NAN)

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Politics

Atiku’s Lawyer Not Licensed To Practise in Nigeria – INEC Tells Tribunal

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the petition filed by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were not signed by a legal practitioner licensed to practise in Nigeria.

Atiku had filed a petition before the presidential election tribunal to challenge the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Atiku’s legal team is led by Livy Uzoukwu with 31 other lawyers.

In its response as the first respondent in the case, INEC said the petition was not signed by a legal practitioner enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The electoral body said the results Atiku claimed to have polled were “invented” solely for the petition, adding that it never transmitted results electronically.

“That the Petitioner’s Petition, List of Witnesses and List of Documents as filed are incompetent and ought to be struck out as same were not signed by a legal practitioner enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria and licensed to practise in Nigeria,” read INEC’s response to Atiku’s petition.

The electoral umpire, however, prayed that the petition be struck out for lack of competence.

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If my helicopter crash was fatal, Kogi State government would have been in trouble – VP Osinbajo says

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said if the February 2 helicopter crash that occurred in Kogi State was fatal, there would have been trouble, even for the Kogi State government.  

He spoke on Sunday during a special thanksgiving service to celebrate the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC), held at the old Banquet Hall of the State House. He said if those on board had died, there would have been too many assumptions on the circumstances surrounding the incident.  

He thanked God for his life and that of others who were also on board. In his words;

“On February 2nd, God gave me reason to know that but for His grace we would have been consumed, when our helicopter crashed. When the crash occurred, for a moment there was complete silence. For a second, it occurred to me that if we had died, that is what it would have been complete silence. But we all got out without a scratch. God delivered us.  

“God also delivered those in charge of our security; even the government of Kogi State would also have been in trouble. We give God all the glory. I pray God will also be kind to you all also, that you will never be lacking in support, care and genuine prayers. God is surely worthy to be praised. I have no special qualifications to be here but exaltation comes from God.”

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Five best friends who were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings are all now state senators

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Five longtime female friends who were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings have each won their state Senate races in this year’s midterm elections in the United States.

The women who are all Democratic candidates — Tammy Story, Faith Winter, Jessie Danielson, Brittany Pettersen and Kerry Donovan — all swept their state Senate in Colorado, People reported Wednesday.

The women, who call themselves “The Fab Five,” helped flip the state Senate to a Democratic majority for the first time in five years, the publication noted.

Danielson, who currently serves as member of the Colorado House of Representatives, told the magazine:

We were all in it together.

Each of the women said they helped the others face negative criticism and slander during their campaigns.

Winter said:

Through the campaign, the five of us were very supportive of each other. We had several text chains where we would check in with one another and see how we were doing.

If a particularly bad ad or piece of mail came out, we would reassure each other on the text chain, ‘Have you seen the mail? It’s so awful, how are you doing?’

The friends are among the more than 2,000 women who are gearing up to take office in state legislatures nationwide next year.


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