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Finland Moves to Checkmate Simon Ekpa’s Activities

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Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, has said Finland cannot trade its relations with Nigeria for anything.

This was even as Pylvanainen said it has been 60 years of excellent relationship and cooperation between Nigeria and Finland.

Ibrahim Aliyu, special assistant to the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, said the envoy gave the assurance during a meeting in Abuja with Dada over threat by Simon Ekpa, a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to bar elections in the South East.

Pylvanainen said Ekpa’s activities were of serious concern to Finland and efforts ongoing to address the issue. He added that Finland was watching to see how the situation fits into the legal framework of Finland.

The Finnish envoy also said Ekpa has dual citizenship, adding that there was the need to take his rights into consideration.

She stated that Finland has very much interest in ensuring safe and peaceful conduct of elections in Nigeria and condemned in strong terms, any threat to peaceful elections in the country.

“We share very much, the concerns regarding the security situation in the Southeast. Yes, there are problems in other parts of the country as well, but this is an issue that we are directly concerned with. This is an issue we have been discussing, we share the concerns. We have discussed the matter and as I mentioned, our law enforcement agencies are in touch and are cooperating,” Pylvanaine said.

Dada called on the Finnish Government to take drastic action against the activities of Ekpa who lives in Finland, but sent inciting messages back home to instigate violence activities in part of the country with the sole aim of disrupting the conduct of the 2023 general election.

While expressing displeasure over the orders given by Ekpa to his teeming followers whom he said,  “consequently embarked on killings, maiming, burning and other destructive activities,” Dada further said Ekpa’s action is fast becoming a threat to the forthcoming election.

He added that the Federal Government would not take it lightly if nothing drastic was done to stop Ekpa.

“The Ekpa-led faction of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had reportedly declared that elections will not be allowed to hold in the South-East, and had declared the period of the elections as sit-at-home. Simon Ekpa is living in the comfort of his home in Finland and dishing out dangerous orders to his followers not to allow elections to hold, which is threatening the peace of the South-eastern Nigeria in particular and the peaceful conduct of the election in general. We’ve had some time to ensure that we arrest this situation, but it appears the situation is getting out of hand. And we’re saying enough is enough,” Dada said.

The Sun

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Cyril Ramaphosa Re-elected As South African President

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The South African Parliament has, during its first sitting of the 7th Parliament on Friday, re-elected Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa as the President of the Republic of South Africa. He has been re-elected to serve a second term as the President.

Thia was hours after his African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance (DA) agreed to form a coalition, setting aside their rivalry in a historic governance pact.

In terms of the Constitution, the National Assembly must, at its first sitting after its election, elect a woman or a man from among its members to be the President.

Mr. Ramaphosa was elected with 283 votes against Mr Julius Malema with 44 votes. The Constitution states that when elected President, a person ceases to be a member of the National Assembly and, within five days, must assume office by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution.

The President-elect will be inaugurated during a ceremony in Pretoria which, according to the Constitution, should take place within five days after the President’s election.

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Finidi George Resigns As Super Eagles Coach

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has resigned his appointment,  according to a post by ex-Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye on X.com on Saturday.

He wrote, “News just in. Finidi George #FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his #NGSuperEagles manager position.”

The resignation follows the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) decision to appoint a foreign coach to oversee him, despite his recent appointment in May.

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Appeal Court Insists Amaewhule, 26 Others Not Members of Rivers House of Assembly

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Friday, refused to set aside a judgment ordering the removal of Martins Chike Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Justice Charles Wali of the Rivers State High Court, Port Harcourt, on May 30 declared the seats of the 27 lawmakers who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in October last year vacant.

The judge, who delivered the ruling in a suit filed by the Speaker of the Assembly, Victor Oko Jumbo, and two others, also restrained Amaewhule from parading himself as Speaker of the Assembly.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, the aggrieved lawmakers approached the appellate court to set it aside.

However, at a virtual hearing of the matter on Friday, a three-member panel of the appellate court declared that the reversal of the lower court ruling would amount to pre-judging the appeal currently before it.

The panel, thereafter, fixed June 20 for the hearing of the appeal filed by the lawmakers in their quest to regain their seats in the Assembly.

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