A wanted terrorist with a $10m US bounty on his head has been made Afghanistan’s interior minister as the Taliban announced a caretaker government packed with the movement’s old guard.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the movement’s deputy leader, is accused of overseeing some of the worst atrocities of the militants’ insurgent campaign, but will now take control of a key ministry in the Taliban administration, Yahoo News quotes The Telegraph as having reported.
His position was announced as the Taliban set out a cabinet entirely staffed by the group’s members, despite vows to set up a broad-based new government.
The 33-strong line-up contains no women and is dominated by Taliban stalwarts from the Pashtun ethnic group.
But it is the appointment of Mr Haqqani, who carries a $10m State Department reward for information leading to his arrest, that is most likely to cause alarm.
The head of the notorious Haqqani network faction for more than a decade, he is blamed for indiscriminate bombings and attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians. He reportedly oversaw a 2018 suicide bomb attack in Kabul that killed 103 people using an explosives-filled ambulance.
Analysts said it was difficult to see how the cabinet choice would reassure international donors enough to resume frozen foreign aid, which is desperately needed to keep the Afghan government running.
Weeda Mehran, from the University of Exeter, said: “It is not inclusive at all. There are only a few non-Pashtun members and also I shouldn’t be surprised but it’s still a shock to see Sirajuddin Haqqani there.”
Electoral Act: Supreme Court Strikes Out Buhari’s Suit Against NASS
The Supreme Court, on Friday, struck out a suit filed against the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari challenging the legality of the controversial section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
The Apex Court held that Buhari, having assented to the Electoral Bill on February 25, 2022, has no power to turn around to challenge the legality of the Electoral Act.
The Supreme Court, in a judgment prepared and delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, declared the action of Buhari in instituting the case as a gross abuse of court.
The Apex Court said the President by the suit sought to approbate and reprobate at the same time and that such must not be allowed.
Besides, the court held that Buhari has no power under any law to dictate to the National Assembly on law-making.
The unanimous verdict held that Buhari, having participated in the making of the Electoral Act by his assent, lacked Constitutional powers to come up to challenge same.
Lawyer Protests Hijab Ruling, Appears at Supreme Court Dressed in Native Doctor’s Attire
A human rights lawyer, Malcolm Omoirhobo, on Thursday, caused a stir due to his mode of dressing at the Supreme Court in Abuja.
Photos circulated on social media showed Omoirhobo dressed in a lawyer’s robe mixed with other materials that made him look like an African native doctor.
The lawyer had a gourd with cowries around his neck and a feather on his wig.
According to him, he wore the attire to show gratitude to the Supreme Court which had, on Friday, June 17, 2022, granted the use of hijab by female Muslim students in government-owned schools in Lagos.
“That we are free to express our way of worship in our schools and in our courts. That decision was reached on Friday and that has encouraged me.
“Because I am a traditionalist and this is the way I worship. Based on the decision of the Supreme Court, this is how I will be dressing henceforth in court because I am a strong adherent to ‘Olokun’, the god of rivers.”
Reacting, a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Ibadan, Francis Egbokhare, told The PUNCH that the lawyer’s action exposed the ridiculousness that is sometimes associated with law.
He said, “I believe this is just basically sarcasm, as far as I’m concerned, bringing to our attention the ridiculousness sometimes of law when you stretch it out to such an extent.
“For instance, if dress code does not matter, or if you are to modify a dress code, the question is what are the boundaries or limitations, and where do you draw the line?”
Advising the lawyer, Egobkare said, “I think it will be a good thing for him to test it further because this is a comic relief so far. Until he brings it up through the legal process, it may not have any impact beyond just giving us something to laugh about.”
UK Police Arrest Ekweremadu, Wife for Alleged Plan to Harvest Child’s Organs
The United Kingdom Metropolitan Police have formally charged two Nigerians with conspiracy to facilitate the travel of another person for organ harvesting.
The suspects were arrested and charged over their plan to bring a child into the country to allegedly harvest the said child’s organs.
The two arrested suspects were identified as Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55, and Ike Ekweremadu, 60, from Nigeria.
The suspects who have been remanded in custody will appear at Uxbridge magistrates court later on Thursday.
They are charged with conspiracy to harvest organs, The Guardian UK reports.
According to the report, the charges involve arranging or facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting, the Met said in a statement.
The child involved has been safeguarded, according to the Met.
The investigation was launched after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022, the force said.