Ghana Election Petition Challenge: Ghana’s Supreme Court Throws out Election Petition Challenge against President Mahama

The Supreme Court of Ghana has upheld President Mahama's victory

The Supreme Court of Ghana has upheld President Mahama’s victory

The Supreme Court of the Republic of has dismissed an election petition by the opposition to annul and overturn President John Mahama’s victory in last year’s general elections.

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) alleged in court that Mr. Mahama won the election fraudulently but Mr. Mahama and his ruling National Democratic Party (NDC) denied the allegation strongly.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) had asked the court to annul some four million votes, alleging the result was tampered with to guarantee Mr. Mahama victory in the first round of the election.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) argued that any mistakes made by polling station officials while recording ballots was not an attempt to subvert democracy, and there were insufficient grounds for the court to overturn the result.

But the nine member Supreme Court led by Justice William Atuguba stated on clear terms that Mr. Mahama was “validly elected’’ by the people.

President Mahama of Ghana

President Mahama of Ghana

Leader of the opposition party, Nana Akufo-Addo told reporters after the court ruling that he is highly disappointed in the ruling but he accepts the ruling unconditionally and urged his party supporters to do likewise.

“Everything in my bones, in my upbringing and in what I have done in my life thus far makes it imperative that I accept the decision made by the highest court of the land, however much I dislike or disagree with it. I am saddened by the verdict and I know many of our supporters are saddened too. We must embark on the path that builds rather than destroys to deal with our disappointments’’, Nana Akufo-Addo told reporters after the ruling.

The ruling was announced live on television and radio to show as a sign of judicial transparency which Ghana has Africa championed.

After the ruling, crowds of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters emerged to stand on the court stairs, singing and waving white handkerchiefs and jubilating.

President Mahama and his vice, Mr. Amissah Attah watched the proceedings at the Flagstaff-House which the official office for government businesses. Mr. Mahama posted on his Facebook page that the court’s decision has cemented Ghana’s credentials in democracy in Africa.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a confirmation that Ghana is a stable democracy and an example of free and fair elections for all African nations. Now, it is time to look into the future. I urge all political forces to put aside their differences and to work together so everyone will lead a better life. We all have a duty to the people to work so our country remains united. I pledge to all, the people who voted for me or the people who voted for the other candidates, to extend a hand to the NPP and all political forces in order to achieve the unity we need and want. It’s time to unite’’, President Mahama wrote.

Ghana, the first country in Sub- Sahara Africa to gain independence is generally seen as a beacon of democracy in Africa as it has practiced multi-party democracy since 1992.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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Boko Haram Attack: 20 Vigilante Group Members killed by Boko Haram in Bono State

Dozens of Vigilante group members were killed by Boko Haram over the weekend in Nigeria

Dozens of Vigilante group members were killed by Boko Haram over the weekend in Nigeria

Boko Haram militants have gun down 20 vigilante members in what is believed to be Boko Haram trying to fight back against the group in the northeast.

Vigilante groups are local residents who serve as a neighborhood watchdog by helping the joint security forces to drive out Boko Haram from the area. And Boko Haram is trying to take revenge against the group because of its contribution to the security forces.

An anonymous military official told local reporters that the killings occurred in two separate attacks on Sunday and Monday.

He said on Sunday, Boko Haram fighters disguised themselves in military uniforms and stormed a meeting places of one the vigilante group in Bama, opening fire and killing 14 members of the group instantly.

The second attack took he said, took place on Monday night in the village of Damasak, which is some 200km away from the State capital Maiduguri.

Boko Haram fighters attacked the Civilian Joint Task Force, as they were sleeping in a guesthouse and opened fire killing 6 and injuring dozen others.

“The attack took place in the border town of Damasak, 200 kilometers away from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and birthplace of the Boko Haram ideology, the report we got from Damasak confirmed that the six members of the vigilante group were also jewelry vendors who took time off to attend the weekly Damasak Market to sell their wares, Boko Haram members then trailed them to where they were sleeping’’, the military official was quoted as saying.

These attacks by Boko Haram comes as the group is believed to be loosing grounds against the security forces with the military saying that its internal intelligence suggests that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau might have been killed in a shoot-out with the security forces between 25 July and 3 August this year. There has been no comment from the group on the death of its leader.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in 3 northern states on May 14, and deployed thousands of troops to halt the insurgency, acknowledging that militants had taken control of some towns and villages in the north.

Boko Haram is believed to have carried out a wave of bombings and assassinations since 2009 which have cost an estimate number of 3,600 lives, and saying it wants to establish an Islamic state across Nigeria.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

Africa Strange News: Two Men to Share One Woman in Kenya

The Two men will marry one woman because the 3 are in love equally

The Two men will marry one woman because the 3 are in love equally

An agreement has been reached by two Kenyan men to marry one woman who have been dating the men secretly for over four years now.

Sylvester Mwendwa and Elijah Kimani signed the agreement after the lady refused to choose between the two, claiming she loves them equally. They would stay in her house on a rotational basis and will both help raise any children she bears, according to the agreement.

Community policing Officer, Abdallah Abdulrahman was said to have persuaded the two men to marry the woman after he saw them fighting over her in Mombasa County.

“I talked to both of them and they claim they love her equally and cannot live without her. I asked the woman to choose but she refused, saying ‘I cannot lose either of them, I love them both’”, Mr. Abdulrahman was quoted by the Daily Nation.

Mr. Mwendwa openly told the BBC African Service that he loved the woman and said the contract would “set boundaries” and “keep the peace between him and Mr. Kimani.

“It could have been very dangerous if the other man would have come to her house and caught me… So our agreement is good as it sets boundaries and helps us keep peace’’, he said.

But Lawyers in the country say the marriage would only be recognized if the men could prove that polyandry was or is part of their custom. (Polyandry is a type of marriage why by a woman marries more than one husband).

Detail of the agreement the local Daily Nation Newspaper published has it that: “We have agreed that from today we will not threaten or have jealous feelings because of our wife, who says she’s not ready to let go of any of us,”.

“Each one will respect the day set aside for him. We agree to love each other and live peacefully. No-one has forced us to make this agreement,” the statement agreement concluded.

The woman, with two kids is said to have lost her husband some years back and says she does not want to be named in the media.

Meanwhile, People in the country have reacted with shock to the marriage, arguing that it is not acceptable in terms of their culture and religion.

“We have never heard of something like this in Kenya, it is uncouth, untraditional unbiblical and against the holy books, including the Koran. Why on earth would a woman be shared by two men? They should be taken to court and punished,” One Mr. Tumaini Juma told the Daily Nation Newspaper.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

Piracy in West Africa: Nigerian Navy Gun Down 12 Pirates at the Oil-Rich Niger Delta

Naval gunboats were deployed to free the St Kitts and Nevis-flagged MT Norte oil vessel

Naval gunboats were deployed to free the St Kitts and Nevis-flagged MT Norte oil vessel

The Nigerian Navy authorities have said that its forces have killed 12 suspected pirates and rescued a hijacked oil vessel in the country’s oil-rich producing Niger Delta region.

The navy said in a statement that naval gunboats were deployed to free the St Kitts and Nevis-flagged MT Norte oil vessel, after the navy received information that the vessel had been seized by 16 pirates off the Nigerian waters. The MT Norte vessel was carrying some 17 000 tons of petrol.

The navy and the pirates engaged in a few minutes of gun battle when they attempted to escape in a speedboat after sensing danger of the navy gun power, but they were caught by the bullets from the navy forces resulting in 12 of them being killed and four of them surrendering to avoid being killed.

“Efforts to get the hijackers to stop and surrender proved abortive as they engaged NNS Badagry in a gun battle, the gun battle between NNS Badagry and the pirates lasted for about 30 minutes after which they were over-powered, 12 were killed and four of them surrendered by raising up their hands,” a statement from the Navy stated.

The navy added that some arms and ammunitions belonging to the pirates being recovered and being sent to the navy headquarters.

Analysts say crude oil theft has also been a major problem in Nigeria, with thieves tapping pipelines and siphoning off oil before loading it aboard waiting vessels.

24 crew members believed to be Indian nationals of a Maltese-flagged Cotton oil tanker vessel were freed by pirates on July 22, after the oil tanker was hijacked off the coast of Gabon. A suspected amount of ransom was believed to have been paid to the pirates.

High Seas robbers also known as pirates Hijack oil tankers with the aim of stealing fuel from the vessel has been on the rise off the coast of Nigeria which is Africa’s largest oil producer.

In East Africa, many ships can move fast at high speed with armed guards on board to protect crew members but in West Africa, many vessels have to anchor off the West African coastal nations, with little protection, making them a soft target for pirates.

The Navy overpowered the pirates and killed 12 of them

The Navy overpowered the pirates and killed 12 of them

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) watchdog committee warned in July that all vessels especially those routing through the West African coast (Gulf of Guinea) to be vigilant as they are potentially risk of being attacked by pirates in that particular zone of the waters.

The Gulf of Guinea region include waters off Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Ghana and stretches as far as to the Ivory Coast which is a significant source of cocoa, oil and metals for world markets and pirates use the area for their activities.

Piracy in the West African Coast is prevalent but little is being done by the International Navy and local navies in the area to stop the practice.

But this swift response by the Nigerian Navy will be raising some level of hopes about the security of vessels passing through the area.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

Strange News: Kenyan Man Admits in Court Killing a Ghanaian and Eating his Heart and Brains

Alexander Kinyua, 22, was arrested on 19 May by Maryland police after finding body parts in his home which they believe may belong to his missing roommate from Ghana Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie.

Alexander Kinyua, 22, was arrested on 19 May by Maryland police after finding body parts in his home which they believe may belong to his missing roommate from Ghana Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie.

A Kenyan citizen in the United States of America has strangely pleaded guilty in a US court for killing a Ghanaian housemate and eating his heart and brains in a strange circumstance.

Alexander Kinyua, 22, was arrested on 19 May by Maryland police after finding body parts in his home which they believe may belong to his missing roommate from Ghana Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie.

But Kinyua strangely told the Harford County judge in Maryland that he killed his friend, Agyei-Kodies with an axe and ate his heart and brains.

Before his arrest in May, he had found to have posted this strange message on his Facebook page: “ HEAR ME OUT BUTCHERS: ARE YOU STRONG ENOUGH TO ENDURE RITUAL HBCU MASS HUMAN SACRIFICES AROUND THE COUNTRY AND STILL BE ABLE TO FUNCTION AS HUMAN BEINGS? IT’S BEEN ALL TOO TRAGIC WITH THE DUAL UNIVERSITY SHOOTINGS AT VIRGINIA TECH AND OTHER PAST UNIVERSITY KILLINGS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. NOW FOR A TWIST: ETHNIC CLEANSING IS THE POLICY, STRATEGY AND TACTICS THAT WILL AFFECT YOU, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY IN THE COMING MONTHS. THIS IS THE BRUTAL BASIS, AN EVIL & TERRIFYING METHOD OF THIS DEATH CULT’’.

Judge Stephen Waldron considering what he posted before committing the offence and his plea in court, found him not criminally responsible for the act due to what he termed as mental illness he might be suffering.

The ruling means that Kinyua, who prior to the bizarre incident was a Mechanical Engineering student at Morgan State University, will now be committed to a mental health facility indefinitely. He was quickly whisked away to the state’s maximum-security psychiatric hospital after the ruling by the State Police.

Alexander Kinyua emigrated from Kenya with his parents to the United States as a child and became a U.S. citizen subsequently.

Agyei-Kodie who from Ghana, was a student at the Morgan State University and was staying with the Kinyua family pending deportation to his home country (Ghana) due to non-compliance with the terms of his visa.

He then met Antony Kinyua; the father of his alleged killer who was also pursuing a doctoral degree at Morgan State University and decided to allow him stay with him in his house until his deportation time in due.

But Agyei-Kodies was reported missing and Kinyua’s brother reported to the police that he has found something that look like a body parts in two tins in the basement of Kinyua’s room.

Kinyua was then arrested and he confess of killing the Ghanaian and dismembered his body, consumed the heart, hid the head and hands in the home and placed the remaining body parts in a trash bin in a nearby church parking lot.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

 

Africa Illegal Migrants: Dozens of Illegal Migrants from Africa Arrested by Italian Police

About 1,000 illegal migrants from Africa have been rounded up and taken to detention centre for questioning and further investigations on the southern part of the country

About 1,000 illegal migrants from Africa have been rounded up and taken to detention centre for questioning and further investigations on the southern part of the country

Police officials in the Italian island of Lampedusa have said that close to 1,000 illegal migrants from Africa have been rounded up and taken to detention centre for questioning and further investigations on the southern part of the country.

The migrants were said to have arrived in a Sicily rickety small engine motor boat, after two clear days of dangerous voyage on the   Mediterranean Sea from Africa in search of work in the European Union. The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land.

Illegal migrants from Africa try to reach the southern shores of Italy every summer especially when the Mediterranean waters are relatively calm in a small dangerous boats powered by small motor engine to make the crossing to the shores of Italy and other European countries in the Mediterranean region.

Figures given by Italian Police has it that 325 migrants were sighted on Tuesday morning in a small fishing boat off the coast of Porto Empedocles on Sicily’s southern coast while another 230 were brought ashore after they were intercepted off the coast of the island of Lampedusa but some 400 migrants had already been arrested on Monday afternoon before these two groups were seen by police officials.

They were transferred to coastguard boats and taken to shore to be interrogated by officials. Among the immigrants are women and children and police said some claim to come from Syria but that has not been verified.

The Italian Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano said last week that the flows of illegal migrants from Africa and the Mediterranean regions have increased severely this summer with almost 9,000 immigrants reaching Italy by boat between July 1 and August 10 this year.

In the past 12 months, more than 24,000 illegal migrants have come compared with more than 17,000 in the same period last year.

Illegal migrants intercepted by Italian authorities are taken to the state-run immigration centers and some who are able to prove that they are refugees are allowed to stay and work while those who remain and cannot prove reason for their migration are being deported back to where they came from.

Thousands of illegal migrants embark on dangerous missions in small motor engine boats on the high seas with the prospect of finding work in the European Union countries but some do encounter accidents that do claim a lot of lives.

 Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

Fight against Boko Haram: Boko Haram Leader Killed in Northeastern Nigeria?

The Nigerian military has said that its internal intelligence suggests that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau might have been killed in a shoot-out with the security forces

The Nigerian military has said that its internal intelligence suggests that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau might have been killed in a shoot-out with the security forces

The Nigerian military has said that its internal intelligence suggests that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau might have been killed in a shoot-out with the security forces between 25 July and 3 August this year

The intelligence source suggested that Shekau was shot on 30 June in an assault against the militants that raided their (Boko Haram) base at Sambisa Forest in north-eastern part of the country.

The Nigerian Defense Ministry said on 14 August that the military in a special operation has successfully killed the deputy commander, Momodu Bama who is also known as Abu Saad and seizing a large amount of ammunition in addition in the same location.

The military also said a You Tube video released on the 13 August by Boko Haram claiming victory against the Nigerian Security Forces and threatening to attack the United States by Abubakar Shekau, was done by an imposter just to encourage other members of the group to continue to carry out their militancy and probably use to cover his death. The United States had put a bounty of $7m on Shekau’s head for information leading to his capture.

But there is however no comment from Boko Haram to deny or confirm the deaths of their commander and deputy commander making people believing that the military intelligence is authentic.

Military spokesman in the northeast, Lt-Col Sagir Musa told reporters in Maiduguri that an intelligence report the military had gathered shows that Shekau may have died between 25 July and 3 August.

“Shekau was mortally wounded in the encounter and was sneaked into Amitchide – a border community in Cameroon for treatment… It is greatly believed that Shekau might have died between 25 July to 3 August, 2013,” Col Musa said.

Abubakar Shekau became leader of Boko Haram after its founder, Muhammad Yusuf, died in police custody in 2009 in what the group said was a brutal murder of their leader by the police. This incident in particular might have angered the group to take up heavy weapons against the Security Forces and civilians as the Nigerian government did not handled the matter properly then.

Security analysts say Abubakar Shekau’s leadership has seen an intense insurgency from the group with Boko Haram carrying out a wave of bombings and abductions, including that of foreigners.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in 3 northern states on May 14, and deployed thousands of troops to halt the insurgency, acknowledging that militants had taken control of some towns and villages in the north.

Boko Haram is believed to have carried out a wave of bombings and assassinations since 2009 which have cost an estimate number of 3,600 lives, and saying it wants to establish an Islamic state across Nigeria.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News