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Senate Presidency: Ndume challenges Lawan

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The battle for Presidency of 9th Senate opened on Tuesday as senators-elect commenced polling to choose their number one senator.

The contest is between Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume, both elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the chambers, 107 senators-elect out of 109, were accredited for the exercise being conducted by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Omolori.

Two senatorial districts in Imo currently do not have representations in the Senate following issues that arose from the general elections.

Lawan was nominated by Yahaya Ibrahim (APC-Kebbi) and his nomination was seconded by Olamilekan Solomon (APC-Lagos).

Senator-elect Ishaku Cliff (PDPAdamawa) nominated Ndume and was seconded by Amange Bariagha (PDPRivers.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a mild drama ensued before polling commenced as the senators were divided over voting pattern to be adopted.

Some members opted for the 2011 Senate Rule which stipulates open ballot, while some, mostly of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), insisted on the 2015 Rule, which stipulates secret ballot.

On argument of a court order directing the use of 2015 Rule, the clerk denied receiving such order, thereby dousing tension that had arisen.

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Breaking News: Lawan emerges 9th Senate President, polling 79 votes

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The Senator-elect, Ahmad Lawan (APC-Yobe), has been declared the winner of the senate presidential election held at the Senate Chamber on Tuesday.

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori, made the announcement in Abuja.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Lawan and Senator-elect, Ali Ndume (APC-Borno), contested for the highest position.

While Lawan polled 79 votes, Ndume got only 28 votes.

Mr Sani-Omolori said having scored the highest votes, Lawan, had been duly elected as the Nigeria’s Senate President of the 9th National Assembly.

Edited by Mustapha Lamidi

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Gobir backs Lawan for Senate President

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Gobir backs L Sen. Ibrahim Gobir (APC-Sokoto), on Monday, said Sen. Ahmad Lawan remained his candidate for the senate presidential contest in the 9th Senate.

Gobir stated this in an interview with newsmen shortly after completing his accreditation ahead of the inauguration, coming up on Tuesday in Abuja.

He, however, expressed his reservation on the candidate for deputy senate president.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, Francis Alimikhena, Orji Uzor-Kalu and Kabir Gaya, were among those contesting for the position of deputy senate president.

”I am not worried about the election of tomorrow, because what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong.

”What is right is that the person we are going to choose, we will choose him tomorrow.

”When we get to the bridge, we will cross it.

”Certainly, what the President wants is Lawan, and am going for Lawan,” he said.

However, when asked if he would vote for Omo-Agege, he simply said: ”On the deputy president of the Senate, that one is left to me, I think am going to make my decision.”

Gobir disclosed that the voting system would be a secret ballot going by the 2015 Standing Rules.

“The voting pattern is provided for in our standing rules; so I don’t think that it is going to be a problem.

”We are going to make use of the 2015 Standing Rules.

“You can, however, understand that senators can always adjust their procedures,” he said.

Gobir assured that the silence of Senators-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could mean acceptance of Lawan as the next senate president.

”The silence from the PDP senators-elect means acceptance; I don’t think that one is going to be any problem.

”So, I am not afraid because once somebody is silent, it means he has accepted the norm, and the norm is what APC wants.

”That is why you can see me very excited because there is no problem,” he said.

Edited by Kamal Tayo Oropo

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Sri Lanka bans face coverings in wake of Easter bombings

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Ban

The ban does not directly refer to Muslim female garb, burqa and niqab, but was seen as a clear reference to the type of dress.

A statement from the office of the president said the ban was being introduced from Monday under new regulations brought under a state of emergency in response to the Easter bombings in the capital, Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s Justice Ministry had already been considering introducing laws preventing wearing of Burqa and Niqab, but has expedited the ban.

On Sunday, a group of Muslim leaders had called on community members to refrain from wearing clothing in a manner that obstructs identification of persons.

Most of those killed in the Easter Sunday attacks were Sri Lankans.

The dead also included 40 foreigners, including British, U.S., Australian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nationals.

More than 100 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt, have been detained for questioning over the Easter attacks.

The Sri Lankan military said at least 15 people were killed during a fierce gun battle with militants on the east coast on Friday, including six children.

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Foreign

Fallen crane kills four

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Fallen crane kills four

Death

Two crane operators and two other persons in separate cars were dead by the time Seattle firefighters got to the site, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said.

According to Scoggins, six cars were hit, while four other persons were injured, including a mother, her child and a 27-year-old man.

“It was terrifying,” said Esther Nelson, a biotech research assistant who was working in a building nearby and saw the crane fall from a break-room window.

“I looked up the wind was blowing really strong. I saw boats struggling on Lake Union. Then the crane – maybe eight or nine stories high broke in half.

“Half of it was flying down sideways on the building. The other half fell down on the street, crossing both lanes of traffic.”

According to the fire chief, among the four dead were the two crane operators and two other persons in separate vehicles.

He said that four others were injured, including a mother and child who were in satisfactory condition. A 27-year-old man was in serious condition, and a fourth person was treated at the scene.

Authorities had not identified the victims by name as The King County Medical Examiner’s Office said it would not release names of the dead until Monday.

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Defence/Security

Police rescue 2 kidnapped Chinese nationals in Ebonyi

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Police rescue 2 kidnapped Chinese nationals in Ebonyi

Rescue

Abakaliki, April 28, 2019 The Ebonyi Police Command has rescued the two kidnapped Chinese nationals who were abducted by unknown gunmen at a road construction site in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the victims, Messrs Sun Zhi Xim and Wang Qinghu, were employees of Tongyi Chinese Group of Companies.

ASP Loveth Odah, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), told NNN on Sunday that the victims were rescued inside a thick forest around the site.

“The persistent pressure mounted by the police on the kidnappers made them abandon the victims inside the bush.

“The victims have been re-united with their fellow Chinese nationals working in the company as efforts have been intensified to arrest the fleeing gunmen,” she said.

The PPRO said that the state Commissioner of Police had convened an interactive meeting with all Chinese and other expatriates working or residing in Ebonyi on the need to take security matters serious.

“Expatriates should know that if they are loose with security in their respective countries, they should not do so while in Nigeria.

“The meeting is intended to make them see the need to apply for security from the command and dialogue on others ways of ensuring their safety.

“The police was put under untold metal torture all through the search for the victims and it is certain that the victims were not spared of such experience either,” she said.

She noted that the police was always ready to grant security requests, whenever the expatriates apply for such as it was its duty to protect lives and properties in the state.

“We are not aware of any ransom paid to the relatives of the victims and we solicit for information from the public to apprehend the kidnappers,” she said.

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Foreign

3 men get 10 years sentence each in explosives case in Bangladesh

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3 men get 10 years sentence each in explosives case in Bangladesh

Sentence

Judge Rabiul Alam on Sunday handed down the verdict against Nur Hossain, Yasir Arafat and Omar Karim.

The Muslims were believed to have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar in 2012 carrying explosives, detonators and other bomb-making materials.

Hossain, and Arafat were in the dock when the sentence was pronounced and Karim was tried in absentia, prosecutor Salahuddin Hawlader said.

Investigators charged the trio under the Explosives Act after two of them were arrested with bomb-making materials following a blast near the Salimullah Muslim Orphanage in the old part of Dhaka on Nov. 30, 2014.

According to the indictment order, the suspects have confessed that they had plans to carry out acts of sabotage in Bangladesh with the help of some radical Islamist groups active internationally.

The investigators also found them to have links with a faction of the outlawed Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh, which was responsible for an attack on a restaurant in the Bangladeshi capital in 2016 that killed 22 civilians.

The court examined nine witnesses during the trial which began on July 12, 2015.

More than one million Rohingya Muslims were said to be living in refugee camps in South-eastern Bangladesh after being evicted from their homes by the military in neighbouring Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

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