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Campaigns kick off in Sierra Leone ahead of March 7 general elections

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Campaigns have started across Sierra Leone as politicians seek to woo voters in the upcoming general elections. Voters will cast their ballots for a president and lawmakers on March 7.

According to the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the campaign period spans between February 4, 2018 through to March 5 – two clear days to the day of voting.

Sierra Leoneans will be voting for a new president and legislators. Incumbent Ernest Bai Koroma steps down after leading the country for the last decade.

Koroma came to power in 2007 under the aegis of the All People’s Congress (APC), he won a second term in November 2012. The two main candidates aiming for Bai Koroma’s seat are a minister and former junta leader turned politician.

The ruling APC have chosen the former Foreign Minister, Dr Samura Camara, as its candidate for the polls. Koroma is on record to have said he is the man to win the elections for the APC in March.

The main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has also picked a retired brigadier, Julius Maada Bio as its candidate as it aims to return to power after a decade in opposition.

Sierra Leone will be aiming to entrench West Africa’s growing stature as a hub of peaceful handover of political power. Ghana, The Gambia and Liberia have all held successful polls and incumbents handing over power.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Activist freed after months of detention

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Omoyele Sowore a Nigerian human rights activist, pro-democracy campaigner, and founder of an online news agency Sahara Reporters has been released.

On August 3, 2019 Sowore was arrested by the Nigerian Department of Security Services (DSS) for alleged treason after calling for a protest tagged Revolution now.

A judge in Abuja ordered the secret police to free Mr Sowore and pay a fine for their repeated refusal to comply with court rulings on the case.

The police had previously refused to grant him bail, despite being told to do so.

He has pleaded not guilty to treason, money laundering and cyber-stalking.

Human rights campaigners say the case is part of a broader move to restrict freedom of speech in Nigeria.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Court sentenced Orji kalu to 12 years in prision

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President Muhammadu Buhari regime has so far tackle corruption as promised to Nigerians before affirming the Nigerian president.

Though, one can not say whether his efforts are being recognize by Nigerian citizens after coming under criticism with his reform plans.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced a former Governor of Abia, Orji Kalu, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering.

Orji Kalu is a business tycoon who served as the governor of Abia State, Nigeria from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007. Prior to his election, he served as the chairman of the Borno Water Board and the chairman of the Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited.

Kalu was also a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the chairman of the PPA Board of Trustees.

He was the party’s presidential candidate in the April 2007 general election. He is currently a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) after he officially announced his resignation as a PPA BOT.

The court convicted Kalu, now a senator, on all the 39 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charge.

Kalu was charged alongside a former Commissioner for Finance, in the state Jones Udeogo, and his company, Slok Nig. Ltd.

While Kalu and his company were found guilty of all the 39 counts, Udeogo was convicted on 34 counts and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The court ordered that the Slok Nig. Ltd. be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government

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