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Sierra Leone police raid on main opposition office.

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Cast: Sierra Leone police plus riot unit, main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) led by former military Head of State Julius Maada Bio, former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, the media.

Shortly after polls closed in Sierra Leone’s March 7, 2018 general elections, police attempted to raid SLPP offices in Freetown. They were prevented from entry and a riot police reinforcement followed.

According to reports by a Reuters / BBC journalist covering the polls, Umaru Fofana, head of police intelligence unit, Mohamed Kamara, said they’d gone to search the premises on allegations that there was some hacking of the election.

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Fortunately, head of Commonwealth Observer Mission and former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama was on hand to as Fofana put it, ‘diffuse a volatile situation,’ at a time the police had surrounded the SLPP premises.

But for Bio and his team, they have shrugged off the hacking allegations saying the move was an intimidation antic. They have also stressed the right to collate their results independently.

A government spokesperson, however, intimated that the action of the police should be seen as purely a security matter because they are state officers and not party political assigns. Hence the ruling All Peoples’ Congress (APC) cannot be drawn into the raid.

Maada Bio is contesting his second consecutive time for the presidency. He lost the first attempt to outgoing Ernest Bai Koroma in 2011. His main opponent is APC’s Samura Kamara – a former foreign affairs minister and career politician.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) is also on record to have stated that their system cannot be hacked because it is basic and manual. Unlike in other countries were electronic transmission of figures is used to collate votes.

NEC chairman, Mohamed Conteh has also called for patience as the results of the process could take days to be announced.

“Results require several days to tally. Please be patient. The only true certified results are the ones that I will announce on behalf the National Electoral Commission,” he told the press after polls closed.

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Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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