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Vol 48 No 22

Published 2nd November 2007


Which rules? Whose laws?

President Yar’Adua’s call for the rule of law could have unexpected consequences

It has been a good week for the many Nigerians who like reversals of fortunes. On 30 October, the free-spending Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh, had to resign after losing a vote in the National Assembly. A few days earlier, the election tribunals had overturned the victories of two governing party state governors, Saidu Dakingari in Kebbi State and Ibrahim Idris in Kogi. Before the election tribunals, Namadi Sambo, the People’s Democratic Party Governor of Kaduna, faces a strong challenge from the opposition All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) candidate. In Ekiti State, the PDP Governor, Segun Oni, is challenged by Kayode Fayemi of the Action Congress (AC). Fayemi’s case is strong enough to push Oni to desperate lengths: he claims bizarrely that outgoing British High Commissioner Richard Grozney had personally endorsed his election. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office flatly contradicted this account.In Rivers State, the tribunal ruled that new Governor Celestine Omehia should hand over to PDP rival Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi because his party’s primary election was flawed. The Rivers judge had not thought such irregularities required a fresh poll.

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