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6 Nigerian states drop suit to void presidential vote result

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ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Six states in Nigeria on Friday night withdrew a suit asking the Supreme Court to void the result of the just-concluded presidential election, the latest twist in several challenges facing the ruling party’s victory in the vote.

The states — led by governors in the main opposition party, which finished second in last weekend’s election — had accused Nigeria’s electoral commission of failing to follow its own rules and election laws in conducting the vote and announcing a winner, according to court documents.

Election results from the 176,000 polling units are required to be transmitted to the commission’s portal, which the opposition says didn’t happen.

But the states withdrew the suit from the court in a joint notice of discontinuance filed on Friday night. They did not give a reason for withdrawing the challenge.

Bola Tinubu of the ruling party received 37% of the vote to win the election, which other candidates, including second-place candidate Atiku Abubakar and third-place finisher Peter Obi, say they will challenge in court.

The states — Sokoto, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Edo — had said they wanted the Supreme Court to declare that the results of the presidential election “were invalid, null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.”

Nigeria’s electoral law says an election can be invalidated only if it’s proven that the Independent National Electoral Commission largely didn’t follow the law and acted in ways that could have changed the result. None of Nigeria’s presidential election results has ever been overturned by the Supreme Court.

However, the latest court challenge was unique, lawyers said, citing the legal provision that voting results must be transmitted to the electoral body’s portal.

“Having not complied with that requirement, I believe the integrity of the entire process is questionable,” said Inibehe Effiong, a lawyer in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja. No matter what the precedent shows, the court does not have other options, he added.

Separately, the Supreme Court extended the deadline until the end of the year for the government to finish switching out old currency for new bank notes. The swap has created a cash shortage because there aren’t enough redesigned notes to go around in the cash-reliant country. The crisis has stirred violence, daylong lines at banks and business closures.

A seven-member justice panel said Friday that the program’s implementation broke the law and directed the old banknotes of 200 naira (43 U.S. cents), 500 naira ($1.08) and 1,000 naira ($2.16) to stay legal tender until Dec. 31 before being replaced with the redesigned cash.

The central bank did not immediately comment on the directive from the court. In the past, it has been accused of disobeying court orders.

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Mom Who Challenged Amanda Gorman Poem Makes a Bizarre Apology

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The lone Florida parent who successfully campaigned to restrict elementary students’ access to Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem issued a bizarre apology Wednesday for her antisemitic Facebook posts. As The Daily Beast reported Thursday, the woman, Daily Salinas, posted a summary of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a centuries-old antisemitic conspiracy theory, on Facebook in March. Salinas, who is Cuban and whose first language is Spanish, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Wednesday that she only shared the post because she saw the word “communism” but didn’t read more. She also assured the JTA that she “loves the Jewish community,” has Jewish friends, and enjoys an Israeli series on Netflix. In addition to Gorman’s poem, Salinas also challenged books on Black and Cuban history, most of which the school agreed to relocate so only older students could access them.

Culled from the Daily Beast

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Texas House panel advances articles of impeachment against AG Ken Paxton

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The Texas House of Representatives’ Republican-led General Investigating Committee on Thursday advanced articles of impeachment against the state’s Attorney General Ken Paxton (R).

The panel had spent months probing Paxton and recommended impeachment for a range of alleged misconduct and potential crimes.

The state House could vote on the impeachment recommendation as soon as Friday. In Texas, impeachment — which requires a two-thirds vote in the House — would mean he has to step down from his top attorney post until he faces trial in the state Senate.

Four former state prosecutors, commissioned by the Texas House, revealed a number of allegations against Paxton earlier this week, including that he took bribes from a real estate developer and then fired deputies who reported it.

Paxton was indicted by a state grand jury for securities fraud in 2016.

The recommendation comes shortly after Paxton called for the resignation of the Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, alleging the lawmaker had presided over the state chamber while intoxicated.

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Nigeria’s President-Elect, Tinubu is Back in France, Days Before his Inauguration

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With only a few days to go before his inauguration on 29 May, the Nigerian president-elect was once again in Paris as a private citizen.

Bola Tinubu is certainly no stranger to the Paris region. The Nigerian president-elect was in France for about two weeks in mid-May. Officially, it was a private trip for medical purposes.

According to our sources, the Nigerian, who is to be inaugurated as head of state on 29 May, wanted to carry out a final check-up at the American hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine before the ceremony.

Discussions on military cooperationTinubu, 71, has been followed for many years by doctors at this state-of-the-art hospital, located west of Paris, while his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, preferred London institutions. The future president had already made a medical visit to France on 22 March, returning to Nigeria only at the end of April, more than a month after his arrival.

Highly sought in the French capital, Tinubu was been able to take advantage of his visit to address some key issues of his future mandate, primarily energy – a Nigerian sector whose opportunities attract the eye of French companies – and security.

According to our information, Tinubu was able to meet with senior officials of the French Ministry of Defence, including the Gendarmerie.

The French – whose relations with Buhari have sometimes been difficult and who are currently redeploying their resources to West Africa – hope to find in Tinubu and his entourage key interlocutors to improve military cooperation between the two countries. The president-elect is soon to appoint the new head of the Department of State Security, with the successful candidate potentially forming part of his delegation to Paris.

Back in Nigeria, he received on 23 May in Abuja the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose foundation is particularly active on the continent.

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