The Late 5: Appeal Court grants prisoners right to vote at elections; Pandemonium in Lagos as petrol tanker explodes around Airport | Other top stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

The Court of Appeal Benin Division on Friday ruled that prrisoners in the country have the right to vote and has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include all prisoners in the voter register.

Delivered the lead judgment in an appeal filed by five prisoners, Victor Emenuwe, Onome Inaye, Kabiru Abu, Osagie Iyekekpolor and Modugu Odion on behalf of other inmates in Nigerian prisons, Justice S. Oseji, affirmed the judgment granted by a Federal High Court in 2014, that prisoners can vote, but declined granting the prayer that INEC liaise with the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) to create a registration centre at various prisons across the country.

Counsel to the appellant, President Aigbokhan who spoke to newsmen after the judgment, said they would appeal some aspects of the decision of the Court of Appeal, while urging INEC to commence with immediate effect, collation of the names of inmates across the country and allow them to vote in 2019.

Pandemonium broke out on Friday at about 2.10pm around the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2, as a petrol tanker exploded at the Forte Oil filling station located very close to the airport in Lagos, leading to vehicular traffic jam on the roads within the airport as people scampered for safety.

As reported by Channels Television, the explosion occurred when the tanker was discharging its contents, resulting in a massive blaze at the facility, while officials of the fire service moved in to contain the inferno.

As at the time of report, it was yet to be ascertained if there were casualties from the incident.

The Coalition of United Political Parties on Friday reacted to the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to again withhold assent to the 2018 Electoral Amendment Bill, noting that his latest action portrayed him as a jittery President who is afraid of electoral defeat and yet desperate to cling on to power.

In a statement by its first national spokesperson, Imo Ugochinyere, the group who described the action of the President as an act of clear desperation, stressing that he never made any suggestion or proposal to the National Assembly for the improvement of our electoral process but kept delaying and indulging in unnecessary hide-and-seek until the last minute.

“President Buhari has expectedly failed again to take advantage of the rare opportunity of the Electoral Amendment Bill to write his name in gold as the President that signed the laws that guaranteed electoral credibility in Nigeria.“But yet again, as usual of him, he failed to rise to the occasion, being blinded by ambition and the love of the perks of office,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has pledged to form a government of national unity if elected into power in the 2019 general elections.

The former Vice President who disclosed this at a meeting in Abuja with leaders of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), who had earlier in the week,  adopted him as their consensus Presidential candidate, told the leaders to dismiss any fear of a cabal in his government as it would be broad-based.

He further called on the coalition to do a public presentation of its decision to work together so that Nigerians will be further enlightened , and every nook and cranny of the country can informed.

Following an attack by Boko Haram on the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) Camp in Rann, Kala Balge local government area of Borno, late Thursday, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security has warned all humanitarian workers currently working in the location to evacuate their staff.

“Due to the security situation in Rann, and per information received from INSO and UNDSS, please be informed we are planning temporary relocation of staff from Rann to Maiduguri today, Friday 7 December, for agencies willing to relocate temporarily their staff following the attack to do so,” a statement read issued by the U.N on Friday, read in part.

And stories from around the world:

Germany’s ruling Christian Democrat Union has chosen Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as its new party leader, ending Angela Merkel’s 18-year reign.

The CDU general secretary narrowly beat Friedrich Merz, a millionaire lawyer, in a run-off vote in Hamburg. (BBC)

President Donald Trump has announced he is nominating State Department spokeswoman and former Fox TV news anchor Heather Nauert to be the United States’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump also announced on Friday he had chosen former US Attorney General William Barr to once again lead the Justice Department, a role that would put him in charge of the federal probe into Russian election interference. (Al Jazeera)

France hunkered down for another wave of potentially violent protests on Saturday as embattled President Emmanuel Macron planned to address the nation next week over public fury at the high cost of living, senior allies said. (Reuters)

A Congolese army colonel has been arrested in connection with the killing of two UN sanctions monitors, becoming the first member of the security services to be detained over the case.(The Guardian, UK)

Qatar paid the salaries of nearly 30,000 Gazan civil servants on Friday, delighting the impoverished workers but angering some in the deeply divided Palestinian leadership who balked at the intervention of a foreign power. (Reuters)


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