Attorney-General writes INEC to postpone elections

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…As EU adds Nigeria to terror-finance blacklist***

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the National Assembly, governorship and state houses of Assembly elections following the decision of the Appeal Court that all parties return to status quo in the Zamfara All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries crisis.

The AGF gave the advice in a letter written to the INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mamood, and dated February 13, 2019.

Malami cited sections 38 and 39 of Electoral (Amendment) Act 2010 to support his call.

He mentioned that the postponement woud enable the Zamfara APC to field candidates for all the positions.

The AGF, according to the letter acted upon a petition written by the firm of M.A. Mamood SAN and Co.

He further advised the INEC to comply with the instructions forthwith.

In the meantime, the European Commission (EU) added Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Panama and other jurisdictions to a blacklist of nations that pose a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering, the EU executive said on Wednesday.

The move has triggered criticism from several EU states worried about their economic relations with the listed states, notably Saudi Arabia.

In spite of pressure to exclude Riyadh from the list, the commission decided to list the kingdom, confirming a Reuters report in January.

The list now includes 23 jurisdictions; it previously comprised 16.

The Commission also added Libya, Botswana, Ghana, Samoa, the Bahamas and the four U.S. territories of American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.

The other listed states are Afghanistan, North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen.

Bosnia Herzegovina, Guyana, Laos, Uganda and Vanuatu were removed.

Apart from reputational damage, inclusion on the list complicated financial relations with the EU.

The bloc’s banks would have to carry out additional checks on payments involving entities from listed jurisdictions.

The 28 EU states now have one month, which can be extended to two, to endorse the list.

They could reject it by qualified majority.

EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova, who proposed the list, told a news conference she was confident states would not block the list.

The Citizen