News from Africa

Ghana 3-4-2021 Supreme Court upholds election results

Nana Akufo-Addo won the December presidential election. The results have been certified. The opposition candidate, former President John Mahama, filed a protest with the court disputing the certified results. He asked the Supreme Court to annul the results and order a rerun of the election. Upon deciding the case, the justices found that Akufo-Addo had won more than 50% of the vote. It also ruled that the electoral commissions’ corrections to the results did not prejudice any of the candidates’ rights. Accordingly, the election was fair and properly run and represented the will of the people. The court did not permit former President Mahama’s attorney to call high level election officials to be cross examined. It is not clear why they were not permitted to testify.   

South Africa 3-3-2021 police break up fake vaccine ring

People are desperate to receive a dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Clearly, people want to prevent becoming infective with the virus. It is inconceivable that a person would want to become sick with Covid-19. Some governments do not have the financial resources to purchase sufficient vaccine to administer to all of its citizens. This gap between supply and demand has led to criminal organizations offering “fake vaccines” for a price. Police in South Africa and China have made arrests connected to the production and distribution of a fake vaccine. Police in Gauteng raided a warehouse and seized hundreds of vials of counterfeit vaccine. The investigation and arrests were made in the context of Interpol and several nations acting together. China announced that it was actively investigated and arrested anyone involved in vaccine related crimes.  

Nigeria 3-2-2021 schoolgirls freed after brief abduction

Large scale abductions are common in the North Nigeria. In the past these human takings were carried out by religious extremists. The militants used abduction as a political club to force the government to impose strict religious law. More recently, criminal gangs undertaken abductions of school age children. The gangs are interested in obtaining ransoms. Gunmen target children in boarding schools where security will not cause a problem. Local security forces stations at or near the schools are hesitant to engage the abductors while children are in the middle. About three hundred schoolgirls were taken form a school in Jangeb in the State Zamfara. The girls have been released. They appeared in pictures taken by authorities. It is unclear what led to the abductors releasing the children.