RAILA ODINGA QUITS KENYA ELECTION RE-RUN
KANO - Nigeria on Monday began its first major trials of Boko Haram suspects, with a promise to "prosecute and not to persecute" defendants at the closed-door hearings, the justice ministry said.
A court at a military base in Kainji, in the central state of Niger, was told that 1 669 suspects were awaiting trial at the facility. Of those, 1 631 were men, 11 were women, with 26 boys and one girl.
All of the defendants have been arrested and detained since the start of Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency in 2009, which has left at least 20 000 dead and forced more than 2.6 million others from their homes.
The media has been barred from covering the cases on security grounds. Justice ministry spokesperson Salihu Othman Isah said the cases would be heard at four courts at the Kainji facility.
Boko Haram began life as an Islamic sect in Maiduguri in 2002 and morphed into an Islamic State group-affiliated armed movement whose insurgency has threatened stability in the impoverished Lake Chad region.
The group, whose name roughly translates from the Hausa language spoken in northern Nigeria as "Western education is forbidden", aims to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.
Among its many notorious acts was the kidnapping in April 2014 of more than 200 schoolgirls from the Borno town of Chibok. NAIROBI - Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has pulled out of October's election rerun.
Odinga said his withdrawal would give the electoral commission enough time to introduce reforms that will help deliver a more credible election.
The Supreme Court annulled the result of the original 8 August poll after finding irregularities and declaring it "neither transparent or verifiable."
The electoral commission had declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the winner.
It said Kenyatta had won by a margin of 1.4 million votes.
The re-run was due to take place on 26 October, but Odinga said: "After deliberating on our position in respect of the upcoming election, considering the interests of the people of Kenya, the region and the world at large, we believe that all will be best served by the party vacating its presidential candidature in the election scheduled for 26 October 2017." Meanwhile, two staff members were killed and several students were wounded in Kenya when gunmen fired on vehicles carrying students to the Technical University of Mombasa’s campus in coastal Kwale county yesterday, a police official and a witness said.
The identity of the gunmen was unclear.
Somali militant Islamist group al Shabaab frequently carries out attacks along the Kenya-Somali border and along the Kenyan coast. In 2015, it attacked a university in Kenya’s Garissa town, killing 148 students.
Two female staff members were killed in yesterday’s attack, and a driver and two policemen were injured, a police official who did not want to be named said.
“A bus carrying students of TUM (the Technical University of Mombasa) was ferrying them from their hostels to the campus in Ukunda for classes and was being escorted by a van that had some staff of the college and two escort police officers,” the policeman said.
“Armed men numbering about 10 emerged from the bushes and started firing at the van in front. As a result two ladies who are staff of TUM were killed in the van. The driver of the van and two police officers were injured,” he said.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga, the presidential candidate of the National Super Alliance