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In Nigeria, Court Ruling Calls Week-end Election into Question

In Nigeria, there’s speculation that the gubernatorial elections set for Saturday in Anambra State may be called off.  Yesterday, the Federal High Court in Lagos ruled that the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) is not competent to conduct or organize the poll.

Yemen Links Nigerian Airline Plotter With Radical Cleric

A top Yemeni official confirms that the Nigerian man suspected of trying to blow up an airplane last month met with an extremist Muslim cleric linked to other violence in the U.S.  But the official says that although the suspect lived for a while in Yemen, he was radicalized in Britain.  Yemen's deputy prime minister for defense and security affairs says the suspect met with Anwar al-Awlaki, a cleric popular with extremist groups, late last year.   Rashad al-Alimi told reporters in Sana'a that Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is thought to have met with the American-Yemeni cleric in Sh

Nigerian Official Says Botched Plane Attack Undermines Re-Branding Efforts

A Nigerian cabinet minister says Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s botched attempt to blow up a plane in the United States has “seriously” undermined the government’s efforts to improve the country’s image. Information minister Dora Akunyili called on President Barack Obama’s administration not to consider Nigeria as a state sponsor of terrorism. “That categorization is very unfair. We don’t deserve that. Nigeria as a country doesn’t have terrorist tendencies. It’s not in our culture. It’s not in our ways. It is not part of us. It is alien to us.

Britain Confirms Alleged Airline Bomber was on Watch List

The British government has confirmed that the young Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight on Christmas Day was refused entry into Britain earlier this year and his name was added to a so-called watch list.  Somehow, somewhere, security officials did not pick up on the information at their disposal that allowed an individual on a security watch list onto a plane bound for the U.S.

Nigeria Orders Increased Airport Security after Failed US Plane Bombing

The Nigerian government has enhanced security checks at its airports after a young Nigerian man tried to blow up a U.S.

West African Summit Postponed Until January

The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, has postponed a summit that was scheduled for Nigeria next week. The group's current chairman, Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, has been hospitalized in Saudi Arabia since late November. An ECOWAS spokesman announced Tuesday that the summit of heads of state has been moved to January 18.

Nigerian Police Deny Amnesty Report Alleging Extra-Judicial Killings

Nigerian police deny Amnesty International's report alleging extra-judicial killings by officers. The rights group's three-year inquiry details cases of prisoners tortured to death and shootings at roadblocks. Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer Frank Mba denied the alleged killings.

Some Niger Delta Residents Call for Troops Withdrawal

A growing number of residents of Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta are demanding the immediate withdrawal of government troops from the region following a successful amnesty and cessation of hostilities. Troops have maintained a high-profile presence in the Niger Delta despite a halt in militant attacks on oil facilities and personnel in the past four months. Soldiers can still be seen at security checkpoints.

Nigerian Military Pursues Oil Thieves in Niger Delta

Nigeria's army says it will continue to beef up security around oil facilities in the Niger Delta to forestall illegal lifting of crude oil.