Senegal’s long wait for an Africa Cup of Nations title is finally over after they defeated Egypt 4-2 on penalties in the final at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, yesterday.
It was a case of third time lucky for the Teranga Lions, who had previously lost in the 2002 and 2019 finals.
This time around they got the better of the Pharaohs, who took the game to a full 120 minutes for the fourth successive time at this AFCON, in a shootout after a goalless stalemate.
Senegal started on the front foot and were awarded a penalty as early as the fourth minute, with overlapping left-back Saliou Ciss tripped by Mohamed Abdelmonem as he raced toward the byline. Referee Victor Gomes did not hesitate to point to the spot.
Sadio Mane took the penalty and thundered an effort centrally, only to see it palmed away to safety by Egypt gloves-man Mohamed Gabaski.
The Teranga Lions continued to press forward, with Ismaila Sarr a particular thorn in the side of the Egyptian defence.
The Watford winger twice created chances for Mane with crosses from the right flank, but both times the ball had just too much pace for the latter to capitalise.
The Pharaohs had their first shot on target in the 28th minute, and unsurprisingly it was Mohamed Salah who had the attempt, weaving his way past a couple of challenges before a low effort which was comfortably held by Edouard Mendy.
The Senegal goalkeeper made a much sharper save at his left-hand post from another Salah effort late in the first half, with the Liverpool forward whipping a left-footed shot toward the top corner from a tight angle.
Yet, the Salah shots were the exception rather than the rule, with the West Africans bossing play and looking the sharper, fresher team.
Despite this, the interval arrived with the score still locked at 0-0.
Senegal continued to make most of the attacking play in the first half, with their first effort on goal after the break a low shot from Nampalys Mendy in the 50th minute which was straight at Gabaski.
The Egyptian ‘keeper made a far more impressive intervention three minutes later when he smothered the ball at the feet of Mane after more penetrative play down the right from Ismaila Sarr.
The North Africans, sensing that Senegal were taking ever greater control of the game, made a triple change just before the hour mark, with Marwan Hamdi, Ahmed Zizo and Mahmoud Trezeguet rising off the bench.
The substitutions certainly helped to slow Senegal’s momentum. Zizo provided a great cross from a free kick on 69 minutes, picking out Abdelmonem, but the unmarked defender put his header over the crossbar to spurn Egypt’s first chance of the second stanza.
Five minutes later Marwan Hamdi got on the end of a cross from the left flank by Ahmed El Fotouh, but his glancing header flashed wide of the target.
That proved to be the last clear chance of the regulation 90, with the teams heading to an extra half hour upon the final whistle.
The opening minute of extra time saw yet more heroics from goalkeeper Gabaski, who made a fine save low to his left to keep out an effort from substitute Boulaye Dia, as Senegal immediately showed that they would not just settle for penalties.
On 100 minutes the Pharaohs ‘keeper made another notable save, diving to his left to tip away a downward, goal-bound header from Bamba Dieng, while the resulting corner kick saw Abdou Diallo power a header off target.
Senegal did not give up their efforts to try and avoid a shootout, with Dieng letting fly from long range on 115 minutes and seeing more shot-stopping antics from the excellent Gabanski, and a short while later at the other end Mendy had to move sharply to tip Zizo’s fierce shot over the crossbar.
Ultimately the match ended 0-0 after 120 exhausting minutes, with penalties left to decide the destination of the trophy.
The shootout ended with Mane, who had missed a penalty early in the game, firing home to clinch victory for the Teranga Lions after goalkeeper Mendy had saved the previous kick from Mohanad Lasheen.
Section 84(12): Court Fixes June 28 For Report On Supreme Court Decision
A Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, fixed June 28 for report on the outcome of the Federal Government’s suit seeking an interpretation of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Amendment Act, 2022 before the Supreme Court.
Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter after counsel for the plaintiff (Peoples Democratic Party), Joseph Daudu, SAN, told the court that the hearing of his case would depend on the apex court decision on the suit before it.
Upon resumption of the matter, Daudu informed that though the case was adjourned for all parties to look at their processes, some applications were served on him by some of the respondents.
Justice Ekwo then asked the senior lawyer if he had done a review of his case going by the directive he gave on the last adjourned date.
Daudu said he discovered that the judgement of the Court of Appeal on Section 84(12), if applied, would make the work of the court easier because the appellant court agreed with his client on two points.
He, however, said that the Appeal Court judgement “is still merely persuasive since it is not the final court.”
According to him, it is only the Supreme Court that has the final say.
Daudu further said that if there would be a likelihood of decision on the suit filed by the president and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on Thursday at the Supreme Court, the outcome would be either for the judgement to be binding on them or to allow the court hear their matter.
“So, all is pointing to the direction to know what the Supreme Court will say,” he said.
The judge then said that since processes had been filed and no response had been done, that showed that no issue had been joined.
“That means this matter has to abate,” he said.
Justice Ekwo, who ordered all the parties in the suit to file relevant processes before the new date, adjourned the matter until June 28 for report.
The court had, on May 16, asked the PDP to take a critical look at the development in its suit to know if it could still continue with the case.
Ekwo gave the advice after counsel for the PDP, Daudu, informed the court that based on the Court of Appeal judgement sitting in Abuja, the court could continue with the matter before it.
The PDP had sued the President, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Clerk of National Assembly.
It also sued Senate leader, House of Representatives leader and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st to 8th defendants, respectively.
Others include Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Deputy Senate Leader and Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives as 9th to 12th defendants in the matter.
The court had also joined Allied People’s Movement (APM) as 13 defendant in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/247/2022.
The PDP had challenged the legality or otherwise of the National Assembly tinkering with Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, after it had been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amidst debate about the subject matter, a Federal High Court, Umuahia in Abia and presided over by Justice Evelyn Anyadike, on March 18, ordered the AGF to delete Section 84(12) of the Act.
Anyadike, in the judgement, held that the section was “unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever and ought to be struck down as it cannot stand when it is in violation of the clear provisions of the Constitution.”
Anyadike held that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f), and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election.
But the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on May 11, vacated the judgement of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, which voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices led by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka, held that the person that instituted the matter at the lower court, Mr Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to do so.
The appellate court, which invoked its constitutional powers to look at the substantive suit on its merit, however, held that Section 84(12) was unconstitutional and in breach of Section 42 (1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), stressing that the section denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in election.
The Federal Government had also on April 29 filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an interpretation of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Amendment Act, 2022.
In the suit filed by the president and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), who are the plaintiffs, listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.
They are seeking an order of the apex court to strike out the section of the Electoral Act, saying it is inconsistent with the nation’s Constitution.
The Supreme Court had also joined the Rivers Attorney-General and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly as defendants in the suit on May 19 and fixed Thursday for hearing.
Wike Dissolves State Executive Council …Drops Chief of Staff, SSA, Protocol
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has dissolved the State Executive Council with effect from Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant Media to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, indicated that the Chief of Staff to the Governor and Senior Special Assistant (Protocol), have also been relieved of their office.
“His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike, commends members of the Rivers State Executive Council for their service and contribution to the development of the state. He has also wished them the best in all their future endeavours.”
Wike, has, therefore, instructed all the former members of the State Executive Council to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective ministries.
I’m Best Aspirant To Defend Interest Of Ndigbo -Wike
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has told leaders and delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State to trust him as the only presidential aspirant who has the capacity to defend the interest of Ndigbo.
Wike, who is also a presidential aspirant of the PDP met with the leaders and delegates of the party at Abia State Government House, in Umuahia, last Friday, to solicit support ahead of the party’s presidential primary this month.
The Rivers State governor stated that he would not be that kind of a leader who would be lost on the opportunity in public service to address social injustice and other forms of unfair treatment that people suffer in Nigeria.
Wike reiterated his belief in the restructuring of Nigeria, adding that he was determined to be the first to start the process to strengthen the sense of belonging among Nigerians.
“I say so with all amount of seriousness and I challenge anybody who is from the Southern part of Nigeria; who is from South-South, who is from South-East to say so boldly too. Check all of us; look and determine who can even defend the interest of Ndigbo better than me?
“It is not merely to talk. I mean who has the mind. Who has the courage? I have the mind and I have the courage. I will make sure the injustice in this country is solved.
“Ask them, when they were in power, what did they do? How many of them have spoken out? Look, don’t waste your votes on such people.”
Wike observed that things have fallen apart in the country because those of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who control the Federal Government lack such capacity.
The governor said he was prepared to effectively and productively take drastic decisions, and do so courageously in order to promote national good.
Wike assured that in solving Nigeria’s numerous problems, he would also provide requisite logistics, and other support to the security agencies to enable them curb insurgency and activities of bandits within a given timeline.
“That is what leadership is all about. You must be courageous to take decisions people are thinking that is impossible. Inability to take decisions that is our problem in this country.
“But I will take those decisions that people are running away from. I will take it.”
On his part, Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who had earlier hosted Wike on a courtesy visit, said they have found in the presidential aspirant a leader who was consistent, with character and trust worthy.
Ikpeazu said Nigeria was in a precarious situation with a bleak future and requires Wike to forge national unity, rescue the country and stabilise socio-economic development.
Former Abia State Governor, Senator Theodore Orji, who represents Abia Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, said Wike as a performer, was qualified to lead Nigeria.
He assured the presidential aspirant that Abia state delegates will support him.
Also speaking, former Gombe State Governor, Dr Hassan Dankwambo restated that Wike was truly a tested politician who was prepared psychologically and physically to be the best president of Nigeria.
Abia State PDP Chairman, Dr. Alwell Asiforo Okere, explained that most delegates were Wike’s converts because they believe in the leadership that he would offer following from what he had accomplished in Rivers State.
Women5 days ago
Deborah’s Death, One, Too Many
Niger Delta5 days ago
Gunmen Rob, Kill Man Returning From Bank
Niger Delta5 days ago
Delta, FG Partner On Mass Campaign Against Malaria
Politics5 days ago
INEC Yet To Acknowledge Abia PDP Ad-hoc Delegates Election
Politics5 days ago
Shekarau, Kwankwaso Team Up Against Ganduje In Kano
Politics5 days ago
2023: Ganduje Refuses To Endorse Amaechi For Presidency
Oil & Energy2 days ago
NB, Konexa Boost Renewable Energy
Politics5 days ago
2023: Southern PDP Leaders Consider Fresh Option