The Supreme Court on Thursday nullified the election of Bayelsa State governor-elect, David Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, of the All Progressives Congress, who were already preparing for his inauguration. Justice Mary Peter-Odili led a five-man panel of the court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the APC’s candidates as the winners of the 16 November 2019 governorship election. The court ordered INEC to issue fresh certificates to the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, who had the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the election. Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment, made the orders after disqualifying the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election. The court upheld the 12 November 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court which had disqualified Degi-Eremienyo for submitting forged certificates to INEC was upheld. The court ruled Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had infected the joint ticket with which he and the governorship candidate, Lyon, ran for and won the election.

Nearly 8,000 Cameroon refugees have fled to eastern and southern Nigeria in the past two weeks, the United Nations refugee agency said on Thursday, as violence flared between security forces and separatist insurgents. The spike in refugees, coming in the run-up to last weekend’s general elections, brings the total number of Cameroonians who have fled to Nigeria to almost 60,000, the U.N. agency said. The conflict between Cameroon’s army and English-speaking militias seeking to form a breakaway state called Ambazonia began after the government cracked down violently on peaceful protesters complaining of being marginalised by the French-speaking majority. The insurgency has forced half a million people to flee their homes and presented President Paul Biya with his biggest challenge since he took power nearly 40 years ago. The U.N. refugee agency “expects further arrivals as refugees inform that more people are still in remote border areas and could be on their way trying to reach Nigeria,” Thursday’s statement said. In December, Cameroon’s parliament granted special status to two English-speaking regions to try to calm the conflict, but the separatists said only independence would satisfy them.

An oil pipeline explosion in Nigeria forced the local subsidiary of Italian oil major Eni to close a pipeline feeding the Brass oil export terminal, ENI and a security official said. The explosion late on Monday was the result of vandalism, Christina Abiakam-Omanu, head of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in Bayelsa, said. “The leakage aftermath of the explosion has been contained,” she said late on Wednesday, adding a suspect had been arrested. An Eni spokeswoman said on Thursday the pipeline was in a minor field and had “minimal” impact on production, but said the flow on the line was halted for repair work. The line transports crude to the Brass oil export terminal, which industry analyst FGE said was expected to export around 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February. There are nine flow stations along a 460-km (290-mile) pipeline that feeds the Brass terminal, according to information published by Eni.

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has signed a deal with Galp Trading SA for the supply of one million tonnes of LNG per year, the African producer said in a statement on Wednesday. The volumes will be supplied on a delivered ex-ship basis for 10 years from Trains 1, 2 and 3 of a six-train NLNG production facility on Bonny Island. The transaction follows a similar deal with Italy’s Eni and France’s Total announced last month and a 0.5 million tonnes per year deal with commodity trader Vitol signed in December. NLNG has been remarketing some volumes from its existing trains as some contracts approach expiry.