Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Barack Obama's tweet goes viral after Charlottesville violence

A tweet from Barack Obama drew more than two million “likes” by Monday as the former US president offered a message of tolerance following a deadly weekend clash at a white supremacist rally.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” Obama said in the message, quoting the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Obama’s tweet garnered 2.3 million “likes,” the third most popular of all time, according to the Twitter-tracking site Favstar. The message was retweeted 980,000 times.

Obama’s tweet struck a chord after the death of a 32-year-old woman hit by a car driven into a crowd by a suspected white supremacist on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

President Donald Trump drew fire for a tepid initial response to the violence, and he followed up Monday with a stronger condemnation of “those who spread violence in the name of bigotry.”

Obama gave additional quotes from Mandela.

“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love,” a tweet read.

“For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

The most-liked tweet of all time was from singer Ariana Grande earlier this year — saying “from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry” — after a deadly attack at her Manchester concert.

That tweet dethroned the popular photo tweet from the 2014 Oscars ceremony by actress Ellen DeGeneres.

Obama’s tweet also prompted more than 37,000 responses, including both positive and negative comments.

Source: AFP

Saturday, August 12, 2017

White nationalist rally at University of Virginia

REUTERS*The protesters chanted "white lives matter" and "Jews will not replace us"

Hundreds of US white nationalists have rallied at the University of Virginia, protesting against plans to remove a statue of a confederate general.

The group waved torches and chanted "Jews will not replace us" and "white lives matter" as they marched through the Charlottesville university.

There were clashes with counter-protesters, while the local mayor condemned the march as racist.

A larger "Unite the Right" rally is planned in the city on Saturday.

The protesters are angered at the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E Lee from Charlottesville. Lee commanded forces of the pro-slavery Confederacy in the US Civil War.

Protest organiser Jason Kessler, who has previously accused the town of "anti-white hatred", described the event as an "incredible moment for white people who've had it up to here and aren't going to take it anymore".

Demonstrators held lit torches - which some observers described as a reference to the Ku Klux Klan - and chanted "blood and soil" and "one people, one nation, end immigration", local media reported.

The rally was met by a smaller group of counter protesters who had surrounded the university's status of Thomas Jefferson, holding a banner that read "VA Students Act Against White Supremacy".

Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionThe march surrounded a smaller group of counter protesters

Police had to intervene after a scuffle erupted between the two sides. One of the counter-protesters allegedly used a chemical spray on some of the marchers,the Washington Post reported.

The protest was criticised by many local residents and politicians. Charlottesville mayor Mike Signer called the march "a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism and intolerance".

He wrote on Facebook: "Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here's mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA [University of Virginia] faculty member and alumnus, I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus."

Charlottesville is considered a liberal college town - and 86% of the county voted for Hillary Clinton in last year's presidential elections.

However, the town has become a focal point for white nationalists after the city council voted to remove a statue of General Lee.

Some observers also argue that US President Donald Trump's election to the White House re-energised the far right across the US.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organisation, says that "Trump's run for office electrified the radical right, which saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man's country."

Last month, Ku Klux Klan supportersstaged a march in Virginia - but were outnumbered by counter-protesters.

Source: BBC

World's oldest man, Auschwitz survivor Yisrael Kristal dies in Israel

AFP*Yisrael Kristal, the world's oldest man, has died at the age of 113

The world's oldest man - the only member of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust - has died at the age of 113.

Polish-born Yisrael Kristal died on Friday, a month before he was due to turn 114, Israeli media reported.

Mr Kristal, who lived in Haifa, Israel, hit the headlines last year after deciding to celebrate his bar mitzvah a century late.

The original celebration had not taken place because World War One broke out.

Mr Kristal was born in the village of Zarnow, about 90 miles (146km) south-west of Warsaw, in 1903.

The son of a religious scholar, Mr Kristal lost his mother and father during World War One, according to reports. He later moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionery business.

After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939, Mr Kristal and his family were moved into the Lodz ghetto.

His two children died there and Mr Kristal and his wife Chaja Feige Frucht were sent to Auschwitz in 1944 after the ghetto was liquidated.

AFP*Mr Kristal remarried after the Holocaust and had two children (pictured in 2016)

Mr Kristal's wife was murdered in Auschwitz but he survived, performing slave labour in that and other camps. When he was found by the Allies in May 1945 he weighed just 37 kg (5 stones 11 lbs).

According to Tablet Mag, he thanked the Soviet soldiers who rescued him by making them sweets.

The sole survivor from his family, Mr Kristal emigrated to Israel in 1950 with his second wife and their son, where he continued to run his confectionery business until his retirement.

Mr Kristal was officially recognised as the world's oldest man by the Guinness Book of Records in March 2016.

Speaking at the time, he admitted he did not know the secret to a long life, saying: "There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men than me who are no longer alive."

He is survived by two children, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren,Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

His daughter Shula Koperstoch said he had died on Friday afternoon after becoming ill on Thursday.

She told Israeli news website Ynet [in Hebrew] she had had a "great father", adding: "Despite all that he went through, and he lost the whole family in the Holocaust, he had a lot of optimism, and he always saw only light and good in everything."

Source: BBC

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cry of a victim led to the discovery of ritualists' den in Lagos

According to a source, the crowd allegedly set ablaze one of the suspects but surprisingly to them, fire was burning all over his clothes but he appeared unhurt.

Residents of Ijaiye, Ahmadiyya and Abule-Egba areas of Lagos State are yet to overcome the shock of a ritualists’ den, popularly called Ajale, discovered right under their noses, in the early hours of yesterday.

They are at pains to fathom how terrible acts of such magnitude were being perpetrated at Obadeyi Ajala street, Ijaiye, in the densely populated area, under the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, though the discovery has provided answers to the puzzle of missing persons around the area.

The den, located beside the main road at the popular Obadeyi bus-stop, Ijaiye, was exposed by a female sweeper who heard the horrific cry of a victim screaming for help. The cry for help came from an underground tunnel, which linked to a canal at Obadeyi street.

Unfortunately, before passersby entered the canal, the woman who cried for help had been killed, but her little baby was found. Under the tunnel, soldiers were said to have found different body parts and many routes linking to the canal.

In the course of their hunt, a man belonging to the group was also arrested who later confessed to being part of a 28-member group operating under the canal.

Items recovered from the shrine included charms, carvings, white clothes stained with blood as well as native soap.

According to an eyewitness account, the suspected ritual killers allegedly target pedestrians crossing or plying the road early in the morning and late at night, as the den is just about 50 metres away from the pedestrian bridge.

They then drag their victims into the manhole, which stretches along the expressway, where they are eventually killed. The Guardian learnt from eyewitnesses that dismembered bodies were evacuated from the scene.

The discovery led to pandemonium yesterday, as irate residents stormed the scene to rescue the victims and apprehend the ritualists. Though people were scared to go inside the hole for fear of what lies inside it, efforts by those who went inside, The Guardian learnt paid-off, as two suspects were brought out but were whisked away by the police.

Angered by the move, two more suspects were brought out but the mob overpowered the police and burnt them alive.

According to a source, the crowd allegedly set ablaze one of the suspects but surprisingly to them, fire was burning all over his clothes but he appeared unhurt.

The source said: “The ritualist said that no one can do him any harm. Even some people tried cutting him with machetes and all sorts of weapons but he still wasn’t hurt.”

This created traffic gridlock at the axis all through the day as the mob stayed in anticipation of getting more suspects. The Guardian could not confirm the number of arrests made as of the time of filing this report.

Another source, Taiwo Ganiyu, a food vendor in the area, said that the police team was able to find their way to the scene around 8a.m. Although Taiwo claimed that two suspects were allegedly arrested but the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Olarinde Famous-Cole, who confirmed the incident, said only one person was arrested.

He said: “We are still investigating the matter. It is too early to say if it is an actual case of ritual killing. We shall make our findings known to the public at the end of the investigation.”

Meanwhile, a policeman who claimed to have participated in the operation, said two persons were rescued, adding that those rescued were taken away by the officers who were determined to get to the root of the discovery.

“The police were able to uncover the hiding place where the suspects carried out their evil acts with the aid of OP MESA soldiers who invaded the secluded territory. By 10a.m. the crowd had already tripled. Onlookers from Agege, Sango, Ifo had arrived Obadeyi area in Ojokoro to witness the incident.

“It took several hours to dig into the den where the suspects had hidden their victims; about two persons were rescued and taken to the hospital, as they appeared unconscious. Since security agents were already on the ground, angry mob were prevented from carrying out a mob attack on the suspect, who refused to confess to the crime.”

Source: The Guardian

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

National Identity Number requires for Nigerian passport issuance and renewal from 1st Jan 2018

Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babadede

From January next year, Nigerians without the National Identity Number (NIN) are to be denied international passport (IPP).The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babadede, dropped the hint yesterday after a meeting of the National Identity Management Harmonization Committee in Abuja.

Specifically, the Federal Government, in 2014, ordered all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and security organisations involved in biometric data capture, to complete their registration and handover to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Yesterday’s meeting was part of efforts to actualise the harmonisation process.Consequently, Babadede explained that every citizen, seeking the document, must possess the identification number as a pre-condition

His words: “We have agreed that from January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for the Nigerian passport, whether renewal or fresh, must first have a national identity number. We are doing this to ease business for Nigerians.

“There is no need for you to go and have your biometric captured by NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigration. Once you give us your NIN number, we will collect the biometric from the NIMC and produce your passport. That is the intention in all other agencies.”

According to him, resident foreigners are not exempted, as they will also require the identification when renewing their residence permits.He continued: “I have also given a directive that any foreigner resident in Nigeria will not get his/her permit renewed until he has an NIN. To achieve this, NIMC NIN and passport numbers will be harmonised and we are committed to allowing NIMC in Immigration. All of its staff can work in our passport offices.”

Source: The Guardian

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Kogi Assembly In Free-For-All Fight As Speaker, Journalists Escape Death

Hell was let loose today at the Kogi State House of Assembly when suspected hoodlums in large numbers invaded the assembly complex, disrupted sitting and afterward descended on the member representing Igalamela/Odolu constituency, Friday Sani aka Makama, who was just resuming sitting after being reinstated by a state High Court.

The Speaker of the House, Ahmed Umar, and other lawmakers, along with journalists who were at plenary, narrowly escaped death when the thugs disrupted the house sitting and unleashed mayhem.

The hoodlums after gaining entrance to the assembly premises tried to force their way through the Speakers entrance but were prevented by the Speaker’s orderlies who blocked the entrance and held firmly to the door.

The hoodlums promptly climbed the gallery and chased out everybody chanting “What kind of rubbish sitting is this? All of you should vacate this chamber or we kill you.”

The hoodlums then proceeded to haul down chairs at members causing the Speaker’s security aides to whisk him out of the chamber, alongside other lawmakers who scampered to safety through any available doors.

Outside the chamber, journalists and other lawmakers had to scale the fence when some of the hoodlums stationed at the gate did not allow passage.

Tension heightened, when the member representing Igalamela Odolu constituency, Friday Sani was singled out, blocked and beaten mercilessly. The hoodlums also fvideo-recorded him while being attacked.

The plead by the Deputy Speaker, who was crying and pleading for him (Sani) to be let go was ignored by the hoodlums who continued the beating  even in the presence of policemen who watched akimbo.

This was contrary to an earlier assurance from the Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inaluegu that the Assembly complex will be safe.

Reacting to the development, the Speaker, Ahmed Umar described it as unfortunate. He said it was more pathetic that it happened in the presence of police and other security apparatus who watched the scene as if they were on the payroll of the hoodlums or their sponsors..

Ahmed said the Commissioner of Police’ assurance of safety was fake. He however eulogised his security details for saving his life, “We didn’t see it coming. The commissioner of Police came in during our executive meeting that there were information of an invasion, but assured that it was under control. Most often, lawmakers fight themselves on the floor. But this dimension of an outside invasion is new.”

Ahmed said he, and other lawmakers will review the situation with the assembly security and come up with a position sooner.

However, the state Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello has decried the invasion, describing it as an act of rascality.

The governor who reacted through the Director General, Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo said the state government frowned at the act and promised that perpetrators will be brought to book.

“We will fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice. We will not allow anybody to stop the lawmakers legally elected by their people from carrying out their duties. This act is condemnable and will will not condone it.”

The whereabouts of the embattled member, Friday Sani, is yet to be known.

Source: Sahara Reporters

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo appears in court on tax charges

AFP*Ronaldo could potentially be jailed for three-and-a-half years if found guilty, experts say

Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived at a Spanish court amid allegations he evaded millions in tax.

Prosecutors accuse Ronaldo, reported to be the world's highest paid athlete, of evading €14.7m ($17.3m; £13.1m) in tax since 2010.

The Real Madrid star has previously denied the allegation, saying his "conscience is clear".

Ronaldo, 32, is the latest in a string of footballers to be pursued by the Spanish tax authorities.

Argentina's Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona, was handed a 21-month prison sentence after being found guilty of the same charge last year.

Earlier this month, the court ruled he could pay €252,000 in place of jail time.

However, Messi was only accused of evading €4.1m in tax, €10.6m less than Ronaldo.

Ronalda arrived to give evidence at a court in the Madrid suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcon just before 11:00 local time (09:00 GMT) on Monday.

According to prosecutors, Ronaldo allegedly took "advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities" which was a "voluntary and conscious breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain".

Ronaldo's management have also denied the allegations.

But if the case is sent to trial and he is found guilty, the Portuguese forward could face a fine of "at least €28m" and a prison sentence of three-and-a-half years, the Gestha union of experts at Spain's Inland Revenue says.

Source: BBC

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Two dead, four wounded in German nightclub shooting

Police and ambulances stand near the disco Club Grey in the southern German town of Konstanz, where a gunman opened fire, killing one and wounding four people before being shot by police, on July 30, 2017. The 34-year-old attacker "was critically injured in a shootout with police officers as he left the disco, and later succumbed to his wounds in hospital," police said in a statement. Felix Kästle / dpa / AFP

A gunman opened fire at a nightclub in southern Germany early Sunday, killing one and wounding four before being shot by police, officials said in a statement.

The 34-year-old attacker "was critically injured in a shootout with police officers as he left the disco, and later succumbed to his wounds in hospital," police said in a statement.

"The motives of the man, who probably acted alone, are not known yet," they said.

Officers began receiving emergency calls from terrified clubbers at around 4:30 am (0230 GMT) after the man began shooting in the nightclub in an industrial zone in the city of Constance, killing one person on the spot and leaving three other people seriously wounded.

Shortly after he left the building, he was shot by police. One officer was also injured in the exchange of fire. Terrified nightclubbers had either fled the building or found a place to hide, police said, adding that the danger was now over.

Helicopters were circling overhead and special forces were also deployed to secure the site. Local broadcaster SWR reported witnesses saying that the gunman was armed with an automatic pistol.

A bouncer at the site had sought to stop the attacker, but was himself injured by the man, SWR said. The shooting came just two days after Germany was shaken by a knife attack in the northern port city of Hamburg.

A 26-year-old Palestinian had killed one and injured six in an assault at a supermarket. He was a known Islamist with psychological problems, and investigators say his motives remain unclear.

Germany has been on high alert about the threat of a jihadist attack, especially since last December's truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market that claimed 12 lives.

But it has also been hit by other assaults unrelated to the jihadist threat.

Among the deadliest in recent years is a Munich shopping mall rampage by 18-year-old German-Iranian man which left 10 people dead including the gunman himself.

Source: AFP

Friday, July 28, 2017

Man killed wife on a US cruise ship for 'laughing' at him

The couple were travelling on the Emerald Princess cruise ship (file picture)

A man suspected of killing his wife while on a cruise ship in the US state of Alaska did so because "she would not stop laughing" at him, a witness says.

Kenneth Manzanares has been charged with the murder of his 39-year-old wife, whose body was found with severe head wounds in their cabin.

He was detained after security agents found blood on his hands and clothes, court documents said.

Mr Manzanares' court-appointed public defender has not commented.

The victim has been identified by US media as Kristy Manzanares, from Utah.

A witness who entered the couple's cabin before the security agents said he saw the 39-year-old suspect dragging the victim's body to the balcony, the documents said.

The witness then grabbed the woman's ankles and pulled her back in.

When he asked Mr Manzanares what had happened, the man allegedly said: "She would not stop laughing at me."

Later, during a search by FBI agents, the suspect said, according to the documents: "My life is over."

The incident happened on Tuesday night on the Emerald Princess cruise ship, operated by Princess Cruises. It had departed with some 3,400 passengers from Seattle on Sunday for a week-long trip.

Kristy Manzanares was described by her employer, Summit Sotheby's International Realty, as being a "dedicated and loving mother who juggled her business schedule to make her children a top priority."

The FBI is investigating the case because it occurred in US waters. A spokesman said other family members were onboard the ship on the same trip, but details about them have not been released.

Mr Manzanares made his first appearance in a federal court in Anchorage via video link from Juneau, where he was being held. A hearing has been scheduled for 10 August.

Source: BBC

Saturday, July 22, 2017

3 Israelis civilians stabbed to death in West Bank attack

Three Israeli civilians have been stabbed to death in a settlement near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Another Israeli was wounded in the attack in Halamish. The Israeli army says the attacker was shot and caught.

The attack came near the end of a day of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces over new security measures at a Jerusalem holy site.

Three Palestinians were killed and hundreds were hurt in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he is freezing all contacts with Israel after it installed metal detectors at the site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Israel says the extra security is needed after two Israeli policemen were killednear the site a week ago.

On Friday, four Israeli civilians were stabbed in Halamish (also known as Neve Tsuf) after "an assailant infiltrated a private home", the Israeli army said.

Israeli media reported the victims were a man in his sixties and his son and daughter, both in their forties. Another woman in her sixties is being treated in hospital for injuries sustained in the incident.

The Israeli army said the attacker was a young Palestinian man called Omar al-Abed, who hours before the attack, posted on Facebook linking his actions to events at Jerusalem's holy site.

He was shot by a neighbour - who was a soldier with the Israeli Defense Forces - and taken to hospital, but his condition was unclear.

His house was raided on Saturday, and his brother "apprehended", the military said.

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman also said they were taking steps to prepare the Palestinian attacker's house for demolition - a measure regularly taken by Israel, which says it is a deterrent, but condemned by rights groups as collective punishment.

AFP/GETTY IMAGES*The attacker is reported to have been captured after the attack in Halamish

There has been a wave of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings of Israelis predominantly by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs since late 2015.

At least 47 Israelis and five foreign nationals have been killed in nearly two years of such attacks.

At least 255 Palestinians - most of them attackers, Israel says - have also been killed in that period, news agencies report. Others have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.

Source: BBC

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Riots, strikes as India rape accused killed in custody

A mob sets a police station ablaze in Kotkhai, around 62km from Shimla, in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on July 19, 2017. A man accused of the gang rape and murder of a girl in northern India has been killed in police custody, an official said July 20, sparking angry riots in the usually tranquil Himalayan region.<br />/ AFP PHOTO / -

A man accused of the gang rape and murder of a girl in northern India has been killed in police custody, an official said Thursday, sparking angry riots in the usually tranquil Himalayan region.

Hundreds of protesters furious over the police handling of the case chanted "we want justice" in the popular tourist hill resort of Shimla, with businesses remaining closed in some parts of Himachal Pradesh state.

There have been vigils and strikes across the region since the 16-year-old victim was found naked and mutilated in a forest, with many accusing police of bungling the investigation.

Tensions escalated further after a suspect held for the gruesome crime was killed in his cell by another inmate during a scuffle.

Nepalese national Suraj Singh, struck his head against the wall "and was taken to hospital where he was declared dead," said Z.H. Zaidi, the police inspector general.

News of his death triggered fury, with rioters torching a police station and vehicles.

The brutality of the crime shocked residents in Himachal Pradesh, a Himalayan state with some of India's lowest rates of sexual violence, and prompted calls for a swift investigation.

An autopsy confirmed the girl was gang raped and strangled. She sustained severe injuries in the assault, including a broken leg.

Six men were arrested but those calling for swift justice accused police of bungling the case, saying the main culprits were still at large.

"The main accused is roaming free. How can anyone die in police custody?" one protester in Shimla told Indian broadcaster NDTV on Thursday.

India has a gruesome record on rape. Nearly 40,000 rape cases are reported every year but the real number is thought to be much higher, with victims wary of how their complaints will be handled.

Nearly 2,200 rapes were registered in 2015 in the Indian capital New Delhi -- an average of six per day.

Himachal Pradesh recorded 244 rapes that same year, among the lowest rates in India.

Source: AFP

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Passenger films Ooni of Ife as his aide performs ritual inside a Canadian bound plane

Britain’s Daily Mail, in this report tells the unusual story of an aide of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, performing a ritual while boarding a plane to Canada on Tuesday.

It’s certainly not something most passengers have witnessed while boarding a plane.

But, in footage which has swiftly gone viral, one of Nigeria’s most powerful figureheads had his aide perform a spiritual ritual involving African rattles before taking his seat.

Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the 42-year-old millionaire ‘Ooni of Ife’ – who is the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people – was travelling with his high chiefs on a flight bound for Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, according to local reports.

Witnessed from the economy cabin aisle, the aide, dressed in traditional African clothing, can be seen wandering up and down and shaking the rattles above his head.

Once the formality was over, the Ooni proceeded to take his seat on the commercial carrier.

Ogunwusi is of very high status in his native country.

Revered among his community, he is the most powerful and influential monarch among the Yoruba people of southwest Nigeria – who are the country’s second biggest ethnic group after the Hausa-Fulani.

Together, the Yoruba predominate six southwestern Nigerian states, and number some 40 million.

The powers of the Yoruba kings and other traditional rulers were reduced under British colonial rule and their role is now largely ceremonial.

But they are still regarded as custodians of culture and still wield influence on their people in local matters.

Ogunwusi, from one of the ruling houses in the Ife kingdom, was installed as the 51st Ooni in December 2015, succeeding Okunade Sijuade, who ruled for 35 years until his death.

He’s the son of a retired radio and television broadcaster and was selected for his title from more than 20 candidates.

Born on October 17, 1974, Ogunwusi is one of Nigeria’s youngest traditional rulers.

Before becoming the Ooni, Ogunwusi – a trained accountant – made millions as an entrepreneur in real estate and marketing, and commodities from Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man.

Nigerian Police parades housewife for arranging her own kidnap to get money from husband

A housewife, Mrs Bukola Ogun, has been arrested by the Oyo State Police Command for allegedly staging her own kidnap with the intention of extorting money from her husband, and to also make the man, who is an American citizen, relocate her to the Unites States.

The Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Abiodun Odude, who was speaking during the parade of 12 arrested suspects in the state at the Police Headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, said the 37-year-old businesswoman, had conspired with a two-man gang, among whom was his cousin, Kayode Adepoju, to orchestrate her own kidnap in order to fraudulently obtain money from her husband.

The police boss said the incident happened at about 7:45p.m. on Tuesday, July 4, when three armed hoodlums stormed the residence of the supposed victim and ‘kidnapped’ her to an unknown destination.

“Barely four hours later, the suspects contacted the victim’s husband, demanding for N10million as ransom as a condition for his wife’s release.

“Unknown to the husband that the kidnap was actually arranged by his wife, he reported the case to the police, and upon the receipt, operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) began a manhunt for the hoodlums.

“During intensive investigation, two suspects were arrested, and they let the cat out of the bag, as operatives were stunned to discover that the victim was the architect of the fake kidnap.

“The woman, for the three days she was away, lodged in a hotel at Imalefalafia area, Ibadan, while efforts were on to rescue her, but after two of the suspects were eventually arrested in their criminal hideout at Imalefalafia area, they confessed to the crime and the mastermind was arrested,” the police boss said.

However, while speaking, the woman, Mrs Ogun, said she called her cousin, Kayode, informing him that she wanted her husband to relocate her to the United States, so wanted to stage her own kidnap so after her rescue, her husband would be left with no option than to send her abroad.

“So I left home on Tuesday, July 4, and returned on Thursday, July 6, acting as if I was kidnapped. It was then that my husband started calling about that I had been kidnapped before finally informing the police.

“Everything is still like a child’s play; he is an American citizen and I just wanted him to relocate me to the US. I told the gang to demand for N10million from my husband; I knew he could not afford that kind of money, but just for the whole plan to look real.

“And within the three days I was away, I lodged myself in a hotel, but I regret everything now,” Mrs Ogun, who had been married to her husband for six years with two children, said.

While speaking on his role in the whole case, Mrs Ogun’s cousin, Kayode, said the woman just called her one day, informing him that she wanted to stage her own kidnap so that her husband would agree to relocate her to the United States since he is a citizen.

“So she told me to find one of my friends who has a car and we would come to her house in the evening of the day we wanted to stage the kidnap.

“When we even got to her house, she was the one who walked out herself and entered the car we brought, and we took her to the hotel where she lodged for three days.

“After that, we called her husband, asking for N10million ransom, just to make the whole plan look real, but we didn’t collect anything from him.

“However, I was arrested the following day after she returned home; policemen came to my office to arrest me, and we had no option than to tell the police the truth,” Kayode said.

The Oyo police boss, however, said that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as possible so as to serve as a less to others who might be planning such stunts.

The police were also able to arrest a gang that specialized in stealing industrial batteries from telecommunication firms’ generating sets.

According to Mr Odude, five suspects, Abayomi Gbenga (24), Ayilara Ahmed (24), Bamimore Nurudeen (32), Adedokun Opeyemi (19) and Bakare Farouk (19), had stolen about 48 inverters from telecommunication masts at Tede, Sepeteri, Igboho, Komi and Ogboro in Saki area of the state.

“The bandits, who were armed with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons, attacked the companies’ security guards before carting away various inverters and other equipments belonging to the firms.

“However, following a distress call received about a robbery operation, SARS operatives launched a manhunt for the hoodlums, and the efforts yielded result when three suspects were arrested along Ago-Are/Sabe road, and the stolen property recovered from them.

“Further investigation carried out led to the arrest of other suspects from their criminal hideouts,” the police boss said, while revealing that one locally-made pistol, 48 inverters, a Peugeot 505 saloon car with registration number ET246APP, a long cutlass and three iron cutters were recovered from the suspects.

The police commissioner said that 12 suspects, included nine suspected armed robbers and three kidnappers, while four arms, 23 ammunition and two vehicles, among others, were recovered.

Source: Nigerian Tribune

50 % of foreign-trained Nigerian doctors fail practice test

More than half of the foreign-trained doctors and dentists failed examinations to secure practice licence of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, this year.

A total 334 doctors and seven dentists who graduated from medical colleges outside Nigeria sat for the assessment this year, Daily Trust on Sunday gathered. 

Only 160 doctors and four dentists passed--a 40 per cent success rate.

At their induction at the MDCN headquarters, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, called the pass rate “worrisome.”

“Parents, please ask questions before you send your ward to overseas institutions. The fact it [the institution] is foreign does not make it good or excellent. Shine your eyes before you spend your hard-earned dollars sending your child to a school that’s not good,” he said. 

The acting MDCN Registrar, Tajudeen Sanusi, said the council’s examination was to ensure that the medical training Nigerian students get abroad measure up to standards in Nigeria. 

Passing the examination determines eligibility of new practitioners to be provisionally registered by the council.

Meanwhile, a mandatory one-year housemanship for new doctors goes online and it will be centralised from next year, it was gathered.

Potential house officers will seek random slots through online application for posting to any hospital nationwide.

The health ministry said centralising housemanship placement will remove  favouritism.

With 4,000 young doctors and 4,300 slots, there’s enough placement but desire to serve in favourite hospitals means many doctors don’t ever get placement.

A committee setting up the online centralised placement for house officers would start work next week.

Source: Daily Trust

U.S to crackdown on Nigerians, Brazilians, others with overstayed visas

A crackdown on visitors with visa overstays is imminent in the United States of America with Nigeria, Brazil, Venezuela, China and  Colombia listed as countries with the most total overstays that do not participate in the visa waiver programme.

The Trump Administration says it has a problem with visa overstays in the country and is now determined to step up enforcement to try to cut down on the violations.

Consequently, the government is introducing a face scan for all US citizens travelling abroad.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said this is aimed mainly at better tracking visa overstays and also at tightening security.

The agency said it’s the only way to successfully expand a programme that tracks non immigrant foreigners.

A report in May showed that more than 54 million visitors checked in last year – and nearly 630,000 of them didn’t go back home.

John Wagner, the Customs deputy executive assistant commissioner in charge of the programme, confirmed in an interview that U.S. citizens departing on international flights will submit to face scans.

The number of visa overstays was about 200,000 higher than the previous 12-month period.

Libya, a country of special interest because of terrorism concerns, saw 43 percent of its students refuse to leave on time, while a staggering 75 percent of students from Eritrea broke the terms of their deal, the report said.

Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Centre for Immigration Studies, said those kinds of rates should force a rethink at the State Department, which issues visas, and should spur immigration officials to put more effort into deterring and deporting overstays in the U.S.

“The fact that more than 700,000 visits were overstayed last year shows just how much we need to step up interior enforcement to create more of a deterrent, not only by identifying and deporting overstays, but by weakening the job magnet by cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers,” she said.

 Credit: The Nation

Armed robbers attack top Nigerian actors, Odunlade Adekola, Mr. Latin

Bolaji Amusan, popularly called Mr Latin (R), and Odunlade Adekola (L)

Two popular Nigerian actors, Bolaji Amusan, popularly called Mr Latin, and Odunlade Adekola were attacked by armed robbers on Saturday night.

The actors were returning from a Glo music show in Ijebu-Ode, when their cars ran into the armed robbers who had laid siege along Ilishan-Sagamu road.

Mr Latin narrated the ordeal to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.

“We left Ijebu-Ode after the show and heading to Abeokuta, when at about 7.30 p.m. we ran into the armed robbers already stationed themselves on the road,” he said.

The actor explained that Odunlade was driving ahead of his car when he sighted the road block by the bandits. Odunlade attempted to make a detour, but the bandits rained‎ bullets on the tyres forcing the car to a halt, he explained.

Mr Latin, who drove in his Toyota Camry behind Odunlade’s Toyota Avensis, said he and his colleague, alongside some of their aides, had to abandon their vehicles and run into the bush.

He said they were in the bush for almost two hours, while the bandits ransacked their vehicles, carting away valuables including money and mobile phones.

“We took to our heels as the robbers pursued us with guns. We were in the bush for about two hours, before we later regained freedom after the robbers left the scene,” Mr Latin stated.

He said some vigilante members later came to their rescue and they were taken to Ogun State University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu for medical treatment.

He said‎ the matter has been reported to the police and thanked God for sparing their lives.

Source: Premium Times

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Nigeria's ex -Oil Minister, Diezani warned business partner Kola Aluko about buying $80m yacht

Diezani Alison-Madueke *

Court documents filed by the US Department of Justice in Houston have revealed that Nigeria’s former oil minister, Diezani Aliso-Madueke tried to warn Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore, her business partners against lavish spending, including splashing millions of dollars on a yacht.

“If you want to hire a yacht, you lease it for two weeks or whatever. You don’t go and sink funds into it at this time when Nigerian oil and gas sector is under all kinds of watch,” she said to Aluko in a recorded conversation.

But her warning was not heeded as Aluko went on to buy Galactica Star, a luxury yacht, for $80million.

The yacht, a stupendous luxury on water, was once rented by Jay Z and his wife, Beyonce for close to a million dollars during a holiday last year. It also once hosted Beyonce’s 32nd birthday in 2013.

Both Aluko and Omokore are alleged to have paid bribes between 2011 and 2015 to Diezani who ensured that shell companies owned by the businessmen received billion-dollar contracts to sell Nigeria’s crude oil.

The oil swap contracts were a controversial barter arrangement which saw Nigeria use middlemen to sell crude oil in exchange for refined products. With local refineries under-performing, oil swap deals were used to shore up local demand for petroleum products.

Between 2010 and 2014, under Diezani’s watch, Nigeria was estimated to have channeled over 352 million barrels of oil worth a total of $35 billion into oil swap deals.

But with the contracts mostly opaque, Nigeria reportedly lost more than $900 million in crude oil swap deals between 2009 and 2012.

The deals came under severe scrutiny with former Central Bank Governor now Emir Muhammadu Sanusi describing them “not properly structured, monitored and audited.”

President Buhari cancelled the oil swap arrangement in November 2015, seven months after taking office.

The US Justice Department (DOJ) lawsuit has provided more insight into the scale of theft of Nigeria’s oil riches under Diezani Alison-Madueke’s watch.

The civil lawsuit, brought by DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, is seeking to recover $144 million in assets, including a $50 million luxury condo apartment in New York and the $80 million yacht.

Prosecutors say both assets were proceeds from bribes paid by two Nigerian businessmen for lucrative Nigerian oil contracts. The lawsuit seeks the forfeiture of both assets.

Prosecutors claim that the businessmen, Kolawole Aluko and Olajide Omokore, laundered money through the US by purchasing lavish assets.

The $50 million New York condo is at One57, located opposite Carnegie Hall in midtown Manhattan. The building currently holds the record for the most-expensive residential sale in New York following a $100.5 million apartment purchase in 2014.

Aluko’s $50 million condo is the 8th most expensive in the building, but following a loan default, his mortgage lenders are set to auction the apartment on July 19.

Aluko is also said to have purchased Galactica Star, a $80 million 65-meter yacht which hosted Beyonce’s 32nd birthday bash in 2013.

Aluko’s yacht and penthouse are not the only items under scrutiny by the DOJ.

The government also alleges that Aluko, Omokore and others funded a lavish lifestyle for Alison-Madueke.

According to the allegations, they conspired to purchase millions of dollars in real estate in and around London for Alison-Madueke and her family members, then renovated and furnished these homes with millions of dollars in furniture, artwork and other luxury items purchased at two Houston-area furniture stores at Alison-Madueke’s direction.

According to Financial Times, the two are accused of buying a total of four residential properties in and around London worth 11.45 million, and furnishing them with furniture, artwork and other luxury items.

“In one day in May 2012, Mr. Aluko was said to have wired $461,500 and $262,091 to two furniture stores in Houston from a Swiss bank account, on behalf of Mrs. Alison-Madueke, the civic complaint filed in the court claimed.

In return, the government alleges Alison-Madueke used her influence to direct a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to award Strategic Alliance Agreements (SAAs) to two shell companies created by Aluko and Omokore: Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Ltd. and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd. (the Atlantic Companies).

Under the SAAs, the Atlantic Companies were required to finance the exploration and production operations of eight on-shore oil and gas blocks. In return for financing these operations, the companies expected to receive a portion of the oil and gas produced.

However, according to the complaint, the Atlantic Companies provided only a fraction of the agreed upon financing or, in some instances, failed entirely to provide it.

The companies also failed to meet other obligations under the SAAs, including the payment of $120 million entry fee.

Nevertheless, according to the allegations, the companies were permitted to lift and sell more than $1.5 billion worth of Nigerian crude oil.

The government contends the Atlantic Companies then used a series of shell companies and intermediaries to launder a portion of the total proceeds of these arrangements into and through the U.S.

Source: NAN

Southern, Middle Belt leaders meet, reaffirm demand for restructuring

 Leaders from the South and Middle Belt regions of the country, on Saturday in Abuja, affirmed their support for restructuring and implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.

The leaders in a communiqué issued after the meeting convened by Chief Edwin Clark, the Ijaw leader, said restructuring was solution to rising agitations.

The meeting was attended by leaders from the South-South, South-West, South-East and Meddle Belt.
Those in attendance were Chief Olu Falae, Prof. Jerry Gana, Idris Wada, Dan Suleiman, Labaran Maku, among others.

The communiqué was read by Dr Yinka Odumakin, an activist.
He said that the summit was convened to find viable solutions to the rising agitations for a fair, just, equitable and balanced restructuring of the federal system.
He said that the leaders affirmed their loyalty, love and support for the Federal Republic of Nigeria as one nation.
Odumakin said the leaders were of the view that the current federal structure was ‘’unbalanced, unjust, unfair, over centralised, unstable, anti-development and therefore unacceptable.
“Accordingly, we firmly our support for the demand to restructure the federation in line with the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.
“Recommendations to restore the country to the principles of federalism enshrined in the Independence Constitution negotiated by our founding fathers.
“ For the federation to function properly in the interest of the constituent parts there should be fundamental devolution of powers and functions to the federating units.
“This is important so that each federating unit can effectively serve the development interests of the people.
“This is the central essence of a good federation, not the current over-centralisation of powers and functions in the central government.’’
Odumakin said that as a logical derivative, Nigeria must work out a new fiscal formula that would move the country away from the current over-dependence on oil and gas revenue to a diversified economy.
“A diversified economy where all federating units are encouraged to develop their abundant natural human resources for regional and national development.
‘’`The federating units shall remit agreed percentage of their revenue to the federation account, ‘’ Odumakin said.
The leaders, according to Odumakin, also urged the Federal Government to take appropriate and urgent steps to ensure the full implementation of the resolutions and recommendations contained in the 2014 National Conference report.
They also called on the Federal Government to immediately review “the discriminatory appointments into key offices of government and the public service’’ in compliance with Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution.
The leaders, according to Odumakin , also condemned what they described as “ irresponsible and wicked destruction of lives and property,’’ by invading herdsmen throughout the Middle Belt and Southern states.
“We call on the Federal Government to immediately disarm all herdsmen in the country and bring an end to this organised terror.
“State governments are also called upon to outlaw open grazing in favour of organised ranching.’’
He said that the summit also condemned the quit order issued by Arewa youth to Igbos to vacate the North by Oct. 1.
“The quit order is reprehensible and we insist that any harm done to the lgbos will be taken as an attack on the entire South and the Middle Belt.’’

Source: Daily Trust

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) indigenes demand state status, governor

Indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), under the aegis of Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA), have called on the Federal Government to accord state status to the capital territory to enable them elect their own governor.

Pastor Danladi Jeji, President of OIDA, made the call on Saturday in Abuja, during a town hall meeting by FCT natives on the future of Abuja indigenes.

Jeji said, for over 41 years, several resettlement and relocation experiments were carried out in the FCT by various governments, but “no headway due to policy inconsistencies”.

He said that if the natives were allowed to elect their governor, members of house of assembly, and more local area councils created, there would be more accountability and development.

“The failure of the Federal Government to resettle, relocate and compensate our people at the initial cost of N2.8 billion in 1978 has led to several policies summersaults.”

“In spite of all the challenges, we are still stay here, and we are not prepared to go anywhere, because we have nowhere to go.”

“All we want is to also be represented in the Federal Executive Council,” Jeji said, adding, “the natives no longer want a city-centered minister that focuses on developing elite districts”.

He stressed that the constitution should be amended to reflect cosmopolitan nature of Abuja.

Jeji said: “This is our own idea of restructuring, a restructuring based on devolution of governmental powers from federal authorities to Abuja city authorities.”

“We no longer want the present military contraption, where a minister is appointed to run the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) like a cantonment.”

“We must change the constitution to reflect our wishes for a modern and cosmopolitan capital city.”

The president promised to sustain the struggle for FCT natives’ emancipation through constitutional amendments at the National Assembly, through peaceful dialogue and negotiations.

Source: Nigerian Tribune

INEC speaks on suspension of Senator Dino Melaye’s recall

Senator Dino Melaye [Photo: dinomelaye.com]

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refuted negative insinuations trailing its decision to suspend the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West, in compliance with a court order.

Okechukwu Ibeanu, a national commissioner and acting Chairman of INEC said in a statement on Saturday in Abuja that the attention of the commission had been drawn to some media reports about its decision to obey the court order.

Mr. Ibeanu, a professor, said some of the reports were claiming that INEC was being blackmailed into abandoning the process as a result of the decision of the Senate to probe the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TEFUND).

He said relating INEC’s decision to the Senate’s intention to probe TETFUND, where the present INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, previously served as executive secretary, was false and misleading.

He also described it as deliberate attempt to portray the commission in a bad light and cast aspersions on it.

“The commission wishes to state unequivocally and categorically that these reports are totally incorrect and mischievous,” he said.

Mr. Ibeanu said while the commission formally acknowledged the receipt of the petition submitted to it by some registered voters from Kogi West, it also notified Mr. Melaye about the development in writing.

He added that in line with the powers conferred on it by the Constitution and the Electoral Act, the Commission on July 3, formally announced the timetable and schedule of activities for the recall of the Senator.

He stated that the commission, in line with its issued timetable for the recall, pasted the Notice of Verification at the Kogi West Constituency (INEC Office in Lokoja) on July 10.

“However, on the same July 10, INEC received an order given by the Federal High Court, Abuja, and dated July 6.’’

He said that the order in respect to suit filed by Melaye, directed the “parties to maintain the status quo till the determination of the plaintiff’s motion on notice.’’

Mr. Ibeanu added that the Judge, in granting the relief sought by the Senator, also fixed Sept. 29 as the date to hear the Motion on Notice.

He said that by this date, the 90-day timeframe established by the Constitution for the entire recall process to be completed, would have lapsed.

He said deeply concerned by this situation, INEC considered the court order and its implication for the Commission’s ability to carry out its constitutional function regarding the petition to recall the Senator.

He stated that after weighing all the options, the commission, as a responsible organization, decided that it should not be seen to be disobeying a court order, “however inappropriate it may consider the order.

“However, in this particular case, the commission also decided to take immediate steps to vacate the court order and for the matter to be heard and determined expeditiously.

This, he said, was to ensure that the case was determined within a limit of 90 days from the date of the presentation of the petition that the exercise must be completed.

Mr. Ibeanu added that INEC also decided to call the attention of the chief justice of Nigeria to the order, in view of its effect on the performance of the its constitutional duty to conduct the referendum for the recall.

“Besides, the Commission considered it important to draw the Chief Justice’s attention to the matter for immediate judicial intervention.’’

This, according to him, is to avoid situation where, if a similar cases arises in the future, the Commission’s work will be imperiled, as any individual could rush to court to stop what is clearly a constitutional process.

“In fact, contrary to the impression given by the misleading reports, the INEC Chairman, Yakubu, was not even at the meeting where the Commission took the decision to obey the court order.

“Yakubu is currently leading a team of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) on an official fact-finding mission to some West African countries, in his capacity as the body’s President,” he explained.

He assured Nigerians that INEC would continue to diligently carry out its constitutional functions without fear, favour, affection or ill will.

Source: NAN