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Zimbabwe’s Vice President Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

1 March 2021 - 12:35pm


One of Zimbabwe’s vice presidents has resigned following a string of reports in the local media that alleged he had affairs with several women, both married and single.

Kembo Mohadi, 71, one of the country’s two vice presidents, denied on Monday that he was involved in the alleged affairs but said he was stepping down “to save the image of my government.”

 

Both Zimbabwe’s vice presidents are single after divorce, TimesUnion reports.

His alleged affairs include one with a married intelligence officer. Local online media provided recordings of phone calls in which a man sounding like Mohadi propositioned several other women and spoke of drinking concoctions to enhance sexual performance.

In another recorded call, the man is heard arranging to meet another married woman for sex in his office. In a separate call, the man asks another woman to have his baby, which she refused.

Mohadi, a veteran of the country’s 1970s bush war for independence from white minority rule, has been a prominent government member for decades. He denied he is the man in the recorded phone calls.

In his resignation letter, he said he was a victim of “information distortion,” “voice cloning,” and “sponsored spooking and political sabotage.”

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Commercial Driver Arrested With Two Human Heads In Ondo

1 March 2021 - 12:30pm


A commercial driver, Hassan Saka, has been arrested for being in possession of two human heads in Ondo State.

Saka was arrested on Sunday by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the state.

According to the state commander of the agency, Haruna Gagara, the suspect was arrested along Owo/Akure Road.

Gagara disclosed that the two skulls were concealed in a neatly packed brown carton during a routine search by the men of the NDLEA.

When questioned, the suspect who refused to disclose where he got the heads from and where he was taking them to, stated that it was the devil who led him to such an act.

The spokesperson for the Ondo State Police Command, Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed that Saka had been handed over to the police.

He noted that investigation was ongoing into the incident, adding that the suspect would soon be prosecuted.

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Afenifere, Gani Adams, Igboho To Launch Campaign Against Beef Consumption Friday

1 March 2021 - 12:24pm


Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho; the Are Ona Kankanfo, Gani Adams; and the Odua Peoples Congress under the leadership of Prince Segun Osinbote are set to launch a campaign against cows.

This is according to an advertorial published in The PUNCH on March 1, 2021.

The campaign, which is tagged 'Anything But Cow Day', will launch on Friday, March 5, 2021, and is being held in response to the South's boycott by northern traders. The embargo has entered its 4th day.

The campaign, which is themed, 'A one-day symbolic beef boycott towards terminating the cow pandemic- End COWVID-21' is expected to trend on Twitter with the #endcowpandemic.org' and will be streamed live on Odua Peoples Communications Youtube channel.

Meanwhile, the strike action embarked on by the cattle and foodstuffs dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria has entered its fourth day.

The strike, which involved closing all routes linking the North to the South, has dominated social media discussions.

The AUFCDN said at a press conference in Abuja on Monday that the Department of State Services had invited its leaders for blocking the supply of foodstuff and cattle from the North to the South.

The General Secretary, AUFCDN, Ahmed Alaramma, added that the President of the association, Mohammed Tahir, is currently with the DSS.

The blockade, which has entered its fourth day, was done in protest against the alleged killing of their South members.

They had also called on the Federal Government to pay them billions in compensation.

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NBC Asks DSS, Police To Arrest Operators Of Radio Biafra

1 March 2021 - 12:09pm


The National Broadcasting Commission has asked the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Police Force to arrest those behind a pirate radio's operations claiming to be 'Radio Biafra'.

In a statement on Monday, NBC, the regulator of broadcast stations in the country, said it jammed the pirate radio signals in Lagos State.

The statement partly read, "The National Broadcasting Commission has jammed the signals of a Pirate Radio claiming to be 'Radio Biafra' in most parts of Lagos. The illegal radio which broadcast incendiary messages is notorious for spewing fake, inflammatory and provocative contents.

"The Department of State Security and the Nigerian Police have been requested to bring the culprits behind this illegality to book."

The Biafra movement is associated with secessionist groups, including the Indigenous Peoples Organisation of Biafra led by Nnamdi Kanu. The Federal Government had designated IPOB as a terrorist organisation in September 2017.

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Former Kebbi Senator Arraigned In Court For N419million Fraud

1 March 2021 - 11:28am


A former Senator who represented Kebbi North in the sixth Senate, Umaru Argungu, has been arraigned before Justice Mohammed Mohammed of the Sokoto State High Court on one count of criminal misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N419 billion.

Argungu was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Sokoto zonal office, having allegedly diverted the sum paid by the Sokoto State Government as 40 per cent equity stake in the Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited, owners of Hijrah Textile Ltd.

The Sokoto State Government had agreed with the former Senator to buy a 40 per cent stake in his company, Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited, to create jobs and boost the economy of the state.

Investigations revealed there were several withdrawals and transfers from the said account to individuals not remotely connected to the objectives of turning around the company.

A visit to the company premises by investigators showed a company in a severe state of abandonment and dilapidation.

According to a release by the EFCC, the charge reads, “That you, Senator Umar Tafida, while being the Chairman of Hijrah Textiles Company Limited and Hijrah Investment Nigeria Limited sometime between 2016 and 2017 at Sokoto within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice Sokoto State, being entrusted with the total sum of N419,744, 612, being the sum paid by the Sokoto State Government, representing 40 per cent investment of shareholding in your company to boost the economy of the state, dishonestly misappropriated the money in violation of the mode in which such trust was to be discharged and thereby committed criminal breach of trust contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code Law CAP 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria and punishable under Section 312 of the same Law.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.

Based on his plea, the prosecution counsel, S.H. Sa’ad, asked the court for a date to commence trial while defence counsel, Ibrahim Abdullahi, moved a verbal motion for the bail of his client.

Justice Mohammed granted the defendant bail in the sum of N50 million and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must reside and have property within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judge further ruled that the defendant's passport be deposited with the court.

The case was adjourned to March 18, 2021.

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What Does Adeboye Think of Apostle Suleiman? By Bamidele Johnson

1 March 2021 - 11:23am


Over a decade ago, a reporter asked Pastor EA Adeboye, arguably the Most Valuable Player (MVP) on the Nigerian Pentecostal landscape, what he thought of Prophets TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations and Samson Ayorinde of the World Evangelism Bible Church. Both men, along with Christ Embassy’s Chris Oyakhilome, were-and still are-deemed bad news by the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) of which Adeboye remains a prominent member.

The reporter, who was of The Nation titles, wanted to know why the three men were frozen out of the PFN, which sort of advertises itself as the Pentecostal clearing house.

Sensing that the reporter was wanted him to shoot darts at the three preachers, Adeboye, a very measured man, steered the conversation towards some other thing I cannot readily recall. The interview progressed and, I guess, Adeboye believed that he had successfully thrown the reporter off.

The guy waited until the interview was about to end to pose the question in another way, asking if Adeboye would honour any of them with his presence if invited to preach in their churches.  An emphatic “no” was his response. He also took time to explain why, presumably in his characteristic drawl, saying he did not know who their spiritual fathers/mentors were. This was a barely disguised indication that he considered their spiritual roots as wonky. Between then and now, the Pentecostal landscape has seen the rise to prominence of other preachers, including Omega Fire Ministries’ Apostle Johnson Suleiman, whose demented cat mannerism is thought to make him worthy of the “fiery” tag. Suleiman is mightily proud of his association with Adeboye and never fails to advertise himself as having a spiritual father/son relationship with the tranquil Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) leader.

Such relationships are rife on the Pentecostal circuit where younger and B-tier preachers aiming for the big time hungrily milk the reputation of the big hitters by claiming to be of the same DNA. Suleiman’s trick is posting-on social media platforms- photos of himself visiting the Redemption Camp and being “blessed” by. Adeboye and wife. Those photos, especially of his visits in 2017 and 2019, made his followers delirious.

That delirium must have ebbed a bit, following Adeboye’s failure to honour an invitation to be speaker and spiritual father at Omega Fire Ministries’ annual thanksgiving and 17th anniversary programme, which held between 9 and 14 February. No reason has been given for his failure to turn up, but media speculations attribute it to the latest instalment of sex scandal involving the balding Auchi-based preacher. It is safe, I believe, to assume he accepted the invitation before the pre-event publicity and announcement of his name. Suleiman was the subject of a sex scandal in 2017, a year Adeboye hosted him before doing so again in 2019, the reason I am taking the current sex scandal a limp excuse- not made by Adeboye-for staying away from the event to which he was invited as speaker.

This piece is not about the sex scandals, for which no evidence (let alone proof) of Suleiman’s involvement has been provided. It is about Suleiman’s vulgarly pulpit conduct, complete with breath-taking pomposity, generous dose of narcissism and relentless lying. Credit where due, though: Suleiman, typical of the modern Pentecostal preacher, has succeeded in identifying things that register on his followers’ emotional spectrum and uses such well. I have seen many videos of his teachings and observed that he avoids, very studiously, topics about the judgment day. His modus operandi is incessant self-promotion, talking non-stop about his own achievements in fixing followers’ broken lives and flaunting anything with the potential to bring him adulation.
I will provide three examples. In one video, he narrated a story-clearly confected-of one of his pastors in Germany. The dude was scheduled to travel to France, according to Suleiman, to plant a church. But there was a mile-high odd: He had no passport, no flight ticket let alone a visa. No single document, claimed Suleiman. So, the guy, who never wondered how he has lived in Germany without even a passport, started wondering how he would get to France. Suleiman’s god, clearly a fan of illegal residency and chaotic lord of disorder, told the travelling pastor to head to the airport where he got on the queue of travellers and was the seventh person to the immigration desk before being seized by the fear of being caught.
 The fear heightened when he was sixth to the desk. Suleiman’s god told the pastor go into the restroom to pray and speak in tongues. I thought a pastor would know when to be pray without being told by God, with whom he had been in constant communication, and that speaking in tongues was spontaneous.
 Suleiman’s god, however, appears to prefer bawling out orders to his worshippers to pray and speak in tongues. Long story short, Suleiman’s god told the travelling pastor to walk out of the restroom. Pronto! He found himself on walking out the restroom of an airport in France. The event, according to Suleiman, was not the premiere of international travel via a bidet, urinal or water closet. He concluded his story by telling his audience of children in adult bodies that people like him are used to such.
 “You know your problem” he told his audience. “What you have not experienced looks somehow to you. But to those of us who have been privileged to experience a dimension of it, it is natural. You can disappear,” he said to the lusty cheers of his audience.
All well and good. But should that claim not entitle him to be asked why he just acquired a third private jet? Why spend enormous sums to buy private jets and maintain them when it is “natural” to travel through lavatories. Can he not just drink water from his cistern and appear in Canada?

In another video, which recently surfaced online, Suleiman could be heard bragging that he bought his third private jet during the lockdown imposed to curtail the spread of Corona Virus.

“In COVID, I bought a jet. I have three; my third one. I was praying for COVID not to end. While people were complaining, I was resting. My wife was asking: ‘Can life be this sweet?’ When you speak in tongues, you are printing money,” he told the cheering platoons of idiots he had for audience. Some of them stood in wonderment, tongues hanging out of their mouths like those of thirsty German shepherds.

Suleiman is a grotesque character for wishing for an elongation of a period of great distress for humanity because, as he claimed, he bought a third private jet. His followers are of the same character hue. It is curious that he is the only one in his church that his god chose to bless with private jets. The others worship his god to remain, eternally, tiers below him in terms of munificence provided by an obviously segregationist god.

In yet another video available online, Suleiman told his followers, who clearly have the intelligence of a traffic cone, that a wealthy and influential Nigerian bought him a wristwatch worth £250,000 at a London airport shop. So dazed was the owner of three private jets that he waited for the gift buyer to leave the airport before returning to the shop to persuade the shop attendant to let him have a refund. The attendant, obviously a man/with the authority to make refund to an account from which the money did not originate, granted his request. To show gratitude, Suleiman claimed to have asked what the attendant earns monthly and the reply was £1, 500! After the refund, he gave the attendant £10,000 in appreciation.

As always, he was cheered lustily by his audience, who saw the wristwatch purchase as God’s work. Suleiman had claimed that God had used him to bless the man.

His stories are usually badly carpentered fiction; the type of tripe nine-year olds tell on school playgrounds.

So, back to Adeboye, who would have nothing to do with TB Joshua, Oyakhilome and the hardly sighted-these days- Samson Ayorinde. What does he think of Suleiman, who tells lies for fun at the top of his voice and craze-eyed demeanour? The three gentlemen who, in their own right are accomplished confectioners of divine blessings, are treated as pariahs by members of the same guild? Are they cut from a cloth different from what Adeboye and his presumably anointed friends are? Adeboye himself has form in this regard, having once claimed to have driven over 200 kilometres on an empty tank. Why does he see Suleiman as kosher and the three gentlemen as treif? Is Suleiman any different from the other chaps? I wish I knew, but something does not seem right.

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Police Confirm Hunter Shot Girlfriend In Private Parts For Allegedly Cheating In Imo

1 March 2021 - 10:53am


The Imo State Police Command on Monday confirmed that a man identified as Chidube Onyema, has shot his girlfriend, Chinwendu, to death in Umuokirie village, Okuku autonomous community in the Owerri West Local Government Area of the state.

Police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed to reporters in the state that the suspect has been arrested and the case transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Owerri.

"Yes, it is true. The suspect has been arrested and the case has been transferred to Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Owerri for more investigation and prosecution," the police PRO said.

SaharaReporters gathered that Onyema killed Chinwendu for allegedly cheating on him.

One of the neighbours of the suspect told SaharaReporters that the victim visited her boyfriend from her village, Ohabele in Obosima community in the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of the state before the unfortunate incident.

The neighbour, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told SaharaReporters that a call received by the victim caused a disagreement between the two lovers, which later became deadly. 

The source said the refusal of the victim to hand over her phone to the suspect, infuriated Onyema, who went to get his gun from the room and shot his girlfriend in her private parts. 

The source said, "She usually visits Chidube (Onyema) from her village. She came from Aba (in Abia State) and was supposed to return on Sunday evening before her boyfriend killed her. Trouble started after the lady answered a phone call. The guy demanded to know who called her but she refused to tell him. He shot her in her private parts. He is our neighbour and a hunter."

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Bandits Kill Ten In Fresh Attack On Sokoto Community

1 March 2021 - 10:32am



Gunmen suspected to be armed bandits have attacked Amarawa community in the Illela Local Government Area of Sokoto State, killing at least 10 persons.

A source in the community said the bandits with sophisticated weapons stormed the village on Sunday and started shooting indiscriminately.

He said, “More than 10 villagers were killed while houses and other properties were destroyed.

“Many others have fled their homes to seek refuge in nearby communities within the local government.”


The attack comes few days after gunmen killed three persons in Bargaja village of Isa Local Government Area and one other at a community under Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto state.

It was gathered that the armed bandits invaded Bargaja around 2 pm on Thursday, shooting sporadically.
 
A resident said six persons were shot in village, but only three died while the remaining three were injured.

Sokoto, like many other states across the North, has witnessed sporadic attacks by bandits and kidnappers that have claimed the lives of many.

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Nigerian Man Arrested In India For N52 Million Online Scam

1 March 2021 - 10:12am


A Nigerian man, Prince Chukwama Hezekiah, has been arrested by police officers in the Junagadh district of India in connection with an online scam of Rs 1.32 crore (N52 Million) with a Mendarda-based person.

According to the Times of India, Junagadh police arrested Hezekiah who uses two names, George Martins and Emmanuel Chukwuma Hezekiah, to defraud people following a complaint.

Google/cybercrime

It was gathered that earlier on January 13, Jivraj Pansuriya, 70, a resident of Mendarda town of Junagadh district, lodged a complaint against unidentified persons with the cyberpolice station of Junagadh district after he was cheated of Rs 1.32 crore.

According to the police, Pansuriya wanted to set up a trust hospital and in this connection came into contact with Hezekiah who promised to bring him donations from foreign countries for his proposed charitable trust.

An unsuspecting Pansuriya believed in Hezekiah's words and started sending money to him and his associates as and when asked through online transactions.

The septuagenarian later realised that he was being defrauded but it was already too late and he had already sent Rs 1.32 crore to the fraudsters. 

His complaint had led to the arrest of the 38-year, who was a resident of Palam Road in Dwarka of New Delhi.

A police officer said, “Based on the mobile numbers and bank account numbers, we traced the accused to New Delhi’s Dwarka and sent a team to nab him. We brought the accused to Junagadh and he has confessed similar crimes as well."

The police said that the accused also confessed to having committed three more crimes of similar nature in Gurugram, Rajasthan and Mumbai.

The police prepared a list of mobile numbers and bank account numbers through which the accused gang were siphoning money from online victims.

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Two Tenants Gang-Rape Neighbour’s Daughter In Ogun

1 March 2021 - 9:47am


The police in Ogun State have arrested two tenants, Anthony John and Jimoh Idowu, for gang-raping their neighbour’s 16-year-old daughter in the Owode Egba area of the state.

The tenants were arrested last Thursday when they broke into their neighbour’s room around 2 am and dragged the teenager to Anthony’s room where they took turns to rape her.

It was gathered that 35-year-old John and Idowu, 21, were arrested at the Owode-Egba Police Division when a report was made.

The police spokesperson, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said in a release that the state Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Ajogun, ordered the transfer of the suspects to the anti-human trafficking and child labour section for further investigation and diligent prosecution.

Oyeyemi said, “Operatives of the Ogun State Police Command on Thursday arrested two men who conspired to gang-rape the 16-year-old daughter of their co-tenant. The suspects were arrested following a complaint lodged at Owode-Egba divisional headquarters by the victim.

“She reported that she was at home with her younger siblings at Efunye village via Owode-Egba, when the two suspects, who are living in the same house with them, broke into their apartment at about 2 am and dragged her into Anthony’s room.

“She stated further that the duo knew that her parents had travelled and they capitalised on that to forcefully break into their room, using a cloth to cover her mouth after which they took her to Anthony’s room where they took turns to have carnal knowledge of her.

“Upon the report, the detective arrested the two suspects. On interrogation, the two suspects confessed to the commission of the crime without any sense of remorse. The victim has been taken to Owode-Egba General Hospital for medical treatment.”

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Ten Policemen Injured In Accident Involving Bauchi Governor, Mohammed’s Convoy

1 March 2021 - 9:36am


No fewer than 10 policemen attached to the convoy of Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State sustained injuries in an accident on Monday.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the accident happened while the governor was inspecting a 60- kilometre road project in the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state.

The road is designed to connect the people of Tafawa Balewa LGA to Yelwan Duguri and the environs of Alkaleri LGA of the state.

It was learnt that the Toyota Hilux conveying the police officers veered off the road around 1:30 pm and somersaulted twice after losing control as a result of the huge dust that made visibility almost impossible.

However, no life was lost but all the police personnel involved in the accident had been taken to the Bununu general hospital for treatment as of the time of writing this report. 

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Food Embargo: Supply More Foodstuffs To Southern Nigeria, Jukun Association Tells Middle Belt Farmers, Others

1 March 2021 - 9:21am


The Jukun Development Association of Nigeria has called on farmers and other tribes in the Middle Belt to intensify the supply of all kinds of foodstuffs to the southern part of Nigeria.

The apex socio-cultural and political organisation of the Jukun people worldwide, in a press statement in Abuja, faulted the stance of a certain group of individuals who said food supplies to the southern part of Nigeria should be halted.

The association’s National President, Chief Bako Benjamin, said those individuals calling for the boycott of food supply to the South were speaking for themselves and not the entire population of the North, which the Middle Belt is part of.

Bako said it was the duty of the security agencies to give maximum security to all traders of foodstuffs coming to markets in the southern part of Nigeria for legitimate businesses.

Bako, who further said those calling for the boycott of Southern Nigeria on food supply may have genuine grievances, adding that the method adopted through punitive and systematic starvation of the southern part of the country was dangerous for a united Nigeria.

Bako said the security agencies should identify the criminals that burnt trucks and destroyed properties in Shasha and prosecute them accordingly.

He said, “All Nigerians need to thank the Yoruba people for their hospitality and kindness for hosting all tribes in Nigeria. So, they should never be repaid with evil.

“The individuals calling for the boycott of foodstuffs to the southern part of Nigeria may be unaware that millions of northerners, including their leaders that escaped hunger, poverty, starvation, banditry, Boko Haram, and the collapse of almost all the extreme northern states are now taking refuge in the South-West.

“So, such calls to stop food supply to the South are not only reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous, but lack logic and understanding of the true situation in the country.”

He called on the security agencies to move quickly and arrest as well as prosecute those making such divisive calls.

"The situation may degenerate into a national unrest which may be difficult to handle,” Bako added.

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ALERT: Armed Bandits Sighted, Currently Walking Freely In Niger Communities

1 March 2021 - 8:58am


Residents of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State have said suspected armed bandits are currently walking freely with arms in some communities in the council area.

“As I am speaking to you now, armed bandits are being sighted with guns walking around unchecked by the river bank of Gunugo village, Jiko village and Manta village,” one of the residents told SaharaReporters.

“The bandits are patronising local shops. They are moving freely. Nobody has the courage to look at them twice.”

There have been repeated attacks in Shiroro LGA in the past two weeks.

On February 25, armed men raided Gurmana community in the council area, killing and kidnapping residents.

The bandits also launched another attack on the community few days later.

SaharaReporters gathered that over 15 people who tried to escape drowned in River Kaduna.

The bandits as well attacked Manta village in Shiroro LGA.

SaharaReporters gathered that the bandits, heavily armed with assorted sophisticated weapons, came into the village on motorcycles, shooting sporadically.

“Manta village of Manta district in the Shiroro Local Government Area was under siege by the armed bandit last night. They shot into the air frequently to instill fear in the victims,” a source had told SaharaReporters.

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Gunmen Slaughter Father, Two Sons In Zamfara

1 March 2021 - 8:55am


File Photo: Gunmen

Some suspected bandits on Sunday night stormed the residence of a cattle dealer, Sani Na'indo, and slaughtered him along with his two sons in Agama Lafiya, Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

SaharaReporters gathered when the gunmen arrived at his house, they asked him to call out his male children.

File Photo: Gunmen middleeastpress

An eyewitness told SaharaReporters that when the two children of the farmer heard the voices of their father and the bandits, they peeped to have a glimpse of what was happening.

The source said, "They slaughtered them immediately. One of them was in Senior 
Secondary School 2. The only one that escaped the attack is a student in the state college of education and he wasn't at home at the time they invaded their residence."

Another neighbour, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told SaharaReporters that those who perpetrated the evil were suspected bandits threatening the peace of the state.

"Though we have yet to establish the identities of those behind the evil act, we suspect they were bandits. Nobody is safe in this state again. Kidnapping and banditry are the order of the day in our state now. We need the government at this critical time," the source said. 

The spokesman for the state police command, SP Muhammad Shehu, said they had received the report of the incident and five prime suspects had been arrested in connection with the case.

"They are currently undergoing discreet investigation at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department and will be charged to court as soon as the investigation is concluded," he said.

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African Lawyers Berate Cape Verde Over Unlawful Detention Of AU Envoy, Demand His Release

1 March 2021 - 8:42am


The African lawyers under the aegis of the African Bar Association have condemned the illegal detention of one Mr Alex Saab, a Venezuelan Ambassador, in Cape Verde. 

This was contained in a press release issued on Monday signed by its President, Hannibal Uwaifo, and made available to SaharaReporters. 

In the letter, the association of legal representatives in Africa was alerted to the infringement on his human rights by his family. 

It read, "The African Bar Association is in receipt of a petition from the family of a Venezuelan diplomat, Mr. Alex Saab who is being unlawfully detained in Cape Verde under very controversial circumstances and in violation of International Law and ECOWAS Protocols. 

"The Governing Council of the Association which authorised its human rights and international law committees to investigate the matter, we hereby respectfully forward to you the results of the investigation and conclusions as follows:

"Upon receipt, the Governing Council of the Association immediately authorised the Human Rights Committee and the Executive Council to investigate the grievous allegations contained in the petition. The result of the investigation reveals very serious infractions of 
the ECOWAS Protocols, the Charter of the African Union, gross violent violations of international law, abuse of human rights, and disobedience of court orders by the government of Cape Verde.

"It is the view of the African Bar Association that unless the Cape Verdean authorities are immediately called to order and pursue the path of the rule of law and respect for the 
Vienna Convention, the ECOWAS region, and the AU will soon be thrown into a crisis of monumental proportion which may turn the sub-region and the continent into a laughing 
stock with dire consequences for our diplomats and their diplomatic immunity.

"Ambassador Saab in his capacity as Special Envoy of Venezuela was travelling from Caracas to Tehran on 12 June 2020. His plane made a technical refuelling stop on the Cape 
Verdean island of Sal during which he was detained. The African Bar Association finds this detention unlawful for two reasons:

"No Red Notice had been issued at the time of the detention —it was only issued on the next day, 13 June. Neither on the day of his arrest nor eight months later, has any evidence of the supporting arrest warrant issued by the United States been provided to Ambassador Saab or his defense team. The Red Notice was cancelled on 25 June 2020, yet Cape Verde continued to unlawfully detain Ambassador Saab until an extradition request from the United States arrived a week later. The extradition request, which not only had the three first pages missing, contained a copy of the arrest warrant issued in the name of someone else and not Ambassador Saab.
"Two, Ambassador Saab enjoys immunity and inviolability due to his status as a Special Envoy of Venezuela. He was carrying documents which identified him as such as well as the purpose of his humanitarian special mission to Iran. This evidence has been deliberately ignored by Cape Verde as it has bent over backward to accommodate 
the external interests."

The group posited that Cape Verde who also has judges in the Economic Community of West African States ought not to work against its provisions. 

It continued, "Cape Verde claims that it is not bound by the ECOWAS Court decision because it did not sign the 2005 protocol which extended the court's authority to hear human rights cases. We regret to say that, Cape Verde is being economical with the truth and it reflects the true extent of the pressure being applied upon it by external forces because:

"Cape Verde appointed judges to the ECOWAS Court and their Chief of Justice is a member of the Judicial Committee of the ECOWAS Community.

"Additionally, Cape Verde has fully engaged in the ECOWAS Court proceedings by appointing a defence counsel, Dr Henrique Borges, who submitted written defence as 
well as engaged in oral discussions going into the merits of the case during the main hearing which took place on 5 February.

"Cape Verde neither opposed nor abstained from the decision of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to approve the Supplementary Protocol. This is confirmed by the final communiqué of the 28th session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held in Accra on 19 January 2005. It was issued on behalf of all the Heads of State and Government and clearly convey the views of all Heads of State and Government on the extension of the jurisdiction of the ECOWAS Court with immediate effect."

The association said the "actions of Cape Verde violate the core principles of international law codified in Article 2 par. 1 of the Charter of the United Nations, namely, to protect and preserve the principle of sovereign equality among states".

"Ambassador Saab was legally admitted to the territory of Cape Verde — he was made to purchase a 'visa-on-arrival' when he was detained," it continued. 

"Having entered Cape Verde legally, he can only be expelled from it by virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law. It is the view of the African Bar Association that the administrative and judicial decisions taken by Cape Verde to extradite him to the USA to face criminal charges are neither in compliance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights nor with customary international law."

"The African Bar Association understands from its investigations that the allegations brought against Ambassador Saab by the United States have been challenged in the United 
States which also in our respectful opinion should put Cape Verde on the side of caution," the statement added.

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Ex-First Lady, Carla Bruni Says ‘Fight Continues’ As Court Sentences Ex-French President, Nicolas Sarkozy To Prison For Corruption

1 March 2021 - 8:32am


Carla Bruni has said ‘the fight continues’ after her husband, former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, was found guilty of corruption.

Sarkozy was on Monday handed a three-year prison sentence, with two years suspended and the option of being detained at home with an electronic bracelet for the third year. 

He is almost certain to appeal and remains free, with no arrest warrant issued. 

According to DailyMail, the 53-year-old singer-songwriter Bruni took to Instagram to express her anger at the court’s verdict.

A caption alongside a picture of the pair reads: ‘What insane relentlessness my love @nicolassarkozy…. The fight continues, the truth will emerge #injustice.’

It comes as former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption today at a court in Paris and convicted for trying to illegally influence a judge during his time in office.

The verdict is the latest twist in the tumultuous political career of the 66-year-old, who ruled France from 2007 to 2012 and remains a favourite for many on the right.

The conviction is likely to undermine any attempted comeback to frontline politics, an ambition he has denied, but which has been promoted by many supporters ahead of 2022 presidential elections.

Only one other French president, Sarkozy’s political mentor Jacques Chirac, was put on trial after leaving office, but he was excused from having to attend his 2011 corruption trial because of ill health.

Chirac received a two-year suspended sentence over the creation of ghost jobs at the Paris city hall to fund his party when he was a mayor.

The verdict on Monday related to a case of influence peddling and corruption, one of at least four separate investigations into the former leader, who married former supermodel and singer, Carla Bruni while in office.

Sarkozy was accused of offering to help a judge obtain a senior job in Monaco in exchange for putting pressure on an inquiry into his campaign finances.

The former president told the court during the trial he had ‘never committed the slightest act of corruption’.

Prosecutors called for him to be jailed for four years and serve a minimum of two, and asked for the same punishment for his co-defendants – lawyer Thierry Herzog and the judge Gilbert Azibert.

‘The events would not have occurred if a former president, as well as a lawyer, had kept in mind the magnitude, the responsibility, and the duties of his office,’ prosecutor Jean-Luc Blachon told the court as the trial wound up in December.

The graft and influence-peddling charges – among several legal cases against him – carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of one million euros ($1.2 million).

Prosecutors say Sarkozy and Herzog tried to bribe judge Azibert over an inquiry into claims the former leader had received illicit payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt during his successful 2007 presidential campaign.

The state’s case is based on wiretaps of conversations between Herzog and Sarkozy, with prosecutors accusing him of ‘using secret telephone lines’ to cover up his attempt to infiltrate the court.

Prosecutor Celine Guillet said it had been established ‘with certainty’ that judge Azibert transmitted confidential information about the Bettencourt case to his friend Herzog.

One conversation ‘overwhelmingly’ showed that Sarkozy had promised to intervene to get Azibert a post in Monaco, she said.

Sarkozy’s lawyer Jacqueline Laffont lashed out at the flaws and ’emptiness’ of the prosecutor’s accusations, with the defence also claiming that the tapped conversations had been just ‘chats between friends’.

Azibert, who was a senior adviser at France’s highest appeals court at the time, never got the job in Monaco.
Sarkozy’s lawyers argued this pointed to the absence of corruption, but prosecutors said French law makes no distinction between a successful corruption attempt and a failed one.

Sarkozy was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing in the Bettencourt affair but still faces a raft of other legal woes.

Also found guilty with him were his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, 65, (left) and Gilbert Azibert (right), the 73-year-old retired judge who was said to have been bribed – with both having denied wrongdoing

On March 17, he is scheduled to face a second trial over accusations of fraudulently overspending in his failed 2012 re-election bid.

He has also been charged over allegations he received millions of euros from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 election campaign.

And in January, prosecutors opened another probe into alleged influence-peddling by Sarkozy over his advisory activities in Russia.

Sarkozy’s long-running legal travails helped sink his comeback bid for the 2017 presidential vote, but he has surfed on a wave of popularity since announcing his retirement from politics in 2018.

Lines of fans queued over last summer to have him sign his latest memoir, ‘The Time of Storms’, which topped best-seller lists for weeks.

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EXCLUSIVE: AGF Malami Plans To Pursue 2023 Presidential Ambition With Firm Control Of EFCC Funds

1 March 2021 - 8:26am


Abubakar Malami

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has begun moves to take a shot at the 2023 presidency, SaharaReporters has learnt. 

Malami's bid, it was further gathered, will rely heavily on funds in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission under the care of the new chairmanship. 

Abubakar Malami

SaharaReporters learnt that Malami, who has the new EFCC Chairman, 40-year-old Abdulrasheed Bawa, in his pocket, has shelved his earlier ambition of contesting the Kebbi State governorship election and is rather eyeing the Presidency. 

It was gathered that Malami would use his influence in the Presidency to attempt to change the permutations in the All Progressives Congress or rather look for another party as cover to pursue his ambition.

“The AGF has upgraded to presidential campaign. He has abandoned the Kebbi State governorship ambition. He said he is too big to contest for governor, having made so much money under the Buhari administration.

“He has been a minister for eight years and now he is in charge of the EFCC after putting Bawa, his boy, there. He was desperate to take over the anti-graft agency so that he could make more money and determine candidates for the 2023 elections,” a source close to Malami said.

See Also Exclusive Inside The Multi-billion Naira Corruption-fuelled Jet-setting World Of Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami 0 Comments 7 Months Ago

Malami was instrumental in the sacking of the former acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, from office, after having years of discord with Magu.

As part of his grand plot to achieve his 2023 ambition, the AGF had also fought to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Bawa, despite detailed investigations indicting the 40-year-old of fraudulent acts.

SaharaReporters had two weeks ago reported that a 13-page investigation report by the EFCC, which indicted Bawa who was then the Port Harcourt Zonal Head, was forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 but the President failed to read or act upon it.

The report, titled, ‘Investigation Report – Re: Alleged Case of Conspiracy, abuse of office and criminal diversion of Federal Government Properties’, in which the suspect was Abdulrasheed Bawa, detailed how Bawa was recommended for disciplinary actions.

It had been exposed that the report was forwarded to the President’s office, but the AGF influenced how it was dumped and not acted upon by President Buhari.

Only last Thursday, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay, had warned that he was not comfortable with the fact that Malami and the new EFCC Chairman, Bawa, share the same state of origin.

He had expressed fears about the influence Malami would have on Bawa which may impair the activities of the commission.

“I noticed that they both come from the same state of Kebbi and they may even be related. For me, that is not a very healthy thing because the chairman of the EFCC and the EFCC are supposed to be independent.

“They are not politicians, they are trained, security officers. The attorney-general is a politician who has all the weaknesses and loads of a politician. He has people he is obliged to,” Sagay had said.

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Kidnapping Schoolchildren Is Lesser Evil Compared To Ransacking Towns, Killing Residents — Sheikh Gumi

1 March 2021 - 8:03am


A popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described the kidnapping of schoolchildren by bandits as a lesser evil.

The cleric who has been visiting bandits in the forest in an attempt to negotiate a peace deal with them disclosed this while featuring on BBC Pidgin.

Gumi said kidnapping schoolchildren was a lesser evil when compared to the ransacking of towns and killing of its residents.

The cleric also stated that his meetings were yielding positive results, saying bandits are now careful about human lives.

“Kidnapping children from school is a lesser evil because, in the end, you can negotiate and now bandits are very careful about human lives,” he said.

“Before, the mission of bandits was to go into a town, ransack it and kill people. By this, I can say our preaching is working and hopefully, we are coming to an end of banditry in Zamfara and other states.

“Bandits are more careful about lives now and just want to do sensational attacks which would bring attention to themselves.”

On Friday morning, over 300 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata Mafara Local Government area of the state were abducted. 

The gunmen were said to have arrived at the school around 1am and loaded the girls in buses.

A resident in Kawaye village identified as Seidu Muhammadu, who confirmed the development to SaharaReporters said his daughters, Mansura and Sakina, were among those abducted.

SaharaReporters learnt that the bandits arrived around 1 am with buses and motorcycles, which were used to take the pupils away. 

The incident comes a week after gunmen struck the Government Secondary School in Kagara, Niger State, abducting school pupils, teachers, and workers.

On December 11, 2020, 344 secondary schoolboys were also abducted from Kankara in Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, while he was there.

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Monarch's Daughters Sue Ogboni Society For Allegedly Hijacking Their Father's Corpse During Burial

1 March 2021 - 7:53am


Some daughters of the late monarch of Aba-Aiyepe in Ogun State, Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon, have sued the Osugbo Society of Ijebuland, also known as Ogboni Confraternity, for allegedly hijacking their father's corpse during burial.
The daughters, Aderonke Egunjimi, Tiwalade Abass, and Adeyemi Joseph described their late father as a devout Muslim who performed the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.


They added that he also had several awards and recognitions given to him by Muslim Societies because of his contributions to the Islamic faith.
They further instituted a N50 billion lawsuit against the society through their lawyer, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN).

Recounting how representatives of the society forcibly took their father’s corpse away, they said they had dug a grave, set up canopies for visitors and concluded funeral arrangements to bury their father, according to Islamic rites on January 24, 2021, before the incident.

The late monarch's daughters sought for a mandatory injunction compelling the society to return the corpse forthwith to their custody at the applicants’ Family House being at No 1, Alaye Aba Street, Aba Quarters, Aiyepe, Ogun State.


The monarch's daughters further accused members of the society of infringing on their rights to privacy and family life and depriving their father of a befitting burial.
They prayed the court to declare the conduct and practice of the 1st to 15th defendants unconstitutional, illegal, vexatious, barbaric, obnoxious, immoral and repugnant to the dictates of civil order as enshrined in the constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2004.
 
The applicants are further asking the court for an order restraining Ijebu Traditional Council from giving any directives or orders to the 1st to 15th respondents contrary to the reliefs sought by the applicants.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the application.

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EFCC Arraigns Ex-BPE Director-General, Dikki Over N26billion PHCN Severance Benefit Scam

1 March 2021 - 7:30am



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Ezra Dikki, before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja on four counts of alleged corruption and abuse of office.

Dikki was dragged before the court alongside his company, Kebna Studios & Communications Limited, for allegedly receiving about N1 billion as gratification from Bestworth Insurance Brokers for his role in facilitating the approval of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).


The Head, Media and Publicity for the EFCC, Wilson Uwajaren, disclosed this in a statement on Monday. 

Count one of the charge reads, “that you Benjamin Ezra Dikki, while being the Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprise and also the Managing Director of Kebna Studios & Communications Limited, and Kebna Studios & Communications Limited, on or about 30th day of January, 2015, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did corruptly accept as reward the sum of N250, 000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) only through Kebna Studios & Communications Limited’s Skye Bank Account No.1771649525 from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited for your role in facilitating the approval of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria( PHCN), and thereby committed and offence contrary to Section 17(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences ACT, 2000 and punishable under Section (17)(c) of the same Act”.

The defendants however pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.


In view of their plea, prosecution counsel, Benjamin Menji, asked the court for a date to commence trial and to remand the defendant at a Nigerian Correctional Service facility.

“We shall be asking for a date to enable us assemble our witnesses and to prove the entire counts against the defendants and we shall urge the court to remand the first defendant in a correctional facility pending commencement of his trial,” he said.

Counsel for the first defendant, Abdul Muhammed, urged the court to grant his client bail, citing Sections 158, 162 and 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA.

But Menji opposed the oral bail application, arguing that the defendant should file their applications formally to enable the prosecution respond accordingly.

“We shall strongly be opposing the oral application, the reason being that we have facts that we want to place before this Honourable Court. And the only way to do that is by way of affidavit, why bail should not be granted. For this reason, they should come formally and we will bring all we have and place before this court, so that the court can be able to look at it and sieve from what we are bringing.”

Justice Halilu remanded the defendant in Suleja Correctional Centre and adjourned till March 3, for consideration of bail application.

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