The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Chief Great Ogboru, against the election of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as the Governor of Delta State.
A five-man panel of the court led by Justice Uzo Ndukwe-Anyanwu, reserved judgment on Monday after the lawyers to the parties in the appeal adopted and argued their final briefs.
Chief Ogboru is seeking a reversal of the decision of the Delta State governorship election petition tribunal which returned Senator Okowa as the winner of the March 9 governorship election.
He had raised 37 appeals through his lawyer, Mr Nicholson Ichekor, upon which he is asking the court of appeal to set aside the entire judgment of the tribunal.
The APC candidate alleged over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
Eighteen Turkish students and a lecturer went on trial on Tuesday for taking part in a banned LGBTI Pride event at an Ankara university.
The defendants face up to three years in prison if convicted of “unlawful assembly and protest” and “refusing to disperse” in a trial deemed “farcical” by rights groups.
One of the 18 students also faces up to two years for insulting a police officer with hand gestures.
Homosexuality has been legal throughout modern Turkey’s history, but LGBTI individuals face regular harassment and abuse.
The pride event at the prestigious Middle East Technical University has taken place every May since 2011.
But university bosses banned this year’s event and police used pepper spray, plastic bullets and tear gas to break it up.
Diplomats from several European embassies, including Denmark and Sweden, attended the packed hearing.
Lawyers and rights groups urged the court to immediately acquit the defendants.
“The ban of the Pride march lacks legal grounds, and these brave students and others who defied it had their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly violated,” Sara Hall of Amnesty International said in a statement.
Police did not allow supporters to read a statement outside the courthouse.
Defendant Melike Irem Balkan told the court there were “no legal grounds” for banning the event, noting that it has taken place “peacefully” in previous years.
The Ankara governor’s office banned all LGBTI events in November 2017, saying they could “provoke reactions” in society, but the ruling was overturned by a court in the capital in April.
LGBTI events have faced difficulties since the Islamic-rooted government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2003.
Authorities in Istanbul have banned the city’s Pride march for the past five years, and used tear gas to break up this June’s event.
ILGA-Europe, an umbrella organisation for LGBTI groups, called for “a thorough and impartial investigation into the excessive use of force” against the Pride marchers.
It places Turkey in the bottom three European countries, alongside Armenia and Azerbaijan, for equality laws and policies.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he would tell US counterpart Donald Trump that Washington must do more to implement a ceasefire deal they agreed in order to halt Turkey’s offensive in Syria.
“I will tell him, with the use of documents, that the agreement we reached on the operation has not been fully implemented,” Erdogan told reporters as he prepared to leave for Washington.
The Spanish Super Cup will be held in Saudi Arabia and moved to the winter for the next three editions, Spain’s football association (RFEF) announced on Monday.
Jeddah’s King-Abdullah stadium will host the four-team tournament in early January as opposed to its traditional pre-season date in August.
The competition sees La Liga winners Barcelona face Atletico Madrid and Copa del Rey champions Valencia play Real Madrid before a final on January 12.
RFEF president Luis Rubiales said women would be allowed into the ground for the fixtures and the governing body would subsequently help the Saudi Arabian football federation to organise a local league for women.
De facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently introduced reforms including allowing concerts, reopening cinemas, and lifting a prohibition on women driving.
In December unified heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz of Mexico will take on Britain’s Anthony Joshua in their rematch in Diriyah as the country attempts to improve its international image.
Egyptian authorities Monday opened up Tora prison in Cairo for a media tour, following a UN report on the “brutal” conditions in which jailed ex-president Mohamed Morsi was held before his death.
In a rare tour of the sprawling jail complex, journalists were shown an exhibition of furniture made by inmates, a farm with cows and ostriches, and a brief football match between prisoners.
The guided tour comes ahead of a mission to Geneva by Egyptian officials for a review on Wednesday before the United Nations Human Rights Council.
It was arranged in response to a stinging review last week by an independent panel of UN experts that blasted conditions in Tora.
The experts said the death of ousted Islamist president Morsi, who was held in Tora for five years, could amount to a “state-sanctioned arbitrary killing”.
The former president died in June after collapsing in a Cairo courtroom while on trial.
“Morsi was held in conditions that can only be described as brutal, particularly during his five-year detention in the Tora prison complex,” the experts said in a statement.
His death “after enduring those conditions could amount to a state-sanctioned arbitrary killing”, the experts added. They also warned that thousands are at risk of death in the same prison.
On the media tour, abuse charges in Tora were dismissed by politicians and personalities that included for example retired ex-national football goalkeeper turned television pundit Ahmed Shobeir.
“This prison is more of a seaside resort now compared to what it used to be,” Mostafa Bakry, a pro-Sisi parliamentarian, contended.
He told AFP that inmates were treated with dignity, pointing to a newly-mowed football pitch.
On documented allegations of abuse, Bakry said these were foreign-originated charges designed to sow chaos, echoing the common response of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The former head of the army turned president led the military’s ouster of Morsi in 2013.
“Inmates are not sitting in their cells. They can play soccer or exercise and there are a lot of activities for them,” said Alaa Abed, a former policeman and current head of parliament’s human rights committee.
Other senior officials declined to speak on the record during the tour, while AFP was prevented from talking directly with inmates.
The family of prominent human rights lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer, who was detained in September, said on social media they were prevented from seeing him Monday because of the media tour.
Rights groups have regularly accused Egyptian authorities of severe violations including torture, overcrowding and medical negligence in jails.
Some 4,000 people, including lawyers, activists, professors and journalists, were detained in a wave of arrests following rare anti-Sisi protests in September, according to local rights groups.
A very rare species of small, deer-like animal thought to be on the verge of extinction has been spotted in the northwestern jungle of Vietnam for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Known as the Silver-backed Chevrotain or Mouse deer, a specimen was last recorded in 1990, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
The species, Tragulus versicolor, was first described in 1910 based on several animals found near Nha Trang, about 450 kilometres (280 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.
With no confirmed sightings since 1990, experts assumed the species must have been pushed to the brink of extinction by hunting.
However Vietnamese biologist An Nguyen, who works with Global Wildlife Concervation and is a PhD student at the Leibnitze Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, had been wondering for years whether the Silver-backed Chevrotain might still be holding on somewhere.
Working with colleagues Barney Long and Andrew Tilker, the experts got together with local villagers to sift through reported sightings.
Some were consistent enough with the Silver-backed Chevrotain to justify putting up more than 30 motion-activated cameras in nearby forested habitats.
“The results were amazing. I was overjoyed when we checked the camera traps and saw photographs of a chevrotain with silver flanks,” said Nguyen.
Tilker cautioned in a blog post however that “just because we found this species relatively easily doesn’t mean it is not threatened”.
Forests in southeast Asia are under tremendous pressure from growing populations and development “so we need to get ahead of the curve” on conservation, Tilker added.
In May, a United Nations body of biodiversity experts, known as IPBES, issued a landmark report warning that up to one million species face the risk of extinction due to humanity’s impact on the planet.
Executive Chairman of Geregu Power Plc, Mr Femi Otedola, has donated the sum of N5 billion to the Save The Children Foundation to help with their philanthropic work in Nigeria.
He made the donation at a Gold Gala organised by his daughter and the owner of the Cuppy Foundation, Florence Otedola (DJ Cuppy), to raise funds for ‘Save The Children’ for which she is an ambassador.
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, also announced a donation of N100 million.
Others present at the event included: Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe; and billionaire businesswoman, Bola Shagaya.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State was also present, as well as governors of Borno, Babagana Zulum, and Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun.
Save The Children is a century-old voice for children’s rights that has been operating in Nigeria since 2001.
According to the CEO, their programs in Nigeria have reached 23.5 million children in 2017 and 2018 with offices in 16 out of the 36 states in Nigeria.
Cuppy also took to her Instagram page to announce that the event was a success.
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has emphasised the need for religious tolerance and harmony in the country.
The Governor, in a message to Nigerian Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Maulud celebration said that the current times call for greater emphasis on religious harmony, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence.
He said: “We are at a time where religious harmony is a necessary ingredient of our daily life. This is because a number of revisionists are trying to hide under the passion that is usually inflamed by religion to cause disharmony and disrupt the peace.
“We must resist such revisionists and tell them in clear terms that ours is a society that values peaceful coexistence, brotherhood, and unity. Like the Motto of our Dear Country, Unity, and Faith, we must continue to remain united even when we practice a different faith.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of Oyo State, let me congratulate all our Muslim brothers and sisters on the turn of another Eid-el-Maulud and reiterate that we all remain faithful to the teachings of the Holy Quran, which emphasis tolerance, respect for one another, humane conduct and love for fellow human beings.
“We can only build a great nation when we are truly our brothers’ keepers and adhere to the teachings of the prophet who emphasise love as a golden virtue among humanity.”
About 201,600 tins of fake shoe polish of Kiwi brand, worth over N40m have been destroyed in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
The fake products were packed in a warehouse in Onitsha by undisclosed importers who were said to have ordered them from abroad for sales to members of the public and for distribution to other countries.
Loaded in three trucks, the products were taken to a dump site and set ablaze on the orders of Justice Bature Gafai of the Federal High Court, Awka.
According to the order, the fake products are to be destroyed in the presence of a court bailiff, the Police, officials of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and the media.
Addressing the press after the destruction of the products, the counsel to the franchise owners of the original shoe polish said the court, aside the destruction order of the fake products, also slammed two million naira cost of damages on the illegal importers to be paid to the court.
The franchise owners say the public destruction is to serve as a deterrent to others in illegal businesses.
India’s top court cleared the way on Saturday for a Hindu temple to be constructed at a hotly disputed holy site, in a huge victory for Hindu nationalists under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Supreme Court ruled that the site in Ayodhya in northern India, where Hindu mobs destroyed a 460-year-old mosque in 1992, must be handed over to a trust to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple, subject to conditions.
A separate piece of land in Ayodhya would be given over to Muslim groups to build a new mosque, the court ruled in a historic judgement aimed at ending a bitter and decades-old legal and sectarian battle.
Four distinguished Nigerians have been awarded honorary doctorate degrees at the Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State.
The Vice-Chairman Of Channels Media Group, Mrs Olusola Momoh, who was the only female awardee, was awarded a doctorate degree in business administration.
She said she was very thrilled to receive the award.
“It is one of the most meaningful recognitions I have ever received and one that I will cherish for a very long time to come,” she added, while also describing the other awardees as “men of timber and calibre”.
The other awardees were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara and Governor Aminu Tambuwal who bagged doctorate degrees in law, as well as the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, who was awarded a degree in peace studies
Honourable Dogara was also installed as the new chancellor of the university, taking over from Sen. Bode Olajumoke.
The honour was conferred on them during the combined 8th and 9th convocation ceremony of the university.
While giving his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Tunji Ibiyemi, stated that out of the 400 graduands, 22 got first-class honours, 217 got second class upper division, 130 got second class lower division while the remaining 31 graduated with a third class.
Also delivering his address, the pro-chancellor of the university, Dr. Bode Ayorinde in his address titled: taming the tide of security challenges in Nigeria, said he believes that Nigerian universities are capable of preferring solutions to the nation’s security challenges through research.
He also spoke about the rate of unemployment and poverty, noting that a way to tackle the menace is by embracing massive industrialisation.