Police Exchange Fire With Hoodlums, Rescue 19 Of 22 Abducted Victims In Abuja

The crest of the Nigeria Police Force crest is on a police officer in Abuja on October 3rd, 2020 PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The FCT Police Command said they have rescued 19 out of 22 persons kidnapped by hoodlums on Pei-Leilei road along Kwali axis in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

According to a statement by the FCT Commissioner of Police, Yusuf Mariam, the rescue operation was carried out in a fierce gun duel.

Also, the rescue operation was carried out on Wednesday 25th November, following a distress call from the residents.

“In a swift response to a distress call, the FCT Police Command rescued nineteen (19) persons from being kidnapped on Pei-Leilei road along Kwali axis on Wednesday 25th November 2020.

“The successful rescue operation was conducted by a joint team of Police operatives from the Command who responded promptly to the occasion and engaged the heavily armed hoodlums in a fierce gun duel,” the statement read in part.

The Police boss added that effort is being made to rescue the remaining three victims in the custody of the hoodlums who escaped into the bordering forest.

At Least 40 Miners Trapped In Zimbabwe’s Mine Shaft Collapse

Map of Zimbabwe

 

At least 40 informal miners in Zimbabwe have been trapped underground after a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed, the country’s miners’ federation said on Thursday.

The incident occurred late Wednesday in the town of Bindura, around 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of the capital Harare, said Wellington Takavarasha, head of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation.

Takavarasha told AFP the miners were working inside the disused Ran Gold Mine when a shaft caved in.

Six miners have since been pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital.

READ ALSO: Burkina Faso Incumbent Kabore Wins Presidential Election

“Those who were rescued said there were about 40 people in the mine shaft at the time of the incident,” said Takavarasha, adding that rescue efforts were ongoing.

Mining is a major source of foreign currency for Zimbabwe, where gold alone accounts for 60 percent of exports.

The landlocked southern African country is home to vast gold and mineral reserves, including diamonds and platinum.

The gold sector provides jobs to nearly 10 percent of the country’s population, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).

Small-scale miners often operate illegally to avoid selling their bullion to the state-owned buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, as they are paid only 55 percent in foreign currency.

The remaining 45 percent is paid in Zimbabwean dollars, which is notorious for its weakness.

Accidents are relatively common in decommissioned mines, particularly when the ground is loosened by rain.

AFP

Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial Stalled Due To Late Service Of Hearing Notice

Court Revokes Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail, Orders His Re-Arrest

 

The trial in absentia of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mister Nnamdi Kanu at the  Federal High Court has been stalled due to the late service of hearing notice.

Lawyer to the Federal Government, Nnaemeka Ejiofor informed the court that the defense counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor who was supposed to appear for the IPOB leader only received the hearing notice of the trial on November 24, thereby making it impossible for him to meet up with the trial.

The trial of four others who are also standing trial alongside Nnamdi Kanu was also stalled following the late service of hearing notices on the defendants who were absent in court.

READ ALSO: Alleged Money Laundering: Court Fixes Friday For Ruling On Ndume’s Bail Application

A hearing notice from the court scheduled the case for November 26 during which five prosecution witnesses were listed to testify against Mister Kanu.

Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the two cases to January 27, 2021, for hearing, and warned that the court would not entertain flimsy excuses on the next adjourned date.

Kanu is standing trial for charges bordering on alleged treasonable felony filed against him in response to years of the campaign for the Independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Fixes Friday For Ruling On Ndume’s Bail Application

A file combination of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina (L) and Senator Ali Ndume.
A file combination of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina (L) and Senator Ali Ndume.

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed Friday, November 27 for ruling on the bail application filed by Borno South Senator, Ali Ndume, who has been remanded in prison since Monday over his suretyship for Abdulrasheed Maina who is believed to have jumped bail.

Justice Okon Abang on Thursday adjourned for ruling after Senator Ndume’s lawyer, Marcel Oru, argued the bail application, which was opposed by the lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Abubakar.

Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges of money laundering involving N2billion.

READ ALSO: Maina’s Son Made Contradictory Statements to EFCC, Court – Witness

Justice Abang had on November 18, 2020 revoked the bail granted him, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial would continue in absentia.

The judge also on Monday remanded Senator Ndume in prison until he produces Maina or pays the sum of N500million bail bond to the Federation Account.

Senator Ndume, through his lawyer, Marcel Oru, had on Tuesday filed an appeal against the remand order at the Court of Appeal, along with an application for the bail of the defendant filed before Justice Abang.

Argentina And The World Of Football Mourn Maradona

Fans hold photos of Argentinian late football legend Diego Armando Maradona outside the Casa Rosada government house as they wait to pay their tribute to his coffin in Buenos Aires, on November 26, 2020. PHOTO: RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP

 

Thousands of Argentines filed past Diego Maradona’s coffin in Buenos Aires on Thursday after the country and the world of football was plunged into mourning by his death at the age of 60.

Mourners, many in tears, and many wearing the World Cup winner’s number 10 Argentina jersey, gathered at the Casa Rosada presidential palace where the national hero’s coffin was draped in the sky blue and white Argentine flag.

Many more will pay homage to one of the all-time sporting greats before his burial on the outskirts of Buenos Aires later on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Diego Maradona’s Life In 10 Key Dates

Maradona will be laid to rest in the Jardin de Paz cemetery, where his parents were also buried, his spokesman Sebastian Sanchi told AFP.

Tributes poured in from around the world as supporters, players and government leaders marked the passing of a sporting genius whose career and life was sometimes tainted by a loose interpretation of the rules of the game and a crippling addiction to cocaine.

The outrageously skilful Maradona, widely remembered for his “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals, died Wednesday of a heart attack while recovering from brain surgery, a member of his entourage told AFP.

Family members were summoned to Maradona’s home north of the Argentine capital before his death was announced.

Lionel Messi, Argentina’s modern-day superstar, led the tributes as he said: “He has left us but he will never leave us because Diego is eternal.”

READ ALSO: Maradona To Be Buried Today Outside Buenos Aires – Spokesman

Brazilian legend Pele, 80, constantly compared with Maradona in the debate over football’s greatest player, said he hoped they would one day “play together in the sky”.

Despite a wave of coronavirus cases in Argentina, fans gathered at landmarks including Buenos Aires’ Obelisk monument and Argentinos Juniors’ Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, where he started his career.

 

– ‘Hand of God’ –

Maradona, born in Lanus, just south of Buenos Aires, on October 30, 1960, also played for Boca Juniors and Barcelona before becoming a hero in the working-class southern Italian city of Naples in a career marked by wild highs and lows.

In his most infamous match, he leapt and used his fist to score past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals in Mexico City, memorably describing the goal as “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”.

Minutes later he weaved through six English defenders from the halfway line to score an unforgettable solo second which was later honoured as FIFA’s “Goal of the century”.

The two contrasting goals perfectly encapsulated the mixture of brilliant skill and often outlandish behaviour that ran through Maradona’s life.

Maradona’s career was crowned by his performances at that World Cup, when he captained Argentina to glory.

After dismissing England he scored twice in the semi-final against Belgium and set up the 86th-minute winner in the final against West Germany.

It was to prove the highlight for Maradona, who inspired Argentina to the 1990 final only for West Germany to take their revenge. In 1994 he was in physical decline and, following an eye-bulging goal celebration direct to the TV cameras after scoring against Greece, failed a drugs test and was sent home in disgrace.

Gary Lineker, who was in the beaten England team in 1986, said Maradona was “arguably the greatest of all time”, adding in a reference to the controversial goal: “After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego.”

Excesses with drugs and alcohol had long taken their toll on Maradona’s health. He was admitted to hospital three times in the last 20 years for serious health issues due to his addictions.

 

– ‘Ciao Diego’ –

Maradona grew up in poverty, but his extraordinary talent was clear from a young age at Argentinos Juniors and Boca.

He moved to Barcelona but was singled out for rough treatment by opposing defenders and soon fell out of love with the Spanish club.

It was in Naples where Maradona would enchant an entire city by leading the then unfashionable Napoli to their only two Italian league titles in 1987 and 1990, befriending a mafia family along the way.

“Always in our hearts. Ciao Diego,” Napoli tweeted, while the club’s president and the city’s mayor called for the Stadio San Paolo to be renamed after Maradona.

In recent years, Maradona, reduced to hobbling by the ravages of his career and lifestyle, had coached in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Argentina without ever hitting the heights of his playing days.

Maradona married his long-time girlfriend Claudia Villafane in 1984. They had two daughters, Dalma and Gianinna, but the relationship was punctuated by Maradona’s extra-marital affairs and they divorced in 2004.

He also had a son, Diego Junior, born in Naples in 1986, although he only acknowledged paternity in 2004.

In 2000, FIFA ran an online Player of the Century poll. Maradona gained 54 percent of the vote and Pele was second with 18 percent. FIFA declared them joint winners.

AFP

Child Rape: Indonesian Man Collapses After Being Flogged 150 Times

A woman is publicly flogged in front of a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh on April 20, 2018. PHOTO: CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP
PHOTO USED TO DEPICT THE STORY: File photo from a public flogging in front of a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh on April 20, 2018. PHOTO: CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP

 

An Indonesian man collapsed as he was flogged nearly 150 times on Thursday for raping a child in conservative Aceh province, where public whipping is a common punishment for violating Islamic law.

The 19-year-old grimaced and cried out as a masked sharia officer lashed his back with a rattan stick in the town of Idi.

He pleaded for the punishment to stop and was briefly treated by doctors before the flogging restarted.

The man was arrested earlier this year on charges he molested and raped the victim, whose age was not revealed.

READ ALSO: South Korea Jails Sex Abuse Mastermind For 40 Years

He was sentenced to 146 lashes, a particularly high number reserved for the most serious crimes.

“The maximum sentence is meant to be a deterrent,” Ivan Nanjjar Alavi, an official from the East Aceh prosecutor’s office, told reporters.

Aceh, on the western tip of Sumatra, is the only region in Muslim-majority Indonesia to impose Islamic law under an autonomy deal with the central government that ended a long-running separatist insurgency.

Also on Thursday, a 40-year-old and a 21-year-old man were whipped 100 times each for having sex with underage partners.

Aceh’s public whippings — widely criticised by rights groups — can attract hundreds of spectators, but crowds have dwindled in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The province allows whipping for a range of charges — including gambling, adultery, drinking alcohol, and having gay or pre-marital sex.

It has wide support among Aceh’s mostly Muslim population.

AFP

Samuel Paty: Four More Students Charged In France Over Teacher’s Beheading

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

Four teenage students have been charged in France over the killing of Samuel Paty, including three others for allegedly pointing out the teacher to his murderer, a judicial source said on Thursday.

The three other pupils were charged earlier this month with complicity over the beheading Paty, last month.

The three, who are between 13 and 14 years old, are being charged with “complicity in a terrorist murder,” the source said.

READ ALSO: Police Shoot Teenage Trader, Two Others In Bayelsa

Three of the four students charged on Thursday were suspected of identifying Paty to his killer, 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, who then tracked him down and beheaded him in a street near his school.

Anzorov, who was killed by police at the scene of the beheading, paid the students a few hundred euros for their help.

The three, who are between 13 and 14 years old, are being charged with “complicity in a terrorist murder,” the source said.

The fourth is the daughter of Brahim Chnina, who launched a virulent online campaign against Paty denouncing the teacher’s use of the cartoons published by satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

Chnina himself — as well as Islamist militant Abdelhakim Sefrioui, who ran the campaign together with him — have already been charged with complicity.

His daughter is accused of “slanderous denunciation” of Paty after relating her version of events in the classroom, though she did not actually attend his civics lesson.

Father and daughter reported Paty to the police for “discrimination” just over a week before the murder, alleging that he had singled out Muslim students by asking them to leave the room before showing the cartoons.

Other witnesses have reported that Paty only said students were free to leave the room if they did not want to see the cartoons, one of which showed the prophet without any clothes.

All four teenagers were briefly detained earlier this week at the request of anti-terror investigators, the source said and freed under judicial supervision.

The charges take the total number of people investigated over the murder to 14.

The teacher had shown his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as part of a lesson on free speech.

Paty’s murder sparked a torrent of outrage that prompted President Emmanuel Macron to crack down on Islamist extremism and violence in a country reeling from a wave of jihadist attacks since 2015 that have killed more than 250 people

AFP

Maradona To Be Buried Today Outside Buenos Aires – Spokesman

In this file photo taken on November 02, 2019,  Diego Armando Maradona gestures to supporters as he leaves the field. PHOTO:  ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP

 

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona will be buried Thursday on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, a spokesman said.

Maradona, who died of a heart attack Wednesday at the age of 60, will be laid to rest in the Jardin de Paz cemetery, where his parents were also buried, Sebastian Sanchi told AFP.

Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, died on Wednesday, November 26 at the age of 60, plunging his sport and his native Argentina into mourning.

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Argentines Mourn Maradona, ‘The Most Human Of gods’

Argentina And The World Of Football Mourn Maradona

Renowned along with Pele as one of the greatest players ever to play the game, the Argentine World Cup-winning captain died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage told AFP.

Maradona will forever be known for his “Hand of god” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico when he appeared to use his hand to push the ball into the net before later swerving through the English defenders for a memorable second goal that sealed the victory.

Pele said Maradona had been a “dear friend” and said he hoped they would “play together in the sky” one day.

Gary Lineker, who was in the England team defeated in 1986, tweeted that Maradona was “arguably the greatest of all time” but made a reference to that infamous goal by adding: “After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully, he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego”

Lionel Messi, the Argentine considered one of the world’s greatest modern-day players, said Maradona was “eternal”.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez immediately announced three days of national mourning in the South American country.

AFP

‘There’s A Lot To Be Done To Create Awareness On SDG-Enabling Investments In Nigeria’

 

Nneka Eze, partner and director of Dalberg while discussing exploring opportunities in Social Development Goal-enabling investments in Nigeria said there’s a lot that needs to be done within a short period of time.

Eze was one of the panelists at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) SDGs impact assessment dialogue on harnessing public-private sector partnerships to accelerate the Social Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria held on Thursday on Channels Television.

While reacting to figures of out-of-school pupils and people living in poverty in Nigeria, Eze said the country is off-track in achieving some of the SDG goals.

READ ALSO: UNDP Assesses Nigeria’s SDG Journey

“We are very much off-track (in my perspective) in terms of achieving the majority of the goals. The number of out-of-school children in Nigeria is much. In the world, we have a large number of poor people living in abject poverty. So, there is a lot of work to be done.

“The recent projects that we have seen highlighted some of the challenges with peace and institutions,” she said.

Eze also notes that COVID-19 was a wake-up call that helped Nigeria to focus on these challenges.

“In a way maybe COVID-19 was the shock that we need to help really focus on these issues. COVID-19 pandemic helped us to spotlight some of these challenges that already exist in Nigeria,” she added.

Speaking concerning the role of the Nigerian Government in accelerating SDG she said, although the country is just coming out of recession the government needs the private sector as well and also, “there is a lot of work to be done and the timeline is short.”

Maina’s Son Made Contradictory Statements to EFCC, Court – Witness

A file photo of Faisal Maina.

 

The trial of Faisal Maina before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja continued on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, with the testimony of the third prosecution witness, Rouqayya Ibrahim, a Principal Detective Superintendent (PDS) with the EFCC.

Faisal Maina, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman, Pension Reform Task Team, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count of money laundering and false declaration of assets.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Wednesday by EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.

Uwujaren in the statement explained that the witness in his testimony stated that Faisal Maina made contradictory statements concerning the registration of a company he allegedly used in siphoning funds to the tune of N58million.

READ ALSO: Court Asks Rep Member Who Stood As Surety For Faisal Maina To Re-Appear

According to Ibrahim, the defendant stated upon interrogation that Northrich Properties International Nigeria Limited was registered by one Barrister Oladosu F Ariyo; that the names of its directors are: Abdurrasheed Faisal, Muhammed Abore and Salisu Maina Maina Usman and that he received payments through bank transfer from one Alhaji Abdullahi of Faisal Farms.

“We asked him questions regarding his written statement of October 3, 2019, regarding the company because we noticed that he did not declare his assets. And also, regarding Faisal Farms’ bank account and the funding of the account, Faisal, stated that the company, Faisal Farms, has two signatories, his father, himself and that he was a signatory to the account,” the witness said, revealing in the contrary, that Faisal Farms does not have a farm, and that the defendant told the EFCC in his statement that the account was his personal account, funded by his parents.

According to the PW3, the defendant was shown the deed of assignment between one Mrs. Rose AF Molueke and Faisal Abdurrasheed Maina concerning a house bought for him by his father in 2003, and he denied knowing the buyers of the said house and plots of land.

“When he filed the asset declaration form, there is a space for the immovable asset in or outside Nigeria and he declared only one house as a gift from his father, but he did not declare the house that I just read out from his statement of  October 4, 2019, and there is also a part in the asset declaration form, part ‘K’ where he is supposed to mention if there are properties where he has interest as a beneficiary, trustee or being filled on his behalf, all were filled as none,” the witness said.

The witness further pointed out that there were companies and properties the defendant failed to declare and was also operating an account which he is not the owner of the business name.

Faisal Maina has not been in court nor sent legal representation in the four consecutive adjournments of his trial since November 26, 2019, when he was released on bail, prompting Justice Abang to revoke his bail and issue a bench warrant against him.

He also ruled that his trial will continue in his absence on November 18, 2020.

Additionally, the judge ruled that his surety, Hon Sani Umar San Galadima, of the House of Representatives, representing Kaura Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State should appear in court on Wednesday to show cause why he should not forfeit his N60million bail bond for his failure to produce the defendant in court.

The matter was adjourned till December 4, 2020, for a hearing on the application for forfeiture of the surety’s bail bond.

Ondo Prepares For Second Wave Of COVID-19 With 20-Bed Isolation Center In Okitipupa

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Government has completed a 20-bed unit and laboratory at the newly established Isolation Centre in Okitipupa area of the state.

The isolation centre is established as part of measures put in place to mitigate the second wave of COVID-19 infection in the state.

The Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19, Professor Adesegun Fatusi, disclosed this in Okitipupa during an assessment of the centre.

READ ALSO: US To Distribute 6.4 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses In First Tranche

He also said that the facility was ready to be put to use for the treatment of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Fatusi, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of Ondo State University of Medical Sciences, (UNIMED) Ondo, disclosed that the facilities at the centre include a 20-bed unit and other materials needed for a standard isolation centre.

He also appealed to the people of the state to cooperate with the government to overcome any second wave of the virus.

Fatusi emphasised strict observance of the COVID-19 protocols, especially frequent washing of hands, use of alcohol-based sanitizer,  and the use of face mask to stay safe.

He called on school authorities to intensify efforts toward educating students on universal preventive measures against the coronavirus.

Court To Begin Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial In Absentia

Court Dismisses Six Charges Against Nnamdi Kanu, Others

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has slated Thursday, November 26 for the commencement of the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, with five prosecution witnesses lined up to testify against him.

Copies of the hearing notice were served on the prosecution team in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.

READ ALSO: Court Asks Rep Member To Re-Appear Over Suretyship Of Faisal Maina

Justice Binta Nyako had since March 28, 2019, revoked the bail granted the IPOB leader, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial on charges of a treasonable felony would proceed in his absence; but the court had not had any sitting on the case since then.

The judge, acting on an application by the lead prosecuting counsel, Magaji Labaran, anchored her orders for Kanu’s arrest and trial in absentia on the defendant’s failure to appear in court since April 25, 2017, without any reasonable explanation.