A Nigerian journalist facing terrorism, economic sabotage and fraud charges has been granted conditional bail, court officials said Tuesday — but has to stay in jail until he meets the conditions.
Judge Ijeoma Ojukwu granted a defence request for bail to Jones Abiri, editor and publisher of the Weekly Source newspaper, in a hearing Monday.
She set the date for the start of the trial on Friday.
Abiri denies charges of sending text messages to oil companies threatening to blow up their facilities. He says he has been targeted for his coverage of the neglect of his native Niger Delta by oil companies and the government.
Judge Ojukwu ordered Abiri to pay 100 million naira (282,000 dollars) and also to provide a guarantor who would have to be a landowner, a common proviso in Nigerian courts. Until then, he has to remain in custody, the judge added.
Abiri was previously detained by intelligence officers for two years without trial over alleged links to armed rebel groups in the Niger Delta region.
He was freed last August following a campaign by rights organisations.
The presidential election petitions tribunal has continued its sitting today with hope democratic party presenting its case against the victory of president Muhammadu Buhari at the February the 23rd presidential election.
The party is also challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC at the tribunal over its decision to postpone the presidential election from February the 16th to February the 23rd without any legal backing.
Counsel to the Hope Democratic Party argued their applications before the tribunal this morning, particularly the request for the dismissal of the election of the president.
The presidential election tribunal allowed in part the application filed by the Hope Democratic Party to amend their petition challenging the election of president Muhammadu Buhari.
In a unanimous ruling delivered by the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Muhammed Garba the tribunal allowed prayer one of the two-part motion on the grounds that correction of errors such as typographical errors in a petition do not go to alter the facts of the petition.
He added that in the present motion prayer one which seeks to correct the arrangement of the names of the respondents and other typographical errors do not alter the relevant sections of the petition as such it is granted.
The tribunal, however, refused to grant prayer two which sort to bring an additional list of witnesses and their witness statement on the grounds that such a correction will alter relevant facts of the petition and will have an effect on the outcome of the petition.
The Apex Court held that the law envisages that at the filing of the petition the law makes it mandatory that the petition is accompanied by a list of witnesses, witness statement and all materials to be used to manage the petition.
The tribunal also said that the filing as envisaged by law must be done not later than twenty-one days after the case of action which is the announcement of the results of the election been disputed and clearly this application has been filed out of time and cannot be granted as such prayer to is refused.
The tribunal concluded that the petition succeeds in part and the amended petition of the hope democratic party making the relevant typographical corrections is allowed while the amended list of witnesses is to be discarded.
Relations between Washington and Tehran have rapidly deteriorated over the past few weeks, after the US accused Iran of being behind a series of attacks on ships in sensitive Gulf waters — claims hotly denied by Tehran.
On Monday, Trump further raised the stakes in an escalating regional standoff by imposing sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top military chiefs.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman denounced the sanctions as “the permanent closure of the path to diplomacy” with the Trump administration.
“We hope that the parties concerned will maintain calm and restraint and avoid further escalation of tension,” Geng said.
Last week, Iran and the US teetered on the edge of military confrontation after Iran shot down a US spy drone and Trump launched a retaliatory strike, cancelling it at the last minute.
A South Korean Olympic short-track medallist sexually harassed another male Games podium-finisher, officials said Tuesday — prompting them to suspend the entire team.
The offender — who has not been identified — reportedly forcibly pulled down the victim’s trousers, leaving him standing in his underwear in front of team-mates at the national training centre in Jincheon.
In response coaches collectively punished the entire team — seven men and seven women — and expelled them from the facility for a month, a Korean Sport & Olympic Committee official told AFP.
“There had been a number of other cases of misbehaviour before this (in the short track speed skating team), and that’s one of the reasons why this decision was made,” the official said.
Earlier this year, a male skater was suspended for a month after secretly getting into the female dorm at the Jincheon centre.
Both male skaters involved in the latest incident won medals at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last year, the official said.
It is the latest in a series of embarrassing off-field incidents in South Korean sports.
The South is a regional sporting power and regularly in the top 10 medal table places at the summer and winter Olympics.
But in an already intensely competitive society, winning is virtually everything in its sports community — and physical and verbal abuse are known to be rife.
The nation’s short track speed skating community, in particular, has faced several serious abuse scandals in recent years.
In January, double Olympic short track gold medallist Shim Suk-hee went public with accusations her former coach sexually molested and physically abused her multiple times.
Another speed skater, Noh Seon-yeong, last year accused the Korea Skating Union (KSU) of forcing her brother Jin-kyu — a top medal contender for Sochi 2014 — to continue training rather than seek medical attention, despite chronic pain.
He was later diagnosed with bone cancer following a training injury, never went to Sochi, and died in 2016.
Stina Blackstenius scored the only goal of a cagey match as Sweden beat Canada 1-0 in Paris on Monday to reach the women’s World Cup quarter-finals.
The victory sets up a rematch of the 2016 Olympic final as the Swedes play Germany on Saturday in Rennes. Three years ago Germany won the gold with a 2-1 victory in Rio de Janeiro, though Blackstenius scored in that match.
Blackstenius scored the only goal in the 55th minute with a brave finish after a crisp Swedish counter-attack.
After that, the last-16 tie was once again a story of VAR. A review gave Canada a penalty, but Hedvig Lindahl, at full stretch, saved Janine Beckie’s driven spot-kick.
Then, referee Kate Jacewicz pointed to the spot after a foul by Ashley Lawrence, but the decision was over-ruled after VAR detected a Swedish offside in the build-up.
Both sides came into the knockout rounds after losing dead rubbers to finish second in their groups. Canada went down 2-1 to the Netherlands. Sweden fell 2-0 to the USA but rested a host of usual starters.
The Swedes made five changes for a match that kicked off with the temperature tickling 30 degrees Celsius.
Neither side managed a shot on target in the first half.
Christine Sinclair, chasing the all-time women’s international scoring record, had one shot, early in the second half, a 25-metre free-kick that curled gently wide.
Sweden took the lead on the counter.
Kosovare Asllani ran onto a long pass down the left, paused and then curled the ball behind centre-back Shelina Zadorsky and into the path of Blackstenius. The centre-forward hit the ball first-time from just inside the box and before being clattered by Zadorsky and goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe. The shot looped off Labbe and into the net.
Canada responded with a burst of frenzied pressure and were rewarded on 68 minutes when Desiree Scott met a weak clearance from a corner with a volley that struck Asllani on the arm.
Manchester City’s Beckie drilled her penalty low to Lindahl’s right, but the Chelsea goalkeeper hurled herself across the goal to save.
Then VAR denied the Swedes a penalty.
Canada pressed desperately but the nearest either side came to a goal was when Scott cleared Asllani’s volley off the line after a Swedish corner.
The Nigerians Army says it intercepted and apprehended some notorious bandit’s informant and logistics suppliers at Burkusuma market all in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
According to a communique by army spokesman, Colonel Sagir Musa the arrests were made when troops were carrying out offensive operations against armed banditry and other criminal activities within Sokoto State and its environs.
Colonel Sagir said troops of Operation HARBIN KUNAMA III on 23 June 2019 while on routine aggressive patrol to Danboa village intercepted the suspects.
He said the troops acting on credible intelligence report raided the location and apprehended the criminals who were transacting in the market.
Notable among them were: “(i) Mallam Ibrahim — Confirmed to be a notorious bandits informant and collaborator renowned for collecting ransom on behalf of the bandits.
“(ii) Mallam Ashiru Goni — Confirmed to be another notorious bandits courier agent who specializes in transporting logistics for bandits within and outside Sokoto State.
“(iii) Mamman Taratse — A confirmed logistician for the criminals, – he specializes in the sale of rustled cattle at various markets within and outside Sokoto State”.
Similarly, Colonel Sagir who is the Acting Director Army Public Relations stated that troops in response to complaints of bandits activities at Magira village, stormed and raided the location and engaged the bandits in a fierce battle.
“Consequently, the troops pursued the bandits to their hideouts killing scores, while several others escaped with gunshot injuries. Unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter,” Colonel Sagir said.
He said that the General Officer Commanding 8 Division, Major General Hakeem Oladapo Otiki on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai commended the troops for the exploits and thanked the locals for providing timely information that led to the successful encounter.
“He enjoined members of the public to continue to support the ongoing operation by providing timely and accurate information to enable the troops sustain the tempo against armed banditry and other criminal activities in Nigeria,” the army spokesman said.
The ambassador spoke a few hours after the United States announced a raft of new sanctions that target Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and eight Iranian commanders.
The US Treasury also said it plans to blacklist Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, stepping up pressure on Tehran to address US demands.
“As long as this threat is there, there is no way that Iran and the US can start a dialogue,” said the ambassador.
Ravanchi renewed an appeal for talks with regional countries on improving security and said he had asked the United Nations to play a role in promoting such a forum.
The Security Council was meeting at the request of the United States after Iran last week shot down a US surveillance drone that Tehran insists had ventured into its airspace – a claim rejected by Washington.
Trump said he had called off US military strikes against Iran because he decided there would be too many deaths, but tensions soared anyway.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters ahead of the meeting that stepped-up sanctions by Washington had to be matched with intensified diplomatic efforts.
“We are at a time when maximum pressure only makes sense with maximum diplomacy,” said Delattre.
Promise Chibuzo Nwankwo, a local politician, said the exact numbers of dead were unclear “but I can confirm to you that scores of persons were recorded dead as a result of the explosion.”
The explosion occurred on Saturday afternoon while maintenance work was taking place on a pipeline operated by the Pipeline Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the state oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Leaks had been spotted on the pipeline in the week before the explosion, said Kennedy Azodeh, an official in charge of maintenance operations.
“Locals including vandals stormed the area in boats and canoes to scoop the product”, he said.
The company eventually cut off the supply and began maintenance work “accompanied by police officers and members of the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).”
“People were asked to leave, but they refused”, Azodeh said.
Several oil pipeline accidents have occurred in recent years in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer.
In October 2018, 30 people died in the explosion of an oil pipeline attacked by looters in southeast Nigeria.
The Court of Appeal has ordered President Muhammadu Buhari to respond within five days to the appeal filed against his qualification for the 2019 presidential election.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), which nominated Buhari for the presidential poll and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which accepted Buhari’s nomination were also given five days to also respond to all issues raised on the educational qualification of the president in the election.
Justice Datti Yayaya who issued the order, also directed that the president’s counsel, Abdullahi Abubakar, must within the period file necessary processes in relation to the appeal filed against the president’s qualification by three appellants namely Agu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris.
The decision of the appellate court was sequel to a motion on notice filed by counsel to the appellants, Uchenna Ndubuisi, who prayed the Court of Appeal in the motion to abridge time within which president Buhari, APC and INEC will join issues with the appellants on the certifcate suit.
The President’s counsel and that of the APC, Mister Temitayo Lasaki had urged the appellate court in their response to the motion to give them five days to enable them file their respondents’ brief of argument along with other processes so as to set the stage for hearing of the substantive appeal.
Kalu, Ismail and El-Kuris had approached the appellate court to nullify and set aside the Judgment of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court which declined to hear their suit challenging the educational qualification of President Buhari before the conduct of the 2019 general election.
The appellants in their appeal are asking the appellate court to reverse the judgment of Justice Ahmed Mohammed on the grounds that the processes filed by President Buhari which was used to strike out their suit were not competent.
While faulting the Judgment of the High Court, which was predicated on the grounds that the suit was statute barred, the appellants claimed that the Federal High Court erred in law and in its decison because they did not challenge the primary election that produced Buhari as candidate of the APC instead they challenged his educational qualification to participate in the polls.
They therefore urged the Court of Appeal to assume jurisdiction over the suit and grant all the reliefs sought at the Federal High Court but which were refused.
Among the reliefs were a declaration that Buhari submitted false information regarding his qualification and certifcate to INEC for the purpose of contesting election into the office of the President of Nigeria and that he should be disqualified.
They also prayed for an order of court directing INEC to remove Buhari’s name as a candidate of APC and another order restraining Buhari from parading himself as a candidate in the 2019 presidential election and also APC from recognizing Buhari as a candidate.
The Federal High Court had on May 2 declined to grant the request of the appellants on the grounds that the suit was not filed within the time allowed by law and therefore sustained the preliminary objection raised by the president at the hearing.