Germany Opens Probe Against Christmas Market Attack Suspect

An armed German policeman stands guard during a control of motorists at the Franco-German border in Kehl, on December 13, 2018, as part of the hunt for the gunman who killed three people and injured 13 others in an attack on Strasbourg’s Christmas market. SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

 

German prosecutors have launched an investigation into the suspect in the deadly gun attack at a Christmas market in eastern France, a spokesman for the service said Thursday.

Cherif Chekatt, 29, is under investigation for alleged murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm, Markus Schmitt, a spokesman for German prosecutors said, confirming a report in the Tagesspiegel daily.

The German probe runs in parallel with the French investigation, Schmitt added.

Chekatt was jailed for burglary in Germany in 2016 but was not deemed a potentially dangerous Islamist, German authorities said Wednesday.

Even though Tuesday evening’s attack took place on French soil, several German nationals were present at the site during the assault. They were not wounded but they suffered shock.

The gunman opened fire at the famed Strasbourg Christmas market, which draws thousands of visitors every year.

The attack left three dead and 13 injured, according to the latest toll given by the French authorities.

German police have tightened border checks over fears that the suspect may have crossed over from neighbouring France.

AFP

IGP Expresses Satisfaction With Christmas Day Security Across Nigeria

ChristmasThe Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has expressed satisfaction with the security situation across the country as Christian faithful in Nigeria joined their counterpart’s world over to celebrate Christmas.

Speaking to journalist in Abuja, the IGP expressed gratitude to God for hitch free Christmas services and the continued peaceful situation across the country.

According to the Inspector–General, the principal officers of the Nigerian Police have been involved in the patrol as a way of assuring Nigerians of the security of lives and properties during the festive period.

He added that the security agencies would not rest on their oars to ensure a hitch free holiday.

The presence of security operatives were felt in most places in the Federal Capital Territory beginning with worship places as Nigerians mark the Christmas day celebration.

After the services, the residents trooped out to fun places to enjoy themselves, with officers and men of the Nigerian Police, alongside men of the Department of State Services (DSS) seen ensuring the maintenance of law and order.

The Inspector-General of Police, who joined in the patrol, also interacted with fun seekers at the Jabi Lake Park.

While assuring Nigerians of their safety during the festive period and beyond, he urged them to contribute their quota in the fight against the enemies of the state.

 

Seven Gay Men Arrested In Nigeria

Seven gay men appeared in a Nigerian court on Wednesday, January 22, on charges of being involved in same-sex relationships.

The case drew thousands of protesters to the court, who threw stones at the men as they were being transported back to prison after the trial, as security forces fired into the air to disperse the angry crowd.

The men were arrested by the Bauchi State Sharia Commission for allegedly engaging in homosexual activities, acts that contravene the Islamic laws which the state had been operating under since 2001.

The men were named as Shehu Adamu, Yusuf Adamu, Aliyu Dalhatu, Abdulmalik Tanko, Usman Sabo and Hazif Sabo Abubakar and Ibrahim Marafa.

It was the first case since President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill that criminalises same-sex relationships, defying Western pressure over gay rights and provoking criticism from the United States.

The bill, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the National Assembly last May but Jonathan had delayed signing it into law until early January.

At Thursday’s trial, the prosecuting lawyer said the case was a direct result of the recently-passed law.

“This is further to the law against homosexuals which was signed by the President. It has to be implemented. People caught breaking this law must be prosecuted accordingly,” said Danlami Ayuba.

The trial was adjourned to January 27.

As in much of sub-Saharan Africa, anti-gay sentiment and persecution of homosexuals is rife in Nigeria, so the new legislation is likely to be popular.

While European countries, most recently France, have moved to offer same-sex couples the same legal rights enjoyed by heterosexuals, many African countries are seeking to tighten laws against homosexuality.

Britain and some other Western countries have threatened to cut aid to governments that pass laws persecuting homosexuals, a threat that has helped hold back or scupper such legislation in aid-dependent nations like Uganda and Malawi.

But they have little leverage over Nigeria, whose budget is funded by its 2-million-barrel-per-day oil output.

Anti-Gay Law: The Morality Of A Country Is Most Important – Akinreti

Social Commentator, Kazim Akinreti, has commended the Nigerian President for “doing the needful” by signing the Anti-Gay Bill into law constitutionally.

Akinreti noted that the public hearing that was convened on the bill is proof that the law was in line with the wishes of majority of Nigerians.

On the relevance of the law in view of Nigerians’ other pressing issues, he said that the speed of the passing of the law should not be misunderstood, as it passed through every recommended procedure for passing a bill into law.

He acknowledged that indeed the issues of fraud, missing funds, and general corruption are important to Nigerians at the moment, but the anti-gay law was also not less important.

He added that nothing was more important than the morality of a country, as people have called for this law; with religious organizations backing it up.

Christian Association In Nigeria Lauds Anti-gay Act

Felix OmobudeThe leadership of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has applauded the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, for signing the bill on anti-gay marriage.

The president of the association, Reverend Felix Omobude, said that “engaging in same sex union is contrary to Nigeria’s culture”.

“We must not import everything because it is happening somewhere else. If you even remove Christianity and Islam and go to the very tradition of the people, we abhor same sex marriage.

“In Nigerian tradition, the people are raised up to have a man and woman marriage.

“How can a man marry a man? It is strange to us and I think the National Assembly did what is right and the president also did what is right. He would have upset the nation if he had done otherwise,” he told Channels Television on Wednesday.

The Act contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups.

It was passed by the National Assembly in May 2013 and signed into law on Monday, January 13.

Two similar bills have been proposed since 2006 but failed to make it through Parliament.

 

Minister of Interior Calls for Calm Following Christmas Day Attacks

Jos Bombings

In a statement signed by the press secretary to the minister, Ben Goong, the minister condemned the attacks in Madalla, on the outskirt of Abuja; in Jos, Plateau state and Yobe state.

Comrade Moro gave the assurance of the government that the situation is being handled by relevant security agencies.

Following the explosive attacks in Madalla town, an angry crowd of affected residents protested the woeful lack of security in the nation’s north, calling for stronger actions from the government.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Medical Association has called for blood donations from Nigerians, while condemning the blast that hit the St. Theresa catholic church in the town, just on the outskirt of Abuja.

The national President of the Union, Dr. Idris Omede asked able-bodied Nigerians to go to places like the National Hospital Abuja, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada and the National Blood Transfusion Services to make their blood donations.