Ensure Severe Punishment For Rapists, Kaduna First Lady Tells Assembly

The First Lady of Kaduna State, Mrs Ummi El-Rufai has called for stiffer punishments for rapists in the state.


The First Lady of Kaduna State, Mrs Ummi El-Rufai, has asked members of the House of Assembly to enact a law that will ensure severe punishment for rapists.

She made the appeal on Tuesday during a visit to the Assembly complex for the public hearing on the bill to amend the state Penal Code 2017 after the bill scaled through the second reading.

Mrs El-Rufai proposed either castration or death sentence for rapists, describing such an act as a gross violation of the rights of women and children.

Expressing concern that an average of five rape cases especially minors are recorded in the state on daily basis, the governor’s wife noted that only severe penalty for rapists in the state penal code will serve as a deterrent to others.

Upon arriving at the committee meeting room of the State House of Assembly, she was warmly received by the Speaker Yusuf Zailani and other lawmakers.

Her mission here is to intimate the lawmakers on the dangers of rising rape cases in the state and the need for them to hasten the passage of a bill that will mete out severe punishment against rapists.

READ ALSO: Abducted Yobe Village Head Regains Freedom

The bill which sought to amend section 258 of the principal law is to be amended so as to make it more effective in protecting the citizens of the state particularly women and children against rape and other sexual violence.

Reacting to the rape issue, the Speaker of the House, promised to give the bill a speedy passage into law by next week after the public hearing.

Ukraine First Lady Hospitalised With Pneumonia

People walk in front of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev on March 31, 2019, during Ukraine’s presidential election. Sergei GAPON / AFP


Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska, who last week tested positive for the coronavirus, has been hospitalised with pneumonia, the presidency said on Tuesday.

Zelenska, 42, has been diagnosed with double pneumonia, the presidency said, adding that oxygen treatment was not required.

“Her condition is stable,” it said in a statement.

Zelenska said on Friday she had tested positive for the coronavirus, while her husband, President Volodymyr Zelensky, and their two children had tested negative.

Zelensky’s spokeswoman Yuliya Mendel said the 42-year-old leader was “feeling well” and being tested for coronavirus “every single day”.

“All his results are negative”, she told AFP.

Zelensky continues to work from his Kiev office, but has reduced social contact and was now in touch with a “very narrow circle of people”, Mendel said.

He also cancelled domestic trips that had been scheduled for this week, she added.

READ ALSO: Africa Urges UN Probe Of US ‘Systemic Racism’, Police Violence

Zelenska said last week the positive test was a surprise as she and the president had sought to follow social distancing rules and protected themselves.

But the president came under fire early this month when he appeared without a mask in a cafe during a visit to the city of Khmelnytsky in central Ukraine.

In an interview with Ukrainska Pravda news site last week, Zelensky said that he even wanted to get infected with the coronavirus to show people that it was “scary” but “not a plague”.

Authorities said there had been an “alarming” rise in coronavirus cases as the country eases the lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions eased gradually in late May and early June with a resumption of public transport, including metro systems and long-distance and local train services.

On Tuesday, the ex-Soviet country reported 32,476 cases and 912 fatalities.


Lesotho First Lady Charged With Murder


Lesotho police on Tuesday charged first lady Maesaiah Thabane with murder for her alleged links to the brutal 2017 killing of the prime minister’s previous wife.

Maesaiah Thabane, 42, will spend the night in custody after she came out of hiding and turned herself into the police earlier on Tuesday.

“She has been charged with murder alongside eight others who are in Lesotho and South Africa,” deputy police commissioner Paseka Mokete told reporters, adding that investigations had been “satisfactorily completed”.

He said police had a “strong case” against the first lady, who was unable to appear in court on Tuesday due to logistical reasons.

The eight other accused will also be summoned by the police.

Maesaiah Thabane went missing last month after being summoned as part of an investigation into the killing of Lipolelo Thabane — Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s estranged wife.

The couple was involved in bitter divorce proceedings when she was gunned down outside her home in Lesotho’s capital Maseru in June 2017, two days before her husband’s inauguration.

New evidence surfaced in early January when a letter from Lesotho’s police chief was made public alleging that communication records from the day of the crime picked up the prime minister’s mobile number.

Thomas Thabane, who is now 80, has since bowed to pressure and offered to resign at a date not yet disclosed. He has also been questioned by the police over the killing.

But his current wife vanished when the police called her in to testify last month, prompting the issuing of an arrest warrant.

The prime minister’s press attache did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the murder charge.

The murder of 58-year-old Lipolelo Thabane sent shock waves through the tiny mountain kingdom, which is ringed by South Africa and has a long history of political turmoil.

Senior members of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) party have accused the prime minister of hampering investigations into the killing.

Thabane last month said he would leave office on the grounds of old age but gave no time frame for his departure.

Hundreds of opposition supporters marched through the streets of Maseru on the day the prime minister was quizzed by police, demanding he step down with immediate effect.

Maesaiah Thabane was picked up on the border with South Africa following an arrangement between her lawyer and the police.


Buhari Approves Six New Aides For First Lady, Aisha


President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of six new aides to the First Lady of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Director of Information to the First Lady, Suleiman Haruna.

The appointments come days after the First Lady returned from a long holiday in the United Kingdom.

Read Also: Why I Travelled To The UK – Aisha Buhari

According to her, although she had observed her 6 weeks long annual leave, she needed some extra time away to attend to her health.

See the list of aides and their portfolios below.

1) Dr. Mairo Almakura – Special Assistant on African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM)

2) Muhammed Albishir – Special Assistant on Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD)

3) Wole Aboderin – Special Assistant on Non-Governmental Organizations

4) Barr. Aiyu Abdullahi – Special Assistant on Media and Publicity

5) Zainab Kazeem – Special Assistant on Domestic and Social Events

6) Funke Adesiyan – Personal Assistant on Domestic and Social Events

The appointments take immediate effect.

Former United States’ First Lady, Barbara Bush Dies At 92

FILE COPY Former US First Lady Barbara Bush prepares to throw a rugby ball in Washington, DC, after receiving it from Mary Sullivan (R), captain of the US national women’s rugby team.


Former US first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92, triggering an outpouring of praise for the matriarch of a Republican family once at the apex of American politics.

Barbara and George H.W. Bush were married for 73 years, and the widower “of course is heartbroken to lose his beloved Barbara,” his chief of staff Jean Becker said in a statement.

“He held her hand all day today and was at her side when (she) left this good Earth.”

The ex-president, who is 93 and has been in ill health in recent years, is “determined to be there” for his family while in mourning, Becker added.

Funeral arrangements were due to be announced soon for Barbara Bush, who was also survived by five of her children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and her brother, Scott Pierce.

She was preceded in death by her second child, Robin, who died of leukemia as a toddler.

In honor of Bush’s life, President Donald Trump ordered that the US flag be flown at half-staff until sundown on the day she is buried, at all public buildings and grounds, as well as military posts and vessels.

Bush has long been considered the rock at the center of one of America’s most prominent political families, as the wife of a president and the mother to another — George W. Bush — and to Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor and onetime presidential aspirant.

She first met her husband-to-be at the age of 16 when she was a schoolgirl and he was a student at an elite preparatory school in Massachusetts. They married in 1945 while he was on leave from wartime service as a naval officer. The couple had six children.

As first lady, from 1989 to 1993, she embraced the cause of universal literacy and founded a foundation for family literacy.

Tributes poured in from across the political spectrum to honor her life.

Trump hailed her as an “advocate of the American family.”

“Amongst her greatest achievements was recognizing the importance of literacy as a fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection,” Trump said.

“She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family, both of which she served unfailingly well.”

 ‘Force of nature’ 

Her son Jeb wrote: “I’m exceptionally privileged to be the son of George Bush and the exceptionally gracious, gregarious, fun, funny, loving, tough, smart, graceful woman who was the force of nature known as Barbara Bush.”

And his son George P. Bush tweeted: “I will miss you, Ganny —- but know we will see you again.”

“Barbara inspired us all to be the best version of ourselves,” said Orrin Hatch, America’s longest-serving Republican senator.

Trump’s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said: “We’ll always be grateful to Mrs Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House.”

“But we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life –- as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit,” they added.

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as US secretary of state, remembered Bush as a “woman of incredible determination, wit and compassion who embodied America’s best values.”

Bill Clinton, who succeeded her husband in office, added: “Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman. She had grit and grace, brains and beauty.

“She was fierce and feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like. Hillary and I mourn her passing and bless her memory.”

Bush gained a reputation for toughness, wry humor and straight-speaking.

“She was smart, generous, kind, & a force to be reckoned with,” said House Republican Steve Pearce.

Asked in 2010 about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin — who sought the vice presidency in 2008 — she told an interviewer: “I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful, and I think she’s very happy in Alaska, and I hope she’ll stay there.”

Senator John McCain, who is battling cancer and was at the top of the ticket with Palin a decade ago, recalled that “Barbara understood that the greatest joy in life comes from putting the needs of others before yourself.”


Niger Delta Youths Protest Alleged Victimisation On Patience Jonathan

patience jonathanSome youth groups in the Niger Delta on Friday took to the streets of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, to protest what they call a one sided approach in the fight against corruption.

According to them, the ongoing matter involving the former first lady, Patience Jonathan and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the monies found in her account to the tune of 15 million Dollars, has brought the current campaign.

The head of the EFCC South-south Zone, Ishaq Saliu, said the commission would always be on the side of the law.

Last week, four companies allegedly used to launder the sum of 15, 591,700 million Dollars by Waripamo Owei-Didafa, an Aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan have pleaded guilty to the offence before a Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos on Thursday.

The monies involved in the case is the same money which former First Lady, Patience Jonathan claimed belongs to her.

Mrs Jonathan had last week filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit where she admitted ownership of the monies.

She filed a 200 million Naira fundamental rights enforcement suit against Skye Bank Plc, following the freezing of four bank accounts, which she claims the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has used to inconvenience and embarrass her.

The four accounts, lodged with Skye Bank Plc, are in the name of four companies which is said to have a balance of $31.4m

The four companies are Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Development Company Limited and Globus Integrated Service Limited.

Shan George, Laide Bakare On Set For New Movies

MOVIEActress, Laide Bakare is currently working on a new movie, ‘Daddy Daddy’, starring actors, Funsho Adeolu and Adeniyi Johnson.

The movie tells the story of a family caught in the web of love and betrayal.

Another Nollywood veteran, Shan George is on set of her new self-directed movie, ‘One Good Man’.

The movie which is being shot in Calabar, Rivers State, features popular acts like Bukky Wright, Lepacious Bose, Femi Branch, Lilian Bach and others.

Nollywood actress, Omoni Oboli has also revealed that her next big film is titled, ‘First Lady’.

The actress told Channels Television’s Entertainment News in an exclusive chat that she played the lead character as a cheap sex worker in the movie.

‘First Lady’ will premiere on October 1, 2015.

VP’s Wife Assures Women Of More Political Participation

vp's wifeThe Wife of the Vice President, Dr Aminat Sambo, has assured Nigerian women in the south-west that political positions for women will be increased from 35 per cent to 45 per cent, should President Goodluck ‎Jonathan be re-elected at the March 28 Presidential polls.

Dr Aminat Sambo gave the assurance in Osogbo, the Osun State capital while addressing the women at the Nelson Mandela freedom park, in continuation of the presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

She asked the women to see themselves as useful tools in the political terrain.

Dr Sambo stressed the need for persons that have not collected their Permanent Voter Cards to do so before the deadline of March 22.

The VP’s wife also urged the people of the state, especially the women, to vote massively for the PDP in all the elections, saying “the PDP is the only party that can deliver good governance”.

She assured the women that re-electing President Jonathan would result in more involvement of women in governance, emphasising that “women play key roles in ensuring good governance”.


Nigerian First Lady Urges Falconets To Aim For Victory

First LadyAs the Super Falconets file out against Germany in the finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada on Sunday, Nigeria’s First Lady, Patience Jonathan, is encouraging the team to step up its can-do-spirit by beating its opponent, Germany to win the cup.

The First Lady described the Semi-final encounter with Korea DPR as a sweet victory which should spur the Falconets to beat Germany as a revenge for the 2010 final match which went the way of Germany.

While commending the determination and the patriotic zeal of the Falconets, Patience Jonathan noted that their performance so far in the competition had lent credence to the fact that women can make appreciable impact in the development of the nation.

She, therefore, charged the team to rekindle its hard fighting spirit and work harder to bring the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to Nigeria.

The First Lady congratulates the team’s top scorer, Aisha Oshoala, for her brilliant performance especially during the 6-2 defeat of Korea DPR.

Patience Jonathan celebrates members of the team and their handlers, urging them to remain focused, determined and committed.

Drowned Christopher Awai Not First Lady’s Nephew

patienceThe Nigerian First lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, has denied any links to a young man who allegedly died in Agura Hotel, Abuja.

A statement by the Media Assistant at the Office of the First Lady, Ayo Adewuyi, on Wednesday read:

“Our attention has been drawn to media reports linking one Christopher Awai who allegedly drowned in the swimming pool of Agura Hotel, Abuja to the First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

“This is to clearly state that the said Christopher Awai has no link whatsoever with the First Lady and as such, he is not a nephew of the First Lady.

“We also wish to state without any iota of equivocation that Madam Esther Ebiere Gbonkumor, who was mentioned in the news reports as the immediate ‘younger sister’ of the First Lady is not in any way related to Dame (Dr) Patience Faka Jonathan.

“Madam Gbonkumor was said to have petitioned the Inspector-General of Police on behalf of the family “demanding a full corona inquest into Awai’s death.”

The Office of the First Lady maintained that it is an unfounded rumour which the First Lady knows nothing about and urged the public and well-meaning Nigerians to note this for the purpose of accurate record and common good.


Jonathan To Confer With Other African Leaders On Joint Action Against Terrorism

GEJ2The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, will fly to Pretoria, South Africa on Friday for high-level discussions with other African Heads of State and Government on combating terrorism in Africa.

This is according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

The continent’s five regions would each be represented by two heads of state and government at the talks which would focus on collective action to effectively roll-back the scourge of terrorism in Africa.

Others expected at the talks which would take place ahead of South African President, Jacob Zuma’s inauguration for a new term in office, include the leaders of Ghana, Republic of Congo, Chad, Angola, Rwanda, South Africa, Mauritania, Algeria and Ethiopia.

President Jonathan, who would be accompanied by the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali and some key aides, would return to Abuja after attending President Zuma inauguration on Saturday.


Jonathan’s Vatican Visit Important To Nigeria – Ambassador Okeke

Goodluck Jonathan waveNigeria’s ambassador to the Holy See, Dr Francis Okeke, has said that the President’s scheduled visit to the Vatican is important to the nation.

In an interview with Channels Television, Dr Okeke disclosed that all was set for President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to the Holy See otherwise known as the Vatican City.

He also mentioned that apart from the meeting with the Pope, the visit is an attempt to reestablish contact with the Holy See authorities because they have an important part to play in Nigeria’s affairs.

He recalled that the Christian religion brought education to Nigeria over one hundred years ago, and the Holy See plays an important part with other Christian religions in supporting education in Nigeria.

“Besides, the President would like to take this opportunity to do a pilgrimage for himself and the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he said.

Also, in a statement signed by the President’s aide on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, the Presidency on Wednesday disclosed its plans to embark on a 6-day working tour which would take President Jonathan to the 2014 Global Nuclear Security Summit which opens at The Hague in Holland, on Monday, March 24, 2014.

The statement read, “The President, accompanied by the First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan will leave Abuja for Windhoek early on Thursday for a two-day state visit to Namibia in the course of which he will participate in a business forum aimed at boosting trade and economic relations between Nigeria and Namibia.

“President Jonathan will also attend the celebration of Namibia’s 24th Independence Anniversary as a Special Guest of Honour on Friday before departing for Rome and the Vatican for talks on Saturday, March 22, 2014 with Pope Francis and Monsignor Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.”.