UPDATED: Armed Men Kidnap Sokoto Assembly Member

A member representing Denge/Shuni State Constituency at the Sokoto State House of Assembly, Aminu Magaji Bodai, has been kidnapped by some armed men.

He was kidnapped around 1:15 am between Dange and Bodai town in the state.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Ransacks Borno Villages As Army Withdraws

A close relation of the victim revealed that his brother was kidnapped by yet to be identified persons.

The Police spokesperson in the state, Mohammed Sadiq Abubakar confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

He said the police command received a distressed call that “armed men numbering about 10 stormed the residence of the Sokoto State lawmaker. And they kidnapped him.”

“Upon receipt of the information, the DPO let his team to the scene.”

He added that efforts are being carried out to rescue the victim.

On whether there has been any contact from the kidnappers, he says none has been established so far.

“We do not have any communication from them at the moment. I strongly believe we are not hoping to have information from them. We are working hard to make them see us and catch up with them.”

Gunmen Murder Ex-Anambra Lawmaker

 

 

Emerging reports suggest that gunmen on Tuesday night shot and killed a former state chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Frank-Anthony Igboka.

The former lawmaker was killed at Oye Nimo market in the state.

Channels Television gathered that the gunmen trailed Igboka in a Hilux truck while he was driving himself through the community’s market square.

They eventually caught up with the former lawmaker and riddled his body with bullets.

Confirming the killing, the Anambra State Police Command said that investigation has been opened on the matter, with a view to apprehending and prosecuting his killers.

Spokesperson of the command, SP Haruna Mohammed, stated that: “At about 8:18 pm of today 16/4/2019 there was a sporadic gunshot around Nimo market in Njikoka LGA of Anambra state.

Police patrol team attached to Nimo division rushed to the scene and discovered one chief frank Anthony Igboka on the driver’s seat of his Chevrolet SUV vehicle laying unconscious in the pool of his blood and his body was riddled with bullet wounds.

READ ALSO: Troops Apprehend Five Kidnappers In Ondo

The victim was rushed to Beke hospital Nimo where he was confirmed dead by the medical doctor and corpse deposited at the hospital morgue for autopsy.

Preliminary investigation revealed that victim was shot at close range by four armed men who escaped in a pickup van towards Abacha Eziowelle road .twenty five expended ammunition of 7.62 mm ammunition were recovered at the scene.

The commissioner of police cp Mustapha Dandaura has visited the scene and ordered for a full-scale investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident and bring perpetrators to justice.

The public is enjoined to avail the command with useful information that could help in arresting perpetrators of this dastardly act through the following police emergency number 07039194332 for a prompt response, please.”

Prior to his death, Igboka, who was also a former Anambra State House of Assembly member, was the President General of Nimo community, where he was said to have helped rid the community of criminal elements.

Court Grants Bail To Zambian Lawmaker Charged With Hate Speech

 

A Zambian court bailed a fierce critic of President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday after he was charged with telling an ethnic Indian that he was stealing local jobs.

Chishimba Kambwili, who is still an MP in the ruling party, will go on trial on April 8 for showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for a person because of their race.

Kambwili allegedly told road worker Rajesh Kumar Verma, an Indian national, that his occupation should be reserved for indigenous Zambians.

A clip purporting to show the incident on February 19 went viral on social media, prompting the government to issue a rebuke.

READ ALSO: Algeria Students Protest Against President Bouteflika Fifth Term

“I deny the charge,” Kambwili told magistrate Humphrey Chitalu on Tuesday in a courtroom filled with scores of his supporters and some opposition leaders.

Opposition United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema was among those present.

Kambwili was required to pay bail worth the equivalent of $200 (176 euros).

“We want to save this country from thieves, crooks… we will continue speaking for you people. These jobs are not meant for foreigners but Zambians,” Kambwili said outside court.

“How can you allow a foreigner to get jobs meant for Zambians? Shame on you Lungu.”

Hichilema called on Zambians to protect each other from Lungu who is accused by opponents of using the justice system to stifle critics.

“We must be concerned with each other’s welfare, and let’s unite to kick the brutal regime,” Hichilema said.

If convicted Kambwili faces up to two years imprisonment.

Lawmaker Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For ‘Tricking’ Wife

 

A Kuwaiti court on Monday sentenced an opposition politician to seven years in jail for failing to tell his wife he divorced her and continuing to have sexual relations with her, her lawyer said.

Waleed al-Tabtabai, an Islamist who is currently outside Kuwait, already faces a 42-month jail term handed down in July in another case for storming parliament and assaulting police.

The appeals court on Monday upheld a 2018 verdict finding him guilty of adultery, said the lawyer, Naser al-Otaibi, adding the ruling was not political.

“My client received justice after she was taken advantage of and tricked into something that criminalises her under sharia (Islamic) law,” he told AFP.

The lawyer said his client had found out her husband divorced her in 2017 — a year later — after she sued him for failing to provide for her and their child.

“Evidence was brought forward that they continued a marital relationship during the time they were divorced, including an exchange of intimate pictures via WhatsApp,” he said.

Tabtabai is currently outside of Kuwait amid government discussions on whether or not to unseat him from parliament.

AFP

Court Orders Release Of Hunger Striking Lawmaker

 

A Turkish court on Friday ordered the supervised release of a detained lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) who is seriously ill as a result of her 11-week hunger strike.

Leyla Guven, 55, launched a hunger strike on November 8 in protest at the prison conditions for Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan and her deteriorating health has sparked concerns and rallies to support her cause.

The MP will be monitored after she is freed, the court in Diyarbakir in the Kurdish majority southeast said, although few further details of the terms of her release are yet available.

Guven, whose party has said is suffering a “life-threatening” medical condition, did not attend the hearing, according to an AFP journalist in the court.

She was arrested in January 2018 for her criticism of Turkey’s military operation against a Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara considers an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The MP started the hunger strike in prison and her action was supported by more than 150 prisoners across Turkey in a show of solidarity.

Guven’s hunger strike was aimed at pressuring the government into allowing lawyers and family members to visit PKK leader Ocalan, who has been serving a life sentence on an island prison near Istanbul since his capture in 1999.

Ocalan met his brother Mehmet for the first time in more than two years on January 12. The details of that meeting were not yet made public.

In 2012, hundreds of Kurdish prisoners ended a 68-day hunger strike after Ocalan urged them to do so.

Guven’s HDP party remains under the scrutiny of Turkish authorities, which accuse it of links to the PKK. Several of its MPs are behind bars, including former party leader Selahattin Demirtas.

AFP

Brazilian Lawmaker Leaves Job, Country Over Death Threats

 Jean Wyllys, Rio de Janeiro federal deputy for the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), speaking during a rally of Brazilian leftist parties at Circo Voador in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AFP

 

Brazil’s only openly gay lawmaker announced Thursday he would not serve his third term and had fled the country because of mounting death threats since the election of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

“To preserve threatened life is also a strategy to fight for better days,” Jean Wyllys, 44, is a member of the left-wing Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), wrote on Twitter.

“We did a lot for the common good. And we will do a lot more when new times arrive,” added the deputy, a forceful representative of the LGBT community.

While the Chamber of Deputies’ press service said Wyllys had not formally resigned, his office told AFP he had decided to step down and would stay “out of the country” for a period of time — without saying where he had gone.

Wyllys told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that Bolsonaro’s October election in and of itself did not prompt his decision — but rather the “level of violence that increased after the election,” highlighting intensifying attacks on members of the LGBT community.

Bolsonaro, a former army general, enjoys strong support from ultra-conservative Christians.

In November, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) asked Brazil to take “necessary measures to protect the rights to life and personal integrity” of Wyllys and his family.

Wyllys and Bolsonaro have long clashed in Congress: during leftist former president Dilma Rousseff’s April 2016 impeachment hearings, Wyllys spat in Bolsonaro’s face after Bolsonaro dedicated his impeachment vote to a torturer from Brazil’s military dictatorship.

Wyllys is one of 10 elected PSOL deputies — and will be replaced by David Miranda, who is also gay.

Their party is that of slain Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco, a high-profile lawmaker and black rights activist who was critical of police violence.

Franco was shot dead last March along with her driver Anderson Gomes, in a case that has not yet been solved.

AFP

Lawmaker Shot Dead At Christmas Event In Philippines

The Philippines on the map

A Philippine congressman was gunned down at a Christmas celebration Saturday, police said, the latest violence in a country notorious for deadly political rivalries.

Rodel Batocabe had just finished handing out presents in the central town of Daraga when the lawmaker and his police bodyguard were shot dead by a gunman hiding in the crowd, regional police official Arnel Escobel told AFP.

The motive was not immediately clear, but authorities said they were looking into whether the killing could be politically motivated.

Batocabe had announced plans to run for mayor in Daraga in midterm elections due in May when the Philippines will choose local, regional and national representatives.

Philippine polls are frequently marred by violence as politicians resort to force and intimidation to win positions that will give them power and influence in a nation where nearly a quarter of the population lives on less than $2 a day.

Escobel said Batocabe, who was elected to the lower House of Representatives in 2010, had recently voiced concern that rivals in the mayoral race were using armed groups to influence the vote.

Over the years, several Philippine congress members have been attacked or murdered by suspected rivals.

The most recent case was legislator Wahab Akbar who was killed along with two aides when a bomb exploded outside the House of Representatives building in November 2007.

A year earlier, Congressman Luis Bersamin was shot dead outside a church in a Manila suburb.

Grace Poe, a member of the Senate, denounced the latest killing, saying: “This sorry history in our nation of political violence must stop.”

AFP

Lawmaker Fires Gunshot, Flees In CAR

CAR on the map

 

A lawmaker fired into the air in the Central African Republic’s parliament on Monday after an altercation with a colleague as MPs prepared to vote for a new speaker.

Alfred Yekatom, who represents the southern M’baiki district and is a former militia leader, drew his weapon during the dispute, then fired the gun as he ran away.

Yekatom’s motive for shooting the gun, which sent MPs rushing to the exit, was not clear.

The parliament session was suspended for an hour while security forces searched every MP.

The lawmakers went on to elect an MP from western Baboua, Laurent Ngon-Baba, a former minister, in a near-unanimous vote of 112 in favour, with four blank ballots.

The vote came three days after a censure motion removed Karim Meckassoua, who represents a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood in Bangui.

After years of confrontation between Muslim and Christian groups in the majority Christian country, Meckassoua’s election in 2016 was seen as a symbol of reconciliation.

On Sunday Meckassoua said he would challenge his sacking in the courts, calling for his ouster not to be turned into a sectarian debate — while noting that 38 of the 41 deputies who voted against him were Christian.

Speaking after the vote, Ngon-Baba said: “We can no longer afford to make mistakes. We will immediately take steps, especially concerning the management of financial resources.”

The suspected embezzlement was among the justifications advanced for Meckassoua’s ouster.

Observers have said that relations between President Faustin-Archange Touadera and Meckassoua have never been good.

Yekatom under UN sanctions 

Yekatom is a former soldier as well as the former head of a faction of the so-called anti-Balaka militia, which emerged in largely Christian communities in 2013 to fight a mainly Muslim rebel alliance, the Seleka, who overthrew longtime leader Francois Bozize.

Today his successor Touadera can claim to control only a fraction of the country despite the deployment of one of the UN’s most ambitious peacekeeping operations, MINUSCA.

The rest is in the sway of ex-rebels and vigilante militias.

Police arrested Yekatom while he was still in the parliament building.

Moments later, more gunfire broke out as a car rammed the police barrier outside parliament.

In 2015, a UN Security Council committee slapped a travel ban and assets freeze on Yekatom for “engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the CAR”.

Sporadic gunfire was heard late Friday in the PK5 district, Bangui’s economic hub and often the scene of violence. There was also shooting in rebel strongholds Bria and Bambari, but it was not clear whether it was linked to Meckassoua’s fate.

The country of 4.5 million, rich in diamonds and uranium, counts among the world’s poorest.

AFP

Kaduna Assembly Declares Ex-Deputy Speaker’s Seat Vacant

Kaduna Assembly Declares Ex-Deputy Speaker's Seat Vacant
(File) A front view of the Kaduna State House of Assembly complex.

 

The Kaduna State House of Assembly has declared the seat of the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr John Kwaturu, vacant.

The Speaker of the House, Aminu Shagala, who announced this during plenary on Wednesday, also declared the seat of the member representing Kudan Constituency, Mr Yakubu Junaidu, vacant.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Assembly Deputy Speaker, Another Member Defect From APC

Shagala said the seats of the two lawmakers were declared vacant, following their defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He explained that their defection contradicted section 109 subsection (1G) of the 1999 Constitution which gives the condition under which elected public officials can defect from one party to another.

The speaker argued that there was no crisis in All Progressives Congress (APC) that could have warranted the lawmakers’ defection to another party.

Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Aminu Shagala.

 

Mr Kwaturu and Mr Junaidu announced their defection from the ruling party to the opposition on Friday last week.

They explained that they took the decision as a result of alleged impunity, draconian leadership style and a lack of unity among members of the APC.

The lawmakers claimed that the party’s pattern of leadership at all levels would no longer serve the interest of the people who elected its members into various offices.

The former deputy speaker, who represented Kachia Constituency in the State Assembly, believes that his continuous stay in the APC would not be in the interest of his supporters and constituents.

He had tendered his letter of resignation as deputy speaker on Tuesday, saying he took the decision after consultation with his political associates and supporters.

South Korean Lawmaker Under Corruption Probe Commits Suicide

Journalists (bottom) gather as police inspectors stand next to a tent set up at the spot where Roh Hoe-chan, a three-term lawmaker of South Korea’s left-leaning Justice Party, was found dead near the gate of an apartment building in central Seoul on July 23, 2018. YONHAP / AFP

 

A prominent South Korean lawmaker who was being probed over a bribery scandal has committed suicide, police said Monday. 

Roh Hoe-chan, a three-term lawmaker of the left-leaning Justice Party had been under investigation for allegedly receiving 50 million won ($44,300) from a powerful political blogger linked to many top politicians.

The blogger, widely known by his online nickname “Druking”, is currently on trial for using illegal hacking programmes to sway public opinion on Naver, the South’s top online portal.

“Druking” is accused of artificially increasing the number of positive responses — the equivalent of Facebook’s “Like” function — to tens of thousands of online comments on Naver that attacked or supported politicians or political parties in a bid to win personal favours.

In a suicide note left in a Seoul apartment, Roh admitted he had received money from the blogger, but denied he had offered any favour in return, the Yonhap news agency said.

He had been expected to be summoned soon by prosecutors for questioning.

Police said Roh was found dead at the gate of the same apartment building and that it appeared he had jumped to his death.

Roh was a prominent labour rights activist before becoming a lawmaker in 2004. The South’s presidential Blue House offered condolences over the “heartbreaking event.”

“I express my deepest condolences over his death from the depths of my heart,” Huh Ik-bum, a senior prosecutor leading the probe over the scandal, told reporters.

“I personally admired him as a politician,” he said.

South Korea has one of the world’s highest suicide rates, and suicides of public figures — from politicians to businessmen — embroiled in humiliating scandals make frequent headlines.

Late former president Roh Moo-hyun, who served from 2003 to 2008, shocked the nation in 2009 when he jumped off a cliff while being investigated over a corruption scandal.

AFP

Ugandan MP Forced To Apologise For ‘Beat Your Wife’ Remark

 

A Ugandan lawmaker apologised Wednesday after encouraging men to beat their wives to “discipline” them, in comments that sparked an outcry in the east African nation.

The MP, Onesmus Twinamasiko, wrote in a letter to parliament that he actually “detests all form of violence against women”.

“Kindly accept my most sincere and unreserved apologies honourable members and the general public and more particularly the women.”

The apology comes after Twinamasiko gave an interview the day after women’s day, March 8, to local television station NTV and said: “as a man you need to discipline your wife, you need to touch her and tackle her and beat her somehow, to really streamline her”.

His remarks sparked anger from women.

However, his view is not uncommon in Uganda. A government report published in 2016 showed that one in five female Ugandans between the age of 14 and 49 had reported physical or sexual violence within a 12-month period.

Parliament speaker Rebecca Kadaga vowed to investigate Twinamasiko for encouraging violence against women and the women’s parliamentary association demanded that he withdraw the statement and apologise.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, the hashtag #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign trended in Uganda.

On women’s day, President Yoweri Museveni described men who batter their wives as “cowards”.

AFP

Kidnapped Taraba Lawmaker Found Dead

Late Hosea Ibi

 

Taraba State has been thrown into mourning following the death of a kidnapped lawmaker, Honourable Hosea Ibi.

Late Ibi, the member representing Takum II Constituency in the Taraba State House of Assembly, was found dead after he was abducted by gunmen in  December 2017.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr David Misal, confirmed to Channels Television on Monday in Jalingo, the state capital that the lawmaker’s corpse had been found.

Misal, who said the corpse was found in Takum Local Government Area of the state, noted that the lawmaker must have died about three days before his body was discovered.

The State Police Command had earlier confirmed Ibi’s abduction by unknown individuals on December 31, 2017, in Takum where he was to usher in the New Year.

While the police said they were making efforts to rescue the legislator, no demand for ransom was made from any quarter.