Police Rescue Two Female Kidnap Victims In Zamfara 

A file photo of a police officer wearing a beret displaying the crest of the Nigeria Police Force. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Police operatives in Zamfara State have rescued two kidnap victims after over one month in captivity. 

Their freedom followed a patrol by police operatives.

“On 20th August 2022, operatives of the Zamfara State Police Command while on confidence building patrol along Nya Mango in Bungudu LGA, acted on intelligence report that led to the unconditional rescue of two (2) female hostages namely: Ubaida Hassan, a 12 years old and Umaima Jamilu a 10 years old of Gidan Liman village in Kekun Waje district of Bungudu LGA,” the command’s spokesperson, SP Mohammed Shehu, said in a statement Sunday.

READ ALSOBandit Kingpin Bello Turji Has Embraced Peace In Zamfara – Deputy Governor

The police explained that the victims were rescued unhurt following their abduction on July 15th, 2022 during an attack on the community.

“Victims were medically checked at General Hospital Bungudu, thereafter, debriefed by the Police and handed over to their families,”  SP Mohammed added.

The Zamfara Command, he said, is, therefore, reassuring residents of the northwest state of its resolve to protect lives and properties while congratulating the victims for regaining freedom.

Sunday’s statement also called on “all and sundry to be security conscious and report suspicious characters to the police or any security agency for prompt action”.

Thousands Protest In Senegal Over Mohammed Cartoons

Men gesture and hold flags during a protest against French President at the Place de l'obelisque, in Dakar, on November 7, 2020. Seyllou / AFP
Men gesture and hold flags during a protest against French President at the Place de l’obelisque, in Dakar, on November 7, 2020. Seyllou / AFP

 

Thousands of people demonstrated on  Saturday in the  Senegalese capital Dakar against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and French President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of the right to satirise religion.

AFP reporters saw some demonstrators burn French flags and pictures of Macron as well as back the calls for a boycott of French products that have circulated in the Muslim world in recent weeks.

“Macron wounded the whole Muslim world. If the world is at peace it’s thanks to the Muslim religion. I myself hate Macron,” said demonstrator Youssoupha Sow.

Demonstrations erupted in a number of majority Muslim countries following Macron’s impassioned defence of freedom of expression last month, delivered at a memorial for a teacher who was beheaded by a suspected Islamist after showing Mohammed cartoons in a civics class.

The French leader’s words were taken by some as an attack on their faith, and he has since tried to calm the tensions by saying he understands Muslims’ reaction to the drawings.

With a population that is around 95 percent Muslim, Senegal has close ties with former colonial power France.

Four brotherhoods of the religion’s Sufi branch play a dominant role in the country’s public life, and it is famous for religious tolerance.

Saturday’s protest “isn’t to say that we’re against France or whoever else,” said marcher Awa Thiam.

Women hold their fist in the air during a protest against French President at the Place de l'obelisque, in Dakar, on November 7, 2020.
Women hold their fist in the air during a protest against French President at the Place de l’obelisque, in Dakar, on November 7, 2020. Seyllou / AFP

 

“We just want our fellow citizens, Muslims like us, to be able to practise their faith in peace.

“People shouldn’t make others afraid, make them believe that (Islam) is a religion of terror, of evil… actually you can’t get more peaceful than Islam.”

Another demonstrator, Kara Sow, said he and others were “really angry that people are saying bad things about the prophet Mohammed and drawing cartoons of him. We love the prophet more than our own parents.”

Strict interpretations of Islam forbid making any images of Mohammed.

 

AFP

COVID-19: I Wish El-Rufai, Makinde, Mohammed Speedy Recovery – Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has sent words of encouragement to his colleagues from Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Seyi Makinde of Oyo and Bala Mohammed of Bauchi respectively.

Sanwo-Olu in a tweet on Monday wished the three governors speedy recovery after being hit by the coronavirus.

According to him, the governors play a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19 in their respective states and the country.

“I wish H.E Gov @elrufai, H.E Gov Bala Mohammed and H.E Gov @seyiamakinde who tested positive for #COVID19, a speedy and safe recovery.

READ ALSO: Curbing Spread Of COVID-19 Is A Joint Effort, Says Osinbajo

“As leaders and co-visionaries in building Nigeria, they play critical roles and we hope to continue to benefit from their insight and leadership,” he said.

Governor Mohammed had on May 24 announced through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mukhtar Gidado, that he tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Gidado explained that the Bauchi governor was infected after having contact with the son of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, confirmed to have also been hit by the virus.

Four days after, Governor El-Rufai announced via his verified Twitter handle of testing positive for COVID-19.

“Earlier this week, I submitted a sample for the COVID-19 test. The result came in this evening, and I regret to say that it is positive,” the governor said.

Similarly, Governor Makinde announced on March 30 that he has tested positive for coronavirus and is in self-isolation.

“I just received my COVID-19 confirmation test result,” he tweeted. “It is POSITIVE. I am asymptomatic and will continue to self-isolate.”

Buhari’s Full Speech On The Suspension Of Onnoghen

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The President appointed Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed to serve as acting CJN.

According to the president, the development is based on the request of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, pending the completion of Onnoghen’s trial.

Justice Tanko Mohammed who hails from Bauchi State is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court.

Below is President Muhammadu Buhari’s full statement on the suspension of the embattled Chief Justice.

 

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, ON THE SUSPENSION OF HONOURABLE JUSTICE WALTER NKANU SAMUEL ONNOGHEN AS CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA AND SWEARING IN OF ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE, 25TH JANUARY 2019

Fellow Nigerians,

A short while ago, I was served with an Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal issued on Wednesday 23rd January 2019, directing the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen from office pending final determination of the cases against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and several other fora relating to his alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

2. The nation has been gripped by the tragic realities of no less a personality than the Chief Justice of Nigeria himself becoming the accused person in a corruption trial since details of the petition against him by a Civil Society Organization first became public about a fortnight ago.

3. Although the allegations in the petition are grievous enough in themselves, the security agencies have since then traced other suspicious transactions running into millions of dollars to the CJN’s personal accounts, all undeclared or improperly declared as required by law.

4. Perhaps more worrisome is the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s own written admission to the charges that he indeed failed to follow the spirit and letter of the law in declaring his assets, citing ’’mistake’’ and ’’forgetfulness’’ which are totally unknown to our laws as defences in the circumstances of his case.

5. One expected that with his moral authority so wounded, by these serious charges of corruption, more so by his own written admission, Mr. Justice Walter Onnoghen would have acted swiftly to spare our Judicial Arm further disrepute by removing himself from superintending over it while his trial lasted.

6. Unfortunately, he has not done so. Instead, the nation has been treated to the sordid spectacle of a judicial game of wits in which the Chief Justice of Nigeria and his legal team have made nonsense of the efforts of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to hear the allegation on merit and conclude the trial as quickly as possible considering the nature of the times in which we live.

7. Whether deliberately or inadvertently, we have all seen the full weight of the Chief Justice of Nigeria descend on the tender head of one of the organs of justice under his control. There is simply no way the officers of that court, from the Chairman to the bailiffs, can pretend to be unaffected by the influence of the leader of the Judiciary.

8. Not only the trial court, but others have been put on the spot. Practically every other day since his trial commenced, the nation has witnessed various courts granting orders and counter-orders in favour of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, all of them characterised by an unholy alacrity between the time of filing, hearing and delivery of judgment in same.

9. The real effect has been a stalling of the trial of Justice Onnoghen, helped along by lawyers who insist that these orders, whether right or wrong are technically valid, and must be obeyed till an appellate Court says otherwise. No doubt, that it is the proper interpretation, but is it the right disposition for our nation?

10. Nigeria is a constitutional democracy and no one must be or be seen to be, above the law. Unfortunately, the drama around the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria has challenged that pillar of justice in the perception of the ordinary man on the street. For it is certain that no ordinary Nigerian can get the swift and special treatment Justice Onnoghen has enjoyed from his subordinates and privies in our Judicature.

11. In the midst of all these distracting events, the essential question of whether the accused CJN actually has a case to answer has been lost in the squabble over the form and nature of his trial. This should not be so.

12. If Justice cannot be done and clearly seen to be done, society itself is at risk of the most unimaginable chaos. As a Government, we cannot stand by wailing and wringing our hands helplessly but give our full backing and support to those brave elements within the Judiciary who act forthrightly, irrespective of who is involved.

13. As you are all aware, the fight against corruption is one of the tripods of policies promised to Nigerians by this administration. Needless to say that it is an existential Policy which must be given adequate attention and commitment by all the three arms of government. The efforts of the Executive will amount to nothing without the cooperation of the Legislature and especially the Judiciary.

14. It is no secret that this government is dissatisfied with the alarming rate in which the Supreme Court of Nigeria under the oversight of Justice Walter Onnoghen has serially set free, persons accused of the most dire acts of corruption, often on mere technicalities, and after quite a number of them have been convicted by the trial and appellate courts.

15. Since there is nothing the Executive Arm can do after the apex court of the land has spoken on any matter, several of these individuals walk free among us today, enjoying what are clearly the proceeds of the corruption which for so long has defeated the efforts of this nation to develop and prosper.

16. It is against this background that I have received the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal directing me to suspend the Chief Justice pending final determination of the cases against him. It also explains why I am not only complying immediately but with some degree of relief for the battered sensibilities of ordinary Nigerians whose patience must have become severely over-taxed by these anomalies.

17. In line with this administration’s avowed respect for the Rule of Law, I have wholeheartedly obeyed the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal dated 23rd January 2019.

18. Accordingly, I hereby suspend the Honourable Mr Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen, GCON as the Chief Justice of Nigeria pending final determination of the case against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

19. In further compliance with the same Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, I hereby invite Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed JSC, being the next most Senior Justice in the Supreme Court, to come forward to take the Judicial Oath as Chief Justice of Nigeria in an Acting Capacity.

20. Fellow Nigerians, we can only stand a chance to win the fight against Corruption and position our dear nation for accelerated development when we stand together to contend against it.

Thank you and may God bless our country.”

Boko Haram Has No Religious Undertone – Army

Boko Haram Attacks Military Base, Kills Soldiers In Yobe
File Photo

The Nigeria Army Directorate of Islamic Affairs, Major General Mohammed Mohammed has said that terrorism carried out by Boko Haram members has no religious backing.

Mohammed stated this on Monday at One Division, Bukavu Barracks in Kano State during its yearly conference.

He said, “The program is in respect to national security and coming up with narratives now tell the public that the insinuation from the Boko Haram or other criminal elements that has religious undertones is not a representation of the religion to address such misinformation.

“The theme for this national week is promoting national security through constructive dialogue, religious leaders have a greater role in bringing stability in the country, so we hope and pray that God will help us for peaceful coexistence to come back to this country.”

Although the lecture was targeted towards religious tolerance and enhancing peaceful coexistence, the conference was to also address issues bordering on security.

The event brought together religious leaders from different faiths, top military officers, and soldiers, as well as traditional leaders.

On his part, a senior Islamic scholar, Mr Abubakar Abdullahi said promoting peace and a land where everybody is safe can only be through justice and appreciation of diversity.

“As far as Islam is concerned there is wisdom in of god in our diversity, the Quran has told us very clearly that Allah says all you mankind not only Moslems have been created man and woman nation and tribe to enhance one another not fight one another, our diversity should be a source of strength,” he said.

Nigerian Boy Speaks On Street Gangs Attack In Tripoli

nigerian boyA Nigerian, Augustine Okukpon, says he was attacked in Tripoli by members of different street gangs on of which is known as Asma Boys.

Augustine, 17, said he was attacked by the gang with shards of broken glass, slicing his leg and his face while at a shelter in Sicily.

 

Okukpon is just one of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have flooded into Italy, many with horror stories about their time in Libya, where people smugglers, militias and Islamic State militants operate with impunity in the chaos of civil war.

He says that his five months stranded there was a nightmare. He was repeatedly attacked and chased by different street gangs and was relieved to climb onto a rubber boat and set off for Europe even if it meant risking his life at sea.

“In Libya there are all those Asma Boys, street boys. They said they don’t need any blacks in Libya,” he told Reuters at an old villa turned into a shelter for migrant boys in the medieval hilltop town of Caltagirone.

As of May 29, more than 6,000 unaccompanied minors have reached Italy’s shores, about three times more than in the same period last year, according to Save the Children.

“People who get on the boats are fleeing an out-of-control situation in Libya that has just been getting worse and worse over the past two years,” said Save the Children spokeswoman, Giovanna Di Benedetto, who documents their stories in Sicily.

“Some of them call it hell, and they say they have seen their loved ones exposed to all kinds of violence and even murder,” she said.

The United Nations says migrants passing through Libya are often subjected to exploitation and physical abuse, including being held in appalling conditions in detention centers.

Gambian teenager Ebrima Sanneh said the Asma Boys were responsible for shooting dead his Senegalese uncle, who was in his 20s, and wounding his Libyan employer, Mohammed, in the arm.

Sanneh, like Okukpon, arrived in Italy this year by boat from Libya.

“They rob you and take your money, or if they see you have no money on you, they kill you,” he said.

Sanneh’s employer survived but his arm was amputated. As the man recovered in the hospital, he arranged for Sanneh to take a boat to Italy.

He tried to give Sanneh the 2,500 Libyan dinar ($1,800) he had earned with his uncle in construction work, but Sanneh said he refused.

“He was ready to give me the money. I told him no because he was badly hurt. I told him I’m taking a risk. Maybe if I die at sea, the money sinks.”

Ghost Towns Haunt South Africa’s Strike-Hit Platinum Belt

Shad Mohammed’s electronics and household store in South Africa’s platinum belt has survived a series of mining strikes over the 14 years it has been serving customers in the dusty town of Marikana.Children play on second-hand tyres outside Lonmin Mine at Marikana's Ikaneng township in Rustenburg 

Yet with the latest stoppage now in its 10th week, he has sold just 10 phones instead of well over 100, and has had to branch out into deliveries to avoid giving up and going home to Pakistan, another statistic in a devastating industrial dispute.

“Our business is totally dependent on the mine workers,” Mohammed, 38, said among shelves filled with cell phones, laptops and large pots. “If they don’t work we really suffer.”

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) have downed tools at Lonmin, the main employer in the tough town of Marikana, and rivals Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum in a strike over wages, hitting 40 percent of global production.

The stoppage shows no sides of ending with the two sides still poles apart. AMCU wants a basic-entry level wage in three years of 12,500 rand ($1,200) a month, or annual hikes of around 30 percent, while the companies have offered increases of up to 9 percent and say they can afford no more.

The strike, the biggest in South Africa’s mines in living memory, has so far cost companies and workers a collective 17 billion rand ($1.60 billion) in revenue and wages, according to a tally updated constantly on an industry website. here

The central bank said last week the continuing stoppage was a key threat to economic growth, now forecast at 2.6 percent in 2014 instead of 2.8 percent. Exports from Africa’s largest economy and its rand currency are also vulnerable.

Lonmin chief executive Ben Magara said on Thursday that collectively the industry was spending 67 million rand a day less than usual on goods and services, mostly in the local economies on the platinum belt northwest of Johannesburg.

All three companies have said they have declared force majeure with some of their suppliers and contractors, a legal term which allows companies to suspend payments and deliveries because of circumstances beyond their control.

El-Badry Quits Al-Ahly,Tagged ‘Irresponsible’ By Club

Hossam El-Badly has quit as coach of CAF Champions league title holders Al-Ahly of Egypt after they qualified for the group phase.

El-Badry, who guided the Cairo Red Devils to a 3-2 aggregate victory over Esperance of Tunisia in the 2012 final, revealed he had signed a one-year contract with Libyan club Al-Ahly Tripoli.

Lack of funds to strengthen the Egyptian giants appears to be behind the surprise move with a security-related ban on spectators in Egypt cutting off precious gate revenue.

The cash-strapped club sold Ahmed Fathy and Mohammed Geddo to English club Hull City and talismanic midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika to a club in the United Arab Emirates.

It has left the Devils short of experience with defender Wael Gomaa, midfilder Mohamed Barakat and striker Emad Moteab the only links with the all-conquering squad of the past decade.

A draw to split the eight survivors into two groups will be made on May 14 in Cairo and Ahly and Esperance are the teams to beat in the chase for a $1.5 million (1.1 million euros) first prize and a FIFA Club World Cup place.

Meanwhile, Ahly have named Mohamed Youssef as first team coach until the end of the season following the departure of Hossam El-Badry on Sunday.

The club have criticised El-Badry for his sudden exit in the middle of the season. He had led the Reds to the group stage of the CAF Champions League and to the top of Group A in the Egyptian Premier League.

“Ahly football committee deeply regrets the irresponsible behaviour of Hossam El-Badry. It is inappropriate for him to quit before the end of the season,” read a statement published on the club’s official website on Tuesday.

The statement was issued on Tuesday after a meeting of the football committee with chairman Hassan Hamdy, his deputy Mahmoud El-Khatib, football sector manager Hadi Khashaba and football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz,” as stated on the club’s official website.

After the Cairo giants ended the round of 16 in the African Champions League by beating Bizertin of Tunisia, El-Badry announced he would take charge of Ahly Tripoli in Libya staring in June.

“There are several reasons for that, personal ones. There are some family problems which are making it difficult for me to stay,” an emotional El-Badry said during the post-match press conference.

El-Badry, 53, first took charge of Ahly in 2009 following the departure of highly-successful manager Manuel Jose, whom he worked with as an assistant for several years before being dismissed in November 2010 after Ahly were knocked out of the African Champions League semi-final by Tunisia’s Esperance.

In the summer of 2012, after a successful season with Sudanese side Al-Merreikh, he replaced Jose at Ahly after the Portuguese manager departed following the Port Said disaster that forced a lengthy suspension of domestic football.

“It’s not about the money, I swear, I’m here to win trophies, and if I can’t guarantee that, it will be difficult to stay,” El-Badry insisted at the time.

3 Journalists Arrested For Inciting Killers Of Vaccinators

Three Nigerian journalists have been arrested for allegedly inciting the killing of the 9 health workers in Kano state, northeast Nigeria, on Friday.

Confirming the arrest, the state police commissioner, Ibrahim Idris, said the three journalists were detained for saying on a radio show that polio immunisations were an anti-Islam western conspiracy to cause infertility in women.

Mohammed Gama, Yakubu Fagge and an intern, attached to Wazobia FM in the city, allegedly made the statement two days before the 9 workers administering the vaccines were killed.

The gunmen on motorbikes shot dead the vaccinators in two separate attacks. Although no one claimed responsibility, Islamist militant group Boko Haram, is known to have has condemned the use of western education.

It is feared that the killings could hamper efforts by international health organisations to rid the north of the polio virus.