Boko Haram Releases Pastor, Schoolgirl Abducted In Borno

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

A 58-year-old man, Moses Oyeleke, and a schoolgirl, Ndagiliya Ibrahim Umar, have been released from Boko Haram captivity and reunited with their families.

The release was facilitated by two local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Kalthum Foundation For Peace and Initiative for Peace Building Movement, after weeks of negotiation and dialogue with the duo’s abductors.

While Oyeleke has been in captivity for seven months, Ndagiliya said she was held for nine months.

Oyeleke, a pastor with the Living Faith Church, Maiduguri was kidnapped alongside a corps member Abraham Amuta in April 2019, on their way to Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State with charity materials donated by the church.

The corps member, however, is yet to be released.

Narrating his ordeal, the clergyman said, “We were on our way to Chibok when they caught us and took us to Yale; from there, they took a detour and finally took us to Sambisa because Yale is also their town.

“It was the two of us, myself and my brother, who is still there with them and was not released and they promised us that when they finish discussions, they’ll release them in December; himself and the elder sister of this girl I was released with”

On the other hand, Ndagiliya was abducted in a school in Askira Uba Local Government Area along with her sister and a few others still in captivity.

“Life in the bush, they marry off little girls; women do not talk to men, and movement is restricted,” Ndagiliya recounted her experience.

 

From Darkness To Light

Not much is known about the girl’s abduction, but the kidnappers had contacted the family of Pastor Oyeleke, as well as his resident pastor, Victor Samaila, a month after the incident demanding an undisclosed amount for ransom.

One of the negotiators, however, explained that the release was a result of negotiations and not a dime was paid to the abductors.

“I am very happy today that we have been rescued because where we are coming from, we have come from a place of darkness to light; that is why my heart is filled with joy because I have seen my family, friends, and associates,” Oyeleke told reporters at the office of the deputy governor of Borno State.

He added, “I stayed peacefully with them for up to seven months. Many times they have requested me to convert to Islam, their preachers had preached to me a lot of times but you know when you have wisdom, you relate with people in a way that would not lead to quarrels.

“When they come to preach, I pay attention to everything they have to say and when they ask me questions about things that I know will cause problems if I respond, I always tell them I don’t know so that I don’t say things that would offend them.”

The deputy governor, Usman Kadafur, received the freed abductees and handed them over to their families at the Government House.

He noted that the duo would be made to undergo medical examinations and all necessary procedures.

Kadafur thanked the local negotiators and all the security operatives that took part in the successful proceedings and assured them that the state government would continue to explore the path of dialogue with the insurgents.

Court Remands Pastor In Prison For Indecent Assault

Alleged $3.5m Fraud: Nine Nigerians Arrested In U.S.
File photo

 

 

A court in Lagos State has remanded on David Daniel in Kirikiri Prison for indecent assault.

The State Police Command confirmed this in a statement on Sunday by its spokesman, Mr Bala Elkana.

Daniel, 41, was arrested following a report by his victim, Joy Muriyaro, on Tuesday last week at the Police Station in the Ejigbo area of the state.

Muriyaro said Daniel came to her shop at Ailegun along Road Ejigbo under the guise of being a prophet sent to her by God.

According to her, the said prophet claimed that he saw in a vision that she is having spiritual problems and has foreseen her having fibroid growth in her womb in the future.

The suspect was said to have collected N3,050 from his victim and a bottle of perfume worth N1000 for spiritual cleansing.

Muriyaro narrated that the suspect followed her to her house and ordered her to remove her clothes for him to rob anointing oil on her buttocks.

She, however, became apprehensive when she noticed that the suspect was masturbating while robbing the anointing oil.

Following his arrest, Daniel was charged to court and remanded in prison.

Pastor, Four Others Killed In Burkina Faso Church Attack

Burkina Faso on the map.

 

Five people including a pastor died in an attack on a church in Burkina Faso, security and local sources said Monday in a country which has seen a surge in killings blamed on jihadists.

Sunday’s assault in the small northern town of Silgadji was the first on a church in the impoverished west African nation.

READ ALSO: Four Dead In Suspected Boko Haram Attack In Cameroon

“Unidentified armed individuals have attacked the Protestant church in Silgadji killing four members of the congregation and the pastor. At least two other people are missing,” a security source told AFP.

AFP

US Rejects Turkey’s Offer To Release Pastor – Report

Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (R), escorted by Turkish plain clothes police officers as he arrives at his house on July 25, 2018 in Izmir. STRINGER / AFP

 

President Donald Trump’s administration has rejected Turkey’s offer to condition the release of an American pastor on clearing a top Turkish bank of billions of dollars in US fines, media reported Monday.

Washington and Ankara are locked in a bitter feud over the nearly two-year jailing of Andrew Brunson over disputed terror charges, which has triggered a trade row and sent the lira into a tailspin.

In exchange for Brunson’s release, and that of other US citizens as well as three Turkish nationals working for the US government, Turkey asked Washington to drop a probe into Halkbank, which is facing possible fines for helping Iran evade US sanctions.

But the US said that discussions regarding the fines and other areas of dispute between the two countries were off the table until Brunson was released, a White House official told the Wall Street Journal.

“A real NATO ally wouldn’t have arrested Brunson in the first place,” the unnamed official said.

Trump has said he had doubled the tariffs on aluminum and steel tariffs from Turkey, prompting Ankara to sharply hike tariffs on several US products.

A court has rejected another appeal to free Brunson and Turkey has threatened to respond in kind if Washington imposed further sanctions.

AFP

South African Pastor Sentenced Over Gay Slurs

South African Pastor Sentenced Over Gay Slurs
File Photo

 

A South African Pentecostal pastor was handed a 30-day suspended jail term on Friday for repeatedly making homophobic comments, including a suggestion that gays be locked in cages like animals.

Oscar Bougardt was found guilty by a Cape Town court of making statements that discriminate and incite hatred against homosexuals.

He was also ruled in breach of an earlier court order that barred him in 2014 from verbally attacking homosexuals.

Judge Lee Bozalek sentenced Bougardt to a 30-day jail term, suspended for five years provided he makes no further anti-gay comments.

Bougardt is a pastor at Calvary H.O.P.E Ministries in Cape Town.

In 2016 he described homosexuals as “criminal” and said, “99 percent of paedophiles have (a) homosexual background”.

In 2015, he said, “To hell with homosexuals, …their lifestyle is an abomination to God, but Christians in South Africa are too scared to speak out against (it)”.

“If I was the president of my country I would lock them in cages where they belong. They don’t even deserve a prison cell,” according to a transcript of his remarks, read out in court.

The judge said the pastor’s statement “advocates the criminalisation of gay sex, including by implication punishment by death through stoning”.

“Not only do such statements dehumanise gays and lesbian people, they advocate hatred towards them,” Bozalek said.

South Africa is one of the few countries in Africa that recognises gay rights and the only one that allows same-sex marriages.

In September 2016, South Africa banned an anti-gay American pastor Steven Anderson from entering the country, after an outcry from rights groups over his characterisation of gays as “sodomites” and “paedophiles”.

AFP

Controversy Trails Trump’s Invitee Pastor At US Embassy Opening

US President Donald Trump                                                                                        Nicholas Kamm / AFP

 

A Christian minister who has disparaged Jews, Muslims and gays faced criticism as US President Donald Trump’s administration invited him to lead a prayer Monday at the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist preacher in Dallas, Texas, has been a staunch Trump supporter since the billionaire businessman’s 2016 campaign.

But his past comments, in which he has said Jews will suffer for eternity in hell, were being seen as a rather extraordinary position for someone offering such a public prayer in the Jewish state.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is Mormon, expressed his opposition to Jeffress addressing the embassy ceremony.

“Robert Jeffress says ‘you can’t be saved by being a Jew,’ and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.’ He’s said the same about Islam,” Romney, who is currently a candidate for US Senate, said late Sunday on Twitter.

“Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.”

Jeffress responded with a tweet of his own, saying “historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith in Christ alone,” and that such a position, embraced by millions of evangelical Christians, “is neither bigoted nor newsworthy.”

The White House on Monday sought to distance itself from the pastor, with spokesman Raj Shah saying he did not know who invited Jeffress to give an embassy blessing.

Asked directly about Jeffress’s past statements, Shah said “I haven’t seen those remarks, but obviously those aren’t remarks that the president agrees with.”

Jeffress campaigned with Trump in 2016 and his influence was key to Trump winning an overwhelming majority of the evangelical vote. Last October the president called Jeffress a “wonderful man.”

Several offending Jeffress comments — including his declaration that homosexuality is a “perversion” — come from a 2010 interview to a religious broadcaster.

On Monday Jeffress steered clear of such language, but he offered full-throated praise of Trump.

“We thank you every day that you have given us a president who boldly stands on the right side of history, but more importantly stands on the right side of you, O God, when it comes to Israel.”

Jeffress was not the only controversial figure to address the embassy event.

Another pastor who offered prayers was John Hagee, a mega-church leader who once said Adolf Hitler was sent by God to hasten the desire of Jews to return to Israel.

AFP

Zimbabwean Pastor Arrested During Church Service

Rivers Police Arrests Second Suspect Linked To Eight-Year-Old Murder
File Photo

Zimbabwean activist pastor Evan Mawarire was on Sunday arrested during a church service after he posted a video bemoaning the country’s worsening economic troubles, his lawyer said.

The charismatic pastor who has been arrested several times for his dissenting views informed the congregation about his imminent arrest in a video streamed live on Facebook.

The video showed him being led away to an unmarked car.

His lawyer, Harrison Nkomo confirmed the arrest, saying “he has been charged with subverting a constitutional government”.

“He is detained at Harare central police station and we are preparing for his appearance in court,” said Nkomo.

In the video, Mawarire interrupted the service to tell the church about the presence of the police.

“I am told that the police are outside waiting for me,” he said.

On Saturday, Mawarire posted a video on social media showing long queues at fuel stations with petrol and diesel supplies scarce across Zimbabwe as the economy buckles under a foreign currency shortage.

Zimbabwe adopted the US dollar and other foreign currencies to stem galloping inflation which peaked at 231 million percent officially, and resorted to introducing bond notes a surrogate currency last year as banks ran short of foreign currency but the bond notes have not eased the country’s currency woes.

Mawarire is currently facing charges of misconduct and inciting violence after he addressed university students striking over fee hikes in February.

He is also due in court on Monday for a separate charge of trying to remove the government.

The charges stem from his involvement in organising a crippling strike in July last year that shut down major cities and paralysed public transport, prompting the government to ban public protests.

After his release he fled to South Africa and then to the United States.

Upon his return on February 1, police arrested him at the airport in Harare and charged him with attempting to sabotage the government.

AFP

Police Arrest Suspects Involved In Car Theft

Police, Nyesom Wike, RiversThe New Commissioner of Police in Abia State, Leye Oyebade, on Wednesday said that the command would maintain zero tolerance to all forms of criminality as it is ready to flush out hoodlums and those involved in hideous crime.

He made this known at a media briefing in Umuahia where he also paraded two suspects involved in car theft.

According to the Police Commissioner, ignorance to a crime is not an excuse, as he reminded the public that those involved in selling and buying of stolen goods would also be prosecuted.

He urged all citizens to verify the authenticity of goods before purchase.

Mr Leye hinted that any officer involved in any culpable act would face the music, as he would only condole professionalism. He also urged them to shun corruption.

The suspects, Prince Will Ezekiel, 40 and Chibunna Onyenwaku, 33, a pastor presently with Redeemed Assembly at Elu Ohafia from Mbaise in Imo State specialised in stealing Toyota vehicles using a molded key.  The duo, however, regretted committing the crime.

Pastor Folorunsho Commends Edo Governor For Assisting IDPs

IDPsThe Pastor of International Christian Centre, Benin-City, Solomon Folorunsho, has commended the Edo State Governor for coming to the aid of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state with with food items.

Pastor Folorunsho said Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s visit to the camp on Tuesday cleared the speculations that there was a mandate issued, asking the IDP’s to leave the camp.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Pastor Folorunsho explained that after the visit of some politicians they were given an instruction that the IDPs should leave the camp, an order he said was “from above”.

“On the faithful morning the children woke up to cook their favourite traditional food when about 75 armed security personnel said that an instruction was given as an order from above to evacuate the camp, which brought lots of sadness to the children causing about 12 children to fight.”

Pastor Folorunsho said that the order was not given by the governor of the state, but stressed that he was yet to know where the order was from.

He explained that the camp had been in existence since 1992 but started helping people from the Northeast in 2013.

According to him, the camp had trained graduates and workers and called on Nigerians to come to the help of the IDPs and also appealed to those behind the mandate for the IDPs to evacuate the camp to allow them enjoy the refugee they have found.

 

Okotie Urges Nigerians To Love Beyond Ethnic Sentiment

okotieA senior pastor of the Household of God Church and a former presidential candidate of FRESH political party, Rev. Chris Okotie, has urged Nigerians to show love beyond ethnic sentiment.

Rev. Okotie made the statement in an Easter message on Sunday.

He urged Christians and Nigerians of other faith to emulate Jesus Christ, whom he said showed his love for mankind when he died and resurrected for all to be saved.

Christians all over the world celebrate Easter to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Chris from the dead and the redemption of mankind, as taught by the faith.

Easter is a day observed on the first Sunday after the “Pascal full moon” or the first full moon of spring following the spring equinox, which constantly falls on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25, according to the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582.

Imo Police Nabs 28 Year Old Pastor For Defiling A 17 Year Old Boy

The Imo State police command has nabbed a 28 year old Pastor of Jesus Army salvation ministries; Mr Chinonso Obiaku in Amalim Ngugo Ikeduru local government area of Imo State who was alleged to have been engaged in defiling and sexually harassing young boys against their wish.

While parading the suspect at the command headquarters in Owerri the Imo State capital, the Police Public Relations Officer Imo State; Joy Elemoko said the pastor who has also been identified as a quack patent medicine dealer was arrested when the command ambush squad got wind of the information that the suspect lured his victim a 17 year old boy to his shop where he indecently and sexually assaulted him.

However, preliminary investigations disclosed that the suspect Mr Chinonso Obiaku is a secondary school dropout and has no record of religious training to qualify him as a pastor.

During interrogation by journalists, the suspect denied all the allegations levelled against him.

In the same vein, the State Police Public Relations Officer also disclosed that the police command recovered a truck with registration number XQ 305 JJJ and weapons from some armed hoodlums who attacked a warehouse in Oguta Local government area of the state where they carted away 228 cartoons of assorted alcoholic drinks amidst intensive sporadic gun fire. However during the gun battle, the armed robbers were subdued and some of the escaped with bullet wounds.