Wednesday 30 January 2013

South Korea launches first civilian rocket amid tensions with North

South Korea launched its first space rocket carrying a science satellite on Wednesday amid heightened regional tensions, caused in part, by North Korea’s successful launch of its own rocket last month.
It was South Korea’s third attempt to launch a civilian rocket to send a satellite into orbit in the past four years and came after two previous launches were aborted at the eleventh hour last year due to technical hitches.
The launch vehicle named Naro, lifted off from South Korea’s space centre on the south coast and successfully went through stage separation before entering orbit, officials at the mission control said.
Previous launches failed within minutes.
South Korea’s rocket programme has angered neighbour North Korea, which says it is unjust for it to be singled out for UN sanctions for launching long-range rockets as part of its space programme to put a satellite into orbit.
North Korea’s test in December showed it had the capacity to deliver a rocket that could travel 10,000 km, potentially putting San Francisco in range, according to an intelligence assessment by South Korea.
However, it is not believed to have the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental U.S.
The test in December was considered a success, at least partially, by demonstrating an ability to put an object in space. But the satellite, as claimed by the North, is not believed to be functioning.
South Korea is already far behind regional rivals China and Japan in the effort to build space rockets to put satellites into orbit and has relied on other countries, including Russia, to launch them.
Launch attempts in 2009 and 2010 ended in failure. The first stage booster of the South Korean rocket was built by Russia.
South Korea has produced several satellites and has relied on other countries to put them into orbit.
South Korea wants to build a rocket on its own by 2018 and eventually send a probe to the moon. (Reuters/NAN)

Varsity worker to die by hanging for killing admission seeker

A 27-year-old clerical officer of the Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, one David Wonder  Erhirhie has been sentenced to death by an Orerokpe high court in the State, having found him guilty of killing a female student, Princess Chinoso Ijezie  who was seeking for admission at the University sometime in 2009.

Prosecution led by Mr. Theophilous Omenuwoma had told the court that “David Wonder, until the ugly incident was a junior staff with DELSU was an admission racketeer who collected the sum of N155,000 from the deceased to assist her to secure admission into the University.

“He however could not secure the admission for the deceased but in a bid to cover up the fraud he lured the late Princes Chinoso Ijezie to his house under the pretence that he wanted to refund the said amount but instead, he murdered and secretly buried her in a shallow grave close to his house before nemesis caught up with him”, prosecution added.
Prosecution called six witnesses to prove its case while the accused testified by himself and called no witness.
The court in convicting him stated that  “the punishment for a crime of this magnitude  is death penalty. This accused does not deserve less.
He is therefore sentenced to death by the neck until he is dead”.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Mother Keeps Daughter In Asylum For Attending ‘Strange’ Church

An elderly woman, Mrs. Florence Omotehinwa, has been accused of bundling her 40-year-old daughter, Mrs. Toyin Ndiomu, in a psychiatric hospital for attending “an unconventional” church.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim, who attends Jordan Ministries, Opebi, Lagos, was abducted on January 12, 2013, at 25 Joel Ogunnaike Street, while she was celebrating her 40th birthday.

A legal consultant with Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Mr. Benjamin Odeh, told our correspondent that the victim was a mother of two and had been separated from her husband because of domestic violence.

Odeh said on the day the victim was abducted, her mother stormed her party with naval operatives and policemen.

He said, “On that day, Mrs. Omotehinwa and Ndiomu’s estranged husband came with two women, naval personnel and two armed policemen. They seized the victim, pushed her into a vehicle and sped off.”

He said the victim was taken to Farri Psychiatric Hospital, where she was being kept incommunicado.

When PUNCH Metro visited the hospital located on Gbaja Street, Surulere, the matron denied our correspondent access to Ndiomu, saying that she had been given strict orders by her mother not to allow visitors to have access to her.

The matron, who did not identify herself, said, “This is not a conventional hospital, it is a hospital for patients with mental illnesses and as such we cannot allow just anybody to see her.

“Her mother said no one should be allowed to see her and we are standing by that instruction. We don’t know anything about abduction; our own responsibility is to treat patients.”

After waiting for hour, Omotehinwa, showed up at the hospital. She told our correspondent that she brought her daughter to the hospital because she had been brainwashed by the church she was attending.

Omotehinwa described the church as occult, adding that it was the pastor of the church, Chigbo Ndukwe, that made her daughter to leave her husband, saying that the separation was not because of domestic violence.

She said, “Since my daughter started attending that church, her life has not been the same. She is now distant from the entire family to the extent that she now addresses me as Mrs. Omotehinwa, not mummy.

“That church is a cult, they hold their services at 6am on Saturday and they kiss their pastor on his hands and feet to greet him. Almost all the women there are divorced. They even changed my daughter’s name to Ifeanyichukwu Ndwukwe

“As her mother, I have done nothing wrong by bringing her to this hospital because I have her best interest at heart. She is the second of my four children and I raised all of them singlehanded after their father, a Rear Admiral, was killed 17 years ago.”

Omotehinwa however said her daughter had no history of mental illness.

Dr.LA Farri, who owns the hospital, confirmed to our correspondent on the telephone that the victim was indeed mentally unstable.

Farri said he was empowered by law to hold a mentally unstable person against his or her will.

He said, “I am an expert and a London-trained neuropsychiatric and I have been practising for over 25 years. I was Chief consultant neuropsychiatric at the General Hospital, so I know my onions.

“The victim was treated a few years ago at Yaba Psychiatric Hospital after showing signs of mental illness.

“Section 10 of the Nigerian constitution empowers me to hold anyone that seems unfit mentally. The police have already sent me a letter on the matter and I will respond.”

A copy of the victim’s case file reads in part that she suffers from “Delusional thinking, schizophrenia and she exhibits paranoia towards members of her kith and kin.”

When our correspondent visited Jordan Ministries located on 5 Agbaoku Street, Opebi, the pastor denied the allegations.

Pastor Ndukwe said those involved in brainstorming were Ndiomu family and that was why they locked her up in an asylum even though nothing was wrong with her.

Ndukwe said Ndiomu was a victim of domestic violence, adding that her husband and the family took the step because he (Ndukwe) did not encourage her to go and reconcile with her husband.

He said, “A 40-years-old woman should be able to choose where she wants to worship? The main issue is that Ndiomu’s mother wants her to remain with her husband because this is Toyin’s second marriage. They wanted me to encourage her to go back to her husband but I did not because God did not instruct me to do that.

“The family claims she is brainwashed and yet she runs a successful business. The mother has deliberately prevented anyone from seeing her because she knows there is nothing wrong with her.”

Ndukwe said the allegation that his church was occult was an attempt to tarnish his image.

He said, “I hold services on Saturday so that members can go to their respective churches on Sunday. My sermons are on CD free of charge and anyone is free to come and attend any of our services if they have doubts.”

PUNCH Metro learnt that the police at the Zone 2 Command had begun investigation into the matter after a petition by her lawyer.

The source said, “The police have written the doctor but we are not yet satisfied with the case because the doctor has not disclosed all the facts due to patient-doctor confidentiality”, she said.

When contacted on telephone, the spokesperson for the command, Femi Balogun, said he could not immediately confirm because he had not been briefed on the matter.

Monday 28 January 2013

Barbaric: North Korean Man Executed After Eating His Children To Survive

A starving man in North Korea has been executed after murdering his two children for food, reports from inside the secretive state claim.

A ‘hidden famine’ in the farming provinces of North and South Hwanghae is believed to have killed up to 10,000 people and there are fears that incidents of cannibalism have risen.

The grim story is just one to emerge as residents battle starvation after a drought hit farms and shortages were compounded by party officials confiscating food. Undercover reporters from Asia Press told the Sunday Times that one man dug up his grandchild’s corpse and ate it. Another, boiled his own child for food.

Despite reports of the widespread famine, Kim Jong Un, 30, has spent vast sums of  by CouponDropDown" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; color: #444444; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">money on two rocket launches in recent months.

There are fears he is planning a nuclear test in protest at a UN Security Council punishment for the recent rocket launches and to counter what it sees as US hostility.One informant was quoted as saying: ‘In my village in May a man who killed his own two children and tried to eat them was executed by a firing squad.’

The informant said the father killed his eldest daughter while his wife was away on business and then killed his son because he had witnessed the murder.When his wife returned the man told her they had ‘meat’ but she became suspicious and contacted officials who discovered part of the children’s bodies.

Jiro Ishimaru, from Asia Press, which compiled a 12 page report, said: ‘Particularly shocking were the numerous testimonies that hit us about cannibalism.’
Undercover reporters said food was confiscated from the two provinces and given to the residents of the capital Pyongyang.

A drought then left food supplies desperately short.

The Sunday Times also quoted an official of the ruling Korean Worker’s party as saying: ‘In a village in Chongdan county, a man who went mad with hunger boiled his own child, ate his flesh and was arrested.
United Nations officials visited the area during a state-sponsored trip but local reporters said it is unlikely they were shown the famine-hit areas.
It has not the first time that reports of cannibalism have come out of the country.
In May last year, the South Korean state-run Korean Institute for National Unification said that one man was executed after eating part of a colleague and then trying to sell the remains as mutton.One man killed and ate a girl and a third report of cannibalism was recorded from 2011.

Another man was executed in May after murdering 11 people and selling the bodies as pork.

There were also reports of cannibalism in the country’s network of prison camps.
North Korea was hit by a terrible famine in the 1990s – known as the Arduous March – which killed between 240,000 and 3.5million people.

Merger: Aggrieved PDP members set to join Mega Party

ABUJA—AGGRIEVED members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are reportedly making frantic efforts to join the mega party that will be the offshoot of the merger arrangement between the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, so as to wrestle power from the PDP.
Secretary of the merger committee for the CPC, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla who disclosed this to Vanguard, yesterday, said the essence of the merger plan was to recue the country from the pit of the ruling PDP.
Obono-Obla also allayed fears of those who had the belief that the merger arrangement was centered on the former CPC presidential candidate, General Mohammadu Buhari and the ACN leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinunbu, saying that with the new development, Buhari and Tinunbu will make sacrifices for the interest of the country.
He said that from the stories in the media, the PDP had been jittery and planting stories in some national newspapers since the merger talk started with a lot of propaganda that the merger would not work out, adding that the two political parties and some other opposition parties had agreed in principle that merger was the only way to give the PDP a run for its money.
He said, “what CPC and ACN were trying to do in 2011 which did not materialize was an alliance. Merger is a new concept in Nigeria political history. It has never taken place before. The parties are collapsing their structures into one party.
“So all these people who are cynical about the merger arrangement do not know what they are talking about. I am very optimistic because we agree in principle that it is the only way to give the PDP a run for its money, enthrone democracy, eliminate corruption, restructure the country and rescue Nigerians from the pit,” he said.
Obono-Obla who is also the CPC Assistant National Secretary said another area the mega party will look into if given the mandate was the 36 states structure to ensure that the states will not be hanging in Abuja every months for allocation before projects could be done.
“The 36 states structure has not brought development to the country. Maybe, we may resort to regionalism or to six geo-political zones to provide true federalism to the country.”
On the fear that Buhari and Tinunbu would try to dominate and determine who gets what in the planed merger, he said, “I don’t think that Buhari factor will cause any obstacle. Buhari and Tinunbu will make sacrifice, all of us will make sacrifice, all the structures of the two political parties will go. We are going to make sacrifices because Nigeria is in trouble. For now we are not talking about candidates, we have the committee that will decide and General Buhari had said that he will abide by the committee recommendation.
“The whole essence of the merger is to reorganize the country and win political power. CPC is the biggest party in the North. We got 14 million votes in the last presidential election. We are merging with the ACN that has South West and Edo state and also Anambra and some parts of Benue states. PDP disenchanted members are interested and want to come on board, it is a movement of the progressives that want to proffer solutions to the multi ferrous problems confronting the country that is why we are talking about a broad based political party.
“We will be having two ideological based political parties, the rightist and the leftist.The merger will provide alternative to the chaos we are having. We will reorganize the country for proper federalism so that every body will control resources.
“If you want good governance and a party that is not corrupt, then you will vote for the party that will emerge. Our manifesto has these features, good governance, true federalism and so on. No Jupiter can thwart this effort; we have gone beyond somebody trying to thwart this effort.
“Everybody is serious with the merger talk, the international community and Nigerians are serious encouraging us,” he said.

Pandemonium in Abeokuta as masquerade kills one

…60-yr-old woman, grand-son gunned down
ABEOKUTA—Hell was let loose Monday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital after  a masquerade allegedly shot dead an Islamic cleric identified as Lateef Sabiu during Egungun festival.
This simultaneously led to a reprisal attack as youths allegedly razed down a building belonging to traditional worshippers in protest against the murder of one of their members.
Vanguard gathered that the 22-year Islamic Cleric was  allegedly shot dead  Sunday evening while he  was  on a motorcycle popularly called Okada during a ‘stop and search’ in Ijaye.
It was gathered that the masquerade popularly called “lehin Aponle” was allegedly armed with guns and other dangerous weapons.
Confirming the incident Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi, told newsmen in Abeokuta that the Command had arrested three persons along with the masquerade over the murder of the late Cleric.
Adejobi noted that the Command had suspended further activities of the year 2013 edition of masquerade festival in the state.
According to Adejobi, “those we arrested in connection with the murder are one Ajayi Olabintan (40), Shittu Adeyemi, Wahed Babalola and the masquerade.”
Also speaking over the matter, one of the community leaders, the Balogun of Ijaye and Aare of Egbaland, Chief Ganiyu Babayeju-Alemo, said the crisis has forced the Egba Traditional Council  to suspend other activities for the 2013 Egungun festival in Abeokuta.
In another development, gunmen on Sunday night brutally killed a 60- year old woman, Amoke Musuru, and her grand-son, 2, Balqis, in Ago-Oba area of Abeokuta.
Vanguard gathered that, the killers broke into the one room apartment of the woman in the family storey building located within Ajiko compound.
The assassins according to the finding, smashed the head of the duo with iron rod without the knowledge of other residents of the building.
When vanguard visited the scene, blood of the deceased littered the room, where the late Baliqs and her grandmother popularly called Iya Saubana were murdered.
Vanguard learnt that the police had taken away the corpses for autopsy, which were said to have  handed over to the family for burial.
It was gathered that those arrested and interrogated by the police over the killing had been also released.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said two persons had been interrogated over the dastardly killings.
According to him, “they (the deceased) were murdered by unknown persons. We have visited the scene and two persons have been arrested for interrogation to help us with the investigation.”
However, the children of the late woman, Saburi and Hakeem Moshood, expressed shock over the ugly development.
The children who reside in Ibadan, said they came to Abeokuta to make arrangement for the re-burial of their grandmother whose corpse was exhumed during the demolition exercise by the State government before they met their mother and a child in their pool of blood.
MURIC also called on the Muslim community in the area to exercise patient and desist from taking laws into their hands, adding that security operatives and the state government should be allowed to take charge of the situation.

Netherlands’ Queen to abdicate throne for son

THE HAGUE (AFP) – Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced Monday that she would abdicate in favour of her son Crown Prince Willem Alexander after 33 years in power.
“It is with the greatest of confidence, that I will hand over the throne on April 30 to my son, Willem Alexander, Prince of Orange,” Beatrix said in a televised address, using the official title of the heir apparent.
The queen, who is to turn 75 on Thursday, said her birthday and the 200-year anniversary of the monarchy in 2013 “were the reason for me to step down”.
“I’m not standing down because public service is too heavy for me, but because of the belief that responsibility for our country should be in the hands of a new generation,” she said.
Liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke immediately after Beatrix, “a queen in the heart of the community.”
“She has grown into a Dutch icon,” he said, also paying homage to Willem Alexander, who is to become the first Dutch king in over a century.
“He and Princess Maxima are fully prepared for the task,” Rutte said. “They will serve our country with devotion.”
Rutte, who is to chair an extraordinary cabinet meeting to discuss the royal change on Tuesday, said he hoped that April 30 would see a massive party throughout the Netherlands.
“A party that matches our feelings today,” Rutte said.
The day is traditionally the Dutch national holiday, Queen’s Day, which will in future fall on April 27, Willem Alexander’s birthday.
The coronation will take place in Amsterdam’s New Church, where both houses of parliament will also meet on the day, state broadcaster NOS said.
Beatrix’s much-loved mother Juliana also abdicated, in 1980, when her daughter stepped into her shoes at age 42.
Beatrix’s abdication ends more than 100 years of female reign on the Dutch throne.
Willem Alexander, 45, will become the first Dutch king since Willem III, who reigned until his death in 1890.
The announcement was “totally unexpected,” royal expert Reinildis van Ditzhuyzen told NOS.
“An abdication takes a lot of organisation,” Van Ditzhuyzen added.
NOS began broadcasting footage from significant moments during the queen’s reign soon after her speech was announced.
Beatrix chose to turn her palace into a “palace of work” in The Hague, the seat of government of the country with a strong work ethic.
The Dutch monarch’s powers are limited by the constitution, and the role became increasingly ceremonial when last year a government was formed for the first time without her officially having to accept the prime minister’s candidacy.
The queen will eventually move to her distinctive octagonal-shaped Drankensteyn castle southeast of Amsterdam, where renovations in 2006 led some to think she was planning to abdicate.
Beatrix’s German-born husband prince Klaus died in 2002 aged 76.
Dutch festivities during the coronation will be tinged by concerns for the health of Willem Alexander’s younger brother Prince Friso, who has been in a coma since being hit by an avalanche in Austria in February 2012.
Contrary to her mother’s unobtrusive style of rule, Beatrix refused to be relegated to ribbon-cutting; changing the mode of address from “madam” to “majesty”, and transforming one of the royal palaces in The Hague, the seat of government, into a working palace.
She received heads of state in her affable though formal manner and met weekly with successive prime ministers to discuss matters of government, earning the nickname “chief executive officer of the Netherlands”.
She also signed laws and played an important role in Dutch politics by appointing the so-called “formateur” who explores possibilities for coalition government after general elections.
Last year’s elections in which Prime Minister Rutte was elected to head government for a second time, marked the first time she was not actively involved in the formateur’s appointment, marking a step back from active politics.
Future king Willem Alexander has worked hard to polish his image since his beer-drinking student days when he was known as “Prince Pils”.
The crown prince is a pilot and member of the International Olympic Committee and his image has improved since he married Argentine Maxima Zorreguieta in 2002.
The vivacious Princess Maxima, 41, has won the hearts of the Dutch, despite her father Jorge’s past as an official of the Argentine junta in the 1970s.
Maxima’s father, who coincidentally celebrated his 85th birthday on Monday, was not allowed to attend his daughter’s wedding in the Netherlands, and her mother also stayed away out of solidarity.
Dutch media reported that Maxima’s parents would also not attend Willem Alexander’s coronation, but that the princess would officially carry the title of queen.
The royal couple has had brushes with controversy, being forced to sell a seaside holiday home being built in Mozambique in 2009 because of popular unhappiness with such luxury in such a poor country.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Gays And Lesbians Should Repent And Turn To God – Pastor Adeboye

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, kicked against same sex marriage in some countries, saying that such practice should not be allowed to creep into the country.

The respected cleric made this known at the New Year Thanksgiving service organized by the Joint Christian Mission of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife recently.

According to Adeboye, same sex marriage was capable of destroying human race within just 20 years of its practice.

Daddy G.O, as he is popularly called, described the practice as against God’s will and instruction, and said the will of God for human being was to be fruitful, replenish and multiply on earth and not the other way round.

He added that anything contrary to God’s will for mankind was devilish.

He said: “How can a man who marries a fellow man produces a child and how can a woman who marries a woman produces a child? If this evil is allowed to stay, there will not be new born babies again in the world.

“As the older generation dies, would there be a new generation to succeed? Even plants and animals have new generation to succeed them. So those indulging in the act which should repent and turn to God.”

While praying for peace and stability of the country, the former university don called on every Nigerian to walk in the ways of the Lord this new year and abstain completely from all forms of evil, which may bring the wrath of God upon the nation.

Adeboye also advised Nigerians to walk in the light of God and flee from anything relating to darkness.

"What Obasanjo And Yar’Adua Told Me"

A central issue in the quest for Nigeria’s greatness is leadership selection. Some 2,400 years ago, the great philosopher, Plato, argued that "As a just and healthy person is governed by knowledge and reason, a just society must be under the control of society’s most cultivated and best informed minds, its 'lovers of wisdom'." I have chosen to share the thoughts of our two presidents to encourage a debate on the matter, especially given the pervasive indifference or downright loathsomeness to matters of politics and governance by the so-called 'lovers of wisdom'. I served Nigeria under two presidents. This piece is not part of ‘the book’ on presidential governance.

The date was Friday, March 17, 2006. At the morning prayer session with President Olusegun Obasanjo at the ‘red carpet’ in the villa, I raised a special prayer point and asked the congregation to pray for the new governor of my state Anambra, Peter Obi (who was on his way from Abuja to Awka to be sworn in same day), as well as for Anambra State so that Obi’s regime may mark an end to the brigandage and misrule in the state. We were all upstanding.

The president cut in, and pointing in my direction remarked: “We shall pray as you have requested but the problem with you people from Anambra is that those of you who have something to offer shy away from politics and hooligans have taken over your state”. To the best of my recollection, that was the only prayer point during the four years of daily devotion that received a commentary. ‘Baba’, as we fondly call him was basically telling us to ‘get involved or stop complaining’. Periodically, the three of us from Anambra who were regular members of the prayer group (Oby Ezekwesili, Rev.William Okoye and I) had cause to brainstorm on the challenges and limitations of participation in politics especially by those of us who were ‘technocrats’. While we were obsessed with ‘good governance’, we had little interest in the process of acquiring power.

After leaving office as governor of the central bank, I was in London when twice in June 2009 I received calls from Alhaji Mangal to the effect that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua wanted to see me anytime I was in Nigeria. I returned with my family late July and on Sunday, July 26, I received a call that the president wanted to see me by 9:30pm. After a few banter, he asked what I was doing abroad. As I explained the three offers I was considering, he was shaking his head. "Well," he started, "It is not because you are here, but I have said this several times to you. Given your age, skills, and your accomplishments for our economy and financial system, it would be a waste for you not to continue to be involved in Nigeria’s public service… For example, there is going to be an election in your state early next year and I want to strongly urge you to show interest… You know that your state has been unfortunate with leadership, and our party has been in crisis there..."

N5.2Bn REA Scam: Senator Ugbane And Ndidi Elumelu, To Be Re-Arraigned

Former Chairman, of the Senate Committee on Power, Nicholas Yahaya Ugbane; his former House of Representatives counterpart, Ndudi Elumelu; and Jibo Mohammed, are to be re-arraigned before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in a case of breach of due process, criminal conspiracy, diversion, and misappropriation of N5.2 billion in public funds.

The men, who are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), are expected to make a fresh plea before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi of the FCT High Court in Abuja on February 1, 2013.

The commission said in a statement today that their re-arraignment follows the re-assignment of the case following the withdrawal of former trial judge, Justice Adebunkola Banjoko.

Ugbane and his co- accused were initially arraigned on October 30, 2009, on a 130 count charge together with six senior officials of the Rural Electrification Agency.  The charges were subsequently separated with the lawmakers jointly facing a 62-count charge and the other six accused facing a 68-count charge.

At today’s session, however, the accused persons could not be re-arraigned owing to the absence of the third accused, Mohammed.  He was neither represented nor was a reason made available for his absence.  As a result, the prosecution counsel, Onjefu Obe, asked the court for a bench warrant to effect his arrest.

According to Obe, “When an accused person in a criminal case as in the one at hand fails to appear and nothing to show why he was not in court, irrespective of who the person is, the prosecutor has the right to ask the court to issue a bench warrant against such accused for him to come and explain why he was not present at the court”.

But Defence counsel, Mr. Ikwueto (SAN) who appeared for the second accused, offered an explanation in favour of Jibo, saying that the third accused person was not aware of today’s adjournment. “Since the date was not communicated to him, it would be wrong for the court to issue a bench warrant against him,” he said.

After ascertaining that the third accused may not have been informed about the new date, the judge asked the EFCC counsel whether he was going ahead with his earlier application to which Mr. Obe replied: “EFCC is not in court solely to prosecute but to promote justice”.

He thereafter withdrew the application for a bench warrant on the third accused person.

The case was adjourned to 1 February 1, 2013.

Abuja bombings: South Africa court convicts Okah

The alleged mastermind of the twin car bombings that killed 12  people in Abuja on October 1, 2010, Mr. Henry Okah, was yesterday convicted of 13 terrorism charges by a South African court.
Okah was found guilty of engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy  to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing, and detonating  an explosive device.
The South Africa-based Okah, who has been  facing trial for complicity in the gruesome attacks during the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence and  other related bomb attacks, was arrested in Johannesburg a day after  the incident in Abuja.
He was subsequently made to face the wrath of the law by the South  African prosecutors that summarily charged him with terrorism.
Before handing down the verdict, the South Gauteng High Court,  Judge Neels Claassen, said the state proved Okah’s guilt beyond a  reasonable doubt, adding that the accused’s failure to testify meant  evidence against him remained uncontested.
He was, therefore, found guilty of masterminding attacks, including the twin  car bombings that killed 12 people in Abuja on October 1, 2010, and two explosions in March 2010, in Warri, Delta state.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a group fighting for a greater share of the Delta oil wealth, had claimed  responsibility for the attacks.
Okah denied involvement in the blasts and said the charges were  politically motivated. He also denied leading MEND, but had said he  sympathised with their goals.
However, the South African court found that Okah was the leader of the  movement after uncovering documentary evidence, including his  wife’s hand-written notes.
South Africa has tried him as part of its international obligation, as  the Nigerian authorities had not applied for his extradition, according  to the prosecution.
According to eye witness account, shortly after the guilty verdict,  Okah was taken to the court holding cells under heavy police guard.
Meanwhile, in a sharp reaction to the judgement, the leadership of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) in Bayelsa state has urged Okah’s lawyer to appeal the judgement.
Its state chairman, Mr Nengi James, who spoke to Blueprint yesterday in Yenagoa, argued that the federal government had not been pursuing the recent bombings and killings across the nation with the same vigour it exhibited on the October 1, 2010, bombing in Abuja.
James said the matter was far belated, stressing that there was a conspiracy to nail Okah in the case.
The activist recalled that the bombing of the United Nations building and the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, including several attacks on churches in the northern part of the country, were established cases of terrorism, but the federal government was yet to prosecute the offenders.
Also, a rights activist and environmentalist in the Niger Delta, Mr Alagoa Morris, reasoned that Okah’s arrest, detention and conviction had the strong support of the federal government.
He said: “Though he is found guilty, I enjoin his counsel to appeal the case, because as far as the matter at hand is, it is far from over. Man may found him guilty, but God won’t, because there is a lot of conspiracy in the matter.
“Since the Independence Day bombing, many bombings have happened and nothing has been done to prosecute those behind them. We heard that they have escaped from prison. You will recall the UN building, churches in the North, but where are the people involved?
“The truth of the matter is, if they pick on you in Nigeria, they will jail you and the bottom line is some Nigerian officials, some persons are involved in making sure Henry Okah is jailed.”

Monday 21 January 2013

Kano to sue FG over sale of power firm

Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state said his administration was ready to seek redress in a court of law if the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) did not rescind its decision to sell out the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (DISCO) to “incompetent investors.”
Speaking in a chat with reporters, Kwankwaso said BPE had shortchanged the state government in the process of disposing the company even though the government had invested heavily in distribution of electricity over the years.
“If we do not get any redress we are ready to go to any extent to ensure justice is done. We are ready to go to court or anywhere,” he said.
“We support power reform in principle, but the way and manner the sale of Kano DISCO was been done is not supported by this administration. We believe that we are not properly consulted and the person who bought the DISCO is not competent and cannot do it and electricity is very important to all of us.”
Kwankwaso explained that his administration had written to the concerned authorities to review the action but was yet to get any response.
“We wrote a letter to BPE petitioning over the sale of these assets because we invested so much in electricity distribution in Kano.
“During our first term we electrified over 600 towns and villages. When we came back, over 30 local governments had no electricity because of vandalism. Now we have spent billions of naira to do that so for you to now sell those assets without properly consulting us, it amounts to shaving our heads in our absence. That is not acceptable.”

Attack on bayero:Kano emir, sons flown abroad for treatment

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, was yesterday flown to London for proper medical attention following Saturday’s fatal attack on his motorcade in Kano.
Travelling with him were his sons the Ciroman Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero, and the Turakin Kano, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, both of whom sustained injuries during the attack.
The attack occurred on Zoo Road when the 84-year-old monarch, some of his sons, several aides and other dignitaries were returning from a Qur’anic graduation ceremony that took place at the Murtala Mohammed Mosque in Hausawa quarters of the city.
Unknown gunmen opened fire on the emir’s convoy, and a bomb also went off.
The emir was driving home through Kwanar ‘Yan Dusa street in the area.
Eyewitnesses said as scores of gunmen appeared from nowhere and started shooting at the emir’s car, his guards quickly covered him.
As a result, the emir’s driver, Kabiru Shu’aibu, who was also the Sarkin Ruwa of Kano, along with the emir’s police orderly, Ado Bala, and personal guard, Ahmadu Dogari, were killed.
Some witnesses alleged that the palace guards decided to give Bayero a human shield because the policemen in the convoy had ducked when the shooting started.
The attackers also shot at the sports utility vehicle (SVU) conveying Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, the District Head of Tarauni, injuring him in the leg, while the Ciroma was injured on his hand and neck, though they were not in the same vehicle.
The gunmen also killed the Interim Management Officer (IMO) and acting chairman of Kumbotso local government council, Alhaji Salisu Abdullahi Kura, and his driver, and injured several other persons, who were later admitted in various hospitals in Kano.
The attack was coming exactly one year after the January 20, 2012 coordinated attack on Kano in which over 100 people were believed to have been killed.
Palace sources said the emir was injured on his waist, stomach and chest from the shattered glasses of his car on Saturday.
The emir, who left Kano onboard a chartered plane around 1pm, was seen  off by the Deputy Governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, government officials, well wishers and family members.
Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso had visited the emir on Saturday before flying to India on the same day for an engagement.

President Barack Obama sworn in

President Barack Obama, surrounded by family, took the oath of office today Sunday January 20th in an intimate swearing-in ceremony at the White House. He was officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Bishop Oyedepo’s school demolished

The newly constructed school belonging to Bishop David Oyedepo, General Overseer of Living Faith Church in Port Harcourt has been demolished.

The storey school building known as Kingdom Heritage Model School, at 43 Igboukwu Street, D Line, was demolished on instructions of the Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi, when he undertook an inspection tour of the newly constructed Igboukwu Sports Stadium situated opposite the school The governor had frowned at the school being erected very close to the main road without adequate parking space.

When contacted, secretary of the school who spoke under condition of anonymity said the church authorities were taken unawares by the demolition.

She added that Governor Amaechi had in November, 2012, told the school authorities that the building was too close to the road and also lacked adequate car parking space and recreation venue for the students, even as the owners promised to comply with regulations

Linda Ikeji Is An Hermaphrodite - Jim Iyke

Linda posted the pictures of Jim Iyke showing off his six packs on her blog and Jim Iyke was not pleased with the comments on the post and promptly hit back at her on twitter

'Armstrong Will Be Forgiven'

The 41-year-old Texan admitted to talk show host Oprah Winfrey last week that he took performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, but insisted he did not deserve a life long ban.
"Hell yes, I'm a competitor," said Armstrong, when asked if he wanted to compete again. "Frankly, this might not be the most popular answer, but I think I deserve it (to be able to compete again).

"I deserve to be punished. I'm not sure that I deserve a death penalty (a life ban)."

Critics have slammed the former holder of seven Tour de France titles for the limited nature and timing of his apologies, but Johnson, suspended for taking steroids at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, told the BBC: "American people will forgive him.

"I don't think it will be tough for him to make a living. I hope he can move on and do good things. If he can find some way to make a living he will be fine.

"I think people will judge him differently, based on what he did for humanity and for cancer."

The US Anti-Doping Agency banned Armstrong last year when they uncovered evidence of systematic doping by his USPS/Discovery Channel professional cycling team, calling it the "most sophisticated, professional and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Meanwhile, Sunday Times journalist David Walsh admitted he felt "a little bit of sympathy" for the American rider.

Walsh's long-time campaign to expose Armstrong was vindicated when the US Anti-Doping Agency confirmed his drug use late last year, prompting Armstrong to confess on American television.

The American said he would consider apologising to Walsh, against whom he had launched a number of personal tirades, particularly after his 2004 book LA Confidential contained allegations about the rider.

Walsh said: "I know this is going to sound preposterous but I felt a little but of sympathy for Armstrong. Intellectually he had to be remorseful, but emotionally he couldn't do it.

"Basically, Armstrong knew what he had to do but he wasn't capable of doing it because obviously he's got serious personality issues. Lance needed to look remorseful and repentant and you would see a flicker of a smirk crossing his face, and he didn't mean to do that - it was involuntary."

Another disgraced former Tour de France winner, Albert Contador, waded into the saga following his August return from his own doping ban.

The Spaniard said: "Nobody was surprised by what he said. It's hard for the image of cycling, but I want to take what can be good - maybe we can close the chapter of this decade and focus on the present and the future of this beautiful sport."

Woman Bags 5-yr Jail Term For Killing Child

A 30-year-old woman, Mrs. Yidiat Bakare, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Osogbo Magistrate’s Court for intentionally throwing her three months old child into a river in Ifon-Osun, headquarters of Orolu Local Government Area of Osun State. akare, according to Police prosecutor, Mr. Oladoye Joshua,committed the offence on January 10, 2013, at about 4.00p.m.
She was said to have had serious misunderstanding with her husband Amodu Bakare on that fateful day.
Police prosecutor, told the court that her action led to the death of her baby, declaring she committed an offence punishable under section 325 of the criminal code, cap 34 voll II, laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2003.
Counsel to the accused person, Mr Jimoh Daramola, pleaded guilty to the one count charge against her client.
In his judgment, the presiding magistrate, Mr. Olusola Aluko sentenced the accused person to five years imprisonment with hard labour without an option of fine.

Friday 18 January 2013

Algerian army ‘opened fire on vehicles carrying hostages’

DUBLIN – The Algerian army opened fire on vehicles as Islamist gunmen tried to move their hostages from a gas plant, the Irish foreign minister said late Thursday after speaking to the wife of a man who escaped.
The hostages were forced to wear explosives as they were moved from the In Amenas facility, foreign minister Eamon Gilmore said after a conversation with the wife of Stephen McFaul, a man from Northern Ireland who has an Irish passport.
Gilmore told CNN that it was his understanding from the account that the Algerian army intervened when the kidnappers attempted to move their captives in a convoy of vehicles.
“The kidnappers attempted to move their captives by convoy. The Algerian authorities, it would appear, attempted to stop that from happening and in the ensuing confusion Stephen McFaul escaped and was brought to safety,” he said.
“The information that I have is that there were five vehicles involved; four of those vehicles were hit.
“The vehicle in which Stephen McFaul was, was not hit and he managed to get away, but as I said it’s still at a very early stage and we’re still assembling the information,” Gilmore said.
“I have been told at the stage where they were being transported explosives were strapped to them.”
It is expected that McFaul, a 36-year-old electrical engineer, will return to Northern Ireland on Friday.
There is mounting international criticism of the way the Algerian government mounted the attack on the plant, amid reports that many foreign hostages may have been killed in the assault.(AFP)

Ohakim denies arrest by EFCC

Owerri – Former Governor of Imo, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has denied being arrested or detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

The alleged arrest was in connection with the N62 billion fraud contained in a government audit report.

An audit report entitled, “Imo State Account Reconciliation June 2007-May 2011”, submitted to the state government on Monday, alleged that the former governor defrauded Imo Government of N62 billion.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Jude Agbaso, who presented the report, said the alleged fraud was carried out through the over valuing of contracts and absence of payment vouchers for contracts awarded.

Agbaso, who is the Deputy Governor of the state, alleged the lack of due process in the award of contracts, improper authorisation of payments and the lack of projects executed by the administration.
Gov. Ikedy Ohakim
But Ohakim told newsmen in a telephone interview on Thursday that he was never arrested as published in an Owerri- based tabloid and widely rumoured in the state.

He described the newspaper report as “a figment of the reporter’s mind.”

“What did I do that EFCC should arrest me? If EFCC invites me, I will answer them. In fact, before now, the agency had invited me once or twice to come and give some information.

“I have never been arrested before by EFCC and as I am speaking, I am holding a meeting in my office in Asokoro, Abuja,” Ohakim said.

Ohakim explained that before he left office, he prepared a 300-page handover note and an accompanying 22-page summary, which he handed over to Gov. Rochas Okorocha.

According to him, the handover document contains the 900 water schemes and other projects initiated and completed by his administration in four years.

“For Okorocha to say that my administration barely managed to complete two or three projects during my tenure is a sure proof that he never read, has refused to read, or did not understand what I put down in the handover document,” Ohakim said.

He recalled that the Isiekenesi-Osina road, which was awarded by the Sam Mbakwe administration in 1983 and abandoned by subsequent administrations in the state, was completed by his administration.

Ohakim explained that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was usually collected by a bank and remitted to the 27 local governments at the end of every new month. (NAN)

Jonathan appoints Vanguard GM UNILAG’s Governing Council member

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, approved the constitution of four governing councils of  federal universities in the country.
They include the University of Lagos, UNILAG; Federal University of Agriculture, Umuduike; University of Benin, Benin and the Obafemi Awolowo, Ile Ife.
Those appointed for UNIBEN include Senator Effiong Dickson Bob, Chairman; Jamila Fakik, member; J.K.A Gazama, SAN, member; Chief Samuel Edohoeket, member and Arch Shettima Mohammed Sale, also member.

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo

…Says allegation a tissue of lies
ABEOKUTA—FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, refuted allegation by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State, that he was planning to influence the outcome of an Appeal Court case involving the financier of PDP in Ogun State, Prince Buruji Kashamu and the party.
Chief Adebayo Dayo-led State Executive Committee had in a petition to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab A. Bulkachuwa, accused Obasanjo of planning to influence the outcome of an appeal pending before the Lagos Division of the appellate court.
Reacting to the allegation, Obasanjo through a statement by his Media Assistant, Vitalis Ortese,  dismissed the allegation as nothing but a tissue of lies.
According to the  statement “the attention of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been drawn to an allegation published on page 12 in the Punch Newspapers of Thursday, 17 January, 2013, and on page 62 of the Nation of the same date, that one “Adebayo Dayo” in a petition dated January 15, 2013 and addressed to the President of the Court of Appeal, alleged that the former president had through his lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola, secured an assurance from the presiding justice of the Lagos Division of the appeal Court, to influence the outcome of an appeal pending before it in Lagos.
“The allegation is nothing but a tissue of lies,” the statement said.
“The allegation is nothing but a tissue of lies. The former President has nothing to do with the case in question and has neither spoken with Chief Afe Babalola on any such case nor had given him any money to ever give to any judge in respect of the case.
“This type of lies is propagated by despicable characters like “Adebayo Dayo” and “Buruji Kasamu,” who peddle falsehood in the hope of sustaining baseless cases and allegations for the most regrettable and deplorable reasons.”

Thursday 17 January 2013

9-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Microsoft Specialist in the World

A 9-year-old Indian boy has officially become the youngest Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist in the world, breaking a record previously held by 12-year-old Dubai-based Babar Iqbal.

Times of India reports that Pranav Kalyan is currently a 4th grade student of Willow Elementary School in California and has been writing software programs from the age of six.

He passed the exam in ASP.NET Framework 3.5 on January 12, the source adds.

“As a toddler, Pranav was more fascinated by computers than toys. He started writing small software programs at the age of six. He is capable of solving problems in differential calculus and integral calculus. His efficiency in mathematics helped him write programs,” Kalyan, the boy’s father, said in a statement.

Becoming the youngest Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist in the world is not an easy task. The boy studied for the exam for a total of 18 months, while spending approximately eight hours a day working on the computer.

FUT Minna radio station gutted by fire

Minna – The Community Radio Station of the Federal University of Technology, Minna has been razed down by fire on Wednesday putting the station completely off the air.

The Information Officer of the institution, Mrs Lydia Legbo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna that the station went into flames at 12 a.m.

She said that one of the students on duty noticed a spark from the electrical connection at the IBB Library complex.

She said that the student immediately raised alarm, adding that the university’s fire service officers rushed to the scene to put the fire off.

“ The studio was completely destroyed but we are lucky that it was put off before spreading to other parts of the library complex.

“Nobody was, however, injured in the inferno but the station will remain off air until it is reconstructed and equipped,” Legbo added.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Musibau Akanbi, has urged Gov. Babangida Aliyu to assist the institution by constructing a new studio for the radio.

He told the governor during a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Minna that investigation on the incident had already commenced. (NAN)

Butcher shows pride, stabs self to death in Zaria

Zaria –  A 44-year-old butcher at Tudun Wada Market in Zaria, Kaduna State, Tanko Maitsiren-Safe, has stabbed himself to death.

Confirming the report, the Sarkin Fawan Tudun Wada, Malam Abdullahi Ibrahim, described the incident as pathetic and an outdated means of showing pride by ancient butchers.

Ibrahim advised other butchers to transform the trade, “especially now that most businesses in the country have been modernised”.

A police source in the area, who pleaded anonymity, also confirmed the incident in Zaria.

The source said the case was reported to the police on Jan. 15 and that policemen were immediately mobilised to the scene of the incident.

“On reaching the scene, they snapped the picture of the deceased and gathered some information from eye witnesses.

“After that, we ordered his relations to bury him,” said the source.

Similarly, an eye witness, Malam Yahuza Mohammed, said that the deceased and his boy were preparing “tsire” or “suya meat” (barbeque)  when the boy slightly cut his hand with a knife.

He said: “on seeing what happened to his boy, the deceased collected the knife and proudly stabbed his lap thrice without any harm to his lap.

“He then opened his stomach and stabbed first and second without causing any injury to the stomach, but on stabbing the third time, the knife went dip into him thus flushing out his intestines forcefully,” he said.

The  incident has dominated public discourse in Zaria City and its surrounding villages. (NAN)

UNN admits 7,000 fresh students out of over 100,000 applicants

Over 6,000 new students were formally admitted into various faculties of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)  during the 39th Matriculation ceremony of the institution held Thursday.

Addressing the fresh students, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Bartho Okolo congratulated them for their success during the admission stage and tasked them to tow the footsteps of great men and women who had passed through the University on their path to eminence.

The Vice-Chancellor’s address was read by Deans of Faculty, as the matriculation ceremony was held in different faculties of the University.

Prof Okolor said; “You earned a place at today’s ceremony because of your impressive performances at both the University Matriculation Examination (UME) and the Post University Matriculation Examination (PUME). You should all be proud of this achievement.”

“However, you should be humbled by the fact that less than 7000 of you have been given the opportunity out of the over 100,000 candidates that competed for a place at the University of Nigeria.”

Prof. Okolo advised the fresh students to resist any temptation of involving themselves in anti-social behaviours, stressing that the University had zero tolerance policy on cultism and examination malpractice.

He further asked those who were already members of cult groups before joining the University to denounce such memberships or risk being expelled and prosecuted by the police.

 “There are a number of legitimate students’ clubs which are registered with the Department of Students’ Affairs. You are encouraged to identify the ones that appeal to you, and to register and participate in the activities of these genuine associations,” the VC told the students.

He also entreated them to be law-abiding and prioritise their academic work to enable them achieve their mission to the University.

The Vice-Chancellor noted that his administration had made spirited effort to improve the welfare of students and provide a congenial environment for their learning.

According to him, the administration had embarked on the execution of students’ oriented projects, ranging from the modernisation of classrooms and laboratories, construction of students’ multipurpose centre, to digitalisation of classrooms and provision of facilities for extra-curricular activities.

Prof. Okolo assured the students that the University will not renege on its duty to offer them the needed support to enable them actualise their dreams and aspirations. He however urged them to make their own input, stating that “to whom much is given, much is also expected”. 

Gunmen kill Gombe lawmaker

Barely two weeks after a member of the Gombe State House of Assembly was kidnapped, the Minority Leader of the House, Honourable Abdulwahid
Waziri Doho been shot to death on Wednesday night.

Vanguard investigations revealed that the Lawmaker who was the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts was murdered by unknown gun men
who stormed his house in Tudun Wada area of the metropolis at about 8:30 pm.

Until his death, Doho represented the Kwami East Constituency and wasa member of the opposition party, Congress for Progress Change (CPC).

Also, last week, Inspector Rilwanu Gazama, a former police orderly to the immediate past governor of the State, Senator Mohammed Danjuma
Goje was shot dead along the busy Emir’s Palace road in the town.

Meanwhile, the development has thrown the town into palpable fear of the unknown.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Buhari: "I May Change My Mind On 2015 Election"

Former Head of State and three time Presidential candidate, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said the ongoing merger talks by the major opposition political parties will determine if he will run for president in 2015.
Buhari said this in Abuja on Wednesday while fielding questions from reporters after inaugurating the Congress for Progressive Change Merger Committee.
The 18-member committee is saddled with the responsibility of having talks with the Action Congress of Nigeria on the proposed merger.
He explained that the CPC would first conclude discussions with the ACN after which talks would be initiated with the All Nigeria Peoples Party.
“We have written priority (with ACN) and we are going to go into discussion with ACN before we move to the other party,” the former Head of State told the journalists.
Buhari, however, assured, “It is not impossible that the new party is presented to the people of Nigeria by the middle of this year.”
The Katsina State-born general, who acknowledged the fact that he had said he would not run for the office of the President again, having failed to win the election three times, said he would wait for the outcome of the merger talks before giving a definite answer.
He said, “For the umpteenth time, I said it (that I won’t run again), it is on record that I would not present myself again for election.
“But after that, I have said so many times that members of my party and groups went and said that I don’t belong to myself and that I belong to them. They also said they belong to me.
“I asked them to go and organise the party and if you approach me I may consider it. This is the stage we are.
“I mentioned it several times and I’m waiting on my party and if we have a merger, it will make things much easier for me. The new party will then decide whether it will offer me its ticket and it is up to me to consider accepting it or rejecting it.”
While inaugurating the committee, which has a former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Garba Gadi, as its chairman, Buhari said personal interest should not stand in the way of a great opportunity to build a better Nigeria.
This, he said, would happen once the CPC, ACN and ANPP came together as one party.
He said, “The issue before you now and as you go into your negotiations is fundamentally one – that you will negotiate the best deal for Nigeria.

4 Policemen, 11 Others Killed In Rivers

Four policemen were among 15 persons killed during attacks in Rivers, Cross River and Kano states on Tuesday night.
Suspected cultists reportedly gunned down six occupants, including two policemen, in a Toyota car in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, while two policemen were shot dead at Kwana Hudu, Nasarawa Local Government, Kano State
This came hours after gunmen killed two policemen and injured one in Kano.
The Port Harcourt killings, which took place at about 11pm, created panic in the area as residents fled for fear of reprisals.
Victims were trailed by their assailants from a drinking joint.
An eyewitness, Mr. James Ibe, said about five gunmen trailed the car up to Harbour Road and opened fire on its occupants.
He stated that the hoodlums did not take any thing from their victims, adding that the bullet-riddled car was abandoned by the gunmen.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Ben Ugwuegbulam, confirmed the incident.
An eyewitness told the News Agency of Nigeria in Kano that gunmen attacked a police roadblock in Kwana Hudu in the evening, killing their victims.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Magaji Majiya, said the police were on the trail of the gunmen.
Meanwhile, a communal clash between Adadama and Igbo Amabana in Abi Local Government, Cross River State claimed no fewer seven lives.
Both neighbouring communities, located in the Central Senatorial District of the state, have been engaged in a running battle over land.
The bodies of three men were seen at Adadama, along the Ugep-Abomege road, which leads to Ebonyi State.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. John Umoh, confirmed the development, saying policemen had been deployed in the area.

Three persons, including a medical doctor have been confirmed dead in an outbreak of lassa fever in Makurdi, the Benue State capital

Three persons, including a medical doctor have been confirmed dead in an outbreak of lassa fever in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Sources told that the medical doctor (name withheld) reportedly contracted the disease from his patients at his private clinic located in Wadata area of the town.
The doctor and his three patients were later rushed to Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH, Makurdi, where they died 48 hours after being admitted into the hospital.
However, the fourth patient who is currently receiving treatment at the teaching hospital had been quarantined by medical experts.
Confirming the report, Chief Medical Director, BSUTH, Prof. Orkuga Malu stated that the medical doctor had been treating the patients before they were brought in to his hospital where three of them later died.
According to him, “there were suspected cases of lassa fever. Four people were admitted into this hospital from different places. The symptoms of their illness made us to believe that they died of same disease.
“For now we can not state categorically that it was lassa fever but the symptoms suggested it. Some of the symptoms can also occur in other diseases. So we can not state categorically whether it is lassa fever until the laboratory tests confirm it.
“Among the three who died was a medical doctor who we gathered might have been treating the patients of the sickness. The patients and the medical doctor died within 48 hours.”
Also confirming the development, Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Orduen Abunku, said samples of blood obtained from the patients have been transferred to the Special Federal Government Lassa Fever laboratory at Federal Medical Centre, Irrua, Edo State to ascertain if the current strain was like those that broke out in the past or a mutant strain.
“All medical doctors and other health personnel that have had any form of contact with the patients are being given prophylactic medications to guard against any further mishap while the fourth patient has been quarantined,” the Commissioner said.
He also confirmed that the health officials were being administered Ribavirin, Virazole and other medications used in the treatment of lassa fever as preventive measures.


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Abraham Ekong Frank

Friday 11 January 2013

One Shot As Delta Youths Clash With Soldiers

An unidentified youth was allegedly shot by one of the soldiers drafted to nip in the bud a demonstration on Wednesday in Ozoro, Ozoro Local Government Area of Delta State.
Rampaging youths, under the aegis of Isoko Progressive Youth Centre (IPYC), were said to be attempting to hijack some buses belonging to the state transport company, popularly known as Delta City Buses.
A witness told the Nigerian Tribune that trouble started in the town when some youths, numbering over 200, who had just attended a court session in the town, besieged the Delta City Buses park, demanding free buses to convey them back home.
The rampaging youths took over the park, while threatening to make Ozoro Local Government Area and the state ungovernable unless their demands were met.
President of IPYC, Anthony Ogbalor, alias Dracular, who led the protesting youths, was said to have earlier led the group to Isoko South and North local government areas late last year on a protest mission over alleged marginalisation of Isokoland, especially its youths at the levels of the three tiers of government.
While the skirmish lasted, armed soldiers, who were mobilised to checkmate the raging youths at the park, allegedly shot one of the youths who is now receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in the town.
The youth had earlier threatened to halt oil installations in Isokoland over their grudges.
In a communiqué issued on December 30, 2012, the youth said their actions should be blamed solely on some Isoko personalities in government who were flirting with the outlawed Isoko youth group, christened the “Isoko National Youth Movement.”

Pastor Chris Lashes Out At "Assassins"

Pastor Chris Okotie, has once again lashed out at mischievous people, who he labelled as “character assassins”, who mingle with the Household of God Church members, “to seek whom to scandalize in junk journals”.
photoThe dapper man of God, was reacting to stories making the rounds that he was planning to get married to a certain young lady.
He warned through his Media Officer, Ladi Ayodeji, that such people “are on the radar of our security operatives” and that they should keep off or risk arrest and prosecution.”

Read his full Statement below:

Ordinarily, no serious-minded person should dignify the discredited junk journals by responding to their usual malicious and scandalous aspersions, which they habitually cast on reputable personages and institutions to make cheap sales.
But once in a while, it becomes imperative to refute patent falsehood deliberately peddled as “exclusive stories” by scandal sheets seeking market penetration, like is the case of a soft-sell journal currently in circulation with false news of an alleged romance between a young, innocent member of our church, and our Pastor, Rev. Chris Okotie.
The story is not only false, it is calculated to inflict psychological pain on the lady, embarrass the pastor, and cause disaffection in our congregation.
We’d like to restate our earlier announcement that Rev. Okotie is not involved in any romantic relationship with any woman in or outside our church and has foreclosed any intention to remarry.
Any speculation on this issue should, therefore, be regarded as a mischievous charade.
Finally, let this be the last warning that a ring of character assassins masquerading as worshipers who regularly infiltrate our congregation to seek whom to scandalize in junk journals, are on the radar of our security operatives.
They should keep off or risk arrest and prosecution.
Ladi Ayodeji
Media and Communications Strategy.

I'll Continue To Empower Women – President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan pledged, yesterday that until the expiration of his tenure, he would continue to work towards the economic and political empowerment of Nigerian women.
He said his administration would do more to ensure that women were given greater access to elective offices and opportunity for wealth creation.
Speaking at a meeting, and upon commendation by the United Nations Under-Secretary and Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, for appointing women to very important positions in the Federal Government, President Jonathan said he was determined to take women empowerment a step further by encouraging more women to contest in future elections in the country.
“We have done very well in terms of appointments and placement of women in positions of authority and we are still working on achieving a greater representation of women in elective offices. Let me assure you that we are committed to facilitating more successes by women in our next elections,” President Jonathan told Ms. Bachelet who is on an official visit to Nigeria.
Jonathan also assured Bachelet, who was the first female President of Chile, that the Federal Government remained fully committed to ensuring that Nigeria attains the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, by 2015.
Reaffirming his personal commitment to the accelerated reduction of maternal and infant mortality, the President said he had directed that a comprehensive status report on Nigeria’s current standing on the achievement of the MDGs be produced with a view to identifying urgent actions that need to be taken to move the country rapidly towards their attainment.
Bachelet who was in the company of Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Joy Ogwu, recommended and endorsed the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund by Nigeria, she related that from experience as a former President of her country, she had learnt that savings and investments made under such funds were very crucial for countries that rely on extractive industries.

UNIBEN Don Denies Discovering HIV/AIDS Cure

The controversy trailing the alleged discovery of a herbal medicine capable of curing the dreaded HIV/AIDS by Nigerian academic, Prof. Isaiah Ibeh, Dean, School of Basic Medical Science of University of Benin (UNIBEN), took a twist Thursday, following the recanting of the claim by the professor.
Professor ISAIAH IBEH: RECANTS AIDS/HIV claimsIn a five-paragraph statement made available to journalists in Benin City, Prof. Ibeh expressed regrets over the publication of his acclaimed discovery of a drug that could cure
HIV/AIDS, saying that the publication was a misrepresentation of what actually transpired.
“The true position is that some observations of our Research are preliminary and the research is still ongoing.
“I am very sorry for the embarrassment this has caused the University of Benin and Professional Colleagues, realizing that there are procedures of reporting such Scientific result,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UNIBEN management has further distanced itself from Prof. Ibeh in an official pronouncement.
A press statement signed by the University’s Public Relations Officer, Barr. Harrison Osarenren, said as a reputable institution, well rooted in the promotion of research and development, it considers the publicized claim an embarrassment, bearing in mind that there were
laid down procedures for disseminating academic breakthroughs.
The University while appreciating Prof. Ibeh’s efforts, pointed out that his procedure did not follow laid down protocol said, adding, “for the avoidance of doubt, the said claim by Prof. Ibeh is a research exercise which is still in its infancy stage and therefore, on-going.”
The UNIBEN management maintained that until all the appropriate scientific processes have been duly followed in the research, it could not make any pronouncement on the research.
The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday also debunked the claim, with its Director-General, Dr Paul Orhii, saying Ibeh’s claim was capable of misleading the public, especially those with the virus.
“There is no known treatment anywhere in the world now; no known cure; there are medicines that can contain HIV and AIDS but there is no known scientifically approved cure for HIV and AIDS.
“I want to categorically tell you, to avoid any doubt, make it abundantly clear to you that NAFDAC completely disassociates itself from the claims for a cure of HIV and AIDS made by Prof. Isaiah Ibeh of the University of Benin.
“The agency wishes to state that this herbal drug, which is claimed to have undergone a series of successful tests has never been presented to NAFDAC for evaluation of efficacy and safety.
“And as you know, we are the agency that has the mandate to make quality pronouncement on drugs that are to be used in Nigeria; we have never evaluated this drug.’’ ·

Actor Repeatedly Raped Daughter From The Age Of 5

The daughter of the late Klaus Kinski has claimed the actor raped her repeatedly during her childhood.
Pola Kinski, now 60, revealed in a shocking interview with the German magazine, Stern, that her father sexually assaulted her from the age of five until she was 19.
In her autobiography Kindermund (From the Mouths of Children) she speaks of him subjecting her to violent rape and abuse and then showering her with expensive presents.
'I kept quiet for years because he forbade me from talking about it,' Pola Kinski told German  Stern magazine in an interview published today.
'The terrible thing is that he once told me that it was completely natural, that fathers all over the world did that with their daughters,' she said.
The actor had two other children with his second and third wives - film star Nastassja Kinski and a son, Nikolai.
Pola Kinski said she wrote the book to help 'others who have lived through something similar' - but also because she was sick of hearing how people revered her famous father.
'I couldn't stand hearing it any more: 'Your father! Cool! Genius! I always loved him!'. I always replied 'Yeah, yeah'. Since his death this adulation has got even worse,' she said.
'When I saw him in films, I always thought that he was exactly like that at home, Pola Kinski told Stern.
'He really abused everyone.'
Germany's top-selling daily Bild wrote that Pola Kinski should be considered 'a heroine' for having the courage to talk about 'what probably thousands of daughters do not dare to say'.

El-Rufai’s new book: Whoever wins, I’ll run Aso Rock from my farm – Obasanjo

Revelations have emerged on how former president Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo vowed that 2007 and 2011 would be a “transition period”, and how he would continued to spearhead the affairs of the nation from his Ota Farm, in Ogun State irrespective of the fact that there would be a ‘sitting president.’
All these and more were revealed in a recently published memoir by an Obasanjo confidant and former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai.
The book entitled, “The Accidental Public Servant” x rayed the good, bad and the ugly of the Obasanjo’s regimes.
The book reveals that though OBJ as he’s fondly called had personally ensured that the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua succeeded him in 2007, he nevertheless planned to administer the country from his Ota Farm. He described the 2007-2011 period as a transition because all his point’s men, including the “economic team” would continue to dominate the scene.
El-Rufai recalls the former president telling him thus: “Well, nothing will change, you know. I will be in Ota but we will be running things. Everything will remain the same, you know. You will remain in the government, the economic team will remain. Nothing will change. Only I will move to Ota and Yar’Adua will be here but we will be running things.”
When el-Rufai informed Obasanjo that he intended taking at least two years’ break from government business, the former president responded: “OK, well I just thought I should call you and explain to you that the next four years is just a transition period. The real change in government will happen in 2011. Not now.”
The book, which will be launched at 10:30am on February 7, at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja exposed that the former president begged his deputy on “bended knees,” for his political survival.

In the 627-page book, El-Rufai said on page 151, “The stakes were high enough for Obasanjo to swallow his considerable pride and go to Atiku on bended knees.
“Obasanjo had no problem going down on his knees to beg for what he thought was impossible to obtain any other way.”
This rare and calculated display of humility came around 2003 when Obasanjo feared he could lose the People’s Democratic Party’s re-nomination bid, if he did not make peace with Atiku.
“The political bricksmanship got so bad that Obasanjo had to visit Atiku’s residence unannounced to plead for Atiku’s support.
The book also faults the leadership recruitment processes, noting that it is at the root of the nation’s problems, as it sacrifices merit. He said that the choice of the late Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as president and vice-president by Obasanjo was “the final nail in the coffin of any meritocracy or track record of governance in Nigeria.
“President Obasanjo chose Umaru Yar’Adua whose ill-health, among other challenges, was known already constituted a serious impediment to the possibility of any inspired and energetic leadership. The view of many well-informed Nigerians is that Yar’Adua and his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, emerged for no other discernable reasons than being ‘weak’ governors sympathetic to the ‘Third Term’ project and therefore handpicked as payback.
“The subsequent electoral imposition of Goodluck Jonathan as president in 2011 via military occupation and rigging has been unhelpful in raising leadership quality. Jonathan went into a presidential contest without a campaign manifesto, boasting of no experience, merit and any track record of previous performance other than wearing no shoes to school and his ‘good luck’.

2015: Let The Race Begin By Chido Onumah

If there was any lingering doubt that campaigns for the 2015 presidential election have started in earnest, that doubt was erased with the emergence last week of the Jonathan 2015 campaign posters. The audaciousness of that action and the feeble response from the Presidency to the effect that the president is “pre-occupied with working to fix Nigeria and did not want to be distracted by undue politicking about 2015”, are all too typical of the People’s Democratic Party’s brand of democracy.
For those who cringed and raged about the appointment a few weeks ago of octogenarian, Tony Anenih, a man who ordinarily should be in an old people’s home, as chairman of the board of the Nigeria Ports Authority, that selection is beginning to make sense.
President Jonathan has said publicly that he will not think about 2015 until next year. This disclaimer comes even as his aides keep reassuring us that “the wonderful performance of Jonathan at the end of the tenure would make most Nigerians to compel him to run in 2015”. That is the clincher. It doesn’t matter whether the president thinks about it now or in 2014, “Nigerians are going to applaud him and even if he does not want to run for election, Nigerians are going to force him to run again because of the level of performance”. That’s according to Doyin Okupe, the  Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs.
In the last few months, President Jonathan has had occasions to trumpet his democratic credentials, all with an eye to the 2015 election. After the governorship election in Ondo State on October 20, 2012, Reuben Abati, the president’s spokesman, reminded us that “the President would naturally have wanted his party, the PDP, to win the governorship election in the state, the fact that he has never abused the enormous powers of the Presidency to influence the outcome of elections shows that he is a man of his words, a committed democrat and a President who believes in the rule of law and the supremacy of the will of the people”.

Africa News In Brief: New Mining CEO Has Dirty Record, South Africans Speak Out Against Rape; Cote d'Ivoire Need 'Economic Miracle' (IMF); U.S. 'Dagger Brigade' To Train African Troops

SOUTH AFRICAN CEO, WITH LEGACY OF POLLUTION, GETS NEW POST: Jan. 8 (GIN) – A gold mining CEO has been tapped for the top spot at the Anglo American mining company, just days after a damning report that charged his previous corporate home with poisoning water and permitting “ongoing pollution”, all posing a severe risk to a fertile grazing area.
Mark Cutifani is scheduled to leave AngloGold Ashanti to take up the CEO job at Anglo American in March.  His departure comes as charges have been filed against AngloGold for the repeated spills of toxic chemicals into groundwater not far from the vital Vaal River.

Cows grazing in the area have been dying from radioactive contamination and a recent study by the North-West University found cattle in the area to have uranium levels 400 times higher than cattle in other areas.

Mariette Liefferink, head of the Federation for Sustainable Environment, said she pressed charges due to spillages from the company’s dam in Stilfontein in North West Province – a town with a history of mining disasters.

The minister of energy initially issued a directive against the mine, but then retracted it, Liefferink said. “We exhausted all internal remedies, so this is the last way to motivate them to do the right thing.”

Meanwhile, Anglo American chair Sir John Parker said this week: "Cutifani is an experienced chief executive with a focus on creating value… He is a highly respected leader in the global mining industry, with values strongly aligned to those of Anglo American".

Anglo American also has dirty linen. A report by Reprisk cited them as among the top 10 most controversial mining companies of 2011. w/pix of M. Cutifani, CEO, and striking workers at AngloGold.


Jan. 8 (GIN) - A petition drive is underway, organized by India-origin South Africans outraged by the gang-rape and brutal murder in India of a 23 year old girl.

"Watching the huge crowds on satellite TV channels, my friend Jitu Patel and I felt that we could not just stand by and watch and felt that there must be many more local and expatriate Indians who would want to show some kind of solidarity with the tens of thousands protesting in Delhi", businessman Hitesh Bhakta said.

Jonathan Fails To Resolve PDP Crisis; Governors Insist On NEC, Ousting Bamanga Tukur

Efforts by President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the lingering crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crashed resoundingly today at a meeting he held with the party’s governors, who continue to insist on convening the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) through which they hope to boot the National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, from office.
Tukur was this week weakened by 10 of the 12 members of the National Working Committee (NWC), who dissociated themselves from his activities in the party in his home State, Adamawa.
As the crisis grew today, Olisa Metuh, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, issued a statement in which he said the party had commended its Board of Trustees for the “prompt resolution” of the conflict in the NWC, bragging that the PDP is the only political party in the country where differences in the leadership of its various organs could be resolved within a record time.
“In a political party as large as the PDP, divergent opinions on issues are normal but in the ability of its leaders to resolve and find a common ground on such issues, dwells the strength and dynamism of such an organization. In this instance, it is only in the PDP that misunderstandings are not just resolved but done in matter of hours. The National Working Committee of the PDP therefore wishes to commend the Board of Trustees of the Party for proving its role as the conscience of the Party."
Mr. Metuh had apparently not consulted with the governors, who are livid that Tukur unilaterally and illegally dissolved the Adamawa State executive committee of the party on account of his differences with the state governor, Murtala Nyako.
At the Presidential Villa meeting, Jonathan reportedly appealed to the governors to forgive Tukur and thereby save him and the party from public disgrace.
The effort was largely futile because the governors are of the opinion that Tukur is carrying out Jonathan’s secret agenda aiming at pulling the rug of the party from the feet of any governor that is viewed as not cooperating with Tukur and the President’s secret political plans for 2015.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Governor of Akwa Ibom, Chief Godswil Akpabio, did not deny the chaos, but he played it down, saying it was “normal” in a political party.
Mr. Metuh did not stray far from that point.  “In a political party as large as the PDP, divergent opinions on issues are normal but in the ability of its leaders to resolve and find a common ground on such issues, dwells the strength and dynamism of such an organization.
Working hard to keep the genie in the bottle, he stated that the divided NWC had assured all members of the PDP of the “unwavering unity of purpose” in their ranks.
“We are united under the able and dynamic leadership of our National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur,” he said.  “We are ever determined to ensure that the Party fulfills its electoral promises to the people by securing an undiluted compliance of all our members in various positions of authority to a credible performance target."
It was unclear what he meant by that, given that many Nigerians, including Olusegun Obasanjo, who is credited with imposing Mr. Jonathan on the country, are criticizing his weakness and incompetence.

OYERINDE: Oshiomole calls for DIG, CP’s sack

ABUJA — Governor Adams Oshiomhole of  Edo State and the Police were, yesterday, locked in a battle of words over the alleged shabby investigation into the murder of his private secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde.
While the governor called for the sack of  the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Force Criminal Investigations Department, Peter Gana, for a shoddy job, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, said it was only the court that could determine the case, as it was already before the court.
The governor, who spoke while delivering a keynote address at the inauguration of a ‘Code of Conduct for officers and men of  Nigeria Police, noted that the Deputy Commissioner of Police who was sent to investigate the case should ordinarily not be wearing a police uniform.
He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the matter, and condemned the AIG for arresting and detaining an innocent human rights activist, rather than going after the culprits who were eventually arrested by the State Security Service, SSS.
Mr IG, I am aggrieved
His words: “Mr. IG, I must say I am aggrieved. I am aggrieved over the murder of my private secretary and the way the investigation was trivialized. I am saying this knowing that the Vice President is here representing Mr. President.
“My secretary was murdered in cold blood and you dispatched a DIG to supervise that investigation. A DIG is a sufficiently senior officer, next in rank to the IGP.
“They came to Benin and did what Fela (Ransome-Kuti) would have called police magic. In the end, they went for a civil rights activist and charged him  with  the offence of murder.”
The governor alleged that the DIG conspired with other officers involved in the investigation to shield the killers of Oyerinde, noting that for this ignoble act, they were no longer fit to wear police uniform.
“The DIG Force CID has a case to answer…  in which case he cannot wear his police uniform.  He must be dismissed. The Deputy Commissioner of Police that he used, who claimed that they have done a thorough job, has no business wearing police uniform.
“The weapon that was used for the murder was used for armed robbery earlier, recovered by the police and under police custody at the time my secretary was murdered.
“So, the man who murdered my secretary was in police custody, the gun used was in police custody and these are the findings of the police.
“The only conclusion that can be reached is that the police ordered the murder of my private secretary. The officer wrote this in black and white.
“I ask you (IG) to read it. He wrote that he has done a thorough job under a very skillful DIG in charge of Force CID and the sky is their limit.  And I am asking the Vice President to report to the President that if they do not find the killers of Olaitan, he can’t expect the people of Edo State and all those who know Olaitan, to have confidence in the security agencies.
“I feel terrible that as a governor, I can’t get justice. If I can’t get justice, then an average Nigerian cannot expect justice and we can’t have justice if we can’t tell the truth.”
Culture of impunity
Oshiomhole lamented that one of the problems of the Nigerian state, including the police, was the culture of impunity where people did things wrongly and got away with it.
He said: “This country cannot be reduced to a banana republic,” adding that when stick and carrot were appropriately applied, the message of discipline would be clear to all.
Late Olaitan Oyerinde and Adams Oshiomhole
“One of the problems of the Nigerian state, including the police, and even in the civil service, is the culture of impunity that people do things and get away it.”
The governor explained that “sometime ago, in Edo State; let me be specific, a policeman manned an illegal road block contrary to the orders of the IG.

Man docked for biting off journalist’s ear

ABEOKUTA—ABEOKUTA—THE Ogun Police, yesterday, arraigned a 50-year-old man, Alao Akala before an Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court for allegedly biting off the left ear of a journalist, Saheed Ganiyu.
Ganiyu’s ear was bitten off when he was investigating the background of late political god-father of Kwara politics, Dr. Olusola Saraki.
Another journalist, Rasaki Olayiwola was also reportedly hit on the head with a camcorder stand by the accused.
Police Prosecutor, Sunday Eiagbejiale told the court that the accused committed the offence on January 3, 2013 at Ago-Ika in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Eiagbejiale told Magistrate Matins Akinyemi that the accused attacked the two journalists who were carrying out their lawful duties without just cause.
He said “ Akala  attacked the  journalists when they were  on a research mission into the background and origin of late Saraki who was reported to have claimed to be from Abeokuta.
“Akala bit off Ganiyu’s left ear, causing grievous harm and hit Olayiwola on the head with a camcorder stand. `”It will interest this court to know that the journalists were in Abeokuta from Ilorin to research the claim that Chief Olusola Saraki was from this town.
“As an indigene, I was giving them the lowdown of how the late Saraki was related to Abeokuta, when the accused came mid-way into the interview, broke the camera and turned the venue upside down.”
The prosecutor added that the accused also “maliciously damaged” the journalists’ camcorder valued at N300,000.
The prosecutor said  the offence contravened Sections 355, 335 and 451 of the Criminal Code Laws of Ogun, 2006.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge of assault and unlawful damage.
Akala, who was not represented by any counsel, pleaded that he thougth the journalists were prospective buyers invited to inspect his family property where the incident took place.
Magistrate Akinyemi granted bail to the accused in the sum of N140,000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned further hearing to March 3.