Sunday, 21 January 2018
News & Stories

News & Stories (1603)

The suspected killers of Rev Fr Cyriacus Onunkwo of the Orlu Catholic diocese in Imo State were on Thursday paraded before newsmen by the state commissioner of police, Chris Ezike.

The prime suspect is a 32-year-old ex-corporal, Jude Madu, who masterminded the abduction of the cleric.

The Rev Fr was kidnapped while returning home from the funeral rites of his father, Celestine Onunkwo.

Others are Izuchukwu Okafor, 28, from Ukwukwa in Azia in Anambra state; Cyril Onyema, 29, from Okwelle in Imo state; Emmanuel Ozuigbo, 29, Ezeagu in Enugu state; Victor Ikechukwu, 33, from Obowo in Imo state; and Ifechukwu Nwosu, 28, a native of Azia in Ihiala Local Government Area.

According to the CP, the operations which led to the arrest of the kidnappers cut across three states of Imo, Anambra and Rivers.

The police boss said the late priest’s telephone and his wrist watch were recovered from two out of the six suspects.

Ezike said, “The investigating team using forensic technology and backed up by hard work, commitment, passion and hunger for success arrested ex-corporal Jude Madu who was found in possession of late Rev Fr Onunkwo’s Infinix telephone handset”.

According to the CP, the ex-corporal “was a member of the Armed robbery/kidnapping syndicate and took part in the operation. He holds a National Diploma from Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, and was arrested on September 5, at control post in Owerri in possession of the deceased’s phone. He has confessed to the crime.”

Posted On Friday, 08 September 2017 00:08 Written by

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Thursday accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress (APC) of abandoning him after helping the party to win the 2015 general election.

This came after the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, publicly declared her support for Atiku’s presidential quest in 2019.

The minister said she would support the ex- vice president even if President Buhari decides to seek re-election in 2019.

The foremer Vice President, in an interview on the Voice of America (VOA)’s Hausa Service, said he had been abandoned in spite of his efforts in making sure that the APC defeated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

Speaking from his home town in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State after the Eid-El-Kabir festival, Abubakar said: “Honestly speaking, I’m still a member of the APC; I was part of all the processes, including campaigns until success was achieved.

“But sadly, soon after the formation of government; I was side-lined, I have no any relationship with the government, I’ve not been contacted even once to comment on anything and in turn, I maintained my distance. They used our money and influence to get to where they are but three years down the lane, this is where we are.”

However, he applauded the president on the successes recorded so far in the fight against Boko Haram, but said it was not yet time to celebrate because a lot is yet to be done and “the ruling government had failed in many fronts.

“Yes, there were successes but not comprehensive success because the Boko Haram miscreants are still very active, killing our people and many local government councils in Borno and Yobe are under their firm grip. People cannot dare go back to their dwellings,” he said.

Posted On Thursday, 07 September 2017 23:53 Written by

A 25-year-old undergraduate of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State, Chioma Pius, who was allegedly tortured by some policemen attached to the Rivers State Police Command, has identified the patrol team behind the attack.

The victim, who spoke with our correspondent on Wednesday, said the matter had also been taken to the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, Abuja.

Our correspondent had reported Pius’ post on Facebook on Wednesday, where she briefly recounted her experience with a four-man patrol team on the Elebrada Junction, in the Emohua area of Rivers State.

She had said the police team accused her of putting on tattoos on her body and assaulted her before locking her up in a mobile cell.

During a chat with PUNCH Metro, she explained that the cops had earlier checked the vehicle particulars and that of the driver of the cab she took and finding no fault, shifted attention to her.

She said, “The incident happened around 1.05pm on Monday. My friend was having her birthday and I left Bayelsa for Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to buy groceries for her. I was in the cab when we were stopped at a checkpoint.

“One of them asked for the driver’s vehicle documents, which he gave them. I was in the car, listening to music. When the officer saw that the papers were complete, he asked me to come down.

“I asked the cab man if he had any problem with them, and he said no. The policeman asked me to identity myself and I told him my name and that I was a professional fashion designer. I told him that I was also a student of a polytechnic. I was wearing a smile on my face. I never knew that people misunderstood smiling for arrogance.

“His boss came towards us and asked if I was resisting arrest. He said I was treating him as if he was too small to talk to me. The boss asked for my identity and I reintroduced myself.

“He said, ‘Oh, you even have a tattoo, and you are resisting arrest. Ok, detain her.’ I was shocked.  I said, ‘Oga, you can’t ask them to detain me for wearing a tattoo.’ He said I was proving stubborn. Before I could turn around, the other policeman had slapped me twice.

“He pushed me towards his boss, who punched me as if he was punching a man like himself. The next thing, they poured water on me and the man went to get a horsewhip and flogged me. The boss used his gun to hit me twice in the thigh. I jumped into the mobile cell. One of them bought a sachet of pure water and poured it on me, shouting ‘Ashawo’.He also spat on me.”

The Imo State indigene explained that the tattoos on her body had been imprinted for more than eight years, adding that while one was a tribute to a deceased sibling, the other represented important memories of her life.

She said when she asked to speak with her fiancé, an Italian, the policemen called her a prostitute, saying she would soon contract HIV.

“The policemen ransacked my handbag and wallet, looking for money.  They later sneered that I didn’t have any money but I had a sharp mouth to question them.

“Three of them beat me up, while the fourth officer was busy extorting money from other motorists, who watched me suffered,” she added.

She explained that the cab driver, who had been threatened with a gun for wanting to interfere, ran to another checkpoint to beg other policemen to mediate.

The policemen were said to have pleaded with the cops to release her, saying she had suffered enough.

“I want justice because I was humiliated publicly and treated like a child. They have probably been doing this to a lot of people, but it must end. I was not indecently dressed to have warranted any harassment. I wore a black jeans and a T-shirt. I don’t dress indecently outside. What if I had worn something transparent? Then I would have lost my life,” she added.

She gave the number plate of the patrol vehicle as NPF 4982C AKU PH, adding that she had already made statements to the PCRRU.

The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Omoni Nnamdi, did not pick his calls when our correspondent contacted him.

Posted On Thursday, 31 August 2017 03:09 Written by

Gunmen early hours of Sunday broke into the residence of the Principal Special Assistant on Knowledge Economy and Investments to Benue State Governor, Dr Tavershima Adyorororough and killed him.

According to sources, the unknown gunmen around 12.30am on Sunday stormed his residence at Nyinma layout in Makurdi, Benue state capital where they shot at the man and his wife.

The deceased and family were said to have retired to bed when the assailants invaded the house and shot him dead while his wife was rushed to an undisclosed hospital where she is receiving treatment.

The state governor, Samuel Ortom has demanded for the arrest and prosecution of the killer of his aide.

In a press statement issued and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase and made available to our correspondent on Sunday, confirmed that Dr Adyororough was shot and killed by gunmen who invaded his residence.

Governor Ortom described the killing as unacceptable and condemnable, requesting security agencies to swing into action immediately so as to arrest those responsible for the dastardly act.

He described the deceased as a competent and dependable aide who delivered on assignments with dedication and honesty.

He sympathized with the immediate family of the deceased, the government and people of the state on the loss and pledges that he would support security agencies in apprehending the culprits.

He urged those with useful information that can lead to the arrest to make same available.

It will be recalled that the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on security matters was gruesomely murdered in 2016 at his residence along Mobile Barracks, Makurdi.

Efforts to get the reaction of police are not successful as Benue command Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Moses Yamu did not pick the call put across to his line.

 

Posted On Sunday, 20 August 2017 11:52 Written by

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the return of the country’s president from a months-long medical vacation in London is symbolic for the West African country’s economy.

“The recovery of Mr President, in some senses, is symbolic of the recovery of Nigeria,” Osinbajo said on Saturday.

The president left Nigeria on May 7 for London for the second round of treatment for an undisclosed ailment, transferring power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lead the most populous African country.

His absence in Nigeria since May 7 has birthed rounds of protests and calls for him to resume or resign. There is also a growing level of disenchantment with his government which came to power in May 2015 on the wings of promises to reposition the country by fighting corruption, improving security and remodelling the economy.

While appreciable progress has been recorded in the fight against insurgency in northeast Nigeria and corruption, the country’s economy is in the throes of a stubborn recession that has led to the death of many businesses while inflation continues to journey upwards.

But Osinbajo, who stood in for recuperating Buhari, insisted that the country’s economy would rebound, noting that the government is working to “ensure economic recovery.”

“Our country is on the right path,” Osinbajo said, adding that “we are going to make it as a nation.”

Posted On Saturday, 19 August 2017 21:27 Written by

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday visited ailing President Muhammadu Buhari at the Abuja House, London.

The visit came over 100 days after Buhari left Nigeria for the British capital for his second medical vacation since he assumed office in May 2015.

He had left the country on May 7, 2017, shortly after receiving the Chibok girls who were released by their abductors the previous day.

The Presidency on Thursday posted a picture from the visit of the National Assembly leaders to the President on its twitter handle, @NGRPresident.

A message, “President @MBuhari today received Senate President @bukolasaraki and Speaker, House of Representatives @YakubDogara in Abuja House, London,” accompanied the picture.

Saraki and Dogara, who wore suits, were seen in the picture discussing with Buhari.

Posted On Friday, 18 August 2017 00:23 Written by

Zimbabwe's government has sought diplomatic immunity for President Robert Mugabe's wife in the assault case against her in South Africa, South Africa's police ministry has said.

Grace Mugabe was still in South Africa, it added, contradicting earlier reports that she had returned to Zimbabwe.

A 20-year-old South African model has accused Mrs Mugabe of assaulting her at a hotel in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Police expected Mrs Mugabe, 52, to turn herself in on Tuesday, but she did not.

Zimbabwe's government had invoked "diplomatic immunity cover" for her, the ministry said in a statement.

However, South Africa still wanted to make sure that she was "processed through the legal system", the ministry added.

Discussions were taking place with Mrs Mugabe's lawyers and the Zimbabwean High Commission over the issue, it said.

Appearing before a parliamentary committee earlier, South Africa's acting police chief Lesetja Mothiba said that Mrs Mugabe "must go to court".

 
Grace Mugabe is accused of assaulting a woman

She has not commented since police began investigating her over the alleged assault.


South Africa's diplomatic dilemma

Farouk Chothia, BBC Africa

South Africa's government risks a public backlash if it lets Mrs Mugabe go scot-free.

This happened in 2015, when it failed to execute an international arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir who was wanted by the International Criminal Court.

South Africa's government argued that he qualified for diplomatic immunity, but the country's judges disagreed. The government was then strongly criticised for undermining the rule of law.

It seems that the government wants to avoid a similar backlash and is therefore insisting that Mrs Mugabe must appear in court.

But by taking such an approach it risks a diplomatic row with Zimbabwe's government - a staunch ally whom it has resolutely defended over the years despite international criticism of President Robert Mugabe's human rights record.

So the two governments are bound to be in talks to resolve the crisis over Mrs Mugabe.

One option being mentioned in the South African media is that Mrs Mugabe should plead guilty during a short court appearance, and pay a fine.

But it is unclear whether Mr and Mrs Mugabe - known for their uncompromising nature - will agree to this, especially after Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party said in a tweet on Tuesday that the first lady was "attacked", contradicting the version of her accuser.


Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said the first lady was a "total disgrace and a complete national embarrassment".

"She has to be brought to order and indeed she has to appreciate that she is not a law unto herself," it added in a statement.

Confusion surrounded the case, with South Africa's Police Minister Fikile Mbalula saying at one point on Tuesday that Mrs Mugabe had handed herself over to police and would appear in court.

She did not appear and police later said she had agreed to turn herself in but then failed to do so.

Police opened a case of assault against Mrs Mugabe after the model, Gabriella Engels, accused her of hitting her over the head with an extension cord.

The alleged assault took place after Mrs Mugabe found her with the first lady's two sons, Robert and Chatunga, in a hotel room in Sandton, a wealthy suburb north of Johannesburg, on Sunday evening.

Mrs Mugabe's sons, who are both in their 20s, live in South Africa.

The first lady was in South Africa to be treated for an ankle injury when the alleged assault took place, Zimbabwean media reported.

Ms Engels released an image of a head injury online.

Photo posted by Gabriella EngelsImage copyrightGABRIELLA ENGELS
Gabriella Engels says she was beaten with an extension cord

"When Grace entered I had no idea who she was," she told South African broadcaster News24.

"She walked in with an extension cord and just started beating me with it. She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over. I had no idea what was going on. I was surprised. I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away.

"There was blood everywhere," she added. "Over my arms, in my hair, everywhere."

She registered a "case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm", police said.


Who is Grace Mugabe?

Grace Mugabe addressing her maiden political rally in Chinhoyi October 2, 2014Image copyrightREUTERS
  • Began an affair with Robert Mugabe, 41 years her senior, while working as a typist in state house
  • Mr Mugabe later said his first wife Sally, who was terminally ill at the time, knew and approved of the relationship
  • Married Mr Mugabe, her second husband, in 1996 in an extravagant ceremony. They have three children
  • Nicknamed "Gucci Grace" by her critics, who accuse her of lavish spending
  • Along with her husband, is subject to EU and US sanctions, including travel bans
  • Praised by supporters for her charitable work and founding of an orphanage
  • Received a PhD in September 2014, a month after being nominated to take over the leadership of the Zanu-PF women's league
Posted On Wednesday, 16 August 2017 23:07 Written by

Three female suicide bombers have carried out an attack that has killed at least 27 people in north-eastern Nigeria, officials say.

Dozens were injured when the women blew themselves up outside a refugee camp near Maiduguri in Borno state - a stronghold of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

There has been an upsurge in violence in the city in recent months.

Boko Haram has been fighting to set up an Islamic state since 2009.

A report published by US anti-terrorist researchers last week said it is the first insurgency in history to use more women suicide bombers than men.

Baba Kura, a member of a vigilante force set up to fight the jihadists, told AFP news agency on Tuesday that the first bomber blew herself up near the camp, triggering panic.

"People were trying to close their shops when two other female bombers triggered their explosives, causing most of the casualties," he said.

Last year, Nigeria's government said that Boko Haram had been defeated.

But correspondents say that the army is failing to stop the attacks, and people have continued to flee their homes in Borno State and poured into camps.

Map locator
Posted On Wednesday, 16 August 2017 01:48 Written by

Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina says the relationship between Nigeria and China is one that President Muhammadu Buhari cherishes and values highly.

Adesian said this in a statement signed by Mr Abiodun Oladunjoye, a Deputy Director (Information), Presidential Media Office, Abuja.

Oladunjoye said Adesina stated this when he received the Vice Minister of Information of State Council, People’s Republic of China, Mr Guo Weimin who was on an official visit to Nigeria.

According to Adesina, the fact that the Nigerian President cherishes the cooperation between Nigeria and China automatically means that there will always be areas of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Adesina explained that media organisations from the two countries should profit from the mutual cooperation.

The presidential aide reiterated the readiness of the presidential media team to build on the existing mutual relationship while also exploring other areas of cooperation.

He assured Weimin that the presidential media office would work closely with the Chinese Ministry of Information to explore areas where agreements were signed during the visit.

Adesina expressed optimism that such agreements would enhance the interests of the Nigerian media in particular and the Nigerian Government in general.

Earlier, Weimin said the delegation, comprising officials of the Chinese Government was in Nigeria to explore areas of exchange of ideas toward deepening the relationship between the Chinese and the Nigerian media industry.

He identified New Media, transparency in governance, broadcast communication and socio-cultural values as areas in which the delegation hoped to share ideas with their Nigerian counterparts.

The vice minister, who said Adesina had had a big role to play in deepening the relationship between the two countries solicited his cooperation.

Weimin disclosed that his delegation had interacted with a broad spectrum of Nigerian media professionals, to get the first hand information from them on their expectations from the visit of the delegation.

Posted On Sunday, 13 August 2017 22:35 Written by

Official photos from the presentation ceremony of Ambassador Lilian Onoh at State House Namibia, which made the front page of the New Era, Namibia's national newspaper.

Lilian Onoh 1

Lilian Onoh 6

Lilian Onoh 5

Lilian Onoh 4

Lilian Onoh 3

Lilian Onoh 2

Lilian Onoh 1

Courtesy: Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu Facebook page

Posted On Saturday, 12 August 2017 23:01 Written by
Page 4 of 115

Newsletter