Wednesday, 03 March 2021
News & Stories

News & Stories (2012)

Agency Report

Golf Legend, Tiger Woods suffered some multiple leg injuries Tuesday morning in a horrific car crash in Los Angeles California.

Reports said the golfer had to be cut out of the wreck after the car rolled over.

Woods, 45 years old, was said to be on the steering wheel.

The accident happened on the border of the Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles at 7.12AM PST.

The Los Angeles County Sheriffs department confirmed that Woods was the driver of the vehicle.

Fire crews had to lift him from the vehicle with the “jaws of life” before Woods was transferred to hospital by paramedics.

Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent said the mega star is undergoing surgery for multiple leg injuries.

According to the department, the vehicle sustained “major damage.”

Woods was in the area for a two-day content photoshoot with Golf Digest, the outlet confirmed, after serving as host for the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational.

Posted On Wednesday, 24 February 2021 03:29 Written by

Rwandan Hutu rebels on Tuesday denied accusations they were behind the killing of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo and instead blamed the armies of the DRC and Rwanda, as further details emerged about the attack.

Luca Attanasio, 43, died on Monday after a World Food Programme (WFP) convoy was ambushed in a dangerous part of eastern DRC.

The envoy’s Italian bodyguard, Vittorio Iacovacci, and a Congolese driver who has not been identified also died on the field trip.

The DRC’s interior ministry on Monday blamed the killings on “members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)” — a Rwandan Hutu rebel group that has plagued the region for more than a quarter of a century.

But the FDLR rejected the allegation, blaming the Rwandan army and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) for the attack in a statement received by AFP Tuesday.

It said the ambassador’s convoy was attacked near the Rwandan border, “not far from a position of the FARDC”.

“The responsibility for this despicable killing is to be found in the ranks of these two armies and their sponsors who have forged an unnatural alliance to perpetuate the pillaging of eastern DRC,” it said.

The FDLR called on Kinshasa and UN peacekeeping force MONUSCO to “shed light” on the killings “instead of resorting to hasty accusations”.

The DRC and Rwanda authorities have not reported the presence of any regular Rwandan troops in the DRC.

But an expert at the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a US monitor, told AFP the Hutu rebel group has a known presence in the region.

“The FDLR are near the place where the attack took place. It’s in the realm of possibility that the Rwandan rebels are responsible for this attack,” the expert said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Scores of militias roam the DRC’s four eastern provinces, many of them a legacy of wars in the 1990s that sucked in countries around central-southern Africa and claimed millions of lives.

Some of the FDLR’s founders were involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide during which the Hutu majority slaughtered 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis but also Hutu moderates.

The group is opposed to the current Rwandan government but has not launched any large-scale attacks in Rwanda since 2001.

Dangerous region
Monday’s attack occurred north of the North Kivu capital of Goma on National Highway 2 — a road that runs through thickly forested, mountainous terrain next to the porous border with Rwanda.

The world-renowned Virunga National Park, a UNESCO-listed wildlife reserve that is a haven for critically-endangered mountain gorillas, straddles the area.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi’s office said Attanasio had arrived in Goma on Friday morning aboard a MONUSCO plane.

He left on Monday morning in a two-vehicle WFP convoy heading for Kiwanja, in the Rutshuru area, accompanied by his bodyguard and WFP workers, it said.

The convoy was ambushed three kilometres (1.8 miles) from their destination by six assailants, armed with five AK-47 assault rifles and a machete.

“They proceeded by firing warning shots before forcing the people in the vehicles to get out and follow them into the depths of the (Virunga) park, which they did by shooting dead one of the drivers to create panic,” the president’s office said.

Park rangers and army troops nearby heard the noise and pursued the attackers.

“Five hundred metres (from the site of the ambush), the kidnappers fired point-blank at the bodyguard, who died on the spot, and at the ambassador, hitting him in the abdomen,” the presidency said.

Security questions
After the Italian government expressed shock and outrage at the attack, newspapers in Rome on Tuesday raised questions about security preparations for the trip.

The DRC interior ministry, in a statement on Monday, said the security services and provincial authorities had not been given advance warning of the trip.

“(They) were unable to provide special security for the convoy or come to its aid because of a lack of information about their presence in this part of the country, despite its reputation for instability,” it said.

But the WFP, in a statement, said the attack “occurred on a road that had previously been cleared for travel without security escorts”.

A UN humanitarian official in the DRC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that this meant the convoy had to be a minimum of two vehicles.

Posted On Tuesday, 23 February 2021 18:07 Written by

South Africa’s scandal-tainted former president Jacob Zuma and French arms giant Thales, accused of graft in a case going back more than two decades, will go on trial in May, the High Court ruled Tuesday.

Zuma is facing 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering relating to a 30-billion-rand ($2-billion / 1.67-billion-euro) purchase in 1999 of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment from five European arms companies.

He allegedly took bribes amounting to four million rand ($270,000 or 224,000 euros) from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales at the time when he was deputy president.

Judge Nkosinathi Chili at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg said the matter was certified as trial-ready and would be heard between May 17 and June 20, 2021.

Zuma was not present for the announcement.

The case was postponed last December, when Thales contested the racketeering charges linked to the arms deal.

But a court dismissed the challenge on January 22, a decision that Thales said it would not contest.

Both the state prosecution and defence attorneys had asked the pre-trial court for extra time.

They cited among other things Covid restrictions on international travel that could impede the availability of witnesses living abroad.

Zuma, 78, who was forced to step down in 2018 by the African National Congress (ANC) after nine years in power, is separately accused of enabling runaway looting of state assets during his tenure.

The judicial panel probing this alleged graft on Monday sought orders to jail Zuma for two years for defying a court order compelling him to testify.

The embattled ex-leader has repeatedly snubbed summonses by the commission, saying its chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, is biased.

He testified only once, in July 2019, before staging a walkout days later.

The findings of the anti-corruption commission will not lead directly to indictments but may be handed to the prosecution for possible charges.

Posted On Tuesday, 23 February 2021 18:01 Written by

By Justina Asishana, Minna/ THE NATION

Some of the abducted passengers of a bus, who regained freedom at the weekend, on Monday relived their ordeal in the hands of the bandits.

Fifty three passengers of a Niger State Mass Transit bus, who were kidnapped on the highway on February 14, were released one week after.

They were taken to the Government House in Minna, the Niger State capital, about 11pm on Sunday.

Among them were 19 members of a family, children and the aged.

One of them, Hajiya Jumai Isa, said: “It was a terrible experience but we thank God that we are safe now. They threatened us, they beat the men, they really beat the hell out of them. They told us they didn’t want anything from us but money. They said they wanted money, that we should give them money, that our people should bring money so that they would free us and that if not, they would kill us.”

She added that the bandits brandished sophisticated weapons that she had only seen in movies. “Their weapons, I have never seen the type before in real life. They have rockets, guns, AK 47, and other weapons. The bandits were more than 1,000 in that bush.’

Some of the 53 passengers recently kidnapped on the Kontagora-Minna road on board of the state-owned Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) bus, arriving the Government House, Minna, after they were released by their abductors on Sunday (21/2/21).
00717/22/2/2021/BJO/NAN

She expressed appreciation to God and the government for bringing her back safely, “I feel happy being reunited with my family. I thank God I am still alive because I lost hope, I didn’t think I would come back again.”

Mohammed Ndagi, who was returning from his friend’s wedding in Rijau at the time he was abducted, said bandits were shooting sporadically and a bullet almost took off his head.

‘One of the bullets brushed my head. When I saw blood, I thought I wouldn’t survive. But even with the wound, they forced me to move with them into the bush. We walked for about 24 hours. We walked all through the night. They gave us simple food, served on our palm. We drank the water that cows drink.”

He added: “We slept on bare floor. They did not tie our hands or tie us at all. They kept guns to our heads and beat us all the time. They beat us with stick. As they beat us, they kept saying, we need money or you will die here”.

He said they were moved from one place to the other adding that on the day they were released, the bandits escorted them to where those who picked them were waiting to prevent their being re-kidnapped.

“On the day they released us, they asked us to forgive them for what they did to us and we said we had forgiven them.

“They escorted us because they said if they left us to go on our own, some of their partners might re-kidnap us.”

Hamza Buhari described his experience as “hectic that I don’t wish for my enemy. They took us inside the bush. We walked for 24 hours. They moved us from one point to another. They conveyed the elderly on motorcycles. They beat us every day. They gave us rice on our hands. The experience was very bad”.

Alhaji Isah Abdukadir, who had 19 members of his family expressed gratitude to God and the government for ensuring their release.

Abdukadir who was close to tears, said the past week was traumatic for his family.

One of the family members who gave her name as Ameer said her mother, grandmother, uncle and sister were among those released.

Majority of the freed abductees had difficulty walking having been made to trek long distance in the bush.

Some of them were supported into the conference hall of the Government House.

Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello, who received them, said the released victims were malnourished and unwell adding that the medical team would attend to them.

He said no ransom was paid adding that the government employees used dialogue to secure their release.

Governor Sani-Bello said pupils of Government Science College Kagara, abducted by bandits on Wednesday, were still in captivity.

“We still have the students of Kagara in the hands of the bandits and everything is being done to secure their release soonest,” the governor explained.

Bello said the state went through one week of negotiation and dialogue to ensure the release of the passengers.

Posted On Tuesday, 23 February 2021 17:39 Written by

BY MICHAEL BAMIDELE/ GUARDIAN.NG

Nigerian Afrobeats superstar Davido has been named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future.

The Time100 Next list which was released today is an annual list that serves as an extension to the Time100 list. The Time100 Next aims to highlight “the 100 individuals who are shaping the future of their fields and defining the next generation of leadership in business, entertainment, health and science, sports, activism, and more.”

TIME wrote that the individuals on this year’s list provide “clear-eyed hope” amid a global pandemic, deepening inequality, systemic injustice and existential questions about truth, democracy and the planet itself. According to Dan Macsai, editorial director of the TIME100, “Everyone on this list is poised to make history. And in fact, many already have.”

For the list, Davido’s entry was penned by Laycon, Nigerian rapper and TV reality star.

“Davido is one of the biggest voices in Afrobeats because his music connects with people, often in ways that transcend his expectations. When he released the song “FEM” in 2020, a title that loosely translates to “shut up” in Yoruba, he didn’t know it would become a major #EndSARS protest anthem, as youth banded together to demand the government take action to end police brutality in Nigeria last October. Officials responded by sending politicians to give speeches. We told the government to keep quiet unless they had something sensible to add—the ethos of “FEM” was directly relatable to that moment,” Laycon wrote.

Davido | Image: Stephen Tayo /The New York Times/Reudx

Laycon continued: “You can tell Davido puts 100% into every song he makes. And the results are clear: his album A Good Time surpassed a billion streams in 2020. Afrobeats is a worldwide phenomenon, and Davido is one of many Nigerian artists who has made that possible; now more and more artists, from Nicki Minaj to Young Thug, want to work with him.

“By bringing Afrobeats to the global stage, he’s paved the way for people like me.”

Posted On Wednesday, 17 February 2021 18:48 Written by

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Posted On Sunday, 14 February 2021 21:45 Written by

Our Reporter/ The Nation

Borno State Governor Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, has approved the payment of N13.9 million and car gift to a 65-year old medical doctor from Ogun State, who lived within the General Hospital in Monguno and continued to offer healthcare services to patients even when the town was faced with the most severe threats by Boko Haram.

The doctor, Dr. Isa Akinbode, graduated from the University of Maiduguri and joined the Borno State Civil Service, where he served for 22 years before he retired in 2016 at Monguno General Hospital.

After his retirement, the doctor, despite reports that he was once abducted and released by Boko Haram in Monguno, remained at the General Hospital in Monguno to offer voluntary medical services. Then Governor Kashim Shettima, during one his visits to Monguno, directed officials of the state’s Ministry of Health to engage Akinbode as a contract staff. Due to bureaucratic procedures, officials at the ministry in Maiduguri, however, delayed formalising the doctor’s contract, even though he continued to serve.

Read Also: Zulum approves N624m for Borno students

Five years later, Governor Zulum, on Friday, directed that Dr. Akinbode be paid his accrued arrears of N13.9m based on the terms of the contract directed by the former governor in 2016. Zulum also directed that going forward, contracts should be formalised for monthly entitlements.

The governor also presented a Toyota Highlander as gift to Dr Akinbode for his services to the host people of Borno.

“These (people like Dr Akinbode) are the kinds of people that need to be encouraged. He lives in Monguno despite all the security problems. My predecessor had during his visit to Monguno directed that he should be engaged on contract basis; unfortunately due to some bureaucratic procedures, his reengagement has not been formalised. In fulfilment of the promise of my boss, I decided to re-engage him on contract basis retrospectively. We are paying all his entitlements/salary in arrears. I am giving him a cheque of N13.9m. I have also approved his reengagement from 2016, being the date of his retirement.” Zulum said.

Governor Zulum also approved the recruitment of Dr Akinbode’s daughter, who studied Public Administration at the University of Maiduguri, into the Borno State Civil Service.

Posted On Sunday, 14 February 2021 20:34 Written by

By Kazeem Ugbodaga/ PM NEWS

Popular comedian Debo Adebayo, also known as Mr Macaroni has narrated his experience after he and 39 others were arrested at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos for protesting the re-opening of the toll plaza.

He said he and others were thoroughly beaten and stripped naked at the Adeniji Police Station where they were taken to after the arrest.

Macaroni, in series of videos on twitter, said his father and friends warned him against participating in the protest, but did not heed their calls.

“My father, my friends all called me and they said I should not go out and in all honesty I did not want to go out. The only reason I went there was that I wanted to be there. I knew people will die again and I saw it. I was at Lekki Phase 1 and I was about shooting, that is to tell you that I did not really want to go because I was scared.

“The situation we are in, in this country is dip shit, you cannot blame anyone. People are scared for their lives. Do you think I am not scared? People are scared for their lives. We are in a government that has zero value for human lives.

“I saw it with my eyes, when we were picked up, we were taking to Adeniji where we were beaten, stripped naked, everyone was beaten. It was the 39 people out there that gave me the ginger to go out, they are the true heroes and heroine. Have we got justice for what happen last year? And you want to open the tollgate.

“You over 200 policemen outside and does it mean you cannot guarantee peaceful protest? You are all irresponsible, we were beaten, it is serious war out there, these people don’t care, they will kill anybody. You cannot continue to oppress us,” he narrated.

Posted On Sunday, 14 February 2021 20:13 Written by

By Abankula/ PM NEWS

Senior lawyer, Ndieonyema Nwankwo was found dead in his Owerri office on Sunday, a victim of a gruesome murder.

Sixty-four year-old Nwankwo, who was a former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association in the Imo state capital, was found, in a pool of blood, with machete cuts on his neck.

The police said they also found the machete used to attack the lawyer from Arochukwu, Abia state.

According to the account of Chinedu Agu, the NBA secretary in Owerri, Nwankwo had left his home for his office on Saturday, to work.

It was when he did not return home, that the family raised an alarm.

Imo State Police Public Relations Officer Orlando Ikeokwu, on Sunday, explained that when the command received the report of the murder, operatives were immediately deployed to Nwankwo’s office.

According to the PPRO, they met the lawyer’s lifeless body.

Ikeokwu noted that while taking a further look around the office, a machete with bloodstains, suspected to have been used in inflicting the cuts on him, was found on the floor.

He said it was also discovered that his car and other yet to be identified items were taken away.

The state Commissioner of Police, CP Nasiru Mohammed, has called for calm.

He has also ordered an investigation into the murder.

But the police may already have a clue to work on: Nwankwo’s driver, who took him to work in the vanished car, has not been seen.

Here is the narration by Chinedu Agu:

At about 8.15am today [Sunday] on my way to Church for 8.30am Mass, I received a call from the Chairman of the Bar, J.I Ogamba, Esq. detailing me to liaise with the former Secretary of the Bar, Ishmael Nkwocha Esq., to take Police to N.H Nwankwo & Co. at 43 School Road Owerri, to ascertain the safety of N.H Nwankwo, Esq. who left home for work yesterday Saturday the 6th day of February, 2021 and was yet to return from work.

However, earlier to the call, Ishmael Nkwocha, who shares same office space with him had, in response to frantic calls from his family members over the uncertainty of his whereabouts, gone to his office to meet same locked. On opening the Entrance door, he met Nwankwo’s main office locked and with traces of blood on the door to his (Nwankwo’s) office.

Not very sure of the situation he went to the Homicide Section of the State CID, going with him Forensic Experts from the Police Headquarters to the office to have it properly opened by themselves in order not to contaminate evidential materials.

When the forensic experts arrived at 9:56hrs with their gadgets, they opened the door only for us to find his bulky frame lying lifeless inside his office in a pool of his congealed blood.

On a closer inspection, Nwankwo appeared to have been savagely macheted by his Assailant, as a very gaping cut was seen on his neck, a monstrous cut of not less than of about 30cm with only about less than 50percent of the flesh in his neck region holding the head.

On a closer inspection, Nwankwo appeared to have been savagely macheted by his Assailant, as a very gaping cut was seen on his neck, a monstrous cut of not less than of about 30cm with only about less than 50percent of the flesh in his neck region holding the head.

Blood splashes were seen on the roof, fans, Printer, Computers, table, files, seats, books, bookshelves inside his office suggestive of a ferocious macheting of his neck.

Nwankwo was suspected to have been busy working as his Printer, Computer, Standing Fan were on while a writing pad containing jottings unrelated to this incident and a Pen were found on his Desk.

A bucket of water was seen in his office, with which the assailant must have washed his hands and Machete used in this act.

A search of the office revealed a machete abandoned inside the Toilet of his office with which the assailant was suspected to have used to cut his neck.

When his body which lay half prostrate was turned machete cuts were seen on his Wrist also and the footprints captured by forensic experts suggested the act was done by two persons as the two footprints were unidentical.

As at the time of this Provisional report, Forensic Experts are still gathering evidential materials for their use accompanied by myself, L.C Ugorji, Uche Osuji, Ishmael Nkwocha, J.I Ogamba, D.O Nosike and a host of other Lawyers.

Meanwhile, his Driver, who reportedly was the only person with him in the office on Saturday, is at the time of this report at large, with Nwankwo’s phones, and Car no where to be found.

Arrangement has just been concluded to take the lifeless body to the Morgue.

This is one death too many; one murder too savage!

Posted On Tuesday, 09 February 2021 01:34 Written by

By Samuel Oamen

· Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff

· Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff

· Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff

· Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Posted On Tuesday, 26 January 2021 21:13 Written by
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