Pastor, 3 others remanded for murder, possession of human parts (Punch)
A pastor, Reuben Adetunji, and three others arraigned for murder before an Osun State Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Osogbo, were on Thursday remanded in a custodial centre.
Also arraigned alongside Adetunji in connection with the killing of one Kehinde in the Oke Baale area of Osogbo, were Adewumi Gbadamonsi, Saka Akeem and Rasheed Ajani.
According to the charge sheet, the defendants were said to have “on May 20, 2021, around 2am at Ifeoluwa community, Oke-Baale area, Osogbo, in the Osogbo Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit a felony, to wit, murder.”
The charge added, “On the same date, time, place and in the aforementioned magisterial district, did unlawfully kill one Kehinde (surname unknown). Read more
Police arrest 127 traffic robbery suspects, pledge to combat crime (Guardian)
The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of 127 suspected traffic robbers within the last three months in various parts of the state.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, said the suspects were picked at various spots in the state.
He promised that robberies in traffic would soon fizzle out and become a history in the state as the state police command had deployed human and material resources to tackle the menace headlong.
The police boss added that fight against the menace would be intensified and more effective with the new equipment from the Lagos State Government. Read more
Lagos court jails three for N65m fraud (Punch)
The Lagos zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured the conviction of Joseph Adele, Richie Ojeba and John Ogo for a fraud of N65m from the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja and presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada.
A statement by the Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said the convicts began their journey to prison after they connived to defraud the Managing Director of Wealth Builders Technical Services, Dr Joseph Mekiliuwa, through a phantom contract they claimed that Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited was offering for the installation of solar panels in the Egi community, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The statement read in part, “They were first arraigned in September 2020 on 15 counts bordering on conspiracy, stealing and obtaining by false pretences, to which they pleaded not guilty.
“However, on June 17, 2021, they changed their plea to guilty, when they were re-arraigned before the trial judge on amended three counts.” Read more
“Over 6000 inmates await trial in Lagos correctional facilities” (Guardian)
No fewer than 6,000 inmates in the facilities of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) in Lagos State are awaiting trials.
The Comptroller-General of Lagos State Command, Adewale Adebisi, made the disclosure, when he received Lagos State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney- General, Moyosore Onigbanjo and other Lagos State Government officials visited the Kirikiri Correctional Centre for a plea bargain session and sensitisation with inmates in the facility.
Adebisi said congestion is the major challenge of the facilities in the state, which has more than 8,000 inmates with over 6,000 standing trial.
He noted that some of the inmates in Kirikiri Maximum and Medium Correctional Centres, Ikoyi and Badagry Correctional Centres had been in custody for up to 10 and 12 years without trial or conviction. Read more
Residents, motorists lament rising robberies, killings in Lagos communities (Punch)
Residents of Fagba junction, Daddy Savage, Jonathan Coker, Railway Crossing, Pipeline Road and environs in the Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State are in distress over incessant robberies and killings by hoodlums in the areas.
PUNCH Metro gathered from residents that the attacks had become frequent and that many of the miscreants were not just dispossessing residents and passers-by of their belongings, but were also harming and killing them.
One of the heads of residents’ associations in the area, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the attacks were becoming a daily occurrence, adding that three persons were stabbed to death at Fagba junction in the past week.
“These boys stab and kill people just to snatch their phones. Many have been rushed to General Hospitals. The boys don’t just hang around, they move around boldly. It has even degenerated into traffic robbery. Yesterday (Wednesday), they broke a vehicle’s windscreen in front of Providence School, while attempting to attack a man on his way to work,” he said. Read more
Press Council Bill: Presidency, Reps set to ‘ground’ newspapers (DailyTrust)
There are fears that a bill seeking to amend the Nigeria Press Council (NPC) Act will lead to the death of serious newspapers in Nigeria if it scaled through the two chambers of the National Assembly and finally assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Strong voices against the bill said on Thursday at a public hearing in the House of Representatives that some provisions in the proposed amendment to the APC Act would make it difficult for the media houses to operate in an atmosphere of freedom and hold those in the position of authority to account.
The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), an umbrella body comprising the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has therefore called on the House of Representatives to step down the bill immediately. Read more
UNICEF decries incessant kidnapping of school children (Vanguard)
Mr Moulid Warfa, Kano Chief of Field Office of the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), has decried the incessant kidnapping and abduction of school children in the country.
Warfa stated this during a courtesy call on two Katsina State paramount rulers, Alhaji Abdulmumini Usman of Katsina Emirate, and Alhaji Farouk Umar-Farouk of Daura emirate, in their palaces on Thursday.
He said that the spate of kidnapping, abduction and other bad treatment of school children were becoming worrisome to UNICEF and the international community in general.
The UNICEF chief appealed to the monarchs to intensity effort and join hands with government and relevant stakeholders to stop the menace which had. Read more
Mob torches police van over alleged killing of cyclist (Guardian)
Angry mob yesterday attacked a police team and burned their operational vehicle after a member of a local vigilante group accidentally shot dead a commercial motorcycle operator.
The incident, which took place in the Mofor area of Udu the outskirts of Warri, Delta State, led to pandemonium.
The Guardian learnt that the mob, who were angered by the shooting of the cyclist, swooped on the police vehicle parked nearer to the scene of the incident and set it ablaze, thinking the policemen shot the deceased.
The mob also attacked the vigilante team and inflicted severe injury on a member, who allegedly shot the rider. He was rushed to an undisclosed hospital.
The Delta State Police spokesman, DSP Bright Edafe, who confirmed the incident, said: “It was a vigilante that shot the Okada rider, not a policeman as alleged. He’s currently in a hospital after he was clubbed by a mob.”
Meanwhile, partial calm has returned to the area as police units were deployed to the location to maintain law and order. Read more
NSITF debunks report management under senate’s probe (Vanguard)
The Management of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, has debunked the allegation that the senate was probing its activities.
NSITF in a statement issued by its Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Alexandra Mede,
clarified that contrary to the “uninformed views in a section of the media, the new management of the fund is not under probe by the Public Accounts Committee of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for N62billion fraud”.
According to the statement, “What the Senate Public Accounts Committee is currently probing is the cumulative actions and inactions, financial malfeasance and infractions by two past management teams of the agency between 2013 and 2020 over which the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation had earlier raised audit alarm. This is purely in exercise of the statutory oversight function of the National Assembly. Read more
Ousted leader Gbagbo returns to Ivory Coast amid tensions (DW)
Ivory Coast ex-President Laurent Gbagbo spent a decade outside of the country fighting war crimes charges. His supporters celebrated the politician’s return.
Police fired tear gas at supporters of Laurent Gbagbo as they gathered to welcome the former Ivory Coast president at the airport of the country’s largest city, Abidjan, on Thursday.
Gbagbo’s spokesman also said that buses carrying his supporters were blocked from reaching the airport. After meeting his wife Simone, Gbagbo boarded an SUV for a ride to his party headquarters, with supporters cheering and running alongside his motorcade.
He is also expected to make an appearance in his home village of Mama. Read more
As US declares Juneteenth new slavery-ending holiday, Supreme Court rejects lawsuit by slaves in Africa (RT)
Child slaves trafficked to cocoa plantations in Africa can’t sue Nestle for “general corporate activity” in the US, the Supreme Court has ruled on the same day President Joe Biden declared a new holiday marking the end of slavery.
On Thursday afternoon, Biden signed a law establishing “Juneteenth National Independence Day” as a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery.
Its date, June 19, refers to the day when African-Americans in Galveston, Texas were informed slavery was over in 1865. It was adopted unanimously in the Senate and with only 14 House Republicans opposed, on grounds that it celebrated identity politics over unifying principles. Read more
Justin Trudeau nominates first person of colour for Canada’s top court (DW)
In a country where nearly one in four people identify as a minority, Trudeau took to Twitter to announce the “historic nomination.” In its 146-year existence, Canada’s Supreme Court has only ever had white justices.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated the first person of colour to the country’s top court on Thursday.
In its 146-year existence, Canada’s Supreme Court has only ever had white justices but with the seemingly inevitable appointment of Mahmud Jamal, that is set to change.
He must still be vetted by the House of Commons Justice Committee, but this should be a formality. Read more
Israel bombs Gaza for 2nd day straight in response to cross-border attacks as shaky truce falters (RT)
Hostilities between Israel and Hamas-controlled Gaza have resumed with a vengeance, with Tel Aviv firing a flurry of missiles into the enclave in response to “arson balloons” as tensions flared up under the new Israeli government.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they targeted a “military compound and a rocket launch site” allegedly operated by Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. The strikes were carried out Thursday night in retaliation to incendiary balloons launched from Gaza, the IDF said.
The missiles reportedly hit the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, which became the target of Israeli raids for a second day in a row, as well as the town of Beit Lahia, north of Gaza city.
Eight fires, including seven in the Eshkol region and one in a field near Shaar Hanegev, were sparked by the balloons on Thursday, following four on Wednesday, Israeli media reported. Read more
“Sangorians” take a page from insurgent playbook in fight against Taliban (France24)
They name themselves after a Turkish soap opera, count former Taliban insurgents among their ranks and dress like their enemies, but the shadowy “Sangorians” militiamen are among the fiercest forces on the Afghan battlefield.
They were established in 2015 by Abdul Jabar Qahraman, a high-ranking politician and military commander who was assassinated three years later by a Taliban bomb.
Local media reports say the covert group has received training from the country’s spy agency as well as foreign forces.
And the Jamestown Foundation — a US-based conservative think-tank — says it was established specifically to infiltrate and disrupt the Taliban. Read more
Hong Kong democracy paper runs defiant edition day after raid (RFI)
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper hit the stands Friday a day after police raided its newsroom, with an extra-large print run and a characteristic message of defiance emblazoned on its front that read: “We must press on”.
The paper and its jailed owner Jimmy Lai have long been a thorn in Beijing’s side with unapologetic support for the financial hub’s pro-democracy movement and scathing criticism of China’s authoritarian leaders.
But those same leaders are now determined to see it silenced as they press ahead with a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong. Read more
Adegoke qualifies for Olympics as wind halts Okagbare’s record time (Punch)
Enoch Adegoke and Blessing Okagbare emerged Nigeria’s fastest man and woman respectively winning the 100m events of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympics Trials in Lagos on Thursday.
Adegoke won the men’s 100m in 10.00secs, ahead of Usheoritse Itsekiri and Okeoghene Brume, who placed second and third respectively in 10.07secs and 10.09secs.
The winning time ensured Adegoke qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after meeting the men’s 100m qualification standard of 10.05secs.
He becomes the 12th Nigerian track and field athlete to qualify for the Olympics.
In the women’s 100m final it was mixed feelings for Okagbare, who saw her 10.63secs winning time declared illegal after a 2.7m/s wind assist. Read more
Neymar inspires Brazil to cruise past Peru in perfect Copa start (France24)
Hosts Brazil continued their perfect start to the Copa America as goals from Alex Sandro, Neymar, Everton Ribeiro and Richarlison gave them a 4-0 win over Peru in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
It was a ninth straight win for the Selecao who top Group B with a perfect six points from two games, while Peru fell to the bottom.
There was little between the two sides in the first half but Brazil’s greater quality made the difference after the break as talisman Neymar inspired them to an ultimately comfortable victory.
It took Brazil 10 minutes to get a shot on goal, and when they did it came from the unlikely boot of defensive midfielder Fred, who fired over. Read more
Smiling Ukraine star Yarmolenko makes light of Ronaldo and Pogba sponsor snub by moving bottles closer in press conference (RT)
Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo might have gripes with some of the sponsors at Euro 2020, but Ukraine star Andriy Yarmolenko certainly doesn’t – jokingly moving Coca-Cola and Heineken bottles closer to him at a press conference.
One of the subplots to this summer’s Euros has been the sponsorship snubs by the likes of Ronaldo and Pogba, after the Portugal icon implored people to drink water rather than Coke and the French midfielder appeared nonplussed at a bottle of Heineken being placed in front of him, despite it being of the non-alcoholic variety.
Following his man-of-the-match performance in Ukraine’s 2-1 win against North Macedonia in Bucharest on Thursday – in which he scored and registered an assist – Yarmolenko was clearly in a playful mood as he appeared in front of the media. Read more
US Open organisers hint at full capacity for 2021 tournament (RFI)
Less than a week after the end of the French Open in Paris, organisers of the US Open, the final Grand Slam tournament of the season, said the matches could be played in front of full stadiums. The 2020 edition took place behind closed doors as the United States struggled to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo said most health restrictions would be eased thanks to the fact that 70 percent of New York state’s adults have received at least one dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine.
That could allow more than 700,000 fans to flock to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens district of New York for the competition between 30 August and 12 September.
“We can’t wait to welcome fans back to the 2021 US Open,” said the US Open website. Read more
Euro 2020: De Bruyne and Lukaku magic elevates Belgium as Denmark honor Eriksen (DW)
Denmark produced a rousing performance five days after the collective trauma of Christian Eriksen’s on-field cardiac arrest. But inspired by Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, the Belgians came from behind to win.
Ten minutes into this emotionally charged occasion, the game came to an unprecedented stop. To coincide with the number worn by Christian Eriksen for Denmark, the game stopped as both sets of players and the entire stadium stood and applauded their stricken star player.
It was a beautiful and emotive moment to celebrate Eriksen on the Parken turf. As Eriksen, who will have a heart defibrillator implanted, watched from his bed in a nearby hospital, he would have heard the applause echo across the park that separates the Copenhagen stadium from the Rigshospitalet hospital. A banner was unfurled that read “Denmark is with you, Christian.” Such was the intensity of feeling, it felt as though the whole of Denmark was in the stadium. Read more
Dressel punches Tokyo ticket as Rio champion Manuel crashes out of 100m free semis (France24)
Caeleb Dressel’s hunt for Olympic 100m free gold is on, but Simone Manuel won’t defend the 100m free title she won in 2016 after stunningly crashing out of the semi-finals at the US Olympic swimming trials.
Manuel’s semi-final exit was the biggest surprise so far of a trials that has produced an array of first-time Olympians.
Manuel made history in Rio de Janeiro when she became the first African American woman to win an individual Olympic swimming gold — tying for first with Canadian Penny Oleksiak in the prestigious 100m free.World titles followed in 2017 and 2019 but she was shut out of Friday’s final with the ninth-fastest time of the semis. Read more