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2 die in Ikorodu cultists clash, 21 arrested

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Lagos – No fewer than 21 suspected cult members of two rival groups, Eiye and Aiye confraternities, in Ikorodu area of Lagos, have been arrested after a clash that left two persons dead and many injured.

Sources told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that different weapons, including guns, machetes and charms, were freely used by the groups in Isikalu palace and Solomade areas of Ikorodu during the clash, which resulted in disturbance of public order.

It was learnt that due to the clash which started on Thursday night and continued till Friday, many residents of the areas were unable to go to work or open their business centres until the Anti-Cultism police, led by their commander, CSP Uduak Udom came to the scene.

“The situation is under control now as policemen deployed have taken over strategic points in the areas, while the 21 arrested suspects have  been taken to the Anti-cultism unit for investigations.

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“ Suspects in custody have made useful statement to help the anti-cultism unit in its clamp down on cult groups, particularly in Ikorodu,” a source told NAN.

Contacted, the spokesman for the command, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed the arrest, stressing that the Police arrested the most wanted cult leader among other suspects.

According to Elkana, at about 10 pm on Thursday, Police received a distress call that some cult members from two rival groups engaged themselves in a supremacy battle along Isikalu palace and Solomade area, Ikorodu.

He said the Command’s Anti Cultism Unit and patrol teams from Ikorodu were promptly drafted to the scene.

According to him, the leader of one of the gangs, who has been on the wanted list of the Command, Yusuf Omidele, popularly known as General, was arrested along with 20 others.

“General was charged to Court on several occasions and sentenced to prison. He completed his last sentence in 2014 and has become an Elder-in- Council in Eiye Confraternity.

“ He led his gang in a reprisal attack on the members of Aiye confratanity, whom they alleged had killed the wife of one of their leaders some weeks ago.

“The suspects arrested belong to both Aiye and Eiye confraternity and have all confessed to belong to secret societies. Two cultists died from the cult clash and six others were injured.

“The massive onslaught launched by the Command on cultists and gangsters is a continuous operation with a view to arresting other fleeing members of the gangs.

“Four locally made pistols, eight machetes and three daggers were recovered,” he said.

The spokesman said the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr Zubairu Muazu, met with the stakeholders with a view to proffering a lasting solution to youth gangsterism and involvement of teenagers and underage persons in cult activities, especially at Ikorodu area.

He said that the CP solicited their support in the fight against the menace of cultism and gangsterism in Ikorodu.

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NAN learnt that there was another clash between Aiye cult group members at Iponri area of Surulere, on Wednesday, in which one Azu was reportedly stabbed to death.

NAN gathered that the members had a clash at Ike-Olu area of Iponri over an unresolved issue amongst themselves.

(NAN)

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CJN Onnoghen’s Removal shows Nigerian Judiciary is not independent — EU

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The European Union Election Observer Mission (EU-EOM) at the weekend says the removal of CJN Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria shows that the Nigerian Judiciary is not independent.

The EU in its final report on the 2019 general elections said the 25th January, 2019, “controversial order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal” and suspension of the CJN which threw up Justice Tanko Muhammad as acting CJN, “is subject to question”.

According to the EU: “The ability of the judiciary to work independently was questioned when, three weeks before the scheduled election day, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (Walter Onnoghen) was suspended by the President. The suspension did not follow due process, was divisive, and to some extent undermined confidence in the electoral process and opportunity for remedy”.

According to the body, “the Constitution requires any infraction by judges to first be investigated and resolved by the National Judicial Council (NJC), to the exclusion of any other body or authority, and removal requires approval of two-thirds of the Senate.

“The EU-EOM noted its concern over both the timing and process of the suspension in a statement on 26 January. The mission observed that questionable procedures were followed by the CCT.

“During on-going post-election sessions of the Tribunal, the chair was observed to behave inappropriately, with insufficient time granted to the defence team and threats made to journalists.

“On 3rd April, the NJC recommended the compulsory retirement of the suspended CJN.

“In contrast to previous decisions, the council also concluded that the acting CJN did not commit any offence when he was sworn-in without the recommendation of the council.

“The following day, the Chief Justice submitted his request for retirement to the president. On 18 April, the CCT convicted the suspended Chief Justice, who immediately submitted an appeal to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the Tribunal case was unconstitutional and without a fair hearing.

“The removal of the CJN during the elections had an inhibiting effect on the judiciary. It was seen by many as undermining security of tenure, damaging judicial independence and compromising the division of powers”.

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Buhari approves N208bn for upgrade of varsities

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President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday has approved N208 billion for the upgrade of federal universities across the country.

Represented by Sonny Echono, permanent secretary of the education ministry at the 23rd convocation of the University of Abuja, Buhari said Nigeria could overcome its challenges by developing its human capital.

He said his administration would continue to address the concerns of the tertiary institutions.

“The present administration will continue to improve on the infrastructural facilities in the universities, promote teacher development and curriculum review,” Buhari said.

“It is in furtherance of this that I recently approved the disbursement of N208bn to public tertiary institutions under the 2019 intervention of the TETFUND.

“The ability of Nigeria with its huge population to overcome its present challenges of development no longer depends on petroleum resources but on the ability of the country to develop its human capital.

“The government will continue to look into the issues raised by the universities.”

He added that the government would “monitor the universities closely”

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Keyamo accuses EU of bias, says their report is inconclusive

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, has accused the European Union Election observers of bias, says their reports on the 2019 general elections is not balanced and conclusive.

Addressing newsmen after EU briefing on Saturday, the spokesperson for the Campaign Organization, Festus Keyamo said the EU observers report only focuses on areas where some few anomalies occurred during the election while they failed to discuss the overall results coming from the entire country.

Reacting he said, “The result reflects the overall wishes of Nigerians, that was the report by so many observers, if you are an observer you should come to a definitive conclusion, don’t be dodgy about it, don’t run away from that fact because we have 120,000 polling units across the country and in all their report I don’t think they discussed at most 500 polling units.

“If you observed certain anomalies, it could not have been more than 500 or 1000 polling units and if you do observe anomalies in those polling units, how does that substantially affect results coming from 120,000 polling unit?

“So it is not enough for you to discuss the anomalies, they must discuss the overall results coming from the entire country and whether it did reflect the wishes of the people.

“This is what we want to know because they have problems in the US elections, there are problems in the EU and even UK elections.

“For Christ sake, we need a detailed analysis to come to a definitive conclusion about the overall result of the election,” he said.

Recall that the European Union Mission (EU EOM) had in their reports stressed the need to urgently improve the electoral process in Nigeria.

The EU EOM Chief Observer, Maria Arena, ststed on Saturday in Abuja at a news conference on the release of the final report of the 2019 General Elections.

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Residents flee as foreign herdsmen take over Oyo, Ogun forest reserves

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Foreign Fulani herdsmen have reportedly taken over Opara Forest Reserve in Oyo State and Imeko Forest Reserve in Ogun State.

Some residents of Imeko, Iwoye and Jabata said the invasion of the herdsmen has been a major source of concern to them, alleging that the herdsmen allowed their animals to destroy people’s farms while grazing in the areas.

According to The Punch, one of the residents of Iwoye, Adeyemi Olaosebikan said that inhabitants of Jabata village in the Imeko Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State had deserted their community following the killing of some indigenes during an attack.

He said residents fled the community in May after four persons were killed in the community, adding that residents of other border communities were now living in fear.

Olaosebikan stated, “Herdsmen from many countries in West Africa have taken over the Opara Forest Reserve in Oyo State and Imeko Forest Reserve in Ogun State. Their presence there is causing fear among the people.

“In fact , resident have deserted Jabata Village which is in Imeko Afon. Imeko Forest Reserve should be twice the size of Ibadan. It is 378 square miles. The Opara Forest Reserve is almost three times bigger than Imeko Reserve.

“Government is watching herdsmen from Bukina Faso, Mali and other countries taking over an area that is that large . The forest reserves belong to the Federal Government but state forest guards are the ones taking care of them. However, it is obvious that the forest guards are not doing anything there. So, this invasion is a time bomb.”

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Igbo presidency doesn’t exist – Okorocha

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Senator Rochas Okorocha has called on people from the South-East region of Nigeria to abandon hopes of clinching Nigeria’s top job in the future.

He said this while speaking to newsmen shortly after he was sworn in as a Senator on Thursday in Abuja.

Okorocha said the rotation of power will not get to the South-east because, “Power is not given, power is taken.”

His words:, “The South East cannot just fold their arms and expect power to be given to them just because you want power. Power does not go with sentiment some of the times, it’s on issues on the ground.

Democracy is about the people and the South East alone cannot make themselves president. So you cannot be talking about Igbo presidency, it doesn’t exist. .

We may be talking about Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction but that depends on what other geopolitical zones think about the issue.

For me, what is important is let power be given to somebody who has something ‘upstairs’ who can put food on the table of common man, irrespective of religion or where you come from.

There is a need for the Igbo to mend fences. We are neither here nor there politically. We are not in the ruling party or are we making an impact on the opposition. So, there is a need for us to get married to the rest of the nation politically.”

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Gorilla accused of swallowing N6.8m in Kano

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A finance officer in Kano Zoological Gardens have accused gorilla of swallowing N6.8 million. BBC Pidgin reports

He was quoted as saying the gorilla sneaked into an office and carted away the money before swallowing it.

Umar Kobo, the managing director of the zoo, confirmed that the money is missing and that the issue is being investigated.

“The issue is under investigations for now and I don’t want to say anything on the matter, many journalists have come to meet me but I don’t want to say anything. What I can confirm is that money is missing,” he told the BBC Pidgin.

Attempt to reach Abdullahi Haruna, police spokesman in Kano, for comments was not successful according to TheCable.

He was, however, quoted as confirming that 10 persons, including those on duty when the money went missing, have been arrested.

“Yes, it is true that money from five days of Sallah festivities is missing from the Kano zoo,” he reportedly said, adding: “As at now, we have arrested 10 members of staff of the zoo including the security man and those working in the finance unit.

This is not the first time animals have been accused of swallowing millions of naira in Nigeria.

In February last year, Philomina Chieshe, a sales clerk in the office of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Benue state, alleged that a snake swallowed N36m, being proceeds from sale of scratch card.

Also, Shehu Sani, a former senator, once said monkeys carted away N70 million belonging to northern senators.

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Bandits attacks village in Katsina, abduct village head

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Unknown gunmen suspected to be armed bandits have stormed Garin Labo in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State and abduct the village head on Tuesday.
According to sources, the village head, whose name was not given, was said to have been abducted on his farm along with some other villagers amidst confusion caused by the bandits around 1pm.
The sources said the bandits stormed the farmlands on motorcycles and started shooting indiscriminately. It was in the confusion of the moment that the village head was abducted, while those with him fled in different directions.
The Spokesman for the Katsina Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed the development on Wednesday.
He said, “It is true. Efforts are on course with a view to rescuing him from these rascals . Operation Puff Adder responded to the distress call but since it was inside his farmland far away near the Rugu forest but before they could get to the place, the hoodlums have already fled into the Rugu forest. We are following a lead that may assist us in his rescue.
“The command is calling on members of the communities in the affected areas to always form groups while going to their farms and inform security agencies for back up.”

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Islamization Agenda: El-Rufai bans Christmas, New year vigil in Kaduna”

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A religious group, Coalition of Christians with Conscience (CCC), has claimed that Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has effectively banned Christmas, New Year, Easter and other Christian religious vigils.
In a statement signed on Monday by its President and Secretary, Istifanus Daniel and Paul Musa respectively, the coalition said that the new Kaduna State Religious Preaching Regulation Law, 2019, contained several areas that will directly affect the worship mode of Christians in Kaduna State.
According to the group, some provisions of the law criminalizes ‘Any person who plays a religious cassette or uses a loud speaker for religious purposes between the hours of 11pm and 4am.’
The statement adds, “This is very disturbing as it means that Christians cannot hold night vigils, celebrate Christmas, Easter and New Year eve in the evenings, which fall typically within those hours. The provision is also divisive as our Muslim brothers are allowed to say their prayers at 5am after the ban for Christians.
“That this law seeks to ‘accredit preachers’ and appoint regulators of faith means that it is the state government that will determine what is preached or not. Has the state purged itself of its own political woes as to move into the sphere of faith?
“Surely, we are not in a theocracy but a democracy. The state and faith must be well separated. It is surprising that politicians who use thugs and take over the streets with loudspeakers do not have laws that will regulate them yet think that worshippers are the people to be regulated.
“We the CCC wish to draw the attention of the Kaduna State Government of the violation of our faith which this law will bring. We urge the Governor to reconsider its position and not pass this into law.”
DAILY POST recalls that the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, have asked Governor El-Rufai to rescind his administration’s decision to gazette the new as they alleged that the law had the potentials to incite religious controversies in the state.

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