Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Nigerian Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch as Children and Families’ minister, as part of his government reshuffle.
The British-Nigerian 39-year-old Badenoch is a British Conservative politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden.
Badenoch tannounced her new appointment on Monday, July 29. She tweeted:
The junior minister’s responsibilities include early years policy, including inspection and regulation. Her portfolio includes delivery of 30 hours free childcare offer, special educational needs including high needs funding, safeguarding in schools and disadvantaged pupils – including pupil premium and pupil premium plus.
Badenoch who spent her childhood Lagos, Nigeria, and the United States of America was born in Wimbledon, London to Nigerian parents who are medical doctor and a physiology professor. She later relocated to the United Kingdom at 16. She has been the MP for Saffron Walden since 2017 after replacing Nadhim Zawahi.
She is software and IT engineer. She studied systems engineering at Sussex University and also has a law degree. She has worked in the banking sector for Coutts and RBS.
The mother of two once shared with MPs on the floor of the parliament her own experiences of poverty and how she used to do her homework by candlelight.
Legit.ng had reported that the girlfriend of newly appointed British prime minister, Boris Johnson, has an intimidating profile.
Carrie Symonds, 31, was a former Tory spin doctor. She was the communications and PR executive and once worked with Conservative Campaign Headquarters in 2018. She is said to be the brains behind his visual rebrand in months preceding the election.
The Lagos State Police Command has launched a manhunt for the kidnappers of a businesswoman, Gbemisola Alabi, who was reportedly abducted while jogging on the Monastery Road in the Sangotedo area of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the 35-year-old, who left her house around 6am on Sunday to keep fit, was accosted by some gunmen.
Gbemisola’s husband, Olamide, told our correspondent that he became worried when efforts to contact her proved abortive, adding that she had planned to visit his mother on the fateful day.
The engineer said,
“I work in Port Harcourt but my family is in Lagos. My wife had planned to visit my mother on Sunday and because I knew that she normally jogged in the morning, I called her around 10am to find out her preparations for the visit. I knew she didn’t go jogging with her phone when my daughter picked the call and said her mum was not back.
“When I called again around 11am, my wife did not pick; it was the same around noon and 1pm. I became worried and called our family members and neighbours to help me search for her around the area where she normally jogged.”
During the search, one of the neighbours, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said people in the area told them that gunmen abducted a woman earlier in the day, adding that personnel of the Ogombo Police Station were following up the lead.
The neighbour said,
“When we found out that she was not back from jogging, we mobilised and started searching for her along her usual route. But, while searching, some people told us that some guys, who came in a tricycle, shot into the air and whisked away a woman.
“We have informed her family and also reported at the Ogombo Police Station and their officers are following up the lead.”
Gbemisola’s brother, Adewale, while lamenting the disappearance of the Osun State indigene, urged the police to investigate the matter, rescue the victim and arrest the perpetrators.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said personnel of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the command had been deployed with a view to rescuing the woman.
“We are investigating the case; we have deployed our specialists from the Anti-Kidnapping Unit to rescue the woman. At first, it was a case of a missing person, but we have now established that she was kidnapped. We have launched a manhunt for those involved in the crime,” Elkana said.
Following the completion of the screening and clearing of 43 ministerial nominees forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate, work has now commenced to assign portfolio to them.
Buhari, last week, forwarded the names of 43 ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation as ministers.
The senators had grilled the nominees based on their professions, working experiences/previous positions held, among others, without knowledge of what portfolios each of them will be assigned.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement commended the Senate for its swift and efficient process of screening and confirmation of the ministers.
Shehu, who did not disclosed the exact date the cabinet will be inaugurated, said, “specific portfolios shall be assigned with the inauguration of the cabinet.”
“The Presidency praises the diligence of the Senate in confirming the ministerial nominees, whilst also ensuring a swift and efficient process.
“The people of Nigeria want results, and with this list of ministers, we are confident they shall be delivered.”
Shehu expresses confidence that this crop of ministers will deliver on the “next level” promises of the All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration.
According to him, “this is a fine, capable and committed group of individuals. Working together, they shall help achieve what we all want and labour toward: a secure, prosperous, corruption-free nation in which nobody is left behind, and talents can flourish.
“The executive approaches this 9th National Assembly with a renewed spirit of openness and enthusiasm. Where once we sometimes found impasse, we welcome collaboration; where once suspicion took hold, together, we shall demonstrate mutual trust.
“Scrutiny should never mean deadlock but proper governance. “And with a new swathe of national legislators and ministers, we are confident the executive and the legislature can – in partnership – unleash the change Nigerians deserve.”
Meanwhile, there are indications President Buhari may likely reassign those in the first cabinet who were renominated to their former positions.
Sources say that former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, is likely to be reappointed to the same ministry, just as ex-minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama. Also, Mallam Adamu Adamu may return to the Ministry of Education; Hajia Sirika to Ministry of Aviation, just also as Abubakar Malami looks good for the Ministry of Justice.
It was learnt that the post of Minister of Nigeria Delta may be between former Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva and Senator Godswill Akpabio.
For the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Mr. Sunday Dare and Mr. Festus Keyamo are in contention, while Osagie Enahire and Hajia Zainab Ahmed may return to Ministries of Health and Finance respectively.
Sources revealed that a member of the House of Representatives and nominee from Imo State, Emeka Nwajuba, is being considered as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
With the increase in the number of ministers from 37, it was gathered that President Buhari would increase the ministries. Towards the end, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing may likely be split into two (Ministry of Power and Ministry of Works & Housing) or three, with former minister heading ministry of Works or Ministry of Works & Housing, depending on how many ministries would evolve.
Actress and singer Lady Gaga was photographed kissing and enjoying an intimate brunch with audio engineer Dan Horton on Sunday – and fans are crushed that the “Bad Romance” singer’s apparent new boyfriend isn’t her “A Star Is Born” costar Bradley Cooper.
After People magazine shared photos of Gaga with Horton at a Los Angeles restaurant on Tuesday, fans took to Twitter to express their disappointment that Gaga and Cooper hadn’t started a relationship.
what was the POINT of bradley cooper breaking up for lady gaga to go and do that
— rosie (@paintedmegclden) July 30, 2019
WHERE IS BRADLEY
— 💖Clean 💖 (@joaogurgelx) July 30, 2019
Ew that’s not Bradley
— 𝙅𝙪𝙡𝙞𝙖 (@fentyxrih) July 30, 2019
Bradley didn’t break up with Irina for this! pic.twitter.com/08AfVwPS4p
— | ₣ ₮ | (@MauditRebelle) July 30, 2019
THIS AINT BRADLEY COOPER @ladygaga
— 🥰 (@iSpeakAsshoIe) July 30, 2019
What about bradley he left irina for her
— Sarah (@sararaza2003) July 30, 2019
we wanted Gaga and Bradley pic.twitter.com/HS6fpnt7Fa
— notsookieee (@notsookieee) July 30, 2019
Some felt that the PDA was a PR stunt.
Others threatened to boycott Cooper and Gaga’s hit single “Shallow” because of the news.
if lady gaga and bradley cooper don’t
get together by the end of this year
I’m never listening to shallow ever again
— Midnight Diary (@wrotethisformee) July 30, 2019
So no Bradley cooper no more shallow 🤦🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/38k2wOL9Gl
— Maxmud ✨ (@IamMoone94) July 30, 2019
Speculation that Gaga and Cooper were secretly in a relationship started soon after their film “A Star Is Born” premiered last October.
And following their emotional, intimate performance at the 2019 Oscars, most fans of the film felt that Gaga and Cooper had to be in love. Gaga and Cooper’s splits from their respective exes in the months following their sensual performance only added fuel to the fire.
Gaga has said in past interviews that she and Coooper had an “instant connection” and “instant understanding of one another.”
Cooper, for his part, has said he “fell in love with [Gaga’s] face and eyes” while casting her for “A Star Is Born,” which he also directed.
Representatives for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
Senators of the ninth Assembly in Monday, July 29, condemned the President Muhammadu Buhari‘s led administration over various uncompleted projects across Nigeria.
The lawmakers rated the present government low during the screening of the former minister works, power and housing, Babatunde Fashola as one of the ministerial nominees.
Frowning at the inability of government to bring any project to completion during the period, the lawmakers said the present administration has enjoyed huge budgetary allocation for critical infrastructural needs.
Speaking during the screening process, Senators Francis Alimikhena and Adamu Aliero said since assuming office in 2015 no project was commissioned by Fashola nor his ministry.
The senators also asked Fashola what he intends to bring to the table regarding his renomination for a ministerial appointment by the president.
However, in his defence Fashola said projects takes time due to negotiations with parties involved.
“PPPs are complex. They take time to negotiate. Even here, in the Federal Government, we need to go through the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to advertise.”
He said in a government that has four years to show results and in a country where there are high expectations for results, skills must be paramount.
“Let me also say that PPPs are not attractive for all projects. I have learned to distinguish between social projects like roads and commercial projects like airports and hospitals where there is a daily cash count. Those are easier for private investors to want to put their money into, than roads and the risk of construction,” Fashola noted.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Senator Dino Melaye had faulted the screening process for the ministerial nominees before the ninth Senate.
The Senator said screening process adopted by the Senate is more of an adoption exercise. He also said he will not be part of a rubber stamp Senate.
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Local MP Christian Stein told Germany news agency DPA: “Our main goal is to protect the evacuated villages from the flames. We haven’t been able to push back the fire but none of the buildings have been damaged.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing growing accusations of racism for his incendiary tweets, President Donald Trump is seeking to deflect the criticism by labeling a leading black congressman as himself racist.
In the latest rhetorical shot at lawmakers of color, Trump said his weekend comments referring to Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live” were not racist. Instead, Trump argued, “if racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess.”
“His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” Trump tweeted Sunday.
After a weekend of attacks on Cummings, the son of former sharecroppers who rose to become the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Trump expanded his attacks Monday to include a prominent Cummings defender, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who was traveling to Baltimore to hold a press conference in condemnation of the president.
“Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score,” Trump tweeted ahead of the press conference, adding that the civil rights activist and MSNBC host “Hates Whites & Cops!”
Trump appeared to dig a deeper hole even as a top White House aide sought to dismiss the controversy by describing Trump’s comments as hyperbole. Two weeks ago, Trump caused a nationwide uproar with racist tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen of color as he looked to stoke racial divisions for political gain heading into the 2020 election.
Speaking in television interviews, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump was reacting in frustration to the Democrats’ unrelenting investigations and talk of impeachment. He said Trump swung hard at Cummings and his Baltimore district because he believes such Capitol Hill critics are neglecting serious problems back home in their zeal to unfairly undermine his presidency.
“I understand that everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people,” Mulvaney said. But he added: “The president is pushing back against what he sees as wrong. It’s how he’s done it in the past, and he’ll continue to do it in the future.”
Mulvaney, a former congressman, said he understood why some people could perceive Trump’s words as racist.
Mulvaney said Trump’s words were exaggerated for effect — “Does the president speak hyperbolically? Absolutely” — and meant to draw attention to Democratic-backed investigations of the Republican president and his team in Washington.
“Instead of helping people back home, they’re focusing on scandal in Washington D.C., which is the exact opposite of what they said they would do when they ran for election in 2018,” Mulvaney said, pointing at Democrats who now control the House.
He asserted that Trump’s barbs were a reaction to what the president considered to be inaccurate statements by Cummings about conditions in which children are being held in detention at the U.S.-Mexico border.
At a hearing last week, Cummings accused a top administration official of wrongly calling reports of filthy, overcrowded border facilities “unsubstantiated.”
“When the president hears lies like that, he’s going to fight back,” Mulvaney said.
Trump’s tweets Saturday also charged that Cummings’ district, which includes Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Social Security Administration and the national headquarters of the NAACP, is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.”
Condemnation followed from Democrats over the weekend, including some of the party’s presidential candidates. Statements from a spokesman for Maryland’s Republican governor and from the lieutenant governor defended Cummings’ district and its people.
The president has tried to put racial polarization at the center of his appeal to his base of voters, tapping into anxieties about demographic and cultural changes in the nation in the belief that the divided country he leads will simply choose sides over issues such as race.
Mulvaney argued that Trump would criticize any lawmaker, no matter the person’s race, in a similar way if Trump felt that individual spoke unfairly about the president’s policies. He volunteered that if Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who leads the House Intelligence Committee, had made the same remarks as Cummings, Trump would have pushed back.
“It has zero to do with the fact that Adam is Jewish and everything to do with Adam would just be wrong if he were saying that,” Mulvaney said. “This is what the president does. He fights and he’s not wrong to do so.”
To Mulvaney, Trump was “right to raise” the challenges faced in Cummings’ district at the same time that Cummings and other Democrats are “chasing down” the Russia investigation undertaken by Robert Mueller and pursuing “this bizarre impeachment crusade.”
Cummings is leading multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings. In his direct response to Trump on Twitter, Cummings said: “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
Cummings has also drawn the president’s ire for investigations touching on his family members serving in the White House. His committee voted along party lines Thursday to authorize subpoenas for personal emails and texts used for official business by top White House aides, including Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said Trump was engaging in “racial priming.”
“Using this language and taking actions to try and get people to move into their camps by racial and ethnic identity. That’s how he thinks he won in 2016 and that’s how he thinks he’s going to win in 2020,” Castro said.
Earlier this month, Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his call for Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan to get out of the U.S. “right now.” He said that if the lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries.
All four lawmakers of color are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. The House later voted largely along party lines to condemn his “racist comments.”
Mulvaney was interviewed on “Fox News Sunday” and CBS’ “Face the Nation,” where Castro also appeared.
Nigeria targets $30bn as Buhari signs Africa free trade pact
Jennifer Lopez stopped her concert to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her fiancé Alex Rodriguez.
The baseball star turned 44 on Saturday (27.07.19), and to ring in his special day, Jennifer momentarily paused her concert in Miami, Florida, on Friday (26.07.19) to bring him out on stage to surprise him, along with her 11-year-old twins Max and Emme, his daughters Natasha and Ella, and her backup dancers.
Jennifer presented Alex with a four-tier Yankees themed birthday cake, and had the crowd yell “Happy birthday, A-Rod”, before leaning in to share a sweet kiss with her beau.
She then led the audience in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Alex.
After the show, the two celebrated his special day at a party with friends.
The special birthday treat comes just days after the ‘On The Floor’ hitmaker turned 50, and celebrated by dancing the night away with Alex in the Star Island neighbourhood of Miami Beach.
Posting on Instagram after the event, Alex said: “I am so sore from one night of dancing, I don’t know how Jennifer does it! Who else hates getting old?!”
He then went on to say he’s tried icing his body, having a massage and sitting in the sauna but he’s still struggling to get out of bed and function normally.
“Jennifer’s done 28 shows in about 58 days, she has two more here domestically in Miami. For her birthday, it was a big one, it was 50, I danced for about an hour and seven minutes … I couldn’t get out of my bed tonight.
“I’ve iced, done cryo [cold therapy], got stretched, got a massage, steamed, sauna. I’ve been drinking coffee all day. I’m a mess. She went out there [onstage] and destroyed it in Miami [Thursday night]. Killed it. Like if she slept 10 hours. Am I the only one that can’t recover anymore? Does it suck to get old or what?”
Nigeria’s latest world ranking released by Fifa
Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, is sharing her thoughts on her granddaughter, Blue Ivy Carter, joining her mother on her new album, The Lion King: The Gift!
“Oh my god. That album is incredible,” she gushed to ET at The HollyRod Foundation’s 21st Annual DesignCare Gala honoring Eva Longoria on Saturday at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, California. “I can’t get enough of it and, of course, I’m not biased but that was wonderful and for Blue to be a part of it, it’s amazing.”
As fans know, the 7-year-old daughter of Beyonce and JAY-Z is featured on the track “Brown Skin Girl” alongside her famous mama, rapper and producer SAINt JHN and Nigerian singer WizKid. Blue even received her first-ever writing credit for the song.
While on hand, Knowles-Lawson also discussed Beyonce’s own relationship with the original, animated Lion King, which was released in 1994.
“I was very excited because when she was a kid we must have watched that show 20, 25 times,” she revealed. “So, I’m just so excited for her daughter to be able to see this, her kids and it’s very exciting. It’s a beautiful movie. Really beautiful.”
The Lion King: The Gift, isn’t the new photo-real film’s soundtrack, but instead a complimentary album created and curated by Beyonce herself. The single, “Spirit,” is on both The Gift and the soundtrack.
“I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa and not just, you know, use some of the sounds and give my interpretation of it,” Beyonce said in an ABC special on the film, which aired on July 16. “I want it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa.”
“A lot of the drums, the chants, all of these incredible new sounds, mixed with some of the producers from America, we’ve kinda created our genre,” she continued. “And I feel like the soundtrack, it becomes visual in your mind, it’s a soundscape, it’s more than just the music, because each song tells the story of the film.”
B’Haram fighters kill another army commander
“The terrorist group is known for its online media propaganda and quest to maintain a virtual caliphate,” he said.
Nelson Allison and Thelma Ibemere have been evicted from the ongoing Big Brother Naija show.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that they follow Avala, Isilomo, Ella, Kim Oprah and Tuoyo who had exited the show at one point or the other.
The two housemates became the sixth and seventh to be booted out of the house on Sunday during the live eviction show for having the least number of votes.
While in the house, Nelson, who was Mr Universe Nigeria, maintained a cool personality but had a love triangle with Frood and Esther.
NAN reports that he planned to use the prize money to care for himself and open a business.
He also stated that if he was a world leader, he would ensure the poor and rich had equal opportunities.
On her part, hair and beauty entrepreneur, Thelma, said she got into the show for the fame and planned to utilise it.
During her stint as a housemate, she gained attention in the first week for arguing with Tacha over food. Thereafter, she maintained a calm demeanour.
NAN also reports that all 16 housemates were put up for eviction during the last eviction show which caused some tension in the house.
The remaining housemates continue to battle for the Grand prize worth 60 million Naira. (NAN).
ABUJA, July 28 (Reuters) – Nigeria is backing its commitment to join Africa’s recently agreed free trade zone by setting up a committee to implement the agreement, and promising new laws where necessary to enact membership of the pact, the presidency said on Sunday.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), launched by African leaders on July 7, will if successful create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development.
Nigeria joined AfCFTA despite initial reluctance due to a desire to ensure it would not open local industries to dumping from countries outside the region, and its decision is an important endorsement as the largest economy on the continent.
The presidency said it would set up a committee made up of government agencies and private sector groups to implement the trade agreement.
In preparing Nigeria for the pact, President Muhammadu Buhari needs to approve a number of measures which would facilitate trade and boost local capacity to produce and export goods and services, among other policies, it said.
“Overall, the implementation of the AfCFTA is going to be a long journey,” it said. “Nigeria is committed to ensuring that Africa achieves a free and fair trade environment … through increased intra-African trade.”
The African Development Bank president told Reuters on Saturday that African nations will need to boost output of goods and services and integrate payment systems if they are to take advantage of the initiative.
The AfCFTA agreement, which creates a single market for goods and services and movement of persons to increase intra-African trade and deepen African economic integration, would be implemented in phases.
The first phase will be to establish a protocol for trade in goods and services and dispute settlement rules. The second will cover competition, investment and intellectual property rights, with negotiations due to start next year.
An attack this weekend by Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in northeast Nigeria has left 65 people dead, almost triple the initial toll, a local official said Sunday.
Dozens more bodies were discovered following the assault Saturday by gunmen on a village close to the regional capital Maiduguri.
“It is 65 people dead and 10 injured,” local government chairman Muhammed Bulama said.
Bulama said more than 20 people died in the initial attack on a funeral gathering. Dozens more were killed as they tried to chase after the jihadists.
The leader of a local anti-Boko Haram militia confirmed the death toll, while giving a slightly different account of the attack.
Bunu Bukar Mustapha told AFP 23 people were killed as they returned from the funeral and “the remaining 42 were killed when they pursued the terrorists”.
Bulama said he thought the latest attack was in retaliation for the killing two weeks ago of 11 Boko Haram fighters by local residents when the fighters approached their village. The residents also captured 10 automatic rifles.
Boko Haram fighters have repeatedly attacked the surrounding Nganzai district.
Boko Haram has waged a decade-long insurgency in northeast Nigeria that has killed around 27,000 people and displaced more than two million.
The group has splintered between the Boko Haram faction loyal to historic leader Abubakar Shekau and an affiliate of the Islamic State group.
Shekau’s group tends to hit softer targets including civilians, while the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has since last year ratcheted up its campaign against the military.
There is palpable fear in Oworonshoki and Gbagada areas of Lagos State during the week as fresh violent clashes broke out in the neighbourhoods between two rival cult groups – Eiye and Aye confraternities.
It was learnt that the renewed hostilities began last Sunday evening and lingered until Wednesday, claiming four lives.
A trader at Fogo Junction, Iyana Owonroshoki, identified only as Iya Igbo, was said to be one of the victims. She was reportedly hacked to death by cult members who exploited the fights to rob innocent people.
City Round learnt that some cult members had trailed a member of their rival gang to a bar at Kiniun Ifa Junction in the Sawmill area of Gbagada, around 6 pm on Sunday and shot him dead.
Three hours later, a gang believed to be on a revenge mission, unleashed terror on Fogo Junction during which the Igbo trader and another woman selling slippers, were attacked with cutlasses. The latter reportedly escaped with injuries.
The women had reportedly resisted the hoodlums who wanted to dispossess them of their money and phones.
Our correspondent gathered that on Monday, some suspected cult members shot dead a barber, one Olorunwa (aka Injection), in his shop on Oyegunle Street, Oworonshoki.
The clashes were said to have disrupted commercial activities in the areas and caused panic.
Olorunwa’s shop was locked on Thursday when our correspondent visited the street.
A shop owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, told City Round that the assailants rode on a motorcycle.
She added, “They shot the barber and fled immediately. He died on the spot. It was policemen from the Alonge division who came to pick his corpse. On Wednesday, we have to close shops quickly when the cult boys started chasing one another again.”
A community leader, Mr Agboola Bakare, said lives had become worthless to the hoodlums, noting that their violent activities had denied people of peace in the neighbourhood.
Bakare, who also confirmed the barber’s murder, said there had been calm in Oworonshoki for some time, until a week ago when the “uprising” began.
He urged the police to intensify patrols in the neighbourhood.
He said, “We live in fear every moment; the fear of children in the age group of our grandchildren. We understand some of them are in secret societies. We don’t know who to trust and discuss this issue with. The fear is that the elders you want to discuss it with may have their children in those circles.
“We don’t move freely again, especially when night falls. We meet with the police from time to time to find solutions to the problem. Maybe prayers will be the ultimate solution to the horror we find ourselves in. Some people blame it on joblessness. But are children in secondary schools qualified to take up appointments? Some of them are involved in this crime.”
A resident of Kiniun Ifa Street, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that the area had become so charged that people now stayed indoors as early as 8 pm.
He said it took a combined team of policemen from Ifako and Bariga divisions to disperse the rampaging gangs on Sunday evening.
“Many traders now close their shops once it is 7 pm to avoid being caught up in the violence. A man was killed on Sunday in front of a beer parlour. I also learnt that they (cult members) killed a rival group member in Odo Eran, Oworonshoki,” he added.
The Chairman, Kiniun Ifa Residents’ Forum, Mr Jagun Adebowale, urged the police to beef up security in the area.
He lamented that most times, the hoodlums would have caused huge damage before police arrived the scene.
“The atmosphere is not friendly. What we have is graveyard peace. People ply their trade in panic,” the chairman added.
At Fogo Junction, some plain-cloth policemen were seen searching some men suspected to be cult members. They arrested a man and took him away in a Sienna car.
The Chairman, Somolu Central Taxi Park, beside Fogo Junction, Mr Ade Emmanuel, said he lost his phone while running to safety during the Wednesday clash.
He stated that the hoodlums injured the slippers seller on the shoulder while she was dragging her bag with them.
“On Sunday around 9 pm, there was outage. We suddenly saw those boys with cutlasses and they were shooting indiscriminately. They attacked an Igbo woman in her shop and collected money from her. The woman later died from injuries she sustained. They also injured another woman selling slippers.’’
The chairman expressed worry over the late response of the police to distress calls.
“Most times, it is after they leave that police will come. And if some of them are arrested, they will be released some days after. We used to leave the park at 10 pm, but now we close at 7 pm.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said two persons died in the clashes, adding that 14 suspects had been arrested.
“We have restored normalcy to the communities and launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspects,” he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, July 26, in Monrovia, Liberia, received the Grand Cordon of the Knighthood of Venerable Order of the Pioneers, the country’s highest award.
Legit.ng reports that this was confirmed by the special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement issued in Abuja.
Shehu said the president was honoured during the 172nd independence anniversary of the West African nation in Monrovia.
In a goodwill message to the government and people of Liberia, Buhari said he accepted the award on behalf of all Nigerians and as a tribute to all our countrymen who paid the supreme price in aid of Liberia’s unity and stability.
“This gesture can only strengthen my resolve to rededicate myself to the service of my country, work for the prosperity of our people in the sub-region,’’ he said.
Buhari encouraged his Liberian counterpart to take decisive actions to further stimulate the economy of the country.
“Mr. President, Liberia under your leadership may wish to learn from our experience by taking courageous steps to diversify its economic base by developing the productive sector that would complement earnings from rubber, iron ore and the increasingly dwindling funds from development partners.
“In this regard, the need for proper management of human resources and investment in agriculture, solid minerals and other sectors such as tourism where the country has comparative advantage, cannot be overstated.”
According to the Nigerian leader, the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan launched by his administration in 2017 is creating the enabling environment for growth, security and economic revival.
He added that the administration had realised the futility in continuing to subject the Nigerian economy to the vagaries of its mono-product dependence and had instituted policies aimed at the diversifying the national economy which had been yielding positive results.
“Our government had to adopt appropriate measures including diversification and reforms to address such underlying causes exemplified by our continued dependence on a single-commodity, crude oil, lack of fiscal buffers, leakages, corruption and high governance costs.
“Furthermore, in our efforts to stimulate the economy, our government initiated bold policy interventions that are beginning to yield positive results.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that President Buhari would be honoured by the Liberian government on Friday, July 26, with the Grand Cordon of the Knighthood of Venerable Order of the Pioneers, regarded as the country’s highest national honour.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, July 25, said that he will work on the recommendations of experts from the private sector to bring about lasting solutions to Nigeria’s many socio-economic problems.
President Buhari said this during the presidential policy retreat attended by technocrats who proffered solutions to issues bordering on security and economy, Channels TV reports.
He, however, said that to achieve the desired national change, state governors must wake up to their responsibilities and work with the federal government.
“Although most of the proposals were targeted at the federal government, I want to remind the state governors to do their part, especially in the areas of education and health care.
“Our collective goal is to implement initiatives that will lift our citizens out of poverty through mass employment and social safety nets.
“This is achievable with the right fundamentals in place. We must all keep in mind that a successful economy is one where prosperity is felt by the majority.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the deputy president of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, had said Nigerians deserve a better deal under the Next Level agenda of the current administration.
A statement by his media office in Abuja on Tuesday, July 23, said the deputy president of the Senate disclosed this at the 2019 summit of Association of Professional Bodies in Nigeria (APBN).
Nigeria have moved up to 33rd place in the Fifa World Rankings released on Thursday for the month of July.
On the back of their bronze-winning feat in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the Super Eagles climbed 12 places from their 45th position in June, accruing 1481 points.
After finishing second in the group stage, Gernot Rohr’s men edged out five-time African champions Cameroon in the Round of 16 and went on to defeat 1996 champions South Africa in the quarter-final.
The three-time African champions, after losing to Algeria in the semi-final, clinch a narrow 1-0 victory over Tunisia in the third/fourth-place playoff to claim their eighth bronze medal in the tournament.
The Super Eagles, however, remain third in Africa behind Senegal (20th), who won the silver medal in the continental tournament in Egypt and Tunisia (29th), who finished fourth in the competition.
Reigning African Champions Algeria moved up 28 places to 40th position and fourth in Africa while Morocco (41st) are placed fifth.
Belgium remain the top-ranked team in the world while reigning South American champions, Brazil are second and France third.
The family of a musician, Chinedu Obi, aka Zinquest, has been thrown into mourning after the personnel of the Ogun State Police Command shot him in the Sango area of the state.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Obi, whom the police personnel accosted for having tattoos on his body, was protesting his arrest when the men of the Sango Area Command gunned him down on Friday, July 19, 2019.
The musician, who was still alive after being shot, was accused of destroying the windscreens of over 17 vehicles parked on the premises of the area command while protesting his arrest.
Footage making the rounds on social media showed the Delta State indigene lying in a pool of blood as he requested to contact his parents, but the people who gathered around him, instead of taking him to hospital for treatment, were condemning him for destroying the vehicle windscreens.
A close friend of the deceased said on his Instagram handle, @therevolution_is_here,
“They (police) never took him to hospital, neither did they communicate or allow Obi to communicate with any member of his family. Instead, they were taking pictures, making videos and ridiculing him until he bled to death.”
The close friend, who stated that Obi had visited one Adio Sodiq in the area when his arrest, said his death became public knowledge three days after he was shot.
He added that the police refused to release Obi’s remains because of the damaged vehicles.
The close friend’s statement read in part,
“The police claimed that he found an axe, which he used in destroying the windscreens of several vehicles parked on the premises of the station. He was killed in cold blood by law enforcement officers of the Sango Area Division.
“He died there and the video was leaked on social media three days after the incident happened. Meanwhile, the family sent lawyers there the same day that the video was released; but the police told the lawyers that Obi’s remains won’t be released until they pay for the damaged vehicles. Obi had some psychological stress but never deserved to be killed or left to die like an animal. These brutal killers must be dealt with.”
Obi’s death has sparked condemnation on the social media with many users criticising the police for deliberately neutralising the victim.
They are also asking for justice for the deceased musician and calling for the prosecution of the officers involved in his arrest and shooting.
An Instagram user with the handle, @04ma123, said, “The protest (by Obi) was too much, but he didn’t deserve to be watched to bleed to death.”
Another user with the handle, @adammeemmeada, asked, “What happened to restraining and letting him face trial or pay for the damages?”
@bankyhunter, who also condemned the policemen for Obi’s death, said the use of non-lethal weapon should have been explored to disarm the victim.
“This disproportionate use of force should be checked. They watched him as he suffered a mental breakdown, possibly from torture, he kept breaking windscreens and they couldn’t stop him until he was shot in cold blood. The trigger-happy men should be brought to justice as well as all of them that aided (the policemen) or stood by doing nothing.”
The owner of the Instagram handle, @kynxgrivo, said he “heard a policeman telling him (Obi) that God will punish his father when the young man demanded to call his dad before he died.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said Obi was arrested because a complaint was made against him, adding that during interrogation, he picked up an axe and destroyed 17 vehicles parked on the premises of the police station.
He stated that the deceased attempted to attack an armed policeman and was shot in the leg, adding that he was rushed to the Ifo General Hospital, where he died.
“What happened was that the guy (Obi) was arrested for a case of assault occasioning harm. He fought someone and injured the person, so the person lodged a complaint against him and he was arrested.
“While they were interrogating him, he stood up suddenly and took the axe recovered as an exhibit and started chasing policemen round the station. From there, he broke the windscreens of about 17 vehicles with the axe.
“He started chasing the officer, who was armed, with the axe and that officer shot him in the leg to demobilise him. He was immediately taken to the Ifo General Hospital, where he died. A police officer is justified to use firearm if his life is in danger and when there is no other means of protecting himself.
“Would they be looking at him and allow him to axe people down in the station? So, those people saying the police watched him till he bled to death are fabricating lies. We have eyewitnesses, including civilians, who are ready to testify about what happened that day.”
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will visit New Zealand in November, the South Pacific nation’s prime minister said on Friday.
It would be the pair’s third joint trip to the country, having last visited in November 2015.
“The Prince of Wales has been a strong advocate for the environment, conservation and sustainability for many years,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.
“This visit will provide opportunities for him to engage with New Zealanders on those subjects, and to learn more about the ways in which New Zealand is preparing for the future,” she added.
Ardern said that the visit was still in the planning stage and further information on dates and itinerary would be released closer to the time.
Charles’s son Prince William visited New Zealand in April to honor the victims of mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, while Prince Harry and his wife Meghan visited the country during a tour of the Pacific in late 2018.
Scores killed as bandits attack five Sokoto villages
Jennifer Lopez and STXfilms are reteaming for The Godmother,a movie based on the true-life Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco.
Lopez will star as Blanco and produce alongside Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina and Julie Yorn. It’s understood Lopez could make her directorial debut with The Godmother, though she has not yet committed to helming the project.
The screenplay was written by Regina Corrado and Terence Winter.
“I’ve been forever fascinated by the story of Griselda Blanco and jumped at the chance to play her onscreen. She is all the things we look for in storytelling and dynamic characters — notorious, ambitious, conniving, chilling,” Lopez said in a statement.
Winter, Alex Pettyfer, Alex Brown and Rick Yorn will executive produce The Godmother, which chronicles the notorious drug lord who outsmarted rivals as she rose from an impoverished childhood in Colombia to become a key figurehead in Miami’s drug trade wars.
STXfilms and Lopez earlier collaborated on the romantic comedy Second Act, which earned $72 million at the global box office, and the upcoming Hustlers, which opens Sept. 13 after a world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. Lopez co-stars with Cardi B, Keke Palmer and Constance Wu.
Lopez previously starred on the big screen in The Boy Next Door, Monster-in-Law and The Wedding Planner,among other films.
On TV, she has produced and served as a judge on the dance competition show World of Dance.
Kate Vorhoff is overseeing The Godmother on behalf of STXfilms.
Lopez is repped by CAA and managed by The Medina Co. Winter and Corrado are repped by CAA.
Nigerian entertainer popularly known as Tuesday Cruise has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for internet fraud. According to reports, Cruise whose real name is Pal Gagiyouwe Thankgod has been sentenced to six months imprisonment.
The 25-year-old was arraigned on July 24, 2019, by the Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a one-count charge.
He pleaded guilty to the charge, and in view of his plea, counsel for the EFCC, Adebayo Soares prayed the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
The charge reads:
“That you, Gagiyouwe Pal Thankgod (alias Chris Henry) on or about the 11th day of July 2019, in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court, fraudulently impersonated one Chris Henry by using his email address firstname.lastname@example.org with the intent to obtain money, property or any advantage from one John Smith and other unsuspecting persons, the pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2 ) (b) (ii) & (iii) of Cyber Crimes (provision, prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.”
At the time of his arrest, a laptop was found on him and a forensic analysis of it led to the retrieval of various scam documents, which the convict admitted to have sent out to mainly female foreign nationals with the aim of fleecing them of their hard-earned money under various disguise.
Mother Teresa’s former assistant has died from injuries he sustained following an alleged attack in in Swansea city centre.
Mark Bloomfield died in hospital after he was found injured near the Full Moon Pub on the city’s High Street.
The 54-year-old’s family said he was a charity worker who had worked all over the world including as a special assistant to Mother Teresa in Calcutta.
“Mark Bloomfield built a legacy that will continue to live on in the countless lives that he encountered,” they said in a statement. “As special assistant to Mother Teresa in Calcutta, he was an essential contributor to her mission and to those she cared for.”
“In India, he organised free cataract surgery camps and founded schools that gave rare access to education for girls. In Africa, he helped preserve wild game by introducing ultralight aircraft to combat the onslaught of poachers.
“He will be remembered for all of this and more by his mother and three siblings.”
They added that Mr Bloomfield would continue to have an impact on others’ lives as a registered organ donor.
South Wales Police are investigating the incident linked to his death and are appealing for information.
Colin Thomas Payne, 61, from Swansea, is currently remanded in custody having been charged with causing grievous bodily harm
A 21-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman were both arrested in connection with the matter and are currently released under investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Darren George said:
“My sincere condolences are passed to Mr Bloomfield’s family, after he sadly passed away as a result of his injuries. A major incident room has been set up at Cockett Police Station and I am keen to hear from anyone who was inside the Full Moon Public House on High Street, Swansea, between 11.30am and 3.15pm on Thursday July 18, and who may have witnessed an altercation taking place.
“I am also keen to hear from anyone who was on High Street later in the day, between 2pm and 3.15pm, who may have witnessed an incident outside the Full Moon Public House.”
“No matter how insignificant your information or content may seem, please do come forward as it could make all the difference to the investigation and to the victim’s family.”
South Wales Police can be contacted via 101, quoting occurrence 1900262179.
Some members of the National Association of Nigerian Students in Benue State, on Thursday, took to major roads in Makurdi in protest against the inhuman treatment of Nigerians in South Africa.
The students also locked up the offices of some companies linked to South Africa operating in Makurdi.
The students marched to the MTN and DSTV offices as well as the Shoprite mall in the state capital and shut them down.
The protest was led by the zonal deputy national coordinator of the association, Owoicho Aba.
Aba, who decried the killing of Nigerians in South Africa, noted that the students would not allow South African businesses to run in Nigeria.
He said the students had been mandated to close down all South African businesses in Nigeria, including MTN, DSTV and Shoprite.
According to him, if Nigerian businesses cannot enjoy the peace and support that South African businesses enjoy from the Federal Government, the only reasonable thing would be to close down all South African businesses in the country.
“It is very painful to see that the citizens of a country, which supported South Africa to attain freedom are being massacred. Nigeria fought hard to stop apartheid and now, the South Africans are paying us back with evil.
“We will not allow any South African business to thrive until a concrete arrangement is put in place to guarantee the safety of Nigerians in South Africa. We want to draw the attention of the international community to the dastardly act of killing Nigerians in South Africa.”
An MTN manager, Vera Obe, who spoke with the students, expressed the organisation’s concern over the killing of Nigerians in South Africa.
She assured the students that actions were being taken to nip the ugly incident in the bud.
Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has exemplified one of the qualities of being an husband after buying a new G wagon for his wife Fortune as gift for birthday. Ndidi and Fortune dated for many years before they recently married in a big traditional and church wedding held in Abuja. The wedding was attended by […]
LAGOS, June 10 (Reuters) – Nigeria have cut Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho from their final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts in Egypt next week. Iheanacho was the only major omission by coach Gernot Rohr, who retained 15 players from the squad that went to the World Cup in Russia […]
Nigeria Vs South Africa: How Kanu Nwankwo reacted to Super Eagles 2-1 AFCON victory [VIDEO]
Prince Harry retraced his mother’s footsteps today as he put huge grins on poorly children’s faces at the same hospital Diana visited 30 years ago.
The Duke of Sussex was met with cheers as he arrived at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and stepped out of his car into the baking sunshine where throngs of people were waiting for him.
Once inside, the playful duke left youngsters in fits of giggles – including one who he had a tug of war competition with.
He was then seen looking lost in thought as he studied a book of photos showing mum Diana’s visit.
The Princess, dressed in red, is seen chatting to staff, as well as a mum and her young baby.
Harry smiled to himself as he flicked through the pages.
He then signed the same visitors’ book she wrote in on November 29, 1989.
The hospital visit is the first of three engagements in the city for the Duke today.
The 34-year-old is officially opening a new multi-million pound wing at the hospital and rolled up his shirt sleeves as he took a tour and met children on one of the new wards.
He looked happy and relaxed as he showed off his paternal side while chatting to the youngsters, including schoolboys Heath Keighley, 11, and Alfie.
Harry, who welcomed son Archie with wife Meghan Markle in May, couldn’t hide his delight as he spent time with Noah Nicholson and his mother.
He left the 23-month-old in fits of giggles as he put a blanket over the toddler’s head.
At one point, playful Noah – who was fascinated by Harry’s beard – was seen trying to put his finger in the Duke’s mouth, much to his amusement.
Harry then continued to pull a number of silly faces before even having a tug of war contest with Noah and the blanket.
He also clutched the toddler’s hand and tickled his stomach.
Outside the hospital, he spent time speaking to more children who he shook hands with and bent down to speak to.
After this stop, Harry visited Sheffield Hallam University to learn about their commitment to applied learning in teaching and research.
He saw a demonstration of a virtual reality rehabilitation project, which uses technology to make it easier for amputees to train themselves to use prosthetic limbs.
He also viewed a racing car built by engineering students and recently raced at Silverstone.
Harry, who is patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, will later visit the English Institute of Sport Sheffield.
He will watch the trials and meet athletes hoping to be selected for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020.
LAGOS (Reuters) – International aid agency Action Against Hunger said on Thursday that a staff member and five others kidnapped in Nigeria last week had appeared in a video released on Wednesday evening.
The people, abducted last week near the town of Damasak in northeast Nigeria, are “apparently in a good condition of health”, the aid group said in a statement.
No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction, in which a driver was killed, but sources told Reuters it was carried out by Islamist insurgents. Two main groups operate in the region, Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa branch.
All six abductees are Nigerian, sources said.
“Action Against Hunger strongly requests that our staff member and her companions are released,” said the agency.
The video was published by The Cable, a Nigerian news organisation, and showed a woman sitting on the floor who identifies herself as “Grace”. Five men sit around her, some with their heads bowed. Behind them is a sheet with the logo of the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.
“We were caught by this army called the Calipha,” she said, before asking that the Nigerian government and Action Against Hunger secure their release. “We don’t know where we are.”
The abduction comes nine months after Islamic State’s West Africa branch executed a Red Cross aid worker who was kidnapped from another town in northeastern Nigeria in March 2018.
A Swedish prosecutor has charged rapper A$AP Rocky with assault over a fight in Stockholm last month, in a case that’s drawn the attention of fellow recording artists as well as U.S. President Donald Trump.
Rocky, a platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been in custody since July 3 as authorities investigate a fight he was allegedly involved in on June 30 before appearing at a music festival.
Prosecutor Daniel Suneson said in a statement Thursday that he filed charges against the artist and two others “suspected of assault causing actual bodily harm, having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defense and provocation.”
The three suspects will remain in custody until trial. The Stockholm District Court plans to announce next week when that will take place.
Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration. I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2019
Videos published on social media appear to show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by Rocky, 30. A defense lawyer has said it was self-defense.
Suneson said he reached a different conclusion after studying videos.
“It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet,” he said.
“In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”
Suneson added that there were initially two injured parties in the case, but the allegations concerning one of them were dropped due to “insufficient supporting evidence” and the charges relate to only one alleged victim. That person has not been identified.
A counter-allegation was made by the artist’s bodyguard against one of the alleged victims, but that case was closed earlier this week, the prosecutor said.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, Justin Bieber and Kris Jenner are some of the celebrities who have publicly expressed support for Rocky.
The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has collaborated with Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, Drake and Selena Gomez.
On Saturday, Trump said he spoke with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven about A$AP Rocky and “offered to personally vouch for his bail,” something that is not available under Swedish law.
Urged on by the first lady and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, the president had said in a Friday tweet that he would intervene to try to free Rocky.
Lofven’s press secretary, Toni Eriksson, later said that the two leaders had a “friendly and respectful” conversation in which Lofven “made certain to emphasize the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts” and stressed that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.