Five Ugandan soldiers serving with African Union troops in Somalia have been found guilty of killing seven civilians there in August.
Two of the soldiers have been sentenced to death, while three others have been given 39-year prison sentences.
The three will be repatriated to Uganda to serve their sentences there.
The civilians were unlawfully killed during a gun battle in Golweyn between its troops and al-Shabab militants, the AU says.
The AU’s Amisom force has been in Somalia for 14 years.
It has been fighting the al-Shabab Islamists who retain a stronghold on parts of the country. Almost a third of Amisom’s 20,000 troops are from Uganda – making it the biggest national contingent.
Saturday’s court martial ruling by Uganda comes a month after the AU announced it wanted to expand its military operation in Somalia, pending approval from the UN and the Somali government.
“Our mission in Somalia is to degrade al-Shabab and other armed groups. In doing so, we absolutely have every responsibility to protect the civilian population”, said commander of the Ugandan contingent commander Brig Gen Don Nabasa in a statement on Saturday.
VOA reports that some of the victims’ families attended the court hearings organised by Uganda in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
“We are very happy with the court decision and expect compensation to be awarded to the families of those killed,” Hussein Osman Wasuge – a spokesman for the bereaved relatives – is quoted as saying.
He told local media that one of the bereaved and six Ugandan soldiers were allowed to testify.
Kaduna govt sacks 233 teachers over fake certificates
The Kaduna State Government has dismissed 233 teachers for providing forged certificates during their recruitment process.
Tijani Abdullahi, Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, announced during a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday.
He claimed that the teachers were dismissed following inquiries from the institutions they claimed to have attended, which revealed they had presented falsified certificates.
According to the SUBEB Chairman, the decision to investigate the teachers’ certificates began in April 2021 as part of the Board’s responsibility to ensure that all teachers have the qualifications they presented.
According to him, the main goal of the exercise is to ensure that all of our teachers have the necessary credentials that constitute the fundamental qualifications for employment as teachers.
According to the Kaduna SUBEB Chairman, 451 certificates have been verified so far by contacting the institutions that awarded the certificates, with nine of the 13 institutions contacted responding.
“So far, the Board has verified 451certificates by contacting the institutions that awarded the certificates. Nine of the 13 institutions contacted have responded, as of today,” he said.
“The responses from the institutions show that 233 teachers presented fake certificates. This represents 51% of the 451 certificates on which responses have been received from the awarding institutions. One institution disowned 212 of these 233 fake certificates.
“The Board will dismiss the 233 teachers who presented these fake certificates, while their files will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for forgery. The Board will continue to check the integrity of the certificates presented by teachers to ensure that this critical profession is not devalued by impostors.
“As part of our duty of transparency, the names of the 233 teachers found to have presented fake certificates will be uploaded on the website of the Kaduna State Government today.”
The Board also announced that beginning in January 2022; it will administer a new competency test to 12,254 teachers as part of its ongoing assessment of teachers for their development as well as for better learning delivery.
It will be recalled that the Kaduna State Government hired 25,000 new teachers in 2017 after dismissing over 22,000 unqualified ones following a competency review.
RCCG parish launches dating site, says there’s no marriage in heaven
The City of David parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Victoria Island, Lagos, has launched a new dating website.
“There is no marriage in heaven!” declared the church on its official Facebook page, just days after the website went live. “We’re here to help you connect and, hopefully, meet your better half.”
A look at the website reveals that the dating platform connects adults in courtship and marriage.
Before being approved, prospective participants must register and have their information processed. However, participants are not required to pay any fees to use the platform.
According to the church, the platform’s goal is to connect people for courtship and marriage.
According to a statement on the dating site, users of the dating site were advised to conduct due diligence before connecting with other participants.
“The Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David Parish makes no representations or warranties and expressly disclaims any and all liability concerning any damages sustained by any registrant as a result of connecting with anyone on this platform,” the disclaimer said.
The Parish Pastor, Idowu Iluyomade, said in a video posted to the platform’s Facebook page that people on the forum are of varying ages.
“We have from ages 20, 25 to 65,” Pastor Idowu said on social media.
The platform is already organizing virtual masterclasses for participants in which critical ingredients for a successful marriage are taught.
JUST IN: Amaechi visits Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody
Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, a First Republic parliamentarian and former Minister of Aviation, on Thursday visited the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
This was made known by Kanunta Kanu, younger brother of Nnamdi Kanu via his known social media pages.
Amaechi visited Kanu alongside the co-Chair of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, Bishop Sunday Onuoha. Nnamdi Kanu’s sibling said the visitors “had a meaningful interaction” with the IPOB leader.
“Chief Mbazuruike Amaechi and His Grace Bishop Sunday .N. Onuoha visited their son #MaziNnamdiKanu the leader of IPOB at #DSS Headquarters in Abuja today, where they hard a meaningful interaction,” Kanunta Kanu wrote.
POLITICS NIGERIA recalls that twelve days ago, Chief Amaechi, a nonagenarian, led Igbo elders to Aso Rock Villa where they met President Muhammadu Buhari and asked for Kanu who has been held since June, to be freed.
There, Buhari said the unconditional release of the IPOB leader, who is currently standing trial for treason, runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary.
On Thursday, Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja rescheduled Kanu’s trial from January 19 to 18, 2022.
The shift in the trial date followed the abridgement of time granted by the Judge following a passionate plea to that effect.
Kanu’s lead lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor had approached the Court with an application seeking an order of the Court to accommodate the trial in November and December this year as against the earlier January 19, 2022.
The prosecuting Attorney of the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran, however, told the Court that a counter affidavit opposing the request by the government has been filled and served on Kanu.
Justice Nyako informed Kanu’s lawyer that the application for time abridgement cannot be granted because there was no judicial time for such an issue.
During the drama that ensued, the case diary of the Court was read to the lawyer to establish that the Court has crowded pending cases.
Following the insistence, Justice Nyako agreed to shift other cases slated for January 18 to accommodate the trial which would last till January 19 and 20.
Justice Nyako ordered the DSS to allow Kanu to practice his faith, change his clothes and be given the maximum possible comfort in the detention facility.
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