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Police Brutality: Activist Produces, Distributes #EndSARS Exercise Books

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EndSARS book

A youth activist has decided to up the ante concerning the #EndSARS campaign by producing and distributing exercise booklets inscribed with the hashtag and one of the dominant photographs associated with the protest.

The activist, identified simply as @Olu_Benjy, took to Twitter where he announced the gesture and published photographs of the books.

In October 2020, Nigeria witnessed nationwide protests, led by Nigerian youths across the country, demonstrating against police brutality allegedly committed by the now-disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force

It, however, came to an agonising end on October 20, 2020, after some soldiers of the Nigerian Army shot at a crowd of protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza in Lagos State.

Photographs that accompanied the activist’s tweet published on Saturday shows the #EndSARS hashtag boldly inscribed on the booklets alongside a raised clenched fist, which indicates a sign of resistance and solidarity.

According to the activist, the books will be distributed in Osogbo, the Osun State capital. He said the books would be distributed to school students in Osogbo at random.

He, however, did not disclose how the process would occur.

The tweet, expected, elicited a deluge of reactions and comments.

While many Twitter users praised the courage and ingenuity of the activist to undertake such a project, some others, however, slammed him for producing such books and questioned the motive behind it.

According to the critics, the country is gradually moving away from the destruction that characterised the end of the protests in October 2020, adding that passions should not be re-inflamed over the subject matter.

Others said the books would make its intended targets: school children, as well as their parents and or guardians, teachers and schools targets of harassment by the police.

See some of the reactions below:

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Omicron variant highly transmissible, detected in 40 countries – WHO

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“We need to be prepared and cautious, not panic,” the WHO’s top scientist Soumya Swaminathan said

The world should not panic about the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 but it should prepare, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Speaking at a conference on Friday, top WHO scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the situation now was very different to a year ago.

Reports suggest Omicron has been found in close to 40 countries.

It is still unclear if the highly mutated variant is more transmissible or better able to evade vaccines.

Early data reported by scientists in South Africa – where the variant was first detected – suggests Omicron may evade some immunity to Covid-19, although experts caution the analysis is not definitive.

Dr Swaminathan told the Reuters NEXT conference that the variant was “highly transmissible”, citing data from South Africa, and said it could possibly become the dominant strain worldwide – although this is hard to predict. Delta currently accounts for 99% of cases globally, she added.

“How worried should we be? We need to be prepared and cautious, not panic, because we’re in a different situation to a year ago,” she said.

WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan meanwhile said the world currently had “highly effective vaccines” against Covid-19, and the focus should be on distributing them more widely. He said there was no evidence to back changing these jabs to tailor them to the new Omicron variant.

COVID-19 variant Omicron
Omicron is the most heavily mutated version of coronavirus

Countries around the world have announced travel bans against southern African countries in the wake of Omicron’s first detection.

US officials have made it compulsory for all international travellers to the US to take a Covid test no more than one day before travel. It comes after authorities tightened US travel rules in light of the variant.

Omicron has now been detected in at least six US states including Hawaii, where officials said the case had no recent travel history.

India has also reported its first two cases of the Omicron variant. Officials said one of them – a 66-year-old South African national – had travelled from the country and had already left India, while the second – a 46-year-old doctor in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru – had no travel history.

The second wave of Covid infections brought the country’s healthcare system to its knees in April and May this year, with hospitals running out of beds, oxygen and medicines.

The emergence of the new variant comes as European countries are already grappling with a surge in infections.

On Thursday Germany announced major restrictions on the unvaccinated, declaring that only those inoculated or who had recently recovered from the virus will be allowed in restaurants, cinemas and many shops.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also said vaccinations could be mandatory by February. Neighbouring Austria announced compulsory jabs for residents from 1 February, while countries including Belgium and the Netherlands have brought back or tightened measures aimed at tackling the spread of cases.

Health officials in the UK are working on accelerating the rollout of booster jabs. The government has bought 114 million more doses of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs and has announced that all adults will be offered a booster by the end of January.

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Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer roasts Senator Orji Kalu

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Ifeanyi Ejiofor

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Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel to Nnamdi Kanu and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Saturday accused the Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Kalu of breaching the Department of State Services (DSS) protocol to see his client in Nigerian secret police custody.

According to Ejiofor, “I make bold to say that the clandestine visit to Onyendu (Kanu) undertaken by Orji Uzor Kalu is no more than an empty positioning for political office come 2023”.

In the press statement shared via his verified Facebook page, Ejiofor also claimed that Kanu ‘does not trust Kalu one bit’.

Read Ejiofor’s full post below:

KEEPING THE RECORD STRAIGHT – REJOINDER TO PUBLISHED GARBAGE
IN RE: ORJI UZOR KALU (OUK):

On/or about 11AM on the 29th of November 2021, I received a phone call from a reliable source. The latter informed me that a certain Orji Uzor Kalu expressed desire to see my client, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The intended visit was ostensibly in further pursuit of the political solution to the unconditional release of my client.

As I had before then resolved not to constitute myself an impediment to the exploration of any such political solution, I welcomed the idea. Consequently, I was constrained to substitute the name of one of the persons already scheduled for the visit for the name of Orji Uzor Kalu.

I then proceeded to submit a fresh list containing the name of the latter to the relevant authorities on/or about 12Noon of the aforementioned date.

When the team of lawyers who were scheduled to visit my client arrived at the Reception Hall of the headquarters of the Department of State Security (DSS), on/or about 1.55PM of the aforementioned date, they were informed that Orji Uzor Kalu, whose name appeared on the list at the 11th hour, would not be allowed to see Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The reason for this decision was clear. As the name of Orji Uzor Kalu was merely submitted on the day of the intended visit, and not earlier as was the practice, he could not, without permission and/or clearance from superior authority, be granted access to visit my client in the detention facility of the DSS.

Orji Kalu’s hypocritical pretensions was worsened by the fact that he is a politician (and a wily one at that), and he is not related to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu either by affinity or consanguinity.
This position taken by the Detaining Authority did not come as a surprise, or so I thought.

Long before the 29th of November 2021, the DSS consistently and variously denied certain persons of sundry political persuasions, and proven elder statesmen, access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody. A case in point is that of Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State.

The inclusion of the name of Orji Uzor Kalu at the 11th hour in the fresh list submitted to the DSS on the day of the intended visit had the effect of temporarily stultifying the access operatives of the DSS could easily have afforded the lawyers. So I thought honestly.

But there was more to it. The lawyers were kept waiting till on/or about 3.20pm of that day when they were finally cleared to ingress the detention facility. At first, I thought this delay to be inexplicable and unreasonable, but, with hindsight, I concluded that the delay was deliberate. It was occasioned by the fact that Orji Uzor Kalu had earlier arrived at the DSS facility and had gone to visit Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at the time the lawyers were literally forced to wait for a pretended reason.

I then became convinced that the objection that was taken at the inclusion of the name of Orji Uzor Kalu at the 11th hour in the list of persons scheduled for the visit was a ruse, a smokescreen, and a deceptive ploy, ingeniously but mischievously contrived to hoodwink us. It had that temporary effect. The pretended reason was designed to keep us waiting while Orji Uzor Kalu had his interaction with Onyendu. The delay of about two hours was clearly unjustified.

Orji Uzor Kalu, whose name was on the list of visitors that was submitted and whose name was deceptively objected to by operatives of the DSS, had earlier arrived the DSS facility and had, in a manner that was extremely surreptitious, gained access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in custody! Lawyers that congregated for the visit stared with open mouths when they gained access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and were informed by him that Orji Uzor Kalu had earlier visited him that day.

I must note that DSS operatives at the Reception Hall were not let in on the surreptitious access that was granted to Orji Uzor Kalu. They did not know when the latter arrived at the facility and when he stole in to see Onyendu. It is for Orji Uzor Kalu to explain honestly how he gained access to Onyendu. If Orji Kalu did not go through the proper channel, which starts from the reception, upon the submission of a list containing the names of already scheduled visitors, how then did he gain access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu? Why was the extant protocols not followed?

We hereby invite the relevant authorities of the Department of State Security to investigate this.

Further, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was not informed before hand that Orji Uzor Kalu was at the facility to see him. The information that was given to him, which he conveyed to me, was to the effect that an important personality was at the facility to see him. The identity of the so-called important personality was not disclosed to him. This is deceptive and a breach of the protocol of the DSS.

If the motive for surreptitiously embarking on the visit to Onyendu is pristine, salutary and genuine, why did Orji Uzor Kalu knowingly breach the DSS protocol? Why did he steal in to see Onyendu? Why did he not leave any trace of his identity at the reception hall? If he had no ill motives, why did he conceal his identity from Onyendu before he had access to him and why was he aided in the process by a deceptive DSS operative?

If Orji Uzor Kalu had genuine intentions, why was the deliberation at his visit to Onyendu conducted in the presence of some persons not necessarily supposed to be present at such visit? Orji Uzor Kalu is hereby challenged to explain to the whole world what informed the question he asked Onyendu during his visit as to why he did not stay back at Afaraukwu during the bloody invasion of the homestead of Onyendu on the 14th of September 2017?

Further, I must remind the public that 2023 is around the corner. Desperate politicians, including those of Igbo extraction that have sworn to be perpetual slaves of some primitive overlords, and who offer their deceptive heads, containing their lying mouths and tongues, to be turbanned by their slave masters, are up to sundry devious stunts, schemes, contrivances, chicanery and duplicitous manoeuvres. They shamelessly and unabashedly seize every opportunity available to them to advance their political interests.

Most of them have no honour. They mislead the unwary and unsuspecting members of the public by their hypocritical behaviour and sanctimonious grandstanding. Inside of them are filth, putrefaction, deception and ungodliness. I make bold to say that the clandestine visit to Onyendu undertaken by Orji Uzor Kalu is no more than an empty positioning for political office come 2023.

The whole world knows that Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is an infinitely brilliant man and a good student of history. He has seen through the empty scheme of Orji Uzor Kalu and is not deceived by it. Onyendu does not trust Orji Uzor Kalu one bit. He has said so in no uncertain language.

In 2017, Orji Uzor Kalu exhibited similar inclination. He merely wanted to score a cheap political point. But his attempt failed woefully, and rightly so. Onyendu did not accord him any relevance whatsoever. This time, he initiated similar pretensions. Again, his shenanigan did not produce the desired effect.

Orji Uzor Kalu in his outburst alluded to pecuniary interest in relation to my good self. This is most unfortunate. The truth is that, that allusion applies squarely, wholly and entirely to him. Every Nigerian of full age knows the history and circumstances of this man. His record is public knowledge. Granted that I have made many enemies in the course of my stout, unrelenting and resolute defence of Onyendu, these enemies are really those who want me to compromise or dilute my standard but have met a brick wall in their several attempts.

I make bold to say that in the course of the defense of Onyendu and in all court cases involving members of IPOB, I have remained resolute, solid as the Rock of Gibraltar, unbending, incorruptible, forthright, steadfast, devoted and dedicated. I owe no one, including Orji Uzor Kalu, any apologies whatsoever for remaining defiant and unrelenting in my defence of Onyendu and members of IPOB.

The attempt at smear campaign by Orji Uzor Kalu is infantile, puerile and laughable. Orji Uzor Kalu is hereby advised to first embark on genuine introspection before taking the liberty to cast aspersion on anybody.

Thank you all and remain blessed Umuchineke

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Michigan School Shooting: Crumbley’s arrested in Detroit

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Parents of Oxford school shooter Ethan Crumbley have been arrested in Detroit
Parents of Oxford school shooter, Ethan Crumbley have been arrested in Detroit

The parents of Ethan Crumbley, a teenager suspected of a deadly school shooting have been arrested in a Detroit basement hours after going on the run, police say.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were found unarmed hiding in a warehouse after a tip-off from someone who saw their car.

The couple had failed to show up in court on Friday after being charged with involuntary manslaughter.

They are accused of ignoring warning signs before their son’s alleged rampage.

Prosecutors say Ethan Crumbley, 15, used his father’s gun to shoot classmates in the nearby Michigan town of Oxford, killing four and wounding seven.

Detroit Police Chief James White told reporters that Ethan’s parents had been taken into custody without incident.

Ethan Crumbley documented his plans to acquire a gun and to kill
Ethan Crumbley documented his plans to acquire a gun and to kill

“They were very distressed as they were walking out,” he said.

He said they had been aided in getting into the building, which he said was used as an art studio, and that the person who helped them could face charges.

Earlier the US Marshals – a federal law enforcement service – had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.

The Crumbleys’ lawyer had earlier told the BBC that the couple had left town on the night of the shooting “for their own safety” and were not fleeing police.

But reports in the US say police knew the couple had withdrawn $4,000 (£3,000) from an ATM in Rochester Hills on the edge of Detroit and had turned off their mobile phones.

Ethan Crumbley is alleged to have opened fire on fellow students and teachers at his school in Oxford, about 35 miles (60 km) north of Detroit, on Tuesday.

The four killed were Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17.

Ethan Crumbley is being charged as an adult, and is facing one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assaults with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm.

Why have the parents been charged?

On Friday, Oakland County lead prosecutor Karen McDonald acknowledged that charging parents in a child’s alleged crime was highly unusual.

According to her office’s investigation, the boy was with his father last Friday when Mr Crumbley bought the firearm believed to have been used in the shooting.

A post on the boy’s social media later that day showed off his dad’s new weapon as “my new beauty”, adding a heart emoji.

Just one day before the shooting, a teacher said she saw the boy searching online for ammunition, which prompted a meeting with school officials, Ms McDonald said. After being informed of the incident, Mrs Crumbley texted her son: “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”

And on Tuesday morning – hours before the rampage – Mr and Mrs Crumbley were called into the school for an urgent meeting after teachers found a note by their son, including several drawings of guns and bloodied people alongside captions like “the thoughts won’t stop. Help me”, and “blood everywhere”. The boy had also written “My life is useless” and “The world is dead”, according to the prosecutor.

vigil in oxford MI, 3/12
Thousands gathered in Oxford on Friday to remember the victims

School officials told the pair they would have to seek counselling for their son.

But the boy’s parents did not want him to be removed from school that day, Ms McDonald said, and did not ask him whether he had the gun with him, or search his backpack.

At 13:22 later that day, Mrs Crumbley texted her son to say: “Ethan, don’t do it.” Minutes later her husband called police to report his gun was missing, said the prosecutor.

But authorities say the boy had already emerged from the school bathroom and opened fire on fellow students.

Ms McDonald said the charges were meant to hold the Crumbleys accountable and to send a message about responsible gun ownership.

“The notion that a parent could read those words and also know that their son had access to a deadly weapon that they gave him is unconscionable, and it’s criminal,” she said.

The prosecutor had previously noted that, although the gun had been purchased legally, it “seems to have just been freely available” for the child’s use. According to her, the suspect took the gun from an unlocked drawer in his parents’ bedroom and brought it to school.

Memorial and flowers outside the school as two friends hug

Neither federal nor state law requires gun owners to keep their weapons locked away from their children.

In a video message posted to YouTube on Thursday, the school’s superintendent Tim Throne said that – while the boy and his parents had been called to the office – “no discipline was warranted” at the time.

He added that the school looked like a “war zone” and would not be ready to operate again for weeks.

Ms McDonald alleged on Friday that, when James Crumbley heard about the shooting, he “drove straight to his home to look for his gun” before calling authorities to say he suspected his son was the perpetrator.

“I’m angry as a mother. I’m angry as a prosecutor. I’m angry as a person that lives in this county,” she said. “There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent.”

On Wednesday, prosecutors charged the boy as an adult. He now face charges of terrorism and first-degree murder.

Announcing the charges, Ms McDonald said her office had “a mountain of digital evidence” to show the suspect had planned the attack “well before the incident”.

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