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Tension as gunmen kidnap Imo monarch

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From Stanley Uzoaru,Owerri

Again gunmen struck on Sunday at popular Y-junction at Ubommiri,in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State and kidnapped a royal father whose identity as at the time of this report is yet to be ascertained.

A source from the community who disclosed this to our correspondent said that the monarch was in his Range rover jeep with his daughter when the gunmen double crossed him and whisked him away with his daughter.

The source further narrated that the gunmen defied the heavy heavy downpour ,shot sporadically in the air before abducting the monarch.

“The man was travelling in a range rover car, with a baby girl  in the car when the hoodlums accosted him,they double crossed him and took him away.” The source said .

Meanwhile ,the ensuing imcident led to the death of a woman who was crushed to death by a motorcycyclist  trying to run away from the pandemonium.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer CSP Michael Abattam said that he would get back to our correspondent. He did not as at the time of filing this report.

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#EndSARS: Borno youth regains freedom after 15 months, says ‘hunger almost killed me in Kirikiri prison’

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Fifteen months after being arrested and wrongly detained for taking part in the #EndSARS protest, Peter John, regained freedom.

John, who hails from Borno State, told that he is 23 years old.

According to John, he was arrested on October 23, 2020 on his way to work but set free 15 months after his arrest.

“I had a horrible expereince in prison. I was arrested for what I didn’t do. I was not arrested at any riot venue. I was arrested days after the riot on my way to work at Lekki new market,” he told our correspondent while sharing his ordeal in prison.

The young man said he thought that he was going to die in prison because of hunger and beating from “senior” prisoners.

While emphasing that he suffered for an offence he knew nothing about, the 23-year-old said, “They arrested me at Lekki Phase I. I was arrested because of the #EndSARS protest that I never took part in.

“They told me that I was part of those that caused riots in Lagos State. They also said I was part of those that burnt government properties. These are lies.

“I saw many bad things in the prison. I also learnt how to praise God and stay with people in difficult times. I  have many painful experiences to share.

“I really suffered there. It was a very painful experience. I almost died ofhunger. A lot of people die of hunger there. Prisoners cannot even consume the kind of food they give to us.  They give us food two times a day. In the morning, they give us beans and you dare eat the beans, you will fall sick and suffer diarrhoea.After the beans, they will give us Garri (casava) in the evening.

“I fell seriously sick in the prison. If not for God and my family, I should have been dead. I wouldn’t have been alive to grant this interview. Some people who are seniors in the cell do beat us. They also send us on errands.

“Kirikiri prison is a place where you must do everything you are asked to do. You have no freedom. You will be severely beaten if you resist, your human rights don’t matter, and you can’t say anything.”

John said it took the intervention of his parents and human rights lawyer, Festus Ogun, for him to regain freedom.

“I thank God that the lawyer helped me out. He also helped others. I have really suffered a lot. We are plenty that they arrested. Many innocent people are in the prison because of EndSARS. Some are still there as we speak,” he added.

While lamenting that John was kept in prison despite the strucking out of his case by the court, the lawyer called for a reform of Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

He said, “We need an urgent reform in our criminal justice system. This should not happen in the first place but the criminal justice system is criminal.

“The case was struck out December 17, 2021.  It is the authority who arrested and took him to prison that should ensure he is out since the case was struck out, but they refused. We need to fix the system.”

The #ENDSARS protests lasted between October 7th and 20th in Lagos and several other states of the federation.

While the protests lasted, relations, friends, and associates of missing persons claimed their relations had either been killed or held incommunicado by security agents.

Of particular concern was the Lekki toll gate shooting of Tuesday, October 20, where peaceful #ENDSARS protesters were shot at by security agents, leading to a yet-to-be ascertained number of casualties.

The shooting incident had attracted national and international outcry, with the Lagos State and Federal governments being urged to unravel the identity of the shooters and who deployed them.

Ajudicial panel set up by Lagos State said people were killed at Lekki tollgate by security operatives but the government through a whitepaper panel debunked the claim.

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President Buhari commences two-day visit to Kaduna

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From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

President Muhammadu Buhari will commence a two-day working visit to Kaduna State, beginning from Thursday.

President Buhari will during the visit, commission several important projects which will end on Friday.

The president who will visit the three major towns of Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan, will also be shown around road projects across the state, which was executed by the Governor Nasir El Rufai administration.

A statement issued by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye listed the projects that will be commissioned to include the remodelled Murtala Muhammed Square, which is located at the heart of Kaduna town.

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The Special Adviser also listed the Infectious Disease Hospital, which is located at Mando, the Dangote Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited along Kaduna-Abuja expressway, and the Sabon Gari market in Zaria.

Mr Adekeye also said that the President will also commission completed projects like the reconstructed Kawo flyover which has three grand rotaries and access roads, the WAFF Road which has been dualized with junction improvement.

President Buhari will also commission road projects in Kafanchan and Zaria.

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Nnamdi Kanu chose to appear in same attire because ‘it is designers’ – FG tells court

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Despite the order of Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja, the leader of the Indigenious People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday, appeared on the same Fendi designers clothes he had been wearing since June last year when he was arrested.

Justice Nyako had on Tuesday, ordered the Department of State Services, to allow Kanu to have a change of cloth.

“I don’t want to see him in this cloth again. This one is almost off-white. Also, make sure that you allow him to exercise and give him a good mattress”, Justice Nyako had ordered.

Meanwhile, when the matter was called up on Wednesday, the prosecution counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, told the Court that Kanu was the one that chose to wear his designer Fendi clothes.

He said, “My lord, based on your order yesterday, we provided the defendant with a new Orthopedic mattress, pillows and blankets.

“As for his appearance, he chose to wear this particular one because he said that it is designers”.

In his response, Kanu’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, told the Court that it was not true that his client insisted on wearing his designer’s clothes.

“My Lord, what happened was that by the time proceedings ended yesterday, and because it was not his visiting day, we were not able to pass to him, some clothes we obtained for him.

“We even discussed it with him this morning and he said that on the next visiting day he would want to have the new clothes”, Ozekhome added.

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He however commended the DSS for providing the IPOB leader with new mattress and pillows.

“I want to commend the DSS and the Court for ensuring that it was done”, Ozekhome said.

Before allowing Kanu to be re-arraigned on the amended 15-count treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him, Justice Nyako reiterated her demand for the defendant to have a change of clothes.

Kanu is currently entering his plea to the fresh amended charge against him which borders on his alleged commission of acts of terrorism, felony, incitement, unlawful importation of a radio transmitter, and headship of an illegal organization.

Already, the DSS had before Kanu was ushered into the courtroom around 10:15 am, produced several documentary evidence, including electronic devices it would use to play some of the alleged inciting broadcasts that were made by the Defendant.

Details soon…

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