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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 16, 2019

Rape Saga: We don’t support Pastor Fatoyinbo — CAN

The leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has refuted the claim that they are behind Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo on the alleged rape allegation.

This followed a new video that surfaced online, where some representatives of CAN visited the Abuja branch of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) during last Sunday’s church service,
The video reportedly shows the CAN officials pledging to stand by Fatoyinbo, who has been accused of rape by Mrs Busola Dakolo, the wife of popular singer, Timi Dakolo, and another anonymous lady.

Mrs Dakolo granted an interview where she alleged that Fatoyinbo, who was her pastor, allegedly raped her in her father’s apartment when she was 17 and had sex with her on other occasions.

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The news was greeted with widespread condemnation and a protest was staged in front of COZA churches in Abuja and Lagos.

These prompted Fatoyinbo to step down as the senior pastor of the church.
He later released a statement, denying the allegation and vowing to challenge his accusers in court.
The Abuja CAN Chairman, Rev. Jonah Samson and its Northcentral counterpart, Rev. Israel Akanji, addressed COZA congregation last Sunday in Abuja.

Refuting the claimed support for Fatoyinbo, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to CAN President Samson Ayokunle, told The Nation on phone that the church leaders were not there to support the alleged crime.

He added: “What happened is this: they did not support the pastor of COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo. The Chairman of CAN Abuja, Reverend Jonah Samson and CAN Chairman for Northcentral, Reverend Israel Akanji, who addressed the congregation, did not pledge their support; they did not endorse Fatoyinbo.

“I want you to go to COZA video and listen to it. These leaders told them that COZA is located within our jurisdiction. ‘That is why we came here to tell you that we are praying for your pastor and members of the church.’ That’s what they said. They did not say Fatoyinbo committed the crime or he did not do it. They did not say that Fatoyinbo is guilty or not. That issue did not come up.”

Also, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has set up a three-man panel to investigate the rape allegation.
A PFN source told our correspondent that the investigating team had started work and several things were being put into consideration.

The source said: “Another update is that the PFN has set up a three-man panel to investigate the allegation. Just wait and see what the panel will come up with. It will interest you what will be revealed.” (The Nation)
July 16, 2019

Death of Fasoranti’s Daughter: Watch your utterances — Presidency

The Presidency on Monday cautioned leaders in the country to be mindful of their utterances and its potential consequences following the unfortunate killing of the daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

Mrs Funke Olakunri was killed on Friday on the Kajola-Ore road in Ondo State by those the police described as “armed robbers”.

A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, issued in Abuja, warned against politicizing the tragic death of Olakunri.
“It is incumbent on all leaders across the country to consider their language and its potential consequences.

“Insecurity is an issue that Nigeria must face together as one nation – united.
“Times of tragedy like these are not the time for politics. It reveals only disrespect for the departed and her family.

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“And we hope that those who stand in positions of influence recognise and understand this,” the statement said.

It added that President Muhammadu Buhari had already issued a statement expressing his heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs Funke Olakunri and followed up with a telephone call.
“The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has in addition, paid a visit to the grieving family in Akure, Ondo State.

“Her death is a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family,” the statement added. (NAN)
July 16, 2019

Police launch manhunt for kidnappers of Siasia’s mother

The police have confirmed the kidnap of Beauty Siasia, the mother of former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia.

In a statement on Monday, spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, said the octogenarian was abducted by gunmen at a village in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.

“On 15 July, 2019 at about 0200hours, unknown gunmen who were heavily armed came through the waterways of the River Nun and invaded the residence of one Mrs Beauty Siasia, ‘f’ 80 years in the riverine village of Odoni, Sagbama Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, and whisked her away through the waterways to an unknown destination,” the statement said.

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According to Butswat, the Commissioner of Police in the state and the command’s Tactical Team has visited the scene of the crime.

He noted that the police in collaboration with other security agencies have launched a manhunt to apprehend the suspects and rescue the victim. (Channels TV)
July 16, 2019

Nine confirmed dead in Jos building collapse, rescue operations ongoing

Nine persons have been confirmed dead while two others have been rescued after a building collapsed in Jos, Plateau State.

The three-storey building collapsed on Butcher Street, Dilimi area of Jos North Local Government Area on Monday evening.

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The figure was confirmed by Head of Rescue Operations NEMA, Mr Nurudeen. He noted that the rescue operation is still ongoing with evacuator machinery mobilised to the site of the collapse.

The joint rescue effort is being carried out by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Plateau State Emergency Agency (SEMA), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers, the fire brigade, police officers and members of the Nigerian Red Cross Society.
The search and rescue operators, however, lamented that their operation is been hindered by the crowd. (Channels TV)
July 16, 2019

Tension, as herdsmen behead father, son

Tension is presently high in Miango, Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, following the killing of a man and his son by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

A report on Tuesday morning by The PUNCH identified the victims as Thomas  Wollo, 46, and Nggwe Thomas, seven. They were  said to have been  were attacked and beheaded by some herdsmen close to their  home in  Tafigana village, Bassa LGA, while returning from  a choir practice at about 8.50pm on Sunday, the report said.

“Our correspondent learnt that the gangsters disappeared into the bush after killing them.
“It was learnt that the hoodlums also killed a woman in Ancha community, Bassa LGA, on Monday,” the paper said.

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It quoted Spokesman for Miango Youth Development Association, Zongo Lawrence, as confirming the Tafigana village killing, adding that the hoodlums also went to a nearby village in Hukke and destroyed farm produce worth millions of naira.

“Seventeen of our people have been killed by Fulani herdsmen this year,” Lawrence said in a statement. “The international community should come to our aid; we are under heavy siege.”
The PUNCH reported that the President of Irigwe Youth Movement, Mr Chinge Dodo, also confirmed the attacks, telling the paper’s r correspondent in Jos on Monday that people in the areas had been living in fear of further attacks by herdsmen.

He reportedly said: “On Sunday two of our people were attacked and killed at Tafigana village in Mango District of Irigwe Chiefdom. I have just been informed this morning (Monday) that the Fulani herdsmen had moved to Ancha village and killed a woman.

“As a people, we are continuously under attack and nobody seems to be hearing our cry for help. It appears that killing our people has become a routine.”
The Paramount Ruler of the Irigwe Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Ronku Aka, equally confirmed the killing of Wollo and his son, according to the report.
The police was yet to make any statement on the matter as at the time of this report.
July 16, 2019

Man absconds after bathing 8 persons with acid

A yet-to-be-identified man in Ugwuagba, Awada, near the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, has reportedly bathed about eight people with a substance suspected to be acid.

Information gathered by News Express has it that the suspect carried out the act following a quarrel he had with one Onyeka Nwachukwu at Mgbuka Old Auto Spare Parts Market located in the area.
He was said to have gone out of sight immediately after allegedly attacking the unsuspecting victims with acid.

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According to a source, he took off immediately after pouring acid on the people. He was pursued by onlookers but he outran them and disappeared.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Mohammed, said the suspect is currently at large.

He said: “A young man whose name and address is yet to be ascertained had a quarrel with one Onyeka Nwachukwu, aged 38 years, at Ngbuka Old Auto Spare Parts Market in Ugwuagba, Awada.
“In the heat of the altercation, the suspect who is presently on the run attacked the persons with substance suspected to be acid.”

The PPRO reeled out the names of the victims who suffered various degrees of injuries to include Onyeka Nwachukwu (38), Ofili Benjamin (32) and Ofili Damian (42).
Others are Okoro Ebuka (23), Ekwueme Anayo (35), Nnamani Chukwu (23), Obiora Chidubem (18) and Obasi Solomon (24).
Mohammed said that the victims were rushed by police patrol team attached to Awada Division to St. Martin’s Hospital, Ugwuagba, for treatment.

According to him, six of the victims have been treated and discharged while two others were responding to treatment.
He added that the case was being investigated even as efforts were on to apprehend the fleeing suspect.
The Command called on residents of the state to not only be security-conscious but report suspicious persons carrying substance inside a container at unusual places in order to avert such ugly incident.
July 16, 2019

Yoruba youths dare FG over Miyetti Allah’s call for Obasanjo’s arrest

Yoruba youths under the auspices of Igbimo Odo Yoruba on Monday reacted with anger to a media statement by a faction of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, calling on the Federal Government to arrest former President Olusegun Obasanjo, over comments made by him in his open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

In a strongly-worded statement on Monday, a copy of which was made available to News Express, the group said: “We strongly consider this ridiculous call by this faction of the notorious Miyetti Allah group as not only an insult, but a joke taken too far by these characters, who have today become an organisation of national security concern to the average Nigerian.

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“We want to liken the latest call for the arrest of former President Obasanjo to the infamous 30 days ultimatum issued by one of its surrogate organisations known as the Coalition of Northern Group (CNG), over issues around the establishment of cattle colonies by the Buhari administration.”
It added: “We hereby dare the Federal Government to arrest President Obasanjo and see what will be the fallout of such action.

“It is worrisome that people who ordinarily should be behind bars for the numerous crimes against humanity in Nigeria, that were the issues around which Chief Obasanjo’s letter focused on, are now audacious enough, making media appearances and issuing further threats to the security and stability of our country.

“We loudly say that for the Federal Government to make any attempt at arresting Chief Obasanjo or any of our leaders, who have risen to the occasion of calling on this administration to act, in the face of a likely national disintegration, being fueled mainly by the atrocious activities of the members of Miiyetti Allah will not augur well, not only  for the present government, but also every enabler of the atrocities being committed against Nigerians, particularly in the Southwest.

“Today, Nigerians are watching helplessly, as Fulani herdsmen masquerading as Miyetti Allah,  keep tormenting innocent citizens while carrying out lots of atrocities against non -Fulani  communities  with the Federal Government not raising an eyebrow.

“We repeat that if Buhari’s government continues to keep quiet as these marauders keep insulting our sensibilities without immediately putting an end to their criminalities across the country, we shall no longer take it kindly with the government and those assaulting our people.
“If this administration wants to make any arrest, they should start from these criminals and terrorists who have made lives miserable for us and are pushing our country completely to the brink.
“Whoever thinks of arresting President Obasanjo or any of our leaders should immediately bury such thought because it will backfire seriously on them.

“We also want to call on government and security agencies to immediately call these factions of Miyetti Allah to order against making disparaging statements that are uncalled for. There is nothing unusual about citizens particularly elder statesman like Chief Obasanjo, speaking against politics of the incumbent provided they are based on facts.

“We urge Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to remain consistent and feel free to call the incumbent administration to order when need be.”
They concluded with an affirmative declaration: “We have spoken!”
July 16, 2019

Boxing champion crushed to death by car

Pernell Whitaker, an Olympic gold medalist and four-division champion who was regarded as one of the greatest defensive fighters ever, has died after being hit by a car in Virginia. He was 55. Police in Virginia Beach said the former fighter was hit by a car Sunday night. The driver of the car remained on the scene, and police said they were investigating the circumstances of the death.

Sweet Pea was Whitaker’s nickname, and it fit perfectly. He was a master of getting hit and not getting hit back, a southpaw who slipped in and out of the pocket and rarely gave an opponent an opportunity to land a clean shot.

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Whitaker won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles — one of nine U.S. champions that year — and made his pro debut on national television. He advanced quickly and was fighting for a major title by his 17th fight, a loss to Jose Luis Ramirez that he would avenge the next year.
But Whitaker was also known as the victim of one of the worst decisions in boxing, a draw that allowed Julio Cesar Chavez to remain unbeaten in their welterweight showdown before a crowd of more than 60,000 at the Alamodome in San Antonio in 1993.

Four years later, Whitaker was on the losing end of another difficult decision against Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas, a fight many ringsiders thought he had won.
“When you see the list of greatest boxing robberies in history they were both No. 1 and No. 2 on the list,” said Kathy Duva, his longtime promoter. “And every list of top 10 fighters of all time he was on, too.”

Whitaker was a champion in four weight classes, winning his first one with a 1989 decision over Greg Haugen at lightweight, in a professional career that spanned 17 years. He finished with a record of 40-4-1 and was a first-ballot selection into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. (Independent)
July 16, 2019

Tragedy in Lagos: 4 killed, many injured as container falls on passengers

It was a black Sunday in Lagos as a truck leaden with a container rammed unto passengers and a commercial motorcycle operator (Okada rider) killing four persons in the Agboju area of the state.

The truck had a brake failure and ran into the victims while the container on the truck fell on passers-by injuring many others.

As of the press time, the news was sketchy, but a senior police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he was not supposed to speak to the press said: “Yes it is the truth. A truck conveying a container ran into some passengers at Agboju Bus Stop and killed four persons.

“Many people were injured too. I don’t know how many that were injured, but about six persons have been rushed to the hospital. We are trying to evacuate the bodies of four persons crushed by the container.

“We have been warning truck drivers that the roads are bad and that they should keep their vehicles in order. We have also warned them to lace their containers, but they won’t do that. It is pathetic because more people who sustained a varying degree of injury may give up the ghost.”

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The police officer said the divisional police officer of Agboju, CSP Chike Oti and his team were busy keeping vigil in the area to prevent hoodlums from cashing in on the situation to cause a breakdown of law and order.

The officer said: “The timely intervention of the police saved the situation as aggrieved youths in the area wanted to kill the truck driver and set trucks within the area on fire. The area is tensed as the youths have barricaded the road setting borne fire with used tyres. The driver has been arrested and he is in protective custody of the police.

A resident, John Udor, however, blamed bad road and negligence of government agencies for the tragedy. “The government should expedite action on the road repairs. The roads are in terrible state. More so, government agencies such as the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Police and the Lagos State Management Agency (LASTMA) are treating truck drivers as lords while they are busy chasing commercial bus drivers and private car owners as Ebola patients.

“That is why truck drivers can bring in all kind of rickety vehicles to the state. That is why a truck will be carrying containers without lacing them. The government should take action on this issue of all manners of trucks that enter into Lagos.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO ), DSP Bala Elkana, said he was yet to be briefed by the Agboju DPO. (The Sun)
July 16, 2019

Flood: Over 2,000 residents lose home

Residents of Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State have abandoned their homes and fled for safety following a ravaging flood that swept through the community.

It was gathered that the flash flood destroyed about 300 houses and sacked no fewer than 2,000 residents.
Also affected by the flood were some government institutions including, a secondary school and Okpoko Secretariat.

The President General of the community, Edwin Emesinwa, who spoke on the menace on Sunday, said that about 100 buildings with over 700 occupants, including landlords and tenants, were either pulled down or sand-filled to roofing level.

According to him, more than 1,300 of those living along Obodoukwu road were also rendered homeless while the roads remained impassable.
He regretted that since the commencement of this year’s rainy season, it has been destruction galore in Okpoko lamenting that nobody is spared from destruction anytime it rains.

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Emesinwa said: “Most parents don’t allow their children to go to school if it rains, while they will rush to pick those already in school before they will be carried away by flood.
“Areas mostly affected include Ezeakunne Street, Unity Comprehensive Secondary School and environs, Okpoko secretariat, Obodoukwu road where the 15-feet deep sakamory drainage system has been completely filled with sand.”

One of the victims, Ugochukwu Ejezie, attributed the scourge to the ongoing road construction work in the area.

He noted that the situation has taken a plunge for the worse since the award of contract for the rehabilitation of Mgbemena Street in Awada, Obosi, noting that the dump left by the construction firm is always carried by the flood with other debris down to Okpoko through Ezeakunne Street hence, the massive destruction.
He called on the government to come to their aid before flood consumes the entire community.
July 16, 2019

COZA saga: Outrage as CAN sides with Fatoyinbo over rape allegations

The decision of two leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria to visit the Abuja branch of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly on Sunday has provoked a social media backlash.

In a viral footage the president of CAN Abuja, Reverend Jonah Samson and CAN President North Central, Reverend Israel Akanji addressed the church pledging their  supports for the Senior Pastor of COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo, who has been accused of rape by the wife of singer, Timi Dakolo, Busola, and another anonymous lady.

”I assure you that we are with you and we will continue to be with you. We are in support of the church. We are in support of your pastor. We stand by him and this church will continue to match forward,” Reverend Jonah said.

The Guardian cannot categorically report that the two Reverends were sent to the church by the national body of the association. But the acting general secretary of CAN, Joseph Daramola, a few days ago said the CAN leadership was already seeking ways to address the issues to heal every wound already inflicted on the parties concerned and the body of Christ in general.

Twitter users described the two pastors visit and their address as “disgusting” and “insensitive”.
“This is disgusting to watch. It’s amazing to see CAN, which should be an impartial adjudicator in the matter unabashedly taking sides like this,” posted one Twitter user.
Another comment read,” I watched that video of the CAN representatives at COZA and I am utterly disgusted at the Christianity that they pretend to practice.”

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Dakolo accused Fatoyinbo of raping her when she was a teenager in an interview. She described how he allegedly groomed her as she attended his then fellowship group, Divine Delight Club – which later transformed into Coza – giving her books, visiting her at home, singling her out to sing at meetings and driving her around in his Mercedes.

She claims he then came to her family home early one morning when her mother was away and raped her in the living room, as her sister slept upstairs. Afterwards, she said Fatoyinbo went to get a bottle of Krest, a fizzy lemon drink, from his car and forced her to drink it, saying: “You should be happy that a man of God did this to you.” She was 16.

He allegedly raped her again a week later on his car bonnet, after insisting on driving her home. Afterwards, Dakolo claimed he said: “You’ll be fine. This thing is not a new thing. Men of God do this.”

She said after she told her family what had allegedly happened, he came to her house with other senior members of the church and apologised, saying the alleged rapes were “a weakness” and “an act of the devil”.
Fatoyinbo quickly denied the allegations saying: “I have never in my life raped anybody even as an unbeliever and I am absolutely innocent of this.”
A few days after another former member of the church alleged that Fatoyibo raped her.
She said the incident happened in 2017 at the Fatoyibo’s house.

The pastor has since issued a statement saying he was taking “a leave of absence from the pulpit” to “submit to the concerns of (his) spiritual mentors”, and that he did not understand all that was happening. (The Guardian)
July 16, 2019

Many trapped as three-storey building collapses in Jos

A three-storey building has collapsed at Butcher Lane in Dilimi area of Jos, Plateau State. Rescue operations were said to be ongoing as at Monday night.

A Channels TV report quoted authorities as saying that an unidentified number of persons are trapped in the rubble.

"It remains uncertain how many persons were killed in the incident, however, some of those rescued have been taken to the hospital," the report said. News Express

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July 16, 2019

Final year varsity student jumps from 2-storey building

A yet-to-be identified final year student of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, has reportedly committed suicide by jumping down from the second floor of a hostel building.

The incident occurred Sunday evening at the Faculty of Arts.
The deceased male student was said to be a student of the Department of Actuarial Science, Faculty of Management Sciences.

As at the time of filing this report, it was not clear if the deceased left a suicide note.
It was, however, gathered that the victim who was supposed to have graduated before now, had a spill over.

Efforts to get confirmation from the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Michael Osasuyi, failed, as calls made to his mobile phone failed to connect.
It would be recalled that a 21-year-old student of the University, Christabel Buoro, also committed suicide over alleged failed love affair.

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The lifeless body of the 300-level student of Medical Laboratory Science was discovered four weeks ago at her hostel located on Plot 4 Uwaifo Lane, off Newton Street, Ekosodin, a sprawling students’ community behind the University’s main campus.

Unconfirmed reports had it that Christabel mixed Sniper, a popular insecticide, with a bottle of soft drink, which she allegedly drank. (NAN)
July 16, 2019

We don’t regard Tinubu as one of Yoruba leaders — Afenifere

Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Sunday, said Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot be regarded as one of the defenders of the Yoruba nation.

According to the organisation, Independent had reported that this assertion was based on Asiwaju’s utterances and actions, especially on the issue of killer herdsmen in the country.
The groups also condemned Tinubu’s statement in Ondo State, during his condolence visit to Pa Reuben Fasoranti on the killing of his daughter by suspected herdsmen last Friday.

Recall that during his visit to Pa Fasoranti, Sunday Sun has reported that Asiwaju said: “Funke (the deceased) was very close to me and she died a premature death. Only four or five days ago, we chatted and I know what she discussed with me and about Baba’s health condition.”

“We discussed on so many issues the last time we chatted. I never knew that would be our last discussion. Some of the things we discussed were personal. We also spoke about the health of Baba. It is unfortunate that Funke has gone,” the former governor added.

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The APC National Leader said that “the incident that affected one member of our family Mrs. Olakunrin is seriously sad, and unacceptable; but nobody can return her alive, she has answered the call of her creator.

“We must not use this incident to divide ourselves but we must use it as a cure to the security problem. Additional Police, additional patrol and additional security reinforcement along Ore Road and various flash points across the country is necessary, and I have discussed these with those in authority.

“The security challenges are numerous across this country and to fight them, we are going to need more Police,” he said.
July 16, 2019

Bayelsa Commissioner dies in her sleep

The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Local Government, Hon. Agatha Goma is dead. Goma was said to have died in her sleep at her residence at the Commissioners’ Quarters, Yenagoa.

The deceased had lost her husband early in the year and his death had greatly affected her.

Goma, from Alebiri community, in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, was sister to the State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri.

She was also a former member of Old Rivers State House of Assembly and former Commissioner for Education during the administration of former Governor Timipre Sylva, and was appointed a Commissioner when Governor Henry Dickson assumed office as governor.

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Her death has triggered reactions on Facebook with many Bayelsans expressing shock over her death.
A family source who confirmed her death said the family would issue a statement. (The Sun)