Don Kizi Blog

Priest stabbed during mass at Canada’s biggest church

Catholic Priest Claude Grou was stabbed during a livestreamed morning mass on March 22, 2019, at Canada’s biggest church, Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, police said. The suspect was arrested at the Roman Catholic basilica shortly after the attack in front of 50 people and a television audience around 8:40 am (1240 GMT), while Grou was taken to hospital. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP)A priest was stabbed during a livestreamed morning mass Friday at Canada’s biggest church, Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, police said.

The suspect was arrested at the Roman Catholic basilica shortly after the attack in front of 50 people and a television audience around 8:40 am (1240 GMT), while priest Claude Grou was taken to hospital.

Police told AFP that Grou was “slightly wounded in the upper body” when, according to witnesses cited by authorities, “the suspect suddenly ran up to the priest and attacked him with a knife” while he was officiating the mass.

The suspect was due to be interrogated shortly, while the scene has been cordoned off.

Church spokeswoman Celine Barbeau said Grou, the church’s rector, “was conscious when he left. We are hopeful he will pull through.”

Video of the attack rebroadcast by CTV showed the assailant — a tall man in jeans, a parka and a white baseball cap — chase the priest around the altar and stab him.

Grou falls to the ground, but quickly gets back up and backs away as security officers surround the suspect and detain him until police arrive.

A witness, Adele Plamondon, told public broadcaster Radio-Canada the priest was about to start reading the gospel, when “this man drew a knife and ran up to stab him.”

The suspect “did not shout, didn’t say anything” during the assault, but appeared “very determined,” Plamondon said.

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UK Must Offer ‘Clear’ Brexit Response Ahead Of EU Summit, Says France

The British government must offer a “clear” answer on its intentions for Brexit before the EU summit next week, the French presidency said Friday after UK lawmakers voted to seek a delay if no withdrawal deal is reached soon.

“Without any clarity, no solution is possible,” President Emmanuel Macron’s office said, adding that if the current withdrawal deal is rejected, a “clear and new alternative plan” must be presented or else Britain will have to leave the EU with no deal.

The summit next week is seen as the last chance for Prime Minister Theresa May to secure unanimous approval from the other 27 EU members for any Brexit delay.

May is expected to again submit the withdrawal deal to lawmakers next week, though it has already been rejected twice.

“That’s the best option,” the French presidency said, in which case no EU state is expected to oppose a “technical extension” that would give Britain time to vote on a series of laws for ensuring a smooth Brexit.

But if the deal is again rejected, any request for a short delay would be “pointless” and as a result probably rejected by the EU, it said.

Only a longer delay request that puts “something new on the table: a referendum, an election, some other deal” would be likely to gain EU approval, Macron’s office said.

“It’s not up to EU countries to say what that is, but the United Kingdom,” it said.

The comments dovetailed with those from Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who was in Paris on Friday.

“We’ve always said in Ireland, if the UK asks for more time, for one to prevent no deal, a crash-out Brexit happening, but secondly to implement a clear plan and strategy to reflect on and perhaps change direction in regard to Brexit, well then Ireland certainly wouldn’t be an obstacle to that,” Coveney told a conference.

The deal May struck with the EU has remained deadlocked in the British parliament, chiefly by disagreement over the so-called Irish “backstop” — a measure to keep trade flowing and avoid barriers at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Coveney was to hold talks later Friday with France’s Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau.

Ahead of the meeting he thanked France for its solidarity” with Ireland on the border issue, seen by Ireland as key to avoiding a return to violence in Northern Ireland.

“Many people see peace in Northern Ireland as something that was negotiated and agreed two decades ago, assuming it is done and we can move on. The truth is that peace needs to be worked for every week and every day,” he said.

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Recruitment: Prison Service releases names of shortlisted candidates

The Lagos Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service says over 300 candidates have been shortlisted for its recruitment exercise scheduled for Monday, March 18 to Saturday March 23.

The Comptroller of Prisons of the state Command, Tunde Ladipo, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.

According to him, preparations for the successful conduct of the exercise which will include both written and oral tests had been concluded.

“We are set to conduct the 2018 recruitment for the Nigerian Prisons.

“Over 300 shortlisted applicants have been notified and invited for the interview from Monday, March 18 to Saturday March 23.

“The interview is for candidates for the Superintendent cadre to the Assistant Superintendent (ASP) and others.

“We must warn, that those who are not invited for the interview are not to come to the venue of the exercise for security reasons.

“We have put adequate security measures in place to ensure a hitch-free conduct of the entire exercise, just as we are also enjoining the candidates to comport themselves throughout the period,” Ladipo told NAN.

The prisons boss noted that the essence of the exercise was to boost manpower needs of the service as well as inject new blood.

According to him, there is a shortfall of manpower as a result of retirement.

He noted that to this end, there was the need to fill the existing gap created by the retirement of old staff and bring in new ones that would further boost the security of the various prisons.

“For instance here in Lagos, we have five prisons. We also have what we call the Cottage, a form of industry, which houses our printing section, welding and tailoring.

“We also have the poultry, fish pond and the dog section, which we call the Canine and the Arms Squad.

“The dogs are trained there, as they also assisst in carrying out security tasks too,” he said.

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No Need Yet To Celebrate HIV/AIDS Free Nigeria – Says Buhari

The Nigeria HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS), 2018 has been inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari who made his first official appearance after the elections at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.

The survey which listed Akwa Ibom, Benue and Rivers states as having the highest prevalent rate of HIV/AIDS, is a data bank of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), a 3-year data covering 2019-2021 and the largest revised national HIV/AIDS Strategic framework.

Speaking at the launch, the president, who said there was no need yet to celebrate an HIV/AIDS free country, disclosed that there are still millions of people living with the pandemic who are yet to access treatment. He noted that data is crucial in combating HIV/AIDs, if the country is to succeed in getting rid of the scourge.

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The world in mourning

Several countries were unexpectedly thrown into mourning early last Sunday when an Ethiopian aircraft crashed within minutes of its takeoff. The waves of the tragedy swept through 30 countries including Nigeria, claiming three of our illustrious sons, two of whom very well known. I am referring to Professor Pius Adesanmi and retired Ambassador Abiodun Bashua.

The flight was from Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, to Nairobi in Kenya. The pilot was said to have reported difficulty and asked to be allowed to return to Addis Ababa. The aircraft went down before he could do so, near a town called Bishoftu, 60 km south east of Addis Ababa.

It is good that the president sent his condolences to the family of the departed. Those in affliction and pains cannot have enough of words of succour and encouragement. In view of safety concerns raised about the 737 Max 8 from the stable of Boeing, Nigeria must go beyond that and take more than passing interest in the disaster. Ethiopian airline is the biggest and the most commercially thriving in Africa. It is the airline Nigerians going to China, South Korea and some other Asian countries use. It competes with Kenya Airways for the Democratic Republic of Congo route as well as for flight to Kenya enroute to South Africa.

It is not enough to say as the Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika has done that Boeing 737 Max 8 is not in the fleet of any airline in Nigeria. Air Peace has placed orders for 10 of the model and Arik eight, according to reports. Theirs are among the 5,011 orders the Boeing has received from around the world out of which it has delivered 350. A definitive statement by our government does not appear to be on the way beyond the tepid statement by the Aviation Minister that the airlines in the country do not have them in their fleet.

Indeed, the air safety concerns in the wake of the crash in Ethiopia cannot be said to be felt thick in the air. Our accustomed insensitivity to horrendous loss of human lives must undoubtedly have found a ready alibi in the state elections. By the time the news of the crash sank, say mid-day on Sunday, many were already glued to the television and the eagerness to know the results: Who won and who lost overshadowed everything else. And hardly is the crash a subject of discussions in most gatherings beyond 24 hours after it happened. The crash had been crowded out of our minds. Since there is still a government in place, there ought to have been a sharper reaction from the government and an active engagement of a sort on the disaster especially as Nigerians numbered among the casualties.

Ambassador Bashua worked for the UN. He was former UN and Africa Union (AU) Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur, Sudan. Prof. Adesanmi was Director of the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He was lecturer of English and Literature in Carleton University. Although they were not carrying Nigerian passports—Bashua, UN passport and Adesanmi Canadian passport, BBC News promptly identified them as Nigerians.

Hear what was said about Prof. Pius Adesanmi. Pauline Rankin, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences said: “the contribution of Pius Adesanmi to Carleton are immeasurable. He worked tirelessly to build the Institute of African Studies, to share his boundless passion for African literature and to connect with and support students. He was a scholar and teacher of the highest caliber who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton.” President and Vice-Chancellor of Global Affairs, Canada, Benoit -Antoine Bacon in his own tribute said: “Pius Adesanmi was a towering figure in African and Post-Colonial Scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy.”

Back home, editors, print or digital will remember Prof. Adesanmi as a prolific contributor to opinion pages, for his grasp of Nigerian issues, his perspicacity, breadth and depth, and masterly use of English language. Never for him tired words or beaten tracts. The language was ever fresh and enchanting.

The Nigerian authorities ought to have regarded the crash as one too many. It was the second in five months. The first in October, last year when an Indonesian carrier code named Lion Air crashed 13 minutes after take-off on a domestic flight from Jakarta. It killed all 189 passengers and the crew. The Boeing 737 Max 8 model was rolled out in 2017. That it has become problematic is thought by many countries as strange and the suspicion by aeronautic experts is that it has a serious factory defect, resulting in instrument failure. The experts are blaming a new autopilot system said to have been added to curb the jet’s tendency to pitch up. The autopilot was meant to pitch the nose of the aircraft down. But then the anti-stalling system pushes the nose down suddenly that pilots struggle to raise it up.

After pilots on two flights have confidentially reported experiencing problems flying Boeing 737 Max 8, with the planes nose tilting down suddenly, experts are suggesting that the anti-stalling device installed may have been responsible in both the Indonesian and the Ethiopian crashes. Boeing may have tacitly agreed that the anti-stalling system may have been the problem. Reports say Boeing sent an emergency notice to airlines that it was going to release a software to deal with the issue.

Countries not wanting to take chances have swiftly suspended 737 Max 8 flights from their airspaces. The United States President, Mr. Trump reflecting, said in a sarcastic and warning tweet: “Airplanes are becoming too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further when often old and simpler is better…. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot.”

Trump later spoke on phone with Boeing CEO who predictably expressed confidence in the safety of the Max fleet. But there are increasing concerns among leading American Congressmen, who are displeased with what is seen as the wait and see attitude of the Federal Aviation Administration. They are pressing that the Max 8 be grounded. A lady Senator, Dianne Feinstein, for example, wrote to Aviation administrator asking that all Boeing 737 Max 8 be grounded “until their safe use has been confirmed. This weekend’s tragic airplane crash near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, bears several troubling similarities to the October 29, 2018 crash near Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Both tragedies involved a new Boeing 737 Max 8 series crashing only a few minutes after takeoff. The two accidents killed all people onboard, resulting in a combined loss of 346 lives, including eight US citizens. This has raised legitimate questions about whether an unknown problem exists, which must be discovered and remedied as soon as possible.” FlyersRight association also decried the attitude of the Federal Aviation Administration saying it was putting lives at risk as well as the reputation of the US Aviation Industry.

As of yesterday, about 10 countries had either banned or suspended the aircraft model from their airspace. The first was China, followed by Indonesia, not surprisingly. Another is Australia which says it is suspending flights of the plane in and out of the country while awaiting further information on the crashes. The other countries are France, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore and United Kingdom. Indeed, Singapore said it was suspending flights of all variants of the Boeing 737 Max. The EU has announced the banning of the aircraft model from the airspace of member countries even where some have taken individual steps to safeguard the safety of their citizens.

The victims came from Kenya that lost 32 of her citizens; Canada, 18; Ethiopia, nine; Britain, nine; Italy, eight; China, eight; the US, eight; France, six; Egypt, six; Germany, five; India, four; Slovakia, four and 21 who are connected with the UN and were travelling to Nairobi for its programme. A deeply moving one was the case of a 24-year-old girl who was going for the UN conference. According to BBC News, excited Danielle Moore posted a message on her Facebook the day before the crash: “I ‘m so excited to share that I’ve been selected to attend and I am currently enroute to the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. Over the next week I’ll have the opportunity to discuss environmental issues, share stories, and connect with other youth and leaders from all over the world. I feel beyond privileged to be receiving this opportunity and want to share as much with folks back home.”

Miss Moore studied marine biology and she was working as a member of Clean Ocean advocacy group, Ocean Wise and as an education lead at Charity Canada Learning Code. Sarah Auffret a polar tourism expert and a product of University of Plymouth was going to the conference to talk about Clean Seas. Dr. Kodjo Glato, a professor at the University of Lomé was said to have passion for sweet potatoes and was going to the conference on how they could be used to improve food security.

Among the Canadians was a family of six. The couple was taking their daughters, one 14, and the other 13, to visit Nairobi, the birth place of their mother. They were accompanied by the parents of the said mother, Kosha, 37. There was also a third-year law student at Georgetown University. Cedric Asiavugwa was reportedly travelling to Nairobi to attend the funeral of one of her relatives. Georgetown University Law Dean, said of him: “With his passing the Georgetown family has lost a stellar student, a great friend to many, and a dedicated champion for social justice across east Africa and the world. He carried out research on subjects ranging from peace to food security in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan.” Kenya football administrator , Hussein Swaleh was returning home after officiating in a CAF Champion League match in Alexandria, Egypt. So was Kenya journalist, 49, who had just represented Kenya at a UN conference in Paris. As of the time of the crash, he was with UNESCO as deputy director of communications.

Canadian-Somali Amina Ibrahim Odowa was travelling with her five-year daughter for her wedding.What I am getting at is that it would seem Nigerians have seen so much violent deaths that they are hardly moved and alarmed any longer by reports of tragedies of that nature. Were it not so the government would have regarded the Ethiopian plane crash in which illustrious citizens of this country died as one crash too many, and our airspace closed to any variant of Boeing 737 Max until after ongoing investigations are concluded and there is guarantee of safety.

The plane that crashed was one of the six of the Max 8 model in the fleet of Ethiopian Airlines. It ordered 30 in the quest of its expansion programme.

Prof. Adesanmi evidently had a premonition of his demise. He wrote on 09 March, quoting Psalm 139; 9-10: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

Antonis Mavropoulos, a Greek missed the flight two minutes. As it turned out, the two minutes separated him from death. According to BBC, Mavropoulos was late to get to the boarding gate. He was furious nobody helped him to reach the gate on time. It is said he now calls the day his “lucky day.” A Kenyan from Nairobi, Ahmed Khalid similarly missed his flight, because his connecting journey was late!

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List of survivors from collapsed building in Lagos

Atleast 41 people are reported to have survived the collapse of a three-storey building which trapped many occupants and students at Ita Faji, Lagos Island, Lagos.

The list of survivors, obtained on Wednesday evening, contains 41 names, five of whom are unnamed.

The survivors comprise 22 females, 17 males and two persons whose gender was not listed.

Two teachers, three adults were clearly stated.

DAILY POST earlier reported that at least 50 children have been rescued by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as well as other security agencies.

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Piracy on Nigerian waters: The truth

Globally, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre, based in Singapore, recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017. The Gulf of Guinea remained increasingly dangerous for seafarers as reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo more than doubled in 2018.

The expansion of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea poses a dire threat to local economies, potentially undermining what little stability currently exists in the region. Oil revenue, which many countries in the region rely upon, is seriously threatened by pirate activity; 7 per cent of Nigeria’s oil wealth is believed lost due to such criminality.

Additionally, instability in the Gulf has sharply decreased revenue collected from trade; Benin, whose economy depends on taxing ships entering the port of Cotonou, has experienced a 70 per cent decline in shipping activity due to piracy. Furthermore, as piracy drives up insurance premiums for international shipping companies, the price of imported goods in the region could spike, further imperilling local economies.

On its part, the Federal Government of Nigeria is currently working assiduously to ensure that the Nigerian Maritime domain and indeed the Gulf of Guinea is safe for local and international shipping and has taken several proactive steps to ensure this dream is actualized.

The primary approach is in ensuring that all legal loopholes related to the prosecution of offenders are plugged. The proposed legislation, widely known as the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2018, is being sponsored by NIMASA and has been presented to the National Assembly where it has passed the first and second hearing stages and should be passed into law in 2019:

The Bill incorporates the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the Suppression of Unlawful Acts at Sea (SUA) conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) into comprehensive legislation to deal with the menace of piracy and related crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the acquisition of maritime security assets under the ‘Deep Blue Project’ which will cover aerial, joint maritime and shore surveillance systems as well as physical patrols of our coastal and Gulf of Guinea waters.

The project is an all-encompassing security scheme aimed at maintaining a 24-hrs eagle eye view of our maritime domain and has been midwifed by NIMASA under the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

On its part, the Executive Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) under the leadership of Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside is fully aware of the economic losses resulting from maritime insecurity and the consequent high costs, for stakeholders, involved in adopting extra security measures and insurance premiums.

NIMASA as the Designated Authority (DA) responsible for administering the maritime industry, while ensuring safer and more secure waters, has adopted a Total Spectrum Strategy to combat insecurity in the nation’s coastal waters and in the greater Gulf of Guinea area.

The Agency’s Management is also aware of the effect of marine insecurity on maritime-related businesses culminating in reduced employment and business opportunities in the Nigerian maritime industry not to mention the negative international media coverage which in itself is bad for attracting and sustaining investments into the sector.

The Nigerian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at Kirikiri Lagos will considerably enhance the dissemination of information in the Nigerian Maritime Domain. The incident reports from Masters of Ships/Skippers on piracy attacks or suspicious crafts will promptly be relayed to the Nigerian Navy for immediate response. Distress messages will henceforth be directly intercepted by the RMRCC thus eliminating the delay in relayed messages.

The Agency is working out modalities to ensure that all Shipowners install Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) which when triggered onboard will automatically alert the MRCC and Naval Authorities of any piracy attack.

At the bilateral level, Nigeria has been at the forefront of enhancing cooperation aimed at improving security in the Gulf of Guinea. This is demonstrated by the concluded joint maritime security patrols carried out with the Benin Republic tagged “Operation Prosperity” which succeeded in reducing the number of pirate attacks off the coast of both countries.

Participation in regional exercises has also yielded positive results with the GoG member states now conducting cross-border patrols, sharing law-enforcement intelligence, establishing and maintaining joint coordination centres through the implementation of a regional strategy.

The US Navy component of AFRICOM has been conducting exercises such as Obangame and Saharan Express to reinforce and activate operational agreements. In this regard, the Agency fully participated in the 2018 version of the Obangame Express held in the GoG Region.

Another example of international partnerships entered into by NIMASA in efforts to eradicate maritime insecurity involved NIMASA’s exercise tagged ‘Operation 30 Days At Sea’ which saw INTERPOL in conjunction with the NIMASA, Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Navy amongst others to conduct patrols in GoG territorial waters in 2018.

It is a peculiarity of how piracy incidents are reported that leaves the Gulf of Guinea open to exaggerated security threat levels. A situation where every incident of maritime crime regardless of nature and scale are reported as ‘Piracy’, it is inevitable that figures reflecting on these would be higher than they would ordinarily have been.

For example, information from the ICC-IMB indicates 149 recorded incidents of piracy and 34 attempted piracy attacks whereas statistics from the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) show that there were only 31 cases of piracy and 18 cases of attempted piracy in Nigerian territorial waters in the same period under-reportage.

Bearing in mind that most of the cases reported involved opportunistic theft from vessels and activities of oil bunkerers, it is unfortunate that the optics of violent, armed pirates roaming the GoG with impunity continue to pervade international media coverage whereas this is very far from the reality.

NIMASA, on its part, has raised the issue of misrepresentation by the IMB to the International Maritime Organisation, at its annual meetings on numerous occasions highlighting the inconsistencies in the reportage of piracy incidents and the negative effects that has on the perception of the Gulf of Guinea maritime area.

Regardless, Nigeria’s maritime territory and the Gulf of Guinea at large remain very viable domains that must be secured in view of the fact that activities within this domain are significant to the economic well-being of our nation and the sub-region.

By securing this strategic area, we would be encouraging further commercial engagements with the international shipping community, which translates to an additional boost to our national and regional economies.

Clearly, the truth about piracy in our waters is that NIMASA has acquitted her responsibilities in securing our territorial waters commendably despite ongoing challenges and has contributed, through aggressive implementation of drawn up strategies and collaboration with international agencies and Gulf of Guinea countries, to improve the security situation in the region’s maritime space.

Chinweizu Chidi Amuta (A Public Relations Officer with NIMASA is writing from Lagos).

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Senate To Begin Debate Of 2019 Budget On Wednesday

The Senate will commence debate of the general principles of the 2019 budget Wednesday, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said.

Saraki scheduled the date of the debate of the general principles of the fiscal document shortly before the upper chamber adjourned plenary session in honour of late member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Temitope Olaoye “Sugar” who was killed by unknown persons.

President Muhammadu Buhari presented a budget N8.6 trillion to a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives for consideration and passage on December 19, 2018.

Christened budget of continuity, the 2019 fiscal document is planned to continue the country’s drive for inclusive economic growth, diversification and sustainable development.

Saraki asked Senators who have contributions to make on the budget to list their names for proper coordination of the debate.

He said that the debate will take two days, Wednesday and Tuesday 19, March 2019 to enable many senators to contribute.

The conclusion of the debate of the general principles of the 2019 Appropriation Bill will pave the way for its reference to the Appropriation Committee for further legislative action.

Saraki also mandated the ad-hoc committee on the new minimum wage Bill to hasten and conclude its assignment.

He directed Senator Francis Alimikhena to take over the chairmanship of the committee in the absence of its substantive chairman, Senator Olusola Adeyeye.

The House of Representatives had debated and approved the N30, 000 new national minimum wage as proposed by the Federal Government.

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Four Missing As Passenger Boat Capsizes In Delta

A boat carrying 22 passengers has capsized in Ebrohimi community creek in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Delta State Police Command confirmed the development to Channels Television.

According to the acting Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Chuks Orisewezie, the boat comprises of three police officers and 19 other passengers.

“The report available to the Command reveals that on March 9, a boat conveying 22 passengers, three Policemen and 19 members of the community returning from ward 3 Ebrohimi to Koko Jetty after the elections, at about 0120hrs capsized along the waterway at Ureju community,” he stated.

The police officer explained that 18 passengers including three Policemen and 15 natives have been successfully rescued.

He added that 4 passengers are still missing, two of the rescued passengers have been rushed to the Oghara General Hospital.

Contrary to some rumours, the police spokesman noted that no Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official or National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member was involved in the boat mishap.

He also reiterated the commitment of the police in rescuing the missing passengers.

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U.S. citizens will need a visa to travel to Europe beginning in 2021

United States citizens will be required to have a visa if they travel to Europe, beginning from 2021, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) announced on Sunday.

“The visa will be valid for three years, and will allow a holder to enter the country “as many times as necessary,’’ ETIAS added.

Currently, U.S. citizens may travel to Europe for up to 90 days without a visa.

“Like many other countries, the decision to require a visa comes in an effort to improve security and avoid any further problems with illegal immigration and terrorism.

“The requirement includes the European Schengen-zone, a group of 26 countries, 22 of which are members of the European Union,’’ it said.4

When enrolling in ETIAS, a person’s passport must be valid for three months after the intended stay.

Passports over 10 years old may not be accepted as valid forms of documentation for travel.

Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland are just a few of the countries affected by the new mandate.

ETIAS is a border control system created by the European Commission, which works to secure borders around the EU.

report says a full list of countries that will require a visa from U.S. citizens is available on the ETIAS website. (dpa/NAN)

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Housewife Kills And Sets Husband Ablaze In Kaduna

Amina Dauda, a housewife accused of killing her husband, Mohammed Matazu, a former reporter with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Kaduna, by setting him ablaze, to know her fate on May 30.

Dauda, 28, was arraigned before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, on May 22, 2013, on three counts bordering on culpable homicide, punishable with death.

Justice Baba-Yusuf , fixed the date after adoption of written addresses by Mr Abubakar Musa, prosecuting counsel and defendant counsel, Mr Charles Yoila.

Musa had urged the court to go ahead and convict the defendant, adding that the five witnesses brought by the prosecution produced evidence that pointed at the defendant’s commission of the offence.

“The act of fighting which the defendant engaged in that led to the commission of the offence was unlawful”he said.

Responding, Yoila urged the court to discharge the defendant of the allegation against her.

NAN reports that the prosecutor alleged that Dauda, set sprayed Matazu with petrol in their residence at Gwarinpa, Abuja, on Feb. 7, 2013.

NAN reports that on April 8, 2014 during trial, a prosecution witness, Usman Idoko,  the court that the late journalist, was taken to three hospitals before he died from injuries sustained from fire set to him by his wife.

Idoko said the deceased, also a legislative aide to Sen. Mohammed Ibrahim (PDP-Kaduna), was taken to the hospitals by neighbours who were at the crime scene.

Idoko said Matazu was also moved to the National Hospital Abuja, where he was referred to the ABU Teaching Hospital Zaria, Kaduna State.

“My lord, on Feb. 21, 2013, I received news that Matazu had passed on through a letter signed by Sen. Ibrahim. The senator also sent us the death certificate of the late Matazu,’’ he said.

After the death of the victim, Idoko said that the accused was arrested and kept at the State Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, Abuja, for further investigation, where he took her statement and read her rights.

After his testimony, the prosecution counsel, Mr Sunday Adewumi, prayed the court for an adjournment for other witnesses to appear in court.

He said the offence  violated the provisions of Section 221 of the Penal Code.

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Drama As Pastor Fails To Resurrect Man After Jumping Inside Grave

A pastor has embarrassed himself after attempting to resurrect a dead person but failed woefully. The incident is reported to have happened in South or Eastern Africa.

In a viral video online, the cleric, spotting a dark Jacket and brown trousers is seen screaming and shouting a ‘word of prayer’ on the coffin before proceeding to open it, exposing the corpse.

The pastor proceeded to lay on the corpse, screaming at it to ‘Rise up’, a call that was unfortunately not heeded to. He proceeded to walk around the corpse muttering some incoherent words before asking to be helped out of the grave.

This development is coming a few weeks after a South-African pastor, Alph Lukau raised eyebrows with a ‘miraculous’ resurrection of a dead man named ‘Elliot’.

Lukau made headlines after the miracle was disproved as ‘Fake’ as video footage from the scene reveal that the ‘Elliot’ was indeed alive by the time the coffin was opened.

Lukau faced severe criticisms online with many calling for his arrest and prosecution.  As at the time of filing this report, It’s unclear if the South-African government will press charges against the popular pastor.

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Trump To Visit Scene Of Alabama Tornado Disaster

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he’ll go later this week to Alabama where tornadoes killed at least 23 people and wrecked swaths of the southern state.

“I’ll be heading to Alabama on Friday,” he told reporters at the White House. “It’s been a tragic situation but a lot of good work is being done.”

Tornadoes hit the state on Sunday, including a “monster” blast that tore through a strip of land several miles long.

The wind pulled roofs from houses snapped trees and in one case reportedly carried a billboard 20 miles (32 kilometers) through the air.

Trump tweeted earlier that he had ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to give Alabama “A Plus treatment.”

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