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UN sees increased prospects for peaceful, credible elections in Nigeria



Buhari inaugurates technical committee on national minimum wage

The United Nations says that there are increased prospects that the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria will be peaceful and credible.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Chambas, said this in his latest briefing to the Security Council.

Mr Chambas said, “In Nigeria, tensions are high ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections of Feb. 16, and the governorship and state assembly elections of March 2.

“However, the prospects for peaceful and credible elections have been increased following the signing of the National Peace Accord in Abuja on December 11, 2018.

“Over the coming weeks, I will continue to engage actively with all stakeholders in Nigeria, including through the organisation of peace fora in the key states of Benue, Rivers, Kaduna and Kano.”

The UN envoy said since his last briefing to the Security Council, further progress had been made in democratic consolidation in West Africa and the Sahel, in spite of persisting security challenges.

“In the past six months, presidential elections were successfully organised in Mali, regional and parliamentary elections were held in Mauritania and Togo and local elections were organised in Cote d’Ivoire.

“However, despite appreciable progress in democratic consolidation in the region, there is a need for continuous efforts to address contentious issues around elections.

“This is to prevent and mitigate election-related violence, as well as to support inclusive dialogue as a key attribute of inclusive societies.

“This is even more important as over the next six months, the region will see several high-stake elections in Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania and Benin.”

He expressed regret over the rising number of attacks and the increasing sophistication in the tactics deployed by extremist groups, saying it risks undermining the collective efforts in the region.

Military solutions, while necessary, are not sufficient, Mr Chambas said, encouraging all actors to ensure holistic responses, grounded in the respect of human rights, and the socio-economic needs of the population in the affected areas.

“Through inclusive approaches predicated on national ownership, we must continue to work hard on addressing the governance deficits, the extreme poverty and lack of development that feed and sustain armed violence and extremism,” he said.

He said Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad Basin over the last months had increased, especially in Borno and Yobe during the last week of December alone.

“Violent clashes between farmers and herders are also continuing, although on a lesser scale, thankfully, than in the first half of 2018,” he said.

In its efforts towards advancing the long-term stabilisation goals of the region, Chambas said UNOWAS continued to work closely with regional partners, including ECOWAS, the G-5 Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).

“Laudable progress was made in the implementation of Security Council resolution 2349 (2017) to support a regional response to the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin.

“On 30 August, the LCBC Ministerial Council adopted a Regional Strategy for Stabilisation, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram-affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin.

“The meeting took place before the high-level conference on the Lake Chad region, which was held from September 3 to 4 in Berlin, during which partners pledged over $2 billion to help meet the needs of the more than 17 million people affected by this crisis.”

He also commended the holding of the ECCAS-ECOWAS joint Summit on July 30 in Lome as an important step towards addressing cross border threats facing West and Central Africa.

As one of the key outcomes of the summit, Heads of State and Government affirmed their readiness to enhance the inter-regional collaboration.

It is to jointly address threats to peace and security, including from violent extremism.

The UN envoy said the leaders also committed to holding regular meetings to identify measures for the prevention and peaceful management of farmer-herder conflicts.



Court sentences Man to 5 years in prison for manslaughter



Four tenants in court for allegedly exhuming landlord’s corpse, selling his property


An Ado Ekiti High Court has sentenced a 52-year-old man, Joshua Akanbi, to 15 years in prison for manslaughter. He committed the offence during a land dispute between Ayede Ekiti and Itaji Ekiti in 2017.

The convict was arraigned alongside Abiodun Ogundamisi, 40, and Segun Ogundamisi, 22, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder preferred against them.

The trial judge, Justice Toyin Abodunde, held that evidence before the court proved that Akanbi was guilty of manslaughter for opening fire on one Seyi Oladipupo during a dispute when the two communities were laying claim to Orisunmibare farm settlement which later caused the victim’s death.

Justice Abodunde ruled that evidence before the court was not enough to find the accused persons guilty of murder under Section 316 of Criminal Code Cap C16 Laws of Ekiti State 2012 and subsequently discharged them of the charge.

The court consequently found the convict guilty of manslaughter for shooting the deceased contravening Section 319 and 326 Cap 6 Laws of Ekiti State 2012.

An argument ensued between the two contending parties who invaded the land with weapons accusing one another of trespass.

The convict reportedly opened fire when an attempt was made to disarm him of the gun he was holding.

The accused persons were first arraigned on July 6, 2017, when the charges were read to them to which they pleaded not guilty.

During the incident which occurred on January 31, 2017, at the farm settlement, the deceased was rushed to the nearest hospital after being shot but he later died owing to excessive loss of blood according to the medical personnel who conducted a post-mortem examination on the body at Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital.

To prove the case against the convict, the solicitor-general of Ekiti State, Mr. Babatope Ojo, called seven witnesses including the investigating police officer (IPO) and the medical doctor.

Exhibits tendered include one pump action gun, photographs taken at the scene of the incident, live cartridges and statements of the accused persons.

The accused persons in their defence through their counsel, Mr. Sule Longe, called eight witnesses and also tendered photographs of the machete wounds sustained by the convict and the statements volunteered to the police.


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Three Schoolgirls face 5 years jail term for writing on President, Nkurunziza’s Photo on their books




Three schoolgirls have been charged by Burundian authorities defacing a picture of President Pierre Nkurunziza, spokeswoman for the country’s Supreme Court, Agnès Bangiricenge, said on Thursday.

The three girls were among seven school children arrested last week in Kirundo province, in Burundi’s northeast and some 200 kilometres from the commercial capital Bujumbura. Four others were subsequently released.

All were accused of insulting Nkurunziza by scribbling over images of him printed in their school text books.

A regional court in Kirundo decided on Wednesday to detain the three further and proceed with a full trial, Bangiricenge said.

They will await trial in a nearby prison and could face up to five years in jail on conviction, a judge told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“It is true that scribbling (on the president’s picture) is a punishable offence under the Burundian law but since it was committed by teenagers, I believe  this is a mitigating circumstance,” David Ninganza, a children’s rights defender working for local group SOGEPAE, told Reuters.

“Those school children are not engaged in any political fights and need no political posts. That’s why judges have to consider all those issues in their investigations.”

School children have in the past been kicked out of school for similar offences, with some jailed and released.

Source: Reuters


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Two JetBlue Pilots drug & rape 3 Airline Workers, infect one with STD




Two pilots of JetBlue Airline have allegedly raped three airline workers during a layover in Puerto Rico and even left one of the women with an STD, according to a new lawsuit.

The Brooklyn suit alleges that on May 9 in San Juan, crew members met Flight Officers Eric Johnson and Dan Watson on the beach.

The women starting drinking beers with the men once learning that they were pilots with JetBlue, the suit reads according to the New York Post.

‘The beer was laced with a drug, and after that point, the rest of the night became a blur for [the women],’ the lawsuit reads. It was filed on Monday.

Both women and a third crew member wound up at the Intercontinental Hotel with the pilots.

Jane Doe 1,  from Riverton, Utah, claims that Johnson raped her and the third crew member in the hotel.

‘Johnson was on top of [Jane Doe 1] raping her,’ the lawsuit states. ‘[Jane Doe 1] felt the influence of the drug that [Johnson] laced the beer with, and was unable to react to the situation, but was simply aware that it was happening.

‘[Her] flashes of memory included Johnson having sexual intercourse with the other crewmember who was also under the influence of the drugs.’

Johnson is said to have thanked the woman for ‘making my fantasy come true.’

Jane Doe 2,  from Fort Worth, Texas, says that she became ill from the drugs and was repeatedly puking.

‘Johnson and Watson drugged [Jane Doe 2] and intended to rape [her] but did not when [she] began vomiting which was a turnoff,’ the suit continues.

While on a flight to Newark, NJ, the next morning, the women ‘expressed to each other that they were stunned by what had happened’ and expressed feeling ‘groggy and numb.’

The women say that the airline has taken no action against the pilots after they were notified of the incident.

Jane Doe 1 also accused Johnson of intentionally giving her HPV.

‘What happened to my clients is truly horrific, and Jet Blue’s failure to take appropriate action is appalling,’ said Abraham Melamed, the women’s attorney.

Both women are suing for at least $75,000 plus attorney’s fees.

JetBlue said in a statement that it couldn’t comment on pending litigation but that it took ‘allegations of violent or inappropriate behavior very seriously and investigates such claims thoroughly.’



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