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14 Dec 2019

Don't Be Scared To Say You Are Suffering - Pastor Adeboye Tells Congregation

General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has advised worshippers of the church to be bold to confess their challenges.
He also urged Nigerians to exercise divine faith in order to attract God’s intervention in their challenges.

Adeboye gave the charge on Saturday morning during the 2019 Holy Ghost Congress holding at the Redemption Camp, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Adeboye who took his sermon from Mark 10: 46-52, the story of blind Bartimaeus said “our turnaround and blessings begin the moment we say enough is enough.

“The moment we say no to suffering, sickness, loneliness, fruitless efforts and barrenness in our lives, our turnaround begins.

“As you go out today, remember the story of blind Bartimaeus; problems are not limited to poor homes, you will be amazed that many area boys are from wealthy homes.

“Let us say without any doubt that we are tired of suffering, the devil does not respect titles, sickness does not recognise that you have doctorate degrees,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to trust God for solutions to whatever challenges they were facing.

The pastor further stated that God loves to spring surprises, saying, “Nigerians should tap into this character for their turnaround.”

Adeboye announced that 36 children had been delivered at the campground, comprising 22 boys and 14 girls.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the week-long event, which began on Monday, was themed ‘The Great Turnaround’.

(NAN)

Bus Crushes Three Pupils To Death

Tragedy struck in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Friday when a mini bus otherwise called ‘Akoto’ crushed three pupils of a private school to death.
This incident occurred on the day the primary and secondary school students vacated for Christmas and new year’s festivities across the state.

The incident occurred at about 2:30 pm at Ilokun area along the busy Ado-Iworoko road.

It was gathered that the pupils were killed by a vehicle, which was coming from Ekiti State University (EKSU) and ran into them when they were about crossing the ever-busy Ado-Iworoko- Ifaki highway.

Three of them were said  to have been killed instantly, while others sustained injuries.

An eye-witness said the accident was caused as a result of recklessness on the part of the driver of the bus.

The source said: “The driver of the bus drove recklessly and ran  into the pupils who were returning home from school.

“The dead and the injured were taken to Ekiti State University, Teaching Hospital. It was a sad incident as families of the deceased converged to weep profusely over the loss of the children”.

When called for confirmation, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr. Sunday Abutu could not be reached as his mobile phone was switched off.

Abutu’s counterpart in the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mohammed Olowo, said the Command has not been briefed about the sad event.

See Me Eating Prison Food - Uzor Kalu Tells Visitor

This is a classic instance of the instability of human conditions. At the age of 20, he had become a millionaire at a time the naira was worth more than the dollar. At 26, he became the youngest Nigerian to receive the National Merit Award during the Ibrahim Babangida-led military administration in 1986.
Orji Uzor Kalu became the governor of Abia State when he was not yet 40 and ruled the state for eight years between 1999 and 2007. He capped a life on the fast lane with his recent election as the senator representing Abia North, eventually emerging as the Chief Whip in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

But all that took a dramatic turn penultimate Thursday with his conviction by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court which sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment for N7.65 billion fraud while he held sway as Abia State governor.

Although he has become a prison inmate since then, Sentry gathered that the reality of his new condition did not dawn on him until some of his associates began to visit him in the prison. Recall that the former governor reportedly asked the prison officials who led him out of the court after the judge pronounced his conviction: “Where are we going now?”

A few days after he landed in prison, one of his business associates was said to have paid him a sympathy visit but was shocked at the pitiable picture cut by the former governor, who was said to be wearing a pair of bathroom slippers.

“See me now eating in the prison,” a pensive Kalu reportedly told his visitor, who struggled to find the words that could console him. An erstwhile colleague of his as governor, who spent some time in incarceration, also visited him. The flamboyant ex-governor advised him to stay strong and regard his travails as another phase of life.

Sentry gathered that the former Abia State governor has been moved from Lagos to the Kuje Prison in Abuja for reasons no one could fathom.

JUST IN: EFCC Marks Properties To Uzor Kalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Saturday, marked properties belonging to former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.
According to EFCC, the marking is to ensure that the properties are not dissipated, following the December 5, 2019 order of Justice Muhammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wound up and all assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

Kalu, who is the Senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly, had been arraigned alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and Udeh Udeogu, his Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House, over an amended 39-count charge bordering on conspiring and diverting the sum of N7.65bn from the coffers of the state.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the EFCC, thereby leading to their full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, called 19 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

The defendants, however, testified on behalf of themselves during the trial.

The parties, during the proceedings on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, adopted their final written addresses.

In his final submission, the prosecution counsel, Jacobs, urged the judge to jail the defendants, saying the prosecution had proved the allegations against them.

Jacobs also urged the court to wind up the company as provided by the Law and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

However, the defence counsel urged the court to “dismiss the charges, acquit and discharge” their clients.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Idris found the defendants guilty on all counts.
Justice Idris held that the prosecution had established its case against the defendants.

The Judge further held that “the case was conclusively investigated, as the prosecution conducted thorough investigations.”

Justice Idris, therefore, convicted and sentenced the first defendant, Kalu to five years imprisonment on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11; three years on counts 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32,
33; 12 years on counts 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 and five years on count 39.

The second defendant was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment on counts 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32 and 10 years on counts 34, 37, 38 and 39.

Justice Idris further held that “In respect of the third convict, Slok Nigeria Limited, an order is hereby made that the company shall hereupon and without further assurances, but for this order, be wound up and all its assets and properties forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

ANALYSIS: Between Buhari the military dictator and Buhari the ‘reformed democrat’

“I am the most abused and insulted president in the world, but when I leave office you will all remember me for the total freedom you enjoyed under my government,” – Goodluck Jonathan, ex-Nigerian President.
Nigerians are quick to make reference to the above quote by former President Goodluck Jonathan each time President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration disobeys a court order or goes after helpless citizens like it did in the scandalous invasion of a court to rearrest Omoyele Sowore.

The ill-treatment of Mr Sowore, an activist and publisher of Sahara Reporters, by Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service (SSS), has attracted outrage within and outside the country.

The incident has not only put Mr Buhari on the spot but has prompted a retrospective look at the man Buhari.

Mr Buhari, a former military head of state, won a historic 2015 election against Mr Jonathan to become the first opposition leader to defeat an incumbent president in Nigeria.

However, many Nigerians are now wondering if it was not a horrible mistake to elect the former military general, considering his past human rights records when he was a military dictator.

Mr Jonathan himself, in 2017, two years after he left office, shared the famous quote on his Facebook page when the Nigerian military made an unprecedented announcement that it would start monitoring social media for hate speeches.

“With the benefit of hindsight now, it was a bit of a mistake we made,” said Richard Akinnola, a veteran Nigerian journalist who campaigned for Mr Buhari’s election in 2015.

“Buhari is up to his old tricks,” said the title of an opinion article in the Washington Post, authored by a Washington D.C-based writer, Jason Rezaian, on Mr Sowore’s arrest.


NIGERIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY

The Nigerian media has been under repression by the Buhari administration, Mr Rezaian argued. “Dictatorial habits have proved hard to give up,” he wrote. “Since his reelection earlier this year, matters have only gotten worse for journalists in Nigeria.”

More Journalists As Victims
Apart from Mr Sowore, several other journalists are victims of Mr Buhari’s repressive administration. Prominent among them is Jones Abiri, the publisher of Weekly Source, a local newspaper in oil-rich Bayelsa State, arrested in 2016 and detained for more than two years without trial by the SSS, allegedly over a story he published on oil blocks and politics in Nigeria.

It is unlawful in Nigeria for a citizen to be detained for more than 48 hours by any government agency, including the SSS, but Mr Abiri was detained for more than two years, without access to his family or lawyers.

Mr Abiri was released in August 2018 after a magistrate court struck out the case against him, but was rearrested eight months after by the SSS with a fresh charge of terrorism and cybercrime.

“I was tortured, beaten and much pain was inflicted on me,” Mr Abiri told Amnesty International.

“They said that if I would agree to whatever crime they pinned on me, based on their findings, I would be set free and that without that, I would be made to undergo all forms of ill-treatment.”

Ahmed Salkida, an investigative journalist, has been arrested several times by the Nigerian authorities because of his reports on Boko Haram.

Mr Salkida was declared wanted by the Nigerian army in August 2016 for publishing a video which proved that the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram were still alive.

A reporter with PREMIUM TIMES, Samuel Ogundipe, was arrested in Abuja by the police in August 2018, detained for days, and secretly arraigned in court. The police wanted him to reveal the source of a story he wrote on the inspector general of police.

Before Mr Ogundipe’s arrest, the police in January 2017 raided PREMIUM TIMES’ head office, Abuja, and arrested the papers publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, and its judiciary reporter, Evelyn Okakwu over a story on some property in Dubai owned by Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai. The two journalists were later released with no charges filed.

Daily Trust head office in Abuja, and the paper’s offices in Lagos and Maiduguri were raided in January 2019 simultaneously by operatives from the army, SSS, and the police.

“For over four hours they ransacked our offices, requesting for the reporter who did the story about a planned military operation to retake Baga, one of the towns overrun by Boko Haram,” Daily Trust management narrated, according to a report by Amnesty International.

“When they had finished ransacking the office, they carted away all the laptops, computers and mobile phones. Then they ordered all our staff to move to the ground floor and then out of the premises. They then sealed off the premises. They also arrested our Production Manager.”

Daniel Elombah, the owner of a website, Elombah.com, was arrested and detained alongside his two brothers, Timothy and Theo, in January 2018 in Awka, Anambra State, by officers from the Special Anti-RobberySquad (SARS), a dreaded unit in the Nigerian police. They were accused of publishing a report against the inspector general of police.

Messrs. Daniel and Theo spent a night in detention, but their other brother, Timothy, who is the editor-in-chief of the online publication, was detained for more than 25 days.

Two of the three brothers, Timothy and Daniel, were later charged with terrorism and cybercrime.

Mr Daniel eventually sued for infringement on his fundamental human rights and got a N5 million judgement against the police. The police are yet to pay him the money.

A journalist with the African Independent Television (AIT), Ohimai Amaize, fled Nigeria in June 2019 after people suspected to be agents of the Nigerian government allegedly threatened his life repeatedly over his TV programme which he said was seen as anti-government, according to the Amnesty report.

The Amnesty report, which was launched in October 2019 in Abuja, said at least 19 journalists and media practitioners have been attacked in Nigeria between January and September 2019, the highest since 2015.

Six journalists, including bloggers, were arrested in 2018, while four were arrested in 2017.

The report said 16 journalists were arrested in 2016. Five were arrested in 2015.

Eight media houses have been raided or harassed since 2015, while three journalists have gone into hiding, the report said.

The Nigerian government may not have been directly responsible for some of the attacks on the media, but like the Amnesty said, “The failure of Nigerian authorities to investigate cases of indiscriminate arrest, detention and prosecution of journalists and media practitioners ensures that perpetrators are not held to account for these human rights violations.”

Other cases like that of Agba Jalingo, the publisher of an online newspaper, CrossRiverWatch, who is standing trial for treason over a report on Cross River governor, Ben Ayade, stick out like a sore thumb, putting more taint on the country’s image.

Mr Jalingo’s trial was in November listed among 10 “most urgent” cases of threats to press freedom around the world.

“In Nigeria, the civic space continues to shrink,” Amnesty said. “Under national and international law, Nigeria has an obligation to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the right to freedom of expression and media freedom.”

Worsening human rights situation

The Buhari administration is notorious for arbitrary arrests, illegal imprisonment of citizens, and disobedience to court orders, including disregard for separation of powers as shown in the controversial removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, early this year, and last year’s siege on the National Assembly by SSS operatives.

A Nigerian activist, Chido Onumah, was arrested by the SSS in September this year at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for wearing a shirt with the inscription “We Are All Biafrans”, which is the title of a book he authored.

There have been agitations, which often turned bloody, in Nigeria’s South-East for an independent state of Biafria.

“I was arrested for wearing the T-shirt because the SSS said it is capable of causing disaffection in the country,” Mr Onumah told PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr Onumah was lucky to have been released a few hours after his arrest. But there are other Nigerians who are not so lucky, who have been in either SSS or police detention illegally for several months.

The government has continued to detain the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and a former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, despite several court orders.

There is also the case of Dada Labinjo, a naval captain who has been detained illegally for more than one year by the Nigerian Navy.

The navy ignored court ruling which ordered that the captain be released from their detention. After much pressure from the human rights community in Nigeria, the navy recently reluctantly handed over Mr Labinjo’s case to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is set to prosecute him for alleged economic crimes.

Mr Labinjo’s wife, Bola, a lieutenant commander in the Nigerian Navy, was arraigned by the EFCC in August alongside four others for allegedly dealing in petroleum products without lawful authority.

Mass killings
There have also been mass killings of Nigerians in different parts of the country, under Mr Buhari.

The worst of such killings occurred in December 2015 when soldiers killed over 300 Shiites within three days in Kaduna. Their offence was that they blocked a public road being used by the army chief, Tukur Buratai. Nobody has been prosecuted for the killings.

Members of Mr El-Zakzaky’s Shiite group have also been killed by Nigeria’s security forces in Abuja and other cities without anyone being prosecuted for the killings.

PREMIUM TIMES reported a similar situation in Nigeria’s South-East, where security forces engaged in massive extrajudicial killings of Nigerians agitating for the independent state of Biafra.


NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN BUHARI

“After the Abacha regime, which was even a military government, we had every right to think that we had put the worst behind us and were now on the road to full recovery. Apparently, we were overly optimistic,” Edetaen Ojo, a journalist and advocate of freedom of information, said of the recent happenings in Nigeria.

James Ibor, a Calabar-based lawyer, said it is now clear that “a leopard cannot change its spots,” in reference to President Buhari.

Mr Ibor is still in shock about the SSS invasion of the court to rearrest Mr Sowore, he told PREMIUM TIMES. He said he was surprised that nobody has resigned over the incident. “Buhari is our biggest mistake, and I hope we learn from it,” he said.

Des Wilson, a professor of Mass Communication, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said there is no difference between Buhari the then military dictator and Buhari as a civilian president.

Mr Wilson said the hate speech bill before the National Assembly is similar to the Decree No. 4 of 1984 which was promulgated by the then military administration of Mr Buhari.

He accused the president of being behind the bill, although it was sponsored by a senator and member of Mr Buhari’s party, APC.

Mr Akinnola, the veteran journalist, said the situation in the country today requires Nigerians to speak up.

“We can’t keep quiet. If we do, there will be more clampdown. The current National Assembly and the executive are one, unlike what we had during Saraki and Dogara era where there was a semblance of checks and balances. They are now trying to swallow the judiciary and once that is done, there will be a total dictatorship,” Mr Akinnola said.

In its reaction to growing dictatorship and violations of the rule of law, Punch newspaper said it would henceforth address Mr Buhari as a retired major general, signaling a return to the struggle in the 80’s against military dictatorship in Nigeria.

“It is only a pattern, a reflection of the serial disregard of the Buhari regime for human rights and its battering of other arms of government and our democratic institutions,” the paper said of the Sowore incident in its editorial on Wednesday.

Omoyele Sowore

“PUNCH will not adopt the self-defeating attitude of many Nigerians looking the other way after each violation of rights and attacks on the citizens, the courts, the press and civic society, including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent.

“This regime’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect its true character of the martial culture. Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) ran a ham-fisted military junta in 1984/85 and old habits obviously run deep.

“Until he and his repressive regime purge themselves of their martial tendency therefore, PUNCH will not be a party to falsely adorning it with a democratic robe, hence our decision to label it for what it is – an autocratic military-style regime run by Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd),” the paper said.

Festus Ogun, a lawyer, said the president could very well suspend the Nigerian constitution and run the country as a dictator.

“This Buhari has not changed and that is why those who know him beyond “Agbada” may not be too surprised,” Mr Ogun said in an article he posted on Facebook about the rearrest of Mr Sowore.

“Now that it is obvious that rule of law means nothing and only the orders of a tyrant President stand as the law, I ask: when will the Constitution be suspended?

“For as we speak, the 1999 Constitution is a worthless and useless piece of legislation. The dictatorship we live in should be formalized because our Constitution is as good as being suspended.

“Why can’t he just suspend it so he can have a smooth ‘ride’? It is better we live in the reality of a totalitarian government that we currently operate than to keep wallowing under the illusion of a democracy,” he said.

Soon after his December 1983 military coup in which he overthrew the elected government of Shehu Shagari, Mr Buhari promulgated some draconian laws, including the infamous Decree No. 4 – the Protection Against False Accusations Decree – which became a nightmare to journalists and media houses in Nigeria.

Two university lecturers, Chris Ogbondah and Emmanuel Onyedike, in their research article on the origins and interpretation of Nigerian press laws, described Decree No. 4 as “the most dreaded, most repressive” press law ever enacted in the country.

The law barred journalists from reporting stories capable of ‘ridiculing’ the then military government and its officials and conferred autocratic powers on Mr Buhari to ban any newspaper, television or radio station in Nigeria.

It prescribed the arraignment of journalists in a military tribunal, and not the conventional law court.

Two Guardian reporters, Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor, were among the victims of Decree No. 4.

There was another draconian law – Decree No. 2 – which gave the Buhari military government power to detain any Nigerian for up to three months without charges. The government also outlawed civil protest and workers’ strike.

More than 150 people, including a renowned journalist and teacher, Tai Solarin, were reported to have been detained under Decree No. 2 in 1984 alone, according to Amnesty International.

The former Biafran leader, Chukuemeka Ojukwu, was among those detained under the decree, although he was later released without charges.

In September 1984, the regime arrested and detained Fela Kuti, a popular Nigerian musician and critic of Mr Buhari. He was accused of attempting to unlawfully export foreign currency and was handed five years jail sentence by a military tribunal.

“There were several indications that his arrest and imprisonment were politically motivated,” Amnesty said in a report on the case.

“Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon, Chief of Staff, announced that the government would ensure Fela would be imprisoned for a long time, concluding: ‘and I hope he will rot in jail.’ Moreover, there were allegations that important defence witnesses, including customs officials, were prevented from testifying at Fela’s trial,” Amnesty said in the report.

The regime also promulgated another draconian law known as Decree No. 20 in 1984 which provided for death sentence by firing squad for illegal ship bunkering and drug trafficking. Sadly, the law was backdated by one year and some young Nigerians were arrested, tied to a stake, and shot to death for alleged involvement in drug trafficking.

In April 1985, six Nigerians – Sidikatu Tairi, Sola Oguntayo, Oladele Omosebi, Lasunkanmi Awolola, Jimi Adebayo and Gladys Iyamah – were condemned to death under Decree No. 20.

When Mr Buhari’s regime was toppled in August 1985 through a military coup led by the erstwhile chief of army staff, Ibrahim Babangida, about 101 detainees, including an editor with Sunday Tribune, were freed from the NSO detention centre in Lagos.

Dikko Affair

The SSS, known then as the National Security Organisation (NSO), was established by the Olusegun Obasanjo military administration in 1976, but it was given unprecedented powers by Mr Buhari to arbitrarily arrest and detain Nigerians because of Mr Buhari’s anti-corruption war at that time.

The NSO became so powerful under Mr Buhari to the extent that its director general, Lawal Rafindadi, got the organisation involved in activities that had far-reaching implications and scandalous consequences to the nation – like the infamous case of the 53 suitcases that were allowed to pass through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, without the required Customs check and the failed attempt to kidnap a runaway Nigerian politician, Umaru Dikko, in London, 1984.

The plan by the Buhari government, which was almost successful, was to sedate Mr Dikko, a former minister of transport in the ousted civilian administration of Shehu Shagari, and transport him in a diplomatic bag to Nigeria, for him to be prosecuted for corruption.

The failed operation jointly carried out by Nigerian and Israeli secret service led to a diplomatic row between the Nigerian and British government.

Buhari’s History of Disobeying Court Orders

When Mr Solarin was detained by Mr Buhari’s military government in March 1984 under Decree No. 2 because of a newspaper article against the administration, Amnesty International declared the famous activist a prisoner of conscience.

According to a report by Amnesty, a Lagos High Court on April 19 1984 ordered Mr Solarin’s release, but he was immediately rearrested and was held without trial in Jos prison till the end of 1984.

Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate, authored an article in January 2007 in which he enumerated Mr Buhari’s “sins” against the Nigerian nation – he recalled an instance where Mr Buhari, as a military dictator then, disregarded the order of a tribunal he himself set up.

“Recall, if you please, the ‘judicial’ processes undergone by the septuagenarian Chief Adekunle Ajasin. He was arraigned and tried before Buhari’s punitive tribunal but acquitted,” Mr Soyinka wrote in the article which was published by Sahara Reporters.

“Dissatisfied, Buhari ordered his re-trial. Again, the Tribunal could not find this man guilty of a single crime, so once again he was returned for trial, only to be acquitted of all charges of corruption or abuse of office.

“Was Chief Ajasin thereby released? No! He was ordered detained indefinitely, simply for the crime of winning an election and refusing to knuckle under Shagari’s reign of terror.”

Mr Soyinka had warned Nigerians against campaigning for a return of Mr Buhari as a civilian president.

“Buhari enslaved the nation. He gloated and gloried in a master-slave relation to the millions of its inhabitants. It is astonishing to find that the same former slaves, now free of their chains, should clamour to be ruled by one who not only turned their nation into a slave plantation, but forbade them any discussion of their condition,” Mr Soyinka wrote in the article.


I don’t regret my actions – Buhari

Mr Buhari in December 2012, three years before he was elected president, said he did not regret the actions he took, including the suppression of the media through Decree No. 4, while he was a military dictator.

“What we did was that you must not embarrass those civil servants. If you have got evidence that somebody was corrupt, the courts were there. Take the evidence to court; the court will not spare whoever it was. But you don’t just go and write articles that were embarrassing,” he said.

“Those who did it, the editors, the reporters, we jailed them. But we never closed a whole institution, as others did.

“No regret, because we did it according to the laws we made. We neither closed a whole institution nor caused job losses.”

#LIVWAT: Mo Salah Carries Liverpool To 2-0 Victory Against Watford

They are off to conquer the world on Monday but first Liverpool had to conquer Watford, and although it was a long way from the best performance we have seen from the runaway league leaders this did make it a remarkable 16 wins from 17 games so far.
From the Premier League to Qatar for the Fifa Club World Cup, and two goals from Mohamed Salah to send Liverpool on their way, in a scruffy game against a Watford side who looked much more certain of themselves under new manager Nigel Pearson. The video assistant referee Jonathan Moss intervened to disallow a Sadio Mane goal after half-time and it was not until late in the game that Salah flicked in the second and passed the VAR examination successfully.

It had taken a long time to be sure of the victory, and Liverpool’s defence had not seemed as assured as usual, but with an attacking force like this there is always a remedy in reserve.

There were certainly chances for Watford, most notably the first half swipe that Ismail Sarr took at the ball just three minutes after Salah had scored his first. Hard to explain how the Senegal international missed this one. There was a less promising second chance in the moments that followed but the opportunity was missed again. On the touchline Pearson turned in disbelief to his staff.

The new Watford manager played a 4-4-1-1 formation with Abdoulaye Doucoure behind Troy Deeney and all of them behind the ball when Liverpool were in possession. The league leaders looked most vulnerable to its last placed team down the left flank where James Milner was picked at left-back and Andy Robertson given a rest until his second half introduction. It was there that Capoue got in to cut the ball back from Sarr.

Deeney had failed to make contact with a cross from Sarr on six minutes, another good chance that passed Watford by. It was from the corner from Sarr’s miss that Liverpool eventually found their way through. A header from Roberto Firmino, a ball hit first time over the top by Mane and then Salah switching the ball on to his right foot with the Watford defender Kiko Femenia largely bewitched by it all. The finish was curled past Ben Foster

The VAR Moss decided that a very small margin of Mane’s armpit was offside when he headed in Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross on 50 minutes, by which time the celebrations had been completed and the teams were awaiting kick-off. Liverpool wobbled a bit after that. Salah missed a couple of good chances, Firmino too. Georginio Wijnaldum had to come off with injury. On the touchline, Klopp berated Shaqiri and Salah.

Watford were never out of contention until the second goal. There was a fine performance from Joe Gomez alongside the rather less composed at times Virgil Van Dijk. Gerard Deulofeu was always a threat on the occasions he got the ball. Christian Kabasele had a solid game at centre-back. The chances that Watford had stumbled over in the first half never came again after the break. When substitute Divock Origi mishit a simple chance on 90 minutes, Salah flicked it in with his instep and through the legs of Kabasele for the decisive goal.

Man Kills His Ex-Girlfriend, Sells Her Body Parts To Customers For N90,000

Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team have arrested a native doctor, Segun Olaniyi, for allegedly killing his former girlfriend, Abosede Iyanda, and selling out her body parts to his customers.
Twelve other accomplices arrested with Olaniyi are: Ayodimeji Adeleye,  25; Babalola Akanbi, 48; Adeifa Sogbeyinde 37, Rasaq Rasaq, 27; Sunday Akinyemi, 41; Adewole Oluwafemi, 38.

Others are Mustapha Ajibola, 31; Mustapha Iliya, 30; Shilola Amodu, 38; Jamiu Abass, 25; Smooth Kazeem, 37 and 56-year-old Adesola  Oduyemi. Eight other suspects were said to be at large.

It was learnt that the victim’s father had reported to the police that 30-year-old Iyanda went missing on October 15, 2019 while returning from work in Ogun State.

The father was said to have petitioned the office of the Inspector-General of Police on November 3 and the case was assigned to the IRT in the state for investigation.

A source told City Round that the operatives tracked down Olaniyi and he gave information that led to the arrest of other suspects in various locations in the state.

Our correspondent learnt that the victim had visited Olaniyi in his office close to a stream and while she was there, he invited Akanbi and Adeleye on the phone to his office.

He reportedly sent Adeleye to buy food for the woman and secretly put a sedative which made her to fall asleep after eating the food.

The source said, “After she woke up much later in the day, Olaniyi told her to follow Akanbi and Adeleye to the stream to wash her hair on the pretext of helping her spiritually.

“While she was washing her hair, Adeleye pushed her head inside the water, brought out a pocket knife and killed her.  Both of them carried her body from the water to the ground. They cut her body into pieces as directed by Olaniyi.”

The source explained that the killers sold the body parts to their clients, including Islamic clerics and a pastor who wanted to do money rituals.

“The IRT operatives recovered a decomposed human breast, burnt human flesh mixed with  liquid substance in a bottle and calabash,  one complete human foot, pieces of dry human skulls,  one Laura Jeep with the number plate, KTU 801 FP, one Bajaj Boxer motorcycle marked, JGB 019 VC,  one unregistered Toyota Corolla and one Toyota Matrix with the number plate AKD 703 FU were recovered from the suspects,” the source added.

Olaniyi, 42, who hails from Osun State, said a colleague had advised him to go into ritual killings if he wanted to get rich quickly.

He said when he was already into the act when Iyanda visited him for financial assistance to boost her business.

The father of four children stated that he decided to take advantage of her visit, adding that he realised about N90,000 from selling her body parts.

He said, “I am married to two wives and have four children. She called me on the phone that she was coming to see me. I asked her the reason for her visit and she said she needed financial assistance to boost her business.

“I called Akanbi and we killed her beside my house. I carried the head, two hands and part of the flesh. I sold the head for N40,000 to one man called Africa. I sold one hand to an orthodox doctor known as Muyideen for N15,000 and the other hand to one Tonight for N15,000. I sold the flesh for N10,000 to one Alfa called Sunday Akinyemi while Rasaq and Mustafa paid N5,000 each.

In his confession, Oluwafemi, a self-proclaimed pastor, said he bought the body part for N5,000 to perform miracles.

“The alfas I know said they also bought the flesh N5,000 and used it to prepare concoctions for their customers,” he added.

The victim’s husband, Wahude, was said to have told the police that his wife, who is survived by four children between aged between 12 and three, had told him she wanted to visit her mother on the day she went missing.

UPDATE: Duncan Mighty Arrested For N11m Fraud Against Imo Government

Operatives of the Imo State Police Command on Saturday arrested Nigerian musician, singer, and music producer, Duncan Wene Mighty Okechukwu.
A release issued by the state police command’s spokesman, Orlando Ikeoku, on behalf of the commissioner of police, Rabiu Ladodo, said Duncan Mighty was arrested over an allegation of fraud.

The police accused the musician of duping the Imo State government under Owelle Rochas Okorocha to the tune of N11 million promotion deal, which was not respected.

The statement reads, “Today, 14/12/19, operatives of the command arrested popular music artist Duncan Mighty on an allegation of fraud.

“This followed a petition written by an upcoming rap artist M2, who claimed that the Imo state government led by Owelle Rochas Okorocha, through the office of the SA on Entertainment, entered into a deal with Duncan Mighty to manage, promote, arrange collaboration with other top artistes and sign M2 under Young Wealth record label owned by Duncan Mighty. As a result, an agreement was reached with a fee of eleven million naira (N11,000,000) was paid to him.

“However, since collecting the payment, he refused to fulfil his own part of the deal.

“Sequel to the petition, the artiste was arrested, and he affirmed having such agreement and collecting the fund, but said he can only refund the money if the contract is terminated, he was then released on bail on self recognition.

“Consequently, a letter was received by the representative of the former governor, terminating the contract to enable him refund the money, and since then he absconded, and all efforts made to reach him proved abortive.

“In view of the above, a warrant of arrest was issued, that led to his arrest at the early hours of this morning”.

"We Killed Her Because She Was Stingy" - Killers Of Maersk MD's Wife Break Silence

Fresh facts on how the Hungarian wife of Gildas Tohouo, Managing Director of Maersk Nigeria Limited, Bernadette, was murdered by two men who invaded their Ikoyi, Lagos abode, last Sunday, have emerged.
This followed revelation by the main suspect, Olamide Goke and his accomplice, Adeyinka Akanbi, yesterday. Crime Guard gathered that Goke, who resides in Bariga, was only employed as an electrician five months ago, with a monthly salary of N40,000.

Late Bernadette, a mother of three, who had just returned from a foreign trip, was relaxing in her apartment that fateful night, when she heard a knock on the door. Her decision to open the door upon recognising the voice of Goke, the electrician, turned out to be her greatest undoing.

Explaining what transpired between them, Goke, 34, said, “We didn’t intend to kill her. I just wanted us to collect some foreign currency from her because she just returned from oversee four days back. When we got inside, I asked her to give us money but she said she had no money with her. Immediately she recognised me, my partner said it would be dangerous for us to leave her alive. At that point, we went to get the sniper used in the garden and asked her to drink it. She asked why we were doing that and I reminded her that it was because she once called me a black pig.

On the day she addressed me as a black pig, I had gone to demand for my salary. They were owing me N160,000 as payment for four months salary. The agreement was to pay me N40,000 monthly and it accumulated for four months. Instead of giving me, she said, “get out of my house, black pig”.

Back to the operation in the flat, Goke said, “As we tried to force the sniper down her throat, she was vomiting it out, Akanbi used a pillow to suffocate her. Yet, she was still struggling with us. It was at that point that we stabbed her in different parts of the body”.

While the struggle was ongoing, her husband, who was in his room reportedly came out to ascertain what the matter was.

But he got more than what he bargained for as the intruders attacked him.

Goke, said, “We did not know that her husband was in. We thought he travelled because he was never at home. When we saw him, we attacked him with the knife used on his wife. But he ran back inside his bedroom. At that point, I rushed into their kitchen to get another knife to stab oga. If they had given me money, we would have left quietly. The couple are stingy. Anytime I approached them to give me money, they would refuse”,he said.

His partner in crime, Ajani, who resides in Mushin area of Lagos, said he was invited by Goke, to collect the money owed him.

He however said, “The plan was never to kill her. It took us three weeks to plan how to enter the flat. We collected her ATM, after we discovered she was dead. We also thought that her husband was dead too. Our intention was to make withdrawals with he ATM”.

2022 W/Cup: FIFA unveils qualifying format for African teams

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will know their group stage opponents for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month.
The Confederation of African Football, CAF said the draws for the qualifiers will hold on the 21st of January in Cairo, Egypt.

The 14 winners from the first round will join 26 top-seeded teams including the Super Eagles, to form 10 groups of four teams each.

The seedings will be done according to the December 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings.

The group qualifiers will kick off in March 2020 and will conclude by October 2021, with winners advancing to the final round to be played in November.

Group Winners will be drawn to play against each other in the final rounds, with five eventual winners progressing to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Super Eagles have featured at six previous FIFA World Cups, including the last edition in Russia.
 
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