Thursday, December 5, 2019

Ganduje signs law creating new emirates in Kano

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has signed the new law backing the creation of four new emirates in the state.

The new law which sought the creation of new emirates and first-class emirs in Gaya, Rano, Karaye and Bichi, was unanimously passed by the state lawmakers on Thursday December 5.

Ganduje who insisted that the new emirates will facilitate active participation of rural dwellers in governance, said the fresh bill was approved by the state executive council and presented to the lawmakers on Monday December 2, following the nullification of Kano Emirs Appointment and Depositions Amendment Laws 2019 by Justice Usman Na’Allah of the state high court.

“As a law-abiding administration, we came and deliberated upon that at the State Executive Council. After which we sent the Bill to the State House of Assembly, seeking for the creation of 4 additional Emirates, namely Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye,” he said.

He further explained that “After successfully passing the Bill by the House, here we are, as you are all witnessing the singing of the Bill into a Law. And our Emirates have come to stay.”

All things concerning the new Emirates were done, according to the governor “To bring development closer to the people. We need sustainable socio-economic development for our dear state. We need further improvement in the security system and well being of our people.”

The new law will give the state five emirates, including the Kano Emirate headed by Muhammadu Sanusi. The state house of assembly has also approved Mr Ganduje’s request to appoint 25 special advisers.

DSS pays N100k fine after releasing Sowore

The Department of State Services (DSS) has paid the N100k fine issued by the Federal High Court which ordered the release of #RevolutionNow Convener, Omoyele Sowore within 24 hours.

Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana who confirmed that his client has been released also disclosed that the SSS has paid the N100,000 fine to the #RevolutionNow convener as ordered by the judge.

Sowore who was in DSS custody for 125 days, first met his bail condition on November 6. He was however continously kept in the secret police's custody before the court order was issued this morning by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.

The conviction of Senate Chief Whip Orji Uzor Kalu shows Ibrahim Magu fears no one – NAC

Anti-graft group, Nigerians Against Corruption, NAC, has described the conviction of former governor of Abia state, Orji UzorKalu, by Justice Muhammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos as a mark that shows EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu means business with the President Buhari’s anti-corrution war.

Orji Kalu, who is the Senate Chief Whip, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for stealing public funds while in office. Justice Idris further held that Mr Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, the third defendant, be wounded up and all assets forfeited to the federal government.

Commenting on the judgment, the group’s National coordinator said with this feat, Magu deserves the support of all well meaning Nigerians while calling on the President to as a matter of exigency renominate him for a fresh 4-year term as the EFCC chairman.

“The conviction of a whole Senate Chief Whip has shown that Mr Ibrahim Magu is serious about eradicating financial corruption in our polity. If a former governor and a member of the President’s party can bag a 12 year jail term, I tell you this man means business”.

“Don’t forget that Orji Kalu holds a chieftaincy title from President Buhari’s hometown of Daura. His various media outfits also gave the president awards yet, Ibrahim Magu has sent him to jailed.

“I seriously call on President Buhari to return Magu as EFCC boss and also empower the agency to do much more. I also want to urge Nigerians to cooperate with this government to get rid of corruption in Nigeria.

The anti-graft crusader also added that Nigerians should expect the conviction of more high profile Nigerians.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Lionel Messi shows off his 6th Ballon d’Or trophy as he poses with his family (Photo)

Last night, Lionel Messi became the first-ever player to win sixth Ballon d’Or trophy after edging out Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award in Paris.

Taking to his Instagram page hours ago, the Barcelona and Argentine playmaker shared a family photo of himself posing with his new trophy alongside his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo and their sons, Thiago and Mateo.

Basket Mouth releases a statement after he was removed as an ambassador for the European Union in Nigeria’s campaign against Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Basket Mouth has released a statement in reaction to being removed as an ambassador for the European Union in Nigeria’s campaign against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

The comedian was one of the Nigerian celebrities who were chosen to be advocates for the EU's cause on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

However there was an outrage on social media after the comedian was revealed as one of the ambassadors. Twitter users brought up a 2014 joke he made about rape and said he was not fit to represent women and the issues they face.

He was removed following the outrage.

Reacting to his removal, Basket Mouth released a statement on Instagram.

He shared a photo collage of a number of women, including his daughter, his wife, Busola Dakolo, and more and wrote:

Almost every morning in the blogs, on the news, there's a picture of a man sitting on the floor pleading, the caption is usually in the line of 'its the devils handwork' and the topic is from underage defilement, rape or brutality against a woman or minor. I live in this same world with my most prized possessions my wife, my two daughters, my sisters and women who have built me into the man I am.

I was recently presented an opportunity to create awareness on the efforts of the EU to bring support to fighting this scourge, it was a no-brainer for me. I refused any compensation for it and volunteered to lend my voice because....its our fight, it's not for the EU...its for my girls' future.

Unfortunately, a few years ago I shared up a Facebook post that I thought was shedding light through humor to the entitled crude and very present behavioral patterns of some African men who equate spending to sexual favors, but I also realized then that women actually have to face this daily and its harrowing and I deeply apologized for it

I sincerely pray that this does not take away from the most important fight of our lives....the fight to secure our future...because the girl child is our future. I strongly appreciate the EU for this amazing platform to improve our lot, as long as the message reaches the ears of those who need it, then it's a win. To every woman - our mothers, sisters, lovers, wives, crowns, supporters, prayer partners, foundation, life.... thank you for being who you are. So many times you sacrifice who you are for a man to become who he wants to be. It's time we all love and and also support you like you do us....cos in your light, we all shine


Lionel Messi shows off his 6th Ballon d’Or trophy as he poses with his family (Photo)

Last night, Lionel Messi became the first-ever player to win sixth Ballon d’Or trophy after edging out Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award in Paris.

Taking to his Instagram page hours ago, the Barcelona and Argentine playmaker shared a family photo of himself posing with his new trophy alongside his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo and their sons, Thiago and Mateo.

Photos of Saraki's multimillionaire houses forfeited to the FG

On Monday December 2nd, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the forefiture of two multimillionaire houses owned by former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to the Federal government.

The EFCC had dragged Saraki before the court with claims that the houses are proceeds from some illicit activities Saraki engaged in while he was governor of Kwara state between 2003 to 2011.

See another photo below,

I will support the Hate Speech Bill if its first victims are Buhari, Tinubu, Lai Mohammed, El-Rufai, Festus Keyamo & Amaechi' - FFK

Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, says he will throw his weight behind the controversial hate speech bill if the first victims to be sanctioned are President Buhari, Bola Tinubu, Nasir El-Rufai, Festus Keyamo and Rotimi Amaechi for the ''hateful words they have spoken over the years.''

Saraki reacts as court orders forfeiture of his houses

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki has reacted to an order issued by a Federal High Court in Lagos for the forfeiture of his two houses in Ilorin, Kwara State's capital.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Yusuph Olaniyonu, the former Governor of Kwara state averred that EFCC's claim that the two properties designated as Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, were built with proceeds of fraud is outrightly false as they were partly built by the Kwara State Government pursuant to the Third Schedule of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010.

Saraki also alleged that the anti-graft agency is playing politics and spreading falsehood in its cheap attempt to witch-hunt and intimidate a perceived enemy.

The statement read in part “The EFCC’s claim that the Ilorin property was built by any proceed of fraud is outrightly false. The fact is that the Ilorin property was built partly by the Kwara State Government pursuant to the Third Schedule of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010 while Dr. Saraki personally funded the remaining cost of the building.

“There are existing letters from the Office of the Head of Service of Kwara State notifying the former Governor (Saraki) of the State Government’s compliance with the State Pension for Governor’s law and the one indicating his intention to bear the cost of the additional expenditure that will arise from building the property to his desired taste dated 25th January 2012 and 8th February 2012 respectively.

“The construction of the building did not commence until the last few weeks of Dr. Saraki’s tenure as Governor and the bulk of his contribution to the funding were made with cheques. Where cash was involved, this was mainly in 2012 and 2013, more than a year after he had left office as Governor.

“It should also be noted that the land on which the house is built is not a government allocated land.

“One can only see that EFCC is playing politics and spreading falsehood in its cheap attempt to witch-hunt and intimidate a perceived enemy.”

He expressed surprise that the EFCC “could not even hide its penchant for abusing the nation’s judicial institution as it engaged in forum shopping when it filed a suit in Lagos on a property situated in Ilorin.

“We will like to restate our earlier position that Dr. Saraki will contest this matter in court at least to further attest to his belief in the rule of law, the sanctity of the courts and their enduring readiness to do justice in all matters and to all persons.

“Let it be known that the usual claim by the EFCC that its actions were directed against corrupt elements does not apply to Dr. Saraki because he is a man who at every point in his public service has sought to institute transparency and accountability in governance.”

Recall that the EFCC claimed that it uncovered monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011 when Saraki was the governor of the state, as it sought the forfeiture of the properties.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister calls out Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk over his joke about the Juventus striker at Ballon d’Or awards

Katia Aveiro, the sister of Cristiano Ronaldo has put Liverpool's defender Virgil van Dijk on blast over his joke about the Juventus striker at the Ballon d’Or awards on Monday night..

Ronaldo failed to show up for the ceremony in Paris and instead attended the 2019 Gran Gala del Calcio gala in Milan to collect his ‘Best Player in Serie A’ award.

When Van Dijk was being interviewed by Dutch television station RTL7 before the Ballon d’Or gala, the interviewer pointed out to Van Dijk that Ronaldo’s absence meant that he had one less rival to contend with for the Ballon d’Or award and the Liverpool defender replied: ‘Was he a rival then?’

Well, this didn't go down well for Ronaldo's sister Katia, who has now slammed Van Dijk in a lengthy rant on Instagram.

‘I think there are people living completely frustrated !!! And unrealistic… such humility!’ Katia wrote.

‘It is well known that Ronaldo will not win tonight’s prize. Although I have won important collective titles … but this is another conversation and that up ahead we will see where the truth about football will come !!!

‘Now, dear Virgil, where you are going, Cristiano Ronaldo has gone and has come a thousand times.

‘You see, my dear Virgil, that Cristiano Ronaldo was a tri-champion in the country where you have been playing for years and you still haven’t got your hand in the can.

‘Cristiano Ronaldo was even the best player and best scorer in the country where you play Virgil. By the way, I was even younger than you.

Then, dear Virgil, Cristiano Ronaldo went to other places and became the greatest player in the history of a clubezito.

‘Real Madrid, tell you something Virgil? Maybe so, because this club, with this Cristiano guy, even beat you in the Champions League final. Of these, Ronaldo already has five, Virgil.

And that fellow Ronaldo and team-mates, with the corners on his chest, crushed your “orange” in a final. Was it hard, Virgil? We have pity. And, dear Virgil, In one of the least successful times of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has won even more titles than you. Awesome, isn’t it?

‘Now Virgil will win titles from those who really count and then we’ll talk. When you have a handful of them, the really important ones, you might be able to sit at the table with Cristiano. Or as they say in our land, it grows and appears!

‘It’s for me Cristiano you are and you will always be the best player in the world !!! And who does not like to put it on the wheel of the plate !!! (as they say in our land, small for many) but where came the best ever.’

Van Dijk finished second behind Lionel Messi as the Barcelona forward won the sixth Ballon d’Or trophy of his career to break ties with Ronaldo, who finished third in the rankings.

Former US president Jimmy Carter, 95, hospitalized for urinary tract infection

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was admitted to a south Georgia hospital over the weekend for treatment of a urinary tract infection, a spokeswoman said in a statement.

This comes just days after he returned home following surgery to relieve bleeding on the brain.

Deanna Congileo, a spokeswoman for The Carter Center, said in a statement that the 95-year-old former president was admitted to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus over the weekend.

'He is feeling better and looks forward to returning home soon. We will issue a statement when he is released for further rest and recovery at home,' she added.

Carter, a Democrat, who was the 39th president of the United States, serving one term from 1977 until 1981 has been faced with several health challenges in recent years.

Last month, he underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain from bleeding linked to recent falls. Carter was also diagnosed with melanoma in 2015, announcing that the cancer had spread to other parts of his body.

After partial removal of his liver, treatment for brain lesions, radiation and immunotherapy, he said he was cancer-free. On October 6, he hit his head in another fall and received 14 stitches.

He fractured his pelvis in another fall later that month and was briefly hospitalized. Carter was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after recovering from surgery to relieve pressure on his brain caused by bleeding from a fall.

Carter, who surpassed George H.W. Bush as the longest-lived US president in history this year, said: 'I assumed, naturally, that I was going to die very quickly,' he said of his 2015 cancer diagnosis.

'I obviously prayed about it. I didn't ask God to let me live, but I asked God to give me a proper attitude toward death. And I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death.'

'It didn't really matter to me whether I died or lived. Except I was going to miss my family, and miss the work at the Carter Center and miss teaching your Sunday school service sometimes and so forth. All those delightful things,' he said.

Extreme poverty may hit Nigerians soon – World Bank warns

The World Bank in its 2019 Nigeria Economic Update Report which was released on Monday Decemeber 2, warned that Nigeria might be home to 25 per cent of the world’s destitute people if the government fails to revive economic growth and create jobs.

The international finance institution urged the Buhari-led administration to increase domestic revenue, remove trade restrictions and improve the predictability of economic policy following a projection of the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty increasing by more than 30 million by 2030.

The World Bank also stated that the Nigeria's economic growth projected to pick up from 1. 9 per cent in 2018 to two per cent in 2019, is vulnerable to external and domestic risks including geopolitical and trade tensions that may affect inflows of private investment. It also warned that the country might slide back into recession if crude prices falls by 25 per cent to $50 a barrel.

The report read: “Economic and demographic projections highlight the urgent need for reform

“With population growth (estimated at 2. 6 per cent) outpacing economic growth in a context of weak job creation , per capital income is falling . Today , an estimated 100 million Nigerians live on less than $1. 90 per day.

“Close to 80 per cent of poor households are in northern Nigeria, while employment creation and income gains have been concentrated on central and southern Nigeria.

“Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by 2. 1 per cent in 2020 and 2021, compared to an annual population growth rate of 2. 6 per cent.

“Nigeria’ s economy is recovering gradually from the 2016 recession, with growth projected to pick up from 1. 9 per cent in 2018 to two per cent in 2019

“But the projected growth outlook is vulnerable to external and domestic risks , including geopolitical and trade tensions that may affect inflows of private investment.

“Nigeria has the opportunity to advance reforms to mitigate these risks amid growing public demand for greater economic opportunities.

“President Muhammadu Buhari should increase domestic revenue , remove trade restrictions and improve the predictability of economic policy.

“Nigerian government should remove expensive fuel subsidies and reduce lending to targeted sectors that crowd out banks. Failure to take actions would see more Nigerians falling into extreme poverty.

“The cost of inaction is significant. Under a business -as- usual scenario, where Nigeria maintains the current pace of growth and employment levels , by 2030, the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty could increase by more than 30 million,” the Bank warned.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Give me a Quran and I will mess it up in 2 seconds - Etinosa says after using a Bible as an ashtray

Etinosa has lashed out at her critics following the backlash that trailed report of her saying that Proverbs 22vs6 is a scam as she smoked and used the Bible as an ashtray.

The Nollywood actress who was dared to try same act on a Quran, asked to be given the Islamic holy book which she claimed she will mess up in 2 seconds.

She wrote via her Instastory;

In another Instagram post, Etinosa wondered how one can effect change by living in denial. She also urged those she claimed are worse than her to retrace their step and stop hiding behind a religion they know nothing about.

She wrote "How do you effect change when u are living in denial? You are worse than me. Be honest and slowly retrace your steps. stop hiding behind religion you know nothing about. I poured out my heart all through last night pondering on the words of this song and asking God DEEP questions. Questions bring answers. Answers bring truth. The truth brings Freedom. I feel much better. @daddyfreeze I appreciate you but everybody should keep my name from their mouth. This race is Per Head. As for @tundeednut #EyanLegbegbe don't worry yourself, I will call @oyemykke for you"

Sad! Former Arsenal and England footballer, Benik Afobe loses 2-year old daughter

Footballer Benik Afobe is "heartbroken" after the death of his two-year-old daughter.

The striker, who plays for Championship club Bristol City on loan from Stoke, announced today December 1, that his daughter Amora had died on Friday evening after "unexpectedly developing a severe infection".

A statement issued by his family said: "It is with an extremely heavy heart that the Afobe family have today confirmed the devastating news that their first child, their beloved daughter Amora, 2, passed away late on Friday evening.

"Amora was taken to hospital for treatment after unexpectedly developing a severe infection.

"Unfortunately she then suffered a number of serious complications and despite doctors doing absolutely everything they possibly could, Amora passed away peacefully with the love of her family by her side.

"The entire family have been left totally devastated and heartbroken, and would like to ask that their privacy is respected at this incredibly difficult time."

Caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg says Arsenal can still '100 % make top four' after Arsenal suffer disappointing 2-2 draw with Norwich

On Sunday, Arsenal suffered another disheartening draw away at Norwich which would have even been a loss for Arsenal if VAR(video assistant referee) hadn't stepped in to re-award another penalty to Arsenal after the first one was caught by the keeper.

Two goals from Gabonese striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rescued a point for Arsenal at Carrow Road after Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell edged Norwich ahead twice and the result followed the dismissal of Unai Emery on Friday, with interim manager Ljungberg taking charge.

Despite this being Arsenal's worst start to a league campaign since 1975, Ljungberg still believes Arsenal can make the top four.

Ljungberg said to reporters after the game: ‘100 per cent [Arsenal can still make the top four]. Teams drop points here and there, they drop points, we drop points, Spurs, it’s a bit of a crazy league and of course I hope and think that Arsenal can get back to the top four.’

‘I hope the club - I’ve been there for a long time - know what I can do and what I can’t do. I’m looking forward day by day and being very honoured that they’ve trusted me to do this, trying to help the players as much as I can and that’s how I see it.’

Arsenal have a long list of potential candidates to become permanent managers of the club including Brendan Rodgers, Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira, Max Allegri, Nuno Espirito Santo, Mauricio Pochettino and Carlo Ancelotti .

Kogi West Poll: Governor Yahaya Bello reacts to Smart Adeyemi’s victory over Dino Melaye

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has congratulated Senator Smart Adeyemi on his victory at Saturday’s Kogi West re-run Senatorial District poll announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed issued in Lokoja, described the victory ”as a collective manifestation of intellectual, moral and cultural virtues, and mandate given by the good people of Kogi West”.

”The APC as a party is particularly grateful to the people of Kogi West for their peaceful conduct at the polls and embracing the promise of the party to work assiduously to ensure development of the area and the state in general.

”Now that we are having all three APC senators representing Kogi at the National Assembly, my administration will work in synergy with them and other APC lawmakers to attract more projects to our state, to make life more meaningful for its citizens”, Bello said.

The returning officer, Prof. Olajide Lawal, announced on Saturday that Adeyemi polled 88,373 votes to defeat the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dino Melaye who recorded 62,133 votes.

INEC had a week ago declared the election inconclusive due to the margin between Adeyemi and Melaye, which was lower than the number of “registered voters in 53 polling units of the 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were cancelled

Australia's James Bond, George Lazenby, 80, boasts about bedding more than a thousand women

Australian actor, George Lazenby, who became the youngest person to play James Bond in 1969 at 29-year-old has revealed he slept with a lot of women when he was in his prime.

The 80-year-old told The Herald Sun on Sunday he has likely slept with more than a thousand women in his time, adding: 'I would go through six girls a week in London.'

Speaking of his promiscuous life at that time, George, who is the only Australian to have ever played 007, said: 'It was the time of the pill, mini-skirts, the girls were crazy. You had to run and hide after a while.'

The legendary star said the rumour of him bedding a thousand women was most likely true, explaining: 'There wasn't anything better to do. I don't know, I never counted but it went on from 1964 until 1980 when AIDS came in. I didn't want to die for it.'

Describing one shocking sexual encounter on the 1969 film set, George said: 'I was messing with the receptionist at the hotel in the stuntman's tent and she [co-star Diana Rigg] was walking up the path and the boys lifted the side of the tent up and there I was on the job. That blew it with Diana and me' he recalled.

Opponents of ‘hate speech bill’ are pretenders - Senator Abdullahi

Deputy chief whip of the senate, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi has lashed out at those opposing the controversial hate speech bill he is sponsoring.

The lawmaker who described opponents of the bill as pretenders who claim they are protecting freedom of speech, alleged that some elements with strong bias capable of escalating ethnic and religious violence are infiltrating the media.

He also warned Nigerians to be wary of false information being spilled out by some persons and groups parading themselves as serving the interest of the nation.

The Niger State Senator insisted there is need to criminalize hate speech as he cited the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report on “Overcoming Dangerous Speech and Endemic Religious Divides in Central Nigeria” to back his aim of sponsoring the bill.

“Both Christians and Muslims have said that the media blatantly expresses bias against their religion, and that journalists will deliberately not report their story or perspective,” he said.

“Outside the immediate communities affected by a specific incident, the general public’s understanding of violent events is often incomplete.

“In some cases, false news about attacks have incited the people to undertake revenge attacks in various parts of the country.”

Making specific reference to Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) report, Abdullahi said: “In 2017, Nigeria experienced the continuation of three major conflicts that provided a fertile ground for the propagation of hate speech.

“These were the resurgence of the Biafra Agitation in the South East, the clash between the Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly referred to as the Shiites Movement in the North West, and the transformation of the localized farmers-herders conflict and cattle rustling to the large scale rural banditry that had taken an ethno-religious character across much of the North West and North Central zones of the country.

“Across the country, scores of people were killed as a result of these conflicts, further providing fuel for the wildfire of hate speech.

“More than at any time in the recent history of the country, hate speech became widely used in public discourse and communication.

“They fueled a dynamic that weakened national cohesion and made it difficult for the country to collectively address the threat to peace that affected the population in the country.”

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Deadly crackdowns on non-violent protests and journalists affecting Nigeria's image - US lawmakers write Nigerian government

New Jersey's Senator Robert Menedez and Josh Gotheimer, a member of congress have written the Nigerian government over reports of the country's security services assaulting and detaining journalists, using excessive force on non-violent protesters and taking other actions that inhibit freedom of expression.

In the letter dated November 25 and addressed to Sylvanus Nsofor who is Nigeria’s ambassador to the US, the US lawmakers expressed strong concern about closing media and civic space in Nigeria which according to them is affecting the image of the West-African country.

They further affirmed that Nigeria should be a shining to other African countries as it plays a critical role in preserving peace and stability in the continent.

“We write to express strong concern about closing media and civic space in Nigeria,” the letter read.

“There have been a number of troubling reports about Nigerian security services assaulting and detaining journalists, using excessive force on non-violent protesters and taking other actions that inhibit freedom of expression, and otherwise prevent Nigerians from fully exercising their fundamental constitutional rights.

“Journalists and activists such as Omoyele Sowore, Jones Abiri, Kofi Bartels, Samuel Ogundipe, and others investigating and speaking-out about politically sensitive problems like corruption or insecurity have been harassed and detained; with reports that some have even been tortured.

“In the least one instance, the Department of Security Services has ignored a court order to release a detained activist. Restrictions and deadly crackdowns on non-violent protests since 2015 have similarly reflected a lack of apparent commitment to civic freedom which is beginning to negatively impact the image of Nigeria’s government, both at home and abroad.

“Failure to respect the rights in the charter and those in the Nigeria’s constitution, the congress said undermines the country’s ability to lead in the area.

“We urge you to ensure that the rights and liberties contained in the constitution are observed for all citizens, and to take strong action against further closing space for journalists, political opposition, and those in civil society.”

Goals: See the transformation of two best friends who are losing weight together ( See photos)

Two best friends are being praised online after they revealed they have been working hard together to lose some weight.

One of them, @lilfizzle_ took to her Twitter page to share before and after photos of them. and also disclosed that they have already lost 95 pounds and still counting.

Sharing the photos, she wrote: Besties who lose weight together, stay together. 95 pounds down and counting .

Queen Elizabeth ‘to retire in 18 months’ for Charles to become Prince Regent

Prince Charles is reportedly preparing to take over leadership of the British Royals when his mother, The Queen turns 95.

The Queen’s oldest son met with his father at Sandringham yesterday, November 26, to discuss the continuing fallout from his brother’s disastrous TV interview about his links to Jeffry Epstein.

Prince Charles’ key role in "retiring" Prince Andrew from public life has fed speculation he is preparing to become "shadow King", which would see him control day-to-day royal affairs while his mother remains monarch.

Queen Elizabeth will turn 95 in 18 months. 95 was also the age at which her husband Prince Philip withdrew from his public duties.

There is talk among courtiers that she may use the milestone to allow her son to become Prince Regent, the Sun reports.

A royal source told the paper: "The scandal surrounding Andrew and Epstein gave Charles an opportunity to step in to show that he can run The Firm. No one is bigger than the institution of the Royal Family. Not even Andrew, the Queen’s favourite son.

"Charles recognised that and acted decisively — like the king he may well soon be. This was the moment when Charles stepped up as Prince Regent, the Shadow King"

Tracee Ellis Ross, 47, shows off her incredible body in new bikini photos

Tracee Ellis Ross, 47, has got a great body and she flaunted it while posing in a pink bikini.

The actress shared the photos with the caption: "Mac n Cheese, Greens and Hot Water Cornbread !!! Happy almost Thanksgiving!"

See more below.

Disney star Chris Tavarez charged with Felony Domestic Violence after leaving his girlfriend with 'concussion’

American actor and model, Chris Tavarez has been charged with Felony Domestic Violence after he allegedly gave his girlfriend a concussion.

Earlier in November, the former Disney star reportedly struck his partner in the head during an argument and then fled the scene.The woman's injuries resulted in a concussion.

When Police were called to the scene in Hollywood, Tavarez had fled the scene already by the time the cops arrived. The responding officers noticed marks on the woman's body who refused any medical treatment.

Days after the alleged assault, Tavarez was arrested on a felony charge by police. He was later released after posting $100,000 bail.

According to TMZ, the Los Angeles District Attorney on Wednesday, November 27, charged the 27-year-old actor with two counts of spousal battery for an incident that occurred in June 2017.

He pled no contest to one count, and had to serve 180 days in jail, complete a 52-week Domestic Violence Treatment Program, pay a fine and was ordered to stay away from the victim. The second count was dismissed.

He was also placed on 36 months summary probation, which means his latest arrest could mean a probation violation, the outlet reported.

Tavarez is best known for his roles on the Disney shot KC Undercover and Disney Channel movie Avalon High. He also appeared in Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns.

Lionel Messi breaks Champions League record as Barcelona star leapfrogs his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi has set a new milestone for himself after he scored in Barcelona's 3-1 victory against Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League clash on Wednesday night.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner who was level on 33 goals with his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, set a new record by scoring against his 34th in Europe's top competition.

The win for Barcelona, saw the Spanish giants seal the top spot in Group F and their progression to the Champions League round of 16.

See the top ten goal scorers below.

Lionel Messi - 34

Cristiano Ronaldo - 33

Karim Benzema - 29

Thomas Muller - 25

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 25

Robert Lewandowski - 24

Sergio Aguero - 23

Didier Drogba - 22

Arjen Robben - 20

Samuel Eto'o - 19

Nigerians mourn media personality Binta Badmus who died allegedly due to a medical error

Media personality, Binta Badmus, has passed on allegedly due to a medical error.

Binta worked with Smooth FM as a radio presenter before she moved to Channels TV.

Unfortunately, she had an ailment that was not life-threatening and had been going to the hospital to receive treatment before she passed.

The exact cause of her death is not known but social media users who are mourning her claim a "hospital mistreated and gave her the wrong injection that froze her into death!"

Below are tributes from Nigerians on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Rape allegation: Fatoyinbo may have won in court but his name is in ruins- Chidi Odinkalu

Chidi Odinkalu, former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission NHRC, has said that the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly COZA, Chidi Odinkalu, might have won in the rape case filed against him by Busola Dakolo at the Abuja High Court but his name is in ruins and he might never be able to clear the rape allegation leveled against him by Mrs Dakolo.

Chidi Odinkalu shared his opinion in a new artilce he wrote titled ''Busola Dakolo: In Praise of Soft Vengeance''. Read the full article below

At the end of June 2019, #MeToo became #ChurchToo in Nigeria.

Busola Dakolo, a mother of three who grew up a gifted child was the unlikely heroine in this script. She first laid bare her claims in an interview with Chude Jideonwo, lawyer and co-founder of the digital platform, YNaija. These claims later became the basis for her civil claim filed at the Abuja High Court on September 6, detailing harrowing allegations of rape perpetrated against her by Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, best known as the senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA). The acts took place on 23 and 26 September 2002.

To be clear, this was not the first time allegations of sexual predation had been made against this pastor. Mrs. Dakolo’s allegations, however, felt different. They were detailed; as a married mother, she had very little to gain from making these allegations public and an awful blowback was both predictable and to be expected from partisans and propagandists of the alleged perpetrator.

The first incident of sexual assault allegedly took place when she was 17 in her parents’ house in Ilorin, Kwara State. Neither parent was at home and the pastor knew this. She had never experienced sexual intimacy before then. She looked up to the pastor as her “Spiritual Father”. The facts would suggest that the alleged perpetrator probably groomed her for this moment. After the sexual act, he reportedly gave her a bottle of “Krest”, a lemonade-flavoured soda and forced her to drink it. There was a second incident which reportedly took place in or on a car. As a young Christian girl from a polygamous home, Busola Amupitan, as she was when these sexual assaults reportedly took place, initially was unable to confide in anyone about these crimes.

Expectedly, these allegations set off a firestorm across Nigeria and beyond. The alleged perpetrator initially issued a statement offering a general denial of the allegations and threatening both civil and criminal proceedings. For the first time, Pastor Fatoyinbo found himself issuing a public response to such allegations. In the past, he had not dignified similar allegations with an acknowledgement. Pastor Fatoyinbo’s threat of criminal proceedings sounded like bluster. He did not have a plausible path to criminal proceedings against her.

In the end, Mrs. Dakolo sued before the civil courts. A mere nine weeks after her case was filed, Justice A.O. Musa, sitting on the outskirts of Abuja in Bwari, delivered a ruling on the outskirts of the jurisprudential season, holding on November 14 that it was statute-barred. Under the applicable laws, he ruled, such cases must be filed not later than 75 months (six years and three months) after the act complained of. Having dismissed Mrs. Dakolo’s action, the judge then added: “…what we are now left with in this suit is sentiment. This suit is soaked in emotions and ferried into this court by the claimant riding on the thick clouds of bourgeoning sentiments”, claiming that it will “occasion grave miscarriage of justice” to ask the pastor to answer to these claims after 16 years.

This ruling raises many questions about the state of both law and procedure concerning sexual assaults in Nigeria, especially, one reported so many years after it happened. As the world marks the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, it is important to return to these.

Criminal proceedings, if one were to take place, become a trial, not of the alleged perpetrator, but an ordeal for the victim, in which her intimate life is subjected to humiliating micro-examination for the purpose of granting the perpetrator a free pass.

In principle, there is no limitation on criminal prosecution for rape or sexual violence. The fact that the allegations in this case happened long ago does not preclude an investigation or, if evidence of rape is in fact unearthed, of prosecution. Achieving such an outcome, however, would be dependent on overcoming some constraints of law, evidence and practice.

Let’s begin with the broad regime of laws affecting rape and sexual violence in Nigeria. At present, Nigeria has a multiplicity of sources of laws on rape and sexual violence. There are at least five. In the Federal Capital Territory, the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPPA) of 2015 has a robust definition of rape as a crime that can be committed by both men and women and involves penetration of any bodily orifice. Nine states – Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna, Osun, and Oyo – seven in the south and only two in the north – have adopted the VAPPA. In nine other states of Southern Nigeria, the Criminal Code applies. Separately, Lagos State enacted a Criminal Law in 2011, which defined rape in terms that both anticipated and resemble the VAPPA. 12 States of Northern Nigeria that have adopted Sharia also recognise a Huddud crime of rape. Additionally, the Penal Code remains applicable in 17 States of the north in relation to the crime of rape.

Both the Criminal and Penal Codes are Victorian pieces of legislation, the gist of whose prescriptions on sexual violence were defined in the last quarter of the 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria. By the way, she died in 1901. In the terms alleged, the crimes against Mrs. Dakolo took place in Kwara State, where the Penal Code is applicable.

Section 282 of the Penal Code defines the crime of rape as comprising four essential elements:

(a) penetration of female genitals with the male phallus;
(b) the act of penetration achieved without the consent of the woman or the consent – if one is alleged – was obtained by fraud, force, threat, intimidation, deceit or impersonation;
(c) the woman is not the wife of the perpetrator; and
(d) the perpetrator intended to achieve penetration of the woman without her consent or acted recklessly without regard to whether or not she consented.

The two most important of these four elements are the physical act of penetration and the communicative act of lack of consent. Every investigation of rape invariably turns on these, making rape a trial of the body of the woman or victim.

Rape typically occurs outside public view. Overcome invariably by personal feelings of guilt and filth, victims are often too ashamed in the immediate aftermath of the crime to confide in anyone. As a result, rape kits are often not performed until after loss of biological evidence. By the time a rape kit is performed, essential biological evidence would have been lost, making the likelihood of effective investigation or successful prosecution rather low or non-existent. Criminal proceedings, if one were to take place, become a trial, not of the alleged perpetrator, but an ordeal for the victim, in which her intimate life is subjected to humiliating micro-examination for the purpose of granting the perpetrator a free pass. Unsurprisingly, many victims, unwilling to subject themselves to such ordeals, would rather nurse their violations and not report rape.

This is the context for assessing the ruling dismissing Mrs. Dakolo’s civil case. The victim was too young at the time of the alleged incident. The judge, having held the case was statute–barred, went on to venture gratuitous put downs that did not do him a lot of credit. He rendered judgment with neither compassion nor humaneness and was too enthusiastic to lay into the victim. The award of punitive costs against her counsel (in the sum of one million naira) appeared rather uncalled for at best.

…the definition of rape in both the Criminal and Penal Codes is clearly very outdated. It makes the crime near impossible to prove. To achieve this, VAPP Act needs to be taken to all the States and made the standard all over Nigeria. This will make it possible to harmonise the laws of sexual offences across the country…

Whatever the difficulties of proof, cases like Mrs. Dakolo’s remind us of the need to scale up rape law reform in Nigeria. Some basic steps can help.

First, the definition of rape in both the Criminal and Penal Codes is clearly very outdated. It makes the crime near impossible to prove. To achieve this, VAPP Act needs to be taken to all the States and made the standard all over Nigeria. This will make it possible to harmonise the laws of sexual offences across the country, eliminating the confusion that presently exists. The Conference of Attorneys-General in concert with the inspector-general of Police can commit to legislating to make this possible.

Second, at present, the law allows evidence of the sexual or intimate histories of victims from the proceedings but mostly precludes such evidence on the part of alleged perpetrators. This incidence of the laws of evidence in rape proceedings in most jurisdictions in Nigeria can be reversed by amending the relevant laws in all the states other than Lagos where this has already been achieved.

Third, in civil cases alleging the rape of minors – as in persons under the age of 18 – or culpability of persons in authority over the victim (as in a pastor), it should be possible to allow for a doctrine of continuing violation triggering the commencement of computation for limitation purposes from either the attainment of majority or the end of the power relationship between the victim and the perpetrator (whichever is later). If this requires updating legal doctrine or amending the statute of limitation, then it should be done.

Fourth, predictably, propagandists for the alleged perpetrator have gone to town with unfounded claims of his exoneration. That, sadly, is far from what has happened. It is impossible, however, for victims in cases such as this not to feel let down by the system. We must invest in weaning judges through training of a prevailing Victorian mind-set about remedying rape.

Pastor Fatoyinbo may have achieved a technical legal victory but it has left his name in ruins. He may never be able to clear himself of allegations that he is a rapist. That is a terrible burden for a “Man of God” to live with, a testament to the soft vengeance of Busola Dakolo’s incredible courage.

Mariah Carey breaks three Guinness World Records with her Christmas classic song (Photos)

Mariah Carey has been honored by Guinness World Records after her 1994 hit holiday track “All I Want for Christmas Is You” broke three records.

The Guinness World Records organization announced on their website that the pop diva has set three world records with her Christmas classic.

'The song broke the record for highest-charting holiday (Christmas/New Year) song on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100 by a solo artist. The song also set the bar for most-streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours by a female artist, with 10,819,009 streams last December, as well as the record for most weeks in the U.K. singles Top 10 chart for a Christmas song at 20 weeks.'

During her recent show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Carey was presented copies of her pages from the "Guinness World Records 2020 Edition," along with her record title certificates by Michael Empric, an official adjudicator from the organization.

Celebrating her accomplishments on Instagram, the mother of two wrote: "Thank you so much Guinness World Records for honoring me with three records in the 2020 book!" she wrote, captioning a photo of herself onstage with the certificate, Empric and her children, 8-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan.

"Michael from @guinnessworldrecords presented me with a certificate on stage, so naturally, I asked him to join us for the #AllIWantForChristmasIsYou finale!" she added.

Yvonne Okoro, others congratulate Halima Abubakar as she hints at "motherhood" and says she's expecting a little *Minnie"

Halima Abubakar is being congratulated by celebrities and fans after she said she's expecting a little "Minnie" and hinted at "motherhood".

Sharing a photo of herself, she wrote: "Smile of gratitude and I'm expecting a lil Minnie... motherhood."

It is not clear what she means by a "lil Minnie" but friends and followers have assumed it's a child and they are congratulating her already.

Yvonne Okoro wrote: "Awww congratulations darling."

Chigul added multiple lovestruck emojis and wrote, "awwwwww..."

Below are more congratulatory messages.

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