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Ex-Bakassi boss sentenced to death for killing FUTO student



A High Court sitting in Aba, Abia State, presided over by Justice Linda Abai, has sentenced Mr. Kalu Ukeje, a member of the defunct Bakassi Vigilante Group, to death by hanging.

Ukeje, popularly called Aka Ogbungwangwa, meaning the hand that kills without wasting time, was sentenced to death after the evidence before the court proved that he murdered Mr. Sunny Nwadike, a Petro-Chemical undergraduate of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State in 2009.

Kingsley Ibegbulam and Uchenna Donatus on October 18, 2009 lured the late Nwadike to Okoro Road, near Ibadan street junction, where Aka Ogbungwangwa, already waiting in his Mercedes Benz car, killed him with a machete.

The accused and his accomplice were later arraigned on a one-count charge of murder, which was said to have contravened Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 30, Vol. 11, Laws of Eastern Nigeria, 1963 (applicable in Abia State) for conspiring to kill the undergraduate.

However, on January 30, Kingsley Ibegbulam and Uchenna Donatus were discharged after a no-case submission made on their behalf was upheld by the court.

It was further gathered that during cross examination, one of the witnesses, who claimed to have witnessed the killing of the undergraduate, testified that Ukeje killed his victim with a machete, stressing that even when the victim brought out his school identity card and showed Aka Ogbungwangwa, the accused not only ignored the boy and executed his plan.

The witnesses further told the court that efforts to stop Ukeje from killing his victim proved abortive as they alleged that other members of the Bakassi Group shot into the air to scare away people, who wanted to prevent the accused from killing the boy.

The witnesses also told the court that after Ukeje killed the undergraduate; he set him ablaze and remained at the spot until the body was reduced to ashes.

In a judgment, which lasted for close to one hour, justice Abai said: “I have considered the evidence before the court and the submissions of the counsel.  The main issue for determination is whether the prosecution has proved its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.  It is trite that in a murder case, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt the following ingredients: (a) That the deceased died; (b) That the death of the deceased resulted from the act of the accused and (c) That the act of the accused was intentional with the knowledge that death or bodily harm was its probable consequence.

“If it is found that a man died, the death of the deceased must be directly traceable to the act of the accused.  From the evidence before the court, it is not in issue that Elvis Chinaka Sunday Nwadike is dead and that he died a brutal and painful death on October 18, 2009.  From the autopsy report tendered as exhibit H1, the cause of the death was due to the multiple lacerations and blunt injuries with severe burns.  Lacerations have been described as serious cuts to the skin or flesh.  I am satisfied that from the autopsy report and photographs tendered as exhibit A-A2, which show the extent of the injury inflicted on the deceased, that the deceased died as a result of multiple lacerations, which were evidently caused by a sharp object, such as a machete and that he was set ablaze and burnt beyond recognition”.



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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