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Barcelona is Reportedly Giving Lionel Messi a Record $100 Million Signing Bonus


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Lionel Messi is already one of the richest soccer players on the planet, and he could soon add a record-breaking signing bonus to his bottom line.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, FC Barcelona is set to offer Messi a bonus of approximately $100 million to extend his tenure with the club. That sum would be on top of a reported base salary of around $650,000 per week.

A $100 million bonus would shatter the previous record, according to the report. It shows how badly Barcelona wants to hold onto their superstar, especially in light of rumors that he may be eyeing a move to Manchester City after the new year.

But while Barcelona is one of the richest clubs in the world, they already spend 84% of their total annual revenue on player salaries, so it appears they'll have to go to special lengths to afford Messi's bonus.

The Mail reported that the club is considering selling the naming rights to the Camp Nou, the team's home since 1957. A potential deal would involve 25 years of brand name attachment and raise well over $200 million in revenue.

 

The Camp Nou is set to undergo significant renovations in the next few years, and it could have a new name as soon as next season, breaking a 60-year precedent. But while a number of changes are planned, Messi's new contract will provide some continuity on the pitch.

Messi's current deal with Barcelona is set to expire at the end of this season, but talks of an extension stalled over the summer while the star forward was helping his native Argentina qualify for the World Cup. Argentina clinched its place in Russia earlier this week thanks to Messi's hat trick against Ecuador.

While re-signing Messi would have been a top priority for Barcelona no matter the circumstances, it became an especially important goal after losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain by way of a record-breaking $263 million transfer. Losing both superstars would have been a big blow to the club, which reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League last season.

While Messi has not officially agreed to the deal, midfielder and team captain Andres Iniesta, who signed a lifetime deal with Barcelona earlier this month, believes the 30-year-old will return to Barça.

"The club wants Leo to be here, he wants to be here. I hope that his story [at Barcelona] never ends," he said, according to The Sun. "He is unique, we can't live without him, and I think the club thinks the same way."

Barcelona will go for their 10th win in a row on Saturday, when they face off against Atletico Madrid.

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Entertainment Davido’s Friend, DJ Olu Found Fead, Days after Tagbo’s Demise


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​Davido, Nigerian music superstar has lost another friend, DJ Olu.

He broke the news on his Instagram handle Saturday night.

 

Olu was reportedly found dead in his car. The deceased was billionaire Dapo Abiodun’s son.

His passing occurred just days after the death of another crew member, Tagbo.

Davido had on his snapchat page denied involvement in Tagbo’s demise.

His reaction followed an allegation by former actress, Caroline Danjuma, who accused the artiste of negligence.

“People are just wicked this what I get for treating everyone like my brother”, Davido wrote.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of my friend Tagbo. First and foremost my sincere condolences and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.

“I’ve been in this position before multiple times and also of recent.

“But it is also disappointing that false information and complete lies have been put out there using my name as usual. Out of total respect for Tagbo and his family I’ll not discuss this matter further for now.”


 

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Nigeria vs Zambia Match: Five Feared Dead in Uyo Stadium


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Five people were feared dead while scores sustained serious injuries on Saturday following a stampede at the entrance of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

The incident occurred while football enthusiasts tried to enter the stadium.

The fans, who were at the stadium to watch a match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Chipolopo of Zambia  were allegedly beaten  by soldiers at the gates of the stadium with heavy sticks.

The stampede occured as the crowd tried to avoid the soldiers’ sticks.

The bloodstains were around the gate of the stadium.

Policemen and personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps were seen standing beside some unconscious fans.

Our correspondent, who lost N10,000 in the stampede, was also assaulted by one of the soldiers with a big stick.

Some of the fans who spoke with our correspondent and vowed never to go to the stadium again, said they escaped death by the whiskers.

A female fan, Aniema Ekong, told SUNDAY PUNCH, “I thank God that I’m alive. This is not the first time this kind of incident had occurred. In fact, in every major tournament, there is always a tale of woes to tell about security agents injuring or killing people.

Another fan who identified himself as Chukwudi, said his girlfriend was severely injured by the security personnel manning the gate.

 He said, “I don’t know why there is always trouble in this stadium.”

Ambulances were seen conveying injured persons to the hospital.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Elkana Bala, initially told our correspondent that he would find out what actually caused the stampede.

He later sent a text message to refute the claim that people died at the stadium.

“It is confirmed that nobody died. But some persons were injured while struggling to gain access into the stadium. The injured persons were taken to hospital for medical attention,” Bala said.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh, also said he would call his counterpart in the ministry of Health to find out what happened.

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Real Cause of Davido’s Crew Member, Tagbo’s Death Revealed


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More details have emerged as to how Tagbo Umeike died on his birthday while in the company of Nigeria pop star, Davido.

Tagbo reportedly died after getting drunk at the birthday party attended by Davido.

Nollywood actress, Caroline Danjuma had accused Davido of having a hand in Tagbo’s death, but the singer denied the allegation.

But Pulse is reporting that Davido and others were were allegedly playing a drinking game when Tagbo passed out.

The report claims that the drinking game idea allegedly started with Davido who promised to give a brand new iPhone 8 and N200,000 Naira to the winner.

Tagbo who was serious about winning the huge prize took excess of the alcohol and suffered liver damage which resulted to his death.

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Las Vegas Gunman Planned ‘Extensively,’ Used Cameras to Monitor Officers as They Approached


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Investigators trying to determine what sparked the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history have found the massacre to be the work of a sophisticated planner with the means and desire to inflict unprecedented carnage.

But on the second full day after Stephen Paddock smashed out the windows of a high-floor suite on the Las Vegas Strip and opened fire on a crowd of unsuspecting concertgoers, authorities still were trying to understand what drove him to such evil.

Several new details emerged Tuesday about Paddock — a 64-year-old retired accountant — and how he worked methodically to thwart law enforcement as he killed scores of people and injured hundreds more.

As he fired round after round during an 11-minute stretch from a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Paddock used video cameras to keep an eye out for police storming his hotel room, according to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

Paddock hid one camera in the peephole of his suite and two more in the hall, at least one of them disguised on a service cart, authorities said. At one point, he shot numerous rounds through the door, wounding a security guard. Paddock eventually put a gun in his own mouth and pulled the trigger as SWAT officers closed in. They found him with blood pooling behind his head and around the empty shell casings that littered the carpet, a handgun near his body.

“It was preplanned, extensively, and I’m pretty sure that he evaluated everything that he did in his actions, which is troublesome,” Lombardo said.

The sheriff said investigators were “making progress” on determining a motive, but complete answers remained elusive. There were precious few clues in Paddock’s background.

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Las Vegas Shooting Kills More Than 50 in Deadliest Ever US Gun Attack


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More than 50 people have been killed and around 400 injured at an open-air country music festival in Las Vegas in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

Terror spread through the city's famous strip as 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock launched an attack from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, unloading hundreds of rounds of ammunition from a cache of weapons towards concert-goers.

Police confirmed the attacker shot himself dead just as a police SWAT team burst into the hotel room from where he sprayed rapid fire on the crowd for several minutes.

Described as a "lone wolf" who lived in a remote desert retirement village, Paddock was holed up with more than 10 guns after he is believed to have checked into the hotel on Thursday.

The attacker's motive is unknown, but police believe he acted alone. They said he is "not believed to be connected to any militant group" despite a claim of responsibility from Islamic State, adding: "We have no idea what his belief system was."

Addressing the nation on Thursday afternoon, US President Donald Trump described the shooting as an "act of pure evil", adding that he would visit emergency services in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The Las Vegas sheriff had earlier been seeking Paddock's female "companion", Marilou Danley, as a "person of interest". After she was located overseas, police said the 62-year-old - who is believed to have lived with Paddock - was not involved in the shooting.

An estimated 22,000 people dived for cover as hundreds of rounds of shots rained down on the crowd during the Route 91 Harvest Festival at shortly after 10pm on Sunday local time (6am Monday BST). An off-duty police officer was among the dead.

Las Vegas police said officers found more than 10 guns in the attacker's hotel room after entering to find he had fatally shot himself.

The shooting came towards the end of the three-day festival while headliner Jason Aldean, the American country music singer, was on stage.

Mr Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew are safe, as he said: "My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved."

Donald Trump appeared in his role as consoler-in-chief as he urged the country to unite in its grief and to banish evil, reports Rob Crilly.

“Hundreds of our fellow citizens are mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother or sister", he said. "We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss.

“To the families of the victims: We are praying for you and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.

“Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.”

The brother of gunman Stephen Paddock has said the family is "dumbfounded" by what happened.

Eric Paddock told MailOnline from his home in Orlando, Florida: "He was just a guy. Something happened, he snapped or something."

US records show Paddock lived in a three-year-old, £300,000 two-bedroom home in the tiny desert community of Mesquite, 80 miles north east of Las Vegas, near the Arizona state border.

The house is currently being searched by detectives, Clark County sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.

Paddock is believed to have killed himself before a police SWAT team burst into his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, where at least 10 "rifles" were found, he added.

He said: "We have no investigative information or background associated with this individual that is derogatory.

"The only thing we can tell is he received a citation several years ago, and that citation was handled as a matter of normal practice in the court system."

Local media said Paddock had also previously lived in Reno, Nevada, California and Florida.

He lived in the property in Babbling Brook Court with Marilou Danley, 62, records show.

She was named as his "companion" and initially as a person of interest by police. But Sheriff Lombardo later said she was out of the country at the time and they did not believe she was involved.

The Islamic State's news agency has claimed responsibility for the concert attack, alleging that Stephen Paddock was a "soldier" and converted to Islam "months ago", without providing any evidence to support the claim.

Police in Las Vegas state that there is no link to international terrorism and have said they do not believe the suspect was connected to any militant groups.

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Tiwa Savage, Award Winning Singer Reacts to Making BBC 100 Women LIst


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Award-winning Nigerian Singer, Tiwa Savage has called on women not to allow their gender limit them from attaining their utmost best in life.

Savage who was reacting to her making of the BBC 100 Most Inspirational and Innovative Women list said this on her Instagram handle @tiwasavage on Thursday.

“Don’t let being a woman hinder you, I have and still have to fight to get people to respect and appreciate my work and not limit me because I am female so this really encourages me to keep pushing and breaking boundaries.

It’s true when they say your brightest moments usually come after your darkest times.

Keep your head up and work hard through it. The same people laughing at you will celebrate you,’’ Savage said.

“Do not let anything hold you back because you are a mother, wife, young, older or a female.

“You can never leave a footprint that will last if you are always working on tiptoes,” she said further quoting Leymar Gbowee, popular Liberian female activist.

Savage also urged her fans to put God first, enjoy life, love, be a good human and do what makes you happy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ‘Eminado’ crooner is a mother of one with several awards and a Sony/ATV publishing deal to her name.

 

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Eedris Abdulkareem is a Dirty Looking Igbo Smoker – Timaya Fires Back


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Popular Nigerian singer, Inetimi Alfred Odon, AKA Timaya, has described Eedris Abdulkareem as ”a dirty looking igbo smoker and a fool.”

This follows an interview with Goldmynetv where Eedris called Timaya an ingrate that forgets his root. He also accused him of singing about himself and not adding value to people.

But Timaya, who admitted he trained under Eedris as a back-up singer years back , said Eedris disregards and treats people like a trash.

In a post he shared on his Instagram, he said, “Did you even know my name then? I paid my own transport to every of your show, now you call me an ingrate, what did you do for me. You regarded me as a nobody”

Timaya also called Eedris an idiot for mentioning 2baba’s name in his backlash.

“Tuface is big now, you are still there! Go and work!,” He said calling the veteran rapper ‘an Igbo smoking idiot’!

The ‘’dem mama’’ crooner, however, advised him to get a job and quit blaming people

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Ugandan Politicians Throw Punches in Parliament Over Presidential Age Limit


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A fist fight broke out in Uganda's parliament Tuesday amid efforts to introduce legislation that could extend the president's decades-long hold on power.

South African politicians brawl during protest against president

After opposition lawmakers accused a colleague on the government side of carrying a gun, a brawl broke out in which lawmakers pushed and punched each other before the speaker ordered body searches.

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Ugandan lawmakers brawl in the Parliament in Kampala, Uganda on Tuesday. (Ronald Kabuubi/Associated Press)

A motion was due to be introduced Tuesday that seeks to remove a constitutional provision that prevents anyone over the age of 75 from running for president, but opposition lawmakers filibustered proceedings by repeatedly singing the national anthem. In the chaotic scenes, the parliamentary speaker adjourned the session until Wednesday.

The move to jettison the age limit is seen as an effort by President Yoweri Museveni, who at 73 is ineligible to run for re-election in 2021, to extend his rule. Museveni himself has ducked the question of whether he is interested in more time in office, saying recently that the matter is not so important.

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Ugandan opposition lawmakers wear red ribbons to protest in Parliament against a bill proposing to amend the presidential age-limit in Kampala, Uganda, on Sept. 26, 2017. (James Akena/Reuters)

But critics say behind the scenes he is orchestrating the move by lawmakers to remove the last hurdle to extend his presidency, possibly to rule for life.

Uganda's ruling party enjoys an overwhelming majority in the national assembly and the bill is expected to pass despite the spirited efforts of some opposition lawmakers who wear red bandanas as a sign of what they say is their resistance to the long rule of Museveni.

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An activist opposed to the extension of presidential age limits is arrested and carried off by uniformed and plain-clothes police, while shouting for America and Israel to come to the rescue of Ugandans, near the Parliament building in Kampala, Uganda, on Sept. 21, 2017. (Ronald Kabuubi/Associated Press)

Heavy security was deployed in the capital, Kampala, and police fired tear gas and arrested scores Tuesday who demonstrated their opposition to ongoing efforts to remove the age limit from the constitution.

The United States urged Uganda's government to protect basic freedoms "without fear of intimidation," and Amnesty International said authorities "must end their absurd attempts to silence people opposed to scrapping the presidential age limit."

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Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 73, has been in power since 1986. (Jok Solomun/Reuters)

The bill has raised tensions in this East African country that has never seen a peaceful change of power since independence from Britain in 1962.

Museveni, a U.S. ally on regional security, took power by force in 1986 and was re-elected last year in a poll marred by allegations of fraud and voter intimidation. Although Museveni warned in the past that Africa's problem was leaders "who want to overstay in power," he has since said he was speaking about leaders who were not elected.

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Police Arrest Notorious Kidnappers


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Police have arrested 31 suspected members of notorious kidnapper and armed robbery gangs terrorising travellers along the Abuja–Minna and Abuja–Kaduna highways.

The suspects, including their leader, one Hussaini Mohammed who is also known as ‘General Maigemu Sambisa’, were paraded by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, on Tuesday at Dikko in Niger State.

Some of the suspects paraded are Adamu Hussaini, Bala Mohammed, Hassan Hashimu, Ibrahim Badamasi, Babangida Hamza, Umaru Abubakar, and Karo Ladan among others.

Items recovered from them include four AK 47 rifles, two English Berretta pistols, two locally made pistols, five sets of army camouflage uniform and one international passport belonging to a kidnapped victim.

Others are eight operational vehicles, two Golf Volkswagen, one Honda Civic, 95 7.62 x 39mm ammunition, 15 9mm ammunition, two laptops, and one digital camera among other items.

Mr Moshood said the arrest followed the reinforcement of Operation Absolute Sanity on the Abuja-Minna Highway with more police personnel by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

He said the team were deployed to tackle the gangs of kidnappers that escaped arrest on the Abuja–Kaduna Highway and relocated to some roads in Niger State.

The police spokesman said five suspected kidnappers died in a gun battle with the police, while one Sergeant Shettima Abdulahi lost his life earlier on Tuesday when the team fell into an ambush by the suspects.

“The above mentioned suspects were arrested in their hideouts and camps where some of their victims were rescued and the listed firearms, ammunition, army camouflage uniforms and operational vehicles of the kidnappers were recovered from them,” he said in a statement.

“In the operation that is still ongoing, four different vicious and notorious kidnap for ransom gangs, including those dealing in illegal possession of prohibited firearms were dislodged and busted.”

Also arrested was a gang allegedly responsible for the death of some security personnel who were recently killed along the Kaduna–Abuja and Abuja–Lokoja roads.

“A total number of 31 suspected kidnappers/armed robbers were arrested in the operation. They confessed to the offence and admitted to the various criminal roles they played in committing the crimes.

“Most of the suspects were identified by the victims and for being responsible for their kidnap,” Moshood added.

He said efforts were ongoing to arrest other suspects at large, noting that all the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as the police conclude their investigation.

He was hopeful that the renewed commitment of the police to reducing crimes across the country was yielding positive results.

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FG Traces IPoB’s Secret Account in France, Reveals Details of Donations


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Emerging reports say that the federal government has traced a secret bank account to Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group. The Nation reports that available intelligence says funds in the account were used by IPOB for its activities across the world. Some Nigerians were also discovered to have made huge deposits into the account in support of the group. It also reports that the French ambassador to Nigeria Denys Gauer on Friday met with information minister Lai Mohammed, and while the details of the meeting were not clear yet, France was said to have given Nigeria some assurances on IPOB.

The European power reportedly assured that it won’t support terrorist activities against Nigerian government. It also said it would take action when IPOB’s secret account was revealed to it because it was not aware of its existence. The Nation quoted a top security source as saying: “Intelligence gathering has led to the discovery of an account in Paris into which some Nigerians in the Diaspora remit funds to support IPOB. “From the said account, funds were being drawn for the activities of IPOB at home and abroad. The relevant security agencies did a thorough job and provided incontrovertible evidence on the basis of which the government proscribed the terrorist organisation. “These Nigerians in the Diaspora are using France as a clearing house.

“Investigations also confirmed inflows into the account from Holland, Hungary, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore and other parts of Europe.

“In fact, a football tournament was recently organised in Senegal to raise funds for IPOB. “As a matter of fact, the account is being used to get money from a lot of people in the Diaspora.

“What many Nigerians did not know is that the Minister of Information and Culture was talking on the basis of credible intelligence report.” The source added: “With cooperation by the international community, especially relevant countries, we will soon get the list of all the people remitting funds into the account in Paris.”

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P-Square resumes fight


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When talented twin brothers, Peter and Paul Okoye, of P-Square released their hit tracks, Bank Alert and Nobody Ugly, many of their fans across the globe heaved sighs of relief. To observers, the fact that the brothers had come together to work in the studio and release new songs meant that they had put their years-old rift between them. How wrong they were!

If latest developments are anything to go by, the Okoye brothers are still not at peace with one another. A pointer to this fact was established when Peter recently informed fans on his Instagram page that the brothers would no longer be performing at some concerts which they had earlier been booked for.

According to insiders, the feud in the family is between Paul and their elder brother, Jude, on the one hand, and Peter on the other hand. It will be recalled that for two years running, Peter has repeatedly stated that the group needs a new manager, as he is no longer comfortable with Jude as their manager.

Meanwhile, Paul wants Jude to continue as their handler; hence the bad blood between them. Jude is also said not to accord Peter’s wife with the necessary respect, which infuriates her husband.

For the most part of 2015 and 2016, the multi-award winning singing duo did not release any song and did not perform at any concert as a result of their feud. The brothers, at different times, went on social media to denounce one another, with many of their fans pleading with them to bury the hatchet. At the height of the crisis, Paul recorded a song, Call Heaven, insinuating that if their mother, who used to be their manager, was alive, the crisis wouldn’t have degenerated to the level it did.

Meanwhile, both brothers have established individual record labels. Peter signed Malcolm and DJ Switch to his P-Classic Records, while Paul invested a lot of effort in promoting the careers of Muno and Lucy, the new artistes signed to his Rudeboy Records. However, when the brothers made up, they seemed to stay action on their record labels. Now that they have re-ignited their feud, it remains to be seen whether they would both pick up the reins of their respective labels from where they left off.

As a result of the crisis, the twin brothers lost a lot of brand equity but they were lucky enough that when they made up, fans accepted them wholeheartedly and the songs they put out became hits. However, with this latest episode, some analysts and critics have argued that the brothers are pushing their luck too far. It is believed that fans could finally get tired of their shenanigans, and no longer receive them with open arms when next they choose to embrace peace.

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Asylum Seeker Faces Life Sentence for Killing Female ‘Refugee Helper’


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A 27-year-old Nigerian migrant in on trial for killing refugee helper Soopika P. earlier this year and prosecutors in the case have demanded life imprisonment for the failed asylum seeker.

The prosecutor in the case has argued that the murder was “not a spontaneous act, it was planned long ago”. If the request accepted by the judge, it would mean the 27-year-old would face a minimum of 15 years behind bars before he would be eligible for any type of release, local newspaper Münsterland Zeitung reports.

The prosecutor said that the motivation for the attack was related to the short sexual relationship between the failed migrant, who lived at an asylum home in Ahaus, and the victim. She had decided to be with another man shortly before the murder and had sent a text to the Nigerian saying “it’s over”, shortly before he stabbed her 22 times.

“Because of the fact that she did not want to be with him, he wanted to punish her,” the prosecutor said, and added that the migrant had been enraged by the text and decided that she “had to submit to him”.

The defence lawyer did not dispute that his client had committed the murder as blood stains of the victim had been found on the Nigerian’s clothing but argued that the crime was a crime of passion and pleaded for a manslaughter charge.

The Nigerian was not immediately arrested as he fled the scene of the crime and crossed the border into Switzerland. After an international manhunt, authorities were able to arrest him at a train station in Bern in February.

A judgement in the case is expected on October 11th.

Ladenburger was allegedly raped and killed by Afghan national Hussein K. who is currently on trial for the crime. The Afghan immediately admitted he was not 17 as initially believed but lied about being underage to receive better treatment from German authorities.

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Police Destroy Six Shrines in Ikorodu


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Police Destroy Six Shrines in Ikorodu
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Army with Orders to Arrest Nnamdi Kanu, Begins Massive Manhunt


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TROOPS yesterday launched a manhunt for Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu , barely 24 hours after the group’s proscription.

Nothing has been heard about Kanu since the proscription.

Some sources yesterday said he had gone underground.

Kanu is on bail for the alleged treason charges preferred against him. His bail sureties might be asked by the security agencies to account for him.

Besides, security agencies are probing IPOB leader’s alleged foreign links.

Investigators are said to be analysing a video clip of Kanu and a Turkish citizen as part of the probe.

A source, while confirming the search for Kanu, said: “Troops have been given a firm order to fish out and arrest the IPOB leader. As a prelude to it, the Defence Headquarters on Friday declared IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

“Intelligence has, however, revealed that Kanu might have gone underground. As I speak with you, troops have actually searched his house and he was not found there. Troops have a mandate to arrest him wherever he might be.”

Asked what if he is not found the source said: “ We might follow legal process by holding his sureties responsible. These sureties will have to produce him.”

On the probe of Kanu’s alleged foreign links , another source said:”We are looking into the allegations of foreign support for Kanu. We are doing a profiling of his foreign contacts. We have some clues but we need to dig deeper.”

We can also confirm that government insisted on non-withdrawal of soldiers from Abia State to avoid a situation whereby the IPOB will “take advantage and unleash mayhem” on innocent citizens.

Sources said the presidency overruled Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on the withdrawal of troops because the police alone could not cope with the “grave security” situation.

“The governor wanted a political solution to a military matter. But the federal government cannot watch and allow the situation to degenerate,” one of the sources said.

“Before Kanu was released on bail, these same governors in the Southeast, political leaders from the zone and others prevailed on the federal government to allow him home.

“Some of these governors and Igbo leaders made a commitment that they would ensure that Kanu did not abuse his bail conditions.

“The government bent backwards and ensured that Kanu was released on bail. But you can see what has happened. All those who gave the guarantee that Kanu would respect his bail bond have been made to look foolish.

“Intelligence on IPOB revealed that without troops on the streets, the situation would have been worse.”

The Embassy of the United States has asked Americans in Abia and Plateau states to review their security and maintain a high level of vigilance.

The Embassy’s cautionary note was contained in its travel alert.

It said: “Curfews have been declared in Abia and Plateau states because of violent attacks accompanied by threats of reprisals.

“Exercise caution in these areas; review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.

“Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.”

The National Leader (Southsouth) of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Senator Roland Owie, yesterday faulted the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

In a statement in Abuja, Owie said the declaration smacked of double standards.

He said: “Now that IPOB has been declared ‘Terrorist group, the government should immediately declare Fulani herdsmen, Terrorist group.”

Owie added: “I urge President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to walk the way of justice and equity in handling the affairs of Nigeria and stop pretending that all is well.

“The gravest mistake of non-equitable administrations all over the world is the denial of wrongdoings on their part. Unfortunately for such administrations, they forget that God cannot be mocked.”

“Gravitation will help a person if he builds the side of his house straight and plumb; but gravitation will oppose him and make his house fall down if he builds it out of plumb.”

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Buhari Departs Nigeria for UN General Assembly in New York


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President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday afternoon departed the shores of Nigeria for the United States of America where he will be attending the 72nd session of the United Nations general assembly.

Before departing, he met with the governors of Sokoto, Borno and Kano states. 

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The JAMB cut-off marks


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THE cut-off marks for the 2017/2018 admission into tertiary institutions recently announced by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) are indicative of a lack of will to address the rot that has gnawed deep into the nation’s education system.

While announcing the marks, JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, stated that the cut-off for candidates seeking admission into colleges of education, polytechnics and other non-degree-awarding institutions would be 100, while it would be 120 for university candidates.

Although the JAMB Registrar, in his attempt to justify the decision reached by the Board and university vice chancellors, said hiking the cut off marks usually results in the country losing many candidates to mushroom universities outside the country, be that as it may, there are major issues with the cut-off marks.

First, if we are concerned about the failing, falling and faltering standard of our education, we should eschew anything that would make it worse than it is currently. How can we contemplate offering admission to those who failed to pass the entrance examination into universities? How can those who got 120 out of 400 be considered for admission into universities? Where on earth is a 30 per cent score considered a good enough mark? If we want our graduates to compete favourably with their peers elsewhere are we not supposed to raise the bar and ensure that only the fittest are admitted into our universities. The truth which we have failed to face as a nation is that university education, as desirable as it is, is not, and cannot be, for everyone. Our responsibility as a nation is to help those who do not possess the aptitude for university education to transit unabashedly to areas where their best will manifest, not just for their own good but for the good of the nation as a whole. Forcing everyone to pursue university education when it is obvious that they lack the capacity is not in the overall interest of the nation.

It is my considered opinion that the lowering of the cut-off point is a scheme to pave way for some candidates with below the bar scores to gain admission into universities at the expense of those with high scores.

Then, I seriously suspect that the low cut-off mark is a ploy to mop up funds, especially by some universities. I am aware that a number of universities see the examination as an opportunity to shore up the shortfall in their internally generated revenue. Already, institutions have been announcing the dates for their Post-UTME with candidates expected to pay for the examinations, even after paying for the UTME. The lower the cut-off mark is, the higher the turnout of candidates for the examination will be and the more financially rewarding it is for the institution. With lowered cut-off point, the hope of the candidates is raised; they are optimistic of doing well in the other examination so as to secure admission. But the story ends up the same way for many of them; they do not do well in the examination and are denied admission. Even in the very rare cases that they do well in Post-UTME, they are done in by their dismal performance in the UTME with the effect that they are denied admission and their frustration climbs up.

Again, with the cut-off mark at 120, the tendency is for the universities to admit students in excess of their carrying capacities and create a problem of inadequate infrastructure for students. When intakes are in excess of carrying capacity, facilities are overstretched and students are short-changed.  I am told of a private university that admits more students than it can effectively cope with and has devised a means of offloading them year after year until it gets to the number that it can present to the National Universities Commission. So, head or tail, the candidates lose. Year after year, there is a growing pile of young people either frustrated through admission denial or shipped out of the university after admission for their inability to cope.

Methinks that rather than herding every secondary school certificate holder into the university, it will pay us better as a nation to make other institutions attractive so that those who attend such will not see themselves as second class citizens and will not also be treated as such by the society. Until we do that, we will yearly breed brood of disenchanted and frustrated individuals who are angry with their fatherland and will not stop at anything to express their angst.

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Police Confirm Officer Killed, 59 IPOB Members Arrested, to be Prosecuted for Murder, Arson


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At least one person, a police officer, has been confirmed dead after an attack by suspected members of the pro-Biafra separatist group, IPOB, in Abia State, the police have said.

The police also announced that at least 59 suspected members of the now outlawed group have been arrested by security officials.

The new police commissioner in Abia State, Anthony Ogbizi, who stated these, also said suspected members of IPOB, recently arrested, will be prosecuted for murder, arson and other related crimes.

Mr. Ogbizi disclosed this during a press briefing and parade of seven suspected members of IPOB at Ariaria police station in Aba.

He said following the proscription of IPOB by governors in the South-east and its declaration as a terrorist group by Nigerian Army, anybody found with Biafran materials would be arrested and prosecuted.

He said that they would be prosecuted under the anti-terrorism Act to ensure they were properly dealt with.

Mr. Ogbizi, echoing what the army had earlier said, stressed that IPOB by their action had shown itself to be a “terrorist group” which must be dealt with as such.

He said that between September 10 and September 14, the Ariaria police station was attacked by suspected members of IPOB who destroyed everything at the station.

 

He said they came with petrol bombs which they used to gain entrance, destroy properties and took three pump action guns.

“Even some policemen were seriously injured. In fact as I am talking to you, one of the injured police officer is dead. Doctors tried in vain to save his life.

“Now we have lost a soul and you know what it takes to train a police officer. You know the vacuum that creates. It takes a minimum of one year to train a police officer”, he said.

Mr. Ogbizi said they also destroyed property of lawful citizens too adding that their demonstration was not peaceful.

He also alleged that the group attacked a nearby bank to get money to acquire more weapons.

The police boss said about 30 IPOB members were arrested when they attacked soldiers at Isiala Ngwa and about 29 were arrested in Umuahia.

He said that suspected IPOB members also attacked military officers and the residences of Commissioner of Police and AIG Zone 9 in Umuahia.

Mr. Ogbizi said that the army recovered several exhibits including the coat of arms of Biafra from the suspects.

“As I am talking to you now information reaching me said they have started gathering at Nnamdi Kanu’s house”, he said.

Mr. Ogbizi called on the people to volunteer information on the whereabout of the Leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

He denied the rumours circulating in the state that security agents have arrested Kanu’s father.

 

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Tunisia Lifts Decades-Old Ban On Muslim Women Marrying Non-Muslim Men


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In a respite to the Muslim women living in Tunisia, the government on Thursday (14 September) announced the lifting of a decades-old ban prohibiting them from marrying non-Muslim men without mandatory conversion to Islam.

The move was, however, met with strong objection from Muslim clerics.

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President Beji Caid Essebsi had reportedly called for the government to bring in the change to ensure equal rights to women in choosing their life partners. He argued that the change will be in accordance to the country's new constitution that came into force in 2014.

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Under the existing rules, Muslim men in Tunisia were allowed to marry women from outside the religion without the woman having to undergo any conversion, but the same right did not apply to Muslim Tunisian women when they married non-Muslim men.

Essebsi had formed a commission, led by a woman lawyer and rights activists, for drafting revised rules. Based on the new rules, non-Muslim men wishing to marry a Tunisian woman would no more require to convert to Islam and provide the proof to clerics to solemnise their wedding.

"Congratulations to the women of Tunisia for the enshrinement of the right to the freedom to choose one's spouse," presidency spokeswoman Saida Garrach wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

However, the country's leading imams and theologians issued a statement denouncing the move and calling it a "flagrant violation of the precepts" of Islam, Al Jazeera reported.

The change reportedly came after years of demands from several human rights groups in the North African nation, which is believed to be ahead of other Arab countries that have discriminatory rules for their male and female citizens.

The first president of independent Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba, introduced a landmark social change in the country by bringing in social code in 1956 to ban polygamy and grant new rights to women that were unheard of in the Arab world at that time.

However, Tunisia still continues to have some discriminatory laws like the inheritance of parental property, in which daughters are entitled to only half of what a son inherits.

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What You Probably Didn't know About the Rainmaker


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There are some certain things beyond the circle of normalcy the average school mind won’t understand: the mystery of 'The Rainmaker' is one of them.

Majek Fashek is one of those selected few, living ahead of their time.

There are some certain things beyond the circle of normalcy the average school mind won’t understand: the mystery of 'The Rainmaker' is one of them.

Performing to a thirsty crowd at a time when drought thought it fit to visit some part of Nigeria, Majek Fashek saw that his audience were yearning for at least, a few drops of water.

And although their yearning was true, not one of them imagined the possibility of a rain.

However, upon observation, Majek Fashek started with the following lyrics as he performed 'Send Down the Rain:'

"The sky looks misty and cloudy, it looks like the rain’s gonna fall today…"

And just like the fulfilled declaration of Prophet Elijah, clouds assembled; thunder cracked and rain watered the barren ground.

Born Majekodunmi Fasheke in the ancient city of Benin to an Edo mother and a Yoruba father, but identifies with his Benin roots, Majek Fashek was called into music during the early stage of his life.

As a chorister in the Church of the Lord (Aladura) on Forest road in Benin city, he learned how to play the trumpet and guitar, while composing songs for the choir.

With time, he became a member of a group known as the Jahstix alongside McRoy Gregg, and lead singer-- Black Rice. But at that time he went by the stage name Rajesh Kanal.

It was from here Majek Fashek went on to become one of the world’s greatest reggae performer after selling more than 200,000 copies of his solo album, 'Prisoner of Conscience' in Nigeria alone.

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During his glory days, Majek Fashek was not only seen as a miracle worker but just as his  name Faheke (Ifa-kii-she-eke) implies, he was also perceived as a high priest who does not lie.

And as one writer puts it: "Whether playing maracas and congas as a child at religious events or singing and playing guitar as a reggae superstar, Majek has always been “on a mission to deliver God's message through his music."

This fact cannot be argued in anyway whatsoever as the truthfulness of his lyrics speaks for themselves.

And talking about lyrics, there are not many musicians in the world (whether dead or alive) whose music can be compared to that of the Rainmaker.

As a matter of fact, in terms of uniqueness, depth, insight, and clarity, the good songs of Majek Fashek ranks high!

Like his master-- Bob Marley-- Majek admonishes us in his evergreen hit, 'Send Down the Rain' that "whatsoever I & I (you and me) soweth in this world, more of it shall we reap."

He went on to remind us of that same song that "you don't expect to sow cassava to reap up cocoyam..."

The depth and reality of those lines are likened to the truism of Christ teachings.

He had said in an interview that, "Me and Jesus Christ, we are one; me I no dey follow Jesus Christ like Christian o, I am following Jesus Christ in a different way and in a different form."

In his 'Spirit of Love,' he declares like a high priest: "Heaven and earth will pass away... Silver and gold will pass away... What is bought and sold will pass away, but the spirit of love will always be the same..."

Here Majek Fashek quoted Christ declaration in Matthew 24:35 with the sweetness of poetic rhythm, and paraphrase Christ 'word' with the 'spirit of love.'

Also in his 'Jah People,' the revolutionist in him spoke out gallantly: "Them dey go to space to discover another race… they make nuclear weapons atomic energy to rule Jah world… Oh Jah people, stand and fight for your right…"

Majek Fashek play

Majek Fashek

(Buzz Nigeria)

 

This was a unique message of awareness. A message for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. A message for those that are ready to fight their way out of the box.

He would not end it there as he went on to say, "It's a big disgrace in this age of self-realization to see humanity still living like animals…"

The kpangolo Maestro as I love to call him for his genre of music made it clear in his 'Religion is politics' that "Religion has caused a lot problem around the world… Jewish man go dey fight Palestine man, Muslim man goes dey fight Christian man, Igbo man goes dey fight Hausa man…"

There need not be an explanation to put validation to this fact. Sound minded people know for sure that religion has caused more problem in this world than any other institution.

While Muslims and Christians seem to have decided not to get it right with each other, the war between David and Goliath has refused to come to an end.

Speaking in an interview with Vanguard in January 2017, The Rainmaker was quick to discredit the news that his health challenge was as result of drugs.

"Let me put the record straight. I never used drugs. I was actually experiencing some spiritual s—t (attack) as at that time. My problem was spiritual and not drugs.

"I went through some spiritual problems and I paid the price for them, that was what happened to me, it wasn't about drugs. It wasn't every story that was published about me that was true. Some people are full of scandals, most people don’t want me to bounce back.

"Now, let me tell you this, I started the kind of music young artists are doing now, it's called “Pangolo” which I was doing when Fela was alive, he was my hero. Now, they are calling it Afrobeat but they are stealing my ideas, "Pangolo" is the sound they are playing not Afrobeat, it is all my idea..."

Majek Fashek play

Majek Fashek

(Tori News)

 

But he wasn't the first to debunk the news of his addiction. In 2014, an ex-member of his band, Imona Osigwe also discredits the news in an interview with Daily Post:

"Majek's problem is spiritual. It was not caused by drug addiction. I have worked and lived with him. Apart from the fact that we worked together.

"He is my brother. So I am in the position to know where his problem came from. But we have decided to leave everything in God’s hands. We are praying for divine intervention in his case..."

They were not the only ones praying after all; a good number of us also did, because we know that just like John the Baptist, Majek Fashek is also one of those lone voices that are born to cry in the wilderness.

For their purpose is to bring enlightenment to thoughts and awareness to minds.

Working on his seventh album which he titled "Weep Not Children," Majek Fashek is set to make a return to the music scene; not with an intention to compete with the present pop stars of this generation, but to deliver the truthful message of life.

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