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Gunmen have kidnapped two entertainers, Ugo Stevenson and Izunna Obiakor, in Owerri, Imo State and demanded millions of naira as ransom for their release.

Stevenson, a 2008 winner of Nigeria Music Awards, is a popular high life musician, writer and public commentator, while Obiakor is the Chief Executive Officer of Twinstar Lightening and Stage House in Owerri.

The 2008 award winner was reportedly kidnapped around the World Bank area, while he was going home.

His wife, who confirmed his abduction in a telephone conversation with our correspondent, said the kidnappers had established contact with her, demanding N5m as ransom for his release.

Distressed Stevenson’s, who said she spoke with her husband, stated that the kidnappers contacted her two days after kidnapping her husband.

She said, “The kidnappers have contacted me. They are demanding N5m as ransom for his release. They allowed my husband to speak with me.

“I told them how it is with my husband and family currently. I told them that we didn’t even have N10,000. They asked me to contact his friends.

“I am, therefore, calling on his friends to help secure my husband’s freedom. They should not allow him suffer and die. He is just an entertainer, who has spent all his life making people happy. He has offended no one. His friends and the general public should come to my husband’s rescue.”

Meanwhile, Obiakor was reportedly abducted in his jeep. He was kidnapped in Owerri while returning home after the day’s programme.

One of his friends, who does not want his name mentioned, confirmed Obiakor’s abduction.

The abduction of the two entertainers has generated spontaneous outcry as his friends and fans have taken to the social media, especially Facebook to condemn their abductions and demand their immediate release, unconditionally.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, who confirmed the abduction of Stevenson, said the process of rescuing the victim had commenced.

“Stevenson was kidnapped somewhere in Owerri West Local Government Area. The commissioner of police has ordered the processes that would necessitate his release. We are working to ensure that the kidnap victim is rescued alive, unhurt and the kidnappers arrested without delay,” he said.

The abductions of the duo came few days after a popular activist, Paulcy Iwuala, was released after the payment of N7m as ransom.

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GTBank Holds 9th Annual Autism Conference July 30th – 31st

Gbemileke Ajayi

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For the ninth year in a row, Africa’s foremost financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, will bring together some of the world’s leading experts in Autism for two days of critical discourse on supporting children and adults living with Autism in Africa.

Organized as part of the GTBank’s Orange Ribbon Initiative, the Annual Autism Conference will hold on the 30th and 31st of July 2019 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

Themed, “Autism: Transitions, Vocational skills and The Role of Technology,” the Annual Autism Conference will bring to the fore the challenges facing children living with Autism as they grow into adulthood. The conference will feature presentations and keynote addresses on how to empower children and adults living with Autism to reach their full potential. Some of the facilitators include Dr. Loretta Burns, a leading expert in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders and the founder of ABE International Clinic; Dr. Tisa Hooper-Johnson, the Medical Director of the HFHS Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD), USA;  Janette Washington, a speech-language pathologist with nearly a decade of experience working with children living with autism and other special needs; and Ivie Emokpae, a qualified special needs coordinator from the Institute of Education London.

Following the Autism conference will be free one-on-one consultations for children with Autism and other developmental challenges, as well as counseling for parents and guardians. There will also be sessions for Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Behaviour Analysis, Audiology, Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychiatry, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Therapy. These sessions will hold from Thursday, August 1st to Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 at Digital Village, Alausa, Lagos.

Commenting on the 9th Annual Autism Awareness Conference, Segun Agbaje, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “Children and adults living with autism often lack the support and vocational training that they need to develop critical life skills for leading independent and productive lives. As an organization that is passionate about uplifting the most vulnerable in our society, we will continue to empower people living with autism with all the support and resources that they need to reach their full potential.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is a Nigerian financial institution that has maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception in 1990. The Bank actively supports numerous programmes across Africa that positively affect Infant and Maternal Healthcare, Education, the Arts, Community Development and the Environment.

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James Hope College Celebrates Its First Graduation Ceremony

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The James Hope College (JHC) recently marked a milestone in its history. From the Founders’ Dinner on Friday, 28 June 2019 to the Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, 29 June 2019, the college celebrated its pioneer graduating set.

The Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia who is also, the Founder/Chairman of James Hope College, while giving the Founder’s Address, described the graduating set as one that has spurred growth in academics and co-curricular activities for the College. According to him, from their impressive 100% score (A* – C) recorded in 14 subjects of the IGCSE to the Duke of Edinburgh award, the graduates have set the bar for other students to scale.

Mr. Ovia also awarded full scholarships to the outgoing Head Boy and Head Girl to the University they have gained admission into, as well as scholarships to all graduates to study in government and state-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Co-Founder of the College, Mrs. Kay Ovia, encouraged the students to uphold the ethos they inculcated while in school and continually strive to be better versions of themselves.

The Principal of the College, Mr. Abraham Swart, also commended the tremendous contribution of the Founders to the development of the college, adding that the students have been given the right foundation to soar.

Other notable personalities in attendance were Former VC of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe and Former Visiting Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Prof. L. F. O. Obika. The graduation dinner was graced with performances from celebrities like Folarin Falana (aka FalzTheBahdGuy), Otolorin Kehinde Peter (aka Kenny Blaq) and BisolaAiyeola.

James Hope College is one of the educational initiatives of the Jim Ovia Foundation, which offers its students world-class education at a subsidized rate. James Hope College is supported by an endowment fund and currently has 40% of its students on a full scholarship. It is located in the serene environment of Agbor, Delta State. Visit JHC online to learn more.

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I Slept With My Brother-In-Law Thinking It Was My Husband —- Woman Tells Court

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A trader, Mrs Kuditat Ajayi, 52, told an Igando Customary Court that she slept with her brother-in-law because she thought he was her husband.

Ajayi’s husband, Akande is seeking the dissolution of their 35-year-old marriage, accusing her of infidelity, NAN reports.

”I was in bed in the night when my husband’s younger brother came to the house my husband rented for me.

“I thought it was my husband who normally comes to the house at that particular time between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to play and sleep with me.

“It was after he finished making love to me that I realized that he was not my husband.

“When I queried him, he claimed that my husband had traveled that was why he came to have sex with me.

“I reported the case to my brother’s wife, who advised me not to tell my brother so that peace can reign in the family.”

The respondent said that her husband treats the children of the other wives better than hers.

The mother of four denied being fetish as claimed by husband.

Ajayi prayed the court not to grant her husband’s wish for the dissolution of their marriage that she still love him.

The petitioner, Akande approached the court to terminate his 35-year-old marriage accusing wife of infidelity.

He said that his wife was wayward and adulterous that her man friend was claiming paternity of one of their children.

“When I married her, I rented an apartment for her because I have other wives and I don’t want them to live together.

“I started hearing from people in the area that my wife was having affair with a man, initially I ignored it until her lover came claiming ownership of one of my children.

“The man eventually came to the house but I refused to open the door for him.

“When I questioned my wife, she confessed that the man slept with her but it did not result in pregnancy.”

The 71-year-old businessman said that his wife was fetish.

“I once caught her burying something in my compound, I accosted her and tried to remove what she buried there but I could not.

“I went out before I returned, she had cemented the place.”

He begged the court to end the marriage that he was no longer interested that the love he once had for her husband had faded.

The president of the court, Mr Adeniyi Koledoye, urged the two parties to maintain peace and adjourned the case until August 22 for judgment.

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