A Cross River State High Court sitting in Calabar on Wednesday sentenced a retired worker of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr . Godwin Elewana, to death by hanging. The court found Elewana guilty of the murder of a 22 year old pupil, Douglas Ojugbo, on March 10, 2015 over suspicion that the victim was having an affair with his daughter, Mercy.
Elewana, who had been in prison custody since 2016, was arraigned on one count of murder in case no. HC / 9 C / 2015. The presiding judge of the court, Justice Ukpa Ebitam, said the prosecution team, led by Mr . Eneji Amajama, a Deputy Director in the Department of Public Prosecutions in the state Ministry of Justice, proved its case that the accused committed the crime.
Ebitam listed the several confessional statements, hospital reports and other exhibits presented in the course of trial as reasons the accused was convicted. He said,“The prosecution team was able to establish ingredients of murder against the accused. On whether it was the act of the accused that caused the death of the victim, the prosecution team placed reliance mostly on the confessional statement of the accused clearly, the statement linked the murder to the accused.
The prosecution team also proved the second ingredient of murder which was the intentional act. To have fired the victim twice with his pump action gun, I agree that the killing was intentional. I hereby find the accused person guilty of murder. “Subject to Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Cross River State, any person who commits murder is sentenced to death by hanging.”
Moments before the verdict was given, the defence counsel, Mr. Clement Ukaegbu, had pleaded for leniency. Ukaegbu’s position was supported by another lawyer, Mr . Orchardson Umoh, who pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy on the grounds that the convict had a good religious standing and high integrity in the society.
Shortly after the verdict, the leader of the prosecution team, Amajama, said the law had taken its course. He said,“I thank God that we have industrious and sound judges who still uphold the rule of law. Today, the parents of the deceased would have some respite that the law of the land took its course.
‘This judgement will serve as a deterrent to others that you cannot do what is wrong and go away with it and I think that our society will be better for it. “The accused was tried under Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Cross River State. Under this section, the judge does not have the right to give him life imprisonment or any other jail term. The judge has just done what the law stipulates.”
The mother of the victim, Mrs . Maria Ojugbo, said, “I thank God for doing what should be done. It is stated in the Bible that anyone who kills by the sword, will die by the sword. Elewana had no reason whatsoever to kill my son in such a manner and conceal the act by burying him. It was Almighty God that gave approval for this judgement.
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BREAKING: Churches, Mosques To Reopen As FG Lifts Ban On Religious Gatherings
The federal government has lifted the ban on religious gatherings across the country.
The government had imposed the ban two months ago to check the spread of coronavirus.
But at the briefing of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation and chairman of the PTF, announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the relaxation of the ban for four weeks.
“The PTF submitted its recommendations and the PRESIDENT has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June 2020, subject to review-:
“Cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19; application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country;
“Mobilisation of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities; sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include: ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;
“Relaxation of restriction on places of Worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.”
More to follow…
Dangote, MTN, GTBank Emerge Most Admired African Brands
For the third time in a row, Dangote Group has emerged as the most admired African brand, of African continent origin, by consumers, paired with the telecommunication giant, MTN in a survey of 100 Africa best brands announced in a novel global virtual event that incorporated the market openings of Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria.
GTBank returns to the top spot in financial services and the United Kingdom’s BBC retains its media category ranking as the most admired media brand in separate category sub-surveys of the most admired financial services and media brands in Africa. African brands only occupy 13 of the 100 entries, seven less from last year.
Established 10 years ago, to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the world’s biggest single sporting event, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands survey and rankings have established themselves as the most authoritative survey, analysis, and metric of brands in Africa.
African brands only occupied 13 of the 100 entries, 7 less from last year’s. Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership, Thebe Ikalafeng during an online interactive session via Zoom said: “African brands have an important role in helping to build the image, competitiveness and transforming the continent’s promise into a real change. It’s concerning that in the 10 years since the triumphant FIFA World Cup in South Africa which globally highlighted the promise and capability of Africa, and despite the vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa is not creating more competitive brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market.” Global Client Development Manager, GeoPoll, Caitlin van Niekerk said: “The reach and accessibility of mobile across the continent enabled us to survey respondents across a representative sample of countries quickly and effectively, giving us vital and timely results at a critical time. Kantar has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since inception in 2010.”
It is a consumer-led survey that seeks to establish brand preferences across Africa. The survey is conducted among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, in 27 countries which collectively represent 50 percent of the continent, covering all economic regions and accounting for an estimated 80 percent of the population and the GDP of Africa. The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands
Out of the top 100 brands in 2010/11, only half still appear in this year’s list due to mergers, acquisitions, and the obsolescence of many brands. The most prominent changes are in the technology category with the demise Blackberry (#32 in 2010/11), the consolidation of Vodafone (#54 in 2010/11 and now #13 in 2020) which acquired Vodacom in 2008 and re-branded in 2011, Etisalat (#40 in 2010/11) re-branding to 9 Mobile in 2017 and Motorola (#39) being acquired by Lenovo in 2014. A Chinese brand, Tecno, has raced up the ranking from #33 to #5 in the rankings – a dominant performance for one of China’s premier global brands that are not even sold in China
In his reaction, Group Chief Corporate Communication Officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said the management was not unexpected of the ranking because the company has a long-standing reputation for quality, relevance compliance, and social stewardship. “Our mission and vision engage and inspire us to buy extension connect us to with both our internal and external stakeholders.
“We fervently believe that only Africans can develop Africa, and this gives us a stronger sense of relevance in all the countries where we have our operations. we are touching lives by providing their basic needs and empowering Africans more than ever before creating jobs reducing capital flight, helping government conserve foreign exchange drain by supporting different industrial infrastructural projects of African government.”
Mr. Chiejina stated further that Dangote Cement has been producing high quality and affordable cement, reducing poverty, engaging in unprecedented philanthropy, and above all respecting the laws of the land where we operate. “All these are our credo and we do not compromise it, it is our way. And the ranking is just an acknowledgment of all these by our stakeholders, We keep our brand promise and stay authentic,” he concluded
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