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BIG STORY

Contractor Who Recorded Ganduje Bribery Videos Breaks Silence, Set To Testify Before Kano Assembly

Peter Okunoren

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The contractor behind the videos showing Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State purportedly receiving bribes has finally opened up on the matter.

He has also expressed his readiness to testify before the Kano House of Assembly panel investigating the issue.

In a letter sent to the chairman of the investigative panel, through Saeed Muhd Twada, his lawyer, the contractor, who was referred to as a ‘whistleblower’, said his allegation against Ganduje is strictly personal and that he would appreciate if the governor also appears in person at the panel.

He said his appearance before the panel will be based on the fulfillment of some conditions which were listed in the letter.

One of the conditions is that all the video clips will be submitted to two experts for forensic analysis and report: one, a serving officer of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the other an expatriate, while their bills will be paid for by the state.

“That a Certified True Copy of the Report(s) prepared by the experts shall be made available to our client prior to his appearance,” the letter read.

“That our client has undertaken to surrender to the experts, the device used in capturing all the events in the video clips submitted and others yet to be submitted for discreet analysis and scrutiny.

“That all the proposed questions to be asked by the panel in the anticipated session shall not be more than TEN (10) and shall be forwarded to our client in advance.

“That the sitting be restricted to limited persons and that our client should be allowed to wear a mask, bear pseudo name and receive protection from authorities for himself, family and business undertakings.”

The contractor also demanded that the panel must also have in attendance the governor, Jaafar Jaafar, publisher of Daily Nigerian newspaper, and one Aminu Daurawa.

The Assembly, under the leadership of Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, constituted a committee on October 15 to establish the authenticity of the videos.

Jaafar during his appearance before the committee on October 15 insisted that the videos were genuine.

However, Governor Ganduje denied collecting bribe from any contractor.

Testifying before the lawmakers, Ganduje said the allegation levelled against him are injurious.

He added that the said video clips released by the publisher of Daily Nigerian was aimed at tarnishing his image politically.

The state Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba while reading out the written response to the Committee, said, “I have the instruction of His Excellency, the Governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (OFR) to write as follows:

“That His Excellency, the Governor of Kano state categorically and unequivocally denied the allegation of collecting bribe from contractors as alleged by the publisher of the online newspaper, Daily Nigerian.”

BIG STORY

T.B Joshua Offers To Pray For COVID-19 Patients In Isolation Centers

Gbemileke Ajayi

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General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Pastor Temitope T.B Joshua Wednesday offered to virtually pray for COVID-19 patients in isolation centers around the world.

The cleric, in an announcement on SCOAN’s YouTube channel Emmanuel TV, urged the government and medical authorities to “organize those who are in isolation” and “arrange how to connect them to us on Emmanuel TV”.

“The blessing of Jesus is for those who knock and ask,” the announcement began. “In whatever way you support to make this happen, we are a team; we are not doing more than you,” it added.

“Together we shall pray for them. Together we shall be set free from this COVID-19,” the statement continued, quoting the Biblical reference in Luke 4:40 where Jesus healed “all who had various kinds of sickness after the mass prayer.

“The same anointing that heals one is also able to heal all at the same time,” it concluded, calling on all interested parties to contact the church via their email address [email protected]

Last week, the World Health Organisation reacted to a trending video in which a Cameroonian medical doctor was ‘healed’ of COVID-19 after receiving “interactive prayer” from Joshua’s ministry, acknowledging “spiritual leadership is very important in a time like this”.

His testimony was followed days later by a couple of university lecturers who said they had been healed of the dreaded virus, replete with medical reports before and after prayers from Emmanuel TV.

Since starting its ‘Interactive Prayer’ – in which online prayer is offered via video calls – Joshua’s ministry has prayed for COVID-19 patients from around the world including citizens of USA, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Honduras, and Cuba.

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Ritualists Arrested Over Recent Killings In Ibadan

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Some suspected ritualists have been arrested by the police for the serial killings in Akinyele area of Ibadan, The Nation is reporting.

The Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Mr Fatai Owoseni, disclosed this while addressing a town hall meeting in Akinyele on Wednesday. The meeting was organized by a private radio station JAMZ 100.1 FM.

Owoseni said the suspects would soon be paraded by the Oyo State Police Command.

He said: “Even though there is no town where there is no sin, I can assure you as I speak that the perpetrators of the killings in Akinyele have been apprehended.

“As of yesterday, the criminals have been apprehended and the Commissioner of Police would possibly hold a press conference today. But I can specifically tell you that the person behind it has taken police to the ritualists and they are now behind the bars.”

Owoseni emphasized the need for residents to be security conscious, stressing that everyone has a role to play in securing communities.

Five people had been hacked to death in strange situations in the community in the last two months. They included a 29-year old expectant mother, two undergraduates, and a child.

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BIG STORY

Pastor Arrested For Raping, Impregnating Daughter Three Times, Procures Illegal Abortion For Her

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A 44-year-old pastor of Christ Apostolic Church, Ogo-Oluwa parish, Oluwafemi Oyebola, has been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for allegedly raping, impregnating and procuring abortion for his daughter three times.

It was gathered that the cleric had been living with his daughter since his wife, the victim’s mother, died a few years ago.

He was arrested following a complaint by his daughter at the Owode-Egbado Divisional Police Headquarters.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the victim told the police that her father had been forcefully having carnal knowledge of her since 2015 when she was 19-year-old shortly after the demise of her mother.

The PPRO said, “The victim further reported that she got pregnant for her father three times after which her father took her to a nurse where those pregnancies were aborted.

“After the third abortion, the suspect did family planning for her so she would not get pregnant again.”

Oyeyemi said the victim, upon realising that her father was out to ruin her life, ran away from the house and reported to a non-governmental organisation, Advocacy for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network.

“Consequent upon which she was taken to the Owode-Egbado Police Station to complain.

“After the report, the DPO Owode-Egbado division, SP Olabisi Elebute, led her detectives to the pastor’s house where he was promptly arrested.

“During interrogation, the suspect made confessional statements that all his daughter said was nothing but the whole truth,” the police spokesman added.

The PPRO noted that the state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, had ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the anti-human trafficking and child labour unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.

In a related development, a Senior Magistrates’ Court in Port Harcourt on Monday remanded a 26-year-old man, Kelechi Nwankwo, in a correctional facility for defiling an eight-year-old pupil at his residence at Elele, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The accused, it was learnt, was a private home tutor of the victim before he allegedly committed the crime on June 23, 2020, at his house in Elele, where he coached schoolchildren.

It was gathered that the accused allegedly inserted his finger into the girl’s private parts when he was alone with her.

The police prosecutor, Ochogwu Wilberforce, told the court that the offence was punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37 Vol. II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria,1999.

The charge read, “That you, Kelechi Nwankwo, on June 23, 2020, at Elele Town in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, but triable in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did unlawfully have carnal knowledge of one (name withheld) aged 8, by inserting your finger into her vagina, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37 Vol. II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria,1999.”

The Senior Magistrate, Lenu Baridam, declined jurisdiction in the matter and referred the case file to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.

The magistrate, however, ordered the accused be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Service facility and adjourned till September 9, 2020.

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