Trial begins after 6 killed in bloodbath at German family gathering
A man accused of shooting dead six relatives and seriously injuring two others at a family gathering went on trial in Germany on Monday.
The 27-year-old defendant faces charges of murder and attempted murder.
He allegedly killed his parents, his half-sister, his half-brother, his uncle and his aunt in the town of Rot am See, located in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Another aunt and uncle were able to escape in spite of also being shot.
The man, a German national, is said to have shot 30 bullets during the bloodbath on Jan. 24, before calling the police and handing himself in.
The shooting took place in the father’s apartment block, in which the alleged killer also lived.
The family had met for a funeral there.
The man had allegedly been planning the attack for some time, having joined a marksmen’s club and legally obtained a gun prior to the crime.
He is said to have felt maltreated by his mother and half-sister.
Prosecutors say he has confessed to the crime.
The defendant will receive a psychiatric assessment during the course of the trial, with prosecutors noting that he may suffer from paranoid schizophrenia.
The trial is taking place in a court in the town of Ellwangen, with a verdict currently expect on July 10.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
2 face trial over alleged N924, 000 rice theft
Two men, Rafiu Lawal and Taiwo Olaniyi, on Friday appeared before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly stealing 33 bags of rice worth N924, 000.
Lawal, 32, a resident of No. 2, Ogunfayo St., Eputu, Ibeju-Lekki, and Olaniyi, 42, who resides at Jakande area of Lagos, are facing a four-count charge of shop breaking, stealing, attempted murder, grievious harm and malicious damage.
They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecutor, Insp. Ingobo Emby, told the court that the defendants committed the offences on July 10, at 2:00a.m, at Ologunfe area of Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
Emby said that the defendants broke into the shop of the complainant, Mr Emmanuel Okolie, and stole the bags of rice.
“The defendants hit an iron rod on the complainant’s head in other to kill him while stealing the bags of rice.
He said that the offences contravened Sections 230(1), 287, 310, 339(1) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Section 287 stipulates three years jail term for stealing.
The Magistrate, Miss M.O. Ope-Agbe granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two surties in like sum.
Ope-Agbe adjourned the case until Aug. 20 for mention.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
19 potential Coronavirus vaccines currently in clinical trials – WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there are 19 potential COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials globally.
WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, disclosed this on its official Twitter account @WHOAFRO.
The WHO also said that here are nearly 150 COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
“South Africa is the first country on the continent to start a clinical trial with the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg testing a vaccine developed by the Oxford Jenner Institute in the United Kingdom.
“The South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial is expected to involve 2000 volunteers aged 18 to 65 years and include some people living with HIV.
“The vaccine is already undergoing trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil with thousands of participants.
“According to the African Academy of Sciences, only two per cent of clinical trials conducted worldwide occur in Africa,” it said.
The UN health agency said it was important to test the COVID-19 vaccine in countries where it was needed to ensure that it would be effective.
“With more than 215, 000 cases, South Africa accounts for 43 per cent of the continent’s total cases.
“Clinical trials must be performed according to international and national scientific and ethical standards, which include informed consent for any participant.
“I encourage more countries in the region to join these trials so that the contexts and immune response of populations in Africa are factored into studies.
“Africa has the scientific expertise to contribute widely to the search for an effective COVID-19 vaccine,’’ it said.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa , Dr Matshidiso Moeti said “ Indeed, our researchers have helped develop vaccines.
“The vaccines have provided protection against communicable diseases such as meningitis, Ebola, yellow fever and a number of other common health threats in the region.’’
Earlier, this month WHO Africa’s principle advisory group on immunisation policies and programmes – the African Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (RITAG) – also noted the need to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 and other vaccines in the region.
“As the world focuses on finding a vaccine for COVID-19, we must ensure people do not forget that dozens of lifesaving vaccines already exist.
“These vaccines should reach children everywhere in Africa – no one can be left behind,” said Professor Helen Rees, Chair of the RITAG.
In addition, the agency stated that Initial analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immunisation in the African Region suggested that millions of African children are likely to be negatively impacted,
“They are likely to be negatively impacted as routine immunisation services and vaccination campaigns for polio, cholera, measles, yellow fever, meningitis and human papillomavirus have been disrupted.
“Despite these challenges, RITAG members also noted significant milestones and markers of progress.
“For example, there have been tremendous gains in the fight against wild poliovirus, and the African Region is expected to be officially certified free of wild poliovirus in August 2020,” it said.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo also announced the end of its 10th Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC, which was the worst in its history. An effective vaccine was a key tool in the response.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
AFCFTA: Gbajabiamila tasks Nigeria on industrialisation
By Emmanuella Anokam
Abuja, July 9, 2020 (NAN) Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila says Nigeria must increase its industrialisation and manufacturing activities through the free trade zones to survive the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)regime.
The speaker, in a statement signed by Mr Martins Odey, Head, Corporate Communications, of NEPZA, said Nigeria was faced with enormous challenges ahead of the AfCFTA in the areas of manufacturing and industrialisation.
He said that there was the need for the country to act proactively in order not to become a dumping ground for other African nations.
”Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our export processing zones.
“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks. We will then be fully prepared for AFCTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youths and enhance our foreign earnings,’’ he said.
Gbajabiamila also pledged total support of the legislature for the revitalisation of the free trade zones to make the zones function productively.
“How can we make Nigeria the number one investment destination? It is mainly by boosting our manufacturing and export capacity, the twin tasks, the export processing zones are set up to achieve.
“We in the legislature will provide legislative and budgetary support to NEPZA to achieve its mandate,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a seasoned investment professional as the Managing Director of NEPZA to drive the sector.
Adesugba, on his part, expressed appreciation on behalf of NEPZA for the pledges of support from the speaker, noting that such back up would spur him and his team to squarely face the challenging tasks.
”I want to assure Nigerians that we will take the bull by the horn. We will ensure effective functioning of the zones to generate jobs, wealth and industrialisation in line with the cardinal goals of the president.
“We are setting to work immediately and we hope to prepare Nigeria for AfCFTA by easing investment inflow into the zones,” Adesugba said. (NAN)
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)
Trial opens after suspected Halloween gang rape of 14-year-old girl
Five men and boys went on trial in the southern German city of Ulm on Thursday accused of drugging and gang-raping a 14-year-old girl in October, 2019.
The defendants remained silent during the brief opening session of the trial at Ulm district court, which is set to reconvene on July 20.
The defendants allegedly met the girl in Ulm city centre on the night of Oct. 31, 2019, and persuaded her to accompany them to an asylum-seeker shelter in nearby Illerkirchberg, before drugging her.
Four of them are said to have then raped the girl a total of nine times, while the girl later informed her parents and the police.
“One of the accused has admitted his involvement,’’ prosecutors said.
However, the others denied the allegations.
A total of 13 days of hearings are scheduled for the trial, which is set until November.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Alleged failed plastic surgery: Court adjourns trial of Lagos surgeon
The defendant is charged alongside her clinic, MedContour Services Ltd., on five counts bordering on refusal to honour an invitation for investigation and failure to produce investigation document.
She was arraigned on July 3 alongside her medical outfit, before Justice Mohammed Liman.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) had in April sealed the medical outfit, a plastic surgery hospital, over suspicions of illegal activities.
The FCCPC had also in April posted on its official Twitter handle that it had commenced an investigation into a case of failed plastic surgery performed by the first defendant, Anuoluwapo, in her hospital.
After the defendants were arraigned on July 3, the court fixed July 8 for prosecution to open its case.
The prosecutor, Mr Babatunde Irukera, also the Director-General, FCCPC, had told the court that he had only two witnesses.
However, the case could not proceed on Thursday as scheduled. The court did not sit.
A new date for trial will be communicated to parties.
In the five-count charge, prosecution alleged that without sufficient cause, the first defendant failed to appear before the FCCPC in compliance with the commission’s summons dated April 15.
The prosecution also alleged that without sufficient cause, the first defendant failed to produce documents which she was required to produce in compliance with the commission’s notice of investigation dated April 14.
It added that the first defendant obstructed the commission from carrying out its investigation into the said issue.
The alleged offences contravene the provisions of sections 11(1)(a), 33(1)(a), 110, 113(1)(a) and 159(4) of the FCCPC Act, 2018.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
The court granted her bail on self recognizance.
The court had overruled a preliminary objection by defence, challenging the charge against the defendants.
The judge upheld the submissions of the prosecution that the criminal jurisdiction of the Federal High Court was activated by the provisions of Sections 251(f) of the Constitution.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
Netanyahu lawyer quits 11 days before corruption trial continues
A lawyer, who was representing the Israeli prime minister resigned on Wednesday, 11 days before the second session of Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial.
Micha Fetman stepped down on the heels of a Thursday decision by the State Comptroller Committee to deny Netanyahu’s request to accept financial support to the tune of 10 million shekels (some 3 million dollars) from tycoon Spencer Partrich.
The committee denied his request, citing a conflict of interests as Partrich is on the witness list for the upcoming trial.
The committee also said, in a letter to Netanyahu’s lawyers, that the sum would be viewed as a gift, which a public official cannot legally accept.
Indeed, part of the indictment against Netanyahu concerns illegal gifts which he allegedly received.
According to media reports, in light of the committee’s decision, Fetman was concerned that he would not be paid.
Fetman declined to comment on the matter.
Fetman only joined Netanyahu’s legal team recently, but follows a string of other lawyers who have reportedly quit on similar grounds.
Fetman represented Netayahu on the first day of his trial in May.
Israel’s longest-serving prime minister was officially indicted on bribery, fraud and breach of trust in January.
Netanyahu allegedly accepted expensive gifts and attempted to improve press coverage by offering political favours to wealthy businessmen and media moguls.
He has denied any wrongdoing and says the charges are politically motivated by a prosecution seeking to oust him.
If he is convicted for bribery, Netanyahu could face up to 10 years in prison.
For fraud and breach of trust, he could face a maximum sentence of three years, though that sentence is seen as unlikely.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Alleged N471m fraud: Court fixes Oct. 20 for ex-HoS, Oyo-Ita’s trial
Justice Taiwo adjourned the trial on the grounds that he was not properly briefed about the latest scheduled date.
According to him, I am not aware that the matter will be coming up today and since the matter is not time, it is better to adjourn it for another date.
“Besides, the recorder is not here and I believe that we should all keep safe. This court is too congested,” he added.
He further said that the trial would continue when the court returns from vacation.
Justice Taiwo then adjourned till Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 for trial continuation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Oyo-Ita and two others were arraigned before the court on March 23 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an18-count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of about N471 million.
Ubong Effiok, her Special Assistant, and Garba Umar, are among the defendants.
Other defendants, which are companies, are Frontline Ace Global Services Limited, Asanaya Projects Ltd, Slopes International Ltd, Gooddeal Investments Ltd, U & U Global Services Ltd, which is linked to Effiok and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.
All the defendants in the case pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Delta Assembly approves N8bn credit facility for Agro Industrial Park
The Delta House of Assembly on Tuesday approved N8 billion-loan facility for the state government to fund the Agro Industrial Park located at Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state.
The approval of the loan followed a request earlier sent to the assembly through a letter by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, seeking its approval.
The letter was read during plenary in Asaba by the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori.
Okowa said in the letter that the credit facility was geared towards diversifying and increasing the revenue base of the state through agriculture.
”In this regard, the state Executive Council at its sixth meeting held on June 16, considered and approved that the state government obtain the sum of N8 billion CBN Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme loan on an on-lending arrangement from Zenith Bank Plc.
”’The loan is to be supported by the issuance of a monthly Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) of N33.3 million from inception to February 2021 as well as N254 million monthly, during the three years of principal and interest repayment period.
“In view of this, I wish to seek the authorisation of the state House of Assembly to accept the loan facility from Zenith Bank Plc. and issue an appropriate ISPO in favour of the Bank accordingly.”
The assembly on Tuesday also approved the governor’s request for the approval of N1.5 billion credit facility under the CBN Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS).
The Majority Leader of the Assembly, Mr Tim Owhefere, moved a motion for the house to receive and approve the letters from the governor.
The motion, which was unanimously adopted by the assembly when put to a voice vote by the speaker, was seconded by Mrs Pat Ajudua, representing Oshimili South Constituency.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
Industrial output in Italy down nearly 22 pct in Q2
Industrial production in Italy had its worst quarterly result since the 1940s, falling 21.6 percent for the second quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2019, the industrial association Confindustria said on Thursday.
Much of the country’s industrial production halted during the national coronavirus lockdown that entered into force in March. The lockdown rules only allowed companies deemed “essential” to the country’s anti-coronavirus strategies to continue operations.
Lockdown rules were eased starting in May, but the economy is still struggling.
In the first quarter of the year, industrial production was 8.4 percent below the production level in the same period in 2019. But that quarter included more than two months before the start of the lockdown.
The second quarter of the year included April and May, both of which saw limited industrial activity.
In June, industrial production was 18.9 percent below the level of the year-ago period, easily the strongest month of the quarter and a sign of modest recovery.
Most economists predict an economic rebound, including industrial production, in the second half of this year, unless coronavirus infection rates start to rise again. But Confindustria said a recovery could be tempered by the still-strong coronavirus outbreak in the United States and in South America, which slows Italy’s export sector.
According to media reports, the 21.6-percent fall in industrial production was the biggest quarterly drop in production since the final months of World War II, when the country’s economy collapsed.
- Major shake-up in Nigerian Army as 37 Generals redeployed
- Queens College PTA wants unity schools’ participation in 2020 WASSCE
- Rotary club president pledges more services to humanity
- Students urge FG to take proactive measures for schools reopening
- Environmentalist ticks out govt. for inability to enforce environmental policies
- Coronavirus: Kwara health workers demand hazard allowance
- Farm inputs: Women farmers laud Gov. Buni
- Coronavirus: Specialist hospital commends union for suspending strike
- United States-based fertiliser coy to establish African branch in Kebbi
- Kano Emir re-appoints kingmaker 17-years after he was removed