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Death Toll Rises to 72 As Violent Protests Continue over Zuma’s Imprisonment

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About 72 people have now been killed in the violence that erupted in South Africa, following the imprisonment of ex-President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court, following his refusal to appear before a graft panel.

The 79-year-old was convicted of defying a court order to testify before an inquiry probing allegations of corruption against him during his term as president.

The violent demonstrations, which started in KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s province, spread to Gauteng province on Sunday with many shops looted and several injured.

Shops and businesses have been looted and vandalised, while vehicles and debris were left burning on roads.

According to the South African Police Service, many of the deaths recorded in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces occurred “in chaotic stampedes as thousands of people stole food, electric appliances, alcohol and clothing from shops”.

“The total number of people who have lost their lives since the beginning of these protests has risen to 72,” the police said in a statement.

The police added that 1,234 people have been arrested in connection with the violent riots.

Ten people were also said to have been killed in a stampede during mass looting at a shopping centre in Gauteng province on Monday.

Despite the deployment of soldiers to quell the riots, the protests and looting have continued.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had, on Monday, warned of “life-threatening consequences” as the unrest has disrupted supply chains, putting South Africa at risk of food and medicine shortages.

Condemning the looting, David Makhura, Gauteng province premier, said criminals have hijacked the protest.

“It is extremely sad. Looting is not a solution. We are losing lives. We cannot afford this. We are calling for calm; we are calling for peace,” Makhura said.

“This is destroying everything we had been building. The progress we had made in the township economy is being reversed by this looting, destruction and shutting down. The looting has to stop.

“It is already hampering the mobility of ambulance services, the delivery of oxygen and the administering of vaccines. This has all been affected by the blocking of roads.

“We are losing lives now; businesses are shutting down. All leaders in communities, political parties, religious leaders and civil society, we must all come together and say the looting and the violence cannot take place in our communities.

“We understand the unemployment situation, but the looting must stop, this is undermining the economy.”

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Senegal Records First African Win at Qatar 2022 World Cup

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Senegal have become the first African country to win a game in the ongoing World Cup after a 3-1 win over the host nation, Qatar, on Friday.

With Senegal’s win, the hope of the host nation appears to be hanging, as their qualification to the next round is becoming really slim.

Goals from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng were enough to beat Qatar, who will be eliminated if Group A leaders, The Netherlands, avoid defeat to Ecuador later on Friday.

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Unlawful Imprisonment: Kanu Sues NIA DG, Demands N20bn

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The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has sued the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, for imprisoning him (Kanu) in Kenya for eight days, before his extradition to Nigeria.

The special counsel to the IPOB leader, Alloy Ejimakor, disclosed this on Wednesday morning, via his Twitter handle, were he posted a pictures containing the suit filed, where he described Kanu’s detention in Kenya as “false imprisonment.”

Ejimakor said the suit was prompted by new evidence gathered implicating the DG beyond the “infamous extraordinary rendition.”

Ejimakor said, “Yesterday (Wednesday) I filed a suit against Ahmed Abubakar, the DG of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for his eight days ‘false imprisonment’ of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in discovered evidence that implicated the DG/NIA beyond the infamous extraordinary rendition.”

According to the suit, the court gave Abubakar 14 days to appear or be represented in court, adding that failure to show up would mean that judgment would be given in the DG’s absence.

The suit filed in the High Court of Abia State reads in part, “You are hereby commanded that within 14 days after the service of this Writ on you inclusive of the day of such service, you do cause an appearance to be entered for you in the Umuahia Judicial Division of the High Court in Abia State in an action at this suit of Mazi Nnnamdi Kanu….and take notice that in default of your so doing, the claimant may proceed therein and judgment may be given in your absence.

“The claimant’s claim is for (i) A declaration of this Honorable Court that the defendant’s arrest of the claimant and his imprisonment of the claimant at said location in Nairobi, Kenya amounted to false arrest and false imprisonment.

“(ii) A declaration that the defendant acted in bad faith and/or abused his public office in falsely imprisoning the claimant at the said location in Kenya. (iii) An order of this Honorable Court directing the defendant to pay the claimant the sum of N20,000,000,000.00 (Twenty Billion Naira only) being general and exemplary damages…”

This comes just few days after Kanu’s N20bn suit against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami was thrown out by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

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The Story Behind Peter Obi’s Grounded Plane in Lagos

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There was a mild drama at the Lagos airport on Wednesday when supporters of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and some party chieftains were prevented from boarding a campaign plane for their rally in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

The Deputy Director-General and Campaign Manager for LP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Oseloka Obaze, was the first to raise the alarm following a report that the plane had been grounded.

The former Nigerian diplomat took to his verified Twitter handle on Wednesday to tweet that the ‘Obi-dent aircraft’ was grounded by the ‘powers that be,’ citing “regulatory reasons.”

When contacted, the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, confirmed the report.

He said, “We have just finished our rally in Ibadan. It is true that the plane meant to convey our NWC and NEC members for campaign was grounded by the powers that be. But we were not deterred by the plane that was grounded.

“This is what we have been saying about this country. It is not the first time it is happening. They have been using every opportunity to ensure we don’t get to do anything in this country.”

Also, the Head of Media for Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, Diran Onifade, released a statement to express the PCC’s displeasure at the turn of event.

However, in their response, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority denied the allegations and explained that the plane belonged to a scheduled operator.

It said, “The so-called grounded plane belongs to a scheduled operator i.e. normal commercial flight. The flight crew of the said aircraft returned to the base on their own to check on an issue that developed soon after it took off.  This is the normal and right thing to do. What they did is what we termed safety precautionary flight measures. NCAA was not involved in this decision.”

Meanwhile, Obi promised citizens that he would not build on tribalism and religion if elected in 2023 and assured them of his plan to secure the country and unite its citizenry.

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