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Like George Floyd, Nigerians Can’t Breathe

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By Eric Elezuo

The video which went viral depicting a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of a suspect until he died did not only sent chills down the spines of well meaning individuals, it created a yet to be answered question on ‘where is humanity’?

On Monday, May 25, 2020, the Minneapolis Police department received a call from a store, reporting a supposed felon, who was allegedly issuing a fake cheque for his purchases. The man, 46 year-old George Floyd, was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody at the arrival of the officers of the Police Department. The video did not show any evidence of a struggle between the black gentleman, and the officers.

Floyd was later pinned to the ground, close to the tyre of the police patrol car, with his hands cuffed behind his back. The arresting officer, who was identified as Derek Chauvin, then placed his knees on his neck against the hard surface. Floyd protested in pains, but he couldn’t move his body as the entire weight of Chauvin flowing into his knees rested on his windpipe in addition to the immobility of his cuffed hands. His protest now coming in muffled speech of ‘I can’t breathe’ and his breathe coming in irregular spasm, Floyd was gradually going numb. But Chauvin and his co travellers showed no mercy. Onlookers, who noticed the pains Floyd was in prevailed on the officers to release from his neck since he was already in custody and harmless, but they paid no heed. A particular bystander pleaded, and asked that his pulse be check, when he noticed that Floyd was no longer moving, but the officers refuse. And suddenly, the man went completely numb. He was dead. They showed him mercy. A visit to the hospital afterwards was to fulfill all righteousness and get a confirmation. An innocent soul was killed in broad day light for no just cause.

The death of Floyd for no verifiable offence amid his pathetic plea of I can’t breathe, is a typical situation with Nigerians. For years, the government has compelled the citizens to tighten belts in the face of obvious hardship, dearth of infrastructure, social amenities and all the rest including education. But the authorities, even with the plea we can’t breathe, has continued to tighten the noose, or this time the knee to the neck of hapless Nigerians.

In the education, Nigerians can’t breathe as Academic Staff Union of Universities and other educational unions are constantly at loggerheads with the government over one issue or another, and so strikes have become the order of the day.

The health institutions have completely suffocated the people, as hospitals are more like glorified mortuaries. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has made matters worse as more deaths have recorded from other sources other than the pandemic. No health worker seem to care about a patient for fear of the disease. No one is listening. The only health matter at the moment is to listen to the new cases of coronavirus every night. Nigerians can’t breathe!

The Police are out there snuffing life out of citizens either from accidental discharge or outright shooting over refusal to part with bribe as low as N20. Nigerians can’t breathe!

In the last couple of days, almost all Nigerians, especially in Lagos State, turned members of vigilance group as bold faced armed robbers, who called themselves one million boys, threaten the peace of residents. Nigerians can’t breathe!

A journey of not more than 15 minutes will take a motorist or commuter as much as three hours to complete because of the dilapidated nature of the roads which breeds unprecedented traffic jam. Nigerians can’t breathe!

It is no longer news that every Nigerian resident is the sole provider of his own electricity, water, education, road and many more. Nigerians can’t breathe, and yet the knee is pressing harder down the neck. And like Floyd, the voice is becoming muffled, the breath is coming in spasm, movement is highly impossible, and soon silence may occur. Who cares?

Please take urgent steps cause Nigerians, like Floyd, can’t breathe!

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I’m Being Unjustly Victimised by Osinbajo’s Crony, Dr Adepoju Alleges

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By Eric Elezuo

The last has not been heard of the ‘unjust’ hail of attacks directed at Lagos doctor, who specializes in cosmetic surgery, Dr. Anuoluwapo Adepoju, by some elements, allegedly seeking her downfall.

Speaking to the Boss, Dr. Adepoju  the noted that her persecution and attacks have emanated from the CEO of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mr.  Babatunde Irukera, who unceremoniously led a team security operatives in person to close down her clinic, Med Contour, located in Lekki, Lagos; an action which has made the public to raise some questions bordering on complicity and victimisation.

Sequel to spearheading the closure of Med Contour, Barr. Irukera instituted a legal action against the doctor, charging through a court which was never served her.

Prosecuting lawyer and CEO, FCCPC, Irukera

Narrating her experience, Dr. Adepoju accused Irukera of orchestrating her ‘illegal arrest’, and subjected her to three days in the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti. She added that the FCCPC CEO personally mandated DCP Yetunde Longe to deny her administrative bail with the claim that the orders to lock her up were from the Inspector General of Police.

“I sincerely doubt that. He is just manipulating the system to his schemes, whatever they are,” Dr Anu stressed, adding that it’s unconstitutional for the police to detain a person for more than 24 hours without proven evidential allegation.

Responding to Boss investigation, a source, who crave anonymity, said that it is obvious that Irukera has an interest in getting Anu out of business, hinting that the present witch-hunt has gone beyond the death of a cosmetic surgery patient, who did not even die in the doctor’s custody.

“If it’s not witch-hunt, how does one explain why the FCCPC would get involved in a case that is outside it’s jurisdiction and why would Mr Irukera the CEO of a Federal Government agency personally come to Lagos from Abuja and invade her clinic with a team of police men without a search warrant or any legal backing of any sort? The source queried, asking if the commission does not have a legal department.

He added that from available evidence, especially bordering on what transpired in court over the weekend, and the process that led to the court appearance, it appears that the respected FCCPC officer is acting a script, whose author is yet unknown, primarily to embarrass Dr Adepoju.

“That’s not all, Irukera has also claimed that his mandate is derived from the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, making everyone wonder if he is not using the VO’s name in vain because Osinbajo is not the kind of person that will thrive on impunity and disregard to rule of law,” he said.

The Boss investigation further revealed that the law officer filed a case against Dr Adepoju since June 3, 2020, but did not serve her a copy as demanded by law. She only became aware of the charges in court on July 3, 2020. Unknown to her, she has been charged for ‘failure to comply with FCCPC requirements in an investigation; appear and provide info relevant to ongoing investigation’. The action, many has said raises eyebrow.

Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, duly lambasted Irukera for his oversight, granted the accused bail on self recognition and adjourned.

However, unconfirmed reports said that the FCCPC boss has induced coverage of the court process as media statement was heard from Dr Adepoju except from Irukera alone.

“It is unheard of that in a case involving two persons, only one party was interviewed at the court, and the other ignored. Where is the balancing,” the source wondered.

For the benefit of hindsight, the commission has arraigned Dr Adepoju on a five-count charge of alleged botched surgery she allegedly conducted that led to the death of a patient, one Mrs. Nneka Onwuzuligbo in addition to disregarding summons sent to her to appear before the agency and summons by the agency to appear and produce certain documents.

Dr Adepoju, who had before now denied all allegations, pleaded not guilty, and the case is adjourned.

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Lady Slumps, Dies While Celebrating Birthday in Benue

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Family and friends of a make-up artist, Deborah Tushimah, are mourning her sudden death, which occurred while she was celebrating her birthday at the Hampton Mews Hotel in Makurdi, Benue State, on Sunday.

PUNCH Metro gathered that Deborah was having a nice time with her guests at the party before tragedy struck.

It was learnt that Deborah started feeling uneasy while dancing and suddenly slumped and started vomiting blood.

A footage of the party, which has been trending online, showed Deborah in company with her friends before the tragic incident happened.

The deceased was seen in the footage showing her friends some of the gifts she received from well-wishers.

The party atmosphere was filled with excitement as the guests and the celebrant danced to the tune being dished out by a saxophonist.

In a post on Instagram by gossipmillnaija, a source alleged that one of the birthday gifts, an iPhone 11, was responsible for Deborah’s death, stating, “She was poisoned at her birthday party.

“She was gifted iPhone 11 too. It’s obvious one of the girls she calls friends is behind it. While dancing, she slumped and started vomiting blood then died. It happened in Markudi, Benue State. Stupid envy and jealousy.”

Reacting on her Instagram handle, @prinasblend__empire, alleged that the ‘killer’ was among those celebrating with her in the footage and advised people to be cautious about eating at social functions.

“Chaiiiii fear people, during your parties alwazdont eat wt the public, have a food u reserved for urslf so after the party u eat and drink, becareful out there and one of those shouting there is the killer, wow,” she wrote.

However, one Hannah Silas, who claimed to have spoken with a member of deceased’s family, stated through her social media handle, @hannahSilas_, that the family had refuted the claim that Deborah died because of an iPhone 11, adding that there was also no confirmation that she was poisoned.

In a chat between Hannah and the family member, Deborah was said to have been nursing a heart problem without the knowledge of her parents and had collapsed on three separate occasions before the birthday party.

The chat read in part, “Later on, we discovered that she has a heart problem that makes her faint, and she have been fainting for some time but neither dad nor mum knew about that. The one that happened the early hours of today was the 4th, and she couldn’t make it.

“Like seriously, I don’t know when it started, I was also confused about the death, no illness, then just like that, but she had that heart problem for some time nw according to the feedback, but was silent to the parents.”

Commiserating with the family, @mabglams wrote, “This is really heartbreaking. May her soul Rest In Peace in Jesus name. Amen.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene, said Deborah’s corpse had been deposited in the mortuary for autopsy, adding that the command had commenced investigation to determine the cause of death.

Anene said, “On Sunday, July 5, 2020, around 9.30am, information was received that Miss Deborah Tushima suddenly collapsed around 2am at the Hampton Mews Hotel, while dancing in the midst of her friends, who attended her birthday party that was secretly organised.

“She was rushed to the Madonna Hospital, Markudi, for treatment and was pronounced dead shortly. Her corpse has been deposited in a mortuary. Investigation into the cause of death is in progress.”

When asked about the speculation that Deborah was poisoned, the PPRO stated, “We cannot know that from just looking at the corpse; that will be revealed through a post-mortem examination.”

The Punch

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Infidelity: Man Stabs Lover, Commits Suicide

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An official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Emmanuel Mekuri, has allegedly committed suicide after stabbing his live-in lover, Patricia Ogunshola, during an argument at their place of residence in Araromi, Morogbo area of the state.

PUNCH Metro gathered that an argument on infidelity ensued between them, which degenerated into a physical combat.

Out of annoyance, Emmanuel allegedly got hold of a knife and used it to stab Patricia in her right thigh and when the attack became unbearable, she reportedly fled the house.

Thereafter, Emmanuel allegedly stabbed himself in the stomach.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said an alarm raised by Patricia’s daughter drew neighbours’ attention to the incident and the police were contacted, adding that when policemen got to the house, Emmanuel’s remains were found and the knife used in perpetrating the crime was also recovered.

He stated that Patricia was taken to hospital for treatment, while Emmanuel’s corpse was evacuated and deposited in a mortuary for autopsy.

Elkana said, “On July 5, 2020, around 1pm, the Morogbo Police Station received a distress call from the Zoo area in Araromi that one Emmanuel Mekuri, 47, a LASTMA personnel, stabbed his lover, Patricia Ogunshola, 37, on her right thigh, with a Jack knife. An alarm was raised by the 13-year-old daughter of the woman, who she had from a previous marriage, which drew the attention of neighbours to the scene.

“In her statement, the girl stated that the deceased person, whom she referred to as her stepfather, made further attempts to stab her mother in the head but she quickly ran out of the room. She reported that he subsequently stabbed himself in the stomach, with his intestines gushing out and he died on the spot.

“On arrival at the scene, homicide detectives preserved the crime scene and rushed the injured woman to hospital for medical attention. She is currently in a stable condition. The corpse of the deceased person was evacuated to the mortuary for autopsy. A blood-stained knife was recovered from the scene.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the couple started cohabiting in February 2020, but they were not legally married.”

Elkana said the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, for discreet investigation

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