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Top U.S. Officials Storm Aso Rock over Recent Unrest Nigeria

A team from the United States raised their concern about ongoing violence in Nigeria, human rights abuses, and religious freedom. The team, according to the US Mission in Nigeria “discussed ongoing violence, the importance of allowing citizens to peacefully demonstrate, and accountability and justice for victims.”

The statement said:

“The US condemnation of the use of excessive force by military forces fired at unarmed demonstrators in Lagos was expressed by the counselor”

The delegation expressed condolences to the victims of these shootings and urged Nigeria ‘s government to comply with its commitment to hold those responsible under the law accountable. 

On Friday afternoon, another message from the mission revealed that the team had met with a wide range of officials from the federal government, governors, human rights activists and representatives of civil society, religious leaders, conflict mitigators, donor partners and police. 

Together, we are continuing our collaboration on our shared goals of improving civil security, promoting human rights, improving civil security and promoting human rights.

The team comprises of US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Bob Destro; US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Conflict Stabilisation Operations, Denise Natali; the Counselor of the US Department of State, Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl; and the Charge d’Affairs, US Embassy, Kathleen FitzGibbon.

Responding, Vice President Osinbajo expressed the hope that such cooperation would create better understanding of the issues.

He assured the visiting US officials that the plan of both the federal and state governments to investigate police brutality and prosecute erring police officers, create new state-based security and human rights committees, as well as provide compensation to victims of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units would be a game-changer in ensuring an end to impunity.

A statement issued by the Vice President’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, on Friday, said Osinbajo informed the delegation that at least 13 states in the country, including Lagos, had since established judicial panels “to seek justice and to compensate those whose rights have been breached.” While responding to the concerns of the US government on instances of impunity in the country, the vice president noted that these efforts were part of the Nigerian government’s commitment to implementing extensive police reforms.

He added that the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry nationwide would further ensure that the police and other security agencies ensure the protection of human rights of citizens.

The statement quoted Osinbajo as saying: “The concerns around impunity are some of the concerns that informed the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry across states.

Each state is now required to establish judicial inquiry that will look into cases of impunity, excessive use of force, extrajudicial killings etc, especially by law enforcement agents. “Aside from two representatives of civil society groups, these judicial panels will have youth representatives and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission, among others. Each state is also required to have what is called the Special Security and Human Rights Committee to ensure that law enforcement and security agencies protect the human rights of citizens.”

“Government is paying attention. The point we are making is that protests are a means to an end, but they cannot be the end. We are very optimistic that what we have put in place would eventually yield the best possible results for us.”

Osinbajo also highlighted what he termed false narratives about Nigeria, including the herder-farmer crisis, especially in North Central states and the politics behind the allegations. According to him, the herder-farmer crisis was exacerbated mainly because of land and resources struggle rather than the misinterpreted Christians-versus-Muslim narrative.

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Search Is On For Kidnapped Actors, Monalisa Chinda Reveals

kidnapped actors

Nollywood actress Monalisa Chinda who announced the abduction of Nollywood veteran actors Clemson Cornel and Cynthia Okereke has now revealed that the search is on to rescue to kidnapped actors.

The actress who is also the Director of Communications for the Actor’s Guild of Nigeria (AGN) took to her Instagram page to express concern over the widely-held false notion that Nollywood actors are rich.

“I don’t understand how people would think that Actors have money… with the paltry sum we receive as fees? The struggle through life vicissitudes, health issues etc we face every now n then???” the actress wrote on the Instagram post she made on August 1.

Chinda also revealed that the search was on to rescue the kidnapped entertainers as the phones with which they have been contacting their family members can be traced. “$100k from where? The numbers that was used to communicate with them can easily be traced. I mean.. ???The search is on???@actorsguildofnigeria Let’s keep reposting please,” she added.

A few days ago, veteran Nollywood actress, Hilda Dokubo said that the showy nature of some celebrities which was part of what is required from the show business was the reason why many people erroneously believed that actors were rich. Dokubo equally expressed concern over the USD100,000 demanded by the abductors saying, “Where will we get one hundred thousand USdollars from? God save all of us from this pain and give us your grace for this period. I know some actors paint the wrong picture on social media all the time but it is only in line with the “Show” part of SHOWbiz. Hopefully, you’ll understand what I mean.”

The kidnapped actors Clemson Cornel and Cynthia Okereke were both returning from a movie set at Ozala of Enugu State on July 29 when they were ambushed by their abductors. Chinda in her statement released to the press said that the National President of the Guild, Ejezie Emeka Rollas had called on all actors to be more security conscious while commuting for work. Rollas “instructed all Actors to avoid going to the outskirt of cities to film except full security cover is provided to ensure their safety.”

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Organ Harvesting – UK Court Grants Bail To Ekweremadu’s Wife But Denies Ike

Beatrice Ekweremadu

Sequel to Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice’s appearance at the Old Bailey court on Friday, 22nd July for a bail hearing, Judge Richard Marks who is presiding over the case has granted bail to Beatrice Ekweremadu but remanded Ike in custody

The former deputy Senate President and current Senator representing Enugu-West was arrested alongside his wife Beatrice at Heathrow airport on June 23, on allegations of a plot to fly a man to the UK against his will and have his organs harvested for their sick daughter. The couple is charged under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Judge Marks, the Common Serjeant of London on Friday said he was releasing Beatrice only with her adherence to fairly stringent conditions. “The position is that I have granted bail to Beatrice subject to some fairly stringent conditions, but I have refused bail to Ike,” Mark said.

After their arrest in June last month by the London Met Police, the couple appeared in court where it was ruled that they both be remanded in custody while the appropriate authorities proceed with further investigations. The Ekweremadus were brought in after the boy whose organs they plotted to harvest opened up to medical personnel at the Royal Free Hospital (where he was being prepared for the surgery) that he was unwilling to consent. Authorities immediately moved to safely secure him before moving in on the alleged culprits.

The boy has been identified as a certain David Ukpo, a 21-year-old whose age was initially declared as 15 years old. Ukpo is said to be a homeless orphan in Lagos and was brought to the UK against in will for the purpose of harvesting his kidney for Ekweremadu’s daughter who is battling kidney failure.

Investigations have led to the arrest of Dr. Obinna Obeta A Nigerian, UK-based doctor living in Southwark in south London. Obeta has been accused of conspiring with the Ekweremadus and helping to facilitate the travel of Ukpo to the UK.

The next court hearing is scheduled for August 4, 2022.

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Nollywood Actress Ada Ameh Has Passed On

Ada Ameh

Popular Nollywood actress Ada Ameh is dead. She was 48 years old.

Her death has been confirmed by the Actors Guild of Nigeria president, Emeka Rollas. Though Rollas did not give details regarding Ameh’s cause of death, several online sources say that Ameh collapsed while attending a function in Warri, Delta State.

The said function is said to have been hosted by a renowned oil magnate and his family and Ameh was one of the attendants until she suddenly slumped. Sources say she was immediately rushed to the NNPC hospital in Warri but was confirmed dead by doctors upon arrival.

In the weeks leading up to her sad demise, Ada Ameh opened up about her struggles with mental health problems. She shared a video on her Instagram page telling fans about her ill health but retaining a positive note that she was going to fight and recover.

“Everything is going to be fine. I have an issue right now and it is taking my life. I nor go die. We will get over it, we will get over it,” the actress said in the video.

She also added that the illness not only cost her a job but put her at loggerheads with her employers. “I was given a job and I didn’t do the job because I had mental issues. Would people understand when you say you have mental issues? They won’t. They are slamming me with a bill, suing me, it’s okay,” she said.

A few weeks later, her colleague and friend Empress Njamah posted a short clip on her Instagram to update fans about Ameh’s health. Njamah asked that more prayers be made for Ameh who was seen in the video lying beside Njamah.

Ada Ameh was said to have plunged into depression after losing her only daughter to a surgery gone wrong in 2020. She had the child in her teens out of wedlock.

Ameh had a career that spanned over 20 years and was revered for her comedic and melodramatic portrayals. After her breakout in 1996 with the movie, Domitila, she next became known for playing the mother to the comedic duo Aki and Paw Paw. More recently, Ameh was best known for playing Emu, the matriarch of the Johnsons family in the acclaimed Africa Magic TV series,  The Johnsons.

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