Our breadwinner is gone, where do we start from –Mum, wife of Dubai-returnee who died in Lagos isolation centre

Grief overwhelmed Mrs Kehinde Kolawole as she spoke with Sunday Punch about her son, Tunde Kolawole, who died few days after his return from the United Arab Emirates while observing a 14-day supervised quarantine at a Lagos facility with other returnees.

The Federal Government previously mandated evacuated Nigerians to subject themselves for 14-quarantine in its bid to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

The deceased’s mother who’s into farming with her husband said her late son returned home to seek medical attention after he took ill in Dubai, the UAE capital.

She said, “We plant crops such as maize, corn and others. I trained my two children from farming proceeds. I have two children; the late Tunde Kolawole and his sister. He travelled to the United Arab Emirates to seek greener pastures. He left about two years ago. He took ill three months ago. He said he went to a hospital and was diagnosed with liver problems. He worked in a firm in the UAE. He said he was coming home to treat himself. He took care of us. His father had been ill for some time even before he left the country. He was the one taking care of us. The day he was to leave the UAE for Nigeria with other Nigerians there, they initially refused to airlift him. They said he had no evidence to show that he was sick to justify being evacuated to Nigeria with others.

“I prayed about the situation and learnt later that they called the hospital which treated him to know the nature of his sickness. He was later airlifted with others. He called me the day he arrived in the country and I reached out to some persons including my sister to help me meet him when he arrived in Nigeria.

“She told me that she had arranged for him to be treated upon arrival in Nigeria. My sister called him and he said they were all driven away in a bus to an isolation centre. She was unable to reach him after then. We tried his mobile and it rang out many times without being answered. The day he picked it, I asked him if he had eaten around 11 am and he said he hadn’t.

“I was surprised because he was sick and ought to have eaten at that time. I called my sister in Lagos to tell her what he told me. She tried reaching him but the phone rang out without a response. It was the same situation for days as the mobile was no longer available. The next thing we heard was that he was dead. He was supposed to be taken to a hospital for treatment as there was a medical report he presented upon arrival to the authorities. He promised to take care of us, his wife and four kids; two boys and two girls. But death has denied him of doing that.’’

The grieving woman, who said things had been tough for the family, added that her late son’s wife had used all the goods in her provision store to take care of their kids.

Earlier, the Lagos State Health Commissioner, Prof Akin Abayomi, on May 12 said a Dubai-returnee died of coronavirus complications in a seeming reference to Tunde.

The commissioner, two days after, however, stated via Twitter that the COVID-19 result carried out on the 32-year-old male returned negative.

He apologised for what he described as “a presumed COVID19-related death” of the Dubai-returnee.

The commissioner said, “The death of a recent Dubai returnee previously announced on my social media handles earlier was a presumed #COVID19 related death. I hereby inform the general public that the Nigerian who recently returned from Dubai as part of a group of returnees who were placed in a COVID-19 isolation programme in Lekki, developed complications and was transferred to one of our facilities where he died.

“Because of the sudden nature of his demise and without any prior knowledge of his multiple preexisting conditions, it was presumed to be a COVID-19 related death pending confirmation by COVID-19 Gold standard test.

“This presumptive attribution is a precaution to ensure the safe clinical management of the patient and subsequent handling of the corpse.

“The definitive COVID-19 gold standard test has turned out to be negative for the COVID-19 infection and his death is no longer considered to have been attributable to COVID-19.”

The woman said Tunde’s corpse had been released to the family for burial. She stated, “His corpse was brought to us in Akure through my sister and another relative. He was buried on Friday.’’

Also speaking with our correspondent, the deceased’s widow, Joy said she had accepted her fate, adding that their kids were aged between 10 and two years.

She said, “It’s the eldest of the children aged 10 that normally asks after their father. My last conversation with my husband was when he returned to Nigeria on Wednesday (May 6). I asked about his health and he said he was okay. I told him not to stress himself. I also asked if he had eaten and he said no. I urged him to meet the management of where he was camped to tell them he was hungry.

“He said he didn’t see anybody but would try. I ended the call and called him again after 30 minutes but his voice had changed. I told him I would call his mother’s sister to prepare food and take it to where he was. But by the time they tried his phone to know where he was camped, it rang out. It was the same situation when I tried to reach him throughout that day.

“For a week, the phone was switched off. It was with shock that we learnt that he had died. The death certificate showed that he died on May 9. I don’t know where to start from. I was saddened by the news of his death. He was away for two years. I don’t know how to raise the school fees of the children and money to feed them.’’

Nasarawa CAN chairman regains freedom

The Nasarawa State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the General Overseer, Word of God Worldwide Gospel City, Archbishop Joseph Masin, who was kidnapped on Thursday, May 28, 2020, has regained his freedom.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Nasarawa, ASP Nansel Rahman, confirmed his release on Sunday.

The Punch gathered that Masin arrived at his residence at Agwan Sandaji’s farm about 3:am on Sunday, and had since joined his wife, children and other relations.

It was learnt that the Bishop was dumped by his abductors by the roadside around Lizzy Keffi in Mada station area of Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area of the state.

Rahman said the cleric was released unhurt about 10 pm.

He said efforts to arrest the perpetrators are ongoing, reassuring citizens in the state of their security.

“We have zero tolerance to the payment of ransom. No ransom was paid for his release,” the PPRO added.

Lesotho ex-first lady accused of murder leaves country, bail revoked

Lesotho’s former first lady, Maesaiah Thabane, has left the country a day after a Court of Appeal ordered her rearrest, according to the nation’s police on Saturday.

Maesaiah Thabane is suspected of orchestrating the shooting of Lipolelo Thabane her husband’s estranged wife. who was gunned down outside her home in the capital Maseru, in 2017.

Police have also charged her with the attempted murder of Lipolelo Thabane’s friend Thato Sibolla, who was wounded at the scene.

Lesotho police commissioner Holomo Molibeli said authorities were informed on Friday through her lawyer that she had accompanied her husband Thomas Thabane to South Africa for medical treatment.

“We are aware that the former prime minister has left the country for medical care in South Africa,” Molibeli told AFP.

“Maesaiah’s lawyer informed us yesterday that she has accompanied her husband to South Africa. We don’t know when they will be back in the country.”

Previously freed by Lesotho’s High Court on a 1,000 maloti ($57) bail, on Friday Lesotho’s court of appeal revoked her bail and ordered her rearrest.

Thabane stepped down at the beginning of May following months of calls for his resignation over the murder of his estranged wife amid a bitter divorce battle.

Both Tom and Maesaiah deny any involvement in her death.

Lesotho’s former finance minister, Moeketsi Majoro, was sworn in as prime minister last week, replacing the octogenarian leader.

Governor declares state of emergency in Los Angeles County amid protests

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County Friday night amid protests.

The California National Guard is being deployed to Los Angeles in response to large protests being held in the city, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The California National Guard will be used to assist local response to the protests being held, and to maintain peace and safety on the streets.

Garcetti imposed a curfew for the city’s downtown section, saying everyone must be off the streets between 8 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

Several police cars were torched Saturday as some protesters in the city ignored authorities’ call for peaceful demonstrations after a night of violence that saw windows smashed, stores robbed and fires set.

The mostly peaceful gathering near a popular outdoor mall devolved Saturday afternoon.

Protesters set fire to Los Angeles Police Department cars, broke windows and climbed on top of a bus. Police used flash-bang grenades to disperse protesters.

Missing phone: Family of murdered hotel guard demand justice

The family of Sunday Ezra, a 28-year-old security man at New Trafford Hotel and Suites, located at the Gwallameji area of Bauchi metropolis, who was beaten to death over a phone he was accused of stealing, have demanded justice.

The late Ezra was a staff of a private security company known as Executive Guard. He was reportedly wrongly beaten to death last Monday by persons suspected to be his co-workers and some customers in the hotel. The incident took place when an old mobile phone got missing within the premises of the hotel and the deceased was suspected to have stolen it. But he vehemently pleaded his innocence, to no avail. They descended on him and beat him until he became unconscious.

The deceased’s grandmother, Saratu Fidelis Limga, told Daily Trust Saturday that the family was devastated and only justice would comfort them.

“We want the government to take action. We demand justice for our son who was unjustly killed.

“You know how it feels to lose a loved one. I feel very bad. I could not sleep on Monday because the condition I saw him was sympathetic. I learnt that the owner of the hotel was the first person that started beating him and subsequently ordered his boys to deal with him. This is inhuman. They said it was a small tecno phone that does not worth more than N1,000,’’ she said.

She described her grandson as very honest, trustworthy and jovial.

Also speaking, Ezra’s grandfather, Fidelis Limga, said he couldn’t believe that his grandson was dead. “What we want is justice for my grandson. It was after he was killed that someone returned the phone, saying my grandson didn’t steal it. I want the police to do their job as expected and ensure that justice prevails over those who committed this crime,’’ he said.

A relative of the deceased, Nathaniel Kiki, who was the first from the family to visit the scene of the incident, told Daily Trust on Sunday that after beating him, his assailants covered his body with grass while he was still alive. They also stripped him naked.

“When I arrived at the hotel with our grandmother, we saw him on the floor, covered with grasses. There was no cloth on his body. I removed the grasses and called him and he answered. I asked if he stole the phone and he answered, “I have never stolen anything from anyone. You know me very well. What am I going to do with a stolen phone? He asked me to take him to the hospital because of the pains he was going through?’’ Kiki said.

“What is more painful to us is that after the wicked attack, a corps member found the said phone and returned it to the police. And the phone is not up to N1,000,’’ he added.

Also, the manager of Bauchi office of Executive Guard, Musa Silas, said the deceased joined the services of the security company a month ago, adding that one of their criteria for employment is that the applicant must be have proven integrity.

“We depend on personal information and findings within the environment of the applicant before employment. During our findings, as well as relationship with the deceased, we discovered that he was a good young man. He was also a member of the vigilante group in his community, which encouraged us to offer him our job since he had experience in maintaining peace and order.

“I feel very sad at what happened to him because I was part of the people that took him to the hospital. I saw the extent of brutality meted out to him. It is very unfortunate that we lost a hard-working young man,’’ Silas said.

A friend of the deceased, who is also a security man at the Lutheran Church of Christ (LCC), Yelwa, Yohana John, said Ezra was a very religious and honest person who didn’t even argue or fight with anybody. ‘Sometimes, out of trust I would leave my duty post for him, and nothing ever happened or got lost in my absence. There’s no history of immorality, theft or drug abuse concerning my friend. He wouldn’t have stolen any mobile phone. Many people will miss him, especially friends and colleagues,’’ John said.

When contacted, the police public relations officer, Bauchi State command, DSP Ahmed Mohammed Wakil, confirmed the incident, saying five suspects had been arrested in connection with the incident. He added that investigation into the incident had commenced.

He said the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Efforts to speak with the late Ezra’s co-workers at New Tripod Hotel were not successful because the hotel was under lock and key.

Teenager performing ablution shot by police in Abuja

For Sadiq Abubakar Ibrahim, the year 2020 will not only be remembered as the year COVID-19 pandemic put the whole world on the edge, but it will also be remembered as a year he narrowly escaped death in the hands of the Nigeria Police.

On May 18, Sadiq, a teenage son of Engr Abubakar Yaro Ibrahim, a former Sole Administrator of the National Iron Mining Company, Itakpe, was allegedly shot in the hand by an operative of the police force with Special Tactical Squad (STS) of the Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The yet-to-be-identified operative would later be quoted to have allegedly told the semi-conscious Sadiq to count himself lucky that the bullet missed him on the head where it was targeted.

In a chat with Daily Trust on Sunday, Sadiq’s father, Engr Ibrahim, said his son was lucky to be alive.

“He is getting better. But he is still in the hospital. Two surgeons – a plastic surgeon and an orthopaedic, operated on him for almost eight hours.

Engr. Ibrahim, who is currently a visiting lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, said his son, a student of School of Basic & Remedial Studies (ABU) Funtua, was shot in his right hand. “They cracked one of the bones around his wrist,” he added.

In an earlier interview he granted PRNigeria, Ibrahim, narrated the incidents leading to the shooting of his son.

He said on the day of the incident, he was preparing to join other members of his family to perform the afternoon prayer (Salatul Zuhr) at about 12.45pm, when the personnel of the STS, who he initially thought were armed robbers, stormed his house.

“I heard several gunshots, and some strange people shouting at the top of their voices at members of my family, while some other people were banging doors, trying to forcibly gain entrance into the house through other doors.

“I rushed downstairs to the main living room of the house to know exactly what was happening and to my greatest dismay I found members of my family laying down on the floor of the living room with their faces down and several armed men were standing keeping watch over them, threatening to shoot anyone that may attempt to run away.”

He said: “They did not enter my house through the main door, in spite of the fact that it was not locked. They instead jumped over the fence between my house and that of my immediate next-door neighbour.

“My son, Sadiq, was performing ablution when they entered the home by jumping over the fence between my house and that of my neighbour; this very manner of entering the house greatly frightened him.

“More so, that one of the operatives pointed a gun at him and pursued him trying to kill him. Sadiq actually assumed they were armed robbers when he saw them. The particular person that shot him had a hairstyle that is not befitting responsible people, making the boy believe they were armed robbers. None of the officers wore protective gear which they normally wear when they are on such operation.

“This cast doubt on the motive of the mission of the STS team.

“The same officer who shot Sadiq told my wife, who at that time they entered our compound was in the kitchen preparing food for children, to open the kitchen door or be shot. One of the children advised her to open for him and she did. But for that invention by the child it could have been a different story. The shock and trauma we were subjected to caused another son of mine to collapse at the interrogation venue. The STS operatives had disgraced us as a family by treating us like criminals without the slightest justification for that.”

On the reason for the raid, Eng. Ibrahim said he later found out at the STS Office at Guzape, Abuja, where they were taken for interrogation that it was connected to a case of kidnapping.

“At the venue of interrogation, we were each asked to make a statement, and it was while we were doing so, that it became evident that they were trying to link us up with a kidnap case. According to them, a Nigerian Army major and one or two other people were recently kidnapped in Kogi State, and the kidnappers demanded a huge ransom before they could be released.

“According to them, they were trying to track the kidnappers when they arrived at a spot (near my house, but on the road which passes in front of it) as the location of the kidnappers when they were last contacted.

“They claimed that the kidnappers asked them to take the ransom to that spot which they automatically assumed to be part of my house,” he said.

On whether the police, who he said abandoned Sadiq in the hospital, had made any contact with him since the incident, Ibrahim told Daily Trust on Sunday that they called one of his sons, who in the heat of the moment, told them not to bother.

He, however, said mobile phones and a laptop collected from his family members, his driver and neighbours by the police since the incident have not been returned. He said he has briefed his lawyer and they are considering a lawsuit against the police.

Efforts to get an update from a spokesman of the police, DCP Frank Mba, was unsuccessful. Several calls to his phone did not connect; however, a text message to him was marked delivered but not responded to.

How 72 children were recovered from Taraba’s suspected child trafficker

Mary Yakubu, a forty-year-old lady, was arrested by police detectives while trying to convey 23 children to an unknown location.

Mary, a native of Maraban Baissa in Donga Local Government Area of Taraba State, was at the time of her arrest a teacher in one of the primary schools in Bali town.She wasarrested following a tip off by some people in the town who saw her with the innocent children and knowing very well they were not her biological children.

She was brought to Police command headquarters in Jalingo where she confessed that she took the children from their parents under the guise of enrolling them into primary school.

Mary Yakubu,when she was paraded before newsmen,said it was the parents of the children that gave her the children willingly to enrol into school.

She told police during interrogation that there were more children in her custody.

The suspect according to the spokesperson of the command, DSP David Misal, had claimed that it was the parents of the 23 children – 8 girls and 14 boys, that gave the children to her to give to any person willing to take care of them.

Daily Trust further gathered that this is not the first time the suspect was taking children from the area without the knowledge of the security or local government officials in the area.

She told police and officials of the state ministry of women affairs and child care that she had earlier taken 10 children.

A source in the state ministry of Women Affairs told Daily Trust that the suspect had earlier taken 10 children from another village in the same local government area to a school in Maraban Baissa before her arrest. She said 9 out of the 10 children she took away were later brought back.

Police spokesperson DSP David Misal told Daily Trust that the suspect was taken to court and later it was discovered that there were more children in her custody.

According to him, apart from the 23 recovered earlier, an additional 49 children were rescued from her bringing the number to 72.

Our finding revealed that Mary Yakubu usually go to remote areas and take the children from their parents under the guise of enrolling them into school.

The areas the suspect visits do not have roads and schools and she will bring the children to Bali town where she resides before taking them to a location in Maraban Baissa town in Donga Local Government Area of the state.

Daily Trust learnt that it is in Maraban Baissa that the suspect distributes the children to some individuals in different towns to work as house helps.

The state government, it was gathered, has taken over the matter. The government has also taken custody of the children who are lodged at Jalingo Motel.

The state ministry of women affairs and child welfare now provides security,feeding, medication and other needs.

A source at the ministry told our reporter that Governor Darius Ishaku had set up a committee to identify all the villages where the suspect took the children from as well as to identify parents of the children.

The governor has also directed that schools, clinics, market stalls and access road be provided in the areas.

The source said work on infrastructure in the areas has reached an advanced stage and the project will be commission next month when all the children rescued will be officially handed over to their parents.

The state government according to our findings will soon embark on sensitization tour of all the local government areas of the state to educate parents against given out their children to unknown persons.

It was learnt that there are similar cases of child trafficking across the state and many of such cases are not reported.

The first case of this nature was the arrest of a man who claimed to be the pastor of a church in Plateau State who was arrested with 17 children while trying to cross the River Benue at Ibbi town in Ibbi Local Government Area in July2015.

All the 17 children the pastor took were from the Bali Local Government Area where Mary Yakubu took the 72 children who were rescued by the police from.

It is not known if the pastor was charged to court.

On August 24,2019, a lady name Ruth Okoronkwo was also arrested at a military check point in Sabon Gidan town in Gassol Local Government Area with three children she allegedly abducted from Numan, Adamawa State, Jalingo and Iware towns in Taraba State.

Daily Trust gathered that Ruth Okoronkwo was arrested when the parents of one of the abducted children alerted the soldiers at the check point.

COVID-19: Saudi Arabia approves re-opening of Madinah mosque

The Saudi Arabian government has approved the re-opening of Masjid Al Nabawi, Madinah gradually from today 31 May 2020, with precautionary measures.

According to the approved guidelines, the permitted access of Masjid Al Nabawi, Madinah will be in the courtyards and the King Fahad Expansion of the mosque.

It stated that men will be allowed to enter Masjid Al Nabawi through Al-Hijrah Gate No. 4, Quba Gate No. 5, King Saud Gate No 8, Imam Al-Bukhari Gate No. 10, King Fahd Gate No. 21, King Abdulaziz Gate No 34, and Makkah Gate No. 37 while the Salam Gate will remain closed.

It added that women will be allowed to enter through gates 13, 17, 25, 29 all from today.

“The Old Mosque and Ziyarah (visitation) to the Rawdah (resting place of Prophet Muhammad) and Riyadh Al Jannah will remain suspended.

“The mosque will be closed as soon as it reaches 40 percent of capacity.

“Prayers will be performed on marble floors all carpets have been removed,” it added.

On precautionary measures for public entry in Masjid al Nabawi, Madinah from today, it stated that everyone is required to wear masks, children are not allowed, maintain a gap on a row from each worshiper.

It added: “Supply of Zamzam water will remain suspended, mosque will be closed at 40 percent capacity, iftar service remains suspended, and visitation to Rawdah and Riyadh al Jannah remains suspended.”

Father and son sentenced to over 15 years in jail each for gang-raping 28-year-old woman

A 58-year-old man and his 28-year-old son from Nakuru were on Thursday, sentenced to 20 years in jail and 15 years in jail respectively after they were found guilty of gang-raping their female neighbour.

Molo Resident Magistrate Emmanuel Soita ruled that the Prosecution, led by John Limo, had proven beyond any reasonable doubt that John Chirchir and his son, Vincent Lang’at, on 27 June, 2018 gang-raped their 28-year-old neighbour at Telowa Village in Kuresoi North Constituency in Nakuru County.

Five witnesses, who testified, confirmed that Chirchir and Lang’at subdued their victim and sexually abused her in their house.

In another case, Magistrate Soita sentenced one Samuel Kiprono to 13 years in jail for defiling a 9-year-old girl in Keringet area, Molo Constituency in Nakuru County.

Federer surpasses Ronaldo, Messi as top-earning athlete

Roger Federer has eclipsed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to top the yearly Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes on the planet. The Swiss maestro jumped four spots to sit top of the pile, earning $106.3million in the past year, as he becomes the first tennis player to lead the way.

That eye-watering figure puts the 20-time grand slam winner ahead of football stars Ronaldo ($105m), Messi ($104m) and Neymar ($95.5m). NBA icon LeBron James rounds out the top five, raking in $88.2m in a period when some sportspeople took wage cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Endorsements account for most of Federer’s income, but he also undertook a tour of North and South America late last year to further boost his earnings.

“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100million a year for the tennis great.”

Federer’s rise to the summit comes after fellow tennis player Naomi Osaka was announced as the highest paid female athlete, her $37.4m putting the Japanese 29th overall.

Man and wife stab, kill neighbour who had gone to separate them during fight

A middle-aged man from Kitale in Trans-Nzoia County , Kenya died after he was stabbed by a fighting couple that he had gone to separate.

Kennedy Nyukuri was stabbed in the chest and back by the couple on Wednesday night, when he went to their home to break up a fight.

It remains unclear what the man-and-wife were fighting over.

“Yesterday night, I heard screams emanating from our neighbour’s house. It appears that the couple was fighting. Nyukuri, I understand, had gone to break up the fight.

When I woke up today morning and stepped out, I found his (Nyukuri’s) body lying in a ditch. He was bleeding from the chest and back,” said a neighbour.

Tuwani Ward MCA, Bernard Wabwa, urged police to arrest the couple and charge them with causing Nyukuri’s death.

The deceased was taken to Kitale Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary. Investigations into the matter have commenced.