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At least 20 people, most said to be foreigners, have been killed in an attack by suspected Islamist militants on a cafe in Bangladesh, the army said.
Gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka late on Friday before troops entered almost 12 hours later.
Six of the attackers were also killed and one was arrested, a government spokesman said.
The attack was claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS), the BBC reports.
At least nine Italians were among the dead, Italy’s foreign minister said.
“There is another person who is missing and could be hiding or could be among the wounded. We are looking for him,” the BBC quoted Paolo Gentiloni as saying to reporters.
The Italian press said many of those dining at the cafe worked in the garment industry.
Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Koichi Hagiuda, said seven Japanese nationals were in the cafe but it was not clear if they were among the casualties.
The army had initially said all hostages killed were foreigners, but later reports said some Bangladeshis also died.
A member of the Oyo state House of Assembly, Gideon Aremu, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen at his residence in Alakia, Egbeda Local government area in Oyo state yesterday July 1st at about 11pm.
According to family sources, three gunmen had trailed the car of the lawmaker and followed him to his house where they opened fire on him as he came down from his vehicle. He was rushed to Toun Hospital along Iwo road where he was confirmed dead.
The spokesperson of the Oyo state police command confirmed the incident and said the police was on the trail of the assassins.
Herdsmen attack: Catholic church holds protest rally in Enugu, Nsukka, Awgu
The three Roman Catholic Church Dioceses in Enugu State, Saturday, held protest rallies across the State over the menace of herdsmen.
The protest, which held simultaneously in Nsukka, Awgu and Enugu, attracted thousands of the church members, including priests.
While the protesters moved round the streets in Nsukka and Awgu Dioceses, the story was different in Enugu where they held a prayer procession at the Holy Ghost Cathedral.
The earlier schedule obtained by our correspondent showed that members of the Enugu Catholic Diocese would march round the streets before terminating at the Government House, where they would make their grievances known to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
However, the Church later received Governor Ugwuanyi, other members of the State Executive Council and all the Security Chiefs.
It was gathered that they were in the Church to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
Addressing the Church, the Governor commended the Church for the leading role it had continued to play in the struggle against social injustice, human rights violations and other crimes against humanity in every part of the country.
He described the attack on Nimbo community, where scores of people were killed as “a day that will ever remain dark, sad and solemn in the memory of the people of Enugu State and indeed Nigerians at large.”
No militant invasion of Cross River Government House – Ayade’s aide
The Cross River State Government has dismissed as false, the report by some online publications claiming that the Government House in Calabar was invaded by militants.
Some online platforms (not DAILY POST) had reported that no fewer than 20 suspected Bakassi militants yesterday invaded the Cross River State Governor’s office in Calabar, shortly after the Deputy Governor, Ivara Esu, reported for the day’s duties.
The report had it that the suspected militants invaded the Government House at about 10am and held Esu and the staff hostage for several hours.
But reacting in a statement issued on Saturday, the Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ben Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita insisted that the report is not only misleading but a sad demonstration of ethical bankruptcy.
His words, “the report is a regrettable sensationalisation of a peaceful protest by some ex-militants over their three months unpaid allowances by the Federal Government.
“The ex-militants were not armed and so could not have invaded the Government House. Rather, they were very civil in their conduct as they sought audience with the officials of the state government whom they hoped would take their message to Abuja.
“Once attended to, they peacefully dispersed. So it beggars belief that such a peaceful and innocuous protest would be reported as an invasion of the Government House. More ludicrous is the claim that the deputy governor was held hostage. No such thing happened.”
Our ailing actors need money, quick medical intervention – Nollywood stakeholders stage rally
Nollywood stakeholders on Friday inaugurated a ‘Save a Soul’ campaign to raise funds for ailing actors.
The campaign, organised by Filmmakers Welfare Organisation of Nigeria, FWON, in collaboration with Brekete Family, a popular radio reality show that addresses humanitarian and other issues, which took place in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja saw a large mass of movie producers, actors, fans and other entertainment stakeholders.
The campaigners displayed placards with inscriptions: ‘Give money to save our Nollywood stars’, ‘Save James Uche from kidney problem’.
Speaking during the rally, the National President of FWON, Mr Sunday Awoji, said that the rally was to raise funds for the medical treatment of two Nollywood veteran actors: Prince James Uche and Romanus Amunta, popularly known as Natty.
Awoji said, “They have been very sick and incapacitated for some years now, and it has become obvious that they can’t provide the required funds themselves to have the necessary medical treatment. Therefore, FWON as an NGO within Nollywood that seeks to ensure the well being of filmmakers, especially on health related issues, decided to intervene.
“Uche is presently hospitalised in Lagos due to kidney related ailment and urgently needs to be taken to India for a transplant. Amunta is also critically down with paralysis in Enugu State,” Awoji added, noting that medical experts say the duo need about N15 million to secure adequate medical treatment.
“So, we have decided to cry out to Nigerians of goodwill, and everyone who loves Nollywood to give towards saving these precious souls,” Awoji pleaded.
“In our helpless situation, without a voice, we decided to run to Brekete family which gladly accepted to champion this course,” Awoji added.
PDP leadership crises worsens as Ojougboh says Sheriff will only hand over to successor elected by him
Factional Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Cairo Ojougboh has pointed out that embattled factional leader of the party, Sen Ali Modu Sheriff was ready to step down but will only handover to a successor duly elected at a fresh National Convention chaired by him.
Ojougboh made the disclosure on Friday while addressing reporters in Abuja.
“As far as I am concerned, Ali Modu Sheriff is ready to step down but he does not want to be disgraced.
“This is what we have told the governors, what is fair is fair.
“Ali Modu Sheriff did not say that he wants to continue to be chairman but what he said, is look, I want to handover to a democratically-elected chairman of the party that is elected by the people and not appointed. As far as the law is concerned, Sheriff is still the PDP Chairman today but he is ready to convene a convention to handover.”
The leadership of the PDP is currently engrossed in crises following the inauguration of former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi as Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee during the May 21 National Convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The party had claimed that Sheriff’s tenure was only interim which lasted for three months and at the expiration, he was ousted.
But Sheriff had on several occasions insisted that he remains the Chairman, saying his tenure is expected to last till 2019. He also said the crisis in the party was about the 2019 presidential ticket.
This illegality will not stand, I remain Abia Governor – Ikpeazu to Ogah
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu on Friday maintained that he remains the governor of the state despite a recent court ruling that sacked him from office.
Justice Okon Abang had on Monday, in a ruling, sacked Ikpeazu as governor of Abia State and he was to immediately vacate office over tax evasion.
The judge ordered that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial aspirant who came second during the party’s 2014 primary election, Uche Ogah be issued with certificate of return by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC.
The development caused tension in the state on Thursday, following an alleged attempt by Ogah to get Theresa Uzokwe, the state chief judge, to swear him in as the governor.
Speaking to reporters on the saga in Umuahia, the state capital, the embattled governor maintained that the illegality would not stand, saying that there was an injunction restraining Ogah from being sworn in.
“I am still the governor of Abia, so, I appeal to our people to remain calm until the final verdict of the supreme Court.
“This illegality will not stand. I will test the judgment in the appeal court up to the supreme court.
“Even if it was a death sentence, I don’t think that I will be executed without right of appeal. That right is fundamental, that right is undeniable and a denial of that right is a denial of my fundamental right.
“What is on trial in Abia is democracy and not me as a person, “he said. “The tenets of democracy emphasise that the will of the people is sacrosanct.”
On the issue of tax evasion, Ikpeazu explained that as a government employee, his tax was paid to Abia board of internal revenue.
He pointed out that the board had come out with an affidavit to prove that the tax receipts he tendered were issued by it and was ready to defend the documents.
I did not steal Majek Fashek’s song, I paid his manager – Timi Dakolo
Nigerian music star, Timi Dakolo, has denied claim by veteran reggae singer, Majek Fashek, that he stole his song.
Majek Fashek had told Saturday Beats that Dakolo stole his evergreen hit, ‘Send Down the Rain’.
Fashek had said, “He broke the rules of copyright. He is a thief because in music business, he must take permission before he works on someone’s song.”
“That is why we have COSON. I did not give anyone the right to do anything with my song.”
But Dakolo, who did a remix of the song in 2013, claimed he got permission to do a remix.
Dakolo said in an Instagram post, “My people, it saddens me to see such. I always try to do things rightly and lawfully.”
“I paid his manager to remake the song, I got my invoice, I even mentioned to him during our rehearsals at the Headies.
So, honestly I don’t understand this write-up.
“Oga Majek Fashek. I respect and love you. Your voice gives life to lyrics. You are one of the best musicians I know. God bless you.”