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Over N60m paid for release of 116 Tegina schoolchildren – Source

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Bandits who kidnapped 136 pupils of Tegina Tanko Salihu Islamiyya School in Niger State for about three months ended up collecting over N60 million as ransom, a source close to the deal has said.

The kidnappers had agreed to free the remaining 116 pupils if the ransom reduced from the initial N200 million to N50 million was paid.

Sympathisers had mobilised N30 million to the kidnappers at an agreed location in the forest after an initial N20 million was paid in June.

But after counting the money, the abductors declared that it was N4.6 million short and detained the conveyor of the ransom, while also holding the pupils.

They subsequently phoned the parents to send the N4.6 million balance plus another N2 million short from the initial payment of N20 million, totaling N6.6 million.

The kidnappers also made fresh demand asking the parents to supply six brand new Bajaj motorcycles before the pupils would be released.

The Head Teacher of the School, Alhaji Garba Alhassan, said that they were released somewhere around Birnin-Gwari Village in Kaduna State.

Findings by Daily Trust

also revealed that they were released after the payment of additional N18 million ransom and supply of the additional motorcycles demanded by the bandits.

It reported a source as revealing that two top politicians from the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State contributed the money.

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Nyako denies Kanu fresh bail, says application abuse of court process

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Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja federal high court on Tuesday dismissed an application for bail filed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Thejudge, in her ruling, described the application as an abuse of court process having been previously denied.

Kanu was re-arraigned on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.

However, on April 8, the judge struck out eight of the 15-count charge.

While counts 6,7,9,10,11,12,13 and 14 were struck out, the defendant is to stand trial on counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15.

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Breaking: President Swears in Nigeria’s New Chief Justice

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in the new Chief Justice of Nigeria Olukayode Ariwoola.
The President performed the swearing ceremony today in Abuja.

The brief ceremony took place at the Presidential Villa.

NPO Eeports that Ariwoola will be serving in acting capacity pending the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Justice Ariwoola was born on 22 August 1958).
He was formerly a Justice of the Nigerian courts of appeal and on November 22, 2011, he was appointed to the bench of the supreme court of Nigeria as Justice, sworn in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He was appointed and awaiting Nigerian Senate’s approval as Chief Justice of Nigeria on the 27th June 2022 following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad.

His appointment comes amidst clamour for better condition of service at the apex court.

NPO

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Fireworks mistaken for gunfire cause stampede at New York parade

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A stampede occurred at a Pride Parade in the city of New York, United States, on Sunday, with hundreds of people attempting to flee after mistaking the sound of fireworks for gunfire, police said.

“There were no shots fired in Washington Square Park. After an investigation, it was determined that the sound was fireworks set off at the location,” the NY Police Department said in a tweet shortly after the incident.

Police told newsmen “there were no serious injuries” from the stampede.

Terrified people ran or walked briskly along a street adjacent to the square after the scare, videos on social media showed.

Tens of thousands of people attended Sunday’s LGBTQIA+ Pride parade, which wound its way through the streets of lower Manhattan under the blazing sun.

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The atmosphere was largely festive, although the shadow of Friday’s US Supreme Court decision to abolish a constitutional right to abortion — leaving states to legislate on the matter themselves — loomed over proceedings.

New York’s Pride parade is the second-largest in the United States, after San Francisco, and Sunday’s gathering was the first time it had taken place since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Organisers also said the US Supreme Court decision on abortion was “devastating.”

“This dangerous decision puts millions in harm’s way, gives government control over our individual freedom to choose, and sets a disturbing precedent that puts many other constitutional rights and freedoms in jeopardy,” the organisers said.

Many rights groups fear that the verdict on abortion could be the beginning of a broader push by the Supreme Court, currently dominated by a conservative majority, to curtail other freedoms won in recent decades, such as rights to contraception or same-sex marriage.

AFP/Punch

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