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Ozubulu Church Killing: Three High-profile Suspects Arrested By Police |RN

They are wealthy but have no identifiable means of livelihood’
•Catholic Church has forgiven brains behind attack, says Bishop
•Osinbajo sends high-powered delegation to horror scene

The Police now have in their custody three suspects linked to last Sunday’s massacre at St Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State.

The suspects are said to be very wealthy but with no identifiable means of income.

Police spokesman, Moshood Jimoh, who confirmed the arrest, however, declined to reveal the identities of the suspects.

He spoke as the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Dr Hilary Okeke said the Church has forgiven the brains behind the attack.

Okeke, receiving a presidential delegation during a sympathy visit in Nnewi, however, said the forgiveness does not in any way preclude the government from fishing out the perpetrators and bringing them to book.

Jimoh also said the Police will not dignify any suspect with the term high profile, pointing out that anyone who violates the law of the land is liable to be arrested and charged accordingly.

“The arrested suspects have no identifiable means of income and they completely have no explanation as to their means of livelihood,” Jimoh told The Nation in Abuja.

“No doubt, when people do things relating to the offence of drug-running, they do not have a recognized means of livelihood.

“I would not want to say that they are ‘big men’ because anybody can claim to be big but once you commit a crime, even if people in the society say you are a big man, it is the duty of the police to hold you and take you before the law. The process is not a respecter of anyone’s social standing.

“They are leading us further in our investigation into the crime. What happened was a vicious and condemnable act in a place of worship. It is criminal and reprehensible to go and attack worshippers and kill people, no matter what issue prompted any feud.

“All the perpetrators of such crimes would definitely be arrested and prosecuted. I want to assure Nigerians that whether they are in Nigeria or any other country, the Nigeria police and Interpol will get them anywhere they are.

“We will get anybody who had a hand in committing this offence; anyone who participated in any way and anyone who gives custody to the perpetrator or hides him has flouted the law. Such a person would be culpable.

“The process of the law would be firmly followed without compromise towards ensuring that we bring the criminals behind the Ozubulu incident to justice.”

And welcoming the Presidential team led by Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige in Nnewi yesterday, Bishop Okeke hailed the federal government for responding promptly to the Ozubulu incident.

He said that the federal government had by the gesture, showing that it had the interest of all sections of the country at heart in spite of differences in religion, creed and political affiliations.

He said that the incident claimed the lives of 13 people, while 26 others sustained various degrees of injury.

The bishop said that the church had set up a trust fund to assist the victims, adding that government was free to add its own contribution.

Ngige, a former governor of the state said that the delegation was in the state to condole with the people and government of Anambra.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari was much concerned about the incident and that the government would bring the perpetrators to book.

He pledged that government “will do everything to track the perpetrators,” and pledged its commitment to the safety of Nigerians every where they reside.

Others on the entourage were Health Minister Prof Isaac Adewole; Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Education Anthony Anwukah; and Minister of State for Environment Ibrahim Jibrin.

The delegation visited St Philips Catholic, the scene of the incident, in Ozubulu.

They were scheduled to deliver to Governor Willier Obiano a letter of condolence from Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Osinbajo, in the letter, commiserated with the families and friends of the victims, as well as the Ozubulu community for the loss and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

He condemned in very strong terms the atrocious and dastardly act which he said has brought sorrow to many innocent families.

“Such barbaric act constitutes an affront to our common humanity and it challenges, but will not overwhelm our collective resolve to rid our communities of all forms of violent crimes and criminality,” he said.

Osinbajo said President Buhari’s administration remains committed to deploying all available resources towards ensuring adequate security of lives and property in Anambra State and across the entire country.

He also informed that he had instructed law enforcement agencies to bring perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice without any delay.

Unknown gunmen had on Aug. 6 invaded the church during morning Mass and opened fire on worshippers. (The Nation)

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Hate Speech: FG To Sponsor Executive Bill To Punish Perpetrators |RN

Abdulrahman-Dambazau

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Federal Government has revealed that an Executive Bill will be sent to the National Assembly which, if passed into law, will spell out harsh punishment for perpetrators of hate speeches in the country.

Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) made the disclosure after appearing before the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, to update the committee on the performance of his ministry.

Reacting to the effects of hate speeches, currently trending on the social media, the minister said the draft bill is already with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami for onward transmission to both chambers of the National Assembly.

Asked why it has become difficult for his ministry to hunt down the perpetrators of hate speeches, he said: “What we have done now is to submit a draft bill to the Ministry of Justice on hate speech, which will go as an Executive Bill after passing through the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

“The draft contains the laws and punishment for hate speeches. This should not be allowed in this country. Everybody is entitled to belong to his religion and no one chose the tribe he wants to be born.

“That is how God wants the person to be and there is absolutely no reason for hate speech. If the National Assembly passes the bill, certainly, anybody who engages in hate speech will be prosecuted in accordance with the law of the country,” he said.

He equally spoke on the church killing in Ozubulu in Anambra State, insisting that the Federal Government is still awaiting comprehensive report on the issue. The minister, however, denied speculation that the killing was as a result of a war between drug barons.

“I have spoken with the governor of Anambra State and he told me that it was an issue bordering on a relationship between two persons from the same village resident somewhere in South Africa. As a result, one of them arranged the violent attack.

“I have not received the detailed report of that incident. But, whether there is speculation that those two persons are involved in drug peddling and trafficking, I am still awaiting the detailed report. However, as I said, I have spoken to the governor who confirmed that it was a rift between two persons from the same village, resident in South Africa,”  he emphasised.

On his biggest achievement in the two years he has served as a minister, he said: “As you know, I have five agencies under my ministry, including the Nigeria Police, Immigration, Prisons, Civil Defence and Federal Fire Services. Each of these services has a unique stand and I can tell you that we have recorded far-reaching achievements in terms of their reforms.”

“We have drawn out policies that would enable them to meet their contemporary challenges. Again, we have ensured that these policies are adequately implemented. While some have been completed, others are ongoing. Therefore, I can tell you that we have done much more than what we met.”  (The Sun)

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Ozubulu Church Massacre: Kingsley Ekeoma ‘Escobar’ Not Connected To Incident, Demands Apology From Sun

By Ike A. Offor

KingsleyEkeoma (2)

The Ozubulu church massacre has opened a new discourse about poor journalism in Nigeria. And the rush to publish unfounded and unsubstantiated stories in the media by big and small media houses and even in blogs by bloggers, who most of the time copy from websites of big media outlets, hoping that they have verified their stories thoroughly before publishing.

When the incident happened at St Philip church in Ozubulu in Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra state, every media and the social media users jumped on it like every other news. But sooner than expected the truer picture is beginning to emerge that the two businessmen the media rushed to involve in the incident are not part of it.

In one of them, another man whose name and the video was wrongly and defame-ably connected to the incident has threatened to sue The Sun Newspaper unless he gets a unreserved apology from the said newspaper firm or else he would proceed to the law court.

Image result for Kingsley Ekeoma 'Escobar'

Mr Kingsley Ekeoma ‘Escobar Smith’

The issue is that The Sun newspaper published a video of Mr Kingsley Ekeoma as the man who was sought after by the killers, who carried out the unspeakable massacre in the house of God on Sunday in Ozubulu.

The problem here is that these stories were never verified before these media outlets went to the air to publish barrages of unsubstantiated information. The stories in so many cases were incoherent and names were badly mangled and got even unsuspecting readers confused as who is the real person and where he is actually from.

The man, Kingsley Ekeoma, popularly known as Escobar who was alleged by the Nigerian media (Sun newspaper) and the Nigeria Police as the one purportedly involved in the drug dealers cartel which the gunmen that killed worshippers on Sunday were looking for, has come out to deny his involvement in the act.

Escobar has threatened to institute a lawsuit against The Sun newspaper and the police for defamation of character.

According to him, he is neither from Ozubulu nor has he ever visited South Africa in his lifetime.

Hear him: “Am neither the so called Bishop nor from Ozubulu in Anambra State. I have never been to South Africa nor Ozubulu before.

I hail from Umuahia Abia State but base in Turkey. I am a legitimate businessman (Verified Real Estate Developer in Abuja).

I hereby call on the office of the Inspector General of police, DSS and other security related departments to do proper investigations into the massacre in Ozubulu. As for AIT and Sun Newspaper wait for me.

I know some stupid fools want to tarnish my reputations but I will follow up this case with my team of lawyers till the end.

My sympathy to the bereaved families and the truth must prevail. Please, my beloved friends, Help me and share this report around and viral. God bless you all.”
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