My First Guard Duty (A Story of Military Brutality Against Its Own)

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Read Time:2 Minute, 46 Second

My friend, Umoru, and I had been close during our recruit training in Nigeria back in 1994. Having passed through the screening exercise and the rigorous military training in the army that surely drained the civilian waters from our body; it was then time for the guard duty assignments.

On a certain evening, Umoru and I, with three other recruits were detailed to guard a certain Major’s residence. Upon our arrival, we reported to the Major in question. He duly briefed us and we assumed our duties in strategic points in his house. As soon as we got settled in our respective positions in the house, the Major left in the company of a certain junior officer, a lieutenant, to an unknown destination in the Mercedes Benz 230.
The excrutiating pains of the previous day floogings in the hands of our “task masters”, and the ever disturbing noise of the West African Mosquitoes kept us company until in the early hours of the morning when our baby-faced Major arrived dead drunk with a young girl of about fifteen years old. The smell of alcohol on their body and their breath was unimaginable as they staggered hand-in-hand into the compound. His orderly, the lieutenant, was few steps behind them.

We quickly jumped to attention and the Major ordered all of us to march out. We filed out in front of him and his young damsel while still standing at attention. In attempt probably to boost him ego and rank, he started asking us all kinds of questions which we fearfully answered. After few minutes of questioning and still appearing unsatisfied and unpleased with our answers, he turned to my friend, Umoru, and asked him:
“Have you had sex before?” Umoru answered in the affirmative, and then the Major thundered: “So if I comot, you go go sleep with my baby, huh?”
I was afraid of what the drama would turn into as I stood still on attention. The Major ordered his lieutenant to give Umoru a thorough beating, and the lieutenant descended on Umoru and gave the poor lad seventy two lashes of the horse-whip!

After that, the Major commanded Umoru to climb up the iron window protector in the house to demonstrate to them how he normally have sex! Umoru simply obeyed the “last order” as is customary; but while he was still demonstrating, the horse-whip kept landing on his back. As this act of bestiality was going on, the little damsel was having fun with the spectacle as she laughed her lungs out. The Major then dragged Umoru to a tap water, ordered him to lay on the ground, and opened the tap to be dropping on Umoru’s clean shaven head. The poor boy finally colapsed. The Major with the assistance of the lieutenant bundled Umoru inside a car and rushed him to the Depot Medical Center, and lied to the attendants that Umoru had an accident.

After he “dismissed” us, I was disgusted at the kind of animals in the name of officers we have. I wish I never enlisted in the army after observing that bizzare treatment of a human being by a fellow human being. I have never seen Umoru to this day. If he had died from that ordeal, I do not know.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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USA: Crooked TSA Screeners Arrested in Drug Trafficking Scheme

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Read Time:1 Minute, 47 Second

Multiple airport screeners have been arrested for allegedly taking handsome bribes to look the other way while loads of illegal drugs slipped through security at Los Angeles International Airport, federal officials announced today.

Two current and two former officials at the Transportation Security Administration were arrested in the last 48 hours in connection with at least five incidents from February 2011 to July 2011 in which on duty screeners took payments of up to $2,400 to allow suitcases filled with drugs to pass unimpeded through X-ray machines at LAX, U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.‘s office said in a statement.

According to Birotte’s office, the scheme was uncovered after a member of the alleged conspiracy accidentally went through the wrong security line and was busted by TSA screeners who were not in on the plot. In another case, a TSA screener unknowingly arranged with a confidential source for the Drug Enforcement Administration to receive $1,200 for a shipment of methamphetamine to pass through security.

The current TSA employees, 23-year-old John Whitfield and 25-year-old Capeline McKinney, and the former screeners, 30-year-old Naral Richardson and 27-year-old Joy White, are all expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles today. If convicted, each could potentially face life in prison, Birotte’s office said. The plot also allegedly involved a couple of known drug runners.

Airport screeners act as a vital checkpoint for homeland security, and air travelers should believe in the fundamental integrity of security systems at our nation’s airports,” Birotte said. “The allegations in this case describe a significant breakdown of the screening system through the conduct of individuals who placed greed above the nation’s security needs.”

A spokesperson for the TSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this report, but Randy Parsons, the TSA Federal Security Director at LAX, said in the statement from Birotte’s office the TSA “has assured the investigating agencies we will do everything we can to assist in their investigation.”

“While the arrests are a disappointment, TSA is committed to holding our employees to the highest standards,” he said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Charles Taylor, African Warlord, Convicted for Role in Sierra Leone Atrocities

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Read Time:2 Minute, 16 Second

After a five year trial that included grisly testimony from victims who were missing limbs, former colleagues and even fashion supermodel Naomi Campbell, African warlord Charles Taylor was convicted today for his role in the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone including mass murder, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers.

Taylor was found guilty by the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone on all 11 charges for “aiding and abetting” crimes against the people of the African nation committed by militant groups in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

WATCH: Celebrities Mixed Up in Blood Diamond Case

Peter Andersen, a spokesperson for the Special Court of Sierra Leone where Taylor was tried, told ABC News the conviction was not a full victory for the prosecution, who hoped Taylor would be found guilty of being part of a “joint criminal enterprise” and having a direct hand in the atrocities as “superior leader” of the groups who committed them. Still, Andersen said today’s ruling — the first against an African head of state — was important to the people of Sierra Leone.

“It’s why we’re here, trying to redress some of the crimes that were committed in Sierra Leone a decade ago,” Andersen said. “I don’t know if you can talk about closure, especially with people who have had their limbs hacked off, but at least you can talk about some steps towards reconciliation and at least attempt to put the past behind them and look towards the future.”

The original indictment filed against Taylor detailed specific crimes conducted by Taylor’s subordinates including “conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups” and multiple instances of mass rape and sexual abuse. Taylor’s defense had argued that though the atrocities certainly did take place, there was only circumstantial evidence linking Taylor directly to the acts.

 

While already a landmark case for international court, Taylor’s trial captured international headlines after two high-profile celebrities became involved.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was subpoenaed by the court following an ABC News report about allegations that Taylor had given her uncut “blood diamonds” on a trip to South Africa.

When asked about the diamonds in April 2010, Campbell denied she received any diamonds and then punched the camera in a producer’s hand when pressed for details. But when she took the stand for the criminal court, Campbell admitted she had received a gift of “small dirty-looking stones.”

Hollywood actress Mia Farrow, who ate breakfast with Campbell the morning during the trip to South Africa, also testified that Campbell had indeed received the diamonds.

Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced next month, but both sides are likely to appeal the ruling, Andersen said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Marvel Comics brings Avengers to Ozone Cinema in Nigeria

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Read Time:1 Minute, 36 Second

…fans to wear costumes to movie premiere

Popular superhero kid magazine around the world, Marvel Comics brings to town the superhero movie, The Avengers. The star studded movie is yet to be released even in the United States but fans in Nigeria can be the first to see this action packed movie if they attend the first-costume premiere in Africa at the Ozone Cinema, Yaba, Lagos.

The movie whose actual release date worldwide is Friday, May 4, 2012 but the costume premiere which will take place here in Lagos will hold on Thursday, May 3.

This has been made possible by cinema stallion Ozone Cinema in partnership with beverage giant Fanta, Crimson Media, Walt Disney and Blue Pictures.

The Avengers is one of the comic editions of Marvel Comics and it features an impressive of superhero casts of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. The movie features a slew of stars which include Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel .L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Tom Hiddlestone, Mark ruffalo and a host of others.

Fanta has made it possible for fans to attend the movie premiere on Friday 3rd May, 2012 in grand style by making the costumes available at an affordable price at Ozone Cinema. To get tickets for this premiere, you are enjoined to buy any meal worth N1200 with 2 bottles of Fanta, at Sweet sensation Alagomeji, Allen Avenue, and Apapa road, Chicken Republic at Ikeja Mall and E-center and win instantly a free ticket or buy your tickets at Ozone cinemas to see this world class costume premiere.

This event promises to be fun as the fans of this movie are expected to adorn themselves in their favorite superhero costumes and also stand a chance of winning prices for the best costume of the night, a prize the organizers are keeping to themselves for now.

 

Samuel Olatunji

Bigsam Media

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nadia Buari and Bimbo Manuel dazzle in Heroes and Zeros

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Read Time:2 Minute, 30 Second

One of the finest faces ever to have made it out of the Gold Coast, Nadia Buari has added another feather to her cap as she gave a good account of herself beyond many people’s expectation in a new movie, Heroes and Zeros.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker, Niji Akanji, Heroes and Zeros have been described as one of the best works to come out of this part of the world in recent times.

According to Niji, Nadia was very professional on set and remains the best of her contemporary that he has ever worked with. ‘’Nadia was very professional, I was impressed. She delivered on her character like never before. If you ask her, she would tell you that she was challenged beyond limit on the job’’.

The Takoradie born mulatto screen goddess who is presently in United States was in Lagos months back for 28 days shooting the movie.

Heroes and Zeros is the story of the destructive pursuance of Tonia (Nadia Bhuari) by Amos Fele (Bimbo Manuel). Ten years ago, AMOS FELE was a wealthy celebrity director in the Nigerian film industry. Now he lives in a ramshackle flat, doing occasional low-paying TV Commercials for nameless products. He’s a daily comic relief on the local soccer practice pitch: because though he’s already 45 years old, he nurses a new, insane dream of making it into the dollar-soaked world of international soccer! His joyless marriage to TINUKE, a junior bank worker, is crumbling fast, especially after the death of their only child. A boost to his sagging spirit comes when a big-budget French-Nigerian film project appoints him as director. Suddenly, the Press begins to (re)celebrate him. Top actors and producers begin to call him up. To his wife’s distress, Fele also quickly re-establishes his wane reputation as a first-class womanizer.

Fele’s new rise coincides with that of DIBU IJELE as Yellow Journalism’s new enfant terrible. Dibu is a Reporter with Naija Scene, a weekly tabloid. The paper’s new Board of Directors, with its eyes on profit, supports Dibu’s theory that the only way to beat the competition is to scoop and sell dirt about anyone with a famous face or name. Dibu’s editor, Mr. AYOADE ALISA, an urbane fellow, tries to fight him and the Board.

Fele becomes obsessed with TONIA, a ravishing beauty and lead actress of the Nigerian-French film project. Ignoring the warnings of his best friend, NNAMDI, a psychology professor, Fele pursues his obsession with Tonia to its tragic conclusion: losing his new job, ending his marriage and ending up in a mental hospital. Unknown to him, Tonia and her sister, BISOLA have something up their sleeves.

Other members of cast are: Olu Jacobs, Tina Mba, Akin Lewis, Funsho Adeolu, Norbert Young, Linda Ejiofor, Gabriel Afolayan, Jude Urhorra, Brigette Cherile and others.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Data show Nigerians the most educated in the U.S. BACHELOR’S AND BEYOND

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Read Time:4 Minute, 39 Second

In America, Nigerians’ education pursuit is above rest Whether driven by immigration or family, data show more earn degrees

For Woodlands resident David Olowokere, one of Nigeria’s sons, having a master’s degree in engineering just wasn’t enough for his people back home. So he got a doctorate.

His wife, Shalewa Olowokere, a civil engineer, didn’t stop at a bachelor’s, either. She went for her master’s.

The same obsession with education runs in the Udeh household in Sugar Land. Foluke Udeh and her husband, Nduka, both have master’s degrees. Anything less, she reckons, would have amounted to failure.

“If you see an average Nigerian family, everybody has a college degree these days,” said Udeh, 32, a physical therapist at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. “But a post-graduate degree, that’s like pride for the family.”

Nigerian immigrants have the highest levels of education in this city and the nation, surpassing whites and Asians, according to Census data bolstered by an analysis of 13 annual Houston-area surveys conducted by Rice University.

Although they make up a tiny portion of the U.S. population, a whopping 17 percent of all Nigerians in this country held master’s degrees while 4 percent had a doctorate, according to the 2006 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, 37 percent had bachelor’s degrees.

In comparison

To put those numbers in perspective, 8 percent of the white population in the U.S. had master’s degrees, according to the Census survey. And 1 percent held doctorates. About 19 percent of white residents had bachelor’s degrees. Asians come closer to the Nigerians with 12 percent holding master’s degrees and 3 percent having doctorates.

The Nigerian numbers are “strikingly high,” said Roderick Harrison, demographer at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank that specializes in researching black issues. “There is no doubt that these are highly educated professionals who are probably working in the petrochemical, medical and business sectors in Houston.”

Harrison analyzed the census data for the Houston Chronicle.

Stephen Klineberg, a sociologist at Rice University who conducts the annual Houston Area Survey, suspects the percentage of Nigerian immigrants with post-graduate degrees is higher than Census data shows.

Of all the Nigerian immigrants he reached in his random phone surveys 1994 through 2007 — 45 households total — Klineberg said 40 percent of the Nigerians said they had post-graduate degrees.

“These are higher levels of educational attainment than were found in any other … community,” Klineberg said.

There are more than 12,000 Nigerians in Houston, according to the latest Census data, a figure sociologists and Nigerian community leaders say is a gross undercount. They believe the number to be closer to 100,000.

Staying in school

The reasons Nigerians have more post-graduate degrees than any other racial or ethnic group are largely due to Nigerian society’s emphasis on mandatory and free education. Once immigrating to this country, practical matters of immigration laws get in the way.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 made it easier for Africans to enter the U.S., but mostly as students or highly skilled professionals — not through family sponsorships, Klineberg said.

So many Africans pursue higher levels of education as an unintended consequence of navigating the tricky minefield of immigration, said Amadu Jacky Kaba, an associate professor at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., who has done research on African immigrants in the U.S.

“In a way, it’s a Catch-22 — because of immigration laws you are forced to remain in school, but then the funny thing is you end up getting your doctorate at the age of 29,” Kaba said. “If you stay in school, immigration will leave you alone.”

Although Kaba, who teaches Africana Studies, is not from Nigeria (he is Liberian), he said he, too, found himself pursuing a master’s and then a doctorate to remain in this country legally.

But not all Africans have to go this route. Some say their motivation is driven by their desire to overcome being a double minority: black and African.

Take Oluyinka Olutoye, 41, associate professor of pediatric surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. He came to this country already as a medical doctor but decided to pursue his doctorate in anatomy to help set himself apart.

“Being black, you are already at a disadvantage,” said Olutoye, whose wife, Toyin Olutoye, is an anesthesiologist at Baylor. “You really need to excel far above if you want to be considered for anything in this country.”

Family expectations

All this talk of education creates high expectations for children of Nigerian immigrants. The eldest child of David Olowokere, chairman of the engineering technologies department at Texas Southern University, for example, is already working on her master’s degree in public health in Atlanta; the middle child is pursuing a bachelor’s in pre-medicine. His youngest, a son, attends The Woodlands High School. He already has aspirations to go into engineering, just like his parents, Olowokere beams.

“The goal is for them to do as good as us — if not better,” he said.

Oluyinka Olutoye put it another way.

“The typical saying in a Nigerian household is that the best inheritance that a parent can give you is not jewelry or cash or material things, it is a good education,” he said. “It is expected.”

leslie.casimir@chron.com“>leslie.casimir@chron.com

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Prophet Caught Sleeping with Married 5 Months Pregnant Woman in a Parked Car

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Read Time:4 Minute, 13 Second

A man got the shock of his life when he caught his PREGNANT wife being intimate with a self-styled prophet in a parked car.

Patrick  (31) could not believe his eyes after his wife Lydia Makoni’s illicit sexual exploits with  Njari (40) came to light barely a week after they had consulted him for his services.

Lydia is said to have lied to Patrick that she intended to visit her mother who resides in the same neighborhood, only to discover that she had gone to the prophet [ Njari’s] house for her sex-sermons.

Patrick told us our report that he was really shocked after catching his pregnant wife having quality time in the parked car at House No. 12 Nzere Street where the prophet resides.

“I suspect that this illicit affair might have started on the first day we consulted him as he asked my wife to visit him alone the following day for more prayers. My wife is five months pregnant now and I wonder why she was cheating on me to that extend.”

“As we speak she is at her mother’s house after that incident and I can swear that Njari will never conduct his prayers again at his shrine,” fumed Patrick.

In another interview, Lydia also CONFIRMED that she was caught red-handed being swayed by Njari’s prophecies.

“It is true that this prophet asked me to come for prayers alone after we visited him along with my husband. He told me that I had no bright future with my husband saying he was planning to marry another girl.

“On the second visit,  Njari gave me US$5 that I used to buy bread and he then seduced me and we ended up having s*x in the parked car,” she said. She said she had lied to her husband that she had gone to her mother’s place while in actual fact she was seeing the prophet.

“I was convinced by this prophet and I believed him as we were having problems at home with my husband that led us to consult him. He told me that he had fallen for me and that he would look for alternative accommodation in High-field for me although he knew that I was pregnant.”

“On the day in question, he gave me a laptop which he said was a token of love and showed me a book which he said was a proof that the car was his and I agreed to his demands before we were caught by Patrick. At home, I had given instructions for Patrick to be told that I was to come back soon,” said Lydia.

When we visited  Njari at his shrine, he was not around as he is now playing cat and mouse with Patrick, who allegedly threatened him with death. Neighbors said  Njari had sought refuge at his neighbors place where we finally hooked up with him and he confirmed the story.

He, however, blamed it on Lydia for visiting him at his house before begging us not to publish the story.  After all she is the one who came to my house,” he said .

“I am here because Patrick has threatened to kill me and I know he is violent as people around this neighborhood call him Masendeke. I could have died and I was not familiar with him because he is extremely dangerous.

“I know that you reporters would take it wrongly and denounce prophets but to be honest I was not putting on my garments and this was a sin of the flesh.  There was nothing I could do to resist that and I am prepared to marry her if Patrick is no longer interested in her.”

“I am a divorcee with four children the first one is 22 years old in the village in Dande under chief Matsiwo. Please do not publish this story. I am prepared to give you a heifer plus US$200 for your lunch and the driver who is with you.

“I am a dealer who buys gold and I have many beasts at my village so do not publish this story, I beg you,” said Njari as he pleaded with H-Metro to kill the story.

Njari was also attending to a lady identified as Priscilla in the presence of her friends. She told H-Metro she had been advised to leave her mobile phone after failing to give him US$30 that he charged for the services.

“I thank my God because this man wanted my cellphone after I failed to raise US$30 for the services he offered me. He asked me to remove my blouse before he took long to attend to me to cure my stomach pains. He is a false prophet. I could have lost my Samsung mobile phone,” said Priscilla. H Metro

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Prophet Caught Sleeping with Married 5 Months Pregnant Woman in a Parked Car

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Read Time:4 Minute, 13 Second

A man got the shock of his life when he caught his PREGNANT wife being intimate with a self-styled prophet in a parked car.

Patrick  (31) could not believe his eyes after his wife Lydia Makoni’s illicit sexual exploits with  Njari (40) came to light barely a week after they had consulted him for his services.

Lydia is said to have lied to Patrick that she intended to visit her mother who resides in the same neighborhood, only to discover that she had gone to the prophet [ Njari’s] house for her sex-sermons.

Patrick told us our report that he was really shocked after catching his pregnant wife having quality time in the parked car at House No. 12 Nzere Street where the prophet resides.

“I suspect that this illicit affair might have started on the first day we consulted him as he asked my wife to visit him alone the following day for more prayers. My wife is five months pregnant now and I wonder why she was cheating on me to that extend.”

“As we speak she is at her mother’s house after that incident and I can swear that Njari will never conduct his prayers again at his shrine,” fumed Patrick.

In another interview, Lydia also CONFIRMED that she was caught red-handed being swayed by Njari’s prophecies.

“It is true that this prophet asked me to come for prayers alone after we visited him along with my husband. He told me that I had no bright future with my husband saying he was planning to marry another girl.

“On the second visit,  Njari gave me US$5 that I used to buy bread and he then seduced me and we ended up having s*x in the parked car,” she said. She said she had lied to her husband that she had gone to her mother’s place while in actual fact she was seeing the prophet.

“I was convinced by this prophet and I believed him as we were having problems at home with my husband that led us to consult him. He told me that he had fallen for me and that he would look for alternative accommodation in High-field for me although he knew that I was pregnant.”

“On the day in question, he gave me a laptop which he said was a token of love and showed me a book which he said was a proof that the car was his and I agreed to his demands before we were caught by Patrick. At home, I had given instructions for Patrick to be told that I was to come back soon,” said Lydia.

When we visited  Njari at his shrine, he was not around as he is now playing cat and mouse with Patrick, who allegedly threatened him with death. Neighbors said  Njari had sought refuge at his neighbors place where we finally hooked up with him and he confirmed the story.

He, however, blamed it on Lydia for visiting him at his house before begging us not to publish the story.  After all she is the one who came to my house,” he said .

“I am here because Patrick has threatened to kill me and I know he is violent as people around this neighborhood call him Masendeke. I could have died and I was not familiar with him because he is extremely dangerous.

“I know that you reporters would take it wrongly and denounce prophets but to be honest I was not putting on my garments and this was a sin of the flesh.  There was nothing I could do to resist that and I am prepared to marry her if Patrick is no longer interested in her.”

“I am a divorcee with four children the first one is 22 years old in the village in Dande under chief Matsiwo. Please do not publish this story. I am prepared to give you a heifer plus US$200 for your lunch and the driver who is with you.

“I am a dealer who buys gold and I have many beasts at my village so do not publish this story, I beg you,” said Njari as he pleaded with H-Metro to kill the story.

Njari was also attending to a lady identified as Priscilla in the presence of her friends. She told H-Metro she had been advised to leave her mobile phone after failing to give him US$30 that he charged for the services.

“I thank my God because this man wanted my cellphone after I failed to raise US$30 for the services he offered me. He asked me to remove my blouse before he took long to attend to me to cure my stomach pains. He is a false prophet. I could have lost my Samsung mobile phone,” said Priscilla. H Metro

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria: 17-years-old Boy kidnapped and Killed by Family Friend while returning from Schoo

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Read Time:1 Minute, 59 Second

THE Edo State Police Command is investigating the circumstances that led to the death of 17-year-old Godspower Idejerhoyibo, who was abducted, penultimate Friday, while returning from school in Obe community.

Police Commissioner David Omojola, who paraded three suspects, Daniel Etido (21), Godday Ogbeiye (25) and Kelvin Ogimwonyi (20), allegedly involved in the abduction of Godspower, explained that Etido, a friend of the deceased’s family, led three others to kidnap their victim.

Omojola said the arrests came about 24 hours after the suspects allegedly committed the crime, but after their victim had died. According to him, “one Godspower Idjerhoyibo was kidnapped by a three-man gang of kidnappers led by Godpower’s close friend, Daniel Etido.

“Police immediately swung into action and, on November 12, Daniel Etodo was arrested. Investigation revealed that the victim was returning from school when he was accosted by the friend who had arranged the kidnapping”, the commissioner said.

Etido, who admitted spearheading the crime, said that he and fellow suspects planned on demanding a ransom of N500,000 to release their victim, adding that he recruited his arrested colleagues, one of whom he referred to as a native doctor, to assist in executing the plot. The alleged native doctor among them, Ogbeye, according to Etido, who hails from Akwa-Ibom State, made it possible for the gang to abduct the boy without resorting to the use of arms.

He narrated: “Thursday (penultimate week) we (three) organised to carry the boy for ransom. Eventually when we kidnapped the boy, we kept him in an uncompleted building. One of us (Ogbeye) went to bring food but he delayed and, while I went in search of him, I was accosted and arrested by the police. The native doctor’s charm made it easy for us to catch him without shooting. Honestly, I don’t know why he died but I think it was hunger. I am really sorry and shocked”.

The suspect claimed the victim was tied with ropes. “We used charms to make the kidnapping easy and without having to carry gun… We planned to ask for N500, 000 to release him, but we did not plan to kill him; maybe he died of hunger.” However, Ogiemwonyi and Ogbeye denied taking part in the crime, saying that they were being framed up.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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James and Daniel are twins. What sets them apart is that one is white and one is black – and the differences don’t end there, as Joanna Moorhead discovers

The two teenage boys sitting on the sofa opposite are different in almost every way. On the left is James: he’s black, he’s gay, he’s gregarious, and he’s academic. He’s taking three A-levels next summer, and wants to go to university. Daniel, sitting beside him, is white. He’s straight, he’s shy, and he didn’t enjoy school at all. He left after taking GCSEs, and hopes that his next move will be an apprenticeship in engineering.

So, given that they are diametrically opposed, there is one truly surprising thing about James and Daniel. They are twins. They were born on 27 March 1993, the sons of Alyson and Errol Kelly, who live in south-east London. And from the start, it was obvious to everyone that they were the complete flipside of identical. “They were chalk and cheese, right from the word go,” says Alyson. “It was hard to believe they were even brothers, let alone twins.”

The boys’ colour was the most obvious, and extraordinary, difference. “When James was born he was the spitting image of Errol, and I remember seeing his curly hair and thinking – he’s just like his dad. It was another two hours before Daniel was born: and what a surprise he was! He was so white and wrinkly, with this curly blond hair.”

It wasn’t the first time nature had shocked Alyson and Errol. Daniel and James were the family‘s third set of twins: Errol and Alyson each already had a set with a previous partner. Errol’s first set are fraternal boys, Shane and Luke, who are 21; Alyson’s are identical boys, Charles and Jordan, 20. The only singleton in the house is the couple’s youngest child, and only daughter, 14-year-old Katie. “Apart from her, it’s twin city,” says Alyson. “At least life was made a bit easier by the fact that we always had two of everything.”

But it was clear that having one black and one white twin was going to mark the family out, wherever they went. “We’d go on holiday and people would say, ‘Is that one a friend you brought along?'” says Alyson. For Errol the response of strangers was harder to deal with. “People didn’t believe Daniel was mine,” he says. “They didn’t always say anything, but I could tell it was what they were thinking.”

So how does it happen that a white and a black partner – who would usually produce, as Alyson and Errol did in their other children, black-skinned offspring – have a child who is as white as his mum? I spoke to Dr Jim Wilson, population geneticist at Edinburgh University – and his first question was, “What is Errol’s heritage?” Errol is Jamaican – and that, says Jim, is the basic explanation.

“It wouldn’t really be possible for a black African father and a white mother to have a white child, because the African would carry only black skin gene variants in his DNA, so wouldn’t have any European DNA, with white skin variants, to pass on,” he explains.

“But most Caribbean people, though black-skinned, have European DNA because in the days of slavery, many plantation owners raped female slaves, and so introduced European DNA into the black gene pool.

“The thing about skin colour is that even a bit of African DNA tends to make a person’s skin colour black – so to be white, the child must have inherited more of the father’s European DNA with its white skin variants. Added to the mother’s European DNA, this led to a child with white skin – while his brother, who is black-skinned, inherited more of his father’s African DNA.

“The Caribbean father will have less European DNA than African DNA, so it’s more likely he’ll pass on African DNA – but rarely, and I’ve worked it out to be around one in 500 sets of twins where there’s a couple of this genetic mix, the father will pass on a lot of European DNA to one child and mostly African DNA to the other. The result will be one white child and one black.”

Alyson got used to the comments and the stares, the sniggers about their parentage and the “stupid things people said” when her boys were babies; but then, when Daniel and James went to nursery aged three, the twins’ skin colour plunged the family into controversy. “They were at this very politically correct nursery, and the staff told us that when Daniel drew a picture of himself, he had to make himself look black – because he was mixed-race,” says Alyson. “And I said, that’s ridiculous. Why does Daniel have to draw himself as black, when a white face looks back at him in the mirror?”

After a row with the nursery staff, she gave interviews to her local paper and TV. “I kicked up a fuss, because it really bothered me,” she says. “Daniel had one white parent and one black, so why couldn’t he call himself white? Why does a child who is half-white and half-black have to be black? Especially when his skin colour is quite clearly white! In some ways it made me feel irrelevant – as though my colour didn’t matter. There seemed to be no right for him to be like me.”

Daniel and James are listening politely, but with slight resignation, while their mum relays the story – it is clear that, though they are aware that they are unusual, it is Alyson who is keenest on telling their tale. They don’t remember the nursery incident, they say; but nod their heads as Alyson says she took them both out of it in protest.

Primary school passed without colour being an issue: but, says Alyson, everything changed when they went to secondary school. And at this point the boys, too, add their voices: because the racism they encountered there had a huge effect on them, and on what happened to them next.

It all started well, says Alyson. “The school was almost all-white, so James was unusual. But it wasn’t a problem for James – it was a problem for Daniel.

“The boys were in different classes, so for a while no one realised they were related. Then someone found out, and the story went round that this white boy, Daniel, was actually black, and the evidence was that he had a black twin brother, James, who was right here in the school. And then Daniel started being picked on and it got really ugly and racist, and there were lots of physical attacks. Daniel was only a little kid, and he was being called names and being beaten up by much older children – it was really horrible. We even called the police.”

“I was really bullied,” cuts in Daniel, his face hardening at the memory. “People couldn’t believe James and I were brothers, and they didn’t like the fact that I looked white, but was – as they saw it – black.”

It is interesting that it was the white twin, Daniel, and not the black twin who was on the receiving end of racism – but, though it’s counter-intuitive, Alyson agrees that it betrayed very deep-seated prejudices. “Those kids couldn’t stand the fact that, as they saw it, this white kid was actually black. It was as though they wanted to punish him for daring to call himself white,” she says.

While we are chatting, James and Daniel are sitting at opposite ends of the sofa; they give the impression of being polite around one another, but don’t seem particularly close. As Alyson says, everything about them is chalk and cheese: even their body language is at odds – James moves lightly and delicately, while Daniel moves in a more muscular, masculine way. But when Alyson reaches this stage of their story, you see a glimmer of that age-old solidarity where siblings who keep one another at arm’s length, nonetheless pitch in when one of them is threatened.

“I started to notice how angry Daniel was getting at school, how people were provoking him and how he was getting hurt,” says James. “And when he got pulled in fights, I went in too, to help him. I didn’t want to see my brother being treated like that.” James does not look like a kid who would end up in any fight: but, when his brother was up against it, he weighed in – and, says Alyson, the bruises and cuts they both came home with told their own tale.

It is possible Daniel would not have liked school anyway, but being on the receiving end of racist abuse certainly did not help. “I would have left in year 7 if I could,” he says. “But instead, I left in year 11 – and it felt so good to get away.” He moved to a school that was much more racially mixed, and which his older brothers had attended. “People knew I was Charles and Jordan’s brother, but they were fine about it,” he says.

James, meanwhile, stayed on at the old school. “It was fine in the sixth form – things settled down, and I had never been on the receiving end of much racism,” he says.

But at the same time, he was coming to terms with another major difference from his brother – the fact that he is gay. “I knew from about the age of 15, but I kept it to myself for a while,” he explains. “And then a few months ago, it just seemed like the right time to tell my family. I was most worried about my dad, about what he’d say … but in the end he was fine about it.”

Daniel, too, thought it was fine. “It wasn’t as though it was a big surprise. I’d thought it for a while,” he says. “But I said to him, ‘If anyone starts bullying you about it, I’ll be there to support you.’ After all, James did that for me when I was being bullied. If anyone starts any homophobic stuff against him, I’ll be there to fight them off.”

Like all teenage siblings, there is plenty of joshing among the two of them. “I certainly wouldn’t wear James’s clothes!” says Daniel, laughing. “But if it’s the other way round, he’d wear mine!”

“No I wouldn’t,” shoots back James. “My taste in clothes is way better than yours.”

Alyson says that, initially, James’s coming out was a surprise. “We were like, ‘Woa!'” she says. “My big worry was that he’d think he was different, or special, because he was gay – so we said to him: ‘That’s fine, it’s what you are, but it doesn’t make you any more special than the other children in this family.'” Errol says he was proud of his boy for being open and honest about his feelings. “It’s fine; I’m glad he felt he could tell us,” he says.

But Alyson does admit that, just as she once worried about racist abuse being directed at Daniel, she now worries about homophobic abuse being directed at James. “It’s something you think about from time to time, but the main thing I worry about is him staying safe – I want all of my children to be safe, obviously,” she says.

These days the boys frequent very different social scenes. “A lot of my friends are lesbian or gay, and I go to gay clubs, and they aren’t places where Daniel hangs out,” says James. His big out-of-school interest is cheerleading – while Daniel, whose older half-brothers Shane and Luke are both acrobats, loves tumbling. “It’s something I’ve enjoyed for ages – I love the thrill of it, and I love how it makes me feel,” he says. After leaving school he had a spell as an acrobat on a cruise ship, which is where his older brothers also work, but he didn’t stay long. “I thought it sounded brilliant, but I missed my family too much so I came home,” he says. He has now applied for an apprenticeship, and hopes to make engineering his future.

Occasionally, the twins go out together for the evening. “It’s good fun, because we can be drinking in a bar and someone will come along for a chat who doesn’t know we’re twins. And of course they never suspect and then someone else will say, ‘Hey, do you know James and Daniel are brothers?'” says James. “And people never, ever believe it – they always think it’s a wind-up.”

“Sometimes we even get people who say: ‘I don’t believe you! Prove it!'” says Daniel, laughing. “But we don’t care whether they believe it or not anyway – we know it’s true.”

Alyson says all she wants, like any mum, is for her boys to be happy, and to live lives free from prejudice, so that each can flourish in his own way. “Mind you,” she says with a smile, “I do sometimes find myself wondering, now the children are all getting older, what the future holds. There will be another generation eventually – who will that bring along, I wonder?

“Twins are almost a must, I’d say. But the other big thing is: how many white grandchildren will I have? And how many black?” She throws back her head and laughs, and Errol laughs with her. They’re a straightforward, outspoken family, the Kellys: all they’ve ever wanted for their children is a fair chance in life. And if their youngest twins have made anyone think twice about their preconceptions about race and colour, they don’t mind that in the least. “It’s good to challenge people on race and sexuality and other issues where there’s prejudice,” says Alyson. “If knowing my boys encourages anyone to think a bit more deeply about how we label people, then that’s just great as far as I’m concerned.”

The Kellys and their story is told in Twincredibles, part of BBC2’s Mixed Race season in October

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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