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Nigerian Mission, Unions in Italy vow to get justice for murdered lady

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Late Rita Amenze and the Husband
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The Nigerian Mission and Unions in Italy have vowed to get justice for late Rita Amenze, the Nigerian lady who was allegedly killed by her Italian husband on Sept. 10 in Italy.

Pastor Mike Oputteh, the Welfare Officer, National Union of Nigerian Association in Italy (NUNAI) disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

Oputteh said the Nigerian Embassy in Italy, headed by Amb. Mfawa Abam, and the Unions have been very proactive on the issue which led to the arrest of late Amenze’s Italian husband.

He said the prompt action of the Nigerian Mission and leadership of the Unions had made the Italian Authority realise that Nigeria cares for her citizens.

“I am the Welfare Officer and when I first heard the news, I called the leader in that region, Noventa Vicentina, I told him to go and get a firsthand report on the incident, down to the police which he did.

“We got there on a Saturday, as at then, the husband had not been arrested. The police said the person in charge of the case was not around and that was when I got angry.

“When he saw my reaction, he realised the gravity. Because,  they had always seen Nigerians in that area like people the government do not care about.

“I told them my Embassy was aware of the case and my ambassador sent me here to find out, it was at that point they rose to the occasion. That was when they said this is what happened, that the girl filed for divorce.

“I said I do not want to hear it, that I am interested in the husband, leave what happened, because there is no amount of justification that will allow anybody to take anyone’s life.

“It was then, the man was arrested the next day. The question is, does it mean that they did not want to work before and were waiting for us to react before they worked?

“So, the Embassy rose up, the unions rose up also and other Italian NGOs and Civil Societies came up to say they will not take it. The man was arrested the next day, even inside his house.

“I told the police that the next phase is that we will follow the case. This new NUNAI Executive led by our President, Roland Ndukuba and our Ambassador, we are leaving no stone unturned in this particular case.

“We are also going to take the case up against the Italian police because there are cases in marriages,

“When a woman says she is no longer interested, it is the responsibility of the police to separate them, give the woman shelter and give a directive of restrictions of 1000 meters to the woman.

“We have cases we are going to use against the police and the man. The Nigerian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also been supportive,” Oputteh said.

Oputteh also told NAN that the Nigerian Ambassador, Abam had also pledged to ensure no Nigerian was unjustly treated or falsely detained in Italy.

Oputteh noted that the Italian justice system was effective and commendable, however, szid the unions would ensure they got justice for any Nigerian found illegally detained, most times based on false accusations.

According to him, the Ambassador will lead a team, including the Unions to go round Italian Prisons to ascertain if there are Nigerians illegally detained.

“In a situation where we find out about a Nigerian that was unlawfully detained, we sue for damages and in most cases, we win such cases and damages are paid.

“I know of one or two people, and the last person was paid 65,000 Euros.

“On unlawful detention of Nigerians in Italian prisons, we have gone to three prisons.”

Oputteh said he had been living in Italy for years and the police have never harassed him.

He said recently, the Italian authorities carried out some raids and some Nigerians were apprehended for drugs, and cultism, and someone, a Nigerian and a whistle blower for the Italian police included my name.

“The police did their investigations, listened to my conversations but could not find anything on me, they did not arrest me but they arrested others. They cannot just come and arrest you for nothing, they can’t.

“I have not seen any Nigerian that is unlawfully detained that we have not fought for. And if there are, and we get to find out from the prisons we are visiting, we will fight for them,” Oputteh said. (NAN)

 

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International

Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi is dead

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Late Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi
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Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi has died after his helicopter crashed amid heavy fog in northern Iran, state media reported. Raisi was 63.

Rescuers on Monday found the chopper that was carrying the Iranian president, as well as the country’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and other senior officials, after it crashed in the mountainous northwest reaches of Iran.

The crash comes as the Middle East remains unsettled by the Israel-Hamas war, during which Raisi, under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel just last month.

Under Raisi, Iran enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tensions with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and continued arming proxy groups in the Mideast such as Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Raisi was a prominent figure in Iranian politics, known for his alignment with conservative and hardline factions. He had been serving as president for nearly three years and was widely expected to run for re-election next year.

Born in Mashhad, a significant religious center for Shia Muslims in northeastern Iran, Raisi’s journey into politics was deeply rooted in his religious education.

He studied at the renowned seminary in Qom, under the guidance of prominent scholars, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader of Iran.

His black turban, a symbol that he was a sayyid, or a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, held special significance among Twelver Shia Muslims, further cementing his religious and political stature.

Raisi’s career as a prosecutor began in various jurisdictions before he moved to Tehran in 1985. There, he became a part of a controversial committee of judges responsible for the execution of political prisoners, a role that drew significant criticism from human rights organizations.

Raisi’s untimely death leaves a significant void in Iran’s political landscape. As the nation mourns, questions about his potential successor and the future direction of Iranian politics loom large.

 

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Nigeria’s Senate President Akpabio seeks IPU’s voice in ending conflict in Gaza

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President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio
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The President of Nigeria’s Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has called on the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) to lend a strong voice to the restoration of lasting peace in war-torn Gaza.

Akpabio made the call while contributing to discussions at the ongoing 148th Session of the International Parliamentary Union Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said it is time for nations to rise above sentiments and invoke the spirit of humanity, by doing all they can to bring sustainable peace to the region.

Some of the resolutions, according to the Chairman of Nigeria’s National Assembly, should include access to humanitarian aid, the restoration of normal life in Gaza, and meetings on a permanent truce.

His words: ” Madam President, this is a lone voice from Nigeria. We tried our best in Angola, and we failed to lend a collective voice to what is happening in Gaza. Today, the world is very expectant.

“We must drop ego. It has nothing to do with which country brings the proposal. The basic tenets of humanity demand that we leave here with a resolution for the rest of the world, to show that we have human feelings in us.

“The issues are very clear. If you notice the proposal for 12 blocs; they attempted to even marry the proposals from South Africa. Yes! South Africa has a right to be emotional, but we have children who are dying even as we are talking now. We have people who do not have water to drink, even as we are talking now. We have people who are going to suffer infections from gunshots.

“We have to show the world that we are human beings. The cessation of hostilities must be a part of our resolutions. Access to humanitarian aid must be a part of our resolutions.

‘At the same time, the release of hostages and even those who are prisoners of war, because if both sides take steps in releasing the hostages, releasing the prisoners of war, it means that both sides have agreed that the international community can go to the next stage, which is negotiation for sustainable peace.

“If they cannot agree, I would urge that, from here, we have a three-man drafting committee to come up with those resolutions which we must make before we leave here.

‘We can no longer allow a child to die tonight without lending our voice. It doesn’t matter which side. We are all parents. If we come here to look for ego and then try to be emotional, it’s not affecting them.

“There’s nothing affecting Denmark; there’s nothing affecting South Africa. The people affected are over there and nobody will agree to the lone resolution from Israel. It must be all-encompassing so that we stand up from here as human beings. That would be my plea.

“Let them go aside, meet and remove those vexatious items. In the course of their discussions, we can have amendments. We can add items that we should add, but we must discuss the Gaza issue in this 148th IPU Assembly. That is my position.”

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Okonjo-Iweala ‘Less Optimistic’ About World Trade In 2024

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
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The World Trade Organization’s chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Wednesday said she was “less optimistic” about world trade in 2024, pointing to tensions in the Red Sea.She said weaker global economic growth, “worsening geopolitical tensions, the new disruptions we see in the Red Sea, on the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal” meant “we are less optimistic”.

Okonjo-Iweala was speaking to journalists at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos where political and economic elites are meeting to discuss global challenges.

Before the massive Hamas attack on Israel in October and the subsequent outbreak of war in Gaza, the WTO had predicted trade would grow by 0.8 per cent in 2023 and projected growth of 3.3 per cent this year.

But Okonjo-Iweala warned the figure for 2024 would now be lower in future forecasts.

“We think there are a lot of downside risks to the forecasts we had made last year of 3.3 percent of growth of merchandise volumes this year. So we expect weaker performance,” she said.

“We will be revising estimates for this year, but they won’t be ready for another month or so,” Okonjo-Iweala added.

A spate of attacks by Yemeni rebels on Red Sea shipping has disrupted the vital trade route while the worst drought in decades to hit the Panama Canal has forced authorities to slow transits.

Yemen’s Huthi rebels say their strikes are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The attacks have, however, also caused shipping companies to avoid the Suez Canal.

The Hamas attack on October 7 resulted in the death of around 1,140 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

More than 24,400 Palestinians, around 70 percent of them women, young children and adolescents, have been killed in the Gaza Strip in Israeli bombardments and ground offensive since October 7, according to the Hamas government’s Ministry of Health.

 

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