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Suspected cultist declared wanted by police threatens to kill many Osun residents from hideout

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Rasheed Hamed also known as Rasheed Okoilu, a suspected cultist, who is on the wanted list of the Osun State Police Command, has threatened to unleash mayhem in his native Ede town if security operatives do not desist from hunting him.

Hamed was declared wanted over the killing of Hassan Adedeji, a prospective National Youth Service Corps member and Higher National Diploma Banking and Finance graduate of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede.

The deceased was gunned down alongside a yet to be identified commercial motorcyclist.

Fingers have also been pointed at Hamed for the deadly clashes with the OPC men at different times in the town, which had resulted in the death of many residents.

Rasheed in a recorded audio message from his hideout disclosed that his problem started when he decided not to join the OPC.

While calling on Ede elders to intervene in order to avert a revenge mission on his part, he alleged that the OPC members that invited him were criminals.

He said, “I am a thug and I was earning money on the street. I don’t steal. I am not a thief. I am an artisan. I am a welder. They wanted me and my boys to join them in OPC. But then, I have people I regarded as mothers and elderly ones that were OPC members. Those people told me that those that invited me to OPC were thieves, especially Doki.

“In my presence, one of those that invited me to OPC went to steal an iron rod and he killed someone at the scene about five years ago in Ede.

“Despite their antecedents, some elders in the community still indulged and continued to associate with them. I rejected the invitation to join OPC. That made them attack my base. They came in the early hours of February 2, 2020, but we dealt with them. Those that came were OPC members. Because they suffered heavy casualties, they had to join forces with a member of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad from Osun Police Command.

“The Timi of Ede ordered us not to be involved in violence again and we all abided by the order. But after all that, the OPC men still attacked me on December 4, 2021, and two of my younger brothers were killed right in front of a police station. And one other that ran into the police station was traced into the station and he was killed in the presence of the policemen.

“Few of the elders that spoke to me only pleaded but no action was taken to punish the perpetrators. I listened to the pleading and I mourned the dead. I bought gifts, made stickers campaigning for peace in Ede. I funded street light projects in our area, I distributed food items to all the mosques in our area. After all the efforts, these OPC men still attacked and killed my elder brother at Owode, Ede. Apart from the deceased named Kehinde, my younger brother was shot in the stomach and I was also shot several times and they went away with my vehicle.

“After that, Doki Wakili, Oriade and Jagunlabi killed my mother. She was killed on Tuesday, 22nd February 2022. I hereby appeal to all indigenes, Osun State Government, Federal Government to intervene. All royal fathers in Osun should also intervene.

“Some OPC men also came to Isale Osun on March 9. They carted away people’s property in five buses. No one could do anything about it. I am using this medium to tell all Ede residents that I am coming and when I return, the effect will be felt by many people. Those not involved in the crises will pay for it. Before now, people used to see me and greet me. But when I return, if you see me, you see death. I see you, you die, you see me, you die.”

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Organ harvesting: Dino Melaye reacts to arrest of Ekweremadu, wife

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Dino Melaye

Former Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye has expressed his support for ex-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu amid controversy of alleged organ harvesting.

Melaye said he stands with Ekweremadu because there was no wrongdoing by the Senator.

Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice were arrested in London for allegedly plotting to harvest the kidney of a Nigerian minor.

The UK metropolitan police had arrested and charged Ekweremadu and his wife to court, but the duo pleaded not guilty to the charges at the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court.

“These are serious allegations and these matters are now adjourned until 7 July back here at Uxbridge,” Magistrate Lois Sheard said.

Ms Sheard remanded both defendants in custody ahead of their hearing next month.

Sharing Ekweremadu’s letter via his Twitter handle, Melaye wrote: “Sen. Ike Ekweremadu notified the British authorities on his trip with the said boy. I stand with Ike.”

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Supreme Court set to rule on controversial Electoral Act on Friday

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria will on Friday deliver judgment on the legality or otherwise of the controversial section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 .

The apex Court is set for its verdict in the suit instituted against the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice.

A notice for the judgment delivery has just been sighted, indicating that the apex Court will make its position known this morning.

The notice was served on Buhari and the National Assembly on Thursday, inviting them to appear before the court today for their judgment.

Our correspondent further observed that the suit is the only one for determination today.

Buhari and Abubakar Malami had filed the suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an interpretation of the controversial clause in the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.

In the suit filed on April 29, Buhari and Malami, who are the plaintiffs, listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.

Section 84 (12) has been a subject of intense litigation and political debate in Nigeria since President Buhari signed the amended Electoral Act 2022 into law in February this year.

Shortly after signing it into law, Buhari had asked the parliament to delete the controversial clause in the Electoral Act, but the National Assembly declined the president’s request.

According to Section 84 (12) of the legislation, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

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World’s most livable cities: Vienna climbs back to its No. 1 spot. These are the biggest decliners

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World’s most livable cities: Vienna climbs back to its No. 1 spot
The Stephansplatz is a square at the geographical centre of Vienna. It is named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom, Vienna's cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world.

After two years, Vienna has overtaken Auckland as the world’s most livable city, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Vienna ranked first in 2018 and 2019, but was overtaken by Auckland, New Zealand, during the pandemic and slipped to 12th place in 2021, according to the Global Liveability Index 2022.

The EIU said that Auckland’s position on the index dipped to the 34th place this year because of higher Covid-19 infection rates and strict border controls in 2021. Although lockdowns ended in New Zealand in December, well-vaccinated cities in Europe and Canada had begun easing restrictions earlier.

However, it’s unlikely that Auckland would’ve clinched the top position in this year’s ranking even without a pandemic, according to the EIU.

“Other cities falling was why Auckland was top last time. Without Covid, it would likely be top 10, but not number one,” said Simon Baptist, global chief economist at the research and advisory firm.

Five other European cities — Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt and Amsterdam — also made the top ten. Canada’s Calgary and Vancouver took the third and fifth spots respectively. Japan’s Osaka and Australia’s Melbourne shared 10th place — the only two “Asian” cities that made it to the top 10.

The 172 cities that were included in the rating were assessed on these categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Biggest decliners
Cities in New Zealand and Australia were the biggest fallers in the EIU’s livability ranking.

New Zealand’s capital Wellington dived by 46 places, while Australia’s Adelaide and Perth lost their 2021 positions in the top 10. They are now in the 30th and 32nd place respectively.

Australian and New Zealand cities snagged six of the top 10 spots last year, but were “much, much lower down” on this year’s list as their partial reopening coincided with the spread of the more contagious omicron variant, Baptist told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday.

But the EIU is optimistic that these cities would bounce back.

“We can expect to see Australian and New Zealand cities moving up the rankings next year, when we do the next round of the survey. And this will be because they will have relaxed more of their Covid restrictions,” said Baptist.

Other cities in the region saw their rankings slip as well.

Singapore fell three spots to 37th place this year, while Hong Kong dropped to 62nd place from 49th last year.

“This is a long term change, it’s not just about Covid. That is part of it. But Hong Kong’s loss of connectivity is likely to be permanent,” said Baptist, citing the decline of cultural and political freedom in the city.

Russian cities plunged
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine saw Moscow’s livability ranking fall by 15 places, while St. Petersburg dipped by 13 spots, the EIU reported.

“Both cities record a fall in scores owing to increased instability, censorship, imposition of Western sanctions and corporates withdrawing their operations from the country,” the report said.

The war on Ukraine also affected the rankings of other Eastern European cities that have been facing political standoffs security threats, food and energy insecurities, and rising inflation, EIU said.

For example, Poland’s Warsaw and Hungary’s Budapest saw their stability scores slip as a result of rising diplomatic tensions, the EIU added.

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv was also excluded from this year’s report, and 33 new cities — 11 of them in China — were added.

The top 10
These are the world’s most livable cities and their scores, according to The Global Liveability Index 2022:

  1. Vienna, Austria (99.1)
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark (98.0)
  3. TIE — Zurich, Switzerland (96.3)
  4. TIE — Calgary, Canada (96.3)
  5. Vancouver, Canada (96.1)
  6. Geneva, Switzerland (95.9)
  7. Frankfurt, Germany (95.7)
  8. Toronto, Canada (95.4)
  9. Amsterdam, Netherlands (95.3)
  10. TIE — Osaka, Japan (95.1)
  11. TIE — Melbourne, Australia (95.1)

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