Trafficking: Turning babies to money-spinning commodities (2)

Cumbersome adoption process, ignorance and government’s inaction combine to boost child trafficking in Nigeria, writes JULIANA FRANCIS           The lovers, Ebony and Onyekwere, were arrested by Operatives of the Inspector- General of Police (IGP) Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari. The police beamed their searchlight on the lovers after they stole two children at Tunga Maji and Gwagwa areas of Abuja. They sold each of the children to Chioma Nick for N300,000. The panicky father of the…

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Trafficking: Turning babies to money-spinning commodities (1)

Nigerians are becoming used to hearing shocking stories of women and men selling and buying babies. Many have been arrested and yet the trade has continued to boom, with perpetrators laughing all the way to the banks, writes JULIANA FRANCIS     The baby’s cries sliced through the room, startling everyone. The ‘mum’ gently placed her on a left shoulder, while trying to soothe and calm her with a caressing right hand. But both hands were shaking badly as her agitation became obvious. Nobody was sure if the baby, who…

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Edda: Ebonyi’s community of strife, killings

Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State is a homogenous society, but divisions and killings portray it as heterogeneous community, writes UCHENNA INYA     Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State came into being with the creation of Abia State in 1991. It was carved out of Afikpo North and currently shares federal constituency with Afikpo North Local Government Area. Before the creation of Afikpo South, location of the local government headquarters and secretariat was an issue. There were two groups in the tussle; those…

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Murder in Anambra community over N100m fraud

Ifite-Isu village in Isuaniocha in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State is boilling from within. A battle for the control of the town union and allegations of murder, attempted murder and N100 million fraud have set the village on fire. It is a case that has travelled to Lagos, Abuja and back to Awka in the past one year. Yet the end is yet to come as OKEY MADUFORO reports     Mrs. Sylvia Okoye sits before a heap of cassava, which she has just harvested from her…

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Lockdown: Residents’ battle against hunger, robbers, rapists

For about four weeks, residents of communities on the fringes of Lagos and Ogun states have to race against deadly coronavirus, made more potent by the combined forces of hunger, and groups of armed youths whose stock in trade is to rape, rob and maim, writes ABIODUN BELLO   Waging endless war against lethal virus on empty stomach     O n Monday April 27, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari, in one of his nationwide broadcasts, extended by one week the lockdown on Lagos and Ogun states as well as the…

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Abakaliki prison: Congested, dilapidated

Despite the unconditional pardon granted to 33 inmates serving various jail terms at the Abakaliki and Afikpo correctional centres, one of the centres, with 387 capacity but housing 1,088, is still overcrowded and dilapidated, reports UCHENNA IN     Ebonyi State has two federal prisons; Abakaliki and Afikpo federal prisons now referred to as correctional centres. Abakaliki correctional centre was inaugurated in 1998 by the first military Administrator of the state, Navy Commander Walter Feghabor. It was designed to house 387 inmates but it is presently home to 1,068 inmates…

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N19m mining deal sets Rivers community on edge

The lease of a portion of land by some persons in Akpoha community in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State for mining purposes and N19 million largesse accruing to it, has caused uproar in the tiny community, reports UCHENNA INYA   Akpoha, like other communities in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, has some mineral deposits. It is a small community near Afikpo. The people of the area are homogenous and predominantly farmers. In March, a business deal was allegedly sealed between the people and a…

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Dejected flood victims struggle to survive without govt’s assistance

IDPs grapple with lack of food, relief materials Despondent, several victims of the rampaging flood in parts of the country face a bleak future as they grapple daily with challenges of survival without adequate response from government at all levels, report STEVE UZOECHI, MUHAMMAD BASHIR, OKEGWO KENECHUKWU and GABRIEL EFEDUKU   Many people have lost their lives while scores of others have been injured in furious flood sweeping across the country. Yet thousands of victims are languishing in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in parts of the country. This…

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State police: The gains, the fears

Funding, salary additional burden to states   Governors say their status as chief security officers of their respective states is merely a semantic as only creation of state police can truly confer such status on them. ONYEKACHI EZE looks at gains and fears of creating state police in the country     Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State may not forget in a hurry, the event of July 11, 2018. That was the day policemen sent from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, for the conduct of the July 14 governorship election…

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Universal Studios of Art: Raising an army of professional artists

For over three decades now, the Universal Studios of Art has played and continues to play a pivotal role in the development of contemporary Nigerian art. Indeed, what started then on a little note has become a hub of creativity and platform for mentoring in order to raise a formidable army of self-supporting professionals, writes TONY OKUYEME       Situated on the premises of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, is the Universal Studios of Art, a congregation of professional fine artists – sculptors and painters – committed to the…

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