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Atiku congratulates Trump on his ‘vindication’

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Atiku Abubakar has hailed President Donald Trump for his breakthrough in the extensive investigation of alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 elections.

Mr Trump, of the Republican Party, was accused by the opposition Democratic Party of enlisting Russian hackers and other criminals to manipulate the outcome of the November 2016 presidential elections in his favour.

Mr Trump vehemently denied wrongdoing, accusing the Democrats and their supporters in the media of being on a witch-hunt.

An independent panel was ultimately raised in 2017 to look into the allegations, which dominated American media coverage without break.

The panel was headed by Robert Mueller, a former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

For several months, there were reports that Mr Trump was on the verge of firing Mr Mueller after the top detective closed in on several of Mr Trump’s allies.

Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager of Mr Trump, and Michael Flynn, whom Mr Trump appointed as a national security adviser shortly after assuming office in January 2016, were amongst the top associates of the president arrested on Mr Mueller’s findings.

However, their cases, even though they stemmed from the larger collusion investigation, were completely unrelated to the collusion itself.

Mr Manafort was prosecuted for questionable business ties with Russians and Ukrainians in his personal capacity and years before the 2016 campaign.

At least 37 persons were indicted by Mr Mueller’s panel, which included top FBI investigators and government prosecutors, and hundreds of subpoenas also went out.

In the final report which Mr Mueller submitted to Attorney-General William Barr, the special counsel found that neither Mr Trump nor anyone in his campaign colluded with Russians to alter the 2016 elections.

Mr Mueller, however, said he was unable to clear Mr Trump of obstruction of justice, even as he was unable to indict him of committing such offence, either.

Mr Trump quickly hailed the findings as a “total exoneration” of alleged collusion and descended on Democrats for allegedly lying to Americans for so long.

Mr Trump’s supporters said the decision by Mr Mueller not to indict or exonerate the president on obstruction of justice was in itself a satisfying decision that favoured the president.

Mr Barr, who made a four-page excerpt of the report public on Sunday, said Mr Trump cannot be charged for obstruction of justice based on the entire document submitted by Mr Mueller.

The outcome jolted the Democrats, who immediately waved it off as largely opening the path for over a dozen investigations already ongoing against Mr Trump than an absolute exoneration of the president.

The Democrats argued that Mr Trump would be hurt by those investigations at the 2020 presidential elections after the president’s supporters suggested that Mr Mueller’s exoneration had handed him an easy second term.

Mr Trump is facing charges, including those targeting his tax filings, in some American jurisdiction, especially New York.

“I congratulate President @realDonaldTrump on his vindication by the Robert Mueller report,” Mr Abubakar tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “It is my hope that the lifting of this cloud will give room for further successes by the 45th President of the United States.”

The former vice-president, who has challenged the outcome of the 2019 presidential election against President Muhammadu Buhari in court, longed for an era when Nigeria can emulate the rigour of the American system in unravelling a political crisis.

“I trust Nigeria can learn from the application of rigorous due process to get to the truth of our current challenges. Congratulations once again,” Mr Abubakar said.

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Pastor accused of breaking member’s marriage

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Mr Tertsea Daagu, a member of the NKST Church, has accused a Pastor of the Church, Terlanga Unongu, of “causing confusion” in his relationship with his wife, Wandoo Daagu.

Daagu stated this during his defense in a divorce case brought against him by his wife, before a Makurdi Upper Area Court.

“I have never beaten my wife or accused her of adultery; it is my wife that admitted before our NKST Church Committee that she has committed adultery with one Rev Terlanga Unongu, a Pastor of the Church.

“I have not accused my wife of having an affair, but she has confessed to having an affair with Rev Terlanga Unongu.

“In 2007, she confessed to having an intimate affair with the Pastor when the Church committee took up the matter. I have the evidence with me written in Tiv language.

“Though the committee could not give an appropriate resolution, we appealed to the General Synod where a resolution was passed.”

He denied ever beating the woman, and claimed that she left his house with the approval of her father.

Daagu said that he was not opposed to divorce, adding that he was also not opposed to his wife having full access to their three kids.

It was gathered that Mrs. Wandoo Daagu had petitioned the court to dissolve the marriage, citing alleged brutality and “unnecessary” accusations of infidelity.

Wandoo, who said that she married her husband according to the Tiv Native Laws and Customs at Amua, Gaav in Konshisha Local Government Area in 2000, told the court that there was no longer love between them.

“We have three children; after nursing our last daughter, my husband started accusing me of being unfaithful.

“He kept attacking me and would be beat me up at the slightest provocation. I reported this cruelty to his parents, but instead of intervening, they took sides with him,” she said.

Wandoo said that she left Daagu’s house in 2008, when the cruelty became unbearable.

“Since I left his house, my husband has never visited me or my parents to discuss our issue. He has no respect for my parents,” she said.

She urged the court to dissolve the marriage and grant her full access to their three children.

The Judge, Ms Adole Akintomide, has adjourned the case to Dec. 14, for judgment.

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South Korea to donate $8m in aid for hungry North

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South Korea approved $8 million in humanitarian aid for the impoverished North on Wednesday, authorities said, with negotiations over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal deadlocked and inter-Korean relations at a standstill.

It will be the first such aid Seoul has provided Pyongyang since 2015 and follows the North’s lowest recorded harvest for a decade, according to the United Nations.

The donation — to be made through the UN — comes as President Moon Jae-in seeks to salvage diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington following the breakdown of the Hanoi summit when Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump failed to reach a deal on the North’s nuclear programme and sanctions relief.

Pyongyang has since largely cut off contact with both Seoul and Washington, with the South’s unification minister saying this week he had last spoken to a North Korean official at the beginning of May.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, said the government had approved a plan to provide the funds amid concerns over the “worsening food situation”.

It will be given $4.5 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to help address malnutrition, along with $3.5 million to UNICEF for health issues among children and pregnant women.

More than 10 million North Koreans — 40 percent of the population — were suffering from severe food shortages, according to recent UN estimates. The figure is similar to recent years.

“WFP and other international bodies have requested assistance to the North on the back of concerns for deteriorating conditions among the vulnerable there,” the ministry said in a statement.

It is the first humanitarian aid implemented by Moon’s government, but a North Korean propaganda outlet has already dismissed it as “non-essential” for inter-Korean relations.

If the South “sincerely wishes for sustained development, peace and prosperity”, it should implement the inter-Korean economic joint projects agreed last year instead of “raising the issue of humanitarian aid”, the state-run Uriminzokkiri website said in a commentary last month.

Several sets of sanctions, imposed on the North over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, currently block many proposed developments.

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Tragedy as gunmen behead businessman in Rivers

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Gunmen on Wednesday night killed and beheaded a middle-aged businessman simply identified as Chima.

It was gathered that the victim was shot and killed before he was beheaded by his assailants in the presence of his wife at Rumuekini community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.

An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that the incident happened around 11:00 p.m., adding that the killers put off the victim’s power generating set as a ploy to lure him out of his house.

It was gathered that the victim came out to check why his generator suddenly went off but was accosted by the gunmen, who shot, killed and beheaded him.

The source said, “The incident is shocking. Last night, Chima sat outside with his brothers and friends at a joint on the school road.

“Later around 11:00 p.m., we heard that he was attacked in his house. We heard that the killers turned off his generator and when he went outside to find out what happened to the generator, he was attacked.

“Immediately he came out, the boys shot him. He managed to run back into his house with the bullet, but the boys followed him, killed him and cut off his head.”

Another source explained that the hoodlums had ordered the wife of the deceased to bring a kitchen knife after they had killed her husband.

It was learnt that the gunmen used the kitchen knife to behead their victim and also ordered his wife to carry the head of her husband in a bucket into a waiting car before they zoomed off.

The killing and beheading of late Chima on Wednesday occurred despite the state governor’s stern warning to sanction Local Government chairmen and traditional rulers who condone criminality in their domain.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Rivers State Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident.

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