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Lagos Assembly Moves To Criminalise Illegal Trade In Human Parts

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Bill scales second reading as lawmakers call for more sanctions

Speaker Obasa wants ritualists punished by bill…

A bill to criminalise illegal trading in human organs has scaled second reading at the Lagos State House of Assembly with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, describing it as one of the best things to happen to the state.

Before committing the bill to the House committee on Health, Obasa said it should also make provision to criminalisation of the activities of the ritualists.

He directed that the administration of criminal justice law be studied so that the Organ Harvest and Transplantation bill being considered can be all-encompassing.

Earlier, the chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Hakeem Sokunle (Oshodi-Isolo 1), explained that the bill captures the legal framework for the regulation of organ transplantation from donors either living or dead to patients in need.

Sokunle said the bill has seven parts with 37 sub-sections and tries to curb illegal trade in human parts.

Under its offence and penalties clause, the bill states that a person who removes the organ of another person for a reason other than for therapeutic purposes commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years without an option of fine.

The bill also stipulates that a person or any hospital and “who, for the purposes of transplant, conducts, associates with, or helps in any manner in the removal of any organ without authority commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N5 million or a term of 10 years.

Contributing to the debate, Hon. Gbolahon Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2), said that the bill would help in putting a stop to organ trafficking. He called the attention of his colleagues to some grey areas in the bill.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu 1) condemned the act of harvesting organs for monetary gain in some parts of Nigeria adding that the bill would put an end to such as well as protect minors and the mentally ill.

Olowo argued that the bill would bring about the sanctity of life and human dignity, adding that penalties for such acts should be stiffer than what was prescribed in the bill.

The lawmaker added that the bill provides for certified medical laboratories for the organs donated by donors and that this is aimed at stopping the involvement of quacks and the criminally minded.

Also, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, lamented the high rate of organ trafficking in the country, adding that the bill was all encompassing and that it should be supported by all members of the House.

The Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, described the bill as a product of deep reflection on the part of the state government.

Itemisinng the various processes of organ transplantation as prescribed by the bill, Agunbiade added that it would improve procedure and discourage the act of organ harvesting for financial gain.

“The bill will ensure that organ transplanting is not all-comers affair in the health sector in Lagos,” Agunbiade said.

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FBI: 11 Nigerians Indicted In US For $117 Million Romance Scam (SEE LIST)

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Federal investigators with the Department of Justice say 35 people in North Texas are accused of conducting romance schemes to defraud and steal money from older adult Americans.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas and the FBI announced a multi-year investigation into a wide-ranging criminal enterprise operating out of North Texas.

Investigators announced indictments for criminal charges against 35 people accused of wire fraud and money laundering as part of a very sophisticated scheme that stole more than $17 million from more than 100 people nationwide.

According to court documents, these defendants allegedly preyed on older victims, many of whom were widowed or divorced. They assumed fake names and trolled dating sites like Match.com, ChistianMingle, JSwipe, and PlentyofFish, searching for targets.

Conspirators would pose as an interested partner and then build a level of trust with their target before eventually sharing a sob story that ended with them needing a large sum of money.

Crimes like these are especially despicable because they rely not only on victims’ lack of internet savvy, but also, their isolation, their loneliness, and sometimes their grief,” acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said at a press conference announcing the charges. “The only mistake these victims make is being generous to the wrong people.”

In many cases, investigators said, the alleged thieves would then siphon thousands of dollars from their victim’s bank accounts.

“Once they depleted the savings they vanished into thin air,” said Shah.

Investigators said the funds are taken from the victims eventually made their way to accounts located in Africa and Asia.

Shah added that romance scams are often difficult to prosecute because victims are often embarrassed, feel duped, and don’t want to come forward. Still, they encourage victims to come forward and reassure them that the scams are more common than one might think — more than 20,000 people lost $600 million in romance scams in 2020.

Eleven of the arrests were made in the Northern District of Texas while 24 arrests were made in the Eastern District of Texas.

Those charged in the Northern District of Texas include:

David Animashaun, 38 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy

Oluwalobamise Michael Moses, 40 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy

Irabor Fatarr Musa, 51 – arrested in the Eastern District of Texas, charged by the Northern District of Texas wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy

Ijeoma Okoro, 31 – arrested in DFW, wire fraud conspiracy fraud, money laundering conspiracy

Chukwemeka Orji, 36 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy

Emanuel Stanley Orji, 35 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy

Frederick Orji, 37 – arrested in Dallas, charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy

Uwadiale Esezobor, 36 – arrested in Lubbock, charged with mail & wire fraud conspiracy

Victor Idowu, 36 – arrested in Los Angeles, charged with mail & wire fraud conspiracy

Afeez Abiola Alao, 37 – wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy

Ambrose Sunday Ohide, 47 – wire fraud conspiracy

All of the defendants named are innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face up 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud conspiracy counts and up to 10 years in federal prison on the money laundering conspiracy counts.

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Use Your Position To Stabilise West Africa – UN Secretary-General Tells Buhari

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The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to leverage on his leadership position to ensure stability among West African nations, in terms of democracy and good governance.

According to a statement by Femi Adesina, spokesperson to the president, the UN secretary-general said this at a meeting with Buhari on Friday, at the 76th session of the United Nations general assembly (UNGA) taking place in New York.

“According to the UN scribe, Africa, especially West Africa, was generally seen as an ocean of stability and good governance, but was deeply concerned at recent reversal of fortunes in democratic rule in some parts of the West African sub-region with coups overturning elected institutions,” Adesina said.

“He, therefore, urged President Buhari to continue to show leadership as he looks up to Nigeria to help stabilise the sub-region in terms of democracy and good governance.

“On terrorism, the secretary-general commended the efforts of Nigeria on this global phenomenon, assuring the Nigerian leader of the United Nations’ continued support in her efforts to address the prevailing security and humanitarian challenges that have arisen, especially with the internally displaced persons.

“He also commended Nigeria’s efforts on climate change, expressing willingness of the world body to cooperate with the country in this regard.

“President Buhari applauded Mr Gutterres for his global leadership and the success of the 76th session. He assured the secretary-general that Nigeria had achieved appreciable successes in tackling the insecurity caused by terrorists and bandits.

“The president also thanked him for the global organisation’s intervention in activities towards reducing the effects of climate change, especially with the support for the Great Green Wall programme, which is aimed at arresting desertification across the Sahel as well as the campaign against deforestation in Nigeria.”

Adesina added that the president also expressed commitment to supporting the UN “towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.

 

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IPOB: What Nnamdi Kanu Demands From Everyone – Ejiofor Nnamdi

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Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), says the detained separatist “encouraged all and sundry to be united in one peaceful solidarity”.

Ejiofor in a statement on Thursday, provided update on his routine visit to Kanu. Kanu is presently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja following his re-arrest in Kenya in June.

The defence team of Kanu who has been charged with terrorism, treasonable felony, among other offences, insists it is not relenting in its efforts “to ensure that justice is done”. The 53-year-old is expected in court in Abuja in October.

Read Ejiofor’s full update below:

UPDATE ON TODAY’S (23RD SEPTEMBER 2021) VISIT TO OUR INDEFATIGABLE CLIENT – ONYENDU MAZI NNAMDI KANU:

I had an extensive interaction/chat with our indefatigable Client- Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu during our today’s routine visit to the National Headquarters of the Department of State Security Services (DSS).

The strides so far recorded on our part is seemingly impressive though may remain unnoticed to undiscerning minds, and he welcomed every strategy being adopted by our team, as well as the coordinating efforts of all lawyers participating in this case, including those in diaspora.

He was also briefed on the inability of the Federal Government (FG) to file response to his Fundamental Rights Suit pending before the Umuahia High Court. An action substantially challenging among others, the unlawful but bloody invasion of his home on the 14th Day of September, 2017 by the Nigerian Security Agencies.

The FG’s reason(s) for avoiding the court, though not far fetched may not be unconnected to their inability to offer explanation on their monstrous and bloody invasion of Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s residence on the 14th Day of September 2017, wherein over 28 innocent civilians were murdered in cold blood by the invading Nigerian Soldiers, and properties worth billions of Naira consequently destroyed in the process.

Thankfully, the World is paying deserving attention to the gross human Rights violations as it affects our Client, as well as the continued onslaught on unarmed civilians being labelled as members of IPOB.

It is on record, that by the Ruling of Justice Nyako delivered in 2017, His Lordship while Ruling on our application, held that IPOB is not an UNLAWFUL Organization. This Ruling of the Court was not appealed against, neither was it set aside by any Superior Court.

We are not relenting in our efforts to ensure that justice is done to our Client, he will be freed and in no distant time, because he has committed no offence known to law. He is at best, a Political Prisoner. Nevertheless, Victory will be ours in the end. Isee!

Onyendu was very much overwhelmed to receive the report on the overwhelming solidarity and unwavering support so far shown by millions of his supporters. Peaceful conduct of his fans was also relayed to him and he encouraged all and sundry to be United in one peaceful solidarity.

We implore you all to continue to pray for him even as you remain unshaken in your support and prayers, as you have always shown within the confines of the law.

Onyendu is very much strong in spirit and firm in his convictions. You will see him soon.

We shall continue to provide regular updates as event unfolds.

Thank you all and remain blessed, Umuchineke.

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