From the outspoken Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka, accusing Nigerian clerics of dishing out fake miracles to the resumed trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the past week was eventful in Nigeria’s south-east.
It was the second week of February 2024.
Here are the highlights of the top stories that made headlines in the region within the past week:
Rerun Legislative Election: YPP reclaims Orumba North/Orumba South Federal Constituency in Anambra
The week began on a joyful note for the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Anambra State after the party reclaimed Orumba North and Orumba South Federal Constituency seat in the state during the rerun legislative election last weekend.
The YPP candidate for the election, Chinwe Nnabuife, was declared the winner of the rerun election for the constituency in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ms Nnabuife earlier won the 25 February election in the constituency, but the INEC conducted the rerun in compliance with a court judgment.
The court judgement followed a petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, Okwudili Ezenwankwo.
Ms Nnabuife scored 14416, while the closest candidate, Mr Ezenwankwo of PDP, scored 13087 in the rerun election, according to the result of the exercise declared by INEC’s Returning Officer for the constituency, Gabriel Anene, a professor.
Like Ms Nnabuife, another YPP candidate for Nnewi-North and Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Constituency, Peter Uzokwe, won in the rerun election for the constituency.
Mr Uzokwe had challenged the victory of the APGA candidate in the 25 February election, Uchenna Elodimuo, prompting a court of appeal to nullify the election and order a rerun.
A senator from the state, Ifeanyi Ubah, in his reaction, said the two victories for the YPP candidates had shown that he (Ubah) is a “street general” in Anambra State politics.
“They (Uzokwe and Nnabuife) know that they won those elections because of my influence, so now that I am in APC, I won’t tell you that it is a must that they will come over to the APC, but you know that in politics, you follow your leader,” Mr Ubah said.
Mr Ubah defected from the YPP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in October but has continued to support the YPP and its candidates, particularly in Anambra South District where he represents.
Police inspector declared wanted for murder
The week continued on Tuesday with the declaration of Audu Omadefu, a police inspector, wanted for alleged murder in Anambra State.
The police in the state published some of their telephone numbers, with an appeal to Nigerians to report to them whenever they see the wanted inspector.
They did not, however, give details of the alleged murder.
Protest by Nigerian university students over fee hike
There was tension on Tuesday when some students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, protested the hike in the institution’s tuition fees.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that officials of the university were seen chasing some students of the institution, who had not paid their fees, out of examination halls.
The university spokesperson later told this newspaper that the students were given adequate time to pay their hiked fees and that they knew the consequences of failing to do so.
The protest subsequently gained momentum and became riotous which prompted the university management to shut down the institution indefinitely.
Mbaka accuses Nigerian clerics of fake miracles, prophecies
An outspoken Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka, stirred a controversy when he claimed during a recent Sunday service that many Nigerian clerics regularly dish out fake prophecies and conduct false miracles to make money and fame.
“Many of us (clerics) have started using this preaching and prophecies to mine money. I call it ‘money mining.’
The clip has continued to elicit reactions across Nigeria’s south-east, a region with a high population of Christians.
Court sentencing of woman to death for murder
It was a judgement day in Enugu State on Wednesday when a State High Court sentenced Chiamaka Ifezue to death by hanging for killing a makeup artist, Ijeoma Nweke.
The late Nweke, who was based in Enugu State, had left home on 11 November 2020 for a make-up job in the state but went missing afterwards.
Ms Ifezue, now convicted, was earlier said to have killed the makeup artist for having an affair with her boyfriend.
She and her brother, identified as Emeka, were said to have carried out the act after luring the victim with a make-up job and forcing her to drink poison.
The two siblings subsequently poured acid on her corpse and dumped it at Maryland Axis of Enugu Metropolis where it was discovered on 16 November 2020.
Ms Ifezue was first arrested and arraigned in February 2021 before a magistrate court in Enugu before being transferred to the State High Court for trial.
Rescue of six pregnant girls in Anambra
Officials of the Anambra State Government, on Wednesday, rescued six pregnant girls from a “baby factory” during a raid on the facility in Umunya, a community in Oyi Local Government Area of the state.
Although this was not the first time such a thing would happen, the latest incident is a painful reminder that trafficking and child sales are yet to slow down in Nigeria.
The Commissioner for Health in Anambra State, Afam Obidike, said five people have been arrested in connection with the crime.
Nnamdi Kanu’s resumed trial
The trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is set to resume at a Federal High Court, Abuja fixed 26 February for hearing
Aloy Ejimakor, special counsel to the IPOB leader, disclosed this in a post on his X handle on Thursday.
The case which started in 2015 had been put on hold at the Federal High Court after the Court of Appeal dismissed the terrorism charges against Mr Kanu in October 2022.
But the Nigerian government refused to release the IPOB leader, insisting that he (Kanu) could be unavailable in subsequent court proceedings if released and that his release would cause insecurity in the South-east, where he comes from.
The government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, later appealed the court ruling and subsequently obtained an order staying the execution of the court judgment at the Supreme Court.
Delivering judgement on the appeal on 15 December, the Supreme Court reversed the acquittal granted to Mr Kanu by the lower court and consequently ordered the continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court Abuja.
The resumed trial complies with the order of the Supreme Court.
Torture, violent killing of animals
Here is a story about a native doctor accused of torturing animals and violently killing them.
The native doctor, identified simply as Nnabuikem, otherwise known as ‘High Chief Enenie Nwa ite,’ hails from Ovoko, a community in Igbo-Eze South Local Government of the state.
Mr Nnabuikem is seen in several video clips uploaded on his Facebook page, torturing and violently killing animals, apparently to perform rituals for his clients.
The police, in a post on their X handle on Thursday, said they had received “several” reports on the alleged torture and cruelty to animals by the native doctor.
“Thus, necessary investigative actions have been initiated. (Further) development will be communicated please,” the police said.
The alleged act by the native doctor drew criticisms from Nigerians and an international organisation that called for his prosecution.
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