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Month: July 2017

FORMER PRESIDENT JONATHAN ABUJA HOME BURGLED – BY SECURITY AIDES. ITEMS ON SALE AT LOCAL MARKET

An Abuja home of former President Goodluck Jonathan has been burgled, PREMIUM TIMES can confirm.

However, in what appears a curious twist, the house was not burgled by known thieves, but by police officers assigned to guard the house.

The Nigeria Police have thus arrested three of its officers for stealing items valued at several millions of naira from the Abuja residence of the former president.

The items were alleged to have been stolen by the officers from the residence located at No. 89, Fourth Avenue in the Gwarimpa district of Abuja.

They include sets of furniture, dozens of plasma television sets, refrigerators, air-conditioner units and box-loads of clothes such as designer suits imprinted with the former president’s name, male and female Ijaw traditional attires, lace materials and bowler hats.

PREMIUM TIMES exclusively gathered that the three mobile police officers conducted a systematic looting over a period of three months beginning from around March 2016, until they totally stripped the house of all movable items, which they sold piecemeal to dealers at the Panteka second-hand materials market in Tipper Garage, Gwarimpa.

Mr. Jonathan’s spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze, confirmed the theft to PREMIUM TIMES. He also confirmed that the affected officers have been arrested.

According to a security source involved in the investigation, by the time family members of the former president were made aware of the looting early this month, the house had been stripped bare.

On getting wind of the arrest of the policemen, two dealers who had been the main recipients of the stolen items were said to have closed down their shops at Panteka market and have since remained at large.

Mr. Jonathan had lived in the house for about a year when he was vice president. His mother was said to have assumed residence there after Mr. Jonathan moved to the Aso Rock Villa upon becoming Acting President in 2010.

PREMIUM TIMES could not ascertain when and the reason Mr. Jonathan’s mother vacated the residence, leaving it under security guard of the police.

THE LOOTING

Our investigations revealed that the looting was discovered when a neighbour noticed “severe damage to the house” and called a member of Mr. Jonathan’s family to ask whether the house was undergoing renovation.

The former president was said to have personally gone to inspect the property after which he reported the vandalization to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

After a team of officers dispatched to the scene confirmed the crime, Mr. Idris was said to have ordered the arrest of the three police officers who were still on guard duty at the residence.

“They were arrested about two weeks ago,” the police source familiar with the development told this newspaper last Tuesday.

A trader at the Panteka market, who confessed to being close to one of the fleeing buyers of the stolen items, was interviewed by PREMIUM TIMES undercover reporter.

According to the trader who declined to be named, the police officers first brought some items to the market for sale in early 2016.

“It all started sometimes around March 2016 when a mobile police sergeant came to Tipper Garage market and brought some items for sale. He approached one of the wholesalers to buy them, but the trader said he does not buy items from an unconfirmed owner,” he said.

“He identified himself as Sergeant Musa and told the trader that he was one of the security men guarding Mr. Jonathan’s private residence at Gwarimpa. He took the trader to follow him to confirm that he was not a thief who had come to sell off stolen properties in the market.

“The trader followed him to the residence where he met two other policemen, an inspector and a sergeant. They convinced him that the items were part of gifts to them.”

The source told PREMIUM TIMES that it was not long before he noticed that the stream of transaction had no end, as the Sergeant Musa continued to invite the trader to the residence to pick up fresh items.

“At a point, the trader became scared when he suspected foul play and told Sergeant Musa that he was no longer interested in the transaction,” he said.

He said Mr. Musa however got another customer, a wholesaler in the market, who would eventually buy almost 80 per cent of all the properties removed from Mr. Jonathan’s residence.

SELLING JONATHAN’S PROPERTY

When PREMIUM TIMES’ undercover reporter went to the Tipper Garage market, he found out that both the purchase and resale of the items were not hidden, as many of the traders were aware of the racket.

“Whenever particular or specific items of our interest were brought for sale from Mr. Jonathan’s residence, we used to buy from the wholesaler who bought them in large quantity,” a trader said.

Investigation by PREMIUM TIMES confirmed that the traders sold off the stolen items such as suits, women wears, traditional cloth popularly called ‘babban riga,’ Ankara fabrics at about N5,000.00 apiece and bowler hats. It could, however, not be confirmed how much the bowler hats were sold for.

A petty trader at the market said he witnessed the sale of one of the sets of furniture.

“The policeman sold one to the wholesaler who is now on the run at N50, 000.00. The wholesaler sold it at N180,000.00 to a lucky buyer in the market who in turn instantly sold it at N390,000.00.

“I personally bought babban riga, and a suit with Jonathan’s name printed underneath it at the cost of N5,000.00 each.”

The petty trader, who claimed to be an apprentice at Tipper Garage, said they were scared when they heard that the three police officers had been arrested in connection with the theft of the properties from Mr. Jonathan’s residence.

Tipper Garage and Panteka market at Gwarimpa are popular locations for buying and selling of second-hand items in Abuja.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the spokesperson of the Police FCT Command, Mamza Anjuguri, on phone, he refused to confirm the alleged looting or arrest of the three policemen.

“You should give me time to make some inquiries,” he initially pleaded last week.

He subsequently did not pick the reporter’s calls or reply to his text messages.

The divisional police officer for Gwarimpa also declined to speak with our reporter.

“I cannot talk to the press. You can go and talk with our PPRO,” he said.

LIST OF CLOTHES SAID TO HAVE BEEN STOLEN AND SOLD

  1. Niger Delta traditional attires in about 20 Ghana-must-go sacks.

  2. Suits, each one with “President Jonathan” inscribed in the inner side, in five big Ghana-must-go sacks.

  3. About 10 big Ghana-must-go sacks of women attires made from lace materials sewn in Niger Delta style.

  4. More than 10 bundles of Ankara materials, known as Atamfa.

  5. About 10 sets of babban riga.

  6. One big Ghana-must-go sack containing clothes with PDP logo neatly sewn on each one.

  7. About 20 Niger Delta bowler hats.

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND FURNITURE ITEMS

  1. 36 Plasma televisions.

  2. About 25 refrigerators.

  3. Five sets of furniture.

  4. Two sets of sitting room chairs.

  5. Several air conditioner units.

 

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TRUMP FIRES NEW PRESS SECRETARY SCARAMUCCI JUST 10 DAYS INTO THE JOB

President Donald Trump has dismissed Anthony Scaramucci from the White House communications director post only 10 days after he was appointed.

It comes days after Scaramucci, 53, unloaded on former chief of staff Reince Priebus and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in an expletive-laden rant to a New Yorker reporter.

“Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best.”

In a later press briefing Monday, Sanders said Scaramucci has “no role at this time in the Trump administration.”

Kelly, who was sworn in just Monday morning as the president’s chief of staff, requested Scaramucci’s removal, according to The New York Times, which first reported the move. The newspaper said that Scaramucci, who was an investment manager before taking the White House job, “boasted about reporting directly to the president not the chief of staff.”

Sanders said she would not “get into the process” of what led to Scaramucci’s removal. She then described it as a “mutually agreed conversation that took place between several people.”

It marks the first major personnel change under Kelly in an administration that has already seen significant turnover in just more than six months. Just Monday morning, Trump hit back against reports that his White House was in turmoil, proclaiming “no WH chaos!

A previous White House communications director, Mike Dubke, resigned in late May. Sean Spicer, who resigned as press secretary after Trump appointed Scaramucci, also held the job after Dubke left.

It was not immediately clear who Trump would appoint next. Sanders said she was “not aware” of any changes in Spicer’s status.

Scaramucci was not officially set to start as communications director until Aug. 15 at the time when Trump appointed him. He made a variety of media appearances since his appointment, repeatedly pledging to crack down on leaks to media outlets and going after Priebus.

Before Trump picked him for communications director, Scaramucci had served as senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the Export-Import Bank.

Scaramucci had reached a deal to sell his firm, SkyBridge Capital, but it was not complete when Trump appointed him. It is unclear if he plans to return to the firm.

WOOLWICH DRUG DEALER HIDING GUN LINKED TO 2 LONDON MURDERS CONGRATULATES POLICE FOR ARRESTING HIM AFTER 3 YEAR HUNT

A Woolwich drug dealer who was hiding a gun used in two south London murders was finally caught and jailed after a three-year search.

Andrew Chambers was living in Harlinger Street when police were finally able to track the “dangerous” man down.

When police nabbed the 34-year-old, he originally gave them an alias, but once in the car on the way to the police station, he told the officers “well done, good job” and confirmed he was the wanted criminal.

On September 23, 2013, police raided Chambers’ home in Southwark where he was living at the time.

There police found £250,000 worth of cocaine and crack cocaine and a gun that had been used in two murders.

 

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The Glock stashed in Chambers’ room had been used in the murder of 24-year-old Errol Davis in front of 2,500 clubbers in Southwark on October 5, 2008.

It was also linked to the murder of 25-year-old Larry Safie who was shot dead in East Dulwich on February 22, 2009.

It was also used in two attempted murders, one on August 16, 2007 in West Norwood, where the victim was shot five times, and an incident in Peckham Rye on January 26, 2009, where the victim was shot once in the shoulder.

While the gun was used in these four shootings, Chambers was not responsible for them and was just holding the weapon for gang associates.

Finding the gun though may yet be the key for solving these cases, as the perpetrators of the two fatal shootings and one attempted murder in West Norwood have yet to be found.

The three-year search for Chambers included a £20,000 reward and an appeal on Crimewatch in 2015.

It wasn’t until October 13, 2016, when police stopped a minicab near Woolwich Ferry, that Chambers was finally caught.

Chambers didn’t give his correct name, but police felt they knew they had gotten the correct man and arrested him in connection to the gun and drugs found in Southwark.

It wasn’t until they were on their way back to the police station that Chambers finally congratulated the police on locating him and revealed his true identity.

Chambers was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on July 28 to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of possession with intent to supply drugs.

Acting Detective Inspector Martin Thorpe, from the Met Police’s homicide and major crime command, said: “We have waited over three years to get to this point and I am glad justice has now been served.

“Chambers did everything he could to evade capture and no doubt got complacent and thought he had got away with the offences committed in 2013.

“A dangerous man is now off the streets and I hope his sentence serves as a warning to those intent on concealing weapons and dealing drugs, we will continue to pursue you no matter the length of time.”

 

NEWSSHOPPER

MAN DRIVES CAR FOR 17 HOURS TO MEET NEW LOVER WITH WIFE’S DEAD BODY IN THE TRUNK

Tamara Harris, 33, and Dequalan Harris, 35, from Cedar Hill, Texas, were married but they were in the process of getting a divorce. Family members became worried when Tamara was reported missing on Friday, July 14th.

Family members of Cedar Hill, Texas woman, Tamara Harris, became worried after they hadn’t heard from her or her young child in several days. Concerned about her, relatives contacted the police to report that she was missing. They were also concerned as they knew that Tamara was in the process of divorcing her husband, Dequalan Harris.

Luckily, police were able to track down Tamara’s vehicle using Onstar. Investigators were surprised to find out that Tamara’s 2015 Chevy Traverse was located in Mansfield, Ohio.

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Mansfield Police found the SUV parked on the street and Dequalan inside one of the homes with another woman, Demika Rucker, on Saturday morning.

Upon arriving to the address, Demika Rucker informed police officers that he arrived around 3.30pm Friday after the approximately 17-hour trip.

Apparently, Dequalan had gone to Mansfield on Friday ‘for love’ to meet with Rucker whom he had apparently met online.

When asked about Tamara, Dequalan told police he hadn’t seen Tamara her  Thursday when he picked up her child from her home. Dequalan initially tried to evade the police but he was unsuccessful. As officers towed Tamara’s car away, they discovered her body in the trunk.

Dequalan is being held on charges including resisting arrest, obstructing official business and abuse of a corpse, which is a fifth-degree felony.

He pled not-guilty at his video arraignment at Richland County Jail in Ohio Monday.

Mansfield Municipal Magistrate Phil Naumoff ordered bond be set at $1million. Naumoff also ordered a personal recognizance bond and electronic monitoring. Tamara’s child is in the custody of Ohio’s Child Protective Services while they contact family members in Texas.

Tamara’s cause of death is still being investigated.

WHEN LOVE WAS REAL

 

BREAKING NEWS: 3 SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ALUU 4 LYNCHING

Five years after the gruesome “jungle justice” killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt in Aluu, a community in Rivers state, the state high court has found three persons guilty of their murder.

The prosecution had sought the maximum penalty death sentence for the crimes which was duly handed to the convicts at the end of the trial on Monday. 

aluu-4

The students were on October 5, 2012, killed by a mob for allegedly stealing mobile phones .

A Rivers state High court had previously discharged and acquitted five suspects including a traditional ruler in the community over the killings much to the rage and displeasure of the families of the murdered students.

The court presided over by Justice Nyordee has also discharged and acquitted the remaining 4. According to the Judge, the prosecution failed to prove its case of murder against the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th accused persons beyond every reasonable doubt.

He however found three defendants guilty of murder.

 

5TH NEA UK CELEBRATED AT STAR STUDDED EVENT IN LONDON

The 5th annual Nigerian Events Awards (NEA) UK was celebrated last bank Holiday Sunday with a posh Blue Themed Awards Dinner and Dance at the Hilton Hotel in the posh Docklands area of London.

15 Awards including a Special Recognition Award were handed out to deserving entrepreneurs working in the UK based Events Industry.

NEAUK PICS4

Co founder Baroness Jummy Ariyo said in her opening remarks “It has been a great five years. It has been a long challenging journey but we made it to 5 years. We are grateful to God for how far he has brought us and for the achievement of the NEAs in rewarding the hard work of the men and women behind our various events and socual gatherings, and for bringing together various individuals and businesses who have now become the Events Industry”

The event which was hosted by multi awards winning Posh MC and ably assisted by pretty and vivacious Goldiva Ola, saw a big turn out of folks from the UK events and entertainment worlds and selected top members of the Nigerian community including the CEO Naija FM Uche “Godfather” Kent, the newly elected Chairman of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK) Dr Boma Douglas an his wife June, the former CANUK Chairman Chief Bimbo Roberts-Folayan and his wife Dunni, Pastor Godday and Pastor Mrs Yemisi Okosun of RCCG Good News Haven, Thamesmead London,  Mrs Ronke Alli Udofia and former Mayor of Hackney, Cllr Susan Fajana Thomas.

Also gracing the occassion was media guru Titi Aboyade Cole “Podium”, Ayan De First and top entertainer Feyisara who performed two of his tracks including blockbuster “Eko”.

The top MC spot was clinched by Dazzling Daizi for the third year running while Osa Jatt was the year’s outstanding DJ.

The outstanding Event of the Year was the matchless International Achievements Recognition Awards gala Night by Bola Imuaphe and Ayo Shonoiki, creator of the Chillout with Tawa evenings won the Outstanding Event Planner Award,

Comedian MC Marc grabbed the Outstanding Comedian Award while the top live band Award went to Moelogo. PoshnSparkles Events won the Outstanding Venue Decorator award and the Outstanding Aso Ebi & Events Fashion Designer Award went to “MO Cute Stitches” 

The star studded event was sponsored by Purple Premium, developers of WSoodbury Estrate, Lekki Lagos and Ade’s Cash & Carry, London.

The umbrella association for the of UK-Nigerian Events Industry ANEP UK was also launched at the awards dinner.

In her launching statement, NEA UK co Founder Lady Vanessa Oluwole said, after 5 years of the existence of the Nigerian Events Industry in the UK, we felt it was time for us to form an association that will officially bring all our members together under one umbrella.  ANEP UK will also be the body representing members  and looking after members needs especially in the areas of legal and financial advisory services, training, mentorship and collaborations.

Entertainment of the evening was provided by celebrity DJ Kashif Da Flash.

Performances were given by UK based artiste Tosyne Tee and also newcomers D Mic and Montana B.

 

WOMAN DYING OF KIDNEY FAILURE TOLD BY INCOMPETENT PARAMEDICS TO “STOP FAKING “

A 22-year-old mother who suffered a fatal reaction to prescription painkillers was accused of ‘faking it’ by paramedics as she lay dying and was told to walk to the ambulance, an inquest heard.

Beatrice Lovane, from Rochdale in Greater Manchester, who had an undiagnosed liver condition, fell ill after taking co-codamol tablets prescribed for stomach pain.

Ambulance staff failed to act for a ‘prolonged period of time’ after she collapsed at the bottom of her stairs despite her mother begging them to help.

As she lay on the floor in vomit, her eyes rolling back and struggling to breathe, she was told by paramedics to ‘stop being funny’, ‘behave’, ‘stop humiliating’ herself, and was refused a wheelchair, the inquest was told.

She was eventually put on a stretcher when she appeared to stop breathing and after police alerted one of the paramedics at the scene.

The inquest heard she was taken to hospital following the incident in August last year but was pronounced dead less than two hours later.

Post mortem examination tests showed the tablets Miss Lovane took caused her to suffer organ failure as she had a fatty liver.

The paramedics’ behaviour was only exposed when police body cam footage surfaced during her inquest.

Heywood coroner Lisa Hashmi said there had been a ‘gross failure to provide the most basic of care’ in a case that ‘beggared belief’, adding that paramedics’ attempts to resuscitate Miss Lovane were ‘perfunctory’

Speaking at her daughter’s inquest, Maria Lovane, 55, said: ‘I came back home about 11pm and the paramedic were already there. Beatrice was in the sitting room and she didn’t look well and she was breathing very fast – her pupils looked dilated.

‘The paramedic told me her breathing was too high and they asked me to try and calm her down but I was unable to. One of them tried to take her blood pressure and I could see her eyes rolling back so I asked them if they were going to take her to hospital.

‘They asked her to walk to the ambulance but it wasn’t safe for her to do so. I asked them if they could give her oxygen but they said it would not be safe to do so. They told her to walk to the ambulance so I asked if I could get a neighbor to help me if they weren’t going to.

‘When her eyes were rolling one paramedic said to her: “Stop being funny and behave yourself”. They told me she was faking it and doing it for attention. They were trying to pull her down the stairs and she went onto her knees and collapsed at the front entrance.

Post mortem tests showed the tablets Miss Lovane took caused her to suffer organ failure as she had a fatty liver
Post mortem tests showed the tablets Miss Lovane took caused her to suffer organ failure as she had a fatty liver

‘I requested for a wheelchair and one of them said to me: ‘We are not giving her a wheelchair, there is nothing wrong with her legs.’ She collapsed again and they said to her: ‘What are you doing, stop humiliating yourself and walk to the ambulance’.

‘There was mention that someone had called the police and when the officer arrived he tried to take me to one side and asked to talk to me and that is when I think she took her last breath. They started rushing and got a stretcher from the ambulance and put a tube over her mouth.

‘The police officer asked me to check Beatrice’s medication as well as any of my own but I think her medication was taken properly and mine was still in tact. That officer rang another officer and I was told to take the children out of the house.

‘When I turned round after speaking to him the ambulance had already gone…when I arrived at the hospital, a doctor came out and told me they were doing everything to help Beatrice but that she was not responding. A short time after they told me she had passed away.

‘They took almost three hours to get her to hospital.’

Beatrice Lovane, pictured with her mother Maria Lovane, 55, died from an allergic reaction to painkillers
Beatrice Lovane, pictured with her mother Maria Lovane, 55, died from an allergic reaction to painkillers

Sgt Phillip Canavan said he was called to the flat by ambulance staff and activated his body cam to record the incident unfolding.

He added: ‘I spoke to paramedics and asked why they called for us to come and I realised that mum was quite upset so I took her to one side to allow the paramedics to continue.

‘I was aware that at first there had been a single responder and he had difficulty conducting observations saying that she was very up and down and so requested assistance. The original paramedic said they had been at the house for quite some time. When I arrived I was certain there was a comment along the lines of: ‘We are not sure if she is putting this on.’

Trainee paramedic Lisa Chadwick said: 'I just wish I had done something differently or more quickly. It was a new role and I would have liked more training support than I received'

Trainee paramedic Lisa Chadwick said: ‘I just wish I had done something differently or more quickly. It was a new role and I would have liked more training support than I received’

But paramedic Anthony Morris, who was first on the scene, said Miss Lovane was not initially ‘observably unwell’.

He said she was not co-operating, refused to go to hospital and slipped from her chair to the floor in what appeared to be a ‘controlled action’.

She then went to the bathroom and locked herself in, he said, before coming out and falling to the floor in what was again a ‘controlled movement’.

He added: ‘We wanted her to get to the ambulance and believed she had the ability to so we agreed that she would go down the stairs in the flat on her bottom. It seemed safer not to carry her downstairs due to her behaviour. Somebody rang for police assistance because the patient was not co-operating and we thought this may encourage her to come to hospital.

‘The patient was stood up and was assisted by her mum downstairs and when we got to the bottom she sat down and I informed her the police had arrived. Beatrice then suddenly collapsed and this was different to the other time. Throughout my attendance I explained to the family that I wanted to help and that I wanted to get Beatrice to hospital but it was proving difficult. She did not look observably unwell.

‘When she was walking downstairs she was assisted by mum and the plan was that whilst she was mobile she would continue walking and we could get her to the ambulance.

‘I was shocked as to what had happened. I would have done this so differently now and I am so sorry. I believed at that time that her actions were behavioural because of the way she had just taken off and ran into the bathroom with no explanation.’

Trainee paramedic Lisa Chadwick said: ‘I just wish I had done something differently or more quickly. It was a new role and I would have liked more training support than I received.’

Both paramedics, alongside a third member of the crew, were suspended by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) when footage of the incident emerged shortly before the inquest.

Beatrice Lovane was told by paramedics to ‘behave’, ‘stop humiliating' herself, and was refused a wheelchair as she lay dying in a stairwell

**FACTS ABOUT NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. It’s usually seen in people who are overweight or obese.

A healthy liver should contain little or no fat.

It’s estimated that up to one in every three people in the UK has early stages of NAFLD where there are small amounts of fat in their liver.

Early-stage NAFLD doesn’t usually cause any harm, but it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis, if it gets worse.

Having high levels of fat in your liver is also associated with an increased risk of problems such as diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

If detected and managed at an early stage, it’s possible to stop NAFLD getting worse and reduce the amount of fat in your liver.

Source: NHS Choices 

Recording a narrative verdict coroner Lisa Hashmi said there was a ‘gross failure’ to provide basic medical care and was ‘deeply disappointed by professionals’ who ‘did not appear to have been upfront and honest’.

She said: ‘Families shouldn’t have to beg for care and investigation. Whilst the paramedics have been very honest I am very disconcerted by the fact that it took officers body cam footage to establish the truth around this matter.

‘But for this footage this family would have been left in a very precarious position. I am deeply disappointed by professionals who did not appear to have been upfront and honest and it leaves me with great concern about the statements of truth they put their name to.

‘It is not going to bring Beatrice back but let this be a lesson to others and don’t let this happen to any other families. The judgement of the paramedics was quite clearly clouded and the call to Greater Manchester Police I do not think was an appropriate use of their services.

‘The paramedics placed a value judgement, deeming Beatrice to be acting, or playing up and I do not agree with that particular position. The repeated calls to the floor when taken into context were subtle but significant of the fact this young woman was becoming rapidly unwell.

‘They misinterpreted these signs and didn’t place them within the context and when Beatrice did finally collapse in a very serious condition it was for anyone to see she was not well. She was deprived of her dignity and precious little was done to save this young woman.

‘The paramedics failed Beatrice on this occasion and they will have to live with the outcome of their actions however that burden is small in comparison to the burden of this family.

‘I cannot conclude that if things has had been done differently it would have changed the outcome but I do find it would have improved her chances of survival. Whilst there was a gross failure to provide basic medical care to the deceased it is not possible to link this to her death.’

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