Day: October 24, 2017

LONDON: PLUMSTEAD MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING HIS FRIEND IN FRONT OF HIS SIX MONTH OLD BABY

A man who stabbed his friend to death just metres away from the victim’s young child has been convicted of his murder.

Lennox Appiah, 24 (18.06.93), of Bendmore Avenue, SE2, was found guilty of murder on Tuesday, 24 October, following a trial at the Old Bailey.

He will be sentenced at the same court on Wednesday, 25 October.

On Monday, 10 April, police were called at about 16:30hrs to reports of a man stabbed on Bournewood Road, SE18.

Officers, the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended and found 24-year-old Rene Richardson suffering stab wounds.

Despite everyone’s best efforts, Rene was pronounced dead at the scene at 17:37hrs.

At about 16:20hrs Rene, a father-of-two, was carrying his daughter to his car in Grasdene Road where it was parked.

At about 16:05hrs Appiah drove to the location in his car and parked it nearby before getting in his friend’s BMW. This car was parked up next to Rene’s car.

The court heard that Appiah had deliberately armed himself with a knife and was waiting for Rene to appear so he could confront him.

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Rene Richardson – stabbed in front of his six month old baby daughter

Rene left his address and walked passed the BMW that Appiah was sitting in. He had just managed to put his six-month-old daughter in the car when he was approached by Appiah.

The male who was sitting in the same vehicle as Appiah then got out of the car and tried to keep the two men apart.

Rene kept walking backwards away from Appiah, but Appiah pursued him and repeatedly kept trying to attack Rene with a knife. Eventually, Rene was unable to avoid the knife and he was fatally stabbed.

After being stabbed Rene managed to escape and was able to run the short distance to his home. On getting to his home, Rene struggled to get into the front door with his key, which alerted his mother who went to the door to investigate and found her injured son.

Before collapsing, Rene told his mother that his daughter was still in the car and that he had ‘been stabbed by Lennox’.

Rene’s distressed nine-year-old nephew then called the emergency services to report that his uncle had been stabbed.

Meanwhile, Appiah had driven off in his car. He was eventually located in Bognor Regis, Sussex, 24 hours later. He was arrested on suspicion of murder. He gave two no comment interviews before he was charged with Rene’s murder on Thursday, 13 April.

Detectives carried out a number of enquiries including speaking to witnesses, analysing mobile phone data and reviewing local CCTV, which captured the attack in its entirety.

A bloodstained mobile phone, dropped by Appiah at the scene was also found. The blood on the phone was found to match that of Appiah. There was a one in one billion chance that the DNA found on the phone was not Appiah’s.

Neither the knife nor the clothing worn by Appiah at the time of the stabbing have been recovered.

Detective Inspector Will Reynolds, the senior investigating officer from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “I believe that Appiah deliberately armed himself with a knife and chose to confront Rene that afternoon. He waited for him to come out of his house and on seeing Rene putting his daughter into his car, took advantage of the situation knowing that Rene would be unable to properly defend himself.

“He produced a knife and began to attack Rene. Rene did everything possible to protect himself from the attack and his main concern was clearly the safety of his young daughter. Despite being held back and restrained by his friend, Appiah managed to break free and eventually got close enough to stab Rene a number of times before fleeing in his own car.

“In court, Appiah tried to suggest that Rene had produced the knife and that he had disarmed him. Appiah stated that he feared for his life and only ‘waved’ the knife in Rene’s direction to scare him off. He went on to try and convince the jury that he never stabbed Rene and that Rene must have somehow accidentally impaled himself on the knife.

“However incontrovertible CCTV evidence showed this to be a wholly fabricated account and designed to mislead the jury who saw through this and rightly convicted him of murder.”

Rene’s sister, Natalie Edwards, said: “The murder of our Rene has shattered our family. Rene had a big personality, a kind heart and a caring nature and his absence has left a gaping void in our lives which will never be filled. He leaves behind his two children, who will never know the love that their father had for them.”

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NEW LOVE RULES: SOCIAL MEDIA AND ONLINE DATING FOR THE SINGLE AND SEARCHING

Astrid Hall writing in the METRO says “forget a bunch of flowers and a first kiss, the etiquette of modern dating is a minefield”

Finding love online has strict rules, such as a three hour window between initial messages and not making a friend request until wight days of chatting by other means.

After ten days of fancying someone on social media, it is acceptable to “slide into their DMs”

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It then takes a week of online messaging before it’s OK to arrange a date.

A quick google search is allowed, with a third of Brits having been on a date with someone who looked nothing like their profile. But while on that date, it’s bad form to have your phone on the table during a date and you must expect to split the bill….a phenomenon still alien within the African culture.

A kiss by date three is acceptable with things progressing to another level bu the fifth night out. However, move on swiftly if your potential partner sends you picture of their genitalia.

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Once love has started to blossom, posting pictures is acceptable after nine dates and you’re also allowed to update your status to “In a relationship”27 days later.

The research was commissioned by MTV ahead of the launch of the new dating site AF. Dating expert annabelle Knight said “The rules seem more complicated than ever. It is no longer about first kiss but direct messages, profile pictures and social media”

 

 

NIGERIA: REUBEN ABATI’S EPIC REPLY TO ROCHAS OKOROCHA

Very few Nigerians would be unaware of the ill timed, ill advised and mind boggling decision taken by Riches Okorocha the Imo state governor to erect a towering statue of Jacob Zuma the South African leader, in the centre of Owerri, the state capital…

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But many Nigerians both home and in the Diaspora have not failed in expressing their disgust and sense of embarrassment at the colossal error of judgement that the governors gesture has become.

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Zuma is seen by Nigerians as a symbol of South Africa’s treatment of Nigerians in the country. Over the past years, many disheartening reports of Nigerians being beaten to death, tortured, raped and burnt alive have been widely revealed b9th on social media and in the press. But despite the half hearted lip service that Zumas government has paid to address the issue, the barbaric treatment of Nigerians in South Africa has not abated and many perpertrators have never been brought to justice. This gives rise to the sentiment or opinion held by Nigerians that the evil treatment of South Africans towards Nigerians living in their country is in the least umcondem if not sanctioned by Dumas government.

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And that is the reason why Rochas’ decision to “honour” the South African leader with such an enormous gesture is  seen as a betrayal of Nigerians and many have highly criticized the decision.

And one of such critics without disappointment is the ever vocal and eloquent Rueben Abati who took the trouble to pen his thoughts and feelings over the issue:

“Dear Rochas Okorocha, you are the eight and ninth wonder of the world.

The eight wonder of the world should be Rochas’s ability to sleep at night after stealing sleep from the eyes of the people who voted him.

The ninth wonder should be Rocha’s ability to stretch his cheek muscles in a smile cum laughter that is obviously the cause of every anger in his state.

I’m not writing this to discuss the wonders of the world

I am only stunned in a helpless way.

Rochas Okorocha loss the weight of wisdom only to become a model of idiocy.

This man slammed the door against common sense and opened the window for stupidity to jump in.

I am not a prophet but I know a curse when I see one. I know what a plague looks like. I know the metamorphosis of madness. I know these things.

I know Rochas too.

It is no more news that one of the world problems of the 21st century was given a luxury of having a statue in a state inside a country that has lost countless citizens to his own police.

Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s biggest regret, has a statue in the heart of a Nigerian state. The most shocking celebration of mediocrity in the history of the world.

I condemn with every fiber of my life the stark display of emptiness by the Roach.

Wait. A whopping five hundred million naira was invested in a statue that will be erected in a state with terrible roads. In a state where pensioners are ambassadors of poverty. A state in a state of emergency.

This is the height of priority misplacement.

He has etched his name on the dark pages of people’s lives and feelings.

He is a con artist. IMO state is his canvas. He has painted chaos and ineptitude. He uses the tears of his people to dab on the painting – to make it emotional.

To you Rochas, you define shame more than every dictionary in the world.

To your followers and fans, it’s sad to know that you sold your various consciences for peanuts that you can even get by predicting matches on bet9ja.

Shame on all of you and your generations”.

 

Harsh words.

But hardy inappropriate.

READ THE COMPREHENSIVE STORY OF THE MAINA SAGA AND THE ROLE PLAYED BY BUHARI’S 3 MAJOR MINISTERS

Three top officials in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari played prominent roles in the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), into the civil service, according to Nigeria’s publication  TheCable.

 

TheCable published in its edition today, documents showing the involvement and full knowledge of Winifred Oyo-Ita, head of the civil service of the federation; Abdulrahman Dambazau, minister of interior; and Abubakar Malami, minister of justice, in the deal gone sour.

The federal civil service commission dismissed Maina in 2013 for absconding from duty following a recommendation by the office of the head of service.

He was accused of being involved in pension fraud running into over N100 billion. After an investigation by the senate joint committee on public service and establishment and state and local government administration, a warrant of arrest was issued against him.

Subsequently, the police declared him wanted and he went into hiding. He reportedly fled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was after his long absence from office that he was dismissed.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also declared him wanted, while the INTERPOL issued a worldwide red alert on Maina, based on a request from the EFCC.

But four years later, Maina managed to find his way back into the civil service.

In a letter dated September 17, the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) made a strong case for Maina’s reinstatement.

The letter, signed by Mustapha Sulaiman on behalf of the chairman of the commission, referred to previous correspondence on the issue.

The letter showed that while Dambazau and Oyo-Ita played supervisory roles, as committees under them made recommendations, Malami was actively involved.

“Kindly refer to the Attorney General of the Federation/Honourable Minister of Justice letter ref no HAGF/FCSC/2017/VOL.1/3 dated 27th April, 2017 requesting Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) to give consequential effect to the judgement that voided the warrant of arrest issued against A.A. Maina which formed the basis for the query and his eventual dismissal,” the letter read.

“Further to the aforementioned letter, the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) at its meeting held on 14th June 2017 deliberated on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF’s) letter and requested the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) vide letter FC.4029/82/VOL.III/160 of 21st June, 2017, to advise the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior to consider the AGF’s letter, the officer’s case and make appropriate recommendation to the commission.

“The OHCSF accordingly advised Ministry of Interior to consider the matter. The Ministry of Interior at its Senior Staff Committee (SSC)’s meeting held on 22nd June, 2017 considered the disciplinary case against the officer and the letter by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice seeking the reinstatement of the officer as a Director (Administration), SGL.17 in the Federal Civil Service.

“The Ministry of Interior’s Senior Staff Committee (SSC) deliberated on the case and recommended that Mr Maina be reinstated into the service as Deputy Director, SGL. 16. The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) vide letter Ref. No. HCSF/LU/COR/FCSC/749/III/135 dated 14th August 2017 forwarded to the recommendations of the Senior Staff Committee (SSC) of the Ministry on Interior to the FCSC for further necessary action.”

The letter also said FCSC had approved the reinstatement of Maina and directed that he should be made to sit for next promotion examination to the post of director.

Before former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him to the pension team in 2010, Maina was an assistant director in the ministry of interior.

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered Maina’s dismissal from the civil service.

Shortly after he gave the order, Oyo-Ita issued a three-paragraph statement denying being behind the controversial recall.

Earlier, Dambazau had distanced himself, passing the buck to Oyo-Ita.

 

FOREIGN VISITORS TO THE UK TO BE CHARGED FOR NHS TREATMENT

New rules have now come into force requiring foreign visitors to pay for treatment on the National Health Service.

It’s part of the government’s push to tackle health tourism, and will only apply to visitors seeking non-urgent or planned care.

The estimated cost of normal use of the NHS by foreign visitors who’ve ended up being treated while in England — is £1.8 billion a year (including a small number of European visitors treated in the rest of the UK

The Metro reported on Monday that hospitals will now be required to identify a patient’s chargeable status so that the costs of any treatment are recovered. However, doctors have warned that the rules ‘lack clarity’ and could end up burdening NHS Trusts with extra bureaucracy.

Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said the NHS was open to foreign visitors, as long as they make their ‘fair financial contribution’ towards care costs.

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Foreign visitors to the UK will have to pay for NHS treatment except emergency and maternity care and asylum seekers

‘The new regulations simply require NHS bodies to make enquiries about, and then charge, those who aren’t entitled to free NHS care. All the money raised goes back into funding and improving care for NHS patients,’ he said.

We are clear that some vulnerable groups are exempt from charging and the NHS will never withhold urgent and immediately necessary treatment.’ Emergency care and maternity care are both among the treatments that are exempt from the charging rules.

Charging will also not apply if treatment is in the interest of public health, such as with infectious diseases. Vulnerable groups of people, such as asylum seekers, will also not be charged for treatment.

Doctors are warning it could add unwanted additional bureaucracy to the Trusts’ workload.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, council chair of the BMA, said it was ‘vital’ that patients with acute needs or from vulnerable groups don’t face bureaucratic or financial obstacles.

To do so would be ‘morally unacceptable and could end up costing the NHS more money due to lack of timely treatment’. ‘It is important that those accessing NHS services are eligible to do so, especially at a time when the NHS is under intense pressure and struggling to cope with patient demand,’ he said.

‘However, the current charging proposals lack clarity around how and when overseas patients should be charged, which does run the risk of causing confusion and an additional administrative burden within NHS Trusts.’