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Fake marriages taking place in Nigeria, says Immigration boss

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has said that a lot of “fake marriages’’ are taking place between Nigerians and foreigners in the country.

Mr Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller General of the agency stated this on Wednesday in Abuja, saying that male foreigners were mostly involved in the act.

He spoke at an operational review meeting with Zonal Coordinators and State Comptrollers of the agency at its national headquarters.

Babandede said their aim was to cheat the conditions for the issuance of residence and work permits to foreigners by the agency.

“We have observed that foreigners, especially men, are trying to beat the system of issuance of residence permits.

“A lot of fake or `arrangee’ marriages are going on, and that would give them permission to stay in this country without much liabilities.

“The advantage is that when you are the spouse of a Nigerian, you have no limitation on the job you will do; you don’t have to pay residence permit fees; it is easier for you to stay.

“So, we are beginning to face difficulties because many people are becoming married on temporary ground,’’ Babandede said.

The NIS boss said the agency had arrested some culprits, and would tighten the conditions for the issuance of permits to check the abuse.

He said that as part of the measures to check the abuse, the agency would henceforth monitor marriages between Nigerians and foreigners in the country.

“We will not allow any person to come for holiday marriage, because we have also observed that people just come on holidays, arrange marriages in Nigeria and go back.

“We will not allow that anymore; you have to stay for a period of six months after marriage before you get our residence permit.

“You have to also enter with permission to stay in Nigeria, so you must come with the residency visa; you can’t come as a tourist and get married,’’ he said.

Babandede further said that the agency was also planning to restrict foreign spouses to jobs for which Nigerians lacked the requisite skills and qualifications.

He stated that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Interior and the NIS, was looking into the issue, which he described as a national security threat.

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Zamfara attacks: Only 12 people killed by bandits – Police insist

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Police
Following the recent simultaneous attacks on five villages in Zamafara State, the state police command said only 12 people were killed contrary to reports that 22 persons lost their lives.

Recall that on December 10, 2018, unidentified armed men on motorcycles simultaneously attacked five villages namely: Malikawa, Gidan Makera, Gyaddu, Gemawa and kunkumawa villages in Gidan Goga district of Maradun local government area of Zamfara State, killing several persons.

SP Mohammed Shehu, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, in a statement said, “Normalcy is returning to Zamfara State with improved police deployment to villages prone to bandits’ attacks and other flash points in the state.”

The statement further explained that combined teams of PMF, CTU, ‘F’ SARS and conventional police personnel headed by DPO Maradun have been mobilised to the affected villages to repel the attack and assess the level of damage.

The statement added, “While profiling the level of damage, total number of 12 people were found to have been killed with 4 others injured. Normalcy has been restored in the affected villages, while rigorous patrols and stop and search are ongoing.”

It added that the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operation, DIG Habila Joshak, after being deployed to the state to restore normalcy, has been on ground taking full control of the security situation.

The command stated that, although, there was a simultaneous attack on 5 villages in Maradun Local Government Area on December 10, 2018, the number of people quoted to have been killed by the bandits were outrageous; capable of causing panic in the state.

He added, “On the spur of the moment, combined teams of PMF, CTU, ‘F’ SARS and conventional police personnel headed by DPO Maradun mobilised to the affected villages to repel the attack and assess the level of damage.

“On arrival of the police joint teams, they embarked on coordinated bush combing of the affected villages and environs with a view to prevent further attack and arrest the perpetrators.”

The command enjoined the members of the media to verify their information before publication.

“While members of the public should continue to support the police and other security agencies in their effort to rid the state of vicious crimes,” the statement added.

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Cohen Trump’s lawyer jailed

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Micheal Cohen Trumps lawyer

Micheal Cohen Trumps lawyer


Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes that included arranging the payment of hush money to two women that he said was done at the direction of Trump.

The New York lawyer notably once vowed he would “take a bullet” for Trump.

Before being sentenced today, Michael Cohen delivered a blistering attack on his former boss.

Cohen told the judge just that it was his loyalty to Trump that led him astray.

“It was my blind loyalty to this man that led me to take a path of darkness instead of light,” he said.

“I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” he added as he pleaded for leniency before US District Judge William H. Pauley III.

The AP reported that Cohen’s lawyers had argued for leniency, saying he decided to cooperate with investigators rather than hold out for a possible pardon.

“He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country,” Cohen’s lawyer, Guy Petrillo, told the judge during the hearing.

Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty in August to evading $1.4 million in taxes related to his personal businesses. In the part of the case with greater political repercussions, he also admitted breaking campaign finance laws in arranging payments in the waning days of the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

Cohen became the first — and so far, only —member of Trump’s circle during two years of investigations to go into open court and implicate the president in a crime, though whether a president can be prosecuted is a matter of legal dispute.

Last month, Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings in Russia. He admitted hiding the fact that he was negotiating a proposal to build a Trump skyscraper in Moscow well into the presidential campaign. He said he lied out of devotion to Trump, who had insisted during the campaign that he had no business ties whatsoever to Russia.

The sentence was the culmination of a spectacular rise and fast fall of a lawyer who attached himself to the fortunes of his biggest client, helped him get elected president, then turned on him, cooperating with two interconnected investigations: one run by federal prosecutors in New York, the other by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russian efforts to influence the race for the White House.

At the sentencing hearing, a prosecutor in Mueller’s office, Jeannie Rhee, said Cohen has “sought to tell us the truth and that is of the utmost value to us.”

“He has provided consistent and credible information about core Russia-related issues under investigation,” she said without elaborating.

It remains to be seen how much damage Cohen’s cooperation will do to Trump. Legal experts said Cohen could get his sentence reduced if he strikes a deal with prosecutors to tell them more.

The defense team said Cohen’s tax crimes were unsophisticated, and his campaign violations and lies to lawmakers were motivated by overenthusiasm for Trump, rather than any nefarious intent.

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Buhari mourns Ikedife, ex-President of Ohanaeze

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Dr Dozie Ikedife former President of Ohanaeze

Dr Dozie Ikedife former President of Ohanaeze


President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the Ikedife family as well as the Government and People of Anambra state over the death of Dr Dozie Ikedife.

The President, in a condolence message issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, also commiserated with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo on the passing away of the former President-General of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group.

“Buhari joins them in mourning the veteran obstetrician and gynecologist who spent over fifty years of his life as a medical practitioner, working bravely to save countless lives in the country and charting new developments in the medical field through research,” he said.

He noted that, as a medical practitioner, respected community leader and political actor, the president believes that Ikedife would be sorely missed for his commitment to the development of his community.

The President added that Ikedife would also be remembered for his devotion to his professional calling and his passion for the preservation of Igbo ethos and tradition.

He expressed the hope that family, friends, associates and doctors trained by the elder statesman would find comfort and inspiration in his diligence and generosity of heart of giving his best to humanity.

Buhari prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and comfort all who mourn him.

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