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Fayose releases detained cows, signs peace deal with herdsmen



Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose on Thursday released nine cows ‘arrested’ and ‘detained’ in some parts of the state for contravening the Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing Law back to their owners.
The cows were seized by the operatives of Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshals (EGEM) recently inaugurated to crack down on grazing outside hours allowed by law and in unauthorised places.
This was consequent upon a stakeholders’ meeting held by Fayose with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Ekiti and Southwest, traditional rulers and Fulani Community where the governor also signed a peace pact with the body.
MACBAN after signing the agreement promised that its members will abide by the new law regulating grazing in Ekiti State and coexist peacefully with farmers and residents.
As part of the measures to curb friction between the two sides, cattle breeders operating in Ekiti State are to register with the traditional rulers of their host communities. The governor also agreed to the pro‎posal that members of the MACBAN be part of the patrol teams.
The free registration must, however, be done within the next 14 days after which the registered names would be forwarded to the state government for data keeping.
The event, which took place at the Government House grounds, had farmers, traditional rulers, state government officials and MACBAN leaders and members from across the South-West region in attendance.
But Fayose reiterated that the only hours allowed by law for grazing in the state remain 7.00 am to 6.00 pm insisting that any cow seen outside the 6.00 pm will be arrested alongside with the superintending herdsman and the owner face a jail term of six months without any option of fine.
The governor explained that traditional rulers have been empowered to enforce the grazing law in their domains and apportion lands to herdsmen to do their businesses under a controlled situation.
Fayose said: “I have decided to release these cows to strengthen our union. So, I expect you to comply with the law because after now if you contravene the law, we will take appropriate sanctions against you.
“You can’t because you are rearing cows be destroying our farmlands. Our people rely on these  farms to survive and the moment you are destroying them, then they will not be interested in going into farming and hunger will affect all of us.
‎”You are all my brothers and there is no reason to trouble you.‎ Many of you have been here for long and your families are here too.‎ Ali Garba from Malumfashi , Kaduna State was part of my first term administration and currently an Igbo man is a councillor in Ward 10 of Ado Local Government. What we are doing today is to ensure a peaceful relationship between you, your host communities and the state government.
“Those killed in Oke Ako are gone and can’t be alive again and we should not allow a repeat of such terrible incident.‎ Ekiti people buy cattle from you and you are making profits.
“We are not asking for much, just for you to obey our law.The law is not targeted at those who obey the law.You have to register with traditional ruler of your host community.
‎”It is you who will inform the monarch of new faces coming to join you ‎or pretending to be herdsmen. Going armed will not be tolerated. No form of weapon is allowed in Ekiti State for cattle rearing.
“A company will be monitoring your activities fro‎m the air. They have done air surveillance of Ijero Forest Reserve and we saw some buildings deep down the forest. We must all be security conscious,” he noted.
Fayose threatened to deal with whoever harasses the cattle rearers while doing their legitimate businesses, urging the leaders of Miyetti Allah to always report directly to him any case of intimidation and oppression against  their members.
Speaking earlier, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Owoseni Ajayi said the law was drafted to curb the excesses of some cattle farmers.
In his remarks, the Southwest leader of MACBAN, Alhaji ‎‎Mohammed Kabir, who said he was born and bred in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said his group had gone round states in the region to sensitise members on the need for peaceful co-existence.
He added that the effort resulted in the few recorded cases of herdsmen/farmers clashes in the region compared to the South-East and the Middle Belt.
Speaking on behalf of traditional rulers in the state, the Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Adewole, said the governor spoke the minds of Ekiti people.
The monarch said: ‎”What we want is what our governor has said and that is peaceful coexistence. Farming is our profession and what the governor told you is what the people are telling him.
“We are peace-loving here and not murderers. We want the peace to continue to reign and we are satisfied with how your leaders have spoken.”

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Theresa May wins confidence vote



British Prime Minister Theresa May will retain her job at least till next year, after she won a confidence vote triggered by 48 Conservative rebel MPs.

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



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



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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