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4 things you probably didn’t know about Nigerian ex-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who was arrested in UK

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Following the arrest of former Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu and a lady believed to be his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu by the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom on Thursday.

Here are four things the embattled ex-law maker has been in the news for a wrong reason.

Ike Ekweremadu was born in 1962 at Amachara Mpu in Aninri Local Government Area of Enugu State, and is of Igbo origin.

He started his political career with appointments.

He was appointed as the Executive Chairman of Aninri Local Government Council on the platform of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1997 and won the Best Council Chairman of the year, in 1997.  He was also appointed Chief of staff to the governor of Enugu state in 1999 and served in that capacity till 2001. He was later appointed as Secretary to Enugu State Government in 2001 and served till 2002.

Ranking Senator

He was first elected into the Nigerian Senate in 2003. On 23 February 2019, Ekweremadu was re-elected as senator representing the Enugu West senatorial district For the Fifth Consecutive time. He held different leadership positions in the Senate, first as Vice Chairman of the senate committee on Information, and Deputy Senate President in the sixth, seventh and eight Assembly.

Regional Bloc Delegate

In September 2009, he was appointed to lead the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ad hoc committee to work for the return of constitutional order in the Niger Republic. He was elected First Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and emerged the Speaker of the regional parliament in August 2011.

Attack in Nuremberg Germany

On 17 August 2019, while attending the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organized by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nuremberg, Ekweremadu became the victim of a violent attack when members of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB stormed the venue of the event and began to question Ekweremadu about the killings of Igbos when the Nigerian army staged Operation Crocodile Smile and Python Dance.

Meanwhile, an Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in the United Kingdom has denied bail to Ike Ekweremadu, and Beatrice, his wife, who were arrested over attempted harvesting of organs.

Metro

South Sudan activists fight child marriage where girls are sold for cows

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A group of South Sudanese activists have come together to fight against an obnoxious practice where young girls are auctioned off into marriage in exchange for cows, especially in some rural communities.

According to Jackline Nasiwa, the Executive Director of the Center of Inclusive Governance, Peace and Justice, the practice had robbed many young girls of a future.

“The price of a daughter, determined in negotiations between her father and would-be husband, is typically 50 to 100 cows, each worth up to $1,000.

“A girl viewed as beautiful, fertile and of high social rank can bring as many as 200 cows. They sell their daughters so that they get something to survive. The younger the girl marries, the more the family gets cattle in return,” Nasiwa said.

“Poor families in South Sudan see laws against child marriage as barring them from profiting from thrir daughters and threatening their very survival, with only about 10% of girls finishing primary school because of factors including conflict and cultural beliefs.

“Some families worry that sending girls to school exposes them to dangers such as sexual assault that could lower their value when it comes time to look for marriage offers,” Nasiwa added.

Another girls’ right activist, Nyanachiek Madit, herself a survivor of the wife-for-cow practice, said she fought back when her father wanted to sell her off.

The 21-year-old Nyanachiek said she refused to be traded when her father said she would be married to a man about 50-years-old when she was only 17, because her family couldn’t afford to send her to school.

“I didn’t accept to get married because I am disabled and my education will be my ‘leg’ later on,” said Nyanachiek who was born with a congenital disorder.

She said she was convinced that schooling would give her a better life, so she stood up to her family and dared them to beat or even kill her.

Nyanachiek’s plight came to the attention of ChildBride Solidarity, which offers scholarships to girls whose parents abandon them after they oppose early marriage. With the group’s assistance, Nyanachiek now studies in South Sudan’s capital and is a very vocal voice against the practice.

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Metro

South African man bags two life sentences for brutally raping, murdering 29-year-old woman

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A 40-year-old man, Hendrick Nicholas Hanse van Reinsburg, has been sentenced to two life sentences by a High Court for rape and brutally murdering a 29-year-old woman.

Prosecutors revealed that Van Reinsburg had, on 13 October 2019, brutally raped and murdered Andiswa Zitha, in her home in the Mjejane area of Mpumalanga.

The prosecutors said the victim suffered violence which was perpetuated by the accused, adding that after the accused raped her, he used a wooden object to pummel her several times before he fled the scene.

“Van Reinsburg left Zitha in a pool of blood after raping and brutally attacking her in her home in Mjejane near Komatipoort,” Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, said while testifying.

“Zitha was found by neighbours who took her to Tonga Hospital but she was unfortunately certified dead the next day on 14 October 2019,” Mohlala said.

“The police opened a murder case with an additional charge of rape and worked tirelessly in their investigation with the hope to find the perpetrator. Their hard work paid off when they arrested the accused at a tavern in Kamhlushwa on 20 October 2021,” said Mohlala.

“The accused was charged and taken to court where he was convicted and sentenced to one life sentence for rape as well as another life sentence for murder. The court also ordered for the sentences to run concurrently,” the police spokesman said.

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