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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Before we talk of amnesty, there should be clear evidence that there’s a sincere repentance - Former Catholic archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, John Onaiyekan

 


Before we talk of amnesty, there should be clear evidence that there?s a sincere repentance - Former Catholic archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, John Onaiyekan

Former Catholic archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, John Onaiyekan has stated that amnesty should only be granted when there is clear evidence of repentance. 

 

Onaiyekan who appeared on a Channels Television program on Wednesday February 24, averred that while he believes criminals should be forgiven when they repent, the problem he has is figuring out if it is true repentance. 

 

He went on to list measures that should be taken if the repentance has been verified. The former archbishop said; 

 

“I believe firmly in what the Bible says that it is not the will of God that a sinner should die but that he should repent and live. So obviously, if a criminal sincerely repents, he should be forgiven. But the question is when it comes to the real facts of whether he has repented or not, the state must have a way of making sure that this is not a joke.

“The whole idea of amnesty is not only to be applied to armed bandits, in that case it is true for everybody in jail in Nigeria. For the sake of law and order, to protect the rest of us, the few who are making life difficult have to be restrained. The armed dogs should be tied down. The armed bandits should be disarmed.

“Before we talk of amnesty, there should be clear evidence that there’s a sincere repentance and that the people concerned have decided not to pick up arms anymore, that they’re ready to go back to their normal way of life and if they’re foreigners, they’re ready to go back home. All this must be part and parcel of the process of amnesty.

“The bandits must be reconciled with society, they must change, they must decide to be really repentant and show it clearly. And not be put in a position to brag around to appear that they have actually won, and defeated the nation.”

 

He added that dialogue with criminals should be carried in a way that will not make others take up arms with hope of also getting amnesty. 

 

Onaiyekan added; 

 

“I don’t think we should reach a stage where the nation simply says we’re unable to deal with the situation. We should be able to deal with it and on one hand, we must be open to amnesty, forgiveness, and on the other hand, we need to keep law and order and not make it an incentive for others to pick up arms and wait for amnesty and rehabilitation."

Pope Francis appoints Prof. Roberto Bernabei as new doctor after previous one died from Covid-19

 

 Pope Francis appoints Prof. Roberto Bernabei as new doctor after previous one died from Covid-19

Pope Francis has appointed a new personal doctor weeks after the previous one died from Covid-19.

 

The 84-year-old pontiff picked professor Roberto Bernabei, an expert in health care for the elderly, as his physician, the Vatican said in a statement on Wednesday, February 24.

 

Bernabei, 69, leads the geriatrics and rehabilitative medicine department at Rome's Gemelli, the Catholic hospital where popes are traditionally treated. 

 

The last papal doctor, Fabrizio Soccorsi, died aged 78 on January 9 of Covid-19-related pulmonary complications, following a hospitalisation for cancer. 

 

 Pope Francis appoints Prof. Roberto Bernabei as new doctor after previous one died from Covid-19

 

Francis is believed to be in relative good health, despite having had part of his lung removed when he was a young man after developing pleurisy.

 

Last month, he cancelled several events due to a chronic nerve condition that causes hip pain and makes him walk with a slight limp. 

 

The pope later received the coronavirus vaccine alongside his predecessor, former pope Benedict XVI.

 

Cosmetic surgery: ''Women are doing things to look good for themselves. It ain’t about you''- Toke Makinwa tells men

 

Cosmetic surgery:

Toke Makinwa took to her Twitter handle this afternoon to send a memo to men who feel women undergo domestic surgeries so they can look good for them.

 

Toke's tweets read

''Overhead a couple of guys talking about women and cosmetic surgery, dear men, I know you love to think that the whole existence of a woman is to pursue you or try to live for you but pls take this from me, women are doing things to look good for themselves, it ain’t about you.

That boob job is not for you, maybe she loves how her boobs look in cloths, that liposuction??? She wasn’t thinking of a man, she probably got tired of fighting fat that won’t shift. Women look good for themselves and not to impress men.''

 Cosmetic surgery:


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

President Buhari receives Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, in Aso Rock (photos)

 


President Buhari receives Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, in Aso Rock (photos)

President Buhari this morning received Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, in his office in the statehouse, Abuja

 

The closed-door meeting comes few days after the Uzodinma-led government clashed with a former governor of the state, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

 

President Buhari receives Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, in Aso Rock (photos)President Buhari receives Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, in Aso Rock (photos)President Buhari receives Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, in Aso Rock (photos)President Buhari receives Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, in Aso Rock (photos)

 

"I'm Gay" - Ghanaian journalist, Ignatius Annor finally comes out on live TV after denying being one for years (Video)

 



A Ghanaian journalist has finally come out as Gay on live TV after denying being one for years.

 

Mr. Ignatius Annor, a former Metro TV broadcast journalist, who now works with Euro News made the announcement in an interview with Joy News via Zoom on  Monday, February, 22.

 

In the interview, he disclosed that the fear of losing his journalism career and the stigma around it were the reasons why he always denied it when confronted about his sexuality.

“This is going to be the very first time that I am using your medium to say that not only am I an activist for the rights of Africa’s sexual minorities, what you will call the LGBTQI community, but I am gay.

 

“Obviously, I denied it because I was afraid of losing my job, I was working at an incredible Television station in Accra and also for the fear of what would happen to me personally,” Mr Annor said on JoyNews via Zoom.

This comes after LGBT+ Rights Ghana both fundraised and built a new office, which serves as a crucial community centre for queer Ghanaians, sparking outrage in the country. 

 

But the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values (NCPHSRFV), a coalition of various faith leaders and officials that once drew international outrage for running a camp that “treated for homosexuality” have called for its closure.

 

According to Mr. Annor, that would be a breach of their human rights.

 

“It doesn’t feel like I am a human being who deserves the right to employment, the right to education, and normally the basic rights to be able to walk, drive around to wherever that I want to go to in Ghana as an openly gay man. It doesn’t feel okay, it feels dehumanised and awful.”

 

He also recalls after returning to Ghana after studying for his Masters in the UK, to look for employment but none of the media houses were willing to hire him “just because of the stigma that surrounds my community”.

 

Watch the interview below.

PDP intervenes on Governors Ortom and Bala's faceoff on armed herdsmen


PDP intervenes on Governors Ortom and Bala

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has intervened in the faceoff between Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed on the issue of herdsmen who carry AK-47.

 

Recall that after Bala supported herdsmen carrying AK-47 and also occupying forests, Ortom accused him of being a part of those threatening his life. He also asked Governor Bala to render an unreserved apology and learn from the provisions of the constitution that land both territorial,  forest, and aquatic, are vested on the governor of a state who holds them in trust, instead of indulging in inciting Fulani herdsmen against innocent Nigerians.

 

Reacting to the faceoff between the two Governors elected on its platform, the PDP called for calm as the internal reconciliation mechanism introduced by the hierarchy of the party between the two governors subsists.

 

A tweet shared by the party read;

 

“@OfficialPDPNig assures that it has waded into the rift  between Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed and his Benue State counterpart, Governor Samuel Ortom.

@OfficialPDPNig calls for calm as the internal reconciliation mechanism introduced by the hierarchy of the party between the two governors subsists.

“PDP however urges the Federal Government to take urgent steps to address the escalated security challenges in our country.”

 

PDP intervenes on Governors Ortom and Bala

 

 

COVID19: Omoyele Sowore criticizes Nigerian police for turning blind eye when Lagos state speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, gathered a mammoth crowd in Agege (video)


COVID19: Omoyele Sowore criticizes Nigerian police for turning blind eye when Lagos state speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, gathered a mammoth crowd in Agege (video)

Publisher, Yele Sowore has reacted to a viral video of the speaker of the Lagos state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, speaking at a political rally where the attendees brazenly flouted COVID19 protocols such as wearing of face masks and social distancing last week.

 

Posting the video on his Twitter handle, Omoyele wondered why the police haven't arrested the speaker for holding such a gathering where the people flouted the COVID19 guidelines.

 

He wrote

''This was @followlasg Lagos Speaker Obasa addressing a mammoth @OfficialAPCNg crowd in Agege last week, the

@PoliceNG didn’t make any arrests but are demanding #EndSARS

protesters of #OccupyLekkiTollGate pay N54k each to test for COVID-19 before getting released from detention''

COVID19: Omoyele Sowore criticizes Nigerian police for turning blind eye when Lagos state speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, gathered a mammoth crowd in Agege (video)

Watch the video of the speaker speaking at the political gathering below

 


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Naomi Osaka beats Jennifer Brady in women's final to win Australian Open



Naomi Osaka beats Jennifer Brady in women

Japan's Naomi Osaka beat America's Jennifer Brady in the Australian Open final on Saturday morning, February 20, to win her fourth Grand Slam title.

 

Osaka, 23, won 6-4 6-3 and has the enviable record of being unbeaten in major finals.


Osaka won the first set when Brady, made bad errors in the game.

 

Naomi Osaka beats Jennifer Brady in women

 

Osaka then seized control from that point, going 4-0 ahead in the second set before sealing a deserved victory with the last set.


Osaka has now won two Australian Open titles after also triumphing at Melbourne Park in 2019, with her other Grand Slam successes coming at the US Open in 2018 and 2020.


Osaka has not suffered a defeat since February 2020 and has won her last 20 matches.


"Hello everyone. Firstly I want to congratulate (and then looks to Brady and asks if she prefers Jenny or Jennifer. 'Jenny' is the reply) said Osaka as she clutched the Trophy.


She continued: "I'd like to congratulate Jennifer"


"It feels incredible to have fans, I played the last Grand Slam without fans, to have this energy means a lot," 


"I really want to thank my team - this one is for you."Lastly but not least, thankyou to you guys. Thank you for coming and watching. To have this energy really means a lot. Thank you so much."Thank you for opening your hearts and arms towards us. I feel like playing a Grand Slam right now is a privilege, and thank you for this opportunity."


Osaka moves up to world No 2 following her latest victory, behind Australia's Ashleigh Barty, but there is no doubt as to who is the dominant force in women's tennis right now - especially on hard courts. 

 

In the men's final, Novak Djokovic will face Medvedev on Sunday.

You have14 days to claim your cars/items or the command will sell them - Lagos state police warns car/exhibit owners

 


You have14 days to claim your cars/items or the command will sell them -  Lagos state police warns car/exhibit owners

The Lagos State Police Command has warned the general public, particularly those who have their accidented and exhibit cars or items parked at various police formations across the state to come forward for claims with immediate effect.

 

Area Commaders, Divisional Police Officers and Heads of Departments have been directed to decongest their formations of the items without delay.

 

The affected car owners have been given 14 days to claim their cars/items afterwhich the command will be left with the option of selling off the cars and items on public auction after due court processes.

 

A statement released by the Lagos state police spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi read;

 

LAGOS POLICE COMMAND WARNS CAR/EXHIBIT OWNERS

The Lagos State Police Command has warned the general public, particularly those who have their accidented and exhibit cars or items parked at various police formations across the state to come forward for claims with immediate effect.

The Command detests the manner in which police formations in the state are littered with such exhibit cars and items and therefore directs the Area Commaders, Divisional Police Officers and Heads of Departments to decongest their formations of the items without delay.

This publication avails the affected car owners 14 day-grace to claim their cars/items afterwhich the command will be left with the option of selling off the cars and items on public auction after due court processes.

Kindly give this statement wide publicity, please.

Thanks you.

CSP OLUMUYIWA ADEJOBI(mnipr)

POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

LAGOS STATE COMMAND

IKEJA-LAGOS

Lets not turn whatever challenges we are facing right now to ethnic, tribal and religious crisis - Tinubu

 


Lets not turn whatever challenges we are facing right now to ethnic, tribal and religious crisis - Tinubu

Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians not to turn their present challenges into ethnic, tribal and religious crisis. 

 

The former Lagos state Governor who spoke at the eight-day Fidau prayers for the late first civilian governor of the state Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, said another war in the country will submerge the entire West Africa and there won’t be enough space to accommodate Nigerians as refugees. 

 

Tinubu said; 

 

“I appeal today to all of us not to turn whatever challenges we are facing right now to ethnic, tribal and religious crisis. 

“Nigeria is currently facing crises, crisis of insurgency, of banditry and all aspects of insecurity. But God Almighty who made this country one of the largest and most resourceful countries will guide and protect us.

“If there is war in Nigeria, it will submerge the entire West Africa and there won’t be enough space to accommodate us as refugees. Those who have seen the effects of war, the consequences of tribal conflict, of religious conflict will never want it for Nigeria.”

 

Tinubu also revealed that his journey into politics was inspired by the late Jakande. He said; 

 

“This demise is not Pa Jakande’s loss, it’s our loss. We cannot be alive forever. There is always a day we would depart and render accounts of our deeds to Allah. Today is the 8th day and we are all assembled to pray for Alhaji Lateef Jakande.

“I’m a lucky one; this is the house where I began my political journey in life. Baba Jakande said go on, contest for Senate, we need many like you in politics. The rest is history.

“To our junior brothers and sisters, may God bless you and set you on the right path to success. Jakande has many children, not just you alone. We are many. We truly are his children."

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Friday, February 19, 2021

"They’ll find a way to let him back on”- Bill Gates says Trump should be allowed to return to social media

 


"They?ll find a way to let him back on?- Bill Gates says Trump should be allowed to return to social media

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates has stated that former U.S. president, Donald Trump should eventually have his social media accounts re-activated. 


Twitter cut the former president off from some 88 million followers after the deadly riot on Jan. 6, when a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol while Congress was certifying President Biden's victory, leaving five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, dead. At the time, Twitter said that Trump's tweets posed "the risk of further incitement of violence."


Facebook, Snapchat and Reddit also suspended Trump's online presence indefinitely following the attack.


Now Gates says that social media companies should let President Trump back on their platforms, despite his "corrosive" election fraud claims. 

 

Gates, asked during an interview with CNBC on Thursday, February 18, whether he would let Trump back on social media if he were a member of Facebook's oversight board, he replied;. 


"I think at some point he probably will be allowed back on and probably should be allowed back on," the billionaire philanthropist said.


Gates suggested that if social media companies allow Trump to return, they could put a warning label on any false statements he makes.


"It’s weird when you’re, you know, saying that the election was stolen without any facts there. And how corrosive that is," Gates said. 


"But I’ll bet they’ll find a way to let him back on."


House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, impeached Trump on Jan. 13. The Senate voted 57-43 in favor of the impeachment count, ten short of the 67 needed to convict.

 

"You know in a way ... people’s interest in what he says may go down quite a bit," Gates added. "That’ll be interesting to watch." 

Man runs off with girlfriend's mother after birth of his son

 

Man runs off with girlfriend

A new father has abandoned his newborn child and girlfriend, and ran off with his girlfriend's 44-year-old mother instead.

 

24-year-old Jess Aldridge told The Sun that she was shocked to find out that her boyfriend and baby daddy was having an affair with her own mother. She revealed that she was betrayed by her partner Ryan Shelton, 29, while she was heavily pregnant and they lived in a support bubble with mum Georgina and her husband Eric.

 

Within weeks of their moving in, the gran-of-six began flirting with Ryan. And, by the time Jess came home with newborn Reuben, they had run off together and moved into a new home 30 miles away.

 

Jess said; 

 

“We were stuck together for months in the house during lockdown. It was so hard, especially as Ryan and mum were always being so flirty. I felt so uncomfortable, it was a horrible experience.”

 

Man runs off with girlfriend

 

It was further learnt that Ryan Shelton sent a text to Jess hours after she had given birth to their son, telling her he was ending their relationship.

 

She added; 

 

“You expect a new grandmother to fall in love with the baby — not the father. 

“She is meant to be a granny to my two children and helping me look after them but instead she’s off shagging my boyfriend.”

 

Man runs off with girlfriend

 

When Jess confronted her mum, she shrugged and said; 

 

“We can’t help who we fall in love with.”

 

Jess had been with car parts salesman Ryan for three years after meeting online. She gave up working as a housekeeper at a Premier Inn in ­Chipping Norton, Oxon, before ­having their first child Georgiana in ­September 2019.

 

Man runs off with girlfriend

 

Recounting how Ryan broke up with her after the birth of their son, she said; 

 

“Ryan had seen baby Reuben for only a few minutes after he was born and then 10 minutes the day afterwards as he was moving all his stuff.

“They were in such a rush. He had even had my mum waiting for him with the car packed in the car park.”

 

Man runs off with girlfriend

 

The new lovers have gone public with their relationship on Facebook, leaving friends and family stunned with the act.  Jess who has now returned to the two-bed rented home she used to share with Ryan in Willersey, said; 

 

“They’ve just been so selfish. I’m horrified.

“How am I supposed to explain to everyone that the kids’ dad and their gran are in a relationship?

“Some of our friends saw his new relationship status on Facebook and were stunned.

“I’ve had lots of messages asking what happened and if I’m OK.

“Last Valentine’s Day Ryan was really romantic and bought me a litre bottle of Gordon’s pink gin, a box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray and a card.

“But this year he’s left me and our children and gone off with my mum. I’ve been put off men for a long time. I’m not looking for a boyfriend any time soon.”

Banks are turning female marketers to sexual slaves – Senator Ayo Akinyelure says as he sponsors Bill to prohibit employment of graduates as casual workers

 


Banks are turning female marketers to sexual slaves ? Senator Ayo Akinyelure says as he sponsors Bill to prohibit employment of graduates as casual workers

Senator Ayo Akinyelure sponsored a bill at the Senate that seeks to stop employers in the private and public sectors from engaging employable Nigerian graduates as casual workers.

 

The Prohibition of Casualisation Bill 2020 scaled second reading on Thursday, Feb 18, and was referred to the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to report back within four weeks.

 

Akinyelure said casualisation of Nigerian graduates in the Nigerian labour market, all because employers want to cut costs, has become worrisome.

 

He said: "Statistics from the Nigeria Labour Congress shows that many workers in the telecommunications, oil and gas sectors are engaged as casual labourers by employers of labours.

 

"Other sectors with thousands of casual labourers include mining, steel, banking and insurance."

 

Akinyelure especially focused on the banking sector. He said banks have turned female marketers into harlots and sexual slaves due to the unrealistic deposit targets they give them.

 

He said: "In the banking and insurance industry, for instance, many young graduates particularly females are employed as marketers and given unrealistic customer deposit targets running into millions."

 

"They are hired and fired at will when such unrealistic targets are not met.

 

"The female among them who are desperate in keeping their jobs turn to harlotry and sex slavery.

 

"They, move from one office to the other looking for invisible customers who have large funds to enable them meet their targets.

 

"It is high time this evil and devilish act is stopped."

 

Supporting, Senator Biodun Olujimi said: "Our girls have been turned into what we cannot imagine.

 

"Most of them have been asked to look for funds, and when they come to us, I always tell them, I do not even have the funds to eat; how can I have funds to keep with you in the bank?

 

"They will never be promoted if they don’t bring in such funds, and this is a banking industry that is privately owned, yes, but has made so much profit, and from the profit they could at least take the few that they can manage properly, rather than take a lot that they will be giving pittance."

 

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remark charged the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to strike a balance in the Prohibition of Casualisation Bill to ensure that casual workers in the country were not laid off from their jobs.

Femi Fani-Kayode meets with Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho (photos)

 


 Femi Fani-Kayode meets with Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho  (photos)

Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode on Thursday, February 18, met with Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho.

 

FFK has been an ardent supporter of Igboho who claims to be fighting for the rights of Yorubas. In January, he gave an eviction order to Fulani herdsmen in Oyo state over allegations that they were behind criminal activities in the state.

 

FFK and Igboho's meeting took place in Ibadan, Oyo state. See more photos below

 

 Femi Fani-Kayode meets with Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho  (photos) Femi Fani-Kayode meets with Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho  (photos) Femi Fani-Kayode meets with Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho  (photos) Femi Fani-Kayode meets with Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho  (photos)

 

Protesters storm Edo Government House with corpse of man killed by herdsmen

 


Protesters storm Edo Government House with corpse of man killed by herdsmen

Residents of Ovia Northeast Local Government Area of Edo State stormed Government House, Benin, with the body of one of the seven persons killed in their area by criminal herdsmen.

 

The protesters arrived at the government house on Thursday evening, Feb 18, where they gave Governor Godwin Obaseki a three-day ultimatum to ensure adequate security of lives and property.

 

They said they resorted to taking the body to the State's Government House because when they reported to the police in their area, they were simply told to deposit the body in the morgue.

 

The protesters said they had experienced frequent killing of innocent residents by herdsmen in the last few weeks.

 

Seven persons were killed by criminal herdsmen in the farming communities of Ugboke, Oshodi, Okokodo, Ariyan and Yoruba camp in the LGA.

 

The leader of the protesters, Michael Idahosa, said residents of the affected communities could no longer bear the incessant attacks by the criminal herdsmen.

 

He said: "We are here to protest the killings by herdsmen in our communities. Governor Godwin Obaseki came to Ovia Northeast LGA in 2017 when herdsmen killed one of our persons and he promised to tackle the problem of herdsmen in our area, but Edo State government did not address the issue."

 

Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who received the protesters, reassured them that the state government would intensify efforts at providing adequate security to check the criminal activities of killer herdsmen in the state.

 

Shaibu said: "As a state, we have made up our mind not to lament, but to look for solutions on how to protect our country and our state.

 

"There was also an attack in the early hours of today in Niger State. It is a national problem. As we speak now, Governor Obaseki and other governors are in Abuja to discuss this insecurity issue in our country.

 

"You will remember that we are bringing in local vigilance members to collaborate with law enforcement agencies. We are strengthening our system and we will still need your support.

 

"We do not want to take laws into our own hands, but at the same time, we cannot fold our arms and watch the people kill us. Take it easy; some bodies are yet to be found, I have had a discussion with the security agencies. Their personnel will move into the area.

 

"I can assure you that they will recover bodies of all the victims and we will intensify the security in the area.

 

"We will categorise the area as one of the flashpoints in Edo State. So that you can sleep with your eyes closed."

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Breaking: NAFDAC approves AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine for use in Nigeria

 


Breaking:  NAFDAC approves AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine for use in Nigeria

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Nigeria, NAFDAC, has approved the use of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine for use in Nigeria.

 

At a press conference held this morning February 18, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, says the agency got the dossier of the vaccine a week ago, and the NAFDAC safety committee went to work immediately to evaluate its safety and efficacy for Nigerians.

 

Adeyeye said that the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8-degree centigrade. According to the DG, there are three additional vaccines undergoing evaluation, but the evaluation on Astrazeneca shows that the vaccine is effective against the UK variant of the virus which has been reported in Nigeria. She disclosed that the South African variant has not been reported in Nigeria and that the agency has over 30 herbal medicine undergoing review for listing.

 

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or AZD1222, is a viral vector vaccine. Scientists used an adenovirus, originally derived from chimpanzees, and modified it with the aim of training the immune system to mount a strong response against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

 

Nigeria is expected to get the first batch of the COVID19 vaccines by the end of February.

 

After 68 years in prison, America's oldest juvenile lifer gets released aged 83

 



Joe Ligon, America's oldest and longest-serving juvenile lifer, has been released from a Pennsylvania prison after spending 68 years behind bars.

 

Ligon was imprisoned in February 1953 at the age of 15, given a mandatory life sentence after pleading guilty to charges from a robbery and stabbing spree in Philadelphia with four other teenage boys which left six people wounded and two people dead.

 

 

A hearing found Ligon guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, and Ligon admitted to stabbing at least one of the eight people stabbed that day but his attorney Bradley Bridge said his client maintains he never killed anyone.


"The child that committed those crimes back in 1953 no longer exists. The person that came out of prison in 2021 is 83 years old, has grown, changed, and is no longer a threat," Bridge said.

 

 

"He has amply repaid society for the damage and harm that he did. And now, it's appropriate that he spends the last years of his life in freedom."


"I'm a grownup now," Ligon said to CNN

"I'm not a kid anymore. Not only am I a grown man, I'm an old man and getting older every day."


In the 1970s, Ligon and his accomplices were granted the option of clemency from Pennsylvania's governor. But since clemency meant being on parole, Ligon rejected it.


He turned down another offer of parole in 2017, stating parole would not grant him the freedom he desired after decades in prison.


"The state parole board presumably would have released him but on condition that he would be under their supervision for the rest of his life," Bridge said.

"He chose not to seek parole under those terms."


Bridge, who has represented Ligon for 15 years now, ultimately argued that a mandatory life sentence for a crime Ligon committed as a juvenile was unconstitutional. 


Bridge brought the case to the federal court and won the issue in November 2020, which ultimately granted Ligon freedom under his own terms in 2021.


Now Ligon is out of prison, and is trying to readapt to society.

 

John Pace, is helping Ligon acclimatize with society.


Pace was only 17 years old when he was incarcerated for mugging and assaulting a man. 

 

He spent the next 31 years imprisoned. After being released, Pace said he felt a sort of sickness after suddenly being exposed to his new reality.


"You're in a prison environment where there's not a lot of stimulation. You're not allowed to have contact with people. Your interactions are very limited. And so, there's not a lot of stimulation," said Pace. 


"So now you come out of prison, and just imagine all this, you can do what you want now. And what do you do with that?"


"There will always be people who think Joe should be in jail for the rest of his life," Pace said. 


"Joe has control over how he demonstrates who he is today, and he hopes that's enough to help other people realize how he's trying to help other people use better judgment."


Ligon said he wanted others to learn from his experience.


"I'm really looking forward to pleasing people and help people the way they're helping me," Ligon said, adding, "meeting some of the younger generation, with some of the older generation, and some of the reporters ... to share some of my story."


Asked what it was like to be back in the world a day and a half after his release, Ligon said:
"Beautiful," he said. "Beautiful."

 

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