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Slain Vanguard Reporter: Tears As Grieving Colleagues Pay Condolence Visit

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*Family Still Doubts Identity Of Corpse In The Morgue, Demands Justice*

Grieving members of the House of Representatives Press Corps, colleagues of the slain Vanguard National Assembly Correspondent, Mr. Tordue Henry Salem, on Monday paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased journalist in Abuja.
Led by the chairman of the Corps, Grace Ike, the journalists who had earlier opened a condolence register at the House of Reps Media Centre expressed grief and sadness on the painful demise of Mr Salem.
Chairman Grace in her address described the late Salem as a friend and a brother who impacted positively on other colleagues in the course of his work in the House, pledging that the Corps as a family will do whatever it can to stand by his family in this time of grieve.
“He’s our brother and we are his sisters and brothers. And for us it’s a painful one. And that is why we dedicated (Monday), in fact it’s a 3-day mourning we started since on Friday, Monday and tomorrow which is Tuesday(today) will be the third day. So we are here to commiserate with you and to let you know that you’re not alone.
“Tordue was indeed a friend a brother and we know someday we will all meet. We are also looking forward to doing all we can as journalists and as his fellow brothers and sisters to ensure that relevant security agencies get justice for Tordue. For us we are one family, we are still pained. We are hopeful that someday Justice for Tordue will come and we will not rest on our oars until Justice for Tordue is done”, she said.
On his part, Dr. Jeffrey Kuraun, Tordue Salem’s in-law who was flanked by Tordue’s wife Mrs. Devee Salem and Daughter, Avaana Salem, as well as Tordue’s younger sister, noted that the family in all circumstances have resolved to give God praise.
While lamenting the manner in which Salem’s employer, the Vanguard Newspaper handled the news of his death, Dr. Kuraun however demanded for more facts about the deceased, saying that the body he saw at the morgue doesn’t look like Salem’s.
“When I was told informally that we lost him, and the next is there is going to be press conference, and please I shouldn’t mention to other family members until after the Press conference, I respected that and I wanted to do it that way but by the time I left the IRT people were sending me information about Tordue’s death and I said why is the Vanguard in a hurry, yes I criticised it, I’m not a journalist, I have no experience, you guys know how you do it. Because they have our contacts, it is better to just put up a call through to us and say you know what, I have bad news and we are going to publish it but we have bad news and that will prepare our minds. But that didn’t happen.
“…The unfortunate thing was that I was trying to identify the body while there was a briefing that the family has positively identified the body, “positively” and I’m still saying here that I’m sorry the body I saw, I cannot say if it was Tordue’s. Yes the frame looks Iike him, the legs are completely gone, entirely messed up . He’s a tall guy, I didn’t see that, so I was trying to look at the frame to see if it is him. So I just need answers luckily I came back and I called them to say what next?”, he said.
Mrs. Elizabeth Kuraun, elder sister to Tordue urged members of the Corps to help get justice for her brother, at least for the sake of his little daughter.
“You guys are Journalists, this guys are his colleagues, look at his daughter, for this girl, please help us get justice for my brother. The real killers they should come out because when they were investigating this thing, I got two conflicted reports. IRT was telling me something else, is it SWATT or SARS, they were telling me something else; two conflicted reports.
“People are calling me in my village, they don’t believe that story. People are calling from US, UK no one believes it. There were videos that were circulating that Tordue was packed in a bag. The body in the mortuary, down is burnt. I don’t eat because anytime they give me food I tell them that it’s like they have butchered my Brother and given me to eat. I don’t want to eat that food.
“I want justice, whoever killed my brother, you guys Journalists, you have the power. This is one of you, it could happen to anybody. It’s his (Tordue’s) turn today, if we ignore it, like we ignore things in Nigeria, tomorrow whoever did that to him, if that person is not brought to answer whatever he has done to him, the person will do it to another person because he or she was not caught. We want justice for the sake of this girl, so that his spirit can go and rest.
“I am not accusing anyone, but I don’t believe anything that they showed us on that television. Directly, I don’t believe it and for the police spokesperson saying we have identified the corpse when we have not seen it, I don’t know why they made that. Justice for Tordue is all that we want,” she stressed.

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Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States

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The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.

The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.

Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”

“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.

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“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.

“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”

Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”

 

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Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life

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Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.

Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”

Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.

The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.

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While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.

According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.

The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.

“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.

“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”

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Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.

Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.

The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.

Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).

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Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks

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The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.

The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.

Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.

CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.

Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.

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DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.

She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.

Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.

Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.

Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.

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ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.

CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.

CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.

The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.

CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.

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  • Source: Independent

 

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