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Evil Angel: British nurse found guilty of murdering seven babies in hospital neonatal unit

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A British nurse was, on Friday, found guilty of killing seven newborn babies and trying to kill six others at the hospital neonatal unit where she worked, becoming the UK’s most prolific child killer.

Lucy Letby, 33, had been on trial since October last year, accused of either injecting her sick or premature young victims with air, overfeeding them with milk, or poisoning them with insulin.

The victims’ families said in a joint statement read outside Manchester Crown Court in northern England said, “Justice has been served.”

But they cautioned, “This justice will not take away from the extreme hurt, anger, and distress we have all had.”

The jury, some of whom were in tears after they were discharged, deliberated for 22 days, returning their first guilty decisions on August 8, which could not be reported until Friday because of a court order.

Letby fought back tears in the dock after the initial verdicts were read out. She was not in court Friday to hear the jurors’ final determinations.

They eventually acquitted her of two counts, and could not reach decisions on six others. Prosecutors have asked for 28 days to consider whether to seek a retrial on those charges.

– ‘Betrayal’ –

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Letby will be sentenced on Monday and has reportedly told her lawyers she will not attend court to hear her fate but she faces the prospect of never being released from prison.

The nurse was arrested following a string of deaths at the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwest England between June 2015 and June 2016.

Described by the prosecution as a “calculating” woman who used methods of killing that “didn’t leave much of a trace”, Letby had repeatedly denied harming the children.

“Time and again, she harmed babies, in an environment which should have been safe for them and their families,” said senior prosecutor Pascale Jones, calling the killings “a complete betrayal of the trust placed in her”.

The court was told that colleagues raised concerns after noticing that Letby was on shift when each of the babies collapsed, with some of the newborns attacked just as their parents left their ccots.

The prosecution said Letby “gaslighted” her colleagues into believing the string of deaths were “just a run of bad luck”.

– ‘Playing God’ –

Letby’s final victims were two triplet boys, referred to in court as babies O and P.

Child O died shortly after Letby returned from a holiday in Ibiza in June 2016, while Child P died a day after their sibling.

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Letby was also said to have attempted to kill the third triplet, child Q, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge.

Prosecutors said by that time Letby was “completely out of control”, adding that “she was in effect playing God”.

Letby was arrested and released twice. On her third arrest in 2020, she was formally charged and held in custody.

During searches at her home, police found hospital paperwork and a handwritten note on which Letby had written: “I am evil, I did this.”

Letby later tried to explain the note by saying she wrote it after being placed on clerical duties following the death of the two triplets.

Defence lawyer Ben Myers told the court Letby was “hardworking, deeply committed” and “loved her work”.

Letby also suggested that a “gang” of four senior doctors pinned blame on her to cover for the hospital’s failings.

When she gave evidence at the trial, she insisted she “always wanted to work with children” and said it was “devastating” to find out she was blamed for the deaths.

– Police probe –

Police are investigating Letby’s entire tenure at the Countess of Chester and at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital where she also previously worked, sifting through more than 4,000 neo-natal unit admissions between 2012 and 2016.

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Nigel Scawn, medical director at the Countess of Chester, said the case had a “profound impact” on the hospital’s patients but “significant changes” have been made since Letby worked there.

The government meanwhile announced an independent inquiry into Letby’s case and will look at how concerns by clinicians were dealt with by hospital management.

UK Health Secretary Steve Barclay said it would help the victims’ parents and families “get the answers they need” and “help… identify where and how patient safety standards failed to be met”.

Her case revived memories of two of Britain’s infamous medical murderers, doctor Harold Shipman and nurse Beverley Allitt.

Shipman, a general practitioner, hanged himself in prison in 2004, four years after being convicted of killing 15 of his patients.

A later public inquiry concluded he killed about 250 patients with lethal morphine injections between 1971 and 1998.

Allitt — a nurse dubbed the “angel of death” — was jailed for life in 1993 after being convicted of murdering four young children in her care, attempting to murder three others and other offences.

AFP

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Court orders final forfeiture of over N12.18bn choice properties linked to Emefiele

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Friday ordered the final forfeiture to the Federal Government properties valued at over N11.14bn and another N1.04 billion linked to the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.

 

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke made the order of permanent forfeiture after hearing an application filed and argued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), through its counsel Chineye Okezie.

 

On June 5, 2024, The judge had upheld the anti-graft agency’s motion filed and argued by its counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo for a temporary forfeiture of the properties.

 

Oyedepo informed the court that Emefiele was suspected of having bought the choice properties by proxy, with the proceeds of fraud.

 

The EFCC named two current and one former CBN staff as Emefiele’s accomplices in the alleged fraud.

The trio, according to the affidavit filed in support of the application, are Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo working with Olubunmi Makinde a former CBN staff and others.

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The properties are mostly located in highbrow parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

 

Justice Aneke ordered the EFCC to publish the order for interim forfeiture in a national newspaper for any interested party to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made.

 

The judge then adjourned for a hearing of the application for final forfeiture.

Upon resumption on June 21, no party appeared in court to contest the judge’s interim order and Chineye Okezie moved her application for the permanent forfeiture.

 

After reading a 41-paragraph affidavit deposed to by an EFCC Investigating Officer, Michael John Idoko, the 19 Exhibits attached, a Written Address signed by Okezie, and after hearing Okezie’s motion, Justice Aneke granted the application.

 

The properties were listed by the EFCC in two schedules, A and B.

The judge said: “Having carefully considered the application and submission of counsel, it is hereby ordered as follows: – that a final forfeiture order of this honourable court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule A herein which were traced and reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

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They include shops and apartments at Cadastral Zone Maitama and Wuse.

 

For Schedule B, Justice Aneke added: “That a final forfeiture order of this Honourable Court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule B herein which properties were traced to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

 

The properties include lands and apartments which were paid for on behalf of Oluwaseun at a total value of N1.04 billion.

 

According to the affidavit, Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo working with Olubunmi Makinde “used their positions and Influence as CBN staff to secure retail and Special allocation of Foreign Exchange to different companies in exchange for kickbacks.

 

“That Olubunmi Makinde is the link between Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo and the various companies applying for the purchase of foreign exchange.

 

“That Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo as staffs of the Central Bank of Nigeria has access to the bidding processes and bidding Data of companies who has applied for the approval of form Ms to the CBN through their various commercial banks.”

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Nigerian-born boxer shot dead by neighbour in US

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Isaiah Olugbemi, a Nigerian-born boxer, has been confirmed dead after he was shot multiple times in Odenton, Maryland, US.

 

According to local police, Olugbemi was found on the ground with gunshot wounds along Meadowmist Way in the city on June 17.

 

The 27-year-old was rushed to the Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced later pronounced dead.

 

Court documents later revealed that the police obtained surveillance footage showing a white male confronting Olugbemi with a handgun before shooting him multiple times and fleeing the scene on foot.

 

Nicholas Giroux, the victim’s neighbour, was identified as the suspect in the footage.

 

According to CBS, police said they interviewed Giroux on June 18, and he confessed to the crime and was charged with first and second-degree murder.

 

Abraham Olugbemi, the victim’s brother, alleged that Giroux had threatened the deceased at least two other times with a gun this year — in January and June.

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Olugbemi was a Junior Olympics gold medalist, a three-time Golden Gloves state boxing champion and a two-time Open Regional champion.

 

Giroux’s preliminary hearing is set for July 17.

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Gunmen abduct pregnant woman due for delivery on her way to hospital

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Some yet-to-be-identified armed men have abducted a pregnant woman, simply identified as Mrs Ogunbunmi in Ogun State.

 

Mrs Ogunbunmi, who was said to be due for delivery, reportedly left her home in Oke Lantoro for the State General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta before her reported abduction on a date not disclosed.

 

According to reports, her husband, Ogunbunmi Lateef, received a WhatsApp message notifying him of his wife’s kidnapping by these abductors.

Confirming the incident, on Thursday in a statement on her X handle formerly called Twitter, the spokesperson for the state police command, Omolola Odutola, said the suspected abduction had been reported to the command.

 

Odutola stated, “One Ogunbunmi Lateef of Oke Lantoro reported that his pregnant wife due for delivery left home for State Hospital Ijaiye Abeokuta.

 

“He received a WhatsApp message confirming the abduction of his wife by unknown armed men”.

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