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Families, friends mourn victims of Iraqi wedding fire (PHOTOS)

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Following Tuesday’s tragic fire incident at an Iraqi Christian wedding, mourners gathered at a cemetery in the northern city of Qaraqosh on Wednesday for a funeral.

Some of the faithful held up portraits of deceased loved ones.

Twenty-four hours earlier, those in the pictures had gathered in an elegant banqueting hall to attend a wedding.

But as the bride and groom danced, a fire erupted in the reception hall, killing at least 100 people and injuring 150 others.

By all accounts, the fire spread at a rapid rate.

Footage shared on social media showed indoor fireworks flaring so high that they set ceiling decorations alight.

On Wednesday, one by one, around 20 coffins covered in satin or bouquets of flowers were carried through the crowd on the shoulders of men.

They were followed by women in tears, all dressed in black and supported on either side as they were barely able to stand up on their own.

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Photos from the ceremony below:

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Police arrest Samaila Fafa, another wanted notorious FCT kidnapper

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Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have arrested Samaila Fafa, also known as Habu Ibrahim, the second of two wanted kidnappers on whom the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, had placed a N20 million bounty.

The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh, said in a statement on Tuesday that the kidnapper was arrested on February 24, 2024, at about 7.05pm, after operatives acting on credible intelligence stormed Sardauna Forest in the Toto area of Nasarawa State.

Wike had on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, placed a N20m bounty on two wanted bandits, Dahiru Adamu and Abu Ibrahim, who were suspected to have been terrorising Abuja.

The former Rivers State governor had made the declaration when he met with the FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Benneth Igweh, during a parade of 23 criminal suspects at the FCT Police Command Headquarters in Garki, Abuja.

 

The anti-kidnapping unit of the FCT police command had previously arrested Saidu Abdulkadir, aka Dahiru Adamu, one of the two wanted kidnappers, after operatives raided two kidnappers’ camps bordering Nasarawa and Abuja via Kuje Area Council on February 15, 2024, at about 12am.

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Meanwhile, Adeh, in the statement, said the kidnapper had confessed that his syndicate masterminded several kidnappings in the FCT and its environs, including the abduction of Barr. Chris Agidy, legal aid to Senator. Ned Nwoko, and Mr. Sunday Yahaya Zakwai, the district head of Ketti Village, both of whom were later killed.

 

The statement read, “The operatives of the FCT Police Command, in a continued effort against banditry in FCT and its environs, on February 24, 2024, at about 7.05pm, acting on credible intelligence, stormed Sardauna Forest, Toto, Nasarawa State, and arrested one Samaila Wakili Fafa A.K.A. Habu Ibrahim, a kidnapping kingpin who has been on the wanted list of the Command for a long time and had a bounty placed on his head by the Hon. Minister FCT.

“The suspect is one of the two kidnappers the Honorable Minister FCT placed a bounty on, as the other one, namely Saidu Abdulkadir A.K.A. Dahiru Adamu, had earlier been arrested by the Command.

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“He confessed that his syndicate masterminded and executed several kidnappings in FCT and its environs, including the abduction of Barr. Chris Agidy provided legal aid to the Senator. Ned Nwoko and Mr Sunday Yahaya Zakwai, the district head of Ketti Village, were later killed by them. Samaila Wakili further led police operatives to where the remains of Barr were. Chris Agidy is. The remains were recovered and deposited in Gwagwalada General Hospital.”

 

Adeh said investigations were ongoing, adding that the FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Benneth Igwe, reiterated his commitment to combating crime and criminality and ensuring the safety of residents.

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Lagos arraigns RCCG pastor for allegedly raping, impregnating daughter

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A Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Emmanuel Orekoya, was on Tuesday arraigned before the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court for allegedly raping and impregnating his 17- year-old daughter.

The defendant is facing two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and sexual assault preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.

It was also gathered that the defendant in the process of having sexual intercourse with his daughter, allegedly impregnated her.

The state’s prosecution counsel, Mrs Abimbola Abolade, told the court that the defendant committed the offences sometime in 2017 at Jacob Adeleye Street, Odoeran, Itire area of the state.

The prosecutor also told the court that Orekoya sexually assaulted the victim, by inserting his finger inside her vagina and inserting his penis inside her mouth.

According to the prosecutor, the offences Orekoya committed contravened Section 137 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.

 

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However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges pressed against him.

 

Justice Soladoye adjourned the case till April 17, 2024, for the commencement of trial.

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Five dead, 26 rescued as building collapses in Anambra market

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A yet-to-be-ascertained number of persons have been trapped following the collapse of a building under construction in the Ochanja market in Onitsha, Anambra state.

 

The cause of the collapse, which happened on Monday evening, is yet to be determined.

 

Chukwuma Soludo, governor of the state, who visited the site on Tuesday, said five casualties have been recorded so far.

 

Soludo described the incident as tragic and one “that was not supposed to happen”. He disclosed that 26 individuals had been rescued and hospitalised, with rescue efforts ongoing to locate those still trapped under the rubble.

 

“The contractor at his own cost will come and put down the illegal buildings he erected here,” the governor said.

 

“They are all going to come down. My government did not approve of this building. We will redesign this area and build it properly.”

 

He added that other buildings constructed without proper approval will be demolished, including structures currently under construction at other markets.

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“A comprehensive inventory of buildings in Anambra markets and public places will be conducted,” Soludo said.

 

“Markets will undergo integrity tests to identify and remove potentially unsafe structures and individuals found responsible for illegal construction will face legal consequences.”

 

The governor also assured that the hospital bills of those receiving treatment will be offset by the government, and expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.

 

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