By Patrick Obia
Suicide bomber kills journalist in Somali
One of Somalia’s press freedom advocates and journalists, Abdifatah Moalim Nur, has been killed in a suicide bombing.
Report has it that Abdifatah Moalim, popularly known as Qeys, fell victim at Blue Sky restaurant in the capital of Mogadishu.
Described by colleagues as “exceptional” and “inspiring”, he becomes the first journalist to be killed in Somalia this year, according to a local media watchdog.
The al-Qaeda-linked militant group, al-Shabab, said it carried out the suicide attack at Blue Sky restaurant.
Police said four other people were injured outside the restaurant near the presidential palace.
Information Minister Daud Aweis condemned the “cowardly” attack.
The National Union of Somali Journalists or NUSOJ said it was “deeply shaken” by the “senseless and brutal” killing of Nur, the director of the privately owned Somali Cable Television.
Nur, a staunch advocate of press freedom, had previously faced threats, the Somali Journalists Syndicate said.
According to a recount by BBC News, in October last year, journalist Mohamed Isse Hassan was among more than 100 people killed in twin car bombings in Mogadishu.
A month earlier, a reporter with state-owned Somali National Television, Ahmed Mohamed Shukur, was killed by a landmine near the capital.
Al-Shabab has been carrying out deadly attacks in Somalia in response to a large-scale military offensive that seeks to drive out the jihadists.
80,000 Ghanaians rescued, 12,000 displaced in dam overflow
At the time of filing this report, not less than 80,000 Ghanaians have been rescued in a dam overflow in Akosombo and Kpong hydroelectric of the country.
At least 12,000 people have been displaced by the floods so far.
The country’s Navy and other teams have been dispatched to rescue the thousands affected by the excess water spillage from some of the major dams amid heavy rains.
A navy official told local media they had “evacuated over 8,000 flood-stricken people to safe havens”.
Commodore EA Kwafo said they also responded to distress calls and monitored critical infrastructure.
He said they had taken “more boats downstream and experienced divers and lifesavers to assist in the rescue efforts”, and more resources would be available depending on the situation.
The “controlled spillage” of the dams began about a month ago and is still ongoing, the Volta River Authority said.
Men jailed for quick-rich Syndrome in Nigeria
As the wave of get-rich-quick syndrome among young people in Nigeria continues to blow, and the government’s efforts to curb it, five men have bagged 12-year jail terms.
The dozen who pleaded guilty after being caught with the skull in a bag exhumed in a cemetery.
They had planned to take it to a traditional doctor who said it was needed for rituals that would make them rich.
The prosecutor told the court that the men had dug up a body buried three years earlier at a Muslim cemetery in the north-central Niger State.
“They said the herbalist informed and promised all of them that they would share the wealth from the said criminal activity and directed them to look for the human skull,” the prosecutor was quoted as saying by the privately owned Punch newspaper.
Security officers arrested the young men, aged between 18 and 28, in early September as they transported the remains to a third party on the instructions of a traditional doctor.
A court in Minna, the capital of Niger State, declared the men guilty on the charges of criminal conspiracy, trespassing on burial grounds, and unlawfully possessing a human skull.
The traditional doctor was not arrested and charged.
Belief in “juju” – sometimes known as voodoo or magic – is relatively widespread in Nigeria, with many combining it with either Christianity or Islam, according to a 2010 report by the Pew Research Centre.
Money-making rituals in Nigeria have also been fuelled by mounting economic desperation in a country where four out of 10 people live in poverty, according to World Bank data.
Congo’s boat mishap death toll rises to 52, many still missing
Death toll and number of missing bodies continue to increase in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s boat mishap last week.
The country’s Provincial Minister Didier Mbula disclosed that the death toll has risen to 52 while many are still missing.
The boat was carrying over 300 people when it overturned near the town of Mbandaka in Northwestern DRC during the night on Friday. Over the weekend, 30 were confirmed to have drowned, with 167 missing.
Didier Mbula, Provincial Health Minister for Equateur Province, told Reuters the number of dead had since risen.
“We have recorded 52 bodies that were pulled out. The search teams are still in the field, working. This is still a provisional toll, and it may increase further,” he said by phone.
Deadly boat accidents are frequent on Congo’s rivers and lakes, where vessels are frequently loaded well beyond their capacity. The country has few tarred roads across its vast, forested territory, and river travel is common.
On Monday, Transport Minister Marc Ekila said the boat that capsized should not have been navigating at night, was overloaded, and had not properly identified its owners or the number of passengers on board.
In a statement, he promised to implement rules to improve the safety of river transport and “minimized recurring tragedies.”
Escaped fake doctor re-arrested in South Africa
Police in South Africa say it has re-arrested a fake doctor who has been on the run.
The suspect, Kingsley Leeto Chele, is accused of impersonating a doctor.
Reuters reported earlier that the police had launched a manhunt for the suspect who escaped from custody last week. They described him as a “Facebook con artist” who targeted women.
They now say he was re-arrested in the early hours of Monday in Vosloorus, near Johannesburg, following a tip-off from a media house.
The suspect, whose country of birth the police have not yet confirmed, is due to appear before a court in Pretoria today (Tuesday) as had been scheduled before his escape.
A charge of escaping custody has been added to the charges that he was already facing.
He had been accused of two fraud cases – he is alleged to have told health professionals on Facebook that he was seeking investors before swindling them.
Chele has not yet commented on the accusations.