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Man Shot Dead For ‘blasphemy’ In Pakistan Courtroom

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Tahir Ahmad Naseem, accused of blasphemy by claiming to be a prophet, shot six times during a hearing.

A man accused of blasphemy for claiming that he was a prophet has been shot dead in a courtroom in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, police officials say, the latest violence associated with Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws.

Tahir Ahmad Naseem was shot six times during a hearing in his case at a district court on Wednesday, police official Ijaz Ahmed told Al Jazeera.

“The culprit accepts responsibility for killing him, and says that he killed him for having committed blasphemy,” said police official Ahmed. “[The suspect] has been arrested from the scene.”

Naseem had been in police custody since 2018 when he was accused of having committed blasphemy by claiming to be a prophet – a violation of Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws that can carry the death penalty for certain offences.

Naseem was accused of having violated sections 295-A, 295-B and 295-C of the Pakistani penal code, which deal with blasphemy against Islam, criminalising, among other things, “defiling the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad”.

Pakistan clears Christian woman in landmark blasphemy case
The last offence carries a mandatory death penalty

Blasphemy killings

While no one has yet been executed under Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws, extrajudicial murders and mob violence have become increasingly common in recent years. Since 1990, at least 77 people have been killed in connection with the accusation, according to an Al Jazeera tally.

Those killed include people accused of blasphemy, their family members, and lawyers and judges who have acquitted people accused of the crime.

Others killed in recent years include singers, teachers deemed to be advocating “un-Islamic” practices, and members of the persecuted Ahmadi sect.

In 2018, Pakistan’s Supreme Court passed a landmark verdict in the country’s most high-profile blasphemy case, acquitting Christian woman Aasia Bibi after she had spent nine years on death row.

The move angered the country’s far-right religious parties, leading to widespread protests led by firebrand cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which has frequently advocated for violence against those accused of blasphemy.

Last week, the provincial assembly in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, passed a controversial law on religious issues, giving wide-ranging powers to the government to censor any published material based on vague guidelines of violating religious beliefs.

The law, widely criticised by rights groups, was placed under review on Monday.

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Igboho promises a protest if his accounts are not released

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Self-acclaimed political dissident, Mr. Sunday Adeyemo, otherwise called Sunday Igboho, on Tuesday, blamed the Federal Government for freezing his financial assets, following his assault on the fulani herdsmen in Oyo State.

Igboho, who addressed Vanguard, affirmed that all his financial asset have been frozen by the Federal Government since certain individuals were gathering donations.

Nonetheless, Igboho said he had no hands in the said donations, cautioning that his records should be released to dodge protest by young people across the South-West area.

His words: “They have frozen my bank accounts because I am fighting a just course.

I know Yoruba people are behind me.“I will not relent. I must achieve my aims by putting an end to criminalities in Yorubaland.

“If they refuse to release my accounts, there will be serious protests across the South-West.

“Yes, the Yoruba are living in fear. They are afraid that the killer-herdsmen might attack them.

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IGP adamu retires

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Adamu enrolled in the Police Force on February 2, 1986.

The IGP who will turn 60 on September 17, was appointed IGP in January 2019. He has gone through two years in office.

Three Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) and 10 Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) are additionally due for retirement with him today.

It is accepted that there is a mission to broaden Adamu’s residency.

However, some have contended against such expansion, since it would negate the arrangements of the Police Act 2020 that fixes the retirement of cops at 60 years old or 35 years of administration.

Section 18(8) of the new Act states: “Every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for 35 years or until the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier.”

The Act provides for a tenure of four years for the Inspector General of Police.

Section 7, subsection 2 of the Act provides that: “The person to be appointed as Inspector General of Police shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police with the requisite academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent, in addition to professional or management experience.”

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Ortom tests positive for Covid-19

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has tested positive for the feared COVID-19.

The declaration was made on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase.

Review that a significant number of the governor’s aides which includes his personal physician, aide de camp, orderly, permanent secretaries among others recently tested positive for the virus.

Akase in an articulation made accessible to writers in Makurdi said that “the most recent result of the governor’s COVID-19 test has brought positive back.

This follows the test results of most of the Governor’s close aides who also returned positive in the last few weeks.

“Though the Governor has not shown any symptoms of the disease, he has already commenced treatment as prescribed by medical personnel.

The assertion added that the governor exhorted the individuals who have interacted with him over the most recent few days to go for test.

“The Governor says it is equally important that those who came in contact with other persons who have tested positive for the virus should go for a test to ascertain their COVID-19 status.

Akase said that Governor Ortom encouraged Benue individuals to keep on noticing the safety measures for the avoidance of the infection, for example, wearing of face masks, utilization of sanitisers, ordinary hand washing and physical distancing.

He urges the individuals not to fear going for COVID-19 test as doing so would help in containing the spread of the illness.

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