February 2020 restaurant inspections in Livingston County

February 2020 restaurant inspections in Livingston County

Jennifer Timar
Livingston Daily
Published 6:30 AM EST Mar 3, 2020

Of the Livingston County restaurants inspected in February 2020, priority and priority foundation violations were found at 29 locations. 

Each month, the Livingston County Health Department inspects some businesses and schools that serve food. 

The Livingston Daily publishes reports on the most serious violations — ones that could lead to contamination of food or increase the risk of transmitting a foodborne illness — as well as corrective measures taken.

Four priority violations were found at:

Hartland Sports Center

2755 Arena Drive, Hartland Township

There were three spray bottles not labeled as to their contents. The person in charge labeled the bottles properly at the time of the inspection. There was no soap at the hand sink. Soap was available upon the inspector’s return. There were no paper towels at the hand sink. A new shelf was not allowing staff to open the dispenser and refill. Upon the inspector’s return, there was a dispenser available and paper towels were stocked in the dispenser. There was no chlorine test kit available. The facility decided to use quaternary sanitizer instead.

Horseshoe Lounge

10100 W. Grand River Ave., Fowlerville

The dish machine was not dispensing the proper amount of sanitizer. It was suspected that the product was expired. A new container of sanitizer was added and proper sanitizer concentrations were restored. The hand sink in the main kitchen was soiled with food residue. Coleslaw and ranch dressing prepared on Feb. 3 were labeled with a discard date of Feb. 20. Foods that are time and temperature controlled for safety cannot be held more than seven days. A proper discard date label was attached at the time of the inspection. No detergent was being dispensed in the dish machine because the container was empty. A new detergent container was added at the time of the inspection.

RELATED: 15 most common restaurant violations in Livingston County

Three priority violations were found at:

440 W. Main Street, Brighton

A pan of cooked chicken wings was holding at 50 degrees in the grill line prep cooler. A container of coleslaw was holding at 46 degrees. Upon further investigation, other items were also holding in the 41-to-50 degree range. All refrigeration equipment was working properly. It was suspected that the food items were left out at room temperature during the prep process. Some of the items are transferred from the basement walk-in unit on rolling carts. Those items may have been sitting on the cart for an extended period of time at room temperature. A tall plastic container of grits was cooling in an ice bath. The product was placed into an ice bath approximately 20 minutes earlier and was still approximately 200 degrees. The grits were transferred to a large shallow metal pan for proper cooling. Short ribs prepared two days prior to the inspection were cooled in a deep pan. No temperature violations were confirmed, but this method will not likely ensure proper cooling. Two refillable spray bottles containing cleaning chemicals were not labeled. The bottles were labeled at the time of inspection.

An infographic shows proper temperatures food should be held at to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
Livingston County Health Department

Great Lakes Family Restaurant

963 S. Grand Ave., Fowlerville

Home-prepared foods were being stored in the walk-in cooler. The items included several 5-gallon buckets of cut tomatoes in a vinegar solution, which were prepared by a family member. The items were removed at the time of inspection. A pie cooler was holding food at 50 degrees. Cream pies and cheesecake were discarded. The pie cooler has been taken out of service and a new unit was ordered. Cream pies are now stored in another unit. A refillable spray bottle containing a chemical degreasing solution did not have a label. Proper chemical labeling was observed upon the inspector’s return.

Jimmy John’s

1504 Lawson Drive, Howell

An employee touched the computer ordering screen while wearing food handling gloves. They returned to prep food without changing the glove. Several employees did not wash their hands before wearing new food handling gloves. Both hand sinks were blocked by equipment. One hand sink was being used to store a water pitcher for the bread-making equipment. The other hand sink contained a sanitizer bottle.  The items were removed at the time of the inspection.

8515 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton

There were multiple employees improperly washing their hands. One employee washed their hands less than the required time and proceeded to use their pants to dry their hands. Another employee washed their hands less than the required time and did not dry their hands. Multiple employees changed soiled gloves but did not wash their hands properly as there were no paper towels to be found at any of the hand sinks in the kitchen. There was shredded lettuce on the line without time stamps. There were no paper towels at either hand sink in the kitchen. An employee was sent to the store during the inspection.

Mimi’s Diner

5589 E. M-36, Pinckney

There was rice in the steam table that had been placed there about an hour and 45 minutes prior. It was at 120 degrees. The steam table should not be used to reheat foods because it takes too long. It was reheated properly to over 165 degrees in the microwave oven and placed back into the steam table. The chlorine sanitizer concentration in the dish machine was too high. It was adjusted. Foods were being improperly cooled in the walk-in cooler. Mashed potatoes and rice were in containers 6-to-8 inches deep with the plastic wrap slightly uncovered on the edge. The rice was already cold, but the potatoes had been placed there an hour and half before and were at 100 degrees. They were moved to uncovered shallow pans. Sausage patties were being cooled in a covered shallow pan and were at 67 degrees. The cover was removed so that the heat was not trapped in. 

Old Hickory Bar

7071 Bennett Lake Road, Fenton

The cooler next to the fryer was holding food at 49 degrees. Deli meat, sliced tomatoes, burger patties and dressing were discarded. Upon the inspector’s return, there were no items in the cooler at time of inspection, but the ambient air read a proper 40 degrees. The in-use knives and utensils were being switched out every shift, which is typically eight hours. The in-use utensils that are in contact with food that is time and temperature controlled for safety need to be washed, rinsed and sanitized at least every four hours. Raw beef was stored in the walk-in cooler above bottled drinks. It was moved away from ready-to-eat food.

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Two priority violations were found at:

Jersey Giant Subs

3813 Tractor Drive, Howell

Tomatoes and lettuce had been put out at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, but were not marked to indicate the time they were removed from the cooler and the time they must be discarded (4 hours later). They were marked during the inspection. The hand sink in the dish-washing area was blocked by buckets and a cart. They were moved.

Jets Pizza

120 W. Highland Road, Suite 800, Howell

A couple a bottles of cleaner were stored on the prep table near food. They were moved to the chemical storage room. Always store chemicals away from food and clean equipment. There were a couple spray bottles of sanitizer missing labels. They were labeled during the inspection.

Mary’s Fabulous Chicken & Fish

2429 E. Grand River Ave., Howell

A cook came into work, took an order, put food handling gloves on and made the food without washing his hands first. He washes his hands. Several onions in a bin in the walk-in cooler had white mold growth. All of the onions were discarded.

Snappers on the Water

6484 Bennett Lake Road, Fenton

There was a container of moldy food dated from December. It was discarded. There were some cans that were leaky and rusted. They were set aside to be returned.

St. John Catholic Church

2099 Hacker Road, Howell

The two-door cooler in the kitchen is holding food at 60 to 65 degrees. Sour cream, yogurt, milk and sauerkraut with sausage were discarded. There was a large pot of tomato sauce that was improperly cooled in a large container in the cooler. The cooler was broken. The sauce was at the same temperature as everything else (60 to 65 degrees). It was discarded.

Tubby’s Sub Shop

9912 E. Grand River Ave., Ste 500, Brighton

A food handler used gloves that touched raw meat to begin to assemble ready-to-eat sandwich ingredients. She was stopped and told that she must wash her hands and put a new pair of gloves on before touching ready-to eat food. She washed her hands and donned a new pair of gloves. The solution used to wipe down the cutting board contained too much chlorine. Water was added.

One priority violation was found at:

3949 W. Grand River Ave., Howell

A dicer in the cleaned dish area contained food particles. It was cleaned.

Brighton Coffeehouse and Theater

306 W. Main Street, Brighton

The automatic dish machine was calibrated for chlorine sanitizer, but the unit contained quaternary sanitizer. It resulted in sanitizer concentrations that were too weak. The quaternary sanitizer was removed and replaced with proper chlorine sanitizer. Proper sanitizer levels were restored.

Buffalo Wild Wings

9745 Village Place Blvd., Brighton

Foods in a prep cooler were holding 50 degrees in the upper compartment and 45 degrees in the lower compartment. Large metal containers of ranch and blue cheese dressings were holding at 50 degrees. The products were stored on ice, but the amount of ice was not adequate. Ranch and blue cheese dressings, cut tomatoes, cut lettuce, salsa and dairy products were discarded. Upon the inspector’s return, the cooler was repaired and a larger, taller ice bath was being used to hold dressings. 

Community Congregational U.C.C.

125 E. Unadilla Street, Pinckney

The dish machine was out of chlorine sanitizer. The container was tipped to the side to make sure that the machine was pulling the sanitizer, which it was. The bleach will be replaced before the next event.

Emagine Theater

10495 Hartland Square Road, Hartland Township

The dish machine was getting stuck in a cycle where it did not activate the hot water sanitizing cycle. It was repaired.

Hungry Howies

2560 E. Grand River Ave., Howell

An open container of grilled cooked chicken and sausage had a use-by date that had passed. It was discarded.

Jimmy John’s

750 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton

The facility uses both chlorine and quaternary sanitizers. However, only quaternary test strips were available. Chlorine test strips were purchased.

Mt. Brighton Resort

4141 Bauer Road, Brighton

No paper towels were available at the hand sink at Bruin’s Bar. Towels were provided at the time of inspection.

6995 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton

Hot dogs in a reach cooler were kept past their use-by date. They were discarded.

Stout Irish Pub

125 E. Grand River Ave., Brighton

Cooked cabbage, cooked pasta noodles and house-made pizza sauce were expired. The items were discarded.

Sunrise Family Diner

2375 E. Grand River Ave., Howell

A line cook cracked eggs, changed food handling gloves and put a new pair of gloves on before touching ready-to-eat food without washing their hands. 

Sushi Zen

114 W. Grand River Ave., Brighton

A staff member touched dirty dishes while loading them into the dish machine. He began to put clean dishes away without washing his hands.

Wendy’s

1022 S. Michigan Ave., Howell

An employee with painted fingernails was performing food-related tasks such as scooping fries without gloves on. 

Whispering Pines Golf Club

2500 Whispering Pines Drive, Pinckney

The interior of the ice machine had some mold growth. During the golf season it is routinely cleaned, but the club had not been open for a while. 

Wong Express House

9912 E. Grand River Ave., Brighton

A slicer had an accumulation of dried food on the back of the blade. It was taken apart to be cleaned. Grease accumulation was found in between and around equipment.

READ MORE LIVINGSTON COUNTY RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS:

Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at jtimar@livingstondaily.com. Follow her on Facebook @Jennifer.Timar99 and Twitter @JenTimar99.

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Death Threats On Our Director Satanic, Can Plunge Nigeria Into Religious War, MURIC Warns

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*insists Muslims in South West sidelined on Amotekun

By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja

South West States Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) chairmen have called for the immediate arrest of some persons for allegedly issuing out death threats to it’s Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, saying it Satanic and could engulf Nigeria in a religious crisis.

They expressed this in a statement jointly signed by the six chairmen Ekiti (Murician Qasim Salahudeen), Ogun (Murician Tajudeen Jimoh), Oyo (Murician Salahudeen Abdul Wasiu), Osun (Murician Marufdeen Odedeji), Ondo (Murician Abdul Ganiyu Maroof) and Lagos (Murician Shefiu Ayorinde) and made available to AUTHENTIC News Daily on Tuesday January 28, 2020.

“A twitter handler directed a death threat to the director and founder of our Islamic human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, about a week ago. 

“He wrote a chilling comment on Professor Akintola’s picture and posted it. 

“The post was, in turn, screenshot from the Whatshap status of a contact who identified herself as Tosin Elizabeth a.k.a ‘Hidee’ with telephone number 08163964812.

“The death threat was issued under the caption, ‘THIS COBRA NEEDS TO BE KILLED’ and the exact words used were:

“There is one big COBRA we must kill, before it kills all of us with its venom. This MURIC man, Professor Ishaq Akintola, must be tamed, else he will succeed in destroying Yorubaland with venom from his religious stupidity. He sees, he talks and behaves like a big radical Taliban. He’s an agent of disunity, and must be called to order before it is too late.”

“We, the chairmen of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) branches from the South West, specifically from Ekiti (Murician Qasim Salahudeen), Ogun (Murician Tajudeen Jimoh), Oyo (Murician Salahudeen Abdul Wasiu), Osun (Murician Marufdeen Odedeji), Ondo (Murician Abdul Ganiyu Maroof) and Lagos (Murician Shefiu Ayorinde) hereby totally and categorically condemn the death threat issued against Professor Ishaq Akintola, the director of our organization,” it said.

They said that the death threat is Satanic and provocative. 

“It is capable of causing religious crisis not only in the South West but in Nigeria as a whole. Apart from revealing a desire to assassinate our director, it is also an incitement of the Yoruba people against the founder and director of our organisation. We insist that no harm must come to Professor Ishaq Lakin Akintola.

“It is clear from the words used in the death threat that the brain behind the satanic message is a Yoruba person who feels aggrieved by MURIC’s stand on the Amotekun security outfit which the governors of the South West have proposed. 

“For the avoidance of doubt, MURIC did not oppose the establishment of a security unit in Yorubaland so long as it is for better security. MURIC only opposed the way Muslims in the region have been sidelined in the arrangement. We reject the idea of collecting birth certificate from churches or letters of recommendation from pastors.

“Is that why our leader must be killed? Is that why Akintola became your first target? Is there no freedom of speech in this country? Are we not in a democracy? Is this how you want to treat Muslims after establishing Amotekun? We are certain that your intention is to turn Amotekun to a terror machine. You want to train assassins for eliminating Muslim leaders one by one.

“Yoruba Muslims have the right to speak freely. We are in the land of our ancestors. We are not foreigners. Nobody can expel us from the land of Oduduwa. We will continue to exercise our fundamental human rights without fear while we remain peaceful and law abiding. We are willing to live peacefully with our neighbours whether they are Christians, traditionalists or atheists. 

“The Nigerian Constitution accommodates all faiths. We are even ready to join the new security outfits in our different states once the religious bias is removed and the legal technicalities are resolved. But no true Muslim will give his or her blessing to a security organization which begins by showing anti-Muslim bias and targeting our Muslim brothers in the North.

“For the sake of clarity, we affirm that MURIC is a peace-loving organization and our motto is ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. Incidentally, our leader, Professor Akintola, is also a peace-loving man.

“He has never engaged in violence or supported any violent group. He has always condemned Boko Haram and promoted peaceful coexistence among the adherents of different faiths. Akintola is also an anti-corruption jihadist.

“The implications of attacking the director of MURIC will have far-reaching effect because MURIC is not about one man. Its membership spreads beyond the South West to the North. Those who have been used to persecuting the Muslims while the same oppressors shout to high heaven without anybody challenging them now see him as a threat because he has challenged the status quo and changed the narrative.

“Already, there is tension among the Muslims over the threat to Akintola and the Nigerian Council for Shariah (South West zone) issued a statement on the threat on Sunday, 27th January, 2020. Therefore, anybody planning to attack such a man is planning to plunge Nigeria into another crisis.

“We wish to warn those behind the death threat against Akintola to know what they are up against. Think well before you act. Akintola is the voice of the voiceless Muslims in Nigeria and he is recognized as such throughout the length and breadth of the country. You cannot attack such a person and get away with it so easily. Don’t cause trouble in Nigeria.

“This January 2020 alone, Akintola emerged as Number 4 Most Important Muslim in Nigeria for year 2019. This was the outcome of a public ranking conducted by a Nigerian newspaper. Also in 2019, our director and founder was turbaned the ‘Lion of Islam’ (Kinniun Adinni) by the League of Imams, Ikotun, Lagos State. We all know what it means for hundreds of Imams to unanimously agree to give such a title to an Islamic scholar. We do not need to remind those threatening to kill our director that the lion is the king of all animals, including the leopard (amotekun). What do you think will happen if the leopard attempts to launch an attack on the lion?

“In conclusion, we hereby call upon the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS) to unmask, apprehend and prosecute those who threatened Professor Ishaq Akintola and to provide adequate protection for him. Professor Akintola is a tax payer and deserves to be well protected. 

“We believe that the security agencies will understand the enormity of the issue and realise that it is a matter of national interest. We affirm that Allah is the best protector and the Most Merciful (Glorious Qur’an 12:64). We also restate our full confidence in the ability of the Nigerian security agencies to get to the bottom of the matter, particularly with the lead provided above as the person on whose status the threat was screenshot (Tosin Elizabeth a.k.a ‘Hidee’, telephone number 08163964812).”

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Police inspector allegedly beats widow to death in Akwa Ibom

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Police inspector allegedly beats widow to death in Akwa IbomBy Chioma Onuegbu

A police officer in Akwa Ibom state police command identified as Inspector Bassey Ikpe has allegedly beaten one widow, Mrs. Deborah Mkpenie to death over a civil matter based on inheritance rights.

An eyewitness and a tricycle rider Sunday Umoren told newsmen yesterday that the brutal murder of the widow and mother of three occurred last Thursday, Jan 16, 2020, following the invitation of late Mrs. Mkpenie by Bassey Ikpe who was the Police Investigation Officer (I.P.O) in the civil matter.

Umoren who brought the deceased to the Police Headquarters Ikot Akpan narrated how Ikpe attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department, (SCID) manhandled Mrs Mkpenie at the police premises.

He said, “The policeman approached my Keke which bore the woman, shouted at her that she was lying about her sickness. He made efforts to drag her out, in anger, he knocked her head several times by the side rail of the Keke. The woman was screaming that she is not well.

“She began to suffocate and found it difficult to breathe. The policeman kept insisting that she was lying that she was not feeling well. He even told her that, if she wanted to die, she should die. As the policeman kept trying to pull her out of the Keke, she was screaming until her voice grew faint.

“We even begged the policeman to refrain from his hostile act towards the woman. He even refused our taking her to hospital. It was after she breathed her last, that he eventually ordered that she should be taken to the hospital.”

Another eyewitness and sister to the deceased Mfonobong Peter corroborated Umoren’s explanation that Inspector Ikpe went wild that the deceased was lying about her state of health to escape being arraigned in court.

READ ALSO: Graphic: One shot dead, another injured as police disperse Shi’ites protest in Abuja

“My late sister was beaten to death by Inspector Bassey Peter Ikpe. He had threatened her repeatedly ever since this matter came up. My sister had waist pains arising from the dislocation she had while caring for the late husband. This made it difficult for her move about freely.

“She was also hypertensive due to the health complications that led to the husband’s death. But this policeman refused to take even the advice of the Deputy Commissioner of Police. I don’t know what interest he had on the matter.

“He had forced her to come to the police station, so that they could appear in court on a fictitious criminal charge, against the advice of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, the previous day. He beat my sister to death. I want Justice to be done”, she lamented.

She noted that when her late sister was rushed to the Police Clinic, the doctor confirmed she was already dead, adding “On returning to the police headquarters, we were denied entry into the premises by the police officers at the gate”.

However, it was gathered on Wednesday that Inspector was arrested on Tuesday January, 21 and detained pending completion of investigation into the murder case.

A human rights activist and Executive Director, Foundation for Civic Education, Human Rights and Development Advancement (FoCERaDA) Mr Clifford Thomas (Esq) described the action of Inspector Ikpe as highly condemnable.

Thomas who said the organisation petitioned the IGP,and CP when the matter was brought to her said “What this development means is that we still have police officers who needs further training in respect to observance and promotion of Human Rights.

” We are insisting on justice for the late widow because the action contravenes section 33 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). However, the reaction of the Commissioner of Police in the state is commendable.

“He swung into action immediately he got the report and after enquiries got him (Ikpe) arrested yesterday (Tuesday) and detained him while investigation is ongoing”

Thomas added that their brief has it that Victor Nkereuwem Mkpenie, Mkpenie Nkereuwem Mkpenie, and Aniekan Nkereuwem Mkpenie, stepsons of the deceased reported a civil matter based on inheritance and sharing of properties of the late husband of the deceased to the said Inspector Bassey Peter Ikpe, who thereon tutored them to frame up a lame charge against the deceased.

“The charge never came up but the deceased had filed for the enforcement of her fundamental human rights following the repeated harassment she received from the Inspector Ikpe and her three stepsons. The trio had threatened that the deceased would die and the case discontinued.

“On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the SCIID , S. U Horsefall had warned Inspector Ikpe against his very obvious violation of police regulations and procedure and advised him to bring all the parties for interview on that fateful day to see if going to court would still be an option”

Several efforts by newsmen to get police reaction on the incident was abortive.

However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Odiko MacDon, in a statement yesterday made available to newsmen said, “The attention of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has been drawn to a publication in some dailies and online media that Police personnel attached to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, one Inspr. Bassey Ikpe reportedly beat up one Mrs. Deborah Nkereuwem Mkpenie to death on Thursday, 16th of January, 2020.

“To authenticate this serious allegation, the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, CP Imohimi Edgal has ordered the immediate arrest of the said Inspector.

“The Commissioner has instructed the Deputy Commissioner, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter, while reiterating the Command’s commitment to policing with great respect for human rights”.

The post Police inspector allegedly beats widow to death in Akwa Ibom appeared first on Vanguard News.

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Four remanded over destruction of Sotitobire church

By Damisi Ojo, Akure

Another four young men have been remanded at Olokuta Correctional Service Centre by a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure over alleged murder, arson, malicious damage and stealing at Sotitobire Church in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

They are: Yusuf Owa, 27, Adebayo Adeyemi, 22, Adeleye Omowumi, 28, and Adu Babatunde, 27.

The accused were fresh suspects to be remanded in prison as 14 persons were earlier remanded in connection with the crisis, making the total number of 18 suspects at Olokuta Correctional Service centre.

The accused persons are facing a six -count-charge of felony, conspiracy, murder, arson and stealing.

According to the charge sheet, they committed the offence on December 18, 2019 at about 9:45am at Sotitobire Church, Oshinle, Akure, in the Akure Magisterial District.

The alleged offences were said to be contrary to sections 383 and punishable under sections 324, 516,319(1), 443(a), 451 and 390(a).

The defendants were alleged to have killed one Sergeant Sheidu Ocheopo (m) by smashing him to death with tyre rim and stones at Sotitobire Church, Oshinle, while performing his lawful duty.

They were also accused of setting ablaze Sotitobire Church Oshinle and Ajipowo branches, including Police Hilux patrol vehicle, AK47 rifle with breach No, 4777 and some vehicles belonging to individuals valued at N2 millions.

Other items that were set ablaze, according to the charge were; Toyota Siena, Range rover Jeep, Toyota venza, Toyota Camry and Lexus car valued at N250 million, belonging to Alfa Babatunde Olumoyo.

Also some church items like rug, amplifier, fans, and other valuables in the church, valued at N600,000 were said to have been stolen.

READ ALSO: 13 remanded over attack on Sotitobire church

The Prosecuting Police Officer, Inspector Uloh Goodluck, informed the court of his intention to move a motion on notice for the remands of the defendants at Olokuta, Correctional Service Centre.

Counsel representing the first defendant, Mr. M.O Ojo, and counsel to third and fourth defendants, Mr. Afe Felix, opposed the moving of the motion, drew the attention of the court to the fact that the motion before it was just serve in the court, adding that they need some time to file their counter affidavit.

While the counsel representing the second defendant Mr. John Olowookere, did not oppose to the prosecutor moving his motion for remand.

The Magistrate, Mrs. Charity Adeyanju, ordered that the defendants be kept at Olokuta Correctional Service Centre, pending when the move of motion on notice for the remand of the defendants.

She adjourned the case till January 20, 2020.

The Sotitobire Church Founder, Alfa Babatunde is expected to appear in court on Thursday for the hearing of his case of alleged kidnapping of one year old boy, Gold Kolawole, who got missing in his church in November 2019.

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Women hold IGP accountable for PDP Woman leader’s death

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Women groups have re-stated their call for justice for the death of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Woman Leader, Mrs Salome Abuh, who was burnt to death in her house during the Nov. 16, Kogi governorship election.

National President, Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Ebere Ifendu, made the demand while briefing newsmen at the end of a panel session on women in politics during the national women’s dialogue titled “Womanifesto”.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that various groups of women, NGOs, female religious groups and others embarked on a match from the National Centre for Women Development to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs after a three-day conference in Abuja on Friday.

Ifendu at the briefing decried the poor participation of women in politics, which she attributed to violence and intimidation.

She said the situation would discourage more women from participating in politics, thereby stalling their contribution to national development.

“There must be justice for Salome because this is a huge crime against women; we are still struggling to find our feet with all the challenges women face and now this.

“We are afraid and going down on a daily basis but there must be justice to give us reasons to continue.

“We hold Inspector-General of Police accountable, we will follow the prosecution because somebody must pay for that gruesome murder.

“If we fail Salome we fail ourselves, but if there is justice we know that she didn’t die in vain.

“Women should not run away from politics because of this because if we do we are helping them to achieve their aim,” she added.
Ifendu, therefore, stressed the need for a violence-free society which would herald a bright future for women in politics and all sectors.

She also called for an amended Electoral Act adding that political parties should also ensure internal party democracy where people have equal fields to contest for any position.

“In fact what women are demanding now is twinning. That is a situation whereby when we have male president a woman should be vice president and so at all levels of governance,” she said.

Also, the National Coordinator, 100 Women Lobby Group, Mrs Felicia Onibon, blamed the challenges women faced on patriarchy, urging women and all stakeholders to hold the ace and unbundle it so that women could move forward.

A female politician from Cross River state, Ms Eucharia Bisong, expressed sadness over the death of Salome Abuh and other persons during electioneering processes and encouraged women not to give up their struggle.

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PDP woman leader burnt to death; home razed

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Bello condemns act, orders probe; Police confirm incident, begin investigation
As Dickson tenders video evidence of rigging, poll violence in Bayelsa
We have no business with Dickson —APC

By Clifford Ndujihe, Samuel Oyadongha, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Dirisu Yakubu & Winifred Azubuike

LAGOS — The violence which hallmarked weekend’s governorship polls in Kogi and Bayelsa states  took a dangerous dimension, yesterday, as the Woman Leader of  Engineer Musa Wada/Aro Campaign Council, Mrs Acheju Abuh, was reportedly burnt alive in her home by suspected political thugs.

Head of Communications, Wada/Aro Campaign Council, Mr. Faruk Adejoh-Audu, in a statement alleged that jubilant supporters of the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, and thugs said to be celebrating his victory carried out the act.

He claimed that thugs, chanting GYB 4+4, and shooting sporadically “arrived Mrs Abuh’s house at about 2pm, surrounded the house, and shut every entry and exit from outside. They then poured petrol on the building and set it ablaze as other terrorized villagers watched from hiding.

She reportedly attempted to escape through a window but was prevented by the burglary proof, with gunshots raining in her direction.

The bloodthirsty thugs waited, shooting and watching with relish as Mrs Abuh cried from inside the inferno until her voice died out. They reportedly left only when the entire house and Mrs Abuh had been burnt to ashes.”

The Police in Kogi confirmed the incident, just as Kogi State Government condemned the dastardly act and ordered immediate probe.

This happened on a day Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State tendered video evidence of electoral fraud and violence in Nembe, Ogbia, and Southern Ijaw LGAs of the state in Saturday’s election, and accused the Army of colluding with APC to rig the poll.

Also, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, yesterday said the Police were aware of plans by politicians to sew police uniforms for their supporters during the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

Police confirm arson on PDP Women leader, as Kogi govt condemns act

The Kogi Stare Police Command confirmed the incident through its Public Relations Officer, DSP William Aya,  in a statement, titled “Culpable homicide/mischief by fire,” said:

“On 18/11/2019 at about 1630hrs, one Musa Ety of Ochadamu, Ofu LGA reported at the station that at about 10:30 of same date, there was a misunderstanding between one Awolu Zekeri, aged 35 years, member of APC and one Gowon Simeon, a member of PDP, both of Ochadamu, in the process Gowon Simeon stabbed Awolu Zekeri with a knife on his lap, he died on his way to the hospital.

“As a result, angry youths in the area mobilized to the house of one Simeon Abuh of same address who is an uncle to the suspect, set it ablaze, and  burnt one Salome Abuh, aged 60 years.”

Aya said three other houses were equally burnt, adding that the corpse had been moved to the University Teaching Hospital Mortuary, Anyigba, for autopsy.

He disclosed that the Police Mobile Force and Police Special Forces had been drafted to the area to prevent further breakdown of law and order, while investigation into the matter continued.

However, the state governor has directed his Special Adviser on Security, Jerry Omodara, to get to the root of the incident.

Governor Bello’s spokesman, Kingsley Fanwo, who confirmed this, expressed disappointment over what he described as “mindless attacks by rival parties in Ochadamu.”

He said: “We feel disturbed at reports of violence in Ochadamu that has led to the loss of lives and property in the community. It was reported that a supporter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was stabbed to death while party members were jubilating over the outcome of the governorship election.

“The reprisal attack by alleged APC members which led to the death of an innocent woman is criminal and condemnable. Our government would not shield party members who break the laws of the land.

“Governor Yahaya Bello has directed security agents to quell the rising tension and also ensure that perpetrators of the murder and arson are brought to book. The governor is elected to protect all Kogi people regardless of their ethnic or political beliefs.”

Fanwo, who said the State Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara, has been given orders to ensure the crisis is brought to an immediate end, urged the people of the community to maintain peace as justice would surely be served.

Idika Kalu condemns act

Four-time minister and elder statesman, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, condemned the act, saying ‘’our common humanity has been called to question.’’

His words: “Surely, even for a beleaguered Nigeria, this, if true, is an unpardonable outrage and barbaric politics at its worst! A veritable tipping point, if countless other similar incidents are dubiously discounted!

“Our common humanity is called to question, whomsoever we are. .this crime, surely, is beyond partisan politics.  Our leaders in all spheres must declare a human tragedy in Kogi, indeed, in the entire nation.

“All men and women of goodwill, all who remotely regard themselves as leaders in this country, must demand full and prompt accountability for this dastardly act under whatever guise!

“Our creator will take vengeance for the bestiality displayed in the name of hateful party politics!

This is the last straw on the ceaseless assault on our civilization.”

How Bayelsa poll was rigged – Dickson

Meanwhile, Governor Seriake Dickson yesterday presented video evidence in support of the killings and election violence that characterised the conduct of last Saturday’s governorship election in Nembe local government area and other parts of the state.

Addressing a world press conference in Yenagoa, Dickson described the election as a charade and a carefully orchestrated plan to forcibly take over the state towards entrenching a one-party system.

He said: “This is not the first time we are having elections. People were killed, some ripped open and thrown into the river and up till now no arrest..

“As democrats, we believe in using democratic procedures in challenging what happened in Ogbia. In Ogbia, there was no collation done. In most of the areas, at the conclusion of voting, the soldiers came and rounded up everybody and forcibly took them to Ogbia town and asked all PDP leaders to leave to enable them replace with pre-written results. And so the results announced for Ogbia, like those for Southern Ijaw and Nembe were not real.

“What has happened in Bayelsa is one of the most brazen acts of distortion and rape of our democracy. What took place was not a democratic election. It was a military coup. It was the height of conspiracy by the federal government and security agencies to subvert the democratic rights of our people for the sole purpose of foisting the APC on the people.

“It has never been like this before. In 2015, it wasn’t as bad as this. In this case, not only was the Army directed to take over our place, but also to collude with APC thugs to unleash terror on our people.”

The governor urged Bayelsans to be calm, adding that the reprehensible acts against democracy would be addressed through democratic procedures.

Dickson also described as balderdash, the notion being bandied about by APC leaders that it was disagreement between him and former President Goodluck Jonathan that led to their pyrrhic victory, emphasizing that Jonathan remained a leader of the entire country whose image and reputation was too weighty to be dragged in the mud by the opposition party.

He explained that as a leader of the country, the former President was at liberty to receive visitors of the APC who paid him a visit but warned on the dangers posed by the satanic insinuations being weaved around the visit by the APC to sell their diabolic plot to turn Nigeria into a one party state and a vicious attempt to legitimize illegitimate and indefensible electoral outcomes.

He stressed that no politician had stood by Jonathan more than himself and that in the build up to the elections, he had visited Jonathan about sixteen times to meet with him on the way forward for the PDP.

“My reaction is that President Jonathan remains a leader of our country. He is at liberty to receive members of any political party but in the context of all that is going on I know that the insinuations are not misplaced.

“APC came to Bayelsa to take his state and people by force. With the comments they are making about him, Oshiomhole coming to Bayelsa to praise Jonathan. What they were doing is laying the foundation to perpetrate fraud and violence

“No politician has stood by Jonathan more than me. They simply used his name and image to legitimize an illegitimacy. I can see the strategic content. They used Jonathan to expand the notion of disagreement and after the rigging to go to him like Pontius Pilate to wash off their hands and put it at his doorsteps to say he sanctioned it…But let’s accord him the right to meet with other dignitaries.”

Fake policemen disrupted polls– IGP

Speaking on the violence that trailed the polls, IGP Mohammed Adamu, said the Police were aware of plans by politicians to sew police uniforms for their supporters during the exercises.

The IGP also said that ‘policemen’ alleged to have disrupted the November 16 governorship polls in parts of the two states were “fake” and not the personnel officially deployed for election duties.

Briefing State House correspondents after a security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, Adamu stated that all security personnel who worked during the elections were given “special identification tags,” adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.

The IGP, who said the security situation in the country was stable, however, said investigation was ongoing to unravel the identities of those that caused violence during the elections, adding that 11 arrests had been made.

On the alleged police extortion of motorists in South-East by police officers at check points, he advised that people should always copy the names of such police officers and report them to the police hierarchy in the area.

Jonathan’s loyalty is to Nigeria – Omokri

Speaking on why former President Goodluck Jonathan hosted APC leaders and comments that his support made APC win Bayelsa governorship election, Mr Reno Omokri, said the ex-President remained a member of the PDP but that his loyalty was to Nigeria.

In a statement issued yesterday, Omokri, a former aide of Jonathan, said the ex-President was, however, required to accept all Nigerians because of his role as an elder statesman.

Omokri was reacting to the controversy sparked off after Jonathan hosted some All Progressives Congress, APC, governors at his residence in Otuoke, following the victory of David Lyon, APC candidate in the Bayelsa governorship election.

Jonathan was said to have tacitly supported Lyon against Duoye Diri, candidate of the PDP.

Omokri said his former boss had no interest in partisan politics and that he welcomed anyone who paid him a courtesy visit.

According to him, it is more appropriate to say Jonathan’s “eternal party is Nigeria.”

“Former President Goodluck Jonathan is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party. Throughout his sojourn on earth, he has been a member of only one political party,” Omokri said.

“Dr. Jonathan is known for his stability and loyalty. These are character traits that have been lifelong companions of his. He is also an elder statesman and that role requires that he accepts all Nigerian citizens, and indeed all the world’s peoples, in the spirit of the brotherhood of man.

“As an elder statesman and Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Dr. Jonathan will receive people of goodwill who apply to pay him a courtesy visit, irrespective of their political or religious leanings. Though a Christian, he has received Muslim groups and diverse other visitors.

“Dr. Jonathan intends to devote the rest of his life on Earth to building unity, and engendering opportunity for Nigerians and Africans and he has no desire, or reason to engage in partisan politics beyond being a loyal member of the Peoples Democratic Party.

“His being a member of the Peoples Democratic Party is institutional. In fact, it is more accurate to state that his eternal party is Nigeria, for which he reminds all Nigerians that they are brothers and sisters born from the womb of one Nigeria.”

PDP youths blame party leadership for Bayelsa defeat

Indeed, the failure of the PDP to retain the governorship seat in Bayelsa State has been blamed on the national leadership of the party.

A group of youths, under the auspices of PDP South-South Youth Vanguard, who stated this yesterday, also fingered what they called Governor Seriake Dickson’s high-handedness in the build up to selection of the party’s candidate for the election.

In a statement by its National Chairman, James Efe Akpofure, the youths claimed that monies exchanged hands between the party leadership and the governor over his choice of candidate.

The group further said Bayelsa people were not happy with Governor Dickson’s decision to feature a candidate that was not popular among the people, even as they described the choice of Diri as selfish.

Aside from blaming Dickson, the group also accused former President Jonathan of anti-party activities, stressing that no matter the issue, the governor, the party leadership and Jonathan ought to have found a way to resolve it.

The group said: “The failure of PDP to win Bayelsa State governorship election should be blamed on the party leadership led by Prince Uche Secondus.

“Governor Dickson failed to listen to the people. He brought an unpopular candidate, who does not have what it takes to win the election.

“The role of former President Jonathan didn’t help matters, rather, it escalated the situation.”

The Youth Vanguard called for the dissolution of the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee, NWC, of the party and also called for National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting to address pertinent issues affecting the party.

We have nothing with Dickson —APC

Reacting to Dickson allegation last night, APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said:  ‘’What video?  Is it about the election?  We have moved past that stage.  We have nothing with Dickson.’’

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How 15 inmates of Lagos church were rescued

By Precious Igbonwelundu

The illegal healing centre discovered at Isheri-Osun where about 15 chained persons were rescued was uncovered following a distress message to Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, The Nation learnt on Sunday.

It was gathered that someone had sent an SOS to the governor on activities in the place Blessings of Goodness Healing Church situated at 26, Alafia Street, Oriofe Ijegun Isheri-Osun.

The governor, it was gathered, forwarded the SOS to the State Police chief Zubairu Muazu, an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) who directed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Chike Ibe to investigate.

The Nation reports that the church, an uncompleted building surrounded by dirty and stinking water was a beehive of mosquitoes and other reptiles found in standing water.

The only benefitting sight was a well netted room self-contained said to have been occupied by a female epileptic patient whose parents visited regularly.

It was gathered that most of the inmates were desperate to go home but could not as their folks were yet to pay certain amounts of money. While some of the victims were mentally unstable, others sounded coherently and claimed they were brought by their parents for either alcoholism or irrational behaviours.

According to one Adewale Adetona, he did not know how he got to the church, claiming he was just kidnapped at the instance of his mother Alhaja Monsurat Tiamiyu.

Read Also: How 15 inmates of Lagos church were rescued

“It was one early morning, while I was sleeping, I heard that some people want to take me before I noticed I was just kidnapped and brought there.

“I was not happy staying at that church. I have my own life to live but I couldn’t all the while I was there. I couldn’t perform my daily routine. I was brought to the place without an option. I was not given a choice.

“They said it is a church but these are mad people. What am I doing where there are mad people? The only thing they used to tell me is that I was already there and there was nothing I can do.”

Denying claims by his mother that he was unstable, Adetona said if that was the case why was he not taken to the hospital instead of being brought to a centre that makes people go mad?

But Alhaja Tiamiyu said Adetona usually misbehaved and put her to shame.

“He might lock himself up in the house while people will be knocking  and he won’t open up. People might be in the compound and playing, he can just start saying gibberish. On the first of January, I was in the police station

“Everyone was celebrating the new year, he just went out and said the Igbo man is staring at him and that was how it started. Suddenly, he came back with a cutlass and that was how the neighbourhood scattered.

“I have taken him to a hospital and when I heard that a prayer is being held about spiritual hazards and those that have gone there before gave their testimonies, I arranged to take him there from home because if I told him to follow me, he would not agree.”

Another inmate Solomon Ogboki, an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) holder said his condition had improved since his parents took him to the church mainly because he longer had access to alcohol.

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Benue: Lecturer arraigned for allegedly raping minor to death

person

…says ‘I can’t cater for four children alone’

Residents of Ogunfeyinmi Island, Satellite Town in Oriade Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, have been plunged into mourning following the killing of a father of four, Mr. Godwin Gregory, allegedly by naval personnel.

Godwin, a musician, was allegedly shot by naval officers chasing some suspected oil thieves in the area. Godwin had been on the Island for over nine years. It was there he met his wife, married her and had four daughters.

Godwin lived with his wife and their four daughters in a single room apartment on the Island.

His distraught widow, Mrs. Bose Gregory, described her husband’s death as quite shocking and traumatising.

Bose, a full time housewife, wept profusely.

“How do I cater for these four children? Since my husband died, we have been living from hand to mouth. We have been begging from friends and my family members to survive. Our children have dropped out of school,” she said.

Bose said Godwin was shot on September 11. On that fateful day, she was doing some laundries, while Godwin was inside the apartment, doing something else. Their second daughter then came crying, saying that she was hungry. Bose begged her husband to prepare food for the children since she was still busy with the laundries.

She said: “My husband stood up from where he was sitting and went with my first daughter to buy palm oil and kerosene. My husband gave the palm oil and the kerosene to my daughter to take home. When my daughter came home, I inquired about her father. She said he was discussing with someone. A few minutes later, I heard gunshots. I immediately grabbed my children and rushed into our apartment for safety. I was still inside when I heard a loud noise from outside. Someone was shouting that Godwin had been shot.”

When Bose heard that her husband had been shot, she rushed out in panic and asked to be taken to the scene of the incident. She said that her heart pounded in fear as she walked to the scene in something of a trance.

Bose added: “Before we got to the scene, a crowd had gathered. I saw my husband; he had been shot. He was on the ground, bleeding. I asked him what happened, he said that some naval personnel shot him because he refused to run, while they were passing. He said that other people ran, but he didn’t. They then shot him. My husband said he told them the thought of running never crossed his mind because he had not committed any crime. The naval personnel told my husband to call his family members to take him to hospital. They told him that it would be difficult for him to survive judging from the spot that the bullet hit him. At that point in his narration, my husband started crying, begging that we should take him to hospital.”

Youths and elders in the community mobilised, hired a speedboat and rushed Godwin to the mainland. He was first taken to a private hospital at Oto-Awori area, where the bullets were extracted from his leg.

“While at the hospital, he was in continuous pains. I came home on Thursday to take care of my children. While at home, I called and spoke with him, to know about his health. We were still talking when he started crying, begging me to take care of our children, that he didn’t want to die. He was then referred to Badagry General Hospital. He died while being moved to the General Hospital. This is not the first time naval officers would come into the community to start shooting indiscriminately,” Bose said.

A resident on the Island, Mr. Kazeen Olalekan, who witnessed the incident, described Godwin’s death as unfortunate.

He said: “On the fateful day of the incident, he and I played a game of Ludo together. After the game, he left, saying that he was going home to attend to his children. Some hours after he had gone home, I also left for my house.

“I was close to my house when I saw four naval personnel and two other people in mufti. They were chasing some people. I quickly moved and hide in the bush. It was from my hiding that I heard gunshots. I knew someone had been shot. When I peeped, I saw the naval personnel talking to Godwin; they were asking him where the bullet hit him. Godwin raised his shirt and showed them where the bullet got him. I heard one of the naval personnel telling him to call his family members to take him to hospital for treatment.

“After that, the naval men abandoned him. I came out of my hideout and rushed to him. We then got a speedboat to take him to the mainland. Before we were able to get the speedboat, 30 minutes had gone. Godwin spent nine traumatising days in that hospital before he died. He died on the ninth day.

“I was with him at the hospital; it was one of our community leaders that paid his medical bills. I don’t know how the children and his widow would cope. All we want is justice for him and his family members.”

Olalekan added that after Godwin was confirmed dead, community members deposited his remains at the Badagry Mortuary and went on social media to paste his picture, calling on anyone that recognised him to alert them or his family members.

He said: “Since he had been on the Island, we had not seen or met any member of his family. The only person we know with him is his wife and children. Anyone who knows his family should alert them about his death or alert us.”

A 78-year-old woman, Mrs. Janet Adekanbi, said that Godwin was very close to her and that she felt his death more than most people. She explained that on that fateful day that Godwin was killed, he had visited her shop to play a game of Ludo with her. While they were playing, his children came to call him, that he should come and prepare food for them. He left.

She said: “Immediately he left, I went inside the room to sleep. I was still sleeping when my granddaughter came to wake me, screaming that Godwin had been shot. I hurriedly stood up from where I sleeping. Godwin was a nice person. I knew him before he got married. Since he had been in this community, none of us knew his relatives. He used to tell us that his mother was an indigene of Lagos State, while his father is from Calabar, Cross River. Whenever his wife gave birth, we are the ones who used to mark the naming ceremony for him. In fact, even his church members have not come to pay condolence visit. We’re in a dilemma. His family members need to bury him.” 

Godwin’s landlady, Mrs. Morayo Ariwayo, told our correspondent that the deceased was a gentleman to the core.

She said: “When he was shot, everyone tried to save his life. I don’t understand why those naval men decided to shoot and kill the young man. Godwin should not die in vain. Those that shot and killed him should be fished out.”

The Secretary of Ogunfeyinmi Island, Mr. Wole Olufeyinmi, disclosed that the first thing members of the community did was to report the matter to Ilashe Police Post, under Alakija Police Station, in order to prevent breakdown of law and order.

He said: “We tried our best to save his life. We took him to the hospital, but he died. What we are demanding now is justice for him and the family he left behind. We are appealing to the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, to launch investigation and find his killers.

“As I speak with you, there’s tension in the community. Many residents have moved out of the Island because of the naval people and their reckless shootings. We don’t know exactly where the naval men were coming from on that day. We are also appealing to the deceased’s family members to come forward so as to give him a proper burial.”

When contacted on the phone, the Western Naval Command Information Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ogar Otuji, said the community should write to the appropriate authority for proper investigation on the issue.

He said: “We cannot identify those who committed the crime because there are a lot of impersonators everywhere now. But with the petition to the authority, proper investigation would be conducted on the matter.”

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‘We’re not fooling around’: Pelosi and Schiff stand firm as Trump fumes

Were not fooling around: Democratic pair say inquiry will not be slowed and condemn president over blatant effort to intimidate witnesses

Democrats

Donald Trump has been accused of incitement to violence and threatened with obstruction charges in the fast-escalating battle over impeachment, as the president maintained his aggressive counter-attack against Democratic leaders and the whistleblower who precipitated the inquiry.

Were not fooling around here, Adam Schiff, the chair of the powerful House intelligence committee, said in Washington on Wednesday.

Elijah Cummings, the chair of the House oversight committee, revealed that it would issue a subpoena to the White House if it failed to hand over documents on contacts with Ukraine by Friday.

I do not take this step lightly, Cummings said, saying the White House had stonewalled on demands for cooperation for several weeks.

The Democrats investigative steps have infuriated Trump, who was live-tweeting their press conference on Capitol Hill. He denounced the impeachment process, in block capitals, as BULLSHIT and later repeated an extreme claim that Schiff should be investigated for treason.

The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, announced the start of the impeachment inquiry eight days ago, focusing on a whistleblower complaint that emerged the week before about a July phone call between Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The complaint and a memo of the call issued by the White House have since been released, indicating that Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden, a leading rival for the White House in the 2020 election, while the US was withholding vital aid from Ukraine.

Schiff insisted on Wednesday that the inquiry would not be slowed down by presidential stonewalling or threatening language against potential witnesses.

Were very busy, Schiff said. We are proceeding deliberately but at the same time we feel a real sense of urgency here.

Democratic-run House committees heard from the state departments inspector general, an independent watchdog, on Wednesday, followed by the former special envoy on Ukraine on Thursday and the former ambassador to Kyiv next week. But they are battling with the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, about other depositions by state department officials and the handover of relevant documents.

Schiff and Pelosi condemned Trump for rhetoric directed at an intelligence agency whistleblower who revealed details of the phone call at the core of the impeachment proceedings.

Trump has referred to the whistleblower and the officials who provided information included in the complaint as spies and implied they should face the death penalty. Senior officials and some leading Republicans have confirmed the whistleblower used recommended legal channels but Trump repeated the spy allegation on Wednesday.

Donald
Donald Trump at the White House with the Finnish PM on Wednesday. Pelosi and Schiffs press conference infuriated the president. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Schiff said the president was engaging in a blatant effort to intimidate witnesses.

Its an incitement of violence, he said.

The president probably doesnt realize how dangerous his statement is, Pelosi added.

Trump, who was clearly watching the press conference live, unleashed an expletive-laced Twitter tirade.

The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyones time and energy on BULLSHIT, which is what they have been doing ever since I got overwhelmingly elected in 2016, he said.

The president continued to tweet every few minutes, lashing out at Schiff, who he called a lowlife, until it was time to greet the visiting Finnish president Sauli Niinist. The fury of Trumps commentary reflected how impeachment has come to consume his focus and attention.

At a press conference at the end of his meeting with Niinist, Trump, who repeated one of his favourite self-descriptions as a very stable genius, repeatedly refused to answer a question about what he had been asking Zelenskiy to do in relation to the Bidens, and lost his temper at the Reuters journalist asking it.

Are you talking to me? Trump shouted. Did you hear me? he demanded, telling the journalist to ask the Finnish president a question instead.

Play Video
1:25

‘Are you talking to me?’: furious Trump takes aim at journalist over Ukraine question video

In his own struggle with Congress, Pompeo was forced to admit on Wednesday he took part in the July phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy.

Pompeo made the admission while on a trip to Rome, after his participation in the call had been reported in the US press. When asked in a television interview 10 days ago about the Trump conversation with Zelenskiy, Pompeo had looked quizzical and implied he was hearing about it for the first time.

On Wednesday, Pompeo said: As for was I on the phone call? I was on the phone call. But he presented the conversation as part of normal state department business, trying to bolster a new Ukrainian government against the threat of Russia.

He referred dismissively to the growing scandal engulfing the Trump administration as all this noise.

It has become clear Pompeo has only limited power to stop committees from gathering evidence for an impeachment inquiry.

One of the five witnesses deposed, Kurt Volker, former special envoy for Ukraine who resigned last week, confirmed he would speak to the committees in closed session on Thursday. The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday that Volker resigned as Pompeo was attempting to push him out of his post, in the hope of reducing the pressure on the state department.

Schiff said Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Kyiv, would appear next week. Press reports said she was due to give a deposition on 11 October.

The state departments inspector general, Steve Linick, went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to brief Congress on documents related to relations with Ukraine. After the briefing, the Maryland Democratic congressman Jamie Raskin described the material as a collection of unfounded allegations involving the Bidens and Yovanovitch.

Its essentially a packet of propaganda and disinformation spreading conspiracy theories, Raskin said.

The presidents personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who has played a central role in the Ukraine scandal, later told CNN that he had sent at least some of the material to Pompeos office earlier this year and that it included information he had been given by previous Ukrainian prosecutors.

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Giuliani: I Provided Documents State Department Watchdog Gave To Congress

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told CNN on Wednesday night that some of the documents in a packet the State Department inspector general handed to Congress just hours earlier had come from him. The revelation was the latest twist in the ongoing turmoil over Trump’s call with the leader of Ukraine in July. 

CNN’s report came the same day the State Department’s watchdog, Steve Linick, sent an urgent message to Congress saying he needed to meet and give them copies of documents related to the Ukraine call. Democrats were reportedly prepared for some kind of a bombshell but instead were handed a 40-page packet of documents that included conspiracy theories and news clippings. The pages also referenced a slew of names related to the scandal: Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, Hunter Biden and George Soros.

The packet had a return address that matched that of the Manhattan office of Giuliani, who later confirmed that he was responsible for their production, telling The New York Times they came from a “professional investigator who works for my company.”

The documents prompted consternation from top Democrats, who issued public calls that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explain how such misinformation made it to the top levels of government. Lawmakers also said the packet only provided more evidence that the White House had “sought to use the machinery of the State Department to further the President’s personal political interests.”

“We are now in possession of this packet of propaganda and disinformation,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told Reuters on Wednesday. “The real question is where did it come from and how did it end up in our lap?”

The chairs of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees released a joint statement earlier Wednesday expressing concerns about the “urgent” briefing. 

The statement said the meeting with Linick raised “troubling questions” about alleged efforts by the Trump administration to target former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Yovanovitch, who was removed from her ambassadorship in May after Trump allies accused her of participating in an alleged Ukrainian attempt to support Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“The documents provided by the Inspector General included a package of disinformation, debunked conspiracy theories, and baseless allegations in an envelope marked ‘White House’ and containing folders labeled ‘Trump Hotel,‘” the chairs’ statement read. 

Giuliani told CNN that he had “routed” what he said was an “outline” of allegations against Biden and Yovanovitch to Pompeo’s office in March. He also reportedly sent details about his talks from earlier this year with top Ukrainian prosecutors who helped give him information for his outline.

“They told me they were going to investigate it,” Giuliani told CNN.

The attorney and former New York mayor has become one of the central figures in the political whirlwind over Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, on July 25. During the conversation, Trump repeatedly pressed his counterpart to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company for five years. Before the call, the Trump administration had been withholding military aid from Ukraine.

A whistleblower complaint about the call mentioned Giuliani multiple times, and Trump’s lawyer has said in television interviews that he met with Ukrainian operatives. But in recent days he’s moved to minimize his role in the scandal, saying he got involved only at the behest of the State Department.

House Democrats have been moving quickly to investigate the Ukraine call as part of their impeachment inquiry while Trump has raged about the effort. This week the president called the inquiry a “coup” and has been refusing to answer some reporters’ questions about the information that’s come out of transcripts of the call.

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