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US crisis: Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks after impeaching President Trump

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House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has insisted that no one is above the law.

She said this after signing an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Trump was impeached for a historic second time on Wednesday evening, and Pelosi did the signing, a ceremonial step that precedes the article being sent to the Senate.

The signing makes the article official shortly after it passed the House. Ten Republican members backed the Democrats to impeach Trump.

The President who has a week in office, was accused of inciting his supporters to attack the US Capitol, an incident that claimed some lives last week Wednesday.

Trump was impeached by the House on a single charge of incitement of insurrection.

“Today, in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States,” Pelosi said before signing the document.

“That Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that once again we honor that oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us God.”

By this development, the US leader made history by becoming the first American President to be impeached twice.

The House will submit the article of impeachment to the Senate, although a trial is not expected to begin until after next Wednesday’s inauguration.

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Cross River Assembly to confirm Justice Akom Ikpeme as substantive Chief Judge Thursday

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An operative with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Bello Hamma-Adama, on Wednesday, told a Federal High Court in Abuja that a sum of N75 million was recovered from Halima, wife of a former Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Tanimu Turaki.

Tanimu Turaki was a Minister in the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government between 2013 and 2015.

Turaki also served as a supervising Minister for the Federal Ministry of Labour between 2014 and 2015.

Hamma-Adama, the 5th prosecution witness (PW5) in the ongoing trial of Turaki, made the disclosure before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He, however, said the money was later transferred in tranches into private individuals’ accounts.

Giving the breakdown, Hamma-Adama, who was the lead investigator in the agency, said N45 million was transferred to the Minister’s brother, Abdullahi Maigwandu, through his Zenith Bank account.

Out of the N45 million, he said Maigwandu transferred N20 million to the Guarantee Trust Bank account of Halima Tanimu Turaki, the ex-minister’s wife.

According to him, the sum of N20 million was transferred to O-Pec Nig Ltd.

Hamma-Adama said that the remaining N5 million was withdrawn in China using the ATM of Maigwandu by Halima to procure furniture items.

He said, “N30 million was transferred to Abubakar Sani Gude’s Zenith Bank account from the ministry’s account, and the N30 million was sent to the wife of the 1st defendant (Turaki).

“We called for the Maigwandu’s account statement in Zenith Bank. We discovered he is a civil servant in Kebbi on a salary of about N33, 000.

“We suspected a case of money laundering, and we did a network analysis, and we discovered that he could not have owned that money because he is on N33, 000 salary.”

“He said he is a brother to the former minister and that the money was transferred on his instruction,” he added.

However, the Judge, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 for trial continuation.

Recall that the EFCC had arraigned the former Minister (1st defendant) alongside his former Special Assistant, Sampson Okpetu (2nd defendant), and two firms; Samtee Essentials Ltd and Pasco Investment Ltd, on 16 counts of money laundering.

The duo had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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Ireland

54 deaths and 1,335 new cases of Covid-19

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A further 54 deaths and an additional 1,335 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed this evening by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

They said that 50 of the deaths occurred in January and the median age of those who died was 85 years and the age range was 55-96 years.

With 54 deaths this evening, it means there has been a total of 3,120 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

There is also now a total of 191,182 confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.

Nphet said that of the cases notified today: 618 are men and 711 are women, 54 per cent are under 45 years of age and the median age is 43 years old.

Regarding the location of tonight’s cases: 437 are in Dublin, 114 in Cork, 78 in Galway, 71 in Meath, 61 in Louth and the remaining 574 cases are spread across all other counties.

They said as of 2pm today, 1,670 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised and 217 are in ICU. 81 additional hospitalisations have taken place in the past 24 hours.

Speaking this evening, Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said: “The current 14 day incidence remains more than double the peak incidence experienced during previous Level 5 measures in October, therefore, now is not the time to drop your guard and start to interact with people outside your household.

“The risk of transmission in the community remains very high. We must continue to work towards reducing incidence of disease and preventing further hospitalisations and deaths.”


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Ireland

Court challenges over closure of schools for children with special needs

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High Court challenges have been initiated against the Government’s decision not to reopen schools for pupils with special education needs.

Five test judicial review actions against the decision earlier this month not to reopen the schools were mentioned before Mr Justice Charles Meenan at the High Court today.

In their actions the children seek various orders including an injunction compelling the Minister for Education and the State to reopen the schools to those with intellectual disabilities.

The judge adjourned proceedings to Monday’s sitting of the court after he directed that the applications for leave to bring the challenges be made in the presence of lawyers for the State.

Covid-19 restrictions

Each of the actions have been brought on behalf of five school-going children with special needs who are suing through their parents and who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The cases arise after the Minister said on January 19th last that the schools would not re-open during the current Covid 19 restrictions due to a lack of cooperation from key staff trade unions.

The say that prior to the announcement, the respondents believed that it was appropriate that the schools should have re-opened as planned on January 21st last.

Mental and physical well-being

The parents fear for their children’s mental and physical well-being and say that the schools should be reopened by Government.

The parents also claim that the National Public Health Emergency Team as well as the Government deem schools safe to re-open.

In their actions the children’s parents claim the respondents have failed in their duties towards the children, who have various conditions including Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The court heard that some of the children involved have severely regressed in basic skills due to the school closures and the lack of supports they would normally get as part of their education.

Provide education

Ireland

McGrath defends “really significant” mandatory qua…

In their separate actions the applicants seek an order compelling the Minister and the State to provide the children with an adequate and appropriate education, on the basis that the respondents have an obligation under the 1988 Education Act, and Article 42 of the Constitution.

They also seek a declaration that the respondents have failed in their duty to provide for an adequate education for the children under the 1998 Act and Article 42.

They also seek injunctions aimed at compelling the State to provide the children with appropriate and adequate education.

Mr Justice Meenan, who noted that the injunctions sought are mandatory in nature, adjourned the case to next Monday.

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