Kenya Releases Autopsy Of Christians Who Died While Fasting
The first autopsies Monday on corpses found in mass graves linked to a Kenyan pastor suspected of inciting followers to fast to death confirm starvation as the cause of death, although some victims were asphyxiated, the authorities said.
Experts carrying out the first post-mortems on more than 100 bodies unearthed in a coastal forest examined nine children aged one to 10 as well as one woman.
“Most of them had features of starvation,” chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor said after the autopsies took place in a hospital morgue at the town of Malindi.
“We saw features of people who have not eaten — there was no food in the stomach, the layer of fat was very small,” he said.
“We have had a look at all their bodies and all their organs were intact. None was missing so far.”
READ ALSO: Kenya Starts Autopsies Of ‘Starvation Cult’ Deaths
But, Oduor added, “From what we are hearing, there was some indication that they were being smothered, that can be one of the causes of asphyxiation. It was in two children. “
In a case that erupted last month, horrifying a deeply religious nation, cult leader Paul Mackenzie Nthenge is accused of urging followers to find God through starvation.
The provisional death toll stands at 109, which includes a small number of people who were found alive but died on their way to hospital.
“The process of exhumation was temporarily stopped because the experts advised us (that) when it is raining, that process cannot continue,” Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki said earlier.
– ‘Other methods’ –
Investigators will also take DNA samples to help identification, though the full results may take months, Oduor said.
“Generally, all the bodies are decomposed and this makes it very difficult for us to calculate the time of death,” he said.
READ ALSO: Another Kenyan Pastor Charged For ‘Mass Killing’ Of Church Members
Kindiki had on Friday that preliminary reports suggested “some of the victims may not have died of starvation. There were other methods used, including hurting them.”
A former taxi driver, Nthenge created a Christian-based cult called the Good News International Church.
Investigators suspect he has links with a prominent televangelist, Ezekiel Odero, head of the New Life Prayer Centre and Church, who was arrested last Thursday.
Odero is suspected of crimes including murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalisation, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud and money laundering.
Prosecutor Peter Kiprop said last week there was “credible information” linking bodies found in Shakahola forest to the deaths of several “innocent and vulnerable followers” of Odero.
Odero and Nthenge share a “history of business investments” including a television station used to pass “radicalised messages” to followers, Kiprop said in court documents.
– Ruto pledge –
The two pastors are currently in detention and are to appear in court in different towns on Tuesday.
READ ALSO: Cult Leader Arrested Over Death Of 4 Members Who Starved To ‘Meet Jesus’
Newly elected President William Ruto, in remarks on April 24, said there was no difference between rogue cult leaders and “terrorists”.
“I have instructed the agencies responsible to … get to the root cause … of the activities of… people who want to use religion to advance weird, unacceptable ideology,” he said.
More than 4,000 churches are registered in Christian-majority Kenya.
But efforts to weed out crooks and charlatans through regulation have been thwarted by accusations that this would violate constitutional guarantees for freedom of religion.
“In the course of the week,” the interior minister said, “the president (will) be announcing members of a presidential task force to deal with generally how we govern religious activities in our country and how we make sure we don’t infringe on the sacred right of the freedom of worship, opinion and belief.
“But at the same time we don’t allow criminals to misuse that right to hurt, kill, torture and starve people to death.”
Govs Back Tinubu On Subsidy Removal
State Governors on Wednesday expressed strong support for President Bola Tinubu’s decision to end fuel subsidy payments in the country and other early policy initiatives of the administration.
The governors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, expressed their support to President Tinubu during the first meeting the President was having with them at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The state chief executives, who took turns to speak at the meeting were led by the NGF Chairman and governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who expressed happiness with the President’s subsidy-removal decision, all-inclusive leadership and statesmanship.
They congratulated President Tinubu for tackling the fuel subsidy behemoth, promising to work with him to ameliorate the short-term impact of the decision.
President Tinubu had earlier called on the governors to collaborate with the Federal Government in tackling the menace of poverty in the country, saying the level of impoverishment was unacceptable.
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The President advised the political leaders to downplay their differences and jointly focus on alleviating the sufferings and pains of the people.
“We can see the effects of poverty on the faces of our people. Poverty is not hereditary, it is from the society. Our position is to eliminate poverty. Set aside partisan politics, we are here to deliberate about Nigeria and nation-building,’’ he said.
President Tinubu stated that the nation should be seen as one big family.
“We are a family occupying one house, and sleeping in different rooms. If we see it that way and push forward, we will get our people out of poverty. A determined mind is a fertile ground for delivering on results,’’ he added.
The President said good governance would safeguard the future of democracy.
READ ALSO: Presidential Tribunal: Peter Obi Tenders Results Of 8 More States In evidence
“Present in this room is our diversity in culture and politics, but we are one nation. The unity and stability of the country rest upon us.
“We are in a democracy and we have to nurture the democracy. It is a hard-earned system and not easy to manage. If anyone thinks it is easy, look at other nations that are over a hundred years in democracy.
“We have managed ourselves very well to have a democracy. We have campaigned and arrived at our present destination. We must work for our people,’’ President Tinubu told the governors while assuring them that he would maintain an open-door policy.
The President said he was prepared to share ideas, strengthen institutions, and create bottom-up frameworks that will improve the livelihood of Nigerians.
“What do we do in the face of crushing poverty? What do we do with our development goals? We took the bull by the horns by removing the elephant in the room before the nation sinks.
“We need synergy to fight other vices like corruption. We are trying to get smugglers out of the way. How do we work together to galvanize the economy, and put resources in place? We must think and perform.
“After removing subsidy, there must be savings accruing to the Federation Account,’’ he noted.
READ ALSO: Tribunal: How Peter Obi Rigged Out Atiku In Anambra – Witness
President Tinubu said the education sector must be improved as part of efforts to reduce poverty and penury:
“How do we address the unacceptable level of poverty? How much are we investing in education, which is the only tool against poverty? I am ready to collaborate with you.’’
The President also drew attention to the security problems in some states, admonishing the governors that all efforts should be put in place to tackle the security situation, without thinking it’s only for those facing it.
The Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRasaq, thanked the President for the invitation to deliberate on the challenges of poverty and security, promising that the governors would support the Federal Government in meeting the targets of human development.
“The NGF will follow the tradition of working constitutionally and harmoniously with you,’’ he said.
The meeting, which was attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima and new Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, had 22 governors and two deputy governors from Edo and Niger States, in attendance.
The governors made suggestions highlighting the plight of citizens in their states, assuring the President of their support in proffering solutions through the National Economic Council.
3 Months After Arriving UK, Nigerian Masters Student Arrested For Allegedly [email protected] Minors
A Nigerian man identified as Cyril Kenneth has been arrested by the police after being accused of dating minors in Belfast, UK.
According to a video shared by Warriors of Children, Kenneth who arrived in February for his Masters degree, was arrested after multiple children between the ages of 14 and 15 reported him with evidence of him gr%oming and s£x¥ally hara§§ing them.
In the text messages he had with some of the victims, Kenneth sent his unsolicited indecent pictures, asked some of them for their house addresses, invited one of them to his house for s+x, amongst other di§turbing messages.
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The suspect, however, confessed to the crime and blamed it on temptation from the devil.
He said he contacted the kids because he needed friends as he was new to the country. He was subsequently handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.
Nicki Minaj Sued For Allegedly Damaging Borrowed Jewellery
American rapper, Nicki Minaj has been dragged to court over alleged unpaid bills for custom jewellery.
A West Hollywood jeweller, Roseark Jewellery store, is suing the rapper after she damaged some bling they loaned her.
Meanwhile, Nicki’s attorney said she’s not responsible, claiming the jeweller is just using her for publicity.
According to a new lawsuit, Nicki’s stylist, Brett Alan Nelson, signed a contract with Roseark Jewellery Store, with Roseark agreeing to loan Nicki jewellery for a public appearance.
The store also said the contract called for Brett to return the bling within a week and pay for any damages the jewellery might incur under his watch.
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However, Nicki’s stylist failed to return 66 pieces of jewellery by the agreed-upon deadline, and, when he finally did, there was noticeable damage to a set of earrings and a leaf ring.
A source close to Nicki told TMZ that everything was returned on time as promised, and it was only after items had been in the jeweller’s possession for some time that the store complained about a missing stone.
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