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Former SA president, Zuma, launches new bid in effort to dismiss Graft Trial prosecutor

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South African ex-president Jacob Zuma was back in court on Monday in a fresh bid to replace the chief prosecutor in his long-running corruption trial over a 1990s arms deal.

High Court judge Piet Koen last year rejected Zuma’s application to have prosecutor Billy Downer dropped from the case.

Zuma had argued that the state attorney was neither independent nor impartial.

Returning to court, Zuma sought permission to appeal the earlier ruling — a request that could delay resumption of the trial if granted.

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The case is scheduled to resume on April 11.

Defence lawyer Dali Mpofu said Monday that Zuma was of the “strong view” his case was being “treated differently” from others.

“If we speak of law, let’s speak of the law, let’s not have the Zuma law, let’s not have laws that are uniquely reserved for him,” said Mpofu in a hearing broadcast live on television.

Zuma, who was in court in the southeastern city of Pietermaritzburg on Monday, faces 16 counts of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and equipment from five European arms firms.

The accusation arise from a contract that was sealed in 1999, when he was vice president.

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Zuma is accused of taking bribes from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales, which has also been charged with corruption and money laundering.

Both have denied any wrongdoing.

The trial started in May after repeated postponements as Zuma’s legal team battled to have the charges dropped.

Mpofu accused the prosecution of “unnecessarily” delaying the trial.

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“Zuma must never be accused of delaying justice when he is only asserting (his rights),” said Mpofu.

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Judgement on his request for a new prosecutor will be handed down on February 16.

Zuma, who turns 80 on April 12, was president from 2009 to 2018.

He was forced to step down by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as graft scandals surrounding his government brewed into a political storm.

Last year he was given a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court after refusing to give testimony to a panel probing “state capture” — financial sleaze and cronyism that proliferated under his presidency.

He was released on health grounds two months into the term.

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VSE Joseph Olorunishola – Forgiven But Not Restored

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The official report of the meeting of VSE Joseph Olorunnishola and Rev. Pastor EMF Oshoffa on Thursday, September 29th, 2022.

Following a letter of apology from VSE Joseph Olorunnishola to Pastor EMF Oshoffa, a meeting was arranged for VSE Olorunnishola to apologize in person to the Spiritual Head and Pastor of Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide.

The meeting took place at the New York Parish, Brooklyn before the CCC 75th Anniversary Service of the Founding of Celestial Church of Christ on September 29th.

VSE Joseph Olorunnishola was at the meeting with five of his elders and the USA diocese was also represented by total of six elders.

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Chiefly at the meeting, presided by the Pastor EMF Oshoffa, and sitting on the high table with Pastor were the Pastor’s head of Administration Worldwide, VSE S.F. Adeniyi and the Head of USA Diocese, VSE Olaitan Balogun.

Also at the meeting were the HOD deputies
VSE Solomon Yusuf and Sup. Evg. Ayo Homer-Williams. AVSE Kehinde Akano, Sup. Evg Oluwafemi Sanyaolu, and Sup. Evg. Felix Oziegbe.

Venerable Superior Evangelist Olaitan Balogun, Head of U.S.A Diocese, C.C.C. Worldwide.

Present at the meeting with VSE Joseph Olorunnishola was; Sup. Evg. Yomi Dodo Williams, Sup Evg. Victor Adewusi, MSE Sam Adebayo, Sup. Evg .Timothy Olatokun and Sup Evg Badmus.

The meeting lasted over 4 hours.

Summary:

  1. The meeting started with an opening prayer by the Pastor EMF Oshoffa
  2. The Pastor reiterated the need for peace and oneness in the diocese
  3. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola prostrated to apologize to the Pastor and everybody in the meeting also prostrated alongside VSE Olorunnishola for total forgiveness and spirit of oneness.
  4. The Pastor asked VSE Joseph Olorunnishola to explain himself.
  5. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola stated that he did not do anything wrong as he was simply carrying out the decision made by his then Executive Council members in the infamous March 5, 2021 memorandum of 7-point demand and Declaration of Independence notably from the Pastor.
  6. Superior Evangelist Homer Williams, Superior Evangelist Akande and Superior Evangelist Oziegbe all indicated their efforts at urging VSE Joseph Olorunnishola to rescind the letter as requested by the Pastor. But VSE Olorunnishola blatantly refused and responded to each of the above peace makers with a common “over my dead body”.
  7. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola requested to still be in control of the parishes under his leadership.
  8. The Pastor then requested VSE Olorunnishola to come to Nigeria for further discussions while the Pastor will consult with the elders of the church in Nigeria.
  9. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola replied that he does not have the grace to travel to Nigeria.
  10. The Pastor then asked VSE Olorunnishola to call him when the Pastor returns back to Nigeria.
  11. Superior Evangelist Sanyaolu reiterated at the meeting that for there to be true peace and truce, VSE Joseph Olorunnishola has to withdraw all his court cases with the USA diocese because VSE Olorunnishola is not the owner of Celestial Church of Christ in America. And that the Pastor is both the Spiritual and Administrative Head of Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide as per the Constitution.
  12. The meeting ended with closing prayer by the HOD VSE Olaitan Balogun
  13. The grace said by Pastor EMF Oshoffa
  14. It was gathered that after the grace, VSE Joseph Olorunnishola while walking away then said the status quo remains of which the Pastor did not respond.
  15. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola was asked by some representatives of the diocese to take back his false conclusion of the meeting that “the status quo remains” and a small skirmish ensued.
  16. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola, in his own mind, falsely concluded that the status quo remains, which perhaps could be his primary objective for coming to the meeting and thereby creating some form of legitimacy.
  17. VSE Joseph Olorunnishola was forgiven by the pastor but not restored.
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It is our prayer that the spirit of arrogance and disobedience will be cast away in our midst. And the owner of His church will continue to uphold and strengthen His church, in Jesus mighty name. Amen!

The Publicity and Media Team of the USA Diocese stands by the veracity of this report (Zechariah 8:16-17).

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Together, we move to higher glory.

The Publicity and Media Team
CCC USA Diocese

Venerable Superior Evangelist Joseph Olorunishola.

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Terra Kulture Receives Netflix Support For Its Creative Industry Programmes

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Leading educational and recreational organisation, Terra Kulture, has received a financial donation from the global streaming platform, Netflix.

A statement on Friday by the Lagos-based firm said the donation follows the recent announcement by Netflix to extend the Creative Equity Scholarship Fund for film and television students to select West and Central African countries to study at partner universities in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin and Gabon.

The donation received will further the organisation’s effort to promote the richness and diversity of the Nigerian arts and culture sector.
“The support fund will be directed to industry and community-focused areas of engagement which include academic training, theatre, gallery, and bookstore. It is also intended to ensure cultural programming in Nigeria while promoting the various artistic and cultural projects led by Terra Kulture,” the said.

Commenting further on the philanthropic gesture, Bolanle Austen-Peters, the Chief Executive Officer of Terra Kulture, said: “We’re delighted to receive this donation from Netflix. It would be helpful to take our ongoing projects to the next step.”

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According to her, since 2003, Terra Kulture has been at the forefront of promoting Nigeria’s art and culture through exhibitions; indigenous restaurant; and storytelling through its award-winning plays and movies. “Over these years, we have developed an in-depth understanding of arts, culture, and languages to impact the next generation most effectively. With the financial support received, Terra Kulture Academy for the Arts aims to fulfil its mission to support, upskill and inspire Nigeria’s creative youths through educational and recreational programs that will yield multiplicative benefits to themselves, their families, communities, and the overall Nigerian creative economy.”

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Terra Kulture has trained more than 2,000 youth in theatre lighting design, sound design, costume design, batik, tie and dye, makeup, hairstyling, production, acting, directing, production management, props management, and set design, animation, choreography, and motion graphics for stage plays.

In a bid to formalize the skilling efforts, the organization launched Terra Academy for the Arts (TAFTA), which is a free-to-attend training created to formally empower young creatives with relevant skills across key sub-sectors in theatre. The programme is designed to provide training on key technical production skills for the creative industry as well as an entrepreneurial module for students to learn about the industry’s business side.

Quoting a new report on Nigeria’s creative industry, the statement said the creative industry is now positioned as Nigeria’s second-largest employer of labour and has the potential to produce 2.7 million additional jobs by 2025. Also, it is projected to contribute 5 trillion Naira to the country’s GDP, thereby making the sector a significant contributor to the economy of Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest economy.

According to the statement, the intervention is aligned with Netflix’s commitment to supporting artistic and cultural projects, and a part of their creative industry support fund in Nigeria.

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Recently, the global streaming giant extended its Creative Equity Scholarship Fund to include academic institutions in Central and West Africa. The CESF will be distributed to various initiatives over the next five years to build a strong, diverse pipeline of creatives around the world.

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‘Massive!’ Gateway Movement to empower Ogun residents with tractor, SUV, others Oct 2

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whatsapp image 2022 10 01 at 7.25.08 pm

The Gateway Movement, in conjunction with Gateway Front Foundation (GFF), will on Sunday, 2nd October, 2022 will be holding a mega empowerment programme.

According to the release made available to Freelanews by organisation’s Deputy Director-General, Hon. John Obafemi, the event will commence by 11:00am at Ita Oba, Akarigbo Palace, Sagamu, Ogun State.

One of those expected at the rally include the former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who is also the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ogun East Senatorial Candidate for the 2023 general elections.

A major highlight of the event is the raffle where mouth-watering prizes like a N10 million wort of agricultural tractor, Toyota Highlander SUV and 2.5KVA generator.

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Over 500 other items are up for grabs, including sewing machines, grinding machines etc.

The Gateway Movement is a charity organisation with the mission to advance humanitarian causes and make life more pleasant for residents of Ogun State.

On its part, the GFF was founded as a non-governmental organisation 20 years ago and has since been supporting community development, empowerment programmes, microcredits and scholarships throughout the length and breadth of the Gateway State.

The general public, especially well-meaning people across the Ogun East Senatorial District, are hereby invited to this special empowerment programme.

Tickets for participation in the empowerment programs will be available at the entrance of the Akarigbo Palace from 9am on Sunday.

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