140 dead as Israel, Hamas step up bombing attacks
At least 132 people have been killed by Israel in Gaza since Monday, including 32 children and 21 women, and 950 others wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.
Among eight dead in Israel were a soldier patrolling the Gaza border and six civilians, including two children, Israeli authorities said.
The body counts have kept mounting as the conflict between Israel and Hamas entered the fifth night.
Early on Saturday, Israeli planes renewed air strikes in Gaza and Hamas militants responded by firing rockets into Israel as U.S. and Arab diplomats sought an end to the violence.
Palestinian medics said at least four people were killed in one of several air strikes in northern Gaza. Residents said Israeli naval boats fired shells from the Mediterranean though none may have hit the strip.
The Palestinian religious affairs ministry said Israeli planes destroyed a mosque. A military spokesman said the army was checking the report.
Sirens sounded in two major southern Israeli cities warning of incoming fire from Gaza. Hamas claimed responsibility for launching rockets.
With no sign of an end to the fighting, casualties spread further afield, with Palestinians reporting 11 killed in the occupied West Bank amid clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces.
Hamas said a woman and a boy were among four people killed in an Israeli air strike that hit a home belonging to the Abu Hattab family in Gaza City’s Beach refugee camp. The Israeli army did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the strike.
$65m Fraud: Presidency ‘Denies’ Ex-FMBN Boss As Buhari’s Son-In-Law, PDP Demands Probe
Gimba Yau Kumo, a former Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank who has been declared wanted for a $65 million scam, is no longer a son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, according to the Presidency (retd.).
This comes as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands an investigation into Kumo, who married Buhari’s daughter in Daura, Katsina State, in October 2016.
The fugitive was wanted along with Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission for suspected theft and disbursement of the national housing money.
Mrs Azuka Ogugua, the commission’s spokesman, signed the notice that was posted on the ICPC website.
During Kumo’s time at FMBN, he was dogged by suspicions of corruption.
When he was still at the bank in April, the Senate Committee on Public Accounts called him to explain the alleged unlawful award of a N3 billion contract.
Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant for Media and Publicity, claimed the fugitive’s contact with the President’s daughter terminated years ago, notwithstanding the mockery and criticism that followed the media stories on Kumo.
In a statement on Friday, titled, ‘ICPC fugitive is not the President’s in-law,’ Shehu also argued that the move to arrest Kumo was an affirmation that “our anti-corruption agencies/institutions are truly independent and allowed unfettered freedom by the President.”
The statement read, “A running story to the effect that the ICPC haas declared “an in-law of the President” wanted in connection with fraud involving the large sum of money USD65 million to be exact.
“This should normaly be an affirmation that our anti-corruption agencies/institutions are truly independent and allowed unfettered freedom by the President. Which infact is the case.
“That a state institution can issue such is a measure of the administration’s commitment to accountability, equality and justice.
“To set the records straight, the person declared wanted by the ICPC is not an in-law to President Buhari.
“While at some point in time, the said fugitive from justice had been linked to a family member in marriage, that relationship has ended some years ago.
“It is therefore unfortunate to bring the President’s family into this case. It is in our view, an attempt to generate views and sell copies of sensational reporting.”
The statement further said the President’s position at all times was that the law be allowed to take its course.
“As is well known of him, President Muhammadu Buhari will not provide any cover for crime, no matter who is involved,” Shehu stressed.
But the PDP urged the ICPC to expedite action in tracking down Kumo.
The opposition party said the alleged involvement of a son-in-law to the President in the alleged heist was further confirmation that the Buhari Presidency is “a sanctuary for fraudsters, treasury looters and common criminals.”
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘$65m Fraud: Track Down Buhari’s Son in-law, PDP Charges ICPC…Urges Presidency to Allow For Open Investigation,’ signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Friday.
The PDP said, “The latest revelation of $65 million (N31 billion) fraud in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria , in which President Muhammadu Buhari’s son in-law, Gimba Kumo, is reportedly involved, further confirms that the Buhari Presidency is indeed a sanctuary for fraudsters, treasury looters and common criminals.
“The ICPC should not succumb to reported pressure from the cabal in the Buhari Presidency but track down Yau Kumo, the former Managing Director of the FMBN, who had already been declared wanted, and bring him to book alongside his accomplices.
“It speaks volumes that the Buhari Presidency had remained silent in the face of this huge fraud involving Mr. President’s son in-law; a beneficiary of the primitive family patronage in the Buhari administration, only for certain members of the cabal to be reportedly mounting pressure on the ICPC to let him off the hook.”
The party accused the ruling All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government of wickedness.
It said the administration was denting millions of hardworking Nigerians basic necessities due to its misrule and corruption, “reports of which have become a daily occurrence.”
IThe statement further read, “It is even more distressing that the looted FMBN money is part of funds contributed by Nigerians to meet their home needs which has instead fallen under the predatory proclivities of the APC administration.”
The party asserts that Nigerians can now see that while the Buhari Presidency parades a “holier than thou attitude”, the nation’s vaults have been laid open for the ruthless pillaging by family members, relations, cronies in the Buhari Presidency.
However, the Buhari Media Organisation said the PDP was the least qualified to speak about the anti-corruption fight of the Buhari-led Administration.
The Chairman of the organisation, Niyi Akinsiju, said, “The 16 years the PDP spent in power were years of waste, corruption was the order of the day and it was treated as a family affair.”