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My son murdered his four-year-old sister and spared me so I’d suffer forever – but I forgive him’.

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Charity Lee was at work, waiting tables in a sports bar when police officers arrived with the terrible news.

Her four-year-old daughter Ella was “hurt”.

Sent into a panic, she asked to be taken to her right away, then asked about her son Paris Bennett, then aged 13.

Charity had left the pair at home in Abilene, Texas, with a babysitter.

When police said “we have him”, that’s when Charity’s world began to fall apart.

She couldn’t go and see little Ella because her daughter was dead, murdered by her own half-brother.

Paris, a highly intelligent teenager with an IQ of 141, had convinced the babysitter she could go home.

He then calmly walked into Ella’s bedroom and began beating and choking her, before stabbing her 17 times.

The schoolboy then proceeded to call a friend and chat for six minutes before finally calling police.

He even pretended to carry out CPR before eventually admitting what he had done.

At first Paris claimed to have suffered demonic hallucinations.

But he later he made a much more chilling confession.

The teenager told police that he originally planned to murder his mother Charity as well when she arrived home.

But, as Charity told the New York Post, he then realised “if he’d killed me, I only would have suffered for five, 10, 15 minutes.

“But, if he left me alive [without Ella], I would suffer for the rest of my life.”

That was in 2007.

A decade later, Charity has bravely shared her extraordinary story of how to come to terms with the grief of losing one child, and finding forgiveness for the other.

Paris is now aged 24 and continues to serve 40 years in jail, the maximum sentence available for a juvenile for murder in Texas.

Understanding exactly what drove him to carry out the appalling killing is not a simple task.

Charity hired psychiatrists to assess him when he was 15-years-old who agreed he is a sociopath i.e. someone who exhibits extreme anti-social behaviour and lacks a feeling of moral responsibility for their actions.

But speaking in the documentary, Paris appears remarkably cogent.

“I chose to do my crime and I take full responsibility for my crime,” he said in a prison interview.

“And I wouldn’t say there was a predisposition to what happened.

“I’m not insane and I don’t suffer from any mental illness.”

Despite his cold demeanour, Charity is determined not to abandon Paris and continues to visit him regularly in prison.

And she is clear that jail is where he belongs.

“I have forgiven Paris for what he did, but it’s an ongoing process,” she told the Post.

“If he was free, I would be frightened of him.”

Charity now has a third child, four-year-old Phoenix, and tries to help other families cope with the justice system.

She founded a non-profit organisation called ELLA Foundation — an acronym for Empathy, Love, Lessons and Action – in 2011.

“On the night that Ella died, I vowed to do something meaningful in her memory,” Charity added.

“It also gave me a place to direct my rage, other than at my child.”

Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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