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Fiona Onasanya Strives to stay on as MP despite jail sentence

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Despite calls to stand down, Fiona Onasanya an MP in the UK is expected to retain office after been given a three-month jail sentence for lying to avoid a speeding ticket.

Fiona Onasanya, the MP for Peterborough and a former Labour whip, was sentenced on Tuesday for perverting the course of justice following a retrial.



Sources close to Onasanya, the first serving MP to be jailed for 28 years, said she was believed to be planning to return to work as an MP once she leaves prison. She will continue to be paid while in prison, parliamentary sources confirmed.

Labour and the Conservatives have called for her to “do the decent thing” and resign immediately.

Onasanya appeared at the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday to be sentenced alongside her brother Festus Onasanya, who pleaded guilty to three similar charges and was sentenced to 10 months.Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said: “It’s a tragedy that you have found yourselves here and in this predicament but it’s a tragedy that you have brought on yourselves.”

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Onasanya did not react to the verdict but was taken away to begin her sentence.

Under laws introduced in 2015, any prison term, even a suspended sentence, leads to a recall petition, which will be open for six weeks and can force a byelection if signed by 10% of voters in a constituency.

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Because Onasanya, 35, has appealed against her conviction, this may not happen for several months. The recall petition cannot be opened until any appeal process has concluded.

Staff in her constituency office said they would continue to work through her sentence. “Nobody who has issues on immigration, housing local services etc should be punished for what happened,” Matt Turner, her press officer, wrote on Twitter.

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Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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