Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza, the woman who has accused Brazilian football star Neymar of raping her in a Paris hotel has been dropped by a third lawyer — the latest twist in a scandal that has gripped the country.
Danilo Garcia de Andrade told broadcaster SBT late Monday he was no longer representing Trindade after she questioned his competence.
Trindade alleges Neymar sexually assaulted her in the French capital last month, a charge he denies.
Garcia took on Trindade’s lawsuit against Neymar last week, but days later, he reportedly said he was considering withdrawing from the case unless the model provided more evidence of wrongdoing.
The lawyer wanted to see the content of a seven-minute video filmed during the model’s second meeting with the Paris Saint-Germain star.
Trindade maintains the recording — a few seconds of which have been leaked on social media — includes conclusive evidence that she was assaulted.
The images were filmed on a tablet device which has been stolen, according to Trindade, but the owners of the building where she lives have denied claims of a forced break-in.
Trindade’s original lawyers walked away from her case because she had initially filed a complaint of physical abuse and not rape. A second lawyer abandoned the case after briefly helping Trindade.
She gave evidence to Sao Paulo police last Friday and, after six hours of testimony, Garcia carried her out of the station.
“She says that according to the tablet’s tracker, it would be in the same street as my office,” Garcia told SBT.
“She was very emphatic and a client should not question the competence of a lawyer, much less one that leaves a police station carrying their client in their arms.”
Trindade’s dramatic appearance came a day after Neymar went to a Rio de Janeiro police station — sitting in a wheelchair after injuring his ankle in last Wednesday’s pre-Copa America friendly against Qatar.
He gave a statement in an investigation into his publication of intimate WhatsApp messages and photos of Trindade on social media without her consent.
Neymar told police that an assistant and a technician were responsible for sharing the messages and photos, TV Globo reported.
The star striker’s injury has sidelined him from the Copa America, which begins Friday.
The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, an initiative aimed at providing food security and to eliminate rural poverty on the continent on Tuesday received a boost with a pledge of 17 million dollars.
The pledges were made at a high-level roundtable convened by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Equatorial Guinea President, Obiang Mbasogo.
The roundtable was held on the sidelines of the ongoing African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2019 Annual Meetings in Malabo.
Angola pledged 10 million dollars, China 2.6 million dollars, France two million Euros, Equatorial Guinea two million dollars and Zimbabwe 100,000 dollars.
Speaking at the roundtable, Mbasogo said the “Fund is a turning point in the fight against food insecurity’’.
According to him, my tiny oil-rich nation has donated generously out of his oil revenues to show solidarity to African countries.
The Fund, an initiative of UN FAO, received its start-up contribution of 30 million dollars from Equatorial Guinea, the host nation of this year’s meetings, while Angola gave 10 million dollars, NAN reports.
Its projects had been lauded for providing innovative African agriculture and food systems.
Also speaking, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB, said Africa was being faced with challenges in the area of agriculture and food production, relying heavily on food imports.
“It is important that the Fund is showing that African countries are contributing to Africa as that links very closely to what we are doing.’’
Adesina, represented by the Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, AfDB, Jennifer Blanke said the bank’s commitment to providing farmers with technologies would help to improve their yields.
The FAO Director General, Jose Graziano da Silva said the Fund had led to the successful implantation of 18 projects that had benefited 41 countries.
Graziano da Silva, represented by Ms. Maria Semedo, the Deputy Director-General of FAO said thousands of people had also benefited from the Fund, including 160 households in Niger.
The FAO head also said that the Fund ensured a rapid response to populations affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.
“We celebrate the success of the Fund, the excellent results of the Funds over the last five years is a living testimony,’’ he said.
He described it as a flagship initiative and one of the most successful funding initiatives of FAO, adding that the generosity of donors was unique evidence of strong solidarity among African countries.
The donor conference was attended by the presidents of Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, the Prime Minister of Eswatini, diplomats, finance ministers and banking institutions.
The theme of this year’s meeting is “Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity’’.
The Annual Meetings provide opportunities for experts, governments, businesses, civil society, think-tanks and the academia to share their candid assessments on regional integration efforts and dialogue on critical issues concerning Africa’s development.
The meeting which opened on Monday with closed door sessions with dignitaries continues on Wednesday.
The Italian Government on Monday said it is willing and ready to help Nigeria repatriate stolen funds stacked in foreign countries.
The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Stefano Pontesilli said this when he accompanied a delegation from the Italian Parliament led by Senator Vito Petrocelli, Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs to the State House, Abuja.
According to Pontesilli, ‘‘we are willing to cooperate with your administration 100 per cent on illicit assets repatriation.’’
Responding, President Muhammadu Buhari commended the Italian government for demonstrating ‘‘open-mindedness’’ and willingness to cooperate with Nigeria on the issue of repatriation of stolen funds.
The President, while acknowledging the good wishes of the Italian government in the aftermath of the February 23 presidential election, told the delegation that his second term in office would consolidate on the progress recorded in the last four years in the country.
He also used the occasion to remind developed countries to do the needful on reviving Lake Chad.
‘‘Lake Chad is now 10 per cent of what it used to be. At least 30 million people around it benefit from fishing, farming and animal husbandry.
‘‘The drying up of Lake Chad has forced some people to defy the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean in their bid to get to Europe,’’ he said.
Earlier, Senator Petrocelli had told President Buhari that the delegation, which included Senator Tony Chike Iwobi, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, a Nigerian and first African to be elected into the Italian Parliament, was in the country to attend to the June 12 Democracy Day celebrations.
He also congratulated the Nigerian leader on his re-election.
The President and the delegation which also included Italian investors discussed a range of bilateral and global issues including migration, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), infrastructure development, anti-corruption and the need to strengthen inter-parliamentary relationship between Nigeria and Italy.