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FG To Collaborate With States To Domesticate Child Rights Act, Others

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Buhari administration is working Together with State governments across the country, and all other stakeholders, to deal decisively with the problem of rape and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

According to the Vice President, every form of sexual assault “are blemishes on the collective humanity and dignity of Nigerians as a people and a Nation.”

He was quoted to have said this on Friday, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande after he held a virtual meeting with the National Human Rights Commission over the recent cases of sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria and the way forward

He also promised to encourage state governments who are yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015 and the Child Rights Act of 2003 to do so.

See full statement below.

Together with State governments across the county, and all other stakeholders, the Buhari administration is working harder to deal decisively with the problem of rape and gender-based violence in Nigeria, because every form of sexual assault “are blemishes on the collective humanity and dignity of Nigerians as a people and a Nation.”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, made this declaration today at a virtual meeting organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the Scourge of Rape, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.

“We will work with all actors to detect and punish the perpetrators of these sickening acts and work even harder to prevent their occurrence”

Specifically, the Vice President further said the fight against rape and gender violence would be driven down to the States through the National Economic Council (NEC), which he chairs.

“We will continue to use the platform of the National Economic Council to encourage States yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015 and the Child Rights Act of 2003 to do so.

“Gender-based violence, rape and sexual assaults are a blemish on our collective humanity and dignity as a people and a Nation,” he added.

“While violence against women has always been a challenge in Nigeria, the COVID-19 lockdown has occasioned a steep increase in sexual and gender-based violence across the country.

“I am told that between March 23, 2020 – May 29, 2020, the FCT Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Response Team received an overwhelming 105 incidents; an average of 13 incidents per week, up from the usual 5 to 6 incidents per week, pre-COVID-19.

“Also, a few days ago the Inspector-General of Police disclosed that the police had recorded about 717 rape incidents across the country between January and May 2020.

“And that 799 suspects had so far been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court while 52 cases are still under investigation.

“What these figures show is an escalation of an already disgraceful trend of violence against women and girls in the country, ” Prof. Osinbajo observed.

He referenced the rapes and murders of Mrs Queen Igbinevbo, a pregnant woman in her home in Edo State on May 20, 2020, and Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year old student of University of Benin on May 27, 2020.

According to the VP, there is also the case of Barakat Bello, an 18-year old female student of Federal College of Animal Health and Production in Ibadan on June 1, 2020, among others, saying these assaults “should never have happened and must not be allowed to continue.”

Prof. Osinbajo reassured that President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors recently undertook to take drastic actions against gender-based violence.

“On June 11, State Governors, under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), agreed to declare a state of emergency on rape and gender-based violence against women and children, while renewing their commitment to ensuring that offenders face the full weight of the law.

“Similarly, the President, in his June 12 address to Nigerians, reiterated government’s determination to fight gender-based violence through the instrumentality of the law and awareness creation,’’ he said.

According to him, there is need to look beyond just legislation to fix the problem, but rather, interrogate the deeply dysfunctional cultures, the systemic flaws in our institutions and the perverse social norms which enable sexual and gender-based violence.

Prof. Osinbajo also acknowledged that the Women Affairs Ministry, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, the International Community and several Civil Society Organizations had also been at the forefront of finding solutions and transformative strategies to address the root causes of gender-based violence.

Present at the virtual meeting was the Women Affairs Minister, Dame Paullen Tallen, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, representatives of the United Nations and Civil Society Organizations.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity,
Office of the Vice President
19th June, 2020

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ECOWAS Seek To Mediate In Mali Crisis

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Envoys from Mali’s neighbours led by former President Goodluck Jonathan were scheduled to arrive in Bamako on Wednesday in a bid to mediate in an escalating political crisis ahead of new high-risk protests.

Representatives from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are having to bridge apparently irreconcilable differences between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and a protest movement that is demanding his resignation.

Fresh protests have been set for Friday, a week after demonstrations that ignited three days of clashes with the security forces, leaving 11 dead and 158 injured, according to an official tally — Mali’s bloodiest toll from political unrest in years.

The so-called June 5 Movement, an alliance of political, social and civil-society leaders gathered around a powerful imam named Mahmoud Dicko, is tapping into deep-seated anger.

Malians are worried and frustrated by an eight-year-old jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes and swept into Niger and Burkina Faso.

Many are also incensed at perceived government corruption and the outcome of long-delayed parliamentary elections in March and April that handed victory to Keita’s party.

A rally on Friday will be a “ceremony of sacrifice and of prayer” for protest victims, opposition leader Mountaga Tall told reporters on Tuesday after opposition figures were released after several days in detention.

“He who asked for us to get killed is no longer our president,” he said.

“We are convinced that President IBK has neither the intellectual nor the physical capacity to lead the country,” he said, referring to the head of state by his initials.

Several barricades were set up in the capital Bamako after he spoke, and some tyres were burned, but otherwise the city was calm on Wednesday.

Keita’s office said that the ECOWAS delegation would include constitutional experts.

One of the potential solutions being explored by the authorities is to appoint new judges to the Constitutional Court, a tribunal that is a major target of protest anger.

The court tossed out about 30 results of the legislative elections in a move that handed seats to members of Keita’s party.

An ECOWAS mission to Mali last month concluded that the court’s decision was “at the root of the tension” and called on the government to review the contested results or stage new elections as soon as possible.

It also called for a “consensus government of national union.”

These recommendations have found a broad echo in the international community.

Keita, for his part, has made several gestures toward the June 5 Movement, including the dissolution of the Constitutional Court to enable a U-turn on the contested seats.

However, the dissolution creates legal as well as political complications, which the expected constitutional experts may be able to resolve.

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IGP Asks Magu To Redirect Bail Application To Presidential Panel

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has asked suspended EFCC boss Ibrahim Magu, to direct his bail application to the presidential panel.

Mr Oluwatosin Ojaomo, Magu’s legal representative, had asked the IGP to grant bail to his client on “self-recognisance” — after the suspended EFCC chief had spent four days in custody.

In a letter dated July 14, 2020, and addressed to Mr Ojaomo, the IGP said the police force is not investigating and detaining Magu, so, it cannot grant the bail request.

It also advised the lawyer to redirect his request to the chairman of the presidential panel for appropriate attention.

The letter read in part: “The Inspector-General of Police directs that your attention be drawn to the fact that the Nigeria Police Force is not investigating CP Ibrahim Magu (your client), and he is accordingly, not being detained by the Police but by the Presidential Panel that is investigating the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“The Inspector-General of Police, therefore, advises that you reconsider directing your request to the Chairman of the Presidential Panel for appropriate attention.”

Mr Magu was arrested on July 6 and whisked to the Presidential Villa in Abuja where he was grilled by the panel headed by Ayo Salami, a retired President of the Appeal court.

He was later moved to Area 10 Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the police in Abuja where he has since been detained.

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Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami, Hunts Down EFCC Officials Suspected Of Leaking Corruption Files To SaharaReporters

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Though the letter claimed that the suspension of the directors was linked to the probe of Ibrahim Magu by a panel headed by a former judge of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, findings by SaharaReporters on Wednesday revealed that they were removed from office after being suspected of handing out vital information to the online news publication to expose the corruption-fuelled lifestyle of Malami.

ttorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has in response to series of reports exposing his alleged corrupt amassing of unexplained wealth by SaharaReporters turned his fury on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission where a number of staff suspected of being behind the leaking of corruption files on him to the online news medium had been suspended.

Among the 12 directors of the EFCC suspended by the Presidency on Tuesday are four believed to be among those investigating the activities of the AGF.

Malami had on Tuesday sent a letter to Acting EFCC Chairman, Mohammed Umar, informing him of the suspension of the directors.

Though the letter claimed that the suspension of the directors was linked to the probe of Ibrahim Magu by a panel headed by a former judge of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, findings by SaharaReporters on Wednesday revealed that they were removed from office after being suspected of handing out vital information to the online news publication to expose the corruption-fuelled lifestyle of Malami.

A source, who confirmed the issue to SaharaReporters, said, “I just had one of the staff confirming that key staff working on most of the sensitive cases were suspended.

“The likes of Kabir Latona, Muhammed Abba, Ibrahim Buhari, Rotimi Oyedepo and Ola Olukoyede were all removed.

“The system of the Private Secretary of Magu was moved from the office and his telephone collected by the panel since Monday. The panel has constituted its self into a hunting agency.

“One of the affected staff confirmed to SaharaReporters that the Solicitor-General called the newly appointed acting chairman of the commission to confirm a letter of approval from the President confirming the suspension of the affected staff.

“These staff were never interrogated or interviewed until there suspension on Tuesday.”

In a desperate attempt to save face in light of the magnitude of the revelation that had been blown open, a group said to have been sponsored by the AGF staged a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday that made futile efforts to debunk the series of reports by SaharaReporters on Malami.

Apart from that, it was reliably gathered that the AGF had approached the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to arrest SaharaReporters journalists for alleged criminal libel.

 

 

Despite the allegations and evidence of corruption against Malami, Nigeria’s Presidency is yet to issue a statement on the mind-boggling Revelations.

Malami, it was gathered, in order to save his neck attended the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday (today) and sat close to President Muhammadu Buhari to paint a picture that their relationship was very tight when in fact news of his corrupt acts had become the talk of town.

Credit: Sahara Reporters

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