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El-Rufai Advocates Drastic Measures To Tackle Rape

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said that drastic action was needed to tackle rape, including vigorous law enforcement to prosecute rapists in the country.

El-Rufai made this known at a virtual meeting organised by the Movement Against Rape and Sexual Violence (MARS-V).

The governor said that the state had provided a law that provided life imprisonment for anyone convicted of the rape of a minor and 21 years for rape of an adult.

El-Rufai said it was important for parents to teach their male children, the importance of respecting women from childhood.

The governor noted that the fear of stigmatisation, breakdown of the judicial system and lack of detailed investigation were some of the factors hindering the prosecution of cases of rape and gender based violence.

He called for the training of victims and law enforcement officers on the preservation of evidence for successful prosecution of rape cases.

According to him, there was also a seeming conspiracy of silence by traditional and religious leaders, “where society as a whole insists on covering up cases of rape.”

“One of the primary challenges faced in the fight against gender based violence is the breakdown in the judicial process, which results in delay in justice being served and it could also be as a result of corruption, personal beliefs and laxity of some judges,” he added.

“Most of those charged with the investigation of Gender-Based-Violence (GBV) are not well trained, and can be easily compromised through corruption,’’ but incompetence was however, the primary problem.’’

The governor advised that ‘’victims should also be sensitised on the importance of keeping evidence, to ensure that perpetrators of such heinous acts are brought to justice.’’

According to him, though rape is a criminal offence that needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, there is often “no preservation of evidence after rape, either by the victims or by officials put in charge of investigating such cases.’’

El-Rufai said that Kaduna State has put measures in place to fight against rape and GBV, having domesticated the Child Rights Act in February 2018.

‘’Under the state’s Child Welfare and Protection Law, girls are not allowed to get married until they complete their secondary school education, which in essence means marriages can’t happen until the age of 18,‘’ he disclosed.

El-Rufai said that the state had also passed the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which will help to speed up the trial of criminal matters, adding that it also established four sexual assault referral centres for medical and psychological counselling.

The wife of the governor, Hajiya Ummi El-Rufai, who was one of the panellists, called for ‘’ harsher and more extreme laws against rape.”

Ummi argued that the present laws are not even being implemented and that there was a need for more stringent ones to serve as deterrent to would-be rapists.

While noting that rapists are becoming more violent and brazen by the day, she asked “why don’t we have laws that are addressing these gender based violence issues?”

The wife of the governor emphasised the need for parents to always speak up when their children are raped and not cover up the problem.

She called for a joint effort between government agencies and Non Governmental Organisations to speak out with one strong voice in condemning rape and other GBV.

In her remarks, Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, explained that the rape epidemic has existed for a long time in Nigeria, adding that women and girls have always been disproportionally affected by GBV.

The minister who said that for every one rape case that is reported, about 10 other cases go unreported, underscored the need to eliminate vices that violated the fundamental rights of women and girls.

Tallen also stressed the importance of credible and verifiable database to aid the more efficient ways of carrying out decisions on GBV.

She also called for collaboration between governmental agencies such as NAPTIP and NGOs in tacking rape cases and other GBV.

The minister who campaigned for girl-child education, also advocated for the provision of one million sanitary pads for them, including more shelters for gender based violence victims.

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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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