Following incessant cases of sex abuse in Ekiti state in recent times, Gov. Kayode Fayemi, on Saturday, said no person convicted for sex offence, such as rape in any part of the state would enjoy his powers of prerogative of mercy.
The governor made the declaration in Ado Ekiti, while signing the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Child Victims of Sexual Violence Bill 2020 into law.
He directed the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda, to henceforth oppose bail or plea bargaining for rape offenders in the state.
This is coming, just as the Governor, who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, (NGF), vowed to mobilize other 35 state Governors, to declare state of emergency on rape.
The governor said rape often led to untimely deaths and emotional trauma, and was beyond what government of a particular state can conquer alone.
He added that he would use his position as the Chairman of the Governors’ forum to rally support of his colleague governors, on the need to declare state of emergency against the menace in their respective jurisdictions.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bill was aimed at fortifying and tightening the loose ends in the Gender Based Violence Prohibition Law 2012 earlier passed by the State House of Assembly about a week ago.
Fayemi said: “The Ministry of Justice is further directed to reaffirm state policy of opposing bail and rejecting plea bargain proposals from perpetrators of rape and child defilement.
“The State Government’s policy of ensuring that convicted sex offenders do not benefit from my power of prerogative of mercy also remain in force.
“We are determined to improve conviction rates and provide comprehensive and appropriate support services to ensure survivors of sexual offences are not subjected to further trauma”.
He disclosed that the ministry had been directed to review existing laws, with a view to proposing to the House of Assembly, necessary legislative changes to further ensure that the offences of rape and child defilement attract harsher sentences in Ekiti.
Describing the new law as timely, the governor said: “it is fitting that the House of Assembly passed this legislation this week.
“Over the past few days, our country has witnessed acts of extreme violence perpetrated against women and children.
“In our state, the story is not different. Not a day passes without reported cases of rape and child defilement,” Fayemi lamented.
He noted that stated that the women in the state had called for a State of Emergency against rape which would enable more decisive actions to be taken against the scourge.
“While I appreciate the basis for this demand, it is my view that there is a need for a national consensus on the issue.
“I will be engaging the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at our next meeting to determine what emergency measures can be put in place to address this crisis more effectively and on a national basis.
“We will strengthen the Gender Based Violence Management Committee to continue to provide rapid and comprehensive responses to all forms of violence against women and children.
“A state wide sexual violence prevalence study will be commissioned in the general population to enable us have reliable data on the nature of the problem.
“I’m proud to sign a law that affirms one of the important policies of my administration.
“The ‘Compulsory Treatment and Care for Child Victims of Sexual Violence Bill, 2020’ reaffirms our commitment not only to prompt medical care for child victims of sexual violence but also supports our resolve to achieve the effective prosecution of sex offenders,” he added.
Fayemi said he had opened a Register of Sex Offenders of all persons convicted of acts of sexual violence and have adopted a policy of publicly naming and shaming convicted sex offenders aside enacting a progressive Gender Based Violence Law.
He declared that child victims of sexual violence in the state would have rapid access to medical facility that can administer emergency medical care, including treatment to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and counseling.
“We are determined to improve conviction rates and provide comprehensive and appropriate support services to ensure survivors of sexual offences are not subjected to further trauma,” the governor said.https://nnn.ng/no-more-mercy-bail-for-rapists-in-ekiti-fayemi/
Commandant urges NAFRC trainees, retirees to be mindful of swindlers
The Commandant made this known at the thanksgiving service held for officers who graduated from the Senior/Mid-Level Officers’ Entrepreneurship and Management Course 01/2020 and NAFRC Trainees Course 02/2020.
The thanksgiving service held at the Roman Catholic Church, NAFRC.
Lar said that it was typical of some criminally-minded people to want to dupe the retirees of their hard earned money, thereby urging to also be wary of quick money making schemes.
“Typically, we live in a society where there are many criminally-minded people who don’t care what labour you went through to be able to acquire the small resources you have.
“So, sometimes these people pick on gullible people in the society and sometimes innocent people who are looking for an investment to put their resources, they get duped and lose their hard earned income.
“So, our trainees, particularly those that are retiring after this course who have served 35 years and some less, courtesy of the current administration of government, retirement benefits have been enhanced substantially,” he said.
The Commandant urged the retirees on careful appraisal of business opportunities in order to ensure that they spend their benefits wisely.
“So, my advice to them is that they should be careful how they handle the resources that would be given to them when they finally disengage, they should shine their eyes.
“My advice is that they should be careful what they invest in and be careful who they relate with because alot of fair-weather friends will want to come around them to try to take the little that they have,” he said.
Lar said that the trainees/retirees have been provided with the skills they need in case of additional income asides their benefits.
“We have provided them with entrepreneurship skill, management skills ,some vocational training to be able to cope, if they want additional income.
“Because, like I said the benefits are actually enough for them to live well after retirement. But to be engaged in doing other things, some of them might want to invest,” he said.
Reacting to other para-military, government agencies joining the scheme, the commandant said that he was elated that other sister agencies joined the course.
“I am delighted because when I came in I discovered that this Centre is a national asset where we can train not just the Armed Forces but every Nigerian that is qualified.
“So, I am happy to announce that both the senior officers entrepreneurship course, mid level and the trainees course, all of them have people from the para-military and from strategic ministries, department and agencies of government.
“We have from Customs, Defence Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Agency ,Department of State Services and also from Resettlement Centre ,we selected some of our senior civilian staffs and officers to participate in the three courses.
“For me it is a thing of joy to see that they have made friends, establish linkages that will be useful to them,” he said.
He also thanked the Defence Headquarters for approving for other sister agencies to join the training scheme.
“The Centre is already known to be a Centre of excellence for vocational training ,what is different is that we now have people who didn’t know about it joining.
“The centre of what we are doing here is agriculture. So, we expect them to go back and feed the nation, feed their communities and make money in the process and also improve their feeding,” he said.
Navy Lt. (Rev. Fr.) Maurice Vandu, the Chaplain of Roman Catholic Church, NAFRC, also enjoined the trainees/retirees to continue to be good ambassadors of the Armed Forces.
He urged them to utilise their benefits judiciously and also put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired.
Maj. Isah Yakubu, the Imam, NAFRC Mosque on Sept. 18 who preached on repentance and forgiveness, urged the retirees to forgive anyone who may have offended them during their service years and training.
The various courses conducted in the centre include Agriculture which comprise of Rabbitry, Fisheries etc, Engineering, Technical, Management, Security etc.
NAN reports that the institution plays a crucial role in preparing military personnel for economically useful life after service.
The Passing Out Ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 25.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Land dispute stalls Aviation College plan to expand runway
Land dispute stalls Aviation College plan to expand runway
Zaria (Kaduna State) Capt. AbdulSalam Mohammed, Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria, says encroachment of the college’s land has interrupted its plan to expand its runway from 1.6 kilometers to 2.4 kilometers to accommodate commercial aircraft.
The rector, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Zaria, said the expansion for the runway was necessary to enhance the college training capacity and accommodate modern aircraft on commercial purposes.
Mohammed noted that the 1.6 Kilometer runway was originally designed for the type of aircraft used for training, but over the years the college had acquired a lot of bigger aircraft.
“Recently, the Vice-President visited Zaria to condole with the family of a youth corps member that was killed, his aircraft could not land in Zaria because it was very big, so he landed in Kaduna and came down to Zaria by a helicopter,’’ Mohammed said.
He said said the college was forced to suspend its expansion plans, as part of the land for such extension was still in dispute.
“Only when we upgrade the runway, the college airport as it is now cannot accommodate commercial operation,” he added.
According to him, the land in dispute was issued in 1964, with official documents clearly showing the demarcation of the college land.
He added that there was also documentary evidence that farmers who owned the land at that time were paid full compensation about 55 years ago.
“Most of the people that are laying claim to the land now either bought it from third party or are probably the grand children of the original owners.
“As far as we are concerned, they are not entitled to any compensation since the original owners were paid compensation.
“As you know, the case was before the law court that is what stopped us from going further. We have to allow the court to determine the cases,’’ he said.
The rector said once the legal issues were resolved, the college would execute the expansion plans.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed https://nnn.ng/land-dispute-stalls-aviation-college-plan-to-expand-runway/
Okiro urges peaceful coexistence among Ex-Niger Delta agitators, Nigerians
A former Inspector- General of Police, Mr Mike Okiro has called for peaceful coexistence among members of the Ex-Niger Delta agitators and other citizens of the country.
A statement by Mr Supreme Ibitomi, Special Asssitant, Media to Okiro said he made the call when leaders of the ex-agitators visited him on Sunday in Abuja.
He advised them to be peaceful wherever they found themselves as it was the only panacea to development in a heterogenous country like Nigeria.
The former police boss thanked the group for embracing the presidential amnesty programme of the Federal Government and urged them to be law abiding.
Earlier, the leader of the ex-agitators, Mr Awe Akuke said they were indebted to Okiro for the role he played in the actualisation of the amnesty programme.
Akuke said that many of them would have been dead by now if not that they resolved to embrace the amnesty by the federal government.
The group, which comprised of leaders of phase one, two and three of the programme, expressed gratitude to Okiro, who they referred to as “Father of Amnesty”.
In a related development, Okiro has advised the leaders of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), to always carry their members along in decision making to minimize friction, rancour and suspicion.
Okiro gave the advice when leaders of the group led by the pioneer secretary and chairman of the Elders Council, Abuja chapter, visited him in Abuja.
He assured them of his support in the quest to unite and work towards an enduring peace in the Niger Delta.
Earlier, leader of the group, Mr. Braye Odiowei, Chairman of the Abuja chapter of the Elders Council, said the visit was to expressed their gratitude and invite the former police boss to their upcoming general election.
He said that the council has resolved to make Okiro its life patron in recognition of his contributions to the development of the region and the Ijaws in particular over the years.
The chairman said that Okiro has always being in the forefront in protecting the interests of the people of the region and had never disappointed them. ( NAN)
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Felix Ajide
Why FG is investing massively in railways, seaports — Amaechi
The Federal Government’s focus on railway and seaport development is a necessity to drive the nation’s economy, according to the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi stated this at the virtual 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York on Sunday.
“Many Nigerians have asked why the construction of railways.
“Eighty per cent of the cargoes we have in Nigeria are mostly imported, because the Nigerian economy is yet to generate enough production.
“However, the president is of the view that if we must produce, we must have infrastructure that enables that production, hence the focus on transportation, power and works,” he said.
The minister said although the railway project had started before the President Muhammadu Buhari, the nation’s seaports were not included in the design.
He stated that one of the first things the administration did was to rework the plan to link the rail network to seaports across the country.
“So, we started with the Apapa seaport. We are working there now and I believe by December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port.
“We then added the Warri Seaport, the Calabar seaport and Tin Can Island. We are making sure that all of them include seaports,” Amaechi said.
According to him, contract for the 386km rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Republic of Niger will be awarded on Wednesday.
He added contract award for the 1,500km eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri would follow on Sept. 30.
The minister highlighted other rail line projects in the country, including Abuja to Itakpe, and Itakpe to Warri, which he said had been completed
He said the Warri line would also be extended to the Warri seaport being developed by the federal government.
Amaechi also highlighted the government’s seaport digitalisation programme, which he said would be completed in 2021.
Mr Gurjit Singh, former Indian Ambassador to Germany, Indonesia and the African, described Nigeria as the giant of Africa.
Singh, who is the Chairman of the CII Task Force on Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, said the Nigerian rail sector had the potential to drive the nation’s development as was the case in India.
He urged Nigeria to take advantage of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor initiative to access public private partnership funding for its infrastructure projects.
Organised by United States-based Kaleidoscope Business Project, the event brought together Nigerian state governors, ministers, business executives and prospective foreign investors.
The participants included Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Samuel Ortom of Benue and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara,
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, and the Minister of State for of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Uchechukwu Ogah, also participated.
They took turns to highlight the investment opportunities that abound in their respective states and sectors in addition to the invest facilitation and security measures in place.
Welcoming the participants, the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, said the conference was part of the government’s efforts to open more windows of business opportunities in Nigeria to the world.
“With the opportunities that abound in Nigeria, this Conference aims at identifying those investors that are able, willing and committed to long term direct investment into the Nigerian economy.
“And it goes without saying that those from the Nigerian side are as desirous to meet investors in order to establish mutually beneficial relationships.
“Let me emphasise the need for us to jointly work together to enhance NIgeria economic growth and industrialization on our shared values and sound principles of mutually beneficial partnership and on a win-win business matrix,” Okoyen said.
Edited By: Felix Ajide