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Bill To Protect Rape Victims Passes Second Reading At Senate

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The Senate is enacting critical legislation to protect victims of rape against any form of stigmatization in the country.

The bill, titled ‘Rape and Insurgency Victims Stigmatization (Prohibition) Bill 2019’, scaled second reading during Wednesday’s plenary session.

The bill provides for the prosecution and punishment of any person or group of persons who stigmatizes such victims.

Leading the debate on the bill, the Sponsor of the legislation, Senator Mohammed Musa, said if passed into law, the bill will encourage victims of rape to testify in court and also ensure the re-integration of victims of insurgency into the community of their choice.

Senator Musa said the conditions most victims of rape are exposed to are traumatic and blames this on what he describes as the ineptitude of the Nigerian justice system.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has referred the bill to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative work.

The Committee, which is chaired by Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC – Ekiti Central), is expected to submit its report back to the Senate in four weeks.

“Presently, rape is now a common phenomenon and occurs worldwide. In fact, available data suggests that in some countries one in five women report sexual violence or being raped by an intimate partner and up to a third of girls report forced sexual initiation. This also cuts across a diverse age range of victims ranging from young toddlers and children to even older victims aged 70 years old, with over seventy percent of the victims under 19.

“The bill is to provide for the legal and institutional framework for the protocol for re-integration of victims of rape and insurgency in Nigeria. If this bill is passed into law, it would certainly provide a new lease of life for victims of rape and insurgency in the country”, Musa said.

The lawmaker who bemoaned the trauma which most victims of rape suffer and are exposed to in the country blamed the development on what he described as the “ineptitude” of the Nigerian justice system.

“The justice system in Nigeria is incredibly inept and for rape cases, this is even more traumatic,” Musa said. “A rape victim goes to the police to report and the policeman or woman tells the victim to go and sort it out at home as it is a domestic case. And the consequence of such an act is that the victim is left at the mercy of the society without any protection.

“This sort of stigma has prevented many survivors from reporting abuse and seeking justice. Victims of insurgency and other violent acts need this kind of laws that will not only promote gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls as fundamental to all efforts to prevent and address sexual violence, but also progressively uplift such victims.”

He added: “We are all living witnesses to the upsurge of the criminality of rape and the destruction of lives been perpetrated by those coward criminals in our communities, coupled with the fact that our country has an extremely low conviction rate for rape and sexual abuses despite the increase in violence against women in recent years”, he added.

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University Student Delivers Quintuplets

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A 400-level student of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Umudike, Abia State, Oluomachi Nwojo, has been delivered of a set of quintuplets.

The 24-year-old student of Environmental Management, a native of Abriba in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, was delivered of the babies on Monday at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia through caesarean section.

Oluomachi had two baby boys and three girls.

Speaking, the final-year student expressed happiness at the delivery of her babies, describing it as a wonderful experience.

She said: “This is my first delivery and I am grateful to God for making me a partaker of this wonderful blessing.

“I believe God knows the best for my children; I am feeling fine and gradually recuperating from the birth of my babies.

“I am calling on the government and good-spirited individuals to help me in training the babies because I cannot carry the burden alone.

“At this stage, I need assistance to buy milk and other necessities for the babies.”

The Director of Protocol at the hospital, Darlington Madubuko, said the delivery of the quintuplets was the first of multiple deliveries at the facility.

“The hospital records more than 50 multiple births annually and our staff are well trained to successfully handle such cases.

“We have had quadruplets before now, but this is the first time the hospital is recording the birth of quintuplets in the recent past.

“The two male babies are in the neonatal unit of the hospital receiving treatment and the three female babies are with their mother in the postnatal ward,” Madubuko said.
(PRNigeria)

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Relief, as Remaining Abuja-Kaduna Train Kidnap Victims are Released!

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The families and friends of the 23 remaining passengers who were held hostage by bandits following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train, can now heave a sigh of relief following their release by the Nigerian Military Wednesday afternoon.

This development was confirmed in a statement issued Wednesday by the Secretary of the Chief of Defense Staff Action Committee (CDSAC), Prof. Usman Yusuf.

The terrorists had attacked the Kaduna-bound train on 28 March, 2022 and captured scores of passengers.

While many had been released on paying huge ransom to the terrorists, 23 abducted passengers remained with the bandits.

Secretary, Chief of Defense Staff Action Committee (CDSAC), Prof. Usman Yusuf, said on Wednesday that the remaining captives had been released this afternoon.

He said they were set free around 4.00pm on Wednesday.

“I am pleased to announce to the nation and the world that at 1600Hrs. (4:00pm) today, Wednesday 5-10-2022, the seven-man Presidential Committee assembled by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram Terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on 28-3-2022,” he said.

Yusuf stated that the country owed a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian Military under the leadership of the CDS who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish.

He added that all sister Security Agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this Operation.

“The unwavering support of the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is what made it all possible.

“Members of this Committee are grateful for the rare honour and privilege to be part of this Humanitarian Operation. May God Almighty Heal Our Wounds and Bring Peace to Our Land,” he said.

The statement however, did not say if the release was secured through negotiation with the bandits, or the use of force.

It was also silent on the fate of a female member of the victims who was said to have been taken as wife by the bandits’ leader.

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Court Awards N540M to Prophet Omale in Case Against FCMB

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja has awarded the sum of N540 million in damages to Prophet Emmanuel Omale against a commercial bank over alleged negligence and defamation.

Justice Yusuf Halilu on Tuesday held that the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) breached its fiduciary duty of care to Prophet Omale, which caused him to be summoned by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating a former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, including defamation of his name.

Omale, who is the General Overseer of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, an inter-denominational deliverance and prophetic ministry, had filed the suit through his counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN) demanding the sum of N5 billion in damages against the bank.

According to the Prophet, the judicial panel of inquiry summoned him in July 2020 after the bank sometime in 2016, negligently and falsely in its computer system generated weekly automated report to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) of a “suspicious” credit inflow of N573, 228, 040. 41 (Five Hundred and Seventy Three Million Naira, Two Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand, Forty Naira and 41 kobo) into the church’s corporate account No: 1486743019 in line with the Money Laundering Prevention Act; the Economic and Financial Crimes Act and the Terrorism Prevention Act, which mandates it to report any suspicious financial transaction of its customers.

He said the false alert and the summons caused his name to be dragged in the mud in the media which caused him untold hardship, trauma and great financial losses, which the bank owned up in its letter published in three national newspapers.

The judge awarded an aggravated damage of N200 million, special damage of N140,500 million, and N200 million in general damages.

“The conduct of the Defendant in this case, clearly from the evidence that have been made out, is certainly careless and negligent; it is certainly not careless and negligent but unprofessional”, the judge said

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