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A 16-year-old girl, Ibukun, is undergoing psychological and medical treatment in a shelter of the Lagos State Government after she was allegedly raped and impregnated by a businessman, Mr. Adewale Fajemiroye, in the Ikorodu area of the state. The suspect, who is married with three children, was alleged to have forced the Junior Secondary School Two pupil to have an abortion in a medical centre in Ijegun, Ikotun.

About two weeks afterwards, the 43-year-old was alleged to have raped the victim again, threatening to deal with her if she told anyone about it. Ibukun, who had stayed with the Fajemiroyes for about two years, was said to have confided in a friend, who informed her mother. The friend’s mother was reported to have alerted policemen from the Ijede Police Division and the suspect was arrested.

According to Punch, policemen at the division allegedly asked the victim to return to the suspect’s house. The friend’s mother was said to have contacted the Ikorodu office of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender, which took the matter to the police command headquaters, Ikeja.

It was learnt that the the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, to avert any compromise ordered that the matter be transferred to the gender unit of the state command. The victim, Ibukun, who attends Ikorodu Junior Grammar School, told Punch that she was living with her parents in Ilaro, Ogun State, when her aunt, one Amina, took her to live with the Fajemiroyes at their house on Kabiru Jokonba Street, Eruwe, Ikorodu.

She explained that she assisted the couple by catering to their three children, just as she was also enrolled in a school. She said, “I started living with them in March 2016. I was given a room to stay and every morning, I prepared their children for school. My aunt, who lives in Ojuelegba, Lagos State, only checked up on me once.

“The man is a businessman, while the wife works in an office. She leaves home by 5am and returns around 9pm “Six months after I got to the house, the man called me and said he wanted to take me as his daughter and I said it was ok. “The next day, I dressed up the children for school and prepared to leave for school as well. I was in my room when he came and started touching my body. I threw his hands away. He told me to calm down.

“I asked if he wanted to kidnap me. He dragged me and hit my head against the wall. He didn’t care if I got injured. He pushed me to the bed. I had a headache because of the injury on my head. He removed my clothes. I had no more power to stop him. After he was done, he told me that if I told anybody, he would kill me and I would not go to school again. I called my aunt that day and explained to her. She promised to act, but didn’t do anything.”

She explained that from that point, the suspect raped her regularly while the wife and children were away. Ibukun said she couldn’t tell the suspect’s wife because she had high blood pressure. She claimed that she confided in a girl who later joined her in the house, adding that the girl informed the suspect’s wife’s mother who called her (Ibukun) to confirm the story.

After confirming the story, she said the woman abused her and said she wanted to destroy the family. “He continued to sleep with me after the girl packed out of the house. Because of the problem, I lost concentration in school and when I did exams, I never performed well.

“One day, he called me and asked if I didn’t know that I was pregnant. I was shocked because I never noticed. He took me to a hospital along Ijegun Road where I supposed he had spoken with the doctor before our arrival.

“I was given an injection and immediately, I became numbed. The doctor said I would spend two days at the hospital, but he told the doctor that I couldn’t spend up to two days because he didn’t want anybody to know. The doctor told him not to worry that I would leave that day. At a point, blood started gushing out of my private parts and a nurse injected me again. I was given about three injections. This happened on November 28, 2017,” she added.

Ibukun said matters got to a head about two weeks later when the suspect sneaked into her room and raped her again while she was still hurting from the abortion.

She said she informed a schoolmate, who informed her mother. “My friend’s mother called the police at the Ijede division. I was asked to see a policeman who listened to my story. “Last Wednesday, the man was arrested. They asked me what happened and I told them everything. However, I observed that whenever they wanted to ask him questions, they would ask me to go outside. After everything, they asked me to return to the house.

“I told my friend’s mother and she asked me to stay at her place. When the police discovered that I didn’t return to the house, they called the woman and threatened to arrest her if they discovered I stayed at her place,” she said. A source at the OPD told Punch correspondent that Ibukun was brought to the agency’s office at Ikorodu by the friend’s mother. He explained that the agency took her to a shelter.

“We took the matter to the CP’s office and the Area N Commander was called, but he claimed not to be aware. At that point, the policeman handling the case was contacted and he was told that the CP was interested in the case and it should be transferred to the command,” the source said. It was also learnt that the victim had been taken to Mirabel Centre, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja for medical tests. The results of the tests had yet to be released as of the time of filing this report. When Punch correspondent contacted the victim’s aunt, Aminat, on the telephone, she was not reachable. The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident, adding that the suspect was in custody. He denied the allegation that the police at the Ijede division attempted to shield the suspect from prosecution.

He said, “A girl aged 15 was sexually abused by her supposed guardian. The girl is a relation to the suspect’s wife. The suspect has been serially having intercourse with her, unknown to the relation. The girl got pregnant and the man took her to a medical doctor for an abortion. He, however, lied that he was her father and that he wanted the abortion to save her life because she was actually in a bad situation. So, the doctor, who ordinarily would not do the abortion, did it to save her life. “He has made confessional statements to the police. But even without that, we have a prema facie case against him. It is a truism that he took the girl to a hospital. It is a truism he was the one who requested that abortion be carried out on her.

“No Divisional Police Officer will ever try to bury a case of this magnitude. They all know the stance of the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi.” He said the doctor’s statements of defence would be investiagted, adding that nobody had been exonerated yet. The Director of the OPD, Mrs. Olubukola Salami, condemned the rape, saying the agency would follow the case to the end.“ OPD condemns the act of child abuse in its entirety and will continue to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book. We affirm our stand with the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, that there will be no room for offenders in the state,” she added.

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Nigeria’s Criminal Justice System Needs Judicial Surgery —- Prince Abimbola

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A call has been made for the criminal justice system of Nigeria to undergo judicial surgery.

The call was made by Prince A.S Abimbola, Chairman Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Epe Branch during the opening ceremony of the 2019 NBA Epe Law Week themed “Administration Of Criminal Justice: “The Journey So Far”.

While delivering his speech at Centenary Hall of St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Popo Oba, Lagbede Street, Epe, Lagos, Prince Abimbola called for reforms in the judicial system. In his words: “Our criminal justice system in Nigeria needs to go through what I call judicial surgery if you like you can call it reforms. While the fight against corruption remains sacrosanct, the criminal justice system must be safe, just and fair and seen to be so within the ambit of the rule of law.

He further stated that it was pertinent to state that until people unaffected by injustice are as concerned as those affected, the end of justice will not be served.

Adding that the Lagos State Government had provided modern facilities in the courts, Prince Abimbola said that there are still areas in need of reform.

“The Lagos State Government, over the years has provided modern facilities in the courts, vehicles, funds, legal framework for adjudication, administration and implementation of the administration of the criminal justice law in Lagos State, training and re-training of staff and other logistics needed, despite this achievements, areas that require urgent attention and reforms are numerous.

Worthy of note is the challenges of bail facing persons charged with sexual offences who cannot perfect their bail. It is no longer news that sexual offences are on the rise all around the world, given this fact, cum stigma of the offences and administrative challenges of perfecting bail conditions, accused persons are taken back to prison resulting in overcrowding of Nigerian Prisons by a high-ratio of persons charged with sexual offences who are not able to perfect their bail conditions for months or even years,” Prince Abimbola said.

The NBA Epe Law Week which held between Friday, May 10 and Tuesday, May 14, was in honour of Honourable Justice George Adesola Oguntade.

This year’s event had Hon. Justice G. Safari as Chairman of the Session, while Femi Falana (SAN) and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) were keynote speakers. Discussants included His Honour Ademola Paul, Chief Magistrate Epe Magistrate District; Roselyn Ekhoe Obakpolor, Vice Chairman NBA Ikeja Branch; Ademola A. Koko Esq, Vice Chairman NBA Epe Branch; and Ishah Abdulmajid DPO Maroko Police Station.

Events to celebrate the week included a visit to Ikoyi/Kirikiri Male Prison; Prayer at the Aleke Central Mosque, Epe, Lagos; Pro Bono Legal Clinic; and a Novelty Football Tournament at Salami Playing Ground beside Recreation Centre, Epe, Lagos State.

Members of the branch also had a Thanksgiving Service at St. Michael’s Anglican Church Popo Oba, Lagbade Street, Epe, and Workshop Training on Police Duty Solicitors Scheme (PDSS) delivered by Stanley Ibe Associate Legal Officer for Africa (Open Society Justice Initiative) among others.

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GTBank Improves Access to Education for Children in Rural Communities with #BeatTheDistance Initiative

Gbemileke Ajayi

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As the country marks the 2019 Children’s Day, leading Nigerian Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has launched a nationwide initiative, tagged #BeatTheDistance, to improve educational outcomes for children in rural communities by easing the difficulties they face with mobility to school and back.

Through the initiative, the Bank is providing students in remote parts of the country with bicycles to reduce the time and energy they expend in getting to school whilst helping to boost their attendance and focus on academics.

One of the biggest barriers to education for millions of children in Nigeria’s rural communities is often the physical act of getting to school, which could be as far as 10 kilometers away from home.

The challenge of covering such distance twice every day on foot, coupled with the responsibility of doing chores in the morning, significantly curtails school attendance rate, increases the chances of students dropping out, and hampers academic performance. By providing them with bicycles, the Bank aims to empower the children most affected by these challenges to beat the distance, not just to school, but between their present realities and immense potential.

Organized as part of the GTBank CSR Action for Rural Empowerment Scheme (GTBank CARES), the initial stageof the #BeatTheDistance initiative will focus on children in 20 rural communities across the Taraba, Enugu and Ondo States.

Jerry Hannatu, a student of Government Technical Training School, Jalingo, is one of the first beneficiaries of the initiative. Before receiving the bicycle from GTBank, he had to trek for an hour and a half to get to school. Now, his 10-kilometer journey to school takes him about a quarter of that time. Jerry and other beneficiaries like him will now be able to spend less time traveling to school and more time in the classroom improving their academic performance and attaining the skills and knowledge to reach their full potential.

Commenting on the Bank’s #BeatTheDistance initiative, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, said; “Children are our greatest hope for a better future, and it is our duty to ensure that every child has access to quality education regardless of their socioeconomic background or geographic location.As an institution that is passionate about empowering young people to reach their full potential, this initiative reflects our commitment to building a society where distance is no longer a barrier to education for any child, and in every community.”

He further stated that “At GTBank, we will continue to leverage our unique capabilities and broad networks to help people and communities thrive. Whether we are intervening in public education, investing in underserved communities, promoting the Arts or working to protect the environment, we are constantly looking for creative and impactful ways to touch lives and give back to society.”

GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world-class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality, and innovation.

The Bank, through its clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility, champions education for all, empowers under-served people and communities, expands access to healthcare, promotes African Art and advocates for environmental protection. In 2018 alone, the Bank carried out more than one hundred CSR projects across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and supporting some of the most underserved communities in the country.

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Zenith Bank Achieves Feat Of First Nigerian Bank To Consecutively Audit Its Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Be Certified Compliant Using Internationally Recognized GHG Protocol

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Zenith Bank Plc was presented with a Certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing by V4 Advisors after successful completion of the Bank’s Greenhouse Gas Audit for the 2018 Financial Year.

The presentation of the certificate and the report of the Auditors was done by V4 Advisors at the Zenith Bank Head Office on May 21, 2019.

The Executive Director, Dr.Temitope Fasoranti, who received the certificate on behalf of the Bank said the Bank started this effort with the 2016 Financial Year and has carried out three greenhouse gas audits to date. He explained that the Bank understands the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and climate change and appreciates the role it is expected to play towards combating the menace of climate change.

Also speaking on the milestone, the Country Manager Lynsey Elston highlighted that Zenith Bank is the first Nigerian bank to consecutively report the carbon emissions of their Head Office in Lagos using a certified tool which is built on the internationally recognized “GHG Protocol”. She commended the bank for proving its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Goal 13, Climate Action, in addition to complying with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards”..

In response to her, the Executive Director said the initiative has significantly helped the bank reduce its overall carbon footprints and drive energy efficiency.

V4 Advisors is a UAE-based provider of advisory and consulting solutions on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The firm’s calculation and reporting tool has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

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