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No Pardon For Rapists, Gender Violence Offenders —- Sanwo-Olu

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Disturbed by the escalation in cases of sexual and gender-based violence, and absence of unified protocols to get justice for the victims, First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, urged the Government to step up the response geared towards reducing the criminal acts to the barest minimum.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu hearkened to the call, vowing that no offender indicted in reported cases of rape and gender-based violence will go scot-free under his watch.

The Governor gave the assurance on Thursday when he received a 54-page compendium on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence compiled by the Stakeholders’ Committee set up by the First Lady to give recommendations on how the fight against the crime can be won.

Sanwo-Olu, who is the Incident Commander for gender-based violence in Lagos, reiterated his administration’s commitment to protecting the vulnerable demographics and getting justice for victims violated.

He said the State Government would be prioritising budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Justice for the acceleration of offenders’ prosecution, while also supporting Government’s agencies working in the areas of rehabilitation and integration of victims.

The Governor said: “I am delighted by the work done by the Stakeholders’ Committee to bring attention to the problems facing voiceless adults and children in our society. Through your efforts, vulnerable people are building the courage to speak out on offences of sexual violence and heal their wounds.

“We will bring people who have been perpetrating these crimes, knowingly or unknowingly, to book. We will ensure they never walk freely without the full wrath of the law brought upon them. It is part of our responsibility to ensure that the vulnerable members of our society have a voice and have access to where they can get justice when their rights are violated.”

Having identified ways to ramp up the response, Sanwo-Olu charged the Stakeholders’ Committee to focus its activism and advocacy on mental health issue as one of the main factors responsible for sexual and gender-based violence.

The Governor praised the First Lady for her leadership in bringing the team members together and for showing interest in issues bordering rights of the vulnerable and women development.

Dr. Sanwo-Olu said her drive was to work with the Committee and create a society where gender-based violence would be reduced to the barest minimum.

She said she had been leveraging the privilege attached to the Office of First Lady to champion continuous advocacy and push actions to rein in sexual offenders.

The First Lady said: “The stakeholders have been having meetings for months and their discussions have focused on the key development pillars of the current administration as they relate to the rights of vulnerable citizens, especially those women and children.

“The Office of the First Lady has been working with the vision to reduce sexual and gender-based violence to the barest minimum if it is impossible to eradicate the crime. We have activated our response, bringing all stakeholders and communities on board to forge a common front in addressing the issue.”

Dr. Sanwo-Olu made a case of the establishment of Sexual Assault Referral Centres where all stakeholders can attend to and dispose of cases without delay. She also canvassed for the setting up of Government-owned shelters to rehabilitate survivors, stressing that the centres must be opened in the five traditional divisions of the State.

As part of the 12-point resolutions recommended by the Stakeholders’ Committee to stem sexual and gender-based violence, the First Lady called for the introduction of sex offenders’ register that will be backed by legislation.

The Committee also called for an increase in budgetary support to agencies of Government fight for sexual violence, among others.

While receiving the compendium from the First Lady, Sanwo-Olu said some of the resolutions recommended by the committee required immediate escalation, promising to work with the Committee in addressing bottleneck slowing down the efforts.

The stakeholders that took part in the meeting include Ministries of Justice, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Health, Education, Youth and Social Development, and Information and Strategy.

Others are the Office of the Public Defender, Police Force, and Lagos State Judiciary.

BIG STORY

EndSARS Protesters Stole $2million, N17million Cash From My Palace —– Oba Akiolu

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The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has disclosed that no fewer than $2million and N17 million were carted away by hoodlums who stormed and ransacked his place during the last year’s protest against police brutality.

The first-class monarch made the disclosure on Wednesday during the commissioning of the Glover Hall Memorial in Lagos. The remodeled hall would not only boost activities in the entertainment and creative sector,

It would be recalled that the traditional ruler’s place in Iga Idungaran, in Lagos Island axis of the state was looted and vandalized by hoodlums after the protest took a violent dimension last October.

The rampaging youths had during the invasion took the Oba’s staff of office, which is the symbol of authority of the monarch, after Akinolu, alongside other royal family members were evacuated from the palace.

Recounting his loss at the event on Wednesday, the monarch admitted that though he lost personal belongings during the attack, he had decided to put the incident behind and embrace all and sundry.

“I will support anything that will move Lagos forward. I have appealed to the Federal Government to assist Lagos with what we have suffered. We host many people here, not Lagosians alone. The incident that happened here from October 20 to 23rd is so saddening.

“The destruction we suffered in Lagos is so enormous than in any other part of the country. Many buildings were burnt, including vehicles used to generate income. I can now say publicly that they stole away from my palace $2 million and N17 million.

“Those who committed the offense would not have done that if they know the implication. But as a father, I won’t place any curse on them,” the septuagenarian said.

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No More Congratulatory Messages For Bawa, EFCC Warns

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has observed the increasing number of messages published in the print media by groups and individuals, congratulating Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa on his well-deserved appointment as the Executive Chairman of the Commission.

While the open exhibition of affection and solidarity may be salutary in our cultural milieu and indeed appreciated, it is however inauspicious at this point in time and gradually turning into a distraction.

Mr. Bawa is assuming the leadership of the EFCC at a time of great challenge and he desires to hit the ground running. What he needs from well-wishers and indeed all Nigerians is support and prayers, and more importantly, credible information that will further the work of the Commission.

He, therefore, appeals to all his admirers and well-wishers who might have the intention of demonstrating their love and support for him through paid newspaper advertisement to desist, and instead channel such resources to more worthy causes, such as making donations to Orphanages and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps.

No More Congratulatory Messages for Bawa, EFCC Warns

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has observed…

Posted by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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NPHCDA: No Microchips In COVID-19 Vaccine, No Changes In DNA

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Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says the belief that the COVID-19 vaccine contains microchips and changes the DNA, is false.

Nigeria received its first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine containing 3.9 million doses on Tuesday.

In an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, Shuaib said it was the responsibility of health workers and scientists to address any concern that Nigerians may have regarding the vaccine.

“We as health workers; we as scientists have been working in the last few years to make sure that we don’t take for granted any questions or concerns that Nigerians will have. It is our responsibility not to just offer the vaccine but we also have to put in the hard work to convince Nigerians, to provide them with the information around their questions. So is there a chip for example? No there is no chip in the vaccine. Is it possible that this will change your DNA? No, that doesn’t happen,” he said.

His comment comes amid misconceptions by some Nigerians concerning the vaccine — such as ”it changes the DNA; it contains chips, and it is the mark of the Antichrist”.

While addressing concerns that only the rich will get access to the vaccine, Shuaib said the distribution will only be done according to priority — with frontline health workers as first priority followed by vulnerable groups.

”We have not already allotted these vaccines to the rich people or the people in the urban areas. Absolutely not. The president has been very clear , and the vice-president has also added his voice. The Chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) has communicated this, and in our PTF media briefing, we’ve made it very clear in terms of who we’re going to prioritize. The first group of people who are going to be taking this vaccine are the frontline health workers,” he said.

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