Mobs Kill Four After Tanzanian Girl Is Murdered


Enraged Tanzanian villagers beat to death four people suspected of involvement in the murder of a seven-year-old girl, a regional governor said Sunday.

The body of Rachael Malekela was discovered on Friday, making her the latest victim in a spate of apparent ritualistic murders that has claimed about a dozen children in Tanzania’s southern Njombe district since the start of the year.

“Following Rachael’s murder, angry residents separately attacked and killed four people suspected of being involved in the murder, Christopher Olesendeka, governor of the Njombe province told a public meeting.

Police are searching for those who committed the killings on Saturday, Olesendeka said.

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Local Tanzanian authorities believe the children are being killed for their bodyparts to be used in superstitious rites. The killers systematically remove the victims’ genitals, ears, and tongues.

At Rachael’s funeral on Saturday, district chief Ruth Msafiri said a specialised police unit had been deployed to Njombe to solve the string of child murders that has alarmed the entire country.

A statement issued by 25 Tanzanian organisations, meanwhile, urged compatriots to give up dangerous traditional beliefs.

“We call upon the government to reinforce control over activities by traditional healers and to punish those behind human rights violations,” the organisations added.

In recent years, Tanzania had been singled out for assaults on albinos, but a joint campaign by authorities and religious groups has sharply reduced the number of such attacks.


Senate Promises Quick Passage Of Anti-Hate Speech, Jungle Justice Bills

Senate President, Bukola Saraki says the Upper Chamber is ready to give the Hate Speech Bill accelerated consideration when it is presented by the Executive.

This according to him is due to the rising tensions in the polity.

Dr Saraki made this known in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu.

He stated that the passage of Bills to mitigate hate speeches and jungle justice will comprise a major part of the Senate’s social impact agenda when it resumes in September.

“At this point in time, when people are heating up the political and social space with their utterances, the Hate Speech Bill will help to mitigate against verbal attacks or expressions against individuals or groups on the basis of ethnicity, religion, and even gender.”

He stressed further that this would send a clear message with accompanying punitive measures to people who are fond of distasteful comments that hurt, offend and provoke retaliation.

Senator Saraki also stated that the Anti-Jungle Justice Bill which is sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye will also help to curtail, protect and prohibit Nigerians across the country from meting out extra-judicial justice to perceived offenders without recourse to statutory legal channels.

“There have been many cases of extrajudicial executions across the nation. We all remember the “Aluu Four” incident, and several other notorious cases of phone and food thieves being set ablaze. We cannot have a situation where people feel that they can take the law into their hands,” Saraki said, “Therefore, we must put in place careful stopgaps and penal measures to protect the sanctity of our communities.”

Furthermore, he noted that the Committee on Judiciary and the Rules and Business Committees of the Senate would work to ensure that the Anti-Jungle Justice Bill is quickly passed and sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

Ejigbo 2: 12 Year Old Victim Advocates Death Penalty For Perpetrators

Nike, a 12 year old girl who was one of the three victims of suspected OPC members who tortured 3 pepper sellers in Ejigbo, Lagos state, for allegedly stealing pepper worth 50 naira, has advocated death penalty for the suspects for causing her step-sister’s death.

Nike, who was the third and youngest of the victims, appeared at the public hearing ordered by the Lagos State House of Assembly to investigate the incident which occurred in February 2012.

At the hearing, she identified three men as the ones who tortured herself and her step sister for stealing pepper worth 50 Naira.

She further revealed that one of the suspects (who was without a shirt in the viral video) had promised to set a trap for her because she rejected his advances.

She identified the man who wore jeans as ‘Tirin,’ the man who wore native attire called ‘ankara’ as Jibola, the third man, ‘Abolore’ and ‘Baba Oja.’

She also said that she witnessed the murder of a certain individual by the said men at the same location where they tortured her family members.

Nike, who was unaware of her sister’s death as a result of the severe injuries sustained, was asked what penalty she wanted for the criminals and she said “the people that kill somebody, they use to kill them.”

At the hearing, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly,  Adeyemi Kuforiji, redeemed the 1 million Naira promise made by the ad-hoc Chairman to the family who helped in locating the victims. Part of the money was given to the victims.

The case has been handed over to the Office of the Public Defender.

Ejigbo Women Assault: 1 Victim Confirmed Dead

It has now been confirmed that one of the ladies who was brutally tortured by some men in Ejigbo Lagos in 2013 has died.

The woman who was identified as Julie was said to have been brought from her home town in Topa, Badagry to work as a canteen attendant.

It was also gathered that three women were tortured and not two as seen in the videos. The third woman is the mother of the two ladies shown in the video.

Recounting her ordeal, Mrs Ajoke Agomah, said that she was also stripped, tortured and blended pepper poured into her private part.

Confirming the death of daughter, Mr Filma Agomah said that Julie died in Badagry while his wife and the other 12-year-old daughter have relocated to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

He added that his wife and daughters were tortured by members of the Odua People’s Congress, OPC, who later sacked him from his apartment.

Assault Of Two Women In Ejigbo Comes Up For Hearing In LSHA

The case of a brutal assault against two women in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos state has come up for public hearing at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

The State House of Assembly had commissioned a committee to investigate the case of two women who were stripped naked, beaten and tortured by unknown men in a market located in Ejigbo Local Government Area of Lagos state for allegedly stealing pepper.

Telling the public and the lawmakers what he knows, the Chairman of the Local Council, Kehinde Bamigbetan, accepted that the barbaric incident took place in his locality in February 2013.

According to him, he took his hands off the case when the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ejigbo Police Station accepted that he was aware of the crime and that investigation was on going.

Although the hearing has commenced, the victims are yet to be seen to speak for themselves while the culprits are yet to be fished out. This is according to the petitioner and leader of an NGO, Women Arise, Dr Joe Okei Odumakin.

One of the women (the younger victim) is feared to be dead while the older victim is said to have relocated to Kogi state. The husband of the older victim, who is said to be a palm wine tapper, has relocated to a different street in the same locality.

At the hearing, the Chairman of the Committee on the Public Hearing announced that anyone with useful information that will lead to the apprehension of the criminals will be rewarded with 1 million naira and an extra 250,000 naira from him.

LSHA Sets Up Committee On Unlawful Torture Of Women In Ejigbo

The Lagos State House of Assembly has commissioned a committee to investigate the case of two women who were stripped naked, beaten and tortured by unknown men in a market located in Ejigbo Local Government Area of Lagos state for allegedly stealing pepper.

Recently, a video showing the torturous experience two women were subjected to by suspected touts surfaced online and caused uproar in the public domain.

Human Rights Activist, Joe Okei Odumakin, who is at the fore-front of the struggle to ensure that justice is delivered and the criminals brought to book told Channels Television on Tuesday while speaking on Sunrise Daily, that parties concerned in the case, includes the police, activists, community leaders, the chairman of the local government, market men and women, noting that they will be invited to give their account of the incident.

According to Mrs Odumakin, the video, showing how at least four bottles of grounded pepper as well as broken sticks were forced into their private parts, was brought to the attention of the group on December 7th. She however noted that intelligence reports reveal that the incident happened 10 months ago.

The Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Mr Kehinde  Bamigbetan issued a statement that the incident occurred in February. He also disclosed that the older victim is the wife of a palm wine tapper while the younger victim is her stepdaughter.

Odumakin who described the act as “brazen, bestial and barbaric” agonized with the victims who she said will have to live with such dehumanization all their lives, “but the only thing that will give them succour is when they see justice.”

Efforts to bring the culprits to book have proved unsuccessful as residents in the area have maintained a ‘criminal silence’ out of fear.

However, Mrs Odumakin said the rise in such acts indicates the increase of impunity and called for a change in the mindset of the people who may consider jungle justice.

Although the group is yet to solicit the cooperation of the police, it has petitioned the Lagos State House of Assembly to ensure justice is given to the two female victims who are now being referred to as the ‘Ejigbo 2.’

“Honestly, impunity is on the rise and these people will be walking about free. Apart from walking about free, they would still be perpetuating this heinous act. So more than ever, we need to smoke them out of their holes,” she said.

She appealed to members of the community to volunteer information to help unravel the identity of the criminals. Citizens with useful information are to call or send text messages to 08037223313, 08034090205

#ALUU4 Parents Mark One Year Of Students’ Death

One year after the gruesome murder of four students of University of Port Harcourt in Aluu, in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, some government officials, students and civil society organisations joined in sympathising with the parents of the deceased during the one year memorial service in commemoration of their death.

Speaking at a Memorial Mass Service and unveiling of the Four Friends Dream Alive Foundation in Port Harcourt in Port Harcourt, the Catholic Priest Reverend Father Pata Edward has urged parents of the deceased students to remain prayerful and accept the will of God in good faith.

He called on the federal and state governments to give students’ welfare and security a human face in the current political dispensation.

The clergy also tasks Nigerian leaders to shun selfishness and greed which he claimed has bemoaned the Nigerian society and fashion out workable measures that would usher in development and ensure better Nigeria.

Disclosing their feelings on the judicial system in the past one year, the Commissioner for Information and Communications in Rivers State, Hon. Ibim Semenitari decried the slow dispensation of justice in the nation’s judicial system.

Semenitari also said, the Rivers State Government is determined to prosecute the killing of the four UNIPORT students to its logical conclusion and ensure justice is done.

Also speaking, a human rights activist in the Niger Delta, Ann Kio Briggs has attributed the killings of the four students of UNIPORT in October, 2012 to lack of accountability by government.

Ann Kio Briggs also explained that the inability of the University of Port Harcourt to provide enough accommodation and security for students of the institution has remained a vacuum to be filled by government as part of its social responsibility to the people.

She called on the judicial arm of government to bring justice to the perpetrators of crime to forestall future occurrences, stating that the involvement of a policeman in the matter is questionable.

On his part, the President of Faculty of Humanities Students Association and UNIPORT Faculty President Forum, Comrade Joseph Iyama expressed dissatisfaction in the way and manner the judiciary failed to give justice on the killing of four students of UNIPORT.

Comrade Iyama further called on the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice and avoid the politicization of the killing of the four UNIPORT students in order to restore the hope of the Nigerian students in the country.

While campaigning against jungle justice in Nigeria, spokesman of the Civil Liberties Organisation , CLO, in Rivers State, Comrade Livingstone Wechie condemned the act in the nation’s universities and its environment.

Comrade Wechie also described the killing of 40 university students in Adamawa State and another 40 students in Yobe State recently as a wake-up call for the federal government and security agents to live up to their constitutional responsibilities.

He however explained further that, the unveiling of the Four Friends Dream Foundation in commemoration of the gruesome murder of the four students at Aluu would champion the cause that Nigerian educational system is going extinct and must be resuscitated to tackle the upsurge in crime against humanity.

Making their feelings known to journalists shortly after the memorial service, parents of the four students killed at Aluu also disclosed the vacuum the killing had created in the life of their families in the past one year.

Mother to one of the students, late Lloyd Toku-Mike, Mrs Jane Toku-Mike said, the death of her son in the past one year has not only created a vacuum in the family but has encouraged her to prophesy and commit her children to consistent prayer life to avert repetition.

In the same vein, Mrs Chinwe Biringa, mother to late Chiadika Biringa has commended the media for its objectivity and investigative skills, urging the judiciary to rise to its responsibility of speedy dispensation of justice.

Also, Mrs Faith Friday Elkanah, mother to late Friday Elkanah and Mr Obuzor Josiah, father of late Ugonna Kelechi Josiah described the death of their children as a painful loss to the family and the society at large.

Delivering a lecture at the event, a lecturer with the University of Port Harcourt in the Social Sciences Department, Eze Chris Akani called for exemplary moral values in the society to avert crime against humanity.

OPINION: Impact Of Social Media On Nigerian Journalism

Journalism is the activity or profession of writing for newspapers or magazines or of broadcasting news on radio or television while Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, exchange and comment on contents among themselves in virtual communities and networks.

The impact of social media in the communication system cannot be overemphasized as traditional media has undoubtedly taken an onward progressive turn in achieving its core assignments of educating, informing and entertaining its audience; the Nigerian populace.

The consistent and goal-driven use of social media has filled the interactive and investigative vacuum found in the traditional media in Nigeria and the entire world. Hitherto this new age of journalism, reporters were only able to practice the time-sensitive profession within a certain constrained environment which permitted the Nigerian journalist to find facts from physically available sources.

Today, the Nigerian journalist can boast of new skills in news gathering and better accuracy in reporting the opinion of the people. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google + have been used to monitor trends and gather intelligence in regards to the opinion of the masses.

Take for instance events which have garnered much attention as a result of activities on social media. Thousands of Nigerians joined Twitter during and after the subsidy protest (OccupyNigeria) of 2012,  the death of four UNIPORT students (ALUU4) caused a nationwide outcry against ‘jungle justice,’ the video of a policeman caught extorting a motorist went viral online and has now found its way into TV and radio.

These events were either instigated or projected online as a result of the use of social media platforms by those who witnessed and shared the details.

The ability of the social media to breed interactivity has caused the audience to exit its passive shell and enter into a new sphere of activity. This has helped in a number of other sectors in the economy; most especially politics and education. Worthy of note is the fact that social media has helped traditional media to gain its lost audience (youths).

With the rise in social media usage, Nigerian youths, who scarcely subscribed to the print media, have now cultivated a healthy habit of keeping abreast of events in the country.

Social media has impacted Nigerian journalism in the area of reporting as new features i-reports which allows individuals report events in real time in any case where an official correspondent is not on ground.

The integration of social media in news gathering and delivery has also enabled the Nigerian journalist to work in a capacity that totally erases the restrictions of distance. Today, interviews are conducted via email correspondence, Twitter conversations, Skype video chats etc.

Breaking News! This feature has been redefined since the advent of social media in Nigerian journalism. Journalists can now break news as they happen with supporting files such as pictures taken and posted alongside headlines.

Live broadcasts have been made possible online via web streaming. In most cases, the audience is able to participate and give feedback via the comments section which allows the reporter access to instant feedback.

The World Wide Web evolves daily; so does the social media. This means traditional media will yet experience even more changes and growth in times to come.

Written by Mayowa Ogundele, an online journalist with Channels Television, creative writer and aspiring broadcaster. Follow her via Twitter @Ohluwamayowa and Google+, Mayowa Ogundele.