FG Seeks Special Courts For Rape, Gender-Based Violence Offences

A file photo of a court.

 

The Federal Government is engaging respective Heads of Courts to establish specialised courts for speedy and seamless trial of rape and gender-based violence offences, Mr Abubakar Malami has said.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice disclosed this at the inauguration of the Justice for Children Coordination Forum on Thursday during the launch of the EU-UNICEF access to justice programme for children in Abuja.

Malami, who was represented by Professor Muhammad Ahmadu, lamented the pathetic situation of some children in parts of the country.

Professor Ahmadu is the Special Assistant to the President on Research and Special Duties, Office of the AGF.

“This administration will continue to do its best in the protection of the rights of children and vulnerable persons,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by a spokesperson for the office, Modupe Ogundoro.

As reports of rape and gender-based violence offences surface, the minister is hopeful that the specialised courts will fast track the cases and ensure justice for child victims of sexual violence.

According to him, the Federal Government remains unwaveringly dedicated to improving children’s access to a child-friendly justice system.

Malami gave an assurance that through age and gender-sensitive juvenile justice mechanisms and alternatives to detention for children on the move and vulnerable children, the Nigerian child would benefit from the child-friendly justice sector.

Thereafter, he inaugurated Justice for Children Forum chaired by the Solicitor General of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice.

The forum comprises representatives from the ministry, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and the Nigeria Police Force.

Other members were drawn from the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, National Human Right Commission (NHRC), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), to mention a few.

Benue Govt Closes Case Against Lecturer Over Death Of Ochanya

A photo showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.
An image showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.

 

After calling eight witnesses, the Benue State Government on Wednesday closed its prosecution of a suspended senior lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Andrew Ogbuja who was alleged to have raped to death 13-year-old girl, Ochanya Ogbanje. 

Mr Ogbuja’s son, Victor, who is now at large, is a second suspect in the case but the police are yet to arrest him or even declare him wanted.

The government had on October 10, 2019, arraigned Mr Ogbuja, a 57-year-old, before a Makurdi High Court on a four-count charge bordering on rape and murder of Miss Ogbanje.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, the Director of Public Prosecution in the State, Peter Ukande, led the eighth witness, a photojournalist in his evidence in chief.

READ ALSO: Court Restrains DSS, AGF From Arresting Sunday Igboho, Blocking His Bank Accounts

Earlier, a video cassette was played before the court, where the late Ochanya said Mr Ogbuja and his fugitive son, Victor, serially raped her until she fell ill and was admitted at the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi for two months.

“My aunty’s (Felicia Ochiga-Ogbuja) son started sleeping with me, and after that, his father, (Andrew Ogbuja) started sleeping with me too. I Was sick and admitted at the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi for two months,” Ochanya revealed in the video that was played before the court on Wednesday.

In his testimony, the journalist informed the trial judge, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman, that he interviewed the deceased teenager at the premises in August 2018 when Mr Ogbuja was first arraigned an Upper Area Court in Makurdi.

However, Mr Ogbuja’s lawyer, Abel Onoja, objected to the admissibility of the videocassette.

Mr Onoja argued that he was not properly served with a copy of the video recording, querying the mode of service of the evidence.

But upon an appeal by the trial judge to both lawyers in the suit for an accelerated hearing, the defendant’s counsel withdrew his objection, paving the way for the judge to admit the piece of evidence.

“The video cassette tendered is hereby admitted as Exhibit F,” Justice Ityonyiman said.

Subsequently, the prosecuting lawyer, Mr Ukande closed the state government’s case against Mr Ogbuja.

In his reaction, Mr Ogbuja’s lawyer sought an adjournment to enable his client to prepare for his defence.

Thereafter, Justice Ityonyiman adjourned the case till October 8, 2021, for the defendant to commence his defence.

Ochanya died on October 17, 2018 from alleged complications said to have resulted from her prolonged rape by the father and his fugitive son.

It would be recalled that the prosecution called a total of eight witnesses comprising medical experts, family members of the deceased teenager and police officers who investigated the case.

“We called a total of eight witnesses comprising medical experts, police officers, family members and we tendered medical reports and statements of witnesses before closing our case today,” the DPP told journalists shortly after Wednesday’s proceedings in Makurdi.

Police Arrest Several Suspects In Katsina Over Banditry, Rape And Other Crimes

 

The police in Katsina State have arrested several suspects in connection to banditry, gunrunning, rape, armed robbery and other related crimes in the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, SP Gambo Isah, disclosed this at a press briefing held on Friday at the command headquarters in the state.

According to Isah, one of the suspects, 27-year-old Aisha Nura from Baranda village, a Fulani settlement at Batsari Local Government Area of the state, was arrested on July 25, at about 09:00 am, based on a tip-off.

“Immediately she was searched, the sum of two million four hundred and five thousand naira was found in her possession suspected to be proceeds of arms supplied to bandits in Kaduna State”.

In the course of the investigation, the suspect admitted to committing the offense, saying she was sent to collect the money on behalf of her husband, Nura Alhaji Murnai, who is also a notorious bandit, from his counterparts in the Kaduna forest.

In a separate operation, the command on July 27, succeeded in busting five suspects belonging to a notorious group who had at different intervals raped a 17-year-old boy.

The command also on July 19 succeeded in arresting a member of a notorious armed robbery syndicate terrorizing Batsari Local Government Area of the state.

In the course of investigations, the suspect confessed to committing crimes and further stated that he conspired with two other persons Ila Lawal and Jamilu Murnai who are now at large.

The command has also confirmed the recovery of 15 wheelchairs and the arrest of an undisclosed number of suspected receivers of the wheelchairs donated last week by the Katsina State Government to some physically challenged persons in the state.

“After signing an agreement with the state government that the wheelchairs are not for sale, some unscrupulous persons among the beneficiaries sold them out at a cheaper price.

“The command is dismayed that wheelchairs bought by the State Government at the cost of N150,000 each were sold at N7,000.

“This singular attitude is an example of series of sabotage of government efforts by some citizens who have benefitted from various empowerment programs but have decided to throw them away. Investigation is ongoing,” Isah noted.

Eight Suspects Arraigned Over Rape, Murder Of UNILORIN Student

The suspects in Ilorin High Court on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

 

Eight suspects were on Wednesday arraigned over the rape and murder of Blessing Olajide, a 300 level student of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).

She was allegedly raped and murdered at her Tanke residence along the University road in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.

Some valuable items were also carted away from the residence.

The suspects who allegedly carried out the dastardly act were later arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) and currently standing trial before Justice Ibrahim Yusuf of an Ilorin High Court.

They are being charged for criminal conspiracy, rape, armed robbery, culpable homicide, and receiving stolen properties.

The case was however adjourned till July 6 as three out of the eight suspects do not have legal representation.

I Raped Her Every Day For Five Months, Says Bandit Who Kidnapped Housewife

Katsina, usually referred to as Katsina State to distinguish it from the city of Katsina, is a state in North West zone of Nigeria.
Katsina usually referred to as Katsina State to distinguish it from the city of Katsina, is a state in the northwest zone of Nigeria.

 

A notorious kidnapper and rapist known as Surajo Dauda, has revealed the gruesome ordeal he put one of his victims through while she was in his custody.

Dauda who was apprehended by police in Katsina State confessed to kidnapping a certain 18-year-old housewife, Jamila Auwal, and raping her daily for the duration she was held captive.

A spokesman for the police in Katsina State, SP Gambo Isah, noted that the married woman was taken from Tandama village after she was drugged.

Mr. Isah who disclosed this while parading the suspects before the command headquarters in Katsina on Friday added that Dauda confessed to having abducted the victim, locking her up for five months in a room, and defiling her on a daily basis.

READ ALSO: Police Kill One Bandit, Parade Eleven Other Suspected Criminals In Katsina

Meanwhile, one Abdullahi Isiyaku (‘M’, aged 30yrs) of Wardanga village in Bakori LGA of Katsina state reported at Danja Division on June 17th, 2021, that sometime in January 2020, he travelled to Lagos to earn a living and left his wife behind, one Zainab Ahmed, (“F”, aged 20 yrs), under the care of her parents at Unguwar Dantalle village of Tandama area in Danja LGA of Katsina state.

He however noted that when he returned earlier in June, he met his wife with a four months old baby girl. In the course of an investigation, the lady stated that she was indoctrinated into a new Islamic Sect called “Hakika” by three suspected rapists who jointly had carnal knowledge of her.

The suspects – Tukur Dan-Azumi, (m, aged 19yrs), Abubakar Yahuza, (m, aged 20yrs), Rufa’i Saosi, (‘m’, 27yrs) all of Unguwar Dantalle in Tandama
village area Danja, have now been apprehended.

The police say all the suspects will be charged to court after investigations have been concluded.

Police Arrest 60-Year-Old Man For Defiling Six-Year-Old Girl

A file photo of a Jigawa map.
A file photo of the map of Jigawa, a state in northwest Nigeria.

 

The police in Jigawa State have arrested Ibrahim Haruna who is suspected to have raped a six-year-old in Gawuna Quarters within the Hadejia Local Government Area of the State.

The police public relations officer in the state ASP Lawal Shiisu confirmed the arrest to Channels Television in a statement late on Tuesday.

According to the communique, the arrest was made after the mother of the six-year-old reported the incident to the police division in Hadejia.

READ ALSO: Bribery: Court Sentences Farouk Lawan To Seven Years In Prison

“One Ibrahim Haruna aged 60-year-old of Gawuna Quarters lured a 6-year-old also of the same address into his shop and had carnal knowledge of her.” the statement said.

“The suspect was arrested, the victim was rushed to sexual assault referral center Dutse for medical examination, the case is under investigation at the State CID in Dutse,” it added.

Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa has approved a law that proposes the death sentence for rapists and kidnappers. However, cases of rape in the state have continued to rise with the police recording 35 cases in four months since the time the law was approved.

34 Women Sue Pornhub In Sex Abuse Video, Trafficking Case

 

 

Nearly three dozen women have filed a lawsuit in California against adult video website Pornhub, accusing it and its parent company of knowingly profiting from footage depicting rape and sexual exploitation, including of minors.

Lawyers representing the 34 plaintiffs accuse the online giant — one of the world’s largest adult video websites — of creating a teeming marketplace for child pornography and “every other form” of nonconsensual sexual content and want the company to pay damages.

They accuse MindGeek, the controversial adult entertainment empire that runs Pornhub, of being a “classic criminal enterprise” with a business model based on exploiting non-consensual sexual content.

“This is a case about rape, not pornography,” the complaint said, describing the website as “likely the largest non-regulatory repository of child pornography in North America and well beyond.”

All but one of the plaintiffs, who reside both in the United States and abroad, wished to remain anonymous.

Fourteen said they were minors when they were filmed and should be considered “a victim of child sex trafficking”.

Michael Bowe, a lawyer representing the women, told CBS News the court could order MindGeek to pay hundreds of millions to his clients.

Serena Fleites, the only plaintiff to be named, said that in 2014 she learned that “a nude, sexually explicit video” that her boyfriend had coerced her to make when she was only 13 years old had been uploaded to Pornhub without her consent.

The video remained online until the teen, posing as her mother, asked Pornhub to remove it.

Yet the video was not taken down for several weeks, the lawsuit said, and during that time it was downloaded and reuploaded by several different users, with each video requiring a fresh request to remove it.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers accuse MindGeek of operating a “gaslighting campaign” online in a bid to discredit the victims, as well as making “threats of physical violence and death” against them.

They are also suing Visa Inc — one of the world’s largest payments processing companies — for “knowingly” profiting from trafficking in providing merchant services to MindGeek.

Both Visa and Mastercard suspended processing payments for Pornhub in December, after a New York Times article accused the site of hosting illegal content, including child pornography and rape videos.

According to the suit, MindGeek owns more than 100 pornographic sites, including Pornhub, RedTube, Tube8 and YouPorn, and sees some 3.5 billion visits each month.

Montreal-based MindGeek described the suit’s accusation that it is running a “criminal enterprise” as “utterly absurd, completely reckless and categorically false,” according to US media.

Pornhub, which claims 130 million visitors a day, has denied allegations of trafficking and announced a series of measures to combat illegal content.

Former Top Magazine Editor Acquitted Of Rape In India

Former journalist Tarun Tejpal (R) arrives for the verdict hearing of the sexual assault case in which he is accused of raping a female journalist in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013, at the district court of Mapusa in Goa on May 21, 2021. (Photo by Umesh ZARMEKAR / AFP)

 

 

An Indian court Friday acquitted the former editor of a leading news magazine accused of raping a female colleague seven years ago in a high-profile case that made headlines across the country.

Tarun Tejpal was acquitted of charges of rape, sexual harassment and wrongful restraint, public prosecutor Francisco Tavora said in the coastal state of Goa.

“Seriously aggrieved. The State will be assailing the judgment,” Tavora told AFP in a text message.

Tejpal, the 58-year-old founder and former editor of Tehelka magazine, was accused of raping a female journalist in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013.

He was granted bail in 2014.

The case came at a time when India’s record on sexual assault was under the scanner following the fatal gang-rape of a New Delhi student in December 2012 that sparked widespread protests and resulted in the strengthening of anti-rape laws.

Tehelka magazine had reported forcefully on gender inequality in the country, highlighting police and judicial insensitivity to rape victims as well as the misogynistic attitudes of many Indian men.

Women’s rights campaigners attacked the court’s decision, with activist Kavita Krishnan calling it “very unfortunate”.

 

Former journalist Tarun Tejpal (R) leaves after the court adjourned a hearing for the sexual assault case in which he is accused of raping a female journalist in the lift of a five-star hotel in Goa in November 2013, at the district court of Mapusa in Goa on May 19, 2021. (Photo by Umesh ZARMEKAR / AFP)

 

“This is a case where there was an enormous amount of evidence and courageous action on the part of the complainant who lost no time in telling people what happened,” Krishnan told AFP.

“I am aware of how torturous the trial has been for the complainant. The entire process of the trial has put her in the pillory and subjected her to all kinds of cruelties,” she added.

Tejpal, who has consistently denied the allegations, welcomed the ruling, describing it as “a long-fought for vindication” in a statement read out by his daughter Cara outside the court in Goa.

The victim, who has since quit the magazine, cannot be named for legal reasons.

‘Put Yourselves In Shoes Of Their Parents’: Ekiti Attorney General Decries ‘Rape Rage’

File photo of women campaigning against rape

 

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti State, Olawale Fapohunda, has lamented the increasing rate of rape cases in the state, asking critics to put themselves in the shoes of parents of the victims.

Fapohunda in a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle explained how the past week has been a “week of Rape Rage and One day one rape incident” in the state.

He recounted how each day was about him handling one rape case or the other.

 

According to him, on Monday, he got a briefing on the health situation of a 9-year-old girl who was violently raped by her uncle and needed multiple surgeries on her Clitoris. While on Tuesday, a 7-year-old girl was raped by her father’s friend.

“Reflecting over my Diary this week. It was a week of “Rape Rage”-One day One Rape incident.

“On Monday, I got a briefing on the health situation of a 9-year-old girl who was violently raped by her uncle. She needed multiple surgeries to her Clitoris.

“On Tuesday, a 7-year-old girl was raped by her father’s friend. I was also briefed on the situation of a SSS 3 Girl who was gang-raped a month ago and is now pregnant. On Wednesday, a 14-year-old girl complained that she has been raped severally since she was 10 by her Guardian.

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“On Thursday, a 6-year-old girl was sodomized by her mother’s business partner. Her mother is a rape survivor.

“On Friday while I was trending on major platforms for ordering phantom arrests, I was busy trying to calm down a distraught mother who suspects that her husband is having sexual intercourse with her 9-year-old daughter.

He also revealed had been accused of being too harsh on the alleged sex offenders. Fapohunda stated that he was told his hardline attitude towards some sex offenders who were from his party could cost them votes come 2022, while opposition parties have accused him of targeting their members for political gains.

“In all these I have been accused of being too harsh on the alleged sex offenders. I have been told that these girls are not my daughters. That these matters are best resolved within the family. There is also the issue of politics.

“Some within my Party argue that my hardline attitude especially when the offender is our sympathizer will cost us votes in 2022 while the other Party accuse me of targeting their members for political gains. I plead guilty to the charge of zero tolerance.

“All I ask from these critics is to put themselves in the shoes of the parents of these girls and ask themselves if these were their daughter’s and they complained to me and I did nothing, will they commend me for a job not done?

“Next week, I will be inviting the Chiefs of a Community that enacted a law that effectively prevents victims of rape from seeking support from my office!!!, ” he concluded.

50-Year-Old Prophet Arrested For Raping Teenage Church Member

Tayo Shobowale was alleged to have taken advantage of the victim being alone with him in the church.

 

One Tayo Shobowale has been arrested by men of Ogun State Police Command for raping a 17-year-old girl in the state.

The victim is a member of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Oke-Igbala where Shobowale is said to be a prophet in the Ifo area of the state, the police said on Thursday.

Abimbola Oyeyemi, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun, confirmed the arrest of the 50-year-old suspect in a statement.

He noted that the suspect was apprehended following a report lodged at the Family Support Unit of the Police Area Command in Otta by the victim.

Accompanied by her mother to the station, the victim reported that the prophet invited her to the church for prayer sometime in March 2021.

He was alleged to have taken advantage of the victim being alone with him in the church and forcefully had carnal knowledge of her.

After the illicit affair, according to the victim, the prophet ordered her to take a spiritual bath in the church with a spiritually prepared candle, which he used to rub her body.

“Since then, the victim complained that she has been having spiritual attacks which always make her fall down and remain unconscious for hours.

“Upon the report, the Area Commander Ota, ACP Muhideen Obe, detailed his Family Support Unit to the scene where the randy prophet was promptly arrested,” the statement read.

On interrogation, the suspect was said to have initially denied the allegations but could not absolve himself of the allegations when he was confronted by the victim.

Condemning the incident, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Edward Ajogun, ordered a thorough investigation of the case.

He also directed that the suspect be charged to court as soon as the investigation was concluded.

70-Year-Old Man Arrested Over Rape Of Minor In Jigawa

A file photo of a Jigawa map.
A file photo of the map of Jigawa, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Police have arrested a 70-year-old man accused of raping a seven-year-old girl in Jigawa State.

The suspect, Ibrahim Nasaleh, is said to have committed the offence in Kiyawa Local Government Area of the state.

Mr Zubairu Ismail, who is the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the arrest of Nasaleh to Channels Television on Thursday.

He noted that the suspect was arrested following a complaint lodged by the mother of the victim at a police station.

According to the command’s spokesman, the victim was rushed to the Sexual Assault and Referral Centre in Dutse, the state capital.

He disclosed that the suspect was apprehended by the police at about 1pm on Tuesday in Kiyawa town.

“The arrest was due to a report made by the mother of the victim who lives in Shuwarin Village,  Kiyawa Local Government at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Kiyawa, that the said Ibrahim Nasaleh had carnal knowledge of her daughter who is just seven years of the same address in his house.

“The victim was quickly rushed to Sexual Assault Referral Center, Dutse for medical examination, while the case is still under investigation,” Zubairu said.

Recently, the state governor, Badaru Abubakar, assented to the Violence Against Person Prohibition Law, which approved the death penalty for rapists in Jigawa.

Kano-Based Lady, Saadat Aliyu Develops Android App For Reporting Rape Cases

Saadat Aliyu, the Founder of ‘Helpio App’

 

A Kano-born young lady, Saadat Aliyu has developed an android application ‘Helpio App’ for reporting cases of sexual abuse.

‘Helpio App’ was launched on August 6, 2020, on Playstore.

Ms Aliyu who is the founder of Shamrock Innovations, Women and Youth-Centric Tech Innovation Hub in Kano, said that any person can visit Playstore on an android phone and install the app.

“You can go to the Play store, search for it and install it. After Installation, you can sign up using email and password either in Hausa or English language,” she told Channels Television on Monday.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: FG Frustrating Abuad’s Efforts To Develop Vaccine, Says Afe Babalola

“So far the Initiative for Support of Victims of Sexual abuse, Orphans and Less privileged (ISSOL) and Equity Destitute, Child Right and Welfare initiative (EDCRAWI) have signed up in the platform.”

She recalled that she started learning IT skills from her brother when she was in junior secondary school and subsequently became a self-taught developer.

The young lady said her next project will be launched very soon and is fintech-oriented conceived to continue making an impact on women and people’s lives by advocating and developing solutions.