Almost 100,000 Sexual Abuse Claims Filed Against US Boy Scouts

(FILE PHOTO) More than 80,000 victims of sexual abuse that took place in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are expected to come forward by Monday evening. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

 

Almost 100,000 victims of sexual abuse that took place in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) had come forward by Monday evening, the deadline to receive compensation from the organization, a lawyer for the victims told AFP.  

“As of today, 95,000 claims have been filed,” attorney Paul Moses told AFP.

The figure, revealing the scale of alleged abuse committed over decades by scout leaders, dwarfs the roughly 11,000 complaints believed to have been filed in recent years against the Catholic Church.

“It’s by far the largest sexual abuse scandal in the US,” Moses said, adding that scouting has long offered a “perfect petri dish” for pedophiles: “boys have taken an oath of loyalty, they are away from their parents, in the wilderness.”

“We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in scouting and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward,” the scouting organization said in a statement.

“We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain.

“We intentionally developed an open, accessible process to reach survivors and help them take an essential step toward receiving compensation. The response we have seen from survivors has been gut-wrenching. We are deeply sorry,” the BSA added.

The group, founded in 1910, has 2.2 million members between the ages of five and 21.

– ‘Perversion files’ –
Rocked by accusations of sexual abuse, the BSA filed for bankruptcy in February in an effort to block settlement claims from hitting the organization directly and instead funneled them to a compensation fund.

The group, which is valued at more than $1 billion, has not said how much they intend to spend via this fund.

Revelations of misconduct in US scouting circles came to widespread attention in 2012 when the Los Angeles Times published internal documents spelling out details of decades of sexual abuse.

Some 5,000 “perversion files” were uncovered, identifying about as many alleged culprits among scout leadership, including scout masters and troop leaders.

Most incidents were never reported to authorities, and the BSA took it upon themselves to remove the accused offenders.

Negotiations will now begin between victims, the BSA and their insurers to determine the amounts to be paid.

BSA “will have to sell some of their properties,” Moses said, adding it was a “very complicated” process that could last one or two years.

Moses in 2010 won $20 million for a former Boy Scout abused by his leader.

Multiple cases have been filed against the BSA since 2012, especially after several states extended the statute of limitations on allegations of child sexual assault.

– ‘Multiple failures across many years’ –
And US Catholic Church leadership, also roiled by child sexual abuse claims, is set to meet virtually for its annual conference Monday.

The agenda has been updated to include discussion on a damning Vatican report released last week on defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the silence of many of his peers.

The 450-page document details several incidents in which young priests or seminarians reported allegations of abuse by McCarrick but investigations were never opened.

“It will take time to process the many lessons found in the hundreds of pages of footnotes… the tragic outcome was not the result of a single failure, but rather resulted from multiple failures across many years,” said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, who will be presiding over the conference.

“These failures were fed by the deeper roots of our culture of clericalism,” he said, adding that “individually and collectively, we apologise for the trauma caused by those who commit abuse.”

 

 

-AFP

Anglican Leaders Apologize Over Church ‘Shameful’ Act Ahead Of Child Sex Abuse Report

File photo of the Archbishop of Canterbury

 

The archbishops of Canterbury and York, the two most senior Anglican clerics, on Tuesday apologised to victims of sexual abuse within the church ahead of the publication of what is expected to be a damning report

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said the release of the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) would be a “very harrowing time” for survivors of abuse.

“We are truly sorry for the shameful way the church has acted and we state our commitment to listen, to learn and to act in response to the report’s findings,” they wrote in an open letter.

“We cannot and will not make excuses and can again offer our sincere and heartfelt apologies to those who have been abused, and to their families, friends and colleagues.”

The report is expected to tackle the response of the Church of England and the church in Wales to claims of child sexual abuse.

“The report will identify failings that we are already working to change, and failings that we will need to work harder to change,” wrote the archbishops.

The government-created IICSA, which is examining institutions across Britain, last year said the church had “put its own reputation above the needs of victims”.

Its response was marked by “secrecy, prevarication and avoidance of reporting alleged crimes”, the inquiry into abuse in the diocese of Chichester found.

The report also criticised Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, for his “misguided” support along with others of Bishop Peter Ball, a prolific sex offender.

In 2015, Ball admitted and was jailed for abusing 17 teenagers and young men while Bishop of Lewes — part of the Chichester diocese — and Bishop of Gloucester.

He was arrested and cautioned by police in 1992 for gross indecency but the report said the Church allowed him to return to work “with indecent haste”.

Prince Charles, who kept up correspondence with Ball for more than two decades, later insisted he did not know the nature of the clergyman’s 1992 caution.

-AFP

Victims Of Sexual Abuse Can Not Be Blamed For Harassment, Says Osinbajo

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, gives a speech virtually

 

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has urged Nigerians, not to blame victims of sexual abuse for their harassment.

He noted that the victims are not the architects of their fate especially by their attitude, dressing or willingness to be in a compromising place with their violators.

“The victim must always be seen as the victim and not to be blamed,” the Vice President said.

“There cannot be an excuse, especially given the power configuration between students and lecturers, that the victim could have somehow invited the abuse upon themselves. I think it is an important consideration to be made and we must not allow that notion to persist.”

He stated this on Wednesday at a webinar on Anti-Sexual Harassment themed “Finding Safe Spaces for Female Students in Nigerian Universities”, organized by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

 

Read Full Statement Below

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
PRESS RELEASE

WE REJECT NOTION THAT SEXUAL HARASSMENT VICTIMS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE, SAYS OSINBAJO

*Adds: “offenders should be visited with the strictest possible consequences”

The notion that victims or potential victims of sexual harassment are architects of their fate especially by their attitude, dressing or willingness to be in a compromising place with their violators is wrong and should be resisted in every situation. The victim must always be seen as the victim and not to be blamed.

This was the views of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in his contributions on Wednesday at a webinar on Anti-Sexual Harassment themed “Finding Safe Spaces for Female Students in Nigerian Universities”, organized by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. The event was based on the book authored by notable journalist and former presidential spokesman, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi, titled NAKED ABUSE: SEX FOR GRADES IN AFRICAN UNIVERSITIES.

According to him, “the victim must always be seen as the victim. There cannot be an excuse, especially given the power configuration between students and lecturers, that the victim could have somehow invited the abuse upon themselves. I think it is an important consideration to be made and we must not allow that notion to persist.”

Advocating stricter punishments for rape offenders especially in situations involving lecturers and their female students, Prof. Osinbajo said “there cannot be an excuse especially given the power configuration between students and lecturers that the victim could have somehow invited the abuse upon themselves. I think it is an important consideration to be made and we must not allow that notion to persist.”

Continuing, the Vice President said “there is also the comparison sometimes made between demanding bribes for service and sex for grades. Sometimes people will argue that a bribe is a bribe and there is no reason why the punishment for sex as the currency of the bribe, should be stricter than an ordinary bribe.”

Referring to Adeniyi’s book, Prof. Osinbajo said developing and adhering to a set of ethical codes of conduct for conversations and interactions involving lecturers and students in universities would greatly address the problem.

He said: “to ensure that both faculty and students are sufficiently clear about the issues and rules, there is a need for a code of conduct or ethical guidelines based on best practices in appropriate student/lecturer interactions.

“It is important that these are clearly defined in ethical guidelines that are contained in some documents that people can refer to and see. It is important both for the lecturer and the student that there is some reference to some code of conduct.”

Speaking further on ways of resolving issues around sexual harassment in Nigerian universities, Prof. Osinbajo said the search for answers to creating safe spaces for female students in universities must begin from the question of why is it that such an evidently rampant crime is so under-reported?

According to him, “there are obviously many cases of people who share their anecdotal experiences without necessarily reporting to the authorities. I think the answer is clearly that this low reportability is on account of the fact that many victims do not feel confident that they will get redress, or that they will be treated fairly or that they will not be visited with the same fearful consequences that was the subject of the demand in the first place.

“The fear that they will neither get a sympathetic nor understanding hearing, let alone justice, and that they will end up suffering the same consequences the predator had threatened would occur if they did not submit to their demands. Then there is of course, the shame and stigma that could attend speaking up.”

“I think that in ensuring that we create safe spaces, we must do at least the basics, which is providing the support and resources they need to report abusers. Every institution must make it easy for victims or potential victims to report perpetrators to trusted formal structures or secure channels created specifically for the purpose of resolving such cases,” the Vice President added.

Prof. Osinbajo also recommended the adoption of a mandatory “well-thought-out whistleblower process emphasizing confidentiality, professional legal and medical help for victims or potential victims.”

Dignitaries who also spoke at the webinar besides Adeniyi, the Guest Speaker, included the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq; the First Lady of Ekiti State, Mrs Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi; and the Vice-Chancellor of OAU, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbode.

Meanwhile, in another development, Prof. Osinbajo has underscored the synergy between the legislature and the executive in supporting policies and programmes of the administration especially those geared towards boosting the nation’s economic base.

The Vice President stated this on Wednesday at a virtual Citizens’ Dialogue on the Green Imperative Project. The Green Imperative Project is a bilateral initiative between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Brazilian government to develop Nigeria’s agricultural production base through a mechanization programme that is spread across the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
9th September 2020

President Buhari Calls For End To Violence Against Women, Children

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has once again called for an end to violence against women and children in the country and around the world.

In solidarity with Nigerian women and children, President Buhari said the country has made a lot of progress in the fight against gender-based violence.

“I stand in solidarity with all the women and children in Nigeria and around the world and say no to violence against women and children,” he said in a message during the UN Spotlight Initiative Town Hall on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.

“A lot of good progress has been made in the past few months. We have established an inter-ministerial management committee on the eradication of gender-based violence in the country.

“Many states in the country have passed laws promoting access to justice for women and children and services are being improved to support survivors of violence.

READ ALSO: How I Was Raped For Years By My Step-Father – Survivor

While commending the Ministry of Women Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice, lawmakers, Nigerian governors, and the Police Force for their “plans to ensure the creation of a national action plan to combat violence against women and girls,” he admitted that violence against children and women has consequences.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 

“Gender violence has consequences, not only for the victims and their families but on the community and the country at large,” he said.

“Preventing violence against women can save lives and prevent human suffering.”

According to Buhari, men also have a role to play in building a safer society for women and children and should recognize the role of women in the development of the economy and the country.

“A lot still needs to be done and I call on all our men and boys to help us in achieving our goal of creating a society that is free from domestic violence, rape and all other forms of violence against women and children,” Buhari added.

Rescuing Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse

 

 

With every report to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and every law enforcement investigation dealing with child sexual abuse material, a largely unseen—but urgent—effort begins to identify and aid the child or children being harmed in the images.

It is an effort that relies on technology and painstaking investigative work—where details as small as a baseball cap or a soda cup have provided the clues that allowed investigators to find a child.

At the FBI, the Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP) works alongside Operation Rescue Me to explore every possible avenue in identifying a child victim of sexual abuse. Operation Rescue Me is focused on rescuing the child victim from further abuse and exploitation. In pursuit of that same goal, ECAP seeks national and international exposure of unknown adults whose faces and/or distinguishing characteristics are visible in images of child sexual abuse.

Special Agent Karen Jurden, who heads both programs within the FBI’s Violent Crime Section, explained the two programs this way: “Our goal is to identify victims. But if we’ve exhausted everything we can do on the child, and we have an image where an adult does appear, we will pursue that angle.”

She stressed that the adults featured on ECAP are not always suspected of wrongdoing. “We know that person has knowledge of the victim,” she said.

You can view images of adults of interest in current cases on the ECAP site and below. There are also a number of images that show items in the background of an image or something a child or an adult is wearing.

“There is nothing better than knowing publicity has helped our agents solve one of these cases and identify a child.”

Chris Allen, chief, FBI Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit
With a larger number of eyes on these pictures, there is a greater likelihood that someone will spot a person or item they recognize and help point law enforcement in the right direction.

“Every time we have a new case, it draws people’s attention to older cases as well,” Jurden said. “People have helped us solve older cases that way.”

“For every ECAP case we work on, we use every available publicity tool to ensure the maximum number of people will see the images,” said Chris Allen, chief of the FBI’s Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit. “There is nothing better than knowing publicity has helped our agents solve one of these cases and identify a child.”

The Effort to Identify Every Child Victim

When the FBI (or any law enforcement agency) seizes child sexual abuse material from an offender—and Jurden said many offenders have hundreds or thousands of files—the FBI brings the material to NCMEC.

NCMEC runs a digital scan that checks the material against images and videos that already exist in their system, explained Shelley Allwang, manager of NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program. The process allows NCMEC to see which victims are already known to them.

These children have either already been reached or NCMEC is actively working with law enforcement both domestically and internationally to identify them.

The most pressing goal, Allwang said, is to find “the children we have never seen before because these could be children who are being victimized right now.”

Allwang said NCMEC has a number of high-tech and human tools to help in the process of identifying these victims, but if they reach a dead-end, they return the case to the investigators who brought them the material. “We are not law enforcement,” Allwang stressed, “so we can only use the tools we have.”

If the file began with an FBI case, the charge of identifying that still unknown victim comes back to FBI agents and becomes an active case within the Operation Rescue Me program and possibly ECAP.

Jurden and Allwang both acknowledge that the number of these cases and the volume of images can give rise to feelings of both fury and hopelessness. But while the scale of the crime is daunting, these cases are not being lumped together by law enforcement or by NCMEC. The two groups are committed to the heartbreaking work of cataloging each image and finding the children in them.

“If you look at the totality, you won’t sleep at night,” Jurden said. “The answer is to take it case by case. It is rewarding to wake up each day and know you’re doing something. And to know I’m not the only one doing this.”

Allwang also said she is comforted both by thinking of her impact on individual children and by the knowledge that there is a global network of people who are fighting alongside her. “So many people from so many different professions are invested in solving this problem—technology companies, law enforcement, advocates, media, prosecutors, judges,” Allwang said. “They are all motivated by the mission.”

Allwang said she is also moved by the bravery and resilience she sees in survivors of child sexual abuse. “I see the worst of humanity,” she said. “But I also see the best.”

The FBI began ECAP in 2004 and it has investigated 41 cases to date. The program has successfully identified 28 of the individuals profiled and found 45 child victims. The remaining cases remain active investigations. And the FBI will stay on them—case by case, child by child.

How to Help

Make a report regarding child sexual exploitation using NCMEC’s CyberTipline.
Learn how NCMEC can help remove child sexual abuse material online and more at the Get Help Now section of their website.

Review the FBI’s and NCMEC’s free resources to help parents and children learn more about staying safe.

Learn more about online exploitation. While hands-on abuse is almost always carried out by someone in a child’s immediate orbit, children can be exploited online by a predator who lives anywhere.

ECAP

On February 21, 2004, the FBI began its Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP) as a new proactive approach to identifying unknown individuals involved in the sexual abuse of children and the production of child sexual abuse material.

A collaborative effort between the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, ECAP seeks national and international exposure of unknown adults (referred to as John/Jane Does) whose faces and/or distinguishing characteristics are visible in child sexual abuse material.

Police Arrest Man Seen Kissing Minor In Viral Video

 

The Police in Lagos State have arrested a man who was seen kissing a minor in a viral video.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

According to Elkana, the attention of the police was drawn to the video showing one Adeyeye Oluwatosin Babatunde, a Botany student of the Lagos State University, kissing his three years old step sister.

He said the incident happened on June 2, 2020, at their residence in Shagamu, Ogun State and after being informed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu tasked detectives from the Gender Unit to analyse the video and apprehend the suspect.

“The team got the suspect on 5/6/2020 at about 1100 hours. He is handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba for diligent prosecution in court,” the statement read.

The Commissioner, therefore, appreciated those who helped in bringing the incident to their notice.

He also urged everyone to continue to speak out against sexual abuse and gender-based violence in order to bring an end to such.

This comes days after the news of the rape and murder of several girls surfaced, sparking national outrage.

One such cases is the murder of a 100-level student of the Department of Microbiology in the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Vera Uwaila Omozuwa.

Read Also: Sexual Violence: Reps Vote Against Castration As Punishment For Rapists

The 22-year-old student was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, the Edo State Capital.

The men were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

In like manner, other cases of rape of minors have been recorded in Oyo and Jigawa states all within the space of two weeks.

While the state and federal governments have vowed to ensure justice is served, the incidents have over the past week sparked conversations about the value of the girl child and the how the subject of rape and all forms of abuse appear to be trivialized in the country.

El-Rufai’s Son Apologises Over Rape Message

 

 

One of the sons of Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has apologised over a message suggesting the rape of a Twitter user’s mother.

Bello El-rufai, 32, on Sunday threatened to “pass to his friends” the mother of @thanos_zer after a Twitter disagreement escalated.

“Oh and tell your mother I’m passing her to my friends tonight. No Igbo sounds please!” Mr. El-rufai had said in a private message to @thanos_zer.

The private message was later made public and elicited outrage on social media, with several civil society groups calling for Mr. El-rufai’s prosecution under the Cybercrime Act.

His mother, Hadiza, also appeared to condone her son’s behaviour after she responded to the tweet saying “all is fair in love and war.”

READ ALSO: IGP Redeploys Rivers State Commissioner Of Police

Mrs. El-rufai later apologised for her tweet, saying she would “never condone sexual abuse in any shape or form.”

But her son, for much of the week, stood by his tweet and only seemingly caved in to pressure on Friday.

In his apology Friday afternoon, Mr. El-rufai, who works as a legislative aide to a Kaduna senator, said the comments were made “in the heat of the moment.”

“A few days ago I made a comment that was wrong, unbecoming and contrary to the values on which I was raised. I wish to withdraw that statement and apologise to the gentleman concerned for the hurtful comment,” he said.

“I also apologise for appearing to attack an entire ethnic group for the misdeed of one person. I regret the sexual innuendo in the private message and apologise unreservedly for it.

“I wish to state very strongly that the statement was made during the heat of the moment and I wish to put on the record that I do not condone sexual violence.”

Mr. El-rufai said he does not believe that there can be any justification for gender-based crimes, adding that he is learning from the episode in the continuous journey of emerging as a better person.

“I have apologised to my mother in person. I have also reached out to the women in my life and apologised,” he said.

“I realise that the intensity around this matter stems partly from my surname. The mistakes I made with the private message and in smearing an ethnic group because of one person are now being replicated by people that are attacking my parents and my family because of my conduct.

“I am one of many children in a family raised with standards of decency and strong values of which my recent conduct has fallen short. I appreciate the time that friends and loved ones have taken to show me the error of my ways.

“I apologise to the general public in recognition of the duty to acknowledge wrongdoing and strive to be better.”

Prince Andrew Urged To Cooperate With US Over Epstein

In this file photo taken on November 03, 2019, Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves after speaking at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Bangkok, on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

 

Prince Andrew was urged Thursday to speak to lawyers representing victims of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, after the royal announced he was quitting public life because of the scandal.

Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, 59, has faced days of outrage since a television interview in which he defended his friendship with the disgraced US financier.

Andrew denies claims he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured by Epstein, who was found dead in a New York prison in August while awaiting charges of trafficking minors.

As a growing number of organisations distanced themselves from the royal and his pet projects, he said he was cancelling public engagements because of the backlash.

He said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required”.

US lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents five women allegedly assaulted by Epstein, told the BBC the royal should speak to everyone probing the allegations — including her.

“All of the staff who work for Prince Andrew should come and give information and evidence and the documents should be turned over — emails, texts, calendars, phone logs, travel logs — so we can get to the bottom of this,” she said.

She did not rule out approaching the prince directly to secure a sworn statement.

Later, lawyer Gloria Allred, who also represents alleged victims and is Bloom’s mother, urged Andrew to speak to investigators “without delay.”

“The best way for him to begin to repair his damaged reputation would be to sit for an interview as soon as possible,” she told reporters in New York.

‘Much Worse To Come’?

Andrew’s announcement, which he said was approved by his mother and in which he belatedly expressed sympathy for Epstein’s victims, dominated British media for a fifth day.

Several newspapers said the former Royal Navy officer’s reputation was in tatters and speculated about whether he could ever return to formal royal duties.

Tabloid daily The Sun called the statement “a desperate attempt to fix the appalling failures of his TV interview over the Epstein scandal”.

“But if Andrew thinks this will draw a line under it all, he is delusional. His woes, we fear are just beginning,” it added in an editorial.

The Daily Mail said the claims, which have long cast a shadow over his duties, including as a special government trade representative, could do “serious damage” to the royal family.

“As it unravels, there may be much worse to come,” it added.

Andrew’s decision to step down was taken after “crisis talks” between the monarch herself and her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, several newspapers reported.

But as well as potentially having to be quizzed by US investigators, some cast doubt on some of Andrew’s claims.

They include that he had stayed at the residence of Britain’s consul-general to New York on one of the three occasions when he had allegedly had sex with his accuser.

Another is whether he actually met Epstein several years earlier than he claimed.

Torrid Year

The Epstein affair shows no sign of going away, as the BBC is expected to air more revelations from one of his victims in the coming days.

The scandal tops a torrid year for the royal family marked by strained relations with the media and an apparent lack of direction in terms of control of its public image.

In October, Andrew’s nephew Prince Harry was criticised for giving an interview in which he complained about media coverage of his wife, Meghan.

He then announced legal action against several tabloids for breach of privacy and phone-hacking, setting up a potentially explosive court confrontation.

The queen, now 93, described 1992 as her “annus horribilis” after heir to the throne Charles and Andrew separated from their respective wives, and her only daughter, Anne, got divorced.

Her favourite Windsor Castle residence was also partially destroyed by fire.

Commentators said the latest scandal could see a repeat, and that the withdrawal of a senior royal from public life had no precedent since king Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936.

#SexForGrades: Report Cases Of Abuse, Buhari Urges Victims

Buhari Donates $500,000, Vehicles To Guinea Bissau For Elections
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the cases of sexual violence in tertiary institutions in the country.

He faulted such incidents and appealed to victims not to cover up cases of abuse but report same to relevant agencies.

“Survivors and their families must avoid cover-up,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.

He added, “They should be encouraged to come forth and report cases of abuses wherever and whenever they occur.”


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President Buhari was reacting to the recent high profile revelation of sexual abuse cases in institutions of higher learning in the country.

He stressed the need for stricter laws to prevent girls from being abused in schools, noting the incidents at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) which were exposed through an undercover news reporting.

The President stated he was happy that the revelation has spurred an amendment to the nation’s laws regarding the issue in the National Assembly.

He gave assurance that such proposed amendments passed by the Legislature would get his support as long as they conform to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

President Buhari said, “The country must do more to address incidents of sexual violence, sexual abuses in our schools, discrimination, human trafficking and cultural practices that violate women’s rights.”

He, therefore, urged law enforcement agencies and school administrators to take up such cases with every seriousness and ensure that perpetrators face the consequences of their actions.

Following the emergence of the report, UNILAG authorities had suspended two of their senior lecturers indicted in the 53-minute long video filmed by BBC.

Dr Boniface Igbeneghu of the Department of European Languages and Integrated Studies, Faculty of Arts was suspended on Monday while Dr Samuel Oladipo of the Department of Economics was suspended two days later.

Both lecturers were suspended over allegations of sexual harassment, actions the university said contravened the policy of the institution.

UNILAG authorities have also called on members of staff and students with relevant information concerning the incidents to come forward.

Modern Slavery: Police Rescue 300 ‘Tortured’ Persons In Kaduna

 

Three hundred persons chained together in Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State have been rescued by police officers. 

The 300 which included children were rescued following a raid at a home allegedly used as an Islamic Centre.

READ ALSO: Benue Police Exhume Corpses From Kidnap Syndicate’s Mass Grave

According to the police, the victims are from Burkina Faso, Mali and other African countries.

Channels Television gathered that adults were subjected to daily recitation of the Holy Quran and prayers, allegedly accompanied by torture.

There are also claims that some of the children had been sexually abused.

While the man who runs the home claims that parents brought their children to the home for rehabilitation, the children with chains on their legs and scars of injuries from torture on their bodies, say they are forcefully subjected to daily recitation of the Holy Quran. They added that, to them, the bursting of the building by the police is liberation from slavery.

The Proprietor of the centre, however, denied the allegations of molestation and homosexuality as totally false, saying that all they do in the centre is to teach people Islam.

He also claims that those in chains are the stubborn ones who attempt to run away.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State commissioner of police, Ali Janga told journalists that preliminary investigation reveals that the place is neither a rehabilitation centre nor an Islamic school.

He assured that the command will get to the root of the matter to ascertain the real motive behind the centre.

The rescued children have been evacuated from the premises to the Kaduna Police command headquarters for proper profiling,  while an investigation continues on the mode of operations of the suspects and their motive for setting up the centre.

Rigasa, an agrarian community in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State,  apart from being the most densely populated community in the state, is also predominantly inhabited by Muslims.

Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse To Face Trial

 

An Italian priest accused of sexually abusing altar boys in a seminary and another priest who allegedly facilitated that abuse have been referred to Italian justice, the Vatican said Tuesday.

A statement said the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice has recommended that Father Gabriele Martinelli stand trial over charges of sexual abuse, and that Father Enrico Radice also be tried over charges of covering it up.

The alleged abuse took place at the pre-seminary of St Pius X, an institution located on Vatican grounds that trains altar boys destined to serve at papal masses.

“The investigation was launched in 2017 following press reports,” the Vatican said. Martinelli was a seminarian and aged 21 when the alleged abuse took place.

AFP

Chelsea Staff ‘Turned Blind Eye’ To Sexual Abuse – Report

FIFA Hands Chelsea Two Transfer Windows Ban

Young hopefuls at Premier League giants Chelsea were abused for years by a “prolific and manipulative” coach as staff at the club “turned a blind eye”, an independent report said Tuesday.

The report, led by lawyer Charles Geekie, found that the club’s former chief scout Eddie Heath, who died in 1983, was able to operate “unchallenged”, abusing boys aged between 10 and 17 in the 1970s.

Victims recalled that Heath used “sexual innuendo” in the changing room, but made sure “that his most serious sexual assaults took place in private,” it added.

Heath’s behaviour was an open secret among players and staff.

READ ALSO: Lukaku Trains With Anderlecht Amid United Exit Rumour

“The boys all knew it was safety in numbers, you didn’t want to be the last in the van, you risked being groped by him or having your bum slapped. He was regarded as ‘Nightmare Eddie’,” one witness said.

Chelsea said in a statement that “Heath was a dangerous and prolific child abuser” whose conduct was “beyond reprehensible”.

“Although the club today is a very different place from the club then… we will not shy away from responsibility for what happened in the past,” it added.

Claims for compensation are being assessed by insurers for the former European champions.

‘Manipulative risk-taker’ 

Heath was sacked when England World Cup-winning hero Geoff Hurst took over the club in 1979. But the former striker, now aged 77, denied knowing about Heath’s behaviour and turned down requests to be interviewed for the report.

Geekie talked to 23 witnesses who claim that they were targeted by Heath, saying they painted a picture of an “audacious, manipulative risk-taker”.

One witness said staff and players “must have known or been suspicious of what he was doing… but turned a blind eye to it.”

One former player described how Heath would come into the urinals and watch, while another said he peered over the shower cubicle while he was inside.

Heath would lavish praise on his “favourites”, inviting them around to his house to watch football matches, offering out money and sweets and befriending their parents.

Many said they were fearful of telling the authorities and getting Heath into trouble, while others “wanted to impress him” to ensure they kept being picked.

One former player said the abuse had had a “massive impact on me and my family”.

Veteran manager Dario Gradi, who worked at Chelsea at the time, also came in for criticism, with the report finding he failed to report Heath despite receiving a complaint that he had indecently assaulted a boy in the showers.

Ex-Chelsea football star Alan Hudson said it was “common knowledge” that Heath was a paedophile.

“It was common knowledge that Eddie Heath was a ‘nonce’ (slang for paedophile),” Hudson wrote on Facebook when the allegations first surfaced.

Players from other London clubs he worked for, Leyton Orient and Charlton, also came forward about his predatory behaviour.

AFP