By Eric Elezuo
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) investigative journalist who is also a radio presenter at Nigeria’s Women Radio 91.7 has said that the #SexForGrades investigation was carried out with utmost professionalism and none of the lecturers involved was entrapped.
Fielding questions from a foreign correspondent, Mordi stressed that the lecturers caught in the act were not entrapped, but that the investigation was a thorough job done by seasoned professional journalists who sought clarifications at every point throughout the nine months period the investigation lasted.
Mordi said “this is not an entrapment. Not a distortion. As a matter of fact, as I said earlier, before we even considered secret filming, we spent nine months gathering evidence around all the people that we eventually recorded, and evidence include dozens of interviews; with current students, past students and firsthand accounts of abuse. We had recordings, text messages, screenshots.”
Mordi further said all the investigative journalists that worked on this programme were professionals at every point and they sought clarity from the professors and lecturers.
“When we felt like we heard something inappropriate, we seek clarity, and of course, we definitely adhered to BBC editorial policy at all times. No, this was not entrapment,” she said.
Mordi spearheaded the uncovering of high profile sex escapes in two major universities in West Africa; University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria, and University of Ghana, Legon. She has hinted that her life has come under threat since the documentary was released, brought to the fore the hows and wheres lecturers have been taking advantage of hapless and helpless female undergraduates in most universities. Notable among those exposed in the investigation are Prof. Boniface Igbenaghu of the Department of European Languages, Faculty of Arts and Dr Samuel Oladipo, of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences. Both men have since been suspended by the university authorities.
On her part, Toun Okewale Sonaiya the CEO of Women Radio 91.7 where Mordi heads the presentation unit said she is not surprised with the outcome of the investigation because sexual abuse is rife in Nigerian institutions.
Speaking on the involvement of Women Radio 91.7, Okewale Sonaiya said the station is “proud to be involved in this one year extensive sequences of undercover filming on the devastating impact of sexual harassment on the lives of young women and we hope this will result in positive outcomes for women in our universities.
Quoting extant laws, Okewale Sonaiya noted that Lagos Criminal law of 2011 (as amended) is very clear on sexual offences and harrasment as it relates to lecturer/student and employee/employer relationships. Penalty for sexual offence and harrasment is three years imprisonment. Where there’s penetration, sexual intercourse, rape, penalty is life imprisonment.
“So the law is there and we hope prosecution will kick in and justice will prevail,” she said.
Okewale Sonaiya commended Kiki and the entire BBC Africa Eye team for their level of professionalism during the cause of the undercover investigation.
Women Radio 91.7 is Nigeria’s only Radio station dedicated to Women.
NIS Threatens Foreigners in Nigeria: Register Biometrics or Be Deported
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said it had stopped 1,111 people from entering Nigeria since August 20, 2019 when the country’s land borders were partially closed.
It also declared that any foreigner living in Nigeria that failed to register their biometrics with the NIS before January 19, 2020, would be deported.
The Comptroller-General, NIS, Muhammed Babandede, who disclosed this during a joint press briefing in Abuja, stated that these resolutions were in accordance with the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on Transit.
He said, “The law is very clear and it says ‘Do not enter any ECOWAS country unless you have a valid travel document’. So, it is important to state that if you don’t have travel documents, we cannot allow you to enter or leave Nigeria.”
Babandede said the NIS stopped 142 Nigerians from departing the country during the period, adding that over 1,000 immigrants from other nations had been denied entry into Nigeria
He said, “We have refused entry of 1,111 people who wanted to enter our territory, but because they don’t have the required travel documents we turned them back.
“We have also removed people who had already entered. In fact, 728 people have been removed. We have arrested Pakistanis and North Koreans at the borders and they are meant to be deported.”
On why foreigners staying in Nigeria must register their biometric, the NIS boss said, “Mr President approved an amnesty for all migrants staying in this country. And this means that any migrant that has overstayed in this country can have their biometrics registered between now and January 19, 2020.”
Stakeholders have assumed different positions concerning the total border closure. While palm oil producers applaud it, freight forwarders have condemned it.
There’s No Hunger in Nigeria, Food’s Very Cheap, Says FG
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, on Monday, said Nigeria was producing enough food to feed itself and send to neighbouring countries.
He described the cry by some Nigerians of hunger in the land as laughable, insisting that there was no hunger in Nigeria.
The minister, who spoke at a press briefing to mark the 2019 World Food Day in Abuja, said, “I think we are producing enough to feed ourselves. I think there is no hunger in Nigeria; there could be inconveniences. When people talk about hunger in this government, I just laugh.”
According to Nanono, food is very cheap in Nigeria compared to other countries.
“In this country, it is fairly cheap to buy food,” he stated.
He said the Federal Government decided to shut the borders owing to the excesses of neighbouring countries that had made the country a dumping ground for expired rice and other goods.
Nanono said, “That’s the basis for the closure of the border and I think Nigeria tried to make these neighbouring countries understand our predicament but to no avail. So long as these countries bordering us will not respect Nigerian stand on food importation, the borders will remain closed.”
FirstBank Hits 100th Year of Sponsoring Georgian Polo Cup, Longest Ever
In furtherance of its commitment to the growth and development of sports, nation building and the economy at large, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its sponsorship of the Georgian Cup of the Kaduna Polo Tournament for the 100th consecutive year, possibly the longest running sports sponsorship in the world and a Guinness Book of Records potential. The 2019 edition of the epoch making sports championship runs from October 12 – 20, 2019 at the Kaduna Polo Club, Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna.
The Kaduna Georgian Cup Centenary Polo Tournament commenced in 1919, with FirstBank sponsoring the sports tournament for a 100 years. The Cup which was donated by the Bank to the Kaduna Polo Club, is the oldest and most respected Polo trophy in West Africa.
The 2018 edition of the tournament was won by team El-Amin, also billed to participate in the 2019 edition to defend its trophy, contested by other teams including Rubicon, Imani, Malcomines, and Lintex Agad. A total of 45 teams are billed for the 2019 tournament.
Speaking on FirstBank’s unwavering centenary sponsorship of the Tournament, the President, Kaduna Polo Club, Alhaji Suleman Abubakar said “the Georgian Cup Polo Tournament is indeed the Premier Polo Tournament in the country and it has proudly birthed many other sporting events across the country as well as the West African sub region as a whole. We are honoured to record such a milestone with FirstBank since the inception of the tournament 100 years ago.
“Indeed, FirstBank remains a noble brand close to our heart at the Kaduna Polo Club and the tournament has indeed been a catalyst of socio-economic growth of Kaduna and the nation as a whole” he concluded.
FirstBank’s sponsorship of the Georgian cup is perhaps the longest standing sports sponsorship in the world, a reflection of a long-lasting partnership that aligns with heritage, shared values, elite performance and quality, all attributes worthy of celebration. This record sponsorship has been filed by the Kaduna Polo Club for consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records under the longest main sponsorship of a sporting world championship title.
Expressing the Bank’s delight on the sponsorship, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “2019 is indeed an eventful year for us and one of the many highpoints since we were founded 125 years ago. Part of our excitement stems from the pride we feel at having supported the Georgian Cup Polo Tournament for 100 years consistently. We are indeed proud to achieve this feat as it reinforces our leadership role as an institution committed to the continued growth and development of sports and the economy at large. The Georgian Cup Polo Tournament is one of the many heritage sporting sponsorships supported by FirstBank over the years. Another example is the FirstBank 58th Lagos Amateur Golf Open tournament, in partnership with Ikoyi Club 1938 holding in November this year which we have also supported for 57 years. We dare say perhaps another record in sports sponsorship”
This unprecedented Polo extravaganza boasts notable players such as Chris Mckenzie, the best South African polo player; Max Charlton, the Best British polo player as well as other top Argentine players in attendance amongst many other professionals.