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Police Invite Activist Who Accused Officers of Raping Sex Workers, Say She Won’t be Detained

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The Police in Abuja have invited a woman for questioning after she accused officers of raping suspected commercial sex workers with sachet water nylons.

Dorothy Njemanze, an Abuja-based women’s rights activist, raised the allegation on social media on Thursday. It came as police and social development authorities intensified their crackdown on alleged sex workers across the federal capital.

Abuja Police Commissioner Bala Ciroma told PREMIUM TIMES the activist was only asked to turn up at the FCT police headquarters to assist detectives with information about officers responsible for the gruesome abuses.

“The allegations are too grievous for our institution to ignore,” the police chief said. “We hope the woman will have useful information that will aid our investigation.”

Mrs Njemanze said she learnt from some of the women arrested and profiled as prostitutes that officers traded the women’s release for sex.

“We learnt that some of the women were raped with sachet water nylons because there were no condoms left,” Mrs Njemanze told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday evening.

The police invited her because she had put out a video and wrote posts on her social media handles alleging the incident earlier this week.

“I will be honouring the commissioner’s invitation on Thursday (today) morning,” she told PREMIUM TIMES. “We are partners in progress.”

Mr Ciroma said he looked forward to receiving Mrs Njemanze on Thursday, and she will not be detained no matter how the invitation turned out.

Out on a limb

Dozens of women have been arrested at night clubs in major parts of the city within the last two weeks. They were accused of “offences” ranging from prostitution to indecent dressing, despite social media outrage that some of the women might have been hanging out with male acquaintances or even alone.

At least 70 women were arrested in a joint raid by the police and Abuja social workers between April 29 and 29. The arrests were in addition to dozens of women who were taken into custody at Caramelo, a famous gentleman’s club in the posh Utako neighbourhood.

The Nigerian Constitution is silent on commercial sex activities, but there are subsidiary legislation in some local jurisdictions that prohibit such acts. After the purported invasion of Abuja by young women repeatedly made headlines in 2011, there were rumours that Ike Ekweremadu was sponsoring a bill to legalise the commercial sex work in the country. The Enugu senator, who became the deputy senate president in 2015, however, denied the reports at the time.

The police summarily arraigned some of the women at an improvised courtroom, but many were reportedly freed amidst unclear circumstances. Some of those convicted received up to six months’ imprisonment, while a few others were slammed with fines.

Even though the clubs were filled with both sexes, only women were arrested. This has elicited allegations of gender-based violence against women, which could render them even more vulnerable than they had been.

‘No vagina is safe in Abuja’

Mrs Njemanze said she had been gathering evidence about the alleged rape of women with sachet water nylons, but her personal experience sufficed to conclude that officers were capable of committing such acts.

“When I was arrested in 2012, my breast and buttocks were terribly fondled by some of the officers,” Mrs Njemanze said.

She made headlines that year after being arrested for alleged prostitution. She sued the Nigerian government at ECOWAS Court and won. The court determined that her rights were violated because she was arrested only because she was out at night.

“In most cases of prostitution, you will have a man and a woman,” Mrs Njemanze said. “If you arrest only the woman and profile her as a prostitute, then it becomes gender-based violence.”

She said only 10 of about 70 women who were arrested last week were arraigned before a mobile court near the Federal Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Police officers freed most of the women after they were given sex and money,” Mrs Njemanze said.

She said she will demand a review of the circumstances under which the most of the women were released without charges — including an interview of all the officers that took part in the arrests and some of the freed detainees.

‘Just plead guilty’

Mrs Njemanze said one of the major concerns she would raise with Mr Ciroma will be about officers’ “unethical practice” of ensnaring suspected prostitutes into admitting their guilt.

“Whenever they arrest women at night clubs, be they strippers or commercial sex workers or whatever, they usually ask them to just plead guilty in their kangaroo court so they could be fined for a small amount rather than sent to jail,” she said.

The officers use the tactics to avoid the responsibility of proving that the women were actually prostitutes as required in criminal proceedings. Only a few of victims of discriminatory police arrests know their fundamental rights as Nigerian citizens, she added.

“I respect the commissioner because he has been proactive against sexual and gender-based violence,” Mrs Njemanze said. “But the officers have failed to emulate his professionalism.”

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Akeredolu Appoints Amotekun Commander, Adeleye, As Special Adviser on Security Matters

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Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, has approved the appointment of Chief Adetunji Adeleye as Special Adviser on Security Matters.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde, noted that the appointment takes immediate effect.

Chief Adeleye, who until the new appointment, was the Commander of the Ondo State Security Network (Amotekun Corps), will however, continue to function in that capacity.

The appointment, the statement noted, is part of the efforts of the Governor Akeredolu to further strengthen the security arrangements of the state, and improve the working relationship between government and security agencies in the state.

While congratulating the new appointee, Akeredolu charged him to double efforts in the fight against crime and criminal elements in the state.

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Olashore School Inaugurates Panel As Ex-Student Accuses Management of Complicity, Cover-Up

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The Trustees of Olashore International School Association – Proprietor of Olashore International School (OIS), a private co-educational boarding secondary school in Iloko-Ijesha, Osun State, has inaugurated a Five-member panel of inquiry into an alleged sexual assault claim by an ex-student of Olashore International School Obiamaka Azubuike.

Ms. Azubuike had in December 2021 via a social media post alleged that she was 18 years ago sexually assaulted by 13 of her fellow students in the school. Azubuike who was a student of the school between September 1998 and July 2004 also in her allegation claimed that the school tried to cover up the incident when the case was reported to the school’s management and striped her of her prefectship.

The Five-man panel of inquiry is composed of the following members:
1)Justice Olusola Williams Rtd – Retired Judge of the Lagos High Court and serves on the Board of Mirabel Centre – Chairperson
2)Dr Alero Roberts – Lecturer, Public Health Consultant and serves on the Board of Corona Trust Council
3)Mrs Adeyinka Adefope – Educationist and Safeguarding Consultant
4)Dr Sade Olajubu – Forensic Psychiatrist
5) Mr Ebuka Ekeanyanwu – Legal Practitioner

The ex-student in her claims among other reliefs is demanding that;
• The school makes a publicly apology to her in print and on social media.

• Reinstate the records to show that she was a school prefect in the school and also grant a zoom ceremony where she will be awarded the honors she allegedly earned.

According to a statement issued by Mrs Olapeju Sofowora, Chairperson, Olashore International School Association, the panel which was inaugurated by the Association’s Board of Trustees is charged to examine what truly transpired 18 years ago and make recommendations as considered fit.

The panel is expected to commence sitting immediately and conclude their inquiry within 8 weeks.

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Hoodlums Kill Ogun Monarch, Set Body Ablaze

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Suspected hoodlums on Monday attacked and killed Ayinde Odetola, the traditional ruler of Agodo village in Ewekoro local government area of Ogun State.

The killing was the second attack on the Odetola family in less than three months.

It was gathered that Mr Odetola and one other aide were killed within a month.

While the monarch was burnt beyond recognition, his brother, who was also attacked months ago, was allegedly hacked to death by the assailants.

The attack on the monarch allegedly happened around 11:00 a.m. on Monday.

A resident of the community, who does not want to be named for security reasons, said the only possible case of the attack is the crisis bedeviling the throne of the deceased monarch.

It was gathered that the tussle of who becomes the next Olu of Agodo is between the Ake and Owu dynasty in the village.

Confirming the incident, a sister of the late monarch, Adenike Akintade, said their younger brother was recently killed in the same manner.

“I have just been discharged from hospital early this morning, only to start mourning the brutal assassination of my brother.

“Kabiyesi called me on Saturday, urging me to reduce my activities, saying stress could contribute to my illness.

“He lost his younger brother to the imbroglio some months ago; the young man was butchered by the so-called hoodlums. Today, Kabiyesi is no more, what a world.”

Contacted, spokesperson of the Ogun state Police command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said it was only the traditional ruler who was killed.

He added that the State Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, was at the scene of the incident on Monday to assess the situation.

“Yes it is true. Only the Oba was killed, I am not aware of the other people claimed to have been killed. He was burnt in his car after he was killed.

“The Commissioner of Police was there today to assess the situation and as we speak the place has been deserted. But we are trailing the perpetrators and we shall bring them to book.”

Nigeria is currently battling a wave of crime, violence and insecurity across swathes of the country despite efforts by security agencies to stem the tide.

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