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A chief magistrate’s court in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, has remanded a 38-year-old man, Simon Emeka, in a correctional centre after he was charged with raping his seven-month-old daughter.

Police prosecuting officer Sergeant Friday Kanshio told the court at the weekend that one Josephine Habba reported the incident at Police ‘D’ Division, Makurdi.

Kanshio quoted Habba as saying that on June 1 she went to a hospital with her daughter where she heard one Mrs Favour Emeka crying and telling a nurse that her seven-month-old baby girl was raped by her Simon Emeka.

The suspect’s plea was not taken for want of jurisdiction, though he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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The magistrate, Mr Isaac Ajim, took Emeka into custody and adjourned the case to August 31.

The outcry over a spike in rape cases continued apace across the country.

A non-governmental organisation, Let’s Talk Humanity Initiative (LTHI) has demanded justice for victims of rape and assault.

LTHI noted the death of 22-year old Vera Omosuwa, a student of of Benin, and 18-year-old Barakat Bello, a student Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Moore Plantation, Ibadan at the hands of their attackers.

The founder, LTHI, Mrs Fatima Ganduje-Ajimobi said government must address alarming cases of sexual violence.

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In Ebonyi State, the people of Edda community in Afikpo Local Government Area of the state urged Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu to come to their rescue over rape cases as well as murder and torture in their community.

Coordinator of Edda Intervention and Rescue Initiative, Chief Abia Onyeike, told the News Agency of (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that about 22 cases of murder, torture, assault, rape and other crimes were visited on the people.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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News

Why we increased hate speech fine to N5m – Lai Mohammed

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The Federal Government says it increased the fine for hate speech from N500, 000 to N5 million in the ammended National Broadcasting Code to deter people who are willingly violating the provision to destabilise the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the explanation on Friday when he featured on a TVC live Programme, “This Morning”” monitored by the News Agency of in Abuja.

NAN recalls that the minister in 2019 announced the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the increase of the fine which was later stipulated in the ammended Broadcasting Code.

“What motivated the amendment was that when the fine was N500,000 we saw the provision being violated at will because the amount was very easy to pay,” he said.

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The minister explained that some desperate people, who know that their broadcast content contains hate speech, will insist that the broadcast stations should air it while they bear the cost of the fine.

The minister noted that those attacking the government over the increase, must remember that hate speech had destroyed many countries.

He recalled that Rwandan lost 800,000 lives to hate speech while Bosnia and Cambodia equally lost thousands of lives to the menace.

Mohammed said that Nigeria is not the only country to impose sanction on hate speech, adding that some nations have more stringent provisions.

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“Chad has today slow down the speed of its internet service to slow down the growth of hate speech.

“Iceland has a provision in its penal code against hate speech and the punishment is up to five years in jail.

“The sanction in Norway is up to two years imprisonment while South Africa separated hate speech from the protection their citizens  can get from the constitution,” he said.

The minister said that hate speech is not new but the social media  and its wildfire capacity to spread information made it to be more problematic.

He, therefore, reiterated the resolve of the government to regulate the social media without stifling the freedom of speech.

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Ogun: Gov Abiodun makes u-turn, stops payment of N25,000 COVID-19 test fee

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The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun appears to have bowed to pressure as he stopped the payment of N25,000 by students of private boarding schools for COVID-19 and malaria tests.

Abiodun came under heavy criticisms parents of SS3 students in private boarding schools were made to realize on Sunday that they must pay a sum of N25,000 to get their children tested.

Making a u-turn on Monday evening, the governor said, “After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the government laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost.

“I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.”

A statement personally signed by Gov Abiodun reads:

“In line with the Federal Ministry of Education recommendation and WASSCE timetable, we decided to open our schools on the 4th August 2020 for SS3 students only. We put in place guidelines that would ensure that our students resume in a safe environment.

“In our pre-opening engagements with stakeholders, opening of boarding houses was discussed. Our State has one of the largest population of boarding students in the country, coming from all over the Country. After consultations with health professionals, we concluded that testing the children for COVID-19 before admittance will reduce the risk of community transmission. This is to reassure parents and even teachers of the safety of everybody concerned.

“The State planned and provided testing, free of charge, for boarding students in our public schools and allowed for the management and parents of private schools to make their arrangements to get COVID-19 tests. The two Ogun State-run laboratories have a capacity for about 500 tests a day and conduct free tests for traced contacts or symptomatic patients. To meet the additional demand for the expected number of boarding students, the statement from the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology listed some private test centers which set up sampling points in some of our Health facilities.

“These private laboratories have been accredited by NCDC and Lagos State Government for walk-in tests and charge N50,400 per test but I understand that the Ministries of Health and Education negotiated this to N25,000 for boarding students in private schools that may wish to use them. There is no financial benefit to the State Government.

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“After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the Government Laboratories carry out test for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost. I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded.

“The health of our children remains our utmost priority, however in view of the total number of boarding students to be tested (5,340 private and 500 public), and bearing in mind the limitation of our installed testing capacity of 500 tests per day, it may not be feasible for all boarding students to get tested and get their results prior to resumption or even exams which commence on 17th August 2020.

“Consequently the State Government has, therefore, stepped down the COVID-19 test as a mandatory requirement for returning students in our exit classes. We, therefore, enjoin Private School owners to exercise their duty of care to their pupils. The admittance of students into boarding house in private secondary schools will be at the discretion of the management and the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of such private schools.

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“Ogun State Government recommends that students who do not have to stay in the boarding house should attend school from home, especially those with underlying health conditions.

“I have also directed the provision of face masks to all students in both private and public schools.

“The inconvenience and confusion experienced yesterday is highly regrettable and my sincere apologies to the parents and students so affected.

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“The quality and standard of education and well being of our children are issues that are very dear to my heart.

“I appreciate the cooperation, support, resilience and understanding of all the people of Ogun State towards flattening the curve of COVID-19 in Ogun State. It is my prayer that this phase will end soonest.”

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