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FIDA decries low level awareness of family courts

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Mrs Hauwa Shekarau,
the National President, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), yesterday in Abuja, decried the low level of awareness of the existence of family courts.
She called for more sensitisation to the existence of the courts, with a view to right the wrongs in the society as it relates to families.
Shekarau in an interview with newsmen commended the Federal Capital Territory Administration for the establishment of family court in Abuja.
She charged lawyers and litigants to access the family court fully, with a view to getting quick dispensation of justice on any matter that relates to families.
“We embarked on advocacy before the family court was established in Abuja during my tenure as the Abuja chairperson of FIDA.
“I am surprised that our lawyers and even litigants don’t make use of the court for quick justice delivery.
“I was personally surprised to note the high level of ignorance surrounding its existence.
“Family courts were then established at High Court and Magistrates’ Court levels, to cater for child’s right cases and family related issues,” she said.
Meanwhile, an Abuja-based female lawyer, Mrs Chinelo Eruchalu, expressed concern over the mal-treatment most children go through, particularly the house-helps and children from less-privileged homes.
She said that those who subject the children to such miserable experiences seem to go undetected and without punishment, when family court is already in existence in Abuja.
“The establishment of the family court is to protect the rights of the child and to ensure that children get parental care, protection and maintenance.
“The inability of most families to guarantee the protection and maintenance of the child has led to the countless challenges the country faces today.
“When the family court becomes effective through proper usage, any breach of the fundamental rights of the child will be challenged in the family court.
“If anyone is caught to be involved in such, there is an existing Act to protect the human rights of the child, “she said.
Eruchalu called on the authorities to be more proactive in this direction, and do all that is necessary to ensure that the family court is functional.
She regretted the inability of some states to domesticate the Act, even though it was passed in 2003 by the National Assembly.
Ms Christie Nwaka, another family lawyer, believes that the growth of the family court has not been as encouraging as one would ordinarily expect.
“The Child’s Rights Act guarantees free compulsory universal primary education of the child, that is from zero year to age eighteen, as the case may be.
“More importantly, it seeks to discourage or abolish child marriage, an issue that has become divisive and impedes the domestication of the Act in some states.
“Children are said to be the future leaders of tomorrow, so the kind of children we have today determines the quality of the leaders we shall have tomorrow “she said
Nwaka called on government at all levels to redouble their efforts towards the speedy establishment of the family court.
“It is not enough to designate some courts as family courts, but they have to be made functional and effective through sensitisation of the populace,” Nwaka said.
Mr Hussaini Oshagye, Registrar of Family Court at Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, Wuse said they only treat cases signed and brought to them by the Social Welfare Department (SWD).
“We only treat cases brought and signed by the SWD of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, “ he said.

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Woman Sells Two Daughters For N300,000 In Ogun

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A 35-year-old housewife, Blessing Agoro, has been arrested by men of Ogun State Police Command for allegedly selling her two daughters, Semilore Agoro (four), and Deborah Agoro (two).
The suspect was arrested, following a report lodged at Redeemed Camp Divisional Police Headquarters by her husband, Oluwaseyi Agoro.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi disclosed this in a statement, yesterday.
Oyeyemi said the husband reported that when he returned from travelling last Tuesday he couldn’t find his two daughters.
The PPRO said, “The man stated further that all efforts to make his wife tell him the whereabouts of the children proved abortive, hence his report.
“Upon the report, the DPO Redeemed Camp division, CSP Alabi Akinjide, detailed his detectives to apprehend the suspect, who had already been with the camp’s code of conduct department.
“On interrogation, the suspect explained to the police that her husband left home for the past two years, and while he was away, she found it difficult to cater for the two children with her other two children she had for another man.
“She stated further that while she was contemplating on what to do, one Kolawole Imoleayo introduced her to a couple in Port Harcourt who was in need of children. She sold the two daughters to the couple at the rate of N300,000.
“Her confession led to the arrest of the said intermediary, Kolawole Imoleayo. They are both assisting the police in their investigation.”
The Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, has ordered the transfer of the suspects to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCID) for discreet investigation.
Oyeyemi added that Ajogun directed that the children must be rescued and brought back to their parents as soon as possible.

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World Bank Trains 54,000 Women, Youths On Economy

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The Kebbi State Government has disclosed that over 54,000 women and youths have been trained by the World Bank to be economically active.
The government also revealed its readiness to reciprocate its achievement recorded in rice production in other products such as onions, sheer-butter and soya beans for exportation purposes.
The Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who stated this while launching women and youth export development facility, in partnership with Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), said, the state has comparative advantage in agriculture over other states.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Umar Babale Yauri, Bagudu said, “As you know, Kebbi State is blessed with a population of women who are engaging in rice production and it is now a top talk across the nation due to efforts and support of state governor.
“The state government is trying to reciprocate the achievement recorded in the rice production into sheer butter, onions and soya beans.”
He added that with the partnership with NEXIM, Kebbi State would start the export of soya beans, shea butter and onions.
The Special Adviser to State Governor on Women Development, Hajia Zarau Wali, disclosed that through partnership with the World Bank, over 54,000 women have been trained to be economically active.
According to her, “It is also worthy of note, that the state government in partnership with the World Bank empowered 54,000 women to be economically active through the formation of Women Initiative Group in Maiyama, Ngaski and Argungu local government areas.”
She explained that more women and youths, especially in the rural areas, are actively involved in the production of rice, sheer butter, onions and water melon stressed that they are capable of feeding the nation and exporting the products if they were properly guided.
Wali urged NEXIM to include in their programmes mode of processing and packages of perishable products during their training session for women and youths.
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr Abba Bello, had commended the state government over it investment on rice production in the state which has increased the IGR of the state.
“Let me commend the investment drive in the state by your administration, particularly the Rice Revolution, which recently led to the unveiling of the rice pyramid as well as the cassava-based ethanol project with huge prospects for production of biofuel and renewable energy.
“Your efforts in this direction have not only contributed to the significant increase in the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) but have also positively impacted the socio-economic indices particularly in the areas of jobs creation and sustainable development”.

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Eve Afrique Red Ball Takes Centre Stage In PH, Sunday

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This year’s Eve Afrique Red Ball event with theme: “Together, Ensuring Peace and Development Across the Niger Delta”, is set to take place on Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
In an interview, the Editor in Chief of Eve Afrique Magazine, Mrs Ivy Davis Etokakpan, said, this year’s Red Ball event is the 10th and will focus on the socio-economic wealth of the Niger Delta region.
She stated that, over the years, Eve Afrique had worked on eight health related issues, but this time, because of times and seasons, “we are focusing on peace and development across the Niger Delta.
According to her, “we hope to achieve this with the cooperation of leaders of corporate organisations in the Niger Delta. We believe that with the cause action on the Red Ball, we hope to do that with our Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Eve Afrique Empowerment Initiative”.
Etokakpan added that this year will focus basically on internship programme for young people by asking partners of the NGO to accept and train secondary school students during holidays in their companies.
She said, “in the past, we used to do vacation jobs in the oil companies, even in our parents’ companies. We hope that our partners would teach our children workable skills. If this is done, the Niger Delta child would know his or her skill and work on it.
“We want these young ones to learn management and accountancy skills through these internship programmes. Our dream is that, in five years’ time, we would have raised a group of’ equipped and empowered Niger Delta youths who in turn will mentor those coming after them. We need to prepare these ones for the future.
At the Red Ball event this weekend, we expect Elsphon Nigeria Alabo (Dr) Emi Membrane-Otaji, Managing Director, to present a keynote address on “Economic Development across the Niger Delta. Also, former MD of NDDC, Mr Timi Alaibe will present a paper on Peace Across the Niger Delta at the event”, she said.
It would be recalled that over the years, Eve Afrique Red Ball has achieved levels of successes over the previous Red Ball events in raising awareness on general health matters, empowerment programmes as a way of giving back to the state and society at large.
Eve Afrique had hosted programmes which include the sickle cell awareness programme, cervical cancer awareness and prevention programme, diabetic management awareness and prevention programme, prostate cancer awareness programme and colon cancer awareness programmes.
Eve Afrique had the mandate of changing the narrative concerning the Niger Delta.
They are on a mission to highlight and showcase the beauty of the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole, she added.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

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