The State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Banigo says survivors of sexual abuse must speak up for the perpetrators of the heinous crime to be punished.
Dr Banigo stated this during a sensitisation campaign on the theme “Dealing with Mental Health and Sexual Abuse in Unity Schools”, organizes by the Support the Girl Child Initiative Programme of her Office at the Federal Government College in Port Harcourt.
Represented by her Senior Special Assistant, Barr Inegogo Fubara, the Dr Banigo said the programme was put together because of the importance she attached to the mental and psychological health of the young people, adding that it was part of the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day and the International Day of the Girl Child.
The Deputy Governor, who urged the students to take the programme seriously, said they should see the guidance counsellor of the school whenever they are depressed for proper counselling, stressing that they must speak out whenever they face any form of abuse.
“I want you to understand that the fact that you have been sexually abused is not the end of life, there is life after rape, and there is life after sexual abuse. Do not keep quiet about it, even if it was done at home or in school, please speak up.” Dr Banigo quipped.
According to the deputy governor, “rape is a criminal offence that is punishable, and the punishment for rape is life imprisonment”.
She said even children could be jailed for rape, adding that for a child the punishment could be 14years in imprisonment.
Dr Banigo said in 2018, Protect the Girl Child Initiative, organised its first Mental and Sexual Abuse Seminar at the Federal Government Girls College Abuloma, where links about sexual violence and how to stop it and ensure that the voices of survivors were heard were set up.
According to her, “at the seminar in Abuloma, a female student who had been violated repeatedly, since she was eight years old, came out, and the Protect the Girl Child Initiative, in the Office of the Deputy Governor was able to take her out of the environment, provided a safe home for her and ensured that the perpetrator was reported to the police, today she is in her 200 levels in the University”.
She added that, a similar programme for about 1,300 students was held at Holy Rosary College in 2018, where, for the first time, many students understood what it meant to be sexually abused, and realised that it was not the end of the world.
In his presentation on the topic, “Depression: How to Recognise and Deal with It”, a consultant neuropsychiatrist in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Dr Chukwuma Oke Afor, said depression had to do with un-controlled sadness, lack of interest in the things the person used to love in the past as well as fatigue.
He also said inability to sleep; having a feeling of hopelessness and the desire to end one’s life were signs of depression, while noting that counselling by a trusted person could help to salvage the situation.
The representative from the Doctors without Borders, Onyinye Anaba, who spoke on the topic: “Sexual Abuse and Where to Find Help”, frowned at the situation whereby victims of sexual abuse were blamed for the crime instead of naming and shaming the perpetrators.
RSG Committed To Education Development – Ebeku
A statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Education on Media, Faustina Nwaneku and made available to The Tide, Wednesday; in Port Harcourt said Prof Ebeku made the disclosure when he visited some Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Centres in the State.
Interacting with pupils at the Centres visited, Prof. Ebeku said the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike, was determined to addressing the issues of out-of-school children through the provision of free education in the state and implementation of BESDA programme.
He said “The government knows that the future lies with you. The young shall grow and if we do not make effort to ensure that you learn something, then we do not have a future as a people.”
The Education Commissioner also commended the facilitators at the Centres for the professional discharge of their teaching duties,
He said he was impressed with the teacher-pupil relationship he observed during the visit.
Speaking to the children he said: “I am happy to come here to see you all today. I have participated in your literacy class and I can see you are doing well. I can see you are eager and hungry for knowledge”.
Prof. Ebeku was guided to the BESDA Centres by the Executive Chairman of the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Fynface Akah, and some staff of the Board.
The Tide reports that the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) is a programme designed to increase equitable access for out-of-school children, improve literacy in focus States, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education in Nigeria.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Court Remands Suspected Fake Lawyer
Adjogbe was remanded following the plea by the Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt Branch, Prince Nyekwere that the suspect may escape if he was allowed to go.
Justice C. Nwogu in his ruling directed the prosecutor from the office of the Commissioner of Police to take custody of the suspected fake lawyer pending the outcome of their investigation.
The Tide reports that the suspected fake lawyer, Stanley was exposed on Wednesday, during cross-examination when he failed to answer correctly questions bordering on his identity as a legal practitioner.
Also, the suspected fake lawyer could not tell the court the law school he attended, the year he graduated and when he was called to the Bar.
He also could not mention the university he attended as a law student.
The Tide further reports that the defence team in the criminal matter also tendered reports from the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the national leadership of NBA disowning the identity of Mr. Stanley Epini Ejiroghene Adjogbe as a genuine legal practitioner in the country.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the NBA, Port Harcourt branch, Prince Nyekwere in an interview explained the reasons he demanded that the suspected fake lawyer be remanded in Police custody.
Also, Ibikiri Otorubio, the lawyer who cross-examined the suspected fake lawyer in the case of a bounced cheque,, explained why they suspected that the lawyer is fake.
Mr. Otorubio said if the suspected fake lawyer was found guilty, he would face a jail term of 14 years.
Operation Still Water Has Recorded Success – GOC
The Garrison Commander, 6 Division Nigeria Army Port Harcourt, Brigadier General Muhammed Danja, made this known during a novelty football match between Ahoada West Football Club and Python Football Club at Ahoada-East Local Government Area.
Danja maintained that the football match was part of the civil- military responsibility of Exercise Still Water operation in the state.
On his part, the chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Ben Eke, commended the efforts of the military in curbing the activities of illegal petroleum products taking place in the area
Eke also called for more collaboration in fighting other crimes in the area
The Tide reports that the Ahoada East Football Club defeated the Python Football Club by a lone, following a tension pact and keenly contested encounter.
Prizes and awards were presented by the Garrison commander to the match officials, judges, three most valuable players, the winners and the 2nd runners-up.
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