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Who Says Women Can’t Surety Bail?

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There are erroneous ideas that have been bandied about for so long that they lose their untrue status and become acceptable as “truth” or “norm”. The level of acceptability becomes rife that those who are averse to these ideas are seen as the “other”, unconventional, or down-rightly branded as wrong. Unfortunately, some of these untruths which metamorphose, by constant mention, to “truths” are regurgitated from one generation to another. The vicious circle continues as those who are too lazy to properly make enquiries about the true position accept and accentuate falsehood.

A veritable example of the foregoing is the myth of women’s incompetence to stand surety for bail. Over the years, most Nigerians have come to believe and pass down the idea that women cannot be sureties. It is even more disheartening when this wrong is perpetuated by the law enforcement officers themselves. Those whose primary duty is to imbibe and enforce the law unfortunately transfer traditional patriarchal bias on gender differentiation to the interpretation of the law.

Obviously, this evil is perpetuated without recourse to Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution which unequivocally provides that:

(1) A Citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, circumstance of birth, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person

(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religious or political opinions are not made subject; or

(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religious or political opinions.

(2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth. In view of the above, it is worrisome that the constitution which is our groundnorm (basic norm) is blatantly disregarded. Women are embarrassed daily and made to feel that “All men are equal but some are more equal than others”, even in this post-Beijing era.

A surety is just a person who guarantees by means of recognizance, the appearance in court or at a police station of an accused person admitted to bail. What the law only requires, by virtue of Section 122 of the Criminal Procedure Act (Applicable in the South) is for the surety to enter into recognisance to ensure the attendance of the accused person in court. A similar provision is stated in Section 345 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Applicable in the North) which enjoins a surety to execute a bond for the appearance of a person admitted to bail.

It is noteworthy to state that both Section 134 of the Criminal Procedure Act and Section 351 of the Criminal Procedure Code allow a surety to apply to discharge a recognizance or bond, either wholly or in so far as it applies to the applicant. On discharge of such recognizance or bond, the court shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the person on whose behalf the recognizance or bond was executed and require such person to find other surety or sureties. Also, by Section 143 of the Criminal Procedure Act and Section 355 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the court is empowered to order the arrest of a person bound by any recognizance or bond if such person fails to appear before the court at a designated time.

In granting bail, the major interest of the court is in the appearance of the accused person at a certain day and place and not the sex of the surety. By Section 341 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the factors considered before granting bail are namely: the nature of the offence, the severity of the punishment, the criminal records of the accused (Eyu V State) and the likelihood of the accused committing other offences while on bail (R V Jammal). Other factors to be considered are: the likelihood of the accused interfering with the investigation of the offence (Dantata V Police), the probability of delay in the trial and most importantly, the likelihood of the accused jumping bail and not appearing in court.

Therefore, the sex of a surety is inconsequential as long as the purpose is achieved .

After due consideration of legal principles relating to bail and suretyship, one is left wondering about the basis for the exclusion of women. It is very surprising that even those who are supposed to have risen above such machismo are the very ones who discriminate against women and quickly point out their “position” to them.

Law enforcement agents who refuse women from standing surety for bail should note that they have no legal backing, or logical basis. Afterall, women have proved their mettle in all areas of human endeavour, no matter the stratum. Women are excelling even in fields hitherto considered the exclusive preserve of men. Therefore, being a woman does not translate into intellectual or economic inferiority. The two sexes are supposed to complement each other rather than seek areas of inequality.

It is heartwarming though that some law enforcement officers have risen above this baseless assumption and now allow women to surety bail. Those who are still fixated on this illegal discrimatory and retrogressive practice should have a rethink and tow the line of reason because women of impeccable integrity who possess the wherewithal to surety bail abound.

Mrs Manuela Izunwa Rivers State Women Affairs Commissioner

Mrs Manuela Izunwa Rivers State Women Affairs Commissioner

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Women

Women And Artificial Beauty

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Looking good is some women’s business.  Looking beautiful for some persons is more important than food. Some prefer to appear trendy instead of attending to household pressure.
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Every woman by creature is beautiful but some persons feel that the way they were created is not enough. They feel that perhaps the creator should have added more features to their physique.
Artificial beauty did not start today, it has been there as far as man exists.  From time to time, there has been one form of additional make-up or the other that women especially, must add to their natural look.
When you look at some of our elders, especially women, you notice certain drills or symbols (tattoo) on their skins, mostly on their hands and legs, in form of designs with dark prints. That is a form of artificial beauty. These days, some young ones still use such to beautify themselves.
It is not only women that are involved in artificial beauty, some young men also have likeness for it.  It is common nowadays to see younger male folks spend money to pierce their ears to wear earrings.  They also style their hairs in various forms to appear like women so as to look more handsome. This, no doubt, costs them more money than being in their natural look.
Every generation grows with it’s own new systems, items, styles of artificial beauty.  Before now, African women generally and Nigeria in particular had their hair in natural form.
As civilisation and westernisation continued, Nigerian women started copying, for instance, perming of their hair to look like the white women.  They started using western-produced chemicals (relaxers) to make their hairs look sleepy and smoother.
Nigerian women used to plait their hair with black thread or go with their hair well cut at low level. In terms of weaving, it was without attachment. The issue of women weaving hair with attachment came with civilisation. That is also a form of make-up.
The quest for extra beauty aside the way women were created has been from one generation to another.
Two or three decades ago, ladies used mascaras to darken and thicken their eyelashes.  But in this 21st century, another system has evolved.  Fixing of artificial eyelashes has become the order of the day.
In that case, it becomes difficult for them to scratch their eyes incase of any itches. Some of their eyes turn reddish because of the touch.
There was a lady who was fixing her eyelashes in a salon, unfortunately, she got a phone call that her mother was late. As she started crying, it was difficult for her to clean the tears that were flowing down her cheeks.
The reason was for fear of the eye lashes falling off while cleaning the tears off her eyes.
One funny thing about fixing of artificial eyelashes is that some persons cannot close their eyes properly.  The beauty they have in mind before fixing is not really achieved as their look become something anybody cannot behold.  Both the shape of their eyes and facial outlook automatically change.  One begins to wonder if that is the beauty they are looking for.  Instead of looking beautiful, the reverse is the case.
As years go by, artificial beauty becomes more sophisticated in the society. The price and cost for looking more beautiful than women were created naturally becomes higher than their natural look.
The cosmetic industry becomes one of the most viable industries worldwide because some women desire artificial beauty.  Some engage in cosmetic surgery to alter any part of their body which does not give them pleasure especially the fatty parts.  Some go for surgery to make their slacked breasts to return to their original shapes as well as those with big tummies.
It is interesting to note that currently, Nigerian ladies have started to give preference to their natural hair and this is attracting a lot of admiration for them. Many prefer that natural look with low cuts. With that, the cost of maintaining the hair by ladies is reduced.
I think this is commendable as it will save the women from the negative effect of chemical used in manufacturing hair relaxers.
It  is also common to see ladies on  low cut hairs that are either light complexion, red and other funny colours.
People have been addicted to artificial beauty to the extent that they insert certain substances into their bodies to make them become more robust and attractive to their admirers.
I don’t understand why we should be crazy about adding more to our natural look.  Every woman wants to look attractive in a packaged manner without recognising the implications of artificial beauty and make-up.
In fact, women’s quest for beauty has taken different dimension as they tend to appear trendy at home, in offices and as they go about their businesses.  That is just to feel belonged and achieve self-esteem.
I recall a few years back, my pastor who trained as an engineer advised women against the use of lipstick.  He said that one of the chemical components of lipstick is lead and that it is dangerous to humans. Many women may not understand the reality of what he said until it manifests.
I think those who are naturally beautiful should not go for artificial make-ups. They should be satisfied with the work of their creator.  Women should not continue to paint their faces to look like masquerades and should not lose value due to artificial beauty.
It may interest you to know that persons who apply make-ups excessively are mocked instead of being admired.  Make-ups can be applied lightly.
Fixing of nails is another business. After fixing nails, some women find it difficult to perform house cores. Washing their personal belongings becomes a problem. The artificial nails become so long and sophisticated to the extent that the bearer cannot handle objects properly. Those in that habit also find it difficult to eat food with the fingers.
There are people who feel they should have been born in certain colour but when the reverse is the case, they seek artificial make-up.  Use of skin-toning cream and soap becomes the option for artificial beauty, to the extent that the users start having dark spots on the skin. Blisters occur on their faces and legs.
Unfortunately, this is an era when there are different kinds of cancer affecting women especially.  It becomes difficult to identify the kind of make-up that can be cancerous.
It is high time people stopped following trend to the detriment of their health.
Ladies should not present themselves as laughing stock with unnecessary make-up as they can still be cherished in their natural outlook.

By: Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Women

26% Nursing Mothers Practice Exclusive Breastfeeding In Rivers-UNICEF

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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has put the percentage of nursing mothers practicing exclusive breast feeding in Rivers State at 26percent.
The organisation said this at a one-day multi-zonal media Dialogue on Dissemination of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021 Report organised by UNICEF incollaboration with the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA) in Port Harcourt.
The organisation similarly scored Ebonyi State high on immunisation coverage.
It put the national percentage for exclusive breastfeeding at 34percent,South-South 22.2percent, South-East 20.3percent and North-Central 38 .5percent.
On immunisation, UNICEF said Ebonyi State had the smallest proportion of children not immunised, while Sokoto State had the highest in the country.
On maternal health, UNICEF put the percentage for South-South at 63.7percent; South-East 94.8percent; and North-Central 59.3percent.
For infant and young child feeding,the organisation put North Central at 36.8percent,South-South 37.2percent,South-East 43.8percent and national average at 34.4percent.
Declaring the event open, Communication Officer of UNICEF, Enugu, Dr Ijeoma Onuoha-Ogwe, said the objective of the dialogue was to identify media network in the FoS, sensitise to frame and highlight the health and nutritional impacts of the MiCs 2021 report on the future of children and women in the zone.
She said it was also meant to galvanise journalists and media practitioners in the South-South, South-East and North-Central to unify with governments and persons in positions to take favourable actions for the children’s wellbeing to make more visible the plight of children.
“Media is called to action and commitment garnered for increased reportage of situation of children”, she said.
Also speaking, Dr.EgheAbe, said infant and maternal mortalities were likely to reduce with increased awareness.
He said it behooves on the media to spread the campaign on why mothers should exclusively breastfeed their babies, at least, for the first six months of birth.
On her part, Mrs Maureen ZubieOkolo, said the MiCS has strengthenednational statistics and provided reliable data on immunisation coverage.
While saying that the survey covers the 36 states,she called for multi-stakeholders’ involvement to promote the value of the MiCS.
Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Mr Job Stanley Job, urged journalists not to only report political events but other areas that can benefit the society.
A communique made available to newsmen at the end of the event called for more media sensitisation on the importance of policies that would promote the well-being of children and mothers.

By: John Bibor & Tiete Preye Uroupa

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Women

Former EDU President Set For Traditional Elders Outing

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All the roads would on Tuesday, December 27,2022 and Wednesday, December 28, 2022 lead to Elu Ohafia Community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, as members of Akajiaku Age Grade will roll out the drums to perform the Traditional Elders Outing ceremony (Igba Otaomu) in the community.
The colourful ceremony,which holds every two years,is celebrated with aplomb,pomp and pageantry.This year’s celebration, holding on Tuesday, December 27, and Wednesday, December 28, 2022, promises to be special, as Akajiaku Age Grade takes the centre stage, with prominent sons and daughters of the community lining up for the great event.
Among the illustrious personalities to perform the traditional biennial ritual is a renowned Chartered Accountant and professional par excellence, Mr David Awa Emetu, who has put all machinery in place for the ceremony.
Enyiebi,as he is fondly called by loved ones, friends and well-wishers, currently resides in Rivers State,Oyigbo town to be specific, and was the immediate past President of Elu Development Union (EDU),Port Harcourt Branch, and has a highly flourishing accounting firm in Port Harcourt.
As President of EDU, Mr. Emetu brought his vast accounting prowess to bear in the discharge of his duties, and left the organisation better than he met it with a hefty balance sheet to show for it, among other endearing legacies.
If for nothing else, the former President did not allow EDU to collapse on his laps,as the body has continued to wax stronger up till this day.
Mr. Emetu is happily married to Lady Akalua Awa Emetu and the union is blessed with five wonderful children including Chinenye, Favour, Chuka, Ugochi and Chioma.
Obviously, the Igba Otaomu ceremony this year, holds quite a lot of significance for this distinguished accountant,as he has already rolled out invitation cards for the ceremony, beckoning on friends, associates and well-wishers to join him in the celebration.
In a way, it is a celebration of life of sorts,as the celebrants are literally initiated into the pantheon of extraordinary maturity, uncommon wisdom and of course, unprecedented accomplishments, that go with community service.
This is why only Age Grade members who attain a certain age in life after fulfilling all other requirements and obligations, are permitted and allowed to participate in this ritual, with distinguished certificates of honour presented to them at the end of the day.
And of course,Mr. Emetu has acquitted himself creditably in this wise. That is why he is not only grateful to God for keeping him alive to be part of the celebration but also providing him the good health, and wherewithal to carry on.
His is also different because in a sense, his beloved mother, Madam Nwanna Emetu Awa,who recently marked her 90th birthday, would be around him,as he rolls out the drums and the red carpet come December.
The first day of the event which commences from 7am,is the outing ceremony proper at Achi Achi Ohafia, to showcase the project Akajiaku Age Grade has executed for the community, while the day two is the grand reception and visitation for the individual members.
Mr.David Awa Emetu, cerebral, kind, loving and hospitable, is indeed, a jolly good fellow. Expectedly, the cannons would sound and the music would blare for him,at Chief Emetu Awa Compound. The day two is expected to serve as the icing on the cake for the celebrants to receive gifts,wine,dine and dance with their friends and loved ones right in their homes.

By: Donatus Ebi

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