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Navy Raids Brothels, Rescues 50 Teenage Prostitutes

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The Nigeria Navy says it has rescued 50 prostitutes and arrested three suspected sex traffickers during a major raid on two brothels in Port Harcourt.
Base Information Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Lt.-Cdr. Richard Iginla, paraded the suspects and rescued victims before newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Iginla said the operation was carried out in collaboration with the Nigeria Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
According to him, the 50 prostitutes, mainly teenage girls, were rescued in the early hours of Saturday after a tip-off from NAPTIP.
“We got the intelligence from NAPTIP, which had been tracking the brothels that camped juveniles with some of them as young as 14 years of age.
“So, after NAPTIP shared intelligence with us, a joint team was set up and we immediately went into action to rescue the victims.
“About 50 young girls forced into prostitution were rescued, while three recruiters and operators of the brothels were arrested,” he said.
Iginla further said the brothels, Royal Brothel and Cool Breeze Brothel, both located on Azikiwe Road in Diobu area of Port Harcourt, had been shut down.
He said efforts were ongoing to trail and arrest the leaders of the sex trafficking ring, who recruits children from villages into prostitution.
“Children are gifts from God, and we must do everything humanly possible to protect them from all forms of abuse and exploitation.
“The Nigeria Navy will continue to collaborate with relevant agencies to bring to justice criminal elements that traffic persons either on land or through the waterways.
“On conclusion of our investigation, the suspects and victims will be handed over to NAPTIP for further investigation and possible prosecution,” he added.
Speaking, the Head of NAPTIP in Rivers State, Mrs Nwa-amaka Ikediashi, said the agency would immediately rehabilitate the victims with focus on reintegrating them back into the society.
According to her, the victims, mainly under-aged girls, would also partake in different phases of counselling, to ensure they don’t continue prostitution.
“NAPTIP, as the focal agency mandated to fight all forms of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, will conduct proper investigation, to ensure justice is served,” she promised.
One of the rescued minors, an Anambra indigene, told The Tide source that she was trafficked from her village to work as a house help.
The victims said on her arrival to Port Harcourt in company of one of her kinswoman, she was forced into prostitution.
“One of my village woman (trafficker) brought me and two other girls from our village with the impression that we are coming to serve in a hotel.
“Shortly after we arrived at the hotel, she (trafficker) went outside and collected money from one woman (brothel operator). That was the last time I saw her (trafficker).
“Later, the woman, simply known as madam, put us in a room and told us that we would work as Ashawo (prostitute),” she said.
The victim said she immediately refused to work as a prostitute but that after the operator threatened her with torture and starvation, she gave in.
“In a day I sleep with more than 10 men, and whatever money I make, I give it to my madam.
“We hustle by wearing pants to seduce the men. After admiring what they see, they (men) take us into the room, have sex with us and give us money.
“We do a daily account of any money we collect to our madam’s sister, who calculates and gives us our cut,” she added.

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Rivers LG Crisis: APC Chieftain Declares Fubara’s Action Constitutional

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An All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Rivers State, Barr. Sogbeye Eli, has declares as constitutional the action of the State Governor, Sir Siminalaiyi Fubara, in the ongoing political crisis over the expiration of the tenure of chairmen of the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the State on Monday, June 17, 2024.
Speaking exclusively in a telephone interview, recently, in Port-Harcourt, Eli said there was nothing unlawful about the action of the Governor in directing the newly sworn-in Caretaker Committee Chairmen to take over the reign of affairs in the 23 LGAs.
He noted that the Law No. 2 of 2024 made by the estranged Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, and the sacked 26 members of the Assembly, extending the tenure of the outgone  Chairmen by six months had been expunged from the laws of Rivers State by Justice DG Kio of the State High Court.
“That law has been expunged by Honourable Justice Kio from the laws of Rivers State, it means that it does not exist.
“So, the outgone Council Chairmen cannot rely on a law that is not in existence to continue to stay in office when their tenure had elapsed constitutionally.
“That law conflicts with the 1999 Constitution as amended, and  in Section 9(1) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No.5 of 2018.
“The Local Government system in Nigeria is more like a department of a state. Governors have a hand in the affairs of the Councils. The Constitution allows a 3 year tenure for the Chairmen and there is  room for second term.
“But the tenure of these guys elapsed on the midnight of last Monday, June 17, 2024. That is the law and the Constitution”, he said.
Eli, who was the spokesman of the APC Campaign Council in the 2023 general elections in the state, said he relyed on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of the Attorney -General of the Federation versus the Attorney -General of Abia State, which ruled on the tenure of the Council Chairmen in the state in 2021, adding that the judgment applies to all the states of the federation.
He, however, noted that there were few former Chairmen who are still eligible to seek re-election into the Councils whenever election is scheduled by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC).
Bethel Toby
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VC Makes Case For Technology-Based Human Capital Development 

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The Acting Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Prof. Okechuku Onuchuku, has harped on the need for technology-based human capital development in Nigeria.
Onuchuku, who made the call while declaring open the 5th International Conference of the Faculty of Humanities of the University, midweek, charged stakeholders to focus on the development of citizens at all times.
Focusing on human capital development through Artificial Intelligence (AI), he said, “development without human capital development amount to a waste of valuable resources.
“No matter the sector, every development must be geared towards improving the welfare of citizens for progress and growth in that sector according to him”.
While referring to Artificial intelligence as computer systems capable of performing complex tasks that historically only a human could do, such as reasoning, making decisions or solving problems, he allayed fears that jobs of humans will be completely eroded.
The Acting Vice Chancellor added that though computers, through programming, are mimicking human intelligence processes and built to think, act like humans, and replicate problem solving abilities, they cannot completely take over the job of humans.
Humans, he said, “will use artificial intelligence to develop whatever Unit, Community, State and Nation that they find themselves in”.
Professor Onuchuku informed that it is for economic growth and development that humans are confronting the environment with a view to producing those services that can create comfort, stressing that Artificial intelligence is one way to do that.
In his welcome address, the Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Professor Kingdom Eke Orji, affirmed that in  the 21st century’s globalised society, “knowledge has been identified as the indisputable fifth factor of production and the pivot on which meaningful holistic development resolved”.
He stated that a knowledge-driven economy is a brand in the production, distribution, and exchange, while consumption of goods and services are anchored strategically on the threshold of intellectual property that dovetails into the acceleration of scientific innovation.
According to the Dean, “the integration of Artificial intelligence into the realm of the Humanities marks a watershed in repositioning erstwhile research mechanisms for digitalization and automation.
AI, he said, has the capacity of assisting scholars in the Humanities with data analysis and decision-making, breaking of communication barriers through Artificial intelligence powered language translation tools, the creation of functional robotic systems amidst others.
Professor Orji emphasized that the unique feature of the Conference is its noble attempt to mainstream the “Gown and Town” symbiotic relations.
He expressed gratitude to the Acting Vice Chancellor for what he described as his “steadfastness and unflinching commitment to the maximum successes of all conferences at the Departmental and Faculty levels”.
Speaking on, “The Promises of Artificial intelligence in the Humanities: An African Perspective and the Charge for IAUE”, the Acting Director, ICT Centre, Dr. Nathaniel Ojekudo, highlighted the gains of a high level understanding of Artificial intelligence concepts, applications and implications, particularly within the African context.
He explored the transformative potentials of generative Artificial intelligence and it’s impact on academia, governments, industries and society.
He also reflected on the ethical considerations and challenges associated with Artificial intelligence and identified opportunities for IAUE to leverage Artificial intelligence for innovation, education and societal benefits.
The Natural Ruler and Nyeweli Ali Rumuolumeni Kingdom, His Royal Highness King Chukwuemeka Victor E. N. Woji Okocha Olumeni, Olumeni XII, was conferred with an award of honour for his role in keeping peace and security which has translated in the giant strides recorded in the University Community.
In his response to the award received, the Nyeweli Ali, Rumuolumeni Kingdom, expressed gratitude to the Faculty of Humanities for the honour done him and pledged his support and that of his Council of Chiefs  towards all university activities.
He also stressed the essence of Artificial intelligence in the new world of technology and advised staff and students to key into it, adding that technology is the way to go.
Professor Tunde Ope Davies of the Centre for Digital Humanities, University of Lagos presented the lead paper at the conference which focused on “The Role of New Technologies in Reconfiguring and Retooling the Humanities: Exploring DH and AI”.
The theme for the conference was “AI and the Humanities” .
Sogbeba Dokubo
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Rivers CP Vows To Protect Lives And Properties 

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The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Olatunji Disu, has declared his readiness to protect lives and properties in the  face of ongoing tension created by politicians in the state.
Reassuring the public of Force’s commitment to maintaining law and order in the state, while speaking to newsmen, on Tuesday at the State Police Command, CP Disu warned individuals against parties taking the law into their hands, emphasizing that anyone found doing so would face the full wrath of the law.
The police boss, in a passionate appeal, urged parents to caution their children against getting involved in the crisis, warning that they should not be used as “cannon fodder”.
He also vowed to protect all government property and human life in the communities, ensuring a safe and secure environment for all.
He said: “My job as a policeman is to protect lives and properties, and that is what we have gone out to do since morning.
“We are aware of the crisis that has to do with the tenure of the Local Government Chairmen and we have gotten one court order or the other, and the Court of Appeal has given an order for everybody to exercise restraints till the  20th of this month, just three days.
“So, we expect everybody to respect it and not take laws into their hands and allow peace to continue as it is”.
He assured that his officers are working around the clock to safeguard the property and lives of residents of the State.
He added: “Sincerely you know our officers have been out for the past three days.
“I just finished addressing them and I thank them for the good job they have done and because they have been out since 4qm, and they just came back.
“We are not taking it lightly,  we are ready to go,  our officers have been on a show of force and we have had additional men given to us from the Headquarters, the equipment has been serviced and we are ready to go.
“This is just to assure members of the public that so far as we are concerned we are ready to do our jobs of protecting lives and properties.
“We have warned anybody who would want to take laws into their hands. I want to use this opportunity to talk to parents to call their children to order and talk to them so that their children will not be used as cannon folders in this crisis.
“Everything that has to do with government property and every human being in this community would be protected”.
Kiadum Edookor
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