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Sexual Harassment Is Corruption, Attracts Seven-Year-Imprisonment, ICPC Warns

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says sexual harassment is corrupt practices that attracts imprisonment term not less than seven years.
The Secretary to the commission, Mr Clifford Oparaodu, gave the warning in Abuja at a One Day Sensitisation Workshop on Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions.
Oparaodu said that ICPC regarded sexual harassment as a corrupt practice; hence there was a need for victims to know their rights and how to seek justice.
He expressed concern that sexual gratification had become a form of “illegal tender” in many institutions.
“Sexual harassment is a form of corruption.
“It is a deviation from the norm for an official to use his/her office or position to demand, receive, obtain or attempt to obtain any form of sexual gratification for him to perform his duties.
“Ideally, official duties ought to be carried out with integrity, good conscience and diligence without the expectation of any unlawful benefit,” he said
According to him, Section 2 (f) of the ICPC Act states that gratification includes any service or favour of any description …” Section 8 of the ICPC Act says:
“Any person who corruptly asks for, receives or obtains any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person; is guilty of an offence of Official corruption and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
“It is pertinent to note that unlawful benefits are not always pecuniary and it is disheartening that sexual gratification has become a form of “illegal tender” in many institutions.
“Staff members have been found to use their office to demand and receive sexual benefits from other staff and students in exchange for good grades or other favours,” he said.
Oparaodu said that it was unfortunate that due to the fear of stigmatisation or further victimisation, many targets of such demands find themselves forced to succumb.
“This is in order to avoid dire consequences and denial of benefits to which they may ordinarily even be entitled.
“The culture of silence has allowed sexual harassment thrives but ICPC is working relentlessly to ensure that with sensitization and appropriate policy implementation, this culture would gradually change,” he said.
He said that ICPC is determined to put a stop to this, initiated the Sexual Harassment Unit with a focus on prevention of sexual harassment in tertiary and secondary institutions.
Oparaodu said that this was to address the issue of sexual gratification and abuse of office and power by officials.
He explained that the purpose of the workshop was to educate students about how to easily contact the ICPC, report incidents of sexual harassment, and gather evidence in a way that will support the commission’s investigations.
In a paper he presented on “Sexual harassment, an offence against the individual/a crime against society, the
The Deputy Director, Proceed of Crime Department, ICPC, Mr Adenekan Shogunle, in a paper presented, urged participants to regard the fight as a collective one.
Shogunle said that youths should not accept sexual harassment, saying that the menace needed to be stopped to ensure the safety of educational institutions for learning.
“What is essentially a social disorder has become normal in many tertiary institutions.
“Absence of effective grievance remedial mechanisms and prevalent culture of silence, social tolerance has left many female students at the mercy of rabid predators.
“In a bid for justice, survivors are taking matters into their own hands; naming perpetrators and sharing experiences on social media,’’ he said.
The Assistant Director, Legal Unit, in ICPC, Mrs Peace Aroch, in a paper, said sexual harassment had psychological implications, which had to do with the mental or emotional state of the survivor.
Aroch said people sexually-harassed commonly experienced stress, anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
She said that sexual harassment was still being under-reported in spite of its social media posts.
The director said that sexual harassment was still being under-reported because of issues of trust, security, fear and poor financial standing of survivors.
Aroch called on the private and public sectors to establish their workplaces sexual harassment policies.
She said that they could make recourse to ICPC’s sexual harassment policy to prepare their own.
Policy Lead Gender, Mobile Initiative, Sarah Egbo, in a paper urged institution leaders to demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing sexual harassment
Egbo also called for involvement of the entire institution in policy development and implementation; ensure transparency in reporting, investigation and decision making.
She encouraged collaboration with local organisation, law enforcement and other stakeholders for a coordinated response.

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Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa

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Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.

Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.

He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.

Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.

According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.

Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.

He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.

“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.

Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.

He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.

According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.

“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.

The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.

He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.

In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.

Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.

Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.

Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.

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Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers 

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The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.

The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.

Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.

She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.

The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.

“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.

“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.

“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.

“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.

“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.

“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”

While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.

“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.

“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.

Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.

Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.

However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko,  said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.

 

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Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023  -NBS

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Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.

In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent

It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.

Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.

The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.

“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”

In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.

 

 

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