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  • Drama In Court As Wife of Slain Civil Defence Officer Rains Curses On Suspected Killers


    There was a drama in a high court at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyanya, on Tuesday in Abuja as the wife of a slain civil defence officer (Ogar Jombo), Mrs. Ada Jombo, rained curses on the alleged killers of her husband. 

    The matter which came up before Justice Muawiyah B. Idris was adjourned until September 19, October 7 and 9  for further hearing after the prosecution counsel had asked the court for an adjournment which was granted.

    Ada who was also in the court to monitor the proceeding could not control her emotions as she burst into tears and hurled curses on the accused as they are coming out of the court. 

    “You will die! You will never know peace. Your children will die. You will not go scotfree. Your wife will die even the one that is pregnant when she is giving birth!” she said.

    At this point, a sister of one of the accused decided to reply to her and a brawl broke out between families of the accused and the bereaved.  

    A journalist with TV 360 was assaulted in the melee which lasted for 20 minutes. 

    Ogar Jombo, an officer of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC ) was beaten to death in the presence of his wife and children by two police officers for alleged violation of traffic rules at Nyanya in Abuja on March 20.

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    Posted: by Sahara Reporters

  • Fulani Herdsmen Attack Plateau Village, Kill Soldier, Three Others


    Four people have died after armed Fulani herdsmen launched a fresh attack on Riyom local government area of Plateau state.

    A soldier is confirmed to have died in the incident which took place around 12 pm on Monday and spanned several hours without security intervention. 

    Eyewitnesses say over 300 herdsmen invaded the village, shooting indiscriminately and burning houses including a government-owned clinic in the community after they overpowered men of the vigilante group who tried to resist them.

    When SaharaReporters reached out to Tyopev Mathias Terna, spokesperson of the Plateau state Police Command on Tuesday, his phone rang out without response. 

    Timothy Dantong, Lawmaker representing Riyom Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly said at least fifty four houses were completely burnt down by attackers adding that four people died including security personnel. 

    Datong who condemned the incident said that he had concluded plans to table the issue as a matter of urgent public importance before the Assembly members during their plenary in Jos on Tuesday.

    The lawmaker said, ” Yes I can confirm to you that four of our people including security personnel were killed during the incident.  Many were also wounded. We have also counted at least fifty four houses that were completely burnt down by the attackers.”

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    Posted: by Sahara Reporters

  • Murder Of Civil Defence Corps Officer: Police Arraign Two Cops


    The Nigeria Police on Tuesday arraigned two of its officers who allegedly killed Ogar Jumbo, an officer of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at the high court of Federal Capital Territory Nyanya Abuja. 

    The two traffic wardens officers, Idoko Sunday and Katdel Dabit, on March 20 beat Jumbo, an Assistant Superintendent of the NSCDC to death in the presence of his wife and children for alleged violation of traffic rules at Nyanya.

    The accused who were brought to court from Kuje prison were seen covering their faces from the cameras. 

    At the resumed hearing of the case counsel to the family of the deceased, Joshua Musa argued that the prosecution are not ready and cannot secure any conviction going by way and manner the witnesses are being called. He, therefore, prayed court for an adjournment to enable them to put their heads together.

    He noted that even it is not the duty of the prosecution to secure a conviction at all cost the needful must be done and due process must be adhered to.

    Earlier the prosecution counsel, Patrick Ogele, told the court that they ready for the case and cross-examination of the witnesses who are already in court.

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  • Nigerian Government Should Repeal Section 372 To Reduce Rate Of Death By Suicide By Vweta Chadwick

    A little over two years ago, a 51-year-old woman was arraigned before a Lagos State magistrate’s court under section 372 of the Nigerian penal code.

    She reportedly became depressed after being defrauded of about N18.7 million. Unable to go on further, she attempted to end her life. It is quite ironic that she was granted bail to the tune of N500,000 – no doubt putting further strain on her finances and her fragile mental state.

    This is not the first time this draconian law has been used to further criminalize and shame some of the most vulnerable amongst us, and if one of the suggestions put forward by the Coordinator for Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative (SURPIN), Raphael Ogbolu is anything to go by, it certainly wouldn’t be the last. This is a worrisome prospect. Whilst the logical step would be to deploy services that de-stigmatizes mental illness and where none existed, create laws to curb the declining state of mental health services, Nigeria is calling for stricter implementation of the laws that already exist to criminalize, isolate, discriminate and distress persons with mental illness.

    An increase in death by suicide in Nigeria?

    The media has been replete with reports of death by suicide, with victims as diverse as their methods. This has led many to conclude there is a proliferation of death by suicide, calling for an urgent action to curb the spate.

    Whether there is indeed an increase in the rate of suicide is yet to be ascertained. While official figures for suicides in Nigeria are non-existent at the least and abysmal at best, the fact reports about suicide has become a daily news staple suggests we may have a public health crises on our hands.

    Research suggesting the official figures for deaths by suicide in Nigeria is largely unchanged offers no reassurances.

    In the absence of official figures, one may only surmise that there is either an increase in suicide rates or attitudes to death by suicide has changed considerably so that people are more open to reporting such deaths.

    Whatever the case, a unique opportunity presents itself that the Nigerian government can maximize in showing it is a forward-facing country by tackling the stigma still surrounding mental illness head-on. However, we cannot afford to throw darts in the dark or contemplate kneejerk solutions, for any intervention to be fit for purpose, we must first consider why people might resort to suicide and what enabling factors are present, thus facilitating death by suicide.

    Why do people die by suicide?

    When I discuss the suicide of a young person with some Nigerians, the question that inevitably follows is ‘what could have led them to kill themselves?’ As though – being a Nigerian youth living in a country that shows little or no regard for the lives, safety, the wellbeing of citizens, where young people are gunned down in the streets and women are harassed, arrested, assaulted and raped by those sworn to protect their lives and their rights, where universities are shut for more than a year due to strike action, where doctors have no choice but break their Hippocratic oath to protest no/low pay, where herdsmen invade communities in a concerted, coordinated attack, leaving bloodshed in their wake, where politicians are continually recycled and the only real chance at success, sometimes, is to migrate, dabble into criminality or begin the onerous climb up the greasy pole of politics – is not enough to drive anyone over the edge of sanity, despair, utter helplessness; suicide.

    If this is the Nigerian dream, I dread to think what the nightmare looks like

    Of course, to suggest these are the only reasons people contemplate suicide may be oversimplifying the complexity that surrounds mental illness as biological/physiological and environmental/cultural factors play a key role. Whatever the underlying cause of suicide, criminalization and stigmatization is certainly not the solution.

    A case for de-criminalizing suicide

    Sometimes, I wonder if the criminalization of suicide is an excuse to punish people despondent enough to attempt suicide – as though leaving the bleak reality that is Nigeria behind is a sin against the millions left behind. Other times, I am tempted to think that Nigeria lacks the will to address the rot that is gnarling away at her development, thereby taking the cowards way out by pushing for further criminalization of suicide, because to not do this, means the government finally need to address the youth unemployment, poverty, corruption, and put support services in place to ensure that people with mental illness, drugs, and alcohol problems are given the support they need.

    De-criminalizing suicide means regulating the sale of poisons, pharmaceuticals and firearms commonly used to self-harm, ensuring strict laws are in place, implemented and monitored to the fullest extent when it pertains to controlled substances; recognizing the debilitating effect of mental illness, creating laws that criminalize the discrimination and exclusion of people who are mentally ill. Funding more dedicated mental health services thereby acknowledging that there is a problem that needs to be addressed, creating more outlets to discuss the despair people face, training religious leaders who provide pastoral support on using their privileged position to make referrals.

    In addition, the government should invest in the training and equipping of first responders, such as police officers who are often a first line resource for people who have significant mental health, emotional, or substance abuse problems and who may be suicidal, with the skills and know how to offer support and spot the signs and symptoms of serious mental illness, identifying risk factors associated with suicide such as childhood abuse, loss of a loved one, joblessness and loss of economic security, and other cultural and societal influences.

    It is also important to change the way suicide is reported. For example, to say ‘one committed’ suicide suggests a crime, blames victims and refuses to acknowledge suicide as the consequence of an undiagnosed or untreated mental illness. opting for ‘death by suicide’ instead.

    Another thing is to address unemployment, especially among the youths who make up over 60 percent of the population, head-on, finding lasting solutions to extreme poverty – half of the population currently  live on less than $1.90 a day.

    While criminalization of suicide may have driven it underground, with the stigma associated with such deaths playing a role in underreporting, de-criminalization, on the other hand, could encourage more people with suicidal ideation and failed suicide attempters to seek the help they clearly desperately need in developing coping skills, social support, and close relationships. 

    What more, we may finally, grasp the enormity of the problem and begin crafting solutions that are best suited to solve them.

     

    Vweta Chadwick is a Social Worker who has dedicated the last 15 years towards finding solutions to some of the most pertinent problems confronting women and girls in Africa, through Project ASHA.

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    Posted: by Sahara Reporters

  • Rufus Giwa Polythenic Shut Down Indefinitely

    RUGIPO campus
    RUGIPO campus


    The management of the Ondo state-owned Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, has announced the shut down of institution indefinitely. 

    The sealing of the institution was announced in a statement on Tuesday issued by Sule Atiku, acting registrar of the school. 

    Atiku said the closure was to forestall a breakdown of law and order in the institution. 

    The statement reads, “On behalf of the Governing Council/Management, i have the mandate to announce to the general public that the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo is hereby closed down until further notice.

    “In view of this development, I wish to intimate that all the students of the institution are hereby advised to vacate the institution not less later than 3 pm today, Tuesday 18th June 2019.

    “This closure has become imperative in order for the council/management to forestall the break down of law and order.”

    A lecturer in the institution who did not want to be named told SaharaReporters the school was closed due to disagreement over the issue of promotion and entitlement for academic staff of the institution.

    He said, “Yes, we the lecturers have been at loggerheads with the management of the school for some times over issues of our promotions and some entitlement which had been reached for a long time.

    “There are many of us who are due for promotions, and there are some funds including our salary arrears that have not been paid among so many other unresolved conflicts.

    “In fact, the management was not ready to listen to us and has been dragging all our issues to the state government in a blame game. 

    “So, instead of going ahead with the proposed exam for the students, we have decided that we cannot allow the institution to go ahead with the exams nor allow the lecturer to invigilate the students.

    “Some of these issues were reached with the management but they have failed to execute the agreement and had been playing on our intelligence.

    “Sensing that we might cause some trouble, the management decided to shut down the school this morning,” he concluded.

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    Posted: by Sahara Reporters

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