Apostle Joseph Alhassan of Faith Agape Church, Narayi Kaduna, Kaduna State, has been arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl for the past five years.
Alhassan was arrested at his resident, No 158 B, Abdulrahman Road, Shagari Low Cost, Barnawa Kaduna, by officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Alhassan, who is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Orphans and Widows Welfare Foundation International, was arrested following a complaint filed by the Kaduna State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development.
The victim (name withheld), while interacting with Ms Brenda Bartholomew, the Social Welfare Officer in-charge of the case, in Kaduna on Saturday, alleged that Alhassan sexually abused her over the last five years.
Bartholomew said that the victim, from Saminaka, Lere Local Government Area of the state, had been living with the accused since she was 11 years old as a house-help.
She explained that the case was reported to the ministry by a non-governmental organisation, Bridge that Gap Initiative, after which the ministry intervened to investigate the issue.
“After receiving the information, we reported the case to the NSCDC, Kaduna South Local Government Area Division, Kakuri, who thereafter, arrested Alhassan and currently investigating the matter.
“We have taken her (victim) to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Kakuri, for medical examination while we wait for NSCDC to conclude their investigation before we will proceed with the prosecution process,” she said.
On her part, Ms Gloria Bulus, the Executive Director, Bridge that Gap Initiative, told NAN that she found out about the victim’s predicament through a neighbour’s child who attended same school with the victim.
“In late October 2019, we heard that a 12-year-old girl, also a house-help in Alhassan’s house, had told some of her friends at school that her fellow house-help was being sexually molested by Alhassan.
“We decided to visit the school, Aliyu Makama Primary School, Barnawa, to investigate the alleged crime. We met the Assistant Head Teacher, Mrs Rebecca Sambo, who claimed ignorance of the issue.
“But the 12-year-old girl reaffirmed the allegation and we were able to contact her parents in Kagarko, who came and took her away.
“To ensure justice for the victim, we decided to approach the Ministry of Human Services to investigate the allegation. I am glad that the ministry did,” Bulus said.
When contacted, the Child Protection Desk Officer, NSCDC Kaduna, Mr Shehu Maiyaki, confirmed to NAN that Alhassan was in their custody, and that the matter was being investigated.
However, Alhassan denied committing the crime, saying it is a baseless accusation.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Kaduna State maternity, paternity leave bill to be ready by end of 2020- El’Rufai’s wife
Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Aisha El’Rufai, on Tuesday said the bill for Maternity and Paternity Leave for workers in the state would be ready by the end of 2020.
El’Rufai made this known at the Save the Children Nigeria World Breastfeeding Week Webinar on Innovative Strategies for Improving Breastfeeding and Nutrition in Nigeria.
She said that the bill was to be enacted to among other things encourage breastfeeding among working women and also make provisions for paternity leave so men could support their wives for exclusive feeding.
“The bill will get a legal backing soon for effective implementation; the zero draft will be presented to stakeholders for their input and hopefully by the first quarter of 2021 the bill should be ready for ascent.
“Breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants so supporting the practice of feeding babies only milk for the first six months of their lives will go a long way to make them grow healthy.
“ Kaduna state knows the importance of breast milk that is why it is introducing various policies and strategic documents developed to promote exclusive breastfeeding and improve nutrition of women and children in the state.’’
El’Rufai urged governors’ and local governments chairmen’ wives to encourage exclusive breastfeeding among mothers to enhance infant’s development.
She also urged the government to enact laws to support breastfeeding and promote breastfeeding campaign to achieve nutritional balance.
Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Health, Secondary and Tertiary Committee, said that the six months’ maternity bill at the Federal level had reached the third reading.
Oloriegbe said that the National Assembly was amending and introducing bills to enhance maternal and child health.
The lawmaker, who encouraged stakeholders to promote breastfeeding and invest in it, said it was also a way of human capital development.
Mr Innocent Ifedilichukwu, Advocacy, Campaign and Policy Manager, Survive Programme, Save the Children, called on governments at all levels to increase funding for various nutrition programmes.
Ifedilichukwu said that nutrition was key to human development thus the need for government to build and equip crèches in all offices so working mothers could be close to their babies for effective breastfeeding.
Ms Karina Lopez, Nutrition Adviser, Save the Children Nigeria, said that mothers should be discouraged from feeding their babies with any form of liquid or solid except breast milk within the first months of their existence.
This Lopez said this would lead to good nutrition for healthy development of babies.
She said that the webinar was organised as part of activities to mark the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week with the theme “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet.’’
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Kaduna govt spends N16 bn on security in 5 years – El-Rufai
El-Rufai, who made the disclosure at a meeting with the Council of Emirs and Chiefs, on Tuesday in Kaduna, explained that the money was used to support security agencies and acquire technology and infrastructure to fight insecurity in the state.
The governor noted that the money would have gone into developmental projects if the people had chosen to live in peace.
He therefore, called on all the traditional rulers to help persuade people to choose to live peacefully, and address misleading narratives on current communal conflicts in part of the state.
He noted that, part of the misleading narrative on the current crisis in Southern Kaduna, was the false claims of genocide and land grabbing.
The governor emphasised that the claims had no basis whatsoever.
“As governor, I authorize any traditional ruler to please tell the media about any inch of land within their domain that has been forcibly grabbed or illegally occupied by anybody or group and I assure you that security agencies will be there the next day to flush them out.
“But as far as I know – and I receive security reports every morning, there is no such incidence that the State government is aware of.
“But we don’t know everything, you know more than us because you are closer to the communities, so please report where indigenous people have been displaced by bandits or anyone else”.
El-Rufai assured that goverment will continue to support security agencies to restore calm in the affected communities.
“To make this sustainable, we call on the traditional institution to collaborate with the security agencies to expose and report criminals in their communities.”
He assured the Council, that the government would review and upgrade the chieftancy system, to protect the traditional leaders from administrative and executive arbitrariness.
The governor added that a new law would be enacted to protect the traditional institution and ensure that, before any emirate or chiefdom is created, “it will pass through the State Assembly where the representative of the people will have the opportunity to vote and support it before it is done.”
“The reform will also seek to amend the traditional institution as an enabler of inclusion in the diverse communities.
“It will place the Chiefs and Emirs in charge of geographic areas not tribes or ethnic groups, making them the leaders of everyone that lives within their domain.
“It is our intention in this law, to specify the functions of traditional leaders and provide for situations under which traditional rulers can be deposed not just because the governor wants to depose the person he doesn’t like”.
On his part, the Chairman of the Council and Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris appreciated the government for its support of traditional institution in the state.
He also commended government’s efforts in the fight against banditry and other forms of criminalities, especially in taming the recent killings in some areas in southern Kaduna.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Pa Fasanmi buried as Fayemi, Akeredolu,Tinubu pay tributes
Eminent Nigerians on Tuesday paid tributes to the late Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Fasanmi, as his remains were interred in his country home in Iye Ekiti, Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti.
Fasanmi, a Second Republic Senator, died on July 29 at the age of 94.
Fayemi said Fasanmi’s contributions to the development of democracy was immeasurable, particularly his role in the formation and operation of the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought the military.
The governor disclosed that his government was already constructing a secondary school to honour the deceased for his contributions to the state before his death.
” My only regret is that he has left us before the school will be officially inaugurated for academic activities when schools finally reopen,” Fayemi said.
Fayemi, in his tribute entitled, “‘Tribute to a Man of Integrity,” said what attracted him to the deceased was his integrity.
“His death has, therefore, robbed me of a godfather, counsellor, an advocate and a father. A good man has left us.
” We will sorely miss him but we are consoled that he was dedicated to selfless service,” he said.
Fayemi added that Fasanmi belonged in the class of the youths of the 1950s when the nationalist movement was at its feverish peak.
He noted that the deceased got indoctrinated into nationalism struggle through the writings of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and his contemporaries.
“He proved his political mettle in 1964 when he was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives before 1966 and he got imprisoned in Agodi Prison and was later released.
“He offered to serve as governor of the old Ondo state in 1978 and slugged it out with Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin who defeated him in the primary.
“One legacy for which Baba would be fondly remembered was his credential of incorruptibility. He was a man of tall integrity and honesty.
“It would be recalled that he was the first to start the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Committee in 1973 under Col. Oluwole Rotimi of the Western Region.
“Chief Ayo Fasanmi has come, he has seen and conquered. He conquered human cravings, vanity of power, ostentation, greed and malice,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Southwest Governors, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, said the news of the passage of the icon was a loss to the Yoruba and Nigeria at large.
“Baba living long for 94 years was not what we are celebrating, but we are celebrating how many lives he had impacted on. He lived an impactful life.
“He was not petty but he spoke truth, lived a remarkable life and was one politician who became senator and came home to rest,” he said.
The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Special Adviser on Civic Engagements, Aderemi Adebowale, said Fasanmi’s influence became more pronounced by his incorruptible nature.
The All Progressives Congress National leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Abiodun Ogunleye, said Nigerians must learn from the late politician who lived a modest and spartan lifestyle.
Tinubu described Fasanmi as a revolutionary and a politician of outstanding mien, civility and character who was worthy of being emulated .
In his sermon, the Bishop of Ekiti Oke, Anglican Communion, Peter Olubowale, said Fasanmi was not a noise maker and trouble maker during his time.
The cleric urged the people to continually do good to humanity the way Fasanmi did to his family, political associates , friends and companions.
“We need to be available to ourselves and committed to God. Nigerians are number one people in the world that are easy to govern with patience, zeal and endurance.
“Baba has told us that all these monies you are spending and the one you are keeping inside bullion vans and the ones being stashed in banks accounts are all vanity.
” Use the position you are occupying very well to develop humanity. This is the only way you can gain eternity because materialism will lead you to hell fire,” he said.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Plateau PDP set for state congress – Acting chairman
Mr Yakubu Chocho, Acting Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau, says all is now set for the state congress to elect new leaders of the party in the state.
Chocho told News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Jos that arrangements had been put in place to receive the national officers of the party who would conduct the elections.
Consequently, after the expiration of their tenure on May 10, the state executives of the party were constituted into caretaker committee to act for three months.
The acting chairman said that the party had received directives from its national secretariat that the congress would hold on Aug. 8 or Aug.12.
According to him, the state is waiting for the national body of the party to conduct the congress.
“We will also ensure that all delegates keep to social distancing , wearing of face mask and washing of hands. Efforts will be made to provide adequate security for peaceful congresses,” he said.
Chocho added that the party was ready to receive the elected leaders who would be in-charge of its affairs without interference from the state officials.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)