NSCDC arrests 2 for alleged child abuse in Abia
By Sam Oditah
Umuahia, July 9, 2020 (NAN) The Abia command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has arrested two persons in Umuahia in connection with alleged child trafficking, child labour/slavery and violence against their wards.
The State Commandant of the corps, Mr Nnamdi Nwannukwu, said this on Thursday in Umuahia while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command.
Nwannukwu gave the names of the suspects as Ozioma Eke, 41 (female), and Nkemakolam Akabuogu, 41, both residents of No. 55 and No. 52 School Road, Umuahia, respectively.
Eke was accused of subjecting her ward, 13-year-old girl, to abuse and inhuman treatment.
According to the commandant, Eke was handed over the girl on the pretext that she would send her to school but unfortunately turned her into a slave upon arrival in Umuahia in November.
“It was further discovered that the victim was made to suffer diverse abuse, including denial to formal education, forced labour, battery, starvation and being forced to sleep in her madam’s toilet.
“The little girl’s account was corroborated by the testimonies of some concerned neighbours upon whose information this arrest was made,” Nwannukwu said.
He further accused the second suspect, Akabuogu, of sending his 12-year-old nephew, to hawk sachet water on the streets of Umuahia.
“He was forced to hawk sachet water between 7am and 9pm and make a daily return of between N600 and N1000, depending on the season,” the NSCDC boss said.
He said that the inability of the suspect to register him for his common entrance examination made him to repeat a class.
“The boy was also forced to sleep under the staircase, among other inhuman treatment, in violation of the Child Rights Act,” he said.
Nwannukwu promised the readiness of the command to partner relevant agencies and government at all levels “to ensure full implementam of the Act”.
He warned prospective violators of the Act “to stop forthwith or be prepared to face the full weight of the law”.
He also advised parents to limit the size of their families within their financial capability.
He said that the command had handed over the suspects to the National Agency for the Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons for diligent prosecution.
In an interview with newsmen, Eke denied the allegations of maltreatment against the girl, adding that she was waiting for resumption of schools in order to enrol her.
Akabuogu admitted that he allowed his nephew to hawk sachet water during the closure of schools so that he could save money for him, “given the economic situation of the country.(NAN)
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria records 288 new cases, total now 44,129, with 896 deaths
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
The agency said that eight new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 896 across the country.
The NCDC said that the new infections were recorded in Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory and 13 states.
It stated that Lagos topped the list with 88 new cases, while the FCT reported 25 fresh infections.
Among others were Kwara, 33, Osun, 27, Enugu, 25, Abia, 20, Kaduna, 17, Plateau and Rivers, 13 each, Delta, 10, and Gombe, 8.
The agency stressed that states with fewer cases include Ogun, 4, Oyo, 3, Katsina, 1 and Bauchi, 1.
According to it, till date, 44,129 cases have been confirmed, 20,663 cases discharged and 896 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Meanwhile, the health agency added that washing of hands frequently with soap under running water was one of the best ways to stop the transmission of diseases like COVID-19 from person to person or after touching contaminated surfaces.
“#TakeResponsibility to keep yourself and loved ones safe and healthy.
“This election period, #TakeResponsibility by adhering to guidelines to protect ourselves and loved ones from COVID-19, including Physical distancing, Use of hand sanitisers and Use of face mask,” it advised.
“In Nigeria, use of hydroxychloroquine is only limited to clinical trials.
“Please #TakeResponsibility and avoid self-medication,” it stressed.
The agency warned that a high percentage of those infected with COVID-19 did not show any symptom of the disease.
“So, to protect yourself and everyone around you, wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and follow all guidelines from the NCDC website,” it said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: Osun Task Force arrests residents violating use of face masks
The Osun Joint Task Force on COVID-19, on Monday, arrested some residents of the state in Osogbo, the state capital, for improper use and/or failure to wear face masks.
The task force said that the arrests had become necessary in view of the alleged failure of the affected people to comply with the safety rules of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the directives of the state government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the task force had swooped on motorists and pedestrians, arresting those who were either not wearing face marks or not putting them on properly.
Some pedestrians, who were not wearing face marks, however, quickly ran back on sighting the taskforce from afar, while those putting their face masks below their chins quickly adjusted them to cover their noses.
NAN reports that the state Deputy Governor, Mr Benedict Alabi, had, on Sunday, announced that starting from Monday, government would begin to impose stiffer penalties on residents flouting the COVID-19 safety measures.
Alabi, who is also the Chairman of the task force, also rolled out fines that defaulters of the state COVID-19 rules and directives would pay for violating the safety protocols.
He said that the measure had become imperative because of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state, occasioned by some individuals and institutions’ flagrant disregard for government’s guidelines.
“Hotels, clubs and bars that flout the COVID-19 safety protocols will be closed and fined N250,000 each before they can be allowed to reopen.
“Defaulting worship centres will also be closed and fined N100,000 each before they can be allow to reopen.
“Private hospitals caught treating COVID-19 patients will have their establishments shut and the owners’ practising licenses withdrawn.
“Individuals, who flout the safety protocols of the state government, after being tried, shall be sentenced to community service.
“Motorcycles that exceed the approved loading capacity shall be seized and fined N2,000 each, while buses and mini-buses that violate the approved loading capacity shall be seized and fined N5,000 each,” he had said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
Flood: NEMA trains emergency vanguards in Imo, Abia on quick response
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has inaugurated local emergency response vanguards in various communities in Imo and Abia, to collaborate with the agency in tackling incidences of disaster.
The Head, Imo/Abia Operation Office, Mr Evans Ugoh, made this know in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Owerri.
Ugoh said that the decision to train the local response vangards, was in line with the agenda of NEMA’s Director-General, AVM. Muhammed Muhammed (rtd), of taking disaster management to the grassroots.
He said that NEMA was mindful of the 2020 flood prediction and would intensify response activities, to ensure that incidences of disaster were curtailed in Nigeria.
The head of the operation office implored the response vanguards to discharge their duties with dedication, and warned that the agency would not tolerate inefficiency from them.
Ugoh said that the agency ended the training with retreats in Umuahia in Abia, and Isu Local Government Area in Imo, with the coordinators of the response vanguards in attendance.
He urged the coordinators to always monitor sea level in their areas and regularly update the local government authorities on the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET)’s flood predictions and the need for preparedness.
He also advised the flood-prone communities in the two states to always adhere to NEMA’s yearly flood early warning measures.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
CP orders investigation of police Inspector over harassment, illegal arrest
The Commissioner of Police in Abia, Mrs Janet Agbede, has ordered investigation into the activities of Insp. John Onunaku, a police officer recently harassed over alleged illegal arrest.
Agbede said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Aba on Monday that the investigation became necessary to unravel the circumstances behind the officer’s harassment.
It would be recalled that Onunaku was recently attacked by members of the public at the premises of Christ the King Cathedral, Aba.
The police commissioner said that the inspector had already been posted to a police division outside Aba saying, “he no longer has any business in Aba.”
Agbede said the investigation would enable the police to uncover Onunaku’s intention for visiting the church premises.
She said that the officer ought to have relinquished all pending duties in his former division in order to effectively handle new responsibilities in his current office.
“He should have handed over every pending investigation in Ndiegoro Police Division; he is currently posted to another division in Isuikwuato.
“The investigation will find out what led to his harassment, it will also uncover his reasons for refusing to report to his new place of work.
“Although he is claiming to have tracked a suspect to that location, a thorough investigation is needed on the matter,” she said.
Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Donald Ugwu (NAN)