Human Rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to report any lawyer who committed traffic offence to disciplinary committee of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in their jurisdictions.
Falana said this at the sideline of the FRSC 4th Quarter 2019 Retreat themed, ‘FRSC Operations in Public Perspective’ at Magodo, Lagos.
“There is no lawyer who has immunity on the road; if any lawyer misbehave on highways, report him to disciplinary committee of NBA in that zone for necessary action.
“Whoever goes outside the provisions of the law can easily be dealt with, nobody can challenge you for that,” Falana said.
According to him, a former Governor of Lagos State once arrested a Nigerian Army colonel who violated traffic rule.
“The arrest of the serving colonel by a former governor of Lagos State sent a signal to everybody that nobody is above the law.
“There were so many vehicles now with lawyer’s logo because they believe that they are above the law,” he said.
Falana said that only about 74 people have immunity in the entire country, the President, vice president 36 governors and their deputies.
“Anybody outside the list can be brought to book, the person can be challenged for breaching the law.
“For lawyers, if any lawyer misbehaves on the highway, if you don’t want to charge him, report him in writing to the disciplinary committee of the bar association.
“In Lagos, we have five branches of NBA Ikeja, Lagos, Epe, Badagry, and Ikorodu. Please, if any lawyer misbehaves on the road report him, no lawyer want to be charged and convicted for any offence whatsoever,” Falana said.
The human rights lawyer also advised the corps to always keep the records of convictions of any erring motorists charged to court nationwide.
“So that when they want to contest for elections, you will know that they have been convicted somewhere, that will be used against such offender, then everybody will be cautious,” he said.
According to him, “when the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, once said that anybody caught driving against the traffic must be taken to psychiatric hospital, many people were cautious in driving.
“If they have that in their record, that such person was once treated for insanity, nobody would employ them anywhere, then everybody would sit up, that is also one of the criteria for disqualification for elective positions.
“We must go back to the rule now, of course, the enforcement is relaxed, but we must go back to maintain sanity on the road,” he said.
Edited by Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
NDLEA files drug trafficking charge against 25-year-old man
According to the charge signed by the prosecutor, Mr Jeremiah Aernan, the defendant committed the offence on June 28..
The NDLEA alleged that Benson was arrested in Ajah area of Lagos, with 45 bags of Cannabis Sativa, which he unlawfully trafficked.
Hemp is listed in the schedule of the NDLEA as a restricted narcotics similar to Cocaine and Heroine.
The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of Section 11(c) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation 2004.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the Act provides for a term of life imprisonment if found guilty.
No date has been fixed for arraignment of Benson.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Traffic offences: Kwara agency to deploy mobile court
He expressed the belief that the mobile court would help fast track the prosecution of traffic offenders.
“The fact is we have been assigned a mobile court because our Act empowers us to have one. Presently, it has not been constituted although we have done the bulk of what we are expected to do.
“Logistics is the major problem, but the mobile court is underway. In fact, we have gotten the Magistrate for the mobile court.
“When we talk of the logistics, the office space is not there, the vehicle to convey the Magistrate is not there as well as other needs.
“The moment we are able to put all these in place, it will take off because it is in our Act,” he said.
Bello, who also lamented the challenge of inadequate manpower, said this was restricting the operations of the traffic body to only Ilorin, the state capital.
“The personnel we have are not even enough for Ilorin metropolis.
” We have been approved to move to Offa, Omu-Aran, Bode-Saadu and Baruten in Kwara North Senatorial District.
“But it is the challenge of logistics, that of manpower shortage.
” If I take one quarter of what I have here to Offa and Omu-Aran when they are not even enough, how do we cope?
“I have gone round the whole state. There are some areas where residents don’t bother to register their vehicles or motorcycles.
“The moment KWARTMA arrives in those areas, definitely they must all obtain license for their vehicles and this would increase the internally generated revenue of the state.
“This is why we say we are not directly a revenue generating agency but a catalyst,” he said.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
NAPTIP vows to go after traffickers of Arowolo
Arowolo, an indigene of Oyo State, was the Nigerian lady whose video of ordeal of enslavement went viral on social media sometime in May and June.
Arowolo had alleged that she was been manhandled and given inhuman treatment where she worked as a slave in Lebanon by her enslaver, a situation that brought on her so many allegations by her boss.
The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that Arowolo’s refusal to allow the husband of her boss sleep with her inflicted some injury on him, and she (Arowolo) was charged for an attempted murder and theft by the Lebanon police.
NAN also gathered that Arowolo was in the custody of Lebanon police where she released her ordeal video, which later caught the attention of the Nigerian government.
NAN also gathered that the veracity of the video made the Nigerian government to contact its Lebanese counterpart, and the country Ambassador to Nigeria promised to instigate the release of the lady.
Meanwhile, while welcoming her at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by the NAPTIP Director-General Julie Okah-Donli and other government officials, the director-general vowed to go after the traffickers.
She also said that the victim was going to be rehabilitated by the agency in its shelter and thereafter be empowered.
According to her, Arowolo will first of all be quarantined for two weeks as the law stipulated for now, and thereafter, she will be taken to the agency shelter.
“We have to counsel her and rehabilitate her and thereafter, empower her, the job of arresting her traffickers will be done after profiling her properly.
“We will counsel her and get necessary information from her that will lead us to the arrest of her traffickers for prosecution, we will ensure justice for her, none of the traffickers will go scot free.
“She is going to be an ambassador of NAPTIP,” the director-general said.
Arowolo, who spoke with newsmen about her ordeal in Labanon, advised ladies to stay back in Nigeria and do whatever destiny has given them.
“Going outside there was like a hell, even not only Lebanon, but what I experienced at Lebanon, I pray for my enemy not to experience that,” she said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Human trafficking: Reps urge states to support NAPTIP rehabilitate victims
She said that the fight against human trafficking could not be left for the Federal Government alone, saying that state governments and other stakeholders had roles to play.
“We call on state governors going forward to support NAPTIP to ensure that the girls are properly rehabilitated.
“At the same time, let us make sure they are ambassadors against human trafficking to discourage other young girls from thinking that there are greener pastures over there, when really there are not.
“There are more girls coming home, we need to come together as a nation to put a stop to human trafficking.
“We need to come together as nation to provide for girls and stop them from traveling abroad in search of greener pastures,” she said.
Narrating her ordeal, one of the victims, Miss Priscilla Chidibem, said that she was made to work all day under very horrible conditions.
Chidibem, who was on wheel chair, explained a fracture she sustained in her waist whilst doing the job, developed complications, putting her in her current condition.
She said her employers made her worked hard in spite of the pains and even assaulted her when should could not walk.
“I cried day and night, I almost committed suicide twice, but jettisoned the idea when I remembered my mother.
“If I took my life, I do not think my mother will be able to survive it, I went through hell, I cannot explain, I was sick and was abused,” she said.
Edited By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
NAPTIP arrests 116 human traffickers, rescues 1,489 victims in 4 years
Umar said that the command received 1,516 cases which involved 1,014 human trafficking acts both internal and external.
He added that the cases included 117 child abuse, 75 child labour, 109 sexual abuse, 13 rape cases and 188 other cases on Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP Act)from 2016 to July 2020, including 473 males and 1,028 females.
The commander added that “the command arrested 91 male suspects, 25 female suspects, rescued 1,022 females, 467 male victims between the ages of six to 25-years-old within the period under review.
“We still have nine pending cases, eight in Federal High Court, one in Appeal Court, six new cases to be filed and secured 20 convictions from 2016 till date.”
with them out of the country for greener pasture, aged between six and 32 years old.
Umar further revealed that the command received 8,777 deportees that arrived in Kano through the MAKIA, which included 3,708 males and 5,069 females.
He explained that the agency’s public enlightenment department carried out 278 sensitisation and lecture programmes, including radio and television programmes.
He urged government and relevant stakeholders to provide NAPTIP with more operational vehicles, investigation equipment such as camera and walkie-talkie, with adequate funding.
He said “I believe that with more funds, we would do better, we need to move from analog to digital system of operation to improve our investigation capabilities.
“We are facing the problems of inadequate data on human trafficking issues, many rape victims do not report cases and absence of officers of the command at airports
and borders,” Umar said.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
FRSC secures conviction of 39 traffic violators in Nasarawa
Mohammed listed the offences to include overloading, driver licence violation, tyre violation, dangerous driving and plate number violation among others.
The sector commander who said the exercise was conducted peacefully and successfully, vowed to continue to reduce the number of road traffic offences in the state via aggressive public enlightenment and ensuring that violators were not spared.
He expressed delight at the impact of mobile court sittings, adding that their set up on highways would send a clear message to motorists that they could be immediately prosecuted and convicted if found guilty of violating traffic regulations.
“We will continue to engage in this process so as to send a clear message to those who refuse to abide by the law that once caught, they will be immediately prosecuted and possibly convicted if found guilty.
“Our goal is to ensure that motorists obey the rules at all times so as to reduce road traffic crashes. If they don’t, then they face the mobile courts. This process is working well for us,” he said.
Mohammed added that the mobile court sitting was part of the command’s efforts toward curtailing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID -19) via the enforcement of social distancing with regards to vehicle overloading.
He, therefore, urged motorists to comply with COVID-19 protocols.
He also called on motorists to obey traffic rules and cooperate with FRSC in its bid to promote a road safety culture.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
NSCDC arrest suspected human trafficker in Enugu
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Command in Enugu has arrested a suspected human trafficker, Mrs Okafor Chioma, who specialise in recruiting under-aged girls to run prostitution cartel.
CSP Danny Iwuchukwu, spokesman for the command, said this in a statement on Thursday in Enugu.
Iwuchukwu alleged that the suspect was recruiting underage girls aged between 12 and 16, and sending them to brothels in different states for prostitution.
He said that she was arrested in Enugu on June 18 following intelligence report on her nefarious activities.
Iwuchukwu said that the suspect, a widow who hailed from Nsugbe community in Anambra State, confessed to the crime and said she had been in the business for over four years.
“On their method of operation, she confessed that she works with a syndicate that brings the girls to her.
“And that her job is to give the girls out to different brothels where they would be prostituting and be remitting proceeds to her.
“She confessed that before giving the girls out, that she normally enters into an agreement with them.
“She said that the agreement varies from person to person putting into consideration how beautiful a particular girl is, while some pay her N50,000, others pay as much as N100,000.
“She further said that the agreement usually last for six months after which the girls will be freed.
“She, however, pleaded for forgiveness promising to stop the business,’’ he said.
Iwuchukwu said that the command has made contact with some of the girls (victims) recruited into the business by the suspect and they were willing to testify.
He, however, said that investigation was ongoing to track down some of the syndicate working for the suspect.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
12 suspected drug traffickers nabbed in 3 months in Niger – NDLEA
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Niger Command, says it has arrested 12 suspected drug traffickers, with substances suspected to be cannabis sativa and pentazocine injections in the last three months.
The acting Commander of the agency in the state, Mr Isaac Aloye, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna on Wednesday.
He said that the arrests were made in the different parts of the state.
Aloye listed the drugs allegedly found with the suspects to include cannabis sativa, weighing 1,381.5kg, codeine (crack) 29 pinches (0.014kg), 401 bottles of cough syrup with codeine, 10,200 ampoules of pentazocine injections and a wrap of methamphetamine, which weighed 0.001kg.
“The quantity and quality of the various drugs seized during the period in Niger state is of great concern.
“The agency is worried that drug traffickers now waybill the drugs to physically distance themselves from the drugs upon interception.
“It takes a great deal to trace and arrest the recipients and senders of the drugs,” the commander said.
He said that the agency would not relent in frustrating the activities of drug peddlers in the state and the nation at large.
Aloye added that the agency also arrested a suspected bandit with a locally-made pistol and three live cartridges, stressing that he had been handed over to the police.
Edited By: Joe Idika and (NAN)
Accidents: Ogun assembly wants more traffic officers on highways
Oluomo said there was need to instil sanity on the roads so as to prevent deaths.
“It is important to have more traffic officials on major highways as it will go a long way in reducing road traffic crashes.
” Anyone found driving recklessly and who does not obey traffic rules and regulations should be apprehended and prosecuted accordingly as the lives of the citizens should not be toyed with,” he said.
Mrs Lateefat Ajayi (APM -Yewa South)had drawn attention to the rate of accidents on Papalanto-Ilaro road in Yewa South Local Government Area of the state.
Ajayi had called for government’s intervention in fixing the Papalanto- Ilaro road which had been damaged at Agodo junction, resulting in accidents and loss of lives.
She said that immediate government intervention on road would aid human and vehicular movements.
Osho said that the commercial motorcyclists and riders were opposed to the introduction of the new ticketing system by the Chairman of the local government council, Mr. Abiodun Somoye.
He called for the immediate intervention of the house, saying it was important to treat the petition as soon as possible.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
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