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BREAKING: Gunmen invade Abuja school’s staff quarters, kidnap Vice Principal

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Mohammed Nuhu, Vice Principal of Junior Secondary School (JSS) Yebu in Abuja’s Kwali Area Council, has been kidnapped.

According to a teacher who requested anonymity, kidnappers holding sophisticated firearms invaded.

He said that some of the kidnappers surrounded the quarters, while others jumped the fence into the facility and broke into his flat before whisking him away.

He said that the kidnappers tied down the security guard stationed at the gate before forcing the victim’s door open.

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“In fact, owing to the random gun shots, even some teachers who are remaining within the quarters may not be able to come out,” he stated.

On Saturday night, the event occurred.

Comrade Stephen Knabayi, head of the Nigeria Union Teachers (NUT) section in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), verified the vice principal’s kidnapping to Daily Trust.

He stated that the event occurred a few days after the abduction of the Chief Imam of Yabgoji Central Mosque, Abubakar Abdullahi Gbedako, who is also the vice principal of Junior Secondary School, Kwaita, which is still in Kwali local council.

Knabayi said the union had written several mails to the FCT Administration and some area council chairmen to complain over incessant abduction of its members.

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When contacted, spokesperson of the FCT police command, DSP Adeh Josephine, said she is currently in a meeting.

She promised to call our reporter back after the meeting but had not done so as of the time of this report.

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Nigerian Navy investigates civilian worker’s death

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The Nigerian Navy (NN) says it has begun investigation on how one of its civilian staff members, Mr Ifeanyi Onumaegbu, died.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, announced this in Lagos on Thursday.

He explained that Onumaegbu died at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital (NNRH) Ojo, Lagos, where he worked.

He explained further that the deceased was a civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence attached to the Laboratory Department of the NNRH since 2009.

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”The navy is deeply saddened by the demise of Mr Ifeanyi Onumaegbu and the circumstances surrounding his death.

”On March 31, he was found lifeless in his office at NNRH.

“A preliminary investigation revealed that on March 26, the deceased was involved in an altercation with a civilian lady and some NN personnel in Navy Town Barracks,” he said.

Ogalla said that all suspected personnel and the civilian lady involved in the previous altercation had been identified and “are currently under close custody”.

He also said that NN had facilitated the movement of the deceased’s body to a reputable government hospital in Lagos based on the request of the family for an autopsy.

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“The NN further wishes to assure his family and the public that all necessary measures are being taken to unravel the cause of his death.

“Any person found culpable would be prosecuted according to extant laws,” he said.

Theheute recalls that the Joint Executive Council of Ministry of Defence embarked on a peaceful mourning protest on April 8 against the death of Onumaegbu

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The protest was held across all the civilian personnel units of the Ministry of Defence.

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39 lecturers indicted for sexual harassment in five years – Report

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No fewer than 39 lecturers in the nation’s tertiary institutions have been indicted and dismissed over sexual misconduct in the past five years, analysis of media reports by Theheute has revealed.

Sexual harassment has been recurring in Nigerian higher educational institutions with a survey conducted in 2018 by the World Bank Group’s Women revealing that 70 per cent of female graduates from tertiary institutions in the country were sexually harassed in school, with the main perpetrators being classmates and lecturers.

Although the Senate had in 2021 passed a bill stipulating 21 years imprisonment for randy lecturers, Theheute reports that most of the lecturers indicted and found guilty after the bill was passed were simply sacked.

In April 2018, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, announced the indefinite suspension of a professor of Accounting, Richard Oladele, over sexual harassment.

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In 2021, the university also dismissed three lecturers from the Departments of English Language, International Relations and Accounting over sexual harassment.

In February 2020, the institution also announced the suspension of a lecturer at the Centre for Distance Learning, Monday Omo-Etan, for sexually molesting a 19-year-old female student.

In 2019, Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, announced the suspension of an associate professor, Monday Igbafen, over allegations bordering on sexual harassment of female students.

Igbafen, who was the chairman of the AAU branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the time, had accused the vice-chancellor of the institution of trying to frame him.

The senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the university, in a letter written to the school by his lawyers, Osahon Irebhude & Co, demanded a written apology from the school.

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In September 2020, the management of the Imo State University announced the suspension of two lecturers, who were alleged to have been involved in sexual misconduct with female students.

In February 2021, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, announced the suspension of a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Tourism, Dr Chigozie Odum, over allegations bordering on sexual misconduct.

The Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, similarly suspended a lecturer in the Department of Media and Theatre Arts in June 2021 for sexual misconduct.

In the same month, the management of the University of Lagos announced the dismissal of two lecturers over similar offences.

In August of that year, the University of Port Harcourt announced the dismissal of a lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature for sexual misconduct.

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In October 2021, the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, also announced the dismissal of two lecturers from the departments of Nutrition/Dietetics and General Studies over sexual misconduct.

A lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education was dismissed for impregnating a female student.

In December 2021, the Kwara State University, Malete, announced the dismissal of a lecturer for harassing a student in the Department of Pure and Applied Sciences.

In January 2022, the Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rivers State, announced the dismissal of a lecturer for harassing a female student.

In April 2022, OAU again launched a probe into allegations of sexual harassment against a professor in the Department of Linguistics and African Studies. So far, two professors have been affected in the institution.

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In June 2022, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof Abdul-Raheed Na’allah, announced the dismissal of two lecturers for sexual misconduct. Both of them are professors.

Earlier in 2023, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission arraigned Dr. Balogun Olaniran of the Tai Solarin University of Education, who was said to have allegedly demanded sexual gratification from a female student to alter her results in 2021.

In March 2023, a lecturer at the Kogi State Polytechnic, Abutu Thompson, was dismissed on account of sexual harassment and victimisation of a female student in the Department of Computer Science.

In May, the management of the Ambrose Alli University in Edo State reportedly dismissed an unnamed lecturer over allegations bordering sexual harassment.

Reports noted that the lecturer was dismissed on the recommendations of the institution’s Staff Disciplinary Committee, which found him guilty of the offence.

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According to AAU’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Asomwan Adagbonyin, the dismissed lecturer had claimed to only make advances, yet he went to the girl’s church to plead for forgiveness.

In July 2023, the VC of UNIABUJA, Na’allah, said two lecturers were dismissed following allegations of sexual harassment.

In August, the management of the University of Calabar suspended the embattled Dean, Faculty of Law, Prof. Cyril Ndifon, over allegations of sexual harassment. Ndifon is currently being held by security operatives.

On September 7, 2023, the University of Lagos suspended a lecturer, Kadri Babalola, who was accused of raping a 21-year-old student.

Similarly, in October 2023, the Federal College of Forestry, Plateau state announced the suspension of four lecturers over allegations bordering sexual harassment of female students.

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Speaking with our correspondents on the matter, the Director of Programmes, Reform Education Nigeria, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, urged President Bola Tinubu to sign the sexual harassment bill into law.

Oluwatoyin said, “The President signing the bill will be a game-changer. We need to make schools safe for our students. The most unfortunate part of the issue is that some of these students even when harassed are scared to come out in the open for fear of victimisation and other issues.”

Former Programme Manager, Gender Justice at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon, urged institutions to prevent survivors from being further victimised into silence and provide safe anonymous pathways for them to report such incidents.

Atiku-Adejuwon also called for the building of a system of trust between university management and the student population.

“The response system has to be survivour-centred and holistic; mental and physical health concerns must be taken seriously. The response system shouldn’t be created to make the university look good; it should be to take care of the survivors,” she added.

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Wema Bank faces huge penalties for law violations in 2023

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Wema Bank found itself on the wrong side of seven Nigerian laws in 2023, resulting in penalties totaling N61.350 million within the year.

This revelation surfaced in the bank’s full-year 2023 financial statement, highlighting that the institution had violated a cybersecurity law, a section of the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) circulars on Know Your Customers (KYC), among others.

Also read: Enza partners Wema Bank to enhance e-commerce payment capabilities

Regarding the cybersecurity framework, Wema Bank faced a fine of N2 million. Additionally, the lender was penalized N20 million for breaching Section 19(3A) of BOFIA, 2020. Furthermore, Wema Bank incurred a penalty of N17.45 million for non-compliance with CBN circulars on KYC.

The bank was also fined N10 million for the late rendition of final returns. The CBN’s KYC circulars aimed to curb money laundering and other financial crimes.

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“There is no doubt that having sufficient information about your customer and making use of that information is the most effective weapon against being used to launder the proceeds of crime,” the CBN stated in its KYC manual, emphasizing the importance of KYC practices.

Similarly, Wema Bank faced a penalty of N8 million for breaches in Risk-Based Supervision (RBS). The institution was also penalized for regulatory breaches regarding CBN clearance, resulting in a fine of N2 million.

Additionally, the bank was fined N1.9 million for the late filing of its 2022 audited financial statements with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

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Despite efforts to mitigate risks, fraud and burglary remained significant concerns for the bank, resulting in a loss of N256.387 million in 2023. However, this marked a considerable decrease from the N880.154 million lost in the corresponding period of 2022.

Credit risk analyst Mr. Osai Djemba noted that the bank must implement artificial intelligence measures to minimize exposure to theft, given the infiltration of sophisticated thieves and criminals in the Nigerian financial system.

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In December 2023, Wema Bank left 9,974 complaints unresolved, with various customers demanding N10.843 billion in compensation. The bank, however, refunded N11.258 billion to customers (apart from the N10.843 billion), indicating its commitment to enhancing customer experience and efficiently resolving complaints.

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