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Man sentenced to life imprisonment after impregnating 15-year-old daughter

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Ekpo Lawrence, 42, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison by the Lagos State Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court in Ikeja on Thursday for defiling and impregnating his 15-year-old daughter.

Lawrence was sentenced by Justice Abiola Soladoye after she found that the prosecution had proven the elements of the accusation of defilement beyond a reasonable doubt.

The state government had told the court that the convict committed the offence between December 2018 and June 2019 at his home in the Agege area of the state.

The prosecution had told the court that the convict, who was 39 years old when the offence was committed, defiled his 15-year-old daughter by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her.

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In handing down her judgment, Justice Soladoye held that the evidence given by the prosecution was consistent while that of the defendant was inconsistent and manifestly unreliable, adding that the convict’s denial of the allegations was a calculated attempt to mislead the court.

“The immoral behaviour of having sex with his biological daughter is toxic, absolutely disgraceful, and an abomination contrary to the law of nature. It is morally reprehensible as it is incest,” she said.

“Where is the self-respect of this defendant? How bizarre! Having sex with his daughter obviously took away his ability to make rational decisions. He foolishly tampered with the purity and self-esteem of his child.

“I pray for inner peace for the victim to relieve her of fear and hatred for her father who sexually molested her several times so that she can deal with her pains, trials, and tribulations and go on to live a purpose-driven life.

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“A father should be a trusted person in the life of a child. He was supposed to keep his child safe but betrayed her sexually; he ripped purity off her body and her soul. This is taboo and he must no doubt face the music for his morbid, sordid sexual misconduct.

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“For the above-stated reasons, the defendant is sentenced to life imprisonment with no option of fine,” the judge held.

Justice Soladoye further directed that the convict’s name should be registered in the Sex Offenders Register as maintained by the Lagos State Government.

During the course of the trial, four witnesses, including the survivor, a medical doctor, a social worker, and a police officer testified for the prosecution while Lawrence testified solely in his defence.

The survivor, who was 17-year-old when she gave her evidence in court, said her father had on numerous occasions defiled her whenever her stepmother travels.

She said the incest came to light when she confided in a social worker in her school about her father’s actions.

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Dr Maria Fadaka, of the Mirabel Center (a Sexual Assault Referral Center), said that after examining the survivor, her findings had revealed evidence of vaginal penetration and early pregnancy.

Lawrence had denied having sexual intercourse with his child claiming he was at work when the defilements allegedly took place.

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Otunba Gbenga Daniel discusses progress on the establishment of aviation school in Ogun, SW Devt Commission bills

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Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Governor of Ogun State and a current Senator has provided updates on two significant legislative initiatives: the South West Development Commission Bill and the establishment of an aviation college in Ogun State.

Daniel expressed satisfaction with the progress of both projects, highlighting their alignment with broader development goals for the region.

He outlined the strategic vision behind the proposed aviation college, linking it to the ongoing development of the airport project in Ogun State.

The idea for the aviation school gained momentum during his campaign, spurred by interactions with students from a technical college near Akaka.

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“We are moving and we are quite satisfied. The aviation school that we conceptualized has been part of our master plan for the airport project and in the course of our campaign; we were waylaid by students of that school. It is a technical college. They waylaid and said look, OGD you are passing by here but in this place, there is nothing going on.

“As God will have it, the runway terminates around Akaka. We then said this is the aviation school that we’ve been thinking of, this is it. We tap into that because we also know that there are challenges with money and budgets. So in that location there is already infrastructure. There are buildings, very few students, underutilized facilities and here we are, we now have an airport which by the special grace of God, the new governor appears to have gone very far with the completion. So pronto, we can’t have it better.”

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Emphasising the need to train people about aviation in all ramifications, the former governor elaborated on the broader vision of creating an “Aerotropolis,” a city designed around the airport that would include facilities for hangar construction, warehouses, and other aviation-related services.

“What we have done, many people did not know, the airport that we planned is not just an airport, it’s a big city. We call it Aerotropolis. An Aerotropolis is a city which contains facilities for everything – hangar construction, warehouses, all sorts of things – and all of that.

“But when we were conceptualising it, we actually called it an agrocargo airport and that’s what actually decided the location, that that location is equidistant to Lagos,Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode and Ibadan. We had planned that, from that location, people will bring their agricultural products there and it can be an export zone. So that was what we planned. So all of those things that have not happened, it’s just part of our master plan and God has just given us the grace”

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He expressed optimism about the project’s legislative progress, noting that the bill had recently passed its second reading and was on track for a public hearing.

“By the grace of God, last two weeks it was gazetted. That is the second reading and we think that with that one, the next thing is now for it to be subject to a public hearing.

“That is one bill that there was no need for any serious take-off grant. Unlike some other bills, this is just a low-hanging fruit, and we’re happy that, by the grace of God, that will come true,” he said.

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Turning to the South West Development Commission Bill, the lawmaker acknowledged its prior iterations and the renewed determination to see it through.

“The Southwest Development Commission Bill, of course, is not a new bill per se. It had been initiated in the past, but due to one thing or the other, it didn’t go beyond the second reading,” he explained.

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However, this time around, there is a stronger consensus on the necessity of the commission.

Daniel highlighted the importance of the commission in fostering regional development, echoing calls for restructuring based on Nigeria’s six administrative zones.

“People from each of the zones with a common destiny, common economic boundaries, common electoral affinities, common industrial or commercial activities, should be able to come together and look at things that are important to them, to be able to develop those peculiar things that are common to them, and get the federal government to support it,” he articulated.

The creation of the South West Development Commission aligns with similar initiatives for other regions, promoting economic units that reflect Nigeria’s zonal structure.

Daniel expressed hope and determination that the bill would succeed, reflecting a broader trend of regional development efforts supported by federal recognition and resources

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Gbenga Daniel clarifies misconceptions about yuletide palliatives from the presidency

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The senator representing the Ogun East District at the national assembly, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has clarified reports regarding the distribution of rice by the presidency to lawmakers during the last yuletide season.

Recall that towards the end of last year, during the yuletide, there were reports that the presidency shipped trailer loads of rice to House of Representatives members and senators as palliatives to be given to their constituents. Some lawmakers denied receiving the items while others said they were supplied.

Addressing the confusion, Daniel explained that the initiative was part of a broader effort to provide constituency support, rather than a direct distribution of trailer loads of rice.

He provided insights into the actual proceedings, stating, “No, that was not what happened. To the best of my knowledge, it is part of the provision for constituency support. I am aware that a vote was announced that would be available for each of the senators. It wasn’t mandated for specific use, but rather to encourage senators to provide some form of relief to their constituents during the challenging period of December and January.”

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Contrary to claims of trailer loads of rice being distributed, the lawmaker emphasized that the process was more bureaucratic and less immediate.

“The process of, let’s say, the bureaucracy, I’m aware that this is May but some people have still not got anything. We got something about two weeks ago,” he noted.

Despite the delays in the distribution process, Daniel highlighted that his office had been proactive in providing palliatives to constituents throughout the period.

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“We have been doing our own palliatives. We’ve done in December, in January. Every month we go and do massive palliatives. So we’re not waiting for it. But if and when it comes, okay, there’s no problem.”

The confusion seems to stem from differing reports on how the palliatives were distributed. Daniel explained, “Finally it was supposed to be worked out with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and I think that some people got consignment from the ministry, others got their own independently.”

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He commended the presidency’s efforts to support lawmakers in their attempts to assist constituents.

“There was a commendable effort to encourage lawmakers to go and do something to add value to what is going on in their various constituencies. That’s the way I’m going to put it.”

While there was an initiative to provide support to lawmakers for their constituents, the former governor clarified that it was not as straightforward or immediate as some reports suggested.

According to him, the aim was to encourage lawmakers to offer tangible support during a challenging period, a goal that he and his team have been actively pursuing independently.

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Otunba Gbenga Daniel clarifies why The Compass Newspaper was established, lists achievements as Ogun governor

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Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has clarified the motivations behind the establishment of The Compass newspaper, denying any intentions of using the platform to oppose Senator Bola Tinubu.

In an interview the former governor granted a national newspaper, Daniel addressed these misconceptions and highlighted the extensive developmental work undertaken during his tenure, much of which he felt was underreported.

Reflecting on the media landscape during his governance, he stated, “I took over from a newspaper mogul, Chief Olusegun Osoba, and I was not expected to get good press. The sympathy was really not with me; it was with my predecessor. People thought I would crash within a few weeks.”

Facing persistent negative press, Daniel felt compelled to create a media outlet to accurately document and publicize his administration’s achievements.

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He emphasized that the establishment of The Compass was a strategic move to counteract biased media coverage rather than a tool for political vendetta.

“We needed to have a platform to also record what we were doing. We did a lot of work that people still do not know,” he explained.

Daniel lamented the lack of social media at the time, which would have allowed for more direct communication with the public without reliance on traditional media channels.

“Unfortunately, we did not have the level of social media that we have today. If that existed, nobody would need the traditional media.

“But you know, you people at that time, once you blocked us, you blocked us here, you blocked us there, I was finished (laughs). If we were working 24-7, nobody would see this. They would say you are not working because you people have blocked everybody. So that was what happened.

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“I’m not a newspaper person. But, at that stage, we needed to have a platform to also record what we were doing. We did a lot of work that people still do not know.

“For instance, we are thanking our current governor for now working on the (cargo) airport. But this was part of our master plan, which we decided, we did everything we needed to do, we got all the approvals before we left. But you people (press) will not report it.”

“We secured three free trade zones in Ogun State. The Olokola Free Trade Zone, which is where Dangote Refinery was supposed to be but because you people did what you had to do, we lost that one to Lagos. But I said to people, well, Lagos is still the same. If it’s lost to Lagos, it’s fine.

“In any case, where we wanted to put it is inside Ijebuland. All these places where they are in Lekki is still part of Ijebuland, under Lagos. So we’ve not lost anything.

He also said the Kajola Transportation Free Trade Zone, and the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone, were all initiatives under his administration. These zones were designed to boost industrialization and economic growth in the region.

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Daniel also pointed out the numerous educational institutions established during his tenure, including the Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic in Ijebu-Igbo, the Gateway Polytechnic in Sapade, the Tai Solarin University of Education, and several others. He stressed the transformative impact these institutions had on the state’s educational landscape.

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“You’ll be shocked if I tell you that in the course of our administration, we established probably about seven tertiary institutions and campuses. I can count for you. We established Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu-Igbo. We established the Gateway Polytechnic in Sapade. We established another one in Igbesa and another one in Itori. We established the Tai Solarin University of Education. We established the School of Nursing in Ilaro. We took the old Tai Solarin College of Education to Omu. It’s now known as Sikiru Adetona College of Education in Omu. We established Gateway Industrial & Petrochemical Institute (GIPI) in Oni. What didn’t we do? But you people didn’t report it.”

In terms of industrialization, Daniel noted the development of the Sagamu Interchange area into a major industrial hub.

“That axis now is probably the biggest industrial zone in the country. Companies like Nestle, Coleman Cables, CTK, and the biggest international breweries are now located there. It is the fastest-growing industrial arena in the entire country,” he said.

Addressing the media directly, Daniel humorously added, “There’s a whole lot that you people refused to report for us.”

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