18-year-old 200 level student of Baze University, Ifoema Obalum has accused her father of sexual assault and resisted attempts by officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), Abuja to forcefully hand her and the younger brother over to the accused.
The duo, had in December last year, ran to NAPTIP seeking protection from the father who is medical personnel at the State House clinic and a lecturer at the same Baze University, Abuja.
She accused her father of sexual assault, physical abuse and inflicting serious injuries on her 15-year-old younger brother since June 2020 when they began living with him. Before then, they lived in their maternal home after their mother and sole custodian died of cancer on May 21, 2018.
However, after a legal fight, the father was granted custody of Obalum and the younger brother by a Lagos family court.
The accused arrived at the headquarters of the agency with the court’s verdict along with his entourage, consisting of his legal representatives, some able-bodied men and a female who tried to take away the children who were handed over to them by the Rapid Response Unit of NAPTIP but failed to achieve his aim as the duo resisted the move.
NAPTIP said it couldn’t go against the court order, but the children resisted, crying and shouting that they would not return to the home of their abuser, but would rather commit suicide. This drew more attention from passersby and onlookers as the Investigating Officer on the case in the Rapid Response Unit of NAPTIP; Mrs. Usafina Chimera attempted to drag the children to their father to be taken away.
When asked by journalists why the agency is returning the children to the alleged abuser after coming to the agency for shelter, Chimera said: “What we do in the Rapid Response Unit is that when a complaint is lodged against someone, we go rapidly to rescue this person. When we received this complaint, we went to Baze University to where she stayed with her brother to rescue her after her exams. Based on her statement, we commenced an investigation, and have taken the case to the legal department and it advise that there is no prima-facie evidence in prosecuting the case.
The girl, who has turned 18, is old enough to go further with the case. As an agency, we follow orders and the directives is that we should hand over the two of them to the father.”
On why she sought help from NAPTIP and their refusal to return to her father, Ifeoma explained that they had never really lived with their father until the passing of their mother shortly before she turned 18. She said their father came with policemen to their school to forcefully take them away from their maternal family’s custody, but failed and later sought custody through the court and it was granted to him.
She said: “I came to NAPTIP because I had to report to them a case of my father sexually assaulting me and physically abusing my brother, how he maltreats us, neglects us, and keeps us locked up in the house for three weeks with no form of communication to the world. No phone, internet, television, nothing.”
MEANWHILE, lawyers to the defendants, who work with PUNUKA attorneys and solicitors led by Ebele Enida has written a petition letter to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene on the matter.
A document made available to The Guardian reads “Petition against Dr. Dike Obalum for physical and Sexual Assault on his biological daughter, Miss Ifoema Obalum and Chukwuemeka Obalum.
The lawyers are urging President Muhammadu Buhari to use his office to investigate the matter and protect the children.
Culled from the Guardian
Group threatens to occupy govt house if Akeredolu fails to hand over to his Deputy
A group, under the aegis of Peoples Democratic Party Forever Initiative (PDPFI) has threatened to occupy government House if Governor Rotimi Akeredolu fails to handover to his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa without further delay
The group insisted that if the ailing governor fails to handover within 72 hours, they will occupy the government house on Monday.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the National Coordinator of the group, Obande Gideon declared that though, they will continue to pray for Akeredolu’s quick recovery as human, but his incapacitation should not affect governance.
The group said that there is a provision for a deputy who shall discharge his duties in an acting capacity as empowered by the law, adding that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is yet to provide the kind of leadership expected of it by Nigerians.
The group decried the ineptitude of APC government, adding that APC has failed to manage the political crisis in Ondo State.
PDPFI said: “The worst of it is the political vacuum in Ondo State where the APC led Federal government used in showcasing its ineptitude towards governance in the Country.
“It also happened in Taraba State when the late Gov Danbaba Suntai had an air crash, we resolved the crisis but the ruling APC has failed woefully in managing the political crisis in Ondo State. This is a sign that the APC led Federal government is insensitive to the plights of Nigerians.”
The group further pointed out that APC has abandoned the constitution to serve some personal interest.
It wondered why it is so difficult to call the State Assembly to order and ensure smooth working relationship between the Deputy Governor and the sick Governor’s family.
The group warned that they can not fold their hands and watch the nation been sank, adding that their action is to guide the ruling party.
The group said: “Once upon a time, our party, the peoples Democratic Party attempted to protest against the leadership vacuum in Ondo State but the security agencies prevented us. We are not giving up, we are resilience in propagating good governance at all time.
“It has become ridiculous and indeed a laughing stock the activities of non state actors, who display their overbearing influence on the management of affairs of Ondo State in view of their relationship with the ailing Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
“The Governor has been around in the Country but obviously not fit enough to manage the affairs of the State. The question is, since the Deputy Governor is not allowed to act, and the Governor has refused to resume, who is administering the State at the moment.
“We hereby call on Governor Olawarotimi Akeredolu to resume within 72hours or hand over power to his Deputy for effective management of Ondo State.
“We make bold to say that, if the Governor fail to resume or handover power to his Deputy within 72hours, we will have no option than to occupy Ondo State Government House to press home our demand, he stated.
Adamant NLC, TUC declare nationwide strike starting Monday midnight
Despite restraining order by the National Industrial Court (NIC) against the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), counterparts from embacking on strike, the unions have resolved to commence the planned nationwide strike from midnight today (Monday)
In a statement on Monday, the unions ordered workers nationwide to withdraw their services at midnight.
“In furtherance to the decision of the Joint National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC and TUC, all workers in Nigeria are hereby directed to withdraw their services effective 12:00 midnight today, 13th November 2023,” the unions said in a joint statement.
“Consequently, all affiliates and state councils of NLC/TUC are directed to issue circulars for maximum compliance and these circulars be made available to the National Secretariats or posted to the NEC and CWC Whatsapp Platforms.”
While assuring members of further updates about the nationwide strike, organised labour urged them to “remain assured of our commitment to Nigerian workers and people”.
The strike is part of labour’s moves to push for justice after the National President of the NLC Joe Ajaero was malhandled in Imo State last week. Ajaero and other NLC members were in the South-East state for a protest over “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of other labour rights”.
However, the NLC chief was treated as a criminal in the state with the union accusing Imo state of arranging the attack to stifle protests over workers’ rights. Ajaero was badly hurt, bundled into a van and briefly detained, according to the union.
Following the incident, NLC and TUC threatened to go on a nationwide strike on November 14 if the government failed to meet its demands, which included the resignation of police officials.
“We are worried that it has become criminal for workers in Nigeria to gather for a peaceful protest,” they said.
Last week, the unions picketed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to press home their demands, leaving travellers stranded.
Recent strikes have had a mixed turnout. Last month the unions agreed to call off a planned strike in protest over rising living costs after the government offered a package of measures to cushion the impact of its economic reforms.
NUJ FCT Chairman buries beloved wife amid tears, wailing
The remains of Late Mrs. Anthonia Attah Osadebamwen, wife of the Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council, Comrade Osaretin Patrick Osadebamwen were laid to rest amid tears and wailing in the ancient city of Benin, Edo State on Wednesday.
Comrade Osaretin is also a senior correspondent of the Tribune Newspapers in the FCT.
Among those who sent condolence messages to the Chairman, NUJ, FCT Council included the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud.
In a statement she personally signed, Mahmoud stated that: “It is with a deep sense of loss and sadness that I convey to you my heartfelt condolence on the death of your amiable spouse, Mrs. Anthonia Attah Osadebamwen.
“I can’t imagine the pain you are going through, but in this time of sorrow, may you find peace and solace in the loving memories you shared with your dear wife.
“As you comprehend this profound loss, my heart goes out to you, and the rest of your family, and I wish you nothing but comfort and strength.
“On behalf of the Office of the Honourable Minister ot State, FCT, do accept my deepest sympathies for this great loss.
“May the Almighty GOD grant her eternal rest.”.
Speaking after the burial, Comrade Osaretin Patrick Osadebamwen maintained that the late Mrs. Osadebamwen was a virtuous and supportive wife whose demise was a great loss to the entire family.
He said: “My sweetheart, the 6th wonder of Igala-nation, my pride, my love, our love story is taking a new turn. One that would take a very long time to agitate my mind. It is about your sudden exit. You played me, my love. You sent me on an errand, and before I came back, you were on your way to heaven. Not my wailing could hold you back. So sweet was your heavenly sight you always talked about. You saw it, liked being there, and disregarded my call to return. And you were excited.
“Today, the beautiful moments seem to have all gone. Wait, not gone. Efeosa Eseosa is here, so is Omosefe Ufedoh and Osarhiemen Ojone. They are the products of our union. The blessings of God that added no sorrow. I love you, my darling.”.
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