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Mother of Rape victim, activist ask Nigerians to hold Premiere Academy accountable for their whereabouts, safety

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***Activist says he will report at CID tomorrow

Mother of Keren-Happuch Aondoodo Akpagher, the-14 year old boarding student of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, who died as a result of heath complication caused after being raped, Mrs Vivien Vihimga Akpagher and leader of the Coalition of Gender Based Violence Responders, Lemmy Ughegbe have raised alarm over harassment by Premiere Academy, Lugbe.

They said they are being harrassed on account of their outcry that the rapist be fished out and brought to justice.

The duo said the desperation shown by the school was of concern to them as they now fear for their lives and those of their family members.

They have therefore asked the Nigerian people to hold Premiere Academy accountable for their where-about and safety even as they pleaded with the Inspector General of Police to provide protection for them a d their families.

Following Keren-Happuch’s death on June 22, 2021 as a result of a condom left inside her by a rapist, infecting her with sepsis, which triggered her blood sugar, compromised her immunity and led to her tragic end, her mother had filed a formal complaint at the FCT Police Command against Premiere Academy, where her daughter was allegedly raped.

On his own part, Ughegbe, as a child and gender rights advocate, who has been leading a coalition in the past six months to call the police to account and ensure that investigation is not compromised, said he will honour an invitation from the State C.I.D tomorrow as he urged the police not to allow the school use them to subvert justice and derail efforts to nab the culprit.

Upset by the roles being played by Mrs Akpagher and Ughegbe, Premiere Academy has asked the police to summon the duo for allegedly defaming the school.

Reacting to the petition entitled “Defamation and Provocation of Premiere Academy by Mr. Lemmy Ughegbe and Mrs. Vivien Akpagher” filed against them by the law firm of Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) on behalf of the school; Keren’s mother said she was not surprise at the antics of the school.

“I am not shocked at all by Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja because I have, in the past six months, come to understand their antics. Their methodology is clearer to me now than ever before and they have made me understand why my daughter was so scared and traumatised to talk to me. If, as grown and far away from them as I am, they are bullying me and using the police to bully us, then I can imagine how brutally my daughter was bullied and traumatised into silence”, Mrs. Akpagher said.

“I have a right to demand justice for my daughter and the fact that Premiere Academy is afraid of my demand speaks to any reasonable person about their motive and reason for being against me”, she added.

In his own reaction, Ughegbe noted that “Premiere Academy is acting as though justice for Keren would be against its interest. How can demanding justice for a rape victim and family amount to defamation? Today as we continue to seek justice six months after, they are accusing us of defamation and have even sued me over it. So, why are they resorting to the police again? They are desperate and embarking on a fruitless voyage that will lead nowhere.”

“Last Wednesday, I received a call from someone who introduced himself as Inspector Yakubu Andrew, who said he is calling from the Monitoring Unit of the State CID and has a petition on defamation against me from Mr. Chris Akinsonwon (former acting Principal of Premiere Academy). We have agreed that I will honour the invitation with my lawyer tomorrow, Monday, the 17th of January, 2022 at 11am. I am using this medium to notify the public that I will be with the State CID tomorrow at the instance of Premiere Academy.

“We know the Nigerian Police has very fine and knowledgeable men and officers. We therefore want to use this medium to appeal to them to be wary of the school and not allow it mislead it with information capable of tarnishing its image and rubbishing the rising good image of the police under the current Inspector General of Police, who has raised the bar in terms of professionalism and integrity of the service”, he urged.

He noted that “there are attempts by the school to bully and intimidate us into silence. They have used propaganda and sponsored phoney write-ups to delude the public as to our quest for justice for Keren. Now, they are hoping to use the police to bully us. But we trust that the police officers are experienced and professional enough not to fall for their antics.”

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CBN backpedals, Withdraws Circular On Cybersecurity Levy

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The circular the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued to all commercial banks on May 6, 2024, directing them to implement a compulsory withdrawal of 0.05 per cent from every electronic transaction as cybersecurity levy has been withdrawn
The directive for collection of the levy led to a nationwide uproar when the central bank introduced the policy last week.
The Presidency however, heeded the warning from various quarters, succumbed and immediately suspended the implementation of the Cybersecurity Levy.
In a withdrawal circular that was issued by the CBN on Sunday night, it directed the banks not to go ahead with the initial directive, in line with the presidential directive. The apex bank authorities claimed it’s a sign that the present administration was a listening one that prioritises public good.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above referenced circular is hereby withdrawn,” CBN director in charge of payments system, Chibuzo Efobi, and the director, financial policy and regulation, Haruna Mustapha, said in the circular, adding that all banks should “Please be guided accordingly.”

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Kogi: Police Confirm Rescue Of 7 More CUSTECH Students

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Nigeria Police, Kogi State Command has announced the rescue of seven more students of Confluence University of Science Secondary Technology (CUSTECH) kidnapped by hoodlums on Thursday, May 9.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) SP William Ovye Aya, made the announcement in a press statement on Thursday in Lokoja.

He said that feat was achieved through the intervention of Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun who ordered the deployment of the Air Component of Police Security Apparatus made up of a Helicopter Crew.

The deployment, he said was in furtherance of the ongoing Rescue Operation and to sustain the onslaught to rescue all the kidnapped students.

He said that the Air Component deployed to Kogi State on Tuesday 14th May, 2024 was made up of Helicopter Crew specially trained for Aerial Surveillance, Monitoring Team as well as Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU).

“The reinforcement is in response to IGP’s unwavering passion about protecting lives and property of all Nigerians especially the safety of our children in various schools in the country”, Aya said.

With the new development which Aya ascribed to the diligence and indomitable spirit of all the combined team, 27 students have so far been rescued from the kidnappers as a total of 20 students were earlier rescued.

“Be it noted that it is not over until it is over” so we should not rest on our Oars, instead all hands must be on deck to ensure all are safely rescued and perpetrators brought to deserved justice”, the PPRO declared.

He stated that Kogi State Government as well as the University Community were satisfied with the Rescue Operations so far.

“The State Government has commended the indubitable, unassailable level of cooperation, collaboration and synergy amongst the Security Agencies, Local Vigilantes and Hunters in the State”, he enthused.

According to Aya, the Commissioner of Police, CP Bethrand Onuoha has seized this occasion to thank and appreciate the Inspector-General of Police for the deployment of the Air Component.

The CP, he said, also commended the Security Personnel, and Vigilantes/Hunters for their “show of unprecedented and undiluted patriotism and altruism, and to the good people of Kogi State as well as the vibrant Press for their show of concern and empathy.”

“The CP will continue to solicit the cooperation, collaboration and solidarity of the good people of Confluence State with the Police and other Security Agencies.

“Together, we shall ensure adequate Security of life and property of law-abiding citizens in the State”, he assured. (Ends)

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Senate backs FG, CBN over controversial Cybersecurity levy

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***Insists, it is NASS creation to safeguard economy, country against insecurity

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Shehu Umar Buba, has allay the fears being entertained by Nigerians over the proposed implementation of the Cybersecurity levy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

While giving tacit support to the Federal Government on the levy that has created bad blood among Nigerians against the Tinubu administration Senator Buba said th levy is provided for in the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act, 2024.

He clarified that the levy is not punitive as it has numerous exemptions to protect and relieve ordinary citizens, particularly the poor.

According to him, the exemptions include salary payments, intra-account transfers, loan disbursements and repayments, and other financial transactions.

Senator Buba said the amendments to the Cybercrimes Act were collaborative effort with the National Assembly’s ICT and Cyber Security Committee. Explaining further he said committee also underwent a transparent public hearing process, receiving contributions from various stakeholders.
“Both chambers of the National Assembly unanimously passed it before President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed it into law.

Senator Umar reiterated the fact that the provisions for the cybersecurity levy have been in place since 2015 but were delayed due to unclear interpretations and applications.

“The Cybercrimes Act of 2015 has provisions for imposing a cybersecurity levy since its enactment, but the vagueness of Section 44 led to different interpretations until the 2024 amendments. The levy is 0.5%, equivalent to half a per cent of the value of all electronic transactions by businesses specified in the Second Schedule to the Act.

“The amendments addressed crucial gaps in the Act and empowered the nation to implement the National Cybersecurity Programme effectively. They also seek to realign and empower the country to combat the inadequate funding and disruptive effects of cyber threats on national security and critical economic infrastructures,” he said.

Senator Umar underscored the criticality of the cybersecurity levy’s implementation, stating that its prudent utilisation will bolster the nation’s capacity to evaluate, execute, upgrade, and fortify the security of national critical economic infrastructure, thereby safeguarding the nation’s cyberspace.

The chairman commended the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for initiating the operationalising the cybersecurity levy, highlighting its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.

He expressed appreciation to the leaders and representatives of MDAs at the federal and state levels, as well as to all stakeholders who contributed to this effort’s success.

While maintaining that the Committee’s mandate is to create laws that align with the aspirations of Nigerians, he appealed for public support, assuring that the policy will yield maximum benefits for citizens in the shortest possible time.

Following the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) (Amendment) Act 2024 and under the provision of Section 44 (2)(a) of the Act, a levy of 0.5 per cent (0.005) equivalent to half per cent of all electronic transactions value by the business specified in the Second Schedule of the Act is to be remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund, which the Office of the National Security Adviser shall administer.

Though the announcement created controversy, the circular exempted some transactions from cybercrime levy.

The exemptions included loan disbursements and repayments, salary payments, intra-account transfers within the same bank or between different banks for the same customer, intra-bank transfers between customers of the same bank, and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) instructions to their correspondent banks.

The exemption also applies to interbank placements, banks’ transfers to CBN and vice versa, inter-branch transfers within a bank, cheque clearing and settlements, and Letters of Credit (LCs).

Others include banks’ recapitalisation-related funding only bulk funds movement from collection accounts; savings and deposits including transactions involving long-term investments such as treasury bills, bonds; and commercial papers; government social welfare programmes transactions, e.g. pension payments; non-profit and charitable transactions including donations to registered non-profit organisations or charities; educational institutions transactions, including tuition payments and other transaction involving schools, universities, or other academic institutions.

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