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Kano records 1,114 cases of gender based violence in 2019

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano state sexual referral centre, Waraka, has recorded 1,114 sexual and gender based violence in 2019, according to the state’s chief judge Nura Sagir.

Justice Sagir revealed this on Monday during the public sitting of the special investigation panel on sexual and gender based violence organised by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for North West geo-political zone, held in Kano.

The chief judge, represented by Maryam Sabo, said the judiciary has treated 194 sexual and gender based cases in 2019.

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He also assured speedy trial and severe punishment for perpetrators of sexual violence to serve as deterrent to others.

According to him, all hands must be on deck to address menace of sexual and gender based violence.

In his address, the Executive Secretary of National Human Right Commission, Tony Ojukwu, said the panel was constituted to hear complaints and investigate alleged violation of human rights by individuals, security agencies and other law enforcement agencies.

Other mandate of the panel according to him is to identify victims of violation and abuse and make recommendations for further action including prosecution, disciplinary proceedings and damages.

Mr Ojukwu recalled that, the panel was constituted as a result of complaint received, where armed security personnel led by Abuja Environmental Protection Board under the auspices of the FCT Joint Task Force raided night clubs and the streets of Abuja.

He observed that, although about 71 women accused of prostitution were arrested in the raids, no men were arrested for committing similar offence.

The Executive Secretary noted that, members of the panel were carefully selected to represent diverse interests of the society. They include academics, gender experts, civil society and professional groups.

“So far the panel has received 114 complaints and memo across 6 geopolitical zones, with South East accounting for the highest number of 35, representing 30% of the total complaints received. North Central accounts for 19; North West has twelve; South South has 26; South West 15 and North East 4.

“The commission has completed its sitting in Abuja, Lagos and Owerri, and has recorded success stories already where victims of SGBV and other members of the public who submitted memorandum and complaints were heard in close chambers,” Mr Ojukwu said.

He noted that, the essence of the public sitting is to check the scourge of sexual and gender based violence in Nigeria and provide opportunities for fair hearing to both complainants and alleged violators of human rights.

Also speaking the executive chairman of Kano state Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission (PCACC) Muhyi Rimingado said over 30 percent of over 7,000 cases treated the Commission, were human rights related.

He noted that human rights abuses is so alarming in public and private institutions more especially sexual and gender based violence.

The Kano state ombudsman said many victims of sexual abuses are suffering in silence due to stigmatization and cultural values.

The public sitting continued in private after the opening ceremony.

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Aminu Dantata donates N300m to tackle COVID-19

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Aminu Alhassan Dantata, a foremost Kano businessman and respected elder has donated N300 million to the Kano state government as a contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was revealed in a statement released on Monday by Malam Muhammadu Garba, the state Commissioner for Information.

Mr Garba also said other Kano-based businessmen, Alhaji Abba Sumaila and Alhaji Abubakar Dalhatu, chairman of Al-Hamsad Group, have donated 500 sacks of spaghetti and N5 million respectively.

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He said all commissioners and political office holders in the state have also donated 50 percent of their salaries to the noble cause.

“The first donation of N28.5 million from UBA was yesterday (Sunday) announced by Governor (Abdullahi) Ganduje at the inauguration ceremony while Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has pledged to provide all needed facilities for the earmarked 600-bed Isolation Centre at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano,” he said.

Mr Garba added that a 38-member committee was set up to collect donations and distribute them to those in need in order to reduce the effect of tough measures taken by the state government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Kano.

The committee therefore urged organizations and wealthy individuals within and outside the state to donate generously towards the humanitarian gesture.

“Anyone willing to donate to the committee in cash should pay/transfer to this account: Kano State COVID-19 Support, UBA, Account No: 1022751785.

“Donations in kind are also collected at a warehouse at number 94, Maganda Road and Kano State Government Printing Press, Emir’s Palace Road,” the commissioner said.

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CISLAC demands transparency in managing funds donated to fight COVID-19

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged the Nigerian government to ensure accountability and transparency in managing all funds donated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, CISLAC’s Executive Director, Auwal Rafsanjani, also called for the inclusion of the media and other groups promoting accountability in the utilization of the funds.

Mr Rafsanjani noted that the recent composition of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 was a welcome decision.

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He, however, lamented that the committee failed to have a balanced representation, especially in the area of inclusion of media and other accountability entities.

“In times of global public emergency, proactive measures to ensure judicious utilisation and distribution of these funds are needed more than ever.

“Inclusion of media and other accountability entities in the committee would compel transparency and accountability in the utilisation and dissemination of managed funds.

“At this critical junction, Nigeria cannot afford mismanagement and misappropriation of public and donated funds,” Mr Rafsanjani said.

He also warned that diversion of funds will be a betrayal of the trust of Nigerians.

“We on this note have no hesitation to state that diversion or misappropriation of the funds would be tantamount to total betrayal, unpatriotic, unsympathetic and selfishness in the management of the nation’s treasury which are punishable under relevant laws,” the statement noted.

Mr Rafsanjani, therefore, disclosed that CISLAC would monitor the funds and how it is spent.

“While we monitor with keen interest response of various authorities to the commitment of the Federal Government towards alleviating impacts of the newly pronounced lockdown in some states, we demand sincere effort to ensure relief materials and other financial and material assistance are deployed accordingly to citizens irrespective of their socio-economic status with a holistic and transparent strategy to adequately appropriate relief package to citizens at the grassroots level,” he added.

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COVID-19: Kano to provide palliatives to journalists in lockdown period

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano state has pledged to support journalists with palliatives whenever a lockdown is declared in the state to tackle the spread of the coronavirus disease otherwise known as COVID-19.

KANO FOCUS reports that Muhammad Garba, the state’s Commissioner for Information said this on Monday, during a one-day training organised by the Kano Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) for journalists in the state on the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I discussed with the governor (Abdullahi Umar Ganduje) on the need to consider the critical role the journalists play in times of disaster.

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“The state government is very much aware of the challenges journalists face in critical and disastrous times such as the​ ​ COVID-19 pandemic, so the government will do its best to guarantee  their safety during the trying time of the pandemic,” he said.

“There is need for government to see how it can support the media in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever support that is going to be given to other sectors, the media will surely be considered.

“We will work together with the media and see how we can overcome this pandemic which has caused serious harm to the entire world,” Mr Garba added.

The commissioner, who chaired the occassion, described journalists as very important professionals, whose services remained critical “in this unfortunate era of COVID-19.”

He however, tasked journalists to live above board and remain responsible while disseminating information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

He pointed out that there was the need for journalists to be guided by the Code and Ethics of the noble profession at all times.

He described the workshop as very timely and needful and charged participants to tap from the knowledge of resource persons who were there to make presentations.

Similarly in her remark, Chairman of the Broadcasters Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Sa’a Ibrahim charged news managers to develop ways of engaging people on the necessary measures they are expected to take to prevent themselves from contracting the COVID-19.

Mrs Ibrahim, who is also the Director General, Kano State own Television, Abubakar Rimi Television (ARTV) also called for more of such training.

Also, the General Manager of Vision FM Kano, Adamu Ladan highlighted some measures that will help participants to protect themselves from contracting the virus.

According to him, “Media professionals need to look back at past disasters and provide background information through research and draw lessons from other news rooms, governments and so forth to be able to learn from them.

“Media professionals need to be educated to be able to educate others, for that reason a high level of professionalism needs to be put in place for the desired goals to be achieved.” he said.

In his address, the NUJ chairman, Abbas Ibrahim said “there is no better time than now when the world is battling the coronavirus pandemic and Nigeria is not an exception.”

According to him, “the media needs to be equipped with the knowledge of how to shape reportage for the desired goals of disseminating reliable information to be achieved and do away with the spread of fake news in this trying times”.

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