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Young girl raped to death in Lagos State

Benjamin Ukpabi

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An 11-year old girl, Favour Okechukwu, was gang-raped to death in Ejigbo area of Lagos with the perpetrators on the run.

The deceased, a Junior Secondary School 3 student was sent on an errand by her mother, by 3 p.m.

She was said to have been lured into a building on Olarewaju street, where four men took turns to rape her. She was suspected to have been gaged in the process, apparently to avoid raising that alarm.

Meanwhile back in her parent’s abode at Ore-Ofe street, apprehension had set it by 6 pm when her father, Okechukwu Dickson, returned home without any sight of his first child. When informed that she had not returned from the errand, he went in search of her.

To his dismay, Favour’s corpse was found in a building on Olarewaju street, not too far from her parents, close to two hours into the search. On closer observation, she was discovered to be naked, with her body stained with blood.

Her devastating mother who was still trying to come to terms with the crude reality of her daughter’s demise could not speak with Saturday Vanguard. But her father who managed to speak, betrayed his emotion as he narrated how he found her corpse.

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Hear him, ”I was shocked when my wife said Favour hadn’t returned from where she was to collect a carton of the gala(snack) because it was unusual of her to stay long outside. I went to three of her classmate’s houses to look for her but they all said they didn’t see her. I was walking like a mad man, asking everyone I saw about her whereabout and it was getting dark. ”

“I saw a man who lives on the same street with me and told him I was looking for my daughter. He informed that he had to close early because a little girl was raped to death in a building close to his shop. ”I decided to go and check since I was looking for my daughter and he accompanied me to the building. Behold, when I got there, it was my daughter, Favour! She laid motionless. I shouted, shook her vigorously as I called out her name, begging her to wake up. But she didn’t respond. I was too shocked to believe she was gone just like that. A child I left hale and hearty while leaving the house in the morning, was gone when I returned”, he said in tears.

He, therefore, appealed to anyone with information on the fleeing assailants to avail such to the police, in order for her to get justice. Lamenting he said: ” Favour was full of life. She was very brilliant. All I want is for the perpetrators of this devilish act to be brought to book”.

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Already, occupants of the buildings had fled for fear of being arrested by the Police. Saturday Vanguard gathered that policemen from Ejigbo division, led by the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Olabisi Okuwobi, arrived the scene when information reached them. It was gathered that the DPO paid for the ambulance that took the corpse to the morgue.

Some suspects had already been arrested. But they denied culpability. They were said to have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, for further investigation.

A spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed the incident, assured that the command would do all within its reach to ensure that the fleeing suspects were arrested.

Actress Hilda Dokubu has also taken to social media to demanded justice for Favour. A post shared by her on her IG page reads;

”On the 30th Sept 2020, about 3pm, Favour was gang-raped to death around Ejigbo area, Lagos State. She would have been 12 years on the 21st October.

On the day Favour was raped, she was running errands for her nursing mother. Upon gang-raping her to a state of unconsciousness, the boys engaged a quack nurse to check her. @wrahpnigeria led @actionaidnigeria to meet with her parents today.

Whist we cannot confirm if the nurse administered any treatment on her, @ActionAidNigeria will ensure the quack nurse, the young men and all others involved in this dastard act are brought to book. We will ensure #Justice4Favour.

Our daughters MUST feel safe to walk on the street. @actionaidnigeria will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to make our cities, our nation safe for women and girls.

#Justice4Favour #SafeCities #EndRape #StandToEndRape

What is all this? Why? why? why?

I promised myself to stay extremely joyful the rest of the year, especially this month of my birth! But this is so depressing! This is deep seated wickedness!

I know why I am tagged on this post and yes we all need to stand up against RAPE and all forms of gender based violence and abuse
They must pay for the gruesome murder of this child.

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Breaking: Gunmen raze police station in Abia

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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While details of the attack were still sketchy at the time of filing the report, it was gathered the gunmen overpowered the policemen on duty and released suspects in custody.

It was however not clear if they invaded the police armoury.

Gunmen have reportedly attacked and razed down a police station in Uzoakoli, Bende local government area of Abia State.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday.

details shortly…

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Before I Fled Boko Haram’s Den, Many Chibok Schoolgirls Were Pregnant

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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A student of the College of Business and Management Studies in Konduga, Juliana Christopher, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has said she saw many Chibok girls in the insurgents’ camp.

He added that many small girls were either pregnant or nursing children belonging to the insurgents.

Christopher, in an interview with The PUNCH, said he spent three weeks in Boko Haram camp after the insurgents, who were dressed in military uniforms, stormed her school in Borno State and abducted her.

She explained that after she and her colleagues were kidnapped by the insurgents, they took them into the forest, where she saw other victims who were pregnant and nursing babies of the Boko Haram insurgents.

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She said, “On reaching their camp, we met many young girls there and the whole place was in disarray. It was in 2014 and I was in the Boko Haram camp for three weeks. We met Chibok girls in the camp. While in the camp, I saw so many small girls, who were kidnapped. Some were being molested.

“Some were carrying children, while others were pregnant for the Boko Haram insurgents. It was a disgusting thing. Fortunately for me and some other girls, we escaped from the forest and found our way back to Chibok.”

My abduction led to my father’s death, now I can’t continue education –Konduga student, who escaped from Boko Haram captivity
She explained that her father took ill shortly after she was kidnapped, adding that efforts to rescue him proved abortive.

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She said, “On getting to Chibok, I found the whole community in a state of confusion; so, I asked after my parents and was told that my father took ill when he heard about my abduction and my mother took him to the hospital in Maiduguri. I set out to go and look for them in Maiduguri, but I could not go far because the road was blocked and no movement was allowed, except for military vehicles; in that process, my father died.

“When I heard about my father’s condition, I became worried and tried to locate my parents in the hospital, not knowing that he was already dead. When I eventually got to the hospital in Maiduguri, my mother had conveyed my father’s corpse to Chibok for burial, so my mother said I should stay back to avoid another kidnap.
“That was how I got to this camp. I couldn’t continue with my education, because my mother alone could not take care of my schooling and that of my other siblings.”

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Boko Haram terrorists are our Muslim brothers, shouldn’t be killed like pigs: Minister Pantami

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s communications minister Isa Pantami once condemned Nigerian Army’s incursion into Boko Haram strongholds, describing the insurgents as “our Muslim” brothers who did not deserve to be killed like pigs.

“See what our fellow Muslim brothers’ blood has turned to? Even pig blood has more value than that of a fellow Muslim brother,” Mr Pantami lamented in a sermon issued a few years ago when former President Goodluck Jonathan ramped up military operations against the rampaging terror sect.

Peoples Gazette obtained the audio through an anonymous contact on Thursday night. The location of Mr Pantami’s sermon and those who attended could not be immediately obtained, but the words, nonetheless, contradicted his recent claims that he had long maintained a hardline posture against Boko Haram.

Mr Pantami’s media allies have also been on an image laundering blitz to cast him as a moderate preacher who has been widely celebrated for his longstanding contempt for Boko Haram. Mr Pantami also joined his supporters to amplify a threat issued against him by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, evoking it to dismiss insinuations of his sympathy towards terrorists as counter-intuitive.

But in the February 2020 video, Mr Shekau appeared more frustrated by what he saw as Mr Pantami’s betrayal in becoming a top government official after spending years preaching Salafi doctrine than he was about the minister’s purported condemnation of Boko Haram’s deadly exploits.

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Mr Pantami has long been famous across northern parts of Nigeria as a respected Islamic cleric. He used most of his preachings to rail against the government’s high-handedness, and Peoples Gazette published a video on Thursday that showed him promising never to go into public service. The sermon was delivered in the mid-2000s, years before Mr Buhari appointed him in 2016 as the head of NITDA and later in 2019 as a cabinet minister in charge of communications.

“We are praying to God to answer all our prayers. It’s our right and obligation before all Muslim leaders, politicians, government appointees, academics,” Mr Pantami said in his prayers. “All of us should not fold their arms and watch helplessly how they shed our Muslim brothers’ blood and cheat them in vain.”

Mr Pantami said Boko Haram elements should have been treated with dignity as against the deadly military campaign, saying extermination of insurgents amounted to extrajudicial killing.

 

“Even if the Boko Haram fighters commit a crime, but can we justify the way and manner they are being killed?”

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“Just look at how they are killing people as if they are shooting pigs even though they commit a crime, why the extrajudicial killing? Take them before the law for a fair trial.

“You caught someone sleeping and you killed him. If it’s not Muslims that undergo such treatments who else?” Mr Pantami said.

The minister also said the previous administration should have pampered Boko Haram insurgents in the same manner as the Niger-Delta militants. Unlike Boko Haram that has been on senseless bloodshed against Nigerians of every faith and creed, the militants were fighting for a better share of oil wealth explored and extracted from their parts of the country.

After about three years of their violent campaign, which largely involved frequent abduction of expatriate oil workers and exchange of fire with security forces, the militants acquiesced to economic solutions and relinquished their arms in a deal brokered by former President Umar Yar’Adua.

But Mr Pantami disregarded the context of both groups and instead took a parallel position on how the government should respond to them.

“The Niger Delta people did something similar to this. They massacre people, steal weapons, killed expatriates and kidnap some of them,” Mr Pantami said. “Yet, you still accept them back, open a ministry for them, gave them a minister and put them on a monthly salary pay without work.”

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“The militants did more harm compared to what Boko Haram boys did,” the minister said. “But why will they do something like this? Why selective justice?”

 

The audio was part of a series of controversial sermons which Mr Pantami delivered at several worship centres and learning institutions across the northern parts of the country between the mid and late 2000s. The Gazette obtained the audio this week, most of which had already been transcribed and contextualized by an academic journal published online since March 2019.

Calls have now intensified for Mr Pantami to either publicly renounce his statements or step down from office, with some activists arguing that his position as a federal minister in charge of citizens’ data and the country’s telecoms infrastructure had become untenable.

As part of our series, The Gazette reached out to Mr Pantami repeatedly to learn whether or not he had renounced his controversial views but he declined all requests.

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