The Nigeria Police have sacked the head of its public complaints unit, a senior official told PREMIUM TIMES Saturday.
￼Yomi Shogunle, a controversial officer who at times rattled social media users with his posts, was removed from the Police Complaints Response Unit and posted to Ebonyi State.
The assistant commissioner of police was transferred on Friday morning to head the police area command in Nkalagu, Ebonyi State.
“He was transferred on Friday morning after the Force Headquarters received too much complaints about his conduct,” a police chief told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday afternoon.
Messages about the transfer first spread on social media Saturday morning, eliciting reactions. Many of his critics, however, suggested that only an outright dismissal would be sufficient for Mr Shogunle’s alleged misconduct.
￼Mr Shogunle was named as the pioneer head of PCRU after it was created to receive complaints against police officers in late 2015.
The department achieved initial credits by following up on allegations of misconduct against officers.
Social media also played a heavy role in amplifying the unit’s activities and response time. But Mr Shogunle soon found himself consumed by social media distraction. He began to exchange regular insults with citizens online, especially on Twitter.
Some commentators said Mr Shogunle’s conduct undermined his unit’s successes, and demanded his removal. Several petitions were filed online for his removal, but it seemed the latest one was what eventually did him in.
￼Amidst outrage over police clampdown on women in Abuja, Mr Shogunle justified the discriminatory arrests in a manner many considered too objectionable.
Since 2017, Mr Shogunle had also faced online scorn for his frequent ridiculing of #ENDSARS, a nationwide campaign to end police brutality. He described the movement, which has helped many citizens obtain justice against errant police officers, as a scam.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt on Saturday that the Force Headquarters had been observing the controversies being courted by Mr Shogunle, who has been based in Lagos.
￼“We decided it was time to take him out of that important office because he had become an embarrassment,” a police chief said. “We wish him good luck in Ebonyi.”
The senior official, who spoke under anonymity because he was not the police’s spokesperson, said Mr Shogunle’s transfer signal was dispatched on Friday morning.
Police spokesperson Frank Mba could not be reached for comments Saturday afternoon.
Ebonyi police commissioner, Awosola Awotunde, told PREMIUM TIMES Saturday he had not received the signal. Depending on its urgency, a police signal usually take three to four days to reach recipients.
￼Mr Shogunle, too, did not respond to calls. (Premium Times)
The Kano state government says it has concluded arrangements to conduct a mass wedding for 1,500 prospective couples across its 44 local government areas.
This was announced in a statement by Abba Anwar, the chief press secretary to Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of the state.
The exercise is slated for Sunday in Kano.
Anwar said the couples passed through different stages of screening before they got to the final wedding stage.
He said N20,000 would be given by the state government as dowry for every bride, amounting to N30 million for the 1,500 couples.
“While dowry would be paid, it is also part of the magnanimous engagement by the state government that complete sets of beds, side mirrors, wardrobes and mattresses would all be provided to each couple,” the statement read.
“A complete set of cushion chairs would also be given to each and every couple, which includes three-seater chair and other side chairs. Window blinds and plastic carpet will also be provided.
“New clothing materials, popularly called ‘Shadda’ would be provided for all the would-be husbands, so that they appear as happily wedded grooms, showcasing their happiness to families, friends and well-wishers.”
Anwar said it was the hope of the government that what is provided for couples would go a long way in serving as a relief for them after the marriage.
The state government in 2018, set up a 23-member committee on state-sponsored mass wedding under the leadership of Sani Zaharaddeen. (NAN)
- Address abuse of new media, VP urges
- As NGE holds 2019 biennial convention in Lagos
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday urged the media to continue to do everything within its powers to ensure that members adhere strictly to the code of ethics to preserve the sanctity of the profession.
The duo spoke at the 2019 Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) held at the Airport Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, well attended by members of the Guild from across the country.
In his goodwill message, Governor Ambode who was represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan said the media must continue to up the ante in its primary responsibility as the watchdog of the society.
Noting that the theme of the convention, ‘Media Convergence As Strategy For Survival’ was very apt, he said the State Government has drawn ideas and policy formation as well as execution from the criticisms and suggestions from the media.
“We have learnt from your informed commentaries, reflecting deep concern about the need for solutions to problems that all of us worry about uninterrupted electricity, efficient transportation, affordable housing and the ease of doing business.
“What we have witnessed in Lagos state in the past four years and particularly the commissioning of transformational projects in recent times bear testimony to the fact that your criticisms and suggestions towards a livable megacity have contributed to our policy formulation and execution,” he said.
The Governor alluded to the fact that his administration benefitted immensely from the coverage of landmark programmes and projects as media monitoring records revealed over 80 percent reportage of the State Government in the last four years was positive.
“I appeal that the guild continue to see the stables and the titles as stakeholders whose social responsibility to actualise the vision of a greater Lagos will be taken to the next level by my successor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the incoming governor,” he said.
Governor Ambode also commended the Guild for the choice of Lagos as the venue of its conference, saying that it was not just a vote of confidence in his administration for building a safe and secure city, but also an editorial comment on the freedom of the press as a fundamental pillar of the democratic culture of Lagos State.
In his keynote address, Professor Osinbajo urged media practitioners to be open to the reality that the new and digital media was gradually taking over the traditional media.
The Vice President, however, said the greater worry was the fact that the new media had been saturated with several mushroom platforms, which do not regard the ethics of the profession in disseminating information.
“Editors must now take over the online media as seriously as they did to the traditional media and that move has to be unprecedented. What we see today is that instant reporting is making a mince meat of the virtues of cross checking facts before publishing.
“Since the role of editors is quality control and gate keeping, of the things they must do is to manage the new media and place some form of control. Some people must take the lead to speak up against the bastardization of the new media as it is gradually relegating investigative journalism,” Osinbajo said.
He also urged the media to invest in technology and continue to strive to ensure that they maintain their code of ethics, saying that failure to do this will be detrimental to the profession.
“I urge you to continue to abide by the journalism code of ethics of honesty, independence, accuracy, balance and public accountability. The time has come for editors to ensure that the thread of journalists of repute does not become a thing of the past.
The Vice President and Governor Ambode were later presented with commendation plagues by the Guild for their support and commitment to the media profession, while elections were conducted to elect new officers of the Guild.
Fifty-nine commercial sex workers have been arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) in Calabar, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Mr Ilupeju Adebayo, Director of the DSS Command in Cross River, who disclosed this to newsmen on Saturday in Calabar, said those arrested were picked up around 2:15 a.m on Saturday.
Those arrested, made up of 43 girls and 16 men, were picked up at the Peace Garden Hotel and Papsi Place, located along the Murtala Mohammed highway in Calabar.
Adebayo revealed that there was a cartel responsible for luring the girls and making them to swear to an oath of secrecy.
The oath involves a promise not to abscond no matter what or divulge information about the business.
“We got an intelligence report and swung into action. We have been on the matter for months. We discovered that the girls are mostly underage, mostly between the ages of 13, 15, and 19 years of age.
“We also know that they were brought in by a cartel, deeply involved in the business of trafficking and using the girls as commercial sex workers.
“The girls then bring returns to them at the beginning or close of the week, depending on their modus operandi.
“We have made some arrests including that of the owner of Papsi Place, a brothel that houses mostly underage girls who pay him N2,000 on week days and N4,000 at weekends as lodging fees.
“They operate from the hotel to clubs were we arrested them stark naked.
“We have contacted the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), while investigations are ongoing until all those involved in the illicit trade are arrested and charged to court,’’ he said.
While speaking to journalists, Adaeze Abam, one of the 43 girls, said she was brought to Calabar from Rivers under the guise of being given a sales girl job.
Abam however said she ended up becoming a commercial sex worker.
“I was brought to Calabar through a friend who told me that I will be given a job as a sales girl. She took me to a lady who I only know her name as Aunty Favour.
“They took me to a brothel at Atamu Street, Calabar South, from where I used to attend night clubs.
“I ran away and then they traced me and brought me back. They wanted to force me to take an oath but I objected and absconded again to meet my friend whom I came with to Calabar then.
“Aunty Favour came there with the boyfriend and some cult boys and beat me up, and told me that if I run again they will kill me or I will die.
“So, I usually go to her house to make returns to her every week. But I am not happy with the kind of work I am doing.
“It was never my intention to do this, because my friend did not tell me that it was this kind of job,’’ she lamented.
Mr Edem John, one of the 16 men in custody and owner of Papsi Place, denied any wrong doing.
He claimed that he had been warning the underage girls not to come to his place for commercial sex.
John however added that because of the trying times, he had no choice but to be involved in the business.
“I have been doing this business for about two years. They pay me N2,000 for the accommodation where they have sex with men.
“Although I have been warning the underage ones to stay away from my place, but they still come back, and I need to do my business because I have a family to feed,’’ he said.
The Nigerian army has raised the alarm over the “plot by some individuals to disrupt the May 29 inauguration.
In a statement on Saturday, Sagir Musa, army spokesman, said the unnamed persons are hobnobbing with foreigners to scuttle the country’s democratic process.
He said these individuals are also “determined to cause mischief and exacerbate the security situation” in Nigeria in particular and West African sub-region.
Musa said the army gathered that those involved are making concerted efforts to further induce Boko Haram insurgents and bandits with funds and other logistic supports.
The statement read: “Their body language and unguarded utterances seems to be in tandem with above and imply tacit support for the criminals. For example, credible source has shown that some individuals are hobnobbing with Boko Haram terrorists, while others are deliberately churning falsehood against the security agencies with a view to set the military against the people and the government.
“They are also demoralising troops and security agencies through false accusations and fake news.Therefore, it has become necessary to inform the public and warn such persons and groups to desist as the consequences of their actions would be calamitous to themselves and our great country.
“Some of these mischievous elements thought that we would not have a safe and successful general elections but were proved wrong, hence they want to derail the scheduled handing over later this month and to scuttle the democratic process in the country.”
He said the army remains loyal to Nigeria’s constitution and “we are determined more than ever before, to continue to uphold the constitution and defend the territorial integrity of this nation from both external and internal aggression.
“Nigeria is a sovereign country with clearly established judicial system, therefore all aggrieved persons and groups should take advantage of that and resolve differences amicably.”