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SARS Men Tortured Me Till My Two Months Pregnancy Aborted – Nigerian Schoolteacher

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A Nigerian school teacher, Obiechina Ndubuisi, on Saturday, told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters how men of the now-disbanded rogue police unit – Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) – arrested and tortured her till she lost her two months pregnancy.

Mrs Ndubuisi said the incident happened in 2017, adding that the SARS personnel had arrested her on a bogus allegation of being a thief and a kidnapper.

Mrs Ndubuisi identified some of her torturers as “Phillip Rilwan, Christian and Haruna Idowu”. She said her ordeal at the hands of the trio lasted 22 days.

She said men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) also stole her husband’s N50,000 and compelled them to cough up N400,000 as bail, before they were freed.

She told the panel that the couple sued the Police at the Federal High Court in Lagos and won.

Justice Mohammed Idris ordered the Police to pay them N2million as compensation.

They also won on appeal but the Police refused to comply.

She said, “On June 1, 2017, I received a text message from an unknown number that I had a parcel from DHL. A caller using different numbers asked for my home or office address and I gave him my school address upon my husband’s advice.

“The following day, I saw a black jeep with huge men inside it. One of them was in a DHL uniform. Immediately, they approached me, they started beating me. They said I should enter inside. They said I was a thief, an armed robber. The one in the DHL uniform removed it. My HM (headmistress) was peeping at us. I said let me go and tell her. They said no.

“I said my kid is there, they said no, that I should follow them, that my kid would die there.

“My HM came to the gate; they pointed a gun at me. She asked what was going on. They said, ‘This woman is a thief, a kidnapper. She must follow us and go. They said they were Police, SARS’.

“They pushed me inside the car and moved. The men were slapping, beating me. I was two months pregnant. I started vomiting. That’s when they found out I was pregnant. But they kept torturing me. I told them I did not know the suspect.

“They took me to their office at Ikeja. They took me to a shrine. They hanged me, beat me. They said they would force my baby out of me. They said I must produce the person or die there.”

Continuing she said, “At 3 pm, they brought me out I said they should allow me to call my husband so that he would know where I was, I also told them that I have a 5-year-old child in a school that I need to call someone to take the child home, they refused.

“Later I was allowed to talk to my husband, but the phone was on the loudspeaker, it was one of the SARS men, Christian that put the phone on speaker, my husband said he had looked for me everywhere, that the proprietress told him that some policemen arrested me.

“When my husband came to area F, Keeps field, they started beating him and put a tyre on his neck, and said that they will kill him like others that he is a thief. They hit my husband’s head with the butt of a gun  and also hit his head with a stone, I was urinating on my body when all the torture was going on.

“Around 7 pm, they took us to Federal SARS at Ikeja and then gave my husband his phone so he called our pastor and I was also allowed to call a co-teacher friend to help me take care of the child, they said the child should die there. We spent three weeks in the cell under open roof and rain was beating us, we slept on the floor and as a pregnant woman, I didn’t eat anything, at night they would come and take me upstairs on interrogation, because of the stress and torture, I lost the two months pregnancy.”

“I got pregnant again the second time after we were released so on Sunday, while we were preparing to go to Church, they came again to arrest my husband and Philip Rieninwa, said that the order was from Abba Kyari, I pleaded with them to allow my husband dress up because he was on boxers, but they refused and took him away.

“When I couldn’t get through to my husband after one week, then I contacted our lawyer and he said it is getting out of hand so he got an order from the Federal High court that he should be released immediately, and he then wrote to SARS, because of the stress and trauma that I went through, I lost the second pregnancy again.

“We were awarded the sum of N 2million, by the federal High court because of the brutality and trauma that SARS caused us, but up till now, we have not been given the compensation, we also appealed the judgement but the appeal court dismissed it, nothing has happened since then.

“SARS, also took the N50,000, that my husband brought to the place, we bailed ourselves with N400,000”.

Panel chair, Judge emeritus Doris Okuwobi, adjourned sitting to enable the mentioned operatives an opportunity to appear and respond to the allegations.

The Obiechinas’ testimony was the first of four petitions for the third day of sitting since the Lagos State Government set up the nine-member panel on October 15, following weeks of near nationwide #EndSARS protests.

The panel sitting is ongoing.

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Private Sector Key To Realising Sustainability Agenda In Africa – UN

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The United Nation Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed is asking African governments to leverage capital, technology, and manpower from industry to hasten realisation of sustainability agenda and pandemic recovery in the continent.

She made this call on Thursday during a virtual summit to discuss the role of business in the attainment of key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) like poverty eradication, health, and gender parity in Africa.

Mohammed, in her remarks, emphasised that targeted investments from Africa’s indigenous businesses are required to catalyse inclusive growth in the continent amid COVID-19 linked economic shocks.

“The private sector in Africa should seize the opportunity to invest sustainably and create a peaceful, prosperous continent that is also resilient to the shocks triggered by the pandemic,” said Mohamed.

More than 2,000 delegates including policymakers, donors, and grassroots campaigners participated in the day-long virtual summit dubbed “Uniting Business for the Africa We Want: Decade of Action and Opportunities”.

The summit that was organised by the UN Global Compact in collaboration with local private sector networks in Africa, discussed market-led interventions that can revitalise the sustainability agenda in the continent.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General said that Africa requires private sector investments to address chronic underdevelopment, inequality, youth unemployment, and the public health crisis created by COVID-19.

“The business sector should be on the frontline of efforts to re-energise African economies and enhance their resilience to the pandemic by tapping into innovations,” said Mohammed.

She said that robust policies should be enacted to foster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and tackle Africa’s gaping youth unemployment.

Hanna Tetteh, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to the AU said that businesses should embrace sustainability principles across their key operations in order to strengthen the response to the climate crisis, pandemics, and civil disruptions in Africa.

“We should utilise the energy, innovation, and creativity of African entrepreneurs to boost recovery from the pandemic, create decent jobs for the youth and strengthen cohesion,” said Tetteh.

Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director of UN Global Compact, on her part pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a reawakening among African businesses on the need to invest in programmes that transform local communities.

“African businesses have been working hand in hand with governments to help defeat the pandemic by providing communities with sanitizers, clean water, and protective gear,” said Ojiambo.

“These businesses are providing local solutions to the challenge of poverty, hunger, lack of clean water, and disease.

“Those actions have ensured the continent is closer to realising the UN 2030 goals and Agenda 2063,” she added.

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UK Sends Troops To Mali On Peacekeeping

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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sent the first of 300 British troops to Mali to join the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and bolster the organisation’s peacekeeping in the West African country.

The first of the British troops have already arrived in Mali, with the rest due to follow within a week.

The UK’s defence ministry says the force will join 14,000 peacekeepers from 50 nations, to protect Mali’s population from growing Islamist violence.

The British troops will provide MINUSMA with a dedicated long-range ground reconnaissance capability that has been lacking since soldiers from the Dutch 11 Air Mobile Brigade completed their last patrol in April 2019.

Most of the British troops are drawn from the Light Dragoons and Anglian Regiments who will be supported by a detachment from 32 Regiment Royal Artillery, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) unit.

More than 5,000 French troops have underpinned the operation, but President Emmanuel Macron is under pressure to reduce his forces.

The mission to the Sahel region of Africa has been described as the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping deployment.

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Ethiopia, UN Strike Deal for Unimpeded Humanitarian Access To Tigray

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The United Nation on Friday announced that an agreement has been reached with the Ethiopian Government to allow “unimpeded, sustained and secure access” for humanitarian supplies to reach those in need across areas now under its control in Tigray.

The UN Headquarters in New York confirmed the details of the deal through its spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

Dujarric said that the safe passage of aid supplies and staff also extends to the Ethiopian regions of Amhara and Afar, bordering Tigray, where fighting between federal and regional forces, has impacted around six million people during the past month.

A UN statement said until now, no supplies have been allowed into the conflict zone, which has displaced thousands, many across the border into Sudan.

UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) spokesperson based in Nairobi, Saviano Abreu, said earlier that the first mission to carry out a needs assessment would begin on Wednesday.

He added that the UN was committed to engaging with “all parties to the conflict” and ensuring that aid was distributed “strictly based on needs”.

Dujarric said that all aid distribution would be carried out “in compliance with the globally-agreed principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality. This includes working to ensure that people impacted by the conflict are assisted without distinction of any kind other than the urgency of their needs”.

Many Ethiopians have also been internally displaced from Tigray, seeking refuge in Afar and Amhara, and the UN needs assessment would aim to reach those affected by the conflict, added Mr. Dujarric.

On Monday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) appealed to Ethiopia for urgent access to assist around 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray camps, who it was estimated had essentially run out of food.

Spokesperson in Geneva, Babar Baloch, said concerns were growing “by the hour, with hunger and malnutrition a real danger”.

Communications to the Tigray region continue to be severed, along with transportation routes, and the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has reportedly rejected dialogue with Tigray’s regional leaders who are said to be on the run, after the regional capital was entered by federal forces last weekend.

The UN estimates that some two million are now in need of assistance in and around Tigray and some one million have been displaced by the fighting, including more than 45,000 who have fled across the border into Sudan.

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