Friday, September 18, 2020

Nigerian state says rapists will face surgical castration

The governor of Nigeria's Kaduna state has signed a law saying men convicted of rape will face surgical castration, and anyone raping a child under age 14 will face the death penalty.

Gov. Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai said the "drastic penalties are required to help further protect children from a serious crime."

Reported cases of rape in Nigeria have risen dramatically during the months of coronavirus restrictions. Women's groups have called for tougher action against rapists, including the death penalty.

Kaduna state's new law is the strictest against rape in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

The state's newly amended penal code also says a person convicted of raping someone over age 14 will face life imprisonment.

The previous law carried a maximum penalty of 21 years imprisonment for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment for the rape of a child.

A woman convicted of rape of a child under 14 faces the removal of her fallopian tubes.

By Sam Olukoya


Related stories: 15 year old child bride acquitted for murdering 35 year old husband

Calls for law against female genital mutilation to be introduced in Nigeria 

2 year old boy abandoned by family for superstitious beliefs rescued by foreign aid worker



Thursday, September 17, 2020

Jihadists kill 11 villagers in northeast Nigeria

Jihadists aligned to the Islamic State have killed 11 villagers in two separate attacks in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state, militia leaders said Wednesday.

Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in several pickup trucks opened fire on Wasaram, 90 kilometres (55 miles) from regional capital Maiduguri on Tuesday, killing eight villagers and injuring 20, they said.

Three villagers were also killed in a separate attack in Auno earlier that day.

“We recovered 11 bodies from the two attacks which occurred yesterday in Kaga district,” militia leader Ibrahim Liman told AFP.

The insurgents had accused the villagers of alerting troops about their movement on their way to rob traders in the nearby town of Ngamdu, he said.

Soldiers intercepted the jihadists and engaged them in a gun battle, forcing them to retreat, said militiaman Umar Ari, who gave the same death toll.

“They (ISWAP) attacked the village on their way back, accusing residents of informing soldiers about their movement to rob local traders at the weekly market”, Ari told AFP.

Earlier on Tuesday, ISWAP fighters slaughtered three farmers that they seized as they worked on their fields outside Auno village, 65 kilometres away, the militia leaders added.

ISWAP, which split from Boko Haram in 2016 and initially focused on attacking the military, has increasingly been targeting civilians, in particular abducting and killing motorists at bogus checkpoints on highways.

Meanwhile, eight people were injured late Tuesday when gunmen from a rival Boko Haram faction ambushed a civilian convoy under military escort outside the town of Banki near the border with Cameroon, security sources told AFP.

“Four of the victims were taken to a hospital in Mora on the Cameroonian side because of the severity of their injuries,” said a security source, who asked not to be identified.

The decade-old jihadist insurgency in mainly-Muslim northern Nigeria has claimed 36,000 lives and forced two million others to flee their homes.

The conflict has spilled over to Cameroon, Chad and Niger, prompting a regional military force to be formed to fight off the insurgents.


Unicef condemns jailing of 13 year old for 10 years Nigeria for 'blasphemy'

The UN children's agency Unicef has called on the Nigerian authorities to urgently review an Islamic court's decision to sentence a 13-year-old boy to 10 years in prison for blasphemy.
The boy was convicted in August of making uncomplimentary remarks about God during an argument with a friend in northern Kano state.
Kano is one of 12 Nigerian states practising the Sharia legal system alongside the country's secular laws.
Muslims form the majority in the north.

The 13-year-old's sentencing "negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria - and by implication, Kano state - has signed on to", said Peter Hawkins, Unicef's representative in the West African state.
On 9 September, the boy's lawyer, Kola Alapinni, said he had filed an appeal against the judgement.
"This is a violation of the African Charter of the Rights And Welfare of a Child. A violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," he added.
He told the BBC that no date had been set for the appeal to be heard in court. 


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Video - Challenging conditions hamper Nigerian medal hopefuls

Nigeria para-athletes have put the disappointment of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics behind them and are now focused on showcasing their talent in Japan next year if everything goes according to plan. However, they are preparing for the Games under challenging conditions as CGTN's Deji Badmus reports.

Nigeria's petrol and power price rises upset business owners

Daniel Oyelesi, who runs a laundry business in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, is reeling from the double whammy of price rises for petrol and electricity imposed in recent weeks that he says will harm his two-year-old business.

Earlier this month Nigeria’s president said the increases, announced days apart in early September, were needed to bolster Africa’s biggest economy, which for years has been urged by multilateral lenders to remove costly fuel subsidies and change electricity tariffs, both of which held prices artificially low.

Before electricity price rises were implemented, Oyelesi - who works out of a cramped kiosk filled with piles of clothes, a washing machine, tumble dryer and ironing board - spent 20,000 naira ($52.63) on power each month. He said that sum was now likely to last two weeks.

“I won’t say I’m coping... it has not been easy for us,” said Oyelesi. He added that he feared losing customers if he raised his prices.

Ochuko Kosefe, a barber, also lamented price hikes that made him feel “sick”.

Sat behind a cash desk where he watches one of his two hairdressers cut the hair of a young boy, Kosefe said higher fuel costs meant he rationed the use of his diesel powered generator which, like many businesses in Nigeria, is used to make up for the patchy power supply provided by the national grid.

Nigeria’s economy contracted by 6.1% in the second quarter due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices. Africa’s top oil exporter relies on crude sales for 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Last month sources said a much-needed $1.5 billion World Bank loan was held up due to concerns over the implementation of reforms such as the fuel and electricity price changes.

But galloping inflation, which the central bank expects to rise to 14.15% by the end of the year, is increasing costs for businesses and their customers.

Oyelesi, whose words float above the constant hum of a washing machine and the din from the busy Abuja street outside, believes the future is bleak.

“If the government does not do something, we might be forced to quit the business,” he said.

($1 = 380.0000 naira)

By Abraham Achirga