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Anambra community suspends 80-year-old man for allegedly defiling minor

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The Umueri community in the Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State has suspended an 80-year-old man identified as Vincent Okoye for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old girl.

The monarch, Igwe Benneth Emeka, while addressing members of the All Nations Arise and Manifest Initiative, on Saturday, said the crime is a taboo in the community, which they don’t condone.

He said, “The man in question is a member of my cabinet, he is my financial secretary and immediately the matter was reported, we suspended him and he can never come back to the cabinet again.

“The matter has been taken to court and that shows that the community does not condone such crime. We have also given the girl scholarship to show our concern and protect her future. It could have been anybody’s child.

“I am advising parents, especially mothers, to be cautious and take responsibility for the safety and security of their children.”

The State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed that the suspect had been arrested and charged to court.

Also speaking, the Resident Prosecutor handling the matter, Inspector Richard Okoti, confirmed that the suspect was arraigned at Otuocha Chief Magistrates’ Court on April 29, where he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail on health grounds.

Okoti said the police, on Friday, submitted its compliance report and the court adjourned sine die.

However, Mrs Tessy Aniesi, President, ANAM Transformation Movement, expressed dissatisfaction as the matter was being adjourned indefinitely and urged the police to prosecute and ensure justice for the victim.

Aniesi said the case was brought to the organisation by the Chairperson of Umuada Umueri, Mrs Chinasa Madisife.

She said that the suspect, who was a contractor and a member of the Umueri royal cabinet, is a friend of the girl’s mother (Mrs Rose Onyenweife), a trader, and he usually sends the girl on errands.

Aniesi said  the alleged crime was reported at the Police Area Command, Otuocha Division, by the Umuada Umueri on April 26, and the perpetrator was arrested.

She said the girl was also taken to New Life Hospital, Umueri, where it was confirmed that she was defiled.

“The workers at the building site where the suspect is supervising said they noticed that each time the girl comes to run errands for the suspect, he takes her to a completed building at the site and lock the door.

“On April 26, they saw her come out of the building crying. They called her and she narrated that the suspect always has sex with her whenever her mother asks her to come run errands for him.

“The workers confronted the man and called the attention of the vigilante group, the Igwe and the Umuada of Umueri community, and eventually ANAM took up the matter.

“During interrogation, the girl said the suspect has been abusing her but she could not report the crime to her mother or anyone because the man threatened to kill her, “she said.

Aniesi said ANAM Transformation Movement would follow up the matter and mobilise support to ensure justice for the victim.

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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