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Ex-OAU Lecturer, Prof. Akindele in Sex for Marks Scandal Remanded in Prison

OAU Lecturer remanded in prison

Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, the former lecturer with Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), accused by her student, Monica Osagie, of demanding sex to pass her has been remanded in prison custody.

Akindele was arraigned on Monday by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission before Justice Maureen Onyetenu of a Federal High Court, Osogbo, on four counts bordering on alteration of age and demanding sex to pass his student.

A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo remanded Akindele in prison custody.

Akindele, pleaded not guilty to all the four counts pressed against him.

The charge reads: “That on 16th day of September, 2017 or thereabout, you corruptly asked for sexual benefits for yourself from one Monica Osagie for a favour that would be thereafter shown to her by upgrading her academic record from fail to pass, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 8 (1)a and 2 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission Act 2000.

“That you solicited sexual benefits from the victim on 16th of September, 2017 or thereabout for a favour to be given to you, the act contrary to and punishable under Section 18 (b) of the ICPC Act.

“That you deliberately concealed evidence, with the intent to remove parts of the conversation between you and the victim, contrary to Section 15 (1) and (2) of the ICPC Act.

“That you falsified your age by saying, under interrogation, that you were born on April 19, 1961, while in your personal file retrieved from OAU, you claimed you were born on April 19, 1959, an act contrary to and punishable under Section 25 of ICPC Acts, 2000.”

Addressing the court, the senior legal officer, ICPC, Kehinde Adetoye, said the prosecution was ready for definite hearing of the matter.

Defense counsel, Francis Omotoso, who appeared with two other lawyers, however, observed that the name of the counsel that signed the charge sheet of the case was not marked.

He said three names were listed, but the one that signed the charge sheet among the three was not marked.

Responding to the observation, Adetoye explained that Ebenezer Adenekan, the lead counsel for the ICPC, signed for other counsel involved in the matter.

Asked by the court if ready for definite hearing of the matter, the defense counsel, after initially declaring readiness for hearing, pleaded for more time to study the charge sheet.

He said the prosecution only served him 30 minutes before the sitting commenced.

Reacting to the claim, prosecution counsel, Ayantoye, said that for weeks, he made efforts to reach the defendant and serve him, adding that Akindele could not be reached through his mobile line.

Although the defense counsel made oral application for bail for the defendant, Justice Onyetenu insisted on an affidavit.

She subsequently adjourned the matter to Tuesday, November 27, 2018 for definite hearing and remanded Akindele in prison custody.

Source: Punch NG

WRAPA conducts Two-day Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Capacity Building Session for its Staff.

WRAPA MEAL training

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) conducted a 2-day capacity building session for all its staff on Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (MEAL). The capacity building session was in accordance with the organization’s resolve for institutional strengthening and capacity building of staff as highlighted and recommended by its organizational review process in 2015 and implementation of its Strategic Plan for achieving pre-set organizational outcomes in its Theory of Change. The capacity building session took place on the 17th and 18th of October, 2018 at the WRAPA Headquarters and was facilitated by Dr. Ejiro Otive-Igbuzor.

The two-day capacity building session dissected and spanned across different components of MEAL including; organizational structures with M&E Functions, human Capacity for M&E, partnerships for planning, coordinating and managing the M&E System, M&E frameworks/Logical Framework, M&E Work Plan and costs, communication, advocacy and culture for M&E, routine programme monitoring, surveys and surveillance, supporting national and sub-national databases with efficient reporting, supportive supervision and data auditing, evaluation, evaluation matrix and research, data dissemination and feedback for learning. All these were linked to the programmatic approaches and interventions of WRAPA and were geared at developing a WRAPA-wide MEAL system.

 

At the end of the two-day training, all staff had their knowledge on MEAL and its applications improved. All units of the organization have been empowered to integrate MEAL into its work This would further enhance the outcomes and impact of all WRAPA activities and interventions with measurable outcomes.

Domestic Violence, a No Respecter of Gender

Domestic Violence - a no-respecter of gender

Justifiably and rightly so, intimate partner violence (IPV) also referred to as spousal violence or more commonly as domestic violence now has society’s spotlight brightly beamed on it. More often, females, usually termed the “weaker sex”, (based on physical strength) are at the receiving end of this menace. The reasons for domestic violence are myriad but, whatever the reason in a particular scenario is, it remains condemnable and unacceptable.

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) firmly condemns the act of domestic violence. However, we recognize that some cultures, while not condoning it do not out rightly condemn it, which is wrong in all elements.  In some of these cultures when it becomes by their judgement, abused women are encouraged to give her partners the same treatment in a tit for tat manner. But then, do two wrongs ever make a right?

Domestic violence includes acts of physical abuse, sexual abuse, intimidation, controlling behaviours and emotional or psychological abuse. Controlling behaviours include isolating the individual from family and friends, monitoring their movements and restricting access to financial resources, employment, education or medical care.

While the majority of culprits in domestic violence cases are males, we must also admit that an increasing number of males are steadily finding themselves at the receiving end of domestic violence. Most of these cases of men being victims of domestic violence arise from women reciprocating violent treatment. This is not the best way to handle domestic violence, we therefore urge the general public to speak-up against and end domestic violence and not reciprocate violence. We advocate for a speak-up culture against domestic violence irrespective of the gender at the receiving end.

Credit(s): Dr. Emeka Nwolisa, www.thisislagos.ng 

Nigeria must Protect and Promote Women’s Participation in Politics, say UN Experts

Nigeria must protect & promote women's participation in politics

GENEVA (22 October 2018) – UN human rights experts are urging Nigeria to take immediate steps to remedy deliberate attempts to exclude women candidates from recent party primary elections for seats in state and national legislatures.

Reports of irregularities in primaries in states around Nigeria include reports of party and election officials excluding women candidates from candidate lists, denying them access to essential information regarding the election, and cancelling and rescheduling primaries, allegedly with the sole purpose of excluding women candidates.

“We call on the Nigerian authorities to fully investigate these allegations and to ensure that women candidates who have been unfairly or illegally excluded are given access to appropriate remedies,” the experts said. “We also urge the authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure that such irregularities are not present in the next phase of elections.”

There have also been reports of widespread intimidation, blackmail and violent attacks against women candidates and their supporters. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of violence and intimidation to try to keep women out of politics,” the experts said. “Perpetrators of such violence must be brought to justice.”

The experts recognized that Nigeria’s National Gender Policy contains a provision calling for measures to ensure that women fill 35 percent of elective and appointive political posts, but deplored that such measures had not been put into actual practice.

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) is firm on its stance in advancing the rights of women in all spheres on life including politics and other areas of leadership and therefore condemns the use of violence and intimidation or any means to shortchange or keep women out of politics. WRAPA through its coordination of the Gender Affirmative Action (GAA) and the Gender Technical Unit (GTU) has been and would keep working to ensure equal representation of women in politics.

“Ensuring women’s full and equal participation in politics and in public life is required by international human rights law. What is more, it is essential for women’s equality in all spheres of life, for making certain that their perspective is represented in law and in policy, and for achieving true democracy for all,” the experts said. The experts are in contact with Nigerian authorities about this case. WRAPA through its coordination of the Gender and Accountability Project would work to bring these issues of marginalization and corruption to light and chart a way forward in ensuring equal representation for Nigerian women in politics.

WRAPA Supports Abuja International Photo Festival 2018

WRAPA supports Abuja Photo Festival 2018

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) proudly supported the second edition of the Abuja International Photo Festival to create a week-long of empowerment, learning and fun. Photographers and aspiring photographers across Africa converged at the Exhibition Pavilion in Garki, Abuja for the Abuja International Photo Festival 2018. The event, which began on the 15th of October and ended on the 20th of October featured town hall sessions, photography masterclasses, photo exhibitions, photo walks, dance, music and more.

If there’s one thing photographers and those aspiring to be shouldn’t have missed at the Photo Festival, it’s the masterclasses. These classes focused on how to build a successful photography career.

The Abuja International Photo Festival is an annual gathering of photographers from across Africa for synergy, knowledge sharing and exploration of the multi-dimensional perspectives of the art and business of photography in a bid to its promotion as a social good. The theme of this year’s festival was Photography for Socio-economic Development, bearing in mind that there is no real sustainable development without the development of women, this year’s festival had a stronger focus on photography for women. Photography has been perceived as a male career, hence the male domination in the field. This year’s festival was speaking to the empowerment of women with photography skills to create self-dependency and sustainability thereby reducing the chances of abuse against women, hence, the support and active participation of WRAPA at the event.

The Abuja International Photo Festival 2018, featured a special event tagged Sisters’ Art, which was entirely sponsored by WRAPA, the event was aimed at bridging the gap that exists in seeing photography as a male dominated industry. The sisters’ art was organized to inspire and equip females including the “girl child” to explore her creativity in that craft and also to learn how to use the skill acquired to better tell her story as female. Female achievers in the creative/photography and development industry were present to share their thoughts and experiences as an inspiration to the upcoming sisters. The female photographers and aspiring were also given step-by-step guides on how to kick-start and sustain a successful photography venture which spanned across different sectors of photography.

As a result of this intervention by WRAPA through the Abuja Int’l Photo Festival 2018, Over six hundred (600) participants of the festival are now aware and committed to the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) and its mandate for the promotion of women’s rights and protection of women from all forms of violence and repugnant practices. Over one hundred (100) female photographers and female aspiring photographers were trained on the art, science and business of photography with twelve (12) masterclasses on photography. The Sister’s Art equipped over thirty (30) females with strategic tips on the business of photography for their self-sustainability, thereby reducing the chances of GBV occurrence. Platforms for collaboration and mentorship for these female photographers were also established as a result of this intervention.

There was entertainment like dance, music, games and comedy. If you love photography and its impact as a tool for socio-economic development and missed this year’s event, please kindly plan for next year..

Gender & Accountability Project (GAP-C): Voice of Women FM 91.7 Amplifying Voices in the Demand for Accountability in Nigeria

The Voice of Women FM, popularly known as WFM 91.7, the official media partners of the Gender and Accountability Project made industrious use of their wide media outreach to raise the decibel of the voices in demand for accountability in Nigeria. Throughout the months of August, September and most notably in October, the Voice of Women FM has constantly been in the broadcast media space with a program tagged “The Woman Agenda” which is aimed at sensitizing the public on corruption as it affects women, and to demand accountability in Nigeria. These activities were carried out in line with the organization’s mandates and its involvement in the implementation of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C).

The Voice of Women FM, through The Woman Agenda was able to enlighten target audience on what corruption means to women, and the scope of corruption in Nigeria. Resource persons such as ICPC representatives were invited to the program to enlighten the audience on the subject matter, and provide linkages through telephone hot-lines for citizens to report all incidences, and also follow up on persecution.

The Woman Agenda also dissected corruption as abuse of trust as it narrowed into the the angle of public and private sector service delivery. It focused on how abuse of trust in accessing healthcare, education, etc. as well as consumer rights issues can be addressed. Target audience were informed on some their rights and the need to stand up for them. Other topics such as marginalization of women in politics and negligence in medicine and health care for women were also discussed on The Woman Agenda.

In addition to constant engagement in the broadcast media space by The Voice of Women FM, there were other engagements by the organization on Social Media for The Woman Agenda.

Gender & Accountability Project: Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) conducts One-day Interface with Stakeholders and two-day Training of Women in Political Parties on Gender and Accountability

NWTF trains women in political parties

The Nigeria Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF) carried out an interface with relevant stakeholders and implemented a training of women in political parties on Gender and Accountability in Oyo and Kano States. These activities were carried out in line with the organization’s mandates and its implementation of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C)..

The one-day stakeholder interface took place at Ni’imah Guest Palace Hotel, GRA, Kano State on the 17th of October, 2018 and Koltol Guest House, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State on the 31st October, 2018. The two-day training of women in political parties on Gender and Accountability took place at the Ni’mah Guest Palace, Hotel, GRA, Kano State on the 18th and 19th of October, 2018 and at Owu Crowns Hotel, Iwo Road, Ibadan – Oyo State on the 29th and 30th of October, 2018.

The aim of the stakeholder interface was to strengthen understanding among key stakeholders on the gendered impact of corruption and innovative actions being taken by women’s advocacy and civil society organizations to address and prevent corruption. While the aim of the two-day training of women in political parties is to enhance understanding and analysis of campaign promises as well as on how to engage in strong dialogue with their political parties.

Addressing the different impacts that corruption has on men and women requires a gender analysis of its effects as well as ensuring that women are adequately engaged in efforts to address and prevent corruption. Unless anti‐corruption initiatives are accompanied by a deliberate attempt to involve women, the gender‐specific effects of corruption are unlikely to be identified and addressed. Anti–corruption initiatives should therefore ensure that women are empowered to participate in the design, implementation, oversight and evaluation of policies and programmes that govern the distribution of resources and accesses to services, hence the dire need for these activities.

As a result of the of these trainings, more women committed to increase their engagement in anticorruption and accountability issues. The stakeholder interface also produced recommendations on how to mainstream gender into anti-corruption programmes and recommendations on making the implementation of national policies more gender responsive.

 

Gender & Accountability Project: Nigeria Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF) conducts a one-day Training for Campaign Finance Monitors

NWTF Training Gender and Accountability Project

The Nigeria Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF) conducted a one-day training for campaign finance monitors in line with its mandates and implementation of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C). This activity took place at Owu Crown Hotel, in the capital city of Oyo State, Ibadan on the 3rd of October, 2018.

The one-day training for campaign finance monitors was conducted to build capacity of mandated monitors to understand gender focused campaign finance, and the need to effectively track in the lead up to the 2019 elections. This is imperative to impact the essential skills and attitude to conduct scientific gender focused campaign finance tracking in Oyo state. There were 6 participants in attendance at this training, and they were drawn from different circles including the Academia, security, civil society and the media.

The training was facilitated by Wole Ojo, an expert on societal issues and Lois Chinedu of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF).

It is obvious that the ripple effects of corruption affects women more than men, hence the need to raise the voices of women in the demand for accountability and anti-corruption. Tracking campaign finance from a gender perspective is a relatively new field in Nigeria, and this has been necessitated by several years of research by the NWTF, where it was discovered that funding is a recurring hindrance to women’s participation in political process in the country. Although more women struggle to fundraise their campaign than men, there is no data showing evidencing this. Lack of data has also prevented the effective resource mobilization for female candidates, hence, the need for this training and ultimately tracking campaign funding from a gender perspective. Political parties with female candidates are the major targets. The gender focused campaign finance tracking will be examining:

  1. How many women emerged as candidates from the various political parties in the state.
  2. How parties disburse resources, and how candidates spend the funds disbursed.
  3. How data affect the general outcome of women participation in political process.

 

During the training, the monitors were urged to be unbiased and impartial in the administration of their duties as well as practice non-partisanship.

It was a very interactive and successful training session as all six (6) campaign finance monitors had their capacities built on the subject matter and are now better equipped to monitor campaign financing with a gender lens, and this would enhance democracy and development, promote issue based politics, curtail money laundering, curtail improper influence of money over policy outcomes, ensure openness, accountability and transparency, prevent abuse of SARs (State and Administrative Resources)

Gender & Accountability Project: Women’s Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) conducts Capacity Building sessions for Women at the Grassroots to Demand Accountability and Challenge Corruption

WARDC conducts training for women at the grass-root

The Women’s Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) conducted a two-day Capacity Building session for Women at the Grassroots to constructively demand Accountability and Challenge Corruption. The activities which took place on the 18th and 19th of October, 2018 in Aeron Suites, Osogbo, Osun State and on the 22nd and 23rd of October, 2018 in Abeokuta, Ogun State were in tandem with the organization’s implementation of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C), which is an intervention necessitated by the absence of female voices in the demand for accountability, and in the fight against corruption. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) who coordinates the Gender and Accountability Project Cohort (GAP-C) comprising seven (7) organizations. The project is a deliberate intention on the part of the funders, MacArthur Foundation to include the voices of women in the discourse.

 

Corruption is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as it reduces access to resources and hinders development, and it also deprives people of advancement opportunities. Corruption has been high on the governance reform agenda for decades as it constrains development and causes conflicts. Corruption affects everybody in the country most especially women, women’s disempowerment and their dependence on public service delivery mechanisms for access to essential services increases their vulnerability to the consequences of corruption-related service delivery deficits. Corruption disproportionately affects poor women because of their low levels of economic and political empowerment which constrains their ability to hold states accountable to deliver services. The WARDC’s mandate within the context of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C) is to strengthen women groups for institutionalizing anticorruption and accountability in Nigeria.

 

The implementation of a Capacity Building session for women especially at the grass root level to demand accountability, and challenge corruption, was embarked on to empower, these women on how to constructively demand accountability from the government. This capacity building session was informed by the fact that women at the grassroots have a high dependency on government services for survival, and lack economic and political leverage.  Challenging factors that contribute to this seemingly apathy is low level of education, lack of awareness of the patterns of corruption emanating from the deprivation of these services, as well as its impact. The capacity building was also pertinent to active engagement with the stakeholders, government parastatals and all other agencies and duty bearers involved in providing amenities to demand for demand for accountability, and also challenge corruption.

 

As a result of this two-day capacity building session, more women at the grass-root level of Osun and Ogun States have now increased their capacities to recognize and challenge corruption, and demand for accountability, which is anticipated to improve the living standards of these women. The stakeholders and representatives of government parastatals also had increased knowledge on the causal effects of poor service delivery and corruption, and better equipped to be intentionally put in measures to drive transparency and good governance.

WRAPA Participates in the MacArthur Foundation On Nigeria Grantees Meeting

WRAPA at MacArthur Fdn Grantees meeting 2018

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), participated in the MacArthur Foundation On Nigeria Grantees meeting, which took place on the 3rd of October, 2018 at Ibeto Hotel Abuja, Nigeria. The meeting was organized to increase the knowledge of grantees on the MacArthur Foundation’s new agenda and how the work of other grantees contributes to the success of the foundation’s mission in Nigeria.

Organizations notably in attendance were BudgIT, PACAC, PICA and Whistleblower Unit, The Cable Foundation, ICIR, SERAP, AFRICMIL, Al Habibiyyah Islamic Society, Lux Terra, Palace of Priests Assembly, Mambayya House, and other grantees of the MacArthur Foundation.

The meeting featured three (3) panel discussions, a legal presentation on guidelines for involvement in electoral process by grantees, presentation of two (2) very intriguing videos on ‘Education’ and ‘Criminal Justice’, and a key message from MacArthur Foundation Chicago to the On Nigeria Grantees.

The first (1st) panel discussion was on Government Anti-Corruption by Bolaji Owasonye – Executive Secretary, PACAC; Mohammed Dikwa – Coordinator PICA and Whistleblower Unit. This was followed by a second (2nd) panel discussion on Investigative Journalism and Amplification by Abiose Adelaja – The Cable Foundation; Rosemary Olufemi – ICIR; Timothy Adewale – SERAP; and Abdulaziz Abdulaziz – AFRICMIL. The third (3rd) panel discussion was an Update on the work of Faith-Based Organization Grantees by Rekiyah Momoh – Al Habibiyyah Islamic Society; Mike Utsaha – Lux Terra; Palace of Priests Assembly; Moses Aluaigba – Mambayya House. The three (3) sessions were moderated by Dr. Kole Shettima, Amina Salihu and Dayo Olaide, all form the MacArthur Foundation

The video on ‘Education’, presented by Civic Media Lab and BudgIT, focused on GJSS, Gombe State, a secondary school with only 3 classrooms, with very poor infrastructure. The video was advocating for the amendment of the UBE Act before 2020.

The video on ‘Criminal Justice’ presented by PRAI and LEDAP focused on the story of a man named Babagana who was wrongly charged with armed robbery, and locked up for 8 years without trial after which the prosecution could not produce witnesses. His rights were violated as he was brutalized and refused access to healthcare. The video advocated for the amendment of the Criminal Justice Act.

The Managing Director Programs of the MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, U.S.A, Stephanie Platz, during her address informed grantees of all the recent programmatic successes and plans of the Foundation, including the news that the current President of MacArthur Foundation is stepping down in 2019.

During the Legal Presentation on Guidelines for Involvement in Electoral Process by Grantees, the grantees present were reminded of the foundation’s policies on implementations of interventions around elections and transparency.

The MacArthur Foundation on Nigeria Grantees meeting was indeed a very insightful and successful meeting, all objectives necessitating the meeting were met, grantees were updated on the new agendas of the MacArthur Foundation and collaborations and linkages opportunities among grantees were harnessed for better increased success in interventions.

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