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Father in court for sexually assaulting daughter

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An auto-mechanic, Okoro Sunday, was on Monday arraigned before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Lagos, for sexually assaulting his 14-year-old daughter.

However, Sunday, 40, has pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge of indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault and assault.

The prosecution led by Miss I. Solarin, a State Counsel told the court that Okoro committed the offence on March 27, 2017 at their residence at No. 194, Agege Motor Road, Mushin, Lagos.

“The defendant accosted and grabbed his daughter while she was naked and having her bath in the bathroom of their home.

“On another occasion, the defendant crept into his daughter’s room while she was asleep and lifted up her dress; the child woke up and raised an alarm, alerting her mother, Ngozi.

“Ngozi confronted Okoro, her husband and in the ensuing fracas, he assaulted her with a pestle used for pounding yam, which caused a deep gash on Ngozi’s forehead and a broken left arm,” Solarin said.

The prosecution said the offence violated Sections 135(1), 172 and 263(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

Justice Sybil Nwaka adjourned the case till Feb. 14, for trial. (NAN)

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Metro and Crime

Sex without consent is rape, says a new law

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A new Swedish law set to change the way rape and other sexual crimes are prosecuted has been promulgated.

It is the first law in the country that acknowledges that sex without explicit consent is rape.

It is a move lawmakers say is “based on the obvious.”

With the passage of the law, Sweden became the 10th country in Western Europe to recognise non-consensual sex as rape.

Others are Iceland, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Belgium, and Germany.

While Finland and Denmark are also considering similar proposals, Norway’s Parliament rejected similar changes to its own laws in April.

On Wednesday, the Swedish Parliament passed the law requiring explicit consent — verbal or physical — from participants before they engage in a sexual act.

Under previous laws, prosecutors had to show that there had been violence, a threat of violence or the exploitation of a victim in a vulnerable state to establish rape.

Beginning on July 1, when the new law comes into effect, a prosecutor will need to simply show that explicit consent was never given.

While some argue that the law will be problematic to enforce, others say the legislation is more about changing the culture.

“These laws are normative — they are expressing what is acceptable in society or not,” said Katarina Bergehed of the Swedish chapter of Amnesty International.

In a country where the number of reported sexual offenses is on the rise, lawmakers hope that the legislation will help change attitudes and curtail sexual assaults.

“This is a modern legislation based on modern relationships,” said Sweden’s justice minister, Morgan Johansson.

“It should sit in the spines of every boy and man in Sweden that this is how it is. That you have to make sure that the one that you intend to have sex with is a voluntary participant.”

The government said in a statement that the new legislation would make it possible to convict more people of sexual abuse than it is now. Lawmakers hope that will lead to an increase in reporting rape.

In 2017, only 60 percent of those who sought medical care at the rape centre at Sodersjukhuset Hospital in Stockholm filed a police report, said Dr. Anna Moller, the head of the centre.

Dr. Moller supports the new legislation and said it reflected the reality of rape.

“The expectation that there should be bruises and clear evidence of physical resistance is also something this legislation moves away from,” she said.

“So, we think it’s natural that only active participation should be interpreted as a yes. Passivity cannot be read as consent.”

Two new crimes — negligent rape and negligent sexual assault — have also been added to the criminal code, for instances when one party goes ahead with a sexual act without consent and where it should be obvious to the offender that consent was not given.

The maximum penalty for negligent rape is four years.

The new legislation is not without its critics. The Swedish Bar Association is against the change.

“We have been very critical because it’s not going to lead to more convictions,” Anne Ramberg, secretary general of the Swedish Bar Association said.

“The new legislation has not lowered the burden of proof, since the prosecutor has to prove that a crime was committed and they have to prove intent.”

The Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe convention, is the most comprehensive legal framework to tackle sexual violence against women and girls and obliges signatories to ban all non-consensual sexual acts.

A majority of European states that have signed on to the convention, however, have yet to amend their definitions of rape.

The biggest impact of the new Swedish law might be a change in the country’s mind-set about what constitutes rape, but it could also lead to more attackers being prosecuted, said Anna Blus, who monitors rape legislation in Europe for Amnesty International in London.

“In an ideal world, this will lead to more prosecutions and fewer rapes,” said Ms. Blus. “This will take time and training.”

Part of the problem, Ms. Blus said, is that people still see rape as an attack carried out by a person who jumps out of the bushes and leaves signs of physical violence on a victim. In reality, the majority of rapes occur within relationships or are so-called date rapes.

“We need men to understand that if he is unsure, he should either ask or just not go there,” she said.

“We have a saying in Sweden: ‘If she is lying still, it is not her will.’”

According to Wikipedia, in Sweden, the penalty for rape is imprisonment for not less than four and not more than 10 years.

(NYT/DailySabbah)

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Metro and Crime

Boy drowns in a pond in Kano

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Auwalu Ibrahim, 18, was reportedly drowned while taking his bath in a pond at Kwanar Ungogo in Kano metropolis, according to an official.

Mr Saidu Mohammed, the spokesman of the Kano State Fire Service, made the disclosure during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Thursday.

Mohammed said the incident happened on Wednesday evening when the deceased went to take his bath with his two younger brothers due to the hot weather in the city.

“We received a distress call on Wednesday evening from one Ashimu about 5:40 p.m. that a body was found floating on a pond.

‘‘On receiving the information, we quickly sent our rescue team and a vehicle to the scene at about 5:52 p.m.,’’ he said.
Mohammed said the deceased’s two brothers thereafter rushed home to inform their relatives of what happened.

‘‘Ibrahim was rescued unconscious and later confirmed dead and his corpse was later handed to Sgt. Nasiru Mohammed, at Kurna Police Division,’’ he said.

The spokesman advised members of the public to stop bathing in ponds, especially individuals who cannot swim.(NAN)

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Metro and Crime

Ogun: Truck accidents account for 129 deaths in 2017- FRSC

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Mr Clement Oladele, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ogun State Chapter, on Thursday said 129 deaths were recorded through truck accidents in the state in 2017.

Oladele disclosed this at a safety programme organised by “Temidayo Ogan Child Safety and Support Foundation,’’ an NGO, for schools in Abeokuta.

The topic of the debate is, “Road Safety Education More Effective Than Road Safety Enforcement.”

He noted that the command observed that 129 (or 61.4 per cent) out of the 210 traffic deaths recorded in 2017 involved trucks and articulated vehicles.

Oladele also said that the command had step up enforcement against route violation, failure to cover unstable materials, use of sub-standard tyres, drunk driving and other traffic offences common with truck and articulated vehicles.

He said the command was collaborating with Ogun State Branch of Truck Owners Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Road Transport Workers (NARTW) to educate drivers on traffic regulations.

“We are trying to reduce the dangers these trucks and articulated vehicles pose to road users, especially children going or returning from school,’’ he said.

According to him, early in 2017, the FRSC decided to improve its youth safety education by increasing its visits to primary and secondary schools in the state.

“The aim was to educate pupils and students on how to use the road safely.

“Our efforts have yielded fruits but with some sad occurrences; some of us will recall the ugly incident of February 24 where a truck crushed a Primary School pupil,” he said.

Oladele noted that the collaboration was not to underscore either road safety enforcement or road safety education, but to raise awareness of teachers and students to be road safety conscious.

He commended the NGO for its efforts over the years in promoting the safety of the Nigerian child, adding that the debate was the maiden edition and would be expanded in subsequent years.

Earlier, Mrs Temidayo Ogan, the Foundation’s Executive Director, said the programme was a special Children’s Day project that would promote global road safety and the United Nation’s SDG’s agenda 2030.

She explained that the event would now be yearly to mark Children’s day anniversary in Nigeria and promote population health in the country.

“The project included road safety awareness among school children, mental health safety awareness, public speaking skills, research and display of skills.

She said recent statistics by the WHO shows that approximately 1.25million people including women and children are killed by road clashes each year. (NAN)

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