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Dominic Raab confuses meaning of misogyny in BBC interview

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab confuses meaning of misogyny in BBC interview

Dominic Raab has rejected misogyny a hate crime in the wake of the Sarah Everard murder, but then appeared confused about its meaning as he suggested it could apply to abuse against either women or men

The justice secretary, who has said he is not a feminist and previously complained about the “raw deal” men are getting, said it was his “number one priority to make sure women feel confident in the justice system”.

However, pressed on BBC Breakfast about whether misogyny should be a hate crime, he appeared not to understand the term as he said “misogyny is absolutely wrong, whether it’s a man against a woman or a woman against a man”.

Misogyny is hatred aimed specifically against women, and some campaigners would like to see it criminalised.

Questioned about his confusion, Raab said: “What I meant was, if we are talking about things below the level of public order offences of harassment, intimidation, which are rightly criminalised – if we are talking about, effectively, insults with a sexist basis, I don’t think that criminalising those sorts of things will deal with the problem that we have got at the heart of the Sarah Everard case.”

He said the problem was with enforcement, rather than a lack of laws, supporting Boris Johnson’s views that a hate crime of misogyny was not necessary.

Raab also downplayed statistics that show less than 1.4% of alleged rapes are prosecuted, saying most crime data is examined at the point of charge.

“The conviction rate statistics are often, I’m afraid, rather skewed,” he said. “If you look at the normal way that people measure the conviction rate – as a proportion of the number of prosecutions that are launched – actually once you get to court, there is more or less around a 70% chance of conviction.

“The challenge we’ve got is the reporting of cases … through to the preparation of the file that goes to the CPS and then the decision to prosecute… the critical thing is getting the cases to trial with the evidence to secure that conviction.”

Asked about accusations that misogynistic attitudes are tolerated in policing, Raab said it was precisely why the government had ordered an inquiry into the circumstances of Sarah Everard’s murder by a serving police officer. He said some systemic changes would need to be put in place.

“I know many, many incredibly dedicated police officers, men and women, who are appalled by this and are determined to fix this problem. But we do need to look at culture in the police and the second phase of the review, the inquiry the home secretary announced, is target at that issue,” he said.

Speaking later on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Raab acknowledged that the long backlog of cases in the courts was due partly to cuts in the criminal justice system, adding that he hoped it could be cleared within six to 12 months.

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Over 100 houses submerged as flood traps Lagos residents

Hundreds of residents in Lagos were on Tuesday trapped after the early morning rain leaving scores of houses and cars submerged with occupants fleeing their homes for fear of drowning.

Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Fire Services, police and other stakeholders, rushed to the scene to prevent a stampede as the residents were already panicking.

It was learnt that the affected communities included Oke Ishagun, Isale Aboru, Ikola, Olubodun Majiyagbe-Ajayi, Makinde Street, Olokowo Street and Adeola Street.

Some of the affected areas were said to have been flooded after the rainfall on Sunday and the water was yet to dry up before Tuesday’s rain compounded the situation.

It was gathered that residents of ayobo axis were worse hit as a result of the volume of water channelled through the Marwa bridge which became flooded after the rain.

The bridge was constructed by then Military Administrator, Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) to take water from only 15 canals.

At the moment, information gathered revealed that the channel was receiving water from over 60 canals, thus overstretching its capacity by four times.

Residents lamented that the bridge was taking in more water than it was originally contracted to absorb, urging the government to upgrade the place so that it would accommodate more water thereby reducing the flood situation.

The over-flooded river ran into nearby business centres, destroying wares such as caskets, gates, doors, furniture, bricks and destroyed houses.

Confirming the incident, the Lagos Office Coordinator of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, said that 151 houses were affected by the flood, adding that there was no loss of lives or injury.

He said the emergency workers were able to hold the bridge and also organize the people for ease of evacuation, noting that while some of them were successfully moved from their submerged homes, others were still there, against advice.

Farinloye said 23 houses were affected at Oke Ishagun, 35 at Isale Aboru, 29 at Ikola, 15 at  Olubodun Majiyagbe-Ajayi, 12 at Makinde, 16 at Olokowo and 21 houses at Adeola.

He urged residents to prepare for the rainy season, noting that the incidents of Sunday and yesterday should serve as a pointer for what to expect this year.

“It is important to imbibe the culture of disaster risk reduction strategies in all spheres of our societal endeavours. We must begin adhering to safety measures against flood disasters.

“Thanks be to God that no life was lost and no one was injured. What we witnessed the most was the disruption of the normal lives of the people.

“NEMA is working with the appropriate state MDAs in amelioration of observations and findings from today’s incident and the state has promised to make sure no stone is unturned to make the state safer.

“The Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed, hereby appeals to Nigerians to start clearing their drainages of dirt and desilt them. Community Development Associations should live up to their responsibilities in coordinating the activities of neighbourhoods toward safer environments,

“Local Government Authorities must not spare the rods against corporate organisations blocking the drainages while people must be prosecuted for blockage of drainages, dumping of refuse in drainages as envisaged in environmental laws to save the society.

“The Director General expressed his support of the Lagos State Government’s bold decision after the 2023 rainy season by pulling down drainage obstructing structures across various parts of the state”.

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After notice of disconnection, Tinubu orders payment of Aso Villa’s outstanding electricity bill

President Bola Tinubu has directed immediate payment of the electricity bill utilised by the State House to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

Recall that on Monday, the AEDC threatened to disconnect the electricity supply in the State House, the Central Bank and EFCC office, amongst 83 other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over debt of N47.1billion.

The disco gave the MDAs ten days to comply and defray their debts or risk blackout from February 28, 2024.

In a statement on Tuesday, the presidential Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga said the President’s directive followed the reconciliation of accounts between the State House Management and AEDC.

The Presidency faulted AEDC’s near N1 billion claim, saying the Presidential Villa’s outstanding bill stood at N342,352,217.46.

“Contrary to the AEDC’s initial claim of N923 million debt in a paid advertorial in newspapers, the State House’s outstanding bill is N342,352,217.46, according to a letter by the management of AEDC to the State House Permanent Secretary, dated 14th February  2024.

“Having reconciled the position to the satisfaction of both parties, the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, has given assurance that the debt would be paid to AEDC before the end of this week.

“Following the example of the Presidency, the Chief of Staff also urged other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to reconcile their accounts with AEDC and pay their electricity bills”, the statement said.

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Police arraign pastor for failing to produce 5 suspects he stands as surety for in court

The Lagos police command has arraigned a 57-year old pastor, Jude Ojo before an Ogba magistrate court, Ikeja, Lagos, for failing to produce the five suspects for whom he stood as surety.

The five suspects including the dethroned traditional ruler of Otumara community, Ladi Arowojolu, Shola Adegun, and three others.

The three were investigated by the Lagos State police command, CP squad led by ASP Jagunno on allegations bordering on illegal possession of firearm, assault and disruption of public peace and threat to life.

The suspects were released on bail to the clergyman, Ojo on the understanding that he would produce them in court whenever called upon for prosecution, which he failed to comply with.

Consequence to the suspects’ evasion of justice, the police arraigned Ojo before Ogba magistrate court on two-count charges of perversion of Justice and conspiracy.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecutor, Inspector John Iveredem told the court that the defendant on January 2, 2024, at the Lagos State police command, promised to produce the suspects but failed and as a result prevented the police from carrying out their duties.

Iveredem argued that Ojo presented himself to the command as a clergyman and that explained the reason he was accorded the honour of standing as a surety for the five suspects on the ground that he was going to produce them for prosecution.

He added that one of the charges proffered against one of the suspects, Shola Adegun, was illegal possession of firearm while appealing to the Honourable Court for stringent conditions of bail for failing to produce the suspects.

Counsel to the defendant, M. A. Alo argued that the defendant lived to his calling as a clergyman by presenting himself to the state command for arraignment.

Ruling on the matter, Magistrate Ann of Court 19, Ilori court house, Ogba, Lagos, admitted the surety to bail in the sum of N300,000 with two sureties both of whom must be clergymen with valid identity cards.

She added that they must be gainfully employed, with evidence of tax payment, LASRRA, and must be residents within the court jurisdiction.

The IPO of the case, Inspector Monday Alegbe handed over the defendant to officials of the Nigerian Correctional Centre to be remanded until the perfection of his bail conditions.

She adjourned further hearing to March 19.

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