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Judges Criticise Met Police After Woman Wins Spy Cop Case

Judges

Judges criticise Met police after woman wins spy cop case

Police have been been severely criticised by judges who ruled that they grossly violated the human rights of a woman who was deceived into a long-term intimate relationship by an undercover officer.

The judges ruled overwhelmingly in favour of Kate Wilson, an environmental and social justice activist, who has pursued a decade-long campaign to uncover the truth.

In their landmark judgment on Thursday, the three judges in the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT) ruled that the Metropolitan police had violated Wilson’s human rights in five ways, including inflicting degrading treatment on her.

Mark Kennedy, an undercover officer who infiltrated leftwing groups for seven years, had a sexual relationship with Wilson lasting more than a year, without telling her that he was a police officer who had been sent to spy on her and the political groups she supported.

The judges ruled that senior officers in charge of Kennedy “either knew of the relationship, chose not to know of its existence, or were incompetent and negligent in not following up” clear and obvious signs.

In their 158-page ruling, they said the senior officers appeared to have a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” towards their spies who were deceiving women into sexual relationships. They said the managers probably had “a lack of interest” in protecting women’s human rights.

After the ruling, Wilson said: “The events in my case happened years ago. However, the failure of the police to protect women from sexual predators within their own ranks, and police attempts to criminalise protesters are both still very live issues today. The tribunal has gone some way towards recognising how deep the abuses run.”

Colin Boyd, the tribunal’s vice-president, and two other judges, said: “Were it not for [Wilson’s] tenacity and perseverance, often in the face of formidable difficulties, much of what this case has revealed would not have come to light.” She fought a large part of case herself as she could not afford lawyers.

The judges said she had uncovered a “formidable list” of human rights violations, adding that supervision of the covert operation was “fatally flawed”, could not be justified as necessary in a democratic society, and was characterised by “disturbing and lamentable failings at the most fundamental levels”.

Wilson is the first woman deceived by an undercover officer to take her case to the IPT, which examines allegations of abuses by the state. Other women have won compensation and apologies from the police after pursuing legal action in the civil courts.

Wilson had began a relationship with Kennedy in November 2003, shortly after he began his seven-year deployment spying on leftwing groups. Their relationship ended in February 2005.

She discovered his true identity in 2010 after he was unmasked by activists. He was one of 139 undercover police officers who have spied on more than 1,000 political groups since 1968.

Many deceived women into relationships while they were undercover. Kennedy had numerous relationships during his deployment, including one that lasted six years.

Police chiefs have claimed their undercover officers were not allowed to form sexual relationships with women they were spying on. The tribunal ruled that this claim was “materially undermined by the sheer frequency with which Kennedy (and other undercover officers ) did conduct sexual relationships without either questions being asked or action being taken by senior officers.

“We are driven to the conclusion that either senior officers were quite extraordinarily naïve, totally unquestioning, or chose to turn a blind eye to conduct which was, certainly in the case of Kennedy, useful to the operation.”

Wilson is to be awarded compensation at a hearing next year.

In a statement, the Metropolitan police and the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “We accept and recognise the gravity of all of the breaches of Ms Wilson’s human rights as found by the tribunal, and the Met and NPCC unreservedly apologise to Ms Wilson for the damage caused.”

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Bauchi pays N3.418bn in outstanding gratuities

The Bauchi State Pensions Board has announced that, from May 2019 to date, the state government has paid N3,418,288,11.68 in outstanding gratuities owed to retired civil servants.

The Chairman of the Board, Senator Bala Adamu Kariya, made the disclosure at the ongoing ministerial press briefing in Bauchi, held at the State Secretariat.

Although Senator Kariya did not specify the total gratuity backlog, he noted that it exceeds N20 billion.

He stated that since the inception of the current Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration in 2019, a total of 4,273 people have retired, and 677 have died while in service, out of 4,948 files processed.

“The Board processes the files of civil servants due for retirement. We are the custodians of the processed files of all state civil servants who have retired,” the chairman stated.

Senator Adamu, however, said that in order to avoid further accumulation of pension and gratuity liabilities, the state government intends to commence the implementation of the proposed contributory pension scheme on June 30, 2021.

“As a sign of commitment, His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, appointed a 20-member committee, including a staff member of Messrs Premium Pension Ltd for technical guidance under the chairmanship of Mr. Abdon Dalla Gin (Special Adviser on Civil Service Matters).”

“In line with the Terms of Reference to the Committee, a final report with a draft bill has been carefully produced, tapping from the 2004 Act, 2014 revised Act, and previous efforts of successive state administrations like the 2005 and 2017 draft bills, and was presented to His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, as appropriate.”

He recalled that Governor Bala Mohammed had presented the report to the State Executive Council for consideration and approval, following which a draft bill was forwarded to the State House of Assembly for further legislative process in line with the laid down constitutional procedure.

“After gathering the necessary stakeholders’ input, the State House of Assembly then ratified the draft and returned the same to the Executive Governor for assent. Consequently, on August 5, 2022, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, assented to the bill enacted by the State House of Assembly.”

“It was named the Bauchi State and Local Government Contributory Pension Scheme. The law also provided for the establishment of the Bauchi State and Local Government Contributory Pension Commission.”

“The state governor approved the constitution of another high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim, the Secretary to the State Government, to facilitate the full implementation process of the new scheme in the state.”

Kariya further explained that prior to this development, the state government appointed two firms of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), who have now engaged stakeholders in a massive sensitization, advocacy, and enlightenment of the scheme across the state.

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Two-storey building collapses in Abuja

A two-storey residential building in Phase 2, site 2, Kubwa Abuja has collapsed

The building collapsed on Saturday morning at about 7:00am.

It was learnt that the building was formerly a hotel, Al-Hilal, but was converted to a residential apartment.

It was gathered that several people are currently trapped in the rubble.

As at time of filing this report, emergency responders and security personnel were at the scene.

 

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Police to enforce e-CMR compliance from July 29

The Nigeria Police Force have given all motor users 14 days to register their vehicles with the newly-introduced digitalized Central Motor Registration (e-CMR), which will end on July 29, to begin the enforcement of its compliance in order to checkmate the rate of vehicle-related crimes and other offenses.

In a press release, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, informed that the move is part of the efforts of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, to enhance the security of lives and property and significantly boost the nation’s safety.

The release further stated that the exercise is an advanced form of helping security agencies, mostly the Police Force, in their investigations and operational activities to combat vehicle-related crimes, including terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other social vices.

It also stated that the introduction of the e-CMR digitalized system will help streamline the documentation and verification process for vehicle ownership and related transactions.

“Following the directives of the IGP, services such as change of ownership, change of license number, change of engine, and change of chassis/body would become seamless as the e-CMR system would ensure the validation of vehicle genuineness and ownership, enhancing the ability to track and recover stolen vehicles effectively, and preventing the purchase of stolen vehicles by innocent buyers.

“Prior to the enforcement itself, the IGP has ordered full publicity of the e-CMR and its enforcement to all members of the public, intimating them of the requirements, processes, and the enforcement procedures. Members of the public are urged to obtain the digitalized CMR certificate online at https://cmris.npf.gov.ng.

‘For further inquiries, individuals can contact the CMR Command Centre at FHQ Abuja (08117777666, 09169892000) and FHQ Annex Lagos (08117777555, 09169891000). Technical support is also available at cmftech@npfcmr.ng,” the release partly stated.

Following this new development, the Nigeria Police have enjoined members of the public to participate in the exercise by ensuring that all vehicle users comply with the new directive, maintaining that the initiative, which is in line with modern technology, remains a strategic approach to enhance public safety and national security.

ACP Adejobi further stated that the enforcement of the e-CMR is necessary to ensure a safer and more secure environment for vehicle ownership and to decimate the trend of vehicle theft by greatly reducing the possibility of selling stolen vehicles in the country.

“We therefore urge all vehicle owners and users to embrace and participate in this initiative promptly for optimum safety and security,” he stated.

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