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Make Tackling Violence Against Women A Police Priority

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violence against women

Make tackling violence against women a police priority, says victims tsar

Police forces should be compelled to deal with violence against women and girls with the same level of resources, expertise and urgency as terrorism or organised crime, the victims commissioner for England and Wales has said.

After Sarah Everard’s killer was given a full-life sentence on Thursday, campaigners said there was increasing frustration and the time for action was now.

Vera Baird said violence against women and girls should be made a strategic policing requirement to give the issue central direction and extra resources, particularly for specialist officers, so there was “no doubt what obligations the police have towards victims”.

She said: “There are many unanswered questions about how violence against women and girls is policed and I think if we have this clear requirement it sends a clear message that tackling it is a priority.”

Baird said requirements on agencies to fully investigate and take action in cases of violence against women could be included in the victims bill, which the Guardian understands was ready to be consulted on before the new justice secretary, Dominic Raab, took up his post.

“​​Without that it will just muddle on, being ignored as if it were a low-level crime,” she said. “We have seen in this awful case that what is seen as low-level offending against women and girls can mark out a predatory attitude to them which can speedily escalate if not tackled.”

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, led calls for an inquiry into how Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan police officer who had been reported for indecent exposure on three occasions, “slipped through the cracks”. “[We] have to understand why that happened, and whether there were any assumptions made when his previous wrongdoing was looked at,” he said.

The Labour MP Yvette Cooper went further, calling for a full independent investigation into violence against women and girls within the police service.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, said there were “serious questions that need to be answered by the Metropolitan police” while giving her backing to the Met commissioner, Cressida Dick.

The director of the Good Law Project, Jolyon Maugham, called for a public inquiry into “how cultural failings by the police and the broader criminal justice system contribute to the murder or rape of tens of thousands of women a year”. He said: “Enough really is enough. How many more women must die?”

Baird’s call echoes the recommendation of a damning root-and-branch examination by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which found “problems, unevenness and inconsistencies” in dealing with the “epidemic” of violence against female victims in the UK.

It was published as news emerged that Sabina Nessa, a primary school teacher, had been found dead in a park close to her south London home. A man has appeared in court accused of her murder.

According to the Counting Dead Women project, run by Karen Ingala Smith, 80 women were killed between the deaths of Everard in March and Nessa on 17 September.

Campaigners in the sector said there was a growing sense of anger and frustration that promises of change were not resulting in greater safety for women.

Farah Nazeer, the chief executive of Women’s Aid, said a public inquiry into men’s violence against women and girls would probably expose other institutional and government failings but was unlikely to lead to the action needed.

There was already a wealth of evidence and recommendations in the Inspectorate of Constabulary report, the government’s recently published Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy and rape review, Nazeer said. “We all know what needs to be done. But making it a matter of priority, choosing to prioritise funding into this area, choosing to make that cultural shift – these are political choices that we’re not making.”

Women’s groups welcomed what some saw as an increased level of restraint in the reporting of Couzens’ trial, with many publications choosing not to feature a prominent photograph of the murderer, while BBC Radio 4’s Today programme chose to mention Couzens by name sparingly in its reporting on Thursday and included the full victim impact statement of Everard’s mother, Susan.

“We find that women’s experience is lost so often when we talk about the impact of male violence against women and girls,” said Jayne Butler, the chief executive of Rape Crisis England and Wales. “We welcome that some outlets have chosen to focus their coverage on Sarah.”

Andrea Simon, the director of the End Violence Against Women coalition, said that despite the reviews and promises of change since Everard’s murder, little had changed.

“Violence against women and girls is at an epidemic level, the police inspectorate has said the whole system needs an overhaul, the government has already apologised for the shameful low rates of prosecution of rape. What more do we need to uncover? We actually just need to move to doing something about it,” she said. “We’ve had all of these reviews, and we’ve seen no material change. We need to get on with actually making a difference now.”

The minister for safeguarding, Rachel Maclean, said the government was committed to radically changing how violence against women and girls is tackled with a whole-system approach. She said the VAWG strategy published this summer set out “the government’s ambition to increase support for survivors, bring perpetrators to justice, and, ultimately, reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls.”

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BREAKING: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

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BREAKING: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned, Channels Television learned on Monday.

Sources told Channels Television that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Information also has it that arrangements are ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

According to reports, a formal announcement will be made shortly.

Until his resignation, reports had it that Justice Muhammad was seriously ill.

Last week, 14 justices of the Supreme Court had written him a letter to lament the decrepit state of affairs in the apex court.

In the leaked letter, the Justices accused the CJN of refusing to address the issues despite drawing his attention to them.

They complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court.

The justices further accused the CJN of gallivanting with his “spouse, children and personal staff,” while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices decried the lack of legal research assistants, despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated.

On erratic electricity supply, the justices said they have been confined to work between the “hours of 8 a.m and 4 p.m daily, for lack of diesel,” after they were notified of the development by the Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Hajo Bello.

Meanwhile, Justice Tanko Muhammed did not attend the opening of the training for Judges on Alternative Dispute Resolution organized by the National Judicial Institute, amidst reports of resignation.

Although no Supreme Court Justice is present at the event.

Training of Judges by the Institute is usually declared open by the CJN or any of his representatives. however, the Administrator of the Institute, Justice Garba has opened the session.

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2023: I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

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2023: I’m Still Searching For My Running Mate – Tinubu

Ahead of the 2023 general election, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Sunday said he is still searching for his running mate.

He stated this in Abuja while delivering his keynote address at the 60th birthday celebration of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. The ex-Lagos Governor also heaped praises on the Speaker for his contributions to his political ambition of becoming Nigeria’s President and democracy, while extolling the virtues of his Deputy, Hon Idris Wase, for being a dependable ally.

“I could see a Deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you, you’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said.

“What you did during my primary (APC presidential election) is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won a landslide, I thank you.

“Femi, with your determination, and reach, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. It is about charting a path to success, you’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.”

Also speaking, President Muhammadu Buhari described Gbajabiamila as a team player and a skillful parliamentarian.

A file photo of APC preisdential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, said the Speaker is one who looks beyond differences for the benefit of all.

“For him what matters is not so much the party differences but what unites Nigerians and that is why he is a passionate advocate for a peaceful democracy and unity of Nigeria. And no amount of parliamentary maneuvers or differences between parties would deviate him from this,” he said.

“He introduced the term legislative diplomacy. When there were issues between Nigerian and Ghanaian traders, he went to Accra and met with his colleagues and tried to resolve the issue.

“Mr President is very proud of the fact that he did not need to interfere in how the National Assembly runs because he had trust in the capacity in the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives and therefore he feels that with capable hands in both chambers of the NASS there is no need to interfere.

“It is also a fact that under the Speaker and leader of the Senate, there is no automatic opposition and antagonism to the executive. The role of the legislature is not to be antagonistic as a matter of routine, but to be partners for good governance for the people of Nigeria. They are working together to make Nigeria better.”

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Those Doubting Tinubu’s Credentials Should Go To Court – Farouk Aliyu

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Those Doubting Tinubu’s Credentials Should Go To Court – Farouk Aliyu

Farouk Aliyu has told those doubting the credentials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to seek redress in court

The former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives made the comment on Sunday amid claims that Tinubu falsified his academic qualifications.

“We have gone through this a very long time ago. Asiwaju Tinubu was governor in Lagos, a two-time governor. These issues have come up. What haven’t they said about Tinubu? What hasn’t he proved to the people? And look, that is the beauty of democracy,” he said during an interview on Channels Television Sunday Politics. 

“If anybody feels strongly that our candidate has no qualification to be president, he is entitled to go to court and challenge that.”

Search For Running Mate

In this file photo, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Farouk Adamu Aliyu, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on May 10, 2021.

Aliyu, who also spoke about the search for a running mate to the former Lagos State governor, said the decision lies with Tinubu. He stated that the APC is still consulting and reiterated that competence, not religion, will be the major determinant.

“So, if our party comes out with a Muslim candidate, so be it. We are going to make sure we win the election,” he maintained.

“And if in the wisdom of our candidate, he brings a Christian candidate, we are also going to make sure we win the election because, as I said before, it is not about the religion or where you come from. It is about competence.”

His remarks came hours after Tinubu said he is still in search of a running mate ahead of the general elections.

He spoke on Sunday during his keynote address at a book launch to mark the 60th birthday of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

“I could see a Deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you, you’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said at the event held in Abuja.

“What you did during my primary (APC presidential election) is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won a landslide, I thank you.

“Femi, with your determination, and reach, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. It is about charting a path to success, you’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.”

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