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Mother of Richard Okorogheye calls for public inquiry

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Richard Okorogheye

Mother of Richard Okorogheye calls for public inquiry

The mother of 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye has called for a public inquiry into how the police deal with reports of missing black people, after a damning report by the police watchdog.

The Metropolitan police failed the family of two black sisters who disappeared and were later found murdered, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) concluded on Monday.

The Met said it would issue an apology to the family of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.

Evidence Joel, whose son Richard was found dead two weeks after he went missing, said an apology had to be the start and more needed to be done to tackle what she sees as a longstanding issue affecting the black community.

Joel, who criticised the watchdog’s decision that no officer should face a disciplinary hearing in the case of the two sisters, said there were “biases in the system when it comes to us”, adding: “If it was someone who was white, I think they would have been treated differently.”

Joel previously has criticised the Met’s handling of her son’s case, claiming her concerns were not “taken seriously” after his disappearance from his home in Ladbroke Grove, west London, in March. His body was later discovered in a lake in Epping Forest, Essex.

She said she was told by the force that Okorogheye, who suffered from sickle cell disease and had been shielding due to the pandemic, was not considered “high risk” until he had been missing for six days.

Two Met staff members have been given misconduct notices over potential failings in the disappearance of Okorogheye.

Mina Smallman, the mother of the murdered sisters, made similar criticisms and said she believed race was a factor as the family’s pleas for help over the weekend her children were missing went unheeded. Their friends found the bodies “after organising their own search party”.

The IOPC said it had looked exhaustively at whether bias was a factor in the case of the two sisters and found it was not.

“The parents had to actually go out and look for their own children. So the question is what’s going on? Why is it not taken seriously when we are reporting our children? Yes, of course they are adults, but it doesn’t matter. They’re missing, they’re missing. They should have taken it very seriously … But at the end of the day, as usual, they’re not very proactive,” Joel said.

She added: “I think more should have been done, not just an apology. Lessons need to be learned so that this sort of thing cannot carry on. It has happened to me, I’m sure it has happened to other parents as well. It needs to stop.”

She called for a public inquiry into the issue of missing black people and believes it should look “into the police”.

A report by the UK Missing Persons Unit published in March found black people were overrepresented in regards to being reported missing.

In England and Wales for the year 2019-20, black people made up 14% of reported missing incidents recorded by police forces, despite making up just 3% of the population. White people accounted for 76%, despite making up 86% of the population.

This disproportionality may be due to London having in general a higher number of missing person reports.

Overall, research by the charity Missing People shows 170,000 people are reported missing to the police every year in the UK. Many will go missing more than once. The vast majority of missing people are found or return within 24 hours. About 2% of children and 5% of adults that go missing are gone for longer than a week.

Families do not have to wait 24 hours before reporting someone missing. Forces such as the Met tell people to call 999 if the missing person is in immediate danger, is a young child or is at risk of harm. But there are frustrations at what some argue is a racial disparity in how different cases are treated.

Missing People launched a study this year on the discrimination faced by black families whose loved ones go missing. Josie Allan, its policy and campaigns manager, said: “Some talk to us about feeling like they weren’t listened to when they first tried to report their loved ones missing and that their concerns were not taken seriously. In some cases, they spoke about assumptions being more likely to be made about their missing person; that the risk wasn’t as high as it was, or in some cases that that person was assumed to be taking part in criminal activity rather than being vulnerable.”

Dominic Norton, who set up the website missingblackpeople.com, said the police were just one part of the problem. He believes support services for mental health and youth centres, which have been drastically cut in the past decade, are better equipped to intervene.

He points to research from Missing People that showed mental health was the No 1 reason why adults went missing. For children, risks around exploitation, including sexual and criminal exploitation, were also a significant concern.

Over 20,000 people signed his petition calling for a public inquiry into the causes surrounding missing black people, but the government rejected it.

“But all these other support services have also been underfunded, which has led to an overreliance on the police,” Norton said. “What I’ve been finding in my conversation with police is when a missing person goes missing, because there’s a sheer caseload, they’re doing more administrative work than investigative work.”

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Justice Olukayode Ariwoola To Be Sworn In As Acting CJN

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Justice Olukayode Ariwoola To Be Sworn In As Acting CJN

A justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, will be sworn in as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)Channels Television can confirm.

This follows the resignation of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, as the highest judicial officer in the land.

Mr Ahuraka Isah, the Special Assistant on Media to the immediate past CJN, confirmed the resignation of his principal on Monday.

He also disclosed that Justice Ariwoola is expected to be inaugurated as the acting CJN by the Presidency at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who pleaded anonymity also disclosed to reporters that Justice Ariwoola would be sworn in at 2pm.

Justice Muhammad was reported to have resigned as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

This resulted in the scheduled inauguration of Justice Ariwoola – the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court at the time of Justice Muhammad’s resignation.

Until his resignation, according to reports, the immediate past CJN was seriously ill.

News of his resignation broke barely a week after 14 justices of the Supreme Court wrote to him to lament the dilapidated state of affairs in the apex court.

In the leaked letter, the justices alleged that Justice Muhammad failed to address the issues raised despite drawing his attention to them.

They had complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court, alleging that the former CJN was gallivanting with his ‘spouse, children and personal staff’ while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices also decried the lack of legal research assistants despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated, in addition to being confined to work between the hours of 8am to 4pm daily without adequate power supply and lack of diesel to power generator.

But these allegations were denied by an aide to the former CJN.

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Tems, Wizkid bag wins at BET Awards 2022 (Full list of winners)

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Tems, Wizkid bag wins at BET Awards 2022 (Full list of winners)

Nigerian music superstars, Tems and Wizkid bagged impressive wins at the recently concluded Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards ceremony on Monday, June 27.

On the eventful night that took place at the Microsoft Theatre, Los Angeles, Tems whose real name is Temilade Openiyi went home with two awards.

First, Tems and Wizkid alongside Canadian recording artiste, Justin Bieber received an award for ‘Best Collaboration’ for the song, ‘Essence’; with the win, ‘Essence’ has emerged as the first African song to win a BET award and Wizkid becomes the first Nigerian and African to win an Award outside the Best International Acts category.

Moments later, Tems, emerged as the winner of the Best International Act.

The Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer was nominated with other talented acts such as Fireboy, Dave from the UK, Dinos from France, Fally Ipupa from Congo, Little Simz from the UK, Ludmilla from Brazil, Major League Djz from South Africa, and Tayc from France.

Tems also made history at the 2022 BET awards when she became the first African female to win the Best International Category.

With her win at the 2022 BET awards, Tems joins Ice Prince, Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy as Nigerians who have won the BET Awards.

Watch the moment she received her award below.

In addition to the usual honors, Diddy was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He joins Whitney Houston, Prince, Queen Latifah, Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, Samuel Jackson, and many more in receiving the honor.

Check out the full list of winners below.

BEST FEMALE R&B/POP ARTIST

Jazmine Sullivan — WINNER

BEST MALE R&B/POP ARTIST

The Weeknd – WINNER

BEST GROUP


Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak) – WINNER

BEST COLLABORATION

Wizkid f. Justin Bieber & Tems – “Essence” – WINNER

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST

Megan Thee Stallion – WINNER

BEST MALE HIP HOP ARTIST

Kendrick Lamar – WINNER

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – “Smokin Out The Window” – WINNER

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Anderson .Paak – WINNER

BEST NEW ARTIST

Latto — WINNER

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – An Evening with Silk Sonic – WINNER

DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD

Lil Baby X Kirk Franklin – “We Win” – WINNER

BET HER

Mary J. Blige – “Good Morning Gorgeous” – WINNER

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

Tems (Nigeria) – WINNER

BEST MOVIE

King Richard – WINNER

BEST ACTOR

Will Smith – “King Richard” – WINNER

BEST ACTRESS

Zendaya – “Euphoria” / “Spider-Man: No Way Home” – WINNER

YOUNGSTARS AWARD

Marsai Martin — WINNER

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Naomi Osaka – WINNER

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Stephen Curry – WINNER

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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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