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Priti Patel faces demands for statutory inquiry into murder of Sarah Everard

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Priti Patel

Priti Patel faces demands for statutory inquiry into murder of Sarah Everard

Priti Patel is facing demands from opposition politicians to announce a statutory inquiry into failings that allowed a serving Metropolitan police officer to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard.

After announcing that an investigation would examine why Wayne Couzens had not been identified by the force as a sexually aggressive predator, the home secretary was told by both Labour and SNP it would fall short because it would not have legal powers to compel witnesses to testify or disclose documents.

Couzens was known among former colleagues as The Rapist and he had exposed himself on two occasions.

Addressing the Conservative party conference, Patel said the killing “exposed unimaginable failures in policing”. She is yet to announce who will lead the non-statutory inquiry.

“It is abhorrent that a serving police officer was able to abuse his position of power, authority and trust to commit such a horrific crime. The public have a right to know what systematic failures enabled his continued employment as a police officer. We need answers as to why this was allowed to happen,” she said.

“I can confirm today that there will be an inquiry to give the independent oversight needed to ensure that something like this can never happen again.”

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, said: “Labour has been calling for a full independent inquiry for days. Now the home secretary has half-heartedly announced one, but not put it on a robust, statutory footing to ensure there are no barriers in the way to getting answers.”

The SNP’s justice and immigration secretary, Anne McLaughlin, said: “Right now it is not set to be a statutory inquiry, and there must be a statutory inquiry.”

A source close to Patel said that a statutory inquiry would give Couzens the opportunity to apply to be a core participant in the inquiry, which would be wholly inappropriate. “We will start the process as a non-statutory inquiry and see where it goes,” the source said.

In June, the chair of the inquiry into the unsolved murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan, Baroness O’Loan, said her inquiry was hampered and witnesses did not give evidence because it was not statutory.

“We could not compel witnesses to testify, nor could we compel the Metropolitan police to disclose documents in a timely manner,” she said.

The Labour peer Baroness Shami Chakrabarti has tabled an amendment to the police bill which would compel the home secretary to set up a statutory inquiry.

“If we needed a judicial inquiry for racism in 1997, we certainly need as much for misogyny in 2021,” she said.

The inquiry represents a change of direction for the government and will increase pressure on Cressida Dick, the Met police commissioner.

Boris Johnson said on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that there was no need for an inquiry.

The culture of the Met has been under scrutiny since it emerged that Couzens was known by colleagues to have a history of sexual aggression towards women. He was known as The Rapist while working at the Civil Nuclear constabulary in Kent by colleagues, who also knew he liked rape pornography.

Questions have been raised about the Met’s vetting processes after it emerged Couzens was allowed to continue serving despite having been investigated by Kent police in 2015 for indecent exposure.

He used his warrant card and police-issued handcuffs to get Everard, 33, into a car before raping and strangling her and burning her body in woodland in Kent.

The first part of the inquiry would examine Couzens’ previous behaviour and establish a definitive account of his conduct leading up to his conviction, as well as any opportunities missed, drawing on the ongoing Independent Office for Police Conduct investigations, a Home Office statement said.

The second part will look at specific issues raised by the first part, which could include vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behaviour.

Last week, it was revealed that five serving officers, including three from the Met, were under investigation for sharing racist and misogynistic messages with Couzens on a WhatsApp group.

A freedom of information request showed that more than half of Met officers found guilty of sexual misconduct over a four-year period to 2020 kept their jobs, a total of 43 officers out of 83.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, wrote to Patel on Friday with a request to work together to hold Dick and her force to account and to restore public trust, his office said. They spoke again on Sunday evening after it emerged that another Metropolitan police officer, PC David Carrick, had been charged with rape.

Khan said the inquiry must address cultural issues within the force.

“All police officers must adhere to the highest possible standards; we must stamp out misogyny, sexism, racism and homophobia, root out those who abuse their trusted position as officers,” he said.

Patel also plans to write to the independent police inspectorate to commission a thematic inspection, including police forces’ ability to detect and deal with misogynistic and predatory behaviour. She has asked for initial findings by the end of 2021.

Dick, who was given a two-year extension to her contract last month, has rejected calls to resign over Everard’s murder. On Monday she ordered a review of the Met’s culture.

In a separate development, Johnson angered lawyers by claiming that the conduct of defence lawyers is responsible for the low level of rape convictions.

“The defence is too often able to produce a spurious or otherwise reason why the defendant might have thought consent was given,” he said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Jonathan Black, a former president of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association, wrote on Twitter: “Did I just hear @BorisJohnson on @BBCr4today blaming the delays in justice on defence seizing upon mobile phone evidence ? I flipping did.”

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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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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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