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Busola vs Fatoyinbo: Punch clarifies report on court case, N1m fine

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Busola Dakolo's

The Punch newspaper has clarified its report on the court case between photographer, Busola Dakolo, and Senior Pastor, Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The newspaper had reported on its website on Thursday that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Bwari, Abuja dismissed the case filed by Dakolo against Fatoyinbo and ordered her to pay a fine of N1 million.

The report sparked controversy on social media as Dakolo’s legal team and supporters claimed that the court did not order that a fine should be paid.

Reacting to the controversy, The Punch published the certified copy of the court judgement on Saturday which revealed that the judge ordered Dakolo’s lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, to pay the sum of N1 million personally as a fine and not Mrs. Dakolo.

Earlier reports and a sponsored post in The PUNCH, published about three hours after the said judgment, had said in error that the damage was awarded against Dakolo personally.

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Justice Othman Musa, in giving the judgment, held that the court action amounted to “an injustice and an abuse of judicial process.”

The judge wrote that

“What is left in the suit is sentiment and the case is soaked in emotions and ferried into the court by the claimant (Dakolo) riding on the thick clouds of burgeoning sentiments.”

While the judge acknowledged the sensitivity surrounding rape claims and the compassion they ordinarily attract, he added that it would be an act of ‘grave injustice’ to ask the defendant to defend the allegation in the absence of necessary evidence.

His Lordship added that “dormant claims such as this have injustice written all over it.”

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He said:

“No matter how one views the claim, having compassion, that an issue such as rape is pleaded herein, it is my view that notwithstanding the statute of limitation, it will occasion a grave miscarriage of justice to ask the defendant to defend an action that is well over 16 years.

Giving reasons for his judgment, Justice Musa wrote:

“The claims carry more of cruelty in them than justice. There are no new facts resurrecting the broken chain of causation in the instant action whereas in this case, the claimant ought to demonstrate the reason why the action was not filed for over 16 years.

“This, she ought to have done by claiming, for instance, due to DNA evidence, they have been able to discover new facts that were allegedly not available and tie the said DNA to the defendant. This is not the case in the instant action.

“It is for all the reasons I advanced herein before, that I declare this action a vehicle of injustice, judicial intimidation and thorough abuse of judicial process carrying in it an overload of dormant claim and injustice, it must and is hereby dismissed. I hereby award the cost of one million naira (N1, 000, 000) against the claimant’s client personally.”

Justice Musa added that he would have ordered Dakolo’s lawyer to pay “10 times the amount” but “in the interest of women who have cases that are dormant, the court shall always encourage them to come forward.”

 

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FG raises penalty for hate speech from N500,000 to N5m

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, reviewed the penalty for hate speech in Nigeria.

Mohammed disclosed the increment in penalty for hate speech from N500,000 to N5 million.

The Minister disclosed this at the unveiling ceremony of the reviewed Nigeria Broadcasting Code organized by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in Lagos.

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A statement signed and issued by Mohammed’s spokesman, Segun Adeyemi said the reviewed code contained the Antitrust provision aimed at boosting local content and encouraging the growth of the local industry, among other provisions.

The statement reads partly:

“The amended Code also includes the provision raising the fine for hate speech from 500,000 Naira to 5 million Naira.

“Alhaji Mohammed clarified that the amendments were necessitated by a Presidential directive, in the wake of the 2019 general elections, for an inquiry into the regulatory role of the NBC with a view to repositioning the regulator for optimum performance.

“He said despite the attacks by some vested interests, who believe that their singular business interest is superior to national interest, over the provisions of the amended Code, the Federal Government remains unperturbed.”

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1.5m students to sit for 2020 WAEC exams

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WAEC

The 2020 West African School Certificate Examination is to be taken by 1,549,463 candidates in 19,129 centres nationwide.

The participants comprise 786,421 males, while the balance 763,402 are females.

The Head of Nigeria National Office (HNO) of the organisation, Patrick Areghan, made the disclosure yesterday in Lagos.

He added that the test, which holds between August 4 and September 5, would run daily from Monday to Saturday.

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In deference to existing COVID-19 protocols, the HNO said:

“Schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitisers and thermometer hand-gun to check the temperature of all concerned.”

He continued:

“All examination functionaries, including the council’s staff on distribution, supervisors, invigilators, inspectors, candidates and school officials will be required to wear face masks, wash and sanitise their hands daily, and throughout the duration of the examination.”

Areghan asserted that the council would adhere strictly to physical distancing in the examination halls by ensuring that candidates sit two metres apart.

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UPDATED: WAEC releases 2020 WASSCE timetable

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WAEC Candidates

The West African Examinations Council has released the timetable for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

The Federal Government had announced the resumption of graduating pupils beginning August 4, noting that WASSCE would begin effective August 17, 2020 through September 12, 2020.

WAEC Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Demianus Ojijeogu, advised candidates to disregard other versions of the examination timetable in circulation.

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The statement was titled, ‘WAEC Releases Timetable For The Conduct Of West African Senior School Certificate Examination For School Candidates, 2020’.

The statement read,

“The West African Examinations Council, Nigeria wishes to inform its stakeholders-schools, parents and candidate-that the Final International Timetable for the conduct of WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020 has been released.

“The Council notes that several versions of the examination timetable have been in circulation and enjoins the general public to disregard them as they did not emanate from it.

“The examination which has been slated to begin on Monday, August 17, 2020 will end on Saturday, September 12, 2020.

“The Council hereby urges the candidates to abide by the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the examination by shunning all acts of malpractice and obeying all Covid-19 protocols that have been put in place at the examination centres.

“This is wishing the candidates success in the examination.”

 

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