Members of Nigerian community in Montreal, Canada, are calling for a public inquiry into the death of a five-year-old boy last month who was in the care of foster services.
The boy and his brother had travelled from Nigeria to Canada with their family last year to seek asylum. However, after several months, Quebec’s department of youth protection intervened and placed the boys in foster care.
CTVNews Canada reports that four weeks ago, the five-year-old boy and his 10-year-old brother left their foster care home at Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, and went into a neighbour’s backyard in the city’s Pierrefonds borough. The younger boy fell into the neighbour’s pool and his older brother jumped in after him to try to rescue him.
The five-year-old boy died and his brother was transported to hospital where he remained in a coma for several weeks.
In the weeks since, members of the city’s Nigerian community have been asking questions about the circumstances of the child’s death on behalf of his family.
The vice-president of the non-profit organization Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), Pius Enihoma, said at a press conference on Thursday “we just want answers.
“This boy was in the custody of the child protection services and he left the house unprotected and wandered away to a neighbour’s pool.”
During the press conference, members from the community said there had been little attention given to this case compared to the outcry that followed the recent death of a seven-year-old white girl in Granby who had a file with youth protection services.
President of the Edo People Association of Montreal, Osa Osifo, said. “Since it happened, it’s like nothing happened. Nobody knew about it. Nobody heard about it. It’s like it’s been swept under the carpet.”
The executive director of CRARR, Fo Niemi, said a public inquiry should be launched into how Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, the organization responsible for the boy’s care, handled the case.
“The issue is can Batshaw be trusted? Can its own internal investigation be credible? Or should it be an independent [investigation]?” Niemi said.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for Batshaw Youth and Family Centres released a statement calling the case a “tragic” and “unfortunate” accident that never should have happened. The spokesperson, citing confidentially laws, wouldn’t provide any further details.
In the meantime, Montreal’s Nigerian community has been caring for the five-year-old boy’s siblings since his death. Osifo said they don’t want the boy’s older brother to go back into foster care.
“We said no,” Osifo recalled. “We want this child. If you don’t trust the natural parents, we have people in the community that can look after this child until this case is finally resolved in youth protection court.”
A funeral for the boy was held on Thursday with Batshaw Youth and Family Centres covering its costs.
Police arraign man, 26, over alleged fraud
The police on Friday arraigned a 26-year-old man, Ilesanmi Ojo, before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged fraud.
The defendant of no fixed address is standing trial on a count charge of the alleged fraud.
The prosecutor, Insp. Oriyomi Akinwale told the court that the defendant committed the offense sometimes in the month of Dec. 2019 at Onala area in Ado-Ekiti.
He alleged that the defendant, a mechanic, fraudulently obtained the sum of N155,000 from one Pastor Olusegun Olufowose to repair his Sienna vehicle.
Akinwale also alleged that the defendant duplicated the key of a Nissan Pathfinder Jeep with Reg. No. WWW 852 AE, belonging to the complainant without his consent.
He said the offenses contravened Sections 421 and 508 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
The prosecutor asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to study the case file and assemble his witnesses.
The defendant pleaded not guilty.
His counsel, Mr. Olarewaju Oluwasola, urged the court to grant his client bail, with a promise that he would not jump bail.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Olanike Adegoke, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum.
She adjourned the case until June 24 for hearing.
You have case to answer, court tells mechanic accused of manslaughter
An Ikeja High Court on Friday told a mechanic, Taiwo Adeyemi, accused of killing a colleague during a physical scuffle, that he had to defend the manslaughter charge filed against him by the Lagos State Government.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi, delivering a ruling on a no-case submission filed by defence counsel, Mr Adetokunbo Agoro, said the prosecution for the state had presented sufficient evidence before the court to warrant Adeyemi putting up a defence.
According to reports the ruling on the no-case submission was originally slated to have been delivered on May 4 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delivering the ruling online, Justice Oshodi said: “From the evidence laid before the court by the prosecution, there has been no evidence that has been discredited by the defence.
“There is, however, ample evidence on the face of the court’s record which is legally admissible, that links the defendant to the deceased.
“There cannot be any dispute that death occurred after a fight. The defendant is said to be the other party of the fight.
“From the written submission of the defence counsel, he believes that there is no documentary and prima facie case laid out by the prosecution and that the evidence of the first and second prosecution witnesses are hearsay.
“To the court, the prosecution has made out a prima facie case for the defendant to face. Accordingly, the defendant is now called upon to open his defence.”
Following the ruling, the judge adjourned the case until July 27 for defence.
Reports have it that Adeyemi is charged with manslaughter contrary to Section 227 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.
He was arraigned at the High Court on June 5, 2017.
According to the prosecution led by Mr M.T. Adewoye, the defendant committed the offence at 1.00 p.m. on April 4, 2014, at a mechanic’s shed, located at Ashade Market, Mangoro, Agege, Lagos.
“The defendant had an argument with the deceased, Sikiru Oladeinde; during the scuffle, he hit the deceased with a plank that had nails attached to it.
“Oladeinde sustained some injuries and passed away some days later in hospital,” the prosecutor said.
During the trial, three witnesses testified on behalf of the prosecution — a welder and co-worker of the deceased, Mr Olujimi Ogunleye; the brother of the deceased, Mr Kehinde Oladeinde; and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Sgt. Felix Osunbu.
Man, girlfriend, bag jail time for stealing 64 chickens
A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kafanchan, Kaduna State has jailed a 35-year-old man, Abdullahi Sani, and his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sarah Paul, for stealing 64 chickens.
The police charged Sani and Paul with criminal conspiracy, housebreaking, theft and mischief, contrary to sections 58, 332, 270 and 312 of the Kaduna State Penal Code.
In his ruling, Magistrate Michael Bawa sentenced Sani to 38 months in a correctional facility and Paul bagged 13 months for her role in the crime.
Bawa also ordered the first convict to pay N600, 000 while the second convict will pay N200, 000 as compensation to the complainant as applied by the prosecution.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Insp. Esther Bishen, told the court that one Hilary Garba reported the matter on May 21.
Bishen said the complainant alleged that the convicts broke into his house at night and stole 64 layers valued at N781, 970.
The prosecution said that Paul was arrested while cooking some of the chickens.
She noted that the police recovered cell phones, a television set, generator, mattresses, amplifier, rug carpets from the convicts suspected to have been stolen.
When the charges were read to them, they both pleaded guilty and begged the court for leniency.
The prosecutor thereafter prayed the court to try them summarily in line with section 125 (8) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
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