Lawyers’ association condemns persecution of Seinye Lulu Briggs on husband’s death

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The Rivers State Chapter of the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) has condemned in its totality the persecution of Dr Mrs Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs, the wife of late High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs.

The organisation, through its Rivers State Secretary, Hilda Desmond Ihekaire (MCArb), while speaking on a live radio programme discussing proposed amendments to the Dehumanizing and Harmful Traditional Practices Law of Rivers State No. 2 of 2003 said, as can be seen in society, highly placed women just like other female members of society are not spared the dehumanization attributed to harmful traditional practices necessitating the need for all hands to be on deck to end the societal scourge.

According to her, the proposed amendment to the bill being sponsored by Hon. Sam Ogeh of Emohua Constituency is a welcome development and will go a long way to strengthen compliance with this law.

ALSO READ: Forced to marry as teenagers, raped in their matrimonial homes

The Rivers State House of Assembly in 2003 passed the Dehumanizing and Harmful Traditional Practices Abolition law No. 2 to proscribe harmful traditional practices against persons in Rivers State.

She said the law proscribes the maltreated of women after the death of their husbands such as causing them to cry at guided intervals, drinking water from the corpse of their husbands, shaving of their hairs, ostracizing them, being forced to abstain from personal hygiene, sitting on broken coconut, swearing before a shrine of their innocence, prevention from inheriting husbands property amongst others.

“In Africa generally, Rivers State is not an exception, once a man dies they just feel that it is the woman that has killed the man. So they make her go through all sorts of dehumanizing practices. It doesn’t even matter whether you’re a village woman or the high and mighty.

“As we can see with the death of O. B. Lulu-Briggs, they are trying to impute that his wife killed him. It is not acceptable. These mistreatments as we can see affect all women irrespective of their status in life. This is why AWLA is supporting the amendment of the bill to protect the rights of women.”

“The law was initially passed with a penalty of imprisonment or the option of a fine of N10,000 in some cases. However, that failed to stem the trend and thus she calls for the proposed amendment with stiffer penalties and without an option of fine,” she said.

AWLA further called for the inclusion of women into the cabinet of traditional rulers across Africa in order to help women have a say in making laws and taking decisions that affect them as it is with some African countries already.

According to a statement released by Cordelia Eke, the Rivers State Chapter Coordinator of AWLA, the Organisation is joining women groups and NGOs around the world to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The organization promises to do more in addressing the issue of gender-based violence and other sundry problems bedevilling women. AWLA will use the period to garner support for women in order to give them their pride of place in the society through the instrumentality of the law.

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I wanted to make our problems known, says FUNAAB student expelled over Facebook post – TheCable Lifestyle

Michael Ifemosu, a student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), expelled over his critical Facebook post made about the institution, says he was only trying to bring the school’s attention to the students’ plight.

Ifemosu, who is the convener for the Youth In Good Governance Initiative (YIGGI) and an Ogun state secretary for African Action Congress (AAC), recently made the headlines after he received a letter of expulsion for criticizing the university authorities in an open letter addressed to the VC.

Speaking with TheCable Lifestyle on Monday, the student activist described the school’s move as a “collective slap on the face of Nigerian students” and an “infringement” of his rights.

He stated that he only wrote the piece to bring the authority’s attention to the “lingering issues affecting” the students — not to fight the powers that be, “as the school interpreted it.”

According to him, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the Student Union Government (SUG) in FUNAAB, have moved to dialogue with Felix Salako, the vice-chancellor of the institution, but there are fears that it might not yield the desired outcome.

“The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in line with the Student Union Government (SUG) of my school told me they would meet with the vice-chancellor today to solve the situation. But I’m not sure the result would be positive. It is the aftermath of the meeting that would determine the next line of action,” Ifemosu said.

“The picture they’re painting now is that I’m trying to fight the university authorities. I was only trying to bring their attention to what is happening. On the basis of all that I’ve done so far, I’m not convinced I should be expelled because I held an opinion on something that personally affected me and the rest of the students. I’m not happy.”

While the struggle to reinstate me is ongoing, I want to take up the internship training by Leventis Foundation (Nigeria) One-Year Training Programme 2019 / 2020 in Modern and Sustainable Agriculture (Fully Funded). #ReinstateIfemosu

— Ifemosu Michael Adewale®️ (@ifemosumichael) November 3, 2019

Bola Adekola, the FUNAAB registrar, had, on Friday, confirmed Ifemosu’s expulsion after the 200 level student of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management had been summoned to “defend himself” in front of the institution’s disciplinary committee.

“You would recall that in July 2019, you posted an open letter on the Internet to the vice-chancellor of the school in which you raised allegations and misrepresentation of fact about the university,” the letter read.

“At the Student Disciplinary Committee meeting held on August 29, 2019, you were invited for the purpose of giving you fair hearing on the allegation of an act perpetrated through the Internet, that is inimical to the integrity and corporate image of the university.

“Senate, at its 217th Statutory Meeting held on Thursday, October 17, 2019, considered the report of the Student Disciplinary Committee on the allegation and thus decided that you have been found culpable of insubordination to university officials, defamation of character and act perpetrated through the Internet.

“That is inimical to the integrity and corporate image of the university based on the extant rules and regulations on penalties for various offenses by students of the university. Consequent upon the decision of Senate, you’re hereby expelled from the university as provided for the offenses committed by you.”

It is Saddening and Weakening!

This is my Reward for calling the attention of the Vice Chancellor on lingering challenges rocking Funaab ecosystem! This is

We play Politics with everything in this country 💔😭😭 https://t.co/6SY7fANBY1

— Ifemosu Michael Adewale®️ (@ifemosumichael) November 2, 2019

Read the Facebook post that prompted the expulsion below:

It’s no more news that Funaabites queue, fight, and struggle to attend classes or leave the school premises. However, the vice-chancellor and the university management team are seen with one or two official car(s). This makes transportation easier for them while students languish in an unending tragedy,” he wrote.

“The Funaab Bureau of Transport (FUNAABOT) has performed below expectations despite millions of naira allotted and allocated to the department for the purchase and renovation of MANCOTS but all went down the drain. Those monies remain carpeted till this moment.

“Again! I read in the News that the Vice-Chancellor of Funaab wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that they are free to arrest students found wanting and guilty of cybercrimes.

“I would have said it was a good move not until I became a victim and also received report of the arrest and detention of innocent students who were unjustly harassed, extorted and brutalized. This is what you get when people who, if managing poultry, would make sure eggs are stolen, are given a University to manage.

“It is rather unfortunate that we have accepted the sad reality that relegates our ‘scholars’ to chasers of political appointments — people who are ready to lick butts to be made INEC returning officers, political aides, VCs, directors, deans, and even Head of Departments.”

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