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Police raid Abuja hotel, arrests manager for alleged abuse, endangerment of minors

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The Gender Unit of the Nigerian Police Force Criminal Investigation Department, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Friday, raided Ignobis Hotels, Gado Nasco Road in Kubwa, Abuja, for alleged abuse, endangerment of minors.

The raid was led by Inspector Ossai Ojobo, an Investigation Police Officer, along with officials of the Social Development Secretarial (SDS), FCT Administration and representatives of a non-governmental organisation.

After the raid, the Hotel Manager, Mr Akbueze Chidi and a restaurant operator in the hotel, Ms Priscilla Abuyah, were arrested and taken to the Force CID for questioning and further investigation.

The raid followed a petition by Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN), an NGO, to the Social Welfare Department of the SDS, alleging that the hotel was harbouring minors and exposing them to sexual exploitation.

Mrs Joy Omokivie, the SDS Officer in charge of the case, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that the SDS channelled the petition to the Gender Unit of the Force CID to investigate the matter.

Omokivie added that the hotel was classified as a brothel by residents, where young girls, including underaged girls were being brought in for sex.

She said that in the petition, HRAN had alleged that a 12-year-old minor and her younger brother, 4, were staying at the hotel with a woman, purported to be their mother.

She added that after some investigations, the 12-year-old girl was rescued and currently in the custody of the Social Welfare Department, “while the young boy is still with the mother.”

According to her, the raid was part of an ongoing investigation to determine the veracity of the allegations and if found to be true, rescue the minors and prosecute the culprits.

HRAN had in the petition accused the woman, Mrs Immanuela Austyn-Araki, a Bolt driver of abandoning the children in the hotel in the morning, leaving them to fend for themselves.

The NGO claimed that the children eat mostly snacks and noodles until she returns late at night or the following morning.

HRAN added that its investigation revealed that the woman lodged in the hotel with the children for more than two years, exposing them to all kinds of sexual conducts by other adults lodging in the hotel.

The group said that the girl was allowed access to the internet and accessing sites not suitable for underaged children, adding that the girl had an account on Tik-Tok where she uploads adult related contents.

According to the group, men, including the hotel owner, pay regular visits to the room occupied by the minors and their mother, whenever the mother is not around.

HRAN also expressed suspicion that the woman may be involved in child trafficking, alleging that there were under aged girls in the hotel premises working as commercial sex workers.

The NGO, thereafter, asked the police to investigate the matter with a view to save the endangered child and bring the culprits to book.

However, after reading the petition at the Force CID, the manager of the hotel and the restaurant operator declined making any response except in the presence of their lawyer.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Hotel, Mr Eze Obasi, refuted the allegation, saying “I am a good Christian and a traditional title holder in my community.

“As such, I cannot be a party to sexual exploitation, abuse, or endangerment of underage girls in my hotel.

“All I know is that the woman in question was being maltreated by her husband and she came to the hotel with her children to seek refuge from her abusive husband.

“This complaint has been brought before me by four different groups and it has been settled.

“I do not understand why police officers will still come to the hotel to embarrass my clients in the name of police search for minors,” he said.

NAN reports that after the raid that ended around 8:30 p.m., the young minor and the mother were not found at the hotel.

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I Still Get Attacked By People – Yakubu Aiyegbeni Reveals

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In a recent interview, former Nigerian football star Yakubu Aiyegbeni has revealed that he continues to receive messages and criticisms from fans, years after his infamous miss during the 2010 FIFA World Cup match against South Korea.

The moment, etched into football history, occurred during Nigeria’s crucial group stage game against South Korea. With the score tied at 2-2 and a spot in the knockout stages on the line, Aiyegbeni found himself with what seemed like an open goal opportunity. However, to the shock of fans worldwide, he missed the chance, leaving Nigeria unable to secure the much-needed victory.

Despite this moment happening over a decade ago, Aiyegbeni expressed his surprise at the ongoing messages he receives about the miss. “I still get messages from people, different messages,” he stated in the interview. “It’s surprising how that moment still sticks with people, even after all these years.”

The striker, who had a successful career playing for clubs like Everton and Portsmouth in the English Premier League, admitted that the miss was a tough moment in his career. “Of course, it was a big moment, and I wish it had gone differently. But in football, you have highs and lows,” he remarked.

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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