The murder of two young Nigerian girls by their Saudi bosses published by SATELLITE TIMES on Sunday has attracted viewership and a number of controversial reactions both in Nigeria and the diaspora.
The domestic workers identified as Omotayo and Shola were trafficked to oil rich Saudi Arabia to work as servants for their respective employers but were subjected to various forms of human rights abuses.
The killings of the two young women occurred within a space of two weeks in the respective homes where they worked.
Prior to the deaths of the young ladies, Omotayo, the first to be murdered, in her June post shared on a solidarity Whatsapp group (the Strong Nigeria Ladies Group) narrated her ordeal in the hands of her employer. According to Omotayo, her only offence was demanding her three-month salary arrears which left her battered by her boss and his entire family.
While the solidarity group was still mourning the death of Omotayo, the news of the death of the second girl, Shola was told by another housemaid in the solidarity group by name, Adeola Oladipo.
Following the report by this paper, Nigerians from all works of life have been reacting, with most of the comments showing widespread outrage.
Fola Ikumoluyi in a comment on SATELLITE TIMES’ Facebook page advised against the quest to seek for greener pastures. “Please Nigerian(s) let your people/children understand that there is no greener pastures in Asia. All what is waiting for them is slavery and untimely death. Be warned!”
“I weep. Pls African leader develop your countries. God has given us enough resources to make us happy. Our youths don’t need to leave if we are able to sustain them here,” Ese Jacob said.
Infuriated by the report, Charlie Onyegesi in his comment said “Abroad is a secret society. If we tell you what we saw, you may not like it or we are dishonest to you. So go and discover it yourself.”
“Do you think Arabs are human being?” Saudat Bello Onadipe questioned.
Other comments on Facebook:
“Chukwuma Bathram You guys should come back ooo, even those in Libya now we don’t know what to do.”
“Timothy Adanu It’s similar to how the rich treat the poor house help dright in Nigeria here.”
“Okechukwu Imoh Is better to sell pure water than such adventure.”
The story which has been shared by a number of Nigerian online platforms has also left varying degrees of public outcry, especially on a Nigerian forum, Naira Land.
“The grass is always greener at the other side. Why would a girl leave Nigeria to Saudi to work as maid where there is almost zero consideration for their feminine citizens, let alone the aliens,” Tolexande said.
WingmanII blamed ‘greedy and corrupt’ public servants for the increased cases of migration from Nigeria. “Nigeria, a country blessed with so much wealth and human resources yet her citizens are forced to travel out to do menial jobs to make a living. No thanks to extremely greedy and corrupt civil servants, public servants and politicians,” he said.
SATELLITE TIMES is involved in a field research conducted by the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), a pan African trade union organisation with over 108 national trade union centres as its affiliates in 51 of the 55 African countries representing all categories of workers including domestic and migrant workers.
ITUC-Africa, which is championing the campaign to bring to world attention the horrific conditions of African migrants living and working in the Gulf Countries where their lives are worth less than those of camels.
ITUC-Africa field research focuses on the Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The documentary has equally taken researchers to Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana; the African countries that have the highest numbers of migrant domestic workers in that region.
Corruption: Emir Sanusi Lamido was under secret probe by govt. – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Almost all through his 5-year tenure as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido did his best to uphold a squeaky-clean image as a public servant. He even put on a new toga, assuming the role of the country’s anti-corruption czar, speaking out against public and private sector corruption as well as supporting policies towards strengthening best practices.
A startling revelation however, in a new book, paints a diametrically-opposing picture of Sanusi with strong suggestions of sleaze and brigandage at the apex bank where he held sway from 2009 to 2014.
The level of corruption was ostensibly on a large scale; so much so that the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), a financial oversight body located in the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment initiated a probe.
The book, released 2018 and titled “Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines,” was written by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a World Bank economist who herself was a cabinet insider at the time Sanusi was the CBN governor.
Ngozi was Finance Minister, first in the Olusegun Obasanjo administration and returned to serve a second time in the same position but with an expanded portfolio as the Coordinating Minister for the Economy under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
For political expediency and also not to send the wrong signal to international investors, the Jonathan administration chose to keep the probe quiet.According to Ngozi, the President said “if the situation became public, it could reflect badly on the Central Bank Governor.”
While the outcome of the probe was being given official consideration at the highest level, Sanusi sprung a surprise. He wrote a letter on September 2013 to President Jonathan, alerting him that there was $49.8 billion missing from the country’s oil accounts between January 2012 and July 2013.
The new development spurred efforts towards reconciling the accounts by a joint task force comprising the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, The Finance Ministry and the CBN; but was hit by a major setback when Ngozi got a call from a Financial Times of London African correspondent, William Walis, of a leaked letter to the President (Jonathan) which alleged that $50 billion was missing from the country’s oil accounts.
Before she could act accordingly, the story of the alleged missing funds had spread like wildfire, leading to widespread outrage all over the country.
In December 2013, reports by the task force were ready and after professional consideration, the parties involved agreed that the unaccounted funds were between the ranges of $10.8 billion to $12 billion.
Though this reconciliation had been made, the country was already thrown in an uproar over the initial report of the missing $50 billion which led the National Assembly to call for a hearing.
To water down the attendant reactions that embraced the initial report, a press conference was organized where Sanusi admitted that his staff had erroneously tampered with the figures but after proper investigations by the task force, the CBN came to a resolution that only about $12 billion of the funds were unaccounted for.
Efforts to exonerate all wrongdoings by the parties involved were short-lived a day after the press conference following a television advert by the NNPC distancing itself from the controversy which further complicated the already dicey situation.
In February 2014 during their appearance before the Senate ad-hoc committee chaired by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Sanusi in his defense when asked to speak, made a surprise u-turn and countered the initially agreed figure of $12 billion, Ngozi said.
In his defense, Sanusi said that while the unaccounted funds were not $50 billion, he argued that the money could not have been $12 billion either, tendering new exhibits alleging the figures to be $20 billion.
Sanusi fingered a subsidiary of the NNPC, the Nigeria Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC), for the non-disbursement of $6 billion to the Federal Account.
Thrown off balance by the new revelations, Ngozi called for an independent forensic audit, a move she opined was the last resort to regaining lost public trust.
Though Sanusi was suspended for ‘financial recklessness’, his act was interpreted as punishment for whistle blowing, Ngozi added.
In June 2014, embattled Sanusi was eventually crowned the Emir of Kano after the death of his grand uncle, Ado Bayero.
On assumption into office in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari vowed that his administration will probe the missing $20 billion allegedly unaccounted for from the country’s oil accounts. Buhari said that though the former governor of the apex bank had already assumed the position as the new Emir of Kano, the probe for the missing monies fraudulently unaccounted for became expedient, adding that the figure was too huge to ignore.
CSO calls for action as Nigeria ranks among 14 countries where killers of journalists go unpunished
A civil society organisation (CSO), Safer-Media Initiative, has called on the federal government of Nigeria to take stringent actions to end impunity for crimes against journalists as Nigeria ranks among 14 countries where killers of journalists go unpunished.
The charge was made on November 2 in Abuja by the Executive Director of the organisation, Peter Iorter during a press conference with the theme “Impunity for Crime against Journalists, a Threat to Democracy”. The event was held as part of its activities to mark this year’s International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
Participants at the event comprised representatives of the media, other civil society organisations, and the private sector.
In his opening remark, Iorter cited a UNESCO report which revealed that between 2016 and 2017, 182 Journalists lost their lives in the line of professional duty while in 2018; 86 of them were killed between January and October.
In a press release made available to SATELLITE TIMES, Iorter said that “shocking and infuriating is that in nine out of ten cases, the killers go unpunished. Even more disturbing is that Nigeria has consistently remained a contributor to those stunning global figures.”
In 2017, data collected by the International Press Centre (IPC) showed that at least two Nigerian journalists were killed while 12 journalists and media organizations in the country suffered various forms of assault.
The slain journalists are Famous Giobaro of Bayelsa State-owned radio station, Glory FM 97.1, who was shot dead on April 16; and Lawrence Okojie of Nigerian Television Authority, Benin, who was shot dead while returning from work on July 8.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in an annual global impunity index published few days ago said Nigeria ranked 13 out of 14 countries in the world where journalists are slain and the killers circumvent justice.
According to Iorter, the alarming global reports propelled his organisation to raise concern that the Nigerian press is under “grave threat”.
“It is unfortunate, worrisome, and unacceptable that violations and assaults on journalists have continued unabated under a supposedly democratic system of governance,” he said.
He further condemned the incessant harassment, physical violence, arrest and detention of journalists by agents of government including the Department of State Service (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), among others.
“Their salaries are paid with tax payers’ money to protect citizens; any action of theirs to the contrary amounts to breach of the social contract,” he added.
Furthermore, Ioter also insisted that the rights of journalists must be protected at all times.
He called on the National Assembly to recognize the urgent need to strengthen the laws that promote media freedom and provide protection for journalists.
While fielding questions from journalists at the event, Iorter said his organization is poised toward press freedom, safety of journalists and advancement of responsible media.
Mr. Peter Iorter is also an Editor at SATELLITE TIMES newspaper.
Army releases detained pregnant woman, Noroh Dung
The Nigerian Army has yielded to pressure and released a heavily pregnant woman, Noroh Dung, who was arrested and detained during a search and rescue operation in Du district, Jos South LGA of Plateau State.
Noroh who was whisked away on October 3 was released on Friday, October 12.
Speaking to SATELLITE TIMES, Barr. Godfree Matthew of the Christian Lawyers Association, confirmed Noroh’s release, adding that he was a signatory on behalf of the NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) he represents.
The news of her release comes shortly after the House of Reps waded into the matter, asking the Federal Government to allow relevant agencies to do everything within the law to trace the whereabouts of all missing persons in Nigeria.
SATELLITE TIMES had reported how Noroh was arrested alongside other civilians on suspicions of probable links to the disappearance of Gen. Idris Alkali, who according to the Nigerian Army was a victim of irate youths who blocked roads and attacked travelers, following the invasion of their community on September 2.
SATELLITE TIMES and the Christian Lawyers Association have been championing the release of Noroh ever since the news of her arrest reached this paper.
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