The Lagos State Government on Friday arraigned the owner of Vintage Hotel in Owode Onirin area of Ikorodu, Patrick Okeechobee, before a Yaba Magistrate Court for allegedly aiding and promoting homosexual activities and gay club in his hotel.
Mr. Okeze was arraigned alongside two of his workers, Sunday Isang and Bright Oba, for allegedly encouraging the act to be perpetrated by young men and minors in the hotel contrary to the provisions of Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2014.
The state government had on Thursday arraigned 28 adults and 12 minors before Yaba and Ebute-Metta Magistrate Courts respectively for engaging in homosexuality using the said hotel.
Specifically, Mr. Okeze and his workers were said to have aided 40 people and others still at large, to engage in same sex activities as well as gay club/party in the said Vintage Hotel located at No 999, Ikorodu Road/Toyin Close, Weigh Bridge, Owode Onirin, Lagos contrary to and punishable under Section 5 (2) of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2014.
After the one-count criminal charge against Messrs Okeze (56), Isang (30) and Oba (28) was called and read before Chief Magistrate Adewale Ojo, the defendants were not allowed to take their plea as they argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the subject matter of the case.
The prosecution team including Adetutu Oshinusi, Bosun Aroyehun, Folabi Sholebo, Olaitan Shoetan and Nnena Okereka, all from the State’s Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), urged the court to remand the defendants in prison pending the outcome of the legal advice of the DPP.
But the defence team led by Alli Abba urged the court to discountenance the application of the prosecution, and admit the defendants to bail, as the offence under which they were charged, is bailable.
He referred to the arraignment of the principal suspects in the case who were granted bail by the same court on Thursday, assuring that his clients would not abscond if admitted to bail.
But in response, police counsel, Effiong Asuquo, said the application for the defendants to be remanded in prison pending legal advice was based on the need to prevent the defendants from going back to run the hotel if granted bail.
He said the subject matter of the case being about Same Sex Marriage Act could only be tried at the High Court, and that the application was needed to keep them in custody pending legal advice.
In his ruling, Magistrate Ojo held that in view of the provisions of Section 264 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, he found merit in the application for the defendants to be remanded pending the DPP advice.
The court said having examined the affidavit in support of the application for remand, he found "sufficient merit" in it, and ruled that "the 1st, 2nd and 3rddefendants be remanded in prison custody pending their legal advice."
Mr. Ojo had, after the arraignment of the 28 adults on Thursday, ordered them to undergo health screening by the Lagos State Aids Control Agency, LSACA, and sexual rehabilitation by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT).
Responding to the arraignment, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, said the development was an eloquent testimony to the commitment of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration to fight all forms of ‘crime and criminality.’
"The arraignment is a confirmation of the commitment of the Lagos State Government to ensure that every resident abides by the law of the state and also to put a stop to the exploitation of under-aged children who are often lured by unscrupulous and criminally-minded adults to engage in acts or behaviours that are not in consonance with the laws of the State," Mr. Kazeem said.
The National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has debunked the claims that association has suspended its plans to go on strike.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, had said the doctors suspended the strike after a meeting between officials of the NARD, the minister and officials of the ministry of health.
However, the Osogbo chairman of NARD, Folarin Olarewaju, said rather, the association will hold an emergency executive committee meeting on Sunday, where a decision will be made.
Gumel Local Government Council of Jigawa has resolved to carry out fumigation to rid the area of mosquitos as part of malaria control.
The Information Officer of the council, Sulaiman Usman, explained that the fumigation would be conducted in residential areas, markets, schools and strategic locations, to rid communities of mosquito breeding spots.
He added that the exercise was poised to control malaria and enhance good healthcare delivery at the grassroots by destroying the mosquito lava and to reduce the spread of malaria in the council.
The Bauchi State government has concluded plans to establish functional blood banks in all the 27 general hospitals in the state.
Abdul’Aziz Manga, Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Hospitals Management Boards, said the plan was to reduce the death of mothers and newborns resulting from lack of blood in hospitals.
The plan is to have a functional and standardised blood bank in the general hospitals, including some of the health facilities at the primary health care level and also encourage relations of beneficiaries to donated as a means of steady supplies.
The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Kogi State chapter, rejected the payment of 50 per cent salary to her members by the state government.
The NMA state chairman, Godwin Tijani, expressed displeasure with the payment of half salary to her members and therefore outrightly rejected it.
Mr. Tijani, while pleading with his members to stay claim while the issue is resolved with the government, said NMA was not invited to the meeting held between the state government and labour leaders where it was purportedly agreed that 50 per cent would be paid to workers.
A hospital worker leaked a startling video recorded from inside an operation theatre of a hospital in India where doctors carrying out a C-section were fighting.
The video recorded by one of the staff at the Umaid Hospital in Jodhpur district showed the doctors engaged in a verbal brawl as a patient undergoing emergency C-section lay sedated between them.
The newborn reportedly died because of the negligence of the doctors. By the time the baby was delivered, it did not survive long before it finally died as the fight lasted 30 minutes.
More Nigerians are likely to go blind if the federal government does not increase its funding of the health sector, a group of ophthalmologists has said.
The group also said that the rising cases of eye diseases such as cataract and glaucoma have impacted negatively on the individual’s economy, the family and the society at large.
The president of the group, Sebastian Nwosu, during the 42nd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Society held in Kaduna State blamed the rate of blindness in Nigeria on the lack of adequate funding by government and inadequate manpower in the health sector.
Seven million Nigerians are currently suffering from stress and depression, says medical experts.
Olabode Shabi, Chairman of the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria, (SFPN) Ekiti Zone, said depression was a common mental health problem that affects 29 million persons in Africa, out of an estimated 322 million people currently affected worldwide.
He identified major causes of stress as work related, such as ambiguity in the job schedule of workers, career development pressure, poor working environment, lack of job security, fear of redundancy and early retirement.
The Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east destroyed no less than 75 per cent of the water and sanitation infrastructure in the geo-political zone, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said.
Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF’s Global Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, stated this at the commencement of the World Water Week. He also said that 3.6 million people lacked water in the area.