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Ban on ‘Soul Caps’ sparks concern about swimming’s lack of inclusivity

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When she competes in next week’s women’s 10k marathon swim, the first Black female swimmer on Great Britain’s Olympic team won’t have on the swim caps that she endorses.

Swimming’s international governing body has forbidden Alice Dearing from wearing them during the Tokyo Games.

The British brand Soul Cap designed swim caps for “thick, curly and voluminous hair” in hopes of encouraging more Black women to begin swimming and making a majority-white sport more inclusive. FINA last month rejected Soul Cap’s attempt to gain approval for use at the Olympics and questioned the need for such a product.

In its decision, FINA said the caps did not fit “the natural form of the head.” The governing body insisted that to its “best knowledge, the athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require to use caps of such size and configuration.”

On July 2, FINA subsequently announced it is “reviewing the situation.” The governing body pledged to include Soul Cap in “initiatives aimed at ensuring there are no barriers to participation in swimming.”

When the Olympics began nine days ago, 14 U.S. senators signed a letter to the president of FINA demanding “immediate action. The letter called on Husain Al-Musallam to reverse a ban on the caps designed for natural Black hair.

Friends Toks Ahmed and Michael Chapman founded their company SOUL CAP in 2017, after starting swimming lessons and meeting a woman with Afro hair who was struggling with the size of her swimming cap.

“This is an opportunity for FINA to realize its stated commitment to inclusivity and to begin to address issues of diversity and representation in competitive swimming,” the letter stated. “It is actions such as these that can move us toward the vision of a more fair and equitable society.”

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey led the letter to FINA. Booker’s letter follows on the heels of a similar one that Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman and Barbara Lee wrote to FINA the previous week.

“This is an incredibly clear example of the ways in which systemic racism impacts every facet of life for black people, especially black women,” Lee said in a press release. “We are urging that FINA take steps to reform this discriminatory policy and align themselves with the intended spirit of inclusion and diversity the Olympic games represent.”

Concerns about FINA’s stance stem from swimming’s history of racial inequality. A study published last year in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education links “a systematic exclusion from public pools” with Black children being 2.6 times more likely to drown than white children.

The disparity at the Olympic level is even more stark. It wasn’t until Simone Manuel in 2016 that an African-American woman won a gold medal in an individual swimming event.

In its July 2 statement, FINA countered that “there is no restriction on ‘Soul Cap’ swim caps for recreational and teaching purposes.” Since then, prominent Black swimmers have pushed for the caps to also be approved for competitive use.

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Former Nigerian Police Inspector-General, Suleiman Abba, Others Invited By Anti-graft Commission For Grilling Over Fraud In Nigeria Police Trust Fund

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A copy of the letter obtained by the media on Saturday revealed that they will be investigated for alleged violation of the provisions of the ICPC Act No. 5 of 2020.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has invited the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF), Suleiman Abba and five others over fraudulent activities including alleged procurement of substandard equipment by the NPTF for the police.

Abba is also a former Inspector-General of Police.

The information is contained in a letter dated September 6, 2021, addressed to the Executive Secretary of the NPTF and signed by the Director of Operations of the ICPC, Akeem Lawal.

According to the letter titled, ‘Investigation Activities: Letter of Invitation Pursuant to Section 28(1(A-B) of ICPC Act 2000’, the anti-graft agency is asking the former IGP and others to appear before it between Monday, September 13 and Thursday, September 16, 2021.

A copy of the letter obtained by the media on Saturday revealed that they will be investigated for alleged violation of the provisions of the ICPC Act No. 5 of 2020.

The ICPC had earlier commenced investigation into alleged procurement of substandard equipment by NPTF officials.

It was discovered that some of the equipment the NPTF recently donated to the police was inferior.

The NPTF had recently donated operational vehicles and other equipment worth N11 billion to the police as the NPTF for the training and retraining of police personnel.

Some of the said equipment included 640 bullet proof vests, 120 buffalo vans, and 190 ballistic helmets but the equipment was said to be substandard.

For instance, it was learnt that the bullet proof vests are supposed to have resistant shields in the front and back but they only had protective shields in the front. Therefore, the bullet proofs will fail to effectively protect police personnel during shoot-outs with criminal elements like Boko Haram terrorists, bandits or robbers.

In the letter obtained by the media, those invited for questioning are identified as: IGP Suleiman Abba (rtd), Board Chairman; Mrs Victoria Ojogbane, Director, Legal Services; Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics; Mr. Lawal Gunjunju, Director, Finance and Account; Mr. Salihu Abubakar, Special Assistant, Technical; Dr. Fred Femi Akinfala, Director, Human Resources and General Services; Mr. Ben Akabueze, Board Member; and Engr. Mansur Hammed, Board Member.

Akabueze is the Director-General, Budget Office of the Government of Nigeria. He was before now the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in Lagos State in the administration of Babatunde Fashola.

Meanwhile, the invitation letter specifies the different times each of them is expected by the ICPC to come in for questioning.

The former IGP, Suleiman is expected to come in for questioning at exactly 1pm on Thursday, September 16, 2021; Ojogbane is expected in by 10am on Monday, September 13, 2021; Mohammed is expected in by 1pm on Monday, September 13, 2021, while Gunjunju is expected in the ICPC office for questioning by 10am on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

Also, Abubakar is expected in for questioning by 1pm on Tuesday, September 14, 2021; Akinfala is expected in by 10am on Wednesday, September 15, 2021; Akabueze is expected in by 1pm on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 while Hammed is expected in by 10am on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

The letter partly read, “Similarly, the invited staff is to come with the following documents as applicable to their office and schedule as well as the original copies for sighting:

“Copies of all payment vouchers for overhead, recurrent and capital for year 2020 and 2021, copies of all contract agreement for contracts awarded from the takeoff grant and capital, copies of staff nominal roll, comprehensive list of staff on transfer, posting and secondment. Vote for take-off grant, breakdown of all spending and approvals, print out of ledger vote and spending, all no objection certificate from Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

“Evidence of BPP clarification on contract award, financial limit and thresholds, procurement methods and threshold of application and expenditure as related to NPTF.

“They are also expected to come with any of the following: a lawyer, Justice of Peace, Staff of the Legal Aid Council or any individual of their choice.

“Accept the assurances of the Commission’s highest regards, please.”

Culled from the Sahara Reporters

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Drama As Fake Soldier Clashes With Air Force Personnel Inside Ogun Police Station

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There was a mild drama at the Ota Divisional Police Headquarters, Ogun State, when an alleged fake soldier, Segun Ogundeji, and an Air Force personnel, John Temitope, clashed over failure to extend official compliment.

In a statement, Spokesman of Ogun Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the drama played out last Wednesday shortly before Ogundeji was arrested for impersonation.

Ogundeji, fully clad in military camouflage, had stormed the police station to demand the release of a suspect.

But, Temitope, who had been on ground, demanded a compliment, leading to a clash between the duo.

“On getting to the station, he (Ogundeji) met an Air Force man, one Cpl John Temitope who accused the suspect of failure to give him an official compliment, as a result of which a quarrel ensued between them,” Oyeyemi said.

According to him, the quarrel attracted the attention of the station’s DPO, Godwin Idehai, who intervened and interrogated them.

Oyeyemi said, “It was during the interrogation that the police discovered that Segun Ogundeji is not a military man.

“It was also discovered that he has once been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for impersonation.”

The Police spokesperson, however, said the Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun, had ordered a full investigation into past activities of the suspect, with a view to charging him to court as soon as the investigation is concluded.

Culled from the Daily Trust News Nigeria

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Kwara NSCDC Arrests Man Whose Mother Bear 3 Children For

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Men of Kwara State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) have arrested one Adamu Sabi Sime, for allegedly having canal knowledge of his biological mother.

Sime, an immigrant from Republic of Benin was said to be the father of three children of his biological mother.

The spokesman of NSCDC in Kwara State, Babawale Afolabi confirmed the incident.

Afolabi added that Adamu’s mother has given birth to three children for her son.

“On Thursday September 09, 2021 one Mallam Bandede, the district head of Mose community in Kaiama local government area of Kwara State reported the incestous act being commited by one Adamu Sabi Sime and his mother, Fati Sime of the same community.

“Men from the intelligence unit and NSCDC operatives in Kaiama swung into action and the outcome of the investigations established the fact that the mother ( Fati) has three children for her biological son. Further check revealed that the younger brother of the accused , who was also confirmed to be sleeping with the mother is now at large,” Afolabi stated.

The NSCDC’s spokesman who disclosed that the mother and her two sons do not possess necessary papers to stay in Nigeria said they have been handed over to the Nigeria lmmigration Service for background check and further actions.

Culled from the Leadership News Nigeria

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