Coalition Blames Sabotage, Not Lami Amodu Over Queens College Deaths

A group of six non-governmental and civil society organisations, The Coalition of Civil Societies on Human Rights and Anti-Corruption in Nigeria has blamed sabotage as possible cause of death of some students at the Queens College Lagos.

The Coalition in a letter to the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education probing the cause of deaths at the Federal Government’s Unity School, insisted that from their findings after an investigation, “we are convinced that what may have happened resulted from acts of sabotage by some desperate persons”.

The former Director/Principal of the College, Dr (Mrs) Lami Amodu, has been accused of culpability in the death of some of the students.

The Coalition, in the letter address to the chairman of the committee and jointly signed by its Chief Convener, Alhaji Sabo Ode and the Director of Public Affairs, Comrade James Ezema, urged the Senate “to ensure that justice is done and that the innocent is not punished for doing that which is right and insisting that the right thing be done in the right way.

 

“As part of our efforts to ensure justice for all, irrespective of class, tribe or social status, when the news of the regrettable incident that led to the death of some students at the college broke, we moved to make our findings on what may have happened”.

 

The groups that constitute the coalition include Professional Women League, Africa Women Network, Centre for Social Justice Equity and Transparency, Save Humanity Advocacy Centre, Stand Up Nigeria, and Conference of Minority Tribes in Nigeria.

 

According to the Coalition, “over time, as we found out, a cartel has been operating within the Queens College Old Girls Association of the school, who always dictated to the management and found for the first time a woman who stood against them.”

 

Spelling out it findings, after an independent investigation carried out by the Coalition, the group said: “Mr Chairman and members, we found out that within her 18 months stay on the saddle in the college, Dr Lami Amodu did all things within her power and within the ambit of bureaucracy to effect long lasting changes that were geared towards improving facilities on ground.

 

“The shocker, for us, was that the incident of stooling and subsequent casualties did not occur in the college until after a meeting held on January 22, 2017, by the Queens College Old Girls Association.

 

“Our findings showed that while the meeting held in the college hall, some old girls found their way into the hostels and the kitchen areas without authorisation of proper permission.

 

“A week later, specifically on January 31, 2017, some students were reported to have started stooling and vomiting but luckily the college and health officials promptly managed and contained the menace.

 

“All of these points to the fact that Dr Lami Amodu understood both the challenges at hand when she assumed office and made efforts to ensure they were addressed”, the group observed.

 

According to them, “One other striking finding was that fact that Dr Amodu was seen as “very strict”, “very hash” and “rude” by certain persons.

 

“On attempt to find out why, we discovered that it was her uncompromising recourse to due process and her resolve that the right thing must be done the right way were the virtues that earned her those tags.

 

“We believe that the old girls and other collaborators, who have resorted to frivolous petition writing, may have played a role, resulting to the stooling and vomiting incident in the college and the subsequent deaths.

 

“More so, some of the deaths occurred after the former Principal had been transferred.

 

“For instance, the death of Sodipo Praise, an Orphan who died on March 30, 2017 occurred nearly two months after Dr Amodu had been transferred.

 

“Our findings equally showed that the young Praise reported to the clinic on 20th February 20, after Dr Amodu had left the school, with feverish condition and was placed on anti-malaria drugs, with follow up treatment until the college went on midterm break.

 

“From home, Miss Praise was referred to the Lagos State University Hospital after her ailment continued at home”, the group revealed.

 

“We gathered that she was diagnosed of liver enlargement and perforation of intestine and later died after surgery, even when she was never treated for stooling and vomiting previously at the college.

 

“Mr Chairman and members, there is more to the issues being raised and allegations being levelled against Dr Amodu. For instance, she was recently accused in a petition of buying an SUV for 17 million, an allegation we have also investigated and found to be false.

“The SUV, which was not for personal use was left in the school after her redeployment. Its purchase, we also found, went through due process and had board approval after the board decided it was very necessary because of the state of the old bus the school had, which was in a very bad condition.

 

“From our investigations we also found out facts on  the allegation of 17 million naira on SUV, which is  also not  true as the findings of the investigation have proved contrary in which the purchase of the SUV went through due process and had board approval after the board decided it was very necessary because of the state of the old bus the school had which was in a bad condition and the Sport Utility Vehicle is still used at Queens College Lagos  by the principal till date and not a private property of Dr. Mrs Lami Amodu”, the group noted.

 

 

Hon. Idota Emerges Winner Of Joint Action Coalition Of Civil Societies For Good Governance Award

The Joint Action Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance held its mid year round table Conference recently at Links Hotel Conference Hall Utako Abuja, where it announced the winner of the HERO OF DEMOCRACY award.

The Joint Action Coalition of Civil Society for good governance formed in the late 70s, is the largest pan African movement, it has been believed that they can be no ideological revolution without a conscious society.

The Coalition of Civil Society for good governance is a coalition of 14 Civil society organizations aimed at drawing a uniform and collective consciousness cutting across all blogs of societal formations, with the sole purpose of revamping these sectors towards achieving good governance, protecting the right of the common man and a robust economy free of corruption.

After passing a vote of confidence on the fight against corruption, and the improvement of security which has created a conductive environment for development even at the local government level by the Mid term of President Buhari led government but frowned at the poor performance of a lot of Governors in the country, which has made the desired change for the people unachievable.

Hon Odumu Idota emerged as the winner of the HERO OF DEMOCRACY award in consideration of his esteemed role in the development of Ohimini Local Government of Benue State, Benue State and Nigeria as a whole, most especially in his chosen career, political, youth, social , peace and economic development and being one of the true hero that formed the foundation that brought about the desired Change in Nigeria.

He emerged the winner out of 5 nominees from the North Central Geopolitical Zone at round table meeting of the coalition in Abuja with 86 votes.

In a statement by the chairman communique drafting committee Hon. Dr. Kabir Dallah said “This award is our totem to encourage the recipient to work harder and thank him for his good works most especially in fighting for the change to purposeful leadership in Nigeria.

“Our country as a whole is in dear need of models like him to help actualize the desired change we need to push our country to greater heights as he is one of the unsung hero of our time.

The decoration of Hon. Idota as our HERO OF DEMOCRACY will be held in Abuja.

 

Human Rights Abuses: Global Amnesty Watch Calls for Speedy Implementation of SBOI Reports

The Global Amnesty Watch, an international humanitarian organization has endorsed the report of the Special Board of Inquiry (SBOI), which investigated the alleged war crimes man by the Nigerian Army personnel in the fight against insurgency in the North East and Internal Security Operations in the South Eastern part of the country.

Recall that the Nigerian Army had said on Thursday that it was studying the report of a special panel that investigated allegations of human rights abuses against the army.

The panel headed by a retired major general, A.T. Jibrin, submitted its report to the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai last week at the army headquarters in Abuja.

Mrs Helen Adesola, Nigerian Representative of GAW, said it was clearly established that all the allegations of rights abuses, extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances were mere concoctions from the imaginations of those of those that have been issuing inaccurate reports.

According to her, “Other instances of documented abuses were transposed from a previous era to give the impression that the cases in question were recently committed.

She added, “The report, which should be given the widest publicity possible, should now put to rest the controversies that had raged around the efforts by Nigerian military authorities to secure the country and keep citizens safe from terrorists and other life threatening criminals.

“The revelations that certain unauthorized organizations were able to obtain classified military documents and signals through leaks is one that should keep the world worried as it implies staffers of such organizations could have been engaged in passing vital Army strategies and troop movement to terrorists, making it difficult to protect civilians.

“We have noted calls for independent investigation and further probes suggested by certain organizations.

“The Global Amnesty Watch however wishes to caution the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria to resist the temptation of being drawn into a popularity contest of pleasing smaller groups to the detriment of the larger population,” her statement added.

The GAW urged the military authority not compromise the interest of the people in the areas affected by terrorism, insurgency and other crimes because they want to be compliant with the request of a narrow spectrum of activists.

She added, “The response for an independent investigation or commission of inquiry must be realistically balanced with the safety and security of citizens since such exercise can compromise national security.

“Nigeria must never lose sight of the fact that the Army is its institution as a sovereign nation and no amount of blackmail should force it to surrender state institutions to fifth columnists especially in this era that terrorists have infiltrated the ranks and file of various military which the Nigerian Army has successfully insulated itself against.”

 

Terrorists Behind US Suit Against Nigerian Military, Says MPN as Group Demands Investigation of Plaintiffs

A civil liberty organisation, Movement of the People of Nigeria, on Wednesday alleged that the persons behind the lawsuit against personnel of Nigerian military authorities in the United States, were not Nigerians “but terrorists and extremists.”

The group, which demanded an investigation of their real identities, however promised to raise its own team of lawyers to confront anyone desperate to rubbish the image of the country or attempts to further diminish its citizenry before the international community.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of MPN, Dr. Innocent Oche Pita, told journalists in Abuja that the suit was aimed at causing a diplomatic row between Nigeria and US.

The suit was said to have been instituted by some persons against Nigeria’s military leadership before a US District Court for the District of Columbia.

But the MPN described it as an abuse of the Torture Victims Protection Act and Alien Tort Claims Act Complaint of the United States.

“The world is aware that Nigeria has suffered in the hands of terrorists and extremists and the Biafra agitators are another brand of terrorists that must not be admitted into the United States, Nigeria or any other peace loving nation.

“It will be wise for the Donald Trump’s administration and the security agencies to discretely investigate the plaintiffs as regards their activities in the United State before they become the kind of nuisance that is presently threatening the United Kingdom and other European countries”, MPN alleged.

The MPN said much as it was glaring that the US courts lack jurisdiction to try such issues, there is no record or evidence that the Nigerian Military abused the rights of any citizen within or outside the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The group said those who fear such “are common criminals who had held the country by the jugular in the recent past through acts like banditry, kidnaping and gun-for-hire.”

According to Pita, the suit is nothing short of a calculated attempt to rubbish the US judiciary for its liberal stand on human rights and protection of lives.

He said it was to allegedly abuse the law under which the suit was filed so that it no longer serves the purpose for which it was crafted, “and to use it to cause strain in Nigeria – US relations.”

MPN said, “Secrecy in a case that claims to be as grounded as the plaintiffs claimed is dubious as it implies that criminals can hide under such unanimity to further questionable agenda. The plaintiffs would only fear exposing their identities either because they are not real in the first place or that they are persons with criminal records in the US.

“Our position is that these people behind the suit are not Nigerians and should stop dragging the name of our country’s military to the mud.

“This is why we are worried that even non-Nigerians can be coached to give evidence since it is apparent that the people that filed the suit are not honest enough to show themselves.

“We will raise our own team of lawyers to confront anyone or any group that is out to rubbish the image of our great country or attempts to further diminish its citizenry in the eyes of citizens of the world”, the group said.

Letter of Complaint on Suitability of Dr. Ganiyu Adeyemi Oke for Conferment Rank of SAN

June 2, 2017

Chief Registrar of Supreme Court/Secretary
Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee,
Supreme Court of Nigeria,
Three Arms Zone,
Supreme Court Complex,
Abuja.

Sir,

COMPLAINT ON THE SUITABILITY OF DR. GANIYU ADEYEMI OKE FOR THE CONFERMENT OF THE RANK OF SENIOR ADVOCATE OF NIGERIA

Organizing For Nigeria Initiative (ONI) is a civil society organization with objectives to promote good governance and integrity in the conduct of private and public life in Nigeria.

In the Public Notice/Advertorial published in The Nation newspaper of Friday, May 19, 2017 by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, Dr. Ganiyu Adeyemi Oke (also known fondly and generally as Dr. Yemi Oke) was listed as one of the candidates who qualified to be awarded the prestigious rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) under the Academic Category. His name was listed as No. 1 under the category.

We write your Committee to show that by the antecedents, character, reputation and the general disposition of Dr. Yemi Oke in the way and manner he has conducted his legal practice and his dealings with the public in general, he is lacking in the requisite integrity, reputation and competence for this prestigious award.

Our position finds support in section 18 (2) and 19 (1) of the Guidelines For the Conferment of the Rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria 2013 to the effect that a candidate for the award of SAN “must be of good character and must have no pending disciplinary case or complaint relating to professional misconduct against him.” These sections also provide that a candidate who is adjudged by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee to be of bad behavior, whether in or out of court, poor temperament or propensity to insult or assault people or cause them harm or put them in state of fear of bodily harm; or who has evidence of moral depravity or other socially unacceptable behavior; or given to abuse of legal trust such as embezzlement or mismanagement of client’s funds is not eligible for the rank of SAN.

Premised on the above, we complain against the candidacy of Dr. Yemi Oke for the rank of SAN on the following grounds:
.
1. Character, Reputation and Disposition of Dr. Yemi Oke:

Dr. Yemi Oke is not a stranger to the politics of Ogun State being a card- carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He served as the Legal Adviser and Executive Member of the Ogun State chapter of the PDP sometime in 2011. In the discharge of his duties as the Legal Adviser to the Chapter, he was found wanting in character, candor and professional disposition. For this reason, a panel constituted by the national leadership of the party disqualified him as an aspirant for the primaries for the Abeokuta South Federal Constituency to the House of Representatives in the following terms:

“The three contestants who were last Friday disqualified by the screening panel headed by Gen. A.B. Mamman from contesting the PDP primaries for National Assembly asprants for their alleged roles in the political crisis in Ohun State ….. Oke was also disqualified on the basis that he failed to use his superior knowledge of the law to advise the party properly, thereby orchestrating the crisis in the party, using his position as a lawyer to destabilize the party and cause disunity contrary to desirable qualities and code of conduct for party members.”

Attached and marked as Annexure I is the certified true copy of The Punch newspapers which reported the disqualification of Dr. Yemi Oke. Against the back ground of his conduct as legal practitioner which had been deprecated in a court’s ruling as would be shown shortly, we hold the view that Dr. Yemi Oke will be a burden and an embarrassment to the Inner Bar.

2. Abuse of Client’s Trust, Judicial Process and Duplicity:

In the discharge of his professional duties as a Legal Practitioner, Dr. Yemi Oke has not only abused the legal trust reposed in him by his clients, he has also encouraged parties to take steps that would ultimately result in the abuse of judicial process. He has once advised adverse parties in a case on steps and strategies, which if adopted, will frustrate his client’s case and position. In Suit No: FHC/L/CS/605/16 Chief Pegba v Otemolu vs. Independent National Electoral Commission & 3 Ors, as Counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the 2nd party in the said suit, Dr. Yemi Oke, instead of pushing the case of his client, was caught advising Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, the major driver and financier of the Caretaker Committee of the PDP challenging the legality of Ali Modu Sheriff, the Acting Chairman of 2nd defendant.

The 2nd defendant became aware of the antics and unethical conduct of Dr. Yemi Oke, in a text message sent from his (Dr. Yemi Oke’s) telephone number: 08023148096 meant for Governor Ayo Fayose but which was sent in error to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the Acting National Chairman of PDP. This abuse of trust, betrayal and duplicity culminated in Dr. Yemi Oke being changed as counsel for PDP. Enclosed herewith is the Further Affidavit of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff in support of the Notice of Change of Counsel, marked as Annexure II, which speaks eloquently about the duplicity of Dr. Yemi Oke in the handling of his client’s case. (See paragraphs 2 – 5 thereof).

3. Unethical Conduct and/or Professional Misconduct:

Dr. Yemi Oke is on record as, a part of the gang of Legal Practitioners, who have no qualms in filing frivolous appeals which serve no purpose other than to delay proceedings and give an advantage to his clients which the judicial process does not envisage. In doing so, it does not matter to him, if the judicial process and the trial Judge are brought into disrepute.

a. In order to stall the proceedings of the 15th day of August, 2016 in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/464/2016: Dr. Ali Modu Sheriff &Ors vs. Independent National Electoral Commission &Ors, Dr. Yemi Oke, for and on behalf of one Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele, a total stranger to the proceedings, filed an application praying the trial Judge for leave to appeal against a purported ruling of the court. One Dolapo Kehinde Esq., who held his brief applied for the case to be adjourned or otherwise stood down to enable Dr. Yemi Oke, who pretended to be held up somewhere at the airport from appearing in court personally to take charge of the day’s proceedings.

b. Based on what he, Dr. Yemi Oke in his wild imagination termed a ruling of the trial Judge, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/464/2016, an appeal was filed to the Court of Appeal. In the said appeal, which he lacked the courage to pursue to conclusion, he joined the trial Jude, Hon. Justice O. E. Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja personally as the 1st Respondent. The said Notice of Appeal is hereto attached and marked as Annexure II.

c. Just to satisfy his client and put the exalted judicial office of a Judge into disrepute, Dr. Yemi Oke did not have any qualms in accusing the trial Judge of bias and making him a party personally in his said appeal, a practice which has been roundly condemned by all, including the apex court of the land, the Supreme Court as not only unpardonable but also tantamount to gross misconduct.

d. In his Ruling in No. FHC/ABJ/CS/464/2016,the trial Judge spared no words in condemning this unethical conduct of Dr. Yemi Oke, for filing the appeal when no appealable decision had been taken, and particularly, for the more ignominious practice of joining a trial Judge, personally, as respondent in his purported appeal. The Committee is invited to read through the record of proceedings of the 15th of August hereto marked as Annexure III, pages 7 – 9, 13 – 14, and particularly, pages 27 – 31 thereof for what the trial Judge said of the antics of Dr. Yemi Oke:

“Again another counsel, Dolapo Kehinde announced appearance for Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele, a total stranger to the proceedings not being a party to the suit and filed a motion from nowhere dated 3rd day of August, 2016 praying the Court for leave to appeal against the ruling of the Court dated 28th July, 2016 on a purported findings made by the Court in that ruling that was not an appealable decision. The finding was not properly quoted from the ruling of the Court. The findings he made reference to was not related to the ruling of the Court. He relied on a purported findings allegedly made by the Court in the Court’s ruling on 28th July 2016 based on his own imagination. ….. The stranger to the proceedings even filed a notice of appeal without leave of Court and made my humble self a party to the incompetent appeal not binding (minding) the judicial immunity conferred on the Court having regard to the provisions of section 188 of the Evidence Act and also contrary to the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case NKOP VS ETUK supra to the effect that no judicial officer can be sued on the issue relating to the discharge of judicial duties.”

e. The above portion of the trial Judge’s Ruling, appropriately captures Dr. Yemi Oke, the lawyer, his practice, conduct and respect for the judicial process, and exalted positions of Judicial Officers, if any. The conclusion of the trial Judge at pages 30 – 31 of the said Ruling is quite instructive in profiling Dr. Yemi Oke and his unsuitability for the rank of SAN. According to the trial Judge:

“The said application is hereby dismissed. Heavy cost would have been awarded against Hon. Ogundele for his unholy conduct unbecoming of a person who claims to be civilized. The lawyer that assisted him in filing these frivolous processes, Dr. Yemi Oke was conscious of his unethical conduct (sic) and failed to appear in Court and rather sent a junior to Court to receive the consequences of his unethical conduct save for the intervention of Chief A. Akintola (SAN).”

f. The unethical conduct of Dr. Yemi Oke as captured by this Ruling holds him out as a person unfit to be honoured with the prestigious rank of SAN, an award designed to celebrate excellence in the legal profession. We have no doubts whatsoever that the kind of unholy and unethical conduct displayed by Dr. Yemi Oke, who knowing the enormity of his actions rather preferred to set up his junior to receive the bullets while he stays away under the pretense that he was held up on the way, is unbecoming of any lawyer who aspires to put on the silk.

g. The Honourable Justice Walter Onnoghen (now CJN) of the Supreme Court in the celebrated appeals by one faction of the PDP against decision of the Court of Appeal Abuja Division to the Supreme Court to determine the party’s candidate for the governorship of Ondo State in 2016, described a SAN who joined Justices of the Court of Appeal, personally as respondents in an appeal like Dr. YemiOke in the instant case as “a disgrace to the legal profession”.
h. This unethical conduct and/or professional misconduct associated with Dr. Yemi Oke; his lack of respect and regard for the due administration of justice and judicial officers; and his willingness to abuse his position as a minister in the temple of justice if that will help him stall the course of justice and give his clients pyrrhic victory, are not qualities that commend a lawyer to be honored with the rank of SAN.

4. Dr. Yemi Oke’s Penchant for Abuses and Insulting Judges:

We need to add also that a lawyer like Dr. Yemi Oke who in his public statements have no qualms in describing judicial officers as “corrupt judges” and “paid judges”, not minding that the National Judicial Council (NJC), the only official organ with power to investigate and sanction such judges, has not condemned them is not a fit and proper person to be conferred with the rank of SAN. We attach and mark as Annexure IV, a publication of Dr. Yemi Oke on the social media entitled “UN-SENATORIAL MIS-STATEMENTS OF A MISFIT SENATOR IN THE RULING OF HC OF OGUN DATED 24/9/16” where he has deployed terrible and very demeaning appellatives in describing innocent judicial officers, including the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. This type of conduct which we also consider unethical does not commend Dr. Yemi Oke as one worthy of any type of honour by the legal profession.

5. Pending Complaint Against Dr. YemiOke:

From the public utterances and writings of Dr. Yemi Oke who has a penchant for telling anyone who cares to know that all the pending complaints of unethical conduct and/or professional misconduct associated with his person and legal practice before the NBA Disciplinary Committee would amount to nothing, we came to know that there are unresolved complaints calling for disciplinary action against him. Our inquiry at the NBA Secretariat confirmed the pendency of several complaints against Dr. Yemi Oke, brought by lawyers and other highly-placed citizens since 2016. Most, if not all of the complaints are yet to be determined by the NBA. We are unable to attach some of the petitions and Dr. Yemi Oke’s response, as annexures herein, due to our inability to obtain copies from the NBA. But the NBA National Secretariat, as headed by the General-Secretary of the NBA, is well aware of the pending and unresolved petitions. The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee may wish to call for such complaints and responses for and against Dr. Yemi Oke.

6. Involvement in the Panama Papers Scandal:

It is also public knowledge that Dr. Yemi Oke was named as one of the lawyers involved in the infamous Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca scandal, who was alleged to have helped incorporate shell entities to evade tax and sell secrecy in perpetration of financial fraudulent dealings. We also attach a publication of Premium Times to the effect as Annexure V.

Our Conclusion

A proper appraisal of each of the matters raised against the candidacy of Dr. Yemi Oke for the award of the rank of SAN shows that he is serially caught by the provisions of section 18 (2) and 19 (1) of the 2013 Guidelines for the said award. We therefore urge the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee to investigate these matters, all of which are in the public domain and in consequence thereof disqualify Dr. Yemi Oke from being honoured with the rank of SAN.

We are hopeful that your Committee will duly consider the matters herein raised and come to a decision that will save the inner Bar from the likes of Dr. YemiOke who, by his professional misconduct and/or unethical conduct, disposition, and dealings with the public, and unguarded utterances, does not possess the requisite character, reputation and good disposition to represent the best in the Nigerian Bar.

Accept the assurances of our best regards.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Uche Nnadozie
Executive Director (ONI)

BREAKING: CNPP Backs Labour, Students, Vows to Resist Fuel Tax

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has thrown its weight behind Nigeria’s organised labour over planned increment of prices of petroleum products, accusing the National Assembly of taking more anti-people decisions than resolutions that could better the lives of the already impoverished masses of Nigeria.

 

“We assure the Senate and the federal government that their proposed N5 be per litre of fuel tax will be resisted”, the CNPP vowed in a statement by the Secretary General of CNPP, Chief Willy Ezugwu on Sunday.

 

The Alhaji Balarabe Musa led umbrella organisation of all registered political parties and associations in Nigeria also warned the Presidency of the imminent consequences of adding to the pains of the ordinary people of Nigeria by raising the pump price of fuel under any guise.

 

“Our findings have shown that the bill titled ‘National Roads Fund (Establishment, etc) Bill 2017’, proposing that N5 to be paid per litre of fuel imported into the country is a ploy by the federal government to impose more hardship on Nigerians at a time the burden of recession in the country is becoming unbearable.

 

“We thought that the federal government should be thinking of reducing the already biting hardship in the country after failing to fulfil the promised increment in minimum wage and non-payment of arrears of workers’ salaries and allowances in the past two years.

 

“It seems that the current government at the federal level and their National Assembly collaborators enjoy inflicting more and more pains on Nigerian masses.

 

“We wonder why the Senate Committee on Works in its final report on the bill would make such proposal. Are they saying that the only way this government can raise funds is by increasing pump price of petroleum prices and punishing the masses?”, the CNPP queried.

 

The Nigerian organised labour, students and others have vowed to resist any attempt by government to indirectly or otherwise introduce a hike in the bump price of fuel, given the economic hardship in the country.

CULLED FROM: TheStreetReporters.com

Why Three New Faces of Socio-Political Reawakening In Igbo Land Must Not Be Found Wanting

The leaderships of Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) have carefully appraised the goings on as they concern recent social and political developments in the Southeast Nigeria particularly as they concern Igbo socio-political reawakening and assertion of their rights to existence and ethnic identities with successes trailing last Tuesday’s sit-at-home protest voluntarily organized by IPOB and reformed MASSOB leaderships as a clear case in point.

Another reason behind this joint statement is to remind the trio of Peter Obi, Ike Ekweremadu and Nnamdi Kanu of their existing prestigious status as distinguished Igbo personalities of the year 2016.

This reminding advocacy voice is to strongly advise them to always watch their backs and refrain at all times from associating themselves with activities and conducts capable of forcing the Igbo People to look down and disrespect them.

They must not make themselves or be seen as demigods and must always be closer to the Igbo People. The concept of power drunkenness and psychology of politics must never be their portion. In other words, to whom much is given, much is expected.

We are particularly appalled and deeply worried over an allegation making the news in the web and social media (i.e. 247UReports) concerning Governor Willie Obiano’s car and cash gifts to Citizen Nnamdi Kanu.

According to the said online news report, “Nnamdi Kanu was recently handed over a cash of $50,000 and two SUV cars by Governor Willie Obiano and the gifts were gladly accepted from the giver”.

On further enquiry, a dependable and authoritative source told the coalition that “the acceptance of the gifts by Kanu from Governor Obiano was owing to the fact that Governor Obiano has been assisting Nnamdi Kanu’s father while Kanu was in prison”.

The link to the online story is here: https://247ureports.com/2017/05/27/nnamdi-kanu-receives-50000-and-two-suvs-from-obiano/. The publisher, Ikenna Ezenekwe, is a known close ally of Governor Obiano. The jeeps and cash, according to Ezenekwe’s 247UReports of 27th May 2017, “were delivered to Citizen Kanu shortly after his conditional freedom from prison by one Primus Odili, said to be Gov Obiano’s distant relative”..

It must be pointed out clearly here that there is nothing wrong in giving and receiving plain and charitable gifts from a public office holder or a wealthy philanthropist for the advancement of a nonviolent social struggle such as Biafra self determination campaigns, but a lot is morally wrong and socially abominable when such gifts are seen or perceived as politically motivated, ill conceived or evidentially and atrociously escapist.

If it is true that Governor Willie Obiano gave out such gifts to Nnamdi Kanu, valued at about N98million (i.e. N80M for the two SUV cars and N19M equivalent of $50,000), then our immediate appeal to Citizen Kanu is for such gifts to be returned to the Awka Government House with immediacy.

If it is not true, then he should direct his IPOB to respond publicly and convincingly on his behalf. The response under demand is grossly belated.

The acceptance of such gifts, if true, will spell doom to the nonviolent pro Biafra campaigns and pose a generational clog and curse for those championing the ongoing pro Biafra agitation.

The gifts, if truly given and accepted, can further evoke incurable wrath from the spirits of the 140 innocent, defenseless and unarmed Igbo citizens that were slain under Governor Obiano’s supervision and mobilization on 29th and 30th of May 2016 at Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba.

Mortally, if it is true that such gifts were given and accepted, then the moral rectitude and competence of IPOB under Citizen Nnamdi Kanu to seek culpable and compensatory justices for the slain defenseless and unarmed citizens, numbering not less than, 140 and their beloved families may most likely have been jeopardized (only victims of 29th and 30th of May 2016 massacre at Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba).

We have insisted and still insist that Governor Willie Obiano must make an open confession and admission of truth regarding his culpable roles and that of his government in the massacre.

He must follow it up by constituting a judicial panel or commission of enquiry, to be composed of 70% non State actors and 30% State actors to further unravel the atrocities of 29th and 30th May 2016.

The Nigerian Army in Onitsha must publicly disclose where and how they criminally buried dozens of slain innocent Igbo citizens; many of them the army was caught in camera conveying or moving them via their military trucks inside the Onitsha Army Barracks.

What shocks us the more is Governor Willie Obiano’s continued denial of death toll in the said Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba massacre.

The Governor was authoritatively reported to have maintained this stance recently when a Nigerian Army’s kangaroo probe team visited him during which he was reported to have told the team that “nobody was killed at Nkpor and Onitsha on 29th and 30th May 2016 and if they said somebody was killed, I am not aware”. This was disclosed when the so called “army probe team” visited a certain establishment.

The so called “army probe team” never bordered to visit our coalition or the leadership of Intersociety, which thoroughly investigated the referenced massacre.

The leaderships of Intersociety and our coalition also never bordered to seek to meet the team, because we see the said army probe team as nothing but “a kangaroo army probe team”, seeking to trace and profile members and relatives of the slain families for purposes of evidence erasure, destruction and self exoneration.

For purposes of refreshing the minds of all and sundry, not less than 140 unarmed and defenseless citizens including those participating or attending church night vigils (i.e. inside St Edmunds Cath.

Church Primary School Classrooms located along Umuoji Road, Nkpor), early morning church service returnees and travelers, passers-by, street petty traders, artisans and onlookers were in the late night of 29th and morning and afternoon hours of 30th May 2016; shot and killed by members of the Anambra State Joint Security Taskforce (JTF), comprising soldiers of the Onitsha Military Barracks led by Col Abdullahi Isah Maigari and operationally commanded by Major M.I. Ibrahim of the Military Police.

Other key culprits in the massacre are the Anambra State Police Command led by then DCP OPS, now Commissioner of Police, Johnson Babatunde Kokomo and the Onitsha Area Commander and all DPOs under Onitsha Area Command; Anambra Police SARS led by CSP Bassey Annang; personnel of the Onitsha Navy Post Command, operatives of the SSS, personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, the personnel of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency and armed members of the Anambra State Vigilante Services (AVS).

It is further recalled that prior to the State Government supervised massacre, a letter of notification was sent and successfully delivered to the Governor of Anambra State through the then Commissioner of Police, now AIG Hosea Karma (AIG Zone 9, Umuahia).

The IPOB’s notification letter duly informed the Obiano Administration of its plan to hold the 2016 Igbo/Biafra Heroes Day near Eke Nkpor at a bulldozed multi plots of land temporarily let out for the event by a concerned property magnet. Following the successful and nonviolent marking of the anniversary in Umuahia and Enugu in 2014 and 2015, Anambra State was chosen as the host venue for 2016 anniversary.

The notification letter also clearly disclosed the intent of the event and solicited for security presence from the Government of Anambra State for the purpose of ensuring effective and peaceful crowd control.

Shockingly, the Governor of Anambra State and his Joint Security Taskforce used the notification letter to plan and strategize for violent crackdowns. Unknown to IPOB, Governor Willie Obiano doled out millions of naira from the meager State coffers for logistics and mobilized all the security agencies under his JTF.

Signals were sent to the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu for reinforcements and before the late night of 29th of May 2016, all strategic nooks and crannies of the State including all strategic entry and exit roads around Onitsha, Nkpor, Nnewi, Awka and Asaba had been violently blocked by soldiers and Police SARS.

As a result, shooting and killing spree targeted at those arriving for the anniversary commenced from 11pm of 29th May and terminated around 2pm of 30th May 2016.

At the end, field reports gathered by Intersociety evidentially showed that not less than 140 citizens were killed, out of them 110 died at Nkpor and Onitsha, while 30 others died at Asaba. Over 130 others were terminally injured: 70 in Onitsha and 60 in Asaba. Several Army Hilux vans carrying scores of dead bodies were caught in camera heading to Onitsha Army Barracks.

The bodies of the dead citizens picked by soldiers were later buried in most abominable and heartless manner inside one of the Onitsha Army Barracks’ two cemeteries (in about 15 graves with each containing at least seven shrank and acidified bodies). Their criminal burial took place on Wednesday 1st June 2016; eyewitnesses say, in the presence of one of Governor Willie Obiano’s Commissioners in charge of Public Communications.

About half of those killed in Asaba, numbering not less than 30, dumped at the Federal Medical Center including Citizen Chinedu Udoye were later on 26th June 2016 removed and buried at a certain location around Asaba Airport Road. Amnesty Int’l had in its report, disclosed that “not less than 60 citizens were killed at Nkpor and Onitsha, with at least 70 others injured”.

The Report did not include those killed and injured in Asaba. The culpable Government of Anambra and its mobilized security agencies including Nigeria Police Force and Nigerian Army not only boasted and justified the massacre, but also labeled the slain and the IPOB as “miscreants”, “violent and armed” and “armed independent people of Biafra”. Credit: Intersociety 2016/2017.

Governor Willie Obiano had also after the massacre and its allied litany of denials told by his Government made cursed offers including announcement of a N10million gift to injured victims during his crocodile tear-visit to hospitals where the wounded were being treated.

The offer was roundly rejected by IPOB and our coalition. A number of late night raids in private and public clinics and private residences were also carried out by soldiers and Police SARS leading to forceful removal of dead bodies of the slain pro Biafra activists; forcing families and relatives of other slain and injured activists to summarily whisk them out of Anambra State for safety.

Revocation of Nnamdi Kanu’s Prisoner-Of-Conscience Status: Following the conditional release of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu who was named Prisoner-Of-Conscience by our coalition in 2016, following his long detention without formal trial and several disobedience to judicial pronouncements for his freedom by his captors (Federal Government and its SSS), we hereby revoke his Prisoner-Of-Conscience status.

The trio of Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi; alongside Sheik Zaky El-Zaky and his wife-Malama Zeenatu El-Zaky are hereby renamed SBCHROs’ Prisoners-Of-Conscience.

While Sheik El-Zaky and his beloved wife, Malama Zeenatu have been held by SSS without any form of trial or court proceedings or freedom since 14th December 2015, David Nwawuisi and Chidiebere Onwudiwe have remained in detention without trial since October 2015 and June 2016 respectively for un-tried offence of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, which is lightly bailable and attracts not more than seven years imprisonment on conviction.

Citizen Bright Chimezie’s arrest and incarceration by the Akwa Ibom State Directorate of SSS is complicated and lawless. He was arrested in Uyo by SSS on 16th September 2016 and detained without trial.

All efforts by his lawyers and family to see him proved abortive, forcing his lawyers to file a fundamental rights suit in Abuja in which the SSS filed a counter affidavit, saying that he was being held by its Uyo Directorate.

Fresh suit was filed before the Uyo Federal High Court and the Uyo SSS flouted an order of the Court and refused to produce before same; leading to the judgment of 24th May 2017, ordering for his unconditional release. Citizen Bright Chimezie has not been released by the Uyo SSS till date; thereby fueling speculations of his possible death in SSS custody.

Citizen Benjamin Madubugwu is denied a Prisoner-Of-Conscience status because of his connection with firearms found in his custody. The prisoner-of-conscience status is strictly meant for those who never used violence (pacifists) or implied as violent citizens in asserting their constitutional, regional and international human rights. In the eyes of Nigeria’s body of laws, Citizen Madubugwu is entitled to possess guns in the category of firearms (two pump action guns) found in his custody provided he operates same with lawful license.

Commendation: The following are worthy of commendation for their priceless and immeasurable roles in the human rights, humanitarian, research, documentation and media advocacy aspects of the nonviolent pro Biafra campaigns in Nigeria so far.

They are Amnesty International, SBCHROs, Intersociety, Alaigbo Development Foundation, Igbo Youth Movement, Ike Ekweremadu, Peter Obi, Joe Achuzia, US Embassy in Nigeria, Mike Akuoma, Ugochukwu Chinwuba, Ikechukwu Okoye, Clifford Iloanya, Prince Emeka Onyeso, Okechukwu Nwanguma, Aloysius Attah, Ibuchukwu Ezike, Tochukwu Ezeoke and his Igbo Ekunie group, Justus and Justine Ijeomas, Alex Olisa, Damian Ugwu, Damian Ogudike, Tools & Allied Market and its leadership, Ekwenche Group, USA, Uche Asiegbu, George Onyeibe, Samuel Kamanyoku.

Others are Isaac Umunna and his News Express Online, Daniel and Tim Elombah and their Elomba Reports, Madam Aziza Uko and her Trent Online, Emeka Odugwu and his Odogwu Blog, Chidi Opara and his Chidiopara Reports, Henry Oduenyi and his Nigerian Voice, James Ezema and his The Street Reporters, Naija.Com, Nairaland, Barrister Chioma Kate Unini and her Nigerian Lawyer Online, Mazi Odera, Uchenna Madu, Barristers Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Chuks Muoma (SAN), Emmanuel Onyejena and his Allnewsandreports.

The rest are Chinwe Umeche, Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Florence Akubilo, Ndidiamaka Bernard; the Galaxy TV and its Southeast crew, Minaj TV, Vanguard Newspaper, Innocent Anaba and his InosReport, Leonard Sobechi of Guardian Newspaper, Senator Iroegbu and Dave Eleke of This Day Newspaper, Today Online, Uncova Online, the Authority Newspaper, the Premium Times, Emmanuel Mayah, Mary Ann Onwuchekwa, Anita Foster, Tony Okafor, the Independent Newspaper, Champion Newspaper, Alphonsus Nweze, Cyprain Ebele, to mention but a few.

Why Igbo Spoke In Unisom On 30th May 2017: The massive reactions of the most Igbo People on 30th May 2017 by voluntarily shutting down their businesses across the country and beyond the shores of Nigeria for the purpose of honoring their fallen heroes and heroines killed in the 1967-70 Biafra-Nigeria Civil War and others butchered since 1945 is not only a strong message to those behind the decades long butcheries, but also a red card to those who mocked the Igbo People to the effect that Igbo People are not united and can never be united. It is also a red card to those who falsely claimed that Igbo People have no leadership or kingship.

Most importantly, this collective feat also calls for caution particularly on the part of IPOB and reformed MASSOB under Citizens Nnamdi Kanu and Uchenna Madu leadership. That is to say that such massive support must not be taken for granted. Igbo People have no leadership, kingship or oneness so long as there are no credible people in leadership positions or genuine and formidable social cause to fight or agitate for.

Once credible leaders or genuine social cause are spotted or found, unity, oneness and credible leadership commands take the centre stage among the Igbo People.

That is to say that the same way the Igbo People have hearkened to IPOB and reformed MASSOB’s recent call for a sit-at-home protest, is exactly the same the same Igbo People will turn their back permanently against the likes of IPOB and reformed MASSOB and their leaders once they are seen or perceived as deviants and conformists.

This was why we had on 11th December 2016 named the trio of Peter Obi, Ike Ekweremadu and Nnamdi Kanu as distinguished Igbo personalities for 2016. We found in them great potentials to lead and wriggle Igbo People out of their decades’ long trepidations, agonies, unprovoked attacks and butcheries.

We had then counseled them strongly to jealously guide and guard their leadership potentials and resist any attempt to get them rubbished or compromised. Till date, in Anambra State, Peter Obi’s leadership and public governance imprints are next to nothing or second to none.

The trio of Peter Obi, Ike Ekweremadu and Nnamdi Kanu still retain their prestigious distinguished personalities of 2016 status till the end of this year. With this in their hands, they must at all times not disappoint the Igbo People as “new faces of Igbo renaissance or reawakening”.

They must understand that the Igbo People are watching them all the time as per wherever they go and whatever they do. They are now like the great mgburuichi and nze-na-ozo people of the Oracular Igbo Society, who on account of their membership of the two highly revered groups; were incapable of associating themselves with evil doing or disappointing themselves and their society.

We also welcome Citizen Nnamdi Kanu’s ongoing reconciliatory moves, geared towards mending fences with those in disagreements with others.

Such gesture must also be extended to key members of his group’s Directorate of State (DOS) and Coordinating Office of Coordinators (COC) as well the likes of Ekwenche Igbo group in USA.

Signed:
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs)

Comrade Aloysius Attah (+2348035090548)
For: Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast Zone

Comrade Peter Onyegiri (+2347036892777)
For: Centre for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy

Comrade Samuel Njoku (+2348039444628)
For: Human Rights Organization of Nigeria

Engineer Rufus Duru (+2348037513519)
For: Global Rights & Development International

Comrade Chike Umeh ( +2348064869601)
For: Society Advocacy Watch Project

Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq. (+2348034186332)
For: Anambra Human Rights Forum

Comrade Alex Olisa(+2348034090410)
For: Southeast Good Governance Forum

Jerry Chukwuokoro, PhD (+2348035372962)
For: International Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative

Mr. Tochukwu Ezeoke (+447748612933)
For: Igbo Ekunie Initiative (Pan Igbo Rights Advocacy Group)

Comrade Vincent Ezekwume (+2348171793911)
For: Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State Branch

Emeka Umeagbalasi(+2348174090052)
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

How TCG Celebrated First Anniversary, Moves To Take Political Control of Constituency

It was a political revival of a sort, when The Consolidation Group (TCG), a political platform birthed by Comrade Ayodele Adewale, gathered to celebrate its first year anniversary on Monday, January 9, 2017, The Street Reporters reports

The group is composed of members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, South West of Nigeria.

Several vibrant grassroots politicians, including young people, from seven political wards that make up Amuwo Odofin Local Government of Lagos State, graced the event.

The occasion offered the group an opportunity to drum up support for its members who are aspiring to occupy various elective offices.

Key aspirant at the anniversary celebration was Comrade Oluwaseyi Valentine Buraimoh,  who is the Amuwo Odofin Local Government chairmanship aspirant. Members of the group used the event to continue their support for his aspiration.

Also present were legislative aspirants from the seven electoral wards of the local council, who are seeking to be elected as councillors.

Speaking, the Convener, Comrade Adewale, thanked all the TCG members for their loyalty and support towards the actualisation of the objectives of the organisation.

He further called on all members of group to intensify their drive on their house-to-house campaign to mobilise residents who have not collected their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to do so.

This, according to him, was necessary in readiness to vote for  Comrade Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimoh, an engineer, and all the councillorship hopefuls in the TCG ahead of the forthcoming local government election in the state, as well as to mobilise for the APC primary election.

He observed that Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) has commenced spadework ahead of the council election.

Comrade Adewale, therefore, pledged to personally put in more efforts to building a political and infrastructural systems.

tcg-ayo-adewale

The former Amuwo Odofin local government chairman told the group that he has gotten “the understanding of a multi billion naira infrastructural development company to support the incoming administration of Comrade Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimoh after his election and swearing-in into office by the special grace of GOD”.

According to Comrade Adewale, who left infrastructural and developmental footprints while served as the council boss added that “the incoming comrade Buraimoh Oluwaseyi Valentine’s administration will surprise the world, within its first 100 days in office, with remarkable developmental transformation in this local government.”

Culled From The Street Reporters

15 Years Remembrance: Why CSCEOS Wants Police to Re-open Bola Ige, Olagbaju Murder Cases

Following the recent reported directive of President Muhammadu Buhari and the calls by the well meaning Nigerians that the brutal killing of former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, SAN, be revisited, a Civil Society Organization(CSO), the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State(CSCEOS) has also called for the re-opening of the gruesome murder of late Honourable Misty Odunayo Olagbaju by the current authority of the Nigeria Police Force(NPF).

The group also disclosed that the opening of the two brutal murders would go in right direction by bringing the uncommon credibility to the force under the present Inspector General of police (IGP) Alhaji Ibrahim Idris

According to the group in a Letter dated Monday 26th September and signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman which was received by the office of the Police boss on Tuesday 27th September, 2016 and the copy was made available to newsmen on Thursday in commemoration of 15 years remembrance of Late Bola Ige, writing the authority of the Force to re-open the brutal murder of Hon. Olagbaju alongside of Late Chief Ige as being planned.

The Letter reads in part; “Sir, Honourable Odunayo Olagbaju, who was a serving member of the Osun State House of Assembly, was brutally murdered on December 19, 2001 in front of Moore Police Station, Ile-Ife, in which Chief Bola Ige was brutally killed four days later, precisely, December 23rd, 2001 at his Bodija residence in Ibadan.

“We wish to inform your good office that the two highly unresolved murder cases are seriously affecting the psycho-analysis of the people of Osun State till this present moment and we believe that the two unresolved murder case as affecting our dear State, should be thoroughly re-investigated by bringing it to close once and for all.

“While urging you to exhibit uncommon courage and honesty to ensure in bringing of the perpetrators of the dastard act to justice and this will be the litmus test for the Force in order to retain the confidence of the good people of the country in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as the right to life is universal and guaranteed by the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”

It would be recalled both Ige and Olagbaju were brutally killed as a result of political crisis that engulfed the atmosphere of the State in 2001, when Chief Bisi Akande was battling his erstwhile Deputy, Senator Iyiola Omisore over power supremacy in the State.

In a related development, in July this year, President Muhammad Buhari directed the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to reopen investigation into the unresolved murder of the former Minister, Chief Ige.

Similarly, Chief Bola Ige, a national leader of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) was a serving Senior Minister in the cabinet of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government and Honourable Odunayo Olagbaju was a serving State Legislator under the same political party, Alliance for Democracy (AD) which was generally believed then, was fighting for the downtrodden masses of the State.‎

SOURCE: The Street Reporters

 

CNPP Kicks Against Jibrin’s Probe, Reiterates Call For Independent Investigation of Budget Fraud Allegation

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has rejected the move by the House of Representatives to probe Hon. Abdulmumi Jibrin over his efforts at exposing budget fraud in House, reiterating its call for independent investigation into the allegations “rather than engaging in the persecution of the whistleblower.”

The House Speaker Hon. Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the House of Representatives were named in a budget padding and abuse of office allegations by Hon. Jibrin.

The CNPP in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu described Jibrin’s probe by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges as “a witch hunt and harassment of whistleblowers to the detriment of the ongoing war against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration”.

“The CNPP insists that the Speaker and the fingered principal officers of the House must step aside until they are properly investigated as they cannot be the Judge in their own case and yet lay claim to equity.

“For us, the probe of Hon. Jibrin by Ethics and Privileges Committee of the House, with an obvious predetermined script to suspend him, is nothing but a blackmail by the hunted hunting the hunter in a bid to cover up a gross allegation made by the lawmaker.

“How can the war against corruption succeed when the principal leadership of the House of Representatives noticeably pays lip service to the anti-corruption drive by the Buhari government?

“Rather than embark on the probe, the House would have compelled the Speaker and the principal officers named by Hon. Jibrin to submit themselves to an independent probe panel comprising of relevant security agencies and if cleared, they can sanction the lawmaker for false allegation. Is this not what is most reasonable to do by the House?

“What is it that the Speaker and the principal officers are afraid of? Why are they quick to probe the allegation by some members who claimed their reputation has been damaged by Hon. Jibrin’s allegations, when the allegations have not been investigated and found to be untrue? What is it that the Speaker and his co-accused are struggling to hide from Nigerians?”, the CNPP asked.

“We, therefore, call on the Speaker to immediately disband his probe committee and submit themselves first to an independent investigative panel for open probe of the allegations against them. It is only then can any probe of Hon. Jibrin may be acceptable to well meaning Nigerians.

“If the House is truly concerned about its image, clearing the abuse of office and budget fraud allegation against its Speaker and other principal leaders should be more troubling to them at this time”, the CNPP said.

REVEALED: Nigeria’s Security Forces, Others, Murdered 4000 Unarmed Citizens In 10 Months – Intersociety

service-chiefsThe leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)  has revealed that no fewer than 4,000 Nigerians have been killed extra-judicially in the country in the last 10 months.

According to the group in a statement to The Street Reporters on Monday, Intersociety said it “is shocked to observe that  not less than 4000 unarmed citizens of Nigeria have been butchered between June 2015 and March 2016; a period of 10 months after the swearing in of Retired Gen Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s sixth electoral president. This represents average of 400 killings monthly”.

According to the statement signed by the group’s Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq, and the Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program, Chinwe Umeche, Esq, the human rights advocacy group noted that its latest updates are built on our previous statements on same subject, saying “it is also correct to say that Nigeria had since  the beginning of June 2015 moved from ballot box to killing fields; resulting in the murder of the number of citizens under reference.

“The unarmed and innocent citizens were butchered in the hands of the State and non State killing entities. Of the 4000 murdered citizens, coercive agents of the Buhari administration; fully backed by President Muhammadu Buhari himself, are responsible for at least 1000 murders, while other non State killing entities account for at least 3000 others. The killings under reference are unreservedly condemned”.

The body alleged that “majority of the State sanctioned killings are perpetrated by the Nigerian Army led by Lt. Gen. Turkur Buratai, while the Nigeria Police Force led by IGP Solomon Arase and others including Nigerian Navy account for the rest.

“There are also strong suspicions that killings carried out by the Fulani Terror group are State sanctioned and condoned. Of the 3000 killings by non State violent entities, in the past 10 months, Boko Haram Terror group accounts for at least 1,820, while the Fulani Terror group (erroneously called herdsmen) accounts for at least 880.

“The rest is perpetrated by sectarian, demographic and cult militant groups. Specifically, those killed by coercive agents of the Buhari administration include 705 members of the Shiite Muslim movement, who were mass-murdered in December 2015 on the directives of the Chief of Army Staff (Lt Gen Turkur Buratai)”.

The Human Rights Watch had in late December 2015 disclosed factually that “at least 300 Shiite members were killed and buried by Nigerian soldiers in Zaria on December 12 and 14, 2015”.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shiite) had also in January 2016 made public names and pictures of its 705 members murdered or gone missing in the hands of Nigerian Army since December 12 and 14, 2015.

Intersociety added that “other unarmed and innocent citizens killed by coercive agents of the Buhari administration are over 80 unarmed and nonviolent IPOB members and supporters killed in Onitsha, Aba and Port Harcourt, between August 2015 and February 2016; as well as recent killings in Rivers State by Nigerian soldiers, etc.

“We had in our previous updates disclosed that the Fulani Terror group had between May and October 2015, killed not less than 380 unarmed and innocent rural citizens mostly in the former Middle Belt region of Nigeria. Most of the victims belong to Christian religion.

“According to the Open Doors, a pressure group advocating for persecuted Christians in Northern Nigeria, in its recent 47-page report of March 4th 2016, “over 1.3 million Christians have fled their homes in Northern Nigeria since 2000 to escape Boko Haram and Fulani Terror groups’ holocausts as well as politically oiled sectarian violence; and 9,000-11,500 Christians have been killed and 13,000 churches closed or destroyed”.

“Thousands of Christians including girl-children have also been forcefully converted to Islam. Between January and July 2015, alone, according to the Punch Newspaper, the Fulani Terror group and its violence killed a total of 621 rural citizens including 231 murdered in March 2015 alone; out of which, 90 were murdered in Agatu Community of Benue State.

“Most of them are Christians. Over half of the killings perpetrated in the seven months of 2015, took place in Benue State.

“In 2010, the Fulani Terror group stormed Dogo na Hauwa Village of Plateau State and slaughtered up to, if not over 500 villagers comprising women, children and other helpless and unarmed citizens. The cult killings or violence also resulted to 140 deaths between January and July 2015”.

The Intersociety revealed further that “between October 2015 and March 2016, the Fulani Terror group also carried out further butchering of at least 500 unarmed and innocent rural citizens.

“The butchery includes the Agatu massacre of 23rd of February 2016 in which hundreds of unarmed and innocent rural citizens were massacred as well as the January 24th 2016 killing of an Igbo DPO and 30 others in Girei Local Government of Adamawa State.

“The murdered Igbo DPO (CSP Okezie Okereofor) was in-charge of the Vunokilang Police Station in the area when the butchery took place. The remaining 300 violent murders are linked to sectarian, demographic and cult militant entities; totaling in all, to at least 4000 violent deaths in the past ten months (June 2015 to March 2016) of the Buhari’s presidency.

“According to APC authorities in Nigeria, “32 of its members were killed in recent political attacks  in Rivers State”.

“Further, on 7th of October 2015, we disclosed that the Boko Harm Terror group had between May 30, 2015 and 7th of October 2015, killed at least 1,324 unarmed and innocent citizens. We had earlier on 16th of July 2015 disclosed that over 1000 citizens were killed in 48 days of the Buhari’s Presidency by Boko Haram and Islamist Fulani terror groups.

”The figure then included at least 625 Boko Haram killings and 380 killings carried out by the Fulani Islamist terror group; erroneously called Fulani Herdsmen. According to the Global Terrorism Index (of 2015), a total of 6, 614 citizens were killed by Boko Haram Terror group in Nigeria in 2014 alone”.

The international organisation also noted that “not less than 500 unarmed and innocent citizens killed by Boko Haram Terror group between October 2015 and March 2016; a period of ten months, 296 are cited below.

“They are as follows: On 18th of October 2015, 12 citizens were killed in Adamawa after two female bombers detonated a bomb; on 23rd of October 2015, 27 were killed after suicide attacks in a mosque in Adamawa; on 21st of October 2015, 13 people were killed after armed Boko Haram elements opened fire on four cars, killing passengers on board in Ngazai area of Borno State.

“They also attacked a mosque in Maiduguri on 23rd of October 2015, killing at least 19. On 17th of November 2015, Boko Haram attackers stormed a food market in Yola and killed 32 citizens. In the same November 2015, a total of 35 citizens were killed by Boko Haram armed elements in various attacks in Kano State. On 27th of December 2015, Boko Haram elements set fire on the Village of Kimba in Borno State, killing 14.

“On 28th of December 2015, Boko Haram elements via two female bombers detonated bombs at a Madagali crowded market in Borno State, killing 28 (source: Wikipedia 2015).

“The Associated Press (AP) also reported that Boko Haram violent elements had on 31st of January 2016, killed 86 citizens in attacks in Dalori Village of Borno State and on 14th of February 2016, the CNN reported that 30 citizens were killed by Boko Haram armed elements in a series of attacks launched in the Villages of Yakshari and Kachifa in Damboa district of Borno State.

“The categorized killings above highlighted did not include members of the Nigerian security forces killed in action by violent Boko Haram elements or Boko Haram combatants killed in action by the country’s security forces. Pretrial killings by personnel of the Nigeria Police Force perpetrated against their detainees were also not included.

“Victims of the killings above other than cult related killings are found not to have advocated or used violence. They neither belonged nor participated in any violent conflict involving Boko Haram insurgency and the Government of Nigeria.

“Their killings are carried out in brazen misuse or excessive application of State violence or for the purpose of earning crude collateral violent advantage (by Boko Haram) against Nigerian State institutions and authorities in the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency.

“Those butchered by Fulani Terror group are killed for the purpose of advancement of politico-religious cleansing or Jihads majorly targeted against Christian population in Nigeria. Other sectarian, demographic and cult related violence are also found to be politically motivated and sanctioned”.

The killings, according to the group, “clearly showcase deepening signs of State weakness and fragility and clear resurgence of politicide, democide, ethnocide and religocide. Totality of these has led to the return of killing fields in Nigeria”.

The Intersociety warned that “With 4000 murders in barely ten months on average of killing of 400 citizens monthly and with the State steadily losing its institutional and constitutional capacities to protect the citizenry, the probability of full return to self-help by the citizenry is very high.

“The entry by the State of Nigeria as a partaker in the country’s resurged killing fields, with 1000 murders in ten months to its name, shows grave dangers ahead.

“Comparatively, while the unlawful homicide rate of the State was strictly tamed and restricted to police pretrial killings and war related atrocities in the Boko Haram insurgency during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan; it has spiraled under the Buhari administration with incessancy of killing of unarmed and innocent citizens.

“The killings by the Fulani Terror group are also on sharp increase under Buhari administration”, the group observed.

The statement further observed that “Finally, Nigeria has moved from ballot box to killing fields and from change to chains. Nigeria’s human rights and rule of law records are also at the lowest ebbs. Avoidable death records in the country have spiraled.

“The country’s chief internal security establishment-Nigeria Police Force is endlessly crawling and goofing. Its IGP is more concerned in hanging unto his job than to provide security and protect the unarmed and defenseless Nigerian citizens.

“He orders his field personnel to kill at slightest sight of any citizen peacefully and nonviolently exercising his or her constitutional rights particularly those of movement and peaceful assemblies.

“Unarmed and innocent assemblies gathered to ask governing authorities relevant social questions pertaining to their country’s political, economic, and cultural and security downturns are violently and deadly disrupted on account of his murderous orders; whereas malicious citizens and entities who illicitly armed themselves and engaged in unchecked butchering of their fellow citizens are shielded”, the statement concluded.

Source

I’m Legally Retired, Not a Fugitive – Dasuki Tells FG With Evidence

Dasuki-in-CourtThe immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has responded to an allegation that he was a fugitive soldier, insisting he is a lawfully retired officer of the Nigerian Army.

Dasuki, who spoke through his Lawyer in a statement on Sunday, confirmed that left the Army in 1994.

According a PRNigeria report, Dasuki legally left the Army in 1994 and his exit in the military was officially gazetted by the Federal Government through the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999.

Responding to an allegation that the Ex-NSA was a fugitive and being currently held by the Department of State Service (DSS) on alleged breach of army service rule, counsel to Dasuki Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN) stated that the allegation was a fallacy and a concocted lie to confuse the court as the prosecution has no answer to the well-grounded objection raised by the defence.

The lawyer said that “the allegation of fugitive against Dasuki cannot hold water or stand in the face of the law in view of the official gazette of the Federal Government that confirmed his retirement from the military.

“It is curious that the prosecution counsel who initially claimed ignorance of the reason behind the denial of bail is now coming up with these excuses… I am tempted to believe that my learned friend Mr. Rotimi Jacob SAN must be genuinely mixing-up facts or mistake of identity.”

The lawyer further added that: “The allegation is baseless, unwarranted and malicious because his exit was in the gazette of the Federal government. We accordingly urge those holding Dasuki in the custody in flagrant disobedience to the court order that granted him bail to have a rethink and respect the rule of law.”

A counsel to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the trial of Dasuki on alleged money laundering, Mr. Rotimi Jacob had last Thursday told Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf that Dasuki was being detained by DSS in spite of the bail granted him by the judge because of his past in the military.

Jacob specifically told the court that Dasuki went on an exile for seven years and that during the period he allegedly breached the army service rules.

Meanwhile PRNigeria gathered that former military dictator, late General Sani Abacha held Dasuki in contempt and marked him down for persecution, when he (Dasuki) opened up his mind on the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election and that the winner of the election, late MKO Abiola be installed as Nigerian President.

Dasuki was among the officers who confronted Late Sani Abacha and insisted that MKO Abiola be freed and allowed to become President over the June 12, 1993 President election. This led to the premature retirement of Dasuki and other officers in 1994.

The persecution that followed forced him into exile where he joined forces with other patriotic Nigerians to claim for the return of democracy in Nigeria. Some top politicians in the current administration also fled into exile to sustain campaigns for the enthronement of democracy. Dasuki and others were declared wanted by the Abacha’s police.

Meanwhile in an official Gazette No 33 Volume 86, Dasuki was granted clemency and pardon along with others on March 4, 1999 by General Abdulsalam Abubakar, the then Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for their innocence and meritorious service to their fatherland.

Source: TheStreetReporters.com

Tanker Accident Kills 5, Injures 6 in Kebbi

tanker fireAs Nigeria battles increasing tanker;induced accidents, a fully-loaded petrol tanker on Saturday exploded at Dabi in Kebbi State, killing five people and injuring six others.

TheStreetReporters.com gathred that the tanker was heading to Mahuta in Kebbi before the driver lost control of the vehicle on hilly Dabai junction, which resulted in its fall and subsequent explosion.

No fewer that 12 houses were affected, including some vehicles parked along road, which were destroyed.

According to a report by Premium Times, the Dabai-Suru and Dabai- Mahuta road junction also serves as a market, especially for fresh fruits.

The online medium reports that the Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Samaila Yombe, who hails from Dabai, was among early visitors to the scene of the accident.

Yombe condoled with relatives of the victims, the Emir of Zuru, Sani Sami, and the Chairman of Zuru Local Government Area, Ibrahim Rumu.

He pledged to offset the medical bills of the hospitalised.

Yombe said the State Emergency Management Agency had been directed to provide prompt relief materials those who lost shops, household property, livestock and food crops to the inferno.

A resident of the area, El-Yakub Dabai, described the accident as unfortunate and hoped authorities would sensitise drivers of heavy duty vehicles on how drive through tricky terrain.

Buhari, Jonathan Make History As Nigeria’s New President Takes Over

Buhari-taking-oath-of-officeFormer military ruler, General Muhammadu Buhari has made history as the first Nigeria’s President from the an opposition political party, even as former President Goodluck Jonathan became the first incumbent president to relinquish power.

The history was made in Nigeria today at exactly 10.55AM when the new President, Muhammadu Buhari, was sworn in.

The event, which is still ongoing at the Eagles Square in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory at the time of this report has past Nigerian leaders as well as other world leaders witnessing the inauguration.

Moments before Buhari was sworn in, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was invited to take his oath of office as Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This followed the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at March 28, 2015 Presidential election.

Goodluck Jonathan led the country since the death of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010.

This is Nigeria’s first successful switch of power from a ruling party to an opposition.

Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party has ruled Nigeria since 1999 when the country returned to democracy.

It is also be Buhari’s second time ruling Nigeria. He seized power through a military coup in 1983 but was toppled by another coup in 1985.

Jonathan Has Done Well For Nigeria, Deserves Re-electeion, Says Odebudo, DPP Presidential Candidate

Odebudo Owolabi
Otunba Odebudo Owolabi
Otunba Owolabi Odebudo is a seasoned politician that has paid his dues within his short stay in politics. He has been a two time Governorship candidate of two different political parties between 2011 and now. He has also been the Chairman of Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) Ogun State Chapter, until the present. He is the Presidential candidate of The Democratic People’s Party (DPP) in the present dispensation until he stepped down for President Goodluck Jonathan whom the DPP had endorsed as their Presidential Candidate in the 2015 presidential election coming up March 28. He speaks in this interview.
EXCERPTS

As the Presidential Candidate of the DPP, why did you agree to step down for President Goodluck Jonathan?

I dropped my ambition in support of President Goodluck Jonathan because of my belief in his sterling qualities as a leader. President Jonathan’s achievements so far in office speaks volume in all ramifications. His record of achievements has surpassed all his predecessors in office. At the present he stands out amongst other Presidential candidates from the various political parties including the APC Presidential candidates Gen. Muhammadu Buhari whose antecedents as a former military ruler were nothing to write home about….read more

Why OPC supports Jonathan –Gani Adams | The Sun

National Coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams has said that only President Goodluck Jonathan’s candidacy can protect the collective interest of the Yoruba nation.

He said that the implementation of the recommendations of the National Confer­ence organized by President Jonathan would largely address the long dream of the Yoruba for a restructured Nigeria.

Otunba Adams made the remarks yesterday when he received the Special Adviser to the Presidency on the Amnesty Programme, Mr Kingsley Kuku in his Lagos home.

The OPC leader enjoined people of the South West not to allow opportunists and those who do not have the interest of Nigeria at heart to deceive them.

He said that the National Coordination Council of the OPC decided to support Jonathan after exhaustive deliberations and conclusion that only his candidacy would make the Yoruba to realize its long dream for restructuring the nation.

His words: “Ten years ago, we of the OPC always shied away from politics but we discovered that if you do not give your people a direction, opportunists and those who do not love this country would cash in on that and misdirect them.

“It is because of that, that we from the National Coordinating Council of the OPC decided to support President Goodluck Jonathan. It is not a decision by Gani Adams alone. We are supporting Jonathan because of the issue of National Confer­ence which will address the needs of the Yoruba nation.

“We have been clamouring for national conference since 1992 but all the past gov­ernments have not been able to organize it.

“Even our kinsman in 2005 organized the National Political Reform Conference and gave the members conditions unlike Jona­than who gave us a blank cheque except on the issue of the unity of Nigeria.

“In 2005, there was a stalemate and we could not complete it. But somebody from the minority in the person of President Jonathan just decided on October 1, 2013 to organize the conference.

“If Jonathan implements the recommen­dations of the conference, Nigeria would become a changed country compared to those who did not want the conference to hold and are clamouring for change.

“You cannot change a nation when you have a bad constitution, a constitution written by one person. Jonathan is a cool headed President fit for our young democracy. Nigeria was last year adjudged number one in Africa. So, what do you want from President Jonathan?”

He urged the Yoruba not to buy into the propaganda of a few politicians who are merely working to further their selfish interest.

Speaking earlier, Kuku commended the Yoruba for their steadfastness, saying that just like in 2011, the region would determine the outcome of the coming presidential election.

He recalled the effort which the Yoruba nation has committed in the struggle to entrench democracy in the nation and noted that Jonathan’s election in 2011 was largely because of the support from the South West zone.

“In 2011, the South West determined the result of the general election. President Goodluck Jonathan won overwhelmingly because of the support from leaders like you (Adams). The South West people were unanimous in their support for Mr President in that election.

“Again, as providence would have it, the South West is going to determine the election on March 28 that will see to the re-election of Mr President for another term of four years.

“It is clear to me that President Goodluck Jonathan’s election and re-election ultimately lies with the South West and it therefore lies with you as one of the leaders that supported him then.

“The South West has contributed so much to the stability of this country. The democracy we have enjoyed from 1999 till date is the sweat, blood and toil of mostly South Westerners and we as South Westerners cannot allow people to mix with wrong elements to derail this democracy at this point.

“We are here to formally once again thank you for providing leadership and to request you to support Mr President Jonathan’s bid for a second term. He is not perfect and there are so many things he could have wanted to do but would not achieve that after one term of four years.

“He has been distracted for three out of the four years. Even at that, his achievements are legendary for people to see in all sectors. I would love to tell you that if this President is given four more years, he is going to take us out of the woods. His next four years would put us on the path of democratic governance and the nation would now be entrenched democratically”.

He said that by 2019 when Jonathan would be handing over to a brand new President, the country would have its pride of place in the comity of nations.

Senate Summons Jega Over Polls Posponment, To Appear With Card Reader

Following the postponement of Nigeria’s general election, the Chairman of the country’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega was on Tuesday summoned to appear before the Senate on Wednesday.

Prof. Attahiru Jega
Prof. Attahiru Jega

Even as Senate President, David Mark, had warned that an interim government is unconstitutional and those clamouring  for it are embarking in an exercise in futility.

Jega is expected to brief members of the upper legislative House on the level of the commission’s preparedness towards the  general elections.

The decision to summon Jega followed a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba at Tuesday’s sitting of the Senate.

He is expected to appear before the Senate in plenary by 11 am.

The Senate has also asked Professor Jega to appear before it with card readers to demonstrate how INEC would use them during the elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

The new schedule was announced on February 7 by Prof Jega, after meetings with political stakeholders.

Prof Jega said that the Presidential Election will hold on March 28 while the Governorship election on April 11, saying “We have done wide reaching consultations to enable us have as much input as necessary before taking an informed decision.

“In the series of consultations that we had with stakeholders, the questions constantly posed to them for consideration are; in view of the latest developments, should INEC proceed with the conduct of the general elections as scheduled in spite of the strong advice and if so, what alternative security arrangements are available to be put in place?” Jega asked.

“We have done this, relying on section 26 (1) of the Electoral Act, as amended.

“Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct an election as a result of natural disaster or other emergencies, the commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area or areas concerned appoint another day for the holding of the postponed election provided that such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable.”

The chairman of the INEC pointed out that for the fact the commission was not a security agency that could guarantee protection of personnel, voters during elections and observers, the commission could not likely wave-off the advice by the nation’s security chiefs.

“The commission is concerned about the security of our ad-hoc staff, the young men and women of the NYSC and students of the tertiary education who constitute at least 600,000 young men and women that we will use in the election,” he said.

In the new schedule, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on March 28 while the Governorship and State Assemblies elections will hold on April 11.

In the initial schedule, the elections were meant to hold on February 14 and 28.

How Nigerian Security Force Foiled Boko Haram Attack, Intercepted 19 High Calibre Bombs in Adamawa

Adamawa State Police Command has uncovered 19 high calibre bombs in a bush near Yola, the state capital.

The State Commissioner of Police, Gabriel Adaji, who disclosed this at a media briefing at the weekend, said the bombs were busted in Hong local government area of the state, stressing that Boko Haram gunmen were planning to use them for attacks on the state.

Maintaining that the weapons were ready to be used when they were intercepted, as they were at 90 percent completion and only needed to be connected to batteries, Adaji said it is believed that the insurgents wanted to use the bombs to disrupt the forthcoming elections.

He disclosed that the interception was made possible based on intelligence report that some suspected suicide bombers were apprehended by soldiers in Yola, and that some of the insurgents were still at large within the town.

According to Adaji, “This made us to beam our searchlight on the some spots. Something that would have caused a hell of sorrows to the state was averted. One of the bombs is capable of bringing down a 10 storey building.”

Maintaining that the insurgents were planning to bomb Jimeta, the Police Commissioner said if the insurgents had t succeeded in their plan, several people would have been killed and properties destroyed.

He disclosed further that the insurgents wanted to blow up strategic structures including the more than one kilometre River Benue Bridge linking the state capital with Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola and Mubi area.

“The bombs have been detonated by the anti-bomb squad of the state police command, the feat has averted a major calamity because some of the bombs were capable of destroying a ten storey building” Adaji said, adding that the smallest among the bombs can completely destroy structures within 200 metre radius and they were on the verge of being moved to where they were to be deployed when they were intercepted.

Adaji urged the people of the state to be vigilant and report any suspicious character to the nearest security outfit.

X-raying General Buhari’s certificate scandal

The recent media report credited to Alhaji Lia Mohammed, the publicity secretary of All Progressive Congress, to the effect that the ongoing efforts being made by some concerned Nigerians in the Court of Law by seeking an incontrovertible clarifications on sundry issues pertaining to Major General Mohammadu Buhari’s certificate controversy amounted to an attempt to scuttle our fledgling democracy, is, to say the least, completely misplaced.

This is because in any democratic setting or any society that is sincerely committed to upholding the principles of rule of law, the Court of Law remains the orthodox channel through which aggrieved citizenry are meant to ventilate their disaffection and dissatisfaction to the fullness, as opposed to taking recourse to violence for same purpose.

Little wonder that the Law Court is often regarded to be the last hope of a common man.

Incidentally, there is clearly nothing wrong for concerned Nigerians to drag General Muhammadu Buhari to the court of law over his questionable and contradictory claims pertaining to his seemingly nonexistent Cambridge University WASC, and neither is there anything sinister about the intention of litigants on the matter as being hallucinated and fussed about by Alhaji Lia Muhammed the APC spokesman.

After all, it is a well established position of the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act that Nigerians who feel dissatisfied with any contestant’s information/documents as attached in INEC’s contest form should do what some litigants are currently doing on the issue concerning General Buhari’s certificate scandal.

Needless to say that with this approach, our democracy is not only gaining consolidation but also has begun to ensure that those who offer themselves for the service of Nigerians do so with a sense of rectitude and self assurance.

To this end, there is an urgent need for Lia Mohamed and his ilk to desist from utterances capable of undermining the spirit, the validity and the good intentions of our laws.

Also read: PDP supporters campaign for Buhari in Jonathan’s presence
No doubt, as it were, only a competent Court of Law is at the moment apparently positioned to either validate of vitiate whatever claims that Major General Mohammadu Buhari and all interested litigants are currently holding on to over the former’s certificate saga.

However, based on the prima facia inconsistencies arising from Buhari’s certificate scandal so far and upon which barefaced lies have thus emerged, nothing could be further from the truth.

To begin with, Buhari’s averment under oath that his credentials were with the Nigeria Military Board, a copy of which he reportedly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in wrong fulfillment of the provisions of the Electoral Act, remains a controversial issue that needs to be sorted.

On the other hand, the subsequent refutation of this Buhari’s bogus claim by the Nigeria Army Authority is yet another matter that has brought to the fore the abysmal level of integrity bankruptcy of General Mohammadu Buhari.

Probably speaking with a pang of malice, this may even help to explicate the real rationale behind his disposition towards the issue of restructuring the army.

But beyond this refutation, it smacks of immense curiosity that at a time, in 1961 to be precise, that Mohammadu Buhari claimed in his 199A form (ie in his Army recruitment form) that he had credits in English language, Geography, Health Science, Hausa and a pass in English literature, the principal of his Provincial Secondary School, Katsina,“in recommending Buhari for commissioning as an officer, said I recommend him for military commissioning; I consider that Mohammadu Buhari will pass the West African School Certificate in English, Maths and three other subjects”.

But like many Nigerians would want to ask: at what point then did the young Buhari credit the foregoing subjects?

Could it be in the same 1961 when he applied to be recruited into the Nigeria Army and following which he sought and obtained the foregoing recommendation from his principal at the time?

Or could it be after he had been commissioned as an officer in the Nigerian Army? These and more are all questions of abiding interests.

Meanwhile, as these puzzles linger, it is important to note that no sooner did the Army speak out in swift denial of General Buhari’s baseless claim about the custody of his credentials than the General helplessly recanted, blurting out a gaffe like a child aroused from a nightmarish slumber.

Thus on 20 January, 2015, General Buhari publicly announced to the chagrin of many Nigerians and his supporters alike – while addressing a press conference in Kano State over his Secondary School Certificate – that “I had assumed all along that all my records were in the custody of the military Secretary of Nigeria Army.

“Much to my surprise, we are now told that although a record of the result is available, there are no copies of the certificates in my personal file”.

To say the least, this is really an aberration. How could a man reputed to have served as one time secretary to the Nigeria Military Board be wallowing in the world of assumption?

Or is this assumption in any way devoid of the legal offence of perjury.

Or could ignorance in the prevailing circumstance constitute sufficient grounds or plea for the breach of law as relates to lying under oath? Or is Nigerian law going to be construed to suit and accommodate General Bahari’s ignorance with impunity?

If that is so, would that be in tandem with the universal concept of rule of law and the government’s propensity to philosophise about it?

Anyway, as the date of the Presidential election draws closer Nigerians and the world are keenly watching and awaiting the judicial interpretation on this matter at the earliest.

Moreover, on the recent statement reportedly released by the incumbent principal of Buhari’s Provincial Secondary School (now Government College) Katsina, it is crystal clear that Buhari’s futile attempt so far to improvise a Cambridge University WASC for himself has only ended up breeding more lies.

For one, unlike the initial report of having made credit in mathematics as contained in his personal file with the Nigerian Army, the same Buhari reportedly scored F (failure) in the same subject as evidenced in the said statement of result recently released.

Similarly questionable is the emerging twist associated with Buhari’s name.

Curiously, while Buhari had always been known and addressed over time as “Mohammadu”which is evidently attested to by both the letter of recommendation on him issued by his School Principal in 1961 and the name in his personal service file with the Nigeria Army, his emerging novel name “Mohamed” as contained in the recent Statement of result released by the current principal of Government College (aka Provincial Secondary School) Katsina, leaves much to be desired.

In fact, in no small extent, it bugles one’s mind how these names -“Mahammadu” and “Mohamed” – and their respective spellings could now be considered same and as appropriately belonging and referring to one and the same man who had never effected any change of name ab intio or, at least, publicly confessed otherwise.

Viewed from all ramifications, therefore, it is embarrassing that up till now General Mahammadu Buhari has not deemed it timely, essential and imperative to show Nigerians and the world at large the authentic copy of his West African School Certificate, if at all he possesses one.

Also, it is a pity that all General Buhari has been telling us and doing all this while concerning the barrage of questions about his so-called Cambridge University WASC has mainly bordered on attempts at whipping up irrelevant sentiments and striving in the process to usher in unnecessary diversion of attention from the vexed issue.

Even more ignominious on the whole is the crass remark often heard from Buhari’s supporters and fellow party men, especially from certain supposedly educated minds amongst them, to the effect that it does not matter whether or not the retired General has lied under oath about his credentials or indulged in the outright forgery of his Cambridge University WASC.

According to their thinking, even if it is a marriage certificate that General Buhari is able to produce in the long run as an evidence of his secondary school education, that of course should be accepted rather than rejected or be used as a basis for disqualifying him for not abiding by the stipulations of the laws of Nigeria.

Funny enough, this line of thought is similarly and shamelessly being echoed and propagated by no less a person than Alhaji Lia Mohammed, the publicity secretary of All Progressive Congress (APC).

In an interview with Saturday Tribune Newspaper of January 31, 2015, Alhaji Lia Mohammed contends that “I think what Nigerians are saying is that even if all he (Buhari) has to show is a NEPA bill, they will vote for him”.

Hmm! Wonders shall never cease! Just imagine a nation in this 21ist century mortgaging its sovereignty and feature to a man whose qualification for desiring the authority to govern derives validity from the notion that he possesses his electricity bill (?).

This is utterly ridiculous. And it is high time Alhaji Lia Mohammed and his ilk desisted from making Nigerians and Nigeria a laughing stock.

All said, as far as democracy is concerned, General Mahammadu Buhari must adhere to the dictates of our laws and there is no other time than now.

The fact that the issue about his secondary school education result was not emphasised in his previous Presidential contests is no excuse to ward off or suppress the clamour for it now.

If the allegation by Alhaji Lia Mohammed that the current and commendable efforts of some patriotic Nigerians in the court of law aimed at compelling General Muhammadu Buhari to produce an authentic copy of his so-called Cambridge University West African School Certificate (WASC) is conceived by the All Progressive Congress as an attempt to scuttle our democracy, then it may not be out of place to submit that the APC is totally bereft of the culture of democracy.

Of course stopping Major General Buhari from participating in the forthcoming Presidential election on whatever legitimate grounds by a competent court of law is never tantamount to an attempt to scuttle our democracy.

After all, General Buhari is only one out of other Presidential aspirants in the current race for the Presidency.

And nobody, man or woman, is forcing any of these Presidential aspirants not to tell lies about anything, but if they must do that, such must be done under the circumstances of our laws which must be justified.

(MyNews24)

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FG Unveils Take-off of High Speed Train from Abuja to Lagos

  *Full operation from Abuja to Kaduna begins in March

Nigerians who often feel unsafe in Nigeria’s airspace and yet cannot endure a nine-hour road trip between Lagos and Abuja, have received cheery news from the federal government who announced the planned take-off of a three-hour high-speed train project between the two cities.

Announcing this in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, disclosed the federal government’s partnership arrangements with private firms within and outside Nigeria towards the commencement of the project.

Umar made this disclosure at the public presentation of a book, “Showcasing Goodluck Jonathan’s Monumental Strides: A Third Party Perspective,” authored by the Director-General of  Citizens Network For Peace and Development in Nigeria,  Mr. Dressmann Preye.

According to Umar who also said the Abuja-Kaduna rail project would commence full operation next month, the federal government equally carried out a number of feasibility studies with the plan to construct more standard gauge lines across the country.

He disclosed that the government had also successfully completed feasibility studies in seven new corridors including, the Abuja-Lagos high speed train adding that different private firms within and outside Nigeria have expressed interests in the project.

The project, largely expected to be private sector-driven, according Umar, would formally take-off in 2018,

“The consultants who carried out the feasibility studies have submitted their reports. Part of the report contains the involvement of the private sector to drive the project. This is because we want to develop these lines under a public, private partnership arrangements.

“We have already received a lot of expression of interests even ahead of advertisement for the purpose from various companies in the country and indeed, in other countries of the world.

“The idea is that, if we have this in place, the trains can move from Abuja to Lagos and from Lagos to Abuja in a maximum of three hours. We are intending to compete favourably with other transportation systems in carrying passengers from Abuja to Lagos.

“When fully actualised, a train will leave Abuja to Lagos and Lagos to Abuja, every hour. The feasibility studies had been completed, it is not a question of story. The trains will start running within the next three years, say by 2018.”

He further explained that the federal government had completed the rehabilitation of western rail lines through the administration’s revivalist strategy in the rail transport sector, insisting that Jonathan’s government is working towards the completion of the eastern line.

He said: “At the moment, the trains are moving from Port Harcourt all the way to Gombe – a distance of over 1, 000 kilometres but as soon as the security situation improves around Borno State, we will complete the line from Gombe to Maiduguri.

“While that is going on, we have constructed the standard gauge from Abuja to Kaduna. We have completed the laying of the track and very soon, President Goodluck Jonathan will inaugurate it and by March this year, we are going to commence full operation on that line.

“We have placed orders for the procurement of locomotives and coaches that we are going to deploy on the track. It is a standard gauge. The trains can move on an average speed of 150 kilometres per hour.

“That means that in a maximum of one and half hours, you can leave Kaduna for Abuja and from Abuja to Kaduna by rail. It is the first standard gauge to be completed fully in the whole of West Africa.”

He used the forum to drum support campaign for the re-election of the president for another term of four years, saying his re-election, would offer him the full fledged opportunity to complete the projects in the works.

Also speaking at the occasion, Preye, the author of the book, said the contents were drawn by a team of independent media practitioners as well as representatives of civil society organisations whom he said carried out an on-the-spot assessment of all projects executed by Jonathan’s government.

“I am convinced that this book, will serve not only as a research material but also, a proof that the transformation agenda is working and is yielding fruits,” he claimed.

In his submission, the book reviewer,  Dr. Casimir Anyanwu,  accompanied by his wife, Senator Chris Anyanwu, said the book embodied the landmark achievements of Jonathan’s government in 15 critical sectors of the economy.

Such areas where he said federal government’s footprints had been visible were macro-economic management strategies; trade and Investment policies; infrastructure development; agricultural transformation;  oil and gas industry reforms; power and renewable energy;  education and health reforms, among others.

(ThisDay)

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