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.

 

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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.”

 

CNPP Calls for Scrapping of State Electoral Bodies, Mobilises for Protest Over Benue LG Polls

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has begun mobilisation to protest what it described as a rape of democracy in Benue State local government election, calling for the scrapping of State Electoral Commissions across the country if democracy most thrive at the grassroots level.

It further described the purported local government election in Benue and the inauguration of its outcome in the state as a deliberate effort to foist a one party democracy on the state by Governor Samuel Ortom.

The CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday that the umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in Nigeria still rejects the “process and its outcome remains unacceptable to us.

“Therefore, we’re already mobilising Nigerians and the civil society groups across the country to resist this imposition and open threat to our democracy.

“As I’m talking to you, all the Civil Society and Human Rights organizations in the country have united to end this impunity once and for all. We shall use Benue as an example and a warning to other state governors who are tramping the tenets of democracy under foot through a charade they call council elections.

“I can tell you that the sham in Benue was orchestrated by Governor Samuel Ortom and the chairman of Benue State Electoral Commission, John Tsuwa Tor on the 3rd of June 2017 to exclude political participation at the local level.

“That is why we want state electoral bodies scrapped. We are happy that the good people of Benue State boycotted the election as a major voice in protesting against the establishment; that explains the unprecedented voter apathy on the day of the election. The Benue people spoke loud and clear”, he said.

Asked what the special interest in Benue was, Chief Ezugwu swiftly responded, “If we condone this, it will go down in world’s history and will embolden other Governors and their State electoral body to continue with this practice in Nigeria.

“If this charade is allowed to stay unchallenged, it will be tantamount to truncating Nigeria’s democracy and uprooting it from the roots”, he said.

Asked to give details of the planned protest, he said, “When we get to the bridge, we will cross it. The details have been concluded and the civil society groups are set.

“And we are insisting on the total cancellation of the exercise and a return of over N1.2 billion siphoned in the name of the failed election”, the CNPP said.

Kaduna Declaration: Northern Groups Attack Fani-Kayode, Ohanaeze

The Northern Youth Vanguard and the Arewa Stakeholders Forum have reacted to Femi Fani-Kayode’s and Ohanaize Ndigbo’s remarks on the Kaduna Declaration describing them as mischief makers.

A statement jointly signed by Joshua Viashman and Mohammad A. Muhammad for the two groups, said Fani-Kayode and Ohanaize deliberately distorted the real message contained in the Declaration, to which they are signatories.

The two northern groups said there was nowhere in the Declaration that suggests that the north is mobilizing to attack the Igbo’s in the region.

“What we said is since the Igbo’s insist they are not part of Nigeria, every unit should be allowed to go their own ways and the north would use peaceful and safe means to reclaim its spaces for its future development.

“But typically, Fani-Kayode distorted and misrepresented the content in order to misguide the gullible ones.

“Rather than going about trading mischief, we advice Fani-Kayode to face his money laundering trial and stop diverting attention by interfering in matters that are no concern of his,” the groups said.

The reminded him that it is too early to forget the venom he vented on the same Igbo when he was attempting to prove to them that they were unwanted settlers in Lagos prior to the 2015 elections.

On Ohanaize, the groups said they saw nothing wrong in issuing ultimatums and pointed to the series of ultimatums dished out by the Igbo to the Fulani, to northern governors and even to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The groups said the quick reaction of Ohanaize confirms the assertion that the rebellious conduct of IPOB is fully backed by the Igbo leaders.

Source: TheStreetReporters

Full Text of The Kaduna Declaration, Issuing 3 Months Notice To Biafrans To Leave North

THE KADUNA DECLARATION

BEING A JOINT POSITION PAPER ISSUED BY THE AREWA CITIZENS ACTION FOR CHANGE, AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM, AREWA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, AREWA STUDENTS FORUM AND NORTHERN EMANCIPATION NETWORK ON THE IGBO PERSISTENCE FOR SECESSION
June 06, 2017

PREAMBLE
The persistence for the actualization of Biafra by the unruly Igbo of South-Eastern Nigeria has lately assumed another alarming twist which involved the forceful lockdown of activities and denial of other people’s right to free movement in the South-East by the rebel Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its overt and covert sponsors.

This latest action and similar confrontational conducts which amount to a brutal encroachment on the rights of those termed as non-indigenous people residing and doing lawful businesses in those areas illegally demarcated and defined as Biafra by the Igbo, are downright unacceptable and shall no longer be tolerated.
OBSERVATIONS
Concerned by this persistent Igbo threat to national integration, the above-named Pan-northern groups met with several others and reviewed the current position of the North and jointly came up with the following observations:

1. IGBO PROVOCATION
a. The Igbo people of the South-East, without remorse for the carnage they wrought on the nation in the 1960s, are today boldly reliving those sinister intentions connoted by the Biafran agitation that led to the very first bloody insurrection in Nigeria’s history.

b. Emboldened by the apparent indifference of the Nigerian authorities, the Igbo secessionist tendency is widening in scope and action at every stage, with adverse effects on the law-abiding people of other regions residing in or passing through the East, while the Igbo leaders and elders by their utterances and direct action or inaction appear to support and encourage it.

c. This is happening irrespective of the undisputable fact that:

i. The cruel Igbos have done and are doing more damage to our collective nationhood than any other ethnic group; being responsible for the first violent interference with democracy in Nigeria resulting in a prolonged counter-productive chain of military dictatorship.

ii. The Igbos similarly orchestrated the first, and so far, the only civil war in Nigeria that consumed millions of lives and sowed the seed of the current mutual suspicion and distrust.

iii. The Igbos are also responsible for Nigeria’s cultural and moral degeneracy with their notorious involvement in all kinds of crimes, including international networking for drug and human trafficking, violent robberies and kidnappings, high-profile prostitution and advanced financial fraud.
iv. At the peak of the devastating Boko Haram violence in some parts of the North, available records show that the Igbo people have variously been apprehended while attempting to convey catches of dangerous arms and ammunition to the troubled regions.
v. There are today sufficient reasons to suspect that some Igbos masquerade as Fulani herdsmen to commit violent atrocities across the country in order to cause and spread ethnic disaffection.
vi. It is also on record that since the inception of the current democratic dispensation, the Igbos have shown and maintained open contempt and resentment for the collective decision expressed by majority of Nigerians at various stages via generally acceptable democratic processes.
2. DOCILE NORTHERN RESPONSE
a. While these provocative acts of aggression persist and grow in dimension with each new move, leaders of the North whose people are at the receiving end of the threats, appear helplessly unperturbed.

b. Rather than endorsing a concise framework for pre-emptive action to protect and safeguard the interest of the North and its people, leaders of the region at every stage tend to seek the cover of a flimsy and long-discarded excuse of having fought in the 60s to keep Nigeria united.

c. Without pursuing a resolute action-plan, these northern leaders have adopted and have been dragging its people into a pitifully pacifist position in order to sustain an elusive national cohesion that has long been ridiculed by the Igbos.

OUR STAND
1. From today, June 6, 2017, when this proclamation is signed, the North, a critical player in the Nigerian project, hereby declares that it will no longer be disposed to coexisting with the Igbos and shall take definite steps to end the partnership by pulling out of the current federal arrangement.

2. This conclusion is necessitated by the realization that it since ceased to be comfortable or safe to continue sharing the same country with the ungrateful, uncultured Igbos who have exhibited reckless disrespect for the other federating units and stained the integrity of the entire nation with their insatiable criminal obsessions.

3. Rather than certain sections holding the whole country to ransom at every stage, each should be allowed to go its own way as we categorically proclaim today that the North is fed up with being the same country with this pack of acrimonious Igbo partners.

4. The North hereby openly calls on the authorities and other national and international stakeholders to acknowledge this declaration by taking steps to facilitate the final dissolution of this hopeless union that has never been convenient to any of the parties.

PRELUDE TO FINAL SEPARATION

1. RECOVERY AND CONTROL OF LANDED PROPERTY
As a first step, since the Igbo have clearly abused the unreciprocated hospitality that gave them unrestricted access to, and ownership of landed properties all over the North, our first major move shall be to reclaim, assume and assert sole ownership and control of these landed resources currently owned, rented or in any way enjoyed by the ingrate Igbos in any part of Northern Nigeria.

Consequently, officials of the signatory groups to this declaration, are already mandated to commence immediate inventory of all properties, spaces or activity in the north currently occupied by the Igbos for forfeiture at the expiration of the ultimatum contained in this declaration.

In specific terms, the groups are directed to compile and forward an up-to-date data of all locations occupied by any Igbo in any part of Northern Nigeria including schools, markets, shops, workshops, residences and every other activity spaces.
2. RELOCATION NOTICE
Secondly, with the effective date of this declaration, which is today, Tuesday, June 06, 2017, all Igbos currently residing in any part of Northern Nigeria are hereby served notice to relocate within three months and all northerners residing in the East are advised likewise.

3. ENFORCEMENT
All northern civil society and pressure groups are by this declaration mandated to mobilize for sustained, coordinated campaigns at their respective State Government Houses, State Houses of Assembly, Local Government Council Secretariats and Traditional Palaces to mount pressure for steps to be taken to ensure enforcement of the directives contained herein.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, we are hereby placing the Nigerian authorities and the entire nation on notice that as from the 1st October 2017, we shall commence the implementation of visible actions to prove to the whole world that we are no longer part of any federal union that should do with the Igbos.
From that date, effective, peaceful and safe mop-up of all the remnants of the stubborn Igbos that neglect to heed this quit notice shall commence to finally eject them from every part of the North.
And finally, all authorities, individuals or groups are hereby advised against attempting to undermine this declaration by insisting on this union with the Igbos who have thus far proved to be an unnecessary baggage carried too far and for too long.
SIGNATORIES TO THIS DECLARATION:
1. Nastura Ashir Sharif
FOR: AREWA CITIZENS ACTION FORCHANGE

2. Amb. ShettimaYerima
FOR: AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM

3. Aminu Adam
FOR: AREWA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION

4. Alfred Solomon
FOR: AREWA STUDENTS FORUM

5. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman
FOR: NORTHERN EMANCIPATION NETWORK

6. JoshuaViashman
FOR: NORTHERN YOUTH VANGUARD

7. Mohammad A. Mohammad
FOR: NORTHERN YOUTH STAKEHOLDERS FORUM

8. Mohammed Tasiu Pantami
FOR: NORTH EAST ASSEMBLY

9. Nathaniel Ajegena Adigizi
FOR: NORTH CENTRAL PEOPLE’S FRONT

CNPP Backs Labour’s Calls on FG to Review Capital Oil and Gas Chairman’s Detention

The Conference of Nigeria Political parties (CNPP) has thrown its weight behind the call by the United Labour Congress (ULC) for the release the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, in order to pave the way for negotiation with company’s management.

The umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in the country in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu appealed to the federal government to consider the fate of the numerous workers employed by the privately owned company and release the detained oil magnet or charge him to court for prosecution.

“Like the ULC observed, federal government’s promise to provide jobs and its desire to tackle unemployment in Nigeria will be a mirage if actions or inactions of government lead to job loses or contribute to the widening of the unemployment gap.

“As at today, more jobs have been lost in the private sector than the federal government has created due to harsh economic environment in the country as a result of the current recession.

“Our fears is that the continued detention of the Capital oil and Gas chairman without trial will not only lead to the sack of over 5,000 workers directly and indirectly engaged by the company but will also send frightening signals to foreign direct investors that Nigeria is a country where the rule of law is scarce.

“No serious foreign investor would invest in a country with history of detention without trial”, the CNPP observed.

While calling on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the matter to halt impending massive job loss in the company and other sister companies owned by Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the political parties and associations said that the federal government must ensure that justice is seen to have been done in all cases involving its citizens at home and abroad.

“We are aware that the federal government is exploring diplomatic channels to intervene in cases involving Nigerians in some foreign lands. But it would amount to a joke taken too far if the same government detains its citizens involved in a mere commercial transaction dispute indefinitely without opportunity to defend themselves in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“Acting President Yemi Osinbajo must save the President Muhammadu Buhari administration from further damage to its reputation in the international community by releasing or charging Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah to Court.

“It will be very shameful for the federal government to be seen as directly or indirectly contributing to further job losses in the country”, the CNPP noted.

SOURCE: TheStreetReporters

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

Revisiting Many Inconsistencies in Termination of Maina’s Pension Corruption Fight by Okechukwu Duru

For a long time, the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina has been embattled and news about him had remained very sensational in the media except for a recent surprising disclosure which though interestingly shocking has been kept away from public knowledge by the media.

Without a doubt such information which undoubtedly is high quality news would have been readers’ delight especially for deconstructing a highly complex National issue but the seeming deliberate attempt to keep it under the carpet will form the focus of this discourse whilst raising queries on the sincerity the Nigerian media in news reporting.

From Maina’s feat of recovering 1.3 trillion naira stolen by pension thieves, the twisty allegations on misappropriation of 2 billion naira against him by the Senate Committee to major fallout and counter accusations of three billion naira bribery demand from him by the Senate Committee Chairman, Aloysius Etuk, and his deputy, Kabir Gaya, the narrative on Maina has no doubt been very long and complicated.

In fact, the chronicle on Maina by any credible analyst will be incomplete without recognizing how the media through very persuasive write ups incited the then Senate President, David Mark to ask the Jonathan’s Presidency for abrupt dismissal and arrest of the then Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT.

What was the major issue of contention that would warrant such deft punishment before trial, especially on a man that has accomplished unparalleled success in decimating the pension fraud cabal in Nigeria one may ask?

Simply put, it was nothing far from what was largely termed Maina’s disrespectful conduct to Senate Committee.

Even if bad as it was painted, would that have warranted the termination of a major anti-corruption vehicle that was delivering tons of stolen billions into the coffers of the Nigerian treasury?

Yes, Maina’s main crime was his poor attitude, immature approach and impunity exhibited to the Senate Committee but the twist in the story is that a little after Maina and the Senate Committee exchanged accusations, the media went bizarre with stories against Maina’s impunity with no mention of his good work as Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team.

This half-baked journalism was highly noticeable and even the much respected conservative media over looked the need to provide a balanced reporting.

On all these and more, the simple logic adduced by Maina’s sympathisers to the aggressive media trial was that it was fueled by views from mostly those that opposed to his stay as Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT and many persons still in possession of stolen pension funds.

Even though this remains an allegation with no proof, the failed attempted murder of Maina was well documented by the police and highly suggestive that some persons wanted Maina dead.

Probably, this dastardly act might have contributed to his eventual departure from public glare to avoid extermination from the face of the earth with a preferred option of fighting his legal battles from his assumed haven.

Luckily for Maina, the court not only quashed the arrest warrant on him, but also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the IGP from arresting him.

Besides, the conjectures on Maina’s forced exit, I think what is important is for Nigerians to first examine the role played by a section of the media in the said character assassination of Maina before trial and then the new Government of President Buhari to examine the real role Maina played in dismantling the criminal gang of pension thieves in Nigeria, then attempt a proper analysis on what seems best for National interest.

First on the media character assassination of Maina, with the recent disclosure by the then Senate Committee Deputy Chairman, Kabir Gaya that the 195 billion naira accusation against Maina was baseless as the money was deposited in banks under the TSA scheme, what it simply affirms is that many of the issues raised against Maina were downright absurd and largely conspiratorial in their undertones for his removal.

What has been made public by Senator Kabir Gaya, though an afterthought certainly quashes the Senate Committee’s earlier allegation of misappropriation of about N195 billion naira against Maina, the chairman and members of the Pension Task Team. These are definitely thought provoking.

With no attempt of getting sanctimonious on Maina, the objective reality for Nigerians herein is that it was absolutely outrageous that the referenced Senate Committee never had quality reason and evidence to engage in what they did by prompting the police to declare Maina wanted.

Unfortunately, now that these lies have been dispelled by those that initiated them, the truth is that their effects will linger because of a biased press that engages in selective reporting, otherwise why has the media maintained a deafening silence on this issue of national interest, could it be that those that never wanted Maina around are still busy suppressing important stories that will resurrect Maina’s Pension Task Team.

Today, without no basis in fact, the press has made Maina’s name contradictorily synonymous with both an achiever in pension reform and a looter even though the evidence against him were never substantiated.

This is not only shocking especially now that the accusations on Maina have been overturned but what it clearly exposes is the existence of a skewed desire of a section of the media to condemn a man guilty before investigation.

Of course, some may disagree with this position, however, it is really unfortunate that in this era of investigative journalism the media has found it unnecessary to review an earlier misinformation they offered their readers, otherwise what stopping any credible press that carried the initial falsehood from rapidly reversing the erroneous report.

The story of deception visited upon Maina is not only strange, destructive to his personal integrity but very damaging to our collective interest on anticorruption fight.

The most worrisome part of it all is that the allegations that a section of the Nigerian press were motivated to embrace falsehoods by routinely categorizing Maina as thief without basis in order to halt the good work of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT might even be true especially given that Maina’s primary accusers have made public apologies and reversed themselves.

Sadly, like a well-rehearsed plot, this was rarely reported in the media and even where reported, it received minimal media coverage.

From all fair and objective intents, it may not be wrong to conclude that characterization of Maina as a criminal by the media is divorced from truth and actuality because the initial failure of the media to conduct proper investigation on such an issue as raised by the Senate Committee raises the very important question of the real role of journalists in the fight against corruption.

This is why it may be necessary for the sake of common good to open up conversation to probe why Maina’s accusers conjured phony statistics and stories, yet allowed to successfully terminate a tested and proven strategy that would allowed Nigeria recover more trillions naira in the private coffers of some pension thieves.

In fact, the reward for the termination of Maina’s Pension Task Team only favours those who are threatened by Maina’s claims that over six trillion naira can still be recovered from the 97 uninvestigated institutions.

Certainly, this is huge loss for the Nigerian nation especially under the Buhari led administration that needs to enhance its revenue especially in a recessed economy.

Another objective reality for Nigerians is that the Maina matter will for a long time be a major reference on challenges that confront corruption fight in the developing world and it is a clear instance of how corruption fight is killed and corruption fighters battled.

The fact is that what is happening to Maina is somewhat terrifying and it really does suggest that the fight against corruption and the belief that corruption fights back those that battle it are not just matters of illusion but reality.

The ready question herein is would President Buhari allow the battle against Maina be another triumph of evil over good?

This where we need a sane public conversation on Maina that will counter the earlier media treatment of Maina which is far from been sober and reasonable.

Otherwise, on the termination of Maina’s fight against corruption, the nation will be the big loser.

Now that a contrary conclusion has emerged on Maina, what next? Will his suspension be reversed? Will the previous Senate Committee’s report that has been revealed to be plagued by so many irregularities and inconsistencies be reversed or an apology offered to Maina?

Will a National Award be appropriate? Will Maina ever find courage to work again for his country under similar circumstances and inherent risks?

However, the truth is that Maina would earn much if he decides to sell his story to the International news media and publishers on how the corruption he fought, found a way to fight him back.

*Dr. Okechukwu Duru is a Public Affairs Analyst and Sub Sahara Co-ordinator, Advocates for Improved Africa. He wrote from Area 10, Garki, Abuja.

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

 

Turkey Military Coup Fails, President Returns to Istanbul

A military coup attempt, which plunged Turkey into a long night of violence and intrigue on Friday, may have failed.

The coup threatened its embattled President, leaving nearly 200 dead and injecting new instability into a crucial NATO member and American ally in the chaotic Middle East.

The coup attempt was followed hours later by an equally dramatic public appearance by the President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose whereabouts had been unknown for hours after the plotters claimed to have taken control.

Flying into Istanbul Ataturk Airport from an undisclosed location early Saturday, Mr. Erdogan signaled that the coup was failed.

Turkey CoupThe government has rounded up thousands of military personnel on Saturday.

The personnel were said to have taken part in an attempted coup, moving swiftly to re-establish control.

By noon, there were few signs that those who had taken part in the coup attempt were still able to challenge the government, and many declared the uprising a failure.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the insurrection “a stain in the history of democracy” at a news conference on Saturday in Ankara, the capital.

He raised the death toll in the clashes to 265, with 1,440 people wounded, and he said that 2,839 military personnel had been detained.

As the insurrection unfolded Friday night, beginning with the seizure of two bridges in Istanbul by military forces, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not heard from for hours.

He finally addressed the nation from an undisclosed location, speaking on his cellphone’s FaceTime app — a dramatic scene that seemed to suggest a man on the grip of losing power.

But in the early hours of Saturday morning, he landed in Istanbul, a strong sign that the coup was failing.

According to the Turkish President after the private television channel NTV showed him greeting supporters, “A minority within the armed forces has unfortunately been unable to stomach Turkey’s unity.”

He blamed political enemies for the development, saying that “What is being perpetrated is a rebellion and a treason.

“They will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey”, Mr. Erdogan said.

He suggested that the plotters had tried to assassinate him, referring to a bombing in the Turkish Mediterranean resort town of Marmaris after he left on Friday.

“It would appear that they thought I was there,” he said.

Supporters of Mr. Erdogan responded to his call to take to the streets in Istanbul, and by Saturday morning, the coup appeared to be unraveling.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that about 200 unarmed soldiers had surrendered to the police in Ankara.

CNN Turk showed video of soldiers abandoning tanks in Istanbul, and by morning, civilians were climbing onto the tanks and waving flags, according to images posted on social media.

Anadolu said more than 1,500 members of the armed forces linked to the plot had been detained across Turkey, including a brigadier general in the country’s northeast.

Turkey’s acting chief of general staff, Gen. Umit Dundar, said on Saturday that 194 people had been killed, and he called 104 of them “coup plotters.”

Of the 90 others killed, 47 were civilians, the general said at a news conference in Ankara, the capital.

Seventeen police officers were killed in a military helicopter attack by coup plotters on a police special forces headquarters outside Ankara, Anadolu Agency had reported earlier.

CNN Turk reported that 12 civilians had died in an explosion at the Parliament building.

Martial law was declared after the coup attempt in the country, which has been convulsed by military takeovers at least three times in the past half-century.

Before he made his televised remarks from the airport, Mr. Erdogan was forced to use his iPhone’s FaceTime app from a secret location to broadcast messages beseeching the public to resist the coup attempt.

“There is no power higher than the power of the people,” he said amid contradictory accounts of who was in control.

“Let them do what they will at public squares and airports.”

After Mr. Erdogan spoke, many followers obeyed his orders to go into the streets, and mosque loudspeakers urged his supporters to protest the coup attempt.

The events began unfolding around 10 p.m. Friday as the military moved to stop traffic over two of Istanbul’s bridges, which cross the Bosporus and connect the European and Asian sides of the city.

There were reports of gunfire in Taksim Square, in central Istanbul, where pro-Erdogan supporters had gathered, but there were no reports of injuries, and it appeared that security forces were acting with restraint, the New York Times reports.

On the Bosporus Bridge, closed earlier in the evening by the military, there were reports of gunfire as protesters approached, and according to NTV, three people were hurt.

Some military officials spoke out against a coup, including the commander of the First Army, Gen. Umit Guler, who issued a statement, carried by a pro-government news channel, saying, “The armed forces do not support this movement comprised of a small group within our ranks.”

The Defense Department has roughly 2,200 uniformed military personnel and civilians in Turkey.

About 1,500 of them are based at Incirlik, an air base in southern Turkey near Syria.

The United States has used the base to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State.

Since March, Incirlik has been on an “elevated force protection level” amid concerns that militants were targeting it.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter in May ordered all family members of military personnel based at Incirlik to leave the country.

 

End Of A Dark Era: Regime Atrocities Facing COAS Turkur Buratai, Retiring IGP Solomon Arase

Tukur-BurataiThe attention of all Nigerians and members of the international community are drawn to the fact that clock is speedily ticking for the duo of the outgoing Inspector General of Police, IGP Solomon E. Arase and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai to account locally and internationally for “regime- atrocities” they committed while in service as Nigeria’s Police IGP and Army COAS (chief of army staff).

The Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force under their commands in the country’s current democratic dispensation of President Muhammadu Buhari have recorded and still record worst human rights abuses (State killings and terror) in the country’s democratic history, to the extent that in the past ten months, over 1000 State murders are credited to their names and killer-securitization responsibilities.

These they perpetrated through policy statements and issuances and conducts. Their gross incompetence and incapacities have also led to killing by malicious non State actors of over 3000 citizens in the past 10 months. As the country’s chief and auxiliary internal security providers, they incompetently failed to secure the lives of these murdered Nigerians.

In the course of their disastrous eras as Nigeria’s Army and Police chiefs, they conducted and still conduct themselves as outlaws and incorrigible; forgetting that “power is transient” and nothing last forever as well as the fact that “there is always tomorrow to fall on and yesterday to fall back on”.

Even when reminded plainly and constructively of their involvements in the dastardly killing of innocent citizens in peacetime and future dire consequences of their atrocious conducts; the duo would not only boast and justify their atrocious acts but also threaten to kill more innocent citizens like IPOB and Shiite members so as to “dissuade others from trying the might of soldiers and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force”.

Stark instances are the killing of 705 Shiite members in Zaria on 12th and 13th of December 2015 for “blocking the convoy of the COAS”; killing of 13 IPOB members in Onitsha on 17th of December 2015 for “jubilating over court-ordered release of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu”; and killing of another 22 IPOB members in Aba on 9th of February 2016 “for gathering in a school compound to pray for the release of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu”.

There are also other senseless killings by soldiers in Rivers State and war-like bombings and massacre of villagers in parts of the Niger Delta for the purpose of “oil colonization” and under the guise of “fighting sea pirates, etc”.

Today, time has come for the duo of COAS and IGP to account. End of “uniform or khaki immunity and impunity” is almost here, if not certainly here and now. Accountability litigation actions against the duo under reference are mounting locally, regionally and internationally in numerous jurisdictionally competent courts; both for personal and vicarious culpabilities.

The consequences of this are that once “boss-client and uniform/khaki immunities” being used by the referenced to commit their regime-atrocities are gone, local and international accountabilities follow. Mr. Solomon E. Arase (AP16474), according to the “Staff List for Senior Police Officers: CSP-IGP of 24th of January 2014” was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force on 1st of December 1981.

He hails from Oredo in Edo State and was born on 21st of June 1956. He was promoted AIG on 22nd of February 2012 and became IGP on 15th of April 2015. He will retire officially or statutorily on 21st of June 2016 after attaining 60years of retirement age, according to Nigeria’s Public Service Rule (2008). He has paper degrees in political science and law.

For Lt Gen Turkur Buratai (COAS), he was born on 24th of November 1960 at Buratai town in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State. He was enlisted into the Nigerian Army via the Nigerian Defense Academy on 3rd of January 1981 as a member of 29 Regular Combatant Course 29 (29 RC) where he obtained a National Certificate in Education (NCE). He became a Second Lieutenant on 17th of December 1983 after.

By Nigeria’s Public Service Rule (2008:28-29), the compulsory retirement age for all grades in the service shall be 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier. The Rule further states that no officer shall be allowed to remain in service after attaining the retirement age of 60 years of punishable service whichever is earlier and that provision of (i) and (ii) of the rule is without prejudice to prevailing requirements for judicial officers and academic staffs of universities who retire at 70 and 65 years respectively.

Going by this rule, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai ought to have retired on 3rd of January 2016 on completion of 35 years of service. Generally, the minimum age for enlisting into the Nigerian Armed Forces is put at 18 years old for voluntary service and at 60 years or after putting in 35 years of service according to the Federal Civil Service Rule. In other countries, such as the United States, military officers are expected to put a minimum of 20 years of service and a maximum of 30 years, according to the department of defense directive. An officer can be enlisted in the force at the age of 17.

In Britain, officers are enlisted into the force at the age of 16 and are expected to put in at least 18 years of service. In Africa, Ghana enlists officers at the age of 18 and retires officers at 50 years while in South Africa, officers stay in active service until they are 60 years and could be enlisted at the age of 18 (Source: Vanguard, December 28, 2012).
However, there is the Harmonized Terms and Condition of Services Officers (HTACOS), 2012 (Revised). HTACOS was intended to make retirement age in the military (army, navy and air force) different from other personnel or public servants of the Federal Government.

The HTACOS was also meant to scrap the years of service of 35 years of service and fully embraced the age on rank bracket. This means that as long as officers and men of the Nigerian military pass the necessary promotion board examinations, they would not be retired just because they have served 35 years.

But that will now depend on their Run- Out -Date (ROD). But the HTACOS was further designed to start with the 36th Course (C36) and their equivalents and above. The 36th Course members were the first set to start full degree programs at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). Before then, Courses 1 to 35 (including Lt Gen Buratai’s Course 29) studied and graduated with the National Certificate in Education (NCE) from the NDA.

This means that while Course 36 and above will benefit from all the provisions of the HTACOS, their seniors, Courses 1 to 35, will not have the full benefits. Course 17 is the oldest still in service (source: Guardian, October 8, 2012).

From the foregoing analysis, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai having been excluded from HTACOS of 2012 on account of his belonging to Course 29 of NDA; ought to have been retired statutorily since 3rd of January 2016 after attaining the mandatory 35 years of service in the Nigerian Army having been enlisted into the Nigerian Army as a cadet officer on 3rd of January 1981.

We are fully aware that the Buhari administration’s affront to rule of law and due process has risen to an apogee and may most likely continue in the case of the COAS; by retaining him against the laws of the land as he has always done.

But we want to put it on record and consciousness of all Nigerians and members of the international community and Lt Gen Turkur Buratai himself that the end of his dark era is speedily nearing when he will inescapably answer for his “regime atrocities” (killing of 705 Shiite and over 80 IPOB activists, among others, in conjunction with retiring IGP Solomon Arase). That is to say that someday soonest, he will hang his khaki and join the civil populace.

It is true that the Federation of Nigeria is still paying billions of naira compensations from international court verdicts for Obasanjo’s atrocities in Odi and Zakibiam in early 2000s, but himself and those he ordered to commit such crimes against humanity somehow walk freely till date because some international mechanisms now in place such as ICC and UN special crimes courts were yet to be in force them.

The ICC Statute, for instance, came into force 1st July 2002; two years after the Odi and Zakibiam massacres and it does not have retroactive criminal jurisdictions.

The worst retirement life is that under which the retiree cocoons himself or herself and sneaks in and out of countries and places where he or she visits because of monumental “regime atrocities” committed while in office. Regional and international fugitiveness or criminal indictment or pursuit to account for atrocity crimes is worse than criminal conviction and sentencing.

The fate of the likes of Omar Hassan El-Bashir of Sudan and his atrocious “Janjaweed” commander (Sheik Musa Hilal) in Darfur and his Minister in charge of Humanitarian Affairs & Darfur (Ahmad Muhammad Harun) is a clear case in point.

Signed:
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk
Website: http://www.intersociety-ng.org
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
+2347013238673


 

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Governor El-Rufai Thinking Of Removing Buhari – Shehu Sani

Shehu_SaniKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has been accused of “thinking of removing President Muhammadu Buhari.”

In an explosive interview in the March edition of The Interview magazine, Mr. Sani said, “It would be counter-productive for the Governor to start thinking of evicting Buhari in 2019 to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“El-Rufai should do his job and stop putting his eyes on the Presidency.”

The senator represents Kaduna Central and is in the same ruling All Progressives Congress with the Governor. They have been at odds for undisclosed political reasons, leading to Sani’s suspension by the state branch of the party.

Mr. Sani accused Mr. El-Rufai of ruling like “an emperor,” promising to “give him war or peace,” whichever he chooses.

Also in this edition of The Interview, former military governor of Kaduna State, Dangiwa Umar, a retired colonel, gave his first major interview in 23 years in which he laid in on Governor Adams Oshiomohle; and Peoples Democratic Party chieftains, Edwin Clark and Tony Anenih, calling them “traitors.”

Responding to a question on the fortunes of former President Goodluck Jonathan after he was defeated in March, Mr. Umar said, “I compare them (Oshiomohle and co) to insects that cling to flowers. They are attracted by the nectar rather than by the beauty of the flower.

“Governor Adams Oshiomohle, who generously praised Jonathan as a true democrat, suddenly turned into his most virulent critic.”

Mr. Umar revealed that during Mr. Jonathan’s testy days as acting President, he advised him to sack his service chiefs, but that the former president was too confused and agitated to act.

“He complained,” Mr. Umar said, “that the NSA had informed him that the service chiefs were disgruntled with the way the sick and bedridden Umaru Yar’Adua was being treated and that he, the acting President, was most disloyal.”

In the edition, which the Managing Director/ Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene, described as “deep and loaded,” Mr. Umar also revisited his role in the June 12 crisis, the agitation for Biafra and his relationship with Jonathan.

Source: PremiumTimes

Group Fingers Bisi Akande’s Brother, 9 Others in Plot Cover Up Alleged Osun College Fraud

Rauf-Aregbesola.jpgThe Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS) has disclosed that it has uncovered plans by the authorities of the Osun State College of Education (OSSCE), Ila-Orangun and the State House of Assembly to cover an allegation of over N300 million financial impropriety allegedly involving the younger brother to former Osun State Governor and a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, Mr. Niyi Akande.

Akande has been the Part-time Chairman of the Governing Council of the College since 2013.

Already, a petition on the matter written by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) sent to the state House of Assembly early this year has been placed under the carpet apparently because of the involvement of the brother of former APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.

Those also fingered in the corrupt allegation include the College former Acting Provost, Dr. Basiru Gbadamosi, the Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council, Mr. Aderinola Adeoti, former College Bursar, now Bursar College of Education, Ilesa, Mr. Akin Latilo, and Mr. David Olayinka Olojede, a member of the Governing Council.

Others involved in the alleged scam and diversion of Project funds were; Mr. Oyegbade Reuben Abayo, Mr. Amobi Yinusa Akinlola, Mr. Ayoola Peter Olajiola, Mr. Moses Oyewole Otitoola, and Mr. Kujeunbola Oluwafemi.

The alleged financial impropriety was as a result diversion of funds meant and approved for some projects in the College Community as it affects the Constructions of Tetfund Amphitheatre, the Ila Technical College, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department and Binding Building.

Besides, the alleged massive corruption according to documents showed that the scam spread to fees for Certificates collection, College Transport account and College History among others.

The civil society group alleged that the authority of the College had purportedly spent closed to three hundred million naira (N300m) on the aforementioned projects since 2014 and the projects did not see the light of the day till this present moment, while all the funds released for the Projects have been diverted by Akande and his co-travelers.

According to the CSCEOS’ statement signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Sulaiman, after their emergency meeting on the mind boggling Corruption in the College in Osogbo recently, declared that the Civil Society Organization(CSO) had been investigating the matter for the past five months before getting all the information and documents related to the matter, promising to ensure justice was done on the issue, no matter whose ox was gored.

Comrade Sulaiman who disclosed that the group had concluded arrangement to write the Petition Letters to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and Osun State House of Assembly through its Speaker on the corruption perpetrated by the officials of the College.

The group recalled that this was the College that Governor Aregbesola declared not viable fortnight ago which made the State government to plan the merger of the State owned two Colleges of Education in Ilesaand Ila-Orangun , if not for public outcry on the danger of the government action, insisting that it was good to stand for righteousness and light, no matter the situation “if we want to move our State forward”.

The group said, “The sum of One Hundred and Seven Million naira (N107m) out of (N125m) as part of fund released by the Tetfund as Special Intervention to the College for building of a Lecture Theatre (Amphitheatre) remains unaccounted for as the foundation of the project has not been completed after two (2) years which the project has been awarded. At one of the Council meetings where the failed contract was extensively discussed, Council noted that though the sum of N107million had been released to the Contractor, evaluators which the Council brought from the Ministry of Works, Osogbo valued the work done at the site at just N13million.

“Surprisingly, Mr. Oyeniyi Akande promised to handle the issue with “maturity”. His position to use “maturity” rather than litigation and sanction is at variance with Mr. Akande’s make-belief anti-corruption posture.

“But the Contractor, Otunba John Ojemuyiwa, the M.D. /CEO, Digitpro Engineering Technology Limited confessed that the larger percentage of the project funds were given to Mr. Yinka Olojede, the Governing Council member to share with other Council members where Mr. Niyi Akande collected N40million out of it”.

It added that: “Mr. Niyi Akande connived with one of his cronies who floated a consultancy Company named JAC Diran Limited, through which he fraudulently collected about N12million from the Amphitheatre project and also unilaterally increased his own monthly allowances from N110, 000 as approved to N150, 000 and those of other members of overning Council from N68, 750 each to N100, 000 in November 2014 with retrospective effect in defiance to the Osun State government Circular with Ref.No. S/PRI/23/187 (composition of Boards and the Remuneration of members), due process and College Edict”.

Source


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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

Vatican Priest Pledges To Advocate For Gay Rights, Expelled By Pope Francis

VaticanGayPriestThe Vatican, on Saturday, sacked a senior priest, Krzysztof Charamsa, who, on the eve of a major meeting of church leaders to discuss the Church’s stance on social issues such as divorce and homosexuality, publicly declared to be gay.

The embattled 43-year-old priest has, however, pledged to dedicate his life to advocacy for gay rights, saying, “I’m out of the closet, and I’m very happy about that. I want to be an advocate for all sexual minorities and their families who have suffered in silence.”

The Vatican in a statement by a spokesman for Pope Francis described the Polish priest’s action as “very serious and irresponsible.”

In the statement, the Vatican noted that he would be immediately sacked from his post as a theologian in the Vatican.

The statement read, “The decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure.”

Charamsa, who is a mid-level official in the Vatican bureaucracy’s dealing with church doctrine, flanked by his Spanish boyfriend while donning his priest’s collar, on Saturday, had earlier told a news conference in Rome that he was compelled to speak out against the “hypocrisy and paranoia” that he said had shaped the Church’s attitude to sexual minorities.

The fired priest had presented a 10-point “liberation manifesto” against “institutionalised homophobia in the Church,” which he said particularly oppressed the gay men who, according to him, make up the majority of priests.

He also revealed plans for a book about his 12 years at the heart of a Vatican bureaucracy, only just recovering from a scandal under previous Pope Benedict XVI over the influence of a “gay lobby” among senior clergy.

 

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