Science and Tech Minister, Onu Baggs 2017 Best Performing Minister Award

The Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu has bagged the Coalition of Civil societies in Nigeria’ 2017 award as the Best Performing Minister in Nigeria.

Announcing the coveted award in a statement signed by the Secretary of the Award and Privileges Committee, Patriot Wilson Attah, on behalf of the Board of Civil Society Coalition in Nigeria, the group noted that, the ogbonnanya On u is the first serving official of government in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to receive this award.

In its notification letter to the Minister on the meritorious award, the Civil Society Coalition in Nigeria noted that he bagged the award based on his “prudence, accountability, transparency, and patriotism displayed in the cause of discharging his duty as the Honourable Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the year under review.”

The statement read in part, “it may interest you to note that, Civil Society Organizations mostly criticized government and it’s activities and in rare occasion, appraise its performance which today, you are the first recipient of Civil Society Coalition Award as a serving cabinet member of the Buhari’s administration. That makes this award very symbolic.”

The coalition is made up of civil society organisations drawn from across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

 

The ward shall be presented before end of February 2018, the coalition said.

Source: StreetReporters.ng

 

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Condemnations Trail IBB, Obasanjo’s Anti Buhari Statements

A non-governmental organisation under the aegis of the New Initiative For Credible Leadership (NICReL) has lampooned the former military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and other nigeria’s former leaders over their plots against the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office.

Addressing newsmen at a press conference in Abuja, the Executive Director of the group, Rev. Steven Onwu, maintained that the retired General’s statement tagged ‘Towards a National Rebirth’, through his spokesperson, Kassim Afegbua, asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election or for Nigerians to vote him out in 2019 if he decides to contest and “the spate of attempts by some former leaders to ingratiate themselves into the polity” were attempts to “truncate our hard-worn democracy.”

According to the group, the hostility with which Nigerians received the statement initially prompted IBB to walk back the statement but he somehow got the bluster to frog march Afegbua to the studios of a national television to stand by the initial claim”.

Rev. Onwu noted that “such double-dealing prevarication from the man dubbed “The Evil Genius” is not new because such maneuvers were his stock in trade in his days as a military dictator.

“We dare say there will be more of such in the days ahead as he thinks he still have it in him to leave up to his moniker of “Maradona”.

“Kindly note that former military head of state and former president, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo only a few days ago, apparently singing from the same hymnbook issued a statement with which he called on Nigerians to form or join a Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM).

“Nigerians should further note that: Babangida was one of those that sponsored the Obasanjo in his failed coup attempt under the Sani Abacha dictatorship, which promptly landed Obasanjo in jail for treason.

“Upon the demise of the dictator and Obasanjo’s release from jail, Babangida was among the cabal that imposed him on Nigeria, albeit under a compromised election that set the tone for dubious elections in the country.

“Babangida’s spokesman, Kassim Afegbua, is on the steering committee of the Obasanjo-founded Coalition of Nigerian Movement”, he said.

He added that “Considering the health condition that has kept the former dictator homebound, Afegbua and a handful of others are his proxies on the new project to jeopardize Nigeria’s democracy.

“Another foot soldier of the supposed coalition has called on a couple of other former military chiefs to issue their own statements, which indicates that this campaign of instability is something that was well hatched for synchronized activation.

“The people coalescing in this manner are connected one way or the other with the grand corruption that has kept Nigeria in the doldrums and they are also the ones that are losing their grips on the illicit revenue from corruption under the ongoing reforms.

“Even in the midst of these ominous conjugations however, we could not but notice the dark humor of the man credited as the father of corruption and the one that institutionalized corruption in Nigeria now grandstanding on the same issue in his desperation for relevance.

“IBB’s era as President saw Nigeria sat comfortably at the highest perch on the Global Corruption Index.

“Without him repenting and publicly apologizing for our commonwealth in addition to making restitution, he has suddenly found the courage to become Nigeria’s latest anticorruption crusader”, the group observed.

The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICReL), therefore, called on Nigerians to put the Obasanjo, IBB, and the other members of their “evil alliance (that are yet to come out) on notice that they shall be held responsible for any breach of peace in the run up to the 2019 General Elections.

“Their statements and utterances clearly indicate that they are secretly engaged in other activities destabilize the country even though the specifics of such evil machinations are not yet known.

“We shall lead our own coalition of the affected to attract the full weight of the law upon anyone that causes instability in the polity.

“We urge the Federal Government to immediately place anyone associated with threatening stability of Nigeria in this manner under watch.

“Caution must however be exercised in taking them in for questioning because their objective is to whip up sentiment around such reaction in their bid to find something with which to provoke civil unrest across the country.

“To this end, we advise the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to cancel his declaration of Afegbua wanted as this will only make him more relevant.

“His activities should rather be monitored and discretely investigated until there is overwhelming evidence to arraign him for any crimes committed in the course of implementing the agenda of the Evil Genius”, the group said.

When Group Discovered Rare Nigerian in Katsina

In an effort to find ways to ameliorate the humanitarian crisis in the North East and parts of North West Nigeria , some executives of the Joint Action Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria sojourned in the Katsina State to make an assessment of its findings.

By a twist of events, the unusual developmental and entrepreneurial improvements in the state caught the attention of the organisation, which lead to the discovery of some citizens who has contributed and still contributing to the entrepreneurial revolution. While others are political appointees, others are not. The attention of our crew was caught one man who stands out in the North West of Nigeria, and Katsina in particular.

He is no doubt a political appointee but choose to be honorary, who from our investigation before this honorary appointment has in no small measure contributed to the upliftment of his people especially the youths.

He is currently the Honorary Special Adviser to the Katsina State Governor on international relations and investment Alhaji Ibrahim Zakari Ibrahim.

Findings by our team reveal that one striking quality of Hon. Zakari is his refusal to receive salaries and allowances statutorily due for his office from the Katsina State Government as a Special Adviser to the state Governor.

This made his position honourary. Since his assumption of office, he has transversed the length and the breathe of the international community, using his personal funds and contacts to attract a number of foreign entrepreneurs and investors to the state.

According to some youths we interacted with and our findings the Executive Coordinator of the civil society coalition, Comrade Isaac Ikpa who spoke to our correspondent said, a background check on this rare personality revealed that Hon. Zakari, is seen by the ordinary citizens of the state as a “true son of the soil” due to his humility and service to humanity .

Further findings by the non-governmental coalition, the Executive Coordinator revealed, shows that his appointment did not come as a surprise to the people of the state “due to his track record of love for humanity and readiness to make necessary sacrifices for a better society through job creation and humanitarian services and has since his assumption of office proven that he is in office to serve the people and not for the pecks of office.

“This is an uncommon trait at a time public officers are distinguished by how much loot they have carted away from the public treasury.

“There are few leaders in the country that have exhibited this level of patriotism in Nigeria of our time and someone may ask why we are making an issue out of this?

“It is not difficult to understand why. First, we did not visit Katsina State to look for who to praise.

“This young Nigerian’s story, was not part of our brief but it must be noted that until Nigeria and Nigerians begin to reward and honour people who have sacrificed their comfort for the rest of us, the country will continue to celebrate the corrupt and the looters”, he said.

On the numerous achievements of Hon. Zakari in office, Comrade Ikpa noted that from their findings, Hon. Zakari influenced the siting of Black oil refinery in Mashi Local Government of the state by Lakoi Energy Limited.

This led to the signing of an agreement between between Nigeria and Niger for the construction of the refinery in the border town between Republic of Niger and Katsina State, Nigeria and a crude oil pipeline from Republic of Niger to the new refinary which will be benifitial to both countries.

“Today, moribund industries are being handed over to technically competent firms by the state Governor and his Special Adviser on International Relations and Investment, have spearheaded the handing over of Kankara Kaolin and Neem Processing factory to BILAL GROUP U.A.E.

“This will, in no small measure, boost the state’s Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), create much needed skilled and unskilled employment opportunities for the people of the the state, amongst others secondary employment generation as a result of the activities of businessmen who would do patronize the company and from our findings the Honorary Special Adviser Investment traveled all the way to Dubai and brought Bilal Group to Invest in katsina State.

He also brought into the state Ampri Group, to whom the state government has handed over the Management of the Kankia Metal Works.

“Ampri Group, with the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). As we understand, 400 people are expected to get direct employment and also thousands of indirect jobs will be provided to the teaming youth of the state”, the group’s Executive Coordinator observed.

A check by our correspondent shows, that nails production has resumed with expansion of three more lines i.e assembling of motorcycles and tricycles, PVC pipes and tubes in the state as a result of the MoU.

“Our findings also reveal that Hon. Zakari has been able to attract investors from Canada, China, India, England and USA, while targeting jobs creation in Agriculture and Mining”

“Also, through his initiative and cooperation of Governor Bello Masari, over 25000 women have been empowered for Dry season farming across the 34 local government areas.

“The efficiency of the Organic Fertilizer has shown positive impact in the state such that organic fertilizer re-packaging plant will be built in Funtua by a Canadian firm As I talk to you, Salad Greenhouse of Canada in Partnership with Katsina State Government the group’s Executive Coordinator revealed.

According to the coalition, “Katsina State now targets substantial increase in food production to enhance food and nutrition security by using 100% organic bio-fertilizers, which among other investments by foreign companies, will provide several employment opportunities to youths and farmers through improved production just because a rare Nigerian opted to do things differently and Hon. Ibrahim Zakari recently led a delegation of foreign investors from Holland and Pakistan on a courtesy call to the Executive Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari in their efforts to establish a textile factory, Vlisco Holland company.

Their visit was to formalise arrangement to establish a textile factory in Malumfashi which will boost cotton production in the state as before the oil boom Katsina State was responsible for 60% of cotton being produced in Nigeria”.

Nigeria indeed needs such men with vision, mordern ideas, wealth of experience, selfless personaity and exposure to also run for elective positions at all levels of government to bring about the desired change and speedy development of our great Nation Nigeria.

Stakeholders Make Presentations as Senate Begins Probe of Queens Collage Deaths

On Monday, the Senate Joint Committee on Basic Education and Health began public inquiry into the living conditions of Queens College students and the death of three secondary school students in the college last year.

As stakeholders in the educational sector, including members of the civil society, presented memorandum during the public hearing at the Senate, emotions rose as the rot in the educational sector, particularly at Federal Government owned unity schools, dominated that the presentations.

Earlier in his remark, the joint Committee chairman, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, noted, like many other stakeholders, that it was obvious that over population in the college and long term infrastructural decay lead to the avoidable deaths of the three school girls.

He noted that the Public Hearing was part of efforts to unravel the truth about the cause of the deaths in order to avert a reoccurrence, emphasising that the exercise was not vindictive.

Declaring the event open, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, represented by the Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye urged the Committee to proffer ways to revamp the Nigerian educational sector “for further legislative action”.

Revealing the rot she inherited at the College and efforts made to salvage the situation, the former Principal of the college, Dr. Mrs Lami Amodu observed that on assumption of duty at the college she quickly assessed the situation and drew up a “shopping list” containing urgently needed items and rehabilitation of the decayed infrastructure she inherited.

According to her, the shopping list was shared with relevant stakeholders, including the old girls of the college and the ministry of education.

She also recalled how she formally informed the Federal Ministry of Education on the level of decay of the facilities in the college shortly after her deployment to the school.

However, Mrs Amodu alleged that her efforts to ensure a paradigm shift in the administration of the college resulted in a rift with some old girls.

Following the deaths, which she noted took place while the school was on vacation, she insisted that some persons began a campaign of calumny against her, by sponsoring propaganda with the aim of indicting her in the media.

When asked by a member of the Committee, Senator Theodore Orji, if she suspected a conspiracy against her, Mrs Amodu told the Senate Committee pointedly that the old girls leadership took advantage of her being a civil servant, who could not reply them in the media, to sponsor propaganda against her in what she described as a “a vendetta agenda” by some old girls of the college.

The former Principal lamented that “Rather than come together to fashion out ways of avoiding a reccurrence of this ugly incident that happened in Queen’s College, unfortunately, soon after I left, it is saddening that some people found it very convenient to politicise the unfortunate death of these innocent children by suggesting through various sponsored publications that I am responsible for the deaths of the children.

“This is not only cruel and malicious but it shows the extent of the organised conspiracy and gang-ups”, Mrs Amodu said, insisting that no death was recorded in the school after the vomiting incident that earlier occurred before their Inter-house sports as none of the unfortunate deaths happened while the school was in session.

She insisted that prior to the vomiting incident, some old girls of the school had forced their way into the kitchen area of the school and she suspected a fowl play.

The President of the old girls Prof. Funmi Ajose, who admitted that the old girls were at the college, claimed they were there to inspect facilities in the school.

A former Principal of Kings College, Lagos, Mr. Sylvester Onoja observed that from his personal experience, old boy and girls in the unity schools were known to resist positive change. He recalled how some old boys ganged up against him to frustrate him while in Kings college, urging the government to ensure improvement to check over population in the unity colleges.

“In most cases when directors are posted to schools that is not their place of origin they face challenges of acceptability”, Mr Onoja said, adding that in a lot of cases PTA and Old students association try to control school administrators. He disclosed that there have been a long decay of infrastructure in schools.

The Minority Leader Nigerian Youth Parliament, Hon. Obande Gideon Obande who spoke on behalf of the Parliament and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), observed that Infrastructure decay have been inherited by the past principals and more preventive measures should be put in place, urging government to properly fund the schools as routine vaccination of students would have prevented the deaths that occurred.

He also said from investigations there was ego fight and attempt to control school management by some cabals and warn against such interference if the educational system must be safeguarded to guarantee the future of the younger generation.

Speaking with newsmen after the hearing, the Minority leader maintained that if the issue at stake was that an appropriation by the ministry of education was mismanaged by the former principal, the blame on the decayed infrastructure would be hers.

 

Group to Obasanjo: We’re True Coalition For Nigeria, You Built Strong Individuals in 8 Yrs

A group, which describes itself as the true Coalition For Nigeria has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of rushing to town with his “Clarion Call” christen “Coalition for Nigeria” without “due diligence to realize that such coalition already exists”.

The orgnisation therefore alerted Nigeria of “the re-emergence of a force that had always mitigated against the wellbeing of the country even while masquerading as good intentions”, arguing that “the name of that threat is Olusegun Obasanjo, who has an history of regarding Nigeria as his fiefdom from which he and his offspring are entitled to pillage at every turn.”

At a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the National President of the group, Patriot Sabo Odeh accused the former President of spending eight years as a democratically elected president building strong individuals are today at the “core of undermining institutions and the democratic structures” in the county.

The group regretted that the former President was unable to “focused on building strong institutions and enduring systems as opposed to the strong individuals created by his regime”.

According to Patriot Odeh, “Obasanjo’s recent stint in the classroom, which has earned him a PhD, has proven beneficial in that he has marginally learnt to summarize his rambling thoughts and stream of consciousness in fewer words. He castigated the present government in his 13-page statement, an improvement on the 18-page attack on former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“His supposedly improved intellect however failed him as he did not succeed in hoodwinking Nigerians as to his true intentions. Far from making interventions that will help stabilize the nation, his true intention, revealed at the end of his statement, is to re-launch himself into politics.

“He desires to walk back his brash decision to quit politics by exploiting the current situations in the land and ride on the wave of populism.

“We realize that some of those peddling Obasanjo’s statement as the holy grail are trying to desensitize people to its impropriety by claiming that Nigerians should consider the message and not the messenger. But to us, a people who do not see in Obasanjo a messenger that should be disregarded are set for doom because nothing honourable has ever come out this vessel.

“Even worse than the messenger is the toxic message that was crafted only to satisfy his own agenda of continuing to hold Nigeria in servitude”, he observed.

Arguing that ex-president Obasanjo did well to anticipate in his statement that “discerning Nigerians will ask “what does Obasanjo want again?”, he however “shied from the truth in the answers he provided when he claimed to have the best interest of Nigeria at heart.

“If he truly does, in the eight years he spent as a democratically elected president, he would have focused on building strong institutions and enduring systems as opposed to the strong individuals created by his regime, who today are at the core of undermining institutions and the democratic structures. What does Obasanjo want again? Coalition for Nigeria says Obasanjo wants to fraudulently recover at a roundabout what he carelessly lost at an intersection.

“Obasanjo’s god-self-delusion might have started at the very start of his career in the military but he took it to the limit when against common sense and the provision of the 1999 Constitution attempted to impose himself on Nigerians in his infamous Third Term Bid, which experts rightly interpreted as a shot at life presidency since he would have begun a fresh rule had he succeeded”, he noted.

Further taking Obasanjo to the cleaners, the group added that “The failure of his tenure elongation bid left Obasanjo a bitter old man, who has since that time harbored animosity towards all Nigerians – he sees in all of us enemies that must be punished hence his constant interjections once he sees the country slipping out of the traps and pitfalls he had craftily orchestrated before he grudgingly left office in 2007.

“Such life of tantrum and indiscretion led to him writing off former President Goodluck Jonathan – even though Nigerians had become sufficiently tired of Jonathan continuing with Obasanjo’s legacy of corruption. It is therefore comical that Obasanjo regards himself as the oracle of Nigerian politics, whose pronouncement dictates the direction of things.

“The dismal outcome that awaits his latest escapade would definitely be a lesson to him in how not to meddle with national affairs when citizens have made up their mind about their destinies.

“Ordinarily we would have disregarded Obasanjo’s latest outburst but for a series of other happenstances that suggest that his letter is part of a larger plot to mislead and destabilize the country. In this regard, the former president appears to be the elder statesmen’s wing of a malcontent rabble that is determined to return Nigeria back to the days of kleptocracy founded by him.

“Just a few hours before he sent out his cantankerous statement, the street gang called Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group had sullied the streets with its Red Card campaign. We have wondered if it a mere coincidence that a convener of BBOG, Oby Ezekwesili, was a minister in Obasanjo’s cabinet. This is a group that is known to be on the payroll of neocon entities that are committed to destroying Nigeria.

“By his own admission, Obasanjo has been undertaking many foreign trips, which we understand are covers for scheming with foreign interests that are closet enemies of our country. It is not farfetched it turns out that he is the conduit that ships in funds for BBOG and other anti-Nigeria groups.

“We continue to wonder how lower Obasanjo can sink in exacting vengeance against those he thought denied him of a third term in office, which he loosely interprets as all Nigerians. We do not in any way deserve the crisis he is preparing to launch.

“We however agree with Obasanjo that the journey for a new Nigeria starts now but it is a trip that the country will make without him since he has shown in his eight-year tenure that he is a blind man who has no business leading a people talk less of leading them to the promised land.

“He created the template that made the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into a witch hunt machine, which President Buhari’s administration is working hard to reposition as an institution that fights crime with due process.

“His lies were exposed when he reminded us that he quit active politics and even tore his PDP membership card but yet he wants to lead Coalition for Nigeria (CN). This is criminally dubious to say the least. Obasanjo does not belong to the league of true Patriotic Nigerians but has rather repeatedly proven himself to be a mere psychopath who thinks all his predecessor must do his biddings. The world has run out of patience with demagogues and Nigerians want none of Obasanjo’s megalomaniac disposition.

“We, the Coalition for Nigeria, agree that there is need to move from our current state of affairs in Nigeria but those that will lead us do not belong to Obasanjo’s circle and certainly not Obasanjo himself. We see President Buhari as having fulfilled his place and mission in history, which is to disrupt and overturn the status quo such that his successors, when the time comes, will build on his works to give us the Nigeria of our vision.

“If the Obasanjo government was half as sincere as the present administration, the troubles of today would have not cropped up in the first place. It is most insulting that the same man is today bragging about assembling teams of experts when his terms in office were spent in partitioning the country and allocating huge chunks to his cronies including initiating privatization programmes that simply gifted the country to a mafia”, the Coalition maintained.

For them, “the hidden call for street protests and civil disobedience in Obasanjo’s statement is not lost on us. Protests are needed against the vampiric leaders that have refused to allow the country work and Obasanjo is among such people so we urge that he should be careful what he is wishing and calling for because while we want his likes to let the polity be we have no intention of descending into violence to achieve this.

“Peaceful engagement remains our choice approach so we urge Nigerians not to allow themselves to be misled into taking actions that would jeopardize our democratic institutions.

“Unlike Obasanjo and his BBOG foot soldiers, who rushed to the streets without the benefit of information and focused deliberations, the Coalition for Nigeria has continued to fine tune its strategies for engaging Nigerians and will intimate Nigerians of its plans at the right time.

“This plan will be geared towards Nigerians genuinely recovering the country from political vampires that were first empowered under the government of Obasanjo. They have been doing everything to retain the criminal influence and wealth they have gathered under him and will stop at nothing to cripple the country if they do not have their way in national matters.

“We nonetheless have our positions on certain issues that the likes of Obasanjo have exploited. On the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, our position is that the federal government immediately investigate the roles of all stakeholders in the crisis including governors that have been accused of arming ethnic militias and associations that have held press briefings to justify reprisal attacks.

“We however submit that the government looks beyond ethnic, religious and political undertone of the crisis to address issues like cultural attachment, climate change, and the possible connection with international terrorism if any. Our demand for immediate action on this crisis is premised on the risk of politicians further using the farmers/herders’ crisis to commit mischief ahead of the 2019 General Elections”, the group demanded.

The Coalition for Nigeria further tasked the government to broaden its search for solutions to Nigeria’s myriad problem “given the ignoble roles being played by saboteurs who pretend to be activists.

“A lot of the problems the country faces are hatched abroad and executed by these so call activists who would rather sell their country down the river for a mess of pottage. The government must identify the international financing of such groups and disrupt same in the interest of the majority of innocent citizens whose lives would be jeopardized if these fifth columnists are allowed to have their way.

“We therefore wish to alert law enforcement agencies to the plots by criminal elements to unleash violence on the streets of our cities using violent protests as the catalysts to provoke security personnel into clashing with them.

“May we point out that the first phase of the protests failed to gain traction as Nigerians refused to be used by the commercial activists paid to staged such event. Obasanjo’s statement was mean to be a morale booster for these groups and now that the statement too has spectacularly failed to provoke the kind of unrest they have in mind they are likely to move into another facet that involves causing confusion during one of their outing, shoot at their own members and blame security agencies for injuring or killing them.

“Some of the leaders of this protest movement have held meetings with those used for staging the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa with a view to replicating the strategy of provoking security operatives to clamp down on violent protesters and then invite the intervention of the international community.

“Since Obasanjo has declared himself the defacto leader of this destabilization movement, which is not to be confused with the authentic Coalition for Nigeria, we hereby put him on notice that the patriotic citizens of this nation shall hold him accountable for any resulting breach of the peace arising from the activities of his followers.

“He completed his tenure without meddling from anyone and we expect that he will allow Nigeria to run smoothly without him poisoning our land with his unguarded statements” the coalition concluded.

 

Buratai: What A Time To Be Proud Of Nigeria ‎By Nneka Obi

The last time I visited Nigeria was in 2013. My husband approved my request to visit home to celebrate the Christmas and New Year.

I came with our three children, Chidi, Okey and my lovely little daughter, Amarachi. It was the second time I would make a trip home since we relocated to the United States of America (USA) in 2005 in search of greener pastures and safety.

The heightened insecurity in Nigeria, which also exploded more dangerously in the Southeast, the region of my birth and where we were domiciled, compelled the imperative to relocate to safer havens.

Unbridled acts of criminality and violent agitations from separatists movements in the region caused anxiety and unrests too frequently.

It crazily caused deaths, tears and sorrows all too often for comfort. So, America was our choice destination. We have since lived in America and visit home once after a long time.

A place of birth has its charm, fondness and memories, incomparable to any other place. Sometimes, the feeling of nostalgia would grip us so strong, but shall dissipate, once you read online news, only to be assailed with more daring, reckless and indiscriminate exploits of armed criminals on hapless citizens.

In 2013, when we last visited home, we spent two days in Abuja and eagerly proceeded to the village, at Abakpa , in Enugu state.

We had six weeks to spend at home all through the New Year. But the excitement vanished after the first week.

I enjoyed the company of granny, old friends and neighbours. But we could not endure the horror of attacks and killings.

By the second week, senseless and violent armed robberies, kidnappings for ransom, targeted at foreign- based indigenes who came home for the yuletide, cult clashes and other allied crimes gave us enough phobia and psychological trauma. We had to immediately move out of the Southeast.

I cried out to my husband about our fears and restlessness and he advised us to relocate to Abuja to spend the rest of the vacation. I complied instantly.

When I narrated our ordeal to him, he was shocked beyond words and almost vowed, it was the last time we visited home again.

But almost five years after, and with a new political leadership in Nigeria, with President Muhammedu Buhari, at the helm, we kept reading about the insecurity situation not just in the Southeast, but the whole of Nigeria has improved positively.

And that even Boko Haram insurgents were given lethal blows by the Nigerian soldiers and defeated.

We learnt in the case of the Southeast, like anywhere else, the Nigerian military conducted various operations to flush out armed criminals.

It again, revived the home-like feeling in me like no any other time. My husband protested, but I insisted the security situation has improved tremendously, based on what we read in the news and the confessions of relations and acquaintances we sought confirmation back home.

Eventually, my husband again, reluctantly approved my request to visit home for the 2017 yuletide and New Year celebrations. We arrived in the early days of December and had an almost instant passage to the country home in Abakpa.

The nearly eight hours journey on the road from Abuja to Enugu-Abakpa were quite revealing especially from Ogbadibo in the neighbouring Benue state to Enugu.

We did not encounter the usual intimidating security roadblocks at every turn of a kilometer on the road. Vehicular traffic flowed much freer with less interruption.

Travellers or commuters wore excited and nostalgic faces. No intimidation or harassments from masked criminal gangs. We travelled blissfully until we got to the village.

This was the first hint I got that the haunting insecurity of our people has improved for the better.

In the village, with my family, the usual fun with people was not short-lived by the feeling of fear on what next would happen as was our experience in 2013.

We hardly heard of kidnappings, armed robberies and agitations from restive youths and other criminal elements.

Alas, the Southeast was from from the siege of criminal gangs? I wondered aloud! We exchanged visits and frisked all corners of the villages and the state without any attack from the armed gangs.

It was at this point it dawned on me clearly that the positive reports I read about improved security in Nigeria was true.

I didn’t hear of bomb explosions on Christmas day in any big city in Nigeria, as had been the tradition a few years back.

I felt so relieved. And when I made contacts with my kith and kin in other parts of the Southeast, they confirmed similar stories of violence-free twin celebrations in 2017.

This reality ignited my interest and restored my confidence in the Nigerian Army. I was told the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai.

I also learnt Mr. President appointed him some years back. I have never met him physically Gen. Buratai before, but was encountering him through his good works in my region of birth. It is unbelievable that through him Nigeria has regained its dignity on security.

Through these inquiries, I was made to understand the clean tap water we were consuming in the village came from the Abakpa military Cantonment under the 82 Division, Nigerian Army.

I was marveled and pleasantly surprised, to discover a Nigerian Army could project itself with such human face by executing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in any community in Nigeria.

Abakpa is a community that has never had pipe borne water since its evolution and it is the first time it is enjoying the privilege of being a host community to the Nigerian Army.

I got to know, Army Resident engineers at Abakpa Cantonment in Enugu, constructed a gigantic water treatment plant, with a capacity of treating and supplying one million litres of water daily, which has been extended to host communities.

I tried to find out from my people why it appeared too easy and in a jiffy to have such relief, after decades of suffering over water.

They opened up into more goodies the current leadership of the Nigerian Army under Gen. Buratai has extended to the Southeast region.

I was informed the Army launched the “Operation Python Dance I & II” to cleanse communities of armed miscreants, hooligans and criminals at different times.

And each time, the Python, an ancestral reptile, which signifies peace, came to dance, communities in the Southeast benefitted from water, medical assistance and other numerous CSR projects for the people.

They were unanimous that the Nigerian Army has reached new heights in civil/military relations, courting the friendship of communities, but very harsh on armed gangs.

I felt enthralled and had almost resolved within me not to go back to our base in USA anymore. But it was a decision I could not take alone.

I needed to discuss it with my husband and obtain his consent. I reached out to my husband and informed him of the changes at home, especially on insecurity, which marooned us away in foreign lands for years.

I told him the armed criminals who erroneously thought Enugu could be their permanent operational base; those who threatened and frightened everybody at sight have been uprooted from the state, including the notorious billionaire kidnapper.

My husband was quite happy and shocked at the same time. But relocating back home was not an easy option either. We had all established in America and that sort of movement is planned, before execution.

However, I felt my joy incomplete without contributing my small quota in assisting the Nigerian Army sustain the tempo of its humanitarian works and security in the region.

I instantly resolved to reach out to Igbos in the Diaspora to explore the possibility of throwing our support and weight behind Nigerian Army to see that our ancestral places remain conducive homes for all.

It’s a message I have taken back to the USA and I pray God to help me actualize this plan. We look anxiously to when the Python would stage another dance at Enugu again.

And if my mission to mobilise Enugu sons and daughters in Diaspora becomes fruitful, the next time the Army under Buratai stages a comeback, our shadows would be right behind him in support to assist us construct roads, build some schools and electrify communities.

This would provide more relief to communities, since it appears some of our State Governors have abandoned their basic developmental obligations to people for politicking.

So, when the Python comes to dance again, we hope to dance together. This is a time to be proud of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army.

Obi, a Nigerian based in the Diaspora contributed this piece from New Jersey, USA.

South East Group Hails Nigerian Army, Buratai Over Patronage of Indigenous Manufacturers

Nigerians have continued to commend  the Nigerian Army, following the Army’s decision to partner with local car manufacturer, Innoson Motors in the manufacturing of military vehicles and other hardwares

The Army it will be recalled had also partnered with Shoe makers in Aba to acquire boots for it’s men and officers.

Joining in the array of commendations, the South East Renewal Group (SERG) likened the latest partnership with Innoson as balm on a sore spot given the contrived negativity that has been hyped about the mindset the Army has for the South-East and Igbo businesses.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, President General of SERG, Charles Mbani commended the NIgerian Army, its leadership under Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and President Muhammadu Buhari for growing the partnership with Innoson Motors Manufacturing Company and other south east business owners.

He said through this action, the COAS has again shown that he has the best interest of the country at heart.

According to Mbani, the Army has by this partnership with Innoson further demonstrated that Nigeria can significantly reduce its dependence on foreign entities for the supply of gears for securing the nation.

He said it gives hope that we will soon be exporting armoured vehicles to other countries because we have demonstrated the capabilities of these products in real operational environments.

He said, “The Army has given a lifeline to the hundreds of industries located in our part of the country. We must note at this point that the Army also bought its boots and shoes from Aba, so its commitment to seeing industries in our land grow is not mere eye-service but a well calculated attempt to address youth unemployment and their resulting restiveness. It is our firm belief that continuing along this path will leave terrorist groups without idle youths to recruit for making trouble and harassing law-abiding Nigerians.

“The patronage of Innoson Motors Manufacturing Company may appear insignificant, or may be promoted by saboteurs as something to be taken for granted, but we dare say the gains from this singular act are unquantifiable even as they tally with the government’s avowal to diversify the economy, which involves strengthening the manufacturing sector and saving crucial foreign exchange for the country.

“From our informal interaction with relevant stakeholders, we can already confirm that the deal between the Nigerian Army and Innoson is already deepening local manufacturing. When we make this point it is not about the number of cars that roll off Inosson Motors Manufacturing Company’s production line but the multiplier effects that come from such enterprise. We foresee more companies keying into the expansion that the Army’s orders portend for Innoson.

“The Army’s order is also building the economy as a lot of money has been saved since the vehicles delivered to it were not ordered from abroad. The resources committed to their purchase have been left circulating within our economy. For us, it is a thing of joy that the Nigerian Army has practically sent a strong message about the quality of Made in Nigeria Products. This will rub off on the products from the south-east.”

He therefore reminded south eaterners that contrary to the propaganda of those who had held them hostage under different guises, the Nigerian Army truly stepped in to liberate towns and cities from miscreants that were implementing destructive agenda under the guise of liberating the Igbo nation from an imaginary occupation.

He urged them to join hands with the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff and all military personnel to ensure that security of lives and properties, which has remained a priority of the Buhari administration is acchived.

He said the call becomes necessary so as to prevent  a situation where fifth columnists hide behind ethnic agitations to disrupt industrial activities as they earlier attempted to do.

Breaking: Again, Assassins Storm Maina Family House in Kaduna, Whisk Away Security Guard

Barely five days after some haggard looking men suspected to be hired assassins invaded the home of the embattled former Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina in Abuja, brandishing sophisticated weapons and harassing his family members, his family house in Kaduna was again attacked at about 900hours on Christmas eve.

An eyewitness, who simply identified himself as Mallam Salisu, told The Street Reporters that no fewer than nine (9) men arrived the house in a Hilux van and a Peugeot 406 car.

They were said to have driven straight to the family house where Maina’s mother resides at Kawu area of Kaduna State.

While the Hilux van was stationed outside the house, the 406 was driven straight into the compound and one of the occupants asked of Abdulrasheed Maina and his mother’s whereabouts.

After ransacking the house, breaking the front and the back doors as well as the ceiling in the process, and not finding their targets, the men who were shouting “Where Maina?”; “Where is the mother?” before they tired up the security man and took him to an unknown destination.
He was later dumped at the bush at an outskirt of Kaduna where he was found by the villagers with a handcuff.

The matter has been reported to the Kawu police station by one of the family members, identified as Aliyu Maina and security men have since been detailed to the house alongside anti-bomb experts who combed the house and its vicinity.

Some of the suspected assassins were said to be dressed in military uniforms.

Five days ago, similar incident took place at the Abuja home of the former pension reform boss where two rooms in the house were ransacked, checking personal apparels in the house without any form of identification or a search warrant.

Maina’s Security aides who were immediately informed, arrived the rented house but the suspected men led by a man said to be wearing a police uniform was accosted but they rebuffed every attempt to get them disclose their identity and mission around Maina’s home.

Recall that Maina who has escaped many assassination attempts while serving as the Pension Reforms Taskforce Team boss, has consistently asked for security protection by the federal government against the pension cabals who have been after him following his numerous revelations on their clandestine activities.

 

 

Nwoko Hails Emergence of Secondus As bNew PDP Chairman

A former member of the Federal House of Representative, Prince Ned Nwoko, has congratulated Prince Ike Uche Secondus, as the New National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP). Prince Ned Nwoko who is aspiring to contest for Delta North Senatorial ticket.

Prince Ned Nwoko is the promoter of Stars Private University in Idumuje Igboko, Delta State. He advised the new PDP chairman to use his new office to promote unity and fair play within the party.

He described Chief Secondus as “Total Chairman”, and urged the new PDP helmsman to enthrone internal democracy within the fold.

In s statement issued in his Maitama home, Abuja, Prince Nwoko said: “I want to congratulate the elected National Chairman of our great party; PDP, other elected Officials, the other Leader of the party, the Chairman of the organising Committee; Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and his members, the delegates and every member of our great party on the successful conclusion of the elective convention, held yesterday, the 9th of December, 2017, at Abuja.

“It is therefore, my prayers that, the almighty God, shall direct the steps of the Chairman and the other elected Officials, in their avowed determination to enthrone internal democracy and the repositioning of the party towards achieving the desired overwhelming victory in the 2019 general election.

“God bless the PDP, God bless Nigeria”, he prayed.

Ademola Slated for Sack Before Resigning, Says NJC

Justice Adeniyi Ademola pulled a fast one on the National Judicial Council, by hurriedly announcing his resignation, a spokesman for the council revealed today.

According to Soji Oye, NJC’s Director of Information, the council recommended on Wednesday the compulsory retirement of Ademola, along with Justice O. O. Tokode, both of the Federal High Court, for misconduct.

The decision was taken at the Council’s 84th meeting on Dec. 6., chaired by the Chief Justice Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghe.

Ademola apparently getting wind of NJC’s decision, hurriedly notified the council of his decision to voluntarily retire from the bench.

Ademola was due for retirement on April 9, 2018, when he would attain the mandatory retirement age of 65 years.

The council said its decision was pursuant to its findings on the allegation in the petition written against Ademola by Committee of Anambra State PDP House of Representatives Members-Elect.

The council said the petitioners alleged gross misconduct in the handling of a matter they filed before Ademola.

The council urged the public to disregard news circulating that Ademola had voluntarily retired.

“The purported voluntary retirement is clearly an afterthought as council had taken action before his decision to forward any voluntary retirement letter.”

The council further said that Justice Tokode was also recommended to the President for compulsory retirement with immediate effect.

It said this followed its findings on the allegation contained in petitions forwarded by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Miss Abimbola Awogboro.

“The petitioners accused the judge of misleading the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Council.

” This was by submitting six judgements he claimed to have personally conducted while practising as a lawyer; a pre-requisite for his application for appointment as a judicial officer, and was so appointed.

“The investigation committee of council, however, found that the judge personally conducted only one of the six cases submitted.

” Therefore, Council decided to recommend his compulsory retirement and the refund of all salaries and allowances he earned since his purported appointment to the position of a Judge to the coffers of the Judiciary.”

The council said in the interim, both judges were suspended from office with immediate effect.

The council similarly issued warning letters to Justices A. N. Ubaka of the National Industrial Court, Justice A. M. Lawal of Lagos High Court and Zainab Sadat of the High Court of Niger and placed them both on a watch list.

However, the council dismissed the petition written by Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, former interim chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, accusing Justice A. Liman of the Federal High Court of corruption.

Source: The Street Reporters

 

Kidnappers Demand N100m to Free Ex-Minister Damishi Sango, Others

A head of the major opposition party’s national convention in Nigeria’s federal capital, a former Minister of Sports and the Plateau State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Damishi Sango, has been abducted by unknown gunmen.

Also kidnapped with him are his son, driver, a prominent chieftain of the PDP in Plateau State and another victim that is yet to be identified.

Sango was abducted by gunmen along Jere village in Kaduna State, on Wednesday, at about 7:00p.m., while travelling to Abuja to seek accommodation and make preparation for Plateau State delegates attending the opposition party’s national convention scheduled for Saturday, December 9.

Confirming the incident, the Publicity Secretary of PDP in Plateau State, John Akans, said, “Yes, our chairman, Chief Damishi Sango, and five other persons, including his son, driver and a chieftain of PDP in Plateau State were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Wednesday evening.

“It was the Police who called his family and intimated them of the incident because his son’s phone was seen inside the vehicle.”

Making their demand for ransom, the kidnappers contacted the family asking for N100 million ransom.

The suspected gunmen who kidnapped the former Minister and his son and four others demand the ransom for their release.

A family source disclosed this in Jos, in a telephone conversation, and said the abductors were in contact with the family.

The source said, Damishi Sango, his son, Chief Emmanuel Mangni, the driver, an orderly and one other occupant of the abandoned Jeep were all alive as at press time.

The family source which pleaded anonymity revealed that Hon. Sango, spoke with the family at about 12noon and said that the kidnappers demanded N100 million for their release.

State Publicity Secretary, Mr. John Akans, who briefed Journalists at the party secretariat, said the abductors spoke with the family and demanded for N100 million ransom.

He said the party which is in opposition does not have such amount to doll out and call on party faithfuls to pray fervently for God’s intervention.

Akans said the kidnapped of the party chairman has demoralised the party delegates from Plateau who are expected to take off today (Friday) ahead of the convention in Abuja.

He said the state will participate in the convention but in low spirit if the Chairman and five others are not released before Saturday.

He called on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to take drastic measure and ensure that Hon. Sango, his son and four others are recovered alive.

It was gathered that Plateau State delegates had made up their mind during the last meeting of the State Working Committee of the Party the preceded the abduction of the chairman to give overwhelming vote to Uche Secondus, who they believe can lead the party to victory in 2019.

Source: The Street Reporters

Maina: Family Members Warn Political Gladiators to Tread Cautiously

The Maina Royal family of Borno State have warned political gladiators to keep off their son, Alhaji AbdulRasheed Maina who was recently reinstated by the Federal Government back to the Civil Service in order to carryout his duties without distractions.

It may be recalled that AbdulRasheed Maina was suspended by the Jonathan administration after his special task force on recovery of pension fund uncovered monumental fraud perpetuated by a certain cabal in the sector backed by people at the top.

The family in a reaction to Maina’s reinstatement by the Federal Government, specially thanked the Almighty God that their son, Maina has lived to eventually be reinstated after several officially documented assassination attempts on his life, and series of investigations by the Federal Government that eventually cleared him of any complicity at the course of his duties.

In a statement signed by Hauwa Maina, an Actress of International repute, and Aliyu Maina, an Investment Banker, Political Strategist and writer, who are members of the family they said, “We owe our gratitude to God the Almighty.

“We want to send our special appreciation to our amiable President and Father, Gen Muhammadu Buhari for following due process in the reinstatement of our son.

“AbdulRasheed Maina is well known to all Nigerians for being patriotic, and fearless in the recovery of funds stolen by thieves in the pension industry, working always hard to ensure that he gives maximum service to the country in all his dealings as a civil servant.

“It is unfortunate that former President Goodluck Jonathan who found Maina worthy of the assignment after perusing his antecedents and credentials, to lead the Presidential TaskForce on Pension Fund, couldn’t protect him after the Pension fraud cabal went for Maina’s jugular, just to punish him for exposing their dubuous and reckless stealing and for saving the country of large sums of money that were hitherto stolen by a few.

“We are however grateful to God that despite all the trials and tribulations that our son went through in this dark period, God still kept him strong and healthy to the point that he is able to resume work.

“The President who in his fair and transparent nature, saw the need to ensure that justice is a actually seen to be done at the end of the day”, the family stated.

Whilst thanking Nigerians and all those who stood by Maina and his family throughout the period, the family equally urged civil Servants, alike, to remain committed to the service of humanity and continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari for being a just leader, who would ensure that every single Nigerian who has found him/herself in a similar situation gets justice and fair hearing irrespective of their religion, tribe or political affiliations.

According to the statement, “it has become imperative to also warn politicians and their cronies who may want to use the opportunity to distract Maina to desist from doing so as the family would seek redress where applicable.

“We have taken his odeal as an act of God and any attempt to drag his name in the mud for personal reasons, or to settle political scores with people will totally be rejected and confronted.

“This is not the right time for political engagement, we urge all the good citizens of Borno State pressurizing him to contest the Governorship of the state to exercise some patience and allow him to heal from the wounds inflicted on him by the last administration, it is on record that the government abandoned him when the political interests of their friends eventually clashed with the duties which he was commissioned to deliver.

“We are Muslims and believe that the Almighty God in his wisdom has taken Maina through this phase of life as part of the journey to greater assignments and service to the nation.

“To that end, We as a Family have forgiven his traducers and urge everyone to join hands with him as he resumes work to contiinue with high level Fund RECOVERY and blocking leakages in the system, this he knows best.

“He should at least be allowed to further contribute his quota to the Buhari Administrations corruption fight as he demonstrated during the Last Administration.

“We are therefore unequivocal in our demand that Maina should be left alone, excused from every political imagination of any member of the public so as to be able to concentrate more on his duties as his inputs to the system have greatly been missed,” the statement also added.

 

Anti-corruption War: Nigerians React to Maina’s Re-instatement

Some Nigerians have reacted to the recent reinstatement of the former Chairman of Presidential Committee on Pension Reform Taskforce Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, into the federal civil service, saying the development is a victory over corruption and age-long pervasion of the civil service rules and labour laws.

It could recall that Maina while fighting corruption in the pension sector through the PRTT in 2010 recovered over 200 billion Naira in cash but, as some Nigerians put it, “in the process, the hunter became the hunted as corruption forth back and was sacked illegally.”

It could also be recall that Maina led PRTT recovered 1.6 trillion Naira both in cash and assets within a period of one year.

However, as the Coordinator of the North Central Youth Leaders Forum, Hon Alfa Nma said in his reaction to Maina’s reinstatement, “some corrupt pension looters ganged up against Maina and he was framed to be corrupt.

“Maina’ car was shot on his way from the Presidential Villa since then, Maina went into hiding.

“So, who will not run away when it has become obvious that people are after your life?”‘ Hon. Nma said.

He recalled that Senator Kabir Gaya who earlier accused Maina of stealing 195 billion Naira soon renounced his accusation when he declared that the said money was found to be lodged in the federal government’s account, which is part of the (Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the Buhari’s administration.

The group, the North Central Youth Leaders Forum, had earlier called on President Buhari to sustain the anti corruption war, urging him that while fighting corruption, he should look into the files of those fighting corruption in the previous administration and were framed up.

According to the group, the advice was with a view to determining the merit or otherwise of some cases to not only clear them but also to make them part of the anti corruption war as in the case of Maina.

Mr. Ibrahim Kuru who spoke from Kaduna noted that the reinstatement of Maina is a victory over corruption, saying that “it would be a victory for the corrupt people in the system if obvious cases of people who were framed up for doing the right thing were not looked into.

On his part, Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi who spoke from Abuja hailed Maina’s reinstatement, saying it is a plus for the anti corruption war of the President Buhari administration.

According to Mr. Torkuma Aso who is a Makurdi-based business man, “any reasonable person would commend President Buhari for righting the wrongs of the past by reiterating Maina”.

Also, in his reaction, the Chairman Federal Concerned Pensioners, Mr David Adodo who spoke from Lagos said that President Buhari has rekindled the hope of Nigerians injustice of the past can be corrected by Maina’s reinstatement.

He said, ” a bunch of clueless people will sit at your homes and operate on hearsay, even when they do not have a copy of the civil service rules.

“You don’t jump into conclusions and engage in a smear campaign on a man who has done nothing to offend you.

“People are not just sacked or dismissed if they are not political appointees.

“If you are a career civil servant, there are rules and processes to follow and it was obvious that the process that led to the sack of Maina was flawed and the President should be commended”, Mr Adodo said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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)