Page 1

Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

Salami: Court okays service on CJN, others NEWS – Pages 2 & 61

•Jonathan: don’t blame it on me

NBA to boycott swearing in of SANs NEWS

– Page 2

•‘Awardees will not be recognised’

VOL. 7, NO. 1864 FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2011




•Protesters seeking justice for President of Court of Appeal Justice Ayo Salami in front of the US Consulate General in Lagos ... yesterday. Story on page 61.


UK, French Special Forces join battle to seize Gaddafi Rebels set for final assault on leader’s hometown Sirte


EBEL fighters geared up yesterday to launch a final offensive on Sirte, fleeing Libyan strongman Muhamah Gaddafi’s hometown where he is believed to be hiding. British and French Special Forces are on the ground in eastern Libya, calling in air strikes and helping to co-ordinate rebel units as they prepare for the assault on the town, the last coastal still in the hands SEE ALSO town of pro- Gaddafi forces, PAGES 4&5 a rebel officer said. The Guardian of UK said the soldiers have taken a leading role not only in guiding bombers to blast a path for opposition fighters, but also in planning the offensive that finally broke the sixmonth siege of Misrata, Mohammed Subka, Continued on page 2

•A rebel fighter poses for a photo as he sits on a two-seater couch that is framed by golden mermaid with the face of Aisha Gaddafi, the daughter of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, in her house in Tripoli ... yesterday. A pink baby cot is placed in the grand atrium. PHOTO: AP



NEWS Salami: Court okays service on CJN, others


•Barcelona's Lionel Messi, poses with his Best Player in Europe for the 2010-11 season award during the Champions League draw in Monaco ... yesterday

FEDERAL High Court yesterday granted an ex parte order to serve members of the National Judicial Council (NJC) through substituted means the court processes of the case filed by the suspended President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Isa Ayo Salami. Members of the NJC are the second to 11th Defendants in the suit filed against the NJC, Chief Justice Aloysius KatsinaAlu and nine others. To be served through substituted means are Justice Katsina-Alu, his deputy Justice Dahiru Musdapher, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola and Justice Dominic Edozie.

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Others are; Justice Michael Akpiroroh, Mrs. Rakia Sarki Ibrahim, Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta; Justice Kate Abiri; and Justice Peter Umeadi. When the Council refused to accept service on behalf of its members. Justice Salami, through his lawyers Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN) and Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), applied to the court for an order of substituted service. The motion ex-parte was brought pursuant to Order 6 Rule 5 of The Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009 and under the inherent jurisdiction.

Urging the court to grant the motion, Olujimi argued that the 2nd to 11th defendants were not sued in their personal capacities because they are agents of the NJC. Besides, he said the addresses of the fifth to 11th defendants who are members of the two separate investigative panels of the NJC were unknown to the Plaintiff. He prayed the court for “an order granting leave to the Applicant to serve the Writ of Summons, the statement of claim and all other processes issued in this Suit on the 2nd – 11th defendants by delivering the processes to the Secretary of the National Judicial Council in the Supreme Court Com-

plex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court or to any of the staff in the office of the Secretary to the National Judicial Council and/ or by pasting the processes on the entrance wall of the National Judicial Council in the Supreme Court Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja.” Ruling, the vacation Judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo, ordered that the “the leave is granted to the Applicant to serve the Writ of Summons, the statement of claim and all other processes issued in this suit on the 2nd-11th defendants by delivering the Processes issued in this suit on the Continued on page 61

UK, French Special Forces join battle to seize Gaddafi Continued from page 1

a communications specialist in the Al Watum (My Home) brigade, said. Yesterday afternoon, Subka and his unit waited at the rebel frontline, known as Kilometre Sixty, aboard a column of battered, black pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns and a few tanks recently captured from Gaddafi’s forces. “We are with the England team, he said, adding: “They advise us.” Kilometre Sixty lies in the flat, empty desert, no more than a sand-coloured mosque and a wrecked diner at a traffic intersection. Sirte, Gaddafi’s birthplace, lies 80 miles away. The advance on the city could not begin until loyalist units south of the road ahead were cleared from their positions, Subka said, flipping open his laptop to show a map – apparently provided by NATO– of artillery positions threatening the route. “We don’t worry about those units – they are NATO’s concern,” he said. Defence sources have confirmed that British Special Forces have been on the

Defiant leader urges supporters to purify Tripoli


ELEAGUERED Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi remained defiant yesterday, calling on his supporters to march on Tripoli and “purify” the capital of rebels, who he denounced as “rats, crusaders and unbelievers”, in a defiant, angry speech that betrayed no hint of despondency. In a short audio broadcast on loyalist satellite TV channels yesterday, the fugitive leader called on all of Libya’s tribes to rally and expel what he called foreign agents from the country. “Libya is for the Libyan people and not for the agents, not for imperialism, not ground in Libya for several weeks, along with special forces from Qatar, France and some eastern European states. Subka said British and French units had been operating in Misrata for several weeks, based somewhere near the city’s sprawling port, Kasa Ahmed. Of the two, he said the British were the more friendly. A common complaint among Misrata commanders earlier in the conflict was that Nato had no ready way to answer requests for air support when lightly-equipped forces were attacked by tanks and heavy artillery. Subka, who was given the

for France, not for Sarkozy, not for Italy,” he said. “Tripoli is for you, not for those who rely on NATO.” Rebels, backed by NATO air power, overran Tripoli earlier in the week and burst into Gaddafi’s fortified compound, which they ransacked without finding him or his family. A hint of desperation had crept into the maverick leader’s speeches in recent weeks as successive rebel victories suggested the tide was turning against him after more than five months of civil war. But speaking from an unknown location, he sounded more upbeat in

job of liaising with the British unit because he once worked as an aircraft despatcher at Tripoli airport, said that had now changed. The alliance has provided sophisticated means of sending in requests for air strikes: “Sometimes email, sometimes VHF [radio],” he said. “You send it [the air strike request] to Misrata port.” The NATO team also helped plan the first breakout of the rebels two weeks ago when they cut through the government ring around the city, capturing the town of Tawarga. The plan demanded close coordination between the Halbus

yesterday’s broadcast, suggesting the loss of most of his capital and moves by several Arab states to put their full weight behind the rebel leadership have done little to dampen his spirits. “The enemy is delusional, NATO is retreating. It cannot go on forever in the air. NATO be damned,” he shouted. “We will defeat them with determination, through will, commitment to freedom, sovereignty, dignity and glory. Never be afraid of them, only fear God, you are closer to God than they.”

Brigade, making a frontal assault on the town, and a secondary thrust through the desert to cut Tawarga off from loyalist reinforcements. Subka said the plan worked flawlessly. “It was a very beautiful plan,” he added. “The plan went to perfection, and not just the plan, also the timing. Even the NATO operations room sent us a commendation.” The British and French units also helped opposition fighters assault Zlitan at the weekend in the first stage of the offensive that took rebel units into Tripoli. Testimony to the deadly ef-

Continued on page 61

fect of NATO’s bombing was evident along the highway leading out of the city. Concrete buildings used as bunkers by Gaddafi’s forces were flattened, while tanks were ripped apart, their turrets and tracks strewn across the road. Further south, all that remained of an ammunition truck was a blackened carpet of splinters. Opposition commanders would rather avoid an attack on Sirte, hoping the fall of Tripoli will persuade its defenders to lay down their arms without a fight. But a spate of attacks from Sirte on Misrata using scud

missiles – the heaviest weapon in Gaddafi’s armoury – have added urgency to their advance. At least four of the rockets have been intercepted seconds before they were due to impact on the city, reportedly hit by missiles fired by a US navy cruiser operating in the Gulf of Sirte. Libyan commandos fighting Muammar Gaddafi came close to capturing the toppled leader on Wednesday when they raided a private home in Tripoli where he appeared to have been hiding, Paris Match magazine said yesterday. Citing a source in a unit which it said was coordinating among intelligence services from Arab states and Libyan rebels, the French weekly said on its website that these services believed Gaddafi was still somewhere in the Libyan capital. Gaddafi was gone from the unassuming safe house in central Tripoli when agents arrived about 10 a.m. (4 a.m. EDT) on Wednesday after a tip-off from a credible source. But, the magazine said, they found evidence that he had spent at least one night there — though it did not say how recently that was.

NBA insists on boycott of SANs Abuja ceremony today


AWYERS are insisting on boycotting today’s swearing in of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) resolved at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday that lawyers who participate in the ceremony will be sanctioned, to serve as a deterrent to others. But lawyers who are to be inducted into the velvet rank, it was gathered last night, are likely to disobey the boycott call. They reportedly met with the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Aloysius Katsina-Alu in Abuja on Tuesday and resolved to attend the ceremony despite the vow by the NBA to punish anybody who attends the ceremony. Some of them were said to have argued that they had made adequate preparations for the induction and will not be willing to stay away. The AGM, held at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was part of the 51st Annual General Conference of the NBA. Reading the adopted resolu-

From Bisi Olaniyi and John Austin Unachukwu Port Harcourt

tions, NBA President Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN), said justice and the rule of law must be upheld, with impunity avoided, in the face-off between the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the “suspended” President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami. NBA’s National Executive Committee (NEC), in a communiqué of Sunday evening in Port Harcourt, directed all lawyers to boycott all NJC’s activities. Those billed to be inaugurated as SANs today must not join the ceremony because September 19 had earlier been fixed for the event, the Association said. The lawyers’ NEC also urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to implement the recommendation of the NJC to retire Justice Salami, since the matter is pending in court. Daudu said: “The NEC of NBA, on Sunday, directed all lawyers to boycott all NJC’s activities. The AGM has just resolved that no lawyer should attend the swearing-in of the SANs on Friday. The right

things must be done. “Some senior members of the Bar and other stakeholders have been coming to meet with members of the NBA executive, asking us to exempt the lawyers who will be sworn in as SANs, but we cannot be blowing hot and cold at the same time. “The sanctions are clear. Lawyers who go ahead on Friday to take the SANs rank will not be recognised as SANs. If they are in any of our committees, we will strip them of membership and a roll of dishonor will be opened for them. “At the opening ceremony of the NBA conference on Monday, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) was talking about disunity in the Bar. They want to divide us. “We should not succumb to creating disunity by ourselves. We must be disciplined. We should maintain one standard and always speak with one voice.” Daudu maintained that since the suits filed by Justice Salami were still pending in court, the NJC and President Jonathan ought to have waited for the

outcome of the cases before taking further steps. He stressed that illegal and unconstitutional decisions would not be allowed. Some lawyers also protested at yesterday’s AGM over alleged rigging of election for the amendment of the constitution of the NBA, as it relates to the Human Rights Committee. Security personnel shut the main entrance doors against some of the protesters. Daudu later cancelled the election. Two more branches of the NBA - Bori and Oleh - were approved at the AGM. More branches would later be created, Daudu said. Reports were presented by Committees, including National Human Rights, by its Executive Secretary Mr. Roland Ewubare; Corporate Affairs Commission, by its RegistrarGeneral Malam Bello Mahmud; Legal Aid Council, by its Director-General, Mrs. Joy BobManual and National Orientation Agency, by Ikeazor Akaraiwe. Daudu, in his welcome address at the AGM, marking his first year in office, stated that the executive had kept faith

with its vision, with the NBA forging ahead. He said: “I ran my campaign on three broad platforms. They include, but not limited to justice sector and legal profession reforms; reforms of the criminal justice system and capacity building for the NBA as an entity and the legal practitioner in his professional capacity. “Justice sector and legal profession reforms are intended to address the slow pace of justice delivery. It is the intention of the Bar to partner with the judiciary to introduce modern techniques of justice delivery. “It is apparent that the criminal justice system has failed. The process from apprehension of suspected criminals, to their trial, the procedure for the conduct of the trial, the quality of the adjudicator, the concluding aspect of the trial and the process of punishment, call for constant review. “The absence of a sound criminal justice system erodes the confidence the comity of nations will have in the nation. We will organise a national conference on criminal justice reforms as soon as possible. Within 60 days, details of the

•Justice Katsina-Alu

proposed conference will be publicised. “For the Bar to be efficient, its machinery, the secretariat, must be well-oiled. To energise the secretariat, I propose to establish six directorates and the position of an Executive Directorship, under the policy control and supervision of the General Secretary.” The NBA president also admonished lawyers to continue to be forthright, fearless, courageous, uphold the rule of law and justice, thereby remaining good ambassadors of the legal profession.

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•Rebels searching Gaddafi’s housd... yesterday

Residents of Tripoli, who have found themselves inside the homes of the Gaddafis, are still shocked about their ostentatious taste, writes Associated Press.

‘I can’t even believe what I am seeing’ M

OAMMAR Gadhafi’s son al-Saadi liked fast cars, yachts and soccer, and his

beachfront villa was stocked with his expensive toys. His sister Aisha lived in a two-story mansion with an indoor pool and sauna. As rebels took control of the Libyan capital over the weekend, the luxurious homes — symbols of the Gadhafi family’s excesses — were among their first targets. After driving out the guards, rebels trashed and looted the villas and neighbors wandered through the wreckage Wednesday expressing their anger at the Gadhafi family’s wealth and ostentatious tastes. “I can’t even believe what I am seeing,” said Muftah Shubri, a resident of Tripoli’s western Nofleen neighborhood, as he walked across Aisha’s lawn to the large covered pool where a ball and a small rubber boat still floated in the water. Gadhafi’s 42-year rule over Libya had increasingly become a family business, with the dictator divvying up key spheres of interest, from oil to security, among his six sons. In recent years, the Gadhafi offspring had been involved in a series of scandals: Hannibal got arrested in 2008 in Switzerland for mistreating his servants in a Geneva luxury hotel and Muatassim reportedly paid $1 million for a private New Year’s concert by Beyonce. Al-Saadi, a 38-year-old soccer aficionado, was described in a 2009 WikiLeaks cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli as having a troubled past, including run-ins with police in Europe, drug and alcohol abuse and excessive partying. On Monday, a day after thousands of rebels rode into Tripoli, about 200 people stormed al-Saadi’s home on the Mediterranean, said Seifallah




‘al-Saadi had four cars — a BMW, an Audi, a white Lamborghini and a Toyota — that were all driven off during the ransacking’ Gneidi, a 23-year-old Tripoli rebel who participated in the looting. Gneidi said he took a large bottle of gin, a toothbrush with a gilded handle and a pair of Diesel jeans. “We wanted to have the stuff that he had,” Gneidi said, a Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder. He said rebels are not condoning looting of private property, and only allow the wrecking of symbols of the Gadhafi family’s abuse of power. Gneidi said al-Saadi had four cars — a BMW, an Audi, a white Lamborghini and a Toyota — that were all driven off during the ransacking. His claim about the fate of the cars could not be verified. A large painting of a yellow Lamborghini decorated the back wall of his covered parking area. In an office area in the villa, reporters saw large piles of catalogues for yachts and cars. A catalog by the

firm Benetti had a yellow handwritten post-it note attached listing the price for a 30-meter-long yacht as 7 million euros. A DVD with gay porn entitled “Boyz Tracks” slipped out of the stack of documents. Business cards were scattered on the floor for a firm called “Natural Selection” that listed al-Saadi as partner and executive producer with an address on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The looters left behind a black cloth, apparently the back of a “director’s chair,” that read, in green: “Executive Producer al-Saadi Gadhafi.” Al-Saadi must have been concerned about his safety. A long underground passage with thick concrete walls led from a second villa he was building to the street. The complex also had a grass soccer pitch. Al-Saadi, who was seen as

a poor soccer player was involved in one of Libya’s soccer teams, AlAhly. Al-Saadi also headed Libya’s Football Federation. Next to the field stood a barbecue pit and two tents, including one that housed guards and was filled with ammunition, said Gneidi. Al-Saadi also kept dogs and had his own kennel with four cages, one decorated with pictures of Dobermans. If al-Saadi had the reputation of a reckless troublemaker, the 35-yearold Aisha cultivated the image of caring about ordinary Libyans. However, her neighbors said that several years ago, a small neighborhood clinic was razed to make room for her home. “You feel that this is not supposed to happen,” Sharif Ben Suleiman, a 56-year-old university professor, said as he and other local leaders in-

•al Saadi

spected the house. “It’s a place that is serving the community and then it is serving no one.” The presence of small children was felt everywhere in the house. A large play room was strewn with toys, party hats and streamers were in a pile in an entrance hall, and her library contained a number of children’s books. Among Aisha’s DVDs were action and mystery films, but also one on getting back in shape after childbirth. Like others in the Gadhafi family, she had expensive tastes — Bohemian crystal glasses and a brown Dolce & Gabana leather jacket for one of her children were among the items not carted off by the looters. Asked how the community felt about the presence of the Gadhafi daughter, Ben Suleiman, the neighbor, said it’s enough to look out the second-floor window. Beyond the walls of Aisha’s spacious compound, houses — some of them barely shacks — were pressed tightly against one another.



NEWS ENDGAME IN LIBYA Fed Govt: No apology for supporting rebels

Rebels search for Gaddafi in bunkers



ITH bursts of gunfire and explosions still reverberating through Tripoli, and reports of rebels closing in on Col Gaddafi’s tribal hometown of Sirte, rumors swirled in the capital yes-

terday that insurgents had the embattled strongman cornered in an apartment complex inside his once sacrosanct compound, which was overrun and pillaged by hundreds of rebel fighters on Tuesday. But those claims were impossible to verify. There were reports, too, that the bullet-riddled bodies of more than 30 pro-Gaddafi fighters had been found at a military encampment in central Tripoli. At least two were bound with plastic handcuffs, indicating they had been executed, Reuters reported. Five of the dead were found at a field hospital, one strapped to a gurney in an ambulance with an intra-

venous drip still in his arm, the news agency said. The rebels had claimed breakthroughs on other fronts on Wednesday, saying their fighters had started battling for Sabha, another of the Gaddafi strongholds in the south, and in Zuwarah in the west. Cranking up the pressure, Libyan businessmen had put together a $1.7 million bounty for Qaddafi’s capture -dead or alive. But news reports yesterday suggested fierce, continued resistance by pro-Gaddafi forces. In one episode, according to The Associated Press (AP), loyalist militias ambushed opposition fighters advancing toward the town of Bin

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

Jawad, some 350 miles Southeast of Tripoli, killing at least 20. There were also reports that pro-Gaddafi troops had launched barrages of missiles from Sirte itself. The AP also reported an intense gun battle outside the Corinthia Hotel housing many foreign journalists, with rebels firing machine guns and an anti-aircraft gun mounted on a pickup truck toward foes holed up in nearby high-rise buildings. The rebels tried to enter the hotel so they could get on the roof for a better vantage point, The AP said, but hotel staff persuaded them to leave.

Foreign nationals evacuated from Tripoli


CHARTERED vessel with a 300-person capacity has successfully docked in Tripoli after several days of anxious negotiations to evacuate third-country nationals from within and around the city. Some have boarded the ship, chartered by the International OrganiSation for Migration (IOM), and others are being rounded up at several

embassies, including the Philippine Embassy. IOM hoped to have at least 200 refugees on board by dusk yesterday, the scheduled departure time for the ship. “Snipers and checkpoints around the city have proven to be the biggest challenge,” an IOM official said as the first refugees boarded the ship.

The organisation plans to send additional ships to evacuate thousands more who remain in the city and its suburbs as rebel forces continue to encounter resistance from forces loyal to the embattled Libyan leader. IOM officials are extremely concerned about security for the refugees, said Jemini Pandya, a spokesperson for the organisation in Gene-

va, Switzerland. Last week, officials told IOM the port was safe. “We had been given all assurances that were needed for us to be able to carry out this operation when we dispatched the boat,” Pandya said. But control of the docks changed hands over the weekend as rebel forces took over from retreating Gaddafi supporters.


HE Federal Government yesterday said it has no apology for supporting the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC). Presidential Spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati told State House Correspondents yesterday that Nigeria is free to take any position as she deems fit on international issues. Nigeria’s guiding principle, he said, was the people and the government respects the wishes of the people of Libya. “Well, the position of Nigeria on Libya has published is consistent, is principled, Nigeria respects the wishes of the people of Libya, Nigeria has advised the transitional council to ensure that the interest of the people are defended and that multipleparty democracy is returned as quickly as possible and that reconciliation, reconstruction should be e objectives of the new administration. “As for Mr. President speaking with the leader of the transitional council, well it has not happened yet but I’m sure when the opportunity comes, two leaders talking to each other at a moment like this, I don’t think there is a problem with that.” Reacting to the African National Congress (ANC) attack on Nigeria, Abati said it is just the party’s opinion, which might not really be the position of the government. “It was an ANC member that reacted. The ANC member does not really amount to the position of the South African government. “However, let this be clear, Nigeria has every right as a sovereign entity to take a position on any international position.” “Each country has its own foreign policy ideals and objectives and it is completely besides the point to say that one country is criticising the position held by the another position. Nigeria’s position is very clear and is consistent and it is principled,” he said.

Relief agencies storm Tripoli

A •Rebels searching for Gadhafi under a bed in a room inside his bunker...yesterday

Britain: loyalists must be smoked out


RITISH Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday said the onslaught against Pro-Muamar Ghadafi was not over. Speaking after chairing a meeting of the National Security Council on Libya, the Foreign Secretary said: 0“We are monitoring the diplomatic, military and humanitarian situation in Libya, as we have been of course throughout this crisis in Libya over the last five or six months. The immediate military situation is that NATO forces have been active again and it’s important to stress that Operation Unified Protector goes on. It is not over.” He said: “NATO decided yesterday to continue its operations for as long as it is necessary to protect the civilian population of Libya from the forces that remain loyal to the Qadhafi regime. United Kingdom forces will continue to take part in that. Our resolve is unwavering on this as of course it has been throughout this crisis. And so it’s important

to stress that that those operations go on. “The Qadhafi regime is finished. There is no way back for the Qadhafi regime and clearly many of its key members are on the run. But there remain forces active loyal to the Qadhafi regime, concentrated particularly in the South of Tripoli and around the city of Sirte and as long as that remains the case and they remain a threat to the civilian population, then the NATO operations will continue. “So this is not over yet. The regime is finished, but fighting in Libya as everybody can see from their television screens is not over yet. “We remain in very close touch with the National Transitional Council who we recognised several weeks ago as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. Now the priority is to give them very strong diplomatic support, to assist them in building a better future, a free democratic and inclusive future for Libya. ”


Scotland trying to trace Lockerbie bomber in Libya



COTTISH officials have been trying to get in touch with Libyan rebel leaders as part of efforts to resume contact with the Lockerbie bomber lost in the “dust of battle,” Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said yesterday.

Former Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, was released from a Scottish jail two years ago on compassionate grounds and flown back to Libya after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and given three months to live. He was required to submit regular medical reports and check in through telephone calls to East Renfrewshire Council from his home in Libya as part of the license terms of his release. The council has been trying to make direct contact with Megrahi, while the Scottish government has intensified efforts to get in touch with the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) so Megrahi will be able to abide by his conditions, it said.

S rebels occupied the compound of Muammar Gaddafi, international refugee and relief workers began efforts in Libya’s besieged capital to evacuate thousands of migrant workers by sea and to address the health and security needs of thousands more people in Tripoli. Relief agencies said the next few days will be crucial to the safety of thousands of Libyans, migrant workers and political refugees in and around Tripoli and more than 50,000 Libyans elsewhere in the country uprooted by the violence of Libya’s revolution, according to relief workers. “This is a country that has not witnessed conflict like this before,” said Robin Waudo, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross. ICRC, which has been working in several cities in Western Libya, has been the only international relief agency working in Tripoli since April. The next to join was Medecins Sans Frontieres, which recently brought in surgical teams to serve wounded combatants and civilians in the city. The ICRC team has a staff of 52 working in Tripoli and as far away as Sabha, 800 kilometers to the South. However, most of the Tripoli staff has not been able to leave their homes in recent days due to the heavy fighting.



NEWS OUTRAGE OVER SALAMI’S SUSPENSION ‘Reinstate Salami now’ By Joseph Jibueze

A HUMAN rights group, the Access to Justice (AJ), has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to convene an emergency meeting to review and rescind its decision on the suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami. AJ said NJC’s action was in sharp contrast to the policy it had applied in previous cases and instances. The group said it was surprising that despite of Justice Salami’s pending suit and the Council’s knowledge of it, it could go ahead with further deliberation on a subject that forms the substantive core of what has been placed before, and is pending in a court of law. “The NJC ought to show a sparkling example of respectful, deferential conduct to courts of law, the model of which it expects other agencies to show to courts. This, unfortunately, is not what the NJC has done in this case.”

ACN: why we are against Salami’s suspension


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said its protest against the suspension of Justice Ayo Salami as President of the Court of Appeal is driven by its principled stand on the rule of law. The party, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Lagos yesterday, said the PDP’s characterisation of the ACN’s reactions on the issue is a gross understatement. “We are not crying more than the bereaved. We are actually the bereaved, and we will cry for as long as it takes to restore strict adherence to the rule of law. We are bereaved when the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is literally torn to shreds, as President Goodluck Jonathan did in acting on the illegal recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC).” The statement reads: “We are bereaved when the rule of law is supplanted with the rule of the jungle, as President Jonathan and the

PDP: ACN inciting people against Judiciary, Fed Govt


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) of inciting Nigerians against the Judiciary and the Federal Government over the suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Ayo Isa Salami. The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali in a statement in Abuja, said: “Events in the last few weeks have once again shown that some politicians still do not acknowledge the boundaries between politics and national interest obviously because of their narrow and selfish objectives.” The statement reads:”In the past few weeks, the Peoples Democratic Party has observed with great concern the dramatic frenzy with which certain political actors have interpreted recent developments in the Judiciary. “Nigerians will recall that as a law abiding Political Party, we have as a matter of policy always refrained from commenting on judicial issues even when we are at the receiving end of such actions. This position is founded on our firm belief that By Tajedeen Adebanjo

NJC did in the controversial removal of Justice Sal-

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

the sanctity of the Judiciary must not be dragged into the murky waters of negative politics. “Nigerians will also recollect the avowed commitment of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to the principle of separation of powers where each arm of government assumes total control over its affairs without undue interference from the others. But the ACN yesterday debunked the allegation. The party wondered how it could manipulate the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Commonwealth Bar Association, among others, into “protesting” against the suspension. ACN, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it is not inciting anybody against President Jonathan’s government. The statement reads: “The PDP, President Jonathan and the National Judicial Council (NJC) have murdered sleep with the suspension of Justice Salami and will not be able to rest.”

ami. “Do these people, most of them from the PDP and its sympathisers, remem-

ber that the ACN, more than any other party, vociferously championed the transfer of power - in accor-

dance with constitutional stipulations, to then VicePresident Goodluck Jonathan when his boss took ill and was ferried to Saudi Arabia? ‘’Have they forgotten so soon that the ACN was stoutly in the forefront of those championing a peaceful succession - in accordance with the Constitution - when then President Umaru Yar’Adua died? Was the PDP not largely silent in those days when the power-hungry clique surrounding the late President brushed aside the sitting VP and illegally held on to power? Were PDP stalwarts not running to Saudi Arabia ostensibly to greet the ailing President, when indeed they were escaping from the mess created by the party at home? “It is interesting that the PDP never for once accused the ACN of crying more than the bereaved during the sustained campaign for a constitutional transfer of power,’’ the party said.

Activist calls for AGF’s resignation

Suspension a threat to security, says Fasheun

By Musa Odoshimokhe

By Oluwakemi Dauda

RIGHTS activist Morakinyo Ogele has called on the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke (SAN) to resign within seven days for failing to advise President Goodluck Jonathan properly on the suspension of Justice Isa Ayo Salami. In a statement, Ogele urged the President to withdraw the appointment of the Acting President of the Court of Appeal and reinstate Justice Salami. He said: “The NJC should beware of what it is doing because it will account for its action soonest. The NJC is terrorising us and it has infected the executive arm of government.” Ogele wants the president to tell Nigerians why he hurriedly appointed an acting president of the court without following the rule of law, which his administration has constantly emphasised. He said: “The appointment of an acting president for the Court of Appeal is not only ominous but shrouded in secrecy aimed at achieving illegality and judicial atrocity. “It is equally worrisome that the police are arresting members of civil society organisations who are protesting the suspension of Salami. Police should realise that when you chase people from public arena where debates are free, you then drag them to cellars where revolutions are born. No spapte of arrest can stop the people from challenging injustice. “The NLC, ASUU, NANS and other groups should stand Justice Salami, as he is trying to purify the judiciary in Nigeria.”


• From left: Sheikh Muhammad Kalil, Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Nigerian Consul-General to Saudi-Arabia Alhaji Sani Bala praying at the Masjidil Haram (ka'aba) in Meccah during the lesser hajj (Umrah)… yesterday.

TMG: Approval of Salami’s suspension a coup


HE Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) yesterday joined in the condemnation of the suspension of Justice Ayo Salami as the President, Court of Appeal. The TMG, in a statement by its Chairman, Comrade Mashood Erubami, described the approval of the suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan as a coup d’état against the rule of law. The TMG said, the suspension “in the first instance, is very ridiculous, a clear coup d’état against the rule of law,

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

coming at a time that the integrity rating of the judiciary is going below credible level.” It condemned the alleged avoidance of service of the court process filed by Salami against the NJC and other related actions of the council in the matter. TMG said these further drowned the judiciary in the ocean of partiality and judicial recklessness. The Monitoring Group urged the President to rescind his decision

in the interest of justice and development of democracy in the country. It said: “The ratification of the suspension of the President of the court of Appeal by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan when a case on the matter is pending in a court of law is a disrespect to the judiciary and against the spirit of his oath of office, having sworn and affirmed that he will always discharge his duties without allowing his personal interest to influence his official conduct or his official decisions and that in

all circumstances, he will do right to all manner of people, according to law , without fear or favour and affection or ill-will. “The other series of actions taken by the NJC, including the avoidance of service of the court process have exposed it beyond being an institution merely looking for how to shore-up the image of the judiciary; if anything, all the steps it took thereafter were taken to further drown it more into the ocean of partiality and judicial recklessness.”

‘PCA’s suspension is presidential rascality’


HE Southwest chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described as presidential rascality the approval of the suspension of Justice Ayo Salami as the President, Court of Appeal (PCA). The party, in a statement by its Director of Publicity,

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

Mr Ayo Afolabi, said Jonathan may be part of an alleged grand conspiracy against Salami. It said: “We see the rushed appointment of Justice Adamu in utter disre-

gard of a pending court case over the matter not only as a travesty of justice but also as exposing the true nature of our President. Without any doubt, this action is in tune with the thinking of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had earlier called for the re-

tirement of the embattled Justice Salami. “In the scenario presented by this case, the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Katsina-Alu, who, by virtue of his position as the chairman of NJC, is the accuser, the prosecutor and the judge in his own case.”

HE Founder and President of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Fasehun has, described the suspension of Justice Ayo Isa Salami as a threat to democracy, national unity and security. He spoke with reporters at his Century Hotel Okota, Lagos yesterday. The OPC leader said a compromised judiciary as exemplified in the case of arbitrary suspension of Justice Salami by President Goodluck Jonathan is dangerous not only to democracy but also spells doom for national security and the future of the country. Fasehun urged Jonathan to maintain the pre-suspension status quo by reinstating Justice Salami and set up an Independent Commission of Enquiry to get to the root of the matter.

‘Nigeria not sliding into anarchy’


HE National Vanguard for Democracy and Development (NVDD) has said it is wrong to say the nation is gradually sliding into anarchy on account of the suspension of Justice Ayo Salami. NVDD, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said violence and civil disobedience should not be encouraged. “We are sad that a political party, which has always advertised its perceived democratic principles on the rooftops will turn its venom against our nascent democracy,” said Emeka Obinagwu, Publicity Secretary of NVDD. The group said: “Our democracy is strong and cannot be threatened by the selfish interests of an individual or the proven misconduct of a few. We must all respect the rule of law and allow the law to take its proper course.”



NEWS Six die of food poisoning in Adamawa

Tribunal decides today on ACN candidate’s petition

From Barnabas Manyam, Yola

SIX people have been confirmed dead in Gombi, Gombi Local Government of Adamawa State, after taking bean meal, locally called “moi-moi’. The food was said to have been prepared from toxic beans. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Altine Daniel, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said the incident occurred on Wednesday night when the family of Ali Mohammed ate the food reportedly prepared by his wife. She said those that died were Ali Mohammed; his four-years-old son; his wife; and his parents Abdullahi Ali and Yelwa Abdullahi. The police spokesman said 11 others affected by the food are receiving treatment at a hospital in Gombi. She said the police were investigating the matter to trace the source of the beans. Commissioner for Health Dr Lawan Hamidu said he was yet to receive a report on the incident. The Information Officer of the local government, Mallam Abubakar Abdullahi, said the council would enlighten the residents to take precaution about the beans they eat.

Kogi governorship: Group picks consensus candidate From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

THE Coalition of Okun and Ebira Youths (COEY) in Kogi State yesterday adopted Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isah Kutepa as its consensus candidate for the rescheduled governorship election on December 3. Kutepa came second in the botched Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary held January 9. COEY spokesperson Comrade Alex Babalola Omojarabi addressed reporters in Okene after the group’s meeting with the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim. Omojarabi said the decision of the Equity and Peace Contact Group (EPCG), a coalition of governorship aspirants and elders from the two zones, endorsing Kutepa as the consensus candidate of the West and Central Senatorial districts, after it parley in Abuja in January this year remain unchanged. Giving reasons for the adoption, the COEY spokesman said the group agreed that it was time for the Igala in Kogi East to allow other senatorial districts to taste power after ruling the state since its creation in 1991. He described the current moves by Igala aspirants to succeed their kinsman, outgoing Governor Ibrahim Idris, as “insensitive and a disrespect for the feelings and aspirations of their compatriots in the west of the Niger”.

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo


•Niger State Deputy Governor Ahmed Musa Ibeto (second right); Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Daniel Shashere (right); Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane (middle); Commissioner of Lands and Housing, Alhiaj Nuhu Musa (second left); and Chief of Staff, Prof. Muhammed Kuta Yahaya, during inspection tour of Talba Housing Estate, constructed by the government.

Robbers kill four in Kwara, Ondo


N armed robbery gang yesterday killed three customers and injured a student in Offa, Offa Local Government of Kwara State. Another group shot dead a middle-aged man in Akure, the Ondo State capital. A group of hoodlums also invaded two banks and ransacked two police stations in Gombi, Gombi Local Government of Adamawa State. The student injured in Offa, was said to be in one of the higher institutions in the town. He was withdrawing some money from an Automotive Teller Machine (ATM) when the hoodlums struck. It was gathered that some of the robbers surrounded the bank and shot sporadically into the air to scare everyone as the others went into the banking hall. The robbers reportedly held the customers hostage for about 40 minutes. They ordered the bank customers to lie face-down while the robbers dispossessed them of their cash. It was gathered that the rob-

•Many injured in Adamawa From Adekunle Jimoh (Ilorin), Barnabas Manyam (Yola) and Damisi Ojo (Akure)

bery occurred between 11am and noon. The robbers were said to have made away with unspecified amounts. They were said to have escaped through Ira, Oyun Local Government, throwing the community into panic as they shot into the air while fleeing. The spokesman of the Police Command, Stanley Onyekwele, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the incident, saying investigation into the incident had begun. The gang, which invaded the police stations and banks in Gombi, Adamawa State, were said to have over 30 members. The hoodlums reportedly ransacked the police stations and stole some weapons before invading the banks. Eyewitnesses said they

snatched a car and shot continually as they sped around the town in their desperation to escape. Sources said some soldiers got wind of the operation and chased the hoodlums, who shot back at the military personnel. A soldier was reportedly killed but a member of the gang was said to have been arrested while others escaped with bullet wounds. Soldiers have reportedly mounted a road block on roads leading to and from Gombi. The youths were said to have torched the home of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) after the robbers had finished their operation. The Akure robbery occurred on Hospital Road. Many people were reportedly injured and are receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital. The Nation learnt that the victim was returning from a new generation bank in his

car when the robbers, who were on a motorcycle, trailed him to the spot where he was killed. The robbers shot indiscriminately to scare the residents after taking the man’s money. His remains have been deposited in a hospital mortuary. Police spokesman Aremu Adeniran, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the incident. He said the police would curb crimes in the state, urging the residents to volunteer information on suspected criminals. A 24-year-old Mechanical Engineering graduate of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Tayo Adegbola, has been paraded with seven others by the police command for allegedly snatching state-ofthe-art vehicles in Akure. Police Commissioner Sani Magaji told reporters that Adegbola, the suspected leader of the gang, hired the vehicles from car hire service operators and phoned his members to snatch the car, pretending to be a victim.

Sovereign Wealth Fund: Presidency adamant


OVERNORS are heading to court to stop the Federal Government from implementing the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). But the President has insisted on going ahead with the implementation of the fund which the governors alleged is not transparent. President Goodluck Jonathan is believed to be begging the governors not to go to court. Investigation by The Nation showed that the Presidency has made up its mind on the Fund in view of its benefits to the nation. The President on May 27 assented to the National Sovereign Investment Authority Bill. With the law, it becomes mandatory to save excess oil revenue from the Federation Account on a monthly basis. Since the passage of the law, the Presidency and governors have maintained a parallel position. A Presidency source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The Federal Government has tak-

• Governors set for court From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

en a position that it will not go back on the SWF. The President has spent considerable time to convince governors to appreciate the essence of the law. “There is no where in the world where excess funds from crude oil or the main commodity of a nation are spent anyhow. “We have to save for the rainy day. Already, we have saved about $1billion since the law came into effect. ‘The law is meant to enthrone a culture of savings by states, which mostly waste their funds on elephant projects.” But a governor, who confided in our correspondent, said: “We have also explained why we are opposed to the SWF to the President. Up till now, governors do not know the actual amount that goes into the Federation Account on a monthly basis.

“You have to save from what you earn. But we are in the dark on what Nigeria is getting from oil sales, yet they are saying we should save. “Also, contrary to the position of the Presidency, some states are already saving a lot from what they are getting monthly from the Federation Account. For instance, Rivers and Ekiti states engage in compulsory savings every month. Rivers alone saves N1billion monthly. “Our argument also is that in a federal system, you don’t impose any policy on states. More so, the SWF cannot supersede Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.” Responding to a question, the North-Central governor added: “After the National Economic Council meeting on Monday, we sent a sixman delegation to the President to appreciate our opposition to the SWF. The dele-

gation comprised a governor each from the six geopolitical zones. “At the end, we told the President that we have no cause than to go to Court to stop the implementation of the SWF in the light of Section 162. We want the court to be the final arbiter. “Every state has its own goals and priorities, why will the Presidency tie us to its own agenda and pace? “The President begged the six-man delegation to prevail on their colleagues not to go to court but we said we have decided that if he remains adamant, the court will decide the fate of the SWF. That is where the situation stands now. So, there is a stalemate. “We are saying that by virtue of Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution, the Presidency cannot force any state to save its funds. “There is no backdoor approach to the application of the Constitution of any nation. The President must respect the Rule of Law and the Constitution which he has sworn to uphold.”

HE Taraba State Election Petition Tribunal will today decide whether or not the petition by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Senator Danlami Ikenya, in which he is challenging the election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Governor Danbaba Suntai, in the April 26 election, is “relevant”. The hearing was inconclusive yesterday. Through his lead counsel, Festus Idepefo, the ACN candidate sued Suntai and his deputy, Alhaji Abubakar Sani, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP for allegedly rigging the governorship election. He is praying the court to nullify the election and arrange a fresh poll. Ikenya told the tribunal that the conduct of the April poll in Taraba did not comply with the Electoral Act 2010 and the 2011 Election Guidelines issued by the INEC. He said: “INEC negated completely the procedure for the election – which starts by accreditation. It made mistakes in compiling and computing the result. There are cases where the number of voters in the result sheets are more than the number of accredited voters.” Ikenya said if INEC had conducted the election in compliance with the electoral procedure, it would not have been possible to hold the election in the remotest parts of Taraba on April 26 and announce result the following day, as INEC did. The ACN candidate argued that in Yorro Local Government Area, for instance, it takes over six to nine hours to travel from Pantisawa, the council headquarters, to some of the polling units because of the mountainous terrain. He argued that “it was not possible for the election to be held with Suntai and his deputy announced winner the following day”. The ACN candidate sought to tender the voter register, saying: “The voter register is the fundamental evidence of proof for the fact in dispute.” But counsel to INEC, Sebastine Hon (SAN), prayed the court to strike out the petition on the grounds that the petitioner’s “pleadings are irrelevant”. Hon argued that the counsel submitted in the petition that there was no election, while certain paragraphs of the same petition said there was election. He said: “This puts his pleadings at variance or conflict and thus irrelevant.” Counsel to Suntai, Offiong Offiong (SAN), also asked the litigant to be “specific” in his prayers. Tribunal Chairman Justice LD Aba adjourned hearing till today. Idepefo is to present the voter register, through an oral witness, to prove his argument.



NEWS Lawyers fight over attempts to amend their constitution By John Austin Unachukwu

UT for the timely intervention of security operatives yesterday in PortHarcourt, the Rivers State capital, an election by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to pick delegates to amend its constitution would have ended in a blood bath. The election took place at Shark Stadium. Fights broke out among the lawyers as the votes were about to be counted . An argument ensued over the modalities for counting, after some lawyers asked that the votes be counted in the open to ensure transparency. When the Electoral Committee eventually agreed to open counting,fresh arguments began over the issues listed for review. Some lawyers had gone to court to stop the constitutional ammendment, but the leadership of the NBA said it had not been served the court processes. Speaking at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was on when the result of the votes on the ammendment came in, NBA President Joseph Daudu (SAN) said: “Some members went to court over the amendment of the association’s constitution. “Even though we did not see any need for it, we decided to meet the plaintiffs and opted to settle out of court. It was agreed that the State Bars, which was one of the highly objected issues, be dropped. “I have just learnt that the constitution amendment was resoundingly refused. In view of the fact that the matter is in court, we take it that the election was inclusive.” Issues rejected for amendment include: creation of State Bar; reduction of NBA offices; reduction of the number of NBA national executives and NEC representatives; and the award of NBA Associate Membership to law students.


•From left: Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) Mrs. Hafsat AbiolaCastello; her Ekiti State counterpart Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami; and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi during the 2nd South West Conference of the Department For International Development (DFID) in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital... yesterday.

Oyo Govt, legislator tackle cholera as victims hit 100

Ooni seeks Yoruba unity


HE Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, has stressed the importance of unity among the Yoruba people. This, he said, would sustain the enviable position of the race in the nation’s socio-political system. The monarch spoke yesterday during a visit to Governor Olusegun Mimiko at the Government House, Akure, the Ondo State capital. He said meetings were being held regularly to unite the people of the Southwest, adding that problems confronting the zone would soon be resolved. Oba Sijuwade said the zone must not be relegated to the background in the scheme of things in the country. He said: “The Yoruba must come together and speak with one voice. There was a meeting today (yesterday) which was attended by some leaders, among whom were Bishop Gbonigi from Ondo State and Bishop Ladigbolu

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

from Oyo State. “They are now putting their heads together to get a larger meeting where we can all meet to solve our problems. “Whether we like it or not, we must come together more than before and become one entity. By the special grace of God and by the power of Oduduwa, we will move forward and it will not be behind Mimiko by the grace of God. “We cannot come to Ondo State without paying respect to the governor, who by the special grace of God is doing a good job. The Lord will keep and bless him and the entire people of the state. Don’t forget that my mother is from Akure, so I’m 30/40 per cent from Akure.” Mimiko thanked the Ooni and his entourage. He urged Yoruba people not to allow do-or-die politics disintegrate the zone.

Ogun awards road contract


HE Ogun State Government yesterday awarded the contract for the construction of the Ibara Roundabout/Ita Eko/ Totoro road in Abeokuta, the state capital, to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC). The road, which is expected to be delivered in eight months, will cost N1.3 billion. It is expected to have sixlanes, street lights, drains, sidewalk and green belt on either sides of the road. Commissioner for Works Lekan Adegbite and the Permanent Secretary Musendiq

Oni signed the contract on behalf of the government. CCECC Project Manager Cai Junjie assured the government that his company will deliver top quality roads.


By Abike Hassan

14, allegedly issued a dud chegue for N1 million as part payment for the rent of a N2 million property owned by Mr. Innocent Agbo. The case was adjourned till October 24.

•Osun denies death reports From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan and Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

era. Most people are used to defecating in an open environment, which is part of the causes of the disease. I am donating this Water Guard to prevent people from drinking unpurified water. “What really matters is to orientate the populace about the causes and how to prevent this deadly disease.” The leader of Ayeye community, Alhaji Olalekan Aragba, thanked him. The matron at Yejide Specialist Hospital, Ayeye, Mrs. Modupe Samuel, said 12 victims were treated in the last two weeks and one of them died. The Chief Medical Consultant of the Cholera Specialist Hospital, Jericho, Dr. Kunmi Adeyinka, said there was not enough evidence to confirm that the disease was cholera. He said the victims only manifested symptoms similar to cholera. Adeyinka said cholera cases must be reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for proper control. He thanked the government and Akinade-Fijabi for their timely intervention. Adeyinka said: “As at now, we cannot ascertain that the

‘The major cause of the disease is uncleanness of the affected communities. Most of the people drink unpurified water and defecate anywhere they like.’ patients are suffering from cholera until we discover the organism medically. Then, it will be reported to the WHO for proper control. “We have recorded over 100 victims and two casualties in the last six weeks. The major cause of the disease is uncleanness of the affected communities. Most of the people drink unpurified water and defecate anywhere they like. “The only lasting solution to the disease is for them to be clean at all times as well as purifying their drinking water. “I want to appreciate the

Oyo State Government for donating drugs to victims.” Also yesterday, the Osun State Government denied media reports that eight people have died of Cholera in Ede South and North council areas. It said only one person in Ede South was killed by the disease. Commissioner for Health Temitope Ilori and her counterpart in the Ministry of Environment Prof. Olubukola Oyawoye, who led a team of government officials to the affected areas in the local governments, said the situation was under control. Dr. Ilori said: “With the measures already put in place, the situation is under control. Those affected have been treated and they have returned to their respective homes. Government will ensure that there is no repeat of the incident.” Prof. Oyawoye urged the people to keep their environment clean always. She said: “It is for this reason that we urge you to take more serious interest in the weekly environmental sanitation because it is only by keeping your environment clean that diseases such as cholera can be stamped out.

Lagos spends N1.3b on scholarships


Court orders fraud suspect’s arrest FRAUD suspect, Ifeoma Ibekwe, has jumped bail. A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday ordered her arrest, following her failure to appear in court. The suspect, on February


HE Oyo State Government and the legislator representing Ibadan Southwest/Northwest Federal Constituency, Saheed Akinade-Fijabi, have come to the rescue of suspected cholera victims in parts of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. About 100 victims have so far reported for treatment. Affected communities are Ayeye, Opo-yeosa, Alawo, Abebi and Ekotedo. When Akinade-Fijabi visited the communities yesterday, residents complained that the disease was caused by lack of toilet facilities and a proper waste disposal system. The legislator educated them on the need to keep their surrounding clean and purify water before drinking. He promised to provide toilet facilities, adding that the council chairman, Mr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, has pledged to provide refuse tanks for the communities. Akinade-Fijabi donated 20 cartons of Water Guard to the community. He also gave cash gifts to hospitalised victims, who are being treated free by the government. The legislator said: “This tour is part of the programme to sensitise our people on the causes of chol-


HE Lagos State Government has spent N1.340 billion on scholarships to students of tertiary institutions in the last four years. Deputy Governor Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire anounced this yesterday while presenting ATM Verve Cards to 1,349 students, who met the requirements for this year. Reiterating the government’s commitment to qualitative education, she said 36,179 indigenes of the state in various tertiary institu-

tions across the country have benefited from the scholarship scheme in the last four years. Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire said quality education is crucial to the realisation of government’s 10 point agenda. She said: “The government understands the pivotal role education can play in defining social and political development as well as the advancement of our state and the nation.” Represented by the Permanent Secretary in her Office

Kunle Ajanaku, Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire said the government encourages outstanding academic performance by awarding special scholarships to students with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.5 and above. She urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the money and justify government’s investment in education. “On our part, we will continue to give the necessary moral and financial support,

knowing that you are the leaders of tomorrow and agents of sustainable development in the state and nation,” the deputy governor said. Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Education Fatai Olukoga said bursaries have greatly helped indigent students, who would have dropped out of school. He said N149,010,130 million would be given to 3,028 students who took part in the 2009/2010 Bursary Award interviews.




Why we‘re against Islamic banking, by Oritsejafor

Apostolic varsity takes off in Edo


NEW private university, the Samuel Adegboyega University, has been inaugurated in Ogwa, Esan West Local Government of Edo State. The university is founded by the Apostolic Church, LAWNA Territory. It is named after Pastor Samuel Adegboyega, first LAWNA Territorial Chairman and one of the founding fathers of the Apostolic Church, Nigeria. Inaugurating the university, Governor Adams Oshiomhole praised the church for establishing the university in a rural community. Oshiomhole said it required courage, determination and wisdom to locate such in a rural community. He promised to facilitate the speddy issuance of the Cerficate of Ocuupancy. The governor said: “There are deficits in infrastructure around the country, those weaknesses are even more in a typical rural setting. “I am encouraged by the fact that the church has demonstrated that Nigerians, particularly Christians, through private efforts, con-

Cross River to host art festival From Kunle Johnson, Calabar


HE Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Edem Duke, has said Cross River State would host the National Festival of Arts and Culture from October 8 to October 15. Duke spoke at the flag-off of the Leboku (New Yam) International Festival at Ugep, Yakurr Local Government. He said the state was chosen by the ministry in appreciation and support of efforts by Governor Liyel Imoke to promote tourism and culture in the nation. Duke said: “In support of the good works which the governor is doing, the ministry has decided that the National Festival of Arts and Culture 2011 will hold in Cross River. “From October 8 to 15, the 36 states, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and indeed over 4,000 people are expected in Cross River,” he said. He said the festival would promote the place of Cross River in the culture and tourism profile of Nigeria.

Labour leader kidnapped


X-Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) John Onyenemere has been kidnapped. Onyenemere was kidnapped in Owerri last Friday where he took his daughter for an examination. NLC Vice-President Isa Aremu said the kidnappers are demanding N50 million. He said a man, who called himself AK 47 claiming to be a member of the group, has been speaking with the family, saying they are ready to reduce the ransom to N10 million.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

tribute to the development of our educational sector. “You have demonstrated the fear of God and demonstrated your love for humanity. “If every Nigerian reasons the way the Apostolic Church has done in identifying with rural communities and recognising their needs, our people will not be migrating to urban areas and there will be even development in the country. Chancellor of the university Pastor Gabriel Oladele Olutola said the institution was not indebted to any bank. He said facilties, such as two hostel blocks, cafeteria, academic blocks, Senate building were built with do-

nations from members. Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council Bisi Ogunjobi said the host community would witness huge transformation in its economy. Ogunjobi said the philosophy of the varsity is to provide broad-based education that would mould younger generation to develop their potential. He said the university would take-off with three colleges. Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Ebenezer Okebukola said the council has recruited fine officers for the university. Vice Chancellor Prof Samson Fola Adedoyin promised to run an administration which is transparent, focused and all inclusive.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin •Oritsejafor


RESIDENT of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor yesterday said the Christian body is against promoting Islamic banking with government funds and not Islamic banking as a concept. Oritsejafor said those promoting the banking concept in Nigeria aim to divide the country. Oritsejafor noted that it was being pursued as a national agenda by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanu-

si Lamido. The CAN President spoke in Benin, the Edo State capital, at the 36th annual conference of the Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF). He said: “We are not against Muslims, they are Nigerians and we are all Nigerians. All we are saying is that nobody should be treated like second class citizens. “We are not even against Islamic banking but what we are saying is that it should be a choice for the Muslims. “We are also saying that the CBN governor cannot spend the nation’s money promoting

sectional interests and this we must speak out against. “The governor cannot use government money to fund Islamic banking and somebody has to say this. “We want peace and we also want justice. “If you want Islamic banking, promote it yourself; this is a sectional thing. “We are watching the figures and if Christians should come out with their own, the Federal Government should be ready to spend the same amount of money to promote it. “Sanusi would have to set up a body of experts too like he is doing now.”



NEWS Edo to evacuate lunatics


HE Edo State Government is to evacuate lunatics and destitute from Benin streets. The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekemhe, made this known yesterday, when a group, Edo Youth for Good Governance, visited him. He said: “Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s unwavering commitment to citizens’ welfare has yielded results, especially in areas of human capacity building and development. “I want to appreciate the unalloyed support you are giving to this administration. “With this type of uncommon support, next year is a foregone conclu-

sion. “As leaders of tomorrow, and for a body of youths to be committed to good governance, it is worthy of commendation. “We will continue to give quality service to the people and meet their basic social needs. “You have all testified to the roads the government is constructing across the three senatorial districts. “You can testify to our efforts at youth development through education and that is why the governor is committed to the quality of schools being built. “On health, you see the gigantic construction of the state of the art complex at the Central Hospital.”

PUBLIC NOTICE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF AWGU ST. THERESA OF THE CHILD JESUS PARISH, MMAKU The general public is to disregard the disclaimers to our July 29, 2011 public notice in P57 of The Nation Newspaper by nonmembers of Mmaku Ohuru Catholic Community who defected St. Theresa’s Orthodox Catholic Church since December, 2010 and found another parish of their own where they receive the Sacraments of the church freely and out of their own volition. They neither know the laws of the Catholic Church nor are interested in the laws. For more light read cc 102, 111, 112, 1177, 1254-1259 and c 1389 footnote No. 262 of The New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law 2007 currently in use since 1983. Any doubting Thomas(s) can visit Mmaku Ohuru Catholic Community. Signed: Mr. Fabian Udeorji, (Secretary Parish Council)

PUBLIC NOTICE ELEKAHIA HOUSING ESTATE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION This is to inform the general public that the above Association have applied for registration of the Corporate Affairs Commission under part C of companies and allied matters Act, 1990. The Board Of Trustees Are: 1. MR. ELEKIMA BRIGGS CHAIRMAN 2. MR. JACK FUBARIBIBO G. SECRETARY 3. MISS. IBITORU URANTA MEMBER 4. MR. MICHAEL AGANA MEMBER AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1) To protect, promote and foster the interest and welfare of residents of the estate 2) To encourage on the need to maintain a good environment for healthy living, etc. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General Corporation Affairs Commission plot 420, Tigri Crescent , Garki, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGN: HENRY IKEPEAZU

•Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole at the inauguration of the Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa, Edo State. With him, from left, are the Onogie of Ogwa, Zaiki Victor Ehizogie II; National President, the Apostolic Church, Pastor Gabriel Olutola and the university’s Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr Ebenezer Okebukola...yesterday. SEE STORY ON PAGE 9

Fed Govt to prosecute erring amnesty beneficiaries T

HE Federal Government yesterday declared it would repatriate and prosecute amnesty beneficiaries who go abroad to tarnish the country’s image. It said this has made it difficult for the Amnesty Office to get visas for other beneficiaries. Six ex-militants were deported from Sri Lanka for various acts of misconduct. Chief Security Officer of the Amnesty Programme, Lt Col Adewale Adekoya spoke yesterday at the departure training for 142 ex-militants to South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Adekoya said the Federal Government would not condone any form of misconduct.

•142 start training in South Africa, UAE Centre International (LSCI) By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

He said the deportees have been expelled from the programme and their names removed from the list of beneficiaries. “Even the Transition Safety Allowance monthly allowances and other stipends have been stopped,” Adekoya said. A hundred ex-militants are going to the FOE Famous and Radmtz in South Africa ; 17 are headed for Dubai’s Learning Educational Support

and 25 for vocational training in Marine Graphics. The delegates for FOE famous will be trained in pipeline treating/ plumbing, welding and fabrication as well as pipeline welding; while those in Marine Graphics will be trained in rig drilling, oil and gas drilling and drilling technology. The group for LSCI will be going for masters and first degree programmes. With this, the number of delegates who have been

sent for training has risen to 1,498. The Technical Assistant on Reintegration, Larry Pepple, who represented the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, said beyond the punishment meted out to the deportees, they will be placed on the watch list for 10 years . The implication, he said, is that they will not be allowed to travel abroad during that period. Pepple said apart from stopping their stipends any one who absconds either during or before getting to the destination of training, would be made to refund not just the money for the trip but also the school fees to serve as a deterrent.

ACN slams Akpabio over minimum wage HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Akwa Ibom State yesterday condemned Governor Godswill Akpabio for government’s refusal to pay the minimum wage to workers. The ACN, in a statement by its Chairman, Dr. Amadu Attai, said with the state’s resources, there is no reason why the government should subject the workers to untold hardship. Attai said with the last


From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

monthly allocation of about N53 billion from the Federation Account, excluding other sources of revenue, there is no reason why Akpabio should not pay workers. The ACN chairman expressed worry over a situation where Akpabio would collect monthly allocation and thereafter embark on a spending spree abroad. Attai said while the governor is adding value to the

economy of other countries, there are jobless youths roaming the streets at home. His words: “The ACN is fully in support of the threeday warming strike embarked upon by members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).” Attai advised labour leaders to insist and follow through their action and not chicken out in a manner suggestive of compromise. But the Commissioner for Information, Aniekan Uma-

na, said labour is still negotiating with the government. His words: “Negotiation is still ongoing right now. Labour has been into a meeting with the state . They even met with the governor. “One thing that is clear is that the government is paying minimum wage. “The only disagreement borders on relativity as it affect the senior staff. If it is paying minimum wage, we were ready for that over three months ago.”

DESOPADEC to clear debts soon, saysUduaghan ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday v assured contractors owed by Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) of payment. Uduaghan gave this assurance in Asaba during the swearing-in of the board of the House of Assembly Service Commission and the state’s intervention agency. He enjoined board members to look into the issue of outstanding debt to contractors. Local contractors are yet to be paid by DESOPADEC, including over N700 million in hotel bills. Uduaghan urged board members to involve host communities in their activities in the interest of peace


From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

and development in the state. His words: “I appeal to you to involve host communities in your activities. Use the bottom-up approach. The communities should determine the projects they want in their area. With this,

peace will reign and development enhanced”. Board members sworn-in are: Oritsua Kpogho (Chairman); Henry Offa; Joseph Ogeh; Michael Diden; Johnson Dafelite Boro. Others are Chukwudi Eke,Benedicta Izuegbu ,Kingsley Otuaro and Dr Pe-

ter Egedigbe. Members of the House of Assembly Board are Mrs. Josephine Kaichukwu (Chairman), Sam Ogrih, John Idogun and Cordelia Onyia. Others are Roland Kameta, Benedict Etanabene and Mike Oputa.

‘We’re being marginalised’ HE Labour Party (LP) in Bayelsa State has decried the manner in which its petitions are being thrown out by the Election Petition Tribunal. LP Chairman Bobo Atari-Dou yesterday said the tribunal had reneged on its promise to be fair on petitions brought before it. He said: “Petitions from LP members are being thrown out on technical grounds as the merits are no longer being looked into. “There is judicial terrorism going on at the tribunal. We expected to see the merit of the petitions and not technicalities. It is un-


From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

fortunate.” He debunked the allegation that Timi Alaibe has left the party. Atari-Dou said Alaibe is still a member of the party and he’s preparing for the governorship election primaries. “There will be primaries on November 3 that is when we will know if he will contest or not. For now, he is a bonafide member of the party and his ambition is still intact,” said the LP Chairman.





Money laudering is a serious crime that affects the economy as a whole, impeding the social, economic, political and cultural development of societies worldwide. -Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM

Naira to rise as cedi holds firm

Nigeria’s Q1 trade rises 67%


IGERIAN trade in the first quarter rose 67 per cent from a year earlier, worth N6.3 trillion ($41 billion), with crude oil exports accounting for more than a third of the shipments, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The value of crude-oil exports during the period rose 46 per cent to N2.4 trillion, while non-oil shipments increased 24 per cent to N795 billion, the statistics office said yesterday in a statement. Nigeria depends on oil exports for more than 80 per cent of government revenue and 95 per cent of foreignexchange income. The country’s average daily oil production was 2.51 million barrels in the first quarter compared with 2.39 million a year earlier, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on its website. Oil exports to the US were worth N1.16 trillion, according to the statement. Nigeria is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.

IGERIA’s currency, the naira is expected to strengthen against the dollar next week as energy companies begin their month-end dollar sales, while Ghana’s cedi is likely to remain stable due to lower corporate demand for the greenback. The naira according to Reuters, is seen appreciating against the US dollar next week as traders anticipate increased dollar inflows from energy companies and a sustained supply of the greenback to exchange bureaus by the central bank. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold $10 million to each bank operating a bureau de change at the bi-weekly auction on Wednesday. The move initially cut back demand on the interbank market and, combined with inflows from two energy firms, the local currency strengthened marginally at the interbank. The naira was trading at N154.95 to the dollar on the interbank market on Thursday, weaker than the N154.30 at Wednesday’s close as supply failed to meet demand at the official window then. “Demand for the dollar remains strong as a result of unmet demand at the official window on Wednesday that has channelled to the interbank,” one trader said. The apex bank sold $400 million at N152.10 to the dollar at its bi-weekly foreign exchange window on Wednesday, short of the $558.38 million demanded. “Demand for the dollar remains strong as a result of unmet demand at the official window on Wednesday that has channeled to the interbank,” one trader said. The apex bank sold $400 million at N152.10 to the dollar at its bi-weekly foreign exchange window on Wednesday, short of the $558.38 million demanded.


• From left: Managing Director, Eagle Seach and Rescue Services Nigeria, Mr Bamidele Ajanaku; representative of Law Union and Rock Insurance Company, Mr Yinka Bolarinwa and Consultant to Eagle Search Insurance Scheme, Mr Stephen Adesogan Omodele at the signing of a Memoranrum of Understanding (MoU) between Eagle Search and 15 insurance firms in Lagos …yesterday

Power outage looms as Shell shuts gas plant I NDICATIONS that the Power Holding Com pany (PHCN) would experience major drop in power supply emerged yesterday as Shell Joint Venture has shut down its Utorogu Gas Plant, a facility that supplies gas to many thermal power plants. The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture said it shut down its Utorogu Gas Plant in Delta State following a leak on the Utorogu – UPS trunkline in Western Niger Delta. The pipeline system carries gas from Delta State to feed power stations in the south western part of the country including the biggest power plant – Egbin. Utorogu is a major gas


-N7.3 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -10.2% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -8% Foreign Reserve -$34.7bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 213 £ 241.00 $ 150.7 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 240.3 RIYAL 39.3

plant producing about 270 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) of gas and whenever it is shut down, there is always a substantial drop in power supply. Few months ago the trunkline was tampered with and the facility shut, which resulted in loss of over 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity. With the shut many parts of the country would be thrown into darkness except if the joint venture increases gas production from other assets as an intervention measure pending when the

leak is fixed and operation resumes. The current power supply hovers between 3,500 and 3,700 megawatts but the country requires over 10 megawatts for a stable power supply. A statement issued by the company’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Tony Okonedo said the vandalized pipelineline evacuates condensate from the gas plant. As condensate is produced along with gas, the plant cannot continue to operate now that the line is out of service. He said the leak was confirmed Wednesday night and

Why PIB is stalled, by senator

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$109.7/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

a joint investigation visit is planned to determine the cause. Okonedo said SPDC regrets the shortfall in gas supply for electricity generation and is working to repair the line and resume gas production as soon as possible. When the pipeline was shut last year, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, said the corporation would maximise gas production from available gas plants particularly from the NNPC/ Chevron JV facility, noting that Chevron would increase its gas production as well as Pan Ocean Oil Corporation, Nigeria.


VERBEARING per sonal gain over national interest, prevented the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the previous National Assembly, a former Senator and key player in the PIB, Lea Maeba, has said. Meaba, who was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Upstream, made the disclosure yesterday at the annual conference of the Nigerian Association of Energy Correspondent (NAEC),in Lagos. He said the private interests wanted the petroleum industry to continue to be regulated, as against the provisions of the PIB in favour of deregulate. One of the desires of the private interests, he said, was the insistence on allowing certain institutions, like the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and the Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to con-

By Akinola Ajibade, Bidemi Bakare and Samuel Akintan

tinue to exist despite the provisions in the PIB for their scrapping, so as to pave way for the deregulation of the sector. He said: “The kind of happenings at the last days of deliberations on the PIB is what should not have happened in the national parliament. The situation where some people insisted on certain issues like allowing PEF and PPPRA to continue to exist despite the provision for their proscription is definitely not good at all. “By allowing such institutions to continue to be functional, is like encouraging the continued regulation of the petroleum industry. And as long as the industry continues to be regulated, no investor, be it local or foreign would feel obliged to invest in the industry.

“For instance, if you construct a refinery, get the product and the government tells you how much you are to sell the product, this would not be of much business interest to the country.” Meaba hinted that the implication is that all major investments would be diverted from the country and consequently the oil and gas industry would eventually collapse. On the way forward, he said, all political issues that surround the PIB must be resolved if the reconstituted National Assembly must have any headway in the passage of the PIB. Meanwhile, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has promised to use monetary policy to fast-track activities in the oil and gas sector. Sanusi said the oil and gas industry plays a crucial role in the economy and needs to be supported financially. Speaking on ‘The Role of

Banking System in Enhancing the Growth of Oil and Gas in Nigeria,’ Sanusi, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Product Development Office, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, said oil and gas industry would record appreciable growth when the monetary policy programmes are tilted in its favour, among other aspects of the economy. He said the monetary policy can impact in oil and gas in two ways. “First is the maintenance of stable macroeconomic environment- stable prices and exchange rates. The second is the nurturing of strong and reliable banks to effectively play intermediation roles and partner with oil and gas investors in project finance,” he said. He said reforms would enable banks to gather enough money to finance oil and gas, as well as creating employment opportunities for many Nigerians.

Zambia’s CEC seeks stake in Nigeria power firm


AMBIA’s largest sup plier of power to the mines, Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) , plans to bid for a stake in a Nigerian state power company that is scheduled for privatisation, a senior executive said yesterday. Nigeria is the Africa’s biggest oil and gas producer but is blighted by persistent electricity outages. It plans a multi-billion dollar privatisation of its power sector to improve efficiency. CEC’s managing director for corporate development, Michael Tarney, said the firm intends to bid for part of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to gain a foothold in the large and populous economy. The government had split the distribution network of PHCN into 11 different units valued at about $100 million each, he said. “We will be looking at bids for one or two of these units,” Tarney told Reuters. “The bids are going in the first quarter of next year and in the remaining part of this year we will be undertaking some due diligence.” Nigeria’s electricity generation sometimes plunges below 1,000 megawatt (MW), largely due to a lack of maintenance at power stations, around a tenth of the country’s basic needs. Outages are a major constraint on growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest economy, pushing up the cost of business for manufacturers and making Nigeria uncompetitive as an investment destination despite a population that makes it one of the world’s largest untapped frontier markets. The central bank says 60 million people rely on generators and spend $13 billion a year fuelling them.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

port 2009, said: “Estimates indicates that Ghana could earn up to $2 billion annually exporting salt to neighbouring countries in West Africa, particularly Nigeria, which currently buys $2.3billion worth of salt annually from as far as Brazil for its petrochemical industry.” The theme of the forum was, ‘Mineral Production and Challenges of Value Addition,’ but while presenting his paper, titled, ‘Value Chain,’ Malomo, said Nigeria’s per capita consumption of salt varies between 2.2g and 6.3g daily. He said an estimated consumption of 600,000 metric tonnes per household, animal and industrial.

On cement, he said its production and consumption in Nigeria, is one of the lowest in Africa, adding that the current demand estimate for cement in Nigeria is about 18 million tonnes. He said eight cement producing plants in the country have a combined installed capacity of 11million tones. He said however, noted that the production capacity of cement is about 7.5 million tones, while the gap between supply and demand is met largely through importation. On Barytes, Malomo said the production is carried out mainly by artisanal and small miners, adding in 2005, production by Association of Miners and Processors of Baryte (AMPOB) was 95,000 tonnes, while estimated consumption was put at 80,000 tonnes.

09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30

The NGSA boss added that deposit of calcium type of bentonite were identified in Edo, Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Bauchi, Taraba, Adamawa and Sokoto states, but because of low viscousity, calciulm based bentonite was treated with organic polymers or soda ash to make it meet the require specifications. Malomo, said about 2,000 tonnes per annum of the treated calcium-based bentonite is used locally, but the bulk of the local requirement of about 20,000 is imported, he explained. He noted that Nigeria currently exports gold, cassiterite, tantalite, wolframeite, beryl, gemstone, kaolin, mica, barites, iron ore, copper ore, zinc ore, among others. He explained the Nigerian mining value chain is include exploration, mining, processing, transport and market.

Minister woos African-Americans to invest in aviation From Tayo Owolabi, Abuja


12.15 12.45

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 16.30 Arik

1. Dana


HE Director-General, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Prof. Siyan Malomo yesterday disclosed that Nigeria spends $2.3 billion to import salt every year. Malomo, who spoke at the 7th Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS/NGSA, discourse in Abuja, said most of the import are from Brazil for the petrochemical industry. He added that Ghana could earn up to $2billion annually exporting salt to neigbouring countries in West Africa, particularly Nigeria. The NGSA helmsman, who obtained the data from the Ghana National Commission for United Nation Education and Scientific Children Organisation (UNESCO) re-

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

‘Nigeria spends $2.3b on salt importation annually’

• General Manager, Planning Tech CAMB, Mr Wale Akinyosoye (left) and MD, Seplat Petroleum, Mr Austin Arum at the NAEC 2011 conference held in Lagos ...yesterday PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

Poll: Mixed-reactions trail non-interest banking T HE controversy generated by the proposed non-interest banking in the country has continued unabated even among online readers of The Nation Newspaper. The outcome of an opinion poll on the issue, posted on the newspaper’s website revealed that the readers are divided on the contentious issue despite government’s insistence on its implementation. Non-interest banking also known as Islamic Banking is a system of banking consistent with principles of Islamic law and Islamic economics. It prohibits the collection of interest, commonly called riba, although revenue-sharing arrangements are generally permitted. Since the modalities for the takeoff were announced, various individuals, groups and organisations have been commenting on its appropriateness or otherwise, with several of the Islamic banking crit-

Hamed Shobiye, Assistant Editor, Online

ics asking the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido to quit his position. According to the poll, a total of 3, 182 The Nation online readers responded to the topic: “Do you support the introduction of non-interest banking in Nigeria? The readers were required to pick one of the available four options namely – (i) Yes (ii) No (iii) Undecided and, (iv) I don’t care. While 1, 685 readers or 52.9 per cent of the total respondent supported the commencement of noninterest banking in the country, 1, 332 or 41.9 per cent kicked against it. In addition, 53 or 1.67 per cent said they were undecided, while 112 readers or 3.52 per cent picked “I don’t care.”

Although non-interest banking has been on the statutes of the apex bank for over half a century, it was during the incubent governor’s regime that the modalities are being worked out to put it into practice. The idea of Islamic Banking had been in the works since the regime of the immediate past governor of the CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo. Sanusi was only implementing what he met on ground. Coincidentally, the deputy CBN governor, Financial Surveillance, Babatunde Lemo, whose is responsible for working out the modalities of Islamic Banking is a pastor. Some of the world’s largest Islamic banks are Islamic Development Bank whose Shariah compliant assets was estimated at about $400 billion throughout the world in 2009, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, and its potential market is $4 trillion. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia have the biggest sharia-compliant assets.

Fed Govt bans cars with two-stroke engines


HE National Automotive Council (NAC) is to ban cars manufactured or imported with two stroke engine, this are cars that do not have installed approved emission reduction technology. Cars with petrol and diesel engines must meet with emission standard specified in the gazette No. 47 of 17 May 2011 which is equivalent to Euro 111. The Director-General, National Automotive Council, Aminu Jalal, who disclosed this during a visit by the Minister of State, Ministry of

From: Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom in Abuja, stated that from January 1st 2015, motor vehicles with petrol and diesel engines should meet with emission standards specified in the gazette which is equivalent to Euro 111. He said: “The sulphur limits on our fuel specification would have to be changed by December 2015 to be compatible with engine that meets Euro 111 emission standards. After consultation with the stakeholders, the council is requesting that the implementa-

tion of this gazette should be from 1st December 2011 to enable the clearing of items already ordered for and are in transit. We will work with the ministry to achieve the target of promoting economic growth and wealth creation. “The main challenge of car manufacturing in Nigeria is the tariff. The tariff has to be high for cars to be manufactured in Nigeria. With the low tariff, Nigerian products are not competitive in the market. About five companies signified interest in 2010 to manufacture cars in Nigeria, but due to the low tariff, they opted out.

HE Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, has called on African -Americans and Nigerians in the Diaspora to invest aviation with a view to facilitating growth and development of the aviation sector. She made the call in Abuja yesterday when a delegation of the World Conference of Mayors (WCM), which has a large AfricanAmerican representation, led by Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, paid her a visit. A statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Joseph Obi, said the visit was in fulfillment of the agreement by both ministries to collaborate and partner on ways to make Nigeria a memorable and exciting tourist destination for African-Americans as well as Nigerians in the Diaspora. Mrs. Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, said as brothers and sisters on the other side of the Atlantic, African Americans can approach foreign investors to come and invest, stressing that Nigeria is a safe, secure and friendly place for intending investments. “Nigeria is a true home of all African Americans given the statistics which indicate that one in every three black men on earth is a Nigerian. As your home, you should show more than a passing interest in the development of the country.”

Globacom offers subscribers 99% discount By Adline Atili


LOBACOM has launched a tariff plan that offers dis counts to subscribers anytime, anywhere across the country. Tagged Glo Flexi, the new tariff plan offers up to 99 per cent discount on calls made, depending on the time of day and geographical location of the subscriber. Speaking at a media briefing to unveil the new package in Lagos , the company’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Mohamed Jameel said the new offers the biggest discount ever offered by any Telco in the country as subscribers can talk for as low as 1k/sec. He said: “The new Glo Flexi is available to all prepaid subscribers across Nigeria and it offers the biggest discount ever offered by any telecom operator in the country. With up to 99 per cent discount offered to subscribers on calls, there is no doubt that Glo Flexi is the next big thing since we pioneered the Per Second Billing (PSB) platform many years ago. “The introduction of Glo Flexi is in line with our value-driven approach to introducing new products and services to give back to our subscribers.








142 fired as Kogi winds up transport firm


O fewer than 142 workers have been relieved of their jobs following the winding-up of the Kogi State Transport Company (KSTC). The company was shut down at the instance of the State Executive Council (SEC). Briefing reporters after the SEC meeting,

Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

the Commissiner said the workers may reapply if they wish after the company is recapitalised. He said the workers were paid seven months salary arrears after being screened by officials of the Ministry of Finance. The winding-up, he said, is to pave the

way for the company to start afresh, adding that talks between the government and bank for a loan to recapitalise the firm had reached an advanced stage. The Chairman of the local chapter of the Amalgamated Union of Public Companies, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, Mr Ndakwo

Mohammed, appealed to the government to redeploy the affected staff to other ministries and agencies. Mohammed, who was affected in the exercise, said some of them had put a greater part of their life into the service of the state, “only to be thrown into the unemployment market.”

• PHCN workers protesting the sack of four zonal chief executives.

PHCN salaries make up 80% of costs, says Nnaji


VER 80 per cent of the operational cost of the power sector, goes to paying salaries of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) workers, the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, has said. Nnaji spoke in Abuja during a retreat, organised by the ministry for its senior management staff on grade level 14 and above. He said distribution and transmission network of the industry had to grow yearly by at least 16 per cent, noting that the current average growth of energy per annum

was less than one per cent. The minister attributed the poor growth to factors, such as obsolete equipment and limited investments in the sector. Nnaji explained that current investments in the industry go into replacement of damaged equipment like transformers and switch gears. According to him, only 40 per cent of the nation’s population has access to electricity supply. He said the goal of the Federal Government was to restructure the industry so that it would be privately-driven.

Nnaji said the government would privatise the sector into functional autonomous components of generation, transmission and distribution. “We would want active participation of the private sector in the industry as well as outright transfer of assets to private stakeholders where applicable, ‘’ he said. He added that several challenges like “vertical integrated government-owned monopoly that is not commercially viable, managerial inefficiencies and a lack of efficient investment in distribution, gen-

eration and transmission are factors slowing down development in the sector”. The Permanent Secretary, Mr Isa Sali, said one of the major objectives of convening the retreat was to sensitise the management team on the power sector transformation agenda. He said the retreat would also enable the ministry to identify roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in its transformation agenda. Sali noted that the retreat was useful as it would afford the management an opportunity to interact with workers.

Construction workers seek reduction in cement price


ORKERS in the construction and civil engineering sector have urged the Federal Government to adopt practical measures to reduce the price of cement. The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW), said the price of cement, which is a major component for building and construction, has gone up again to between N2,800 and N3,000 per 50kg. President Goodluck Jonathan, had in a meeting with cement manufacturers, given them one month to crash the price to between N1,300 and N1,500. Before the meeting, the price was between N2,300

and N2,600. Temporary relief came after the expiration of the deadline as the price crashed to between N1,600 and N2,000. But barely a month after the drop, the price went up again to between N2,800 and N3,000. Speaking against the backdrop of the latest increase, the NUCECFWW’s General Secretary, Comrade Babatunde Liadi, said the meeting between President Jonathan and cement manufacturers has not yielded any fruitful result, because the price has been fluctuating since then. “The government is not really in control of the price of cement, as the order by Mr President has not yielded any fruit. Instead of the price coming down, it has gone up and this is making things

difficult for construction companies, workers and ordinary Nigerians that are building or intending to build houses,” he said. He said many construction works were being put on hold because of the high price of cement, noting that workers, especially members of the union, are redundant because of the development. Liadi urged the government to find out what the manufacturers must do, to crash the price. “Many companies and clients cannot pursue their construction projects because of the high price of cement, as the cost quoted while awarding the contracts are now ridiculous to the reality of the current price of cement. Most clients, including government find it

difficult to review up the cost and thereby, the contractors are stuck. “Most construction jobs that are delayed or stopped now are as a result of the inability of contractors to marry the recent cost with the quoted cost in their bids for the jobs. “If there is no work or the work is stopped, our members and other artisans will not earn their living because there will not be any salary. This high cost of cement is causing delay in completing capital projects and kills the infrastructural development and economy in the long run,” Liadi said. He urged the government to provide the needed impetus, such as stable electricity, gas supply and other incentives for cement business to thrive.




‘Rural agric can lead to food growth’ H

EAD of Agricultural Bank ing at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Jacques Taylor says increase in food production in rural Nigeria will lead to food security. Taylor said this in an interview with The Nation in Lagos. To combat food scarcity and the attendant soaring prices, He said immediate steps should be taken to raise agriculture output substantially in the country. The agricultural development finance expert said stepping up farm productivity and production will require increasing investment in rural infrastructure. He said that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the agric sector would go a long way in improv-

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

ing farm to market supply chain. Taylor, who has been part of the successful agriculture value chain financing in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique, said of the current state of Nigeria’s agriculture sector: “The state of Nigeria’s agricultural sector is similar to so many African countries; very much a dualistic environment, with the bulk of local production coming from small scale farmers. There is currently a strong focus on developing and coordinating the agricultural value chain in Nigeria, while looking at ways to commercialise the sec-

tor. Improving efficiencies along the value chain will be important to unlock the potential and efficiencies with regards to input, actual production as well as marketing and processing. The support offered by the government assists in creating an enabling environment for growth. Significant opportunities exist in import substitution.” On the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive that all commercial banks establish agriculture desks within the next six months, Taylor said the banks welcome and support the guidance from CBN. “Given the specialised nature of this sector, it is fair to expect a

• From left: Business Development Manager, Alltech Nutrients Limited, Mr Chimezie Obiakor; Managing Director /CEO, Best Foods, Mr Sifo Ijewere and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Sam Owa, at a media forum in Lagos.

‘How national soil fertility surveys can boost food production’


ITH post-harvest grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa put at about $4 billion a year, experts have called for a national soil fertility index for agro regions across the country to secure the agriculture sector and avoid food supplies slipping. The demand for such surveys has been made on sharp deterioration in soil fertility due to erosion, repeated cropping, and agro practices that deplete nitrogen and micro nutrients. Director, Centre for Community-Based Farming Scheme (COBFAS) University of Agriculture, Abeokuta,Ogun State,Prof

Kolawole Salako, said detailed soil surveys would help in-depth study of the capacity for agricultural activities on farming areas across the country. He said soil fertility survey provides assessment of land resources and helps in planning agricultural projects. The result of soil fertility survey is used to boost productive capacity of farmlands to increase yields. Salako said the survey would reveal the capacity of various farming zones and their potential for planting of various crops. Since it is critical to raise food production across the country, he

said such surveys will identify gaps and opportunities for interventions that will address issues regarding food security. With detailed survey, the soil specialist said long-term solutions can be undertaken on insufficient resources on farm lands to increase productivity per area and reduce post harvest losses. According to him, the soil condition is the most critical factor in ensuring continued fertility of the farms. He said soil fertility survey is necessary to provide a good framework for estimating the behaviour of soil.

Expert calls for review of agric strategies


N agricultural expert has called for a review of the strategy for agric development in the country to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the sector. Dr Tunde Arosanyin, an Agricultural Economist and an executive of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), made the call while speaking with journalists. Arosanyin said the sector had not recorded any significant achievement in the last one decade in spite

of the endowment of abundant natural, manpower and financial resources. He attributed the situation to unstable policies and programmes. He called for investment friendly policies and adequate funding to reverse the situation. According to him, the future of Nigeria’s industrialisation, solution to poverty and crime lies in the development of the agric sector. Arosanyin underscored the im-

portance of investment, research, extension services as well as the availability of inputs in achieving agricultural development. The agricultural sector, he noted, had suffered a decline for too long, leading to the loss of many genetic crops, and increase in food prices. The AFAN official said the restoration of the sector was imperative considering the nation’s growing population, even as other countries looked up to Nigeria for food empowerment.

dedicated team of specialists to ensure banks develop and offer relevant products and solutions, as well as mitigate and manage risks. Stanbic IBTC’s operating model for servicing the agricultural sector is in line with the guideline provided by Central Bank.” On banks’reluctance to lend to the agriculture sector, the banker noted that not all banks focus on agricultural lending, the same way they focus on lending to mining industries. “We have a strong pedigree in lending to these two sectors across the continent. For example, Stanbic IBTC sees agriculture as an integral part of our business and a key growth sector; as such we have developed lending models that allow the bank to mitigate some of the risks associated with a sector traditionally seen as high risk by lenders.” Comparing the agriculture extension in South Africa with that of Nigeria, Taylor said the former’s commercial agricultural sector is well developed, with the bulk of the production coming from large-scale commercial producers. “These producers have scale, making use of precision farming technologies and mechanisation. The large producers, together with agri-businesses, are also actively involved in mentoring small-scale agriculture producers. In the absence of a strong commercial segment within the primary agricultural sector of Nigeria, there is a much stronger need to have an effective extension services. On what banks can do to help

• Taylor

raise agriculture output in Nigeria, he said:“We believe that finance is but only one of the requirements for developing a sustainable agricultural sector. Commercial banks, as a key participant in the agricultural value chain, also have a role to play in co-coordinating businesses along the value chain, assisting in establishing market linkages, as well as creating an environment that will allow local agriculture to be competitive.” On Nigeria’s prospect in global agriculture, he said the nation given the size of the sector, has the opportunity to play a significant role for the African continent to become the “bread basket” for the World. “First priority though is for Nigeria and Africa to become self-sufficient with regards to food production.” He described agriculture as the engine for economic growth in most countries they have presence.

Don supports 100% FDI in agric


DON, Prof Biyi Daramola, has urged the government to allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the agriculture sector to boost food production. Daramola, who is of the Department of Agric Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, said foreign investors should be given opportunity to participate in various areas of areas including seeds, plantation and animal husbandry. He said government should not impose conditions on companies dealing in development of transgenic seeds and vegetables. According to him, the only requirement is that investors comply with safety requirements in accordance with laws enacted under the Environment (Protection) Act on GM organisms; any import of GM materials, if required. He said agribusiness in the country needs to undergo a profound structural transformation and technological upgrading to generate jobs and income so urgently needed by the growing population and the participation of foreign investors to catch up with other developing countries. He said international and domestic markets offer potentially profitable markets for agro-industrial products and the industries need foreign participation to be able to take advantage of such opportunities. Emphasising large scale agriculture, Daramola noted that exclusive focus on the smallest firms in agro-industry is unlikely to

lead to a successful path of economic growth and poverty reduction. While some of the greatest growth potential for agro-industry lies in small and medium enterprises, he said it will be better for the industry to assisting them to expand and capture (or recapture) national and regional markets. To promote this transition involves viewing value addition, both in farming and in agro-industry, within the context of a structural transformation of the economy. An international consultant, Prof Johnson Ekpere, however, urged the government to grant selective entry to foreign investors into the local sector. The retired professor from the University of Ibadan and former Executive Secretary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU now AU), Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (OAU/STRC) said foreigners should not be involved in basic agriculture. According to him, they should be involved in the promotion of large-scale agro-enterprises, such as production of fertiliser and agricultural machinery, and where there is scope for attracting foreign direct investment or accessing export markets. According to him, land acquisition through foreign investors must be carefully scrutinised and established and future proprietary rights must be respected and enforceable by the legal system.





Unknown to many, the level of political consciousness in Kogi State is second to none. The number of those who have shown interest in occupying Lokoja’s Lugard House keeps growing daily. Correspondent MOHAMMED BASHIR undertakes a survey of the political field.

Kogi governorship poll: ACN, PDP raise the stakes

• Isah

• Kutepa


HE December 3 election in Kogi State is very important in many respects. It is the first in the series of elections to hold between now and December next year. Besides, as Governor Ibrahim Idris bows out of the stage next April, there is no single politician in control of the political machinery of the state, even in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that has shown dominance since 2003 when the governor first emerged as a political force. The party won the 2003 general elections, the 2007 general elections, the 2008 governorship rerun poll and last April’s elections to the federal and state legislatures. While many contend that the last elections were largely free and fair nationwide, even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has conceded that there is room for improvement. The Kogi poll will provide the first opportunity for the electoral commission to test some of the new policies it has come up with after a review of the last elections. Unlike the last polls when INEC was overwhelmed and had to rely on untested ad hoc staff, the Kogi poll will be conducted entirely by staff of the commission who will be brought from various states of the federation.

Peoples Democratic Party Just before the last elections, the ruling party had submitted the name of Alhaji Isah Echocho as its governorship candidate. He had consequently picked former Speaker of the House of Assembly Clarence Olafemi as his running mate. There is now a contention by delegates and leaders of the party loyal to the Idris/Echocho/Olafemi faction of the party that the result of the primary should be respected. These are the people promoting consensus as the mode of picking the candidate. Others, however, contend that, in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in the Andy Uba case in Anambra State, that primary is no longer relevant. Those who hold on to this view are many and this has seen to the emergence of a legion of new entrants to the race. The fresh aspirants include former managing director of Daily Times, Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo from the central senatorial district of the state; the Commissioner of Science and Technology who is also overseeing the State Ministry of Information; the Special Duties Commissioner, Prof. Aaron Baba; former Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Humphrey Abah and the Commissioner for Works and Housing, Mallam Sule Adama.

• Ocholi

Others include former Military Administrator of Oyo and Ondo states, Colonel Ahmed Usman. Many of the 18 who had contested the PDP primary on January 9, The Nation gathered, has reduced to seven. They are Echocho, Alhaji Abdulrazak Isah Kutepa, Alex Usman Kadiri, Hon. Simeon Maha, Senator Nicholas Yahaya Ugbane, AVM Salihu Atawodi (RTD) and Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed . Except for Kadiri who is an Igbira man, the other leading aspirants for the PDP ticket, whether new or old, are Igala like the incumbent. The Igala have dominated the scene since Kogi was excised out of Benue and Kwara States in 1991. Alhaji Abubakar Audu was elected the first civilian governor in 1991. He is Igala. He again emerged governor on return of the power baton to civilians in 1999 after a spell of military rule. In 2003, Audu was trounced at the poll by Ibrahim Idris of the PDP even when, as incumbent, Audu was the flag bearer for the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Idris retained his hold on the governorship in 2007 and consolidated the hold in 2008 when a rerun was ordered by the Appeal Court. The PDP is still battling with its internal processes. The State Legal Adviser, Umar Adah Mohammed, in a said the party had decided not to conduct fresh primary election in the state, holding that the January 9 primary election that was conducted by the party still stands. Olafemi, also told a news conference that as far he is concerned the mandate given Echocho by delegates subsists. He said that the mandate went through the process spell out by the party guidelines, stressing that the mandate was confirmed by a law court and that no law, whether the electoral law or the PDP constitution or the 1999 Constitution as amended that says primary expires at so, so number of days He said: “There are no expiration periods for primary elections conducted. We have been given the flag and it has not been withdrawn from us. The national body of the party gave us the flag and we have carried it

• Adinoyi-Ojo

round the state and nobody has withdrawn that flag from us, how would they order for fresh primary just like that without any reason, and you think we would accept such decision”? He explained that the stakeholders of PDP including the national assembly caucus of PDP from Kogi State has reaffirmed that they were supporting the candidature of Echocho and Olafemi and that they don’t want a new primary election. “The central working Committee of the party in the state which comprises of 14 officers had equally affirmed that they stand by that primary the PDP caucus in the state house of assembly has equally affirmed that they stand by that primary “For God sake why are we looking for trouble where there is no trouble? Our focus should be on how to defeat our opposition” he pleaded. Colonel Ahmed Usman has threatened that he would take legal action against the party if governorship primary election is not conducted. The retired Colonel said: “A fresh primary has to be conducted due to the High Court and Court of Appeal decisions that extended the tenure of the incumbent governor, saying all activities preceding the election was a nullity.” He said he decided to join the race due to the call from his people and associates.

Action Congress of Nigeria In the ACN, Audu is making waves. He has remained a recurring decimal in the gubernatorial politics of Kogi State. He has contested all elections since creation of the state in 1991. His recent defection to the party has generated intense debate over whether the ticket should be automatically handed to him. Old members of the party resent the idea, while others, including some national leaders of the party, believe that the only person who could prove the game changer in the state’s electoral calculus is Audu.

‘In the ACN, Audu is making waves... his recent defection to the party has generated intense debate over whether the ticket should be automatically handed to him. Old members of the party resent the idea, while others, including some national leaders of the party, believe that the only person who could prove the game changer in the state’s electoral calculus is Audu’

• Akanmode

Old members who have renewed their interest in the race include Prof. Yusuf Obaje, Chief Rotimi Obadofin, Alhaji Zakari Jiya. Former Accountant General of the State, Elder Obolo Okpanachi just joined the ACN. It is however not clear whether former Deputy Chief of Staff to Atiku Abubakar, Prince Sola Akanmode will join the race under the leading opposition party. He felt cheated in the January PDP primary. The state chairman of the ACN, Mallam Hady Ametuo, in a telephone interview, said the party is putting everything together in order to take over Kogi State from the PDP government. The chairman said that the guidelines for the primary election would soon be released. A chieftain of ACN in the state Honoutable Hamza Sherrif Aliyu had prayed that the internal rancour rocking the ruling PDP in the state lingers to give ACN a smooth sail to Lugard House come 2012 governorship election. “The rate at which people are decamping from other parties to ACN is testimony that ACN is the party to beat in the state,” he boasted.

Other opposition parties Mr. Ocholi James (SAN) was the party’s flag bearer before the plan for April poll was scuttled by the court. He remains the leading aspirant. The CPC said it is over for PDP as the party is poised to wrest power from the PDP in the state. The state chairman of the party Alhaji Kaseem Mabo stressed that the new opposition party in the state is ever prepared to produce the next governor of the state. “We will capture the governorship in the coming December general elections because we are going to to provide a credible alternative to PDP misrule. It is obvious that the ruling PDP will not be able to overcome the myriad of crises facing it. I believe that with dedication of our party leadership and members across the state we shall succeed. “ The ANPP, for now, has no governorship aspirant since it was dumped by its financier, Audu. However, some strong members of the party are still holding sway to retain the party. The political equation in the state indicates that the battle for Lugard House will be tough in December. A lot may however depend on who picks the flags of the leading parties and how the ensuing crises would be handled by party apparatchiks.




Teetering on the democratic trampoline


ET me begin by confessing, without any fudging, that it was with very mixed feelings that I finally agreed to join you today at your annual conference. Some wounds dig deep into the human psyche, and continue to suppurate long after they were inflicted. Such, in my case, was the trial and execution of my late colleague and friend, Ken Sarowiwa and his eight co-defendants in this very city. I have written about it, both in prose narrative and in anguished poetry, so I am saying nothing new. When I discovered that the chairman of your association was the very prosecutor in Ken’s case, I changed my ‘yes’ to a ‘No’. Then came the arguments for and against from NBA’s intercessors. The argument that tilted the balance, ironically, was never proposed at all. This was - could it possibly be that NBA was seeking an engagement on the issue, with the aim of arriving openly, and on the very scene of a singular trauma, at a measure of closure? It was an intriguing possibility, one that I found frankly seductive. And now the timing, unsuspected at the time, turns out to be providentially propitious over and above any original considerations, Law having thrust itself to the forefront of national concerns, and not quite in a manner that redounds to her dignity. So let us at least dispense with that abnormal event that remains a transformative watershed in the lives of many of us, to which we all responded, and still respond, even subconsciously, in our inner directed, individual ways. It would be irrational to have failed to take note taken of the circumstances under which Law then existed. I do take into consideration the regard under which Law and Justice were held during that reign of dictatorship dementia. That regard was, in one word – disposable. At best, patronizing and condescending, at worst, contemptuous. And yet it was different only in style and execution from the democratic equivalent that the nation has since experinced, such as the sack of Anambra State for over three uninterrupted days, overseen by an agency of the Law - the police. The same enabling environment was provided during the trashing of the Oyo State House of Assembly under what claimed to be democratic governance. What happened in the court premises of Ibadan, the brutalization of members of the Bar during judicial hearings for the restoration of legitimate governance to Oyo State, again with the same arm of Law looking on all these were hardly different from what obtained under Sanni Abacha during the trials of Ken Saro-wiwa and his colleagues. We shall not even bother to enumerate the rash of extra-judicial killings, unsolved till today, mostly of political challengers. In this very Port Harcourt, the Ogoni Nine defence lawyers, led by Gani Fawehinmi, were harassed and manhandled, their documents scattered to the winds. They were denied a level playing field. They were insulted and deprived of meaningful defence space. Cameras captured the scenes of this reversion to state force of intimidation at its crudest, contemptuous of opinion, local and external. Images were projected in gory detail. International observers were disgusted. The defence could only operate with one hand tied behind its back and, in the end, Gani Fawehinmi and his team withdrew - controversially – from their brief. My view till today is that it was not Gani Fawehinmi and his team who should have withdrawn, but the Nigerian Bar Association, including its prosecuting member. It was prime setting for collective affirmation of the principle of Law, even under dire circumstances, indeed most especially under the direst circumstances, where an issue of life and death was involved. As with most other dramatis personae – direct or merely peripheral – of that painful drama, closure remains a destination much desired. I do not think that we shall attain it at any one encounter but, lancing the tumour of evasion and letting out the scab covered pus of Truth is one way of inching closer to that moment of closure. We have moved beyond recriminations, but all social organisations need to learn from the past, open themselves proactively to challenges of an abnormal nature, work hard at options of creative alternatives even where society is suffocated under the horrors of insensate, all-consuming power. Today – and I speak of immediate, ongoing events - the problems of Law, and the challenges to her ministers are vastly different, but the implications for society remain the same – a severe drought on the judicial land-

•Text of Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka’s speech at the Nigeria Bar Association Conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State scape, a deficit in public confidence, a questioning of the very viability of the legal recourse. It goes beyond a House divided against itself, asks whether the Citadel of Law has ever been much more than a long sustained mirage whose promise as a shimmering oasis of justice has finally evaporated. One of the most riveting images of that struggle against the Abacha tyranny remains, for me, the picture of a former president of this same Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba with one eye blackened and nearly closed from an encounter with the outlaw enforcers of Ken Saro-wiwa’s direct murderer, the dictator Sanni Abacha. It was clearly a defining moment when an officer of the law discarded his wig and gown, having decided that only direct identification with the Civic Will remained as the last remaining recourse for the restoration of social justice. It is wrong that such a stark situation of limited choices should be imposed on a guardian of the portals of Law, but it is a choice where, when taken, reminds us that in the pursuit of democracy, the commonwealth of humanity sometimes requires methods of commitment outside the privileged bounds of one’s professional constituency. We shall return to this theme shortly, and in greater detail, as we proceed. But first let us situate the nation’s governance experience within a continent’s formative history. As the last straggler clambered onto the ‘unity’ conveyance, the OAU in the early sixties, and was applauded into the chambers of the United Nations, Africa, many claimed, had finally come of age. Had she? Was there something missing perhaps? A crucial lack that has resulted in the hideous destabilization of the continent North to South and East to West? One does not propose for one moment that this absence was solely responsible for a continental – not merely stagnation but - retrogression. That would be over-simplifying the complex nature of the organism called nation, and nation especially of the deleterious genesis of colonialism. One also concedes that coming of age has never implied entering a phase of existence that is devoid of stress, retrogression, or uncertainties. What we wish to call to mind is simply this: in the process of the emergence of the African modern state (in company with a number of Asian and Latin American states) one governance option was constantly given short shrift, irrespective of ideological leaning. That missing item is not much of a riddle. We only have to ask ourselves, taking an example each from two extremes of the ideological spectrum, this question: what was the abandoned option that was common to one nation of extreme radical Left - Sekou Toure’s Guinea - and another of the extreme Right, Mobutu Sese Seko’s Congo Zaire? Answer: Democracy. Even where Democracy was the starting acceptance as in Ghana, it was soon jettisoned. The culture of inclusive participation, constitutionalism, even law, Human Rights and accountability quickly became cumbersome. ‘Liberal democracy’ was pronounced like a dirty phrase, it stood in the way of the anti-colonial struggle, the African Personality etc. At times it was even deemed a sign of ‘western decadence’, a call to ‘bourgeois individualism’. It has taken upwards of half a century for the process of reversal, the ‘wind of change’ that was first sniffed by Harold Macmillan in apartheid South Africa, to traverse the continent, gathering force and turning into a veritable hurricane by the time it touched down in the Maghreb, toppling dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Democracy has a reticent characteristic of never appearing glamorous, no, not the way ‘radical’ sounds and positions itself. It is such a mundane expression, so pedestrian. It seems to drag, and we all prefer to sprint. Democracy could even be the name of a daily attire, of a farm implement or a social get-together. It is worn so threadbare in discourse of measured sobriety that many hanker for a change of clothing that stands apart from basics – flashy, ideally embodied in the unquestioned, charismatic leader. Paradoxically however, this same

Democracy often appears difficult to sustain. Let us probe into the interstices of this state of governance evolution a little more closely. Democracy may be viewed as a social platform – emphasis on platform, that is, a level plane, or better still, a trampoline but balanced on three legs. Those three supports are anything but linear. They are much closer to those intricately carved traditional three-legged stools whose legs intersect in the middle, then stretch outwards to rest firmly on flat ground. In the type of stools I speak of, the legs are, to all appearances, carved from a single piece of wood with impressive ingenuity. One of those legs is known as the Constitution – written or unwritten, a set of protocols that enables society and defines its mode of functioning. The second is Law – a code of social regulations and modalities of adjudications that is sustained by its own autonomous structures and agencies. We also know that Law existed in pre-literate societies where enforcement was just as rigorous, or lax as lax we know it today. Regarding that latter option in the provenance of Law - laxity - just to help us along, to remind us that role designation is not always the same as role fulfillment, compelling us to keep our feet on the ground, is a current commentary on the derelictions of Law by an executive governor. He voices a frustration that is the daily plaint of millions of Nigerian citizens. Thus, in The Guardian of August 17, 2011, we encounter this item: “Governor Adam Oshiomole, swearing in his new state Solicitor-General, seized the opportunity to declare that the maxim – “equality before the law” must be practised to the fullest for people to have implicit confidence in the nation’s democracy. Oshiomole goes on to elaborate further on this in a personal, direct, experiential manner, down to earth: “Before I came into government, I have always had the feeling that there are certain persons in society whom. through collusion by people in the Ministry of Justice, appeared to be above the law. They could kill and walk out freely. If they cannot help prosecute them, they can charge them in a manner and water down the charges such that no reasonable judge would convict them on the basis of the evidence presented. When the evidence is so compelling then they cannot be watered down, they resort to endless adjournments” etc. etc, Law, in short, is also subject to manipulation. However, flawed or flawless, Law is not a leg of our tripod that can be dispensed with. Democracy cannot exist without it. However, the active core of Law is bound within that summative maxim “equality before the Law” even more profoundly than other popular guidances such as “justice delayed is justice denied” etc. etc. ‘Equality before the law’ cannot be detached from the very ontology of Law, any more than “equality under the constitution”. Infringement of either provision renders them invalid, inoperable, defunct and undermines, not only Democracy, but society itself. Again, let us bear this in mind as we proceed. The third leg of our tripod, the Civic Will – I glancingly referred to it earlier - is a paradox since it is an extract from, and also finds its expression in the vital beings that make up society – that is, the citizenry, yet it remains a nebulous aggregate of that public pulse. Needless to remark that it is not codified, and it certainly is far more ancient than either Law or Constitution, and in fact may amount to the record of a people’s history. Take any one of those three supports away and – the result is predictable. A two-legged stool is simply not viable, even when carved to intersect somewhere along the middle. This operation of the three supports is one of mutual inter-dependency. Social evolution has complicated the operations of both Law and Cosntitution, sometimes even while claiming to streamline both. That is one of the paradoxes of development – we should not complain but do our


best to unravel such complexities and find a new language and mode of transmission for their ready absorption into public understanding, observances and application. Law of course interprets and adjudicates provisions and ambiguities in the Constitution where necessary. The Law also intervenes in the province of Civic Will – a ready example is the enforcement of Human Rights, without which Democracy cannot even begin to be conceived. Take a look at the recent history of this nation for instance, where the Civic Will has to be exerted again and again on the streets. As a nation, we would still be subject to those obsolete colonial laws that required citizens to obtain a police permit before any assemblage or procession in public spaces. That colonial law, as it was claimed to exist, was tested under the Constitution, and overturned through the very functioning of Law on behalf of the Civic Will. Under the allegedly democratic reign of Olusegun Obasanjo that degenerated fast into a police state – as many warned at the time - you will all recall that a procession of women in Lagos, on their way to deliver a letter to the state government, was tear-gassed. Now why were those women on the streets? What was the content of their letter? They were women whose children had perished in the inferno of a crashed plane. These mothers, and others who joined them in an expression of solidarity, were tear-gassed, baton charged and arrested. They included members of the very association assembled in this hall, perhaps even present here today. That was a gross encroachment on Civic Will by an agency of one of the Democratic supports – the Law - a warped presumption of responsibilities that was irresponsible and inhuman, and it demanded the re-assertion of the Civil Will on all fora – the media, through the Law itself, or simply and defiantly – Back on the Streets! Civic Will is seemingly inert, but is easily the most dynamic and eloquent leg of Democracy. But first, we must avoid any over optimistic assessment, or romanticisation. Civil Will is not homogenous. It can prove contradictory, fractitious and even selfdesructive, acting against its own interest. Indeed, it is best to see this support that is the Civic Will as a composite, a mosaic that is not cast as a single mould, but welded from sometimes incompatible scrap-iron pieces, fragmentary and fragile. That is the safer image. It ensures that we do not find ourselves astonished and rear-ended when it breaks apart and flies off in contradictory directions, leaving it prey to its traditional enemy, Power. Its authenticity sometimes proves as elusive as that other problematic entity that is glibly called - the public good. We know also that the Civil Will is not necessarily authenticated by the highest decibel or expressions of intransigence, nor is it determined by its proneness to volatility and destructiveness. If it were, the recent disturbances in the normally phlegmatic United Kingdom would be deemed an expression of that nation’s Civic Will, or the homicidal myopia of the Boko Haram, or its predecessor the Maitasine, as representative of the Nigerian Civic Will. Civic Will is subject to internal stress, even as it takes the battle to its partners and rivals in the democratic construct – the Law and the Constitution - the latter as a referential point, the former as its controlling, reconciling or interpretative agency. To be Continued





Pain killers, not pain bearers This is what Nigerians need now, years after promises of better life have remained elusive VEN as the country’s new Minister of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi OkonjoIweala, settles down after her formal assumption of office and Nigerians await details of the Administration’s economic transformation agenda, President Goodluck Jonathan has hinted that the country’s path to economic recovery and prosperity will not be devoid of inevitable pains and inconveniences. Speaking on August 22 after inaugurating the National Economic Council (NEC) in the Council Chambers of the State House in Abuja, the President urged his fellow country men and women to bear the expected difficulties with fortitude, pointing out that they would be temporary. According to the President, “Nigerians know what happens in other countries where they had a bit of challenges. They planned and got out of it. Any transformation or reformation of the economy goes with some form of inconvenience, which are transient, temporary. I believe that within the period there may be some little inconveniences that those of us in government and the citizens will face, but it will not be too painful to be properly managed”. Of course, Nigerians appreciate when their leaders honestly tell them the realities they must confront rather than offer them comforting but illusory hopes. The problem is that for the best part of the last two and a half decades, successive governments have repeatedly preached the sermon of belt-tightening to long-suffering Nigerians who have waited eagerly but patiently for the never materialising proverbial light at the end of the


tunnel. Ordinarily, Nigerians are known to be remarkably resilient and they have largely borne brutal existential deprivations bravely for years. It is thus understandable if large sections of the citizenry receive with skepticism, the President’s renewed promise of economic Eldorado only if they undergo another round of painful medications. The country’s economic predicament is made even more painful and inexcusable given her rich human, natural and mineral resource base. With the requisite visionary, purposeful and competent leadership, Nigeria simply has no business being trapped at the current level of dehumanising poverty. If the discipline, lack of accountability and impunity characteristic of military rule were largely responsible for the protracted underdevelopment of the past, why hasn’t the past decade of ‘democratic’ governance yielded the expected dividends of development? The sordid revelations of malfeasance at the just- concluded National Assembly hearings on the privatisation programme since 1999 shows how corruption remains a formidable obstacle to achieving set economic objectives. In the same period, over $16 billion has been expended on the power sector, with the country remaining still largely shrouded in darkness. It is thus not surprising that the Y2010 Human Development Index that measures life expectancy, literacy, education and living standards worldwide rated Nigeria 142nd out of 169 nations. With an estimated 70 per cent of the population living below the poverty line, at least 40

million youths unemployed and dilapidated public infrastructure, Nigeria performed far worse than less endowed African countries like Ghana, Togo, Congo, Kenya, Gabon, Morocco and Benin Republic, among others. At a time when the government ought to be administering pain killers to ease the country’s prolonged economic aches, the President promised another round of pains. The sad thing is that with the bloated number of political appointees at all levels, their bloated official emoluments and unofficial largesse, it is the masses that bear the brunt. But then, all eyes are on Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala on whom the President reposes so much confidence. Can she come up with the right remedies, ensure that the pain is shared by all, and that the pain killers work? We hope she can.

‘Nigerians appreciate when their leaders honestly tell them the realities they must confront rather than offer them comforting but illusory hopes. The problem is that for the best part of the last two and a half decades, successive governments have repeatedly preached the sermon of belt-tightening to long-suffering Nigerians who have waited eagerly but patiently for the never materialising proverbial light at the end of the tunnel’

Amakiri’s passage •A courageous journalist departs


R Nimere Amakiri’s death on August 19 immediately reminded one of the hazards of the journalism profession. The journalist and publisher of the Beacon Newspaper in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was confirmed dead at the First Rivers Hospital, Aba Road, Port Harcourt, after a protracted illness. Amakiri was a veteran journalist who contributed to the growth of his profession even at the risk of his personal comfort. The late Amakiri, 62, came to limelight in 1973 when he criticised Navy Commander Alfred Diette-Spiff, then Military Governor of old Rivers State, for celebrating his birthday when teachers and some other workers in the state were on strike over better conditions of service. Amakiri was then the state correspondent of the Nigerian Observer. Rather than see the criticism in good faith, the governor considered the story “embarrassing” not only to himself but to his family, members of the state’s executive council and the security operatives. Amakiri was arrested by DieteSpiff’s men and moved to the Brick House (Government House), Port Harcourt, where the hair on his head was reportedly shaved with broken bottles, to humiliate him, and send a signal to other journalists that the military government would not tolerate such unpleasant reports. The matter generated widespread condemnation and Amakiri challenged the barbaric act in court. His counsel, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, dragged Diete-Spiff’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC), Mr Iworari to the

Port Harcourt High Court, which he besieged to declare his client’s detention by the defendant as illegal and unconstitutional. He also sought N10,000 damages for false imprisonment, assault and battery. Iworari denied shaving any part of Amakiri’s body adding that he was not even aware that the journalist was assaulted. He said he only invited Amakiri in the execution of his duties as a police officer in charge of security matters, and that this was not limited to the publication in question. It is instructive that Justice Allagoa who heard the matter was not impressed by Iworari’s defence. As a matter of fact, he held the defendant vicariously liable for the acts of the soldiers who beat up Amakiri and shaved his hair with bottles. He consequently found Iworari guilty. In doing that, he made a fundamental point, which was that the fact that we were under military rule did not abrogate aspects of the constitution concerning certain fundamental human rights on personal and other civil liberties. ‘’The courts are the watchdogs of these rights and the sanctuary of the oppressed and will spare no pains in tracking down the arbitrary use of power where such cases are brought before the court”, the judge said. The court then did the needful by awarding Amakiri N200 for every stroke of the cane he got, N2, 600 for being detained illegally and N2, 600 for the shave and pain he got from the defendant. This amounted to a total of N10, 000. Amakiri’s case is a sad reminder of the

arbitrary use of power by security operatives appointed as aides to members of the country’s ruling class. His refusal to disclose the source of his information in spite of grave risks to himself is commendable. Equally worthy of note is the fact that he did not allow his experience in the hands of the military to discourage him, as it was on record that he was also highly critical of the Governor Peter Odili’s administration in the state. No doubt the journalism profession would dearly miss his departure. We are however glad that when he had the opportunity, he used his pen for the good of the society. His little contribution to press freedom must have contributed to the relative freedom that journalists now enjoy in the country. May his soul rest in peace.

‘Amakiri’s case is a sad reminder of the arbitrary use of power by security operatives appointed as aides to members of the country’s ruling class. His refusal to disclose the source of his information in spite of grave risks to himself is commendable. Equally worthy of note is the fact that he did not allow his experience in the hands of the military to discourage him...’

Taxing Warren Buffett


NVESTORS might hang on Warren Buffett's every word when it comes to financial advice, but Republicans are less than enthusiastic about the Oracle of Omaha's opinions on taxation. After the billionaire chairman of investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times complaining that the mega-rich are undertaxed in comparison to the middle class, conservatives urged him to voluntarily send more of his own money to the Internal Revenue Service and leave others alone. Not only are they wilfully missing Buffett's point, they're seemingly oblivious to the fact that in many ways, his tax ideas mirror those of Ronald Reagan. Hard to believe as it may seem, it has been a quarter of a century since the last comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. tax code. Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was signed by President Reagan, the number of tax brackets was reduced, loopholes were closed, the top tax rate was lowered and capital gains were taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Yet in the years since, Congress has steadily drilled loopholes back into the code while lowering the tax burden for wealthy people who make money through investments rather than labour. That was the source of Buffett's complaint. "The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes," Buffett wrote. "It's a different story for the middle class; typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot." The response from Republicans, who are working tirelessly to block all attempts to level the playing field by raising taxes on the wealthy? Playground jeers. "For tax-raising advocates like Warren Buffett, I am sure Treasury would take a voluntary payment for deficit reduction," Sen. John Cornyn (RTexas) said in a tweet. In California, where the powerless (except at budget time) Republican minority in the Legislature appears to have too much time on its hands, a GOP lawmaker is teasing liberals by introducing a bill to add a line item on state tax forms allowing people to voluntarily pay extra taxes. "Under my legislation, folks like Warren Buffett can easily find a way to pay the additional taxes that they believe they should owe," said state Sen. Doug LaMalfa of Richvale, the bill's author, in a release Monday. Practically no one would pay voluntary taxes, not only because people resent paying more than their fair share but because, unlike charities, government spends money on many things that individual donors would prefer it didn't. Of course, Buffett's conservative critics know this; like most bullies confronted with a powerful argument, they'd rather mock it than try to refute it. – Los Angeles Times

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IR: Drums will soon be rolled out and champagne will be popped in celebration of 100 days in office of elected public officials. On September 5th, Governors that were sworn in on the 29th May, 2011, will be celebrating their centenary days in office. But what will they be celebrating really? What have they achieved to warrant the rolling out drums? Do they need to celebrate at all? Many of the governors are still trying to fashion out ways of implementing good policies so that they will not be accused of playing ‘political 419’ on their people. Many of the governors, surely, will just be laying the foundation of what they plan to do for their people in the next four years. Interestingly, many of the state governors, especially those from the opposition parties who upstaged the ruling party to hoist their party flags, are still struggling to cope with governance. Governors of Zamfara, Borno, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Kano and Imo States are in that cul-de-sac. Although they are still striving to make ends meet, their people will expect them to roll out the drums in celebration. I still recall how Imo’s Rochas Okorocha cried to high heavens on the ruin left by Ikedi Ohakim in Owerri. Okorocha is just realising that there is a big gulf between governance and activism. Tanko AlMakura is still whining over the rot he inherited from Aliyu Akwe Doma in Nasarawa. Senator Ibikunle Amosun is developing grey hair on how to pull Ogun State out of the woods. Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano is not finding his return to Kano Government House a tea party. Al-Makura’s headache is how to break even going by the level of ruination the PDP man left for him. The constitution of an executive council is surely far in the mind of Al-Makura, not to talk of establishing the focus of his administration. In Ogun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun is not a man to be envied. He is developing grey hair on how to re-engineer the Gateway State to


The noise about 100 days in office be able to fulfil his campaign promises. Although he has been able to constitute a formidable executive council to assist in the task of rebuilding the state, he is not finding the task amusing. He is yet to fashion out a formula to tackle the knotty questions posed by paucity of funds, a bloated workforce, a crippling N50bn debt as well as the concessioning of the prized assets of the state by his predecessor. Amosun inherited a state worse than Baghdad as Otunba Gbenga Daniel made everything possible to make his stay in office torrid. For instance, his commissioners still drive to office in personal cars as their official cars were taken away by Daniel’s aides. No thanks to Daniel’s mindless sales of the

quarters reserved for Honourable Commissioners. His legislators are not living in opulence either. Months after their inauguration, they are still scattered in different hotels as their official accommodations are in bad shape due to neglect. They are, of course, ensconced in various hotels accumulating expenses to the detriment of a debt-soaked government. Pity Amosun! The same problem applies in Zamfara where Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar is still ruminating on where and how to commence the process of fixing the state. He is yet to have his cabinet in place hence the thought of settling down still remains a mirage. Members of the Boko Haram Islamic

sect are giving Governor Kashim Shettima a torrid time in Borno. The beleaguered governor was forced to abandon whatever campaign promise he gave to the people to face the issue of security at the expense of developmental projects. Constituting an Executive Council is not yet a priority in the face of suicide attacks. In Oyo, Senator Abiola AJimobi is still picking the pieces after Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala’s brigade had ravaged the pace-setter state. The governor himself is just trying to establish a direction for his government. His workforce remains restive, denying him the luxury of enjoying a ‘honeymoon’ as they have subjected him to series of industrial strikes. Similarly, Kwankwaso, who is

making a rebound to Kano government House, is realising that eight years is a long time and is seriously considering dragging his predecessor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau before the EFCC for pillaging the state’s treasury. Add the fact that many of them met the economies of their states in shambles to the painful reality that they don’t even have the luxury of the time to do anything meaningful (deduct public holidays and weekends, they have worked for just 70 days!) and you will agree that the celebration is totally meaningless. Interestingly, we are in a queer society. Some people in the opposition will still want to heckle them for low performance within the 100 days (or is it 70 days?) to score some political points. Rather than roll out the drums in orgy of celebration, it should be a time for sober reflection and circumspection by governors who desires to make meaningful impact before their four years runs out. • Tolulope Obalanlege, Ota, Ogun State.

Nigeria’s path to becoming a failed state


IR: Nigeria is one of the countries that are blessed with numerous natural, human and environmental resources which makes it a unique nation in the cosmos. At the same time, it is very clear to every informed soul who monitors the quest of the less privilege citizens that Nigeria citizens are on the top list of those who are clamouring for improved standard of living in the world. This made some economic and social experts to categorise Nigeria among some adjudged failed states when compared with other nations of the world, using various yardsticks before arriving at that conclusion. Among the factors that put Nigeria on the path of failed states are extreme corruption, an ineffective bureaucracy, judicial ineffectiveness, collapsed infrastructure, economy and social insecurity and conflicts.

On the other hand, some experts say that all the mentioned indicators of a failed state can be resolved if the problems are given domestic solutions especially the conflicts resolutions within the country’s territory. Therefore, it is pertinent for all

hands to be on desk to return the lost glory of this nation. There was a time when one dollar was equivalent to one naira as our economy was in green colour. There are still best brains in this country that can find solutions to our problems without any external

interventions so as not to put Nigeria on the complete axis of a failed state. • Tadese Adeyemi Fatai, Research & strategic study department, Jama’at Ta’awunil Muslimeen

Obj and IBB IR: So the hen is coming home to roost finally. The conspiracy that made them form a pact to dehumanise and mock Nigerians has finally driven a truck between them. The Kettle is calling the pot black. The duo spent eight years each busy doing nothing except legalizing illegalities. Official corruption was institutionalised. National infrastructure collapsed under their feet. Their human rights records were the worst in the


nation’s history. OBJ sent soldiers to raze down Odi and Zaki Biam, and IBB cannot explain how Dele Giwa died too in 1986. IBB annulled the June 12, 1993 elections while OBJ used state apparati to annex power for the PDP in the 2003 and 2007 general elections. For both to dance naked in the public is their nemesis. Who says God doesn’t answer prayers? OBJ enjoyed oil windfall when he was in government but his own region had the worst roads ever. For eight years,

OBJ could not complete the Lagos-Ibadan expressway which is less than 30 kilometres. Uncle IBB spent the 12 billion dollars gulf war oil money on God knows what. Both of them do not deserve to go near the seat of power at all because their curriculum vitae reek of filth. They are bad news. The evil men do is living with them. Finally, the concluding part of their unedited movie has been released unannounced. We are watching. • Adeloye Johnson, Ibadan, Oyo State.




Elite scum and other abstractions (2)

Reality Bites W

Olatunji Ololade

HEN visions of nationhood fade completely into ashes and thin air, and we no longer feel the pangs of inhumanity we foster, we have simply become worse pangs to the world’s conscience. Something got to give. Soon. It will. Some patriot of sturdier make shall emerge to re-awaken our vanquished hopes even as we immortalize the sordid and mean. It is no idle lust that commands our woes; a fatal love profanes our hopes. It perpetuates the love of self over humankind. That is why we have poverty and strife. That is why we have tyranny and crime. That is why we pervert the rule of law and squander numerous chances at progress. That is why we have the Nigerian elite. In truth, elite we have now were hardly cut of the stock of men that could lead us to the proverbial epoch of plenitude and progress. Elite we parade now were never wrought of timbre and grind reminiscent of lions of men – like the titans who tirelessly dreamed and actualized the Nigerian dream. The Nigerian elite are deficient of the old ideal of quintessential statesmanship. They haven’t the grace and dignity of the dogged

patriot. And this unfortunate lack they make up for in a vibrant passion for the abhorrent and distorted. As leaders of industry, the Nigerian elite perpetuate abominable fraudulence and maladministration to the detriment of industry, the economy and the breadlines. As religious leaders, they shamelessly propagate a gospel of deceitfulness and wanton acquisition. They exploit the tameness of the working class to defraud them and distract them from government policies and shenanigans that might be harmful to them. The elite in this case have perverted the gospel to suit their vanities thus the emergence of clerics and churches exploiting adherents and controlling their actions by imposing moral codes even they are unable to keep. As politicians and public officers, the Nigerian elite flagrantly disregard the rule of law. They pervert the range of their contractual engagement and so doing betray the citizenry’s trust. They project fundamentally obscene goals and set out to achieve them across the span of their tenure; which is basically an unfortunate period for the citizenry and the nation. The Nigerian elite dream of ma-

‘Consequently, most of those whose efforts could have excited progress within the society and across class divides have been integrated into Nigeria’s redefined and re-contextualized version of the elite class. This explains why many hardnosed ‘comrades’ and ‘radicals’ of yesteryears within the nation’s campuses and outside them are today, tamed and perpetually beholden to the same system they used to condemn’


HE recurring debate on the desirability or otherwise of merging the nation’s two foremost anti-corruption agencies deserves serious scrutiny. Though there have been subtle attempts in the past by those who are supposed to strengthen the anti-graft agencies to weaken the influence of these agencies. The issue of the merger of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), however, became a public issue when the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Bello Adoke (SAN) appeared before the Senate during the last screening of ministerial nominees. The matter was further worsened when a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Eta Enang went on air in one of the nation’s private television stations, stating that a bill is before the National Assembly seeking the scrapping of the ICPC and transferring their functions and duties to the EFFC. The Senator in the said bill was of the opinion that that was the best way to strengthen the anti-graft war in the country. Following the positions of the two high-ranking members of the Nigerian government, it was believed in some quarters that the two government officials are merely echoing the thinking of the Federal Government and by extension, the stance of Mr. President on the matter. Consequently, the Nigerian media, noted for its sensitization function, has been awash with editorials, opinions and analysis on the merits and demerits of the arguments of the proposed merger of the two anti-corruption agencies. However, a content analysis of various editorials, opinion articles and stories written on the matter reveals a complete lack of respect for facts and figures on the desirability of merging the two agencies of government. This lack of respect for facts confirms the widely held wrong notion among some sections of the international community that if you want to hide something from the black man, put it inside a book. A cursory analysis of media reportage of the controversy showed that majority of the opinions and even editorials

‘Available facts based on the enabling laws setting up the two agencies indicated that the ICPC and the EFCC are two separate agencies with different statutory responsibilities which are complementary and not in any popularity contest’

terial prosperity as the touchstone of all triumphs. Today, the fatal might of such idea has spread and it has ominously replaced the country’s much touted finer brand of culture and citizenry with extremely vulgar and tenacious looters and money-grabbers. The elitism they perpetuate is smothering the sweeter beauties of Nigerian life and culture – whatever those are – beneath a pall of pretence and ostentation. For every social ill the panacea of wealth has been diagnosed; wealth to conquer the timeless bogey of slave feudalism; wealth to domesticate the Fourth Estate and every other crucial estate of the realm; wealth to enslave the breadlines, and the prospect of wealth to keep them on a tight leash; wealth as the end and aim of politics, and as the legal tender for law and order; and, finally, instead of truth, justice and patriotism, wealth as the ideal of the Nigerian dream. Not only is this true of the civilization the Nigerian elite personifies, but it is threatening to be true of the progress the citizenry seeks and beyond that, the future we hope to build for our children and generations unborn. Today it makes little difference to the elite what the citizenry thinks or wills. To the elite, the citizenry will remain inconsequential, forgotten; and when they are remembered, they are remembered to play parts and fulfill roles best suited for disposable characters in unchanging narratives. No thanks to the elite, the Nigerian citizenry have become irredeemably shorn of spirit, dignity and enduring principles that constitute the best among men of character. Citizenry we have now, are hardly wrought of beneficial learning and politics thus their unforgivable tameness even in the face of and under the yoke abject tyranny.

Simply put, the Nigerian elite have so far succeeded in domesticating the citizenry to the point that the latter have learnt to serve, even if begrudgingly, as mere sounding board for politics and thoughts they had been taught to lisp and affect from childhood. Today, the citizenry and the elite are hardly two opposites; basically, they constitute two rival gangs fighting over the same territory. Both are variants of a socialization process gone awry. Both are victims of a perverted culture that till date propagates no dependable principle and civilization. Of course, not a few so-called elite have strove and succeeded in various fields, most of them are individuals who have served in one public office or private enterprise and used their positions to divert public funds for personal use. The funds they steal are hardly used to create jobs or stimulate economic activity but to cater to covetousness and finance choice acquisitions in Nigeria, Europe, America and the Middle-East. The elite jostle to send their children to schools abroad even as they end up with scions cum foetal adults totally disengaged from prevailing social realities. Like them, their kids are illequipped to function as appreciable constituents of the real world hence their inability to adjust to and redefine themselves as significant elements in the wake of Nigeria’s daily tragedies. Consequently, they, like their parents choose to create and perpetuate a pseudo-reality that is at best, in consonance with their narcissism. This mentality is not limited to the political and business elite. There exists some middling elite, peopled by the so-called educated and if you like, academic class, and their compatriots from the barely existent “middle class.”

Nigeria needs more anti-graft agencies By Sina Babasola were mostly based on emotions and sometimes on residual knowledge of the anti-graft crusade in the nation, without the hard facts and statistics of what operates across the globe. Available facts based on the enabling laws setting up the two agencies indicated that the ICPC and the EFCC are two separate agencies with different statutory responsibilities which are complementary and not in any popularity contest. A critical analysis of the enabling laws of the agencies reveal that there are no overlapping functions that is in contention between the two agencies. The Acts of the two agencies allow for investigation and prosecution of any violation under the laws prohibiting corruption in the Nigerian state. The uniqueness of the ICPC Act 2000 is that it confers on the commission an holistic approach in combating corruption through investigation and prosecution. This uniqueness not only makes the ICPC a law enforcement agency but it also has a preventive mandate through the mechanism of systems renew in public organizations; identifying corruption-prone areas and effecting changes. The EFCC does not have these responsibilities in its enabling laws. Those who framed the law of the two agencies also differentiate their areas of coverage of investigation. For instance, section 61 sub-sections 2 of the ICPC Act 2000 states emphatically the complementary role of anti-graft agencies and prevent operational conflict, as it states; “without prejudice to any other laws prohibiting bribery, corruption, fraud, or any other related offences by public officers or other persons, a public officers or any other persons may be prosecuted by the appropriate authority for an offence of bribery, corruption, fraud, or any other related offences committed by such public officer or other persons contrary to any laws in force before or after the coming into effect of this Act and nothing in this Act shall be constructed to derogate from or undermine the right of authority of any person or authority to prosecute offenders under any other laws”. From the above sections of the ICPC Act, it can be conveniently concluded that the ICPC or the EFCC has no monopoly over prosecution of corruption offenders in the country. Thus, the statutes of the EFCC, Code of Conduct Bureau, the Penal Code, and the Criminal Code can effectively co-exist with and complement the ICPC Act- vice versa. Sincerely speaking, what should be paramount to the government and the operators of the two agencies is the issue

This struggling class constituted by teachers, university lecturers, journalists, writers and human rights activists to mention a few, is in fact, barely tolerated by the super elite constituted by the ruling class and nouveau riche. They are tolerated not for some perceived nobility in their worth but for the value they offer as dependable pawns, persistently used in the befuddlement and conquest of the breadlines. Amongst this disposable class, the thought process is always the same: “speak truth to power as long as it takes to gain its attention, then when you do, start speaking truth according to power while you grab as much of the loot as your duplicity and wit facilitates.” The ultimate ambition of many members of this class is to chance on, and eternally live the “good life.” Consequently, most of those whose efforts could have excited progress within the society and across class divides have been integrated into Nigeria’s redefined and re-contextualized version of the elite class. This explains why many hardnosed ‘comrades’ and ‘radicals’ of yesteryears within the nation’s campuses and outside them are today, tamed and perpetually beholden to the same system they used to condemn. Today, the ferment of their desperate efforts at self-actualisation is to their benefactors and the super elite like a breeze blowing against a storm. Eventually, they are overwhelmed. And in the wake of their defeat, the altruist zeal begins to waver and wane and they grow smaller as powerful checks, and in stature. Sooner they have to contend with scruples invoked by their betrayal of the citizenry and supposedly inflexible ideals. …to be continued

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of inter-agency cooperation and collaboration in order to avoid double jeopardy where a person will be facing similar investigation and charges from two agencies. It should be noted, however, that the only grey area where it appears the jobs of both agencies overlap is in the definition of corruption and fraud which occur in the Acts establishing both agencies. In the ICPC Act 2000, corruption is defined as including fraud while in the EFCC Act economic crime is also defined as including corruption. Furthermore, those who framed the two statutes specified area of specialization of person(s) and qualities to be possessed to head the agencies. In the case of the EFCC, the position of the Chairmanship is usually executive and reserved for retired security operatives while that of the ICPC is not an executive in nature and only a lawyer who is qualified to be a judge of superior court of record can head the agency. Going by the endemic nature of corruption in Nigeria, the country needs more than two anti-corruption agencies to fight corruption. There are several countries around the world which adopted a multi-agency strategy in dealing with corruption, based on reason of high population and because of the multi-various nature of corruption. For example, China has 3,563 anti-corruption agencies to fight corruption and related offences. The Philippines with a population of 94 million has seven major laws and 18 anti-graft agencies, Bangladesh with 150 million population as Nigeria has seven anti-corruption agencies: Argentina with a population of 40 million has three anti-corruption agencies; Ghana with 24 million population has three, Australia has four anti-graft agencies, South Africa with a population of 49 million has four bodies fighting corruption and several other countries in Europe and America have more than two anti-graft agencies. Judging by the experience of the past, creating a monolithic anti-graft agency is dangerous because such institution can be used to victimize political opponents and abuse its powers. It is imperative to state without reservation that what is required to strengthen the anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria is amendment of perceived weak sections of the laws setting up the anti-graft agencies. And more complementary ways of strengthening the agencies is passing of support laws such as the Whistle Blower Protection Act as well as demonstrating enough political will on the part of the government with improved funding for all the anti-graft agencies. To the agencies themselves, there is urgent need to increase their synergy and collaboration in order to provide an enabling environment necessary for the transformation agenda of the present civilian administration. On the whole, all hands must be on deck to strengthen the anti- graft agencies because as one scholar said, once Nigeria reduces the menace of corruption, half of the nation’s problem would have been solved. • Sina Babasola resides in Abuja.



EDITORIAL/OPINION “Justice must be rooted in confidence and confidence is destroyed when right-minded people go away thinking: The judge is biased.”—— Lord Denning (MR) in: Metropolitan Properties Co. Ltd v. Lennon (1969) QB557@559,


USED to think that impunity in the running of public affairs in the country is the exclusive preserves of the executive and legislative arms of government. It never occurred to me until last Friday when I read in the newspapers that the National Judicial Council (NJC) had shamefully suspended Justice Ayo Salami, President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) and recommended his immediate retirement to President Goodluck Jonathan who has since carried out the unreasonable and blatantly illegal recommendation. Salami’s suspension and eventual untidy retirement climaxed a five-month battle between him and Justice Aloysius KatsinaAlu, outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), that led to NJC’s inauguration of Justice Umaru Abdullahi’s Fact-Finding Panel on March 9. After the submission of the report of Abdullahi’s Panel, another Committee headed by Justice Ibrahim Auta of the Federal High Court was put in place by the NJC to review the report. Even before digesting the recommendations of the Auta Panel, the Council issued a letter of warning to Salami and directed him to apologise to the CJN within one week. The PCA ignored the directive and as a rooter for justice headed for the court. In the suit filed on his behalf by his counsel at the Federal High Court, Abuja, he is pleading reliefs, including a perpetual injunction restraining the NJC from acting on the reports of the Justice Umaru Abdullahi Fact-Finding Committee and the Justice Ibrahim Auta Review Panel that illegally found him guilty of perjury in their reports. The two bodies are administrative panels that legally should not assume the status of a court. However, attempts to serve the NJC were mired by its dramatic evasion of service through its Executive Secretary, Halilu Danladi. The quick decision of suspending Salami while the matter is subsisting in court


T must have been a stroke of evil genius. Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida (IBB)was recently 70 years old and naturally an arsenal of public criticisms was arrayed against him to mark his coming of age. What is to be done to deflect this fire power? Pick on a scapegrace; pick on another much despised public figure. Babangida working on this script, fired a loaded salvo at Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) and of course, all hell was let loose on we poor, long suffering Nigerians. You were supposed to be reading a long treatise on the coming of age of IBB on this page today but see what you are getting bullet points on these two ‘great’ men of our time. We can never win with them but we keep trying. Please ponder these points. One: IBB and OBJ, are probably the richest politically-exposed men in Africa today. Between them, if they do not control one tenth of our resources, they sure have the capacity to do so. Do not ask me how they made so much money. Two: between them, they have ruled Nigeria for about 20 years out of 50 years of independence and combined as one, they are probably more influential than the president today. But Nigerians regard them both as poor and uninspired leaders; they are considered to be responsible for the current poor infrastructure, poor power supply, persisting importation of petroleum products, among other ills of the Nigerian state today. Three: they are privileged and they enjoyed the best of Nigeria but would not create same conditions for the generations after them. For instance, in the past 50 years, they have not only lived off Nigeria – scholarships, free military trainings in Nigeria and abroad, free accommodation, free fuels, free vehicles, yet they ravaged our treasury remorselessly over these years. They even self-promoted themselves to the position of five-star generals so that they will perpetually pass on to us all their bills to pick. Four: while OBJ became a brigadier general at 35 in 1972, IBB made that position at 38 in 1979. OBJ was about 39 years in 1976 when he became head of state and commander in chief while IBB was 44 years in 1985 when he became military president and commander in chief. They held numerous other positions. Nigeria was their footstool at such tender ages and they didn’t have what it takes to make her great.

NJC: Where are judges with conscience?

showed that the resolve to remove the PCA was a fait accompli as the council members decided to go ahead with their meeting in total disregard of the court case and its outcome. Having taken that injurious decision with such having received the arbitrary approval of Mr President, it is a good thing that Salami has filed a fresh suit seeking to secure nullification of the decision of the NJC and the arbitrary act of President Goodluck Jonathan. The matter to be resolved by the court is whether NJC’s meeting where the decision on the case was taken can stand and whether or not the subsequent act of swearing-in an acting PCA when one is still legally subsisting is not a nullity. The court will also have to pronounce on whether President Goodluck Jonathan was right to have quickly approved the recommended retirement of Justice Salami. One thing is very clear and that is that the NJC had a predetermined destabilising agenda that is injurious to the integrity of the judiciary by having relied on the outcome of its administrative panels to convict someone of alleged criminal offence of perjury. In Garba v. University of Maiduguri, the Supreme Court held that, ‘‘it is beyond the jurisdiction of any domestic panel to preside over a criminal matter.’’ The Council flagrantly flouted this learned judicial

pronouncement and acted on its kangaroo panels’ decisions to sanction Salami. Also, the council failed to abide with the well established principle of law espoused by the Supreme Court in Governor of Lagos State v. Chief Ojukwu {1986} 1 NWLR {Pt. 18} 621 when it said that “parties should not embark upon self-help when a matter is before a court of law.’’ It stated further that “whenever such situation arises, the court must invoke its disciplinary jurisdiction to curb the excesses of a recalcitrant party.’’ Also Nikky Tobi J in EZEGBU v. FATB (1992) 1 NWLR (PT. 220) 699 @ PAGE 735 PARA A - F stated that parties who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court “…must whether they like it or not, wait for the court to take a decision one way or the other. The procedure at arriving at a decision may be slow. It may even be sluggish. But the parties cannot jump the gun and do their own thing in their own way. If they do, it will be tantamount to undermining the integrity of the court.’’ The learned justices through that jankara sitting of August 18,2011 embraced mischief by compromising their exposure, experience and supposed high judicial standing, feigning costly ignorance of which body is legally recognised to sit over the criminal offence of perjury. One is ruffled with the moral abyss that has greatly percolated the top echelon of the


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Five bullet points for IBB, OBJ Five: they are both politicians in military uniform. They are powermongers; megalomaniacs who craved power by all means and got power. They held power for the sake of it. They abused power to no end. They both wanted to hold on to power to no end; they wanted to be life president but Nigerians resisted them and chased them away ignominiously. Finally, both IBB and OBJ are two of a kind. In some other places, they should have been kept away in lonely, secluded places so they can sober up. But we are very magnanimous here. Yet these default leaders will not let us be. They better go enjoy their loot quietly. We don’t need them to tell us about them. We know them too well. They should elect to talk less, they should stop overrating their importance, in fact, they are better off going into reclusion and devote more time serving their Maker who has been so kind to them. Yes, let them serve God for once!

Last mug: Gov. Amosun & the mission schools Expresso was moved by a full page advert published on page 68 of The Punch newspaper of August 10, 2011. The said piece has as signatories, five bishops of the major Christian denominations; Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Corin Solarin (you ought to know her) and two other no mean lady and gentleman. The list is a story by itself. That these eminent personsin the said advert, expressed displeasure and insinuated they were treated poorly by Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, is a cause for concern. At issue is the matter of 23 mission schools which were returned by the previous administration but which Gov. Amosun

seems to want to reverse. First, this government could have built 23 schools of its own in the last 100 days if that were its priority. Second, we thought state governments were supposed to be shedding weight in order to meet the new wage challenge and third, shouldn’t governments be encouraging individuals and bodies to develop quality schools and not to hijack them by force and run them down. One last point: Methinks these people are to be consulted and courted in running the affairs of the state, not antagonized. Four years is not 40 years.

Readers react

APGA’S house of cards Hi Steve, I just read your piece titled, APGA’S house of cards (The Nation, Friday, August 19, 2011). I totally agree with you on the lacklustre Igbo leadership and the possibility of Gov. Okorocha’s crosscarpeting to PDP in pursuit of higher office. But Gov. Okorocha has never hinted at settling for 2 nd fiddle by seeking vice presidency. Secondly, we as citizens should avoid siddon look policy and make a move towards convening a special APGA convention that will achieve the following: 1) Presentation/ adoption of a popular and workable manifesto 2) presentation of an unshakeable position on the controversial issue of SNC. 3) Presentation / adoption of an action calendar designed to help APGA dominate at least the south east.. for starters. If we succeed in following Jesus Christ’s directive on SNC now, all else will fall in place – 08185594445 • APGA in Imo State will soon die as Rochas will soon cross over to PDP if eventually he survives a series of litigations against him.

nation’s judiciary today. Indeed, it is a sad fact that the leadership of the NJC and their collaborators did not consider the indiscreet consequences of their assault on the integrity of the nation’s judiciary. If the Council is among others saddled with the responsibilities of sanctioning erring members of the Bench based on petitions from members of the public and in this instance, it has fabulously failed in objectively and judicially resolving squabbles among its topmost members. What moral right does it have to adjudicate over public petitions sent to it? The Council has failed in its duty to Nigerians of protecting the sanctity of the judiciary. The Salami case has exposed the NJC as comprising people that are out to destroy the honour of the judiciary through which they rose to prominence. It is sad that the outgoing CJN is leaving the judiciary worse than he met it. By Sunday, he would have retired but the crisis which his greed created would take a long time to clean-up because his collaborators will still be serving on the otherwise respectable Bench of the country. However, someone like yours sincerely still believes that Salami will get justice from the court that he has rightly approached. The NJC, Katsina-Alu and others belonging to this rigmarole to destroy the integrity of our judicial system will be disparagingly remembered by history. The NJC decision is reprehensive and President Jonathan’s approval insensitive and tyrannical. Lord Denning (MR) must have had these judicial disgrace in mind when in the matter of Metropolitan Properties Co. Ltd v. Lennon (1969) QB557@559, he declared: “Justice must be rooted in confidence and confidence is destroyed when right-minded people go away thinking: The judge is biased.” The NJC, Katsina Alu, President Jonathan and all those who took part in this anomaly are biased in the estimation of right-thinking Nigerians. Let us hope that justice will be done in the suit filed by Salami so that unlike the impression created against Jonathan and NJC, right-minded Nigerians will go away thinking that the court is right this time around. The nation needs judges of conscience to do this and not the bunch of judges presently running the show in NJC.

Despite that this government has failed woefully. He talks too much but has nothing to offer. It is dawning on Imo people that he is nothing more than a showman:08078740424 •Thanks for your write up, APGA’s house of cards, in The Nation, Friday, August. 19, 2011 – Sam, 08034492031 • You made my day with your write up. Your style, ideas and passion for a better tomorrow are just too great. But do you think all these visionless and supposed leaders would ever see reasons with you? – 08054811963 •Steve, thank you for that graphical description of Ndigbo political situation. 2015 is around the corner, what do we do? – 08084591911 • Dear Osuji, thanks for your well-thought out piece. I cannot agree with you less. It is like you were reading my thoughts and arguments on this subject. Please more of this. Let’s see if our people will wake up from their deep slumber – 08053272607. • Steve, the Nd’Igbo have failed to position themselves in the politics of Nigeria and it will be difficult for them to pick the presidential ticket of PDP come 2015 because nobody will allow an outsider to cross carpet to pick ticket. Thank you.- 08077129177 • Oga steve, the Igbo man’s greatest undoing is his inherent insatiable lust for money. Be he Ohaneze or Ndigbo and for money, he will continue sell out even if it is to the detriment of his closest family. That is why today, Igbo states are unfortunately the most backward development-wise – 08051637401 • I just read your EXPRESSO Column. Most of your points concerning Okorocha on appointments are true, this is also being expressed by imolites but in terms of performance, he has done so well so far. In terms of his welfarist agenda he has scored above 90%. Thank you - 07062192883

‘IBB and OBJ, are probably the richest politically-exposed men in Africa today’



RAMADAN NEWS Zamfara probes Ramadan feeding


HE Zamfara Government has ordered a probe into the Ramadan feeding it organised in 150 centres in Gusau, the state capital. This followed complaints about alleged misuse of the fund, meant for Ramadan feeding. The state’s acting Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakala told newsmen in Gusau yesterday that the state government had received reports of alleged misconduct by some members of the Ramadan feeding committees. He said the government introduced the Ramadan feeding in partial fulfilment

of its election campaign promises and in line with its desire to assist people to feed with minimum difficulty. Wakala stated that “the government would not allow some people to sabotage its efforts to making life easy for the people. “Steps must be taken to bring the culprits to book,” he said. The acting deputy governor noted that as soon as the government received the information about the allegation, it raised a committee to verify the claims with a view to punishing

the culprits. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state governments had established 280 Ramadan feeding centres across the state. A few days into the programme, came allegations such as poor food quality, shortage in quantity, as well as the absence of 20 feeding centres which were included into the programme’s budget. Following the allegations, some women entrusted with the preparation of the food were suspended from the programme.

•Alhaji Abdul Hafees Timehin (left) presenting an award and investiture on behalf of the National Council of Muslims Youth Organisation (NACOMYO), Lagos State Chapter, to Alhaji Tajudeen Olusi

No salary is too much for Civil Servants, says cleric T HE National Chairman, Council of Ulama, Jama’a tul Izalatul Bid’ah Wa Ikamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS) Sheikh Muhammad Sani Jingir has decried the delay in the payment of the minimum wage by government saying the amount is even too meager to warrant any delay. Sheikh Jingir spoke at the closing of the annual Ramadan lecture in Jos. According to Sheikh Jingir, “considering the amount of money Nigeria makes, it is not too much it workers ask for an increase in their salaries. “In my own opinion,

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

considering the number of dependants most workers have across the country I do not see anything wrong if the minimum wage in Nigeria is N90,000”, he said. The cleric urged well to do Muslims to ensure that they pay their Zakkat on time stressing that they should also ensure accuracy when removing Zakkat from their wealth. In a paper at the closing of the lecture, the guest

lecturer Ustaz Adam Gashuwa stressed the importance of early marriage and how it helps in giving youths direction in life. He spoke on Significance of marriage in Island. In their separate remarks, moderator of the lecture and the President of JIBWIS youth committee, Sheikh Khalid Abubakar and Malam Murtala Malwa respectively stressed the importance of the lecture and commended the guest lecture for his in-depth analysis on the topic.

LASU Muslim Students visit Kirikiri Prisons


USLIM Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State University (LASU) chapter has visited the Kirikiri prisons, Apapa, Lagos as part of their Ramadan programme. During the visit, the students donated gift items to the inmates to ease their fasting. The items include: foodstuff, clothing, Qur’an, Islamic literature among others. MSSN Amir, (President), Abdullahi AbdulAzeez said the visitation was to make the inmates, male and

By Risikatu Ramoni

female, have a sense of belonging. AbdulAzeez said, though, that was not the first time the students would be visiting the prisons, they were happy at the way they met the inmates. He urged students all over the country to constantly visit the prisons as it will make the inmates more self-conscious. He lamented the state of the inmates.

“Some of them are being detained for as low as N2000 only. So, if they can get help from students and other volunteers, it will go a long way to help the inmates and even give some of them freedom.” During the visit to the female prisons, the inmates were overwhelmed to receive students as their visitors. They encouraged the Students to be of good conduct and avoid actions which could lead them to become inmates themselves.







Nigeria may face Angola in semi-finals •Defeats CAR 94-86 points in quarters


IGERIA’s male basketball team, D’Tigers yesterday advanced to the semi-finals at the ongoing 26th FIBA Africa Championship for Men in Antananarivo, Madagascar. D’Tigers defeated Central Africa Republic (CAR) by 94-86 points in the first quarter-finals of the Africa basketball fiesta at the Palais des Sports Antananarivo. The semi-final berth may, however, pitch Nigeria against the 10 time champions, Angola who faces Cameroon in another cracker. Nigeria blew away 20 points into the half minutes of the fourth quarter thus allowing the Central Africa side to rally back and take the lead with 4.47 munites left on the clock through Maxime Zianveni executed a lay-up to bring score to 73-74 but the Nigerian side fought back like a wounded tigers to take the sail beyond the determined Central Africa side in the last munite of the tension soaked game to win at 94-86. Nigeria won the first three quarters by 28-19, 20-18, 25-20 but lost the last quarter by 21-29.

By Bimbo Adesina Nigeria Derrick Obasohan led the floor with 24 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists dependable guard/forward Ime Udoka had 20 points 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 steals points guard Michael Umeh poured in 19 points while forward Ejike Ugboaja added 10 points and 7 rebounds for the hard earned victory for Nigeria. D’Tigers’ head coach Ayo Bakare praised his players fighting spirit and promised that the Nigerian side will approach it semi-final game with utmost seriousness. He, however, gave kudos to the Central Africa side for giving the Nigeria side a good fight, adding that the 26th edition of the championship is indeed tough as most African countries have raised their game. In other matches, Mali defeated Mozambique 61-55, just as Chad beat Togo 63-62 while Egypt thrashed Rwanda 76-66 points. The winner of the championship will book a place in the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Wrestlers in war of words


ARELY few weeks to the start of the BRF Wrestlemania championship holding at the Dr Okoya Thomas Indoor Sport Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos between September 13and 16, some wrestlers in the tournament are already boasting of overrunning their contenders to clinch the trophy. Chris Raaber of Austria, aka Bambikiller, said as a five-time world heavyweight champion, he is the biggest attraction of the tournament, saying with his wealth of experience as a professional wrestler of 14 years, he is the wrestler to beat in Lagos. He said in preparation for the contest, he travelled 27 countries having signed a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) contract in the US. “I traveled to 27 countries because of my fights - including USA, Japan, Ecuador, Colombia, Kuwait, Lebanon and all over Europe. I was invested to sign a World Wrestling Entertainment, (WWE) contract in the USA and I am a 5-time world heavyweight champion, which means I am by far the biggest attraction of this tournament in Lagos,” he noted.

By Ozolua Uhakheme Raaber who spoke on-line, declared he would dominate and destroy every wrestler that gets in his way during the tournament and if necessary would end their careers. He said he expected a full arena in Lagos and that he has been in Nigeria before and knew that the people are smart and would support the best fighter of the tournament. He therefore urged his fans and admirers that as the toughest, wildest, craziest and strongest fighter in the tournament he would not disappoint them. “The bambikiller will win the gold and I can’t wait to celebrate with good, cold Nigerian beer. There will be no surprises because it is already clear that the best heavyweight fighter in the world (and best looking) will dominate and collect another first place trophy. I warn all my opponents - when you get in the ring with me you better bring your Agame, but be realistic, I will kick your ass anyway and step over your knocked-out body,” he boasted.

Idowu set to defend title in S/Korea


HILLIPS IDOWU believes even thinking about ending his public row with UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee is a “waste of time’’ as he prepares to defend his world triple jump title. Van Commenee criticised Idowu for using Twitter to announce he was pulling out of the European Team Championships in Stockholm in June, something Idowu has always denied. Idowu responded by saying he would not speak to Van Commenee until the Dutchman had publicly


apologised, something which looks increasingly unlikely as time goes on. Asked if the situation would be resolved in Daegu, where the 13th World Championships get under way on Saturday, Idowu said: “Maybe you should ask him. Right now my main focus is competing for the championships so even talking about this is just a waste of my time. “In that situation I should really just keep my head straight and focus on the competition in hand and not anything else that comes around that. “Your interest [the media) at the end of the year is not going to be a case of whether I had a conversation with Charles, you’re really going to care if I win that gold medal or not. That’s what is going to make the headlines, not the fact that we have sat down and spoken. “The only thing that matters is how I perform.’’ Idowu won the world title in Berlin in 2009 with a personal best of 17.73 metres, improving that to 17.81m to take European gold in Barcelona last year. The 32-year-old is ranked just fifth in the world this year - although great rival Teddy Tamgho is ruled out through injury - but is confident he can again produce the goods when it matters most.

Umeh extols Maigariled NFF at One •Charges Falcons to win on Saturday

HE 1st Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chief Mike Umeh has charged the Senior National Women’s Team, Super Falcons to go all out and achieve a handsome victory over their Cameroonian counterparts in Saturday’s 2012 Olympic Games qualifying showdown in Abuja. Umeh, presently acting for the NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, who is away to the Lesser Hajj (Umrah) in Saudi Arabia, made this charge on Thursday as he looked forward to victory by the Falcons to enable the present administration celebrate appropriately its one year tenure in office. “This administration has been through so much in the past one year but we can also beat our chests on several accomplishments, which have come despite concerted efforts by a few elements to derail the ship of Nigerian football. “We have never really been bothered by the activities of these fellows because we are fully focused on working hard to make Nigerian football better. In the past one year, we have won trophies and qualified several National Teams for global championships, and we have effected changes in administration that we believe will begin to yield fruits in the very near future. “Football is a game of passion, so we hold no grudges against those who



have remained very critical of everything we have done. But the important thing is that we are all working towards the goal of making the Nigeria game better than it is at the moment.”I sincerely implore those who have genuine contributions to make to Nigerian football to continue to speak up in the interest of the game, but it is important to be constructive so that they do not destroy”, said Umeh. The Aminu Maigari-led NFF Executive Committee will mark one year in office on Friday. During this period, the Senior National Women’s Team, Super Falcons won the 7th African Women Championship in South Africa (November 2010) and the U-20 National Team, Flying Eagles, won the African Youth Championship also in South Africa in May 2011. Also on the field of play, the Falcons did not fare badly at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany June/July; the Flying Eagles impressed at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Colombia July/ August and; the Beach Soccer team finished in second place at the African Beach Soccer Championship in Morocco to qualify for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup starting in Italy next week. The administration has also been able to attract Grade A international friendlies for all the National Teams with the appointment of a world-class Match Agent, has formalized the contracts of a number of National Team Coaches, secured a world-class training facility for the National Teams in Portugal and has attracted praise from far and near for adequate preparation of Nigeria teams for major championships. The administration has paid great attention to the welfare of players, coaches and staff and continues to give huge support and encouragement to clubs representing Nigeria in continental competitions. The U-13 and U-15 National Teams continue to attract commendation for superlative performances at home and abroad, with the prospect of the two teams providing the bulk of the new U-17 National Team.


Eagles set for poor pitch condition N

IGERIA’s Super Eagles are bracing themselves for atrocious playing conditions at Antananarivo Stadium where they will take on Madagascar in a win or bust 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier on September 4. A preliminary inspection of the pitch by an advanced party found the pitch in woeful condition. Parts of the grass is untended, with pockets in places looking uneven and dangerously like potholes. There was even what looked like a sleeping, or even dead, animal on the field. Nigeria coach Samson Siasia was shocked at the conditions. “This is a shocking sight. But we have no option but to play on this. “At least we have seen it ahead of time so we know what we are

going to be up against. “We need to win this game, and this is the first thing the boys are going to see when they arrive at the camp.” The Super Eagles are due to travel


Tournament. The return by in Yaounde will now take place on October 22, 2011 with the winner qualifying to be one of Africa’s two flag-bearers in London next year. The Falcons have been training in the Federal Capital for the past three weeks and Head Coach Eucharia Uche presently has 28 players in camp. Saturday’s match starts at 4pm. FALCONS IN CAMP: Precious Dede, Tochukwu Oluehi, Ebubeleye White, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Osinachi Ohale, Ebere Orji, Stella Mbachu, Glory Iroka, Desire Oparanozie, Francesca Ordega, Rebecca Kalu, Esther Sunday, Blessing Edoho, Josephine Chukwunonye, Amenze Aighewi, Joy Jegede, Gloria Ofoegbu, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Asisat Ishola, Vera Okolo, Edith Eduviere, Roseline Umeh, Emueje Oghiagbevha, Onome Ebi, Faith Ikidi, Rita Chikwelu, Perpetua Nkwocha, Helen Ukaonu.

Syriac FC refutes sale of Omotoyosi


HE transfer saga of Razak Omotoyossi had come to an end, or so we thought. Zamalek had announced the acquisition of the the former Sunshine Stars forward on their official website. Several African media had reported on Wednesday that the 25-year-old Benin international had signed a three-year deal with Zamalek. Syriac FC Sports Director Ghayath Moro has poured cold water on the reports.

''It is not true. There will be no business, he is on his way home. He lands in Stockholm tonight( Thursday, Ed). He will complete his contract with us season, '' says Moro to Zamalek have published a copy of a letter from Syriac FC on their official website. The letter is signed by Syriac FC Press Officer Cecilia Somi and it says that the Swedish team accepted a bid of 220,000 dollars from Zamalek.


AMSON Siasia has assured striker Obafemi Martins that he remains a key member of the Super Eagles squad and will get a recall as soon as he is fully fit. Martins, 26, has yet to feature for the Super Eagles under Siasia. The Rubin Kazan forward was included in the squad two games in March, a 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier at home to Ethiopia, and a friendly against Kenya, but failed to make the match day squad for either game because of an injury. “I called him before their game on Wednesday and assured him that he was still a key member of the squad and will be invited as soon as he is fully fit. “I also passed my condolences on his brother’s passing and wished him the best for his game.

Martins: Rubin Kazan deserves CL football


UBIN KAZAN was knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday night by Lyon. Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins says his team deserves to be in the Champions League group stage. Martins told ''We had a chance to win. We had three or four chances to score, which had to be implemented. I am very disappointed with the result. We have played a good game, but luck was not on our side. ''I tried to do everything to win. It's

...Lionesses finally arrive Abuja HE Senior Women’s Team of Cameroon, otherwise known as the Indomitable Lionesses, flew into Abuja on Thursday afternoon for Saturday’s London 2012 Olympic Games qualifying match against Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The 28-man team arrived in Lagos just after midnight and was flown to Abuja in the afternoon. The team is staying at the Chida Hotel. Officials for Saturday’s cracker, which is the first of a two-leg final qualifying fixture for next year’s Summer Olympic’s Women’s Football Tournament, have also been flown into Abuja. The match commissioner is Mrs Anastasia Tsichlas from South Africa, while the referees are all from Uganda. Cameroon has pleaded for the second leg of the tie to be pushed to October as the Lionesses will take part in next month’s All-Africa Games Women’s Football

to Madagascar on Tuesday, giving them a full four days to familiarise themselves with the conditions, although they are only allowed to train on the match day pitch 24 hours to the game.

Siasia assures Martins of Eagles’ place


a shame that we did not qualify in the end. "Ruby" to play in the Champions League. It is very necessary! Well at least we'll still play in the Europa League.''

Martins was introduced after 70 minutes in place of Igor Lebedenko in Wednesday's game. It was his first official game of the year for Rubin Kazan.

Enechi Memorial lecture gets new HE Board of the Emeka Enechi date of Aug 29 Trust Fund has announced a new date of Monday, August 29th,


2011 for the 1st Emeka Enechi Memorial Lecture originally scheduled for Wednesday, August 31.

This is even as an official of the Nigeria Insurance Association (NIA) has accepted to deliver the keynote lecture on the day. Organizers of the event explained that the change was a result of the declaration of Wednesday, August 31 as public holiday by the Federal Government. According to Frank Ilaboya, Chairman of the Enechi Trust Fund, “We regret the sudden change of date for this event but it is a decision we arrived at after considering the need to allow our guests and members of SWAN to enjoy the period of the holiday with their families”. Ilaboya announced that the time and venue remained the same and appealed to friends of the late Enechi, members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria and other Journalists to take advantage of the lecture to plan for their post career life. The organizers also expressed delight with the acceptance of Davis Iyasere, the Senior Head of Corporate Communications at the Nigeria Insurance Association to deliver a lecture on the topic ‘the role of Insurance in post-active career life’. He joins Mrs. Mofoluke keshinro, the Manager, Private Trust Unit of First Trustees PLC on the list of Speakers for the lecture. “We are happy to have Mr. Iyasere to take this topic because he is a former colleague in not just Journalism but was a member of SWAN. He will definitely do justice to the topic and we look forward to a successful time. Enechi, a director of SportsDay Newspaper died on August 29, 2010 following complications from injuries sustained in a motor accident. He was also a one-time Chairman of the Lagos SWAN and Sports Editor of ThisDay Newspaper.

Etuhu disappears from Kavala


ELVIN ETUHU's football marriage with Kavala, Greece has ended in a quick seperation. Several sources in Greece are reporting that the Anglo-Nigerian striker has abandoned his team and departed for England without notifying club officials of his intentions. Following Kavala's relegation to the fourth division, most players are expected to follow Etuhu's action and abandon the team in the coming days. Recall that on Sunday, Etuhu had penned a two-year deal with Kavala.

“I also told him, like I have said to the other players in camp, that anyone who has any issues should come and talk to me about it because there is nothing we cannot resolve by talking. “He was very happy to hear from me and we had a very good frank and open conversation,” Siasia said. Martins was genuinely pleased about the effort. “We talked and I spoke my mind. He listened to me and told me we are all learning, and we have to work together. “It was a very good conversation and I am happy he called,” Martins said. Soon after, Obafemi was in the thick of action for Rubin, coming on in the second half to set up a goal as Kazan took a 1-0 lead to cut Olympioc Lyon’s aggregate lead. His team, however, failed to build

on it, despite the Nigerian working out two other fine opportunities. The game finished 1-1 and Rubin wil now drop to the Europa League while Lyon march on to the group phase of the Champions League.



Nobody gave Rising Stars a chance – Akinkuade


UPERVISOR of newly promoted Nigeria Premier League side, Rising Stars of Ondo, Oluwafisayo Akinkuade believes the team was able to record such feat due to hard work and commitment of both players and management despite being tagged as an underdog. In a chat with NationSport, Akinkuade revealed how the clubside which is on the board of Ondo State Football Agency was able to succumb the challenges and became a force to reckoned with now and with the role he played in ensuring the Ondo town darling team secured promotion to the elite division. “There were a lot of challenges that we faced before God crowned our efforts. Is it the traveling, is it the game, is it the politics involved in the games we played, naturally life is full of challenges but, we thank God the challenges is not as much as the positive, so we were able to overcome the challenges we faced. “It is God that make it possible for us because nobody gave us the chance, they felt Rising Stars are underdogs and to the glory of God the underdogs has been promoted, so, it is just that God has already ordained Rising Stars promotion that is why we are where we are today. We thank the players, coaches, management and Ondo State

By Akeem Lawal executive Governor Dr. Segun Mimiko, Ondo State Football Agency chairman Chief Segun Adagunodo, Mike Idoko, Elder Dickson Adejube and every other people that contributed immensely for the team promotion”. There are insinuations that Rising Stars may not have all what it takes to stay in the Premier League, like in the case of JUTH, Crown and Plateau United, but Akinkuade believes the team has all it takes to stay in the elite division. “You know football is all about team work, Rising Stars is a compact team that plays very good game. In the Federation Cup in Enugu zone we played the Premiership teams and my players were able to curtail them, we were able to test the strength of our players there, but, no withstanding we are still going to beef up the team I some critical areas where need be and I am sure the technical crew are working on that. “I think the National League is even tougher than the Premier League but, we will ensure we keep 70 percent of our players. The players have been together for a very long time and that is going to assist the team a lot in attaining its Premiership status”, Akinkuade said.

Bayelsa set Federation Cup record


ORMER league champions, Bayesla United, have become the first lower division team to reach the semi-finals of the rechristined Federation Cup. The former Nigeria Premier League champions, which campaigns in Nigeria’s second tier class (Nigeria National League) achieved the feat after a shock 1-0 victory over top flight team, Enugu Rangers. Since the introduction of the Federation Cup, in 2009, only clubs in the Premier League have reached the last four. The NPL quartet of Enyimba, Sharks, Lobi Stars and Bayelsa United reached the last four during the 2009 edition. In 2010, the trio of Kaduna United, Enugu Rangers and Sunshine Stars joined Enyimba in the last four. It’s the second time the club will reach the last four in the Federation Cup after their 2009 campaign was halted by eventual champions, Enyimba. The club’s hope of a bronze medal equally evaporated as Lobi Stars spoilt their fun on match day at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Bayelsa United’s Peter Ebimobowei struck in the 87th minute when both sides were already looking forward to extra-time action.. The club will try to push their luck further when they engage another Premier league side, Heartland in the

semi-finals. Captain of the team, Tarilaye Nwankwe, told that the players will do their best on match day. “We lost to Enyimba in the 2009 semi-finals, but hope to reach the finals this time,” he said after Wednesday’s victory. In the history of the competition, only three lower division clubs have played in the finals. They are Leventis United (Ibadan), Niger Tornadoes (Minna) and Dolphins (PortHarcourt). Interestingly, the duo of Tornadoes and Dolphins won the Cup when it was sponsored by soft-drink giants, Coca-Cola.

Road to Semi-Final Semi-Final: Heartland v Bayelsa United Quarter-Finals Bayelsa 1 - 0 Enugu Rangers Group Stage: (Round of 16) Group A (Uyo Township Stadium) Kaduna United Sharks Sunshine Stars Bayelsa United Finished as Runner-Up behind Sharks Round of 32 Ilorin: Bayelsa United 2-0 COD United

ENVIRONMENT NGO begins tree planting Ebonyi




Police arrest more bike robbers

Honour for SSG






Page 25


Anambra partners World Bank on statistics


NAMBRA State government is set to collaborate with the World Bank in order to boost its statistical profile. Head of the World Bank Statistical Project, Dr. John Mgwafon announced this at the user-satisfaction baseline survey workshop in Awka, the state capital. The workshop, which held at the Suncity Hotels, was organised by the National Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with the Federal Government and the World Bank. Mgwafon said that the bank would continue to provide the state’s bureau of statistics with all it needs to attain the the desired goal.


From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

He further explained that a functional statistical system is very important in policy-making. Mgwafon also expressed satisfaction with the developmental framework put in place by the state government, which he said will establish it as a leader. Also, the Acting Statistician-General of the Federation, Alhaji Razak Sanusi said the state governor, Mr Peter Obi is one of the foremost governors doing a lot for the promotion of the statistical profession in the country. He was represented by Head of Federal Service and Meteorology, Mr. George

Oparaku. He also said that Obi was one of the first governors to sign the law establishing the state statistical master-plan. Oparaku further noted that the governor was the first in the six pilot states of the project that attended the workshop. A consultant on the project, Prof. Peter Osanaiye said Obi has been championing the development of statistics in the country. He also stated that no state or country could develop without statistics, since it is necessary for good governance, accountability and transparency. Obi, in his speech, said functional sta•Continued on Page 26

Cross River groans under flood Lives lost, properties destroyed Govt restates commitment to disaster management


T has been dry in some parts of the country, including Lagos State, after a spell of flooding. But no so in Cross River State where the rains have continued to wreak havoc. Farmlands have been washed off and homes flooded. Unable to help themselves, the people surrendered, many abandoning their homes. A good number lost all their belongings. For some weeks now, the people of the state have been groaning under the burden of unrelenting rainfall which has claimed several lives and destroyed property worth millions of naira. The state government and its emergency management agency have shown considerable commitment towards mitigating the suffering of those affected by the floods. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it will support the state government in the battle against disasters. The Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi affirmed the agency’s position while inspecting some flooded areas in Calabar metropolis during a visit to the state. Sani, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Forecasting Dr. Charles Agbo, said that the agency will make every effort to estab-

• A flooded part of Calabar From Kunle Johnson, Calabar

lish sustainable palliative measures for the victims of the disaster. Acknowledging the monumental damage caused by various kinds of environmental disasters in the state, the NEMA D-G said that it is obviously beyond the ability of the state to manage such calamities alone, hence the intervention of the the national agency. He said Cross River State has about the highest disaster portfolios in the country,

having been regularly inundated with calamities such as flooding, fire, erosion, land slides, hail stones, windstorms and communal clashes. Alhaji Sidi emphasised that taking cognisance of the widespread disasters which have affected thousands of people, it had become expedient to strategise in a pragmatic manner so as to meet up with the challenges of managing such unwelcome situations. He commended the Governor Liyel Imoke administration for its astuteness in

disaster management, especially in the areas of mitigation and rehabilitation. Alhaji Sidi further said that the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is one of the most effective disaster management agencies in the country, a feat he attributed to the dynamism of the Director-General, Mr. Vincent Aquah (MON). In a remark, the NEMA zonal coordinator, Southsouth, Mr. Umesi Emenike •Continued on Page 26



Cross River groans under flood •Continued from page 25

said the zone is prone to various kinds of disasters which had negatively affected the socio-economic well-being of the people. Emenike lamented that in spite of efforts by different levels of government to curtail the spate of disaster, it continued to accentuate principally due to the global climate change situation. He appealed to the public to take advantage of the comprehensive sensitisation programmes as regards disaster management by adhering strictly to guidelines that could help to prevent or reduce the effect of disasters. The Director-General Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mr. Vincent Aquah who conducted the NEMA D-G and his team round some disaster areas in the state capital said that the pressure on the state economy occasioned by the spate of disaster is overwhelming, even as he appealed to NEMA not to relent in its commitment to assist the state. While commending NEMA for its sustained dedication to the state cause, he said that the disaster profile of the state was on the increase, recalling the recent flood disaster in Calabar municipality, Calabar South, Ikom,

•Another flooded part of Calabar

Obubra, Obudu, Obanliku and Agwagune in Biase Local Government Area in which thousands of people had been displaced. According to him, several thou-

sands of hectares of farm lands were completely destroyed by the ravaging flood which will result in lean harvest for farmers this year. Some of the flooded areas in-

spected were Ebito, Mayne Avenue, Murray, Nelson Mandela, and Target streets in Calabar South as well as gully erosion sites at Ikot Ekpo in Calabar municipality.

The team was accompanied by chairmen of Calabar South and Calabar Municipality Hon. Ekeng Henshaw and Hon. Etta Mbora respectively.

Anambra establishes statistical master plan •Continued from page 25

tistics and data are fundamental in effective planning and execution of policies and programmes. He added that proper planning has enabled the state to maintain regular payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities as well as sustain the drive to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. In a bid to ensure adequate allocation of resources to various sectors to meet their competitive

needs, Obi assured that his government would continue to give the Bureau of Statistics necessary support to attain success. In another development, the state has been selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s digital e-library project under the connectivity for development of the Universal Service Provision Fund – (USPF). This was disclosed in Awka by the Director/Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund, Mr. Funso Fayomi.

The fund, according to him, was established by the Federal Government to facilitate the achievement of the national policy goals for universal service and universal access to information and communication technology in rural, un-served and under-served areas in Nigeria. It is aimed at promoting the connection of government schools, libraries and institutions across the nation to broadband internet. The project awarded to Zinox

Technologies Limited would include the supply, installation, configuration and inauguration of a complete digital e-library solution in the selected centres which would have the capacity of accommodating about 50 computers with computer tables and chairs as well as suitable location for the installation of V-sat equipment and generator for back-up power supply. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Library Association (NLA) has expressed gratitude to Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi for his remarkable contributions and support in ensuring successful hosting of the 49th Annual Conference and General Meeting of the association which

was held in Awka last month. A letter signed by its National President, Prof. Olatokunbo Aina said the success of the conference was largely due to Obi’s moral and financial support. He extolled his motivational dinner speech which he described as informative and interesting, even as he promised would be made available to all members. Aina further commended the governor’s continued support for the state library board as well as his vision in establishing functional libraries in schools. He also expressed the hope that the state will continue to be a shining example to others in terms of library development.

Functional statistics and data were fundamental in effective planning and execution of policies and programmes…Proper planning had enabled the state to maintain regular payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities as well as sustaining the drive to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

•A large maize farm destroyed by attackers in Kwi village in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State PHOTO: NAN




•Governor Rochas Okorocha with members of Opera Don Bonifacio Azione Verde who visited him at Government House, Owerri


MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has disclosed that his administration will go partner with Opera Don Bonifacio Azione Verde, an Italy-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) in a bid to render more service to humanity. Disclosing this in Government House, Owerri, when a team from the organisation led by Rev. Fr. Boniface Duru paid

Imo, NGO partner on service delivery From Emma Mgbeahurike

him a courtesy visit, Okorocha maintained that such partnership is necessary because his administration and the organi-

The free education declared by his administration is to ensure that every child in the state gets the opportunity of going to school… the organisation has a health programme through which it offers free medical treatment and drugs to the rural dwellers annually in Imo State

sation share a common vision on humanitarian issues. He stated that Imo Foundation which was established by his administration to offer humanitarian services will work closely with the organisation to achieve the purpose. Okorocha, however, commended Rev. Fr. Duru who incidentally is from the state, for his services to humanity and assured him of government’s support while in the state. The governor, who promised to visit the Human Development Centre project being executed by the organisation at Amaigbo in Nwangele Local Government Area before they return to Italy, further

expressed that the free education declared by his administration was to ensure that every child in the state gets the opportunity of going to school. Earlier, the founder of the organisation, Rev. Fr. Duru disclosed that the organisation which was founded in 2000 in Italy exists in virtually all countries of the world. He also disclosed that the organisation has a health programme through which it offers free medical treatment and drugs to the rural dwellers annually in Imo State. He further declared the intention of his team to partner with the state government on other necessary areas.

Group decries neglect GROUP, Urhobo Development Association (UDA) in Ughelli, headquarters of Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of total neglect of Urhobo nation in the appointment of individuals into his cabinet and other government parastatals. In a press statement signed by the National President, Prince Kingsley Oberuruaria and the Secretary Mr Austin Okrakpo, a law-


•From right: Abia State Governor Theodore Orji, his deputy Chief Emeka Ananaba and a member of the House of Representatives representing Abia North and South, Hon. Uzor Azubuike at Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri

We are peace-loving people who do not toe the part of violence. Our love for peace should not be mistaken as weakness on the part of the Urhobo people…It is unfair that the people are treated in a manner that indicates that they are not part of the country

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Ughelli

yer, which was made available to journalists said Urhobo nation does not deserve such treatment, even as they disclosed that the people need not have recourse to violence like other ethnic nationalities before they should be given what is due to them. The group, which hailed President Jonathan on the appointment of Mr. Kingsley Kuku as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, said: “We are peaceloving people who do not toe the part of violence. Our love for peace should not be mistaken as weakness on the part of the Urhobo people.” The statement stressed that Urhobo nation is the fifth ethnic nationality with daily contribution of over 500,000 barrels of crude oil apart from gas. It noted that they had to resort to peaceful negotiation as they don’t believe in violence as a means of pressing home their genuine demands. The statement further stated that during the April presidential election, the Urhobo nation home and abroad came out in their numbers to vote for President Jonathan, noting that it is unfair that the people are treated in a manner that indicates that they are not part of the country.



NGO begins tree planting in Ebonyi T

• Governor Elechi


HE Neigbhourhood Environment Watch (NEW), an non-governmental organisation in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, has flagged-off its tree planting exercise with the planting of 30,000 varieties of tree seedlings. The exercise took place at Edda and Enyigba communities in Enyida Development Centre of Abakaliki Local Government Area. Dr Kelechi Okezie, the organisation’s Executive Director, said the programme was to mitigate the effects of climate change, forestall land degradation, enrich the soil and provide income to the communities. “We are planting 5,000 bush mangoes (Irvingia), 5,000 oil palms, 1,000 pears, 1,000 oil beans, 500 cashew trees, 1,000 indigenous

Okorocha lays foundation for science college

MO State Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha has laid foundation for the take-off of a special science college known as Young Scientists School . Speaking at the event held at the former Imo Broadcasting Corporation [IBC] premises in Owerri, the governor described science as a necessary tool that drives development in the society. Governor Okorocha, who affirmed that a society must be equipped scientifically to meet the challenges of modern development, stated that the development, stated that the school would be unique and science based with modern equipment. He further stated that admission of students into SSI will begin in October with only qualified science teachers recruited to teach in the college. The governor however expressed optimism that the performances of students that will enroll in the school would be excellent as they will be exposed to modern technological equipment and innovation skills. The Commissioner for Education, Prof Adaobi Obasi, earlier in her address, stated that the Young Scientist School is aimed at producing graduates that would be science based. She stressed the need to recruit qualified

Imo teacher for the school as well as make the conditions of service attractive in order to get quality of personnel needed. She further stated that there is need to provide adequate number of laboratories, necessary science equipment, chemicals and reagents. Prof Obasi affirmed that the Ministry of Education was ready to put more efforts to ensure that this important sector is propelled for the greater development of the state. The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sir Jackson Nwaije, extolled the governor for keeping to his promise of making the people’s agenda his concern. He appreciated the governor and noted that he has a wonderful team that can size up his strength. Master Malvis Onyeazolam, a student of Government Technical School presented a handmade battery powered helicopter produced by him to the governor. As encouragement, the governor offered him a scholarship as the first student to study in the Young Scientist School .

Cleric counsels couples against violence


EPUTY President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev Mercy Ezekiel has called for divorce among couples whenever they can no longer mend the crack in their relationships rather than taking each other’s life. The cleric who made the call at dedication of the Prayer Camp of the Christian Pentecostal Mission (CPM) along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, said his recommendation was necessary, though the bible forbids it. She was reacting to the recent alleged murder case involving Kolade Arowolo, the 30-year-old man who killed his banker wife, Titilayo at their Isolo, a Lagos suburb home, leaving their lone child, a baby girl, behind. Pastor Mercy decried matrimonial violence against women and urged government and non-governmental bodies to intervene and come out with an urgent panacea because of the rate of maltreatment and killing of women in the society was becoming alarming. Maintaining that marriage is not a do-ordie affair, he referred to a case in USA : “I know of a family in America with five kids. This

By Charity Williams

man has been saying l will kill you if you do not leave me alone; l will kill you.’ And finally, he came back after a day’s work, met the lady sleeping and he took knife and cut her into pieces. The man might be jailed but the most painful aspect is that the woman is dead.” The Pastor decried a situation whereby the children of women who are involved in such situations are left to the society without any support. She added: “We have what we call staying apart which is not divorce; it is separation, instead of you to die. As a personal opinion, I prefer separation, stay on your own, keep yourself and move forward in life.” Women, she said, are acknowledged to be emotional and weaker vessels, hence they need love and not killing, adding: “Marriage exists with stress. People must learn how to manage stress and live peacefully. A peaceful marriage produces a peaceful leader for the nation.”

‘Repair federal roads’



species (Kpakpa), 3,000 gmelina, 3,000 teaks, 1,500 enrichment plants, coconuts, orange and other ornamental trees. “With the negotiation at the global level on carbon trading, these communities will benefit in the future as global contributors to the reduction of carbon emission, by providing carbon sinks, hence protecting our fragile ozone layer,” he said. Okezie said that the programme would be used to re-introduce some near extinct tree stock such as ‘Kpakpa’, whose seed serve as condiment for soup thickening. “We have trained eight youths on seedling nursery operations and 200 on agro-forestry practices for green economy,” he said. He said that the development centre was chosen for the launch of the exercise due to the interest shown by members of the community. Chief Michael Udenwe, the Coordinator of the centre, gave assurance that the community would ensure sustainability of the project through community mobilisation and enlightenment. “Enyida has more than 200km of stream and if trees are planted at the space of 25 metres on both sides, it would take about 8,000 trees. “We also have about 2,500 compounds and if each compound plants 10 trees in three years, we shall be having 75,000 trees, which might make us major timber exporters in future,” he said.

• From left: Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Clinics, Dr Patrick Onyechi, speaking with director, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr Abdulrahaman Sambo, and NHIS Executive Secretary, Dr Waziri Dogo-Muhammad, at the National Health Insurance Scheme and Healthcare Facilities meeting in Abuja PHOTO: NAN

Monarch seeks role in policy


IS Royal Highness, Ehiziogie Abumere,the monarch of Ogua, near Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State, has urged the Federal Government to involve traditional rulers in policy implementation. Abumere said that many policies in Nigeria had failed because “the people are

Edo warns task force, committees


to desist from confiscating seized goods from traders and donating same to orphanages. Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who handed down this warning at a meeting with all the

Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin

committee and task force chairmen, said the decision was part of the outcome of State Executive Council meeting last week. Oshiomhole, who was represented by

Aspirant assures non-indigenes


•From Left: Mr Dayo Mokeolu; Mrs Toyin Mokeolu; Miss Yemisi Mokeolu; Miss Shade Mokeolu, Yinka Mokeolu and Mrs Peju Mokeolu at Ikoyi cementry during the berial of the late Prof. (Chief) Adebayo Mokeolu


completely disconnected from the entire process”. The Onogie of Ogua, who also called for roles for traditional rulers in the constitution, stressed the need for traditional rulers to be involved in policy formulation and implementation. He said that it was only when the people were involved in policy formulation and implementation that the problems of implementation would be solved. “With the involvement of the people and the traditional institution,the implementation will begin to go smoothly. “Take the success of the polio immunisation, especially in the Northern part of the country for instance, it was the role played by the traditional institution that made it so. “This goes to show the importance of traditional rulers in attaining the goals of the Mrs Ewraola Akintobi ; Kayode Biodun Sonaika; Sir Mike Nwalahor ; Mrs Mojisola Oluyole; Chief policies because the truth of the Olukayode Akinbola during the 5th Anniversary Thankgiving Service at Cathedral of St Jude Ebute- matter is that we are the closest Meta, Lagos PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAM to the people and we know the problems faced by the people.’’

DO State government has warned all its committees and task force members

chairmanship aspirant under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Hon Gbolade Sadiq has said that no resident under the Isolo/Oshodi Local Government Area, Lagos State would be treated as non-indigene if he is elected in October poll. This is because his administration will cater for all interest groups. He made the clarification recently when he formally declared his intention to contest for the forthcoming local government polls in the state. Hon Saqiq who had served the council in different capacities, assured the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and other groups who sought to know their stand under the new dispensation. He said: “My party as a very liberal party does not discriminate, given its antecedent. I want to assure you that we shall jointly move Isolo/Oshodi Local Government to the next level.” He noted that the ACN was out to serve the people irrespective of tribe, party or


By Musa Odoshimokhe

religious affiliation, stressing that it was on this principle his manifesto were based. Responding to the cheering party loyalists, he said, if the impact he made in the council as supervisory councillor and other positions could still resonate, he would not waste time to dissipate energy at ensuring that the dividends of democracy get to the people. He implored everybody to support ACN irrespective of the outcome of the contest, noting that the party interest supersede every narrow or parochial imagination. •Gbolade

Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekemhe, told the task force members to always report offenders to the police as they lacked the powers to prosecute offenders. According to him, “the attitude of confiscating seized goods or properties should stop. Owners of seized goods not redeemed within 24 hours should be charged to mobile court. It is not fair to give seized properties to orphanages because; you don’t give what you don’t have. “You also do not have power to prosecute because it is the duty of the police. So report offenders to the police and also avoid brutality’, Oshiomhole appreciated their jobs in the area of beautification, petroleum monitoring, war against indiscipline and pipeline protection but people do not understand their role as far as good governance is concerned. “In the enforcement of your duties and as such, we hear a lot of negative reports. I want to implore you to try as much as possible to be civil in your duties and treat offenders with all manner of civility. Treat our people properly and try to avoid extortion. “However, whatever money that is due to government must be collected legally without extortion. If members engage in any unwholesome acts, please fish them out and report them to the appropriate authorities. I want to appeal that whatever is collected by way of fees or levies must be properly remitted to government with receipts of payment”.

BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has urged the Federal Government to rehabilitate its roads in the state and refund the money spent on some federal roads by his government. Orji stated this in Abuja during a visit to the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen. He said that N9 billion was spent on the rehabilitation of some federal roads in Abia. Orji advised the minister to have a one-point agenda on road construction and maintenance in the country to ensure consistency in its policy. The governor said there was an urgent need for the actualisation of good road networks in the country as it would enhance economic growth. He urged the Federal Government to pay special attention to Okigwe-Port-Harcourt road, AbaOwerri and the Owerri - Osisioma roads. Accordingly, he said the Port Harcourt –Aba road and the Aba Ikot-Ekpene to Port- Harcourt roads required urgent rehabilitation. He said the state government had observed that the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) was not carrying out adequate supervision of its road projects after awarding them to contractors “ We have also observed that contracts awarded by FERMA are not properly monitored. Contracts

Ohanaeze Ndigbo advises Jonathan


HE umbrella body of the Igbo socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Southwest chapter, has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to always be firm in his decisions and stand by his words. It promised that the entire Igbo nation is solidly behind him. This is part of the decisions arrived at by the group at a recent meeting at No 26, Community Road, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, on August 13. The group lauded Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola for his giant strides in infrastructural development in Lagos State, even as they reminded him of his promise to carry Ndigbo along in governance. It congratulated the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for her appointment and advised her to represent the entire Igbo nation well. The group called for reconstruction of BeninOre Road as it is fast becoming a death trap just as it urged perpetrators of Boko Haram to sheath their swords as development can come only under a peaceful atmosphere. Southeast governors were also advised not to involve the traditional rulers in politics, saying their primary preoccupation is to advise on matters relating to tradition and customs. Finally, the group reminded Ndigbo in the Diaspora that Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the apex authority and mouthpiece of Ndigbo in the whole world with its headquarters at Enugu and all other Igbo bodies are affiliates of the organisation.The communique was issued by the secretary, through the Public Relations Officer,, Chief Obadiah Alugo.


Church holds vigil AN All Night Prayer meeting is holding today at the Upper room Bible Church 17, Oyewole Street by Shyllon Bustop, Palmgroove at 9 pm. The Senior Pastor and Founder of the church, Rev. Ben Eragbai disclosed that activities marking the. All Night prayer meetings include song ministration, teaching, communion and diverse testimonies. He stressed the need for constant fervent prayer to foil satanic vices and manipulations. “A man that fails to pray becomes a prey’, Rev Eragbai stated. He, therefore, urged all to attend this blessing-provoking and destiny moulding prayer meeting as it will reshape destinies Anointed men of God are expected to attend the meeting. The all night prayer meeting has the theme: ‘Let God Arise.’

Abia are poorly executed and whenever there are complaints from the state government, it does not go down well with the officials. “When the projects are poorly executed, the burden is on the end users while the contractors will go home with their money.” Replying,Onolememen assured the governor that its transformation agenda would get to every part of the country. “ The Southeast will not be left out in the From Kunle agenda Johnson, transformation as it Calabar would go round the six geo-political zones.” Onolememen said that his ministry was aware of the difficulties being encountered by commuters on the Niger bridge, adding that the contractor who abandoned the site had been ordered to go back to the site.

•Orji He disclosed that the Ministry of Works had considered it necessary to construct first class dual carriage ways with the assistance of the

Council employs 500 youths


HE Acting Chairman of Malumfashi Local Government Area in Katsina State,Alhaji Lawal Dalhatu says the council has engaged 500 youths to plant 10,000 tree seedlings in the area. Dalhatu made the statement while launching the 2011 tree planting campaign in the area. He stressed the importance of tree planting to human life and called for collective efforts on environmental protection. Dalhatu said that the 30-day programme would provide employment to youths and praised Governor Ibrahim Shema for supporting environmental protection initiatives. He urged traditional rulers to re-double efforts at sensitising the people on the importance of tree planting as well as the dangers of indiscriminate tree felling. Dalhatu called on families and institutions to plant and nurse trees in their surroundings, adding that enough tree seedlings had provided to be distributed free to the people. Also, Alhaji Balarabe Yusuf, the council’s

Katsina Director of Agriculture, said that 30,000 tree seedlings would be planted under the programme. Yusuf said the programme would be implemented in three phases with five hectares planned to be planted in the first phase, which began on Tuesday. He said the second phases would cover roads in Malumfashi township as well as streets in five select villages. Yusuf said trees would be planted in 10 select institutions, including schools, courts and hospitals, in the third phase, while the fourth phase would involve individual houses. He added that each youth would take four tree seedlings for planting at home and enjoined them to co-operate with council workers to ensure maximum success of the programme. Alhaji Rabi’u Magaji, who represented the District Head of Malumfashi on the occasion, expressed optimism that the programme would help in sustaining the environment and urged the workers to live up to expectation.

‘How to stem human disasters’


ISHOP of Ekiti Anglican Diocese Rt. Rev. S.A. Abe has advised politicians to shun greed and avarice, warning that human existence is vanity without God. The cleric said diligent service to the community, state and country should be the focus of elected offers across the three tiers, adding that they owe the electorate dividends of democracy. Rev. Abe delivered a sermon at the Anglican Church, Iyin-Ekiti, Ekiti State, during the 48th birthday thanksgiving service for the House of Representatives member Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele. The service trailed the birthday lecture titled: ‘Errands of Progress’, delivered in AdoEkiti, the state capital, by Lagos State Commissioner for Transport Comrade Kayode Opeifa. The service was attended by the Ekiti State deputy governor, Mrs Funmi Olayinka, former Ondo State Governor Bamidele Olumilua, Senator Tony Adeniyi, Oluyin of Iyin, Oba Ademola Ajakaye, Alaaye of Efon Kingdom, Oba adesanya Aladejare, Commissioner for Agriculture Dr Adio Folayan, chairman of Efon Local Government Area, Chief Joel Omoniyi, Erungbua of Obalu, Efon-Alaaye, High Chief Joseph Alake, Action Congress of

By Emmanuel Oladesu

Nigeria (ACN) chieftain, Dele Olowoyeye, Smart Akin Oyeyemi and Hon. Kayode Oluwatayo. Bamidele was accompanied by his wife, Yemisi, and children; David, Aanuoluwapo and Rebecca. Bishop Abe congratulated the former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy for serving the Centre of Excellence for 11 years without blemish, adding that he had maintained the dignity of a worthy public servant. He prayed that God should continue to bless the federal legislator because he had come to the house of God to thank him for His blessings. The priest bemoaned the vice ravaging the society, lamenting that “conscience is lost in Nigeria because of what to eat”. He said only few Nigerians are ready to stand for the truth. Rev. Abe said: “We don’t have natural disasters in Nigeria. We have human disasters”, advising politicians to thread the path of honour and discipline. Decrying the penchant for wealth accumulation, he said: “There is no gain in building houses in every place, nobody can sleep in two houses at the same time”.

Vehicle owners warned THE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of vehicles parked at Area H Command, Ogudu to remove them immediately or forfeit same to auction. They are: 1. One Mercedes Benz Car-AT662FST 2. One Mazda Car- HD 671KJ

•From right: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Hon. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; wife of Chairman, Mosan-Okunola LCDA, Mrs Oyedoyin Mafe and the council boss, Hon Abiodun Mafe during the visit of the of the Deputy Governor to the council.





Raymond Dokpesi does his things in full measure. He spared no expense when his daughter, Justina Omosomi, married Alphonsus Oritsejolomi Igbene, in Lagos. A former military leader, governors, politicians, media chiefs and industrialists made the guests list. TONIA DIYAN reports.

•The couple Mr and Mrs Igbene

Dokpesi’s daughter’s dazzling wedding I

T had all the trappings of a soceity wedding. The A guest list, the venue of the wedding and reception combined to make it so. It couldn’t have been less since it was the wedding of the daughter of Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, the Chairman/Chief Executive of Daar Communications, owners of AIT/Raypower. The wedding was held at the Catholic Church of Assumption, Ikoyi, and the reception took place at Harbour Point, Victoria Island. The love story of Justina Omosomi and Alphonsus Oritsejolomi Igbene, started in the United Kingdom (UK) where they did their higher education. Their paths first crossed in Lagos during their secondary school days. They didn’t fall in love then. Pink and white were the colours of the day. The women were the cynosure of all eyes with their expensive and gorgeous beads, bracelets and headgears. Justina Omosomi, a medical doctor, was dressed in a beautiful white flow-

ing ball gown. She was all smiles throughout the ceremony. The officiating ministers were: Rev Fathers Innocent Opogah(parish priest); Marcel Amadi; Jerry Aman; Sam Okwuidegbe; Jude Odiaka and Abchim Muoneme. With the entrance hymn: ‘The Bridal March’ (To God be the glory, great things He has done),the couple was ushered into the church. They beamed with smiles while their parents watched in admiration. The opening prayer was said by Father Opogah. In the sermon, Father Opogah urged the couple to be committed to each other. He described marriage as a lifetime commitment that should not be rushed into to avoid rushing out from it. He urged the couple to be tolerant, patient and receptive of each other. “You two should remember always that you made all these people come out today in their best, leaving the comforts of their homes and probably one appointment or

the other just to make your day. And you shouldn’t expect the same people here some years later for a divorce ceremony, that is, the reverse of today’s wedding ceremony. Because, I am sorry to disappoint you that there is no ceremony like that in existence,” he said. Before joining the couple together the wedding rings were blessed and exchanged between the bride and the groom. Every other marriage ‘ritual’ was done with the signing of the dotted lines. Holy Communion was administered and those of the Catholic faith reverently filed out to partake of it. Then, it was time to move to the reception ground at Harbour Point, where the show of class continued. The chairs and the table overlays matched the colours of the day. Inside and outside the gigantic tent were colourful flowers. The couple stepped into the hall in style, dancing to the beat from the Ebony Band. Television presenter and polyglot, Bisi Olatilo was master of ceremonies. He

was later assisted by comedian Holy Mallam, who with his rib-cracking jokes made everybody laugh. When it was time for the bride to feed the groom, Omosomi slowly put a piece of cake in Jolomi’s mouth, looked straight into his eyes and kissed him deeply in the mouth. The groom told The Nation how he met his wife at the university in England after their secondary education at Green Spring Schools, Lagos. The marriage, he said, was a dream come true for him. “She is everything I want in a woman. She is complete without a fault. I am blessed to have her as my best friend and better half today. I will love and cherish her forever. It is difficult for me to take decisions without her,” he said. Omosomi corroborated her husband, saying: “I found my other part, friend, brother and everything. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. We •Continued on page 30




Dokpesi’s daughter’s dazzling wedding •Continued from Page 29

understand each other and most importantly, we love each other beyond description. I am so, so happy.” Dokpesi described his son-in-law as a quiet, respectful, responsible and loving man, one he can entrust his daughter to. He advised the couple to be patient with each other as love conquers all. The Ebony Band added fun to the show as it played good music that kept many on their dancing feet. Dignitaries at the event included former military president Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda, who chaired the occasion; Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan; his Ondo State counterpart, Olusegun Mimiko and wife, Kemi; former governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili; wife of former Vice President, AtikuAbubakar, Titi; former Minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyuli; Senator Florence Ita-Giwa; business mogul

and president, Dangote Group Aliko Dangote; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) presidential candidate Nuhu Ribadu; Hajiya Bisi Abiola and former chairman of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) Chief Tom Ikimi. Others were Dokpesi’s two wives, Moji and Tosin; Bola Shagaya; Alhaji Shehu Gamba; Prof Pat Utomi; Prince Kassem Afegbua; Director-General, Aliyu Gusau Campaign Organisation, Mr Ray Murphy; Kenny Saint Brown; ace broadcasters Dayo Adeneye and Kenny Ogungbe of Primetime Africa; Delta State Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah; Richard Mofe-Damijo and Jumobi; Nollywood actress, Ronnie Dikko; film producer/director Tunji Bamishigbin; Salome Eferemo; Aishat Falode; Managing Director, Pink and Peaches, Sidi Isiaka and Mute Olori, among others. The toast was given by the bride’s brother, Peter Dokpesi, who narrated how he introduced the couple to each other after which he was no longer carried along until he got their wedding invitation.

•Dokpesi and wife, Mary

•Groom’s parents, Mrs Elizabeth Aina (left) and Prince Anthony Igbene

•Gen. Babangida (left) and Dr Uduaghan

•Ribadu and Mrs Akunyuli

•Mrs Atiku (left) and Hajia Shagaya

•Governor Mimiko and his wife Kemi

•Mrs Abiola

• Senator Ita-Giwa



SOCIETY The Diocese of Lagos Mainland, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held its Fifth anniversary thanksgiving service at its headquarters, St Jude Cathedral, Freeman Street, Ebutte-Meta, Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI was there.

Five years of God’s goodness A

LTHOUGH it was a working day, that however did not take off the shine from the fifth anniversary and thanksgiving of Diocese of Lagos Mainland, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), last Tuesday. Members, their relatives and friends came in their numbers, dressed in blue Ankara fabric with the inscription Diocese of Lagos Mainland Anglican Communion 5th Anniversary, 20062011. Everywhere around the church had a feel of what happened in the auditorium of the church. Members’ cars and those of their friends parked on streets adjoining the church announced to neighbours that something big was going on in the church. And the array of dignitaries streaming into the church with eye catching attires neatly sewn was one of the signs to show that the church was in a mood of celebration. That Tuesday literarily turned a Sunday. The service slated for 11am saw members and their guests coming as early as possible to ensure their occupying vantage seats. And by the time the service started, the auditorium was already filled up making some guests to stay outside. The processional hymn, Praise my soul, the King of Heaven, started the service and everyone chorused it happily with the clergy walking in to take their place at the altar. The first scripture from the Bible taken from 1 Samuel 7:112 was read by Justice Yinka Faji while the gospel was read from Luke 12:22-40 by Rev Cyril Osagie. The Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev Joseph Akinfenwa, who gave the sermon, likened the day’s event

to that of a synod of the Church of Nigeria where clerics and members gathered to celebrate and thank God. Recognising the former Head of Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, the cleric thanked God for what is happening in the diocese. “Seeing how you are all gaily dressed in blue and blue gives me so much joy,” he noted. He recalled that it seemed a few years, though five years had passed since the diocese was inaugurated. “It’s been five years, but you have grown in leaps and bounds. Even while some others are looking for support, yours is up and running and looking to help others. A five-year-old child is not able to do much, but yours has been able to accomplish much more,” he remarked. Rev Akinfenwa poured encomiums on the Bishop of the diocese, Rt Revd Adebayo Akinde, whom he described as diligent, dedicated, goal getter and achiever. “As I have said about him, I will say the same about his wife, and you are blessed to have him. The greatest blessing to a sheep is to have a good shepherd who will lead them to grass, care for them and ensure they are doing well,” he said. He thanked the members for making the day a reality by allowing God to use them. “No wonder in five years, we have things to point to, achievements to celebrate and a reason to support others, setting yourselves in positions of greater blessings. God will reckon

with you,”he prayed. “Your logo is significant: a basket of fruits, the cross, a bible, a dove and wrapped with the inscription Christ Ambassador. All these have meanings, as an ambassador has no name or home than his home country. Thus, we should always see ourselves as ambassadors of Christ, and whosoever has Jesus has everything,” he noted. Concluding the sermon, the cleric charged the congregation to use their lives for God’s purpose. The choir, standing, gave a rendition: “Hail gladdening •From right: Archbishop Edmmud Akaya, behind him, Bishop Dapo Asaju and Bishop Akinde light, of his pure glory poured”. While this was sung, the congregation knelt. There were Holy Communion and Episcopal recognitions and presentation of awards to worthy members who had contributed to the growth of the diocese. Those honoured were Mrs Wuraola Akintobi; Mr Kayode Sonaike; Sir Michael Nwakalor; Mrs Mojisola Oluyole and Mr Olukayode Olapade Akingbola, a surveyor. They were conferred with the Diocesian Benevolent Partner. After the Bishop’s proclamation and a handshake, Chief (Mrs) Leila Fowler then presented them with the paraphernalia of their office which included a copy of the proclamation, a plaque, a mendallion and a copy of the Holy Bible. There were also Episcopal awards for excellence in Chris- • Chief Ernest Shonekan (left) and Prince Duro Oyinlola tian service given to Venerable Olusegun Kuti; Mrs Olubukola Atinuke Ejiwunmi, an architect; Elder John Ezenwa, who was unavoidably absent, but sent his son; Lady Wilhemina Olajumoke Adeniji and Mr Ben Eluchie. They were presented with a plaque, a mendallion and a copy of the Holy Bible eacH. •Mrs Bola Shodijo-Odukoya flanked by Lagos Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Ben Akabueze and his wife, Pastor Ngozi

•Chief Don Etiebet and wife Nike

•Sir Anumni and Prof Modure Ogunlesi

• Olukayode Akinbola and Mrs Mojisola Oluyole

•Sir Mike Nwalalor (left) and Kayode Sonaike








SOCIETY Last Saturday, Rotary Club of Festac Town, Lagos held the investiture of its 30th president and the inauguration of the club’s board of directors at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac. FALILAT AHMED and OSAS ROBERT were there.

A gift of life I

•Rotarian Akpoveta (left) decorating Rotarian Amalu

• Past District Governor, Mr Richard Giwa-Osagie and his wife Moji

T was, indeed, an evening of thrills and frills for members of Rotary Club, Festac Town, when friends, family and well-wishers of Gabriel Amalu, who converged on the Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac to witness the club’s change of baton of leadership from the 29th president, Mrs Grace Akpoveta to him. Guests had begun to trickle into the hall early enough for an event that was to start by noon, which however did not take off until about two hours later. For those that came late, the traffic bottle neck around Mile 2Amuwo-Odofin axis was the culprit. Nevertheless, they made it to the venue in good time as their presence was greeted with hugs, backslapping and laughter from a few that had taken their seats. They were gorgeously dressed. Most of the men were either in black suits or Agbada, while most of the women wore simple black gowns or Ankara fabrics of nice designs that brought out the beauties in them. As though complementing their dresses, the clean hall wore an immaculate white with the chairs draped in orange and the table overlays and the napkins also in white. With the Investiture Committee Chairman, Collins Onyeze, playing the role of the Master of Ceremonies, the investiture of Amalu as the 30th president began in earnest. The call to order was made by the out-going president, Akpoveta to signify the commencement of the event. The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Ifeanyi Mbanefo; Acting Area Comptroller, Customs, Federal Operations, Victor David Dimka; Chairman, Editorial Borad, The Nation, Mr Sam Omatseye and other distinguished guests were invited to the high table to join the Mrs Akpoveta and the new helsman, Gabriel Amalu.

In a welcome address, investiture committee chairman, Onyeze, described the event as the morning that shows the day, because the club, like its sister, one under the rotary umbrella world-wide would use the day to raise funds for its worthwhile projects that impact on humanity. One of such projects according to him, was the ‘Gift of life’ executed in partnership with Rotary Club of Calcutta Metro. This he noted, was to give back lives to children with Vascular Septal Defect (VSD) also known as hole-in-the heart. Three children, he said, had benefitted from this project. The day, he further said, was intended to share fellowship and the thoughts of the new president and his board on projects meant for their new Rotary year 2011/2012, and reward some members who excelled in their services to people and the club. Mrs Akpoveta, in her address, thanked all members of her board who worked tirelessly with her, advising and giving her all manners of support, most especially their time. She equally thanked the wives of her board members for their understanding even when family time was disrupted for Rotary activities. Victor Onyema later read Amalu’s citation before he was installed as the 2011 – 2012 President by Akpoveta. She then advised him to keep up the good work of the club. Amalu, in a speech after his installation, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Rotarians of Festac for giving him the opportunity to serve. “Our star project this year is to give succour to children with Vascular Septal Defect (VSD) also known as Hole-in-the-Heart which we tagged: A Gift of Life project,” he said. While pledging his loyalty, the president said: “I

urge you my friends and fellow Rotarians to join me as we reach within to embrace humanity, because mankind is our business. The lecture entitled “Voluntarism and Environment – The Lagos Example,” pointed out that the Lagos State government has embarked on several initiatives aimed at creating a healthy environment. Although he agreed that there were challenges facing waste management and disposal in the state, he said: “One obvious thing today and the fact is that successive progressive administration in the state since 1999 have put in place an environment control mechanism that puts environmental abuse at minimal level.” Every one were assured that Governor Babatunde Fashola is determined to improve the environment and urged Rotarians and the public to be ready and willing allies in this regard. The guests were thrilled with an interlude of entertainment by the Ifekan Group who presented Eguba and Atilogun dances. While deserving awardees, such as Samuel Ijamakinwa, a retired deputy comptroller of Customs; Dimka and Omatseye were rewarded for their good services to humanity. The club members also raised funds for their pet project –A Gift of Life - and made donations towards ensuring that 10 children affected by holes - in-theirhearts are treated free in India. Treatment for a child costs N1 million excluding flight ticket and other expenses. Adding to the fun of the day was a raffle draw and one Kachim Isolo emerged as the star winner of a Deep Freezer while Victor Uwenze won the second and third prizes of 1.5 horse-power air conditioner each. He had an advantage over others because he had bought 10 tickets.

• Chief Dortie Nick and Mrs Elizabeth Dortie

•Otunba Ijamakinwa and Dimka Victor-David

•Mr Richard Ogual (right) and Mr Ifeanyi Mbanefo





Ijebu bid farewell to illustrious daughter Egbe Bobakeye, an age grade group in Ijebu, Ogun State joined family members and other eminent personalities for the 40-day Fidau of the Iyalode Egbe Bobakeye Obinrin Akile Ijebu, Alhaja Idayat Abimbola, at the Bobakeye House, Igbeba, near Gateway Stadium, IjebuOde, Ogun State. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO reports.


N Friday, July 1, the cold hand of death entered the

city of the Alare as the people of Ijebu, Ogun State, fondly call themselves, and snatched away one of the town’s glamorous women Alhaja Idayat Adebola Abimbola, the Iyalode Egbe Bobakeye Obinrin Akile Ijebu and Director, Indet Pure Water. She was aged 55. Alhaja Abimbola’s demise shocked many people who knew her, especially for her generosity. The deceased, according to the Chief Executive Officer, Bolswot Venture, Alhaja Bola Olufowobi, left an indelible mark. At the Fidau organised for the Iyalode at her residence at Olisa Street near Ijebu-Ode General Hospital and Bobakeye House, Igbesa near Gateway Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, sympathisers poured encomium on her for touching many lives while she lived. Members of the Bobakeye Obinrin Akile Ijebu, one of the age grade groups in Ijebu, Ogun State otherwise called Regberegbe were clad in Ankara fabric. After prayers and sermon, the clerics led by the Chairman of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Ogun State chapter, Sh e i k h AbdurRasheed Mayaleeke, said death is inevitable. Sheikh Mayaleeke described the deceased as a good and devout Muslim. The Muslim community, he said, would miss her, especially during this Holy Month of Ramadan. The Chief Executive Officer, Aron Construction, Alhaji Fatai Arowolo, urged people to know that death is no respecter of anybody. Alhaji Arowolo said the

late socialite was humility personified. He prayed Allah to grant her Al-Jannat Firdaus. The Otun Iyalode of Bobakeye Obinrin Akile Ijebu, Alhaja Maryam Adediran, described her as a person who never sailed in troubled waters. “Her life was devoid of rancour, enmity, or hatred. She was a proper gentlewoman and a woman of integrity, objectivity. She was truthful and honest. Bobakeye will definitely miss her.” “We must remember her for her loyalty to this club. She will be remembered for her philanthropical gesture and disscipline. She was a very pleasant woman and a friend to all of us who worked with her,” she said. Alhaja Olufowobi, Bobakeye Assistant Secretary said the deceased worked tirelessly for the unity of the club. “We lost a friend who helped to build Keye. She was cool, accommodating and responsible. Her death has created a big vacuum in the club. May Allah grant her paradise,” she said. The deceased’s close friend, Alhaja Adeola Alimi, said the club would miss her counsel and experience. Alimi said she was a good family woman, who preached tolerance among members. “We have come to realise, through her death, that nobody will live forever and that legacy is a good thing we should strive to leave behind,” Alhaja Olufowobi added. The deceased’s cousin, Alhaja Kike Fetuga, thanked the guests and well-wishers for their support.

•Sheikh Mayaleeke

•Alhaji Arowolo

•Alhaja Adediran

From left: Alhaja Wunmi Akinsanya; Alhaja Iyabo Orekoya and Alhaja Fetuga

•From left: Alhaja Wunmi Adelaja; Alhaja Bolarinwa Adeyemi and Alhaja Olufowobi



•From left: Mr Yusuf Alli (SAN); Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Justice Roland Amaize, at the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Port Harcourt.

•From left: Executive Director, Business Banking, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chief Willie Obiano; Managing Director, Reginald Ihejiahi and Managing Director/Global Head of Trade Finance, Deutsche Bank, Germany, Mr Peter Knodt , during a courtesy call on Fidelity Bank by Knodt in Lagos...on Wednesday.






T no time in the life of man can the true nature of human existence more manifest than in Ramadan. It is in this sacred month that Muslims reflect mostly on this. Some people fasted actively last year but are no more today. Some put their feet at the door step of Ramadan this year but never entered it. Some fell by the way side along the line. Human life is not measured by the time or manner of his or her death. In Islam, death is neither the consequence of sin nor the repercussion of ignorance. There are instances when the sinless dies and the sinful lives. There are also instances when the learned dies while the ignorant lives. The schedule of life and death is not in the custody of any human being. Death is a debt which every living being owes and must pay. Not even Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was spared of death or given a foreknowledge of it. Allah told him in the Qur’an: “Say I have not the power to benefit or to harm myself except what Allah pleases. Unto every nation is a fixed term. When their terms expire, they cannot delay it by an hour nor can they bring it forth before its time”. Q.10:49. Some people dream but never live to realise their dreams. Some look but never see. It is only in the imagination of man that age should be a factor of death. We shall all die at our scheduled time. Therefore, whoever is privileged to pass through this Ramadan successfully should endeavour to add spiritual value to his or her life and not diminish in faith after the sacred month. We shall all account for that value before Allah. In about three day’s time this year’s Ramadan will come to an end by the grace of Allah and we shall continue to look back with nostalgia the good things we have done in the sacred month. For instance, we shall remember that in no other month of Hijrah calendar is the role of Muslim women more pronounced than in Ramadan. Like in other months, they display the roles of wives, mothers as well as that of their husband’s confidants. But more than in other months, they exhibit their religious dedication in Ramadan. In that sacred month they fast like their men counterparts. They pray five times daily like them. They join those men in observing Tarawih. Some of them even attend Tafsir and public lectures. Yet they do their daily work just like men either in the offices, shops, or farms. And they never relent in carrying out their matrimonial duties. Even as they assist their husbands financially in maintaining the homes, they still take care of those husbands as well as the children and relatives domestically. At the time of the day when the husbands are knocked out by fatigue arising from fasting, the wives are still busy in the kitchen preparing Iftar for the household. At the time in the night when some husbands are engaged in Tahajjud, or are snoring in bed, the wives are already up in the kitchen preparing the Sahur for the family. Some of these women are carrying pregnancy. Some are suckling their children. Some of them are knowledgeable enough to do the Tilawah (recitation of the Qur’an) like their husbands. Some of them are rich enough to finance the home fully or partially. And, in all these activities, they never feel tired. Where and when they feel tired, they never show it. If any month has ever depicted the virtues of women, it is Ramadan and the women activities in it. If for the reason of their activities in Ramadan alone, they deserve tenderness and dignified treatment in the hands of their husbands. We shall also remember the role of our children in the month and then endeavour to ensure the continuity of those rewarding activities. Children are Allah’ greatest gift to man. Their presence in a house is blessing. Their contribution is immense. Those are children for you. They can act as much of teachers just as they are of students. They learn fast, they teach fast. They are a major security for parents in any given environment. Children have both temporal and spiritual roles to play in a matrimonial life. And with such roles, they sometimes create hope for humanity and sometimes, they signal despair. They are the greatest asset in the possession of parents in time of peace. They are also the greatest 08051101861

Beyond Ramadan

• Crescent weapon for them against the forces of Satan. Because of their innocence, they pave way for God’s forgiveness and quick acceptance of prayers. And, most importantly, children guarantee the continuity of man’s existence on earth. It is only with them that the fulfillment of today’s promise is possible tomorrow. In the Qur’an, children are mentioned many times and most often with reverence. They are treated in that glorious book as a major issue in the life of man. As orphans, they do not only have a role to play, they also compel some adults to play a role relating to them. As heirs to their parents, they have substantial shares in inheritance. Muslim children are like cubs. They follow the footstep of their parents or guardians a lot. They are often with their parents during the five daily prayers. They watch their parents as the latter give charity to the poor. They accompany them to public lectures and Islamic social gatherings. And, in Ramadan, children are part of the Muslims’ total spiritual package. They wake up with them at night. They fast with them in the day. They break the fast with them at sunset. They join their parents at Tafsir and night lectures. They participate in Laylatul Qadr and in giving Zakatul Fitr to the poor. In all these activities, they are supposed to be encouraged. At the tender age of seven, they should be guided to fast even if for half a day. And when they reach the age of 10 they should be strengthened in faith and in religious deeds. They should be provided with necessities of life both

on the temporal and spiritual grounds. With these, they will grow up to become the fulfilment of their parents’ dreams. Most children grow up as good or bad Muslims by emulating their parents. A child is therefore what his parents make him. If advantage of Ramadan is not taken by parents to mould their children into good Muslims what other platform will be used? Your child is your sun. Make hay while it shines. We shall also recall how we related to our neighbours especially the nonMuslims among them in that month. In Islam, neighbours are as important as the next of kin. And, Islam attaches so much respect to them. According to Bukhari and Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was reported to have sworn by Allah three times saying: “he does not believe in Allah whoever creates fear in his neighbours atrociously” In another Hadith also reported by Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet was quoted as saying that “Whoever believes in Allah and the last day let him be nice to his neighbours and respect his guests” In the month of Ramadan a good Muslim is expected to wear a new toga of sobriety and repentance. He doubles his good deeds to his neighbours, extending generosity to them and cultivating a new atmosphere of friendliness and trust with them. He genuinely gives them as much impression of love and brotherhood as he does with his consanguine relatives. It does not matter whether the neighbours are Muslims or non-Muslims. Neither does it matter whether they are tribesmen or non-natives. The Prophet did not discriminate in his Hadith when he was admonishing on neighbours. And that is the inalienable position of Islam on neighbours. Whoever, had quarrelled with his neighbours, therefore, let him go and settle the quarrel. Besides abstaining from foods, drinks and sex, in the month of Ramadan, a good Muslim must mind his relationship with people around him including neighbours. Fasting in the month of Ramadan cannot be taken in half measure. Whoever wants to receive full rewards for his religious activities in Ramadan let him treat his neighbours well. And, when Ramadan is over, the good deeds must be kept on. Ramadan is not made a pillar of Islam by accident. Its purpose is to return man to the original state of purity into which he was created. That Allah entrusts the world to man is also not by accident. Allah consulted wide and far before entrusting this great responsibility to man having volunteered to bear it. This much is revealed in Qur’an 33:71 thus: “We offered the trust (of the world) to the heavens; the earth and the mountains they all turned it

‘Besides abstaining from foods, drinks and sex, in the month of Ramadan, a good Muslim must mind his relationship with people around him, including neighbours. Fasting in the month of Ramadan cannot be taken in half measure. Whoever wants to receive full rewards for his religious activities in Ramadan let him treat his neighbours well’

down and were afraid of it. Man undertook to bear it but he has proved to be insincere and deceitful”. For man to re-examine himself, repent his misdeeds and be redeemed, therefore, Allah brought Ramadan as a means of rescue. It is in the month of Ramadan that Muslims reconfirm NEEDS rather than WANTS as the necessities required for the sustenance of their lives. Muslims, by their faith and orientation, are not, ordinarily, given to WANTS. They are more concerned about NEEDS than WANTS. The reason for this is not far-fetched. With NEEDS come contentment and satisfaction while WANTS are the cause of greed and avarice. Allah, the creator and sustainer of the universe, had provided the needs of every living creature even before its creation. But then, He knew that of all those creatures man alone would go beyond NEEDS into the realm of WANTS. That was perhaps what informed the negative role which Satan assumed in the life of man shortly after the creation of Adam. By introducing WANTS to man, what Satan did was to create a permanent job for himself in the life of man. Without WANTS the world would not have been what it is today. Blood would not have been shed. Money would not have been deified. Hatred would not have been known to man. And, man’s inhumanity to man would have been totally averted. The effect of WANTS first became known when Qabil (Cain), the first son of Adam preferred his brother’s wife to his. In the argument which ensued, Qabil (Cain) killed his brother Habil (Abel) and combined the latter’s wife with his. Thus, greed and avarice became ingredients of man’s culture. And WANTS rather than NEEDS became the domineering factor in the life of man. One delightful thing in the sacred month was to note that Nigerian Mosques were full of Muslim youths. By this, a silent Islamic renaissance seems to be going on especially in Nigerian society. It looks like a repeat of the situation that led to the formation of the Muslim Students’ Society (MSS) in 1954. With this development, two great possibilities are expected to sail Islam through the coast of good hope in the 21st century. One is the return of the Mosque to its original objective. The other is the inalienable continuation of Islamic dynamism in reshaping the destiny of mankind. The hope that these two possibilities are achievable in the hands of today’s teeming Muslim youths is in fulfilment of a fundamental prophesy about the signs of the last days. One of these signs is that ‘the sun will start rising where it used to set’. The reference here is not to the physical sun. The Prophet was referring to the spiritual photosynthesis of the souls of mankind for the ultimate metamorphosis of those souls from mortality to immortality. The photosythensiser in this case is Islam. And, the fulfilment of this prophesy is gradually being confirmed today either by technology or science. When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) established the very first Mosque in Madinah (Masjid Al-Qubah) in 622 A.C, the purpose was more than just Salat. To the Muslims the Mosque is not supposed to be just a house of worship. It should also be a school, a library, a hospital, a court, a media centre and a parliament. Without the Mosque, the unity of the Muslims would have been impossible. Mosque is the meeting place for offering Salat five times a day. It is the centre of congregation for Jum’at prayer every Friday. It brings the Muslims together twice in a year for congregational observance of Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Adha. Yet, the meeting place called ‘Arafah which is the climax of Hajj is a Mosque. The Mosques in Makkah, Madinah, and Quds (Jerusalem) serve the same purpose as those in Cairo, Jakarta and Sydney. And, there is no difference between the Mosque in Sokoto and the one in Rio de Janeiro . Generally, the Mosque plays a central role in fortifying the unity of the Muslims wherever they are. But unfortunately, with time and crave for personal benefits, the Mosque has been relegated to just a place for Salat alone. That is the real cause of the backwardness in which the Muslim Ummah is now wallowing. With the experience of the sacred month fasting Muslims have gained bounteously. Such bounties must not be lost.





Police arrest more motorcyclist robbers


OUR more suspected armed robbers that specialise in robbing bank customers are currently cooling their heels in the cell of the FESTAC Police station, Lagos, where they are being held for alleged involvement in different robbery operations in the area and its environs. One suspect and the mother of another were in police net last week. The latest suspects who are said to be members of a six-man gang, where arrested when one of their colleagues who is already in police net led detectives to their hideout. Police said the suspects, Joseph Samuel (25), Enitan Durojaiye (22), Idowu Egua (29) and Ogenero Udugba (25) have been terrorising residents and visitors in the area on a daily basis. One of the suspects, Ogenero, claimed that he is a staff of Ojo Local Government and that he works in the task force department. He told Newsextra that his job is

Stories by Jude Isiguzo

to arrest motorcyclist operators who refuse to pay levies and that he also has a motorcycle that works for him and make returns. According to him, on Fridays, he hires his motorcycle to the gang who in turn pay him after every successful operation. Following the development, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr Usman Ndababo, led his anti-robbery team on a raid during which one of the suspects was arrested. It was gathered that during interrogation, the suspect gave police investigators information that led to the arrest of the other four suspects. Narrating how they got involved in the gang, Joseph said that he was initiated early this year and that he has participated in more than 10 different operations before the foiled one in which they were arrested. The Bayelsa State born suspect said he joined the gang because he

needed money to rent an apartment and also start a business. He noted that it was because he had nobody to help him that he decided to look for a way out. The suspect said he made over N250,000 and that he has been able to rent a house and also start a little business. The gang’s armourer, Durojaiye is responsible for keeping all their firearms and ammunitions and other weapons which they use for operation. According to the police, he was also responsible for the recruitment of gang members and that during investigation, it was discovered that the suspects hide the guns in a corner inside his compound. All the gang members confessed to the crime and advised others who are still in the trade to quit as it does not pay. Police spokesman, Mr Samuel Jinadu who confirmed the arrest said that the suspects will be charged to a competent court of law after investigation has been

• The suspects concluded. He promised that policemen would do everything possible to

Police sustain trans-border surveilance

‘Arrest must not be made without basis’



ORDER patrol detectives at Seme police command have recovered a sports utility vehicle (SUV) that was snatched in the Agege area of Lagos. The SUV, a Nissan Murano with registration number HQ 512 EKY, was said to be on its way to Benin Republic when the policemen on patrol who already had information about the robbery, spotted it. Initial efforts to arrest the robbers failed as they were reported to have escaped on sighting the policemen. A member of the patrol team told our correspondent that they gave the suspected armed robbers a hot chase but could not catch them because their vehicle was in a bad shape. He explained that the border patrol commander received information on the car theft and placed them on alert to monitor movements around the area. According to the source, the vehicle was intercepted around Ashipa area of seme border. Lamenting on the state of their operational vehicles at the border, the source said: “The operational vehicles at our disposal as you can see are rickety and this condition in most cases, give an undue advantage to fleeing criminals over our men. In a situation where a criminal operate in a fast moving vehicle and our men are expected to pursue this kind of fast moving

•The recovered SUV

vehicle, certainly the rickety vehicle will not match up the operation.” The command officer, Mr Oyamwenda Ekho, a Chief Superintendent of Police, commended his colleagues for the series of achievement recorded in spite of the challenges facing its operation. He appealed to both the government and public-spirited Nigerians to donate operation vehicle and communication gadgets

that would assist to enhance the performance of border patrol team, adding that crime prevention and control is a collective responsibility. A few weeks back, four suspected robbers were arrested in Owode–Apa area of Ogun State by the border patrol team. Recovered from the suspects are firearms and ammunition, charms and a Honda car which they allegedly stole in Lagos.

Land speculator docked for alleged fraud LAND speculator, Ken Ogiamien, 33, has been arraigned at the Magistrate Court, Ikeja, Lagos, for alleged forgery and issuance of a dud cheque. He was docked on a five-count charge of conspiracy to commit a felony, fraud and threat to life. The magistrate, Mrs A.O. Komolafe ordered that he be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prison. The police alleged that Ogiamien forged a land document (Deed of Assignment) of Alfred International Co. Ltd, “obtained” a Toyota Camry Saloon car with Registration No. NV 888 AAA valued at N2m, property of one Tobias Agha and violently threatened Agha’s life. Ogiamien and others now at large were said to have, on March 29, 2006 at about 10.00 hours at Abule Egba area of Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District did conspire among themselves to commit felony to wit: Forgery. He was also alleged to have forged a land document (Deed of Assignment) of Alfred International Co. Ltd.

ensure that other members of the gang who are still at large are arrested and prosecuted.


•Ken Ogiamien and others now at large on the same date, time and place also allegedly obtained a Toyota Camry Saloon car with Reg. No. NV 888 AAA valued at N2m be-

longing to Tobias Agha. The defendant and the others, on September 15 last year, allegedly issued intercontinental bank cheque No: 08606006 N2milliion to Mr Agha under the pretence that he had money in his account, a representation which he knew to be false. The alleged offences are punishable under section 86, 419, 467 and 516 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Vol. II Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003. The dud cheque is contrary to and punishable under section 1(i)(b)(9i) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, cap 102 Vol. II Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990. Ogiamien pleaded not guilty to the charges. Mrs. Komolafe granted him bail in the sum of N500, 000 and surety who must show evidence of tax payment with verified address. The surety is to be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prison if he fails to meet the bail condition. Trial has been adjourned till September 22, 2011.

NVESTIGATING Police Officers (IPOs) have been urged to stop arresting suspects when there is no basis to do so. This is in order to avoid violating the citizen’s rights. A lawyer, Austin Abhulimen gave this advice on Monday at Zone II headquarters, Onikan, Lagos while delivering a lecture entitled “Police Action in Treating Civil/Criminal Offences.” Abhulimen was speaking at the start of a one-week capacity building programme for the officers and men of the police. He stated that whenever it is necessary to make arrests, the constitutional and statutory provisions for bail, fair hearing and the rule of law must guide police actions. The lawyer stressed that the 24 hours – 48 hours rule to take a suspect to court remains the law except on special cases that carry capital punishment on conviction. Abhulimen explained that for the purpose of arrest, detention and court trial, no suspect’s statement should be taken under caution unless there is a sufficient reason for doing so as judicial authorities are now replete on this point. He however pointed out that many investigating police officers (IPOs) would readily argue that this is a difficult and unrealistic position of the law but anyone who pushes that argument must be doing so in practical demonstration of how he has fallen off from the ideal standard of practices among decent democracies of the world. “However, if we must honestly admit that our nation is still in the woods, then that argument may be somewhat plausible. He noted that there are modern enactments that tend to be favourable towards the position of civil liberties including section 4 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State 2007 which state, “No person shall be arrested in lieu of another person” while section 290 states that a defendant that is brought to the court on false and frivolous charges is to be paid some compensation and that the laws on civil liberty are ever dynamic and evolving in favour of citizen’s rights.” The participants include the Deputy Commissioner in charge of operations in the Zone Mr Taiwo Lakanu, Deputy Commissioner of Police Zonal Criminal Investigation Department Mr Kola Sodepo, Mr Mobolaji Odesanya an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Frank Mba, former Lagos State Command’s spokesman and over 20 Chief Superintendents, 30, Superintendents and over 30 Assistant Superintendents.





HE approval for the payment of N9.8b to ex-staff of the non-consolidate banks by the Federal Government five months ago is yet to be effected. This has been attributed to bureaucratic bottlenecks emanating from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC). In a chat with journalists in Umuahia, the counsel to the former bankers, Emerson Azubuike said that his clients under the aegis of Association of Ex-Staff of Non-consolidated Banks of Nigeria (AESNBN) have become worried over the continued delay in payment of the compensation despite the indescribable hardships they have been experiencing since the banking sector consolidation exercise in 2004. Azubuike said that the guidelines and incentives on “Consolidation in the Nigerian Banking Industry” issued by the CBN in 2004 states that workers affected by the consolidation policy were entitled to terminal benefits under paragraph 9 of the policy document dealing on social safety net. He advised the Federal Government that, “In the event of finding it difficult to pay the money duly approved, maybe because they cannot access some funds, they should pay us from the Social Safety Net (SSN) account which has been wasting

Ex-bankers demand pay From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

away, unless they want to tell us that someone has made away with it.” The counsel recalled that the Federal Government has earlier created a Social Safety Net Account with N50b deposit hence members of the AESNBN are now suggesting that their benefits should be paid from the social safety net account to alleviate their suffering. He said: “It is our sincere suggestion that the N9.8b required to save the lives of this patriotic Nigerians be debited to this Social Safety Net Account of the Federal Min-

istry of Labour and Productivity on the understanding that after realising the assets of the banks, the proceeds will be credited back to this account by the NDIC.” Azubuike explained that this approach in settling the benefits has become necessary as the ex-bank staff were rudely denied their means of livelihood without compensation through a Federal Government fiat and have been made to suffer the unpleasant repercussions over the past six years. He noted that many of the members have died following their inability to source funds to take care of their immediate and

It is our sincere suggestion that the N9.8b required to save the lives of this patriotic Nigerians be debited to this Social Safety Net Account of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity on the understanding that after realising the assets of the banks, the proceeds will be credited back to this account by the NDIC

family needs, stressing that there are signs that many more will still die if something is not done urgently. Azubuike therefore appealed to President Jonathan that having come this far in the quest to compensate the former bank workers, he should intervene and get both CBN and NDIC to effect the payment of the N9.8b benefits without further delay in order to save lives. He further said that though the controversial banking consolidation was implemented during Prof. Chukwuma Soludo tenure as CBN governor, affected workers of City Express Bank got their benefits without any trouble before Soludo’s exit while the rest were left pending. He stated that Soludo should be asked to explain why he favoured the disengaged staff of that particular bank at the expense of other banks’ ex-staff, pointing out that the move raises certain fundamental questions. The counsel then pleaded with Soludo’s successor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to show interest in the plight of the former staff of non-consolidated banks, pointing out that NDIC had twice written to Sanusi to issue it with promissory note of N9.8b to enable it to pay the benefits and he turned down the request.

World Bank’s $459m for environmental disasters


ORLD Bank representative in Nigeria Dr. Amos Abu has said that the bank has set aside 459m dollars to tackle the challenge posed by erosion, flooding and land degradation in Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Abia, Edo and Cross Rivers states. Abu, who is the Senior Environmental Specialist and task team leader, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) said the Federal Government having understood the magnitude of erosion degradation and flooding in the seven states, decided to partner with World Bank in tackling the menace. He said: “It is no longer news that some

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

states in the Southeast and South-South geo-political zones are experiencing land degradation which includes flooding and erosion. The Federal government, in a bid to tackle the problem, had to contact the World Bank which has set aside the sum of $459.28m to tackle the menace. The issue of environment is such that should be handled with utmost seriousness.” Dr. Abu said that no meaningful development can take place in an environment that is ravaged by flooding and erosion, adding that the project should be statedriven and transformational.

The Federal government, in a bid to tackle the problem, had to contact the World Bank which has set aside the sum of $459.28m to tackle the menace. The issue of environment is such that should be handled with utmost seriousness

•Snatched cars recovered by Oyo State police command

“For efficient project execution, the team would need an operational office that would enable it identify sites. There are some communities that can not wait for the next rain fall. Requisite design should be in place,” he said. The World Bank representative said the state would be expected to pay a grant of N30m in a dedicated account, stressing that most state, because of the financial involvement in the control of erosion and flooding, have not achieved much.

Reacting, the Ebonyi State Acting Governor Chief Dave Umahi said that the state is eager to see the realisation of the flooding control in the state. He therefore urged the desk officer in charge of ecology in the state to make a comprehensive list of flood ravaged areas in the state. Chief Umahi regretted the recent flooding in the state capital and other parts of the state, adding that no amount of state resources would be enough to tackle the problem.

Enugu votes N151.8m for rural electirification


HE Enugu State Government has okayed the release of more than N151, 893,605.60 for the execution of rural electricity projects in 10 communities and the mechanic village. In addition, the government has also approved the sum of N37.535m for the bulk purchase of 21 electric transformers for distribution to 21communities to improve power supply in their areas.

From Chris Oji, Enugu

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr Chuks Ugwoke said the electricity projects would be executed through direct labour by the state government in partnership with the local government areas where the communities are located in the ratio of 60:40 counterpart contributions. A breakdown of the amount and benefiting communities shows that the state government will contribute the sum of over N23m for Enugu Agu, Ihe, Elugwu Akwu electricity in Oji River Council Area and the sum of over N25, 399.843.20 for electricity supply to Ogirishi, Obinagu Uwani Akpugo communities in Nkanu West Local Government Area. Also for the Ufuogbo Ufodo community electricity project in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area will contribute over N19594, 312.20 while the sum of more than N31, 868,105.40 was approved for the Amaofu Nkerefi community electricity project in Nkanu East Local Government Area. The commissioner also said that the council approved government counterpart contribution of more than N22, 923,870.60 for the execution of the electricity project at Obunofia Ndiuno and Agbaja Umumba Ndiuno communities in Ezeagu Local Government Area. He stated that the sum of over N28, 497, 736 was approved for the supply of electricity by government wholly to the mechanic village to facilitate the relocation of the mechanics and other allied workers to the village. According to Ugwoke who expressed concern over some of the civil servants in the state that are yet to return to their duty posts at the end of the three-day warning strike over the implementation of the new minimum wages, he stated that government is ever committed to paying the new minimum wages by the end of the month provided that those who prepare the payment vouchers can do their work.



The best honour is when you are being honoured by your people. Some kind words have been said about me, and I will continue to do my best to justify the confidence of the governor who appointed me

Honour for Edo SSG T

HE Old Boys’ Association of Our Lady of Fatima College, Auchi, Edo State, has held a colourful reception for the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Simon Imuekemhe. The reception held at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre in Benin City, the state capital. Imuekemhe voluntarily retired from the state civil service as Head of Service (HoS) in March this year before his appointment as SSG. His impressive record brought honour to his alma mater, prompting his old schoolmates to organise the reception for their illustrious associate. The occasion paraded various professionals, including captains of industry, politicians, academicians, businessmen, career civil servants, students, lawyers, surgeons, and pharmacologists, among others. Those in attendance included Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Pius E. Odubu who represented Governor Adams Oshiomhole; the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Uyi Igbe, and members of the House of Assembly, the Head of Service, (HoS), Mr. Anthony Edokpayi, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Abdul Oroh, his counterpart in the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, Comrade Didi Adodo, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Protocol, Rev. Michael Egharevba, Mr. Agerese Idubor, Lord Ame Osunde , and Permanent Secretaries of various ministries. Others were Prof. Eddy Eraigbe, the National Chairman of Our Lady of Fatima Old Boys’ Association (OLOFOBA), Hon. Justice Abdul Abiri (Rtd) who was chairman of the occasion, Mr. Johnson Ilegar, the Benin City Branch Chairman, Professor and Professor (Mrs.) Philip Agbebaku, the Vice Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, Mr. Romeo Aloaye, among others. Oshiomhole said: “Dr. Imuekemhe is not just a brilliant fellow but one that applies himself fully to what he understands. He became our repository of knowledge in Government House and everything we wanted to know we asked him. In fact, he turned our teacher. We had to christen him ‘traditional ruler’. He served three different governors and for anybody to work with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and be elevated by him is a singular honour that nobody can equal. “Dr. Imuekemhe has been consistent in the delivery of unparalled service to us and the government of Edo State. The day he retired was a silent day in Government S part of its youth empowerment and poverty eradication efforts, Ebonyi State Government has sponsored 150 youths in various areas of agriculture at the Songhai Farms in Benin Republic to boost food production. The state’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Samuel Mgbada who disclosed this during the 2011 International Youth Day celebration at the Abakaliki Township Stadium stated that most of the youth, after their graduation,


•Dr. Simon Imuekemhe (left) and Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius E. Odubu at the reception From Osagie Otabor, Benin

House and so we were consoled. The man in him, the compassionate person in him, the considerate person in him now came out and sat me down and said, I am retiring so that I can give other people opportunity to rise.” Oshiomhole said the voluntary retirement of Dr. Imuekemhe was difficult for them to accept. But he also revealed that Imuekemhe told him that “the ambition of every civil servant is to rise to the position of Head of Service and that he has been there for a long time and that a lot of persons close to him were going to retire this year or next and that if he did not retire, those people would not have the opportunity to fulfill their life ambition. I looked at him and said, Dr. Imuekemhe, you will never cease to amaze me. I wish you well.” The Comrade Governor said he was not surprised that Imuekemhe was being honoured by his secondary school colleagues. Oshiomhole also spoke on the achievements of his administration. “We are building a state-of-the-art hospi-

tal in the state. In our schools, the chairman of the occasion just described Our Lady of Fatima as a university and that is a secondary school. So, we are going to give Edo people more but all we ask is to rally round the government.” Head of Service, Mr. Anthony Edokpayi described Dr. Imuekemhe as a man of initiatives and ideas, and someone he has learnt a lot from. “In the area of revenue generation, no one can surpass him,” Edokpayi said. “I see him as a mentor, a compassionate leader who has paved the way for me to succeed. If it were other leaders, it wouldn’t have happened. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to contribute my own little quota. I respect him; he is my boss and leader. On his part, Dr. Imuekemhe said it was not an easy task for him to move from the position of Head of Service to Secretary to the State Government, adding that “it is nice to listen to people say pleasant things about you. The best honour is when you are being honoured by your people. Some kind words have been said about me, and I will continue to do my best to justify the confidence of the governor who appointed me.

“I also want to continue to do my best for the state. Like I said, the state belongs to all of us and whatever we can do to improve the life of our people, we will do for posterity to judge us. I want to appeal that we should give the Comrade Governor, the opportunity to take Edo State to a place that anybody coming after him can only begin to improve on what he has done. “Once in a life time, somebody comes to change the course of an event and that is what Adams is doing. I am happy to be part of his team. I think it is very obvious that Oshiomhole’s achievements will speak for him, come 2012. If you drive past Airport Road, you have something to say. If you go to Ring Road, there is something to say. If you go to Central Hospital, there is something to say. If you go to Uromi or Ekpoma, there is something to say. If you go to Ikabigbo, where I come from, there is something to say. “So, the testimonial of Adams Oshiomhole has been written by Adams himself. He has written it for everybody to see. This is not a question of governance of promise but a government of see what we have done.”

Ebonyi trains 150 youths in food production From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

have since established their individual farms through the financial assistance from the state government. “Aside from the farming programme, the state government has been providing micro-credit loans ranging from N50, 000 to

Considering the devastating health implications of poliomyelitis including high child mortality and deformation of children; time had come for all to join hands in order to give the dreaded disease the final push

N300, 000 to other unemployed youths to set up their businesses,” Mgbada noted. The commissioner stressed that in order to ensure quality education; boarding school system has been reintroduced in the state’s secondary schools with additional classroom blocks put in place. He noted that the International Youth Day was a day set aside to take stock and critically appraise the condition of youth with a view to planning a better and brighter future for them. The commissioner declared that the administration of Governor Martin Elechi has accorded the youth the highest recognition more than any other state, noting that youths are currently occupying one political position or another within the state and at the national level. In a related development, the government has expressed its determination to do all within its power to return the state to her

earlier polio-free status within the shortest possible time. Governor Elechi made the pledge during the flag-off of the first edition of the quarterly sensitisation campaign on polio at the Women Development Centre (WDC) Abakaliki. He noted that considering the devastating health implications of poliomyelitis including high child mortality and deformation of children; time had come for all to join hands in order to give the dreaded disease the final push. Represented by his deputy, Chief Dave Umahi, Governor Elechi, in a speech entitled “Let the Men Stand up to be Counted,” stressed that the theme of the campaign, “Men Against Polio” was a deliberate attempt to draw men, as leaders of families, to take the driver’s seat in the war against polio.

























NEWS Four NURTW men detained over gun CRACK detectives from Area “D” Police Command, Mushin, Lagos,on Wednesday stormed the secretariat of the Okota-Ejigbo branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at Ejogbo and recovered four rifles. Four officers of the union were also arrested and taken away by the police. The Area Commander, Mr Uwem Akpan, confirmed the raid but said the four men were immediately handed over to the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) Ikeja, for further investigation. A top official of the Union at Cele Bus-Stop, who pleaded anonymity, said the arrested men were not members of the union. He said they are working for a particular ‘godfather’ in the area.

Cleric condemns Islamic banking By Charity Williams

GENERAL Overseer of Christian Pentecostal Mission (CPM) Rev. Obiora Ezekiel has said there is a hidden agenda behind the interest-free banking. He said it is a ploy to expose the nation to terrorist activities. He spoke at the opening of Refindim Microfinance Bank established by CPM to empower Christians. General -Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) , Pastor Wale Adefarasin, expressed satisfaction at the way religious leaders are setting up banks to empower people.

‘Orji committed to justice’

MASSOB leader, 280 others remanded in prison custody


N Enugu Magistrate court yesterday remanded in prison custody the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazurike and 280 other members of the movement. They allegedly conspired to overthrow Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime and other governors of the South Eastern states through unlawful means in order to enthrone Biafra. The accused were arraigned before Magistrate Dennis Ekoh on a four count-charge of treasonable felony and conducts likely to cause a breach of public peace by flying the flag of, and wearing Biafran uniforms contrary to Section 156 of the Criminal Code cap C.38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. The MASSOB members were picked up at different places in the state on Wednesday while travelling to Enugu to attend the 12th Anniversary of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) at Hotel Presidential, Enugu, where former Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and other prominent Igbos were given awards by the IYM. Those remanded included 10 elderly men , two young boys said to be below 14 and some women. Most of the accused persons complained

From Chris Oji, Enugu that the police and soldiers that arrested them on Wednesday collected their money, mobile phones and were also tortured. They called on the InspectorGeneral of Police to ensure that all the items were returned to them. Uwazuruike, accompanied by the National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)and Chief Victor Umeh, had gone to the office of the State Police Commissioner immediately after the event to find out why members of the movement were arrested only for Uwazurike to be detained by the police. Uwazurike and the accused persons were arraigned before the Magistrate Court amidst heavy security. But after the charges were read, the accused persons were not allowed to take plea as the presiding magistrate declined jurisdiction to handle the case. The magistrate also rejected oral applications by counsel to the accused persons to grant them bail, maintaining that they were at liberty to canvass same at the state high court when they are properly charged. APGA National Chairman, Chief Umeh, told newsmen that the remand of the accused persons was unfortunate, frivolous and laughable, saying that he was shocked to see the police coming with charges

that bothered on treasonable felony and conspiracy to sack elected governors of the Southeast by people who were neither armed nor violent. He said: “It’s unfortunate for this country that the cost of pursuing justice has continued to be unbearable. There was no single breach of public peace by Uwazurike and the MASSOB members. When they were arrested, we thought they’ll be released within hours but here we are, they’ve been remanded in prison custody. When they were arrested, not a single weapon was found on them. Their offence is that they were wearing blue uniform with a crest of rising sun which is laughable.”

From Emma Mgbeahurike , Owerri



BIA State Governor Theodore Orji is committed to the administration of justice, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Chairman, Ohafia Branch, Chief John Ogbonnaya, has said. Ogbonnaya also commended the governor for donating buses to NBA branches in the state. He said the governor is determined to quicken the pace of justice administration to ensure a free society.

The NBA chair said he was particularly impressed by the governor’s resolve to ensure the creation of a conducive environment for lawyers to excel. “I want to put it on record that Gov T.A Orji is not only the friend of lawyers but all professionals who through their activities assist in the smooth running of the government,” he said. Ogbonnaya added: “We have taken into cognisance the governor’s charge to us. We have been cooperating with the government in the fight against crime and criminality in the state. We shall continue in that stead. We will not help bail confirmed kidnappers.” Ogbonnaya pledged that his branch would ensure that the bus donated to it by the governor is used for the purpose it is meant.

Group accuses royal fathers HE Orlu Political Consultative Assembly (OPOCA) has accused some traditional rulers in Imo State of working against the reinstatement of the dissolved Council of Traditional Rulers headed by Eze Cletus Ilomuanya. National President of OPOCA, Dr Samfo Nwankwo, at a news conference in Owerri yesterday, urged Governor Rochas Okorocha to reinstate Eze Ilomuanya. “It is very unfortunate that some people have elected to play second fiddle instead of being on the driver’s seat. In fullness of time, we shall address that matter”, he said. He added: “We marshaled our reasons on why Eze Ilomuanya, a worthy son of Orlu, should serve out his tenure as the Chairman of Imo


From Emma Mgbeahurike , Owerri

Sate Council of Traditional Rulers. We insist that Governor Okorocha did not follow due process in removing him.” He said the Imo State Governor breached Law No 6 in dissolving the council headed by Eze Ilomuanya and should therefore reverse himself and recall the royal father. He denied that OPOCA was instigating the people against the government, noting that they were fighting against injustice and for the enthronement of peace through the recall of Eze Ilomuanya. “We feel aggrieved that a position meant for Orlu zone is being taken away illegally. OPOCA stands for justice in the defence of the cause of Orlu people,” he said.

MAC 61




Group to Jonathan: show your anti-corruption agenda


HE Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to come out with his anticorruption agenda to serve as a benchmark for assessing his administration. The group also expressed regrets that the nation’s political system still rewards corruption. But it faulted the delay in attending to corruption cases by the courts. In its Country Report on: The State of Corruption in Nigeria, which it published yesterday, the group picked holes in many areas of the nation’s anti-corruption war. The report reads: “The President should publicly state his commitment to break with the bad practices of past administrations in dealing with corruption, including executive interference with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operations; sponsor specific legislation to improve the independence of the EFCC; begin the long-term process of repairing and reinforcing Nigeria’s battered Federal Court system; take specific steps to improve the work of the Independent Corrupt Prac-

•Says Nigeria ’s political system rewards corruption From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation and Joseph Jibuezem

tices and Other Related Matters Commission (ICPC) and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB); and investigate allegations of incompetence within the leadership of the EFCC. “Corruption is at the heart of many of Nigeria’s most serious human rights problems and Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called upon the Nigerian government to do more to fight corruption and bolster the capacity and independence of key anti-corruption institutions.” The HRW said it has become imperative for Jonathan to unfold his anti-corruption plans. It alleged that the Presidency still interferes with the operations of the EFCC, adding that Nigeria’s political system still rewards corruption. The group said the failure of the EFCC to prosecute former Rivers State Governor Peter Odili is due to “severe incompetence,” noting that the anti-graft agency has damaged its cases through error and incom-

petence, while its officials have failed to offer any plausible explanation. According the group, the war on corruption in Nigeria hangs in the balance and there is urgent need to “fix” the EFCC. HRW said: “In a purely structural sense, the EFCC is deeply vulnerable to the whims of the Presidency. The commission’s chairman enjoys no security of tenure and can be removed by the President without any form of consultation or approval from the National Assembly. The political pressures brought to bear on the EFCC have at times been enormous. “At a fundamental level, Nigeria’s political system continues to reward rather than punish corruption. When the ruling party’s chieftain, Olabode George, emerged from prison early this year, after serving a two–and-a half year sentence following a landmark EFCC prosecution, he was treated to a rapturous welcome by members of Nigeria’s political elite, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and erstwhile Defence Minister, Adetokunbo

Kayode. The message was unmistakable - proven criminality is no bar to the highest echelons of politics in Nigeria.” The group blamed the Judiciary for delaying the trial of prominent political figures. It said: “The courts can also be an obstacle to accountability. Most of the EFCC cases against prominent political figures have been stalled in the courts for years without the trials even commencing. Nigeria’s weak and overburdened judiciary offers seemingly endless opportunities for skilled defence lawyers to secure interminable and sometimes frivolous delays. “These delays are not all inevitable. Section 40 of the EFCC Act purports to foster speedier trials in EFCC cases by barring judges from stopping trials to wait for appeals to be decided. “In theory, this provision is one of the most potent procedural weapons the EFCC has at its disposal. But the EFCC officials say that many judges have simply refused to adhere to the section, viewing

their wide discretion to decide such matters as a constitutional guarantee that cannot be curtailed by legislation.” The HRW noted that the EFCC has secured only four convictions of prominent political figures since its inception, alleging that acts of incompetence have inflicted the commission under its former chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the incumbent Mrs. Farida Waziri. It added: “The EFCC has secured only four convictions against nationally prominent political figures: one of those, Lucky Igbinedion, former Edo State Governor, was given a sentence so light, after pleading guilty, that it made a mockery of his conviction. “Acts of spectacular incompetence have afflicted the EFCC under Ribadu and Waziri. Most egregiously, the EFCC under Ribadu failed to appeal a 2007 legally tenuous court ruling that purported to bar the EFCC from investigating alleged crimes by former Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili. That ruling effectively derailed what could have been the commission’s most important case.

Police honour 19 officers for gallantry •Rescuer of Mikel’s dad included HE Kano State Police Command has honoured 19 police officers for crime prevention and distinguished service. Presenting the letters of commendation to the officers, Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris urged them to remain forthright in the discharge of their duties. He noted that the officers surmounted many challenges confronting the police to deserve the commendation. The police chief said one of the officers took part in the operations that led to the rescue of Elder Michael Obi, the father of Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi. Also honoured was Inspector Shehu Maiguwa, who was among the officers


From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

that arrested Nigeria’s most notorious criminal, Lawrence Anenih, in the 1980s, and has served the Police for 29 years. Idris said the officers, through their sense of patriotism, brought glory and dignity to the police force. “Their actions and excellent work in arresting notorious criminals as well as the rescue of the father of John Mikel Obi have really polished the image of the Police Force. By this, the public would have more confidence in us,” Idris said. The police chief urged other policemen to emulate the outstanding achievements of the 19 officers by demonstrating greater commitment to duty.

‘London riots’ possible here, says activist By Olukayode Thomas

AWYER and human right activist, Mr. Bamidele Aturu has called on government at all levels to tackle poverty, youth unemployment, insecurity and the widening gap between the rich and the poor, if Nigeria wants to avoid the kind of riots that swept across England recently. ‘’If our elite will continue to govern Nigeria or misgovern Nigeria as the case maybe, which they may be doing at the moment, the kind of violence that erupted in England will also happen in Nigeria. If you look at the situation in England, where people have a welfare state as it were, where unemployment rate is not as high as it is in Nigeria, where you also have social amenities and recreational facilities. There is also to some extent a responsible government that tries to at least give some values to the people, there was still some level of violence that is difficult for the government to deal with. There is no doubt that if we continue to do business in Nigeria the way we are doing now, we are also going to have a similar problem.’’ Aturu is not surprised at the explosion in England because the English system is also a capitalist system. “In Nigeria it is even worse because what we run here is a peripheral capitalist system where the rulers steal money, they loot the treasury and they use the resources of the people for their own private empire that they are governing. So we now find in Nigeria what I call a system privatised public institution. That is why we need to make a wakeup call if we don’t want to see what happened in London in Nigeria . ‘’ Aturu also called for a review of the present compensation system ‘’The present compensation system is iniquitous and evil, where you have people earning several millions of naira per month and some people are begging to earn even N18, 000. I have always recommended that in Nigeria nobody should earn less than N50, 000 and nobody should earn more than N200, 000.”


•Globacom Group COO, Mohamed Jameel speaking at the launch of the new Glo Flexi (dynamic tariff) in Lagos...yesterday. With him are: newly appointed Glo Ambassador Odunlade Adekola (left); Globacom Executive Director, Human Resources, Adewale Sangowawa; and new Glo Ambassador Jamila Umar Nagudu.


Kwara workers reject August salary over minimum wage

NDICATIONS emerged yesterday that Kwara State civil servants have rejected their August salary over government’s half-hearted implementation of the new minimum wage. Under the new arrangement, workers between grade levels one to six are to enjoy the new pay while those from levels seven to 14 are exempted. The government, through the Head of Service (HOS), Alhaji Dabarako Mohammed, had said the implementation of the new wage would begin on August 25. But an appeal yesterday by labour leaders to the workers not to reject their August salary, indicated that

•NLC, TUC plead with workers From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the workers might have kicked against the non-implementation of the new salary. Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Israel Adebisi, and his Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) counterpart, Comrade Bamidele Okogbe, told reporters that the government had begun the implementation of the new minimum wage with grade levels one to six.

The senior workers (levels seven to 14) insisted on the upward review of their salaries to make the implementation across board. Adebisi said: “The table signed by the NLC with the government contains N18,300, meaning that the government has complied with the implementation of the minimum wage at that level. But what we are talking of is the relativity for other grade levels - seven to 14. Even the NLC said the new salary structure from grade levels seven to 14 is not

properly done.” The labour leaders urged workers to remain calm. They denied that labour had called out the workers to protest, saying: “No members of the unions have been arrested in connection with the agitation for the review of the new minimum wage circular.” A past chairman of the state NLC, Comrade Emmanuel Aiyeoribe, urged the workers to collect their August salary and promised that the irregularities in the circular would be corrected before the payment of next month’s salary. Aiyeoribe said the labour leaders had dialogued with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.

INEC faults Accord chair’s sack


HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has faulted the purported sack of the National Chairman of Accord (A), Muhammed Nalado. It said the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which took the decision to sack him and his

executive was called in violation of the party’s constitution. Some members of the party, led by the Rev. Isaac Adeniyi, a former ViceChairman of the Board Of Trustees (BOT), allegedly met on July 29 and sacked Nalado. In an August 9 letter by

Abdulahi Kaugama, Secretary to INEC, and addressed to the National Chairman of Accord, the commission noted that the signatories to the petition convening the purported NEC meeting, which endorsed the appointment of Adeniyi as the chairman, did not represent two-thirds of the par-

ty’s NEC members as elected at the last National Convention of the party. Nalado described the action as null and void. He recalled how the agitating group burgled the party’s secretariat in Abuja and carted away valuable documents belonging to the party.



NEWS Fashola probes Yaba market crisis •Traders plead with governor By Nneka Nwaneri

HE Lagos State is not in a hurry to reopen the Yaba Market unless its leaders turn in those who attacked five officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) brigade on Tuesday, it was learnt yesterday. The Lagos State Government has launched an investigation into the incident that led to the attack and the subsequent closure of the popular ware point The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello said it was important to unmask the masterminds of the barbaric act to serve as deterrent to others from taking the law into their hands. The KAI officials had been barred by some traders at the market from enforcing the environmental sanitation laws. The KAI officials were physically attacked and injured. They were subsequently admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja. Bello restated government resolve to attain the zero tolerance target, and eliminate all forms of environmental nuisances within the metropolis, warning recalcitrant street traders to stay off the roads. Traders at the market yesterday urged Governor Babatunde Fashola to reopen it. Chairman of the union, Pastor Okey Anorue, said only a few traders were engaged in the clash, for which innocent traders have been made to suffer. He expressed regrets over the clash, saying the traders would foot the medical bills of the injured officials. “We have for years now enjoyed a cordial relationship with the government. We cannot destroy what we have put in place,” he said. “Only a section of the market attacked the officials, so it’s the finger that picks filth that should be punished and not the entire market. “We are indeed sorry for all that happened. We shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. We call on government to get a panel that will ensure that both sides of the story are heard. We also promise to foot the medical bills of the officials that were injured,” Anorue said.


Plot to frustrate CPC’s petition uncovered HERE are fears that the suspension of the Court of Appeal President, Justice Isa Ayo Salami may be a ploy to frustrate the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) election petition against the April 16 electoral victory of President Goodluck Jonathan. The fear is fuelled by the recent appointment of Acting President of the Court, Justice Dalhatu Adamu by President Goodluck Jonathan. Observers described this as a caveat to distract Nigerians from the ultimate ploy to frustrate the election petition of the CPC before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal headed by Jus-


From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

tice Salami, who is on suspension. Sources who spoke with The Nation on the development said the CPC’s petition may not survive the 180 days stipulated in the Electoral Act 2010. According to them, the appointment of Justice Adamu may not save the fate that may befall the petition. A source said: “Although it has been denied that the suspension of Justice Salami will affect the fate of the CPC’s petition, it is clear from the beginning that this is an agenda setting which the ruling party is to benefit

from. “You know Justice Salami is a fair and upright justice; before his suspension recall that he granted permission to CPC to inspect some sensitive electoral materials in the custody of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which the commission has not obeyed. “They see this man as someone they cannot bend to gain advantage, that is why they have sustained the attack on him. “Mr. President is now making the whole fear look real by endorsing the illegality of the National Judicial Council (NJC) which sat and suspended Justice Salami during the pendency of a court he had filed to check the NJC.

Another source said even if Justice Adamu takes over the case now or he reconstitutes the panel, “what happens if the Court nullifies his appointment and re-instates Justice Salami. It means all the actions taken by him in acting capacity are in nullity. Ultimately the President and his party will benefit from the misfortune. Another source who pleaded for anonymity disagreed with Jonathan that he approved Justice Salami’s suspension in the interest of the country. “It is either they have made up their mind to retire Justice Salami or they want to use his suspension to frustrate the efforts of the presidential tribunal,” he said, adding:

•Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida, Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade during a courtesy call on Dr Mimiko at the Government House in Akure...yesterday

Eight activists regain freedom


FTER a 24-hour detention with criminals in the Special Anti-Robbery Squad cell in Abuja, eight members of The National Frontiers (TNF) yesterday regained free-

dom. The TNF activists, including Tijani Usman and Jude Ehime, were arrested and detained over a protest march to seek the reinstatement of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami. They were however cautioned by the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mike Zuokumor, to be of good behaviour. But the counsel to the freed activists said their arrest was “reckless and unjustifiable.” According to findings, the eight activists, who spent the night with hardened criminals”, were set free at about 3.30pm. The freedom was however not without drama as the detainees demanded for food immediately they were brought to the FCT Command of the Nigeria Police. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The Police told us that they arrested us as part of a fact-finding search for those

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern |Operation

behind the protest. “We maintained that we did it out of conviction because some of us were past leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students. “At a point, they said we whould be set free if only our coordinator, Comrade Wole Badmus, could be asked to report to the Police. “We stood our ground and they transferred us from the FCT Police Command to SARS cell for further interrogation. “We were almost losing hope until we were taken to the office of the Commissioner of Police where we were cautioned and set free. The counsel to the activists, Mr. Ademola Oyedokun, said: “The arrest of these pro-democracy group leaders was reckless because they staged a peaceful demonstration with adequate police protection. “After the protest, the police deceived them into a bus as part of what they termed security measures. But they ended up in SARS

Reverse your decision on Salami, Ashafa urges President OR Senator Olugbenga Ashafa, the presidential approval given to the suspension of the President of the Appeal Court (PCA), Justice Isa Ayo Salami by the National Judicial Council (NJC) amounted to standing logic on its head. Ashafa said that President Goodluck Jonathan would have laid a bad precedent if he failed to reverse the endorsement he gave to the NJC decision, pointing out that the body lacked constitutional powers to take such measure against the PCA. He warned that the development could be harmful to the nation’s burgeoning democracy.


From: Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

In a statement, the senator representing Lagos East said: “The sudden, wrongprocedural and unconstitutional suspension of Justice Isa Ayo Salami not only portends debilitating dangers to our democracy, it also set a very dangerous precedent. “We are gradually drifting back to the age of vilification of public office and sacrilege of the Constitution even to the detriment of the average man. “For democracy to thrive in any nation, the rule of law must be sacrosanct and defended by the citizenry. The opposite of rule of law

is of course arbitrariness and lawlessness. “It is against the backdrop of the foregoing that the unfortunate removal of Justice Ayo Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal should be looked at.” Lacing his answers to the three questions he posed with Section 238 of the 1999 Constitution, Ashafa noted that the NJC acted under no constitutional provision. The lawmaker had asked if the NJC was so empowered by the Constitution to suspend an PCA; if it was not sub-judice for the body to have so acted after Salami had gone to court to challenge the NJC directive to apologise to the Chief Jus-

tice of Nigeria (NJC), Justice Alloysius Katsina-Alu and if it was constitutionally right for the President to have unilaterally removed Salami from office. Taking for granted that the answers to the questions cannot be positive, Ashafa said: “I will be answering all the three questions posted here without necessarily separating the answers. “Section 238 of the 1999 Constitution only talks of the power of the NJC to make recommendation to the President for the appointment of PCA and the other Judges of that Court, it does not give power to suspend the PCA. “Therefore by suspending

•Dr. Jonathan

Justice Ayo Salami, NJC acted without power under any enabling provision of the Constitution to do what it did.”

Falana petitions army chief By Joseph Jibueze


AGOS lawyer and rights activist, Mr Femi Falana has petitioned the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), alleging the violation of the right to fair hearing of his client, former commander of the 33 Artillery Brigade, Bauchi State, Brigadier-General Muriana Raji. Raji, who is standing trial before a General Court Martial sitting in Jos, Plateau State, alleged that the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Third Armoured Division, Major General Sunday Idoko, has been harassing him. In an August 24 petition, Falana urged the COAS to restrain Idoko from violating Raji’s rights. The lawyer said that at the inauguration of the court marital on August 16, the GOC claimed that he (Raji) had been indicted for complicity in the escape of two detained members of the Boko Haram sect. Falana wrote: “Contrary to section 139 of the Armed Forces Act (Cap A20) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 which provides that a court martial shall seat in open court, the press has been debarred from reporting the proceedings of the General Court Martial with respect to the trial of the Brigadier General Murania Raji. “Although the General Court Martial has been constituted in such a manner as to secure the independence and impartiality of its members, the GOC has subjected our client to undue harassment in the course of the trial. “In particular, following the dismissal of the two of the four-count charge by the court on August 22, 2011 the prosecutor asked for adjournment to enable him to consult with the Convening Authority. “A few hours thereafter our client, whose movement is restricted within the Maxwell Khole Barracks by the GOC, was requested by a military police team to take part in the fresh investigation of the subject matter of the on-going trial.

Rep damns ‘judicial rascality’ By Kayode Alfred A MEMBER of the House of Representatives, Hon Monsuru Alao yesterday described the suspension of Court ofAppeal President Justice Isa Ayo Salami by the National Judicial Council (NJC) as the height of judicial rascality. He said the order can never stand. Alao spoke in Lagos. According to him, the purported suspension of Justice Salami is judicial rascality that can never stand. His words: “Such rascality and unfair treatment should not be condoned, because it might set precedent for further issues like that. His being accused of wrong doing is unfounded and ungrounded, and it really makes him a victim of desperate measures in today’s politics.”




Foreign reserves drop to $33.5b N

IGERIA’s foreign reserves slumped to $33.5 billion on August 24, from $35.9 billion in August 8, dropping about $2.4 billion in two weeks. The reserves had dropped to $34.9 billion on August 16, before it fell to current level, based on data from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) website. The CBN expressed concern about the low level of the reserves in the face of higher oil output, higher oil exports volume and higher oil prices. Before the current reduction, the reserves had stood at $33.73 billion as at July 21, representing an increase of $1.84 billion or 5.77 per cent over the level attained on June, 30. Given that the current oil price level may not be sustained in the event of a slowdown in global economic recovery, the CBN, said there was need to pursue policies that would foster macro-economic stability, economic diversification as well as encouraging foreign capi-

banks sell to BDCs, and it is also different from the $100,000 weekly official sale to BDCs. Experts say in a highly importdependent economy with large pass-through effects of import prices on domestic prices like Nigeria, it is necessary to create a climate conducive to larger foreign capital inflows. This could be done through appropriate fiscal measures, particularly in the light of the gains that could be made in the current context of high crude oil prices. There is therefore need of continuing structural reforms and infrastructural development to enhance domestic production to reduce large import cost. Meanwhile, the naira was flat against the dollar on the interbank market within the week, at the CBN’s bi-weekly auction after all the demand for the greenback was not met, traders said. The naira closed at N153.80 to the dollar on average within the week, though it had traded higher at N153.90

• Losses $2.4b in two weeks Stories by Collins Nweze

tal inflows. The foreign currency reserves stood at $37 billion as at July 4, 2010, and were up to $68 billion in August 2008 before the global financial crises impacted negatively on it, according to data from the CBN website. At the July Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the CBN said the inflow into the reserves was not consistent with the high oil prices and this underscored the need for tighter fiscal controls around oil revenues as well as first-line charges, including Joint Venture Companies’ deductions and subsidies. The Committee called for a higher rate of retention of oil revenues, to help maintain exchange rate stability, seen as an antidote to imported inflation without excessive reliance

on monetary tightening measures. However, the CBN has maintained that the current level could finance more than 17 months of imports and is expected to remain robust in view of the favorable outlook for oil prices and output. Nigeria’s foreign reserves have been under pressure since last month with strong local demand for the US dollar by oil and rice importers, leading sometimes, to a depreciation of the naira. On Wednesday, the CBN intervened with $50 million sale to bureaux de change (BDCs) across the country. The increased supply, which is aimed at narrowing the gap between the official and parallel market exchange rate, has been offered through five banks at stipulated exchange rate. It was gathered that the $50 million is different from the usual autonomous foreign exchange which

•CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamido

to the dollar mid-session after the CBN’s auction result showed a $176 million supply shortage and a slight depreciation of the local currency. Traders said the market initially reacted to the unmet demand at the biweekly auction, but the naira later closed at the previous day's figure due to sales of dollars by some lenders at the interbank market.

IFRS: Experts make case for capacity building


O ensure a smooth take-off of the International Financial Re porting Standards (IFRS) in the country by 2012, there must be deliberate and concerted efforts to build capacities of the operators in both public and private organizations. This was the submission of experts at the on-going four- day IFRS workshop organised by a renowned accounting firm, Baker Tilly International, in Lagos. IFRS refers to series of accounting pronouncements published by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to help prepare financial statements throughout the world and present high quality transparency and comparable financial information.

By Akinola Ajibade

Speaking with newsmen at the workshop, Senior Partner, Baker Tilly International,. Titus Soetan, explained that they decided to organise the training to upgrade and acquaint their staff and clients on what IFRS entails. He stressed the need for both private and public organisations to

embark on similar training to facilitate a clear understanding before the next year implementation target. He noted that there are immense benefits in the IFRS adoption, stating that apart from boosting investment climate, it would further attract foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country. “There is urgent need to boost the

capacity of clients and those concerned with the operation. The world has become a global village and IFRS is the bedrock of reporting standards. Adoption by Nigeria would be of great advantage. Apart from foreign direct investments, the adoption would also align our financial reporting standards with those of other countries of the world,” he stated.

IMF projects 4% growth for South Africa


OUTH Africa's economy will likely grow by four per cent this year and 2012, but faces significant downside risks from a slowdown in the developed world, the International Monetary Fund

(IMF) has said. In its Article IV report, the IMF, said strong local demand will underpin growth in Africa's largest economy but given the uncertainties globally and locally, it would be prudent to delay

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016

interest rate increases. "The IMF favours waiting for clear evidence of a more pronounced increase in core inflation or inflation expectations before raising the policy rate,” according to Reuters.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($)

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80


7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011



O/Price 1.30 11.00 0.94 2.76 4.17 30.00 2.58 12.70 1.01 28.50 5.91 1.38

C/Price 1.36 11.49 0.98 2.86 4.31 31.00 2.65 12.99 1.03 28.95 6.00 1.40

CHANGE 0.06 0.49 0.04 0.10 0.14 1.00 0.07 0.29 0.02 0.45 0.09 0.02

The consultations with South African authorities took place towards end of May to June 7, when the overriding view was that interest rates in Africa's biggest economy would rise by the end of this year.




Soetan, who is also a board member of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), lauded efforts being made by associations and organisations in the country such as the FRC, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), accounting firms and others to ensure effective implementation of the standards in the country.

Amount Sold ($)

Exchange Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57










Bureau de Change 152.0000




(S/N) Parallel Market






16-08-11 N7.291tr 22,792.06

17-08-11 N7.297tr 22,811.39

% Change +0.08% +0.08%





February ’11

July ’11





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 10.2%

LOSER AS AT 25-8-11

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.62 112.11 0.78 1.01 0.97 1,620.90 9.61 1.39 1.87 8,827.74 193.00

9.08 1.00 117.16 111.89 0.81 1.01 0.97 1,618.90 9.14 1.33 1.80 8,557.73 191.08





116.94 11.78 0.68 1.38 0.57 9.84 4.21 6.09 0.80 83.00


111.11 11.20 0.65 1.32 0.55 9.52 4.11 5.95 0.79 82.00


5.83 0.58 0.03 0.06 0.02 0.32 0.10 0.14 0.01 1.00


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 04 MAR, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 24, MAY, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 MAR, 2011

07, MAR, 2011










EQUITIES NSE sinks further as bears rattle blue chips


Company Name JULI PLC Sector Totals

Quantity Traded 1,000 1,000

Value of Shares (N) 2,760.00 2,760.00


2 1 9 12


1 43 44

0.50 0.50 7.48

3,000 600 46,576 50,176

1,500.00 300.00 349,068.48 350,868.48

AIR SERVICES 2.23 6.70

5,000 437,613 442,613

10,600.00 3,014,112.67 3,024,712.67

700 351,097 351,797

350.00 466,396.76 466,746.76


1 13 14

0.50 1.36


No of Deals 104 114 70 21 79 575 12 683 48 15 15 54 58 270 15 15 36 292 2,476


104 140 244

BANKING Quotation(N) 5.95 4.11 2.86 5.70 2.05 10.90 0.50 12.99 9.52 0.70 1.15 5.72 1.40 4.31 2.09 0.55 0.79 12.50

Quantity Traded 1,389,631 3,934,909 1,032,462 180,250 4,707,588 24,531,678 152,168,000 19,487,136 30,979,629 143,392 181,600 1,199,228 5,497,811 11,272,043 361,668 499,785 2,111,029 7,059,655 266,737,494

Value of Shares (N) 8,276,888.01 16,230,436.83 2,758,206.66 1,006,487.54 9,575,280.73 267,184,239.00 76,084,000.00 253,105,130.00 308,165,876.52 100,374.40 208,840.00 6,851,465.35 7,484,592.18 48,243,721.58 755,886.12 280,195.95 1,633,301.71 87,850,573.16 1,095,795,495.74

BREWERIES 215.00 83.00

228,049 950,610 1,178,659

49,051,419.77 78,614,762.52 127,666,182.29


32 16 27 17 92

19.58 7.60 111.11 41.90

114,775 268,380 193,787 262,926 839,868

2,245,484.80 2,033,248.23 21,637,304.90 11,017,025.54 36,933,063.47


T the close of business yesterday, the Nige rian Stock Exchange (NSE) failed to consolidate on the positive signals observed last Wednesday to its advantage in the midst of intensified sales’ pressures on a handful of blue chip stocks. The main pull was recorded by the bearish sentiments witnessed in the building materials sector. As a result, the All-ShareIndex lost 247.01 points representing 1.11 per cent depreciation to close lower at 22,061.21 points. Similarly, the Market Capitalization of all first-tier traded equities lost N79 billion to close lower at N7.057 trillion. Though market breath closed marginally stronger than Wednesday’s record with 20 gained stocks, against 15 that dropped values, strong volume and value losses recorded in First Bank, Stanbic-IBTC, Dangote Cement, Diamond Bank and Flour Mills substantially plummeted the market. Leading the gainers table was RT Briscoe with a price increase of N0.06 to close at N1.36, followed by Dangote Sugar with an increase of N0.49 to close at N11.49. Others were C & I Leasing, Ecobank and UBA with price gains of N0.04, N0.10 and

No of Deals 20 23 1 1 45

Quotation(N) 9.90 26.51 1.32 10.53

Quantity Traded 407,279 135,237 74,618 12,458 629,592

Value of Shares (N) 4,023,703.77 3,585,056.45 98,495.76 124,704.58 7,831,960.56


1 19 1 21

0.88 2.78 3.63

3,000 2,113,200 500 2,116,700

2,520.00 5,629,872.00 1,725.00 5,634,117.00


1 1 1 3 6

3.93 0.50 1.38 3.25

13,000 1,700 270 18,434 33,404

53,560.00 850.00 356.40 56,961.06 111,727.46

N0.14 to close at N0.98, N2.86 and N4.31 respectively. On the losers table, Dangote Cement led with a drop of N5.83 to close at N111.11, followed by Dangote Flour, AIICO, DN Meyer and Unity Bank with price increases of N0.58, N0.03, N0.06 and N0.02 respectively. Total volume of shares transacted yesterday moved up to 312.977 million valued at N1.541 billion in 4,117 deals, as against 165.14 million shares worth N1.17 billion exchanged in 4,356 deals posted at mid-week. Growth in volume and value represent 89.5 per cent and 31.6 per cent respectively. Market breathe improved marginally with 20 advanced stocks against 19 posted yesterday while declined ones dropped to 15 against the previous 19. Finbank Plc remained the most actively traded stock with 76.1 million shares valued at N152.2 million in 12 deals. The Bank has maintained this trend in the last three days. Other equities that recorded significant volume were Stanbic-IBTC, First Bank, GTBank and UBA. In the banking sector, in-


4 1 8 3 15 6 1 2 1 7 22 5 3 2 138

Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals Quotation(N) 8 0.98 8

1 59 2 58 51 52 223


5 20 1 26

6.76 31.00 6.11 0.93 39.00 28.00


67 67

676.00 11,397,108.24 38,619.07 7,455,516.58 28,259,499.16 11,544,271.88 58,695,690.93

No of Deals 12 40 22 48 59 10 19 58 2 2 272


No of Deals 13 12 6 4 35

Quotation(N) 45.00 16.89 11.20 11.49 82.00 4.40 4.43 400.00 22.61 0.50

73,841.60 9,016,019.75 3,470.00 9,093,331.35

3 3


Value of Shares (N) 835,039.74 4,945,805.95 3,825,718.40 11,562,685.10 24,746,812.36 277,572.90 1,271,697.20 50,447,923.51 30,072.00 17,750.00 97,961,077.16

Quantity Traded 150,618 73,150 55,070 9,800 288,638

Value of Shares (N) 249,640.74 1,975,050.00 220,176.80 36,102.00 2,480,969.54

31,100 31,100

225,302.00 225,302.00


1 16 17

11.20 6.00

100 187,220 187,320

1,064.00 1,124,640.00 1,125,704.00


No of Deals Quotation(N) 23 0.50 23

Quantity Traded 2,842,164 2,842,164

Value of Shares (N) 1,421,082.00 1,421,082.00

Quantity Traded 795,764

Value of Shares (N) 517,246.60


No of Deals Quotation(N) 58 0.65

Value of Shares (N) 193,372.20 193,372.20


6,224,017 6,224,017

6,445,517.31 6,445,517.31

No of Deals Quotation(N) 1 0.52 1

Quantity Traded 109,500 109,500

Value of Shares (N) 56,940.00 56,940.00


No of Deals Quotation(N) 1 0.50 5 0.50 6

Quantity Traded 5,000 45,393 50,393

Value of Shares (N) 2,500.00 23,261.16 25,761.16

PACKAGING Quantity Traded 18,193 292,125 341,582 1,024,907 302,121 66,405 286,120 125,536 1,400 35,500 2,493,889


Quantity Traded 207,658 207,658

OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 27,760 162,692 1,000 191,452

HEALTHCARE Quotation(N) 1.68 27.00 4.00 3.87

1,079,200.36 250.00 237,087.57 15,250.00 6,323,980.35 1,500.00 3,886.00 12,214.80 250.00 41,369.50 3,230,182.32 33,270.70 57,235.00 3,957.50 11,556,880.70



1,042,524 500 89,450 30,500 5,806,015 3,000 7,772 23,490 500 82,739 6,456,085 20,390 114,470 7,915 14,481,114

MARITIME 100 368,151 6,647 8,165,142 723,096 415,204 9,678,340

CONSTRUCTION 2.66 55.50 3.47

1.03 0.50 2.65 0.50 1.10 0.50 0.50 0.54 0.50 0.50 0.52 1.71 0.50 0.51 LEASING


stitutional purchases and a hold back on offers led to gains for GTBank and UBA, bagging 2.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively. Glutting offers at N13.00 may however stall further appreciation for GTBank today (Friday), while the possibility of further gains exists for UBA, as closing bids outweighed offers. On the flip side, Access Bank and Diamond Bank lost 2.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively. In the building materials sector, bearish sentiments shaved off 5.0 per cent from Dangote Cement; closing sentiments suggest that this trend could continue on Friday. Lafarge WAPCO also lost marginal points, but current support appears to be at N42.00. On the other hand, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) inched up marginally with a 1.3 per cent gain, while Ashaka Cement recorded no price change. In the food and beverages sector, Dangote Sugar rallied with a 4.5 per cent markup as Nascon bagged a marginal 0.5 per cent gain. On the flip side, Dangote Flour lost was caused by glutting offers likely to lead to more losses today (Friday).



By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire



829,620 829,620

1,604,534.76 1,604,534.76


No of Deals 15 24 3 7 13 137 20 219

Quotation(N) 63.86 34.36 4.70 17.41 148.00 28.95 203.32

Quantity Traded 33,225 41,285 10,100 2,980 10,093 1,284,793 32,685 1,415,161

Value of Shares (N) 2,073,037.46 1,429,771.12 45,147.00 49,289.20 1,537,075.00 36,914,798.11 6,684,999.28 48,734,117.17


11 11


19 19


26,699 26,699

108,151.00 108,151.00


211,761 211,761

4,002,999.72 4,002,999.72

20,000 20,000

1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00

14,801 14,801

8,527.38 8,527.38




3 3



No of Deals Quotation(N) 27 13.00 27 4,103

Quantity Traded 801,916 801,916 312,486,846

Value of Shares (N) 10,428,244.84 10,428,244.84 1,532,985,837.65










Salami: Court okays service on CJN, others Continued from page 2

Secretary to the National Judicial Council and/or by pasting the processes on the entrance wall of the National Judicial Council in the Supreme Court Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja.” Ruling, the vacation Judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo, ordered that the “the leave is granted to the Applicant to serve the Writ of Summons, the statement of claim and all other processes issued in this suit

on the 2nd-11th defendants by delivering the Processes issued in this suit on the Secretary of the National Judicial Council in the Supreme Court Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court or to any of the staff in the office of the Secretary to the National Judicial Council not below the rank of the Administrative or clerical staff”. In an affidavit in support of the motion, Olufemi Atetedaiye, a lawyer in the chamber of Olujinmi, said: “I

verily believe that the 2nd – 11th Defendants are members, officers and/or agents of the 1st Defendant at all times material to this suit and the issues raised in this suit affect the Defendants jointly and severally in respect of acts carried out for and on behalf of the 1st Defendant. “I know as a fact that the individual addresses for personal service of the 2nd-11th Defendants are largely unascertainable as some of the said Defendants are retired judicial officers.

“I verily believe that an attempt to effect personal service of the originating process and other processes in this Suit on each of the 2nd – 11th Defendants will cause unnecessary delay, expense and hardship for the Applicant. “The 4th to 11th defendants were constituted into two different committees by the 1st defendant in respect of the issues leading to this suit. “The presence of the 4th to 11th defendants as parties in this case is only in relation

to what they did as committees set up by the 1st defendant. “I verily believe from the foregoing that the 1st defendant who constituted them into committees have the contact addresses of each of the 4th to 11th defendants. “I verily believe from the foregoing that service of the originating process and other processes through the 1st Defendant’s official headquarters at the Supreme Court Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja will bring notice

of the suit and all processes issued therein to the attention of the Defendants. “That we decided ex abundant cautela, to reserve the originating processes and the pending Motions on the 2nd and 3rd defendants by the substituted means prayed for to avoid any arguments by them later that they where not personally served. “I verily believe that it is in the interest of justice to grant this Application as the Defendants will not be prejudiced in anyway.”

Defiant leader urges supporters to purify Tripoli Continued from page 2

•President. Jonathan (middle) with the elders... yesterday.


President: assess me after one year


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday asked those in a hurry to assess his administration to wait till next year. He described three months as too short a period to assess an administration which only took off with the recent constitution of the cabinet. He spoke during a visit of the Yoruba Council of Elders led by its President Gen Adeyinka Adebayo to the State House yesterday. The President said the issue of poor roads will be taken care of. The elders had raised concern about the bad roads, within the region and called on the Federal Government to do something about it. “We must take our priority projects, see how we can

•Yoruba elders at the Villa From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

fund them and that is through alternative source of funding. We have set up an economic team and economic management team,” he said. The president who also spoke on corruption said the administration is serious in the fight against corruption, saying “some corrupt practices we must stop it. There must be drastic changes.” Stressing his determination to rid the country of corruption, the president who cited the crisis in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) said the essence of the NDDC fact- finding committee was to be able to have first

hand knowledge of what was happening there so as to punish the guilty while rewarding the hardworking ones. “I remember what happened in the last dispensation when my Minister of Works who is from Benin visited the Oba,who refused him entry because of the Benin –Ore Raod and the Oba said no, the Minister of Works you cannot enter into my compound. Somebody from the South East asked are we not part of Nigeria? , All our roads are bad. Every year we budget significant sums of money, there is no year we don’t budget significant sums of money for road, yet, there seem to be no road anyway, so where is that money going? I know that

probably the money, it is not that some people are embezzling the money per se, but we try to spread the little money into too many projects and at the end of the day, we are not getting anything done. We spread the money and we don’t achieve what we want and people don’t see. Where we are supposed to use N3billion we put N500 million and the contractor just uses it to buy diesel and plays around. Nobody can say yes, the Federal Government has this kilometres of road at least completed at least from this end to this end, that is one of the places we are looking at . “For the road infrastructure we are also looking at alternative means of funding and

we have set up a committee. We must take our priority projects, see how we can fund them and that is through alternative source of funding. We have set up and economic team and economic management team. I don’t want to tell them so that they will say this is what the president wants and what the president said. “For the road infrastructure we are also looking at alternative means of funding and we have set up a committee.” Earlier, the Yoruba Council of Elders had decried what it termed apparent disregard for the principle of Federal Character and its negative effect on the Southwest the elders also complained about the dilapidated state of the Lagos Ibadan express way.

In a nod to a speech he made early in the uprising against his 41-year rule, Gaddafi urged Libya’s youth and tribal leaders to take control of their neighborhoods from the rebels. “Street by street, alleyway by alleyway, house by house,” he cried. “The tribes that are outside of Tripoli must march on Tripoli. Each tribe must control its area and stop the enemy setting its foot on this pure land.” “O sheikhs of the mosques, O scholars, incite the people to jihad. Go out as their leaders.” “Do not leave Tripoli to those rats, kill them, defeat them quickly. You are the crushing majority... There will be no safe place for the enemies.” He said Libyans must show the rebels no mercy. “I call upon you to organise a million man march that will fight this time, that will fill the streets and fill the squares. Do not fear the shelling. These are blank shells that scare you.” “Bring out the men and women this time to purify Tripoli. Bring out the young inside Tripoli to protect all alleyways and districts... They must fight and not give up.” The new Libyan leadership, the National Transitional Council based in the eastern city of Benghazi, has offered a reward for Gaddafi’s capture and the International Criminal Court has charged him with crimes against humanity.

Don’t blame Salami’s fate on me, says Jonathan


HERE were more protests yesterday on the suspension of Appeal Court President Isa Ayo Salami. But president’s spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati said the President should not be made a scapegoat in the crisis because he only acted to avoid a lacuna. President Jonathan on Sunday appointed Justice Dalhatu Adamu to act in the office of the President of the Court of Appeal, pending when all issues are resolved. Abati who told State House reporters yesterday that the statement announcing the President’s action was very clear and not partisan. He, however, regretted the criticisms that have greeted the appointment of an acting president for the Court of Appeal.

From Amidu Arije and Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

“The President is not a partner to this conflict as has been described and would be unfair, most unfair to use him as a scapegoat,” he said “The office of the President of the Court of Appeal is too important to be left in a vacuum; the suspension created a vacuum to be filled. “Justice Salami has taken the matter to court and he is entitled to challenge his suspension in court and, therefore, we cannot comment on that,” he added. Abati accused critics of not looking at the specifics in the constitution before making pronouncement. He said: “And the surprising thing is that the people who are struggling very hard to drag him into it are not look-

ing at the specific recommendations in the constitution. They are just making judicial pronouncements and dictating to the President what he should do outside the confines of the law and I believe they do so strictly for their own partisan interest”. “But I think in reacting to this development all kinds of interpretations, people have been making all kinds of judicial pronouncements, everybody in Nigeria has suddenly become a judge and Mr. President is being turned into a scapegoat in a matter in which he is completely innocent.” Abati also said if the President had failed to act, Nigerians would have accused him of not acting. “If the President had withheld action on the recommendations of the NJC, people who are criticising him now would

have accused him of interfering with the work of the judiciary. “So, the principle of independence has to be respected but at the same time, the President has even provided an opportunity just to stay within the law and to fill that vacuum that has been created. It is the duty of the judiciary, ultimately within the framework of the law, to resolve the matter,” Abati said. Youths in Lagos under the aegis of the Lagos State Chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, in conjunction with the Coalition of Lagos Youths (COLY), staged a peaceful protest to the United States Embassy and the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos to register their grievances over the suspension of Justice Salami. The youths, with placards

moved peacefully round the embassies. They dropped copies of their protest letters, jointly signed by the President, Lagos State Chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Ahmed Somoye and Ayedun Taiwo Shanana, of the Coalition of Lagos Youths. Some of the messages on the placard are “Rule of law, social justice our demand”; Let’s protect our judicial process in Nigeria”; “Mr. President don’t be infected by the NJC virus.” In their protest letter, the group said: “We categorically state that the purported suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami, is undemocratic, illegal and amounts to sheer abuse of office by the National Judicial Council (NJC), President Goodluck Jonathan and

the entire Federal Government of Nigeria. This call is necessary and highly germane at this contemporary Africa history, which is recently marred by mass revolutions and riotous violence across the continent and the Arab world. If this arbitrariness is not checked, the PDP government at the centre will ultimately plunge Nigeria into a theatre of national catastrophe, which may not be too good for the future of this country and entire Africa. We call on your trusted leaderships to help in putting the Federal Government of Nigeria to check and the National Judicial Council in particular so that democracy will not be rendered useless in our nation. Justice Ayo Salami is not found wanting of any crime and, therefore, should be reinstated by the President.”




Intense battles erupt near Gaddafi ‘s seized compound


NE thousand rebels bombarded buildings filled with regime fighters hiding amid civilians in a ferocious battle yesterday for Moammar Gaddafi’s last major stronghold in Tripoli. The Libyan leader, still in hiding, sent a new message calling on his supporters to kill the rebels. The bullet-ridden bodies of three Gaddafi soldiers in military uniforms lay on the ground outside a fire station in the battle-scarred Abu-Salim neighborhood and a few bodies of rebel soldiers were wrapped in blankets nearby. The sewers ran red with blood. Deafening explosions of outgoing mortars and the whistle of sniper fire filled air clogged with smoke from burning buildings and weapons fire. A mother ran out of one the buildings under siege, screaming for first aid for her wounded son. Behind her, the building’s glass windows

were shattered and black smoked poured out of a burning apartment. Amid the din, the call to prayer wafted out from neighborhood mosques. Mahmoud Bakoush, a rebel commander at the site, said there were rumors that one of Gadhafi’s sons might be in the buildings, but that was not confirmed. The battles raged for at least four hours, then stopped at sundown. Abu Salim, which is adjacent to Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound seized by rebels on Tuesday, is thought to be the last major hotbed of regime brigades in Tripoli. After hours of fierce fighting, Associated Press reporters at the scene said rebels were making progress pushing them out. Many of the fighters are believed to have moved to Abu Salim from Bab al-Aziziya after the compound was captured and ransacked. The rebels are struggling to take complete control of

Tripoli, four days after they swept into the capital and sparked the collapse of Gadhafi’s regime. The autocrat has refused to surrender and has vowed from hiding to fight on “until victory or martyrdom.” The rebel leadership has offered a $2 million bounty on Gadhafi’s head. The rebels know they will not be able to declare a full victory in the 6-month-old civil war until Gadhafi is either captured or killed. “Don’t leave Tripoli for the rats. Fight them, fight them, and kill them,” Gadhafi said in audio message broadcast on Al-Rai television. “It is the time for martyrdom or victory,” he said, calling tribes outside the capital “to continue their march to Tripoli.” He said imams in mosques should call for youths to rise up “for jihad.” He warned the rebels will enter people’s homes and rape their women. “They will enter your houses and deprive

Britain assures Libya of diplomatic support



you of your honor,” he said. “NATO can’t remain in the air all the time.” A regime spokesman told the AP Gadhafi is safely in hiding and leading the battle against the rebels. Moussa Ibrahim, in a call to AP’s Cairo office, said the longtime dictator was in Libya and his morale was high. Gadhafi “is indeed leading the battle for our freedom and independence” said Ibrahim, who was recognizable by his voice.

RITISH Foreign Secretary William Hague has assured Libya of diplomatic support to help the National Transitional Council build a free and democratic future. Speaking after chairing a meeting of the National Security Council on Libya the Foreign Secretary said: “We are monitoring the diplomatic, military and humanitarian situation in Libya, as we have been of course throughout this crisis in Libya over the last five or six months. The immediate military situation is that NATO forces have been active again and it’s important to stress that Operation Unified Protector goes on. It is not over. NATO decided yesterday to continue its operations for as long as it is necessary to protect the civilian population of Libya from the forces that remain loyal to the Gaddafi regime. United Kingdom forces will continue to take part in that. Our resolve is unwavering on this as of course it has been throughout this crisis. And so it’s important to stress that that those operations go on. The Gaddafi regime is finished. There is no way back for the Gaddafi regime and clearly many of its key members are on the run. But there remain forces active loyal to the Gaddafi regime, concentrated particularly in the South of Tripoli and around the city of Sirte and as long as that remains the case and they remain a threat to the civilian population, then the NATO operations will continue.

AU raises fund to combat Horn of Africa crisis


FRICAN governments have pledged $46m for the crisis in the Horn of Africa amid warnings that the emergency stretches far beyond hunger to encompass health, security and livelihood. The pledges came at a poorly attended summit meeting in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, with only four heads of state making an appearance at the event – postponed from earlier this month. The figure fell short of the $50m expected by NGOs, which did little to conceal their disappointment. However, the African Development Bank announced a $300m donation for long-term development in the Horn of Africa. “We are disappointed that the pledges are less than the minimum of $50m that Africans Act 4 Africa set as a target,” said the pan-African fundraising group. “If Andrew Adansi-Bonnah, an 11-year-old Ghanaian boy can miss school and travel to Addis Ababa to demonstrate his commitment to raising funds and adding his voice, why couldn’t more African leaders have done the same?” Three African countries provided nearly half of the pledges – Algeria ($10m), Angola ($5m) and Egypt ($5m). Gambia, Mauritania and Congo-Brazzaville gave more than their proportional share, while Nigeria gave only $2m – less than some of its neighbours with smaller economies. South Africa was also tightfisted, with Oxfam pointing out that only $1.3m of its pledge came from government sources (the rest came from individual donations), about the same as from South Sudan, Africa’s newest state.

British Deputy PM attacked with paint bomb


RITISH Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has paint thrown at him at meeting with Liberal Democrat party activists. The Liberal Democrat leader was in Glasgow meeting grassroots party members during a tour of the United Kingdom. Two men entered the closed meeting and threw blue paint at Clegg and the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie. It is understood Rennie bore the brunt of the paint attack. Police said one man – understood to be in his 20s – had been arrested in connection with the incident at Woodside Hall. It is not known if the men were Lib Dem members. Clegg shrugged off the incident, telling Real Radio Scotland: “These things happen. It’s not a big deal.” Rennie said: “It was two disgruntled individuals, who chose not to speak about their concerns in advance but were purely interested in a stunt. “Their behaviour has only obscured any message that they may have had. I’ve always wanted a blue streak in my hair but my mother wouldn’t let me.”

Funeral for Pa Olatunde THE final funeral rites for Pa I. O. Olatunde begins today with a Christian wake at his Oyo, Oyo State home. According to a statement by one of his children, Mr. Wale Olatunde of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) Abuja, Pa Olatunde would be buried tomorrow after a funeral service at St Michael Cathedral, Oke Ebo, Oyo. Pa Olatunde died on May 10. He was 82. He is survived by his wife,

•Pa Olatunde

Mrs. R. A. Olatunde and five children.




Messi wins UEFA Best Player in Europe Award L IONEL Messi has been voted the winner of the inaugural UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in Monaco, the FC Barcelona forward finishing ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi Hernández. The FC Barcelona forward finished ahead of club-mate Xavi Hernández and Real Madrid CF's Cristiano Ronaldo in a poll of 53 sports journalists representing each of the UEFA member associations. Messi, the overwhelming winner, collected his prize at the UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The Argentine international scored 53 goals in 2010/11, including 12 in the UEFA Champions League, where he finished as the top scorer for the third season in succession. "I'd like to thank all the people that voted for me, and all my team-mates." said the 24year-old, one of four Barcelona players in the top ten, three of whom finished in the top four. "I keep all these awards at home and I still have some space for more. It's an honour to be so successful and to come up with the goods at the right time; thanks to my team-mates for helping me achieve this. [My motivation] comes from being at a club that's so successful and having a structure that allows us to be so successful; that was taught to me when I moved over and I've tried my best to

•As CL group-stage draw is released • Barcelona faces Milan in group stage draw keep it up." The award replaces the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award claimed in 2010 by FC Internazionale Milano's Diego Milito, a year after Messi won the prize. That award formed part of the UEFA Club Football Awards which also included prizes for best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and coach and had been presented in Monaco every August since 1998. The UEFA Best Player in Europe Award was borne out of an initiative by UEFA President Michel Platini and has the intention of reviving the spirit of the old European Footballer of the Year award. For the new award, players were judged by their performances during the 2010/ 11 campaign in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels. Meanwhile, Manchester City could not avoid a group of death in their first Champions League draw but rivals Manchester United will be delighted with their draw. City will come up against three tough opponents in Group A in Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Napoli. Manchester United were given a much easier draw, in Group C alongside Benfica,

the club they beat to secure their first European Cup in 1968, as well as Swiss champions Basle and unknowns Otelul Galati from Romania, making their bow in the competition. Arsenal have to overcome Marseille, Greek champions Olympiakos and a potentially tricky test against Borussia Dortmund - the club among the pot of fourth seeds to avoid - in Group F. Chelsea will face Valencia, the former club of latest new signing Juan Mata, plus Bayer Leverkusen - where Michael Ballack is now playing - and Genk from Belgium in Group E. Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Manchester City, Napoli. Group B: Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow, Lille, Trabzonspor. Group C: Manchester United, Benfica, Basle, Otelul. Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb. Group E: Chelsea, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Genk. Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Olympiacos, Borussia Dortmund. Group G: Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg, Apoel Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, BATE Borisov, Plzen. The first round of fixtures will be played on September 13/14.



‘Mubarak’s arraignment shows the world that nobody is above the law and Gaddafi’s disappearing act shows that dictators are cowards when it comes to accepting responsibility for their actions’ VOL. 7 NO.1864



AST Friday was civil-military relations scholar, Professor J. ‘Bayo Adekanye’s seventieth birthday. Unlike my Egbons who had written birthday tributes before me – Eghosa Osaghae (The Guardian, 19 August) and Segun Ayobolu (The Nation, 20 August), I didn’t have the privilege of being his student at the University of Ibadan. I met ‘Oga’ as I fondly call him - first in academic journals as a post-graduate student in International Relations at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). Having picked an early interest in a rare aspect of International Relations – Strategic/Military Studies, a recurring name in many of the materials I encountered in relation to Africa in one of the leading journal in the field, Armed Forces & Society, was J. ‘Bayo Adekson/Adekanye of the University of Ibadan. Upon completion of my Masters’ programme in International Relations, I went to the University of Ibadan in search of Dr Adekanye, hoping to convince him to supervise my doctoral thesis. I met him in the Department and he was so warm and receptive to an impressionable young man he was meeting for the first time. He however explained his inability to supervise my proposed thesis on Defence Spending/Military Expenditure in Nigeria, due to an already planned sabbatical at the Dalhousie University in Canada. He gave me a few ideas on how to proceed with my plans. When I mentioned in passing that I might try the United Kingdom for doctoral studies, he quickly suggested the name of Robin Luckham of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, a renowned authority on the Nigerian military as a possible supervisor. As it turned out, I ended up in the War Studies Department at King’s College, University of London, again because Robin Luckham was on sabbatical at the Australian National University in Canberra. But ‘Oga’ kept in touch throughout his time in Dalhousie and upon return to Nigeria, monitoring my progress and acting as my ‘unofficial’ PhD supervisor. He could claim credit for my making as a scholar in the same manner he could claim credit for the moulding of the Osaghaes, Ayobolus and the Ofeimuns who were his students in Political Science at the University of Ibadan. Unknown to many, ‘Oga’ could also claim other credits. Although my brother, Professor Eghosa Osaghae counts Professor Adekanye’s a-political nature as a significant part of his persona, “in the sense of keeping political science apart from participation in the political process,” I am not sure I agree with this. Indeed, I can confirm without any fear of contradiction that his deep sense of right and wrong occasioned by his religious fervour enabled him to also play critical “behind the scene” roles only known to some of us in the struggle for freedom and democracy in Nigeria. I shall illustrate my point. In the heat of Nigeria’s military dictatorship in the 1990s, Professor Adekanye was a Research Professor and Resident Scholar at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway (PRIO). While it is no longer news that I was involved in the founding and running of the opposition radio during our time in exile, I can now reveal that Professor Bayo Adekanye was one of my collaborators-in-chief. In my shuttle diplomacy between United Kingdom and Nor-





Celebrating a mentor at 70

He has also played some significant role in peace and conflict studies particularly in divided and multi-ethnic societies as an adviser to the United Nations, AU and ECOWAS

way, where the opposition Radio Kudirat operated from, he was a key link between the democratic movement and elements within the Norwegian State sympathetic to our cause. His links with the Norwegian African Institute in those heady days provided us with a very critical platform of engagement in all our activities in Norway. Hence, while ‘Oga’ may not shout at the rooftops about his resistance to dictatorship and oppression, one cannot doubt his belief that committed scholarship must provide the road map that will enable our people take control over their own destinies and lives. Second, in everything he does, he believes that scholarship must contribute to the transformation of the body politic so that it becomes a useful overarching framework that promotes holistic development and democracy - cultural, ecological, economic, political and social. In short, for Professor Adekanye - the scholar must link scholarship to political activism, no matter how understated. Indeed, in my view – Professor Adekanye’s specialisation in itself represents a political statement about his subliminal commitment to the liberation of citizens from the clutches of oppression using scholarly tools. His intellectual demolition of the ‘military as modernisers’ thesis, which was the dominant thesis in civil-military relations in the 1970s served the cause of demystifying the military in the eyes of ordinary citizens

and budding scholars like me and provided ammunition for those opposed to the military in politics. By always insisting on clarifying the sociological and institutional underpinnings of the military, Professor Adekanye taught us early about a more nuanced assessment of the military which does not treat the institution as a monolith or defines the military simply by the excesses of its aberrant officer corps. But he never spared those excesses and his magisterial work on “The Retired Military Phenomenon” represents one of his strongest assaults on the irresponsibility and selfishness of the military caste in Africa whilst also underscoring how deeply entrenched they have become in the polity. In his writings and in my own personal encounter with him over the years, “Oga” articulates the need for democracy to be relevant to the masses of African peoples as a means of liberation from the scourges of capitalist exploitation, orchestrated by neo-liberal paradigms and neo-colonial institutions. To date, he is perhaps one of the most influential voices in civil-military relations and conflict/ethnic studies in Africa. He has also played some significant role in peace and conflict studies particularly in divided and multi-ethnic societies as an adviser to the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS. As a teacher, he has been a major source of inspiration to a retinue of younger scholars across Africa like me. He has brought to bear on the world of civil-military relations and conflict studies the weight of the concerns expressed by African scholars on a consistent basis. Recalcitrant and impervious as Western scholarship can sometimes be to things external to it, many of those concerns now receive acknowledgement in civil-military relations, security sector governance and conflict management in a routine manner. Ultimately, what Professor Adekanye’s remarkable life has proved is that moral values and intellectual ideas remain the key tools in the struggle for democracy and development, and until the battle between democracy and authoritarianism is won at the ideological level, a clear and decisive victory will still elude forces



aspiring towards democracy at the barricades. This is a sobering lesson for the present circumstance in which we find ourselves, and a reason why we need the contribution of our thinkers to enable us fashion correct strategies in the struggle to deepen this fragile democracy. It is clear now that the forces that were responsible for the crisis in which Nigeria was plunged in the 1990s are still very much around. They are perfecting their strategies for chaos and re-organising their foot soldiers for yet another assault on the forces of freedom and democracy in our land under the guise of religiosity and terrorism. While we must never let the perfect become the enemy of the good, we must also not delude ourselves that we have arrived at the promise land. One critical element in Professor Adekanye’s life is his infectious humility and understated elegance. I should like to elaborate on this if only because it is a quality that is in dire need in our current quest to rebuild and reposition the Nigerian state today, particularly amid current uncertainties. Although far more knowledgeable than many of us about most things, ‘Oga’ is never tired of seeking clarification on issues or asking for insights. He will knock on all doors in his quest for knowledge. For Professor Adekanye, the search for good ideas should not be hindered by age, gender, race, religion, ideology, ego and all the other issues that have unnecessarily prolonged our underdevelopment. This is the hallmark of a great mind, and we are encouraged by his example to be humble in our occupations, professions and in our relationship with one another as we seek solutions to the manifold problems that confront us. Yet all of what I have written relates to the “Oga” Adekanye I know. It is not a suggestion that he is blemish-less as only the Almighty retains such an attribute. But this is also a tribute to his amiable wife, Professor Tomi Adekanye – my own political leader in the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who must claim part credit for my Oga’s success story. Even with what some might consider as his foibles and faults, I have no doubt that in him the researcher, the teacher and the silent activist come together with all of the ideals that can help us change the way we think and act about scholarship, activism and democracy, social justice, human rights and development. It is a distinct pleasure to join in honouring and celebrating the life and works of – an accomplished scholar, notable mentor, exceptional teacher, and pan-africanist ideologue. Happy birthday to a beautiful mind. • Fayemi, a civil-military relations scholar, is Governor of Ekiti State.

•Segun Gbadegesin returns next week •For comments, send SMS to 08054502909

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Incredible sophistry on NJC/PCA controversy


N a curious replay of how Pontius Pilate washed his hands off the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in AD 30 or 33, President Goodluck Jonathan’s apologists have begun to argue that he neither suspended Justice Ayo Salami, President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), nor retired him directly or indirectly. The National Judicial Council (NJC), they say, is responsible. Had this incredible sophistry not been published in a Nigerian newspaper yesterday and signed by someone claiming to come from the same state of origin as Salami – Kwara State – the idea that Jonathan did not remove the PCA would have been described as a very sick joke. The Jonathan statement appointing a new head for the Appeal Court undoubtedly showed that the president and his advisers wrestled with their consciences, but it left no one in doubt where the authority to act on the case rested. Nor, in spite of the president’s evasiveness in mentioning the forbidden words ‘suspension’ and ‘retirement,’ did the statement try to suggest that the powers resided anywhere else. Nowhere in the constitution do we have a provision empowering the NJC to be the final authority in the discipline of the PCA. It could

initiate; but the president must approve before it takes effect. Though the NJC, of course, recklessly and unconstitutionally suspended the PCA, however, it appreciated that it had no authority to retire him or appoint a replacement. It left the unpleasant jobs of approving the illegal suspension and appointing a new PCA to the president. Obviously benefiting from some partially sensible advice, the president himself gingerly avoided both landmines placed before him by the NJC. Instead, he simply announced an acting PCA and avoided the nuisance of how to interpret what it has done in the light of the constitution. But few people were fooled. It was not possible for the president to appoint an acting PCA without approving Salami’s suspension, whether he pointedly said so in his statement or not. That was why every newspaper in the land reported that the president had endorsed Salami’s suspension. It would be surprising if anyone in the presidency should argue otherwise. What is in fact outstanding is the issue of retirement; and from the tone of the president’s validation of the NJC action, he left few in doubt, save probably his apologists, that the troubling political cum judicial affair should not be prolonged.

When the constitution gave the powers of retiring a PCA or appointing a new one to the president, it did not envisage that the powers would be shared, let alone used ambiguously. The Jonathan apologists should be reminded that the NJC recommended the retirement of Salami for misconduct, though its grievances against the PCA morphed repeatedly over the weeks in a manner sadly injurious to the credibility and integrity of the judicial body. Second, the president’s statement acknowledged he received the NJC letter requesting the PCA’s retirement, but it gave no overt indication where Jonathan stood on this grave moral question other than to rubberstamp the NJC’s desire and to shuffle his feet disingenuously. There are no Jews to blame for the crucifixion of Salami, and there is no water for Jonathan to wash his hands off this grave and unprecedented wrong. The buck stops at his desk. No matter what his defenders say, or the campaign by sympathetic media to push the blame elsewhere, history will judge Jonathan on the NJC/PCA affair, as it is already very harshly judging some of his living predecessors over their many atrocities against the republic that nurtured them. That judgement is unlikely to be kind.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation August 26, 2011  

The Nation August 26, 2011

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