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News Probe of oil and gas sector, others ’ll fail, says ACN P58 Sport Zaragoza join chase for Super Eagles star Kalu Uche P24 Business Federal Govt to get N4.9tr investment commitments P11

VOL. 7, NO. 2021 TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2012



Confusion in Kogi as INEC backs Wada


OGI State sank deeper into confusion yesterday, with an acting governor and a governor-elect claiming the number one job. But the Independent National Electoral Commis-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja


sion (INEC) weighed in to validate the election of the governor-elect, Capt. Idris Wada. Besides, the House of Assembly wrote to the Attorney-General of the Federa-

•Adamawa – Feb. 4 • Bayelsa – Feb. 11 •Sokoto – Feb. 18 •Cross River – Feb. 25 tion and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), to clear the air on who should be in charge between

Wada and Acting Governor Abdullahi Bello, who is the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

The acting governor shunned Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s directive to allow Wada take the reins of government. He ignored the “political solution” arrived at on Sunday night at Sambo’s Abuja home. Instead, he strength-

ened his hold on power, sacking Secretary to the State Government Musa Ahmadu and the Chief of Staff. Sambo, Senate President David Mark, House Speaker Aminu TambuContinued on page 4

al-Mustapha to die for Kudirat’s murder Abiola’s wife’s aide Sofolahan also to die by hanging Hafsat: it’s justice at last Abacha’s CSO to appeal sentence By Eric Ikhilae, Judicial Correspondent


HE sensational life of Hamza al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Gen. Sani Abacha, crashed yesterday at a Lagos High Court. He is to die by hanging for the murder of the late Chief Moshood Abiola’s wife, Kudirat. Also sentenced to death by hanging is Lateef Sofolahan, the late Mrs Abiola’s aide. Justice Mojisola Dada found


END: al-Mustapha leaving the court ... yesterday.


second defendant willingly handed over Kudirat Abiola to her killer ‘... The The first and second defendants jointly agreed to kill Kudirat Abiola. The defendants are found guilty of conspiracy and murder. The evidence is so weighty that the court has no doubts. The defendants are, therefore, found guilty, as charged. The light shines in darkness and darkness comprehends it not. Those who shed blood are those who fear death most.

’ •SPORTS P15 •POLITICS P17 •PROPERTY P25 •ENERGY P41 •AVIATION P51 Continued on page 4




Al-Mustapha: A right hand H

E was not the all-in-all. But he was the right hand man of the man who saw himself as the generalissimo, the late maximum ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha. His name is Maj. Hamza alMustapha. So powerful was he that even his superiors had to bow before him to have their way. He was Abacha’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), a position he used and abused. But his power ceased long ago. And immediately it did, the music changed and the rhythm assumed a macabre mien, with many unwilling to join in the dance. After 13 years in detention, Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court yesterday ruled that alMustapha should die by hanging for the 1996 machine-gun killing of Kudirat, the wife of the late Moshood Abiola, a flamboyant businessman and politician widely believed to be have won the June 12, 1993 presidential election annulled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. al-Mustapha, who was a tin-god between 1993 and June 1998, lost his freedom almost immediately after his boss’s death. He was arrested and tried for murder and attempted murder. He has been held in prison since then as trials and appeals dragged on. The former CSO was said to have caught the attention of Abacha when he gave a good account of himself in coup investigations. His first close contact with Abacha was when he worked as his Aide-deCamp during his reign as Chief of Army between August 1985 and August 1990. Abacha’s palace coup against the Ernest Shonekan-led Interim National Government, which Babangida hurriedly put in place before running out of power, saw him becoming the maximum ruler. He must have been impressed by alMustapha’s devotion to work that he gave him the sensitive job of CSO. As part of his job, al-Mustapha came up with a Special Strike Force Unit, which pulled officers from the army. Their main task was to protect Abacha and his family. One of those in the unit was Sergeant Barnabas Msheila, who turned out to be the man for the dirty jobs. The officers in the unit were recruited from the military and other security organisations, and believed to have been trained in Israel and Korea. Msheila, popular as Sergeant Rogers, provided the much of information for which al-Mustapha was nailed. Signs that al-Mustapha was in trouble emerged immediately Abacha died and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who took over, removed him as CSO. In October 1998, he appeared in court with Abacha’s son, Mohammed, charged with the murder of Kudirat Abiola. At the trial, Sergeant Rogers said alMustapha ordered Kudirat’s killing.


The statement which ‘nailed’ him

N a statement written on October 13, 1999, Major Hamza al-Mustapha said he gave his arms to Sergeant Barnabas Msheila for cleaning “whenever we come back from range exercise”. He denied issuing out his arms to Rogers to kill the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola’s wife, Kudirat. al-Mustapha, who was given the statement to read to the hearing of all in court last year, denied that the statement was his. He also said the contents were dictated to him under duress as he faced the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) that investigated Mrs Abiola’s murder. Part of the statement reads: “As I stated earlier on September 23, 1999, I reaffirm that I did not send Sergeant Barnabas Jabila (Rogers) to kill the late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola on the 4th of June 1996. There was no contact that I made with Alhaji Lati prior to this date other than when Alhaji Lateef was introduced to me by Alhaji Sarkin Sasa, here in Abuja. “I did not send anybody to Alhaji Lateef regarding Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. The arms and ammunition that is, Uzi, SMG with 9 mm rounds, with silencer did not come from me. “Though Mr. Barnabas Jabila (Rogers) had earlier said that Mohammed Abacha was around when I gave him my personal arms, it could be true that I showed him my arms for cleaning, which used to be my pattern of cleaning whenever we come back from range exercise. “But certainly, I did not give him my personal arms and ammunition to kill Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. I did not send the sum of N50, 000 through Barnabas Rogers Jabila as claimed after he shot Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.

“I have now been shown a statement of Alhaji Mohammed Abacha dated October 6, 1999 and I wish to state as follows: That I did not give my arms to Barnabas Jabila Rogers to shoot anybody. As stated above, it must be for cleaning of my arms. Barnabas Jabila Rogers is an instructor and he works in the Presidency. Entrusting arms to him for cleaning is normal. “As mentioned by Alhaji Mohammed Abacha, there was never a time that Barnabas Jabila came to me to discuss Allhaja Kudirat issue as being published in the newspapers and all the allegations being made against me in the media. “Alhaji Mohammed Abacha also did not discuss such issue with me. I did not send Barnabas Jabila to Alhaji Mohammed Abacha to request for a car with a driver for an assignment in Lagos. I have had no previous knowledge of the discussion between Alhaji Abacha, Major Ali and Mohammed Katako in Kano. “I was also not privy to the money given to some BG (Body Guards) to the late Gen. Sani Abacha … I have been shown the statement made by Alhaji Mohammed Rabo Lawal, former O C , MOPOL and I wish to state as follows: That it is true that Alhaji Sarkin Sasa introduced Alhaji Lateef to me as an informant. I, in turn, introduced him, that is, Alhaji Lateef to Mohammed Rabo Lawal. “At the time when Alhaji Lateef was introduced to me, we had very few officers and non-commissioned officers in the Security Department. So, Rabo Lawal O C, MOPOL was already tasked to go to Lagos with a view to monitoring a planned NADECO rally in Lagos which was reported to be to destroy General Abacha’s personal property.”

By Olukorede Yishau, Assistant Editor (News)

What Rogers said

Aside Kudirat, al Mustapha and four others were also charged with a 1996 attempt to murder Alex Ibru, publisher of The Guardian, who died last year. Another charge was laid against him for the attempted murder of former Naval chief Isaac Porbeni. During the trials, al-Mustapha was detained at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons. On April 1, 2004, he was charged with being involved in a plot to overthrow the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. al-Mustapha and his co-defendants were acquitted of most charges in the Ibru trial on December 21, 2010. The co-defendants were former Lagos State Police Commissioner James Danbaba, former Zamfara State military administrator Jibril Bala Yakubu and former head of the Aso Rock Anti-Riot Police Rabo Lawal. But the Kudirat murder case stood like a sore that would not go away without consuming him. In May 2011, there were rumours that al-Mustapha had been murdered at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons. The Kudirat murder case against alMustapha was reopened last July. In the first two weeks of August, alMustapha and his co-accused, Lateef Sofolahan, testified to their innocence of Mrs. Abiola’s murder. On November 10, counsel to both parties filed and adopted their written addresses, thus setting the stage for yesterday’s judgment sentencing alMustapha and Sofolahan to death by

JABILA told the Lagos High Court in 2008 that he was performing “national service” when he shot Kudirat; The Guardian Publisher, Mr. Felix Ibru; and leader of Afenifere, Senator Abraham Adesanya. He said then that the Strike Force carried out most of its operations under the supervision of Al-Mustapha, and as a member of the outfit, he had a duty to carry out any assignment given to him. Asked why he obeyed the alleged orders to shoot the individuals they attempted to kill at the point in time, Jabila said as a servant of the state, he had to obey whatever he was ordered to do. He later recanted, saying he made the confessions under duress. But the court was not deceived.


hanging. But no matter what the court decided, al-Mustapha, most likely, still hold Abubakar responsible for his fate. He obviously felt the former Head of State should have protected him because he helped him ‘stabilise’ in office. In the last decade, alMustapha has seized every available opportunity to paint Abubakar black. He once said Abubakar orchestrated his trials. He said: “ My incarceration was as a result of a script written and acted out by former Head of State, Gen.

Abdulsalami Abubakar to further keep me in prison.” Knowing al-Mustapha, he will not go down without fighting. He fought the judge who started the trials, accusing him of asking for bribe. One of the witnesses he mentioned died before he could be made to give evidence. This helped in delaying the case this long. The last certainly has not been heard of this matter. There are still two more levels to go: Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Will he go the whole hog?

Durojaye, Opadokun: pro-democracy forces have been vindicated


ATIONAL Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chieftains Senator Olabiyi Durojaye and Ayo Opadokun yesterday described the court judgment on the Kudirat Abiola murder case as the triumph of the rule of law, warning those in positions of authority to realise that power is transcient. Opadokun, who was detained by the Abacha regime, hailed the judgment, saying that justice had taken its course. He said: “The rule of law has been upheld by this conviction. I am not persuaded as to whether public execution is the right thing or not,

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

by that al-Mustapha, in spite of how he tried to undermine the judiciary, has failed to prove himself before the court of law. I wish that justice will finally be done by executing the court order.” Durojaye, who was also detained by the administration, said: “As far as I am concerned, that past experience is behind us. Those people abused their powers. They should have learnt useful lessons. “God has vindicated us. They brought unhappiness to the lives of the people. They made orphans of

Abiola’s children. Even, if they get freed at the appeal, the lesson has already been taught that power is transient.” The NADECO Secretary added: “al-Mustapha deceptively decided to prolong the prosecution. He had a very wicked idea that since Obasanjo had left office, he and his cohorts would be able to sway public opinion through spurious and curious letters to editors, to be able to get executive pardon without going through trial”. “al-Mustapha succeeded in raising various dubious motions to delay the trial. I commend the legal sagacity of the prosecution.

The former Attorney-General Prof. Yemi Osinbajo kicked-off the case. The extensive legal work they did secured the conviction of el-Mustapha and Sofolahan. For those of us who al-Mustapha and his cohorts oppressed, detained and repressed in several quarters, and to the families of the prodemocracy crusaders who were killed, the blood of those buried have risen mto secure their conviction. I have to commend the legal mastery, the reasoning behind the conviction by the presiding judge. It is a testimony that, though the process is slow, it has eventually delivered justice”.


How I knew During crossexamination in court last year, Major Hamza alMustapha relived how he met his co-accused, Alhaji Lateef Sofolahan. Excerpts:


AJOR al-Mustapha, do you know the second accused person in this case? Yes I do. Did you know him very well and familiar with him before your arrest? No. I first saw him in 1998 when a delegate (sic) from Lagos came to Abuja for the Two Million Man march. And I also saw him at the SIP. Yesterday, you admitted before the court that you made this statement. Look at this statement and read from line six to nine. (Pedro extended the letter towards him). This is the statement that I made under severe duress; the statement that is not my own. This is the statement I said I made under severe torture. I made 28 statements, including this one. You testified for the second accused in the trial-within-trial conducted in this case… I was a witness in the trial-withintrial. You voluntarily agreed to testify in favour of the second accused? I chose to tell the court the truth because I believe the court needed to know the truth. It means you know the second accused very well. I knew him in 1998 during the Two Million Man march. He was a member of the Lagos delegation. We






man on a wrong side of history The woman Kudirat By Adebisi Onanuga


T took 12 years for the nation‘s judiciary to finally determine that Major Hamza Mustapha, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the former military head of state, General Sanni Abacha, was the person that masterminded the 1996 assassination of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola During the campaigns for the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Alhaja Kudi Abiola traversed the nooks and crannies of the country with her husband and was in the fore front of the campaign in the North because of her flawless understandingand knowledge of the Hausa language. The assassination of Kudirat Abiola in1994 was received with outrage and condemnation and was described as cruel and cowardly. After the annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election by the General Ibrahim Babangida military administration, Bashorun Abiola commenced a political campaign across the world to drum up support for his mandate. But before this could be achieved, Babangida stepped aside and handed the government of the country to an Interim National Government (ING) led by Chief Ernest Sonekan. The interim government of Sonekan was barely three months in office before it was overthrown by General Sanni Abacha who installed himself in office as the military head of state. Basorun Abiola came back to the country to continue with his campaign against the Abacha regime and to reclaim his mandate but was arrested and put in detention shortly after he declared himself as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Following the detention of Basorun Abiola, his wife Kudirat stepped out and became the symbol of democracy and championed the call for the release of her husband and for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993 mandate given her husband at the polls by Nigerians and consequently became a thorn in the flesh of the military junta. Kudi spoke fearlessly against the government of Gen. Sanni Abacha, even after key political associates and the running mate to her husband in the annulled presidential election, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, had taken up appointments in the military government. She was going to keep an appointment at the Canadian High Commission in Victoria Island when her car was doubled-crossed somewhere around 7Up on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway by al-Mustapha‘s hit men led by Sergeant Barnabas Mshelia and was felled in a blaze of gun fire. •The late Mrs. Abiola

My relationship with Kudirat, by Sofolahan

Sofolahan, by al-Mustpaha I first saw him (Sofolahan) in 1998 when a delegate (sic) from Lagos came to Abuja for the Two Million Man march. And I also saw him at the SIP.

met again at the SIP. Can you tell the court the circumstance in which you met him out of the two million people at the rally? Prior to the Two Million Man march in March, selected youth leaders across the country were brought together at the Ministry of Youth Affairs at the Three Arms Zone, Abuja. Because of the large number of people and the place where they were meeting, the CSO was interested. Which CSO are you referring to? Are you that CSO? Yes, I was the CSO. You met the second accused among the delegates of youths from all over the country? Yes. That was where I met him.

Mohammed Abacha, do you know him very well? He is the son of the late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha. Part of my responsibility was to protect the Head of State and his immediate family. He was arrested in respect of this case? He was arrested because of his father’s money. He was arrested because he was to be squeezed. He was later framed in this charge. He was also at the SIP. Is that correct? Yes, but before a separate SIP that was headed by the convening authority, the then Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Kayode Are. Was there any confrontation between you and Mohammed Abacha at the SIP? No, except on one occasion when they were taking me out and he was being brought in. They asked me to ask him where his father’s money was kept. You talked about Mohammed Abacha’s statement and other statements. Did he also make a statement before the SIP? Yes, but the statement was made by the SIP. He was only made to sign it. Why they wanted him is not just because of Gen Abacha’s money. They took him out of Kirikiri prison in Lagos to Abuja without even informing the court in Lagos. It was all because they were interested in Gen. Abacha’s money. Even some of the money that was recovered was never returned to government. So it is the Supreme Court that discharged Abacha from this case? Yes. I have even read the judgment. They even described the case as persecutory.

On August 18, last year, Abdullateef Sofolahan, the man described as an ex-aide to the wife of the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola, Kudirat, said he did not know that she was shot dead on June 4, 1996. He only learnt she died in her car. He also denied ever working with any member of the Abiola family. Sofolahan spoke at the Lagos High Court, Igbosere.



N how he knew the late Kudirat I know her during the campaign in 1993 at the Hope 93 office. It was not only her. The three of them always come there for campaign materials. That is, herself, Dr. Doyin Abiola and Alhaja Bisi (all wives of Abiola). They normally come for campaign materials and I will be called to give them out. On his relationship with Kudirat Honestly speaking my lord, after the closing of Hope 93, I never worked with the late Kudirat Abiola. And nobody in this world, not only in Nigeria, can confront me with the claim that I worked there. It is propaganda. Some

people will call me the driver to Alhaja Kudirat Abiola; some will call me her Personal Assistant in the newspapers. Members of my family have come to the prison to confront me with this information. I have never been her PA or her driver. And nobody from Abiola house can come and testify that I worked there. When I was arrested and taken before a panel headed by one AIG Ojomo in Abuja, I begged them to kindly invite somebody from Chief Abiola’s house to come and identify me or they should take me to the house and confirm if I ever worked there. But they never did. On the claim in his October 8, 1999 statement that he worked as Protocol Officer to the late Kudirat My lord, when I was in Abuja before the SIP, I told them that I had never worked with Alhaja Kudirat Abiola as a Protocol Officer, PA, gardner or as a security officer. I challenged them to take me to his house in Lagos for his people to identify me. I have never worked there before. It is newspaper propaganda.

On allegation that he received some strangers on behalf of the late Kudirat It is a lie. If they said I received a stranger and I am denying, let the stranger come forward to say I received him or her. I never received any stranger from Abuja on her behalf. That is a lie. I only worked with Hope 93 and that organisation was dissolved in July 1993. I did not work for her later. On how he was introduced to al-Mustapaha in Abuja as an informant My lord, I never knew anybody called Alhaji Sarkin Sasa. I told the other court (before which he stood trial over the shooting of the late Abraham Adesanaya) that the only Shasa that I know is the one along the toll gate on the LagosIbadan road. That is the only Shasa that I know. I have never met any Sarkin Sasa. My lord, I swear to Almighty God, I am telling the truth about all I knew about this case. And God alone knows that I am saying the truth. I don’t know anything. I have never worked in Abiola’s house.





•President Goodluck Jonathan with United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon during bilateral talks at the 18th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ... at the weekend

HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday intervened in the Kogi conundrum, backing the swearing in of Idris Wada as governor. The Supreme Court had on Friday terminated the tenure of governors Ibrahim Idris (Kogi), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Liyel Imoke (Cross River). It said they ought to have left office on May 29, last year. The Federal Government ordered Speakers to take charge. Wada, after winning the December 3 governorship election, was waiting to take office in March when Idris’ tenure was expected to expire, based on the earlier Court of Appeal judgment. The Speaker of the Kogi House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, was also sworn in as Acting Governor. There was confusion. INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega maintained that the December 3 election was a concluded one. He called for Wada’s swearing-in as governor.

INEC backs Wada From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Stressing that INEC’s position on the Supreme Court judgment is a result of extensive consultation with its lawyers, Prof. Jega announced the following dates for governorship elections in the remaining four states: Adamawa – 4th February, Bayelsa – 11th February, Sokoto – 18th February and Cross River – 25th February. He also ruled out the participation in the election of all candidates who only won their parties’ primary elections before the Court of Appeal judgment of 15th April, 2011. The immediate past Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva and Jibrin Isah Echocho (Kogi) won the PDP governorship primary elections in January. They believed that the Supreme Court judgment was in their favour. Jega said: “The Commission wishes to categorically state that only candidates who emerged after the Court of

Appeal Judgment of Friday, April 15th, 2011 are the recognised candidates for the elections,” he stated. The new INEC election timetable affects Sokoto and Cross River states, whose elections were brought forward. Sokoto’s election was to have held on March 10. Cross River would have held its election on April 14. Fielding questions on the issue, Jega said: “INEC is law abiding; you know we have always been law abiding; we have always respected and obeyed court orders and if there are still cases in court and there is a judgment or court order that restrains INEC from doing anything, of course, INEC would abide by it.” “But as far as we are concerned, we have studied the judgment of the Supreme Court, and although it has not made any consequential order, and we have consulted extensively with our lawyers and we believe the right decision is what we have taken under the circumstances.”

Wada reinstates exco dissolved by acting governor Continued from page 1

wal, Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kawu Baraje and other stakeholders urged Bello to take it easy. He refused. The stalemate was said to have accounted for the decision of the Assembly to write the AGF.

The Assembly’s letter reads: “At the Committee of the Whole on the 30th January, 2012, House members noted the ongoing consultation/ discussion on the above subject matter and deliberated extensively on the swearing-in of the Hon. Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly as the Acting Governor of Kogi

State, following the directive of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. “After deliberations, the House resolved as follows: That the AGF and Minister of Justice, who gave the earlier directive on the swearing-in of the Hon. Speaker as the Acting Governor be communi-

cated to further clear the air on the subject matter, in view of the consultation that is ongoing, such that the state is not put into further confusion. “That the State House of Assembly is not unmindful of the provision of the law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended and therefore, can-

not do otherwise than to obey the rule of law. “That the State House of Assembly calls on all citizens of Kogi State to remain calm, peaceful and go about their lawful and normal business. “Finally, the Assembly calls on all security agencies to be at alert and ensure peace and order reigns in the state.”

A source told The Nation that Sunday’s peace talks collapsed “because the Speaker was adamant”. Bello reportedly said only a court could ask him to vacate office, adding that the Supreme Court judgment was specific that Speakers must be in charge. Continued on page 57

al-Mustapha to die by hanging for Kudirat’s murder

Continued from page 1

them guilty of conspiracy and murder of the late Mrs Abiola, who mounted a spirited opposition to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election - Nigeria’s freest and fairest ever – which the late Abiola won. The judge, in the judgment she read from 9. 50 am to 4.40 pm, held that the prosecution proved its case against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt. The court punctured all the evidence by the defendants, describing them as afterthought and an attempt to wriggle out of a difficult situation. “The prosecution’s evidence is manifestly reliable as having proved the ingredient of conspiracy and murder of the late Kudirat Abiola on June 4, 1996 against the defendants. “The defendants are hereby sentenced to the mandatory sentence, according to Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Lagos State. They are to die by hanging until pronounced dead,” the judge held. Justice Dada, who came down heavily on the defendants, described al-Mustapha as a liar and an individual who thought he was untouchable. She described Sofolahan as a leech and greedy individual, who willingly betrayed his benefactor. The court held that alMustapha “felt obliged to silent any voice against the government of his boss”. “He manifested himself in such a way that he thought nobody could touch him.” The judge described

Hafsat: justice has caught up with my mother’s murderers


RS Abiola’s daughter Hafsat Abiola-Costello described the judgment as “justice at last”. Mrs Abiola-Costello, who is a Special Adviser to Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, said: “At long last, justice has caught up with my mother’s murderers. It is justice at last. It is 16 years since my mother was brutally murdered and assassinated. Nigerian people have waited patiently for the killers of my mother to face justice and be punished for their crime. I’m happy the day came and justice was served. “Every story has a beginning, a Sofolahan as “a willing tool, a gold digger, a Judas Iscariot, who sold his master”. “It is his greed that took him to Sarkin Sasa to fulfill his ambition to romance with government as a leader of delegation at the Abacha rally. “Members of the Abiola family did not know they were habouring a viper, a friend in the open and an enemy in the secret. He deliberately sacrificed Alhaja Kudirat to meet his personal greed. Blood tasty traitor. “It is amazing that those who shed blood are those who dread death most,” the judge said. Justice Dada held that the claim by al-Mustapha that his schedule as the CSO was to repel, contain and manage any threat to the seat of power, the president and his family, a responsibility which informed the establishment of the Strike Force, supports the prosecution’s claim that the late Mrs Abiola was killed because she was perceived as

middle and an end. The death sentence handed down by Justice Mojisola Dada in the case against Major Hamza alMustapha and Mr. Sofolahan may well be the beginning of the end of a sad story that began on the 4th of June 1996 when my mother, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola’s car was ambushed and she was gunned down on the streets of Lagos. “The story had many twists and turns such that my six siblings and I often wondered if those that executed the assassination of our dear mother might not simply get away with it. After all, the crime took place in Nigeria, where

a threat to the government. On the videos showed in court about some pro-democracy leaders in Aso Villa, the court held that they were distractions and extraneous to the fact of the case. The court also held that all alMustapha’s evidence detailing events that occurred after Kudirat’s death were irrelevant to the case. The court wondered how al-Mustapha knew that the late Chief Bola Ige was compensated with a ministerial appointment for the role he allegedly played in the events leading to Abiola’s death when he (al-Mustapha) was not a member of the Federal Executive Council. On the defendants’ claim that they never conspired as they only met each other for the first time at the 100 million - man match in Abuja, the judge held that evidence by the prosecution proved otherwise. She said the evidence by the second prosecution witness, Barnabas Jabila (Rogers), that al-Mustapha handed him a

we often say ‘anything is possible.’ Yet, over 15years later, when all hope had been lost, Justice Dada restored my faith in my country’s judicial system and in the integrity of the Nigerian people when she courageously chose to hear my mother’s cry from the grave for justice. “Every story has a morale; I hope the morale of this story is that though retribution may be slow in coming, one day everyone will get what they deserve. After all, in some parts of Nigeria, we also say, ‘every day for the thief but one day for the owner.”

sophisticated weapon and that by first prosecution witness, Dr. Ore Falomo, that the bullet found on the deceased was a special bullet supported the claim of the prosecution. Justice Dada, whose voice remained firm and strong, held that al-Mustapha’s claim that he handed Rogers his gun for cleaning after a gaming exercise was an afterthought. On the defendants’ argument that the court should discountenance the evidence by Rogers and Katako on the ground that they recanted, the court, relying on the Principle of Remedial Law doctrine, held that the fact that the witnesses denied their earlier statement was not enough for the court to cancel them. The judge held that it was for the court to compare and juxtapose the circumstances and motive behind the change of mind. The court will indiscriminately analyse the fact and circumstances under which the testimonies were made.

She held that the contradiction in the evidence of Katako and Rogers as regard when the killing actually took place was immaterial as the evidence by Falomo that the murder took place between 7am and 8 am gave credence to the fact that it occurred in the morning. The court faulted alMustapha’s claim that his trial was part of the plan by the authorities to persecute him because of the sensitive documents and video recording. The court observed that since al-Mustapha did not say he legitimately obtained the video recordings he claimed to have sent to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he obtained them illegitimately. Justice Dada said the evidence before the court was weighty and showed that the duo conspired and killed Abiola on June 4, 1996, near the Ikeja end of the former Lagos-Ibadan Toll Gate. The judge said that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubts that the duo met between March 1995

and June 4, 1996 to plot the murder of the pro-democracy campaigner. She said that the court believed the evidence of the first prosecution witness, Barnabas Jabila (a.k.a. Sgt. Rogers), that the murder was plotted at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. Dada also said that the court believed Jabila’s evidence that Al-Mustapha gave him (Jabila) his personal gun to shoot Mrs Abiola inside her white Mercedez Benz Beast, near the toll gate. Justice Dada said: “The second defendant willingly handed over Kudirat Abiola to her killer. The court is a fact-finding tribunal which must be seen to be doing its work without any bias and ambiguity. “The first and second defendants jointly agreed to kill Kudirat Abiola. The defendants are found guilty of conspiracy and murder. “The evidence is so weighty that the court has no doubts. The defendants are, therefore, found guilty, as charged. “The light shines in darkness and darkness comprehends it not. Those who shed blood are those who fear death most. “The defendants are accordingly sentenced to death by hanging, until they are proved dead.” The prosecution team led by the Solicitor-General of Lagos State Mr Lawal Pedro, expressed satisfaction at the judgment. But the defence team, led by Mr Olalekan Ojo, said it would appeal against the judgment, which was delivered under tight security.

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NEWS A day of drama

al-Mustapha, Sofolahan: The road to conviction



OR about 11 years, the state strove to ensure the deployment of judicial process in resolving the misery behind the murder of Kudirat Abiola in the early hours of June 4, 1996. The journey began in year 2000 when Abiola, the state, acting on the advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), initiated charges against Major Hamza al-Mustapha, Chief Security Officer to the late Gen Sani Abacha, Abacha’s son, Mohammed, former Head of the Police Mobile Force, Aso Rock, Unit, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Rabo Lawal and Lateef Sofolahan, an aide to the late Kudirat. They were arraigned on a twocount charge of conspiracy and murder. The case could not progress beyond the preliminary stages until the trial judge, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, was elevated to the Court of Appeal. Despite repeated hiccups, the trial began and progressed until sometime in July, when Justice Mojisola Dada closed the case of the prosecution owing to its inability to procure its fourth witness, Ahmed Fari Yusf (a Commissioner of Police) to attend court and conclude his testimony. As the case progressed, the Supreme Court freed Mohammed. Sometime in July, and while ruling on a no-case-submission by the defence, Justice Dada acquitted Lawal on the grounds that the prosecution could not establish his involvement in the crime. Before then, the trial witnessed unusual developments as the state’s key witnesses, Sergeant Barnabas Jabila (aka Rogers) and another soldier, Mohammed Abdul (aka Katako), recanted. They had told the court that Sofolahan, acting as Kudirat’s aide, gave them information on her itinerary, which aided them in accomplishing their task of eliminating her. Jabila was a member of the special security outfit established to protect Abacha and his family, while Abdul served as personal driver to Mohammed. In his evidence-in-chief, Jabila narrated how he was, some days before Kudirat’s assassination, summoned by al-Mustapha to his office in AsoRock, handed some bags containing guns, and briefed on “ a special assignment”. He also told the court that Sofolahan provided them with information about Kudirat’s movement and even led them to to her residenece after which his team planned strategies for the operation. “Jabila said Sofolahan’s information aided them in trailing Kudirat until he shot her on June 4, 1996 in the car driven by Abdul. Abdul, who acted as the third prosecution witness, corroborated Jabila’s testimony. He said he once worked with Mohammed’s late senior brother, Ibrahim, but had his service transferred to Mohammed at Ibrahim’s death. He told the court in his evidencein-chief, how they (himself and Jabila) went out the day after meeting Sofolahan, trailed a white Mercedes Benz car from Ikeja to the old Lagos toll gate and how Jabila shot at the white Mercedes and directed him to drive back to Dodan Barracks where they were staying. The witnesses stunned all later when strangely, they recanted during cross-examination, denying their earlier evidence. They later blamed

•Some of al-Mustapha’s sympathisers in court...yesterday Stories: Eric Ikhilae

their strange decision to summersault on their allegation that the state reneged on its promise to compensate them materially after the trial. They alleged that the state failed to honour its word, under the witness protection programme, to reward them and their families for acting as prosecution witness. The fourth prosecution witness, Yusuf , who obtained statements from al-Mustapha during investigation, also, midway into his testimony, refused further cooperation with the prosecution. He allegedly refused to attend court, a development that compelled the court to close the prosecution’s case in July. Testifying for himself as the first defendant witness, al-Mustapha denied all the allegations against him. He particularly, denied sending anybody to kill Kudirat. He equally denied sending down men to monitor activities of NADECO members. But he was confronted with his statement, from which he read to the court a portion, where he admitted sending CSP Lawal to monitor NADECO rally in Lagos. al-Mustapha denied involvement in the killing of Kudirat, but the prosecution confronted him with a statement by Mohammed Abacha, contained in the Suprme Court’s judgment in an interlocutory appeal by Mohammed, and upon which he was freed. In the statement, part of which was read to the court by the lead prosecution lawyer, Lawal Pedro (SAN), Mohammed admitted witnessing where al-Mustapha gave Jabila (Rogers) a bag containing guns. Lawal read from the last paragraph of page 19 to the middle of page 20 (a portion of the judgment where Mohammed Abacha was quoted as claiming to have been present when alMustapha allegedly handed a bag containing guns to Rogers).

“Wherein on a visit, which I always do, the boys and Sergeant Rogers were asked to come in into the office when Major al-Mustapha told Rogers that he was sending them on an assignment. He then asked Rogers to bring a bag from the corner of his office which after it was opened by Rogers, contained about two or more machine guns. “Major al-Mustapha then whispered to Rogers. I believed the details of the assignment before they were all asked to go. I believe to the best of my memory, that is the extent of what I witnessed in Major alMustapha’s office that day before I left. “On a particular occasion, Mr. Rogers came to my office, then in the Villa, and asked to see me and I then made myself available. It was then he expressed his fears about the allegation against, and that they were being pointed to as Kudirat’s killers. “My reaction was that of surprise and shock, because what he said confirmed a lot about the allegations said about the issue in the pages of newspapers etcetera. “To my confusion and shock, I immediately told him to go and ‘report this to your boss, Major al-Mustapha.’ Then Rogers left. I still wondered why Mr. Rogers came to me. What he told me, seeing that I was not his boss, and he had boss, Major al-Mustapha. “Maybe Mr. Rogers thought he needed someone else close to advice him on what to do. But the issue is sensitive. I do not want to believe what my ears heard on rumours. “I didn’t see Mr. Rogers again. I was expecting to hear from him what transpired between him and his boss. The statement goes on and on. I will just stop at that.” Also, al-Mustapha, who earlier testimony denied ever torturing anyone in his life, later in an admitted during cross-examination that he tortured one Turner Ogboru. He also admitted that as a trained military personnel, he could take lives for public in-

terest. The defence also called a retired Army personnel, Kyari Gadzama, who worked as an aide to alMustapha and who testified in his favour. He admitted knowledge of Kudirat’s assassination, but said he heard of it from the media. He denied always accompanying his principal to every of his engagements and meetings. In his testimony on August 17 as the third defence and last witness, Sofolahan, who testified for himself, denied involvement in the offences for which he was standing trial. He denied knowing that she was shot dead on June 4, 1996, but said he only learnt she died in her car. He also denied ever working with any member of the Abiola family. He spoke on his relationship with the Abiola family, saying it never went beyond serving as a Protocol Officer in the late Chief Abiola’s campaign organisation in 1993. Sofolahan, accused of acting as an informant to the late General Sani Abacha’s government, told the court how he worked for the transmutation agenda of the late General Sani Abacha while Abiola was in custody. He also said he later worked in 1998 with the campaign organisation set up by Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. When parties adopted their final written addresses on November 10, the prosecution said it had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and urged the court to convict the accused accordingly. The defence led by Olalekan Ojo urged the court to acquit his clients on the grounds that the prosecution failed to satisfactorily discharge the burden of proof placed on it by law. He argued it was impossible for the court to reach a verdict of guilt against his clients, based on the bunch of contradictory and unreliable evidence provided by the prosecution, particularly by its star witnesses, Jabila and Abdul.

Sentence will appease Abiola family, say lawyers


AWYERS on Monday hailed the conviction of Maj. Hamza al-Mustapha for the murder of a pro-democracy activist, the late Mrs Kudirat Abiola. The lawyers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the death sentence passed on him should teach evil doers that the law would take its course no matter how long. They also said that the sentence would appease the Abiola family. Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos High Court sentenced al-Mustapha to death by hanging, along with Kudirat’s aide, Lateef Shofolahan. The court said the duo conspired and shot Kudirat dead in her white Mercedes Benz Beast near the Ikeja end of the Lagos-Ibadan Toll Gate on June 4, 1996. Kudirat was a wife of the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, believed to have won the June 12, 1993 presidential election. The Chairman of the Ikorodu Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Kazeem Adebanjo, described the judgment as sound.

•Arewa youths kick “The Abiola family will be happy now that the person, who was responsible for the death of their matriarch, has been brought to book. “This trial was a long one. The judge was very thorough in the examination of the evidence before her,” Adebanjo said. He, however, said that AlMustapha had the right to appeal against the verdict. “This is not the end of the matter because he has only been convicted by a lower court. “He has the right to appeal, even up to the Supreme Court,’’ he said. Reacting, a social critic, Chief Fred Agbaje, said: “The judge must have based the judgment on the fact that the killing of Kudirat was unlawful and unjustifiable. “All ingredients of murder must have been established for the court to give such a sentence. “For the Abiola family, justice is seen to have been done,’’ Agbaje said.

He praised the judge for the ability to give judgment in the more than 12-year-old case. “It was a tortuous judicial journey and I am happy that it finally came to an end,’’ he said. Also speaking, a human rights activist, Mr Bamidele Aturu, said the sentence should teach unpatriotic Nigerians in power that they would be brought to book. He noted that the trial was long but said that most Nigerians would be happy that the case had come to an end. However, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) condemned the judgment. The President of the AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shetima, told NAN that the sentence was not justifiable, saying that there was nothing connecting alMustapha to the murder. “We will appeal against the judgment on his behalf. He was incarcerated for years in jail for want of evidence. How can they justify this sentence?’’ he asked.

S early as 7 am, the premises of the Lagos High Court, overlooking the Igbosere Road was filled by people, mostly sympathisers, who thronged the court to witness how the trial of Hamza alMustapha and Lateef Sofolahan would end. They came from both within and outside Lagos as some were seen alighting from four buses with Kebbi and Sokoto states written on their sides. They came to meet a heavy presence of security personnel made up of a team drawn from the Police Mobile Force, Prisons, Civil Defence Corps and Police Anti-Bomb Squad. They positioned themselves in strategic positions in the court premises, including the main gate. Some of those in court, who later turned out to be mostly alMustpher’s sympathisers, bore placards with various inscriptions. Those with placards were prevented from accessing the court. Between 8am and 9 am, the anti-bomb experts went into the court and searched every part of the court room for any foreign object, using their bomb detector. By 9.20 am, the courtroom was beaming with people, including journalists, SSS officials and the friends of the defendants, including leader of the Oodua People’s Congress, Fredrick Fasehun, former Eagles coach, Fanny Amun and ex-soccer star, John Fashanu. Justice Mojisola Dada walked into the crowded court by 9.30am but rose briefly on learning that the defendants were yet to arrive in court. Below the court, situated on the first floor of the building, were two black Prado jeeps, which number plates were covered. It was gathered that they were meant to convey the defendants home should the judgment go their way. Al-Mustapha and Sofolahan were brought in amidst tight security by 9.35 am. When the judge took her seat at 9,40 there was a pin-drop silence in the court room. Most of friends of the defendants in court who sat calmly in the earlier part of the proceedings, later became uneasy when the judge began reading her findings. Lead defence lawyer Olalekan Ojo, placed his hands on his head, Fasehun left the court when it became obvious that the judgment would not go the way of the defendants. Al-Mustapha (dressed in white kaftan), who had stood calmly in the dock close to Sofolahan (dressed in white jalamia), suddenly became uneasy. He was sweating. He wiped his forehead intermittently. Sofolahan was calm all through. When news got to alMustapha’s sympathizers outside the courtroom, shouts of Allah akbar rented the air. It was so loud, it could be heard in the courtroom located upstairs. They shouted this until the final pronouncement of the court. Those in court could not immediately react to the decision, because the judge was barely audible. They had to wait until the defence lawyer explained that the court had sentenced the defendants to death. As if propelled, they all shouted “haa!!”.



NEWS Reps kick as FCT budget excludes satellite towns • Budgets N3b for Mark’s, Tambuwal’s homes From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja


HE House of Representatives has rejected this year’s budget proposal for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) because it excludes the development of satellite towns. The FCT Administration is owing N64billion. FCT Minister Bala Mohammed yesterday presented a N46billion budget proposal as against the Federal Government’s estimates for the ministry’s N401.3billion. He said the satellite towns would benefit from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE) of the Federal Government. House Committee Chairman on FCT Emmanuel Jime said the lawmakers needed to know the status of development and projects in the FCT, especially the light rail projects, land distribution and the development of the satellite towns, among others. The administration is proposing to spend N3billion on new residential buildings for the Senate President, the House of Representatives Speaker and their deputies. It said N693billion would be generated from Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the next three years from its Private Public Partnership (PPP).

Boko Haram attacks another police station in Kano •Threatens to abduct security agents’ families From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri


OKO HARAM insurgents yesterday attacked another police station in Kano amid a wave of escalating violence blamed on the sect. The attack set off a gun battle with police, residents said. On Sunday night, gunmen stormed another police station near a bus station, leaving two civilians dead. It was not immediately clear who was behind the violence, but Kano, the largest northern city in Nigeria, has been attacked in recent weeks by Boko Haram members. Yesterday’s attack was the second in three days on the police station in the Mandawari neighbourhood. “It was crazy. These guys came on motorcycles and opened fire on the police station but they met tough resistance from the police, and it lasted around 20 minutes,” Jamilu Muhammad, who lives across the Mandawari station, said. Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris confirmed the raid but said the gunmen “could not get access to the station”. He added that the gunmen were “repelled by officers”. The sect yesterday threatened to abduct family members of government workers, especially security agents, in retaliation for the arrest of relatives and friends of its members. Addressing reporters on phone, the sect spokesman, Abdu Qaqa, ordered security agencies to release their women, children and non-combatant relatives and associates. He condemned the way the sect’s spouses and other family members were arrested and detained by security agencies. The spokesman said what annoyed the sect’s members most was the arrest of their collegues in Kano and Sokoto by the Department for States Security (DSS). Qaqa said: “We are not saying our members, caught in active combat, should be spared. But most of those arrested so far are our brothers, who have never participated in the ongoing arms struggle between our group and the Nigerian state. These people are being denied the right to go about their daily business.”

Nigeria-Ethiopia relations healthy, says Jonathan From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has reassured his Ethiopian counterpart, President Girma Wolde Giorgis, of his determination to nurture and strengthen the healthy relations between the two countries. Dr Jonathan, according to a statement by his spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, spoke yesterday when he visited the Ethiopian president after the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Govern-

ment in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “We have very good relations and my visit to you, an elder statesman, is part of my desire to further strengthen the healthy and mutually beneficial relations between our countries,” Dr Jonathan said. He said he enjoyed a good working relationship with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and expressed appreciation for the country’s positive role in African affairs.

ASUU NEC meets tomorrow


HE National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will, tomorrow, decide whether or not it would suspend its three-month-old nationwide strike, which has crippled academic activities in the nation’s universities. The NEC meeting, which will hold in Abuja, is coming on the heels of congresses held at ASUU

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

branches where union leaders deliberated and decided on Federal Government’s offer after their meeting last week. The university teachers began a nationwide strike on November 4, last year, after the failure of the Federal Government to fulfil its 2009 agreement with the union.

Lawyers: Wada’s election as Kogi governor null, void T HE Supreme Court judgment, which sacked five governors, has nullified the election of Captain Idris Wada as Kogi State Governor, a group of lawyers have said. The lawyers, who spoke with The Nation in separate interviews yesterday, were unanimous in their interpretation of the judgment. They noted that the verdict has given room for a fresh governorship election to hold in Kogi State. Mr Emeka Ngige (SAN) said with the Supreme Court judgment, the election of Wada has been invalidated. According to him, the Constitution provides that an election must hold within 30 days before the end of the incumbent’s tenure. The apex court, he added, has ruled that the tenure of former Governor Ibrahim Idris lapsed on May 29, last year. So, any election held after May 29, 2011, is unconstitutional, null and void, he in-

By Leke Salaudeen

sisted. Former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) said: “The tenure of the affected five governors expired since May, 2011. If the election that produced Wada is valid, the court would have ordered that the result of that election be enforced by giving an order that he (Wada) be sworn in and not the Speaker of the House of Assembly. A barrister, Ajibola Bashir, submitted that the Supreme Court verdict has truncated Wada’s victory. According to him, the judgment clearly showed that the tenure of Idris lapsed in May last year and an election ought to have taken place before May 29. If Wada’s election was valid, the lawyer said, the court would have

made a pronouncement on it and ordered that he be sworn in as governor. Ajibola said Wada might be conscious of the illegality of his purported election as he rushed to the President of the Customary Court to swear him as governor. “There is nowhere in the Constitution where a president of the Customary Court is empowered to administer an oath of office on a governor,” he said. On whether the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries that produced Wada (Kogi) and Dickson (Bayelsa) are still valid, Ngige said they are a nullity. The eminent lawyer noted that the primaries were held after May 29, whereas the court ruled that governorship elections in the affected states ought to have taken place in May. Ngige, however, added that the primaries held before

May, which produced Jibrin Echocho (Kogi) and Sylva are valid. He cited the case of Andy Mba, whose election as a senator was nullified by the Supreme Court because of a dispute over who won the primary. While Ngige said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could conduct an election in Bayelsa State, Akeredolu disagreed. He urged the electoral umpire to seek clarification from the court on which of the primaries should be validated. Bashir noted that if an election must hold in Bayelsa State, as planned, Sylva is the legitimate candidate of the PDP. He said this is because Dickson emerged after May 29. Bashir admitted that the Supreme Court verdict has thrown up many constitutional issues that would require different parties going back to court for further clarification.

•President, Nigeria Guild of Editors, Mr Gbenga Adefaye (middle); Director of Media to Kano State Governor, Mallam Baba Dantiye (right) and another official at a modern cattle market in Sokoto during the guild’s visit to the state.

Katsina-Alu opposes Salami’s reinstatement, says NJC T HE National Judicial Council (NJC) has said the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, refused to sign the recommendation of the Judicial Reform Committee. In a statement yesterday in Abuja, NJC said its 29-member committee had recommended the reinstatement of the suspended Appeal Court President, Justice Isa Ayo Salami. The high-power committee, comprising former CJNs, former Presidents of the Court of Appeal, retired Justices of the Supreme Court, retired and serving Judges of the High Court as well as senior members of the Bar, was raised to examine the crisis rocking the Judiciary and recommend solutions. Among its recommendations is the restructuring and repositioning of the NJC, the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Institute (NJI). In its report, the panel, chaired by former CJN, Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais,

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

listed the reinstatement of Justice Salami as one of the conditions “to maintain the integrity of the Judiciary and restore confidence in both the Bar and Bench”. It said the CJN and the NJC should review the suspension on Salami. The panel submitted the report to the CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, on December 15, last year. Reacting to reports that some powerful members of the committee refused to sign the report, the NJC, in a statement by its Deputy Director of Information, Soji Oye, noted that “only four members of the committee did not sign the report”. According to the statement, they are: “Hon. Justice A. I. Katsina-Alu, GCON; Mr. J. B. Daudu (SAN); Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (OON, SAN); and Mr. Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu (SAN)”. The statement added: “Suf-

fice it to say that Agbakoba had, by his letter to the Secretary of the National Judicial Council, dated December 16, 2011, confirmed that he participated in the deliberations of the Committee and agreed with all its conclusions. The letter was released to the media in December, last year.” The NJC said the secretariat of the committee was constrained to clarify that 25 members signed the report and not 14, as erroneously reported by some newspapers (not The Nation). “…When the report was submitted to the Chief Justice of Nigeria by the Chairman of the Judicial Reform Committee, Justice M. L. Uwais, it was signed by 25 members, and not only 14, as reported by the Nigerian Tribune and advertised in ThisDay. “It is to be stressed that the formal presentation of the report to the Chief Justice of Nigeria on December 15, 2011, took place in the meeting room

of the National Judicial Council Office Complex in the presence of some members of the Judicial Reform Committee, Chief Judges and reporters…” “For the avoidance of doubt, the list containing the names and signatures of the members that signed the report at the time it was submitted to the Chief Justice of Nigeria can be verified from the report at the Office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria or National Judicial Council Office Complex. “It is, therefore, incorrect to state that 14 members, including the entire members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on the committee, disassociated themselves from the report. Through a letter, KatsinaAlu had stopped the Sokoto State Governorship Election Petition Appeal from delivering its judgment in a case filed by Alhaji Muhammadu Dingyadi of the Democratic People Party (DPP) against the 2007 election of Governor Aliyu Magatarkarda Wamakko of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).




Fashola condoles with Enahoro’s, IGP’s families


AGOS State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday commiserated with the families of the late elder statesman Pa Anthony Enahoro and the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar over the passing on of Mrs. Helen Imayuse Enahoro and Mrs. Maryam Abubakar respectively. In a condolence statement on the two incidents, Fashola expressed shock over the passage of the matriarch of the Enahoro family, recalling that when she attended the last thanksgiving service of the state government early this month, nothing in her disposition betrayed any indication that she would pass on so soon. Fashola, who said he felt a sense of personal loss and deep pain, declared: “I am completely shocked because when Mama attended the thanksgiving service of our state early this month, her good natured mien betrayed no sign of illness that could have given the indication to

the sad reality of someone bidding me and several other associates of Pa Enahoro, whom she met on that occasion, a final farewell.” Describing the late Mrs. Enahoro as a patriot, confidant and most reliable ally of her late spouse, Fashola recalled: “For decades, she kept the home front going as Papa focused, with unalloyed determination, on the struggle for national independence and later the enthronement of democracy in our country.” On the demise of Mrs. Abubakar Fashola expressed grief that the IGP’s wife passed when she was needed most as pillar of support in his new national assignment. Praying for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Abubakar, the governor enjoined the new acting police chief to accept the sad incident as a true Moslem, praying that the Almighty Allah would grant the police chief the strength to bear the loss and also rise up to the new challenge of policing the country.

IGP’s wife buried in Kano From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano



HE remains of the wife of the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, Maryam were buried amid tears yes-


He expressed the regret that Hajiya Mariam’s death came at a time when her husband needed her moral and spiritual support in his onerous task at tackling the security challenges confronting the country, particularly the Boko Haram menace. While extolling the deceased’s virtues, the governor acknowledged her charity works, as well as her commitment to the course of the less-privileged in the society.


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed shock at the sudden death of Hajia Maryam, wife of the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar. She passed on early Monday morning in Kano after a protracted illness. According to his spokesman, Reuben Abati, the President, in a condolence mes-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

sage to the IGP, described Hajia Mariam’s death as “sad, painful and untimely” especially at this time that her husband needed her moral and emotional support as he confronts the challenge of ensuring national security in his new post. Jonathan who lauded Hajia Mariam’s great concern for the welfare of the less privi-


Maryam. Maryam passed on in Kano yesterday. She was 47. In a statement by his media aide, Imam Imam, the speaker prayed that Allah grant the deceased AlJannat firdaus, give the wid-

leged, particularly orphans, also noted her several charity works even before she assumed her last position as President of the Police Officers’ Wives Association (POWA). The President prayed the Almighty Allah to grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest and grant her husband and family the strength to bear the irreplaceable loss. The President dispatched a

Mark commiserates with police chief



ENATE President David Mark yesterday condoled with the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Abubakar over the death of his wife, Maryam In a message signed by his she Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, Mark expressed his deepest sympathy with Ababubakar.

Tambuwal says death a monumental loss PAEKER of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal yesterday condoled with the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar over the demise of his wife, Hajiya

Kano at about 11:30am. The bereaved IGP performed the traditional dust-to-dust rite amidst tears. Clad in white brocade and cream-colour Hausa cap, he looked sorrowful and sober as he prayed and received sympathisers at his family house. Among sympathisers who called earlier in his house were police chiefs and the Honourary Consul to Benin Republic Alhaji Ali Muktari Daura and politicians.

Jonathan: death sad, painful, untimely

Take heart, Ajimobi urges Abukakar OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has commiserated with the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, over the death of his wife, Hajiya Mariam. In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, Ajimobi, described the death of the IGP’s wife as shocking, disheartening and highly unfortunate.

terday at the Taurani Cemetery, Kano. Those who witnessed the burial Mayram, who died early yesterday at 47, included; four members of the Federal Executive Council (FBC), police officers, family friends and scores of sympathisers. The late Maryam reportedly died at about 5am in the family house, located at Gwandu Albasa quarters, opposite the former Bank of

the North building after a brief illness. According to a family source, the IGP’s wife had been ill for sometimes and was placed on medication. “She died immediately after returning from hospital”, the source said. The Nation also learnt that the deceased spoke with her husband, who called to inquire of her state of health one hour after her demise. Abubakar, upon the news of his wife’s death, cancelled all engagements for the day and immediately flew to

ower and other members of her family the fortitude to bear the loss. “I wish to express my condolence, and that of the House of Representatives, over this monumental loss. Hajiya Maryam has ful-

filled her obligation in this world. May the almighty Allah forgive her shortcomings and reward her good deeds with jannatul firdaus,” Speaker Tambuwal said in the statement.

He expressed sadness that Maryam died at a time when her supportive hands were most needed by her husband to pilot the affairs of the police. The statement read: “I earnestly share in your pains and wish that Almighty Allah in His infinite mercies grant you and the entire family the fortitude to bear this great loss.‘’ Mark urged the bereaved family, the government and people of Zamfara State to take solace in the fact that the late Maryam left a legacy of a virtuous wife and mother who touched the lives of people positively. Maryam reportedly died after a brief illness yesterday morning at a hospital in Kano and was buried according to Muslim rites.

four-man delegation, led by the Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, to attend the burial and extend his condolences. In the delegation were: the Minister of Mines and Steel, Musa Mohammed Sada; Emeka Wogu (Labour and Productivity) and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Isa Bello Sali.

Oshiomhole to IGP: be strong EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has condoled with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar on the death of his wife, Hajiya Maryam. In a condolence message to the IGP, Oshiomhole said: “I learnt with deep shock news of the passing on of your beloved wife, Hajiya Maryam. On behalf of the people and government of Edo State, I offer our heartfelt condolence to you and the Abubakar family. “Our hearts are with you at this difficult period. However, as painful as the loss of a spouse could be, this moment requires you to be strong as the pillar of the family. We pray Allah to give you and the family the fortitude to bear the loss of a loving wife and mother. “For our beloved sister, our duty now is to be full of prayers. We beseech Allah to forgive her transgressions and grant her Al-janah Fidaus, as befitting a faithful servant. “May Hajiya’s soul rest in peace, Amen.”

Kawu shocked

•A portion of the project under construction at Orile...yesterday



main. The original plan was to extend the rail tracks will, in future be extended to Okokomaiko, along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

ETTER days lie ahead for commuters along the Oyingbo-Orile route. Their traffic pains would soon be over. Reason: the first phase of

Taming Lagos traffic with Light Rail the $2billion Light Rail project from Iganmu to Mile 2 has recorded appreciable progress.

The Lagos State government had franchised Messrs Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company

(CCECC) Nig Ltd to implement the project as part of efforts to boost rail-based transportation in its do-

DEPUTY Minority leader of the House of Representatives Abdulrahman Suleiman Kawu Sumai’la yesterday described the death of the wife of the Inspector General of Police (IGP). Hajiya Maryam as shocking and sad. In a condolence letter, Kawu expressed sadness that Abubakar’s wife died at a time she was needed most by her husband. He prayed that Allah would grant the husband the fortitude to bear the loss. His words:”The news of the death of the wife of the new inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar came to me as a big shock. It is really sad that the wife would die at this time. “I pray the Almighty Allah to comfort the husband and the entire family in this moment of grief. May Allah forgive her whatever wrong she may have committed while on earth and welcome her into his kingdom”



NEWS Lagos begins replacement of old number plates By Miriam Ndikanwu


HE Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA) will, today, replace the old vehicle number plates with the new national ones. MVAA Permanent Secretary Akin Hanson spoke with reporters yesterday. He said: “Vehicle owners applying for number plates’ replacement should visit any of the 46 licensing offices of the MVAA for a one-stop registration and completion of the replacement/issuance process. “Alternatively, applicants can visit the website of Courteville Group (MVAA partners) at for online completion of Form MVA01 before proceeding to the nearest licensing office with relevant documents to complete the issuance procedure.” The required documents include expired/existing vehicle licences, proof of ownership, sworn affidavit and police report, owner or representative’s passport photograph, as well as valid means of identification such as international passport, driver’s licence or national identity card. Hanson said applications and enquiries regarding fake registration numbers should be forwarded to the MVAA headquarters. Special desks have been created at the licensing offices to ensure easy processing of applications.


Oyo rerun: INEC fixes Feb 11 for supplementary poll

HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday fixed February 11 for supplementary elections in the seven polling units where results of Saturday’s rerun in Irepo/Orelope Olorunsogo Federal Constituency in Oyo North were cancelled. Resident Electoral Commissioner Alhaji Hussain Pai spoke with reporters after meeting with leaders of the nine parties that participated in the rerun. Pai debunked allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that INEC was partisan. He said the com-

•Commission debunks bias claims From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

mission acted in accordance with the law in cancelling the results of the seven polling units. A PDP group, under the aegis of PDP Synergy Group, led by the former media aide to former Governor Adebayo Alao Akala, Prince Dotun Oyelade, had demanded that the winner be declared based on the result of

the rerun, with the exception of the results in the cancelled units. But Pai said the Electoral Act and the manual for election officers, which guided the conduct of the 2011 elections and the rerun, provides that: “Where the margin of win by votes of the leading candidate is not in excess of the total number of registered voters at the polling station where the election was cancelled or not held, there shall be no re-

turn for the election until another poll has taken place in the affected polling station.” He said the PDP candidate was only leading with 1,821 votes and the total number of registered voters at the polling units where the election was cancelled is 3,373. “It is the law, not us. The commission will not hobnob with any government or party. We are guided by the Electoral Act and the constitution. We are talking about the mandate of the people here, so we are bound to be impartial.” Pai urged the group not to abuse its right to freedom of expression by making false allegations.

Osun to take census of elderly


HE Osun State Government will take a population survey of elderly persons from February 6 to 11. Chairman of the Committee on Elderly Persons Population Survey Biyi Odunlade said the exercise would capture the needs of the aged and reintegrate them into the society. Speaking with reporters yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, Odunlade said 500 enumerators, 100 monitors and 75 supervisors have been recruited from the Osun State Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) for the exercise. He said they would be trained on February 2 for the

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

exercise. Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare Mrs. Folake Adegboyega said only persons aged 65 and above can participate in the programme. She urged residents to cooperate with the government, adding that the exercise would help government plan for the elderly. Chairperson of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that specialises in the care of the elderly, the Caring Hands International, Mrs. Fehintola Obilomo, praised the government for the initiative.

World Bank begins electrification of 53 communities in Ogun


HE World Bank has begun the electrification of 53 rural communities in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State. The projects are being executed under the World BankAssisted Rural Electrification of three states - Cross River, Enugu and Ogun. The Manager, Project Management Unit (PMU), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Mr. Emmanuel Onyeneke, spoke with reporters yesterday while handing over the projects in Ologiri village to the contractor, Kotco Engineering. Onyeneke said the communities would soon be connect-

ed to the national grid. Chairman, Yewa North Local Government Community Development Association, Alhaji Dara Adekunle, thanked the World Bank and assured the contractor of security. The multi-billion naira project is expected to be completed in June. The benefiting towns and villages include Alagbada, Fayoyi, Ajegunle, Eripa I, Eripa II, Abule Baba Lana, Okoyabugiri, Abule Alata, Pakoyi, Lasilo and Oloje. Others are Idiroko, Kajola, Kajola-Alaga, Ijege, AgboOgede, Oke-Igbala, Ikotun, Ologiri, Egbeda and Agbon Ojodu.

Teachers hail Ajimobi


EACHERS in Oke Ogun, Oyo State, have praised the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration for its commitment to the welfare of workers. The teachers, under the aegis of The Progressive Teachers’ Forum, spoke yesterday during a meeting with the governor on the need for an Education Secretary in Kajola Local Government Area. They were excited over the prompt payment of salaries and allowances and the 13th month bonus. Mr. Abiodun Adebayo, said: “Oyo teachers have never had it so good. Your administration is really a welfarist one. It is the first to fully pay the 13th month salary.”

•Members of the Lagos State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy – Mrs Tolani Edu Adeola (left); Dr. Regina Akpan; Chief Kole Abayomi; Deputy President, Penticostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev. Mercy Ezekiel; M. Isiah Mohammed; and Mr. Jimoh Olasunkanmi - at their swearing in at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja…yesterday PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Trader crushed to death in Ibadan


CARROT peddler, Mallam Awal (21), was killed by a truck in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the weekend. The accident occurred on Sango–Eleyele road, Ido Local Government Area, on Sunday. But for the quick intervention of some policemen, the truck driver would have

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

been mobbed by angry residents. The truck, marked LAGOS FST 283 XA, belongs to a highway maintenance company, Trustseal Limited. An eyewitness, simply identified as Lekan, said: “The accident happened around

11am on Sunday. Awal was selling beside the road when a passenger in a taxi asked him to bring some carrots. He was in the middle of the road when the trailer hit him on the side and crushed his head. He died immediately.” The deceased’s elder brother, Idris, said Awal had been selling carrots in Ibadan for four years.

Police spokesman Femi Okanlawon said the driver is in police custody and the vehicle has been impounded. He said: “The matter is still under investigation. We are happy that the matter did not degenerate into a crisis as the public conducted itself in a matured manner. We shall get to the root of the matter.”

Court deposes Ekiti monarch after 24 years


HE Supreme Court of Nigeria has removed the Olupoti of IpotiEkiti, Oba Isaiah Oladele Ayeni. The monarch, who was crowned in 1987, has spent 24 years on the throne. The Supreme Court judgment nullified the March 22, 1996, ruling of the Appeal Court on the issue.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

It upheld a January 15, 1993, court judgment, which invalidated the monarch’s assumption of the throne. Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen, who led four others, ruled that Ayeni should no longer parade himself as the Olupoti.

Justice Onnoghen said: “The judgment of the lower court delivered on March 22, 1996, setting aside the position of the trial court is hereby set aside. The judgment of the trial court delivered on January 15, 1993, is hereby restored and affirmed”. The Supreme Court awarded N50,000 costs against each of the respondents. They are

the Governor; the AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice; Secretary, Ijero Local Government; Mr. Elijah Oladele; Chief Inurin Abisoye; and Chief Arowolo Eisikin. The suit was originally filed by Prince Joseph Ogunsola of the Idasa Ruling House and later sustained by Chief Ayoola Adeosun.

Foundation awards N2m scholarship to Ondo students

T •Ajimobi From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

The teachers pledged their support to the governor. Ajimobi said his administration would continue to ensure workers’ welfare. He said the appointment of an education secretary for the council would be addressed next week.

HE Omonije Foundation, established by the former Chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State, Dr. Olaiya Oni, has awarded scholarships worth over N2 million to indigent students in Akoko Northeast Local Government. Oni said the gesture is in honour of his late mother. The scholarship was divided into three categories –tertiary institution students, secondary school pupils and well behaved choir members of St. Silas Anglican Church, Ise Akoko. Over 43 students of tertiary institutions got N40,000 each, while secondary school pupils got N20,000.

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries at the church at the weekend, Oni said: “I used to give tertiary institution students N60,000 each and secondary school students N40,000 each, but the community appealed to me to reduce the amount given to each beneficiary, so that more persons will benefit from the scheme. “This scheme was established in honour of my late mother. She was one in a million. She made me what I am today. That is why I give back to my community every year since her death. “This scholarship is meant

for brilliant students, who lack funds to go to school. Beneficiaries in the universities will enjoy the scheme for four years. Those in polytechnics will enjoy it for two years, but they can re-apply during their Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes.” The Bishop of Akoko Anglican Diocese, Rt. Rev. Gabriel Akinbiyi, thanked the former minister of education. One of the beneficiaries, Miss. Deborah Adesola, a student of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, said she has been benefiting from the scheme for four years. She said the scheme has produced many graduates,

who should have ended up uneducated. The event was attended by prominent Akoko indigenes and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftains. They include Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Senator Omololu Meroyi, Mr. Saka Lawal, Mr. Joseph Ajatta, Mr. Gboyega Adefarati and Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development Dayo Fadipe. Others were the Lisa of Akureland, Chief Olusoga James; ACN State Secretary Adegboyega Adedipe; Treasurer Ade Adetimehin; and a former state lawmaker, Mr. Otito Atikase, among others.




•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle) at the inauguration of the Local Organising Committee of the 18 th National Sports Festival held at the Lagos State House, Alausa, Ikeja, yesterday. With him are Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (third left); Chairman, Heirs Holdings Tony Elemelu (second left); Senator Olorunimbe Mamora (left); Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas (third right); former Minister of State for Defence Ademola Seriki (second right) and Deji Tinubu (right); Chairman, Board of Directors, Vintage Press Limited, Publishers of The Nation Wale Edun (back row seventh left) and other members of the committee. PHOTO: MOSES OMOSEHIN

11 Rivers council chiefs reinstated From Clarice Azuatalum, Port Harcourt


IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has reinstated the 11 suspended local government chairmen. The chairmen were suspended, owing to their absence from a meeting convened by the governor to discuss palliatives to cushion the effects of the withdrawal of oil subsidy. They include: the Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Chimbiko Iche Akorolo; Welendu Amadi (Ikwerre); Cassidy Ikegbidi (AhoadaEast). Others are: Awori Miller (Ahoada-West); Raymond Wokocha (Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni); Tamuno Williams (Okrika); Maclean Uranta (Opobo/Nkoro) and Urom Nte (Andoni). Also suspended were the chairmen of Asari-Toru and Akuku-Toru local governments, Ojukaye FlagAmachree and Theodore Georgewill. The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Seminatari, directed them to resume work immediately. Mrs. Seminatari also directed the acting chairmen to handover to the reinstated chairmen.

Security Fund committee in Edo


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has inaugurated the Security Appeal Fund Committee to ensure that security agencies are properly equipped. Speaking during the inauguration at the Government House, the governor said the state would provide modern gadgets needed by security agencies. The governor said the committee would mobilise the public, especially corporate bodies, fix a date for the launching and advise government on how to curb crime. Committee Chairman Justice Samson Uwaifo (rtd) thanked the governor for setting up the committee. Other members are drawn from the armed forces, police, the private and public sector, corporate bodies, religious bodies and representatives of the Oba of Benin.

Court dethrones Obong of Calabar


HE Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, has been dethroned. This followed a judgment of the High Court in Calabar yesterday. After a four-year legal battle between former Minister of Finance, Etubom Anthony Ani and Otu, the court ruled that Otu was not supposed to be Obong. The Obong was crowned on May 3, 2008 at Efe Asabo (the Efik Kingship shrine); he received the staff of office on July 11, 2008. Ani had claimed it was the turn of Mbiabo Ikoneto, where he comes from, to produce the Obong, but Otu, who is from Adiabo, was chosen in his stead. In the judgment that lasted

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

two hours, Justice Obojor Ogar restrained Otu from parading himself as the Obong of Calabar until a proper election has been conducted. He also restrained the Etubom Traditional Council (ETC) from excluding Ani and his town from any election or selection. But the council’s counsel, Paul Eba, said: “We are trying to study the judgment but fortunately the judgment has not given any order to the government to withdraw the certificate so the Obong is still on the throne.” Ani and four others had in April 2008 sued the Obong and seven others, challenging the verdict of the Etubom Council in the selection and proclamation of Otu as the

Obong of Calabar. Ogar had after receiving final addresses from Ani’s counsel Joe Agi (SAN) Otu’s counsel Ladi Williams (SAN), and the council’s counsel Ukpong Eba adjourned the matter till January 11. It was further adjourned till January 27 because of the oil subsidy removal nationwide strike. The matter was later rescheduled for January 30. Agi sought a declaration that “the presentation and/ selection of the fourth defendant (Edidem Otu) is contrary to natural justice, equity and good conscience.” He sought a declaration that the council’s refusal to entertain his client’s complaint violates his right to fair hearing.

Williams, who was represented by Ms Rebecca Tanga, asked the court to dismiss the applicant’s claims. He said the applicant was given fair hearing in the process of selection. Justice Ogar ruled that any election or selection of an Obong without the participation of Ani and his town is null and void. He also granted an injunction restraining “the Obong of Calabar from parading himself as the Obong until proper election has been done”. Agi, who was represented by Bassey Offiong, hailed the judgment. The council’s counsel, E.A Eba said Otu is still the Obong and they will appeal the judgment.

Two dead as Fulani, indigenes clash in Delta


WO persons were yesterday killed and several others missing, following a renewed clash between Fulani nomads and residents of Ohoror community in Uwheru, Ughelli North Local Government of Delta State. It was gathered that the two indigenes were allegedly killed by the armed nomads, who attacked them on their farms. Scores were also injured in the deadly clash. A violent protest by their kinsmen later degenerated into bloody clash between youths and security agents who were deployed to quell the protest yesterday morning. A source said the deceased were attacked by armed herdsmen dressed in military uniforms, adding that three rifles were recovered from the attackers. The Uwheru and Ohoror junctions on the East-West Road were blocked for several hours by the irate youths, who smashed vehicles and robbed travellers. According to the source, the protest was taken over by ex-militants, who stormed the highway with arms. Worst hit were vehicles

Three robbers killed Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba


HE police in Delta State yesterday said they arrested five suspected kidnappers. The suspects were arrested in connection with the kidnap of Justina Ezeife on January 9 from her home in Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government. Police spokesman Charles Muka, who confirmed the arrest, did not disclose their identities. Muka said the Anti-Kidnap Squad of the command, acting through covert intelligence, traced the suspects to Oji River, Enugu State, where they were arrested and the victim rescued unhurt. He added that the suspects were already assisting the police with information on how to track down other members of the gang. The command said three robbery suspects and two kidnap suspects were killed in a gun duel with the police. One kidnap victim was also rescued in Warri. From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt

belonging to Agofure Transport Company and


the Delta State Bus service, popularly called ‘Uduaghan Buses’. Troops from the state spe-

cial security outfit, tagged: “Joint Patrol Team” were deployed on the scene, after regular and mobile policemen were overpowered and chased away by the armed youths. The Treasurer of Uwheru Development Union, Benjamin Ohworeko, said the people could not fold their arms and watch their kinsmen slaughtered by the herdsmen. Residents were seen fleeing, ostensibly because of fears of invasion by troops. Police spokesman Charles Muka confirmed the report. JTF spokesperson Lt Col Tim Antigha said the incident was sparked by the “alleged killing” of locals by the Fulani, adding that investigation has begun.

We’ll fund schools, says Amaechi

IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has promised to fund all primary health centres and model schools when the budget appropriation is signed into law. Amaechi spoke at a church thanksgiving service in honour of Kennedy Daubry of the Delta State House of Assembly in Port Harcourt at the weekend. He said: “All primary health centres will be funded immediately the budget is signed into law and my administration is making sure that all Nigerians benefit from the health care programmes of the Rivers State Government.”

Amaechi also explained steps taken by his administration to provide free education in the primary and secondary school system, saying, the government would fund each school with N800 million to ensure quality free education. “I have taken away the responsibility of education challenges from parents by providing free education at the primary and secondary school level, I shall consolidate on this immediately the budget is signed into law. “We shall fund each school with N800 million,” he said.

Bayelsa SSG takes oath From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

Bayelsa State Acting Governor Nestor Binabo has sworn in Prof. Millionaire Abowei as the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG). He said Abowei would function as the head of all the political appointees in the state. “The office of the SSG will provide institutional stability and ensure the proper evaluation of all government policies,” Binabo said. Abowei, a professor of Chemical and Petrochemical Engineering, was a lecturer at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology. He was also a former governorship candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the 2003 elections.

Imoke: I hand over to God From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

OUSTED governor of Cross River State Liyel Imoke has said in the light of everything that has happened he has handed everything over to God. On his Facebook page yesterday, Imoke said: “Do I have a personal opinion on the happenings in recent days? Certainly, I do. But I must let go and let God sort this situation out while we guard our hearts and the words we speak about our state and people. "This is not about Liyel Imoke and should never have been about me. Cross River, which gives us our identity, is much more important that Liyel Imoke.” In another post, he said: "Indeed, it has been a time of very deep and sober reflection about where we want to take the state and so we must be thankful for this imposed “lag-time”. "Initially, I was worried about opportunists sowing seeds of confusion and taking advantage of the seeming "analysis flux" caused by the judgment and subsequent announcements and so I prayed that God should bring to remembrance the high price we have paid for political peace in Cross River State, which must not be traded away carelessly.”




Melaye accuses PDP of planning crisis in Kogi


OLITICAL stakeholders in Kogi State yesterday accused Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of planning a crisis in the state. They alleged that Sambo has directed Acting Governor Bello Abdullahi to hand over to Captain Idris Wada. Spokesperson of the group and former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, told reporters in Abuja that it is unconstitutional for the Vice-President to ask Wada to assume office without recourse to the rule of law. Melaye said: “The Vice-President summoned a meeting at his residence. Present were House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba; PDP Acting National Chairman Alhaji Kawu Baraje; PDP National Organising Secretary, Chief Uche Secondus; former Kogi State Governor Ibrahim Idris and the winner of the scientifically rigged election of December 3, 2011, in Kogi State, Alhaji Idris Wada, his deputy and the acting governor (Abdullahi). “When he was summoned to that meeting yesterday, surprisingly,

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

they recommended a political solution to a judicial problem. The meeting, at the instance of the Vice-President, threatened, blackmailed, cajoled, appealed and of course, intimidated the acting governor of Kogi State. I can tell you on good account that one of them in that meeting was even shouting on the acting governor of Kogi State that they would descend the federal might on him; that they would withdraw police and the State Security Service (SSS) from him; that he should just go to Kogi State in a chartered private jet together with Wada and hand over power to him. “This is not only laughable but also shows the kind of leadership we have in this country. Nigeria is not a banana republic. Of course, we have said democracy will continue to be the government of the people, by the people and for the people. But these people are trying to make democracy a government of the greedy, by the greedy and for the greedy.” He alleged that Sambo and PDP leadership “are trying to create an outrageously calamitous situation in Kogi state”. Melaye added: “They want to cre-

ate a crisis in the state because if you go and force a Wada that does not have the constitutional wherewithal to be governor, you are going to create a crisis in that state. I think as a government, its primary occupation is supposed to be the provision of food and security. Unfortunately, no food and security have been taken away by Boko Haram. So, how can the Federal Government and indeed the Vice-President want to inflict and ignite crisis in Kogi State? “Of course, because the Speaker is an indefatigable and indomitable Nigerian, he refused to accede to their intimidations and blackmail; he insisted that he would do the right thing.” The former lawmaker said Kogi residents, irrespective of their party affiliations, would support the acting governor. He said: “I am here speaking on behalf of law-abiding Kogites and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kogi State. As democrats, we will continue to do only that which is just, right, egalitarian and permissible by law. “We are going to give our full support to the acting governor of Kogi State in the person of Alhaji Bello Abdullahi, who is the only person

recognised by the Constitution to govern the state now.” Melaye urged the Vice-President and the PDP to operate within the law and the provisions of the Constitution. He said: “We want to sound a note of warning to the PDP and indeed the Vice-President that he is the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But he must operate within the confines of the law and the provisions of our Constitution. “They (PDP leaders) have now domesticated or reduced a state affair to a party affair. If not, why would they summon the acting governor and instruct him like a school child: ‘go and hand over to a madein-Taiwan or better still a customary governor’. “Nigeria is governed by the rule of law. We will continue to stand by that rule; we will continue to protect that rule and we are here as stakeholders in Kogi State to say that we will not allow any abuse of the rule of law in Kogi State. “We will continue to maintain peace and order and we will not allow the Vice-President, the PDP or whosoever to sell our state. The position of the law is clear. “If Idris Wada feels he is supposed to be the governor of Kogi State, let him go to court. And if the Federal Government feels the acting governor is not supposed to


be there, let the Attorney-General of the Federation issue a statement saying that the Chief Judge of the state should swear in Wada. Then, we will know that they are approbating and reprobating. “But I dare them. They cannot do that, because they know they cannot come out to issue such a statement. They want to enter the Government House through the window. “Unfortunately, we have shut all the windows. The only man that can enter that place is the former Speaker and now Acting Governor of Kogi State.”

Anambra police deny arresting Boko Haram members HE Anambra State Police Command yesterday denied the alleged arrest of 12 members of Boko Haram at Umunze and Nnewi. The police were said to have arrested the sect’s members as they allegedly attempted to enter the state to foment trouble. The police expressed worry that the state has missed many investment opportunities because some residents were fond of raising false alarm about insecurity. They vowed to deal with any individual or group constituting a nuisance in any part of the state. It was alleged that some suspected Boko Haram members were hiding in Umunze and Nnewi. They were said to have been arrested in the area. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said those arrested were not Boko Haram sect members. He did not clarify the status of the suspects but said they were at a function at Amansea, when they were arrested. Chukwuemeka said: “There is nothing like Boko Haram panic in Anambra State. There is nothing like that in Nnewi or any other place in the state. Our police commissioner is battle-ready and is working assiduously to contain any breakdown of law and order. Those arrested are not involved with Boko Haram case…” The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Orumba South, who gave his name as Egbe, said: “There is no such thing for now.” A police source in Umunze had told our correspondent that some men were arrested and were suspected Boko Haram members. He added that they were running into Anambra for safety from Okigwe. Police Commissioner Muhtari Ibrahim has said the state is safe from Boko Haram threat. The police chief said there is no room for Boko Haram or similar sects to operate in the state. He urged the residents to go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation, adding that the state is safe for residents and investors.


Muslims disown Boko Haram HE Muslim Ummah of Southwest (MUSWEN) has dissociated itself from the activities of the Boko Haram sect. In a communique issued at the end of its retreat in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the group condemned the sect for unleashing violence on the nation, including the killing and maiming of innocent people. The communique by its President and Executive Secretary, Prof Daud Noibi and Prof Ishaq Oloyede, decried the sect’s violent activities. MUSWEN noted that Boko Haram’s activities have no place in Islam, the religion it described as peace-loving. The communique reads: “We repeat unequivocally our earlier condemnation of the use of violence to settle scores in the Nigerian polity and dissociate ourselves from all the dastardly acts claimed by the group, known as Boko Haram. “We declare that the violent activities of the group are against the dictates of Islam, which is a religion of peace, and the group, therefore, is not representative of the Muslims in Southwest Nigeria and the country as a whole. “Religious ignorance, indoctrination, provocation and intolerance should be seriously and frontally tackled.”






Fed Govt cancels Single Window Contract


HE Federal Govern ment has terminated the controversial contract awarded to Single Window Systems and Technology Limited. This was confirmed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, in a statement yesterday. The statement, which was signed by the minister’s Senior Special Assistant, Paul Nwabuikwu, said: “The decision to discontinue the contract was based on an investigation by the Ministry of Finance which looked into the processes and the terms of the contract. “The investigation which was approved by the President revealed that the contract breached the provisions of both the Procurement Act and the ICRC Act.” The Finance Minstry and Single Window Systems Technology limited had signed a concession agreement, which had been vehemently opposed by stakeholders in the ports. The concession tagged single window systems allows for all parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and document with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit- related regulatory requirements. The House of Representative Ad-hoc Committee probing the concession had also indicted the former Comptroller-General of Customs Alhaji Hassan Bello Ahmed for his role in the alleged fraudulent agreement. Chairman of the Committee Sir Leo Ogor said the concession agreement was not only misguided but smacks of fraud.

Within the period of January to December 2011, over N939 million was generated as independent revenue from the issuance and renewal of radio frequencies. -Mrs Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communications and Technology

Fed Govt gets N4.89tr investment commitments


TOTAL of N4.89 trillion investment com mitments from local and foreign investors have been secured by Federal Government in the last six months, statistics from the Ministry of Trade and Investment have shown. Local investors account for N2.67trillion of the total investments, while the balance will come from foreign investors. The report noted that commitments were got from the over 60 meetings held at home and abroad in line with the ministry’s aggressive investment drive and the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. Already, according to the breakdown of proposed investments from foreign companies, an American Company, Vulcan Energy International, has finalised plans to invest N620billion in the oil and gas sector of

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

the economy in the next one year. The firm is involved in the installation, inaugurtation, maintenance and operation of electric power plants using natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel and bio-fuel. Also, GE Healthcare (United Kingdom) and GE Electric (United states) have made a combined investment proposal of N379.12billion for the health economy; while a consortium of European investors have also started the investment of N240billion in the power, petroleum and housing sectors in the next five years. The group comprises Seagas Services Limited and Oceanmar Services Limited. Also, according to the re-

port, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US EXIM) has made a N232. 5billion investment proposal for the power sector; while the Bakrie Group of Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Trade and Investment for an investment package worth N155billion in mining and rubber plantation in two states in the next five years. The investment, which will be managed by the Group’s investment’s vehicle, Bakrie Delano Africa Nigeria Limited, will focus on maximising benefits from the mining sector, exploring the untapped investment potential in the agricultural sector and accelerating the marginal development of the oil and gas industry. Other proposed investments from international investors include:

N310billion from Tecnimont, a premier engineering firm in India; N155billion from Torch Petroleum of the United States; and N155billion from China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC), among others. However, out of the N2.67trillion proposed investment from local investors, N1.52trillion was got from about 20 companies in the non-oil sector of the economy within the period under review. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has, nonetheless, disclosed that a committee has been formed to monitor the actual execution of the proposed investments within the time-frame given. He added that the administration was committed to regenerating the economy by kicking off strategic projects in key sectors.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $33.01b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

• Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison -Madueke addresing a gathering at the 2012 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland...yesterday.

Power distribution to hit 6,308MVA, says Minister


INISTER of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, has said power distribution is expected to increase from 5,644MVA to 6,308MVA this year. Nnaji, who was defending his N73, 416, 536,316 budget estimates of this year before the Senate Committee on Power in Abuja, said unplanned interruption of supply would be reduced from eight to six incidences per month per feeder on urban network. It will be down from 20 to 12 on rural networks. The average forced outage time per feeder per month is expected to be reduced from 30 hours to 18 hours thereby yielding more revenue to the com-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

panies. The Minister told the Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda-led Committee that an additional generation capacity of 960 MW is expected to be recovered from the rehabilitation of units at Kainji, Shiroro, Ughelli, Egbin and Geregu Power Stations during this fiscal year. He lamented the late release of cash backing and partial release of cash from the 2010 appropriation as one of the constraints of the ministry. While giving further breakdown of the recurrent and capital budget propos-

als, the Minister told the Committee that the total allocation to the main ministry is N19,305,004,602; N51,855,401,689 for Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), N650,136,658 for the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), N1,504,824,818; zero allocation for the National Power Training Institute and N101,168,549 for Nigeria Electricity Management Limited. However, Senator Aduda urged the Minister to remove virement from the budget as it was never raised. He advised the ministry to carry the workers along in the reform process being carried out by the Ministry.

and also to give the reforms a human face. According to him, people will always react and protest against the move if they are not part of the reform, adding that the management of the ministry must be open. Also, the Military Pensions Board, National Defence College, Presidential Committee on Barrack Rehabilitation and Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, defended their 2012 budgets before the Senator George Sekibo-led Committee on Defence and Army, even as National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) defended its N18, 051,425,927 budget before the Senator Maina Ma’aji Lawan-led Committee.

Court orders Airtel to reverse to Econet By Adline Atili


Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Airtel Nigeria to reverse its name to Econet Wireless Limited (EWL), following a case instituted against it by EWL. Justice Shuaib of the Federal High Court, Abuja , had on January 24, 2012, handed down the judgment in the matter between Econet Wireless Limited vs Bharti Airtel in suit No FHC/KD/39/2008 (Formerly FHC/L/172/ 2004), where EWL claimed to still possess five per cent equity shares in Airtel Nigeria. The court averred that EWL, an international company, domiciled in the United Kingdom , is a shareholder of Bharti Airtel Nigeria Limited and holds five per cent of issued shares of the company and ordered Airtel to reinstate the shareholding of EWL. It also ordered that all actions and resolutions taken by the company, since October 2003 during which EWL was entitled to be notified and to participate in, as a shareholder, but was prohibited, are null and void. This includes decisions to sell shares, issue shares and transfer shares to third parties. The court also ordered that the name change from Econet Wireless Nigeria, which took effect in 2003, was irregular, and must be reversed forthwith. Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has been ordered to cancel any certificate previouslyissued for the company’s change of name and restore the name of the company to Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited. By the judgment, EWL, through its lawyers, claimed to have written to Airtel Nigeria, for immediate re-issuance of shares in the company to Econet to reinstate its five per cent equity share. Additionally, by the judgment, Airtel is to provide Econet, full access to information relating to board decisions and shareholder resolutions in accordance with the Companies Act, the shareholders agreement between the parties and in pursuance of the orders of the Federal High Court of Nigeria. Group Chairman of Econet Wireless, Strive Masiyiwa, said: “It is universally accepted throughout the world, that when shares in a company are allotted, share certificates are issued; as confirmation of ownership, this is sacrosanct. “In October 2003, Econet Wireless Limited received a letter from Airtel Nigeria Chairman, Mr Oba Otudeko, in which he said at a board meeting, directors had decided that Econet Wireless was no longer a shareholder, Econet’s share certificate had been cancelled and Econet’s name removed from the shareholder register.”




Subsidy: Jonathan directs states, local govts to design programmes P RESIDENT Gooluck Jonathan has directed states and local government councils to design programmes for using the portion of the fuel subsidy reinvestment funds. He said the Federal Government had concluded plans to channel its share of the resources into a combination of programmes to stimulate the economy and alleviate pov-

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

erty through critical infrastructure and safety net projects. The president stated this at a one-day town hall meeting of coalition of youth groups on the deregulation of downstream oil sector in Owerri. To transform the economy in line with the Vision 20:20 20 objectives, the president explained that critical

infrastructural projects in the power, roads transportation, water and downstream petroleum sectors would be executed. Represented by his Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Mr Ahmed Ali Gulak, Jonathan insisted that the potential impact

of the discontinuation of the subsidy regime on the masses could be mitigated through properly targeted safety net programmes in public works and employment schemes, maternal and child health, mass transit programmes and vocation training and skill acquisi-

Senate flays State House’s N11.3tr recurrent budget


HE Senate yesterday decried the high recur rent budget of the State House describing it as ‘outrageous.’ A member of the Senate Committee Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator Isa Galadu, made this observation when the Permanent Secretary of the State House, Dr Tunji Olaokpa, defended his budget before the committee in Abuja. According to him, the State House spent about N2.2 billion on personnel and N9.1billion on overheads in 2011 even as it proposed to spend about the same amount in 2012. Galadu said while other ministries were pruning their recurrent budgets, that of the State House seems to be on the increase. Galadu said: “A country where 70 per cent live below

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

a dollar per day, 90 per cent live below two dollars a day, this budget is absolutely outrageous. “I think you need to explain more because our main concern is for the people we represent to see that this budget is judiciously utilised. “Apart from the foodstuff and catering of N473 million, there is another N293 million for refreshment. “I think, there is need for prudence, especially if you look at your personnel cost, your overhead cost. I agree that you are a service ministry, but in some ministries, you have personnel and overhead at 73 per cent, but in your own case, you have about 300 to 400 per cent. “In 2012, you have separated overhead; you now have overhead and over-

head OVP, what is OVP? If you add the two together, they are more than overhead in 2011. “If every department is sacrificing to reduce recurrent and support capital projects, the State House can’t be an exception. “Let me give you an example. I have a rare privilege of having breakfast with the President two months ago, there are over 24 choice of what you want to eat. If you can reduce that to say five, that may save you some cost and also save Nigeria some costs.” However, Olaokpa explained that the increase is due to the democratic dispensation and the need to run an all-inclusive government. He added that democracy by nature is different from military government where the apparatchik of government is usually lean.

tion schemes. The President commended both the Imo State Government and youths in the state for their mature role during the fuel subsidy removal strike embarked upon by the organised labour and assured that the Federal Government would

never initiate and implement measures to pauperise the citizenry. Commenting, the Commissioner, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Chief Chris Okewulonu, said a highly regulated sector leads to the existence of a small cartel capable of using their massive revenue to lobby against neutrality thus creating an unlevel playing field.

How PHCN’s N340b liabilities ‘ll be settled • Workers’ pension hits N10.8b From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

• Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power


HE Managing Director, Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited (NELMCO), Mr Samuel Agbogun, yesterday explained that the Federal Government would settle the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) liabilities of over N340billion upon verification of contractual agreements. NELMCO is one of the transferee companies envisaged under the Power Act of 2005 to achieve a shortterm objective of settlement of PHCN enormous liabilities to creditors and Staff Pension. But he noted that the debt was accumulated from the

gap between the cost of power generation and the tariff which consumers actually paid. Agbogun said: “That gap accumulated over the year. For example,Agip, generated power to PHCN. We have not been able to pay Agip their cost for power. So, on Agip alone, we owe so much money every month.There are some suppliers, who supplied transformers, cables who are not paid fully because NEPA would pay its own workers first before paying others.” He, however, added that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) are some of the PHCN biggest creditors. Speaking with reporters in the company’s office in Abuja, he said the company has already given February as deadline to identify the debtors for payment. He, however, noted that there will certainly be a

window to attend to other creditors after this timeline. According to him, all creditors must tender their contractual agreement that culminated in the indebtedness before they can be settled. He said: “We have called them to come and show claims that they are really owned by PHCN. But many of them have responded but the deadline is the end of February. I think by the end of this month, we will be able to take stock. We have said all the contract debt papers that led to that particular debt we must verify them.” The Managing Director said the NELMCO is hopeful that even as these debts accumulate daily, the firm will take about six years to settle them before the bulk trader company carries on from assumes settlement of further liabilities. On the PHCN pension, he explained that NELCOM has to sort the pension of the about 11, 000 beneficiaries out with due diligence.

House committee chair laments NERC’s failure to honour jobs request


HERE was drama yes terday as the House Committee on Power flayed the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)for turning down the committee’s request for employment for their candidates about two years ago. According to the Committee Chairman, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale (PDP, Edo Central),who stated the committee’s position on the issue during an oversight function to the commission in Abuja, some of the preferred candidates are already dead as a result of the denial. His words: “Two to three years ago, we sent a list of our candidates for employment to the commission, but today, some of them have died. You didn’t give them the job and that is one of the

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

problems we have in the power sector.” The committee chairman was responding to the NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi’s statement that for monitoring and compliance in zonal level, NERC would employ more staff. Ikhariale further said: “I would say that you should take this into consideration as you prepare your zonal offices for take-off. The zonal office would make you have better presence and felt nationwide.” The committee chairman had earlier criticised the commission for not carrying it along. Hear him: “NERC has not been fair to us. We deserve to know the full knowl-

edge of your actions, inactions and even intentions so that we are well prepared to defend your positions when the need arise in the house. As the committee on power and as representatives of the people, we receive complaints often and we can only respond appropriately when we are well grounded in your activities.” While responding, Amadi noted that all government agencies are off-shoot of the National Assembly’s establishment, stressing that NERC, therefore, reports to the federal lawmakers yearly. The NERC boss sought for a way to improve the existing relationship with the National Assembly.

US, NCAA partner on transatlantic “When you have only HE Nigeria Civil Avia flights single provider, there is a tion Authority (


NCAA) and the United States are collaborating on how the coming of American carriers into Nigeria could reduce air fares on the Trans Atlantic routes. Assistant Deputy Secretary of States, Ms Susan Mc Dermott, disclosed this yesterday. At a meeting in the Aviation House, the US officials spoke of plans by Nigeria and the US to explore full implementation of the Open Skies agreement,

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

which will allow liberalisation of the airspace between the two countries. Dermott said: “ We are encouraged by what has happened so far between the two countries. There are very large points in the US that can support Nigeria and we feel that not only are the consumers well served, but the competition as well.

problem of high price, but if there is competition, fares will automatically go down and the airlines will be very efficient; they will compete on fares, on service and passengers’ treatment. “So, we encourage that. We have found that in open sky countries, no carrier is sent out of the market, they go to market to make money and not to kill and airlines all over the world are doing this. So, we do encourage that. “






Joel Obi to hit Indonesia Pg. 49

Zaragoza join chase for Kalu Uche Pg. 16

Nation •Kalu Uche

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


•Mikel Obi

Anichebe faces Man City








Joel Obi to hit Eaglets’ coach submits programme to NFF Indonesia •To begin camping in February G N

IGERIA international Joel Obi will visit Indonesia with Inter Milan as part of •Joel Obi the Italian giant Asian tour which is scheduled for the closed season. The 18-time Italian champions plan to play an Indonesia selected team as well as their national Under-23 team. Inter chief excecutive officer Ernesto Paolillo visited Jakarta on Sunday to ensure the agenda between Inter and Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) was agreed. "Our president Mr Moratti promised to always give the best for all Interisti (Inter fans) around the world, including Indonesia," Paolillo told reporters. Initially, Indonesia was not included in their itinerary for the Asian tour but the increasing number of Indonesian users accessing Inter's website made management revise their plans. According to the plan, Inter will bring their best players such as Argentine youngster Ricardo Alvarez, Brazilian duo Lucio and Julio Cesar, as well as Japanese star Yuto Nagatomo.

OLDEN Eaglets’ chief coach, Manu Garba has informed NationSport that he has presented his programme for the team to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and is awaiting its ratification so camping

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

exercises can begin. Garba said that he submitted his schedule of activities last Friday and, if approved, he would begin the drilling

Zaragoza join Ojabu set for Norway deal chase for Kalu Uche D OLPHINS midfielder, Omo Ojabu is set to tie up a deal with an unnamed Norwegian club. The 19-year-old has been in Norway for trials over the past week and is expected back in the country this week. “Omo has been in Norway over the past one week for trials with a Norwegian club. I am not at liberty to reveal the identity of the club right now but I can tell you that if all goes according to plan, he will be joining the club,” club secretary, Ahmed Abdulrahman told

Ojabu is an established junior international representing Nigeria at Under-17 and 19 levels. He was an important member of the Dolphins team that won the 2011/2012 NPL title.

NUGA functions without budgetary allocations –Emiola


RESIDENT of the West Africa University Games (WAUG), Professor Lasun Emiola has revealed that sports subvention for Nigerian Universities has been on hold for the last six to seven years due to changed policies. Therefore, it is the universities that have been sponsoring their respective athletes to local and international competitions. Emiola said: "I can tell you as the President of the West Africa University Games that for the last six or seven years, NUGA (Nigeria Universities Games) has had no budget in the Ministry of Education. Every year they are not in the budget. “When they (NUGA) were in the sports Ministry, they were always there in the budget but not any longer. “We are fighting to make sure that NUGA goes to international competitions. So, if you are a university athlete and you say the Nigeria University Commission (NUC) is not recognising you, know that you are recognised through NUGA games. I believe that if you go back to the universities and prepare you will be

By Stella Bamawo able to take part in the next West African Universities Games coming up in Ilorin in March, and the All African Universities Games coming up in December in Senegal. I assure you that something will be done." She also advised student-athletes on the need to inform the school authorities of invitations given to them to partake in competitions before hand. Emiola, who spoke to NationSport on Monday, said: "Some of these students sneak out to take part in competitions, despite that, requests to take parts in competitions are granted if they go through the appropriate channel. It has never been a big problem. “We use to follow the British system of education but now they follow the American system. As an athlete that goes out for international competitions you are allowed for a make-up exam. Most of these athletes are invited by the National Sports Commission (NSC) or Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) they just leave without telling

Ogunjobi, others get CAF commissioner, ref jobs


IGERIAN Match Commissioners and referees have been considered for matches by the Confederation of African Football CAF in forthcoming international engagements. In the Preliminary rounds of the CAF Champions league, Badru Shakibudeen was appointed Match Commissioner for the encounter between Tonnere of Benin and AS Garde Nationale of Niger. The match holds in Benin on March 3. Taiwo Ogunjobi has also been appointed Match Commissioner for the Orange CAF Confederation Cup match involving AS Tempete Mocaf of Central African Republic and AC Leopards of Congo. It is a return leg match that will be held in Central Africa on March 3. In the same competition, Nigerian referees Ogunkulade Bunmi, Peter Edibe, and Barau Auwalu have been appointed to officiate the match between Sahel of Niger and Renaissance of Chad taking place in Niger on March 3. They will be superintended by Younes Selmi as Match Commissioner. Obafemi Emmanuel is on duty as Match Commissioner in the Champion’s league return leg match between Berekum Chelsea of Ghana and LISCR of Liberia. Ogunyamodi Henri leads Abidoye Tunde and Baba Abel to cross over to

Cameroun where they will officiate the Champions League preliminary encounter between Astre of Douala and DFC 9eme Arrondisement of Central African Republic. In the African Prelims of the FIFA Under 20 Women Championship, Uzbekistan 2012, Faith Irabor will handle match 13 between Cameroun and RD Congo coming up early march. The return leg of that match in RD Congo will be officiated by Nwogu Uloma Nneka. The thirty one year old, two years on the FIFA list will be celebrating his f i r s t appointment as a referee. Her e a r l i e r appointments were as reserve referee. She will be assisted by Grace Agudosi and B o s e d e Momoh, while F e l i c i a Okwugba is the •Ogunjobi reserve referee.

of over 100 players he and his assistants have shortlisted across the country. He noted that the first phase of his programme would be for the technical crew to to trim the number

anybody. My advice to you is that you are on national service. You should write a letter to your department and it will be debated on in the Senate. All athletes that go out for competitions do have make-up when they come back, "she said.


NFF board has failed and must quit –Emordi


NUGU Rangers manager, Okey Emordi has called for the resignation of the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Emordi says the federation has failed in the administration of football in the country and is asking for members of the football ruling body in the country to resign en masse to pacify Nigerians. “We don’t have a standard NFF. Members of the technical committee have failed. They have no business leading Nigerian football and they should do the right thing and resign; all of them,” Emordi told The former Enyimba trainer also said the failures recorded in Nigerian in football in 2011 should serve as a warning to Nigerians that those governing football in the country at present "are not the right men for the job." “We should be honest with ourselves. They (members of the NFF) are square pegs in round holes and that is why we failed woefully last year. The NFF must take responsibility,” he said. The Rangers coach also reflected on his side’s loss to Nigeria Premier League (NPL) champions, Dolphins blaming terrible officiating for the reverse and indicting the NFF over the situation. “Everyone who saw the match (against Dolphins) would attest to the fact that we did not deserve to lose. The officiating was terrible and to be honest, I blame the NFF for the terrible form of officiating in the league. “When I managed in South Africa with Bush Bucks, things were handled differently. You never got to know the identity of the referees for a game until he walks into the pitch. Here (in Nigeria), the direct opposite is the case. “In the NPL, the home teams pay the indemnities of the referees. That is ridiculous. Until the NFF starts taking

responsibility of that, we will never improve,” he said. Emordi was named best coach in Africa by CAF in 2004 after leading Enyimba to success in the CAF Champions League.


Wigan: Victor Moses not for sale


IGAN manager Roberto Martinez has stressed that Victor Moses and James McCarthy are not for sale but did not offer the same reassurances over striker Hugo Rodallega. The Latics boss is determined not to sell his two 21-year-old 'assets' but accepts the situation with Rodallega, whose contract expires this summer, is somewhat different. Moses has been linked with a move back to London with QPR while McCarthy has been on the radar of some of the Barclays Premier League's bigger clubs for some time. However, Martinez is adamant he will not allow his squad to be weakened with a vital four months remaining of their relegation battle. 'Victor Moses is not for sale. He is one of the biggest assets we have at the club,' said the Spaniard. 'He is one of the players who represent Wigan [in terms of what the club stands for] as he is young with fantastic potential and has had great development in the last season or so.’


PANISH Primera Division side, Real Zaragoza have joined the hunt for Nigeria's 29-year-old offensive player Kalu Uche. The Nigeria international is now a free agent after Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax were declared bankrupt. Kalu's agent has offered his services to several clubs in Spain- Zaragoza, Espanyol, Mallorca and Racing. Glasgow Rangers are also looking to pounce, although the player himself told he is not aware of the interest from Scotland. If terms are agreed with Real Zaragoza, Kalu would be offered a sixmonth contract with an option for two additional seasons. Kalu scored 39 goals in 172 games in a six-season spell with Almeria.

of invited players, so as to get only the good ones that would give the country a good representation in the Africa Youth Championship Qualifiers which starts in mid-April this year. “I have submitted my programme and I’m waiting for the NFF to give its approval. “We are proposing that the camping exercise should commence latest in the second week of February because of the close nature of the AYC Qualifiers which has been fixed for mid-April, though no fixtures have been made by CAF. I submitted it on Friday last week. “This is a new experience entirely; we are now silent on whether there will be foreign camping or not. We are desirous to start with the invitation of those players that we have scouted and bring all of them together so that we will be able to select those ones that will eligible to go for proper camping. “At any giving time we want to make sure we have about 50 players for a start and the rest will be substitution by elimination,” Manu told NationSport It would be recalled that the last U-17 set under the tutelage of coach Monday Odigie failed at the qualifying stage when the team lost to Congo Brazzaville 3-1 on aggregate in 2010, and was unable to defend the silver medal won by the 2009 class when Nigeria hosted the world.

Babaginda blames NSC for football woes


ORMER Nigeria international Tijani Babanginda has blamed the National Sports Commission (NSC) for the present woes of Nigeria football. ‘TJ’, as he is fondly called by admirers, told NationSport that the problems of Nigeria football started after the Mali 2000 Africa Nations Cup when the authourities of the present NSC, then Ministry of Sports, ordered the dropping of a particular generation of players that constituted the Super Eagles, without finding capable replacements. The former Ajax Amsterdam winger said: “The problem of Nigeria football started immediately after the Nations Cup in 2000, when then Minister of Sports ordered the immediate dropping of all the players before the World Cup without proper replacements for them. “Before then, there was this system of replacing players in various positions. If we did what was operational then, that when a player was going, another player with similar patterns would be discovered to take the place of that going player,

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja we would not be in this problem now." Continuing, the FC Taraba Manager said: "The problem now is, what system is Nigeria going to adopt to be able to move ahead? That is the major problem (Coach Stephen) Keshi is presently facing. “He is in the process of trying to discover players that will fit into the traditional positions that Nigeria is known for. If he is able to achieve this, our football will return to its former position. But in all, the deeds have been done, and all of us are suffering from it now." Babanginda advocated that the authorities should give Keshi at least three years to be able to build a formidable team, by relying mainly on the home based players and bringing in only foreign based players that are relevant to each match. He also suggested that ways be worked out to keep the home based players in the country to enable them learn the basics of the game before traveling abroad.



Mikel still out •Anichebe faces Man City


IGERIA midfielder Mikel Obi will be missing today as Chelsea face a tricky encounter against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. Mikel has been out of action for the Blues with hamstring injury since December 22 when they forced Tottenham HotSpur to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. His return is not in sight as he continues with recuperation However, Chelsea were easily the better side at Stamford Bridge on September 25, with both Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba scoring in an easy victory against Swansea. The west London club have not lost in 2012, registering three wins, including a 1-0 FA Cup triumph over QPR on Saturday, and a draw away to Norwich in the league. Chelsea moved into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a tight win in a spiteful London derby, which focused more on John Terry returning to the ground where he allegedly racially vilified Anton Ferdinand, rather than the action on the pitch. But Chelsea may have to take on Swansea without Frank Lampard, the scorer of the winning goal in both of their Premier League wins this year.



HOLA Ameobi has pleaded with the Toon Army not to “write off” Newcastle United’s season – despite the fact that hopes of silverware are over for another campaign. United’s stand-in captain at Brighton insists that the Magpies can still put things right this term, and with European qualification still up for grabs Ameobi believes the hard work starts again at Ewood Park. The long-serving striker told the Chronicle: “This isn’t our season over, not by any stretch of the imagination. “We’ve got to stay positive, even though we’re bitterly

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja want to rely on, there is no way we can have them for more than five days. So this idea may not work because the players would not cope. “They cannot achieve anything camping in a high altitude zone for only five days, instead it would be detrimental to the whole programme. What we would likely do is to camp the team in Abuja, and get a chartered jet to fly straight to Rwanda a day to match, and leave immediately after the match. That would is the best option available now,” he concluded. It would be recalled that Coach Keshi had proposed a 14-day camping exercise for the team in Kenya, to enable them acclimatise to the high altitude that is prevalent in Rwanda, venue of the 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifier.

Lampard missed the victory over QPR with a calf injury and is rated only a 50-50 chance to play in Wales. But Swansea, who sit 13th on the English Premier League table, showed they can match it against the top clubs with their 3-2 win at home to Arsenal on January 15. It was Swansea's first win over a club in the top five this season, but they have since lost two games away from home. Leading into their clash with Chelsea, Swansea were defeated 2-0 by Sunderland, before being knocked out of the FA Cup by Bolton on Saturday. At Goodison Park, Victor Anichebe will aim to lead Everton against Manchester City in a tricky test. Everton have had bragging rights over Man City for some time, winning seven of the two sides' previous eight encounters, before the latter broke through with a 2-0 win at Etihad Stadium on September 24. If that record is any guide, Roberto Mancini's men will have to be at their best if they are to ward off challengers Manchester United, who can draw level on points at the top of the table with a win at home to Stoke, should City slip up. Mario Balotelli will not make the trip as he is serving the second game of his four-match ban for stamping on Tottenham midfielder Scott Parking last week.

Ameobi: Don't write Newcastle Utd off

Kenya camp may not hold HERE are strong indications that the proposed camping of the Super Eagles in Kenya before their match against Rwanda may not hold after all. According to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Director of Technical, Emmanuel Ikpeme the programme will be ineffective as most of the foreign based players that Coach Stephen Keshi would to use for the match, would not be able to cope. The former University don said: “The Coaches have submitted a programme that will see the team camp in Kenya before the match because of the altitude problem, and this would be for at least ten days. “For the home based players that would be part of that match, this can be achievable. But for the foreign based players that the Coach would

By Bimbo Adesina

•Shola Ameobi

disappointed. We’ve go to get over this and move on.” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had spoke about the importance of the FA Cup in the build-up to the game – sentiments that had been echoed by United’s playing staff. Ameobi said: “We spoke about the importance of the cup, and what it meant. It was a chance to win a trophy with the two Manchester clubs out. “Invariably there’ll be more Premier League teams going out, and we felt we could have a run in the cup. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, and we’re bitterly disappointed. On the back of the Fulham defeat, we didn’t want to go into the Blackburn game on the back of two defeats.” However, Newcastle were still recovering after being one of the scalps of the round as the former basement division side sent them tumbling out the competition to continue United’s poor recent run in the FA Cup. United have now failed to win in nine away ties down the years and last reached the quarter-final stage in 2006. Ameobi said: “It’s frustrating. We felt we controlled large parts of the game. We had a lot of possession, but we couldn’t make it pay. “When you don’t put away the chances you have, especially in the FA Cup, the opposition and the crowd can sense something. It’s disappointing we didn’t put away the chances we created. They started to believe they could win the game. They didn’t have many chances. Obviously, there’s been a deflected goal, which is a bit of bad luck, but we should be winning games like that.” Ameobi also feels there is plenty to build on for Blackburn, he said: “We played all right – we kept the ball well, and passed it well. It was just a case of not putting away our chances, and in football, possession is nothing if you don’t capitalise on that. “That was the most disappointing thing. We didn’t threaten their goal enough, and when we did, we didn’t put them away.”







Swift changes sweep through five states I

N Cross River, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kogi and, Bayelsa states, nothing is certain now. Politicians, used to their nocturnal meetings, have stepped up their acts. Since last Friday’s Supreme Court verdict that sent the former governors of the states packing, politicians in the states have been meeting into the wee hours of the day, trying to fashion out response to the largely unexpected development. First, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that has control of the five states has been working very hard to ensure that their holds on the states do not slip. While the election dates had earlier been fixed, the equations in the states now seem open-ended. In Sokoto where the Speaker, Alhaji Lawal Zayyana was sworn in to administer the state, former Governor Aliyu Wamakko has little to worry about as the Acting Governor’s father is reputed to be a friend and staunch supporter of the PDP candidate. Zayyana, 49, had served as Commissioner for the Environment and later as Senior Special Assistant before he was elected to the state Assembly last year. He wanted to go to the House of Representatives, but lost the chance due to geo-political factor. It was therefore not surprising that he was compensated with the leadership of the legislature even without prior lawmaking experience. The other political parties in the state have no problem with their candidates as the men who were elected in January 2011 have picked the tickets to confront Wamakko at the governorship poll now scheduled for february 18. In Adamawa, too, it is expected to be a smooth sail to the poll as the parties are settled with their candidates. The immediate past governor Admiral Murtala Nyako is being represented by the ruling PDP, while

• Zayyana takes oath of office as acting governor of Sokoto State. By Bolade Omonijo, Group Political Editor

Marcus Gundir, an Engineer, is the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate. For the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), former Lagos Military Administrator Buba Marwa is the flag bearer. Prior to last week’s verdict in the appeal filed by Marwa, Nyako appeared to be coasting home to victory. The ACN that performed second best in last year’s legislative polls was however campaigning vigorously to upstage the ruling party on the ground that Nyako underperformed. How this would have affected the election had it been

held on the original January 14 date is now rested in the realm of speculation. However, the victory recorded by Marwa at the Supreme Court has bolstered his image in the state. He is reportedly latching on to it for success at the poll in case the election comes up on Saturday. The Adamawa State political scene is agog. Politicians, as optimistic as ever, are jumping about on the soap box and the parties are mapping out strategies for this saturday’s election. Cross River is one state that has very little change to expect. The control of the state by the PDP is almost total. Except the ACN that won a single seat in the House of Assem-

bly last year, no other party has any recognised presence in the state. Senator Liyel Imoke remains the main factor in the election and nothing seems able to stop him from returning to the office he has occupied for five years. Bayelsa State is where two gladiators are slugging it out. Leading a faction of the ruling party is President Goodluck Jonathan, while the former governor, Chief Timipre Sylva is captain of his own troops. Neither men is willing to yield ground. While Jonathan, a former governor of the state is backing Hon. Seriake Dickson who won the November 2011 primary, Sylva who wants to return to the office is holding on to the January 2011 primary

that had produced him as flag bearer. The stream from which the party is drawing sustenance is poisoned and it is yet unclear how the pendulum will swing. At the moment, Dickson has the support of the national leadership of the party, and his case is politically helped by the displacement of Sylva, but the law could push either men into the grand office. Kogi is where there are three theatres of war. Idris, Wada, the man helped by former Governor Ibrahim Idris to pick the party’s ticket, got himself sworn in as governor immediately a vacancy was created by the apex court’s verdict. He could not wait for the Chief Judge to administer the oath, and then decided to invite the President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Shaibu Ataoga to perform the function. This has created another legal puzzle as the Chief Judge, on the advice of the Attorney General of the Federation Bello Adoke inaugurated the Speaker as Acting Governor. The third leg of the battle is being fought by Jibrin Isah Echocho who had been produced as winner of the January last year’s primary of the party when the election was initially fixed for April as in other states. Echocho was in court to validate his primary even before the apex court’s verdict last week. He feels strengthened by the turn of events since the court said the election ought to have been held before last May 29 when Idris should have quit the stage. The drama is on in all five states. Despite the intervention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) interpreting the ruling in Kogi in favour of Wada, and Bayelsa in favour of Dickson, the gladiators have not given up the fight. All victories remain tentative. Who knows, there may still be many twists and turns ahead. Indeed, this is one occasion when it could justifiably be said that Nigeria’s democracy is nascent.

Bayelsa: Despite confusion, parties flag off campaigns


HE other political parties have taken the campaign to the rural areas. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) led by Famous Daunemugha and his running mate, Mr. Alaowei Opukeme, Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) led by Mr Kemela Okara, and All Progressive Grand Alliance(APGA) led by its flag bearer, Dr Morris Maxwell have moved to the field. With the euphoria of the seeming backing from the Presidency, the Campaign Organisation of the PDP met with stakeholders’ meeting in Yenagoa where the timetable was discussed and agreed. The Ward to Ward campaigns which has already commenced from Yenagoa LGA is expected to terminate in the Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the state on Monday, February 6,2012. Political heavyweights who vowed their support for Dickson included former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the campaign director, Chief Fred Agbedi and Chief Timi Alaibe. Chief Alamieyeseigha, who has also tasted the bitter pill of flexing muscles with higher authorities, was quoted to have warned people in position not to fight a higher authority, also spoke at the stakeholders meeting of the Campaign

• President Jonathan From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

organisation, saying the party was confident of victory because of the choice of the pair of and his running mate. Re-echoing his support for the controversial PDP primaries that took place at the Yenagoa sports complex where some of the aspirants then walked out of the venue in protest, Alamieyeseigha said “the primaries have come and gone.PDP has spoken and we now have a candidate for the February 11 election. We believe in

• Sylva

him. He is a very good product. But the ouster of Governor Sylva last Friday by the Supreme Court seems not to have deterred his ambition to clinch the governorship ticket of the state as he asked his supporters to stay calm and wait for the outcome of the fight for the recognition of the first PDP primaries which had given him the ticket. Although Sylva’s absence has swollen the support base of the Seriake/ Jonah Campaign Organisation, but like a cat with many lives, Sylva who is as constant as the Northern Stars in

his search for justice as the authentic candidate for the PDP in the 2012 election in the state, has said times without number that he is the authentic Candidate for the guber elections, and that anyone other than him would be seen to have stolen the mandate and won’t be to the best interest of Bayelsans. If the Supreme Court hears his prayers, Sylva who can still boast of formidable structures in the political mathematics of Bayelsa State ranging from the ward, council, to the state level has asked the apex court to declare him as the PDP Candidate for the elections. For instance, when the political brouhaha started in the state, local government councillors, members of the All Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) association, all backed the governor to fight against the injustice from the party. As if their supplications to God were heard in express, the recent indefinite postponement of the PDP Governorship flag off rally proposed by the National PDP in Yenagoa was seen from the Governor’s supporters as a step in the right direction. Also commencing his flag off Campaigns the same day with the PDP, which sent panic to the ruling Party, amidst tumultuous gathering was the flag bearer for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mr. Famous

Daunemugha and his running mate, Mr. Alaowei Opukiri, who presented manifestos of their programmes and policies when elected to govern the state this year. Daunemugha who used the event to also formally flag off his Campaigns for the February 11 guber elections in the state told the mammoth crowd of supporters at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre Yenagoa Wednesday afternoon that the proposed programmes and Policies marshalled out in the manifesto will be implemented to the later when given the mandate to rule the state. “The CPC administration in the state would provide free medical and health services for Children and the elderly, provision of drugs in hospitals and health Centres”, he added. Also kicking off his campaigns long before other political parties, is 62year-old flag bearer of Change Advocacy Party (CAP), Dr.Imoro Kubor, popularly called “IK is Ok” by his admirers, and his running mate, Rev. Oworibo Obegha,. Kubor who described his age as his experience says his major focus would be tackling unemployment. A Federal Permanent Secretary of 28 years of experience before he retired says there are over 1000 unemployed graduates in Bayelsa.




Is Cross River acting governor sitting on the fence?

Towards the end of last year, the Acting Governor of Cross River State, Mr Larry Odey, narrowly escaped impeachment as Speaker of the House of Assembly. Mr John Gaul Lebo, who represents Abi State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, in this interview with NICHOLAS KALU explains how Odey survived the gale.

How Odey escaped impeachment


• Odey taking over reins of government in Calabar.


HE Supreme Court landmark verdict on the tenure of elected governors was delivered in Abuja. But, the effect caused tremor in at least five states, Cross River inclusive. Although Hon. Larry Odey has taken over as interim governor some political observers believe that the ousted governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, might as well be running the state by remote control. The situation in the state, which has emphasized the absence of a strong opposition, is reminiscent of 2008, when Imoke was removed from office and then speaker of the Assembly, Mr Frank Adah, pledged unalloyed loyalty to Imoke. From the moment Odey took his oath of office last week Friday, he also made it clear that he had no personal agenda to pursue. While being sworn in, he had said, “This is a sober moment for us in the state. I do know that in all things God says we should give him thanks. I am confident that in a short time from now, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would come up with a timetable for us to reelect Imoke to come and re-occupy his seat.

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

“Given the synergy that exists between the three arms of government, the executive, the judiciary and the legislature, we have defined a path of progress and growth. With all sense of humility, I say we would put in our best to make our principal (Imoke) proud of us. Also in a broadcast on Saturday, said he would not hesitate to bring to book anyone engage in any act capable of disrupting the planned programmes of the Imoke administration. Odey said all on-going projects and programmes would continue as scheduled and directed all consultants and executing Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure that all works are executed according to specification and timelines. Maybe he saw this as necessary the coming on the heels of accusations late last year that he might be hobnobbing with a former minister who was said to be opposed to Imoke. At the time, it was strongly suggested that it was the main reason members of the Assembly were working to ensure his impeachment, so he would not use his strategic position of Speaker to jeopardise the second term intention

of then Governor Imoke. Members of the House denied the rumour that he was working against Imoke. However, on the other hand it seems the acting governor has loyalty to the left as well as to the right. This is because Odey has maintained a healthy relationship with the minister perceived to be an opponent of Imoke. Despite what the House members said, those familiar with the politics of the state strongly believe this was responsible for the initial moves to impeach the Speaker. Then the people had suspected that the present situation, where the governor has been sacked, may happen and if it does, and someone they do not trust could become acting governor, and given his “strange alliances” may pull surprises. Political observers have said that O The acting governor has been described by some of his colleagues in the House, as quiet, but “not someone you can manipulate.” Though, it seems unlikely, but if the acting governor has any agenda, only unfolding events in the coming days would tell. For now, an assessment of the political scene indicates that Imoke is unassailable. He might just be on holiday, preparing to resume anytime INEC beckons.

As it was in Ekiti, so it is in Kogi


HE dust raised by the sacking of five former governors across the nation may not settle for now because of the unfolding drama in Kogi State where the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello was sworn-in barely some hours after Captain Idris Wada, the governor-elect took the oath of office. In what appeared like having two governors, safe for the security details and other insignia attached to the Speaker who was sworn-in by the Chief Judge, Justice Chief Justice Nasir Ajanah last Friday. There would have been more confusion. Just when it appeared that the governor elect had been shelved aside in the power game came the report that soldiers had been sent to give him support. The same Attorney-General of the Federation Bello Adoke who had earlier ordered the Speakers to be sworn in backed the latest move. Likened to a similar development in Ekiti State when Governor Ayo Fayose and his deputy Biodun Olujimi were impeached by the State Assembly in 2006, a situation which saw the emergence of Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly as Acting Governor with the attendant commotion, Kogi State is in eyes of the storm. Back in Ekiti in 2006, Olujimi who was the deputy resisted the development, claiming that she was in control of the state and directed those who had business to do with government

By Musa Odoshimokhe

to pass through her office as the conduct of the State Assembly amounted to usurpation of power. The Minister of Justice and AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, Mr Bayo Ojo did not help matters. At the same time, there was dispute over who was the Chief Judge, even if in acting capacity. Ojo noted that the appointment of Jide Aladejana as Acting Chief Judge by the State House of Assembly was unconstitutional. The Acting Chief Judge in turn sworn in the Speaker of the Ekiti House, Hon. Friday Aderemi, as Acting Governor of the state. Aderemi acting in the capacity to keep the ship moving was on collision path with the Federal Government. The comments arising from the Kogi hiccup have not been helpful. Though the Independent National Electoral Commission instituted the suit at the apex court the outcome and varied interpretation of the verdict it has opened the floodgate to consequent litigation. Besides, there are issues bordering on the validity of the primary which produced Wada as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Since Idris’ tenure ended in May 2011, the validity of the primary conducted thereafter now weighs heavily on the indices the judiciary will resolve in due course. Put side by side, it is believed that

the constitution needs to be reflected upon if the democratic process in the country must move a step ahead. The tension that emanated in Ekiti in 2006 eventually led to declaration of a state of emergency. How would the development in Kogi end? Fayose who had disappeared after the impeachment resurfaced from hiding only to restate that what Ekiti House did was illegal and with Olujimi claiming that the impeachment process did not follow due process and the Hon. Aderemi talking tough as acting number one person in the state, it was clear Ekiti had drifted and was heading for the rock. When the Federal Government responded to the development, it jolted the democratic process. This brought in General Tunji Olurin (rtd) as Sole Administrator. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said: “We have come to a sad, ridiculous and unacceptable situation in Ekiti where we have three governors. It is dangerous for our democracy to allow this flagrant violation.” In Kogi, a source maintained yesterday that: “Having been sworn in, His Excellency, Governor Wada will resume officially in office. He is already planning to move into the official residence vacated by Governor Idris.” The development has made administration of the state an open sesame. Who is the governor now? Where does the law stand? What happens before the court rules? It is an unfolding drama.

HERE was so much uproar over the attempt to remove Mr Larry Odey last year. What was that about? First, I don’t want us not to overemphasize or glorify the office of Speaker. It is not an elective position. The Speaker is only first among equals, he is just a member of the state House of Assembly, who was recognised by his colleagues as the head of the Assembly. So he is first among equals. He does not have any extra qualification. He did not contest any special election. The survival of the Speaker anywhere in the Assemblies throughout the Federation is dependent upon the good relationship with his members. He has to have a very good working relationship with his members. Once members are satisfied with his performance, his office is protected. His members have every reason to grumble about his leadership. The exit point is very open. The entry point is very narrow. If people look at his face and feel that he is not carrying them along, the Assembly is a group, not an individual. With respect to Cross River, the issues we had basically were the way and manner in which the Assembly was run. It has nothing to do with the Speaker as a person. The Assembly had a split in the sense that even within the leadership of seven, about five of them were no longer in good working relationship with the speaker and when we had serious issues pending in the Assembly, nobody was ready to give an explanation. So, apart from the Speaker and his deputy, the other five members of the leadership were not in tandem. What were the issues? Part of the issues we had were number one, late sitting. From the inauguration of the Assembly, we were sitting very late. We were sitting at 11.30, sometimes at past 12. We complained seriously about that issue. We had other issues of deductions done unilaterally by one or two members of the leadership and the members were very aggrieved. If there are obligations to be paid, they can be paid in between; it does not need to wait till that point. So, those were the issues. And so, the only avenue available for such grievance to be mitigated was an executive conference. From the point of our inauguration, after over four months, we had only one executive session, when we ought to have done four of five of such sessions. We also had issues with other matters, but a few members felt very aggrieved and 21 out of 25 members came together to sign an impeachment notice. The impeachment notice is not a suicide note. It was not an invitation for the Speaker to commit suicide. It was an invitation for him to either sit up and go round and talk to his members or give up. And the Speaker did well. Once he saw the impeachment notice, he went round and he owned up to most of the allegations and pleaded that the problem was that nobody was communicating to him from the leadership. But, it still failed. So, how has that benefitted the Assembly and state? One of the gains of that impeachment that never happened was that it gave us an opportunity to know the kind of person he truly is because , I think he woke and decided to go round and put those things together. We have since then been at 10 punctually and those deductions are no longer happening and we are beginning to have sanity return. If these things were happening before, the issue of impeachment would not have arisen. Finally I don’t think that the way people are taking this as a big deal, taking out the Speaker of the house of assembly, there is nothing wrong with that. If the system provides an entry point and provides an exit point, it is because where you are not doing well, you leave the office. If I were speaker and people came to me and said they are not comfortable with the way I am going and they file an impeachment notice and take me out, I would still return as a member, but I am happy for him. Larry particularly has made us proud by the way he has reacted towards that and also, I think, above all, the governor’s intervention a day before the impeachment saved the day. There have been rumours that you were working to remove Odey because of his closeness to former minister John Odey, who has governorship ambitions, and who it is believed is not working with Imoke’s administration? It is not true. John Odey is not a member of the Assembly. The allegation against the Speaker had 21 grounds. If those who prepared that notice had 21 grounds read at a meeting that we had with governor, it has nothing to do with anybody from outside. Number two, the impeachment notice was prepared and in 24 hours, 21 members had already signed it. It had nothing to do with money. I signed the notice and I assure you that it has nothing to do with money. I was in Abuja, when I was called and told that this was the situation and I said I agreed and I said they should bring the notice to me in Abuja and I signed. They were members who were in Lagos who paid somebody to fly the impeachment notice to them to sign. So, it had nothing to do with whether money had passed hands.It has nothing to do with whether he has a relationship with John Odey. I see Larry as an independent person and he has shown that sense of independence. It seems the governor just dictates to the House? It is not that the governor dictates to the Assembly. I think what happened is that the governor , is the leader of the party in the state and we are all party members, except one from ACN. The governor did not say, don’t impeach the Speaker. He just said, please suspend all your actions and let us have a meeting. And the governor suspended a meeting he was supposed to have with the Council of State and attended an emergency meeting with us. . All the members were present at that meeting and he asked for the impeachment notice and the grounds and he asked that it should be read and explained to him. He gave an opportunity to the Speaker to defend himself, to the Deputy Speaker and to individual members and at the end of the day, the governor pleaded that from what he has heard, this man is even just aware of the allegations against him for the first time. He saw that 21 members had already signed against him, but that it look like if the man was given another opportunity, he may learn from the situation. In fact, the governor asked us to go back and think about the issue and discuss among ourselves whether to give him another opportunity, but that he would advise us to give him another opportunity. We went back and held a meeting and said okay, let us give this man another opportunity. Let us give him a month or two and within that period, we have been able to see some remarkable progress from the issues that were raised.





Flawed verdict • If sacking the five governors was right, the argument was not watertight HE ruling of the Supreme Court last Friday dislodging five governors has put paid to doubts and debates as to the arithmetic of tenure for governors and presumably other office holders in the country. By its ruling, the stay in office of the governors of Kogi, (Ibrahim Idris), Adamawa (MuritalaNyako), Sokoto, (AliyuWammako), Bayelsa (Timipre Sylva) and Cross River (Liyel Imoke) became abbreviated. As it has often happened in this political dispensation, governors can wake up in the morning as governors and sleep that night as ordinary citizens, as ex-governors. The judiciary has exercised the knack for suddenly humbling and affirming the egos of persons of power. The seven-member panel of the apex court was presided over by the Chief Justice of the Federation, DahiruMusdapher, and their position was unanimous. Their position overthrew the verdicts of the lower courts that upheld that the governors were right to remain in office and run for elections this year. Consequently, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that had prepared to conduct elections for the gubernatorial races in the five states last April along with the other 31 states in the federation complied. But the verdict of January 27 implies that the INEC was right to have prepared for elections last year. The courts were wrong. This brings to light a fundamental wrong in the working of our judiciary.


The abrupt end to the tenures of the governors would have been unnecessary if the courts completed their work before the elections last year. The Uwais Panel had recommended this but the political class has not yet caught up with the wisdom of that panel. Justice Walter Onnoghen had argued on behalf of his colleagues that the intention of the framers of the law was that a governor was meant to be in office for only four years. That is clear in section 180 of the constitution. But the justices may have exercised a leap of faith by defining the four years from the year the first annulled elections took place. However, they concluded that the four years included the year the ousted governors reigned before the courts annulled their elections. The point here is that the courts have recognised individuals or persons and not positions in their ruling. So, if a rerun is a tabula rasa then the tenure arising from it should also be a tabula rasa. Yet they played down the import of the oath of office by saying that the first oaths of office counted even if the elections were null and void. “The fact that there was an election in 2007 as a result of which the 1st respondents (governors) took their oaths of Allegiance and of office are facts that cannot be wished away, just as the acts they performed while occupying the seat,” wrote the justices. They later argued that “it is settled law that the time fixed by the constitution for the doing of anything cannot

be extended. It is immutable, fixed like the Rock of Gibraltar. It cannot be extended, elongated, expanded or stretched beyond what it states.” They described the second oath of office superfluous. So, if there is a rerun, a person who won the earlier poll would have been sworn in falsely, yet he is expected to live out his term based on an oath following a rigged election. The justices were clearly in a difficult situation since they did not want to precipitate a situation where reruns can lead to a person staying in office indefinitely. That is why, to avoid such delicate scenarios, the judiciary should complete all cases before an election.

‘But the verdict of January 27 implies that the INEC was right to have prepared for elections last year. The courts were wrong. This brings to light a fundamental wrong in the working of our judiciary. The abrupt end to the tenures of the governors would have been unnecessary if the courts completed their work before the elections last year. The Uwais Panel had recommended this but the political class has not yet caught up with the wisdom of that panel’

The Kogi conundrum •Has the Supreme Court judgment been obeyed with the swearing in of the Kogi State governor-elect?


E seem to be in a time that breeds epic dramas and each day adds a new twist to a rich and thickening plot. Last Friday, Nigeria’s apex court, the Supreme Court, laid an egg which very few can yet fathom what strange creature would be hatched therefrom. The court in a much belated judgment, cut short the reign of five state governors and set political analysts running wild with fluid, open-ended punditry. The Supreme Court ruling had swept away the governors of Adamawa State (Muritala Nyako), Bayelsa State (Timipre Sylva), Cross River State (Liyel Imoke), Sokoto State (Magatakarda Wamakko), and Kogi State (Ibrahim Idris). Their tenures in office ought to have terminated in May 29, 2011 and not one day longer, the court ruled. The Constitution stipulates a term of four years for a governor after swearing in and any elongation of this would amount to an illegality and thus a nullity as we had witnessed last week. For each of these governors, there was an intervening

‘In a multiparty democracy, PDP cannot sit in judgement and have it all its own way. If the Governor-Elect had belonged to another party, would the Federal Government have reversed itself to make an exception for him? A country is not built on inequity and unfairness. The clarification of the Supreme Court may be required in this Kogi matter’

variable, a rerun election which had warranted a re-swearing in necessitating what has now been adjudged as an unconstitutional tenure elongation, held the apex court. But at issue here is not the judicial sacking of the governors but the fallout there from. While the governors were to hand over to the Speaker of their various Houses of Assembly, there was a snag in the case of Kogi State. The ‘elongated’ tenure had run out, another election had been conducted and the winner awaits swearing in in April this year. Now, with this fresh twist in the tale, who is to take the oath as the Acting Governor of Kogi State? Is it the Speaker of the House as had been directed and indeed, effected in other states, or would it be the elected governor- in- waiting? This is the script on which the epic drama that occurred in Kogi State last Friday afternoon was set. The AttorneyGeneral of Kogi State had sworn in the Speaker, having defied the orders of the out-going incumbent to swear in the governor-elect. But refusing to be put down, the out-going governor drawing from the last vestiges of his incumbency, corralled the President of the State’s Customary Court of Appeal to swear in the governor-elect. Thus, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, two acting governors were in charge in one state. However, by Sunday evening, the leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, had rallied the party’s leadership to an overnight meeting in which what has been described as a ‘family solution’ has been worked out. The Speaker was reportedly persuaded to step down for the Governor-elect to commence his tenure forthwith. Their

reasoning was that it would not be in the interest of the party to have an Acting Governor when it could as well have a duly elected one in office. Why would the party have to go through the gamut of another election when it already has a governor- elect duly elected? This newspaper however differs strongly and advises the Federal Government and its party, the PDP, to do the right thing, play by one rule and allow the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly to be sworn in in an acting capacity as has been done in four other states. It is a matter of commonsense that by the ruling of the Supreme Court, all the actions taken after May 29, 2011 remain a nullity. This includes the election held in Kogi State which produced the ‘Governor-Elect’. What this means is that it is important that election be held simultaneously in the five states. Though we are mindful of the huge cost of jettisoning a recent election and holding another so soon, it is better for us to lose money and get it right than to do otherwise. We also disagree with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which has proclaimed that the election of the ‘Acting governor’ should stand. First, is it the place of INEC to determine this matter and secondly, all actions held under an aberrant circumstance must become a nullity? Finally in a multiparty democracy, PDP cannot sit in judgement and have it all its own way. If the Governor-Elect had belonged to another party, would the Federal Government have reversed itself to make an exception for him? A country is not built on inequity and unfairness. The clarification of the Supreme Court may be required in this Kogi matter.

In defense of clean energy


FTER months of standing by as Republicans tried to gut environmental laws and discredit his clean energy initiatives, President Obama took the offensive in his State of the Union address. He blasted Republicans for their single-minded commitment to fossil fuels, argued the case for a diversified energy strategy and dared to talk about climate change, a topic he has been silent on for months. He has little chance of persuading Congress to go along with most of his sensible proposals, including those to extend and enlarge subsidies for alternative fuels and cut subsidies for the oil industry. He is right to do as much as he can on his own, opening up more federal land to wind and solar installations and pushing the military to draw more of its energy from renewable sources. The president has a history of making great speeches with frustratingly limited followthrough. We suspect that some of his campaign advisers — spooked by the pounding over the Solyndra bankruptcy filing and absurd Republican claims about losing tens of thousands of potential jobs from his denial of the environmentally risky Keystone XL oil pipeline — will be tempted to argue that the issue is a loser. There is a powerful case to be made that clean energy investments that will create real jobs and keep America competitive in a $5 trillion global market for advanced energy technologies. If the president doesn’t make it, the Republicans’ defense of big coal and oil will prevail. The lengthy Republican investigation into the failure of a single solar energy company, Solyndra, has already raised doubts about the value and integrity of a multibillion-dollar federal program designed to support renewable energy development. Mr. Obama had the right response: The failure of some public investments to pan out was not reason enough to abandon clean energy or “cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany.” It’s an argument he will have to keep making. We found particularly compelling his plainspeaking defense of regulation — and the way he implicitly linked the antiregulatory folks who brought down the banking system (and their corporate pals) with the folks fighting environmental regulations (and their corporate pals). He vowed not to “back down” from rules aimed at preventing oil spills, rules protecting children from mercury poisoning, rules guaranteeing safe food and clean water. Mr. Obama agreed that a comprehensive strategy must include fossil fuels, and he pledged to promote natural gas and open up the outer continental shelf for oil exploration — both in an environmentally safe manner. This did not placate the Republicans. After the speech, their spokesmen immediately tried to steer the conversation back to the pipeline and the failure of Solyndra. Mr. Obama has much the better of this issue — if he sticks with it. New York Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

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IR: Jonathan was one of the sons of King Saul, a King in ancient Israel. He enjoyed all the trappings of the royal court and was well trained for war; that was a prerequisite for male children at that time. He struck a relationship with David, an officer in his father’s army. They both made an eternal promise of friendship, through their descendants. As written in the Holy Book, Jonathan loved David more than he loved himself. This was shown when he went against the King (his father)’s command to favour David. So deep was their relationship! On May 29, 2011, our own Jonathan swore to a relationship after claiming up to 60 % of the Nigerian people’s mandate. He swore to carry out his campaign promises when voted as servant-leader; to do a government of the people, by the people for the people. On that day, in the presence of citizens and foreigners, he promised to deliver the dividends of democracy. With the usual ‘So help me, God’, he called on the Almighty to help him in upholding his relationship with his new friend, Nigeria. He promised in his election campaigns to improve infrastructure especially in the area of power, yet, the megawatts elude us every December. He tried identifying with the masses with his ‘no shoes’ slogan. Despite his access to scholarship, the educational sector cries for help. His academic constituency is in shambles. ASUU has been on strike for some weeks now, but, it has been business as usual in Abuja. With respect to agriculture, there


Jonathan: friend or foe? have been feeble attempts to jumpstart the sector by the usual method of pumping funds into programmes, without properlylaid out policies. In the last 18 months, sports had not had it so bad. Last year, the country failed to qualify for any major football tournament. The female category is no better. In other games, we are nowhere to be found. In the petroleum sector, this accounts for 80 % of our revenue, the twin brothers: the cabal and the cartel, hold sway. The finance minis-

ter, in the town hall discussion on the petrol subsidy removal last December, claimed ignorance of the two. She dared the EFCC to go after them. Well, she may be more familiar with their ‘elder brother’, corruption; which has been entrenched in all sectors of the economy and the society at large. We witness grandiose projects, overlapping committees/agencies, recycling of the same old political ‘faces’ and inflated budgets. If our Jonathan loves us, he would have his (and family’s) medical check-up at the government hospi-

tal in Ogbia, Bayelsa state or his dental visits at the Specialist hospital, Gwagwalada. He would know the sorry states of some of the facilities there. If Jonathan was true to our sworn friendship, he would, once in a while use the Murtala Mohammed International Airport or the local wing of the Abuja airport and not amass airplane jets in the now bloated presidential fleet. Well, since he does not travel by land, we may not have the opportunity of meeting in a ‘hold up’ on the LagosOre expressway. If Jonathan was


• Dayo Adepiti, Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Why students should not joke with WAEC and NECO exams


IR: Before one becomes a university graduate, one must compulsorily pass through three basic levels of education: the primary, the secondary and the tertiary levels. In similar vein, before one is able to communicate very well in English, interact with people and fit in well into the society, one must at least pass through the secondary school education. Out of these three levels of education, secondary education

occupies a sublime position in the life of a student. Apart from being where student’s characters are moulded, it serves as a gateway to tertiary institution. It then stands to reason that a secondary school student who wants to enter a higher institution must have a taste of secondary education and its attendant qualifying examinations which are WASSCE, NECO, and others. In addition, for a secondary school student to gain admission

in tertiary institution, he or she must have the required number of credits in WASSCE or NECO papers. Even if students pass JAMB exams, they must get their WASSCE. It therefore becomes imperative that students should read very hard, avoiding side attractions like manipulating their cell phones, excessive watching of home videos and other films, as well as frolicking in other irrelevancies in order to get the relevant certificates.

Gov. Idris’s desperate manoeuvre in Kogi IR: When the Supreme Court ruled that the tenure of the five governors ended last year and the Attorney-General of the Federation directed all the chief judges in the affected states to swear in the speakers of the state assemblies, the Kogi State ex-Governor had a different agenda. The ex-governor Allhaji Ibrahim Idirs quickly invited his kitchen cabinet to swear in the governor elect Captain Wada Idris in absolute disregard to the directive of the AGF thus making Kogi the laughing stock in Nigeria and the whole world. He reportedly summoned the

sincere in our relationship, he would sacrifice some comfort and ‘manage’ in his choice of food for his family and guests. His one billion naira budget for entertainment this fiscal year does not reflect a ‘connect’ with the common man. The prices of cassava bread and other simple meals cannot be that high! Does it have to be a buffet, with loads of waste, for the presidential visitors? I am sure the members of staff and hangers-on, with their families feed fat on the rich ‘leftovers’. The biblical Jonathan loved David, his friend, more than he loved himself. If our own Jonathan were to do this, he would think of ways to improve our already impoverished living condition.

state chief judge to swear in Captain Wada, who knowing the position of the law declined to honour the invitation to swear in the Governor elect. In desperation, the exGovernor turned to the customary court judge in the state to swear in the governor-elect; the Chief Judge would later swear in the House Speaker thus giving the state two chief executives at the same time. All these of course boils down to the desperation of the former governor to instal his in-law as governor to cover his tracks while in office. The activities of President of the customary court perpetuating illegality and in dishonoring the

chief judge of the state should be investigated; if found guilty he should be sanctioned by the judicial authorities. The case of Captain Idris Wada as governor-elect is still in court; his swearing is fixed for April 5. For him to now fall into the trap of ex- governor, causing him to be sworn in before his time has shown that he has a hidden agenda in cohort with out going governor. The rule of law must take its course to allow sustainable democracy to flourish in Nigeria. Any form of illegality designed to ridicule the people of Kogi State in the eyes of the world should not be

tolerated. The state is greater than any individual and the people of the state would keep their fingers crossed to wait for the next line of action from the INEC on the contentious issue of power transfer in Kogi State. We sincerely hope that in few day’s time, the Supreme Court and the electoral body would make definite pronouncements on the way forward to enable the affected states join their counterparts in other parts of the federation in orderly transfer of power. •Bala Nayashi Lokoja, Kogi State

Another point worthy of mention is that sky is the limit of any student who have their WASSCE certificate, this is because, even if they are unable to gain admission in tertiary institution due to one reason or the order, the certificates already acquired can be used to gain employment in other outfits, as it has no expiry date. The holder still has the chance to further their education when they want. In WAEC papers, the examiner marks on merit without any touch of sentiment, whereas it is not always so in the university. It is also an international examination. Four West African countries, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Gambia are involved in setting the papers. So it has a distinctive feature and a pride of place in the life of a successful student. This last attribute speaks to why students should not joke with it. I advise the students to shun anything that could deprive them the opportunity to pass out with flying colours. • Gabriel Orhuwhorun Field Crest international High School, Ekete Warri Delta State






the legislature, the same legisMAKA Igwe, the creator of Fuji lature constitutionally empowHouse of Commotion, the hilarious ered to over-see and check expopular Nigerian on TV, ecutive excesses? could not have had a better hit. Straight to Kogi. Back in JanuIt is not as if the organised chaos of the ary 2011 when PDP staged its fictional Fuji family was not spicy Kogi primaries, in readiness for enough. Were that not so, millions of the April 2011 elections, Jibrin viewers would not quake with laughter, Isah, aka Echocho, won the ticket. yet holler for more of the Fujis’ comic Olakunle But barely a year later, a fresh stuff. Rather, Ms Igwe’s peculiar hit, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola primary threw up Idris Wada. nates from that artistic territory, where So, what did Echocho do in life imitates art. September 2011 to forfeit a ticket he Now, put on one side the globally acknowledged had won in January 2011? That is the Nigerian penchant for mirth, whatever the situaquestion pending before the Supreme tion. Put beside that the organised chaos of NigerCourt. That probably forced the panic ia’s realpolitik. You probably would realise the ficby former Governor Ibrahim Idris to literally railroad to tional commotion in the House of Fuji is closer than you equally empathic yes! That was the beginning of the commotion. power Governor-elect Idris Wada, with his ludicrous swearthink to the real commotion of the Naija House which, by the Still, couldn’t matters of tenure determination have gone straight ing-in by the President of Kogi State Customary Court of way, the American Karl Maier assured himself had fallen by to the Supreme Court for constitutional interpretation, instead of Appeal, Justice Shuaibu Atadoga. But even His Customary July 2000, when he published his famous book, This House following the whole gamut of verdict-and-appeals at the two lower Lordship knew he could only do that job if the Kogi Chief Has Fallen: Midnight in Nigeria. But Nigeria and Nigerians courts? But then, Ripples is no lawyer and only lawyers are learned! Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, was unavailable. The CJ swore continue to laugh to scorn Maier and his fellow alarmists! Top lawyers keep insisting the 2010 amendments to the 1999 in the Kogi Speaker. So, two “governors”, one seat. A poLaughing in the face of danger? Constitution have settled any tenure interpretation question, much litical equivalent of Fuji House of Commotion? That about captures the grave comedy of the January 27 sack, the same way, a cynic would sneer, the creation of more states Still, more commotion waits in the Jonathan-Sylva Bayelsa by the Supreme Court, of five governors who had earlier won helped to bury the twelve-two-third judicial travesty of 1979, when political “civil war”. Chinua Achebe quipped in one of his re-election after their initial elections were judicially annulled. the same Supreme Court decided that twelve-two-third of 19 states novels, always replete with Igbo wise cracks: when a coward To start with, the Supreme Court verdict was a triumph of was twelve-two-third states, instead of 13. sees somebody he could beat up, he becomes hungry for a law as common sense, triumph of morality in politics and the But 33 years after that 1979 political judgment, which ab fight! Ironically, the acclaimed writer himself can testify to futility of impunity in a system supposed to run on due procinitio, effectively shackled the Shehu Shagari presidency (1979- that, for the Jonathan presidency reportedly withdrew finaness. Why, even downstairs here, Sanya Oni, railed at the im1983), it is gratifying that political judgments, at least at the cial support for an international literary conference the Unimorality of seeming to reward bad electoral conduct. highest judicial level, appears to be going out of fashion – just versity of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) was planning to honour The five sacked governors, Adamawa’s Murtala Nyako, as military coups, one of which terminated the legitimacy- Achebe. Reason? Because the writer backed the fuel strikes! Bayelsa’s Timipre Silva, Cross River’s Liyel Imoke, Kogi’s deficit Shagari presidency, are out of vogue. For former Governor Sylva, it is testy times indeed! Like Ibrahim Idris and Sokoto’s Aliyu Wammako, all of the federal That is some laudable institutional deepening and this de- Kogi’s Echocho, Sylva won the Bayelsa PDP nomination in Januruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had their elections mocracy can only be richer for it. But it is cold comfort that ary 2011 but he also lost it in December 2011! There are even voided for one electoral malfeasance or the other. Though there is hardly any deepening in democratic thinking among dark suggestions that the ousted governor, shorn of his immuthey won their respective re-runs, must they be rewarded with the political players across the board. That is crystal clear nity, could be muscled out of contention by the powers-that-be. more years, even if their questionable “elections” forced the from the sure crises to follow this historic Supreme Court But ironically, the same developments that make Sylva prey re-runs in the first instance? verdict. to Leviathan impunity also seem to strengthen his hands, Common sense demanded a loud no, and that was the point Take the cases of Kogi and Bayelsa states, and to some ex- when the issue is due process. Will the Supreme Court rule Sanya canvassed with all the logic at his disposal – both in his tent, Adamawa State, and you will clearly see the grave dan- for or against, as the embattled governor insists on the inviocolumn here downstairs, and on a television session on Changer of a democracy running without democrats. lability of the January 2011 nomination, which he won? Only nels. But the law – at least at the high and appeal courts before First the lighter one, Adamawa. For daring to change its leader- their Supreme Lordships could tell! the Supreme Court sledge hammer of January 27 – said an ship, former Governor Murtala Nyako, according to a report in Before then however, the front is not without some gripping The Nation of January 28, reportedly shut the Adamawa House of drama. Imagine, Nestor Binabo, Bayelsa Speaker and acting ‘Better a corrective Fuji House of Assembly. The reason is simple: Ahmadu Fintiri, that emerged governor, immediately after swearing-in, promptly by himself, the new Speaker, is no rapturous ally of the former governor! removing Sylvia’s portrait “sharp-sharp” – as the street-wise would Commotion, than the Hammer Now, that the governor is out in the cold, at least for now, would probably say in down-town Yenagoa! Whatever happened to House of Horror of systemic colthere be a repeat of the James Barka-ousted Nyako match-up, the united Bayelsa executive-legislative phalanx behind Sylva! during the former governor’s first judicial deposition, pending Let the judiciary continue to shell Nigeria’s power delinlapse! But let the delinquents bethe re-run of April 2008? Whatever happened to the doctrine of quents with the full weight of the law. Better a corrective ware: there is but a thin line bepresidential separation of powers? Fuji House of Commotion, than a Hammer House of Horror of But the more pertinent question: what democracy survives in a systemic collapse! But let the delinquents beware: there is tween commotion and horror!’ stifling political sociology that breeds an executive stooge to head but a thin line between commotion and horror!

epublican ipples

Fuji House of Commotion


LESS the heart of the justices of the apex court – their justices Dahiru Musdapher, Walter Onnonghen, Mahmud Muktar, Chukwuma Edeh, Muntaka Coomasie, Olufunlola Adekeye and Mary Peter-Odili – Friday’s landmark judgment on the tenure elongation starring five governors went beyond extricating the law from the clutches of an amoral club which insisted on the stripping it of its moral content. An affirmative censure on the specie of jurisprudence which adorns the noble profession with a delinquency robe, the judgment has, without question, pronounced restoration from the contrived jurisprudential maze in the aftermath of the stolen elections of 2007. As it pleased their lordships – the law needed not be an ass any more than the operators needed to transmute into donkeys in pronouncing the instrument! And some breathe of fresh air too! Naturally, there remains a throng out there who still cannot live down the well-reasoned judgment. That is how far down the nation has sunk on the moral scale. It is also a measure of the engulfing moral crisis – what I call moral flux – that the nation now requires “extra” courage from the highest court in the land to restore the golden rule of common sense. Pray, under what legal and ethical basis would a man be convicted of heist but is nonetheless excused from the penalty for his crime in addition to being granted the privilege of enjoying the fruits of the odious act? It seems to me as akin to requesting that the medals seized from the disgraced Ben Johnson and co-traveller Marion Jones be returned to them years after they were convicted of cheating their ways to the coveted prizes! Let me refresh you, dear reader, with the basis of my earlier outrage at the ruling of the lower courts on the issue which drew blood from the quarters of those who claimed that I was talking nonsense simply because I was not a lawyer. Obviously, not a few consider the tenure extension as granted the five governors by the

‘If the law cannot right the injury done to society by the club of delinquent actors, it has no business extending the string of absurdity let alone visiting the sins of the delinquent on the political community’

Policy Sanya Oni 08051101841

Apex court and the five governors lower courts as a shade more tolerable than the electoral heist which produced them. It seems a part of the made in Nigeria paradox. My earlier reasoning went thus: the law – for whatever reasons –cannot afford to press itself in the service of iniquity without putting to risk the notion of community as a moral order. It was another way of saying that if the law cannot right the injury done to society by the club of delinquent actors, it has no business extending the string of absurdity let alone visiting the sins of the delinquent on the political community. For this, many thought I was writing rubbish. The chicks, just by weekend’s development, have now come to roost. Again, I go back to the point that the provision of the Nigerian Constitution is clear and unambiguous on legal limits on elected offices. For the governors, the maximum limit is four years. It could be less – but certainly, not more. As a non-legal mind, my position was fundamentally that the lower courts ought to have weighed in on the side of public policy as against settling for expediency before arriving at their judgment. That failure is what the apex court corrected with Friday’s landmark judgment – striking as it were, at the heart of the saying that the law need not be an ass!

Kogi: the wages of delinquency

The last time I wrote about my home state of Kogi on this page, it was on the virtual meltdown in governance in the state. Although the main point in the piece was the spate of armed robberies and general state of insecurity fostered by the indifference and virtual abdication of governance by Governor Ibrahim Idris (aka Ibro) of the tenure elongation

fame, I did more than tangentially refer to his eight years of disastrous rule that brought nothing but stagnation and underdevelopment to the state. For a governor said to have spent the past few weeks (is it months) moonlighting in the Middle East, one had hoped and prayed that he would quietly disappear from the radar to allow the state be. Alas, the man would not allow the state be. With Friday’s curtain drawn on the season of delinquency, the old fox emerged from nowhere, and from the look of things, seems set to ensure the maturing of his fruits sown in subterfuge. Welcome to Kogi’s season of impunity – a play in two acts. Act one features the desperate, hurriedly departing governor suborning the judiciary, within minutes of ouster by the apex court, to swear in his minion to take charge of business. In the sub text, the Chief Judge, who would ordinarily be a star in the cast conveniently disappears. In his place, a low ranking judicial officer is procured for the job in the event of the unwillingness of the CJ to his not-so-Excellency’s bidding! In the main plot, the so-called governor-elect – with thoughts of either legality or constitutionality far from his mind – steps in to cart away the prized trophy before the due date – to complete the rite of perfidy. Long live His Highness, King Idris Wada! Meanwhile, the other act two of the play begins. Speaker of the parliament Abdullahi Bello, armed with the ruling of the apex court, proceed to take over. The hitherto vanishing chief judge Nasir Ajanah resurfaces and within minutes, the job is done! This time, an acting governor is born. End of play? Not quite. Today, two helmsmen currently pretend to paddle Kogi’s ship of state. There is a third person waiting in the wings to reclaim the PDP ticket. His name is Jubril Isah Echocho, earlier dealt a sleight of hand by Ibro and the ruthless power cult that he leads. He is in court for the job he covets so badly. The battle is a straight one between him and the supplanter who wears the tag of governor-elect. One then understands the desperation of the departing Ibro in pulling all stops to get his man in when he still had within his reach the instruments of power. It is the play of giants in which the ordinary folks in Kogi – long deprived of any fruits of governance – are no more than spectators. A contest between the strong and the mighty; here, any chance of success is directly related to the proximity to the power cult – the so-called Ibro family –calling the shots in the state. It seems inevitable that Ibro’s impunity will spawn the kind of serial impunities that we have seen. How about that as a way of saving his skin? Not a bad idea – if you get what I mean!



EDITORIAL/OPINION OW many of you have been following the debate over whether Scotland should cease to be a part of the United Kingdom and get her independence? Scotland, like Wales and I think Northern Ireland is part of a United Kingdom dominated by the English from England. The Scottish people or rather the ruling elites want to be free of English domination, hence their decision to vote the independence leaning Scottish National Party (SNP) into power in the last election in the limited government approved/devolved to them by the parliament in London. Now another election is coming and the SNP want outright independence. Ironically there is more support in England for Scottish independence than in Scotland itself. The English seem to be tired of the Scots and seemingly cannot wait to see their back. They seem to think that the Scots are not contributing enough to the wealth of the UK yet benefit more. But the situation in reality might not be totally true. Most Scots, with clear headed thinking would rather have more devolution of power from the centre in London than severing the umbilical cord that binds the home nations (as they call themselves) together in the UK. Some English people do think so as well. They all have their reasons. While virtually all the other member nations of the UK seem unhappy at England’s domination, the people are not looking likely to want to dismantle the United Kingdom soon or even later. So, long live Britain. The same thought or sentiment is equally germinating in some minds in Nigeria against our compatriots in the northern part of the country owing to the action or inaction of some elements in the North that had threatened or is threatening the corporate existence of our country Nigeria as a united nation. Such action or inaction includes failed leadership by the elites that has given rise to many generations of disgruntled youths that are ever ready to unleash violence on society as a form of revenge. The latest of such groups is Boko Haram, the militant Islamic sect with origin in the north east. The group is prepared to inflict maximum physical damage on the country as well as bring sorrow to many families across the land. No fewer than one thousand souls have perished in the hands of Boko Haram since it took up arms against the State and the people, using


Though tribes and tongues may differ every weapon it deemed appropriate including suicide bombing. Make no mistake about it, for every sin of the North there are corresponding sinners in the South as well that are equally guilty of whatever wrongdoings being blamed on our compatriots on the other side of Rivers Niger and Benue. Just as the South, in particular the Niger Delta region has been contributing the most to the nation’s wealth the North and the other regions have not been dormant as well. Nigeria has been before oil and some other people’s wealth was sustaining her then. Have you ever bothered to find out where the bulk of the food you eat comes from? Go to the North and you get the answer. Those soldiers that protect you and me, ward off any external aggression and put down any internal insurrection are not from Mars, they are Nigerians but mostly of northern extraction. They have taken that as a major profession and you find young men and women from that part of the country looking up to a career in the military and serving with pride. A lot of them have died for the country in the process. How many of our youths in the other regions would want to do this? This is a major contribution to national unity and development. And if you think security is not important, think of what could happen without it. What one is saying here is that we need ourselves to make and keep Nigeria great. Whether from the North or South, we should be united in our diversity. Though tribes and tongues may differ, we should stand in brotherhood; the brotherhood of Nigeria. No tribe or region is superior to the other;

neither is one tribe or region more important than the other. Similarly, no tribe or region is completely useless or a drawback on the rest. We lean one and other for our strength. All the states in the US are not equally endowed, but by pulling resources together they have made America the most powerful and important nation on earth. Why is one even saying all this? The last couple of months have been trying period for Nigeria such that our unity that we have so often taken for granted is under serious threat, no thanks to the activities of that terrorist organization called Boko Haram. Many innocent lives, particularly of Ibos/ Christians have been lost in either shootings or suicide bombings carried out by members of this murderous sect in the northern part of the country. Today, talk of recalling all Ibos in the north back home to the east, which was last heard in the run-up to the 1967/1970 civil war is getting louder again. Though not as loud as we have been hearing from the east of the Niger, families in the West are secretly encouraging their relations in the North to consider relocating back to Yoruba land if the situation up there gets worse. The Christian minority in the North is equally getting worried, all because of Boko Haram. Some are even of the opinion that perhaps the time has come for us to go our separate ways; whether Nigeria should be mutually disintegrated. They have been quick to blame the North for all the woes of Nigeria; this is not fair. The Boko Haram that is threatening to tear us apart is a problem that we must confront

collectively if we want Nigeria to be. Though President Goodluck Jonathan has shown that he does not know how to fight and win this terror, he has equally shown willingness to listen to and accept help to defeat the terrorists. This is where all men and women of goodwill within and outside the country must come in and help our president defeat this monster call Boko Haram. He has offered to dialogue with Boko Haram if only it would come out and state its demand or grouse, but the group has flatly rejected this. But in its rejection, the leader let it slip that the group is not interested in ruling or dismantling Nigeria, this is good news. The bad news so to speak is that it wants to Islamise Nigeria and introduce Sharia law across the country. Is this possible? This is laughable and unrealistic even to me as a Muslim. Moreover Islam does not say we should force another person to accept our faith. ALLAH (SAW) told the Prophet Mohammed (SWT) that his duty was to preach Islam, whether the people accept it or not was not his business. Why would Boko Haram force and even kill others to accept or spread Islam? They are not, I repeat, not Muslims, and their acts not Islam. Now that they have accepted the indivisibility of Nigeria, perhaps that’s a good starting point for the dialogue and I would suggest those elders and leaders of thought in the North, since it seems they know where the Boko Haram people and their leaders are, to, for a start, be the emissaries between the government and the group, pending the building of mutual trust between the two groups. Boko Haram says the people love them that is why they have lasted this long in their midst. I’ve always believed that the people are shielding them and if the people want an end to their terror today, they should play their part and turn in Boko Haram. There are no two ways to it. I know we are getting closer to the solution part of which is that no matter what, we should remain together and not allow Boko Haram to divide us, even though our tribes, tongues and even religion may differ.

‘Though tribes and tongues may differ, we should stand in brotherhood; the brotherhood of Nigeria’

VIEW FROM THE FOREIGN PRESS UR people turned to us because their hopes were dashed, they were betrayed. In their despair, they chose to chart a new path, a new beginning. In us, they find a ray of hope and genuineness to serve. They feel a solemn pact, that they will not be betrayed once again.” Governor Ibikunle Amosun May 29, 2011. I have always offered one prayer for this administration: that our time in Ogun shall be a watershed; just as the days of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the Western Region have remained indelible in our memories, the era of Governor Ibikunle Amosun in Ogun State shall equally remain a reference point till the close of time. What then are the sign posts? What were the policies and programmes that defined the administration of the late sage from 1954 when he became the Premier of the West? The Action Group, which Chief Awolowo led, sought “the immediate termination of British rule in every phase of our political life; and education of all children of school-going age, and the general enlightenment of all illiterate adults and all illiterate children above school-going age; the provisions of health and general welfare for all our people; and the total abolition of want in our society by means of any economic policy which is both expedient and effective.” One can easily draw a parallel between the above and the five cardinal programmes of the Ibikunle Amosun-led administration in Ogun State: affordable, qualitative education; efficient healthcare delivery; increased agricultural production / industrialisation; affordable housing / urban renewal; and rural and infrastructural development / employment generation. The introduction of free primary education for boys and girls in the West in 1955 and the general policy of the Awolowo-led administration dealt a lethal blow to ignorance and Lugard’s earlier warped and discriminatory notion that “the chief function of government primary and secondary schools... is to train the more promising boys from the village schools as teachers for those schools, as clerks for the local native courts, and as interpreters.” Senator Amosun has followed in the footsteps of Chief Awolowo. With the allocation of 22 per cent to Education in the first budget of his administration and his policy of education for all, he has not only blazed a trail and set to bludgeon to life the sector that was practically dead before the advent of his government but has, in addition, sounded the death-knell of the policy of the former administration, which would have seen over 20 thousand of Ogun children roam the streets while their mates from rich homes are in class. The free education policy of the administration for public


Keeping hope alive in Ogun By Soyombo Opeyemi primary and secondary schools is not rhetoric. Two weeks ago for instance, the governor flagged off the free distribution of textbooks to all students in the two levels of education. The Yoruba race is what it is today largely because of past investments in education, and Amosun understands that its future will also be largely determined by investments made today in the sector. Awolowo also introduced free health care for children under the age of 18, revitalised agriculture, making it the mainstay of the economy of the region. Healthcare delivery has since improved in Ogun and children under the age of five and senior citizens above the age of 70 will now enjoy free health services. There is also the free antenatal health care for pregnant mothers. What is more, Governor Amosun has insisted we must go back to farm in Ogun as the administration is set to make the sector a chief support of the state’s economy. One must immediately mention that Awo was able to achieve that much partly because the country operated a true fiscal federalism despite being milked by the British colonial administration. We now have a debilitating unitary structure disguised as federalism. For Ogun State government that is collecting roughly 0.7 per cent from the federation account, you certainly need to have a prudent governor to be able to meet the yearnings of the people without having to borrow recklessly or engage in mindless concessions that will mortgage the future of two generations in one fell swoop! Even as Senator Amosun is doing everything possible to diversify the sources of revenue of the state, it is important to use this opportunity to call on the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission to raise drastically the percentage allocation to the 36 states. There is too much money at the centre to the detriment of the states. The strengths of Awo however lay - not in the free education, health or infrastructures, which are only products of his chemistry and philosophy but - in his prudent financial management, continence, competence and consuming passion for the welfare of his people.

And that to me appears to be the most crucial point, the kernel of this piece... Having known and worked with the elderly Dafe Onojovwo, formerly of the Punch, Daily Independent and now with the National Mirror, I knew he was unlikely to ask the new governor any question. I knew he was assessing him as he spoke to know if he was merely making political statements or speaking from the heart. At the end of the strikingly frank media interaction organised to mark the 100 days in office of Governor Amosun on Sunday, September 4, 2011, Dafe said to me, “Soyombo, I think you’ve come to serve the right government. I think the man is sincere, he means well...” Yes, I see a governor that is sincere and means well for the people of Ogun State. You may have the best of policies and programmes on paper but without sincerity, discipline, passion, continence, competence and financial prudence, no progress can be made. And those words are advisedly used. Amosun’s work rate is amazing. His moral uprightness is enviable. A top-notch accountant , Fellow, Institute of Taxation, cost/benefit analysis) is always a consideration for every action of the governor. This has ensured sound financial management, which, with the passage of time, will see the state emerge from the dungeon of mindless debt it was consigned to by the previous administration. Governor Amosun knows that his victory at the 2011 general elections was not a fluke. People voted for him because they wanted him to restore the heritage of the state. They wanted a new lease of life. They wanted a state governed by the rule of law, not by whims and caprices of its leaders. They wanted a governor that would be so close to them, to feel what they feel... Beside other state-wide tours of the governor, that of Friday, January 13, when he addressed residents protesting against the removal of fuel subsidy, was most touching. Look at that bond, that fellow-feeling between the governor and his people! Indeed, it was most assuring, another testimony of a man consumed with the passion for the welfare of his people. Amosun is not going to betray that trust you placed in him. That hope is assuredly not misplaced. The mission to rebuild Ogun is gathering momentum, and there is need to keep hope alive by playing our own part in the project. Just as our parents did in the Western Region of old, we should perform our civic responsibilities by paying our taxes according to law, observing due process and the rule of law in our chosen endeavours, living in peace with one another and being our brothers’ keepers. • Soyombo is with Ogun State government.





Tear gas is seen by manufacturers and police as a "less lethal" crowd-control alternative. But after the canister is shot, those exposed to the gas risk adverse health challenges. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA and WALE ADEPOJU examine the danger inherent in tear gas fume.


EAR gas is a mixture of irritants and lachrymators (substances that induce tears). It is one of the feared tools of the anti-riot police. The chemical composition of tear gas makes it impossible for anyone to withstand its effects, as they are more debilitating. And in these politically excitable times, Nigerians may have to see it used more widely and often. With tear gas, eyes hurt, tears flow, sneezing, wheezing and coughing may occur simultaneously, and the skin itches with a burning sensation. But then, its major weakness is that it does not differentiate between the rioter and the innocent observer. According to the analysis of a Consultant Psychiatrist, based in Lagos, Dr Richard Adebayo, tear gas irritates mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, and causes crying, sneezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing. It also induces pain in the eyes and temporary blindness. It is fired out of a shotgun and the canister is shaped like a small tin. It contains a substance called PAVA, contained also in seasonings like chili pepper. PAVA can be used therapeutically to relieve arthritis pains. A source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said "Chlorobenzalmalononi-trile (also called o-chlorobenzylidene malo-nonitrile or chlorine – chemical formula: C10H5ClN2) is the defining component of a 'tear gas' commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent. CS gas is actually an aerol of a volatile solvent (a substance that dissolves other active substances and easily evaporates with it). CS gas is generally accepted as being non-lethal." The source added that effects of chlorine on human health depends on the amount of chlorine present, and the length and frequency of exposure. "Effects of tear gas also depend on the health of a person or condition of the environment when exposure occurs. Breathing small amounts of chlorine for short periods adversely affects the human respiratory system. Effects varies from coughing and chest pain, to water retention in the lungs. Chlorine irritates the skin, the eyes, and the respiratory system. These effects are not likely to occur at levels of chlorine that are normally found in the environment. "Human health effects associated with breathing or otherwise consuming small amounts of chlorine over long periods of time are not known. Some studies show that workers develop adverse effects from repeated inhalation of chlorine, but others will not", he said. Associate Professor and Chemical Pathologist, Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Dr Oluwole Adedeji, speaking on the effect of tear gas on the elderly whose health may be in doubt due to their age, said: "If for example, somebody has respiratory failure and the capacity for the intake of oxygen has been reduced, what it means is that the system might be poisoned with the gas which can have untold effects on tissues, causing damage." On the possibility of death, he said, "It can kill. People who are very ill or in a condition that cannot really tolerate it may be liable or at risk of dying. There is a risk in it because tear gas can cause problems to the human system. The organs, tissues and cells can be affected if you breathe in something that is noxious, that is toxic. It is like an individual being poisoned through gas. Tear gas is meant to affect temporarily and disappears but a person who is already in bad health could be at risk of dying because of its

Tear gas fume inimical to health, say experts

effect. The system has to adjust; this was from a study of the people who have been exposed to it in the past. It depends on the person's state of health. If any part of your body is already decompensate and you apply stress, it would bring it down further. It can cause watery eyes because of the effect. Inflammation of the eyes may occur as well." On tear gas and health, Dr Adebayo, a clinical psychologist said: "The relationship between it and mental health is that as a non lethal chemical it affects the eyes, nose and eyes that leads to tears, sneezing, wheezing and coughing, the lungs are affected as a result of the amount of oxygen going to the brain is affected. And the person will not be able to breathe well. When these happens the person experiences confusion, illusion (misinterpretation of stimuli-seeing things but not being able to configure well) , dis-orientation, and loss of state of consciousness, impaired level of consciousness leading to delirium. Seizure may also be experienced as the individual experiences shortage of supply of oxygen to the brain. "If the individual has a tendency to have seizure, it can be thermo started. The seisure may not necessarily be the chronic (jerky movement) type, but behaviourally, the confusion is like that of doing things, the level of judgment is affected and may feel his life is under siege. And it creates a state of panic or fear. And the individual may put up behaviour that is violent. Reasoning is impaired. Confusion sets in. An illustration is the Ikeja bomb-blast when people started running to Oke-Afa. They were running helter skelter. It creates a state of panic. They did not know what they were doing, technically that is panic attack. Panic attack where the whole body system is disorganised. Others see it as a heart attack. We know lives were lost in the process."

• Adebayo Sounding a note of caution, Adebayo suggested: "Security agencies should exhibit maximum restrain and also be careful in the use of teargas, we are not in a war zone, and they may use water spray that won't induce much damage. Tear gas affects the innocent and the target. People may have asthma. Depending on the severity, the individual may experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where he recalls what was experienced one or three months ago or even years ago. It may precipitate mental health disorder." And what should the affected do? Adebayo advised, "The affected should see experts in psychology and keep off from such events or vicinities like that because such forces are not experts in crowd management, if I may put it that way. If such individual is relieving the experiences, such can see experts in psychology will also be good; we are not saying the person is mad or a psycho-

‘Security agencies should exhibit maximum restrain and also be careful in the use of teargas, we are not in a war zone, and they may use water spray that won't induce much damage. Tear gas affects the innocent and the target’ sis. We may place the individual on drugs. Putting such individual on some useful therapy will help the individual a great deal. Some may develop sleep disorder and if not handled professionally may lead on to some other complications." Another source, Dr Segun Fahuwa suggested the affected individual or person exposed should consume more tomatoes because of its beneficial health effects. Adebayo said since, there is no regulation on the use of tear gas. There is the need to train security personnel on proper handling of crowd. "In a democratic setting, government should enlighten people on its policies and carry them along and avoid such as what happened at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, area of Lagos."




Paediatrics fault 2012 budget T

HE Paediatrics Association of Nigeria (PAN) has faulted the 2012 Budget by the Federal Government over allocation to health sector. While addressing a press conference ahead of the association’s 43rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference in Osogbo, Osun State, the National President Dr Dorothy Esangdedo, said the budget fell short of the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Dr Esangdedo lamented the non complain to the WHO’s recommendation by successive governments in the country. She said: “We are not satisfied at all with what the Federal Government allocated to the health sector in this year’s budget as was the case in the previous budget. This is because WHO recommended that each nation should at least budget 15 per cent of its annual budget for the health sector, but the allocation to the sector in the budget is even less than eight per cent.” Speaking on this year’s conference theme which is A Nation in

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Transition: A Double burden of childhood Disease to be delivered by Prof Adetokunbo Lukas, Mrs Esangdedo identified corruption as a major challenge to making adequate provision to the health of the Nigerian child in Nigeria. “Most deaths associated with children arise as a result of lack of resuscitation equipment. Funds expected to be spent on purchase of hospital equipment, vaccines and drugs are often mismanaged by the people in authority. “Nigerian children because they cannot vote or be voted for deserve to be given all the necessary recognition due to them and they are now crying that government should stop corruption so that they can be given good health and education. “Corruption is depriving Nigerian children of what is theirs. They are being deprived of their rights. They are being deprived because some people are taking what jointly belongs to everybody,” she said.

Conference on sexual abuse against children holds in Accra


HE second international conference in Africa on child sexual abuse will hold from March 12 to 14, at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana. Its theme is Taking stock of the status of child sexual abuse in Africa. The conference is being organised by African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) Ghana, in collaboration with ANPPCAN Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya. Individuals and groups are being invited to register to take part in the conference. Also, the conference is opening a call for papers for workshops and poster presentations. African countries

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

have adopted legislations, formulated policies and drawn up plans of action to fight child sexual abuse. The conference provided an opportunity for all to learn on various facets of child sexual abuse in Africa including the different forms, existing knowledge on child sexual abuse, prevention of child sexual abuse, institutional child sexual abuse, different forms of interventions in child sexual abuse, partnerships in the fight against child sexual abuse, community participation in the fight against child sexual abuse, best practices in treatment and team building as a strategy to fight child sexual abuse.

• Left: Managing Director, Procter and Gamble Nigeria, Manoj Kumar and Joseph Stafford, United States Consul General in Nigeria at the presentation of the US Secretary of State Award for Corporate Excellence’ (ACE) to the company by Hillary Clinton in Washington DC.

Reopen community medical centre


philanthropist and former member of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC), Dr Otuokere Njaka has urged Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to partner with him to re-open the Njaka Community Medical Centre in Akokwa. Njaka said the hospital he established and ran for 27 years was closed down since 2002, because he was unable to personally manage the hospital along with his national assignment at the RMAFC. He noted that though he is getting older, he would not like the spirit which propelled him to establish the hospital to fizzle out, stressing the importance of community-based hospitals towards achieving the Vision 20:2020 health components. According to him, the hospital was established to provide medicare for the less privileged and

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

observed that with the populist political programmes of Owelle Rochas Okorocha in Imo state, he is optimistic that his dreams for setting up the hospital will not die. He said apart from the Imo State government, he would reach out to his foreign friends and other international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) so they could contribute the needed technical assistance as they did in the past and revive the glory of the once-thriving community hospital. Asked if he would approach Okorocha for assistance, he said: “I have worked with him in the past and I know him very, very well. I am pleased with what he is doing at the moment in the state. I hear he is planning to establish hospitals in every local government area and I would like if he could come and partner with

us and possibly upgrade the hospital. “He is opening roads everywhere. Look at the schools and how he is working hard to restore the dignity of our educational system, especially at the grassroots level? Look at what he is doing there. The hospital is an NGO and so, I would appreciate if they could partner with us. He noted that what the country needs to succeed is to go back to the foundations laid by former Health Minister, Prof Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, by ensuring that all the primary health care centres he commissioned are working optimally. “We need to encourage these things and also see how we can bring in foreign doctors like we did when I established the health centre; we also need to do all we have to do to see that the rural communities have one form of hospital or the other,” he stated.

Be loud be clear: Bowel cancer awareness campaign


OWEL Cancer is the third most common cancer in the United Kingdom (UK), afflicting one in 20 women and one in 16 men. Yet because of the embarrassment few people are aware of bowel cancer’s risks and symptoms – meaning too many are dying every year. The NHS estimates that 16,000 people lose their lives to the disease in England annually, despite the fact that, if caught early enough, it can be cured. Charity Beating Bowel Cancer says: “The good news is that bowel cancer can be successfully treated in over 90 per cent of cases if it is diagnosed at an early stage.” Indeed, a few small lifestyle changes can help to prevent the cancer striking at all. That’s why cancer charities are joining forces to launch Be Loud Be Clear week (January 23-30), urging people to dress up in outlandish clothes to help raise awareness. Details of how to take part are available at Beating Bowel Cancer. But there is also one very important thing you can do from the privacy of your own home: Read up on the whys and wherefores of the disease. So, what exactly is bowel cancer and how can it affect you? The disease can blight any part of the colon, rectum or anus – the three main parts of the large bowel. It usually starts

•Third most common cancer in the UK as slow-growing polyps or ulcers on the inside of the bowel wall, which can change over time and, if left untreated, can grow bigger and turn cancerous. There are 38,600 new cases recorded every year in the UK, mostly in adults over the age of 50 – but the number of younger men and women being diagnosed is on the rise. Early symptoms are very similar to other, benign bowel problems, so it is vital to be aware of what is normal for you so that you can get any unusual changes investigated straight away. These include: Bleeding from the bottom, or blood in the faeces, possibly accompanied by soreness, lumps and itchiness. Persistent change in bowel habits lasting four weeks or more – e.g. constipation, feeling the bowel is not completely empty, frequent or loose stools and/or passing clear, ‘jelly’-like mucus. Pain or a lump in your tummy, especially on the right hand side. Unexplained dizziness, tiredness and breathlessness. Unexpected and unexplained weight loss. As for what causes bowel cancer, there are strong links with diet, inactivity, heavy drinking and smoking. Research shows overweight or obese men, for in-

stance, are 50 per cent more likely to develop the disease as those who maintain a healthy weight. Eating too much saturated fat, red meat and processed meat and not enough fibre increases risk, as does lack of exercise. People with diabetes, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may also be more likely to develop the disease. To reduce the risk of bowel cancer, experts advise: Eat no more than 500g of red meat (beef, lamb, pork) per week. Exercise regularly. Eat plenty of whole-grains – replace white bread, rice and pasta with brown or granary varieties. Eat five portions of fruit and veg a day – perhaps by adding a handful of chopped fruit to your cereal in the morning, a piece of fruit to your morning snack, a glass of fresh fruit juice in the afternoon and two broccoli florets and half a courgette to your dinner. Avoid processed meats such as ham, salami, bacon and sausages as much as possible: Eat them only as an occasional treat. Cut down on alcohol. For low risk drinking, the NHS advises that men should drink no more than three or four units and women no more two to three units a day, with two alcohol-free days a

week. England, Scotland and Wales are all part of a the UK Bowel Screening Programme. Everyone between the ages of 60 and 69 in England, 50 and 74 in Scotland, and 60 and 74 in Wales are eligible for screening kits which are sent in the post to your home. Known as the FOB (faecal occult blood) test, the kit detects blood hidden in your faeces (stools). The test requires a small smear of your faeces to be applied to a card which is then sent back to a laboratory to look for the presence of tiny amounts of blood. If blood is detected, it does not mean you have bowel cancer, but it does mean that further tests are needed. The test is not compulsory, but doctors say it is a major tool in the battle against the disease. Mark Flannagan, Chief Executive of Beating Bowel Cancer: “Bowel cancer can be beaten but it continues to claim a life every 30 minutes in the UK. “This Be Loud Be Clear we are calling for people to be LOUD about bowel caner and be CLEAR on the symptoms of the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. “If diagnosed early over 90 per cent of patients could be successfully treated. So please, if you are worried about symptoms make an appointment to see your GP.” •Culled from



Tuesday, January 31, 2012


* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes *Real Estate


•Artiste impression of Eko Atlantic City

With a target resident of 250,000 and 150,000 commuters, Eko Atlantic City may be an ideal place to live and work. It was conceived to restore land lost to coastal erosion by providing a robust sea wall along newly constructed coastline. Some experts welcome the initiative, but others condemn it, citing erosion and the disappearance of communities along the coast. Yet, other experts warn against criticism of this landmark project,reports OKWY IROEGBUCHIKEZIE

E Experts’ endorsement for Eko Atlantic city

KO Model City was conceived by the Lagos State Government as an initiative to reclaim land lost to the sea and provide a conducive place for people to live and work. It is to provide accommodation for about 250,000 on completion. Another 150,000 are expected to commute to the city daily. The city will only host high rise buildings. The city, modelled after Atlanta

•Surveyors hold summit on property market

- PAGE 26

in the United States, has a central waterway of 30 metres wide, providing water transport among the three marinas that will be created. The overall area of the city is 1,037.763 hectares, to be reclaimed from the sea. A significant portion has already been reclaimed. Despite its advantages of surface water drainage, electrical power generation plant and underground distribution,

critics argue that it will cause erosion and the disappearance of shorelines. But a more cautious group has advised on the need to dissociate the disappearance of coastlines in Lagos from the project as it cannot be scientifically proved. At a one-day roundtable on “Climate change adaptation in Lagos: Eko Atlantic City •CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

•Urban renewal takes •UN-Habitat budgets $1m unique signature in Ondo for Youth Fund - PAGE 40 - PAGE 26




Experts’ endorsement for Eko Atlantic city •CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25

Dream for few or nightmare for many?” organised by Heinrich Boll Stiftung, a former resident of Alpha Beach Estate on the Lekki/ Ajah Expressway, Mr Azuka Ezeamakam, relived his experience. According to him, he lived in the estate until June, last year, when erosion in the once-serene neighbourhood forced him to relocate after eight years. He said: “I was forced to leave my once-loving abode because my life and that of my family were no longer safe. I lived there for over eight years and had peace but was displaced from the estate. Sometime in May, last year, coastal erosion swept through the estate. It became a daily occurence. Water from the ocean kept taking over the estate. It happened at the time the first phase of the Eko Atlantic City project was being inaugurated. I left for my safety because the ocean surge was too much.” He said access roads to the estate have vanished; and electricity poles taken away. Ezeamakam said it came to a point that he could not guarantee the safety of members of his household as he feared they would be swept away by the ocean surge while sleeping. “That was why I moved out. I was afraid that while sleeping, one can be swept away by the angry ocean. The Alpha Beach community lost many lives to the ocean surge; a woman also lost her baby. “ Another participant, Mr Gbenga Okunsanya of the Ocean Surge Committee, Goshen Beach Estate, painted a similar picture of the plight of residents of the estate. He attributed their plight to the ongoing reclamation of land for the highbrow multi-billion dollar Eko Atlantic City.

But a climatologist, Prof Emmanuel Oladipo, countered him. He said it would be wrong to attribute the plight of residents of both estates to the ongoing reclamation of land for city project. He argued that coastal erosion had started in both estates before the commencement of work at the city. Oladipo, however, agreed that when one area is eroded, another is bound to benefit as sand is deposited in the new area since water must find its level. Oladipo, who spoke on The imperative for sea level rise risk assessment for the development of Lagos coastline (including the Eko Atlantic Project), flayed the state government for failing to carry the people along on the project before it was embarked upon. He warned against a reoccurrence of the mistakes made during the development of Victoria Island in the 70s. According to him, Victoria Island was planned to be a highbrow residential area and that it remained so until the late 80s when commercial activities began. “The luxury people who bought properties in Victoria Island thought they would enjoy,” he lamented. On the Eko Atlantic City, Oladipo, who reiterated that water must always find its level, explained that the quantity of water displaced from the Bar Beach must find another place to percolate. He reasoned that critics of the project hinged their argument on the cliché: water must find its level. Oladipo advised that risk assessment to predict sea-level changes in a range of scenarios such as time series, incremental climate change, shear events, storm frequency and intensity,

•Artist impression of Eko Atlantic City

‘ICZM considers over a long-term the balance of environmental, economic, social, cultural and recreational objectives, within the limits set by natural dynamics’ should be undertaken for Eko Atlantic and other federal/state projects along the Lagos coast. Besides, he urged that the assessment should also monitor the form the changes will take as well as provide an understanding of associated impacts on existing coastal systems, infrastructure and property. He decried the use of only engineering approaches in determining the construction of Eko Atlantic City, contending that other approaches, such as the biological and socio-institutional, should have also been taken into consideration as several factors come into play in projects of such magnitude and design.

According to him, the best adaptation measures should include a combination of responses known as Integrated Coastal Zone Management, (ICZM). Oladipo said: “ICZM considers over a long-term the balance of environmental, economic, social, cultural and recreational objectives, within the limits set by natural dynamics. It enables decision makers to choose between the range of options available when responding to sea-level rise, and how to prevent piece-meal reactions that compound the problem.” Also speaking on Coastal cities under climate change impacts at the roundtable, a don and an envi-

ronmentalist, Mr Ako Amadi, said beach nourishment and barrier walls are temporary measures. He called for afforestation and reaforestation, decrying what he described as a cosmetic approach to tree planting in many states. Amadi, from the University of Maiduguri, called for a moratorium on developments on shorelines. He insisted that they have negative effects on local communities and waterfront dwellers in the long run. A cross section of participants criticised the practice of producing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of local projects that have direct consequences on the lives of the people overseas and the secrecy that surround such documents. They unanimously agreed to work together to retrieve a copy of the EIA to enable knowledge sharing and more robust discussion on the matter for subsequent discussions.

UN-Habitat budgets $1m for Youth Fund


HE UN-HABITAT Urban Youth Fund has concluded arrangement to provide one million dollars to projects led by young people aged 15-32 years who are piloting innovative approaches to employment, good urban governance, shelter and secure tenure Under the Fund’s rules small development initiatives are eligible for grants up to $25,000. Of the one billion slum dwellers in the world today, it is esti-

mated that more than 70 per cent are under the age of 30. These young people have few resources available to improve their own living environments. There are many youth-led initiatives in slums and squatter settlements around the world that require support in their efforts to transform their communities. UN-HABITAT invites young people based in cities or towns from the developing world to apply for grants from the fund.

Surveyors hold summit on property market


HE Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers Learning Centre (NLC) will, today, hold a summit on “Real estate practice and the Nigerian property market.” The workshop holding at Deritz Hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos will cover areas such as introduction to property investment process; understanding the property development environment property market database; understanding property cash flow and valuation of investment.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

Also to be treated are assessment of insurable risks in public buildings and access to real estate financing. Unveiling the plan to journalists last week, Chairman, Planning Committee of the workshop, Mr Offiong Samuel Ukpong, said research has shown that many industry players have been disturbed by imperfections that characterise the property market, hence the need to educate investors and practitioners on best practices.

Applications open on February 15th 2012 and the deadline for applications is April 15th 2012. More information and details are available at This initiative sprang from the 21st session of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council in 2007 and has so far awarded grants to 172 projects led by young people from all over the world. Many of the project ideas have been aimed at alleviating poverty, improving employment opportunities, improving the envi-

ronment and increasing youth participation in decision-making. The fund promotes the poverty-reduction aims of the Millennium Development Goals, and the Habitat Agenda for better, more sustainable and equitable towns and cities throughout the developing world. In his message for International Youth Day 2011, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that “far too many of the world’s more than one billion young people lack the educa-


Ghana’s clean production centre to serve Nigeria, others

OLLOWING last year’s Durban Climate Change talks late last year, Ghana has upped the ante on its commitment to environmental management and sustainability. The initiative aims to effectively reduce the industry’s impact on the environment. The national cleaner production centre of excellence in the industrial city of Tema is expected to become the first in the West Africa sub-region to train sister countries to improve on their environment. With support from the United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO), the centre aims to reduce impacts on the environment. This is to be done through the lowering of the cost of production, minimisation of waste, re-using and recycling, enhancing competitiveness in the wider market place, and increasing environmentally-conscious customers, insur-

ers and bankers. Ghana’s Environment Science and Technology Minister Sherry Ayittey announced at the launch of the centre recently that the government had completed a roadmap for sustainable development with resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production growth engine for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The roadmap is to ensure the sustainability of the centre in its coordinating role in Ghana and the subregion to contribute to the attainment of New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s (NEPAD) environmental imitative. Socio-economic development in Ghana like many other African coun-

tion, freedom and opportunities they deserve. Yet despite these constraints – and in some cases because of them – young people are mobilising in growing numbers to build a better future. The international community must continue to work together to expand the horizons of opportunity for these young women and men and answer their legitimate demands for dignity, development and decent work.”

tries has led to continued environmental degradation including widespread land degradation, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and loss of arable and grazing land. While agriculture plays a vital role on the African Continent, large swathes of land have been at risk of deforestation or degradation largely in humid and sub-humid West Africa, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Aside industrial pollution, experts say the cause of environmental degradation include, to a high extent deforestation, which has seen the clearing of lands, not only for agriculture but also uncontrolled logging, gathering of fuelwood, fire and overgraSing.




Lawyers have identified some issues not resolved by the Supreme Court in its verdict sacking five governors. They also spoke on the moral of the judgment. ERIC IKHILAE reports.

When can the President deploy soldiers


Sacked governors: L Issues in Supreme Court verdict

EGAL experts and others have been debating since Friday, the propriety or otherwise of the Supreme Court verdict , sacking five governors. The governors are Ibrahim Idris (Kogi),Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Muritala Nyako (Adamawa) and Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto). Lawyers are unanimous on the fact that the court acted appropriately, but some pointed out that the judgment has raised fresh issues. These issues, lawyers argued,

will require another pronouncement by the court to resolve. The issues, according to them, include: Whether it was right for Speakers to have assumed office when the judgment was silent on whether the affected governors should quit immediately? Who they should hand over to? When should another election be held? They also wondered whether a person, who defeats an incumbent governor in a rerun •See page 28

•Lessons from election of first Nigerian ICC...- P.29• Jonathan should galvanise the...- P.35




Sacked governors: Issues in Supreme Court verdict • Continued from page 27 elecSome of the issues were highlighted in the apex court’s judgment. Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had held in their favour when he said their tenure started counting from when they were sworn in after the rerun elections. The Court of Appeal, in its decision in the appeal brought by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), upheld the verdict, prompting an appeal to the Supreme Court by Adamawa State’s governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen Mohammed Marwa. INEC which had resolved to let sleeping dog lie, later joined the appeal. Delivering the leading judgment, Justice Walter Onnoghen, held that since the acts performed during the period prior to the nullification of the elections remain valid and subsisting, and the same person won the rerun election and returned to the office; and since it was the previous election that was annulled and not the initial oath, their tenure must count from 2007 when the person took the first oath. He held that the danger in accepting the five former governors’ argument that their tenure started after the rerun elections is in its ability to introduce confusion into the clear constitutional provision that stipulates a four-year for every governor. The danger in not adhering to the clear provision of the Constitution, Justice Onnoghen held, is that it is capable of rendering the tenure of governors indefinite as “what it will take an elected governor whose election is nullified to remain in office almost indefinitely is to win the rerun election, which would be nullified to continue the cycle of impunity.” He held that the intention of the framers of the Constitution in assigning four years tenure to governors is clear from the language used in Sections 108 (1) (2) and (3) and 182 (1)(b) of the Constitution. “It, therefore, means that the consequences of the annulled elections are different from a null and void proceeding or act which is usually described as being incurably bad and of no effect whatsoever. The nullity, which allows the validity of the acts of the governors prior to the nullification of the election, is closer to the concept of voidable act which is usually valid until challenged and set aside. “To uphold the validity of the acts of the governors in office prior to the nullification of their elections and reject the period they spent in office during which they performed those acts in the determination of the period of their tenure is contrary to common sense and the clear intention of the framers of the Constitution”, he held. Relying on the decision in Bolonwu vs Governor of Anambra State (2009) 18 NWLR (Pt 1172) Pg 13 at 46, Justice Onnoghen held that the annulment of elections by courts does not always affect the oath taken by the governor to function in that capacity in line with constitutional provisions, a development which informs why bills passed into law, contracts awarded, the budget signed and operated, among other acts retained. Law experts are of the view that the position held before last week’s Supreme Court’s decision was highly erroneous. Prof Sagay (one of those whose expert opinions were sought by the court before the judgment), said the verdict would go a long way in setting a moral tone for politics in the sense that politicians would be discouraged from rigging elections. “The judgment is a fine one and I agree with the pronouncement of the apex court. This judgment raises a moral tone for politics in the sense that people should not be made to benefit from their fraud and criminality.” He argued that the primaries conducted by political parties should remain, while those yet to be conducted should go in accordance with the new scenario created by the judgment. Akintola said: “Today is one of my happiest days. The position of the Supreme Court has always been my position on the matter. I have always maintained that the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the matter does not make any legal sense to me. “I mean, how can someone be made to enjoy from his illegality? I want to salute the justices of the Supreme Court who gave the verdict. I know that the judgment will throw up many issues in days to come, but I think the judiciary will also address the issues that will follow.”

• Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher

• Attorney-General of the Mohammed Adoke (SAN)


‘To uphold the validity of the acts of the governors in office prior to the nullification of their elections and reject the period they spent in office, during which they performed those acts, in the determination of the period of their tenure is contrary to common sense and the clear intention of the framers of the Constitution’ Ngige said the decision, though belated, is most welcome. He said since the Federal High Court delivered its judgment on the case in February, 2011, while the Court of Appeal’s decision affirming it was delivered in April, 2011, the Supreme Court’s decision ought to have come on or before May 29, 2011, to avoid the present constitutional crisis in Kogi and Sokoto states. “Now, most of the governors, particularly those of Kogi, Adamawa, Sokoto and Bayelsa states, have almost completed their extended tenures, thereby rendering the judgment otiose. However, the principle laid down in the present judgment of the apex court is what is most important; a party cannot be allowed to benefit from his own wrong. “The Latin maxim is nullus commodium capere potest de injuria sua pria. The governors, in collusion with INEC under the Chairmanship of Prof Maurice Iwu, perpetrated electoral irregularities which the Court of Appeal nullified. “For the same governors to recontest for the same post, win and then claim a fresh tenure is akin to rewarding robbery and dishonesty. They cannot benefit from their wrongs. So INEC must be commended for pursuing this case to the logical conclusion. If INEC had not appealed to upturn the two decisions of the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal, a bad precedent would have set in our electoral and constitutional laws,” Ngige said. Nwobike said it was strange that governors whose tenures had clearly elapsed could turn around to use the courts to secure extended tenure on a very narrow and destructive construction of applicable constitutional provisions. “The question is: Now that it is clear that their action was brought in bad faith and in breach of their oath to defend the Constitution, is it not proper for proceedings to be taken to determine the extent of their personal liability to the Nigerian people. “The decision has no legal effect on the primaries duly conducted in those affected states. The conduct of those primaries was not part of the disputes submitted to the court for determination. “However, if any of the sacked governors were granted the ticket of their parties on account of incumbency, such decision can now be questioned as the governors were in the

eyes of the law out of office at the time of those decisions,” Nwobike said. Ozekhome said what the judgment implies is that the second oath of office taken by a reelected governor is otiose and superfluous, since the Constitution never envisaged a governor spending more than eight years in office except in extreme situation of war or insurrection. “Until I read the full judgment, however certain questions continue to agitate my mind. If a person defeats an incumbent governor in a rerun election, will the new entrant enjoy four years from the date he is sworn in or will he, as the Supreme Court has held, be entitled to whatever unexpired residue of the tenure his defeated predecessor had remaining? “How is this judgment different from Peter Obi”s case that sacked Andy Uba from office as the shortest reigning governor in Nigeria? What happens to the new amendment to Section 182 of the Constitution? What mischief or lacuna did the legislature cure in the amendment? Are oaths of Office and Allegiance merely decorative, with no constitutional import? “Scholars and jurisprudential analysts will discuss this judgment and dissect it for a long time to come. But meanwhile, the reality on the ground is that the affected governors are out of office and only the Speakers of such states can be sworn in as Acting Governors. “It, therefore, amounts to invidious and odious constitutional aberration, executive rascality, despicable indiscretion and usurpatory conduct that Idris Wada will get himself sworn in by a Customary Court President in Lokoja, because the Chief Judge of Kogi State advisedly refused to participate in the illegality”. Ahonaruogho praised the Kogi State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah for not lending himself to executive rascality. He said the judge displayed the highest sense of courage and judicial responsibility by swearing in the Speaker, Abdullahi Bello as acting governor. “Posterity will remember your lordship and your lordship’s name will be written in gold in the history of constitutional law, rule of law and democracy in Nigeria. We need more forthright and courageous judges and justices in this nation. “Happilly, the Supreme Court has reawaken to show forth the light. Let all judges and justices follow,” Ahonaruogho said. Aturu argued that the Supreme Court was right because people should not be made to

• Prof Sagay (SAN)

profit from their wrongful act. To him, the judgment was not only sound and right, but it cannot be faulted because the apex court applied both the letter and spirit of the law. On the conducted primaries, Aturu said the affected parties could always conduct other primaries. “I had held on to this position tenaciously and feel vindicated that the Supreme Court declined to follow the strict construction of the two lower courts. “It may even be viewed as laying down the principle that a beneficiary of a wrong even where not directly attributable to him, election rigging in the instant case, will not be allowed to profit from the wrong. “In other words, the decision is not only of academic significance as some would want to argue as the relevant constitutional provision has since been amended. The decision will reverberate in other areas of our national life. I salute the courage of the justices and hope that the politicians will abide by it without any rancour,” he said. Adegboruwa said the judgment would serve as a lesson to all politicians and INEC in particular that a mandate should not be declared until all issues surrounding it are resolved. “I commend the Supreme Court for the judgment. It is a lesson for our democracy. I think INEC should not issue Certificate of Return to any winner of election until all issues surrounding such election are resolved. “But overall, I want to salute the Justices of the Supreme Court that delivered the verdict,” Adegboruwa said. Otteh said: “I have not read the full details of the judgment but it seems to make good sense to me. I think the judgment sits better with our sense of constitutional term limits, and accords better with the spirit of constitutional democracy. “The alternative could possibly have anticipated a situation where a four-year tenure might end up as a six or even seven year tenure. The justices were on the side of the angels on this one,” Otteh said. Tairu said the decision is as it should be because it stands to logic, accords with common sense and in tandem with the letter and spirit of the Constitution. He added that the tenure of an elected governor is four years from the date of Oath of Office. “Any elongation under whatever circumstance is simply not right. Fortunately, there can be no further controversy over the issue having regard to the finality of decisions of the Supreme Court being the final court of review. “Now the other side of the judgment and actually the worrisome aspect of it is the fact that the decision came late in the extra time in the tenure of the affected former governors. “This point further underlines the need and necessity for urgent reform of our judicial system so as to fix the problem of delay; even though it is a systemic syndrome that cuts across other aspects of the nation’s life. We can’t continue the way we are. Change is inevitable though the present inefficient status quo may be profitable to some,” he said.




Lessons from election of first Nigerian ICC judge Dr Chile Eboe-Osuji is the first Nigerian to be elected judge of the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC). In this article, Prof Obiora Chinedu Okafor examines the lessons of the election, saying we can still do great things in this country.

• Prof. Okafor


HERE was a time when Nige ria more or less bestrode the foreign relations world like a colossus; when our words and deeds were all but enough to secure independence for many a colonised or racially oppressed African country; when we pushed for, established, and played leadership roles among “the concert of medium powers”; when we put the dumping of toxic waste on the UN human rights agenda; when several Nigerians held apex positions in several international organisations at the very same time; when we ascended and descended the proverbial foreign relations “Iroko” tree almost at will; when we were truly one of the “big masquerades” in almost any foreign relations carnival; when we, in sum, did great things in the foreign relations realm. The election on December 16, 2011 of Eboe-Osuji as the first Nigerian ever to serve as a judge of the ICC (ahead of even the candidate of as powerful a country as France) rekindled in my mind’s eye those glorious days of Nigerian foreign relations, and indeed those glorious days of Nigerian governance. It affirmed for me what I have always known and believed

about our collective capacity and ability to do great things again; that – as the eloquent Obama once noted – we are the change we are looking for. Much endowed as we are by nature and nurture, we can bestride the world again like the giant we once were and still can be. To my mind, Dr. Eboe-Osuji’s election, and what I know of the herculean effort that went into achieving that feat, strongly suggests that when we plan ahead, work assiduously,present our best brains, and back them to the hilt, we usually succeed in claiming our just position in the comity of nations. But it also suggests the converse, that when we do not present candidates with the right qualifications and experience, when we see international elections as merely and simply an opportunity to find jobs for “the boys” or for our less than accomplished acolytes, we usually fail, and in doing so we diminish our stature and tarnish our image in the world. That is clearly no way to do great things as a nation. It is a tribute to the vision, tenacity, diligence, and broadmindedness of many in the Goodluck Jonathan administration (especially the Attorney-General of Nigeria, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, Nigeria’s permanent representative to the UN in New York, Prof Joy Ogwu, and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Martin Uhomoibhi), that Nigeria won this international judicial election and showed that we can, given the right attitude, do great things

again. Among other things, these high government officials collectively and stoutly resisted the usual pressures from all sorts of quarters in Nigeria to substitute Eboe-Osuji’s candidature with that of far less qualified or accomplished persons. These officials went to the bat for him and stood stoutly by him to the successful end. Against the prevalent tendency in Nigerian officialdom, these officials ensured that Nigeria put its best foot forward, and that we presented a candidate that so outclassed and outshone his competitors that just before the last ballot even a monumentally more powerful country like France had to withdraw its candidate in deference to him. Eboe-Osuji’s victory is as much his as it is ours collectively;as a united, indivisible and talented people.And this victory ought to serve as a most instructive road map to our future national success in similar ventures. What it suggests is that with more stellar candidates, such as Eboe-Osuji, with more intimidatingly impressive CVs like his, and many more dedicated officials, and more support from our kindred African and other states, we can transform our relatively poor record in recent times of placing our citizens in top positions in the international organizations to which we contribute so much.We can and need to do great things again! •Okafor is a professor of International Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada and the Gani Fawehinmi Distinguished Professor of Human Rights, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Ogun PDP crisis: Party leaders’ gradual walk to incarceration


HAT began as mere dis agreement among mem bers of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State is gradually attracting criminal element and threatening the freedom of the party’s national officers. The court is gradually moving towards trying them for contempt. It all began late last year when some factional leaders of the party in the state, led by Dayo Soremi approached the Federal High Court, Lagos and prayed it to among others, declare an Executive Committee led by Soremi the legitimate management body of the party. The court later gave an interlocutory injunction recognizing the Soremi-led committee as the party’s authentic management body. He retrained the party’s leadership from impeding the operation of the committee in any way pending the determination of the substantive suit. Plaintiff’s lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede filed another suit before Justice Charles Achibong, seeking among others, an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from usurping or interfering with the activities of the Soremi led Executive Committee as per the order of Justice Okechukwu Okeke made on September 21, 2010. The plaintiffs - Soremi, Bayo Dayo and Taiwo Abisekan - also prayed the court for a declaration that neither the PDP nor any of its national officers could validly interfere with the applicants in the performance of their functions and the exercise of powers bestowed on them by the constitution of the

By Eric Ikhilae

party until a valid congress is held. On October 25 last year, the court ordered parties to maintain status quo. It followed that up on December 14 with an order that parties should refrain from issuing and compiling registers of members of the party in Ogun. A day later the court ordered that the election of new leaders of the party at all levels in the state be conducted by the Executive Committee headed by Dayo Soremi. Last December, the plaintiff filed a fresh motion, accusing the national leadership of the party and working with some local leaders of violating the court’s said orders and sought their committal to prison. They argued that despite being aware of the said court orders, the party’s leaders, including National Vice Chairman, Southwest, Tajudeen Oladipo, National Legal Adviser, Olusola Oke, National Organising Secretary, Uche Secondus allegedly inaugurated an ad hoc committee on to supplant that Executive Committee headed by Soremi. The plaintiffs urged the court to commit the alleged contemnors to one year imprisonment for the alleged act of contempt. They argued that the act of contempt which they allegedly committed was intended to challenge the court’s power to enforce its orders. On January 24, upon arguments by defence lawyers – Olajide Ajana and Gani Bello - that the alleged contemnors were not personally served court processes in relation to the contempt proceedings, Justice Achibong ordered their ap-

pearance in court. Aside Oladipo, Oke and Secondus, the court also summoned , Jimoh Adigun, Mustapha Olabode, Titus Eweje, Fasiu Bakene, Gbenga Shobowale, Dipo Odujirin, Michela Fasinu, Dayo Adebayo, Iyabo Apampa, Segun Showunmi,Monsurudeen Osholake and Lekan Mustapha. They were to appear before the court on January 27 when the court planned to rule on the substantive suit and the preliminary objection filed against it by the respondents. The judge also ordered that court processes in respect of the contempt case be served on the defendants through substituted means. He also ordered Ajana (lawyer to PDP) to hand over court documents already served on him to his client. On January 27 the alleged contemnors failed to appear in court as directed by the judge. Instead, Ajana brought a motion seeking a stay of proceedings on the contempt case. He jana moved the motion. Ajana argued that the contempt proceeding was based on an application which was incompetent in the sense that an appeal had been lodged at the court of appeal in respect of the matter. He said he was unable to serve his client with the processes in respect of the contempt case as directed by the judge at the last adjourned date, adding that his clients were yet to be aware of the contempt case because he was away to attend to other issues. Oluyede, in his response, faulted Ajana’s motion, describing it as most unmeritorious and scandalous, stating that the contempt proceeding was meant to protest the integrity of the court.


with gabriel AMALU


Executive ways and means

HOSE who came up with ways and means as the appropriate slang when dealing with financial exigencies in government surely used a rich vocabulary. As a matter of fact, I guess it would be appropriate to define governance as simply, ways and means, applying it literally. For young and flagging democracies, it assumes elasticity and in some instances even duplicity in actions and statements, all under the democratic banner. Our President and many of the state Governors are now ardent at offering ingenuous ways and means to meet their every day challenges. But I shall come to that. So in our kind of democracy, laws are interpreted to suit each peculiar circumstance and if need be, in the image of the interpreter. Indeed those who make the laws also have that in mind, as holes and moles are left in the work, for ways and means as may be needed. For instance, those who crafted the 1999 Nigerian constitution surely are lovers of ways and means as law. They love the tendentious and the nebulous, as it gives them the latitude to maneuver. Chapter Two of the Nigerian Constitution is a fantastic and clever example of ways and means as law. It provides an incredible amount of fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy for the benefits of the citizens of Nigeria. It started incredulously from hindsight to say in section 13, “that it shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government and all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this chapter of this constitution”. Coming shortly after the definition of the federal republic of Nigeria and the constituent powers and authorities, any student of constitutionalism would be enthralled by the provisions detailing the social contract between the people and the state, especially if the student missed out section 6(6)(c) of the same constitution providing the crater to trap the so called duties and responsibilities. The horned skills on ways and means may well explain President Jonathan’s increasing attempt to portray those opposed to his proposal for single seven year tenure as the bad guys. Each time it appears to him that the controversy has been laid to rest, he will seek an opportunity to steer up the issues to the front burner. While hosting the French foreign minister recently, he said those who oppose him on this issue do so based on the erroneous impression that he wants an extra seven year term. The press report I read did not quote him as saying without equivocation that he will not seek an extension of his current term. But even if he won’t, what can we make of this kind of his regime lasting for seven years at a stretch. The same ways and means is applicable in the President’s treatment of the fuel subsidy palaver. He simply ignores those asking questions as to why the state can not reign in those racketeers he has confirmed as existing in the industry. He also ignores queries concerning why the refineries are comatose, despite the huge resources expended in recent times to do the so called Turn Around Maintenance. The political ways and means he has adopted is to choose the easiest economic ways and means; raise more taxes from the people. To spice his stand, at every opportunity he labels those opposed to his adopting the quickest and least tasking means of raising more money. Many state Governors are also engaged in ways and means to deal with challenges in their state economy and politics. Somebody who claims to know sent me what he claimed is Governor Sullivan Chime’s ways and means in dealing with the minimum wage wahala. He sent me an alleged comparative chat of what the Governor has made of the minimum wage bill, claiming that in all states, labour signed an agreement with the government except in Enugu state where the Governor imposed what he wanted to pay. According to the representations in the chart, there is serious disparity between what is paid in many states and what is paid in Enugu state. Using level 7 step 9 of that data, the National approved minimum wage is N55,660; while we have in the listed states the following, Benue state N49, 766.00; Delta state N52,651.52; Edo state N41,716.32; Ogun state N47, 922.96; Taraba state N47, 315.68; and Enugu state N26,390.00. The chart at level 16 step 9 has as approved national minimum wage N241, 681.08; while for Benue state N228, 782.00; Delta state N22,227.92; Edo state N163,800.98; Ogun state N271, 596.26; Taraba state N205, 428.21 and Enugu state N98,200.00. It calls the Enugu state chart the evil chart; but l will rather call it, Governor Sullivan’s ways and means. While evidentially the Governor is doing well in infrastructural development, he appears to have a short fuse for democratic ethos. If the above chart is credible, it is difficult to appreciate how he came by such huge disparity as what he would pay to the state workers, when others are paying much more. I am told that the ecclesiastical enfant terrible in Enugu state, Reverend Father Mbaka has waxed a song demanding that the Governor should pay the national minimum wage, and asking rhetorically whether the money he is paying, is his money. Another ecclesiastical social crusader in the state, Father Obodo also rails every now and then from the pulpit against the untoward ways and means in government. No doubt as many of the 36 states in the country fall within the radar of insolvent states, there would be increasing ways and means, even when they border on extra constitutional measures.




The state versus the people: A conversation on the power of law, law of power I

F you go on that incendiary path this time, Justice Adejumo will surely and justifiably lose his temper and make you taste the blatant fury of judicial indignation. It will all be on your head. It does look like you people, trouble-mongers, are just bent on irritating anyone who does not openly toe your line; you know no boundaries and respect no lines anymore. Well, I only said some of the injunctions we see these days have the colour and texture of black market injunctions. This is getting all so very nauseating. Have you not been following what is something of a circus parade of ex-parte injunctions lately? Looks like there is a flea market for ex parte orders right now! Is that why some lawyer would run his mouth and say that an injunction given by respected judges of the National Industrial Court is a black market injunction? Do you know what a black market aphorism represents? It means something foul, illegitimate, obtained through some kind of fraud. These are felonious terms to apply to orders of a court manned by respectable judges. Any judge worth his name will not permit that kind of treacherous slander on his person and authority. Anyway, if I were the honourable judge, I will not waste time accommodating frivolous excuses. That is all what you busy-body lawyers know to do. Cause trouble, and when the consequences come, you duck behind all kinds of technicalities. If I were that judge, I would certainly not waste time before sending those rabble rousers to prison. It will cure them of that adrenalin rush whenever a media opportunity flashes. Purging has health advantages you know. For the individual, and ultimately for the good of the State! You’ve certainly been running your mouth too, well before your brain can catch up. Have you not noticed that I did not mention any judge’s name? Oh now, you are afraid eh? Fear is good for the soul and nourishes the mind to accord healthy respect. It is that fear that I insist Justice Adejumo should put in detractors and unpatriotic elements like those your compatriots, the Labour leaders. Do you know how much the country lost in that one week of rebellious insolence? More than 30 billion by some estimates! I did not say I am afraid. And it’s not like I can’t engage with you on that matter. I have my views of that injunction. I just don’t want to get sucked into discussing that vexatious Order. It is past now, so let sleeping dogs lie. I am just worried about the trend now, the way these ex-parte injunctions are gushing out like running water from courts around the country. I have this déjà vu feeling already. No. Tell me. What is vexatious about the Order? You throw about legal jargons like you are a court of appeal. That is often the pedestal you and your folks arrogate to yourselves when you sit in judgment over duly constituted courts. Are you saying that the Hon. Justice did not have the power to issue the injunction? Or that some people did not blaspheme him with those foul metaphors? Did you not observe that they even added insult to injury by failing to show up in court

By Joseph Otteh

after the government went to great lengths to serve them court processes even through newspaper advertisements? What gratuitous insult! All right. You succeed. You really want to know what I think about Justice Adejumo’s ex parte order? It has the colour and texture of … Hold your peace. That’s just enough already. I know what you are about to say next. Did I not say people like you should have cells ready for them always in Ikoyi prison? No. Ikoyi is too comfortable these days. All these human rights people have probably made that place too comfortable and may have unwittingly robbed that place of its intrinsic function of purgation. A notorious police station may be just fine. Adeniji Adele for example. Or an army cantonment. I assure you, you will re-gain your lost perspective of respect for duly constituted authorities once your restless spirit goes in there for even a brief time of rest. Too much freedom is having a negative impact on your sense of values. You are not allowing me land and don’t presume to know what I am going to say. Anyway, tell me, how could you give an exparte order that has the weight, reach, amplitude and characteristic of an interlocutory order? There you go. What do you mean? He said the Order will last pending the outcome of the interlocutory motion. He crafted the Order reasonably well and ensured that nogooders like you will not fault him. Are we both not reading the same text? Perhaps we are. Read the Order again. You will see that he made no reference to the principles guiding the making of an interim order. He said he was mindful of the need to maintain peace and harmony in the Country. What is wrong in that? Is a judge not a citizen also? Can he not base his decision on the overarching desire to maintain peace between labour and government? Industrial harmony! Can he not, in good faith and conscience, prevent Labour from politicising its platform and using it to sabotage reasoned economic policy? Was it Labour that Nigerians voted for to manage the economy or President Jonathan eh, tell me? A patriotic judge who understood the “felt necessities of the time”. Yes, was it not Oliver Wendell Holmes that used that phrase? A bold, courageous judge I say! You see, that’s where you get it wrong. Those underlying issues go to the determination of the substantive case. When determining an ex-parte application, a Judge’s frame of reference is limited. He looks at things like balance of convenience, about preserving a res; he often extracts an undertaking from a person requesting such an order. He did not do these. You take such a myopic view of law. Law serves to guarantee political organisation and safeguard rights, particularly the right to property. By instigating a strike, do you

not know that the rights of the State and the citizens will be brazenly infringed? The right to go about their legitimate functions and cater for themselves and the State for the people! Do legal scholars like Dworkin not say it is important to take rights seriously? Yes, but is it not time our courts began to take suffering seriously too? Legal scholars from developing economies speak more about taking suffering seriously. Why should courts remain agnostic about their people’s suffering when government policies hit them below the belt? You talked about the felt necessities of the time. This is the felt necessity right now. Why should courts not uphold the democratic right of the people to protest or even strike if that is what is available? Perhaps our judges should travel a little in the shoes of ordinary people who bear the brunt of lop-sided economic policies. Not bury their heads in the sand and pretend they live in outer space. What are you suggesting? Do not our judges as well buy their fuel in the same gas stations as everyone else? Is it not in the same markets they buy pepper and onions? How could you suggest that they live their lives in the abstract? That’s a little unfair. The fuel hikes will affect different people differently; some will pass on the extra costs to other people. The rest will bear the costs themselves; for example, Judges would probably receive more imprest funding from taxpayers’ monies to run their allocated vehicles and generators. Takes quite a huge slice of the hike burden off them you know. For the majority of our people, they cannot pass this burden elsewhere. Our judges are too disconnected… You are the same people who say judges should be comfortable, so that they can concentrate on the business of judging and not face those distracting existential pressures. Now you quarrel with just a few perks of office? Where exactly do you stand? This ideological inconsistency is what is vexatious not the Order of His Lordship. The law and our courts must be alive to the responsibility of furthering the collective well-being of the people: did our Constitution not posit that the welfare of the people is the primary responsibility of the government? Even so! Is that why Labour chose to ignore his order? Are you not the people who preach the rule of law? Ah, they did not even have the courtesy, the respect, to appear in court. Just ignored him the way they did after openly and brazenly excoriating the legitimate order on them. That’s what irks me the most. See how they treated a judge of the Federal Republic! An Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) for good measure! And they got away with it! Let’s leave that matter. Comes with the furniture sometimes. Remember your former President, OBJ. Who did he not show contempt for? Even Supreme Court Justices! Anyway, Justice Adejumo succeeded ultimately. That should offer some consolation. The Federal Government and Labour reached an amicable agreement, and Labour called

•Joseph Otteh

off, or suspended the strike action, whatever! That’s what he was looking for, wasn’t it? An amicable solution! He got it! He should have put his foot down and made sure no ordinary person would abuse a judge to his face again. At least OBJ was a President! You cannot speak the same way for a person draped in authority, and surrounded by power as you would for the man on the street. And that’s the problem with you people. You often make meaningless analogies. Have you not heard the cliché that you do not compare incomparables. Do you know the implications of this precedent? Tomorrow, the National Union of Road Transport Workers - bus drives and conductors – can fling his Order at his face just as the NLC did. This is pure anarchy unleased on the land. He really should have made a lesson of those wheeler dealers and teach them a thing or two. Couldnt they, at the very least, say they were suspending the strike because of the Court Order, and at least show a little deference and give the learned Judge a softer landing. What will it cost them? Look, the judge has moved on, and put the bruising, if it was that, behind him. You should too! A wise judge, he has asked them all to go sin no more. Maybe he has learnt a thing or two about himself about “people power”. Like I said, no point whining over this any more. Did you not hear of the exparte Order Justice Gladys Olotu granted to the Bayelsa State PDP in Abuja restoring Hon. Dickson’s name to the list of candidates to contest the gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa State. Did you read the report of what transpired during the proceedings leading to the Order. I’m not sure why my mind is racing back and forth to the era of Justice …. What now!. You want to make another judge a victim of this rascally syndrome of second guessing everyone and everything? You make it look as if judges don’t have power anymore to grant ex-parte orders. But, listen, I have an urgent ex parte application to move in court this morning. When I come back, I’ll join issues with you. I know the Honourable Justice Olotu. I remember seeing her accompany the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to the EFCC not that long ago to enlighten them on how to better prosecute cases in court. Not many Judges have that kind of courage and zeal or show proactiveness in our collective, single-minded anti-corruption crusade anymore. They all get cowed by either the press or the NJC where that latter is not busy fighting or undoing itself, but not this judge. A beacon of judicial independence and impartiality! I’ll be back, I promise. I won’t allow your unbridled tongue run loose on this one. • Otteh heads the Lagos-based group, Access to Justice

Commonwealth Lawyers Conference Members of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) will hold their regional conference from April 19 to 20 in Sydney, Australia. • Former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Rivers State, Okey Wali (SAN) and General Secretary, NBA, Olumuyiwa Akinboro at the dinner organised by the NBA at the last International Bar Association (IBA) conference held in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.

Former Chief Justice of Australia, James Spigalman is expected to deliver the keynote address.




Candidate who wins case on court judgment steps into shoes of invalidly nominated opponent IN THE COURT OF APPEAL ( Judicial Division) On Wednesday, July 2, 2008 Suit No: CA/PH/EPT/8/08 BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS SAKA ADEYEMI IBIYEYE ....... Justice, Court of Appeal CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI ....... Justice, Court of Appeal PAUL ADAMU GALINJE ....... Justice, Court of Appeal OLUKAYODDE ARIWOOLA ....... Justice, Court of Appeal GEORGE OLADEHINDE SHOREMI ....... Justice, Court of Appeal BETWEEN CHIEF SERGEANT CHIDI AWUSE




HE consequential effect of the petition is that as at the 14th day of May,2007 when the appellants filed their petition, there was no cause of action against Mr Celestome Omehia, the first respondent. All acts pertaining to him therefore were of no legal effect. Further more, the tribunal could not have also assumed jurisdiction and given any decision or make any order against Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chinuike Amaechi who was not a party to the petition but the person deemed as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was held to have won the Gubematorial elections held in Rivers State on the 14th day of April, 2007. For the tribunal to have assumed jurisdiction over Amaechi, and proceeded against him in the absence of his being joined as a party, would have as rightly submitted by the senior counsel for the respondent amounted to a violation of section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Relevant in point is the case of Obasanjo v Buhari (2003) 17 NWLR (Pt.850) 51 wherein Iguh JSC had the following to say at page 578. The court cannot pursuant to Audi Alteram Partem rule enter judgment against a person who will be affected directly by its decision if such person is not made a party to the action and he had no opportunity to defend the action...” The principle laid down by their Lordships was copiously reiterated by this court in Biya v Ibrahim (2006) 1 NWLR (Pt.981) page 1 at 43 wherein Nzeako JCA re-affirmed and said:“........No court of justice should proceed against a party which may damnify his actions without making him a party thereto. It is even more imperative to cause such a joinder to take effect where the enabling statute makes it mandatory.” It is trite that what constitutes an election petition is a complaint by the petitioner against an undue election or return of a successful candidate at an election. The absence of both Omehia who -was never a candidate and Amaechi the person deemed elected and returned at the election makes the submission by the appellant seeking a nullification, a gross misconception. The honourable tribunal in my humble opinion rightly held that it lacked the jurisdiction therefore to further entertain the petition filed before it. I would however wish to add that in the absence of a jurisdiction, on the petition as against the dismissal order. The appeal of the totality therefore is devoid of any merit consequent to which same is hereby dismissed. I would award costs of N50,000 = to the respondents. SAKA ADEYEMI IBIYEYE, (OFR) J.C.A.: I have read before now in draft the judgment just delivered by my learned brother, Ogunbiyi, JCA. I entirely agree with his reasoning and conclusions in the two appeals. I have nothing useful to add but to emphasis that each of the two appeals lacks merit and they are dismissed seriatim.

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE, J.C.A.: I read before now the judgment just delivered by my leaned brother Ogunbiyi JCA and I agreed with the reasoning contained therein and the conclusion arrived thereat. I have nothing useful to add. OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA, J.C.A.: I have had the advantage of reading the draft of the lead judgment just delivered by my learned brother; Ogunbiyi, JCA. I agree entirely with her reasoning and conclusion arrived at. However, I shall add a few words of my own if only for the purposes of emphasis. This appeal was commenced by the Notice of Appeal dated 13/12/07 but fired on 14/ 12/07. The said Notice of Appear can be found on pages 586-5gg of the Record of Appeal. As clearly shown on the originating process of this appeal, the appeal is against the decision of the Governorship/Legislative Houses Erection petitions Tribunal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State given on the 28th day of November, 2007. In the ruling of the lower tribunal being appealed against, the tribunal at page 548 of the Record of Appear had come to the following. conclusions:“In view of the aforementioned therefore we do hereby grant the first respondent/ Applicant’s application to strike out his name from the petition. The name of Sir Celestine Omehia is hereby struck out from the petition.” The above decision of the lower tribunal was sequel to the application earlier brought before the tribunal by the said 1st Respon-

dent whereby he had sought an order of the Election petition Tribunal to strike out his name not being the proper party to be so sued in the petition. However, it is interesting to note that on the Notice of Appeal the parties are stated as follows:“Chief Sergeant Ghidi Awuse - Petitioner/ Appellant Vs. (1) Celestine Ngozichim Omehia (2) Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) & Ors. - Respondents” There is no doubt that with the ruling of the trial tribunal, the first respondent was no longer a party in the case and can therefore not be joined as co-respondent in an appeal as done in this case. One may ask; As the case stand now, is the Election tribunal competent to hear the appellant’s petition? In other words, does the lower tribunal have jurisdiction to hear the petition as constituted? Section 285(2) of the Constitution which is the enabling taw of the Election Petition Tribunal states thus:‘There shall be established in each state of the Federation one or more election tribunals to be known as the Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunals which shall, to the exclusion of any Court or tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to the office of the Governor or Deputy Governor or as a member of any legislative house.” (Underlining mine.) The Electoral Act, 2006 provides the manner by which an election and a return at an election shall be questioned and who shall be parties to the petition. Section 140(1) of the said Electoral Act states as follows:“No election and return at an election under this Act shall be questioned in any manner other than by a petition complaining of an undue election or undue return (in this Act referred to as an “election Petition”) presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions of Constitution or of this Act, and in which the person elected or returned is joined as a party.” (Underlining supplied.) The pertinent question now is; Is “the person elected or returned” as required above, in the Governorship election into the Rivers State Governorship position made a party in the petition of the appellant before the Election tribunal? The answer definitely is in the negative. The person whose election and return is purportedly being challenged is not and has never been made or joined as a party in the appellant’s petition. It is trite that where proper parties are not before the Court, the Court will lack competence to adjudicate on the matter brought before it. In other words, the trial court will have no jurisdiction to hear any such matter where necessary and appropriate party(s) are absent from the case. See: Buhari & ANor v. Yusuf & Anor. (2003) 14 NWLR (Pt 841) 446 at 449 (2004) 1, EAC 67 at 83, Yahava Vs. Aminu & Ors. (2004)2

EAC 168 at 189; Uzodinma Vs. Udenwa & Ors. (2004)2 EAC 133 at 151 & 161. In Tafida Vs. Bafarawa (1999) 4 NWLR (Pt 597) 70 this Court dealt with the issue of necessary party omitted in a petition. In that case, Alhaji Muhammadu Modi Yabo, the gubernatorial Candidate at the election was not joined. The court rightly held that the non joinder was fatal in the whole petition. The above decision was followed in yet another case by this Court where Niki Tobi, JCA (as he then was) tow JSC presided held “that failure to join any necessary party in an election petition will vitiate or nullify the proceedings.” It follows, therefore, that indeed the lower tribunal does not have jurisdiction to entertain the appellant’s petition as constituted before the tribunal. As a result, the petition is no longer competent before the Election tribunal. It is simply liable to be struck out. The first respondent in the case not been a proper party was properly struck out and the entire petition ought to have been struck out. It is settled law that where a trial court does not have jurisdiction to hear a matter, and the appellate court so found, the appellate court will be in order to strike out the suit’ See; Tsokwa Motors (Nig). Ltd. Vs. United Bank For Africa Plc. (2008) 1 SCM 204 at 226 (2008) 33 NSCQR (Pt 1) 33 at 73. For this reason and the fuller reasons contained in the lead judgment, I too hold that those appeals are lacking in merit and are due for dismissal. Accordingly, the petition before the lower tribunal is hereby struck out. The appeals themselves fail totally, they are to be dismissed and I so hold. GEORGE OLADEINDE SHOREMI (JCA) I was privileged to read in advance the judgment of my learned brothel Ogunbiyi JCA lust delivered. I agree completely with hrs reasoning and conclusion that the appeals lack merit. By way of emphasis let me take the preliminary objection of the respondents. I do not agree with the submission of learned counsel to the respondent that leave is necessary for the appellant to bring this appeal. I have had a look at all the grounds of appeal, they are in my view grounds of law. The law is true that where a ground is that of law, it can sustain an appeal without any leave. Even where the appeal is interlocutory as in this case no leave shall be required for filing the appeal as all the grounds of appeal are of law as stated in NWADIKE V. IBEKWE (1987) 4 NWLR (Pt.67) 718 that the position of the law is that once grounds of appeal an interlocutory decision are of facts or mixed law and facts, it can only be filed with leave. See LEKWOT v. JUDICIAL TRIBUNAL (1993) 2 NWLR (pt.276) 410 cited in the case of ABUBAKAR v. YAR’ADUA (2008) 4 NWLR (pt.1078) 465. I therefore dismiss the preliminary objection. •To be continued

• From left: President Chartered Institute of Mediators and concilleators, Dr P.K. Njok, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) and his wife, Justice Mojisola at the AGM and induction ceremony of the institute held at rockview Hotel, Abuja.




• Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Epiphemy Azinge (SAN) and Joseph Abugu.

• Institute Secretary James Bathnna and Acting Institute Librarian Ufoma Lami Karan.

• From left: Mr Andrew Osaro Eghobamien and Director of Research, NIALS Prof Bolaji Owasanoye.

• Dr John Adebisi Arewa and Prof Lanre Fagbohun.

• From left: Dr Emmanuel Okon and Helen Chuma-Okoro.

• From left: Fedelis Ibhagbosoria, Laura Ani and Mrs Chinyere Ani.

• From left: Olasupo Olaibi and Idowu Sarafa.

• From left: Mr Abdulahi Al-ilory and Mrs Sena Jerry Imahiagbe.

• Stella Ezeh and Mirian Uzoka.

• From left: Mrs Uche Enyabine and Pastor Emmanuel Ojianwuna.





Appeal Court to consider Uba’s complaints • Nzeribe: allegations are baseless


REVIEW panel of the Court of Appeal, Enugu, will resume sitting on Thursday to consider complaints raised by Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba over the nullification of his election. He petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) over the court’s verdict which sacked him as senator representing Anambra-South Senatorial District. The review panel headed by Justice Denton West is in place to look at the issues raised by Uba in his petition, among other things. Uba’s lawyers last Friday sought to serve a motion to parties through substituted means. In the petition to the Chairman of NJC, who is the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Dahiru Musdapher, dated December 28, 2011, Uba said the panel of justices, presided over by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, awarded reliefs that were not asked for by the appellants. He said the court acted like a “Father Christmas” because the appellants – the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Mr Chukwumaeze Nzeribe – did not ask that the election be cancelled. According to Uba, only 14 wards in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) out of 118 in the senatorial district were complained of by the appellants for irregularities, which were not proven at the National Assembly/ Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal which sat in Awka. Hundreds of placard carrying members of APGA, from Anambra had stormed the court to protest the move to review its earlier order for a rerun of the senatorial election. They carried placards with such inscriptions as “court decision on the rerun is final”; “promote democracy, respect court decision”; “don’t manipulate judicial process”;”say no to judicial manipulation” and “let the electorate decide between Uba and Nzeribe.” Uba, in the petition, said the appellate court did not take note of the fact that there were 118 wards spread over seven LGAs in the senatorial district. Nzeribe and his party had claimed that election irregularities that allegedly occurred at Akpo, Isuofia, Igboukwu 1, Uga 1, Uga 2, Umuchu 1 and 2, Achina 2 and Ezinifite 2 wards in Aguata LGA, Umuomaku in Orumba South LGA; Ogbolo ward, Amamu II and Ihite Ward in Ihiala LGA, which led to the cancellation of results in those areas, substantially affected the outcome of the election. Uba’s election was annulled following legal action by Nzeribe of the APGA, who rejected results of the election and headed for the Election Petition Tribunal. Nzeribe lost at the lower tribunal but went to the Appeal Tribunal, which ruled in his favour. The Senator, it was learnt, had written to the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, complaining of how his effort to seek redress in this matter, was being frustrated by those who handed down the judgment. In a letter, through his lawyer, Arthur Obi Okafor [SAN], dated January 12,2012 and addressed to the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Uba appealed to be furnished the Certified True Copy of the aforesaid judgment. He complained that “Unless your lordship intervenes and directs that a copy of the judgment be issued to us, we are convinced that the said judgment will not timorously be made available to us to enable us seek further redress.” Dismissing Nzeribe’s petition, the tribunal said if a petitioner alleges irregularities, such as inflation of figures, he must back it with evidence to show that if the inflated figures were taken away, the result would change in his favour. To prove it, the tribunal said the petitioner ought to produce two sets of results to sustain the allegation that one was falsified. “Consequently therefore, the petition is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed in its entirety,” the tribunal added. Nzeribe had appealed the verdict at the Court of Appeal, Enugu. Uba said it was “obvious that the relief sought in the petition with respect to allegations of irregularities (if any) do not cover nullification of the election in the entire senatorial district or at all.” He wrote: “The Law is settled, if not elementary, that a court of law has no powers to grant relief not sought or to grant more

By John Austin Unachukwu

reliefs than are sought. The law is sacrosanct that a court of law can only grant less but certainly not more reliefs than are sought. “Facts or irregularities alleged in the petition cannot supercede the reliefs sought in the petition. “In deciding whatever orders to be made upon conclusion of hearing, a court of law is bound to only grant the reliefs sought in the petition irrespective of the facts or irregularities alleged in the body of the petition. “The basis for (the appellants) seeking fresh election to be conducted is clearly dependent on their relief in which they are seeking the determination that irregularities in 14 wards substantially affected the outcome of the election in 118 wards. “The 14 wards complained of which they claimed substantially affected the outcome of the election constituted only about 12 per cent of the entire senatorial district.” Uba added: “The grouse of the appellants is that invalid votes should be excluded from the valid votes and the election result re-computed and declared in his favour. “It is elementary that in such a case where the petitioner alleged that there were valid and invalid votes, the onus is on the petitioner to adduce evidence to show the tribunal which votes are valid and which votes are invalid. “Without the petitioner specifying the votes which are valid and the ones which are invalid, the court will not be in position to find for the petitioner in the petition.” According to Uba, the panel of justices “cared less what are the issues in dispute in the matter.” “Having alleged manipulation and falsification of results, it was expected the appellants should produce evidence to prove same. It is the polling unit results that reflect the actual will of the electorate. There was no serious attack by the appellants on the polling unit results. “The appellants never bothered to bring forward any second set of results that were falsified or genuine as different from those tendered in the proceedings. “Yet, instead of the court insisting that the appellants should specify the valid votes and invalid votes as alleged in their petition, the Hon. Justice Helen M Ogunwumiju-led panel of justices nullified my election. “Assuming that the alleged manipulation and falsification of results were proved, their

• Uba

Lordships in the panel should have restricted the order of nullification to the 14 wards alleged to have been affected by the irregularities.” According to Uba, the pronouncement nullifying his election “was premeditated and embarked upon wrongfully.” He alleged the panel of justices “delivered a preconceived judgment against me without bothering to read through the petition, the judgment of the tribunal below, the record of appeal and also the respective briefs of the parties to the appeal.” The senator added: “The pronouncement made nullifying my election is unjustifiable.” He urged the NJC to “urgently intervene” “investigate” and “make necessary orders and directions.” The court on December 22 last year nullified Uba’s election. He contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In the judgment read by Justice Ogunwumiju, the court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Uba. It ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days.

‘If he (Uba) has reason for believing that somebody was compromised, he should forward his complaints to NJC. We lawyers are out of it: It doesn’t concern us. But it is sad that whenever a politician loses a case, the judge is biased. When he wins, the judge is an angel. But you can’t always win. They want to destroy the judiciary’

The court agreed with Nzeribe that the elections were marked by gross irregularities and massive rigging. He approached the appellate court after losing at the tribunal. Nzeribe prayed the Court of Appeal to nullify the election on the grounds that it was not properly conducted. He claimed that Uba was not qualified to contest, adding that the PDP fielded multiple candidates. The five-man panel heard and decided the matter involving Anambra South Senatorial seat in about 24 hours. The panel was constituted specifically to hear pending cases from controversial National Assembly elections held in Anambra State. The members of the panel were drawn from five different divisions of the appellate court with a mandate to handle the pending cases. On December 21, the panel heard 13 election appeals, including Uba’s. The panel was said to have commenced sitting at about 10.30 am that day and sat till 8.30pm. It delivered judgment in not less than eight appeals the next day. It was learnt that efforts by Uba’s counsel to get the panel to do a more thorough job since none of the members had the history of the matter were unsuccessful. Nzeribe’s lawyer, Mr O. A. Obianwu (SAN), who represented the appellant, said Uba’s allegations were baseless as the reason for the order had not been furnished the parties. Besides, no such complaints were raised during proceedings, he added. Obianwu told our reporter on phone: “I am not aware of the (Uba’s) petition. I am not a politician. I am a lawyer. All I do is go to court and argue my case. I have done that. Luckily for my client, it went his way. That’s all I know. “If he (Uba) has reason for believing that somebody was compromised, he should forward his complaints to NJC. We lawyers are out of it: It doesn’t concern us. “But it is sad that whenever a politician loses a case, the judge is biased. When he wins, the judge is an angel. But you can’t always win. They want to destroy the judiciary. “The politicians don’t care, all they want is to stay in office. But when they are in trouble they run to the same judiciary. Its unfortunate, but I as I said, I don’t know anything about the petition. “I don’t know whether he has any basis for complaining. All I know is that we went there, and nobody complained. It was only after the judgement was delivered that this complaint cropped up. “Besides, the reason for the judgement has not been furnished to the parties. All we have seen is the order and the fact that our appeal is allowed. “So, on what basis is a person making such allegation? We have not seen the judgment. Is it not when you have seen the judgment, and you follow the process of reasoning of the person who wrote it, that you can know whether the person was right or wrong “But as I said, I am out of it because I knew nothing about it.”

Court acquits school’s manager charged with fraud, stealing


EPRIEVE has come the way of Amos Oluwarotimi Olorunmola, a former Administrative Manager with Lagosbased Greenwood House School, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, charged with fraud and stealing. A Magistrate’s Court in Igbosere, Lagos last Friday discharged and acquitted him from the case brought against him in 2009 by his former employer, Mrs. Iyabo Durand – the school’s founder and principal. Magistrate L. Y. Balogun, in a judgment, upheld the argument by the defence, represented by Kabir Akingbolu, that the prosecution failed woefully in proving its case of conspiracy, fraud and stealing against Olorunmola. The court, while noting that the prosecution failed to adduce sufficient evidence to support its allegations against the defendant, it held considering the nature of the case, the prosecution failed to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt as required by law. In reaching its decision the court specifically that the prosecution failed to invite relevant witnesses - the complainant, Mrs. Durand and the Investigation Police Officer (IPO) who investigated the case - to testify and be cross-

By Eric Ikhilae

examined by the defence. The court also observed that one of the prosecution’s witnesses, Rowland Egede, an Account Officer with Skye Bank Plc, Akin Adesola branch failed to provide satisfactory explanation about how huge amount was withdrawn from the account of Olorunmola’s employer - Mrs. Durand - without her knowledge. It accordingly discharged and acquitted Olorunmola. Olorunmola was arrested and arraigned on a four-count charge on December 29 2009 upon complaint by Mrs. Durand that he allegedly forged her cheque leaves and used same to withdraw about N2. 3million form her account with Skye Bank between March and July the same year. On June 18, 2010 the prosecution amended the charge to 10 counts. During trail, the prosecution called five witnesses, but left out the IPO and the complainant. During cross examination, Egede failed to provide satisfactory evidence in support of his assertion that Olorunmola committed the offence as the prosecution failed to produce

• Attorney-General, Lagos State, Ade Ipaye

pictorial evidence showing the defendant collecting the money. The defendant testified for himself, but was never cross examined by the prosecution, a development which left his evidence uncontroverted.



LEGAL OPINION Text of a paper presented by former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) at a round table organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Akoka, Lagos.

Retreat of legal process


NTERLOCUTORY appeals on practically any issue have remained a major hindrance to early disposition of cases, especially as it almost always involves a stay of proceedings of the Court appealed from. In criminal cases in Lagos State and under the EFCC laws, stay of proceedings in such circumstances are prevented by law. Constitutional amendments providing for the termination of interlocutory appeals at the Court of Appeal is much needed. There need also be clear and definitive intervention by the Supreme Court on notorious and recondite issues frequently deployed to delay trials. Issues of jurisdiction require one clear Supreme Court decision which lays down the principles and the law. Some disciplinary action may be required with the full backing of our courts to check counsel who in the face of clear authorities delay trials by raising such issues. Conflicting decisions of appellate courts Conflicting decisions of appellate courts by themselves, though frustrating for legal practitioners, are to be expected. However, where conflicts are frequent, the reliability of decisions of our courts, a vital aspect of our precedential system of adjudication is lost. In the past few years, conflicting decisions of the different zones of the Court of Appeal in particular give some cause for concern. In E.S. & C.S. Ltd v. NMB Ltd (2005) 7 NWLR (Pt.924) 215 at 265, the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division held, per Ogunbiyi JCA, that an interlocutory mareva injunction ex parte cannot be so granted. In the opinion of the Court, it would be unconstitutional to grant an interlocutory mareva injunction ex parte as it would offend the principles of fair hearing to do so. At par B – F, the Court held as follows: …On the other hand however, an interlocutory order of injunction pending determination of a suit cannot be on an ex parte basis. The case of Akapo v. Akeem-Habeeb and Sotiminu v. Ocean Steamship Co. (supra) are both relevant and in support… In my humble opinion, to make an order of mareva injunction at an ex parte stage and to state same to last until the final determination of the suit was certainly contrary to our laid down constitutional principles and that which amounted to a breach of the defendant’s fundamental right to fair hearing in the absence of its being heard either in person, or by counsel, before such orders were made. In 2008, the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, contrary to the earlier decision in E. S. & C. S. Ltd v. NMB Ltd, did not only approve of granting interlocutory mareva injunctions ex parte, it went ahead to grant same itself in IFC v. DSNL Offshore Ltd (2008) 7 NWLR (Pt. 1087) 592. At page 605 par D, the Court of Appeal, per Galadima JCA said: A court of law which is a court of equity is always cloth with jurisdictional powers to grant an interlocutory injunction ex parte pending the trial of the plaintiff’s action, restraining the defendant from disposing of the assets. Again on the issue of the correct interpretation of the statutory stipulation that a public officer seeking elective office must resign

from his employment 30 days before the elections before he could be eligible to contest. In Mele v. Mohammad (1999) 3 NWLR (Pt. 595) 419, the Appellant was employee of the Local Government Services Board. His employment was governed by the Revised Local Government Staff Regulation of 1986. Under the Regulation, he was required to give a three-month notice or pay three months’ salary in lieu of notice in order to properly terminate his employment. However, he wished to contest for the chairmanship position of Guzamala Local Government Council. Section 11 (1) (f) of the Local Government (Basic Constitutional and Transitional Provisions) Decree No. 36 of 1998 provided that: A person shall not be qualified to hold the office of chairman if he is a person employed in the public service or civil service of the Federation or of any State, or of any Local Government Council or Area Council and has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from such employment 30 days before the date of the election. Purporting to comply with the Decree, the Appellant gave one month’s salary in lieu of notice to his employers, rather than three months stipulated in his employment Regulation. His victory at the polls was challenged on the ground that he did not properly resign his employment. It was argued that the decree could not have intended to override the subsisting employment contract but must be construed in such a manner as to perpetuate such contract. In essence, for resignation to be valid and proper under the decree, it must comply with the prospective candidate’s subsisting employment contract. In sustaining the objection, the Court of Appeal, Jos Division, at page 433, par E – H, said: Meanwhile, if I must say, no difficulties whatsoever is anticipated in construing the provisions of Section 11 (1) (f) of Decree No. 36 of 1998. From the wordings it ought to present no problems of interpretation. It is clear and free from ambiguity and therefore admits of literal interpretation. My reaction to these submissions is that for the purpose of determining whether a candidate for elections under this decree has effectively resigned, withdrawn or retired from his employment (i.e. as regards the modus), one has necessarily to look beyond the confines of s. 11 (1) (f) of Decree 36 of 1998 in the instant appeal more appropriately to Regulation 25 of the Revised Local Government Staff Regulation of 1986 and that is in deciding the appellant’s retirement. Section 11 (1) (f) has not made provision as to how and when a candidate for election has to resign, withdraw or retire from his employment. As for Regulation 25 again, I hold the same view of it as respecting s. 11 (1) (f) above that the language is clear and simple and construing it literarily, it requires an officer who was intent to retire with pension and gratuity or where the Local Government Services Board was intent to retire an officer for three months’ notice to be given on either side. The implication of this is that a candidate subject to the Revised Local Government Staff Regulation, 1986, desirous to


contest an election under Decree 36 of 1998 has to make his application for resignation, withdraw or retire in good time to allow matters of his disengagement to be in place 30 days before the date of election. Simply put, in the instant matter, the first respondent’s retirement has to commence 30 days to the date of the election proper, in this case 5/12/98. Interestingly, when the same issue came up again in 2004, the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, gave a different view. The case is Adefemi v. Abegunde (2004) 15 NWLR (Pt. 895) 1. In this case, section 107 (1) (f) of the 1999 Constitution was in contention. It is in pari material with section 11 (1) (f) of the Decree of 1998 in the Mele v. Mohammad’s case. One would have thought that as a principle of statutory interpretation would apply to the effect that where two statutes are identical, the interpretation placed on one should be a precedent to the interpretation place on the other. See Nwobodo v. Onoh [1984] NSCC 1 at 14. Onthe contrary, Onnoghen JCA held in the Adefemi v. Abegunde case, at page 29 par E – G as follows: It is trite law that a right conferred or vested by the Constitution – in this case, the right to resign his appointment 30 days before the election – cannot be taken away or interfered with by any other legislation or statutory provision except the constitution itself. That being the case, granted that the fact that the provisions of section 107 (1) (f) of the 1999 Constitution is subject to the provisions of the conditions of service of the first respondent, is pleaded and therefore relevant; which is not conceded; it would be void to the extent of its inconsistency with the said section 107 (1) (f) of the 1999 Constitution. On Whether Fundamental Rights Proceed-

• From left: Justice O. O. Goodluck, FCT High Court, former Deputy Governor, Anambra State, Princess Stella Odife and Paul Harrri Ogbole at the last ICMC AGM and Induction held at Rockview Hotel, Abuja.

ings Not Set Down for Hearing within 14 Days of Filing is Incompetent The interpretation placed on O.2, r. 2 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules of 1979 which provided that: The motion or summons must be entered for hearing within 14 days after such leave has been granted. In Ogwuche v. Mba (1994) 4 NWLR (Pt. 336) 75 the Court of Appeal, Jos Division, held that where hearing date is fixed beyond the statutory 14 days, then the entire proceedings is a nullity. In this wise, Ora JCA, at page 88, par E - G said: With respect to issue 2- it is a fact that the respondents in this case were on a motion ex parte granted leave to enforce their fundamental rights. The return date was fixed for September 7th, 1989 more than 40 days after the leave was granted to the respondents, a period more than 14 days contrary to Order 2 R. 2 Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 1979… I agree with the learned law Lord O. A. Okezie JCA that the return date, fixed outside the 14 days from the grant of the motion ex parte, 40 days after 7/9/89 is an express violation of the mandatory provisions of the statute. The violation of the said provision renders the proceedings of the lower Court a nullity. His position was followed by the lower Courts until 2000, when the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, per Aderemi JCA, departed from it in the case of AG Federation v. Ajayi (2000) 12 NWLR (Pt. 682) 509 at 532 par F in the following words: The practical meaning, in my view, is that the notice or the process shall be filed in court within the time prescribed by the rule. Once that is done, the applicant, in my view, has complied with the provision of the rule. The fixing of the application for hearing is the exclusive function of the officials of the court and an applicant has no control over that. Interestingly, the earlier case of Ogwuche v. Mba supra was cited to the Court in the AG Federation v. Ajayi’s case but the Court of Appeal refused to be bound by it and in fact, relying on the Supreme Court case of Ezome v. AG Bendel (1986) 4 NWLR (Pt. 86) 448, expressly overruled it. But the issue in Ezome v. AG Bendel was not the construction of O.2 r. 2 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 1979 nor was it about the effect of not setting down a case for hearing within time stipulated by statute. The Supreme Court has added a bit of confusion to the issue of conflicting decisions of the Court of Appeal where it held that the Court cannot depart from even its per incuriam decisions. In Bi Zee Bee Hotels Limited v. Allied Bank (Nig.) Limited (1996) 8 NWLR (Pt. 465) 176 at 185, the Court of Appeal (Kaduna Division) interpreted the provision of section 230(1)(d) of the 1979 Constitution (as amended by Decree 107 of 1993) to mean that the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court is ousted in banker/customer relationships. In Union Bank of Nig. Plc v. Integrated Timber and Plywood Products Ltd (2000) 12 NWLR (Pt. 680) 99, the Court of Appeal (Benin Division) also held in that the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court has been ousted. This decision was however given in ignorance of the existence of the Supreme Court’s decision in F.M.B.N v. N.D.I.C (1999) 2 NWLR (Pt. 591) 333 which vests concurrent jurisdiction in the State High Court and Federal High Court in banker/customer relationships. However, in Afribank (Nig.) Plc v. K.C.G (Nig.) Ltd (2001) 8 NWLR (Pt. 714) 87, Ba’aba, JCA of the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal, departed from the decision in Integrated Union Bank of Nig. Plc v. Timber and Plywood Products Ltd (2000) 12 NWLR (Pt. 680) 99 on the ground that the decision was given per incuriam. Commenting on this departure, the Supreme Court, per Ogbuagu, JSC, in Integrated Timber and Plywood Products Ltd v. Union Bank of Nig. Plc (2006) 12 NWLR (Pt. 995) 483 said: With the greatest respect, the learned Justice was in effect reviewing the decision in Bizze Bee Hotels Ltd. v. Allied Bank (Nig.) Ltd (supra). In this wise, let me refer to the case of Archibong Jatau v. Alhaji Ahmed, also cited and relied on by the respondent in its brief, where this court per Kalgo, JSC frowned at the attitude of the Court of Appeal setting aside or reviewing its own decision in another division. It was/is stated that that court can do so only where the decision is a nullity. (italics in original).1 •To be continued



LAW PERSONALITY Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) is a constitutional lawyer, a civil society activist and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). On January 28, 2012, he was conferred with a honorary degree, Doctor of Laws (LL. D) (Honoris Causa) by the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) In this interview, he speaks on the security situation, deployment of troops in Lagos, tear-gassing of protesting elder statesmen and the challenges of the Nigerian state. JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU met him. EXCERPTS:

Jonathan should galvanise the energy of Nigerians towards a great future


OW do you think we can overcome the serious secu rity challenges facing us as a country in the light of the spate of bombings? Obviously, one feels a sense of sadness about anyone who dies and in this particular case, I was so sad when I looked at the photographs in one of the national newspapers of people, about five or six persons who were thrown into an open van by the Red Cross, women on top of men. This is terrible, these were people who were going about their daily business and never knew that they would end up that way. Because of them and all others who lost their lives that way, we must be thankful to “God that we are still alive. That is why it is so sad that this country is in this type of mess. My 21 year old daughter asked me a question this morning. What did she ask you? She said why is it Ikoyi Club which is a recreation club built in 1938, has not been replicated by anybody. For her, she is looking for a social outlet where to go and play when she is on holiday, but can’t find any place. That shows you the extent to which Nigerians are unable to build Nigeria. In psychology, there is a saying that goes this way ‘when the cause ceases to have effect, the effect ceases to exist’. Doctors often treat the underlying symptoms not what is apparent like malaria. So, what is the Nigerian symptom? The Nigerian question is that of a country without a politically accepted ideology. Nothing happens more to the present Nigerian crises than the lack of an accepted constitution, the lack of an agreement about how we should live together so, whether it is the Boko Haram, Fuel subsidy or cost of governance, the general security situation or that the governors don’t care about the governed, the problem is that there is no document to which our national aspirations have been captured and endorsed by Nigerians. What in your view, is our most pressing challenge? The most pressing challenge today is to have a major constitutional conference, legitimised and endorsed by Nigerians. People would only reign in the context of people realising that they can harness their energies in their diverse regions. Nigeria cannot be a strong centrifugal state, a centralised Federation, we cannot be run from Abuja, it is not possible. Nigeria must be run in a way that our diversity allows us our diverse choices so that if you want to ban the consumption of alcoholic drinks in your state, that is your choice. And if I know that the consumption of alcohol is banned in your area and I come there, then it means that I have agreed. But if I collect sales tax from Lagos State and I am forced to distribute it to those who do not consume or drink alcohol, there is something wrong. So, what is wrong with Nigeria The problem with Nigeria as Chinua Achebe has so eloquently put it, ‘the trouble with Nigeria is clearly and simply a failure of leadership’. Leadership that will not rise above petty petty Naira gain and say, what is the legacy I can leave so that in the next 100 years, people would echo my name. What are main issues confront-

ing President Jonathan? The issues confronting President Jonathan, is to be able to rise on a massive pedestal, not a small one and galvanise the energy of Nigerians towards a great future. How can he do it? The only way to do it is to be able to pool our resources, if you don’t pool our resources, the resources will not be there. Everybody wants oil, oil, from the Niger Delta, why don’t they want my own oil from Anambra State. I keep saying it that there are six oil and gas zones in Nigeria, why do people think it is only one source of income that will feed all our mouths. What about the savannah lands in the north? What about the Tin Mines and Jos, what about the Coal in Enugu and Kogi states, what about the textile, the uranium, the gypsum that remains untapped all over Nigeria, that is the problem. All we are doing is to suck one breast while there are over one thousand breasts that should be sucked, there will definitely be fights. Can you explain this? Everybody wants to suck the breast. Igbo people want to suck the breast in 2015, the Northerners want to suck the same breast, people say that the problem of Boko Haram is about sucking the same breast, but there are other breasts to be sucked. There are other breasts waiting to be sucked and they are full of milk. How do we get those other breasts to suck? Let us create a country where people can go elsewhere and start sucking breasts from the local government level. The Federal Government deployed troops in Lagos to quell the occupy Lagos protests, what is you view on this incident? The only challenge I had in the matter was the denial of the Defence Headquarters that in fact, it was Governor Fashola who requested for the troops. Well, I don’t know. So, there were two competing stories, and having said that, whether it was Fashola or not, the fact remains that the deployment of troops to Lagos was unconstitutional because the process of troop deployment in respect of civil insurrection is clearly defined in the constitution. It requires the endorsement of the National Assembly, there was no such endorsement, therefore it was unconstitutional. On the other hand, the deployment of troops was to stop what was seen as the massive movement to occupy Lagos. I don’t know when Nigerians will learn a lesson, that the inexorable fate of history will always sweep away despotic leaders who try to stop the wrath of the people. You cool people down, you do not stop them from expressing their political opinion, so that was absolutely wrong. Even the very troops on the streets, were angry, because they are the ones who know that they are getting the wrong end of the stick. What do you mean by this? When I was detained in Ikoyi prison, the State Security service (SSS) officers were giving me cigarette and gin to drink because they sympathised with me. They said oga, we cannot do what you’re doing because we know that you are fighting for us.

We are not supporting General Sanni Abacha, it is people like you, Gani, Femi and Beko that we are supporting. So, make no mistake about it, these security forces you see on the streets support the people, they are just doing their job and let’s not blame them for doing their job. It is those who are foolish enough to misunderstand peoples’ powers that are to be blamed. Why do you think that Lagosians wanted freedom to express their opinion? They want the freedom because they are unhappy with the increase on the pump price of petroleum and rather than the government engaging people in an argument that can persuade us on why they need to deregulate and remove subsidy, they now resorted to using force to quell people. Deregulation and subsidy removal will not work unless the people of Lagos, I don’t mean Yoruba people, I mean the 17 million metropolitan people of Lagos agree. Without Lagos, there is no Nigeria, if Lagos is on fire, Nigeria is on fire. So, if you have annoyed the people of Lagos, by occupying our streets, the time will come again when the occupation of the streets of Lagos by Nigerians of all works will occur.It was a tactical and strategic error, to have brought those troops into Lagos. Eminent Nigerians, such as Tunji Braithwait, Prof. Ben. Nwabueze (SAN) were tear gassed while protesting on the streets of Lagos. What is your reaction to this? I think the statement of Jesus Christ comes to mind at times like this, though one should not be using that example because we are merely mortals. It comes to mind when he said “Lord forgive them for they don’t know what they do. If those Charlatans know the stature of Nwabueze, they would not have done what they did. Some of them were not even born when he was first awarded an LL.D by the University of London. He was one of the first Africans to get it. For Nwabueze, when I saw it, I said forgive them, they don’t know what they do. An elderly man of over 80 years of age, you tear gas him, an elderly man of his own stature, you tear gas him, an elderly man described as Africa’s best constitutional lawyer, you tear gas him, history will judge them. History will not remember all those charlatans who had used state power to put down people, history will not remember all those who felt called upon in the exercise what they consider to be their public duty to abuse power. They will not be remembered, history will not remember them. History only remembers the brave people like late Chief MKO Abiola. I am happy that on television, when they asked Yinka Odumakin, how come you and Joe are so involved in activism? And he said, if he dies at 70 years of age as a millionaire, nobody would remember him, but it was Abiola’s final seven years that made him immortal, not the billions of naira he acquired. Abiola’s immortality was his final years fighting for a democratic

• Agbakoba

Nigeria. Ken Saro-Wiwa’s immortality were those struggles he made fighting for Nigeria, but there are so many wealthy Nigerians who once they are dead, their friends forget them. It is to those people that we speak, that the things you do today, the ground will take you up when you die and you will be eaten by moths. Ibrahim Lamorde has been appointed Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) what are your expectations of him? The first thing to say is that those who fight on our behalf against corrupt Nigerians must enjoy our full support. Nigeria’s problem is that it is an extremely corrupt state. I once wrote a journal titled “Dealing with endemic corruption” and I borrowed very heavily from one of the world’s leading scholars on the subject, Prof. Larry Diamond. His general postulation is that reversing endemic corruption is generally very difficult, it is like reversing a terminal cancer, it is very difficult so, he posed the challenge that the issue for Nigeria is how can we stop the surge of endemic corruption, it is a huge hurricane where the Nigerian sky is black with corruption, then you see a lone man, Lamorde standing and you’ll say how will this man actually hold this hurricane and reverse it, that is the challenge. He can do it, if the President supports him, he can do it if the institutions supporting his organisation, the EFCC are independent enough from the executive and so on. So, what do you wish him? What I wish Lamorde in the light of what I now know, because knowledge is forever acquired, the knowledge I have acquired in the one week of this strike has completely changed my picture in many dimensions and

for now, I identify four heroes in the war of corruption. Who are those heroes? First inspite of his challenges is Nuhu Ribadu, for being able to stand his ground and arrest people in this type of country whether he was selective or not, is an achievement. Another person is el-Rufai for being able to demolish houses that distorted the Abuja Master Plan including that of former Senate President, Anyim, Pius Anyim, this is a great achievement. Another person is Patrick Akpobolokemi of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) who in spite of lack of support, has said he is prepared to enforce the fight on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) where vessels come into our country, commit all forms of illegality and get away with it. The last but not the least is the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. His own is very remarkable because I will compare it to what is going on now. If Sanusi did not have the liver, the banking revolution would not have occurred. Yes, he might have in some peoples’ views not followed the due process but who cares for due process. I am sorry to now say this, who cares for due process when a group of people in the banking industry came together and were stealing the country blind. So Sanusi requires 100 per cent full marks. I now want to see whether Lamorde will rise to the occasion in respect of the people who had stolen us blind concerning the oil subsidy and others. So, the challenge for Lamorde is to remember Nuhu Ribadu, to remember el-Rufai, to remember Lamido Sanusi and to do exactly what they did. If he can clean out the Petroleum Industry, it will be a massive victory for Nigeria.



MARITIME Surveillance needed to track illegal fishing By Oluwakemi Dauda

AN effective maritime surveillance is necessary to track illegal fishing on the waterways. A member of the Nigerian Trawlers Owners Association (NTOA), Mr Solomon Olanrewaju, made this known in Lagos. He said it was a challenge to combat the problem where there was no framework in place that detects such activities over a long distance. Apart from fisheries surveillance and staff working across the seaways, he said such efforts should be supported with aerial surveillance to help identify suspicious activities or vessels. Olarewaju said his association is ready to share information with security agencies to enable them get a picture of what is happening at sea. According to him, the number of illegal foreign fishing vessels doing business in the waters have not dropped. Olarewaju urged the government to show commitment to curb illegal fishing by deploying adequate resources to the waterways. He noted that a cohesive and co-operative approach by security agencies will enhance the government’s efforts in monitoring and surveillance of fishing on territorial waters.

Expert faults govt’s policy •Lagos port

Navy angry over N103m contract award to ex-militants


HE Navy seems to be angry over the reported award of a $103 million contract for securing the waterways to a former militant leader. It was a job hitherto handled by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Some Naval officers, who spoke with The Nation under the condition of anonymity, said they were not happy over the development. They urged President Goodluck Jonathan and members of the National Assmbly to stop the contract in the interest of peace, unity and national security. They wondered why a sensitive government would give such contract to former militants when the nation is battling with Boko Haram insurgents. The naval officers warned that the contract may lead to the emergence

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

of more ethnic militias as President Jonathan would end his tenure in three or seven years if reelected. They urged him and the National Assembly to remove the constraint that has made it impossible for NIMASA to acquire the requisite operational platforms and equipment needed to effectively carry out surveillance of the coastline. Investigation conducted by The Nation revealed that on January 5, the Ministry of Transport submitted a memorandum titled: “Award of contract for the strategic concessionary partnership with NIMASA to provide platform for tracking ships and cargoes, enforce regulatory compliance and surveillance of the Nigerian maritime domain,”

to the Federal Executive Council. The government, The Nation was told, also hides under the pretext that the contract would create new 1,375 to give the contract to the militants. The President vide letter Ref. No. PRES/99/MT/61, November 9, 2011 granted anticipatory approval for the project while the Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice reviewed and approved the Draft Agreement. The memo officially gave NIMASA’s job to Messrs Global West Vessel Specialist Nigeria Limited, GWVSL that belongs to the leading former Niger Delta militant with an initial investment of $103,400,000 inclusive of all taxes on a contractor financed Supply Operate and Transfer (SOT) Concession for 10 years based on performance.

Customs to generate over N1.5tr revenue


HE Federal Government has mandated the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to generate over N1.5 trillion this year. Investigation conducted by The Nation revealed that the amount is to be generated from the seaports and borders. A senior Customs officer, who does not want his name in print, told The Nation last Saturday that it was in a bid to realise the new target that the leadership of the service introduced Tax Identification Number (TIN) for importers in November last year. The importers, sources said, have been urged to make use of TIN in making declaration in place of the existing number. With effect from February 3, the officer said, the ASSYCUDA system would not accept any declaration made without the TIN number of any importer. The sources said the revenue collection as announced by the Nigeria Customs board for 2012 is challenging but achievable through

OPERATORS in the maritime industry have faulted the Federal Government’s policy on ship repairs. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, the operators said the government has not offered special incentives for the sector with the hope of promoting and enhancing efficiency in shipping-related services and make the country a logistics hub. One of the operators, Mr Funsho Badmus, said ship building is capital intensive and urged the Federal Government to make special provisions for capacity building in ship building. He said local ship owners face difficulties in raising funds for capital expenditure to facilitate improved business prospects. Badmus said the facilities at the existing shipyards were highly inadequate when compared to what is required at international level. He said ship repairs business is highly competitive and should be supported by national policies and subsidies, adding that without government support, the growth of the industry would be difficult. Badmus also expressed concern over the inability of government to support coastal trade with incentives while other countries do, adding that for the sector to grow, there should be incentives in the form of lower taxes to offset the costs.

Importers, agents lament IMPORTERS and clearing agents at the land borders have been urged to stop abusing the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) to boost revenue and facilitate trade at the borders. Speaking with The Nation at Seme border, Managing Director, World Cargo Investment, Mr Adesope Aderoju, said ETLS was put in place by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to facilitate the integration of trade and commerce among citizens of the member states. Aderoju said the scheme was set up to eliminate barriers and promote free trade in the sub-region. ETLS, he said, exempts goods manufactured in member states of ECOWAS to move freely, and without the payment of import/ export duties, within the region. “The scheme, has been subjected to unbridled abuse, especially by some unscrupulous importers and Asian businessmen. These unscrupulous people bring in goods from China and other Asian countries, ship them into the sub-region and land such goods in ports of neighbouring countries, such as Benin Republic, Ivory Coast, Ghana and even lately Liberia. They subsequently change the labels on these goods and smuggle them through the land borders into the country. A source said the implications of this act are grave. Apart from the loss of huge government revenue, goods that find their way into the market in this manner gain unfair competitive price advantage over locally made products. Apart from the abuse of the ETLS, which is mostly perpetrated through the land borders, many importers also flagrantly abuse the country’s import policy. They bring in different goods, including those that are banned by the government through the seaports.

MAN Oron admits 450 By Uyoatta Eshiet •Minister of Finance Ngozi OkonjoIweala

•Customs CG, Dikko Abdullahi

genuine declaration of import, blocking of any exiting revenue leakage, fighting corruption, educating and enlightening importers, exporters, clearing agents and those concerned with Customs related matters. He said officers at the seaports, airports and land borders would enforce all import regulations and coordinate anti smuggling operations around the border areas to generate the targets. When contacted to comment on the revenue target for Customs this year, its implications on the frag-

ile economy, importers and the clearing agents, the Managing Director, Shipping Logistic, Mr Dayo Babalola said the efforts of the Customs to meet the targets may fail unless government put in place logistics that would enable Customs perform its duties are adequately taken into account. For instance, Babalola said the issue of indiscriminate waivers being granted by government and its officials should be looked into so as not to put too much burden on importers and encourage cargo diversion.

THE Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Akwa Ibom State has announced the admission of 450 students into the institution for the 2012/2013 academic session. This is as a result of the successful completion of the admission exercise the academy started last year. The students were offered places in five departments of the school: Nautical Sciences, Marine Engineering, Boat/Shipbuilding Technology, Electrical/Electronic Engineering and Maritime Transport and Business Studies. A break down of the list shows 78 students were offered admission to study Nautical Sciences, 136 in Marine Engineering while 36 are to study Boat/Shipbuilding. Similarly, 46 students were offered admission into the Electrical/Electronic department while the Marine Transport and Business Studies department recorded 154 students, the highest for the session. The Acting Rector of the Institution, Mr. Joshua Okpo said the new students are to resume on April 15, 2012, commence registration on April 16, 2012 while lectures resume on April 17, 2012




Fed Govt to enhance capacity Vessels at Port Terminals T in sector T HE Federal Govern ment is taking steps to enhance the capacity of the manpower in the nation’s maritime sector to international standard. The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, who made this known, said the agency was on the verge of compelling shipowners and operators to allow for seatime training for indigenous cadets. This initiative, along with other policies and programmes, are expected to correct the shortage of manpower. According to industry analysts, more than 75 per cent of seafarers operating in Nigeria are foreigners, and as a result, Nigeria is losing over N284.5billion annually to the non-employment of indigenous seafarers. A recent international study by BIMCO/ISF highlighted a forecast shortage of about 27,000 officers worldwide in the maritime sector by the year 2015, and projected a shortfall of up to 83,000 officers in less than three years, 2011 inclusive. The Minister of Transport, Mr Idris Umar, said the Federal Government is conscious of the critical importance of capacity building in the nation’s shipping industry as a catalyst for its growth and development. He said the ministry under his supervision and all the parastatals in the maritime industry have put the issue of developing the industry on the front burner. Akpobolokemi said apart from the seatime training for Nigerian cadets, Cabotage

• Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Audu Umar, Stories by Taiwo Disu

enforcement is on the right track and the ultimate goal is to have many more Nigerians working in Nigeria. He said NIMASA has also taken its quest to enhance capacity in the sector to the United Kingdom. Umar noted that Nigeria has the human capital required to develop the country’s maritime industry and no effort will be spared to ensure that all professionals in the sector are engaged irrespective of their location, adding that he has decided to engage Nigerian mariners in the Diaspora in order to fast track the transformation of the maritime sector. Speaking with Nigerian mariners in the United Kingdom recently, Akpobolokemi said: “We have the will power to turn around the fortunes of the maritime sector, but we cannot do it all alone. We

•NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi


need your support. The Federal Government is ready to give us the political muscle to succeed. Nigeria is your country and we must all work collectively to succeed.” On their part, the mariners expressed their readiness to support all efforts of NIMASA to develop the institution. NIMASA, three years ago, had evolved the Nigeria Seafarer Development Programme (NSDP), under which 25 seafarers from each state of the federation are to be trained. The programme is anchored by NIMASA in partnership with the 36 state governments. While the state governments are to bear 60per cent of the cost of the training. The maritime agency will take up the balance. The agency’s executive director, Maritime and Cabotage Services, Ibrahim Zailani while speaking on the programme said in addition

to taking over the full 100 per cent cost of training 80 cadets, NIMASA had also opened secondary windows for people to benefit from the programme through company or individual efforts. Zailani, however, lamented lack of cooperation from state governors is hindering the success of the programme. “There are a few technical challenges, but lack of cooperation from the state governors is hindering the success of the programme, which is intended to bridge the already wide gap in shipping manpower in the country,” he said. But the state governments are arguing that the programme is expensive, and that the $25,000 per annum required for one seafarer, as a nautical scientist, ship master or marine engineer, is high for them. In the last three years, 147 cadets enrolled and only 10 states have submitted to the programme, because they do not see the immediate benefit in it for them. The Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State which graduates a large number of cadets is perceived as providing substandard training. The institution suffers from severe lack of needed training equipment and ocean-going vessels for sea time training among other deficits. The collapse of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) has also been identified as one of the major factors causing the dearth of manpower in the maritime sector. NNSL was used as the flagship that helped to train Nigerian seafarers who later became master mariners and marine engineers.

Why it’s difficult to achieve 48 hours cargo clearance, by stakeholders


AILURE of terminal op erators and service pro viders at the ports to improve their operations have been identified as factors responsible for inability to achieve the 48 hours cargo clearance target set by the Federal Government. President Goodluck Jonathan h, set the target late last year, as a way of ensuring efficient and effective operations at the ports. Meeting the target is expected to reduce corruption in the port system and reduce the cost of doing business in ports, which would help boost trade at the nation’s gateways However, operators in the maritime sector have said there has been little or no improvement since then. Commenting on the development, President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Mr Eugene Nweke, said there is still corruption at the ports, while terminal operators and service providers have not improved their operations. He, however, praised the Nigeria Customs Service for responding to the directive promptly. “We don’t have problem with the Customs. They have been discharging their duties efficiently and ef-

fectively”, he said. Also commenting, a clearing agent, Prince Ola Ologbese, noted that many of the maritime stakeholders who called for the ejection of government agencies from the ports, are now also saying they should return. “This shows many people in the industry are not serious, because if these agencies do not stamp your paper, Customs will not clear your goods,” he added. Olagbese noted that NCS is also arguing that it is not a

rule to clear goods within 48 hours, as the quantity of goods imported differs and so it may not be realistic to clear large consignments with different clearing problems within the stipulated time. On the side of the operators, Olagbese noted that laxity in handling operation is a major problem. He said some of the operators only deceive the public, because they don’t actually provide the kind of service they promise to provide. “They are to provide

equipment and some basic infrastructure for easy operation but this has not been the case,” he said. According to him, it is actually possible to clear goods in 48 hours, but this requires prompt service delivery on the part of operators. He also noted that there is discipline in Customs, adding that this has resulted in higher revenue generation. Olagbese said expectation from the maritime sector is high because importation is high.

• Former Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Area 1 Command, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Idris Suleiman and Executive Chairman, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL), Mr Ladi Jadesinmi, during a working tour of LADOL Base.

HE Lagos pilotage district of the Nigeria Ports Author-ity (NPA) is expected to witness continued activities during the week. 1,074 containers are expected at the Lagos pilotage district today, to be brought by the following ships HS Discover, Ulysses and Kota Puri, while the shipping agents responsible for the clearance are Hullblyth, Lansal and Pil. The ports of distination are Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) and AP Moller Treminal (APMT). Also, Bulk wheat of about 25,000 metric tons is expected through the Josephdam port (J/DAM). The vessel and agent involved are Arosa and Nura respectively. Also, Baseoil of about 11,400 metric tonnes is expected through the Apapa Bulk Terminal Ltd. (ABIL) which will be brought in by New Spirit, while the agent involved is Deino. On Wednesday, a ship contaning general cargo of about 6,233 metric tonnes and another one bringing steel products of 25,691 metric tons are expected at the ENL Consortimum port. The ships expected are Feng Huang Sang and Akij Wave, while the agent in charge of both is Gm Tisa. A containarised vessel named Delmas Libraville of 386 units is also expected through the TICT. The agent in charge is C.C Delmas. Also, on Thursday, a ship Frio Gaspar containing fresh fish of about 849 metric tonnes is expected at the Greenview Development, 450 containers on board two ships, Austria and Julia Schulte are expected at APMT and TICT, and will be handled by Marsk Line Limited (MSK). A vessel, An Kang Jiang is expected at ENL Consortium (ENL) port with general cargo of about 4,813 metric tonnes, and the agent responsible is GMTS. Bulk wheat of about 55401 metric tons through ABIL is expected on board a ship, Desert Eagle. Golden Shipp is the agent in charge.

By Taiwo Disu

According to NPA manifest, for Friday, a ship, Hoegh Brasila with used vehicles of 550 units is expected at the SFM, to be handled by Alraine. General cargo of 5,291.62 metric tons on board the vessel Kota Berjaya is expected through ENL and Pil is the agent in charge. Also a vessel, Cassiopata Star is expected at the J/DAM terminal with 5,000 metric tonnes of bulk malt, and the agent is APS. LAB of about 1,000 metric tonnes will come in through J/ DAM on board a vessel, Lydian which will be handled by Supermaritime. The vessels expected on Saturday this week are African Swan, Hammonian and Lydian, through J/DAM, APMT and Ibafon, with general cargo of 20,800 metric tonnes, 390 units of containers and lubricated oil of 4,000 metric tonnes respectively. The shipping agents in charge are Comet, Pil and Supermaritime. The only veseel expected on Sunday is Conti Asia, with 250 units of containers, through the APMT. Lansal will take delivery. 11 vessels are awaiting berth at the Lagos Pilotage District. From this number, six are laden with rice, two with containers, while General Cargo, Bulk Malt and Soad Ash have one vessel each. Also, 12 vessels are awaiting Custom clearance. Similarly, the 12 tanker vessels awaiting berth are laden with over 175,000 metric tonnes which comprises Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and Jet-A1 (Aviation fuel). The various vessels had arrived the Lagos Pilotage Distric betweem December last year and last Saturday. However, the discharge of the tanker vessels is expected to stop the problem of fuel shortage experience in some parts of the country.

NPA organises training camps


HE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has been organising training camps for its key personnel, including field crews and management. This is part of the NPA’s ongoing commitment to education and knowledge building, in which the UK Anthony D Bates Partnership (ADBP) has been closely involved and has delivered training on many aspects of engineering in the marine environment. It includes: hydrographic survey, ground investigation, navigation aids, beneficial use of dredge material, volume calculation, dredging methods, environmental impacts, quality assurance and charting. Training is given on an ongoing basis in Nigeria and also in the UK. The NPA is in charge of the Apapa port complex, Port Harcourt, and the Delta ports of Warri, Koko,

Sapele, Alajda Steel Jetty and the crude oil terminals of Escravos, Forcados and Pennington, and the Calabar ports. The agency is undergoing privatisation. According to organisation, the NPA’s mission statement is “to ensure the efficient management of port operations, optimal allocation and use of resources, diversification of sources of revenue and guaranteeing adequate returns on its investments in order to contribute effectively to the well-being of the society.” Recently, vital NPA operations, including the billing system were computerised; while documentation and delivery processes were unified and streamlined. These have positively changed the procedures for the shipping and clearing of goods.



With ekpoita / 08077706130




1.Remit (4) 2.Lusterless (3) 3.Imitate (3) 4.Trial (4) 7. Green Area (5) 8. Edible Grass (3) 10. Snake (3) 11. Nobleman (5) 13. Illuminated (3) 16. Bricklayer (5) 17. At No Time (5) 18. Youths (4) 21. Ward off (4) 23. Period (3) 25. Fuss (3)

1. Hunk (4) 3. Border on (4) 5. Fiend (3) 6. Standard (4) 9. Recedes (4) 12. Age (3) 14. Cereal (4) 15. Informal Course (7) 18. Hermaphrodite (2) 19. Consumed (3) 20. About (2) 22. Employs (4) 24. Part of Feather (4) 26. Wandered (5) 27. Examine (4) 28. Path (4)

MINI-SUDOKU Fill in the missing numbers in the grid to ensure that every row, column and 2 by 3 box contains the numbers 1 - 6.



6 4

6 1

5 3

4 1



HUMOUR Bank Account A mother decided that her young 11 year old daughter should open her own bank account. “As it will be your account, I think that you should complete the application form” said the mother. The daughter was doing really well but was puzzled when she came to where it said ‘Name of previous bank’. She pondered for a second and when wrote ‘Piggy

ShOwBiTz A new season of ‘Spartacus,’ with a new Spartacus

Marriage I asked my ten year old nephew the other day “billy, what do you think it would take to make marriage work? “well, i’d tell my wife she looked lovely even if she looked like a bus”. he said.

Burglary Charge My lawyer was trying to get me off a burglary charge. He told the judge “ My client inserted his arm through a window and removed some items. As his arm is not his whole being, I submit that it would be wrong to punish the whole person for a crime committed by a sole limb. The Judge replied “ Okay - using that logic, the defendant’s arm is sentenced to 2 years in prison and can accompany the limb if he chooses”. So with the aid of my lawyer, I unscrewed my artificial arm, placed it on the table and walked out of the courtroom.

Married and Single Do you know why a room full of married people looks so empty and deserted? There’s not even a “Single person” in it.

Pep Talk



WORDS & ORIGIN “Paragon” paragon \PAIR-uh-gon; -guhn\ (noun) - A model of excellence or perfection; as, “a paragon of beauty; a paragon of eloquence.” “Old Roland, that paragon of acceptable standards, viewed the world with a thoroughly jaundiced, nearly blind eye.” — Samara Al-Darraji , ‘Eclipse’ Paragon comes from Middle French, from Old Italian paragone, literally, “touchstone,” from paragonare, “to test on a touchstone,” from Greek parakonan, “to rub against, to sharpen,” from para-, “beside” + akone, “a whetstone.”

Sports Teaser

Argument A brother and sister were having an argument and neither were willing to concede. The sister said “ Barry, I will admit that I am in the wrong as long as you admit that I am in the right”. He was in agreement and asked her to go first with the admission. “I am totally in the wrong” she said. Barry, with a little glint in his eye gave her a little wink and said “ You’re right”.


What a different vision these two stars of “Spartacus: Vengeance” offer in person. Here is Lucy Lawless: In her Starz adventure-action series she builds on worldwide fame as Xena, Warrior Princess, by playing wily Lucretia, widow of the Roman sports impresario whose “ludus” — an extreme training camp for gladiators — was where Spartacus had been enslaved. Transported from Capua in the first century B.C. to modern-day Manhattan, Lawless — in bright sweater and snug jeans — is pretty, girlish and full of laughs. Alongside her for this recent interview is Liam McIntyre, who is taking over the role of Spartacus as the new season begins (Friday at 10 p.m. EST). His personality is far removed from the raging Thracian out to forge an army and topple the Roman Empire. Instead, McIntyre is chipper, affable and ready with wisecracks delivered, at times, in a comic squeal. “Spartacus: Vengeance” retains a potent mix of hyper-realism and epic fantasy, with generous helpings of graphic violence, orgiastic nudity, racy sex and other visual pizazz. It remains a hard-body romp on a CGI sprawl. But real-life tragedy, too, is a part of the story. Andy Whitfield, who originated the role of Spartacus, announced in March 2010 that he was stricken with nonHodgkin Lymphoma. That May, a six-episode prequel concentrating on characters other than Spartacus was set for the following year, to give Whitfield time off for treatment. But a few months later when the cancer returned, he announced his departure from the show. Last September, he died at age 39.

The player below is likely to become a potential; A. Super Eagle B. Indomitable Lion C. Harrambee Star D. Atlas Lion What is the player’s name?

Michael Jackson immortalized at Grauman’s Singer Michael Jackson is immortalized in a ceremony where his children (L-R) Prince, Blanket and Paris use Jackson’s shoes and gloves to make hand and foot imprints in cement in the courtyard of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on January 26, 2012.

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose-a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. - Mary Shelley






Building Issues

How to create your blueprint for real estate


•Owo road dualisation project.


Urban renewal takes unique signature in Ondo


RBAN renewal cannot be effective if there is no coordinated approach to take care of various segments of the society and the environment. This probably explains why the Ondo State government through the Direct Labour Agency has embarked on the construction of people-oriented projects, such as automart, neighbourhood markets and others, to effectively manage urban areas, create jobs to effectively evacuate non- informal operators including artisans off the street to make for an orderly and coordinated development. In a chat, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Direct Labour, Mrs Mobolaji Suara, said projects under her supervision are not only to create jobs through harnessing the skills of the people but also to have a harmonious and coordinated environment. She said the government builf an auto mart to take dealers from the streets to an organised environment with facilities including banks, eatery and office spaces attached to each of the parking lot so their clients can reach them easily. The market has all convenience and costs N250,000 yearly for a parking lot of 30 cars. She said: “The mart has offices, including a licensing office, solar powered lights, fire service, pipe borne water, banking facilities and adequate security, and the place is daily witnessing a boom for the car dealers, unlike what you have elsewhere, all the vehicles from which to choose are in one place. For auto dealers, the mart is a most-convenient facility. “The idea is that you do not need to move from one location to another looking for the vehicle you want to buy. They operate in a most conducive environment with better patronage. On the neigbourhood markets across the state, Mrs Suara said the good thing about them is that street traders got it almost free as they are only required to pay N25 daily for open stalls and N50 for lock-up shops for the maintenance of the conveniences. There is also a mechanic village and spare-parts market which complements the auto market.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

Mrs Suara said the coming of Mimiko has brought a new lease of life to shopping across the state. In the neigbourhood markets, it is a case of “shopping made easy” as attested to by market men and women. Amenities in the Isikan Caring Heart Market, for instance, include police post, clinic, abattoir, 12 toilets, fire service and a creche for people who need daycare services for their babies. Urban renewal and transformation is turning Ondo into a huge construction yard. Simultaneously, scores of construction works are in progress. The major ones are Fiwasape/ Owo Road, Owo township road dualisation, Oba Adesida Road and Arakale Road. Oba Adesida Road is one of the major roads in the state capital. Built in 1976, it has fallen into a state of disrepair necessitating its reconstruction. Its reconstruction is against the backdrop that every road has 20 years lifespan but it is roughly 35 years old. The reconstruction is complete with beautification and street lights. The road has designated bus stops with state-of-the-art shelters for commuters’ comfort. The Commissioner for Works, Mr Gboye Adegbenro told The Nation, that the Owo dualisation road project awarded at N3.9 billion to a Chinese company, CGC,

is divided into three phases, with September as the delivery date. On Akarele Road, he said it was 60 per cent complete. He said: “A single lane road is giving way to a dual carriageway. When completed, the road will decongest Akure major roads. Many houses were demolished to make the project possible. But the landlords are happy because the demolition was carried out with a human face. Every property owner was adequately compensated regardless of whether the structure had documents or not. The project comes with drainage channels to check flooding in Akure, the capital city.” Adegbenro explained that road projects are not in Akure alone but all the senatorial zones of the state. On complaints by some landlords of inadequate compensation, he said government used professionals to ascertain the value of the various houses and subsequently paid the compensation based on their advice. He denied the allegation that some houses were undervalued. He said: “The government wanted to avoid crisis and so we paid everybody whether they had a legal claim to their property or not. Some of the houses are mud houses with no documentation whatsoever or C of O but we still went ahead to pay to make life convenient for them.”

SOME OF THE PROJECTS . Dualisation of Owo township road .Shagari-Irese road . Dualisation of Oba Adesida/IsikanOndo road -Rehabilitation/ asphalt overlay of Ilesha expressway Junction Dualisation of Nepa-Arakale road Asphalt overlay of Cash-Hold Oke Aro-Adofure road Rehabilitation /Asphalt overlay Of Ijomu junction-Oke Ijebu road

7.8 Km 9.0Km 4.15Km 9.3Km 2.25Km 7.11Km 3.82Km

The contractor handling Fiwasapo / Mobil road, Roosco Nig. Ltd speaking through its Project Director, Mr. Mohamed Fawaz pledged to deliver the project by the second week of February, he hinted that their only challenges is security and the control of traffic as some motorists are so impatient to obey traffic instructions put in place so that the finishing work is not disturbed in any way.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie ANY people have come Asst Editor to appreciate real estate as one of the safest secyou’ll be able to feel it. tors to invest. Sometimes, the reThe key is to do this frequently ward is slow but sure to come. and let it sink into your subconTo ensure success in any enscious mind that this is your videavour, one needs to plan for it sion or as it is commonly known and pursue it diligently. your 2012 resolution. It’s very Many people who want to powerful to have a vision stateachieve success in any area of ment don’t allow any limiting their lives fail to understand that factor not even the fuel subsidy they need to have a blueprint for removal. success. It takes two things to The second thing to do to crecreate a blueprint for success. ate a success blueprint is you The first thing you must have need to be sure that you’ve is a clear vision of what it is you cleared your self-limiting beliefs, want to create. The more powernothing is impossible should be ful your vision and the more you in your vision. Don’t get into the can feel your vision, the stronger company of pessimists who see it is. impossibility in everything. For instance, if you want to Some examples of self-limiting make N3 million in beliefs that stop real estate this people, (and the ‘The second year, it will be adbiggest one right thing to do to visable to create a now) is “I can’t mission statement reach my financial create a success to that effect that goals because of the blueprint is you you will place in a economy, to some need to be sure very strategic place the fuel subsidy in your house and saga has become a that you’ve office to remind good excuse but you you daily of your cleared your selfwonder what they target for the year. limiting beliefs, did before now. The next thing to nothing is imposAnother one do is to step into that’s very common sible should be the visualisation that people have is and really feel “I’m not good in your vision. what it feels like. So enough” or “I don’t Don’t get into the for example, you have what it takes step into it and feel company of pes- to succeed or “I’m what it feels like to not smart enough simists who see be making or “I’m not experiimpossibility in N3million. You enced enough.” Incan imagine what deed if you mean to everything’ you would do with succeed those exthat added income. cuses will not deter

Perhaps you could visualise yourself spending part of it and saving part of it, or better still re-investing part of it into the business but if you are a generous fellow you will consider giving part of it to charity. Make your vision very vivid and make it like a moving picture, where you envision yourself doing all of these things you want to do with this added income and act out your new status for effect. I must advise here that it is always good to be reasonable. Pick a figure that’s realistic and yet be optimistic at the same time. Don’t always look at the dark side of life, be expectant always. Once you’ve got that vision statement, you simply need to feel it. You need to feel what it feels like to have that income. Feel what it feels like to be working with your ideal clients, experience the joy and the fun of being of service to your clients. A word of caution here is that you will need to develop yourself by reading widely on your chosen field. You would not go anywhere without dated techniques and methodologies. The idea is that the more you breathe into the vision, the more

you. Realise that self-limiting beliefs are not facts, they’re just beliefs. You’re not stuck with them. Do not judge yourself for having them, because at one point in your life these beliefs were survival strategies. If your self-limiting belief says, “I can’t be visible” then write down “It’s now safe to be visible.” If your self-limiting belief is “I’m not supposed to succeed” then write down “I am highly worthy of success and I’m supposed to succeed.” “I’m supposed to live my dreams.” Just to summarise, be sure to create your vision statement with feeling and be sure after that you dig down and bring to the surface any possible selflimiting beliefs that could be getting in your way. Be sure you burn those negative beliefs and then implant or install your new positive empowered beliefs and enjoy creating your Success Blueprint for the year 2012. Who says the person reading this article will not make his first millions this year or if already a millionaire will add more millions to his portfolio in real estate.

‘Be sure you burn those negative beliefs and then implant or install your new positive empowered beliefs and enjoy creating your Success Blueprint for the year 2012’ •Contributions, questions? e-mail:





Minister, workers resolve industrial issues •To regularise 12,000 PHCN casual staff •To publish number of ghost workers HE Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji and the officials of electricity workers’ unions have met to resolve some industrial issues to enhance the smooth execution of the ongoing reforms in the power sector. Nnaji also assured that about 12,000 casual workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) engaged before 2009 will be given permanent jobs but on the condition that the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the successor companies have to identify them. He also said the biometric verification carried out on the staff of PHCN showed that many ghost or illegal workers were discovered and the number would be announced next week. “We are still validating and within a week we should be able to know the exact number of ghost workers and we will make it public,” he added. Nnaji, who was accompanied by the Minister of State for Power, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Eko and Ikeja Distribution Companies, the CEO of Egbin Power Generation Company as well as his counterpart in the Transmission Company of Nigeria, among other senior officials of the public power sector met in Lagos with officials of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the pensioners union .They had a closed door meeting. Although the minister didn’t disclose the outcome of the meeting, he said: “We had quite a lengthy discussion and in the end we were able to understand one another much better. The only thing remaining is to discuss the second round of discussion on labour issues, which will begin on February 18, with chief arbitrator Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu . Apart from that all other issues are clear to the union officials.” On redeployment, Nnaji said that National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) wrote to the


By Emeka Ugwuanyi

Managing Director of the defunct PHCN informing him of such and that with effect from this month they will no longer get funds because they are not market participant. Consequently as responsible managers of the sector we had to transfer the workers to appropriate places where they would continue to get paid and continue to work so that they will actually function. The Minister said many of them (headquarters staff) are not able to do anything because their jobs have been taken over by the 18 successor companies. “It became important that they go somewhere they can be useful for Nigerians they work for. There are still some that will remain at the headquarters.

The headquarters will continue to contain the transmission company of Nigeria officials, the market operator people, Nigerian Electricity liability Management Company –which will manage the liability of PHCN including pension fund. “It will also contain the Electricity Management Services Company that will manage the cross curtain issues pertaining to the sector such as meter maintenance and organisation, general stores of the organisation and so on. Other than that all the others will be transferred except for the top level management that will remain there and as we find places too for them to work, we will assign them to those places. But the deployment is intended to achieve efficiency in the sector, to ensure that anybody who

receives salary from the public is actually working. We came to truly understand ourselves on these issues,” Nnaji said. The minister said they discussed about the regularisation of casual workers in the PHCN. He said clarification was made on how to carry out the exercise. He said the number of casual workers are about 12,000 and those that would benefit from the exercise are those casual workers employed prior to 2009. All of them engaged prior to 2009 will be fully converted to permanent staff, he added. He also said he anticipates the number would be less because some of them may be ghost workers as discovered in biometric verification exercise carried out on PHCN staff. The exercise revealed some ghost or illegal workers on

the pay roll but on the casual workers, he would depend on the Chief Executive Officers for identification. He said: “The number on nominal roll of casual workers is about 12,000 but we have to check whether they are actually valid because some may not have been employed by the CEOs. We will only take the words of the CEOs for employment. So, we anticipate that they will be less because even in terms of permanent staff from the biometric verification we have done, we have seen that the number is less. So, there are some so called ghost workers or illegal workers in the sector. The biometric verification is very good for Nigeria because we don’t want to retain ghost workers.”

•From left:Mr Oladele Amoda, Chief Executive Officer, Eko Electricity Distribution Company; Mr Chris Okaa Akamnonu, Chief Executive Officer, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Prof. Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power and Mr Mike Uzoigwe Chief Executive Officer, Egbin Electricity Generation Company, when they met with labour officials in Lagos.

NAPE to build petroleum house in Lagos •Technology to enhance production from brown fields made



HE Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has said it is planning to build a petroleum house in Lagos, which will habour the association’s headquarters, provide conducive environment to hold its national and international

conferences. The project when completed is expected to serve as a meeting point for members, students of geo-sciences and all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry and serve as a sustainable income generating avenue for the industry. The President of NAPE, Mr Mayowa Afe, disclosed this during the association’s January monthly technical meeting in Lagos noting that the budget for the project was being finalis ed while work is expected to commence soon. He also expressed regrets that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was yet to be passed into law, saying, a lot of investments had been diverted to other African countries including Ghana and Angola where they have stable policy frame work and enabling environment to operate. The PIB which was sent to the Na-

By Ambrose Nnaji

tional Assembly since 2008 if eventually passed into law, is expected to establish the legal frame work for the oil and gas operations in Nigeria Afe noted that every investor who wanted to come to Nigeria was anxious to know the new legal frame work, the policy frame work that was operating before they could invest their money, saying, nobody was putting new money to go and look for oil. But what people do now is to continue to produce the fields they have already discovered before. He said new technologies were being developed to ensure the discovery and exploration of more oil and gas in Nigeria adding that though the era of easy oil find has gone, there was need to put in place high technologies to continue exploration in Nigeria.

In her lecture at the technical meeting entitled “Using formation resistivity anisotropy measurements to quantify reserves in low contrast, low resistivity laminated reservoirs: Adding the value,” the Senior Geoscientist of Baker Hughes, Mrs. Ono Daniel, explained that over 30 per cent of reservoirs of economic values have been bypassed because we have not been able to resolve them accurately, but with the new technology being put in place it is possible to resolve those beds and of course put the reserves to a high level. She said: “It reduces costs and of course increases our reserves. This is one way we can make best use of what we have, I mean the fields we already have we can re-evaluate them with the new technologies and then we should be able to get more production.”

She noted that a lot of oil has been discovered in some places which needed people to invest on. But we also have the brown fields that needed to be re-evaluated with the new technologies. Brown fields, she explained were fields that had been put on production for so many years but could not be produced because the technology available at the time were not able to resolve some of the beds better so we can now go back to such fields and re-evaluate them with the current technology. “There are tiny sands that are holding a lot of oil and gas which cannot be discovered by the tool that we have in place before. But with the new inventions now we would be able to discover those things and be able to help us to still have the oil inside the rock and this can us add to our reserves,” she added.




IPMAN, President disagree on keroM sene allocation EMBERS of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Western Zone, have disagreed with the presentation of the association’s national president, the Alhaji Abdulkadir Aminu, that the association didn’t receive any supply of kerosene from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) last year Aminu, during his appearance before the Hon. Farouk Lawan led House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee that is probing the subsidy management said the NNPC didn’t give the association any allocation, especially when kerosene scarcity hit the country last year, compelling NNPC to embark on massive importation of the product. But the Chairman of IPMAN, Western Zone, Mr. Olumide Ogunmade, while fielding questions from reporters in Lagos on the issue and other industry matters countered the position of Aminu. He said it would be unfair to the NNPC to say IPMAN didn’t get kerosene allocation from

•Demands direct products supply from NNPC Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi

the corporation. He said the association got but it was not enough. Ogunmade also suggested that the NNPC should sell products including kerosene to IPMAN Western Zone directly from the corporation’s depots instead of going through private depots. “Let NNPC use their depots to sell directly to IPMAN Western Zone because it is their investment and property and we have been partnering with them, so there is no need to use third party depots and pay throughput charges. “We have been maintaining the pipelines, there is no problem with that and we have been having petrol ever since. If the pipeline is good enough to take petrol, it should be

good enough to take kerosene and diesel. Let them (NNPC) put these products in our depots so that we can satisfy the yearnings of the people,” he said. Ogunmade’s statement confirms the claims of the Managing Director, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC, Mr Haruna Momoh, which refuted Abdulkadir’s claim to the effect that the independent marketers have been denied direct allocation of kerosene by the PPMC. Momoh said IPMAN had received a total of over 756.8 million litres of kerosene in 2011 alone and gave the breakdown as follows: over 112.8 million litres of kerosene received by IPMAN via the NNPC through-

put at NIPCO while an additional 79.3million litres was collected by IPMAN via coastal allocation to IPMAN through NIPCO. Momoh added that IPMAN further received 573.8 million litres of kerosene from NNPC depots out of which 130.8 million litres of kerosene was on credit sales contrary to claims made by Abdulkadir that PPMC has refused to include IPMAN members in its credit scheme. IPMAN Western Zone chairman said: “I listened to the presentation of the IPMAN President, it was a very brilliant piece but I want to be truthful on this because the essence of government setting up the Lawan led panel is for us to know what is wrong and how to make amend. But I want

•Form left: Mr. Toba Shinkaiye, Assistant Secretary; Dr. Idowu Amos A.O., Secretary; Mr Olumide Ogunmade, Chairman; Chief Olatunji Aderoju, immediate past chairman, all of IPMAN Western Zone and Bashorun Akanni Oyewole, IPMAN Chairman, Ibadan Depot, during a meeting in Lagos at the weekend

to disagree with the position of the IPMAN President. It is not that NNPC has not been giving us kerosene. There is one thing to say what it is giving us is not enough but to say they are not giving us, I think we are being economical with the truth. “We the IPMAN Western Zone have been receiving kerosene but not on regular basis. We collected kerosene sometime around July when the supply was sustained and we sold at N50 per litre and it was captured in the press and everybody enjoyed it. We can assure you if the supply is adequate, we can sell at N50. It is not impossible but it is unfair to say that NNPC has not been supplying us the product. NNPC has been giving coastal allocation to NIPCO, which is assumed to be the commercial arm of IPMAN. “I also understand that they have been giving to other zones. We don’t have refinery in the Southwest but other zones that have refineries have been benefiting from NNPC gesture, they load from the refinery. But the zones that don’t have refineries, our own products are kept at private depot especially NIPCO and Capital Oil and most of our members go there to pick product. But NNPC can do better than what it is doing. If the corporation wants us to really service the whole country and continue to make the product available and sell at government controlled price, they should sustain the supply. “If you go to any outlet that sells kerosene at N50 now, you have to query the source because except the one NNPC gives us that can be sold at controlled price. The kerosene that is sourced from private depots including NIPCO that is supposed to be our own depot, doesn’t sell at controlled price despite the fact that they benefit from subsidy on it. If NNPC is supplying NIPCO and we are not getting from NIPCO at the appropriate price, I think there is something wrong and you cannot put the blame on NNPC. If NNPC supplies them and they put a premium on it before they can supply to us and they still go and collect subsidy, that is not the problem of NNPC, that is the problem of NIPCO and other depot owners but we are appealing to NNPC to increase the level of supply and sustain it so that there will be no gap between what they give us to sell at N50 and the quantity required to meet consumption.”

Govt to complete 1,600 suspended rural electrification projects •Master plan underway

•Engr Achugbu REA

HE Federal Government is set to complete the 1,600 rural electrification projects spread across the country that were abandoned by the sacked management of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in 2009. The Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji said the Federal Government is committed to ensuring access to electricity in the rural areas of the country, hence the resuscitation of the rural electrification agency. He said the essence of the government appointing a new managing


director for the agency is to be able to achieve its objective in that area. For instance, he said that government’s target this year for the agency is to complete the suspended 1,600 adding that provision of fund that would almost complete the projects, has been made in the budget. He also said that to accomplish the government’s objectives, the agency has been advised to work together with state governments in the country. He said: “We have resuscitated the rural electrification agency. Mr President has appointed a managing director for the agency and the target for this year is to complete the projects that were abandoned. “There are about 1600 projects from when it was suspended and there is money in the budget that will just almost take care of the amount owed contractors so they are to work to complete these projects in various rural communities in the country. “But the target is for the REA to work in partnership with state government to continue to improve access to electricity throughout the nation because there are places that don’t have adequate access and there

are places that don’t have access at all. The agency will also work with electricity distribution companies. The new Chief Executive Officer of REA, Keneth Achugbu, an engineer, who was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan as the new helmsman of the agency last few weeks ago to drive the rural electrification agenda of his administration, stated his plans. Achugbu unfolded his agenda for the agency including concluding all

outstanding projects and developing a rural electrification master plan for the country, among others. Achugbu while taking oath of office said: “It is an important responsibility and I shall not let them down. For now, the Agency shall pursue and meet a three-fold objective: ensure that all ongoing projects are completed; embark on renewable energy sources for rural electrification; and develop a rural electrification master plan for the country The Federal Government had scrapped the agency in 2009 as a re-

sult of undue financial impropriety. Following the misappropriation of N5.2 billion meant for the agency, in which the former Chairman, House Committee on Power, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and some members of the committee as well as some members of the management of the agency including the managing director, Mr. Sam Gekpe were accused of involvement, the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Isa Bello Sali, scrapped the agency with effect from September 15, 2009.

Group vows to recover missing N5b oil windfall COALITION of civil society organisations, Publish What You pay (PWYP), has promised to recover the N5 billion allegedly missing from some banks from 1999 to 2005. An audit by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Initiatives (NEITI) between 1999 and 2004 revealed that the amount covered was taxes and royalties from the oil and gas companies paid into some banks. The group called for the disclosure of the payments to governments. It urged the governments to publish its revenues from these sectors to enable people to know what went wrong.


By Ambrose Nnaji

Speaking with The Nation during a two-day oil and gas revenue tracking training in Lagos, organised by NEITI, with support from the USAID Nigeria, the group’s National Executive Chairperson, Mrs. Faith Nwadishi, stressed the need for transparency and accountability by public office holders. She noted that the disappearance of the money was not only fradulent, but also a high level of irresponsibility. “It is irresponsibility. The fact is that there was supposed to be somebody who was in charge of

that money. There was supposed to be somebody who was responsible for the collection of that money. The person must have been careless, that was why that amount of money could not be reconciled or be found anywhere,” she said. The association said it had contacted relevant bodies and institutions concerned with the disbursement of the country’s finances, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance on the missing money.




•From left: General Manager, Nigerian Content, Chevron, Mr. Raymond Wilcox; Representative of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, Engr. Sam Adegboyega; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa; General Manager, Nigerian Content, Shell, Mr. Igo Weli; Executive Director, Gas & Business, Total E&P, Engr. Olubunmi Obembe and Representative of the Oil & Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Ogbonna Joel at the inauguration of the Advisory Committee of the Nigerian Content Development Fund in Abuja.

‘PPPRA must stop fixing prices of products’ A

S long as the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) is allowed to continue to fix the prices of petroleum products the removal of subsidy on petrol or increase in pump price of fuel by government would be a mirage as that would not achieve the objective of deregulation. This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director, Toptech Engineering Limited, Adekunle Odeyimka, who suggested that for subsidy to be removed the PPPRA must be made to hands off the fixing of price of petroleum products to allow market forces to deter-

Stories by Bidemi Bakare

mine it. Odeyimka said there is no way the country can have a deregulated downstream sector if the issue of price fixing is determined by the whims and caprices of the government through an agency such as the PPPRA. While Odeyimka did not call for the scrapping of PPPRA, he is of the view that the agency should only be made to perform other regulatory duties and not fixing of prices of petroleum products for marketers. Such duties, he said, should include but not limited to determin-

ing how petrol is imported, the quality of imported fuel, how it is stored and distributed. He said: “In collaboration with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the PPPRA should perform other regulatory functions rather than fixing prices. They should focus their attention on regulating how refined petrol gets into the country as well as determining the quality of these products. Besides, they should concentrate on monitoring the storage facilities where these products are kept to ensure storage is done in the most hygienic and safe manner,” he said.

Oando’s rig records two years of safe operations O ANDO Energy Services Limited (OESL), a subsidiary of Oando Plc that operates swamp drilling rigs services, has announced that it achieved a milestone of two years drilling operations without Loss Time Injury (LTI) on one of its five rigs, OES Teamwork, on January 21, last year. LTI is an occurrence that results in fatality, permanent disability or time lost from work of one day, shift or more. This is a universal key performance indicator that reinforces the need for strict adherence to safety and environmental requirements in the course of operations. As evident in the last couple of years, the oil and gas operation is highly volatile, we are consciously reminded of these dangers and the need to ensure strict adherence to safety and environmental codes, the company noted in a statement. Commenting, the Chief Executive Officer, OESL said, Mr Bandele Badejo said: “This commendable achievement is an indication to our commitment to ensuring that our people work safely. Paramount to the success of any operation is the attitude of the team to safety and quality. There are no short cuts to getting the job done, if it’s not safe, we shut it down. “While we are reassured that our Environmental, Health, Safety Security and Quality (EHSSQ) processes work, we are not resting on our laurels and continue to encourage a culture where safety is the primary focus through training and coaching.”

OESL Teamwork rig in the past year has successfully drilled, completed and worked over wells in the course of the campaign, without any major incident. The rig is a 3000 HP swamp drilling barge equipped with 10,000 psi blow out preventers (BOP) systems. It has an IDECO built mast and substructure with rated static hookload capacity of 1.5 million lbs and capable of drilling up to 25,000 ft. The rig is equipped with three model 645E8 EMD diesel engines, two model T-1600 IDECO mud pump, three Derrick linear motion shakers, two Hi-G- dryers, and Varco TDS-3 top drive. In August, 2011, OES flagship rig Integrity also celebrated two years of without a Lost Time Incident. In addition, Oando Plc subsidiaries over the year have achieved Standard Organisation of Nigeria ISO 9001:2008 international certification for their exemplary quality and safety standards. They include,

Oando Supply & Trading and Oando Exploration & Production, Oando Marketing PLC and Oando Gas and Power to bring the number of Oando entities with ISO 9001:2008 to four, reinforcing the organisation’s commitment to proactive risk management system, the statement added. According to the statement, “Oando’s vibrant policies and procedures cover product quality, safety, environment, health, security and emergency readiness, to ensure that all its operations meet international safety requirements. The company is very keen on safety and in an effort to inculcate (EHSSQ) culture amongst its employees, training, regulatory certifications and a “stop work” policy where employees on the rig are empowered to stop work if they observe an unsafe condition is imbibed. An annual “Safety Week” is also held companywide to deepen awareness and strengthen an incidence-free work life culture, which has become imperative following the company’s expansion into the entire energy spectrum.”

‘While we are reassured that our Environmental, Health, Safety Security and Quality (EHSSQ) processes work, we are not resting on our laurels and continue to encourage a culture where safety is the primary focus through training and coaching’

Making reference to the banking and telecommunications sectors, Odeyimka noted that these sectors are operated in such a way that while nobody fixes interest rates for the banks and call charges for telecoms operators, there is a limit to which they can go as their activities are being regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Communications Commissions (NCC). He, therefore, suggested that the downstream sector be operated the way the banking and telecoms sectors are operated for more investments to come into the sector like the two sectors. According to him, the fixing of prices by PPPRA is almost impracticable if consideration is given to the haulage of the petroleum products from one place to another. He said: “One major factor to prompt discouraging the fixing of price of petroleum products is the haulage cost. No matter the price that is fixed one can never expect petrol to sell at the same price both in Lagos and in far flung places such as Maiduguri owing to the cost of haulage. Whatever the government

tries to do to bridge the cost of transporting petroleum products from one place to another would just be a stop gap measure. Discontinuing the fixing of price is the permanent solution to the problem. In fact, I think the establishment of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) would have been of no need if we had allowed market forces to determine price and not PPPRA putting a price ceiling for petroleum products.” He lamented the untoward hardship brought by the recent protests over subsidy removal with the submission that unwholesome acts of corruption within the industry got the country into the sorry state. He said it was regrettable that conflicting subsidy figures were emanating from the various relevant government agencies which all the same lend credence to what some experts had said the country through the years had been paying subsidy for inflated and ‘corrupt’ cost of petroleum products. The PPPRA, however, said the essence of regulating price in a deregulated regime is to prevent marketers from ripping-off consumers through bloated profit taking.

Fashola to marketers: comply with new price


AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola, (SAN) has called on petroleum product marketers in the state to comply with the new fuel price regime as directed by the Federal Government. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofiq Ajibade Tijani made the call while monitoring filling stations in the state for compliance with the new fuel price regime. The commissioner, who led the monitoring team and media representatives round major filling stations in the state, expressed happiness over the level of compliance to the new pump price. He also urged marketers to avoid sharp practices such as selling with under-dispensing pumps meant to cheat motorists and the unsuspecting members of the public. He advised Lagosians to be patient, peaceful and obey all laws

needed for peaceful coexistence in the state as the present administration is alive to its responsibility in making life meaningful to its citizens. He advised customers to report to the state government any filling station that sells the product above the recommended price, which in turn, will channel such complaints to the appropriate authorities. The monitoring team visited Total, Conoil filling stations on the Lagos-Ibadan Express way, Total filling station in Ojota, filling stations along Oregun –Ikeja Raod, Mobil and Oando stations on Maryland-Ojota link road, filling stations along Ikorodu –Ojuelegba road and MRS filling station at Alaka, Surulere. The monitoring team will continue its monitoring activities across the state to ensure that the new pump price of N97 is strictly adhered to and filling stations dispense the products to the public.




Nigerian, Netherlands firms partner IOCs, PTDF on geosciences D ANVIC Concepts International Nigeria, an oil service company and dGB Netherlands are partnering international oil companies (IOCs) such as Chevron and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) to enhance the quality of geosciences students produced by Nigerian universities. The Managing Director of Danvic, Mr Mayowa Afe at a press briefing in Lagos, unveiled to reporters the activities of the partnership between Danvic and dGB Netherlands.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

He said the partnership has in the last one year recorded significant achievement in improving the quality of teaching of geosciences in some Nigerian universities with practical teaching equipment used in the oil and gas industry to find oil. He said the essence of the project is to align what is taught in the university with what the industry requires

to make Nigerian graduates employable as soon as they graduate. He said: “Our partnership (Danvic and dGB Netherlands) is to help the Nigerian government’s objective of developing adequate indigenous manpower and technology transfer/ acquisition in the petroleum industry and in support of the various capacity building efforts be-

Cross section of lecturers attending the training at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo State

Siemens wins orders for solar thermal power plants in India IEMENS Energy has been awarded three orders by different customers to supply a total of four steam turbine generator units for solar thermal power plants in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The steam turbines of type SST-700 are intended for the Godawari, Abhijeet and Diwakar & KVK parabolic trough power plants. With a total rating of 300 megawatts (MW), these plants will make a contribution to meeting India's growing electricity demand from solar power when they go on line in the spring of 2013. All four power plant projects in the state of Rajasthan are being constructed as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), the Indian government's ongoing programme for promoting solar power. According to a statement from the company, the programme envisages installing up to 20 gigawatts of solar power capacity in India by the year 2022. The parabolic trough power plants Godawari owned by Godawari Green Energy Limited and Abhijeet owned by Corporate Ispat Alloys Limited are each rated 50MW. Siemens has been awarded contracts for an SST-700 steam turbine generator unit and auxiliary systems for each of these units. The third customer, Lanco Solar Energy, has ordered a steam turbine and generator rated at 100 MW, complete with auxiliary systems for each of the two units of the Diwakar & KVK parabolic trough power plant. "As a leading provider of steam turbines for solar thermal power plants with an excellent track record in Spain and the USA, we are now in the front running on the rapidly developing market in India, too,“ said Markus Tacke, CEO of the Industrial Power busi-


ness unit at Siemens Energy. Siemens said it offers type SST700 steam turbines for solar thermal power plants with a rated output of up to 175 MW. This type of turbine is particularly suitable for use in solar thermal power plants, because it can be run up and down quickly to respond very rapidly to the fluctuating service conditions typical of these plants. In addition, superheating the steam improves the efficiency of the turbines and thus of the power plant as a whole. Steam turbines for solar thermal power plants are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. “In 2011, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about •30 billion, making Siemens one of the world’s largest suppliers of eco-friendly technologies. In the same period, our products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 320 million tons, an amount

ing made by government to enable Nigerian universities effectively handle the onerous task of training qualitative professionals in the oil and gas related disciplines. “On this note, Danvic Concepts International Nigeria and its foreign partner dGB Earth Sciences Netherlands have been partnering with Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and some major IOC’s (Chevron, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, among others operating in Nigeria. “In 2011 we donated our seismic Interpretation software package – OpendTect to the following Nigerian universities: Nassarawa State University, Nassarawa; Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State; Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State; Federal University of Technology Akure and Delta State University Abraka, Delta State, with PTDF and other industry partners donating the requisite hardware necessary to run the software and sponsorship of requisite training to all the lecturers in the benefiting departments.” Afe said that OpendTect software is currently the only available open source seismic interpretation system used in the oil and gas industry worldwide. The base package of OpendTect, he noted is a complete open source seismic interpretation system allowing visualization and interpretation

of multi-volume seismic data using attributes and modern visualization techniques. “Seismic interpreters must be able to quickly scan through multiple volumes of data and combine information to get the optimal view of any geological feature of interest. Therefore, data processing and visualisation are rigorously integrated in the OpendTect system. This is a practical tool through which the understanding of structural geology can be enhanced. As it is Open Source software, it can constitute a key element in our university curriculum, which allows for the understanding of the earth’s structure and the hydrocarbon in place. “This will certainly lead to the enhancement of the training of graduates coming out of Nigeria universities offering geosciences courses thereby making them more employable and relevant to the needs of the oil and gas industry after graduation. It will also help reduce the course of training and re-training by the oil and gas industry after graduation.” He said a single full licence (software) of OpendTect cost $200,000 and multiple licenses are issued to these universities free of charge and Danvic and its partner is encouraged by the feedback of the impact this donation is already having in our universities and therefore already planned to extend the donation to 10 other universities in 2012 while soliciting other stakeholders support in this partnership for the overall enhancement of quality geoscience education in Nigeria.

Firm appoints new VP



equal to the total annual CO2 emissions of Berlin, Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.”

EPTA Energy Nigeria has announced the appointment of Dr. Chidi Chukwueke as the new Vice President, Assets and Joint Venture Management, with effect from November 1, 2011. Chukwueke, according to the company, brings with him over 20 years industry experience spanning integrated exploration, business development, asset development, project and stakeholder management and business relations among others. He provides managerial direction for asset management and key strategic relationship to Septa Energy Nigeria. Prior to joining Septa Energy Nigeria, Chidi was the Business Relations Manager for Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo). He was at various times in his career a Shell partner Liaison Of-

ficer, Exploration Team Lead, Non-Operated Ventures Exploration Team Lead, as well as Subsurface Coordinator at various Shell on-shore operations and deep water services. He was the chairman of the industry wide deep offshore companies group called DOCAG until joining Septa. Chidi’s work experience spans four continents, Europe, the United States, South America and Africa. He co-ordinated the Shell Brazil BC-10 Field Development plan (FDP). Chidi speaks and writes French fluently having lived in France. Chidi holds a first degree in Geology and Mining from the University of Jos, a Masters Degree in Geophysics from University of Montpellier, France and a Doctorate degree in Geophysics (Basin Analysis) from the University of Pau, France.

Energy prices

Domestic prices of petroleum products

Energy & Oil Prices OIL ($/bbl)










































PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Crude Future Dated Brent Spot WTI Cushing Spot OIL (¢/gal)

98.33 109.63 98 .46

-2.21 -1.25 -1.93

-0.20% 1.13% -1.92%

01/20 01/20 01/20

PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Heating Oil Future 298.84 Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future 278.44 NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu)

4.76 3.14

1.03% 0.55%

01/06 01/06

PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Henry Hub Future 2.34 Henry Hub Spot 2.25 New York City Gate Spot 2.53 ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour) PRICE*

0.02 -0.12 -0.22

0.90% -5.067% -8.00%

01/20 01/20 01/20


Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot 23.11 2.02 -8.04% Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot 25.11 0.67% -2.60 BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON 22.15 -1.60 -6.74% • Bloomberg Oil Buyers Guide

01/20 01/20 01/20





Man City writes referee boss

Kakuta: I can succeed at Chelsea


ANCHESTER CITY director of football Brian Marwood has reportedly written to referees' chief Mike Riley seeking clarification over recent decisions. Manchester City director of football Brian Marwood has reportedly written to referees' chief Mike Riley seeking clarification over recent decisions. The letter is thought to have been written after City's 2-2 draw with Liverpool in the League Cup on Wednesday, which saw them eliminated from the competition. Earlier this month City defender Vincent Kompany controversially saw red in their 3-2 FA Cup thirdround clash against Manchester United. And Mario Balotelli was recently handed a four-match suspension for his role in a stamping incident involving Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker. The Sunday Times has reported Marwood has written to Riley concerning the deicisions.


RENCH striker Gael Kakuta believes he has the talent to become a success at Chelsea, and hopes his loan move to Dijon will give him the experience he needs to improve as a player. The 20-year-old forward - who has not featured for the Blues this season, but has played six matches on-loan at Bolton - has found first team opportunities hard to come by at Stamford Bridge, but feels his move to France's Ligue 1 will help develop his game. "I could not be satisfied with a few minutes on the pitch," said Kakuta, who joined Chelsea's youth set-up in 2007. "I need more experience at Dijon to bounce back. "I have to improve on physical and athletic levels, and being more mature in my game. Right level. In life there are ups and downs, but I know I have the right level to play at Chelsea. It was a kid's dream to go there. Even if I didn't play a lot, I learnt a lot. I have no regret. Some coaches trust young players, some not. But the club still trusts me." And former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has had some words of encouragement for Kakuta, even though the Frenchman struggled for opportunities during the Italian's reign. Ancelotti said: "He is a great talent. He needs to play a lot of matches. With me he didn't play a lot. In great clubs, it is difficult to play young players. He had such a problem at Chelsea. At Chelsea he lost some trust."

• Kakuta

• Carroll

Carroll’s display delights Dalglish K

Pardew desperate to keep stars


EWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew is desperate to keep his key men in January, after seeing Andy Carroll join Liverpool last season. Carroll joined Liverpool on deadline day of the January transfer window last season and Pardew admits he fears losing his key men in the current window, with the likes of Cheick Tiote, Demba Ba, Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul reportedly attracting interest from elsewhere. Owner Mike Ashley sanctioned Carroll's sale, and Pardew admits he is concerned a similar situation could arise this season. "I'm scarred by it from last year," Pardew told the Sunday Mirror. "I still have a fear. I'm never going to lose that because I just genuinely didn't believe Andy Carroll was going to go on that last day until I got the phone call in the morning. It just goes to show you have got to be ready."

• Mancini

ENNY Dalglish insists he is keen to continue working with Andy Carroll despite more suggestions Liverpool have tried to offload the striker. Reports have claimed Manchester City turned down an approach from the Merseysiders about a potential swap deal with Carlos Tevez and the £35million England international. That came on the back of speculation earlier this month - dismissed by Liverpool - that Newcastle were keen to take their former number nine back to the north-east if they could get a cut-price deal. Liverpool have refused to comment on the story, insisting they never do on transfer speculation, but after Carroll played a part in both goals in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup win over Manchester United, Dalglish was quick to praise the striker, who has had a tough first 12 months for his new club. "I thought Andy had a fantastic game," said the Scot. "He works really hard and gave everything he's got for us. He has a lot of attributes for us to work on. I am sure that (performance) will do him no harm whatsoever in terms of confidence. "The individual awards are all well and good but collectively we want to start showing an improvement and

winning things and if we continue with that commitment we have a chance." What a difference a week has made for Liverpool. Last Saturday, Dalglish openly criticised his players for the first time after a woeful 3-1 Premier League defeat at Bolton. Since then, they came from behind twice to draw with City and secure a place in the final of the Carling Cup and then dispatched their arch-rivals United out of another knockout competition on Saturday. It has certainly lifted confidence levels at the club but with his side still not consistent enough in the league, Dalglish will not be getting carried away. He was, however, delighted with the response he got from his squad. "We will have to wait and see what this week means for the season but it has got us in a Carling Cup final and the next round of the FA Cup," added the 60-year-old. "It started badly for us at Bolton and it is fantastic credit to the players, and shows how much pride they take in the club, that they got themselves back on track as quickly as they did. "They were two enormous games and coming out on the winning side twice - once on aggregate - deserves great credit.

"It has been a really difficult week for us. To play two good teams like City and United is even more of a task - we've had a good week. "It is much better than it was last Saturday. It is fantastic for us to progress from a very difficult week." All the pre-match talk had been about the behaviour of players and supporters as Patrice Evra returned to the ground for the first time since October's spat with Luis Suarez eventually resulted in the Uruguay international being banned for eight matches for racial abuse. But the focus on Evra took a different shape as, with two minutes remaining, it was his error in getting caught out of position which allowed Carroll to flick on Jose Reina's goalkick to Dirk Kuyt who fired past David de Gea. Unusually for a match which still has the biggest rivalry in English football there were very few flashpoints on the pitch. The main talking point before Kuyt's late winner was the performance of United goalkeeper De Gea, starting his first match of 2012, who was culpable for Liverpool's opener when he allowed himself to be crowded out at a corner - where Carroll played a major part - and Daniel Agger headed home.

Lovenkrands gunning for goal No.100


ETER lovenkrands wants to make it to 100 not out with Newcastle United. Frustrated at being left stranded on 99 career goals, the great Dane – who today celebrates his 32nd birthday – is pleading for a piece of the action as February’s fixtures approach thick and fast. And with his St James’ Park future hanging in the balance, he knows goals are the only currency that will see him cash in with a new contract at the end of the season. Contrary to rogue reports that quoted him giving up on his Toon future, Lovenkrands is desperate to stay in the North East and further his Newcastle future. As one of the few in the squad with experience of European football, he feels he still has something to give to a club he “loves” – but proving it to a hierarchy that are suspicious of lavishing cash on anyone over 27 will be a difficult job. “I am desperate for a chance,” he tells the Sunday Sun. “Last week at Fulham we played with Shola up top and Hatem on the right and Bestie on the left. “I was the only striker on the bench – I was sat there thinking ‘OK, if you need me I’m surely the next one coming on’. “I’m just hoping I get a few minutes soon because I know when I come on I can score goals. It is frustrating.”





Kaka: I’m staying at Real Madrid D

ESPITE intense media speculation linking Brazilian star Kaka with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder has come out to strongly dismiss the rumours. “At no time did [those rumours] come from me, nor were they my will,” said the former-AC Milan player, linked heavily with a move to PSG this summer. “We have spoken [Kaká, Jose Mourinho and Florentino Perez] and we are sure there is nothing doing. “Speculation always exists – it is not the first time that they say I am leaving! But, I have always said my desire is to stay and succeed here.” Kaká has struggled with injury in recent times, but has appeared to have recaptured some of his top form at times this season. Trusted by Mourinho, it is unlikely that the Portuguese would allow his star man to depart for anything less than a massive offer. Meanwhile, Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka praised Mesut Oezil's display after his side's 3-1 victory over Real Zaragoza on Saturday. The German international turned in a great display at the Santiago Bernabeu, setting up Cristiano Ronaldo for their second goal before finding the back of the net himself, as Madrid moved seven points clear of Barcelona on top of La Liga. Oezil's eye-catching

performance came just days after he played a starring role in the club's 2-2 Copa del Rey draw at Barcelona in midweek, and Karanka believes the 23-year-old is regaining top form. "Oezil has not been at the same level as he was last season for some time, but now it seems that he is returning to that level," Karanka said. Karanka was asked about Turkish international Nuri Sahin, who has only made five competitive appearances since joining the club in the off-season and did not make the squad for Saturday's match. "This was a match for him to play in, but in the end we chose (Lassana) Diarra," he said. "He needs to play. We have to be with him and support him. He will give us a hand this season."

Rossi: Amauri's a great player D

ELIO Rossi could not be happier with Amauri’s Fiorentina debut in the 2-1 win over Siena. “He is a great player.” The striker had not played for eight months due to a dispute with Juventus, but arrived on loan this week and had almost the full 90 minutes in today’s Tuscan derby. “It was crucial to win today, although we have to improve the distances between areas of the team. We need to be less frenetic,” said the Coach.

Eriksen: I don't think I will JAX midfielder Christian Eriksen has leave Ajax stressed that he will


not leave the Eredivisie giants in the January transfer window, and added that he is unlikely to move at the end of the season as well. The Denmark international is one of the most sought-after players around in Europe, and has been linked with clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, AC Milan and Barcelona. Nevertheless, Eriksen hinted that he is likely to stay at the Amsterdam Arena until 2013.


"I will definitely not leave Ajax this month, and I probably won't move in the summer either. I have an ongoing contract and I feel like I'm in the right place at the moment," Eriksen said to De Telegraaf. "Of course, I'm flattered that these big clubs are watching me. A transfer has to be a real step forward for me though." Eriksen netted the opener in Ajax's 4-2 Eredivisie loss against Feyenoord on Sunday, but was unable to help the Godenzonen to a positive result.

• Eriksen

“Amauri was coming off a long period of inactivity, but he is a great player and the

mind can push on the legs even when they aren’t in peak condition.

“This morning I made the decision along with Amauri for him to start the game. Will

Coach Dutt dismisses Ballack rift B AYER Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt Sunday dismissed talk of differences with former Germany captain Michael Ballack who was this week criticised by the club's chief executive. Ballack was substituted after an hour last week's 3-2 victory against Mainz and was on the bench for all of Saturday's 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen. But Dutt told Sport1 television in Munich he and 35year-old Ballack were on good terms. "What has actually happened?" Dutt said. "I substituted a player - and we won the game." Ballack's contract runs out at the end of the season but Dutt said he had no interest in letting the player go in the current transfer window


which ends Tuesday. "It's not an issue for me. I am glad for every player I have," he said. "We have the unique opportunity of preparing a worthy farewell for Michael Ballack. "The team can help him and he can help the team, whether he plays or not." Leverkusen chief executive Wolfgang Holzhaeuser told dpa Friday he was disappointed with Ballack's attitude and indicated the midfielder's second spell at the club had failed to live up to expectations. Holzhaeuser was annoyed by Ballack's reaction on being substituted against Mainz when he left the field shaking his head and refused to shake hands with Dutt.

he play against Bologna midweek? We’ll see. Fiorentina changed to a 3-5-2 system because I think it is better suited to the players at my disposal. I’m happy with the result, although of course we have to improve.”

• Ballack

Dortmund focused on title defence

APANESE winger Shinji Kagawa says German champions Borussia Dortmund are fully focused on defending the Bundesliga title after his two goals helped keep his side level at the top of the table with Bayern Munich. The 22-year-old gave his side an early lead at home to Hoffenheim on Saturday and then combined with Germany midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz to score a superb second goal and wrap up a 3-1 win which gives them 40 points. There is now a three-way tie in the Bundesliga with Bayern, Dortmund and Schalke, who

won 4-1 at Cologne also on Saturday, all level on points but Kagawa says his team are just focusing on the way they play, not their rivals. "We don't worry about our opponents, only on what we are doing," said Kagawa. "We are playing to our strengths and it was good that we managed to get an early goal which brought us into the game." Having scored six goals in 17 appearances this season, Kagawa is recapturing the great form he showed last season, his first in Germany, as Dortmund went on to win the title.

His second goal, on 55 minutes, was straight out of a coaching manual as he ran onto a crisp backheel from Grosskreutz and buried his shot in the back of the net. "I'm really happy that I scored two goals, because I had really prepared for this game. "Our third goal was something out of a text book, but the pass from Kevin was great." Kagawa has become a firm fans favourite here and Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park stadium echoed with chants of "Shinji! Shinji!". "He constantly wants the ball, is fast, has good vision

on the pitch and reads the game well, plus he has unbelievable movement," enthused coach Jurgen Klopp. Dortmund have had teenage Germany star Mario Goetze ruled out for up to eight weeks with a groin injury, but Grosskreutz combined well with Kagawa to compensate. "Shinji and I get on well both on and off the pitch, it's always fun to play with such a good footballer," said Grosskreutz, who scored Dortmund's second goal. Dortmund's next league date is away at Nuremberg on Friday.





Powell targets success in 2012


• Powell

AVING to deal with r e p e a t e d disappointment and public doubt concerning his mental toughness, Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell has had to endure a lot in his chequered career; but perhaps there is still time for his reconciliation with sprinting supremacy. It has been over three years since he has entered a major championship as a favourite and his 9.77 and 9.74 seconds 100m world-record marks have long been eclipsed by a certain Usain Bolt. Gripped by introspective turmoil after he was forced to pull out of the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, in what many feel was a real opportunity for him to do better than his two bronze medals return at that championship over the years, and ever conscious of the ticking seconds on his career, Powell has become quite familiar with setbacks and 'could-have-beens'. "I felt alone," Powell said of his World Championships disappointment. "You said if I was there maybe things would have been different. In the back of my head, I was thinking that as well. I was using a lot of my energy thinking about that and wishing for something that wasn't meant to be." Approaching his 30th birthday, the MVP Track Club athlete is certainly no 'spring chicken' and as he told Universal Sports: "My age is running about as fast as I am

Farah ready to get his Olympic kicks in early


HERE will be no donkey derby for Mo Farah. Last week, the golden boy of British athletics had to move into an outer lane because a stray beast refused to budge from lane one of the track he was using for training in Kenya. Back on home ground for his first race of Olympic year, the world 5,000m champion will be hoping to develop a kick like a thoroughbred metric miler rather than a mule. With a view to the last lap of the 10,000m and 5,000m finals in London in August, when Olympic gold will be on the line, Farah has chosen to drop down in distance to test his speed over 1500m in the Aviva International Match. It will be his first 1500m since the Diamond League meeting in Monaco in July 2009. He finished 10th that day in 3min 33.98sec, a personal best. The field includes Augustine Choge, a former winner of the Emsley Carr Mile and an Olympic 1500m finalist in Beijing in 2008 – as well as the 2006 Commonwealth 5,000m champion. The Kenyan – a protégé of Brother Colm O'Connell at St Patrick's High School in Iten, the Rift Valley town from which Farah returned on Thursday after five weeks of highaltitude training – should provide the kind of

searching examination that the Briton's coach, Alberto Salazar, has in mind. "Alberto believes in speed, in doing speed work," Farah said. "In previous years I've done 3,000m indoors but Alberto wants me to start with a 1500m here and then a mile in Boston on 4 February. This year Alberto wants me to work out what my weaknesses are, work on all angles.

"Augustine's a great athlete. He's got tremendous speed. I just want to go out there and see what I can do against him. I want to win but it's not going to be easy. When it comes to the 10,000m and 5,000m in London, unless someone goes really early on it's going to come down to the last lap. It's maybe even going to come down to nought point something. It's

going to take a last lap of 51sec-52sec to win." It is all part of Salazar's master plan to equip his star pupil with every bit of armoury. He has already worked on strengthening Farah's core stability to such an extent that his lateral movement has been reduced. "When you rock and roll, you are wasting energy. When you run as straight, you run faster," Farah added.

Evans ready to face an even bigger challenge


ADEL Evans says recent additions to his BMC team will play a crucial role as he bids to cement his place in cycling history by defending his Tour de France crown in July. But the yellow jersey champion admits his historic feat could pale in comparison with a longer-term challenge –

• Evans

that of being a father to his newly-adopted son. "A Tour de France win only lasts until you lose one," Evans said at a BMC team conference from Spain. "A son you have for the rest of your life." Evans, Australia's first winner of cycling's premier event, revealed in the Herald two weeks ago that he and his Italian wife Chiara had adopted a baby boy. While his BMC team played a vital role last year in his tour victory, they have beefed up the squad since the formidable Schleck brothers joined RadioShack-Nissan, and with Spaniard Alberto Contador making a possible return to the race. Andy Schleck was runner-up in the

race for the third time last year and, with brother Frank also racing under Johan Bruyneel, who steered both Lance Armstrong and Contador to multiple titles, they will be among Evans's biggest challengers. "You can't argue with Johan Bruyneel's record," Evans said. "The Schleck brothers are certainly going to be a force to be reckoned with and more than likely the guys to beat in July." Evans might also have to contend with three-time champion Contador, whose fate following a positive doping test at the 2010 Tour de France is to be decided by the Court of Arbitration for Sport next week. Meanwhile, Tasmanian cyclist Peter Loft sustained severe bruising in Saturday night's three-rider pile-up at the Australian track championships.

and from day one I wasn't planning to run until I am very old. I am approaching this one as if it will be my last Olympic Games." However, like fine wine, the sprinter is hoping to age with intoxicating success in 2012, and if his performances in 2011 are anything to go by, then Powell will certainly have a say in how the medals are split in London later this year. A blistering 9.78 on the European circuit last season would have threatened the world record a few years ago and his 100m Diamond League dominance along with his record 76 sub-10 seconds finishes, says that he still possesses the talent to shift the tide on his younger rivalas on the right day. But for Powell, his efforts to get back to the top of the sprinting world has taken him down a twisting road of admission and refocus. Asafa Powell version 2.0 boasts a tweaked perspective and renewed determination heading into this year's London spectacle. "In life, if you give up very easily then you are not a champion. I want to be remembered as one of the greatest sprinters who has ever touched the track. I want to be a

great champion and I am working toward it. I'm not going to give up," Powell affirmed. However, in one's great future, the past can never be forgotten and as far as the powerful Jamaican is concerned, he was as much a challenge to himself as were Bolt and the others before and after him. "Over the years I have been kind of lazy, thinking my talent alone can do it," Powell admitted. "This year, I am trying something new. This year I am not missing training. I am trying to attend every training session and do all of my workouts." Such is his renewed vigour, that even agent Paul Doyle has felt the air of change. "Asafa has come in with a new attitude, quite honestly, the best attitude we have ever seen him train with," Doyle told The Associated Press. Powell gets 'Mission 2012' under way in an almost new environment, with an indoor campaign that is expected to take him into the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March. Istanbul is the first objective, perhaps, this is where the sprinting star's world-beating renaissance will take new flight.

Murray ready to take next step A NDY Murray feels he is "ready mentally" to take his game to a new level despite his five-set loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. Murray pushed the world number one all the way with a performance which displayed little of the flaws evident in his sobering defeat to the Serbian in last year's final. "Everybody matures at different ages and different rates," he said. "I feel like I'm now ready mentally. Physically I can still get better for sure. But in comparison to how I played last year, it was much, much better." He added: "Tonight's match was important for many reasons. Obviously I wanted to win first and foremost. But I think there's now a very fine line between being number one in the world and being three or four. I think I closed that gap tonight. "My job over the next two or three months is to surpass

him and the guys in front of me. It will take a lot of hard work but hopefully I can do it." Djokovic eventually emerged victorious 6-3 3-6 67 (4/7) 6-1 7-5 but it was a match, all four hours and 50 minutes of it, which was ultimately decided by a few points. Having hit back from 5-2 down in the fifth, Murray failed to convert three break points at 5-5. Djokovic then held and broke himself to win and advance to Sunday's final against Rafael Nadal. "It was obviously a very good match," said Murray. "I had the chance at 5-5, on one of the points I missed a backhand in the net. It was tough at the end, you come back then you get close to breaking so to lose is tough. But (I am a) different player, a different attitude to this time last year. I am proud of the way I fought."

• Murray




Napoli boss Mazzarri: I’m an innovator In charge of Napoli for the last two seasons, Walter Mazzarri is one of a new wave of Italian coaches who have broken with the defensive traditions of Serie A in favour of a more attractive brand of football. Though the former defensive midfielder fell short of the highest level during his playing days, the same cannot be said of his coaching career. A little over two years ago he was recruited from Sampdoria by Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentis, the man who rescued the southern club from oblivion in September 2004. Since taking over from his predecessor Roberto Donadoni, Mazzarri has brought back the glory years of the 1980s, when Napoli traded blows with Italy’s northern giants. In reward for an excellent league campaign last season, I Partenopei secured a place in the UEFA Champions League and are now awaiting a Round of 16 tie against Chelsea. A place in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia is also theirs following last week’s 2-0 defeat of Inter Milan. Discussing the Neapolitan renaissance with, Mazzarri reveals his vision of the game, his short- and longterm goals and his methods for managing a side crammed with attacking talent.


ALTER, you hail from Tuscany but you have a reputation in Italy for being as superstitious as a Neapolitan. Is there any truth in that? Not really. I believe in organising my work down to the last detail, and the way I see things there really isn’t much room for superstition. Obviously there are times when things go well and you look back and put it down to something that’s brought you luck. When that happens I always ask my players to repeat everything they’ve done in the lead-up to winning a game. You also have a reputation as a straight talker and you’ve said that you always speak your mind. Is that not risky in modern-day football? Yes, that is my motto. I know it’s a risky approach in the football world but I’m proud of the way I am. I want to approach football in the same way I approach life: always the same, no compromises. You were Renzo Ulivieri’s assistant coach at Napoli during the 1998/99 season. How much had the club changed when you came back in 2009? An awful lot has changed. For a start, football has changed a lot more quickly than you think. Working with Ulivieri was very useful for me. I’ve grown and developed since then and I’ve had a lot of different experiences (the Napoli job is the eighth of his club career). And in terms of the club I think everything’s changed over these last ten years. Is this the first time you’ve been in charge of such a strong team? It’s the strongest team I’ve coached, which is not quite the same way of looking at it. It all depends on what yardstick you’re using. I’m talking about a

team with potential, who can then go out on the pitch and play good football. You’re employing a 3-43 formation at Napoli, though the team are at their most dangerous on the break. Why is that and does it not go against the grain in the land of catenaccio? That’s exactly the reason why I see myself as an innovator. I’m an Italian coach but I advocate a flexible style of football that isn’t based on just the one system. In any case, it’s not the system that counts but the mindset, the movements and the selection of players according to their position on the pitch. We’re effective on the counter because these days teams have to be capable of doing everything as well as they possibly can. The counterattack is effective when it’s launched from deep down the pitch, with the whole team involved. Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Goran Pandev, Marek Hamsik and now Eduardo Vargas: how do you manage to juggle a squad of players with so much goalscoring talent? And who told you they all have to play at the same time? (laughs) Having so many attackers in the squad means you’ve always got plenty of good options, just like any big team. It’s also important to get your selections right, to look at the formation and know which player will contribute most to the team. It’s how the team plays that’s always the key thing for me. Players are there to make the side stronger. Are you eventually looking to make Napoli play the same kind of football as Barcelona? We know what kind of system works best for our team and we’re trying to develop that as much as we can. We don’t model ourselves on any side, but obviously Barcelona, who are making history right

now, have a winning mentality and that’s the image they’re projecting to everyone. A lot of other clubs have studied the way they play, and their style is a benchmark for everyone. Which is more important to you right now: beating Chelsea in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League or a top-three finish in Serie A? We said at the start of the season that this ought to be a year of development. We’re not thinking about any specific objectives but we’ll fulfil all our commitments as best we possibly can. We’ll analyse everything at the end of the season and draw our conclusions then. Marcello Lippi has said that Napoli are playing the most exciting and interesting football in Italy. Is your priority to play an attractive game or to get results at all cost? My thanks to Lippi for rating us so highly. The ideal thing for me is to play elegant, dynamic football that’s easy on the eye, but it goes without saying that we’re doing our utmost to get results at the same time. You’ve said in the past that you want to be the “Alex Ferguson of Naples”. Does that mean you want to stay here for a long time and achieve something lasting? I like the way Ferguson has gone about his work at Manchester [United]. It’s a very functional model, one you see in England more than anywhere else, and it's clear that I find the role of manager-coach fascinating. Do you think Napoli have finally emerged from the shadow of Diego Maradona? Every era is different. Maradona represents Napoli’s history and we’re doing all we can to make the city understand that. That said, we are proud to have brought the enthusiasm and passion of that period back to Naples. Culled from

•Walter Mazzarri




AVIATION Akwa Ibom Airport terminal to cost N18.05b

•The Chairman , Justice George Oguntade (middle) flanked by Hon. Bala Ibn. NaAllah (left) and Hon. K.G.B. Oguakwa, during the sitting of the panel set to probe British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways for alleged clandestine acts in Lagos PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

TRACON has solved air traffic control crisis, says NAMA W ITH the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON), problems associated with air traffic control have been solved, the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency (NAMA) has said. According to NAMA, with TRACON, gone are the days of battling to separate aircraft by air traffic controllers (ATCs) because of malfunctioned equipment. NAMA’s General Manager in charge of its Port Harcourt office Francis Barile Mepba said before TRACON it was a tug of war monitoring aircraft while in flight He said:“Before the advent of TRACON, it had been a very tactful assignment in the sense it was the period of unnecessary delays on ground because of the procedural air traffic control where you cannot see the aircraft you

Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

are communicating with. It was a kind of blind air traffic services before the introduction of TRACON.” According to Mepba,with the distance of over 250 nautical miles from Port Harcourt, the TRACON covering Enugu, Calabar, Eket, Osubi, Benin and beyond, have been minimised with the capability of monitoring flying aircraft in these airports. The equipment, he said has reduced flight hours and cost of operation by airlines as they consume less fuel. Mepba said the risks associated with bad weather have been TRACON. “Even in severe weather condition occasioned by thunder storm, the radar controller is able to bring the aircraft in to land. The equipment has not given us any problems whatso-

ever.“ On the servicing of the TRACON, he said before the inauguration that most of the air traffic engineers were sent abroad to it was manufactured for retraining in order to maintain it with already available spare parts in stock. Mepba lamented that all NAMA equipment at the airport were run on generating plants which has eaten deep into the finance of the organisation as millions of naira are committed to the running of these equipment. “The major problem we are facing now is power supply. We run our generators 24 hours, we do not want to wait until we have power surge. The few occasions we have had to depend on PHCN, it was either the voltage is low or more and you start getting warning alarms everywhere.”

Experts urge NCAA to audit airlines


OME aviation experts have called on the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authorty ( NCAA) to undertake a financial audit of carriers to ascertain their solvency. The audit will enable passengers make their choice among the airlines, they said. President of Aviation Roundtable, Captain Dele Ore and Mr Sam Akerele, a traffic control consultant made the suggestion while assessing the state of domestic airlines in the country. They affirmed that as much as the economic and safety audit carried by the civil aviation regulator, NCAA, is not made public, passengers will continue to think airlines are in solid financial state. They explained that a situation in which some of the carriers cannot carry out regular maintenance of their aircraft, pay insurance premium on their operational equipment as well as meet their financial obligation to staff, there is serious cause for con-

cern. They said some of the airlines may soon pack up. The industry think tank group also called on the NCAA to consider looking into the books of the airlines as it affects the salaries of crew and other operational personnel, the state of the aircraft, the airlines are utilising, the maintenance schedule of the aircraft, as well as how the carriers are meeting up with payment for insurance and its profit and loss balance sheet. This comes as the experts also called on the Federal Government to draw up a policy for the development of the aviation sector, which will provide the road map for infrastructure provision, manpower development as well as how to drive private sector investment in the industry. The experts also spoke of the plans by the Federal Government to re- model some airports which they said is uncalled for, proposing rather the privatisation of airports, which they reasoned is

the only way to go in the face of failed policies. They said: “We recommend a complete privatisation of airports in the industry rather than remodelling of the airports. The development or expansion of airports infrastructure at our airports should depend on the availability of lands, funds and resources. “Rather than remodel the airport, government should adopt the policy of public private partnership (PPP) to construct new terminals at Lagos, which is handling , 70 per cent of domestic and international passenger traffic.A transit lounge should be set up for transiting passengers to minimise delays in facilitation procedures.” On security upgrade at the airports, they said : “ There is competition and rivalry among security agencies at the airport such that there is buck - passing among the agencies in the event of breaches.

THE Akwa Ibom State government and Messrs ALCON Nigeria Limited have signed a contract of N18.05 billion for the construction of the international terminal of the Ibom International Airport. Speaking during the signing of the contract at the Government House, Uyo, Governor Godswill Akpabio said the ceremony was in line with his administration’s quest to transform the state from being a pedestrian state to a destination state. He said at the advent of his administration in 2007 that he promised the people to complete the first phase of the airport. Akpabio disclosed that since the commencement of the inaugural flight on September 23, 2009 till date, the statistics available shows that the Ibom airport has been rated as the most industry compliant airport as well as the fastest growing airport in the country since 1960. According to him, so far 403, 663 passengers have been recorded in the last two years of operation in the airport.

Akpabio stated that the success including the international flights that airlifted pilgrims to Israel, Rome and Greece were made possible with the use of the interim terminal building and considering the number of passengers and flights the terminals have been overstretched and also have become inadequate. He maintained that to further consolidate on the status of the airport and to attain the necessary regulatory standards, he has approved the construction of the state-of-the art-international terminal. In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of ALCON Nigeria Ltd, Mr Gianfranco Falcioni assured the governor of his company’s readiness to complete the project on schedule even if it means working day and night. He thanked the state government for the confidence reposed on his company for a second time. The project is to completed in 24 months.

Dubai registers 51m passengers DUBAI International registered another record year for passenger traffic with the airport’s 2011 passenger numbers reaching 50.98 million, up 8 per cent over the 47.2 million passengers who passed through the facility in 2010. According to the annual traffic report issued today by Dubai Airports, December passenger numbers reached 4.69 million, an increase of 10.2 per cent compared to 4.26 million recorded during the same month in 2010. Aircraft movements totalled 29,519 in December, an increase of 7.7 per cent from the 27,398 registered during the same period last year and 326,317 for the full year up 6.2 per cent versus 2010. Average passenger numbers per passenger aircraft movement remained flat at 184 compared to 185 during 2010 as the airport continues to benefit from the efficiencies offered by the large number of wide-body jets that operate into it. During 2011, 28 new passenger destinations were added while 17

were discontinued boosting overall passenger destinations served by Dubai International to 215 compared to 204 just one year ago. The strongest markets served in terms of total passenger numbers included India, UK, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, Germany and USA. The most significant percentage traffic growth during the year was seen on routes linking Dubai to Eastern Europe (+81 per cent), Russia & CIS (+30.5 per cent) AGGC (+26.5 per cent) and North America (+16.1 per cent). Air freight traffic rebounded slightly in December to 189,593 tonnes, reflecting a modest increase of 0.8 per cent compared to the 188,103 tonnes handled during the same period last year. Full 2011 cargo volumes totalled 2.19 million tonnes down 1.5 per cent from the 2.22 tonnes recorded in 2010. Cargo traffic was impacted by economic uncertainty in Europe and US which eroded consumer confidence and led to a drop in exports, notably from Asia.

Qatar gets awards QATAR Airways has received accolades at the prestigious Business Traveller USA magazine awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Readers voted the Five-Star carrier Best Airline for International Travel for the third consecutive year at its 23rd annual Best in Business Awards. The airline was also awarded Best Business Class to the Middle East. The awards recognize 35 different travel service providers in

54 categories. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the airline’s winning streak can be attributed to its high standards of quality and service. “Everything we do and provide, from personalised treatment and customer service, to in-flight duty free and onboard cuisine, is FiveStar and based on superior attention to detail and customer satisfaction,” said Al Baker.

British Airways launches discounts


RAVELLING to the United Kingdom, United States, Europe and Canada has become a lot more affordable with British Airways as the airline has announced special discounts in its World Traveller (economy)and World Traveller Plus (premium economy) cabins. The Hot Winter Sale fares are available for flights from Lagos or Abuja to the UK, US, Canada and a number of popular European destinations. The offer comes hard on the heels of its pre-Christmas special which included discounts of up to 20 per cent in the business class cabin. Speaking on the offer, BA’s Country Commercial Manager for Nigeria, Mr. Kola Olayinka said prices

to London, UK domestic destinations and Europe from Abuja start from $299 in World Traveller or $799 in world Traveller Plus. The same fares from Lagos are $349 in World Traveller and $849 in World Traveller Plus. In Europe, the offer extends to destinations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. He said the selling period for the offer commenced on January 18 and ends on February 14, 2012, with the outbound travel fixed for between January 18 to June 14, 2012, and return at any time within the next 12 months. He advised customers willing to take advantage of the offer to make sure the book on or before February 14, 2012.





NEWS Family petitions Orji, police From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia


HE family of Sopuruchi Nzeadibe, who was allegedly murdered on September 30, last year, by a 72-year old man, Chikara Ugorji of Ehume, Umuahia South Local Government of Abia State, has petitioned Governor Theodore Orji and the police. The Nzeadibe family said since November 17, last year, when the suspect was arraigned before a Chief Magistrate's Court in Umuahia, nothing has been heard about the case. The magistrate court had ordered that the case be transferred to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for the arraignment of the suspect before a high court in Umuahia. In the petition, the family’s counsel, Eze Ihekoronye, posited that the DPP and the judiciary workers are trying to disobey the order of a high court which refused the accused bail and ordered the prosecution to file information on the matter for an accelerated hearing.

Anambra cleric warns against violence


HE Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rev E m m a n u e l Chukwuma, has warned those scheming to distract the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to retrace their steps. He hailed the achievements of Anambra State Governor Peter Obi in reinvigorating the affairs of the Southeast governors. Chukwuma spoke in a sermon during a thanksgiving service by the family of Sena-

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

tor Andy Uba, at Uga. THe cleric called for an end to the violence rocking the North, stressing that Nigerians should all contribute to the nation’s success. He urged Ndigbo to forge a common and united front to protect their interest. Obi urged the people to pray for the country as it is passing through a challenging period.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (second left); Deputy Governor Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori (right); Ekiti State Deputy Governor Mrs Funmi Olayinka (left); the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi and Aregbesola’s wife, Sherifat, at the monarch’s palace

Ebonyi awards N16b water contract From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki


HE Ebonyi State Government has awarded a N16 billion water contract to enable water get to Abakaliki from the newly constructed Oferekpe water scheme and Ukawu water schemes. The government said the 2012 budget estimate of N86.9 billion which is higher than last year's budget of N73.3 billion would make funds available to complete all ongoing projects. The Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Timothy Odaah, said the priority of the government is to complete the three rice clusters in the senatorial zones, the 10.2 kilometre of Abakaliki-Enugu road and other projects yet to be completed. He said: “Our focus this year is to ensure the reticulation of water from the Oferekpe and Ukawu water scheme completed by the state government to Abakaliki, the state capital. "That project is estimated to cost N16 billion. The project is underlaying a single pipe line from the water schemes to Abakaliki. After the laying of the pipe, the reticulation would now commence. "The project would ensure that there is 24 hour water supply in Abakaliki and its environs."

Security agencies hailed


KWA Ibom State Deputy Governor Nsima Ekere has hailed the police and other security agencies for restoring Akwa Ibom to its position as the most peaceful state in the Niger Delta. Speaking at the weekend during a gala nite in honour of participants of the Senior Course 34 of the Nigeria Study Tour for 2012 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Ekere hailed the commit-

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

ment and sacrifice of the security men towards the attainment of peace in the state. The Deputy Governor, represented Governor Godswill Akpabio. He said the state has witnessed phenomenal growth in the last four and half years. Ekere listed some of the achievements as the 200 roads and the Independent Power Plant and the International Airport.

Okorocha seeks support for agric From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri


MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has promised to partner the American government to revamp and reposition some critical sectors, such as agriculture, education and tourism. He spoke when he received the American Consular-General, Joseph Stafford, at the Government House, Owerri. Okorocha said Imo has huge potentials that can be of great interest to the American government. He said the state has the longest deposit of gas in Nigeria. The governor lamented that though oil was first discovered in Imo State, the state is yet to receive the attention it deserves by the oil companies operating in Nigeria, especially the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). He urged the American government to strengthen its relation with the state by establishing its office in Owerri. Okorocha enjoined the American government to assist the country in strengthening its democratic institutions to address the some temporary setbacks that have continued to cause failure in the system. Stafford said his mission was to familiarise with the state government and further identify the possible areas of partnership. Stafford lauded Okorocha’s developmental programmes and his free education policy.


Supreme Court okays Sylva’s nomination suit

HE Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva to validate his nomination as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming election. The five-man panel, headed by Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, also granted an order for accelerated hearing in the appeal of PDP and the cross appeal filed by Sylva and fixed February 7 for the hearing. “In view of the fact that this is a political matter and requires urgency, the application for accelerated hearing is hereby granted. “The appeal and cross appeal are fixed for February 7 for hearing,” Justice

•Hearing of appeal Feb 7 From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Mukhtar said. The issue before the apex court is to determine PDP’s candidate for the February 11 election. Sylva wants the court to uphold the January, last year primary he won. PDP prefers the November primary won by Henry Seriake Dickson. In a notice of cross appeal filed by his counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Sylva is contending that he remains the authentic candidate, having won the primary conducted by the party in January, which was monitored by the Independent

National Electoral Commission (INEC). According to him, he has neither resigned nor died; the two circumstances upon which his nomination could be replaced. Sylva told the apex court that time is of essence as the election is fast approaching. He urged the court to invoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to decide the lawful candidate of the PDP. He is seeking “an order that, in view of all urgency and circumstances of this case, this is a case in which the powers of the Supreme Court in Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act ought to

be invoked and to so determine the merit of the case.” He prayed for “an order granting all the reliefs of the cross–appellant /plaintiff as contained in his originating summons before the Federal High Court and any other consequential order[s]”. An Abuja Federal High Court had warned the PDP against conducting a fresh primary election. Following an exparte application by Sylva, Justice Gabriel Kolawole summoned the defendants to come and show cause why he should not grant all the reliefs sought. Ignoring the warning, the PDP conducted the primary which produced Dickson as winner.

Ezeife hails ‘presidential material’ Peter Obi


HE first civilian governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has recommended Governor Peter Obi for president. Ezeife, who spoke on Igbo presidency in 2015, said only the Igbo could stop themselves from becoming president. He, however, said the dream could be realised, if the Igbo shortlist five candidates from which one would be chosen by general consensus rather than by force. “So if the Igbo people say ‘yes’ to Igbo presidency in 2015, I will say ‘yes’ in support and it will happen, but if our people begin to shake and allow all kinds of wa-

•Nnewi hails governor From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

vering, then we will be the cause of our downfall,” Ezeife warned. The former governor singled out Obi for what he described as his accomplishments in infrastructure and administration, his fiscal discipline and leadership qualities which made him the chairman of Southeast Governors’ Forum. Ezeife said: “Obi has been underrated by our people too much and I don’t know why. “I was told I was tightfisted and that he is even

more tight-fisted but there has been some significant physical development of Anambra State. “He is highly rated in financial management across the country. “Peter Obi is actually one of those who should be considered for the office of president, because he has done quite well.” He said the Boko Haraminduced violence in the country would only succeed in further delaying the North from returning to power. He regretted that after the North had ruled Nigeria for

38 years, it should be willing to give others a chance instead of claiming that it was born to rule. Nnewi people yesterday thanked Obi for taking care of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu during his last days on earth. Igwe Kenneth Orizu said that what distinguished Obi was that he did all without making noise. Igwe Orizu said: ‘’Even with all you did for the Ikemba, you did not shout it nor sought to make a political statement out of it. “Nnewi people are grateful and we pray that God would reward you .’’

Edo Commissioner remanded in custody


DO State AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice Osagie Obayuwana has been remanded in custody for alleged contempt of court. A Federal High Court yesterday ordered that Obayuwana be remanded in custody, until the government provides an affidavit of compliance of an earlier in-

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

junction given by the court. Justice Adamu Hobon, who gave the remand order, had last week issued a bench warrant for the commissioner’s arrest for continued absence in court despite repeated orders for Obayuwana to appear in person.

But Obayuwana told The Nation on telephone last week that he was surprised by the arrest warrant as he was never served any court order. The case was brought to the court by Churchgate Industries Limited against the attorney-general and Osaro Idah, the State Secretary of the Action Congress of Ni-

geria, (ACN) over the government’s alleged refusal to obey an injunction given against it in 2003. Commissioner of Police Umar Manko confirmed that the court Registrar brought the warrant of arrest to his office last week but he advised that the matter be resolved amicably.




Flour Mills plans N20b investment


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 2.76

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 100 263.00 100 263.00


No of Deals 12 3 11 26

Quotation(N) 0.83 24.25 8.65

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 834,610 679,896.30 26,500 611,165.00 146,438 1,212,315.00 1,007,548 2,503,376.30

Quotation(N) 2.17 6.97

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,000 2,260.00 988,624 6,848,406.06 989,624 6,850,666.06

Quotation(N) 0.50 1.20

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 49,250 24,625.00 112,157 139,001.20 161,407 163,626.20

Quotation(N) 5.02 2.32 4.00 1.49 9.48 13.84 7.06 3.40 0.91 2.10 8.65 0.52 0.53 12.01

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 3,025,911 15,521,780.96 706,525 1,636,774.33 8,947,354 35,769,153.52 71,005,735 105,307,461.07 9,244,627 88,670,164.33 10,262,766 142,063,909.07 969,188 6,992,653.98 6,115,340 21,320,224.80 2,650,943 2,411,480.06 10,292,467 21,651,741.02 1,167 9,592.74 1,598,079 824,535.63 1,263,649 667,209.47 3,041,944 36,590,072.45 129,125,695 479,436,753.43

Quotation(N) 220.50 5.59 92.08

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 363,064 79,918,851.25 218,010 1,218,675.90 304,828 28,217,106.66 885,902 109,354,633.81


No of Deals 1 55 56


No of Deals 5 13 18 BANKING


No of Deals 94 22 22 122 448 395 44 63 37 180 2 23 16 165 1,633 BREWERIES


No of Deals 54 9 122 185


No of Deals 21 10 19 34 84

Quotation(N) 10.99 5.24 119.00 44.35

Quantity Traded Value 151,446 127,043 218,240 92,398 589,127

of Shares (N) 1,654,028.27 675,570.07 25,953,705.05 4,173,551.85 32,456,855.24

Quotation(N) 8.45 15.22 1.07

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,000 42,250.00 23,471 363,127.96 666 679.32 29,137 406,057.28


No of Deals 3 14 2 19


No of Deals 6 6

Quotation(N) 2.31

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 120,083 282,611.33 120,083 282,611.33


No of Deals 4 1 5

Quotation(N) 8.85 1.38

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 113,396 1,061,878.92 1,030 1,359.60 114,426 1,063,238.52

Quotation(N) 1.47 28.50 0.59 29.21 29.90

Quantity Traded Value 11,254 261,932 3,718,590 822,463 162,839 4,977,078

Quotation(N) 31.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 24,505 791,617.50 24,505 791,617.50


No of Deals 5 48 30 71 44 198

of Shares (N) 17,276.14 7,471,436.35 2,207,024.40 24,026,166.28 4,752,433.12 38,474,336.29


No of Deals 11 11

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Gbedebo said the third stage of the company’s investment in edible oils would be the establishment of palm plantations to augment local raw material supplies, and the establishment of an additional 750 metric tons per day multi-oil refinery and margarine packaging plant at Agbara Industrial Estate, Lagos State. He pointed out that the company’s Kaboji and Sunti Farms in two different locations in Niger State were among the first agro-allied enterprises to benefit from Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention fund - Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme. He noted that the growing of soya, maize and oil palms for processing into edible oils and animal feeds conforms with governments’ agricultural transformation agenda which encourages agro-industrial development. He said with these largescale agricultural projects, the company has been able to provide direct employment, economic empowerment and stimulation in the project areas reiterating the commitment of the Flour Mills Group to long-term sustainable agro-industrial development in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market opened this week on a bearish note as aggregate market capitalisation of all equities dropped by N50 billion to close at N6.534 trillion compared with its opening value of N6.584 trillion. The benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI), which tracks all common equities, dropped



No of Deals 1 1 2

Quotation(N) 1.34 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 6,000 8,400.00 10,000 5,000.00 16,000 13,400.00


No of Deals 18 24 79 57 28 8 1 16 44 1 276

Quotation(N) 46.00 10.52 5.07 5.05 60.10 3.22 5.66 4.18 430.00 21.48

Quantity Traded Value 35,152 55,597 1,225,413 2,549,947 73,630 97,021 3,289 564,159 25,021 958 4,630,187

of Shares (N) 1,550,595.28 587,120.90 6,187,529.37 12,878,039.37 4,481,265.10 300,076.99 17,694.82 2,334,732.65 10,874,813.54 19,552.78 39,231,420.80

Quotation(N) 0.67 0.80 22.70 2.87 1.03 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 10,000 6,571.30 303,809 240,077.20 45,148 1,035,404.00 49,000 138,695.38 61,860 60,622.80 200 100.00 470,017 1,481,470.68


No of Deals 3 8 9 12 8 1 41


No of Deals 3 16 19

Quotation(N) 6.83 3.85

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 81,872 559,185.76 395,198 1,541,260.32 477,070 2,100,446.08


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 6,800 3,400.00 6,800 3,400.00

Quotation(N) 0.52 0.77 0.50 2.09 0.50 0.57 1.23 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.92 0.50 0.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value 2,881,954 550,000 10,000 859,748 50,000 31,488,050 1,466,400 121,600 58,333 175,000 92,603,007 34,223 201,200 25,300 28,900 1,000 130,554,715


by 0.77 per cent from 20,892.66 points to 20,731.72 points. With the decline yesterday, the year-to-date return at the stock market slipped to 0.01 per cent, raising fear that downward pricing trend yesterday may push the market to negative return. The downtrend yesterday was exacerbated by losses suffered by highly capitalised stocks, although the preponderance of losers to gainers also tilted the table towards the bears. Guinness Nigeria led the slackers with a loss of N9.50 to close at N220.50. MRS Oil and Gas Plc followed with a loss of N2.80 to close at N53.25 share. Conoil followed with a drop of N1.55 to close at N29.45. Dangote Cement dropped N1 to close at N119. Oando lost 99 kobo to close at N18.91 per share. PZ Cussons Nigeria dropped by 50 kobo to close at N28.50 while NCR Nigeria lost 46 kobo to close at N8.85 per share. On the positive side, Presco led 15 other stocks on the gainers’ list with a gain of 41 kobo to close at N8.65. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company followed with a gain of 33 kobo to close at N6.97. BOC Gases added 32 kobo to close at N6.83 while UAC of Nigeria chalked up 20 kobo to close at N29.21 per share. Total turnover stood at 281.45 million shares valued at N858.64 million in 3,096 deals. Insurance subsector topped activity chart with a turnover of 130.55 million shares valued at N71.14 million shares in 127 deals. Banking subgroup trailed with a turnover of 129.91 million shares worth N487.41 million in 1,687 deals.



•Market loses N50b

LOUR Mills Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s second big gest food and beverages company with a market capitalisation of N113 billion, at the weekend concluded agreements to invest N7 billion in the supply of a new 500 metric ton per day edible oil extraction and refining facility to be established in Ibadan. The latest investment constituted the second phase of Flour Mill’s three-stage N20 billion investment programme in the cultivation and extraction of edible oil from soybeans and oil palm. The first stage involved the expansion of the company’s soybeans cultivation in Kaboji, Niger State and the purchase of an existing oil extraction and refining business in Ibadan. Head of Flour Mills AgroIndustrial Division, Mr. Paul Gbededo, said the new oil complex will bring additional capacity to the company’s existing edible oil operations and provide much needed raw materials for Flour Mill’s animal feed milling operations, thus providing synergy, economy of scale and cost reduction for the group. According to him, the new plant would more than double the extraction capacity to 500 metric tons per day of soy and 300 metric tons per day of palm kernel. He noted that the extracted crude oils would be refined in 400 metric tons per day state-of-the-art multi-oil refinery to be established on a new site purchased for this purpose while a 100 metric tons per day fractionation plant will split 100 metric tons per day of the refined palm oil into Olein, which would be bottled for retail consumption and stearines for industrial use.

of Shares (N) 1,495,855.93 417,500.00 5,000.00 1,796,873.32 25,000.00 18,882,380.00 1,804,192.00 60,800.00 29,166.50 87,500.00 46,303,775.50 17,111.50 185,104.00 12,650.00 14,450.00 500.00 71,137,858.75

Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 4 4

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 459,718 229,859.00 459,718 229,859.00

Quotation(N) 0.79

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,750,104 2,230,502.18 2,750,104 2,230,502.18

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 119,000 59,500.00 119,000 59,500.00


No of Deals 75 75 MEDIA

Company Name DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 9 9


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 469 234.50 469 234.50

Quotation(N) 1.62

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,213,875 1,952,055.75 1,213,875 1,952,055.75


No of Deals 61 61


No of Deals 2 12 4 3 10 110 17 158

Quotation(N) 53.25 29.45 2.80 12.18 133.00 18.91 190.00

Quantity Traded Value 100,000 107,202 82,963 24,894 8,759 1,310,494 90,484 1,724,796

of Shares (N) 5,325,000.00 3,158,588.90 232,296.40 288,272.52 1,118,306.71 25,028,733.17 17,301,843.00 52,453,040.70


No of Deals 3 6 9

Quotation(N) 2.95 3.25

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 121,600 358,720.00 26,738 86,888.50 148,338 445,608.50

Quotation(N) 12.60

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 61,877 740,967.47 61,877 740,967.47


No of Deals 11 11


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,000 2,600.00 5,000 2,600.00


No of Deals 54 54

Quotation(N) 10.25

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 786,629 7,975,083.13 786,629 7,975,083.13







Access completes Intercontinental Bank’s acquisition


CCESS Bank Plc yesterday an nounced the completion of its acquisition of Intercontinental Bank. This follows approvals from the regulators, judiciary and shareholders of both institutions. A statement from Access Bank said after gazetting, Intercontinental Bank stands dissolved without being wound up and all its assets and liabilities are now vested in Access Bank Plc. “This transaction creates a formidable Nigerian financial institution comfortably positioned in the top four ranking of the country’s financial institutions by most metrics,” the statement said. It said the merger has repositioned the Nigerian banking sector on the African continent as the combined entity has the potential of ranking amongst Africa’s top 10 banks according to The Bankers’ Magazine’s

Stories by Collins Nweze

review of top African banks in its current edition. The new entity according to the statement, has customer base of 5.7 million and branch network of 309 while the asset base is about N2 trillion among other indices. Speaking on the merger, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc said: “The conclusion of this transaction is a significant step forward for the Nigerian banking sector. It has preserved thousands of Nigerian jobs, protected the savings of millions of Nigerian citizens and lays the foundation for the creation of a truly great, African bank. “It brings together the proven prudential management of Access Bank and the extensive geographical footprint of Intercontinental Bank, with

nificant human and financial resources to customer and other stakeholder engagement via its world-class contact centre, Short Messaging System (SMS), and online banking. Some analysts have opined that the integration has the potential of increasing the Bank’s operational costs and depleting earnings in the near term; they will be pleased to learn that Access Bank management has swiftly implemented the integration imperatives, particularly cost management measures and eliminated duplicities in systems, infrastructure and resources. The bank worked closely with Accenture to determine optimal level of resources to support a lender of its size that serves customers efficiently, is financially sound and delivers acceptable returns to investors. Part of this process included a benchmarking against local and foreign financial institutions. The bank explained that while the merger was able to rescue Intercontinental Bank, its legacy of poorly conceived investments, cost inefficiency and sub-optimal returns were inherited by Access Bank Plc.

one of the largest networks of branches and ATMs.” He said staff of the bank have worked hard to achieve the result, adding that the speed and efficiency with which it has been accomplished confirms the quality of its management team. “Importantly, our customers have experienced minimal disruption and we would like to express our sincere appreciation to them for enabling this successful combination,” he said. The customers of the combined bank will benefit from a product range, which blends the very best of both Access and Intercontinental Banks products. Customers will also benefit from an expanded network of 309 branches along with a network of 1600 ATMs across Nigeria. To ensure that the customers of the bank enjoy superior banking services, Access Bank said it is committing sig-

Fortis Mobile promotes cash-less economy


HE Group Head, e-Busi ness Fortis mobile Money, Stanley Anome Jecobs has said the organisation is determined to lead the revolution for a cash-less economy in the country as proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN. Jacobs, who spoke in Jos yesterday, said: “Fortis Mobile will ensure it brings people in the grassroots who are unable to deal with commercial banks in the country into the new cashless policy”. He said over the years, Nigeria has been known for the movement of physical cash, which is very expensive considering the insecurity situation noting that there is need now for the country to go cash-less and stop carrying physical cash. He said: “There is the need to

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

pay everything you want to buy with devices, mobile phone card and other e-payment systems, stressing that is the reason the CBN is pushing for a cashless economy. Jecobs said that Plateau State chapter of NAMB is very proactive, noting that they have seen the cashless revolution is on and they have chosen to embrace mobile money. He said: “Mobile money principle work on agency banking people to do their financial transaction within their communities. Instead of moving from one place to another and spending money on transportation, this transaction that ordinarily would have been done in the bank will be done right in your community at

an agent location.” Meanwhile former senator Davou DB Zang and chairman national association of micro finance banks Plateau State chapter and chairman Highland Microfinance bank, commended Fortis mobile money for the enlightenment campaign for operators of micro finance banks in the state. He said that micro finance banks in barely three years of existence in Plateau State have recorded tremendous achievement in the sector. Zang appealed to Plateau State government to establish more micro finance banks in the rural areas for the benefit of farmers, petty traders, cooperative society and women organisations in the grassroots.

Naira eases on strong dollar demand


HE naira eased against the dollar on the interbank market and at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) bi-weekly forex auction yesterday on strong dollar demand from importers, dealers said. The naira according to Reuters News closed at 161.35 to the dollar on the interbank market, weakening from Friday’s closing level of 160.90. “Demand for the dollar has been rising fast relative to supply, causing the naira to depreciate,” one dealer said. At the bi-weekly forex auction, the CBN sold $250 million at 157.05 naira to the dollar, compared with $250


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


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 8.24 6.64 6.51 2.67 1.56 0.80 0.75 4.96 0.58 1.47

C/PRICE 8.65 6.97 6.83 2.80 1.62 0.83 0.77 5.05 0.59 1.49

CHANGE 0.41 0.33 0.32 0.13 0.06 0.03 0.02 0.09 0.01 0.02


O/PRICE 2.20 31.00 56.05 19.90 9.31 5.88 4.04 0.96 230.00 9.86

C/PRICE 2.09 29.45 53.25 18.91 8.85 5.59 3.85 0.92 220.50 9.48


Offered ($) Demanded ($)



million at 156.85 naira it sold at its previous auction last week. Traders said demand for the dollar stood at around $306 million at the official window. “The naira could trade above 162 to the dollar in the coming days if we don’t see significant dollar sales by oil multinationals,” another trader said. Dollar sales by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and some multinational oil companies have amounted to more than $900 million in the last two weeks, helping the naira strengthen to a three-week high last week.



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


Analysts said that to ensure the long term sustainability and growth of the merged entity, it is important that the bank’s cost structures are brought in line with Nigerian and global best practice. Consequently some rationalisation of resources and staff was necessary. “We have taken care to ensure all aspects of the rationalisation process are fair, objective, transparent and generous,” the statement said.



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

Aug ’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% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 118.85 98.43 0.76 1.04 0.88 1,642.73 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,351.90 193.00

9.08 1.00 118.69 97.65 0.73 1.04 0.87 1,635.25 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08


CHANGE 0.11 1.55 2.80 0.99 0.46 0.29 0.19 0.04 9.50 0.38


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011










NEWS N35m for Kano attack victims THE Katsina State Government has donated N20 million to the victims of Boko Haram attacks in Kano. Governor Ibrahim Shema yesterday announced the donation when he visited Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso. Shema stressed the importance of trust and understanding between leaders and their followers. He prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and speedy recovery for the victims of the attacks. Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa donated N10 million as well as a personal donation of N5 million from a Kaduna-based businessman, Alhaji Sani Dauda. Kwankwaso assured the two governors that the donations would be used to take care of the victims of the bomb blasts.

Kano, Yobe review curfew

State police ‘ll end insecurity, says Shinkafi


FORMER DirectorGeneral of the defunct Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO), now State Security Service (SSS), Alhaji Umaru Ali Shinkafi, yesterday said the best way to tackle violence and insurgency in the country is by creating state police. He noted that the National Council of State erred when it rejected a proposal recently presented to it for the creation of state police. Shinkafi, who spoke in Abuja on the insecurity in the country, urged the police to deploy officers and men in their state of origin to check corruption and abuse. According to him, the use of task forces, deployment of Army and other ad-hoc security measures cannot stop the spate of violence nationwide. He said: “We are now faceto-face with the deadly men-

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

ace of guerilla-style insurgency and associated modern crimes that can only be better and more effectively tackled within a state-based police structure and operation. This is by accessing all the strategic and logistic advantages of community cooperation and deploying them more efficiently and effectively for law enforcement and counter-insurgency objectives. “Recourse to zonal commands, joint task forces and state government-sponsored operational contingents, among other ad-hoc arrangements, are mere half-measures with doubtful impact and insecure status. Recent revelations also indicate fiscal problems at the federal level, whose implications further underscore the necessity for downloading some responsi-

bility for police work from federal to state governments. “We have authoritative admission of huge gaps between budget allocations to the police and actual disbursements, with disbursements as low as 29 per cent in 2010, plummeting to an abysmal eight per cent in 2011! “This worrisome trend has already compelled states, such as Lagos - with serious security challenges - to expend as much as N10 billion on various logistic needs of the police command in their states without reference to the federal authorities. The truth is that the Federal Government itself is no longer able to settle the bills for the Nigeria Police Force.” Shinkafi dismissed the opposition to state police by some Nigerians, saying such people are ill-informed. According to him, Nigeria has never operated a state police system, contrary to insinuations.

He added: “The main opposition to the establishment of state police in Nigeria has been driven by an exaggerated, misleading and unfounded precedent, focusing on the abuse of state police through political interference and manipulation. “The truth is that state police has never been established in Nigeria before. So, there are no unsavoury antecedents on which to hang this prejudice. “Critics are deliberately swiping the state police with the stained brush of the Native Authority Police, a creation of convenience of the colonialists’ administration with intent on capitalising on the rudimentary security outfit of palace guards of the traditional rulers in the northern, western and eastern regions, for its indirect rule policy. “The Native Authority Police was itself an enforcement institution of the paramount

Boko Haram: Jonathan urged to set up panel of security experts

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano and Duku Joel, Damaturu

THE Kano and Yobe state governments have reviewed the dawn-to-dusk curfew by an hour and two hours. The Kano curfew, formerly from 7pm to 6am, is now from 6pm to 6am. The review, The Nation learnt, is in connection with attacks by the Boko Haram sect from 7pm. Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris, who spoke with The Nation at the home of the bereaved Acting Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar, noted that the measure would ensure tighter security. He said: “We have to review the curfew to tighten security. You are aware that all these things happen around 7pm, being the rush hour. So, we have to bring it one hour backwards to enable us tackle the issue effectively.” The police chief said only two civilians died during the attack on Naibawa police station on Sunday evening. He confirmed that about 5.30am yesterday, there was an attempted attack on the Mandawari Police Station. Idris said: “They (the suspected assailants) came in a Jetta Volkswagen car, shooting sporadically. But our men overpowered them and chased them away. Nobody died or was injured.” Yobe State Government ordered that the restriction of movement imposed on the state following the declaration of the state of emergency in some local governments be reduced by two hours. In a statement by the Special Adviser to the governor on Information and Press Affairs, Abdullahi Bego, the government said: “This is to inform the public that Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has approved that the restriction placed on movement of persons across the state be extended by two hours daily. “Consequently, the restriction of movement will now start from 8pm to 7am daily.” The statement noted that the decision was taken at a meeting between security officials and Gaidam.


ruler, mainly staffed by princes, aristocrats, allies and servants, established to implement administrative directives. “The paramount ruler, whether emir, oba or obi, was, in classical autocratic fashion, already an embodiment of the chief executive, chief legislator and chief judge in his domain...”

From Damisi Ojo, Akure


•Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri (right); Deputy Chairperson, Mrs Betty Apiafi and a member, Nasir Ahmed, at an interactive meeting in Abuja with Nigerian community in Austria over alleged discrimination against Nigerians...yesterday PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Father of slain UNIMAID student calls for probe


HE father of a slain final year Sociology student of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Chukwuma Ogbuji, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan, the National Assembly and heads of security agencies to investigate the circumstances surrounding Chukwuma’s death. He also called for the release of his body for burial in his town. Ogbuji made the appeal in a four-page petition to the Abia State Police Commissioner Bala Hassan. He asked for government’s assistance and called for a proper investigation into the killing. It was gathered that 25year-old Chukwuma, from Umuezeukwu Nsulu in Isiala Ngwa North Local

•Demands for his body From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

Government Area of Abia State, was killed by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect on January 6 in his Mairi ward home at the university campus. Chukwuma had reportedly finished his final exams and had intended to return home following the insecurity in Maiduguri, the Borno Sate capital. But following assurance from various quarters, including the university authorities, the state government and security agencies, that Maiduguri residents would be protected, he stayed behind to complete his project. He was to leave Maiduguri

on January 7, after completing his project. The slain student had spoken with his father on January 5, requesting for fare for the return journey to Umuezeukwu Nsulu. His family was reportedly making plans to send the money to him when, on January 6, he was killed. The Nation learnt that his landlady said three gunmen in an unmarked vehicle came to his home and shot Chukwuma and his friend. The assailants were said to be chanting: “Christians and Igbos will die”. His family’s lawyer, J.O.J Okpechi, signed the petition. He said the late Chukwuma remained on campus to complete his term

papers and project based on “instructions and directives of the lecturers and department heads”. Okpechi added that Chukwuma’s father had doubts about the decision because of the prevailing insecurity in Borno. But Ogbuji reportedly “relied on the assurance of the Borno State Governor and Inspector-General of Police for peace and security for non-Northerners and therefore allowed his son to stay back for the project”. Chukwuma’s father called for the return of his son’s body for proper burial. He said the Presidency, Borno and Abia State governments, the university authorities and security agencies should assist the family.

ASUU blames Fed Govt for Boko Haram killings HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday blamed the rising insecurity in Nigeria on Federal Government’s failure to resolve major socio-economic problems. In a statement in Abuja by its National President, Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, the union decried the killing of innocent citizens over


•’Security changes not enough’ From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

unresolved national conflicts. ASUU noted that the changes announced and intended by the Federal Government in the nation’s security agencies would not address the current security challenges. According to the union, the

cause of the current insecurity lies in the repeated failure of the ruling class to resolve sundry national problems. It added that Nigerians are peace-loving and are interested in the unity of the country. ASUU noted that politics among the ruling class poses

a threat to the stability of the country. “The present lack of security is first and foremost a result of the failure of our rulers to provide education, health and general social welfare for Nigerians “The growing violence in the polity of the country is a result of unresolved socialpolitical problems and so, will require a social-political solution,” the statement said.

RETIRED police commissioner from Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Ojomo, yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to constitute a committee of indigenous security experts to assist him in tackling the security challenges facing the country. In a statement in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the retired police chief urged the President to look inwards in finding solutions to the lingering insecurity. He said: “I do not say the President should discard the measures he has taken, but it will be more rewarding and cost-effective, if he looks inwards. “Nigerians, who are intelligent and patriotic, can proffer solutions to these security challenges. We know our problems; we know the causes of these challenges.” The retired police chief advised that the committee should be devoid of political considerations. Ojomo noted that if the President follows this step, Nigeria would surmount the present security hurdles within a short period. He described as timely the appointments of the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar and Police Reform Committee (PRC) Chairman Parry Osanyande. Ojomo said: “I was the second in command when Abubakar was the Commissioner of Police in charge of Plateau State between 2000 and 2001.” The retired police commissioner said he worked under Osanyande as a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) when the PRC Chairman was the Commissioner of Police in Cross River State in 1986. He described the duo as men of high integrity, adding that their impact in effective policing would soon be felt. The former police commissioner urged Nigerians to support them.



NEWS Sylva rejects INEC position on Supreme Court judgment


AYELSA State Governor Timipre Sylva yesterday rejected the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) position on the Supreme Court judgment. In a statement by his media adviser, Doifie Ole, Sylva said: “The attention of Chief Timipre Sylva has been drawn to a statement by INEC saying that only candidates who emerged after the Court of Appeal judgment of April 15, 2011 are recognised for the Bayelsa State Governorship election fixed for February 11. “Sylva believes that under our laws, it is not the place of INEC to interpret any court judgment. More importantly, Sylva disagrees

completely with this interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment. He does not regard the INEC position as final. “For him, the Supreme Court is better placed to resolve the matter of the proper candidate for the PDP in the Bayelsa State governorship election. “Only on Monday, the Supreme Court granted Sylva leave to validate his candidacy in the election, as his cross appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling and application for accelerated hearing received the apex court’s nod. “Sylva urges his supporters to remain confident and hopeful that at the end of the day, justice will be done.”

Police step up probe on alleged arson in Bauchi From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi


HE Bauchi State Police Command yesterday assured that it would step up investigation into an allegation that places of religion in Tafawa Balewa Local Government have been destroyed. Some residents of the council at the weekend alleged that miscreants had destroyed their places of worship and houses rebuilt for them before the 2012 crisis, even in the presence of security personnel. Their spokesperson, Aminu Tukur, yesterday said: “We are very surprised that a mosque in front of the District Head’s residence and the ones in front of the Tafawa Balewa Village Head, Malam Maigida, Ahlussunnah Mosque, including other mosques and residential buildings have been destroyed by hoodlums.” The Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mohammed Barau, told reporters in Bauchi that the “police will step up investigation into the matter to get to the root and fish out culprits.”

Council chairmen, rulers shun public hearing in Niger


HE amendment of the local government law in Niger State suffered a setback yesterday as the public hearing of the bill by the Niger State House of Assembly was shunned by traditional rulers and chairmen of the 25 local councils. The absence of the major stakeholders led to the indefinite postponement of the hearing by the House. It was learnt that the stakeholders avoided the event because they did not want any part of the local government law amended. Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Yusuf

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

Garba Tagwai and his Permanent Secretary were also absent at the hearing. However, the Commissioner for Justice, Mohammed Bawa Wuse and the Solicitor-General, Ndaji Wali, attended the function. The Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jacob Gana, while announcing the postponement, lamented the lack of interest shown by local government chairmen, secretaries, councillors and traditional rulers.

Zayyana retains Wamakko’s exco From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto


OKOTO State Acting Governor, Lawal Muhammad Zayyana, yesterday retained cabinet members and other appointments made by ousted governor Aliyu Wamakko. According to a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mallam Sani Umar, he urged the appointees to remain steadfast and committed to the success of his administration.

Judge pulls out of Lagos speaker’s trial By Eric Ikhilae


USTICE James Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos said yesterday that he could not preside over the trial of the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his personal aide, Oyebode Atoyebi. The two men were accused of theft in a 20-count charge of money laundering brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The defence lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), told the court that his client was late to court and sought for a stand down, a request the prosecution lawyer, Godwin Obla, did not object to. Justice Tsoho later told the parties that he was unwilling to preside over Ikuforiji and his aide’s trial. He declined to give reason for his decision, but said it was on personal ground. The judge said he would transfer the case file to the court’s Chief Judge for reassignment.

•Former Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Kemi Nelson (left); Ogun State governor’s wife, Mrs Olufunso Amosun; Oluwole Olawunmi Popoola and Adetoun Ibilola Nelson during the engagement between Adetoun (Mrs Nelson’s daughter) and Oluwole at The Haven, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos…last weekend

Fed Govt sends ex-militants abroad for varsity education T HE Federal Government yesterday sent another batch of 146 exmilitants from the Niger Delta to South Africa and Belarus for a five-year course in electrical engineering, computer engineering, petro-chemical engineering and radio informatics. Others are billed to study mass communication, biological sciences, physics, chemistry and Mathematics in Belarusian State University, Belarus and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa. Among the 164 ex-militants, 47 are to undergo a year vocational training programme in Italy in marine mechanics and boat building. The students

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

going to Italy are the first batch to secure visas into Western Europe. Others have been sent to Russia for formal education. The departure of the 164 exmilitants from the Niger Delta under the post-amnesty programmes is part of a plan to empower youths from the region. Speaking at a pre-departure ceremony in Lagos, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Matters, Kingsley Kuku, said about 12,000 ex-

militants would be trained both at home and abroad this year, adding that instead of 2015 when the post-amnesty training is expected to be completed, it could be completed in 2013 as a result of the speed with which the students are being sent for training. Kuku said the batch going to Italy is the first batch to be sent to Western Europe. He advised the youths to be of good behaviour to enable other countries grant visas to their colleagues intending to study there. He gave the ex-militants,

164 laptops designed to meet their needs. Government, he said, would not hesitate to withdraw from the programme any youth who misbehaved by attacking trainers or involved in drug abuse. Describing the programme as a revolution in the Niger Delta, Kuku said the last time such youth empowerment programme was carried out was during the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo regime when youths from the then Western Region were sent abroad for formal education.

Jonathan didn’t contest AU chair, says Abati


HE Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, has said that contrary to reports in some media, the President did not contest for the chairmanship of the African Union (AU). Abati, in a statement in Abuja yesterday said: “It has come to our attention that some media houses are alleging that President Jonathan was “defeated” by President Yayi Boni of Benin Republic in a “contest” to elect a new African Union Chairman at the 18th AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This report is false and is only

‘There was no contest in the first place and President Jonathan was not a candidate for the AU chairmanship position’ the latest in a series of sensational and fictional reporting in a bid to cast the administration of President Jonathan in bad light. “Let me make the following clear: It is not true that Pres-

ident Boni “defeated” President Jonathan in an election. There was no contest in the first place and President Jonathan was not a candidate for the AU chairmanship position. “It is also not true that President John Atta Mills opposed President Jonathan at any time. Ghana and Nigeria enjoy excellent relations. “It is true, however, that in the last week, some newspapers have been speculating that President Jonathan may be adopted by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to be the next chairman of the African Union, since it

was the turn of ECOWAS to produce the AU Chairman for 2012-2013. Mr. President was indeed approached by leaders within and outside the West African sub-region to take up the challenge of leading the AU for the next one year. “While appreciating this kind gesture, President Jonathan resolved that he needed time to focus on domestic affairs in Nigeria, and that it would be practically difficult for him to combine the three positions of President of Nigeria, Chairman of ECOWAS and Chairman of African Union. He therefore rejected the offer.

Wada reinstates exco dissolved by acting governor Continued from Page 4

“Everybody, especially the Vice-President, was shocked by the power drunkenness of the Acting Governor within 72 hours. “The Federal Government is, however, making moves to ease out the Acting Governor from Lugard House in Lokoja. “If care is not taken, his security detail and aide-de-camp might soon be withdrawn,” the source said. Notwithstanding the threats from the Presidency, the Acting Governor announced the sack of the Secretary to the State Government and the Chief of Staff. A statement by the acting Governor yesterday reads: “The attention of the Kogi State Government has been drawn to a calculated plot to destabilise and cause a breach

of peace in the state. Part of the design is to undermine the office of the Acting Governor by spreading falsehood that he has relinquished his position. “Accordingly, Government wishes to state that the said story is untrue, unimaginable and totally unfounded. Government wishes to place on record that the position of an Acting Governor is not a creation of any form of political conjecture but a product of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Furthermore, Government wishes to state that the Acting Governor was administered with the oath of office by the Chief Judge of Kogi State on the 27/01/2012, in line with the letters of the Constitution. “Government wishes to assure the people of Kogi State that the Acting Governor will

not submit himself to any act that will be deemed to be an affront on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “By this public announcement, the State Government hereby relieves the Secretary to the State Government, the Chief of Staff and all other political appointees of their appointments with immediate effect. “The affected officers are to handover all government properties in their possession to the Permanent Secretary or the most senior staff in their respective ministries or departments. “Finally, government directs all security agencies in the state to provide adequate security measure for the protection of lives and property. Long live Kogi State, long live the Fed-

eral Republic of Nigeria.” Wada returned from Abuja yesterday to assume duties at the Governor’s Office in Lokoja. He restored all political appointments by former Governor Ibrahim Idris. In a statement by his special adviser on media, Zakari Adamu, Wada said his earlier pronouncement that all political appointees should remain for the purpose of continuity stands. Wada, who left Lokoja for Abuja last week after been sworn in by the President, Kogi State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Ibrahim Shaiubu, came into the state capital in a long motorcade of supporters. He rode straight to the Government House. All the entrance into the Government House were cordoned off by security men.




Probe of oil, gas sector, others ’ll fail, says ACN

Okah gets Oct. date in South Africa


HE man accused of masterminding two deadly bombings during the nation’s 50th Independence celebrations will face trial in October after a South African court delayed his case by nine months. Henry Okah is facing trial in South Africa, where he has permanent residence, on charges that he orchestrated the twin car bombings — which killed 12 people in Abuja on October 1, 2010 — from his home in Johannesburg. Lawyers for both sides said they needed more time to prepare their arguments. “Neither the prosecution nor the defence was in a condition to continue with the trial at the moment, so we agreed to postpone it,” Okah’s lawyer Rudi Krause told AFP. Dressed in jeans, a black t-shirt and a blazer, Okah looked visibly thinner than his first court appearance following his arrest the day after the bombings. He was denied bail last year and

has been in jail awaiting trial. He also faces terrorism charges in connection with two explosions on March 15, 2010 in Warri, Delta State, a major hub of the country’s oil-rich region. South Africa is trying Okah because the Federal Government has not applied for his extradition, said prosecutor Shaun Abrahams. “We have extra-territorial jurisdiction. It is part of our international obligation” to try cases of terrorism, he told journalists outside the courtroom. Okah has denied involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by the militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). Prosecutors accuse Okah of being the head of MEND, which says it is fighting to give the people of the Delta more access to the region’s oil wealth.



HE Federal Government – ordered audit of all institutions in the oil and gas industry as well as the solid mineral resources sector is programmed to fail, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) predicted yesterday. The party said the exercise won’t achieve its desired results because the government’s decision to oversee the probe is akin to a man being a judge in his own case. In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, AC N said the principle of fairness and the doctrine of separation of powers meant that any probe of institutions under the executive arm of government should be carried out by the National Assembly, in line with its oversight functions. ‘’It is therefore the National Assembly, rather than the executive, that should probe this revenue generating agencies in the oil and gas industry, as well as in the solid minerals sector, and we call on the National Assembly to be alive to its responsibilities,’’ it said.

ACN said while the party does not intend to cast aspersion on any person or organization, ‘’we are constrained to raise issues concerning the two audit firms that have been named by the Federal Government to carry out the audit (Sada, Idris & Co for oil and gas, and Haruna, Yahaya & Co for solid minerals). What antecedents prepare them for such a massive task? And what similar audit have they successfully carried out that will give Nigerians the assurance that they will carry out an independent and credible audit this time.’’ The party also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations contained in the audit of the NNPC by KPMG, at least to convince Nigerians that the outcome of the new audit on the oil and gas sector as well as the solid minerals sector will not be ignored. Meanwhile, ACN has criticized Federal Government officials who have continued to sing discordant tunes and misinform Nigerians on the entire fuel subsidy scam, in order - it seems – to justify its desperate act of forcing the citizenry to pay for the waste and fraud of a few fat cats in the oil industry. ‘’The revelations at the ongoing fuel subsidy probe by the House of Representatives have been shocking, to say the

least. For example, While the Petroleum Resources Minister put Nigeria’s daily fuel consumption at 52 million litres, NNPC said it is 35 million, Finance Minister said it is 40 million while DPR put it at 43 million. ‘’The same inconsistency was noted on fuel subsidy. The Petroleum Resources Minister put the figure at N1.4 trillion; Finance Minister put it at N1.3 trillion while the CBN said it is N1.7 trillion. Different figures were also given for the current production capacity of the local refineries by the NNPC (30 per cent); PPPRA (20 per cent), DPR (13 per cent) and Petroleum Resources Minister (15 per cent). ‘’How then can a government that does not have accurate basic facts about the oil industry and fuel subsidy determine the cost of a litre of petrol, diesel or kerosene? How can it determine the level of subsidy when it does not even know how much is being spent on the so-called subsidy? These revelations have confirmed what our party and other patriotic Nigerians have been saying all along, that the government is making Nigerians to pay for the inefficiency and corruption in the downstream oil sector and that there is indeed no subsidy,’’ ACN said.

Aregbesola: progressives ‘ll soon rule Ondo O SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola at the weekend said the wind of progressivism blowing across the Southwest states from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) must be spread to Ondo State. He said the Western zone under one umbrella will experience rapid development through political and economic integration. Aregbesola told reporters in Owo, Ondo State during the maiden convocation of Achievers University. The Governor was one of the prominent Nigerians honoured by the first private university in the state with a honourary degree of science and public policy and management. Others were a former member of the National Assembly, Senator Bode Olajumoke and Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who was represented on the occasion by the Director of Schools, Miss Bimbo Olagbegi. About 104 students graduated at the ceremony. According to Aregbesola, the only period the zone experienced dividends of democracy was during the administration of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin, among others, stressing that those leaders were able to achieve their aims just because they belonged to the same political party. His words: “My coming to Owo marks the return of effective politicking which will soon be shinning in Ondo State, in my allusion at the convocation, I am not saying that the present administra-

‘I am not saying that the present administration in the state is not working, the people of Yorubaland have been unmistakable in their preference for a preferred ideology that bound them together’ From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

tion in the state is not working, the people of Yorubaland have been unmistakable in their preference for a preferred ideology that bound them together politically and that as they are coming to ascendancy, all other tendencies that are not in tandem with our own, must bow and be kicked out. “The progressive torrent is emerging in Ondo and just like the sun, it will get to the zenith. It is shining already in other Southwest states, and so we want Ondo to be part of the glory of its joy of our traditional political tendency in Yorubaland, which is progressivism. “The definition of progressive politics is wide. In Yorubaland, we know the bearers of progressivism. The real progressive political leaders in Yorubaland included the late Chief Awolowo; the late

Chief Ajasin, the late Abraham Adesanya, the late Chief Bola Ige, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Segun Osoba, Lam Adesina, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Niyi Adebayo, and so on. Wherever these people are in our own region, is the real progressive camp and whoever is not in their camp, you don’t need any sophistication or intellectual wisdom to know that person is not a progressive person, he is a counterfeit”. Aregbesola said the people of Ondo State cannot afford to be isolated from the regional integration going on in the Southwest. But the Ondo Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade said the Mimiko administration will not allow anybody to draw it into any form of controversy, restating its commitment to the delivery of the dividends of democracy. He said: “Our efforts in the last three years had been felt in both the rural communities and in the urban centres. Even the blind will notice that Ondo State is working under the pragmatic and focused leadership of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. “Governor Aregbesola should focus on how to deliver dividends of democracy to the people of Osun State. Nobody in the Southwest can claim to be more Yoruba than another. “The people of Ondo State at the appropriate time, will speak with one voice through their vote. “Governor Aregbesola can only speak for the people of Osun State who elected him. Progressives are known through their performance and the overall progress recorded in their state during their tenure.



FOREIGN NEWS Romania sentences ex-PM Nastase to jail for graft

Assad’s wife, children ‘caught trying to flee Damascus’


OMANIA’s top court gave former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase a two year jail sentence for corruption yesterday, a landmark conviction in the graft-prone European Union country that has prosecuted few senior officials. Nastase, who denies the charges and will remain free pending an appeal, would be the first former prime minister to be sent to jail since the fall of communism in 1989 and the verdict sends a signal that Romania is getting serious on corruption. Prosecutors had said the state budget lost $2 million in 2004 when profits from an event organised by a state construction watchdog were used to finance Nastase’s campaign for the presidency. Nastase lost the election to Traian Basescu, who is still Romania’s president. Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice “condemned the defendant Adrian Nastase to two years in jail”, it said in a statement. The European Union has repeatedly raised concerns about a failure to tackle corruption in Romania and neighbouring Bulgaria, its two newest and poorest members which have been blocked from joining the passport-free Schengen zone over the issue.


YRIAN security forces tried to smuggle President Bashar Assad’s family - including his British-born wife - out of the country. Rebel forces claim Asma Assad, a graduate of King’s College, London and a former investment banker, had tried to flee with her children. They were in a convoy which was also carrying the president’s mother and cousin. Sources told Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry-Al-Youm that ‘a convoy of official vehicles was seen heading to the airport in Damascus’. Scroll down to see video of yesterday’s troop offensive... The convoy was intercepted by brigades of army defectors and, coming under heavy fire, turned back to the city’s presidential palace. The claims come on the day that Syrian rebels blew up a key gas pipeline as violence against President Bashar Assad’s regime continues to escalate and they inch closer to his Damascus seat of power. ‘Half of Damascus falls to rebels’ as breakaway army slowly seize control of capital from Assad regime ‘Better to die than be humiliated,’ chant mourners at funeral as Assad regime is accused of carrying out ‘terrifying massacre’ Suicide bomber kills 32 in Baghdad funeral procession after detonating taxi packed with explosives The attack is one of several since the Syrian uprising began in mid-March 2011 - and followed the killing of 61 people yesterday. Street battles are now raging ‘on the doorstep’ of the capital, with activists saying yesterday’s death toll already stands at 15, as rebels advance to just three miles away from the beleaguered President’s palace. Asma is the daughter of consultant cardiologist Fawaz Akhras and retired diplomat Sahar Otri, both Sunni Muslims, who moved from Syria to London in the Fifties so that her father, who is now based at the Cromwell Hospital and in Harley Street, could get the best possible education and medical training. She holds dual citizenship, British and Syrian, was educated at a Church of England school in Ealing before attending a private girls’ day school - Queen’s College, Harley Street.

World lacks enough food, fuel as population soars, says UN THE world is running out of time to make sure there is enough food, water and energy to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and to avoid sending up to 3 billion people into poverty, a United Nations report warned yesterday. As the world’s population looks set to grow to nearly 9 billion by 2040 from 7 billion now, and the number of middle-class consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially. Even by 2030, the world will need at least 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water, according to U.N. estimates, at a time when a changing environment is creating new limits to supply. And if the world fails to tackle these problems, it risks condemning up to 3 billion people into poverty, the report said. Efforts towards sustainable development are neither fast enough nor deep enough, as well as suffering from a lack of political will, the United Nations’ highlevel panel on global sustainability said. “The current global development model is unsustainable. To achieve sustainability, a transformation of the global economy is required,” the report said. “Tinkering on the margins will not do the job. The current global economic crisis ... offers an opportunity for significant reforms.”

Americans take refuge in Cairo Embassy UNITED States State Department spokeswoman says a number of Americans whom Egyptian authorities have been barred from leaving the country have sought refuge at the American Embassy in Cairo. Kate Starr told reporters in Washington yesterday that a “handful” of Americans are at the embassy waiting for permission to leave Egypt. Egyptian authorities banned at least 10 foreigners, including six Americans, from leaving the country during a criminal investigation into the work of their US-funded organizations. Those banned included Sam LaHood, son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, but it’s not clear if he’s among the Americans at the embassy.



•Fleeing Asma - wife of Syrian President Assad and their two children, caught...yesterday

Austrian authorities treat us badly, Nigerians tell Reps T HE House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora were yesterday told of how the government of Austria has been treating Nigerians in an undignified manner. President of the National Association of Nigerian Community in Austria (NANCA), Oluyemi Ogundele, who led a delegation to an interactive session with the Abike Dabiri-Erewa yesterday said Nigerians in Austria suffer at the hands of the Austrian Government through their Embassy in Abuja. “The Austrian Mission in Abuja demands N120, 000 for verification of documents that have already been certified as genuine by the Nigerian government and its agencies. “Nigerians are required to take their documents to the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for authentication. Thereafter, the Austrian Mission then engages a local lawyer to reconfirm the authen-

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

ticity of the same documents approved by the government. He added: “There are evidences of infringement on the fundamental human rights of Nigerians. The lawyers engaged by the Austrian Embassy in Abuja exceed their mandate by intruding into the private life of the Nigerian applicants. In some cases, they often demand bribe in exchange for a favourable report on the applicants.” Ogundele, who said over 30 ,000 Nigerians live in Austria, said it costs as much as N250, 000 to legalise “ a simple birth certificate -which costs less than a thousand naira “- by the Austrian Embassy. According to him, all ef-

forts to get past foreign ministers and ambassadors to help with the problem has failed. He appealed to the House committee to correct the impression that the government of Nigeria is corrupt. “The action of the Austrian Mission in Abuja demonstrates lack of confidence and trust in Nigerian government and Nigerians in general. Except something is done very fast to correct this perception, it could become a standard practice for other missions and encourage them to shun proper procedures with a view of exploiting Nigerians.” The President of the Diaspora Association also lamented lack of Bio-metric passport machine in the Nigerian Mission in Vienna, saying it’s a big burden on Nigerians living in Austria.

Covenant, East Carolina varsities sign MoU


OVENANT University, Nigeria, and East Carolina University, USA, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Global Academic Initiative Project. The project is a world culture course taught in a shared virtual classroom with students and faculty in Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe. Representatives of East Carolina University, Prof Elmer Poe and Dr. Rosina Chia, both Assistant Vice-Presidents in the university, said the project would provide culturally diverse direct international experience for its workers and students. Poe said the goals of the project, which began in 2004,

were to teach knowledge and attitude to make students become open-minded. The programme provides real work experience for the students. Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Prof Aize Obayan, noted that the project has great potential. She said: “This is a classroom without borders.” According to her, the project is “fascinating” and “timely”. The Vice-Chancellor said Covenant University emphasises cultural understanding, right from inception. She added that the programme would help the students to have crosscultural work experience that would improve their competencies which, in turn, would make them stand out.

Obayan also appreciated the University’s Board of Regents, led by the Chancellor, for providing the enabling environment to make the project possible. She said that the University was open to other possible collaborations with the other 42 universities on the project. According to the details of the MoU, Covenant University and East Carolina University will cooperate in discussions to identify areas where staff and students of both institutions can work together through the programme of ECU’s Global Academic Initiatives that promote international excellence in higher education, using videoconferencing and other Internet-based tools.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that an Extraordinary General Meeting of Vital Products Plc will hold on Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, at Vital House, Plot 22A, Cocoa Industry Road, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos State at 9.00 am prompt to consider and, if thought fit, pass the following resolutions as Special Resolutions: i. “That pursuant to the Memorandum and Articles of the Company, the Directors be and are hereby authorised to raise additional capital through the issuance of up to 650 million ordinary shares of Fifty Kobo (N0.50) each in the authorised share capital of the Company to identified investor(s) at the price of N2.59 per share, on such other terms and conditions, and at such time as the Directors may deem fit, subject to obtaining requisite regulatory approvals”. ii. “That the Directors are hereby authorized to enter into any agreements, instruments and/or other documents necessary for and incidental to effecting the above objective”. iii. “That the Directors be and are hereby authorized to appoint such professional parties, mandate management staff and/or undertake such other acts as may be incidental to and or required for effecting the objectives in (i) and (ii) above.” iv. “That the Memorandum and Articles of the Company be and is hereby amended as set out in the Annexure to this Notice.” v. “That the Authorised Share Capital of the Company be and is hereby increased from N1,200,000,000 (One Billion, Two Hundred Million Naira), comprised of 2,400,000,000 (Two Billion, Four Hundred Million) ordinary shares of Fifty Kobo (N0.50) each, to N 1,250,000,000, comprised of 2,500,000,000 ordinary shares of Fifty Kobo (N0.50) each, by the creation of100,000,000 ordinary shares of Fifty Kobo (N0.50) each;” and vi.

“That the 100,000,000 newly created ordinary shares shall rank pari passu in all respects with the existing 2,400,000,000 (Two Billion, Four Hundred Million) ordinary shares of the Company.”

By order of the Board Paul C Ananaba and Co. Company Secretary Dated 30th Jan, 2012 PROXIES In the event that you will be unable to attend the meeting, kindly appoint in writing, a proxy to attend the meeting and vote in your stead. Please furnish the Company Secretary with the particulars of your appointed proxy at least forty-eight (48) hours before the meeting. A proxy need not be a member of the Company CLOSURE OF REGISTER OF MEMBERS The Register of Members and the Share Transfer Books of the Company will be closed between the Wednesday 1st Feb, 2012 and Monday 6th Feb, 2012 both dates inclusive for the purpose of updating the register of members. ANNEXURE A copy of the annexure detailing the proposed amendments to the Memorandum and Articles of Association has been dispatched to each shareholder with a copy of the notice, shareholders who have not received this notice and or the annexure, may obtain a copy at the office of the Registrar at Diamond Registrars LTD, 59, Ogunlana drive, Surulere, Lagos.








Eagles will thrash Rwanda S

UPER Eagles captain , Joseph Yobo, has hinted that his main target is to win major trophies for both Fenerbahçe and the senior national team. Speaking to from his base in Turkey, Yobo said: ''I want to win major laurels for the Eagles. My main goal now

is to help Nigeria qualify for the 2013 African Cup of Nations.'' The Super Eagles will take on Rwanda on February 29 in Kigali, a qualifier for the 2013 Africa Nations Cup (AFCON). Yobo admitted that he and his colleagues are fully ready for the encounter and he is sure that the Eagles will trash

Rwanda . The 31-year-old defender put up a superlative display on Sunday , where he played the

entire duration of Fenerbahçe's 2-1 win at home to Mersin , his 22nd appearance in the Super Lig.

Martins: I want to score for Keshi


UPER Eagles forward Obafemi Martins and his Rubin Kazan teammates will today storm Malaga, Spain for the second phase of pre-season training. The first phase of Kazan's build up to resumption of the Russian Premier League was held in Turkey. Obagoal scored five goals in eight games in matches played against some lower division teams in Turkey. The Nigeria international has hinted that he is in top shape for the new season, as well as the Europa league. He also admitted that he is also

ready to break the defense of Rwanda, come February 29 in Kigali ''I am ready to play for the Eagles again under Coach Stephen Keshi. I want an Eagles recall. I would love to get an invitation for the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Rwanda. ''I want to score for Keshi .I have had fruitful discussions with Keshi. Myself and the other players in the National Team have promised Nigerians victory over Rwanda,'' Martins told in a telephone conversation.


Ivory Coast shatter Angola's dream •As Sudan seal historical win I VORY Coast beat Angola 2-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday night. Angola, needing a point to reach the African Nations Cup quarterfinals, were eliminated on in their final game to Ivory Coast who had fielded a largely reserve team. Emmanuel Eboue put the Ivorians ahead after 32 minutes and Wilfried Bony tapped in the second just after the hour following a blunder by defender Dani Mussunguna, who headed the ball over his

own goalkeeper leaving him stranded. Angola, who were twice close to pulling a goal back, finished level on four points in Group B with Sudan, who beat Burkina Faso 2-1, but were eliminated on goal difference. Ivory Coast had already qualified and topped the group with maximum points from three games, which they completed

without conceding a goal. In the same, Sudan reached the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 42 years on Monday, beating Burkina Faso 2-1 to squeeze through on goal difference and edge out Angola. Mudather Tayeb scored both of Sudan's goals to deliver the nation's biggest sporting moment since it won the African Cup on

home soil in 1970. It was also Sudan's first win at the tournament since that triumph. Mudather broke clear to beat Burkina Faso goalkeeper Daouda Diakite in the 33rd minute and then punished a mistake by the keeper in the second half to carry Sudan through, despite a 97th minute goal from the Burkinabes. Angola lost 2-0 to already-qualified Ivory Coast in Group B's other game in Malabo to be eliminated.


Lagos inaugurates 28-man committee •Craves private sector partnership •Okoya-Thomas, Edun, Tinubu make list


By Innocent Amomoh and Miriam Ndikanwu

REPARATORY to the National Sports Festival (NSF) due to hold later in the year, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) yesterday inaugurated a list of top personalities as members of the event’s Local Organising Committee (LOC). Making his speech at the conference hall of the Governor’s Office, Alausa, venue of the event, Fashola said that with the assemblage of the 28 personalities that constitute the committee, Lagos is set to raise the bar ahead of other states. He called on the private sector to partner the state for the successful hosting of the festival slated to commence in November. Fashola stressed the need for the government to relinquish its hold and allow private sector manage sports administration as a way of resolving the crisis that has hampered the growth of sports in Nigeria in the last decade. The governor lamented the present situation rocking the nation sport, while blaming it on too much presence of government in sports administration in the country. He said government should focus on regulatory role but allow the private sector to drive sports growth through its own enterprise. On the hosting of the 18th National Sports Festival, Fashola said the decision to involve professionals who have excelled in the corporate, social and political and legal fields into the committee was to ensure this year’s festival matches and exceeds the 17th edition hosted by River State. “Our strategy will be different, we will use our strongest asset, our people, we would also involve the private sector and the inclusion of commissioners from the side of the government is to enable easy and speedy access to the

government in terms of logistics”. He added that the resolve of the state to improve its sporting fortunes guided the decision of the government to accept the hosting right of the 2012 Festival. He said the aim of the state government was to replicate the success story of public and private partnership in security management waste management as well as infrastructural development in the sporting life of the state. The Committee is to be chaired by Her Excellency, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire and Honourable Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Enitan Oshodi as its Vice Chairman. Other members include, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, Lateef Aderemi Ibirogba, Olajide Idris, Kayode Isiak Opeifa and Disun Holloway. Also in the Committee are Enitan Dolapo Badru, Hon. Babatunde Ayeni, Yakubu Alkali, Delano AdepojuConde, Molade OkoyaThomas (CON), Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Alhaji Uba Saidu Malami, Tony Elumelu (CFR), Chief Ademola Seriki, Olawale Edun, former Commissioner for Finance in the state and Olusegun Dawodu as members. Other members are, Adewunmi Ogunsanya, Erelu Angela Adebayo, Prof. Ademola Onifade, Ademola Sadiq, Ayodeji Tinubu, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, Godson Uti, Grace Asagba, Kweku Tandoh as the General Secreatary, and Nunayon Travih, Asstistant Secretary-General. Fashola charged them to put up a splendid performance as the state will be relying on their expertise to host the best festival ever.



MOHAMMED I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Kuburat Kaka Mohammed, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Kuburat Kaka Sanusi. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

ABBA I formerly known and addressed as ABBA JOHN ABBA, now wish to be known and addressed as OMMI JOHN ABBA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE MATERNAL CARE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION The above named Organization which is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission has passed a resolution appointing the under listed person as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Organization and has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration in accordance with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. THE APPOINTED TRUSTEE IS: Dr. Charles Njoku AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ORGANIZATION 1. To provide mothers with care based on the highest medical and ethical standards; 2. To bring together the resources, both human and financial, to provide training programmes for the medical, midwifery and nursing professions. Any objection thereto should be addressed to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Maitama Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: SECRETARY




Gov Amosun motivates Flamingoes


HE Executive Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun on Monday challenged the U-17 Women’s National Team, nicknamed Flamingoes, to go all out and ‘spell’ Kenya when they host their counterparts from the East African country in a FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier in Abeokuta on Saturday, February 4. Governor Amosun, who celebrated his 54th birthday anniversary on Wednesday, January 25, also charged the Nigerian girls to show discipline and patriotism in the campaign. “Football is a big issue with Nigerians, and it behoves on you players

who have the privilege of being selected to fly the nation’s flag, to always do so with the highest sense of responsibility and discipline, and to always realise that you have to conduct yourselves well at all times. “I assure you that when you play on Saturday, not only the football fans here at the MKO Stadium will be cheering you on. The whole country will be behind you, including President Goodluck Jonathan”, said Governor Amosun. The Flamingoes on Monday intensified their preparation for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifier against Kenya, at the MKO Abiola Sta-

dium, Abeokuta. On Friday, in a friendly match, the Flamingoes walloped Women Professional League club, Sunshine Queens of Akure 3-1 at the Akure Township Stadium, and on Saturday pounded Tewo Queens 3-0 at the MKO Abiola Stadium. Nigeria won the first leg in Nairobi 2-0 penultimate weekend and are all but certain to reach the next and final round of the African qualifiers, where they are most likely to play Zambia’s U-17 Women’s Team. Zambia whipped Botswana 5-1 away in Gaborone in their own first leg match and should easily wrap up the tie in Lusaka this weekend.

NFF to spend N2.1bn in 2012 •Eagles’ Nations/World Cup to gulp N974m •Falcons’ Championships expenses get N433m


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will spend the sum of N2.1bn in implementing its programmes for this year. According to the NFF President Aminu Maigari, the Federation proposed N2.3bn to the House of Representatives Committee on Sports but this was slashed by N200m to N2.1bn. Maigari disclosed that both the Super Eagles’ 2013 Africa Nations Cup and

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja World Cup qualifiers would gulp as much as N704m, while the competition proper in South Africa will cost the country N270m making it a total of N974m. The Super Falcons are also expected to expend N270 million to get to Equatorial Guinea 2013 Africa Women’s championship, while the competition proper will gulp N163 mil-

lion, making it a total of N433m. The national Women’s U20 team (Falconets) will spend N126 million to get their World Cup, while N228.7 million has been budgeted for them if they qualify. For the Women’s U-17 team (the Flamingoes), they will expend N95 million to get to their World Cu, while N153.2 million will be expended on them if they qualify for the competition proper.

Nigeria number one Ogbuke sets 15-goal golfer eyes resurgence target


UPER Eagles and Schalke 04 forward Chinedu Obasi has set a target of 15 goals this season for the Bundesliga outfit. Obasi, who recently moved to the club on loan, admitted that he his happy playing first team football for Schalke 04. The former Nigeria youth-teamer was in action on Saturday against Cologne where Schalke hammered the home side 4-1. Obasi told allnigeriasoccer .com: "Even if I didn't get to score on Saturday, the goals will come. “I am targeting at least 15 goals at the end of the season. I am happy with the atmosphere at Schalke. I was well received by the supporters of the club and my new team-mates. I am ready to give my best and play good football here.'' Saturday's game was Obasi's second match for Steven Huub’s team where he is on loan. Meanwhile, John Shittu, the agent of the Nigeria international has told that he is happy with the present form of Obasi and he hopes Edu will continue his impressive displays for Schalke 04.


BOYEGA Oyebanji believes that the 2012 professional golf season that tees-off at the St Mark Golf and Country Club, Oturpko next week may be his resurgence to the top of the game in the country. Having led the Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria’s “Order of Merit” in the past, Oyebanji says he is still primed for the top spot irrespective of the present composition of the leadership of the OOM last season. “Finishing sixth was not a bad performance at all, the goal I have set for myself is to return to the top this year: to become number one in Nigeria and to win some international events again like I did last year,” he said. Oyebanji, who currently is defending champion of the Cameroon International Golf Championship, says there is no player to watch out for this year except the courses. “I see the courses choosing its winners. So I am not going out there to compete against any player, but to beat the course. It will be one shot at a time for me,” Oyebanji said. The professional golf season has been set off with a three-week back-to-back event with the Papa Mark

Golf Championship that teedoff yesterday in Oturkpo. It will be followed in succession with Delta State Governor’s Cup at the Ibori Golf and Country Club Asaba before another return to Oturpko for Benue State’s own Governors Cup. Mike Ubi, who finished third on the rung, says it is a good event and compensates for 2011 season that didn’t tee-off until the year had run by half. “It will be a challenge for the players who excelled last year to come and defend their titles. It will be a game of stamina,” says Ubi. Meanwhile, Chukwudi Okoro, UBTH Golf Course assistant resident pro, who caused a stir with an almost win at his first professional event last year, says some players still hold the aces of the Nigerian Tour.

• Oyebanji



‘…The National Security Adviser should, as a matter of urgency, establish some toll-free phone lines and other free, less cumbersome communication services which people can use to reach security agents’ VOL. 7




ITH each passing day, the investment and infrastructure-building programme the Jonathan administration says it plans to undertake with the savings accruing from ending the “subsidy” on gasoline looks more and more dubious, like the subsidy itself. Early signs suggest powerfully that the programme, with the beguiling acronym SURE — as in Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment – could well end up a casualty of the national predilection for planning without facts, of which it is also a manifestation. One may not go so far as to declare, in the cryptic phrasing of a correspondent who was reacting to an instalment of this column, that “SURE is a RUSE.” But the indications are growing that, if it survives a collision with the facts, the elegant blue-print will emerge severely bruised. The funding, remember, was to come principally from instituting a new, non-negotiable gasoline pricing regime of N141 per litre, as against the regnant price of N65 per litre. Within 10 days, the authorities, compelled to bow to public protests, slashed the price to N97 per litre. That is still 50 per cent higher than what the organised labour and civil society demanded, but only 50 per cent of what the government had earmarked. Since a return to a pump price of N141 per litre is now inconceivable, N97 per litre translates into a 50 per cent shortfall in the SURE budget. And that is just for starters. The earmarked amount was based on the calculation that gasoline consumption would remain at 59 million litres a day, the volume of supply declared by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). That calculation is worse than problematic. Supply is not the same thing as consumption. Besides, even that figure, as PPPRA Executive Secretary Reginald Stanley declared in a testimony before the House of Representatives, was based not on “actual user data” but on “Gross Domestic Product indicators,” whatever the latter term means. So also, apparently, is the 39 million litres that PPPRA says is the daily gasoline consumption. The Minister of Petroleum, Diezani AlisonMadueke, has stoutly contested the latter figure, describing it in the opaque language that official after official has employed in the debate as “generic,” adding that it had been used over the years for planning but had increased. Mrs Alison-Madueke says the daily consumption was 26.9 million litres back in 2006. By 2008, it had shot up to 38.5 million litres, and stood at some 47 million litres in 2010. Before anyone could accuse her of mastery of her portfolio, she explained that she could reel off those figures with such confidence because, “in general, daily consumption was usually taken as what was delivered,” excluding endof-year stock.


• • • 419



Still planning without facts ‘If that is the volume supplied daily and no significant shortages have occurred, it must follow that consumption is lower than supply, or that consumption has fallen, perhaps as a result of the withdrawal of the alleged subsidy.’ •Dr. Christopher Kolade

Take another look at her figures. They point up a whale of an increase over a four-year period. Why the quantum leap, at a time when industries were shutting down and relocating to Ghana, the economy was generally sluggish (don’t be taken in by the seven per cent annual growth rate routinely claimed by the Central Bank) – why this quantum leap at a time when politics was the only business in town? The minister’s figures are at any rate at variance with those supplied by the NNPC in a January 28, 2012, press release posted on its website. In a self-congratulatory tone, the NNPC says that the 41 million litres of gasoline it has been pumping out to fuel stations daily more than satisfies national consumption. If that is the volume supplied daily and no

significant shortages have occurred, it must follow that consumption is lower than supply, or that consumption has fallen, perhaps as a result of the withdrawal of the alleged subsidy. This means that the “savings” expected from cutting the oil subsidy will amount to only a fraction of the trillions the authorities have dedicated to the execution of Programme SURE. And this conclusion is without prejudice to the well-documented fraudulent practices the authorities have accommodated over the years – practices that will cut deeper into the projected savings. Nor does it take into account the additional one trillion naira which will now have to be found, according to the authorities, to pay for alleged subsidies on gasoline imported in the last quarter of 2011. The case for ending the dubious subsidy was presented with the kind of statistical rigour that would have won Thomas



RESH from battling subsidy removal protests, and still immersed to his ears in the Boko Haram insurgency, President Goodluck Jonathan has managed to run full tilt into another uproar, this time in the diplomatic sector. Recall that last week, there were reports the President might be interested in the chairmanship of the African Union (AU). It was in fact ‘rumoured’ that during the 18th Summit of the AU, which began on Sunday in Ethiopia, Jonathan would be unanimously elected as chairman of the continental body, perhaps after having secured the approbation of the ECOWAS bloc. Neither the Presidency nor the Foreign Affairs Ministry felt so upset by the ‘rumours’ to deny them, again perhaps because it would not be dignifying to stoop low to responding to street talk. But after Benin Republic President Boni Yayi was presented by the ECOWAS bloc and was then elected Chairman of AU by the about 40 heads of government present at the summit, there were again reports that Jonathan contested the post and lost. The Presidency thereafter officially reacted to the story by saying there was no contest, and that Benin Republic President was a unanimous choice. According to the official reaction, Jonathan had no interest in vying for the post, though he was approached by a few heads of state in


Gradgrind’s highest approval. To that character evocative of the seamy side of the Industrial Revolution in England which Charles Dickens captured in Hard Times, facts and figures counted for everything. He took great pride in his actuarial imagination and would have been scandalised if he was for a moment thought to be moved by anything but cold facts. But at least he proceeded on the basis of facts, no matter how simple or complex the transaction at hand. He gathered facts and analysed them and stored them and applied them assiduously. And they served him well – at least up to the point when he discovered that one could not go through life with a book-keeper’s imagination. In contrast, Nigeria’s policy-makers are notoriously disdainful of facts. When compelled to justify policy, they fudge and confect data, and then present them as the “facts.” If they possess a sociological imagination, they must have been enjoined to put it on display only on the rarest of occasions. But it is precisely a display of that kind of imagination that would have spared the nation the convulsion that followed their New Year ambuscade. Still, there is no cause for despair. The beautiful theory called SURE may yet be saved from being mugged and possibly murdered by the gang of brutal facts poised to do just that. The gap in the SURE budget can be bridged if the sunshine patriots and suborned publicists in and outside the news media and the hidden persuaders and the solidarity merchants and the ethnic warlords and jingoists, not forgetting the stalwarts of the PDP, categorically reject the new pump price and insist on paying the “un-subsidised” pump price of N141 per litre. If they will not take that step voluntarily, President Goodluck Jonathan should require them to do so as an affirmation of their patriotism and their loyal support for his administration. A much larger contribution to closing the SURE budget gap can be expected from the real savings that will result from trimming the obscene perks and allowances that political officials at every level draw. In short, all those bridges and roads and irrigation schemes and oil refineries and hospitals can still be built; the railways can still be modernised and expanded, and those lucky three million pregnant women (3,875.9 from each Local Government Area, calibrated with the mathematical exactitude Gradgrind would have demanded) can still have the antenatal care SURE promised to deliver. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Nigeria and AU chairmanship the region to present himself for the election. Jonathan was said to have argued that he needed to face the serious domestic challenges confronting him, and also balance his national responsibilities with the chairmanship of the ECOWAS bloc. These would not leave him with enough time to oversee the more daunting challenges of an unstable continent. It is hard to fault Jonathan. It is also true there was really no contest. If there was, it would be at the regional level where he would have tried to ensure that there was no opposition to his candidacy. It is also true that it would be uncharitable to expect Jonathan to combine his very serious domestic challenges, which have addled his wits, with managing ECOWAS, and then topping the two with AU responsibilities. His domestic challenges, nay the Boko Haram challenge, are more than enough for a four-year tenure. What the official rebuttal did not tell us, however, was whether Jonathan at any time seriously nursed interest in the job, especially when, according to him, a few heads of state mooted the idea. Nor were we told that when he summoned a mini ECOWAS summit in Addis Ababa a day before the commencement of the AU summit, it was not to see whether

he could attempt a last-ditch effort to sway the bloc in his favour. No one is fooled that if it ever came to a matter of choice, he would not have chosen to assume continental responsibility in place of ECOWAS job. After all, he has only about three years remaining in his tenure, and according to the principles of rotation in AU regarding the chairmanship of the body, West Africa may not be entitled to vie for the office again while Jonathan is in office. Even though many Nigerians remain sceptical that Jonathan didn’t surreptitiously try to explore his chances of leading the continental organisation, they may reluctantly give him the benefit of the doubt. Although, of course, if he wanted to be believed, he should have debunked the rumours before the summit began. The President must understand the interest shown by some Nigerian newspapers which published stories of his ‘defeat’ in the hands of ‘little’ Benin Republic. It is unlikely they were exulting over what they described as a defeat. More appropriately, they were mourning a humiliation that transcended Jonathan and his delicate image.

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 January 31,2012  

The Nation January 31,2012

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